In 1848, many revolutions broke out in many regions such as France, the Austrian Empire, Prussia, and Germany. Originally, the intention of the revolutions were for universal male suffrage and for greater rights for the common people. There was always a constant struggle between classes, since the lower classes felt they were being oppressed and treated unequally by the upper class. The original intention of revolution failed in the revolutions of 1848 since many revolts were held in France, the Austrian Empire, Prussia and Germany led by members of the states in order to obtain male suffrage, and equality among every class.
The revolutions of 1848 failed to produce the original intentions of the revolutions in France because of the constant war between the proletariat (working class) and the bourgeois (elegant class). In 1814, the constitutional charter proclaimed by Louis XVIII restored the Bourbons and was virtually a liberal constitution. The constitutional charter protected economic and social gains made by the middle class and the peasantry, permitted a small amount of intellectual and artistic freedom, and organized parliament with upper and lower houses.
However, the aristocrats wanted to dispose of all the revolutionary intentions originally intended because they wanted to stay affluent. Alphonse de Lamartine was an individual who was involved in the Second Republic attempting to reform France into a democratic republic and called for universal male suffrage. He was a romantic poet who was a member of the provisional government and eventually became a presidential candidate. Lamartine recalled the difference between these two classes indicating that the rich and elegant class belonged to the bourgeoisie who were present in schooling, commerce, the National Guard, and journalism.
On the other hand, there was the proletariat who were considered those who worked in workshops. He stated that in these workshops they would have their shirts upon at the chest, and the hands were black with the smoke of the charcoal. He felt that equality amongst men was the aim of one and social renovation the aim of the other. However, he believed that they were both selfish and hoped for what they desired during the revolutions. After the death of Louis XVIII, Charles X was appointed who was a conservative.
He desired to restore France to the way it originally was and decided to reject the constitutional charter which restored power amongst the aristocrats. This led to vicious rioting in the streets to occur, which led Charles to flee and appointed Louis Philippe. However, Louis Philippe did not help, giving power to the aristocrats. This caused much corruption to spread throughout France’s “bourgeois monarchy. ” Politicians refused to approve social legislation or consider electoral reform. The corruption in France caused a severe depression that started with crop failures which also to led severe uprisings.
Karl Marx was a German philosopher, economist, and socialist who felt that the structure in which Louis Philippe ordered France was beneficial. Marx felt that it was a good thing to keep the lower classes where they were, in order to save society from them. He felt it was a good thing that classes and parties united as the party of anarchy, of socialism and communism against the proletariat. The revolutions in France ended in a failure, which were later on mended by establishing the Constituent Assembly which allowed Louis Napoleon to win elections.
There was battle between members of the upper class and members of the middle and lower class which made the original intentions of the revolutions incomplete. The reason revolution broke out in the Austrian Empire, Central Europe was because of France who evoked excitement eventually leading to revolution. It first started in Hungary when nationalists demanded national autonomy, civil liberties, and universal voting rights. The monarchy of Vienna, however, refused which resulted in brawling led by students, workers, and peasants. Emperor Ferdinand I promised reform and a liberal constitution.
There were urban revolutions since there was the issue of socialists workshops and voting rights among all men. Hungary then established a liberal constitution which sought to unify Hungary into a centralized nation. Groups involving the Croatians, Serbians, and Romanians did not like this unification, and therefore rejected it. The Hungarian Diet was involved in order to assist, therefore, attempting to put one of the worse groups or the Croatians back in order. In order to prevent rioting they proposed a bill asking for money and troops in order to suppress the Croatians.
They felt the Croatians were rebels of the king, Ferdinand I, who were against the freedom and independence given by the king. The Croatians were burning peaceful villages, and committing genocide against innocent children and women. The Diet felt that they were destroying Hungarian integrity and consistency, obliterating freedom, and refusing to obey the laws established by the king in order to maintain order. All these groups, however, disliked the constitution since they all felt they had the right to independence and autonomy. Louis Kossuth was an individual who led the Hungarian Assembly’s move for autonomy and independence.
On September of 1848, the Habsburgs signed the grant of those moderate demands of the Hungarian people and swore to God that they would protect the nation. However, Kossuth believed they secretly created and planned a conspiracy against the kingdom. He felt they were planning on breaking the bonds which they swore, to abandon the land of Hungary. National autonomy demanded by the people of the Austrian empire thus enabled the monarchy to play off each ethnic group. After, the Austrian empire retook the cities that had been taken over by the revolutionists.
However, Hungary still had not been taken under control which led Austria to ask Russia for assistance. Russian troops took over Hungary which restored Habsburg power in Hungary. Thus, the revolution in the Austrian Empire failed to produce the original intentions the revolutions called for. The revolution in 1848 failed to produce the original intentions of the revolutions in Prussia since the German reformers sought to transform an absolutist Prussia into a constitutional monarchy. They hoped that it would lead the thirty-eight states of the German Confederation into a unified nation-state.
Since there was much crop failure, and economic crises, after the fall of Louis Philippe, liberals started to revolt. Crowds of people called for liberal reforms and a national parliament. Many factory workers and craftsmen revolted in Prussia against the monarchy ruled by Frederick William IV. He decided to grant them a liberal constitution and unite Prussia into one with Germany. A Prussian Constituent Assembly was forming a constitution for the Prussian state, while the German Confederation was forming a constitution that desired national unification.
During this meeting state officials, lawyers, and businessmen were elected to parliament in order to represent the interest of the elite. These elite called for more liberal ideas while the lower classes sought for more improvements in daily life. The officials of the Frankfurt Parliament at first called for unification of a Greater Germany that would include Austria, but later on proposed a lesser Germany that would include Prussia and other German states and not include Austria. Austria was the largest and most influential kingdom in the German Confederation which meant the lack of power for Germany.
In 1849, the liberal constitution that was demanded was finally set in place and Frederick William of Prussia was elected to rule lesser Germany. Frederick would be offered a crown whereas he would accept a constitution that would object to the rights of the German states, therefore, leading Frederick to refuse the offer. Frederick wanted to rule under his own terms, but Austria refused. As a result, the German Confederation was re-established and Prussia denied all plans of unification.
After the German confederation was re-established security was enforced upon many of the universities, organizations, and the press. Revolutionaries later on fled into exile and the matter of unification was rejected. The attempt to unite Germany with Prussia had completely failed. The revolutions of 1848 in France, the Austrian Empire, Prussia and Germany failed to produce the results originally intended because there many revolts that were conducted by citizens in order to obtain male suffrage and equality among men.
France, however, provoked many of the other revolutions in the other regions. The lower and upper classes went through constant conflict because of the oppression that occurred towards the lower classes. While efforts were made to create a unified German state, the political inexperience of the Frankfurt Parliament prevented this outcome from occurring. Each country attempted in their own way to assist the citizens, however, the efforts were futile.