Ideologies and Revolutions: 1815-1850 “The Age of Metternich”

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Ideologies and Revolutions: 1815-1850

The Age of Metternich”

I. Overview

A. Conservatism and the “Age of Metternich”

1. The Congress of Vienna (1815) represented a

temporary triumph for the old conservative order

This era of conservatism was best represented by

the leadership and policies of Austrian minister

Klemens von Metternich

2. Napoleon was defeated and former rulers were

restored to power (e.g. Bourbons in France and the

pope in the Papal States)

3. The victors at the Congress of Vienna sought to

prevent the new forces of liberalism and nationalism

from disturbing the conservative order

Repression was used in a number of instances to

put down liberal or nationalist challenges

4. The Concert of Europe was the clearest and most

effective expression of conservatism.

B. Rise of Liberalism

1. The liberalism unleashed by the French Revolution

was largely kept in check during the years

immediately following the Congress of Vienna.

2. Liberalism became a major force in France during the

Revolutions of 1830 and 1848.

a. The Bourbons were overthrown in 1830 and

replaced with Louis Philippe (the “Bourgeois King”)

b. France became a republic in 1848 (although only

for 4 years)

3. Liberalism resulted in a number of important reforms

in Britain by 1850 (e.g. Reform Bill of 1832 and

repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846)

C. Emergence of Nationalism

1. Nationalism became perhaps the greatest force for

revolution in the period between 1815 and 1850.

2. Italy revolted against Austrian rule in 1830 and 1848

3. A revolution in Prussia in 1848 resulted in a failed

attempt to unify Germany

4. The Austrian empire saw nationalist revolts by

Hungarians and Bohemians

5. Greece gained its independence from the Ottoman

Empire in 1832.

6. Belgium won its independence from the Netherlands

in 1830

7. Poland failed in its attempt to gain independence in


8. Britain and Russia were spared nationalist revolutions

D. Romanticism

1. Philosophy challenged the rationalism of the

Enlightenment and emphasized individualism,

emotion, faith and nature

2. Romanticism became politically linked to liberalism

and nationalism

E. Socialism

1. Challenged the bourgeoisie for its maltreatment of

workers during the Industrial Revolution

2. Advocated a new social and economic order based on


II. Congress of Vienna (September 1814-June 1815)

A. Representatives of major powers of Europe, including

France, met to redraw territorial lines and to try and

restore the social and political order of the Old Regime.

B. The “Big Four”: Austria, England, Prussia, and Russia

1. Klemens Von Metternich represented Austria.

a. Epitomized conservative reaction.

b. Opposed to the ideas of liberals and reformers

because of the impact such forces would have on

the multinational Hapsburg Empire.

2. England represented by Lord Castlereagh.

Sought a balance of power by surrounding France

with larger and stronger states.

3. Prussia sought to recover Prussian territory lost to

Napoleon in 1807 and gain additional territory in

northern Germany (Saxony).

4. Czar Alexander I represented Russia

Demanded “free” and “independent” Poland, with

himself as its king.

5. France later became involved in the deliberations.

Represented by Talleyrand, the French Foreign


C. The “Dancing Congress”

1. The Congress was held amid much pageantry,

parties, balls and banquets.

2. This was intended to generate favorable “public

opinion” and occupy the delegates, since they had

little to do of any serious nature.

D. Principles of Settlement: Legitimacy, Compensation,

Balance of Power

1. “Legitimacy” meant returning to power the ruling

families deposed by more than two decades of

revolutionary warfare.

a. Bourbons restored in France, Spain, and Naples.

b. Dynasties restored in Holland, Sardinia, Tuscany

and Modena.

c. Papal States were returned to the Pope.

2. “Compensation” meant territorially rewarding those

states which had made considerable sacrifices to

defeat Napoleon.

a. England received naval bases (Malta, Ceylon,

Cape of Good Hope)

b. Austria recovered the Italian province of Lombardy

and was awarded adjacent Venetia as well as

Galicia (from Poland), and the Illyrian Provinces

along the Adriatic.

c. Russia was given most of Poland, with Czar as

King, as well as Finland and Bessarabia (modern day

Moldova and western Ukraine).

d. Prussia awarded the Rhineland, 3/5 of Saxony and

part of Poland.

e. Sweden received Norway.

3. “Balance of Power”: arranged the map of Europe so

that never again could one state upset the

international order and cause a general war.

a. Encirclement of France achieved through the


A strengthened Netherlands.

o United the Austrian Netherlands (Belgium)

with Holland to form the Kingdom of the

United Netherlands north of France.

Prussia received Rhenish lands bordering on

the eastern French frontier (left bank of the


Switzerland received a guarantee of perpetual


b. End of Hapsburg Holy Roman Empire

Enhanced Austrian influence over the German

states by creating the German Confederation

(Bund) of 39 states out of the original 300,

with Austria designated as President of the Diet

(Assembly) of the Confederation.

Maintained Napoleon’s reorganization

Loose confederation where members remained

virtually sovereign.

c. Sardinia (Piedmont) had its former territory

restored, with the addition of Genoa.

d. A compromise on Poland reached—“Congress

Poland” created with Alexander I of Russia as

king; lasted 15 years.

e. Only Britain remained as a growing power—began

their century of world leadership from 1814 to 1914

E. Evaluation of the Congress of Vienna

1. Successfully restored the European balance of power

a. Not until Germany’s unification in 1871 was the

balance of power compromised

b. No world wars occurred between 1815 and 1914

c. More successful in stabilizing the international

system than treaties in the 20th century.

2. Criticized by liberals and nationalists for creating an

atmosphere that repressed reforms and nationalist


· Underestimated the new nationalism generated by

the French Revolution

III. Concert of Europe (1815-1850s)

A. Lasted from Congress of Vienna in 1815 until the

Crimean War of the 1850s

B. Series of arrangements to enforce the status quo as

defined by the Vienna settlement

1. Highly conservative in nature

2. Essentially a crusade against liberalism & nationalism

C. Two major provisions: Quadruple Alliance and the

Congress System.

1. Quadruple Alliance: Russia, Prussia, Austria and


a. Provided for concerted action against any threat to peace or balance of power.

b. France was usually seen as the possible violator of the Vienna settlement.

· Alliance agreed that no Bonaparte should ever again govern France.

c. Austria used the alliance to defend the status quo

as established at Vienna against any change or

threat to the system.

· Liberalism and nationalism were seen as

threats to the existing order.

2. Congress System:

a. European international relations controlled by

series of meetings held by great powers to

monitor and defend status quo

b. Principle of collective security required unanimity among members of the Quadruple Alliance

c. Worked effectively until the early 1820s

d. 1822, Britain withdrew from the Congress

effectively killing the Congress system.

· Britain disagreed with the Congress’s

squashing of a revolt in Spain

D. “Holy Alliance” – proposed by Alexander I in 1815

1. Included Russia, Prussia and Austria

2. First attempt to stop the growth of liberalism

3. Proposed for all monarchs to sign a statement

agreeing to uphold Christian principles of charity and


4. Plan proved to be overly ideological and impractical

and few took it seriously (especially Britain)

5. Liberals saw it as a sort of unholy alliance of

monarchies against liberty and progress.

IV.Conservatism and repression

A. Conservatism was a reaction to liberalism and a popular

alternative for those frightened by the violence, terror

and social disorder of the French Revolution.

1. Embodied most by Klemens von Metternich of Austria

2. Supported by traditional ruling classes (e.g. nobles) &

peasants who still formed majority of the population

· Bourgeoisie constituted the biggest threat to the

conservative status quo

3. Believed in order, society and the state; faith and


a. Edmund Burke: (1729-1797): Reflections on

the Revolution in France

· One of the great intellectual defenses of

European conservatism.

· Defended inherited privileges, especially those

of English monarchy and aristocracy.

· Had predicted anarchy and dictatorship in

France as a result of the French Revolution

· Advised England to go slow in adapting its own


· Denounced political philosophy based on

abstract principles of right and wrong.

· Believed nations should be shaped by national

circumstance, national history, and national


b. Metternich was particularly concerned about the

multi-ethnic character of the Hapsburg empire

· Nationalism in particular threatened to tear the

empire apart.

4. Repression by conservatives resulted in the period between 1815 and 1849.

B. Austria and the German Confederation

1. Multi-ethnic composition of Hapsburg Empire meant

liberalism and nationalism were potentially more

dangerous than in other countries.

2. Liberalism and nationalism were often centered in

universities in first half of the 19th century

3. Carlsbad Diet (1819) called by Metternich

a. Carlsbad Decrees cracked down on liberalism in

universities and drove liberalism and nationalism


b. Materials that advocated unification were censored

4. German Confederation (Bund)

a. Purpose: Guarantee the independence of the

member states

b. By joint action, to preserve all German states from

domestic disorder.

c. Organization of gov’t was a Diet (assembly)

· Presided over by Austria, as President.

C. Prussia

1. Ruled by Hohenzollern dynasty, a very aggressive

royal family with regard to expansion.

2. Briefly after 1815, German liberals saw Prussia as a

leader of German liberalism, because of liberal

reforms the gov’t enacted after its defeat of


· However, the reforms were designed to improve

efficiency of gov’t rather than promote liberalism

3. Prussian gov’t and its traditional ruling classes

(Junkers) followed Metternich’s lead in repressing

liberal and nationalist movements.

D. Britain

1. The conservative Tories (who had defeated

Napoleon) controlled the government.

2. Corn Laws of 1815: halted importation of cheaper

foreign grains.

a. Benefited wealthy landowners at the expense of

the rest of the English population.

b. Liberals were outraged but lacked necessary

political influence to repeal the law

3. Habeas corpus repealed for first time in English


4. “Peterloo Massacre” of 1819

a. Pro-liberal crowd listening to anti-Corn law

rhetoric were attacked by police.

· Eleven people killed; 400 wounded (including

100 women)

b. The press was brought under more firm control

and mass meetings were abolished.

5. By 1820 England seemed to be moving towards

becoming a repressive authoritarian state

E. France

1. France began this period as the most liberal large

state in continental Europe

· Charter of 1814 established a constitutional

monarchy under King Louis XVIII

2. “White Terror”: In 1815, thousands of former

revolutionaries murdered by royalist mobs

3. Elections in 1816 restored moderate royalists to


4. A Spanish revolution was crushed: 1823, French

troops were called by Concert of Europe to restore

another Bourbon ruler, Ferdinand VII.

· Signaled the triumph of conservatism.

5. In 1829, the heir to the throne was murdered and

royalists used incident as pretense to crack down on


· King Louis XVIII shifted from moderate policies

to conservative ones: reduction of suffrage;


F. Russia: Decembrist Uprising (1825)

1. Czar Alexander I (1801-1825) initially favored

Enlightened despotism but after 1815 grew

increasingly reactionary.

a. His death led to a power vacuum.

b. Younger brother, Nicholas, was next in line to the


2. Decembrists (junior military officers): upper-class

opponents of the autocratic Russian system of gov’t

a. Supported popular grievances among Russian


b. First upper-class revolt against Russia’s autocratic

system of government

c. Sought to prevent Nicholas I’s assumption of the


d. Revolt eventually suppressed by Nicholas I

3. Nicholas became Europe’s most reactionary monarch

a. Russia became a police state with censorship, a

secret police, (the Third Section) and state sponsored


b. No representative assemblies.

c. Education was limited and university curricula

were carefully monitored.

d. Resulted in severe alienation of Russian


4. Intellectuals developed two opposing camps in this


a. Slavolphiles believed that Russian village (the

mir) culture was superior to that of the West.

b. Westernizers wanted to extend the “genius of

Russian culture” by industrializing and setting up a

constitutional gov’t.

V. Liberalism

A. Characteristics

1. First major theory in Western thought that saw the

individual as a self-sufficient being, whose freedom

and well-being were the sole reasons for the

existence of society.

2. Classical liberalism:

a. Reformist and political rather than revolutionary in character

b. Individuals entitled to seek their freedom in the

face of tyranny.

c. Humans have certain “natural rights” and

governments should protect them (Locke).

d. Rights are best guaranteed by a written

constitution, with careful definition of the powers

of gov’t (e.g. Declaration of Independence;

Declaration of the Rights of Man)

e. Republican (representative) form of gov’t.

3. Democrats were more radical than liberals; more

willing to endorse violence to achieve their goals.

4. Liberalism in Economics

a. Some economists of the era (e.g. Ricardo and

Malthus) painted a bleak picture

· Economics became known as the “dismal


b. Adam Smith in Wealth of Nations (1776)

· Became the “bible” of capitalism

· Advocated economic individualism

· Laissez-faire: opposed gov’t intervention in social and economic affairs, even if the need for action seemed great to reformers

· Most productive economy was one that allowed for the greatest measure of individual choice—

invisible hand” of the self-regulating


· Severely opposed to mercantilism

c. David Ricardo: “iron law of wages”

· Plentiful supply of workers would keep wages low, to the detriment of the working class.

d. Thomas Malthus: believed human population

would outstrip the food supply resulting in

massive famines.

5. Utilitarianism: founded by Jeremy Bentham

a. Utility of any proposed law or institution was

based on “the greatest happiness of the

greatest number.”

· Bentham was a major proponent of Poor Laws.

b. John Stuart Mill: On Liberty (1859): classic

statement on liberty of the individual.

· Argued for “absolute freedom of opinion” to be protected from both gov’t censorship and tyranny of the majority.

· Later, along with his wife he argued for

women’s rights: On the Subjection of Women (1867)

B. Impact of Liberalism

1. Inspired various revolutionary movements of the

early 19th century (see below)

2. Influenced revolutions in France in 1830 and 1848

3. Liberalism became embodied in over ten constitutions

secured between 1815 and 1848 in the states of the

German Confederation.

4. Influenced reform measures in Britain from the 1830s

into 20th century.

5. Inspired German student organizations and impacted

Prussian (and later German) life in the late 19th


6. Resulted in some mild reforms in Russia in the early

20th century.


A. Characteristics

1. Sought to turn cultural unity into self-government

2. Common language, history and traditions would bring

about unity and common loyalties.

3. Supported by liberals and especially, democrats

4. Immediate origins were in the French Revolution and

Napoleonic wars.

5. Johann Gottfried Herder (1744-1803): regarded as

father of modern nationalism

a. Saw every cultural group as unique and

possessing a distinct national character—

Volksgeist—evolving over many centuries.

b. No one culture is superior to another

c. His ideas led to the notion that every nation

should be sovereign and contain all members of

the same nationality.

6. Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814)

a. Considered by some as the “father” of German


b. Spoke of a German superiority over other peoples and criticized Jews

B. National revolutionary movements: 1815-1829

1. Spain (1820): revolution crushed by French troops

authorized by Austria, Prussia, and Russia (opposed

by England who left the Congress System)

2. Naples (1820)

a. Incited to revolution by the activities of secret

liberal-nationalist organizations (“carbonari”)

protesting the absolute rule of Ferdinand I of the

Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

b. Congress authorized Austrian troops to end the

revolution in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

3. Piedmont (1820): An attempted uprising was crushed

by Austrian forces.

4. Greek Revolution (1821-1829)

a. Europeans concerned with the “Eastern

Question”: Which European countries would fill

the void in the Balkans resulting from the decline

of the Ottoman Empire?

b. England, France and Russia accepted Greece’s

Christian appeal and joined into a united force

that defeated combined Turkish and Egyptian

naval forces.

c. Treaty of Adrianople (1829): recognized Greek

autonomy after Russia had defeated the Turks in a war

d. Significance: 3 out of 5 members of Concert of

Europe supported nationalism signaling a shift

from a united conservatism to nationalistic self interest.

C. Revolutions of 1830

1. Sparked by a wave of liberalism and nationalism

against perceived conservative oppression

2. France: July Revolution (1830)

a. King Charles X sought to impose absolutism by

rolling back the constitutional monarchy.

b. In response, a radical revolt in Paris forced the

reactionary Charles X to abdicate his throne.

c. Louis Philippe (r. 1830-1848) of Orleans family

became the new king under a constitutional

monarchy; known as the “Bourgeoisie King”

d. France was now controlled by upper-middle class

bourgeoisie bankers and businessmen (in effect, a

return to narrow liberalism of 1815)

e. Impact of July Revolution: sparked a wave of

revolutions throughout Europe.

· “When France sneezes, the rest of Europe

catches a cold”

3. Italy (1831-32)

a. Northern Italy—Modena, Parma, and Papal

States—saw outbreaks of liberal discontent.

b. Italian nationalists called for unification: led by

Guiseppe Mazzini and his secret revolutionary

society—Young Italy.

c. The Carbonari: secret nationalist societies

advocated force to achieve national unification.

d. Austrian troops under Metternich’s enforcement of

the Concert of Europe’s philosophy crushed the

disorganized revolutionaries.

e. Italian Risorgimento (“resurgence” of the Italian

spirit) continued—Mazzini’s dream.

4. The German states (1830-1833)

a. Carlsbad Decrees of 1819 had effectively

restricted freedom throughout Germany.

b. The July Revolution inspired German university

students and professors to lead street

demonstrations that forced temporary granting of

constitutions in several minor German states.

c. Yet, liberal and nationalistic desires for German

unification were easily crushed by Metternich’s

domination of the German Confederation (Bund),

and his influence on Prussia.

5. Belgium (1830)

a. Belgium had been merged with Holland in 1815,

but the upper classes of Belgium resisted rule by

the Dutch who had a different language, religion

and economic life.

b. July Revolution inspired a revolt against Dutch

rule in Brussels, led by students and industrial


c. Dutch army defeated and forced to withdraw from

Belgium by Franco-British fleet.

d. A national congress wrote a liberal Belgian


e. In 1839, the Great Powers declared the neutrality

of Belgium.

6. Poland (1830-31)

a. Nicholas I crushed a nationalist uprising that

challenged Russia’s historic domination of Poland.

b. The Organic Statute of 1832 declared Poland to be

an integral part of the Russian empire.

7. Prussia established the Zollverein in 1834

a. Established an economic union of 17 German

states which eliminated internal tariffs and set the

tone for greater union.

b. Free-trade idea was quite liberal

c. Austria excluded; the issue became a major point

of contention between Prussia & Austria

VII. Liberal Reform in England

A. 1820-1830

1. Young reform-minded Tories such as George Canning

and Robert Peel gained influence in the 1820s

· Allied with liberal Whig reformers

2. Reforms

a. Britain abandoned the Congress System in 1822,

reformed prisons and the criminal code, allowed

membership in labor unions, and established

efficient metropolitan police force (“Bobbies”)

b. Religious Reform

· 1673 Test Act was repealed (had banned non-Anglicans from office)

· Catholic Emancipation Act (1829) granted full civil rights to Roman Catholics.

B. Earl Grey, Whigs’ leader, was asked by the new king,

George IV, to form a new government (1830)

1. Whigs were heavily supported by the middle class

2. Reform Bill of 1832

a. Considered a milestone in British history

b. Spurred by the recent cholera epidemic

· People demanded a more responsive gov’t

c. Increased number of voters from 6% of population to 12%.

d. Eliminated under populated rural electoral districts (“rotten boroughs”) that supported the House of Lords and replaced them with representation from new manufacturing districts and cities that rose upfrom the industrial revolution.

e. Resulted in the supremacy of the House of

Commons over the House of Lords in Parliament.

3. Labor Reform:

a. Factory Act of 1833: no child labor under age 9

b. Slavery abolished in British West Indies, 1833

· Inspired by the work of William Wilberforce, an evangelical Christian who saw slavery as a sin in the eyes of God.

c. Poor Law, 1834: required healthy unemployed

workers to live in workhouses.

d. Mines Act, 1842: Prohibited child labor in mines

e. 10 Hour Act, 1847: limited work hours for women and children to 10 hours per day

4. Chartists: sought universal suffrage

a. The People’s Charter also demanded secret

balloting, no property qualifications for members

of Parliament, salaries for members of Parliament,

equal electoral districts (end to “rotten

boroughs”), and annual elections for Parliament.

b. Significance: although movement failed initially,

all its ideas were adopted in the late 19th and

early 20th centuries.

5. Corn Laws repealed, 1846

a. Anti-Corn Law League, led by Richard Cobden

and John Bright, argued for lower food prices.

b. Partly a reaction to the 1840s Irish Potato Famine

6. Navigation Laws repealed, 1849

a. Officially ended official policy of mercantilism

b. Laws had been in effect since the days of Oliver

Cromwell in the 1650s

7. Internal unrest in England was relatively small

compared to other countries in Europe during the rest

of the 19th century.

  1. People saw reform was possible without revolution

b. Queen Victoria (r. 1837-1901): her relatively

peaceful reign was known as the “Victorian Era”

VIII. Revolutions of 1848

A. Overview

1. Watershed political event of the 19th century.

2. 1848 revolutions influenced by nationalism,

liberalism, and romanticism as well as economic

dislocation and instability.

3. Only Britain and Russia avoided significant upheaval

· Liberal reforms in Britain prevented serious

popular discontent

· Conservative oppression in Russia prevented

liberal revolution from taking hold

4. Neither liberals nor conservatives could gain a

permanent upper hand.

5. Resulted in end of serfdom in Austria and Germany,

universal male suffrage in France, parliaments

established in German states (although controlled by

princes & aristocrats), stimulated unification impulse

in Prussia and Sardinia-Piedmont.

6. Last of the liberal revolutions dating back to the

French Revolution

B. France

1. “February Revolution

a. Working class and liberals were unhappy with King Louis Philippe, esp. his minister Francois Guizot (who opposed electoral reform)

b. King was forced to abdicate in February, 1848

c. Second French Republic: led by liberal Alphonse Lamartine (allied with bourgeoisie)

· Louis Blanc: socialist thinker who led working classes, demanded work for the unemployed

· National workshops: created to provide work for the unemployed

d. Reforms

· Abolished slavery in the empire

· 10 hr workday in Paris

· Abolished the death penalty

e. April elections for a new Constituent Assembly

saw conflict between liberal capitalists & socialists

· Workers sought a revolutionary republic after Blanc was dropped from the assembly.

2. “June Days” Revolution, 1848

a. Cause: the gov’t closed national workshops

b. Marked beginning of class warfare in France

between the bourgeoisie and the working class

  1. Workers sought war against poverty and

redistribution of income.

· Barricades put up in streets to oppose gov’t

forces (Hugo’s Les Miserables based on this)

d. General Cavaignac: assumed dictatorial powers & crushed the revolt (10,000 dead)

· Temporary victory for conservatives

3. Election of 1848: Louis Napoleon defeated Cavaignac

and became president of the Republic

4. 1852: Louis Napoleon consolidated power and

became Emperor Napoleon III of the Second French


C. Italy

1. Italian nationalists and liberals sought to end foreign

domination of Italy

2. 1848, Milan, Lombardy and Venetia expelled Austrian


3. Bourbon rulers in Sicily and Naples were defeated

(Kingdom of Two Sicilies)

4. Sardinia-Piedmont declared war on Austria

5. Giuseppe Mazzini established the Roman Republic

in 1849; he was protected by Giuseppe Garibaldi

and his forces

6. Pope Pius IX was forced to flee Rome

7. Failure of revolutions in Italy resulted in conservative


a. Austrian General Radetsky crushed Sardinia-

Piedmont; regained Lombardy and Venetia

b. French troops took back the Papal States

8. Causes for failure:

a. Rural people did not support the revolutions

b. Revolutionaries were not united (as was also the

case in Germany)

c. Fear of radicals among moderates

d. Lack of leadership and administrative experience among revolutionaries.

D. Austria

1. Habsburg empire was vulnerable to the revolutionary

challenge of nationalists

a. Ethnic minorities sought nationalistic goals:

Hungarians, Slavs, Czechs, Italians, Serbs, Croats,

and others. (More non-Germans than Germans

lived in the empire)

· Germans only 25% of the population

b. Austrian gov’t was reactionary; liberal institutions

were non-existent.

c. Social reliance on serfdom doomed the masses of

people to a life without hope.

d.“February Revolution” in France sparked rebellion

for liberal reforms.

2. Hungary

a. Louis Kossuth, Hungarian (Magyar) leader,

demanded independence

b. The Czechs in Bohemia as well as three northern

Italian provinces declared autonomy.

c. The Austrian empire collapsed

· Students and workers staged mass


· Metternich fled the country

· Hungarian armies drove within sight of Vienna.

d. Hungarians were ultimately defeated

· The Austrian army regrouped and gained aid of

Slavic minorities who resisted Magyar invasion

· Austrian and Russian armies defeated the

Hungarian army.

· Hungary would have to wait until 1866 for


e. The revolution failed

· Revolutionary gov’t failed to govern effectively

(as was the case in Italy)

· Habsburgs restored royal absolutism

3. Bohemia

a. Prague Conference (1848) developed notion of

Austroslavism: constitution and autonomy within

Habsburg empire.

b. Pan-Slav Congress failed to unite Slavic peoples in

the empire.

c. Austrian military ultimately occupied Bohemia and

crushed the rebellion

4. Italian revolution against Austrian rule (see above)

E. German States

1. Revolutions inspired by 1848 revolutions in France

2. Liberals demanded constitutional government and a

union or federation of German states.

3. Frankfurt Parliament (May, 1848)

a. Liberal, nationalist/romantic leaders called for

elections to a constituent assembly, from all states

in the German Bund, for the purpose of unifying

the German states.

b. Sought war with Denmark to annex Schleswig &


· In response, Prussia declared war on Denmark

c. Frankfurt Parliament then presented constitution

for a united German federation

  1. · Selected Prussian King Frederick William IV as emperor

4. Prussian King Frederick William IV rejected the liberal


a. Claimed “divine right” of kings

· Allegedly stated he would not “accept the

crown from the gutter”

b. He imposed a conservative constitution that

guaranteed royal control of the gov’t (lasted until


5. Failure of Prussia and Austria to support unification

movement resulted in its collapse.

6. Frederick William’s attempt to subsequently unify

Germany ended in failure.

a. Austria demanded Prussian allegiance to the Bund

(that Austria dominated)

· In effect, this would have compromised

Prussian sovereignty

b. “Humiliation of Olmutz”: Prussia dropped the

plan to unify Germany, leaving Austria as the

dominant German state in the Bund.

· Prussia would seek revenge in 1866 (Austro-

Prussian War)

F. Evaluation of Revolutions of 1848

1. Neither liberal or nationalist revolutionaries nor those

of conservatism were able to maintain their

dominance between 1789 and 1848.

a. Liberalism, nationalism, socialism and democracy made some gains but were largely kept in check by conservatives.

b. Many of the revolutions were spontaneous

movements that could not effectively maintain

popular support.

c. Revolutions were largely urban movements.

· Conservative landowners and peasants

essentially thwarted the revolutions

d. The middle classes, who led the revolutions, came to fear the radicalism of their working class allies (e.g. Louis Blanc in France)

e. Division among nationalist ethnic groups in the

Austrian Empire helped destroy the revolutionary

movements against the empire.

2. Positive aspects

a. Universal male suffrage introduced in France.

b. Serfdom remained abolished in Austria and the

German states.

c. Parliaments were established in Prussia and other German states although dominated by princes and aristocrats.

d. Prussia and Sardinia-Piedmont emerged with new energy to achieve unification within the next two decades.

3. The Revolutions of 1848-49 brought to a close the era of liberal revolutions that had begun in France in 1789.

a. Reformers and revolutionists learned that planning and organization was necessary for success.

· Rational argument and revolution would not always assure success.

b. Age of Romanticism gave way to an Age of Realism.

IX. Romanticism: (c. 1800-1850)

Note: Romanticism is an often-tested essay topic on the AP

exam. To write an effective essay, it is important that you

can memorize two or three people in each of the categories

below and be able to analyze how at least one of their works

is relevant. The works listed below are not exhaustive. There

are many other possibilities you may use and your teacher

will help you in this area.

A. Characteristics

1. Emotion over reason

· Emphasized the human senses, passion, and faith

2. Glorification of nature; emphasized its beauty and


· Rejected the Enlightenment view of nature as a

precise harmonious whole as well as deism.

3. Rejected Enlightenment view of the past which was

counter-progressive to human history

4. Encouraged personal freedom and flexibility

5. By emphasizing feeling, humanitarian movements

were created to fight slavery, poverty and industrial


6. In some cases, drew upon ideals of the Middle Ages

· Honor, faith and chivalry

· Popular in Germany

· Britain: novels of Sir Walter Scott; Gothic

architecture of the Houses of Parliament

7. In central and eastern Europe, Romantics focused on

peasant life & transcribed folk songs, tales, and


B. Philosophical forerunners of Romanticism

a. Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778): most

important (Social Contract, 1762); believed society

and materialism corrupted human nature

· Believed man was a “noble savage

b. Immanuel Kant (1724-1804): Accepted rationalism

of the Enlightenment while preserving his belief in

human freedom, immortality, & existence of God.

· Helped establish philosophy as a separate branch

from religion

c. Romanticism was largely inspired by the French


d. Sturm und Drang (“Storm and Stress”): used by

German romantics in 1770s and 80s conveying

emotional intensity.

e. George William Friedreich Hegel (1770-1831)

1. Leading figure of German idealism

2. Dialectic -- initial idea (thesis) is challenged by

an opposing view (anti-thesis) and results in a

hybrid of the two ideas (synthesis)

f. Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814)

1.. In Addresses to the German Nation (1806) he

developed a romantic nationalism that saw

Germans as superior over other peoples.

2. Strongly anti-Semitic

C. Romantic Poetry

1. Romantics believed that poetry was supreme over all

other literary forms; the expression of one’s soul

2. Germany

a. Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805)

· Wrote about man achieving freedom through the aesthetic of Beauty.

· Spoke of universal human solidarity

o His poem, “Ode to Joy” (1785), was

incorporated by Beethoven in his 9th


b. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

· “Faust” (1832) – Goethe seems to criticize the excesses of Romanticism by Faust’s selling his soul to the devil in return for experiencing all human experience. (See “Literature” below)

3. England

a. William Wordsworth (1771-1855) and Samuel

Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

· Deeply influenced by philosophy of Rousseau and the spirit of the early French Revolution.

· In 1798, both poets published Lyrical Ballads, one of most influential literary works in the history of the English language.

· Defied classic rules and abandoned flowery

poetic conventions for ordinary language.

· Nature was a mysterious force from which thee” in a state of nature poet could learn

· Portrayed simple subjects in a highly idealized

and majestic way

b. Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), Scottish

· Long narrative poems and historical novels

o Rob Roy (1817)

o Ivanhoe (1819): story of a fight between

Saxon and Norman knights in medieval


· Represented the romantic’s interest in history

· Influenced by the German romanticism of


c. Lord Byron (1788-1824)

· Embodied the melancholic Romantic figure

· Died fighting for Greek independence against

the Turks in 1824

d. Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

· Prometheus Unbound (1820): Detailed the

revolt of humans against a society that

oppresses them

D. Literature

1. George Sand [female writer whose real name was

Amandine Aurore Lucie Dupin (1874-1876)]:

Emphasized themes of the romantic love of nature

and moral idealism

2. Goethe

a. Sorrows of the Young Werther

· Werther personified the Romantic hero who

was misunderstood and rejected by society but

stayed true to his inner feelings.

· His rejection by a girl whom he loved resulted

in his suicide

· This novel influenced many others during this

era with tragic stories of lovers

b. Perhaps greatest of the German Romantic authors

3. Victor Hugo (1802-1885): Hunchback of Notre Dame;

Les Miserables

· Romanticism in his novels was evident with his

use fantastic characters, strange settings, and

human emotions.

4. Grimm’s Fairy Tales: collection of German folk


a. The Grimm brothers, Jakob and Wilhelm, were

influenced by Herder’s views about preserving

songs and sayings of German culture. (See p. 11)

b. Provides a strong example of how German

nationalism and romanticism were tied together

E. Art

1. Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840), Wanderers

Above the Mist (1818)

· Mystical view of the sublime power of nature was

conveyed in many of his paintings

2. Eugène Delacroix (1796-1863)

a. Most famous French romantic painter

b. Interested in the exotic and dramatic use of color

· Liberty Leading the People (1830) is his most

famous work for his portrayal of the 1830

Revolution in France

3. Théodore Géricault (1791-1824)

a. Raft of the Medusa (1818-19): based on a

shipwreck off the west coast of Africa

b. Themes of power of nature and man’s attempt to

survive its force

4. J. M. W. Turner (1775-1851)

a. Depicted nature’s power and terror.

b. Wild storms and sinking ships were favorite


c. Many paintings of landscapes, seascapes, sunrises

and sunsets.

5. John Constable (1776-1837)

· Rural English landscapes in which human beings

were at one with their environment.

F. Music (c. 1820-1900)

1. Romantic music places a strong connection with

emotion as well as nationalism (which is conveyed

through the use of national folk songs)

2. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1826)

a. Transitional figure between the Classical and

Romantic eras

b. One of the first composers to covey inner human

emotion through music

c. Epitomized the genius who was not constrained by

patronage (as were virtually all of his


· Many of his later works were written when he

was deaf

d. First composer to incorporate vocal music in a

symphony by using the text to one of Schiller’s

poems (“Ode to Joy”) in the last movement of his

9th Symphony.

3. Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

· Wrote hundreds of German songs (lieder) that

wedded music and Romantic poetry.

4. Hector Berlioz (1803-1869)

a. A major founder of programmatic music that

sought to covey moods and actions via

instrumental music

b. Symphonie Fantastique is his masterpiece and is

the first programmatic symphony

5. Frédéric Chopin (1810-49): wrote numerous piano

works that highlighted Polish folk songs and dances

6. Franz Liszt (1811-1886):

a. Many of his works reflected his native Hungarian

music (e.g. Hungarian Rhapsody)

b. Greatest piano virtuoso of mid-late 19th century

c. Developed the symphonic poem (or tone poem), a

single movement symphonic work that was based

on a literary or pictorial idea.

7. Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904): Works utilized folk

music of his native Bohemia

8. Giuseppi Verdi (1813-1901), greatest Italian opera

composer (see pp. 24-25 below)

9. Richard Wagner (1813-1883), German opera

a. Along with Verdi he is considered the greatest

opera composer of the 19th century

b. His development of the “music-drama” is often

considered the culmination of the Romantic era

c. German nationalist composer who strongly

emphasized Germanic myths and legends

10. Peter Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

a. Most well-known of the Russian romantic

composers; perhaps the most gifted European

composer in the creation of beautiful melodies.

b. Often used Russian folk songs in his symphonies,

ballets (e.g. The Nutcracker and Swan Lake) and

other works

c. 1812 Overture (1882) and March Slav (1876)

are but two examples of his use of folk songs and

the creation of memorable melodies.

F. Architecture

1. The Romantic era returned to medieval ideals in

certain respects.

2. Gothic revival architecture returned in some

notable cases

· The architecture for the British Houses of

Parliament (rebuilt in mid-1800s) is perhaps the

most famous example

G. Romanticism’s connection to politics and revolution

1. Philosophy

a. Romantics believed in revolutionary movements

that would give people more freedom and control

over their lives

b. Supported nationalistic movements that

emphasized cultural traditions and languages of

Europe’s varied peoples

c. Revolutionary movements were highly idealized

and probably not attainable in light of political

realities of the era.

d. The art of the period tended to idealize these


2. France: Eugene Delacroix

a. Massacre at Chios, 1824

· Portrays Greek Christians who seek

independence as victims of Ottoman savagery

b. Liberty Leading the People, 1830

· Idealized portrayal of popular revolution with

Marianne, bourgeois and proletariat


3. Germany

a. Disillusionment with the French Revolution and

Napoleon pushed German romantics towards

nationalistic views where individuals would be

fulfilled by being part of a national culture, united

by history

b. Johann Gottfried von Herder rebelled against

Enlightenment rationalism as he was a leader of

the Sturm and Drang movement

· Urged Germans to study German literature and

history as believed language was a key to

national unity

· Believed an individual reached highest stage of

development through a passionate connection

with a national community—Volksgeist

c. Sources such as Grimm’s Fairy Tales furthered

the notion of a German culture

4. Italy

a. Popular revolution led by Mazzini and Garibaldi had

strong idealistic and Romantic overtones

b. Giuseppe Verdi’s operas evoked strong

nationalist views

· Verdi was seen in some circles as the figure

head for the Italian unification movement

· Some of his early operas can be seen as

allegories for the Italian desire to rid Italy of its

Austrian and other foreign oppressors

· In 1847, one of his nationalistic operas nearly

sparked a massive riot

· 1859, the name “VERDI” was graffiti on walls

throughout Italy, not only to celebrate the

composer, but an acronym: Vittorio Emanuele

Re (“king”) d’ Italia. In 12 years, Victor

Emmanuel would be king of a united Italy.

5. The eventual failures of the Revolutions of 1848 led

to disillusionment with Romantic goals that paved the

way for the rise of Realism as a dominant new

artistic movement

X. Socialism

A. Causes

1. Desire to reorganize society to establish cooperation

and a new sense of community.

2. Increasing misery of working classes disturbed liberal

thinkers (Bentham and Mill), who proposed a

modification of laissez-faire economics.

3. Liberal practices in politics (republicanism) and

economics (capitalism) seemed to promote selfish

individualism and the fragmenting of society.

4. Not until the 19th century did issue of social justice

gain broad intellectual base and greater support.

B. Early French Socialists

1. Proposed a system of greater economic equality

planned by the government (sometimes called

Utopian Socialism)

2. Count Henri de Saint-Simon (1760-1825)

a. Industrialization, aided by science, would bring a wondrous new age to Europe.

b. Proper social organization would require the

“parasites”—the court, aristocracy, lawyers,

churchmen—to give way to the “doers”—leading

scientists, engineers, and industrialists.

c. Sought public works projects and establishing

investment banks.

d. Every social institution should have as its main

goal improved conditions for the poor.

3. Louis Blanc (1811-1882)

a. More practical approach than other early French


b. Urged workers to fight for universal suffrage and

to take control of the state peacefully

c. Gov’t should set up workshops and factories to

guarantee full employment.

d. Played a role in the “June Days” Revolution in

Paris in 1848

4. Pierre Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865) What is

Property? (1840)

a. Believed property was profit stolen from the

worker, who was the source of all wealth.

b. Often considered an anarchist as he greatly feared the power of the state.

5. Charles Fourier (1772-1837)

a. Sought planned economy & socialist communities.

b. Described socialist utopia in mathematical detail.

c. Seven utopian communities founded along his

ideas; most in the U.S.

d. Early proponent of total emancipation of women.

C. Christian Socialism (began in England around 1848)

1. Believed the evils of industrialism would be ended by

following Christian principles.

2. Attempted to bridge gap between the anti-religious

socialism and Christian social justice for workers.

D. Scientific Socialism or Marxism: developed by Karl Marx

and Friederich Engels

1. The Communist Manifesto (1848)

a. Considered the “bible” of communism

b. Intended to replace utopian hopes and dreams

with a brutal, militant blueprint for socialist

working class success.

2. Theory of dialectical materialism

a. The economic interpretation of history: all human

history determined by economic factors (mainly

who controls means of production & distribution).

b. The class struggle: Since the beginning of time

there has been a class struggle between the rich

and the poor, or the exploiters and the exploited.

c. Theory of Surplus Value: true value of a product is

labor and, since the worker receives a small

portion of his just labor price, the difference is

surplus value, “stolen” from him by the capitalist.

d. Socialism was inevitable: Capitalism contains the

seeds of its own destruction (overproduction,

unemployment, etc.)

e. Violent revolution: The increasing gap between

proletariat and bourgeoisie will be so great that

the working classes will rise up in revolution and

overthrow the elite bourgeoisie.

f. Will create a “dictatorship of the proletariat.”


g. Creation of a classless society: Will result as

modern capitalism is dismantled.

· “From each according to his abilities, to

each according to his needs,” will take


h. Impact of socialism on European politics became

profound by late 19th century (see below)

3. Views on women

a. Marx saw women as being doubly oppressed: by

capitalists that paid them low wages and exploited

their labor, and by a society that gave women

second-class status.

b. Women eventually played an influential role in the

socialist movement in the nineteenth and early twentieth


4. Marxism was an atheistic philosophy

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