Revolutions and reactions

Updated: Oct 23, 2019



The congress of Vienna

During the 1800s the liberalism was growing, even though the conservatism did not decrease. Liberalism stood for guarantees of individual freedom, political changes and social reforms. These ideas supported the Enlightenment and the French revolution. In contrast people with conserv values disliked the ideas of the Enlightenment and the French revolution, like Edmund Burke who condemned the French revolution as an English spokesman. The governments in Europe were mostly under the control by people with conservative values, but the growing liberalism was needed to be considered. Furthermore the Nationalism was a growing force shaping Europe during the 1800s. The congress was about conservative ideas.

The congress of Vienna was an international peace conference with the main aim to change the map of Europe. It was held in the capital of Austria, 1814. Attending the meeting was for example: Czar Alexander I of Russia, Metternich, King Frederick William III of Prussia and Lord Castlereagh, the British foreign minister. The congress restored the balance of power by strengthening the neighboring countries of France. Now the Netherlands was created by putting the Dutch and Austrian Netherlands into on country and Switzerland was seen as an independent country. However the congress was profitable in the eyes of Britain, due to it gaining most land because of their long struggle against Napoleon.

The Quadruple Alliance

Britain, Austria, Prussia and Russia formed the Quadruple Alliance to protect the peace in Europe. But Czar Alexander had grander visions. He suggested a Holy Alliance to tight and knot between all the governs following the christians principals. Both of these alliances preserved the peace and lead to nations helping each other.

The Metternich System

Prince Metternich dominated european politics for 30 years and he defended the work of the Congress of Vienna. His policies was The Metternich System, based on status quo which was the existing states of affairs. Status quo was against liberalism and nationalism and meet opposition from many angles. Prince Metternich was a conservatism and opposed the Liberalism.

Revolutions in France, AGAIN

The divine rights of kings was brought up again, previously seen during the Absolutism, after the Congress of Vienna when Louis XVIII was announced king of France. The problem for him was an uprising middle class with liberal ideas inspired by the French Revolution. They did not agree with the status quo and joined forces to upset it, between 1830-1848. In 1814 Louis XVIII accepted the Constitution due to him realising he had to share the power with the people. But he did only allow wealthy people to be in power which only upset the liberals further. When he died, his brother inherited the throne as Charles X. He gave back the land that the nobles lost during the French revolution as well as he wanted laws to decrease individual freedom. When he eventually realised that he had no support in France, he fled to England. The July Revolution made France a constitutional monarchy with Louis Philippe as king, due to the middle class fearing the leaders of foreign republics.

The Bourgeois Monarchy

Louis Philippe made the middle class growing by adapting to their preferences and demands which was why he was called the “bourgeoisie monarch”, but many felt betrayed, due to the July Revolution and Philippe's regime favoring the wealthy. With the industrialization starting in France, people were dissatisfied even more, because improvements were going slow, wages were bad and job hours were far too long in the 1800’s.

A reformer, Louis Blanc came to the rescue by fighting for the rights and protections for the workers, while the socialism was growing. The king, Louis Philippe disliked the growing force among the people, which led to The revolution of 1848. By the 22nd of february, 1848 Louis Philippe fired his chief minister. The reason to this was because he canceled a huge public banquet in Paris, which made the public very agitated. However, the king could not manage the situation, leading to him running away to England. The agitated mob hurdled inside the palace and ate the royal meal set for the previous king.

In comparison to the revolution in France, the people in Germany also wanted change. They were inspired by the ideas of french liberals and started to reform as well, in 1848. In contrast to this, people in Prussia met more difficulties. In march the police shot against the opposing crowd, making the crowd setting up barricades. However, the Prussian king, Frederick William IV did not want to spill any more sweat and blood on this matter, leading to him promising a reform. A national assembly was elected, which the king changed to a new one because he disliked it. The aim with the revolution was to unite Germany and Prussia, but when the german people offered the throne to Frederick William IV, he rejected, leading to the unification of the countries failing.

Going back to France, the revolution of 1848, led to the establishment of the second republic, which was led by Louis Blanc. He provided good amount of jobs for the unemployed, with the con of raising the taxes, which angered the middle class and the peasant. Further opposing led to a new constitution in 1848. The first election held place in France voted for Napoleon Bonaparte’s cousin, Louis Napoleon to become the president of the second Republic. People's support, led to a virtual making of dictatorship later in december 1851.