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Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday Ground Up: The Revolutions of 1848 and How Russia and Great Britain Managed to Avoid Them

After the Congress of Vienna had successfully maintained order, in 1830 the forces of change started to wreak havoc with the conservatives in Europe. In 1848, the nationalists and the liberals began to push for a new order, and in so doing, sparked the revolutions of 1848. Russia and Britain, however, had overcome revolution previously, thereby establishing new reforms prior to the Revolution of 1848.

Russia avoided the revolution in 1848 because they simply had no stable relationship or the lines of communications open between the revolutionary assemblies. However, in the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, uprisings took place in 1830-31 when revolutionaries tried to end Russian control over Poland, only the Polish didn’t receive any support from France or Britain.

By 1831, the Russians crushed the revolt and established a dictatorship over Poland. The Polish, led by Edward Dembowski, tried to gain independence once again in 1846, however they were already part of the Russian Empire. The revolts were suppressed by the Austrian Army, so suffice it to say the revolt was short-lived.

Due to the demands of the wealthy middle class in Britain, reform was a means to an end to deter revolution. The Reform Act of 1832 disenfranchised over 50 boroughs and enfranchised new towns and cities, while reapportioning others. The wealthy industrial middle class now had a voice in government. Furthermore, voting was once again based on land, however the number of voters only slightly increased. A small step had been taken towards representing the wealthy middle class, industrial workers, middle class, and artisans. However, the middle class now had landed interest in ruling Britain. Meanwhile, the Poor Law of 1834 gave aid to the poor and literally forced the unemployed not to be lazy, even crowding them in small workhouses in an attempt to encourage gainful employment.

Previously, high tariffs on foreign grain imports for falling agricultural prices benefited the landed gentry and not the working class. However, the Corn Acts in 1838 were established to help the factory workers by lowering bread costs. In 1846, the leader of the Tories Robert Peel prompted his associates to abandon the Corn Acts, ultimately leading to free trade, which was favored both by the wealthy middle class and the industrialists.

During the Revolutions of 1848, while most of Europe was in upheaval, Britain had successfully ended the year without a major crisis. The Reform Act of 1832 and the repeal of the Corn Act satisfied the middle class and the industrialists, so Britain’s involvement in the Revolutions of Europe in 1848 was nonexistent. Russia simply just didn’t have a revolution that year. They successfully overcame the revolutions in 1830-31 and 1846, however, in 1848 there simply wasn’t an uprising.

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carp fishing said...

The North is a part of the United Kingdom because they want to be a part of the United Kingdom and have the right to leave at any time they so please.

Lladro figurines said...

When I was young, we belonged to a nice country club with a pool and tennis courts. Membership was limited to 300 families, so it would not get too crowded. Summers were idyllic. We would often go there at 7am for swim lessons, and stay till 10pm, having eaten lunch there, and been joined by our dad who would bring food for us to grill, just as many other families did. It was a real club in the sense that everyone knew each other. Going to the club was the absolute core of our summers.

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