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Chapter 22 - Political Upheavals and Social Transformations

Congress of Vienna 1814-1815

  • Attempted to reconstruct Europe after the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars
  • Meeting was hosted and controlled by the Austrian Foreign Minister Klemens Von Metternich
  • Castlereagh: England
  • Tallyrand: France
  • Fredrick William III: Prussia
  • Alexander I: Russia

Goal: Accomplish reconstruction through the creation of a "balance of powers" among the great European states

Five Main Principles:

  • Powers fighting Napoleon stick together, rather than compete against one another
  1. Quadruple Alliance
  • Napoleon had to be deposed and the Bourbon monarchy restored
  1. Principle of Legitimacy
  • Principle rights of monarchs was to be upheld in the face of the right to "self-determination", which would have supported revolution
  • The great nations would no longer seek to cannibalize smaller states as a means to increasing their power, as had been the model in the 18th century
  • It was the responsibility of the great powers of Europe to maintain and control existing boarders and boundaries of all nations by working together

 Results of the Congress of Vienna

  • France: 1792 boarders Louis XVIII were restored
  • Netherlands was created as a buffer against French power
  • Poland remained weak and partitioned among their three powerful neighbors
  • Alliance system was implemented to deal with future problems

 Problem: Congress of Vienna was trying to undo history. The Napoleonic Wars spread the ideals of revolution and nationalism, which once unleashed could not be undone.


New Ideologies

  • Conservatism: People who supported traditional monarchical rule
  1. Often times sought to limit opposition by limiting free speech and self expression
  • Relied on the use of autocratic power
  • Believed that society needed government to maintain order
  • Metternich is a classic example

  •  Liberalism: Grew out of the belief of the freedom of the individual and the corruptibility of power

  1. Based on Enlightenment rationalism, liberals sought the right to vote, civil liberties, legal equality, constitutional government, parliamentary sovereignty and a free market economy.
  2. Believed that less government was better government, the less interference the better

 Jeremy Bentham

  • followed the liberal belief of utilitarianism (greatest happiness for the greatest number of people)
  1. Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation
  2. Rational of Punishments and Rewards
  • Argued that social harmony was the only objective more important than personal liberty

 James Mills (son of John Stewart Mills) rejected Jeremy Bentham’s utilitarian beliefs

  • Placed a greater emphasis on human emotion and accused Bentham of “mass tyranny”
  1. On Liberty (1859)
  2. Priniciples of Political Economy (1848), applied economic doctrines to social problems
  3. Later in life, began to question sacred status of private property

 David Ricardo, wrote Principles of Political Economy and Taxation (1817)

  • Argued that govt. should not intervene in trade
  • “iron law of wages”: wages will inevitably fall to subsistence levels
  • Reaction to Ricardo was to call for limited govt. intervention to the “iron law of wages”

3. Romanticism: Intellectual movement of the late 18th and first half 19th centuries, both conservatives and liberals alike embraced and rejected Romanticism

  • Romantics shared a common view of the world, who rejected the confinement of classical forms and refused to accept the supremacy of reason over emotions
  1. Mediums: poetry, painting, literature, music, architecture, literature
  • Romantics valued nature (19th century English gardens v. Versailles gardens)
  • Romantics valued intuition over scientific learning
  • Embraced Immanuel Kant, all knowledge is subjective (based on our own experience)
  • Germaine de Stael: founder of French romanticism
  • Victor Hugo: French romantic poet, wrote Notre-Dame de Paris and Les Miserables – provided a view of social change in the FR
  • Frederic Chopin and Franz Liszt (musicians)
  • J.M.W. Turner painter English landscapes
  • Eugene Delacroix painter – iconoclastic French scenes, strong political messages (Liberty Leading the People, 1831)

Romanticism’s validation of the individual and the individual’s experience, justification of subjective knowledge challenged traditional authority

  • Romantic’s involvement in politics varied, but the movement led to a new understanding life

 4. Nationalism: a movement which sought to create a collective identity and political allegiance of a people based upon a common cultural history / understanding.

  • Focused on the people rather than the monarch as a nation, seen as a threat by the great powers (Congress of Vienna)
  • Spread by the French Revolution


History of Nationalism:

  • Began b/w 1815-1850 as a movement to unit the people against the tyrannical rule of monarchs
  • Often emphasized folk history of various peoples to create a sense of unity

ex. The Fairy Tales (1812-1814) by two German brothers, Jacob Ludwig Grimm and Wilhelm Carl Grimm

  • Nationalists reinterpreted history to create support
  • Romanticism played into the nationalistic understanding of the past
  • At times Nationalism and Liberalism worked together
  • Despite this, remember these are two separate and individual ideologies
  • ex. Giuseppe Mazzini: Italian Liberal / Nationist

ex. Georg Friedrich List: German Nationalist who rebuffed Liberalism through his work in economics

  • Nationalism was embraced by people looking to remove foreign rule


5. Socialism: broadly means the collective ownership, operation and wealth of society

  • Believed that people should create a better social organization for society
  • Hoped that the industrial age would eliminate the suffering of the poor


Henri de Saint-Simon (1760-1825): “Father of French Socialism”

  • Industrialization was the highest level of development in history
  • Create a just world in which one’s productivity would equal wealth and prestige

 Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865); What is Property? 1840

  • In the industrial world, “property was theft” as industrialist amassed a disproportionate amount of wealth
  • Wanted limited possession
  • Ideal: Small self-ruling communities of producers w/ material comforts but not great wealth

 Charles Fourier (1772-1837)

  • People should live communally in “Phalanxes” which would provide all of their needs
  • Allowed for the continuance rich and poor classes

Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895)

  • The Communist Manifesto (1848)
  • Marx believed that all societies evolved over the course of history.
  • Basis of Marxist thought rests with his analysis of history: Dialectic Materialism.
  1. Marx analysis of history is based solely on the economic relations of rich / poor classes.
  • Marx developed a new philosophy for the organization of society / economy:
  1. Communism (people cooperatively own / operate means of production)


  • Historical change was based upon class struggle.
  • Future changes will also be based upon class struggle.
  • Capitalism (like all previous systems) will fail.

 All of history is based upon class struggle:

Historical Civilization


Have Not’s

Ancient Worlds

Masters / Kings control land (Means of Production)


Medieval Worlds

Feudal Lords / Church own and control land (Means of production)

Peasants / Serfs

Capitalism (Industrial Revolution)

Bourgeoisie (factory owners), control, operate and profit from the Means of Production

Proletariat (urban poor / factory workers)

Socialism (dictatorship of the proletariat)

Government owns and operates the Means of Production for the good of the workers


Communism (class less society)

People realize the benefits of sharing the means of production, thus government would no longer be needed


According to Marx, why would Capitalism fail?

  • Ever increasing competition would result in greater levels of production and unemployment (due to labor saving mechanization)
  • Greater production coupled with higher unemployment = depression
  • Closer proximity of Proletariat leads to their ability to effectively revolt against ruling classes.

 Was Marx correct?

 Protest and Revolution

  • The IR, the legacy of the FR, rapid urbanization and the spread of new ideologies challenged the restoration of traditional monarchies
  • Pattern of instability developed:

Protest → govt. repression → heightened sense of political awareness → protest

  • As urbanization increased so to did the social discontent
  • Proletariat represented a dangerous and volatile component in Euro. Society


Early Cities:

  •  Neighborhoods developed around regional / ethnic migration and identities
  • Neighborhoods developed support networks to provide safety
  • Quickly overwhelmed by mass migration
  • Problems:
  • Extreme poverty
  • Prostitution: widespread, health problems
  • Crime: rampant theft, mugging, pick-pocketing, extortion, ect.
  • Neighborhood support systems could not deal with mounting problems
  • Middle Class viewed these problems as a disease (control issue)
  • Creation of police
  • Ability to work became associated with morality
  • Those unable to work had no one to look to (industrialist did not behave like traditional local lords)
  • People began to look to the govt.

 “Revolution in Government” (1820-1840)

  • Govt. began taking responsibility for managing the industrial society
  • the beginning of the “Welfare State”

Two solutions to the role of government:

  • Inaction: do nothing
  1. Malthus argued that social problems were “self correcting” and govt. intervention would only increase the severity of the problem

ex. Potato Famine

  • Government should intervene
  1. Poverty was the result of society
  2. Society should correct the problem
  •  “Social Question”: how should govt. treat poverty, ultimately what role should the govt. play
  • Parliamentary intervention in laws dealt with the most violent problems of society

ex. Factory Act of 1833

Revolutions of 1830

  • Throughout the 1820’s small protests and revolts broke out in response to poor social conditions
  • Met with govt. repression and violence

ex. Peterloo” Massacre in England 1819

  • 1829 poor harvests and a bad winter put the people of Europe into a “bad frame of mind”


French Revolution of 1830

  • Charles X (1824-1830) became an increasingly unpopular monarch (absolutist, who worked to restore the role of the church)
  • Dissolved the Chamber of Deputies, got an even more liberal group elected
  • Issued the Four Ordinances:
  1. Censored the press, revised electoral law, dissolved newly elected CD, called for new elections
  • 75% inflation rate caused economic hardship
  • July Revolts unseated the Bourbon Monarchy
  • “July Monarchy”: Louis-Philippe became the new monarch
  • Accepted a Constitutional Monarchy


  • Protests only, fell apart in face of govt. authority


  • Workers protested by breaking machinery, no revolution


  • Developed democratic selection of govt. officials in most cantons


  • Philhellenic Movement sought to free Greece from Turkish control
  1. Popular throughout the major European powers, in line with the Congress of Vienna
  • Treaty of London 1827: England, France and Russia declared aid to Greece
  • Greece was liberated by the “Great Powers”
  • Created a monarchy, placed a German on the throne
  • Movement was based upon cooperation (Congress of Vienna), but Russians looked to extend their sphere of influence into the Balkans


  • Belgiumians (???) demanded freedom from protestant Netherlands
  • Great Powers compromised:
  • Independent Belgium could exist, but it had to maintain neutrality
  • Issue in WWI

 Revolution in Warsaw

  • Russia crushed it with force
  • Despite nationalistic feelings, the Poles remained divided until after WWI


  • Northern Italian states of Modena and Parma revolted against Austrian rule, Papal States revolted against French rule
  • Crushed with force, drove the nationalists underground
  • Young Italy, led by Giuseppe Mazzini

 Importance of 1830 Revolutions:

  • Showed that change was taking place in Europe, despite the work of the Congress of Vienna
  1. Showed that the fate of the Vienna Settlement was tied together
  2. Demonstrated the vulnerability of international stability – domestic crisis
  3. Showed growing awareness of politics at all levels of European society.

 Reform in Great Britain

  • Landowners ruled Britain
  • Migration had moved population from the countryside to the city, but electoral districts had not changed
  • “Rotten Boroughs” – Countryside could dominate politics
  • Liberals wanted to redistrict based on population

The Great Reform Bill of 1832: Allowed greater electoral participation and strengthened the role of the industrial elite (did not change the districts)

  • Did not satisfy the Radicals
  • Established a pattern of minimal reform to appease the masses

Chartist movement:

  • Peoples Charter 1838: demanded universal suffrage, secret ballot, Parliamentary salaries, elimination of property requirements to hold office, equal election districts and annual elections
  • Wanted democracy
  • Swept through working class communities
  • Radicalized – fragmented and failed
  • Movement died off in 1848 revolution


  • As mechanization increased, wages decreased, demand for skilled labor decreased
  • Luddist workers smashed machines in protest
  • Represented the crisis faced by skilled craftsman of Europe


  • Key segment of the work force
  • “Sweat labor”- subcontracted labor done in the home, hard work low pay
  • Used to drive down wages and break unions
  • Unions excluded women
  • Many served as domestic servants, isolated and hard to unionize

 Revolutions of 1848



1. Middle and lower classes were agitating for democratic government

  • Chartists in England
  • “Banquet Movement” in France

2. Nationalism began to develop into a cohesive movement in many areas

  • Based upon linguistic lines
  • Appeared in almost every state


  • Last great famine year in European history
  • Higher food prices shrank disposable income, created an industrial depression
  1. Higher unemployment rates emerged throughout Europe, insufficient social welfare system


France: the Birth of the Second Republic

  • Parisian government cancelled the largest “banquet”, causing open revolt
  • National Guard defected
  • Louis-Philippe forced to abdicate
  • Second Republic Established
  • Provisional Government: fragile coalition of moderates and radicals intent upon keeping the working class from further revolt
  1. Supported “right to work”, supplanting the “right to property” as the guiding principle of government
  2. Luxembourg Commission: headed by Louis Blanc (socialist), acted as a bargaining board for laborers
  3. Largely powerless and ineffective
  4. “National Workshops”: intended to address unemployment problems through providing job training and welfare monies to the unemployed
  5. Failed, not enough resources and flooded with demand
  6. Govt. quickly disbanded NW
  • Recalled General Louis Cavaignac from Algeria to regain control of Paris
  • Used force and bloodshed
  • Dec. 1848 Louis Napoleon was elected to run France, seen as a return to authoritarian power to maintain control of the working classes
  • 1851 Louis Napoleon performed a Coup de ta and made himself Emperor

 German States

  • Worker protests led to liberal reforms in many areas: Baden, Wurttemberg, Hesse-Darmstadt, Bavaria, Saxony and Hanover
  • Prussia (Fredrick Wilhelm IV) initially used force, then relented and accepted reform
  • Established a National Prussian Assembly
  • Frankfurt Assembly: created by German states based on liberal and nationalist goals of establishing a unified German state
  1. Two problems: Non-Germans living in German states and Germans living in non-German states
  2.  “small” or “large” German state?
  3.  F.A. perused the “small” German state
  4. F.A. offered crown to Fredrick Wilhelm IV of Prussia
  5. Turned it down, principle of legitimacy
  • Unification crumbled for a generation


  • Massive multinational empire, directly challenged by the rise of nationalism and independence movements
  1. Italy, Hungary, Czech, Balkans all clamor for independence, with liberal demands rise in Vienna
  • Austrians used force with mixed results
  • Italy / Czech they defeat nationalists maintain control
  • Hungary they lose, forced to accept national autonomy, create Dual Monarchy
  • December 1848, Ferdinand I abdicated, Franz Josef I (1848-1916) became monarch


  • Italy largely divided and ruled by foreign powers
  • Northern Italy rebelled against Austria and lost
  • Rome, rebelled against papal rule – Pius IX – drew French intervention
  • Mazzini recalled Garibaldi to organize resistance
  • Beginning of the “Red Shirts”
  • France won, pattern of resistance began


  • Europe weather the storm of the 1848 revolutions, “turning point of history, that failed to turn”

 New trends:

1. Austria / Prussia on a crash course to unite Germany under their control

  • “Humiliation of Olmutz”, Prussia forced to recognize Austrian dominance or risk war

2. European powers solve popular unrest with minimal reforms

  • Prussia established an extremely conservative constitution

3. Concert of Europe as conceived by Metternich is effectively ended

  • Zero sum paradigm dominates international relations

4. Popular unrest defeated by a new political coalition – middle class and traditional authoritarian elite

  • Both groups see popular unrest as a direct threat to their station in life, come together to limit reform
  • Use repression and force
Subject X2: 

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