Q. 74.1( 14 Votes )

Explain what is meant by the 1848 revolution of liberals. What were the political, social and economic ideas supported by the liberals?

Answer :

The various national movements carried out by the educated middle classes of Europe along with the revolts brought about by the poor, unemployed and starving peasants and workers is known as 1848, Revolution of Liberals. The revolution originated in France where the then current monarchy led by Louis Philippe faced numerous oppositions and ultimately had to flee to London. This brought about the end of monarchy in France and the establishment of a republic based on the universal male franchise. In various other European countries like Germany, Italy, Poland, etc, the revolution was carried forth by the liberal middle classes who demanded the creation nation-states based on parliamentary principles. For e.g., in Germany, this was done through the convening of the Frankfurt Parliament through which the German people tried to unite the different regions of the German confederation into a nation-state governed by an elected parliament. But the monarchy and the military with the aid of the large landowners called Junkars of Prussia thwarted this attempt of nation building. This pattern was repeated in various countries, but the old monarchy realised that to stop the cycle of revolution and repression, concessions had to be made to the liberal-nationalist revolutionaries.

Democratic ideals formed the basis of the political, social and economic ideas supported by the liberals.

• On the political front, the liberals demanded constitutionalism with national unification—a nation-state with a written constitution and parliamentary administration.

• Socially they demanded equality among classes.

• Economically, the focus was on the right to property. They wanted the abolishment of serfdom and bonded labour.

These ideals formed the basis of the establishment of the nation-states as democratic countries.

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