Analyse and evaluate the social and economic causes of 2 of the 1848 revolutions.

Essay by HamilcarUniversity, Bachelor's June 2005

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It could be said that the reasons for the 1848 revolutions was the aspects of failure of the 1830 revolutions, also the fact that most European countries were economically backward apart from a few such as Britain and Belgium. The revolutions had some important effects on European affairs and one, notably, is the resignation of Metternich. This in some ways encouraged the development of risings for example in Italy where Austrian influence was strong and also all that Metternich stood for was the opposite of what The revolutionaries stood for, liberalism and nationalism. The common causes of the 1848 revolutions were economical problems such as food shortages, financial crisis, unemployment, high prices and social problems such as division between upper and lower classes, also over population, urbanisation and early industrialisation. Mechanisation worried skilled artisans as it brought prices down and would leave them in poverty. All these factors combined with growing class consciousness resulted in the revolutions sweeping across Europe.

I will look at two of these revolutions and asses the role played by social and economical causes.

Firstly, France was the second chronological place in Europe to have a revolution. Leading up to this point, France was under the rule of Louis Philippe and one of the main factors that had partially caused his downfall was not dealt with after the revolution showing that the revolution was not necessarily a success but it also shows us that even though financial problems did play a part, they were not the decisive factor in the initiation of the revolution. This could be argued against by the fact that 1846 saw huge financial problems and bad harvest and a combination of these both would have had a greater impact on public opinion. 1847 saw a depression in France, unemployment threw skilled workers...