The principles of socialism in the revolutions of 1848.

Essay by kcatzUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, May 2003

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It is obvious that the failure of the revolutions of 1848 was not primarily the result of the disunity among the individuals or groups that led the revolutions. There were many large revolutions throughout Europe, of which almost all of them failed, and the fact is that not all of them shared one single primary cause for their failure. The revolutions of 1848 were based on the principles of socialism (a new ideology at that time), liberalism, and nationalism. Unfortunately for the leaders of the revolutions, their movements usually died down fast, and did not reform the political, social or economic landscape towards the ideas of socialism and liberalism as much as they would have liked them to, and in some cases, had no effect at all. One cause for this was indeed the disunity among the individuals that led the revolutions. However, there were also two other causes of the failure of the revolutions which were prevalent in a number of the revolutions: the lack of support from the peasants, and the strength of the reactionary powers (Britain, France, Russia, and Austria). And so the failure of the revolutions were caused by the disunity of the leaders of the revolts, but only to a certain extent- and that was definitely not the primary cause. The best way to see this would be to look at the major revolutions which occurred in France, Austria, Germany and Italy.

In France, the revolutions started with a riot by the Parisians, which, after Louis Philippe's fleeing to Britain, led to the formation of the second republic. Yet, after the new government had settled in, the people grew more discontent with their situation. There was in fact disunity in the second government, as Louis Blanc, obviously known for...