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Reform, Reaction, and Revolution: The European States, 1815-1850

By Rennee
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    German States: Fredrick William of Prussia

    Due to Napoleon defeating Prussia, King Fredrick William issued political and institutional reforms. Some examples of his reforms would be the abolition of serfdom, increase in education, creation of a national army and town councils. However, he failed to create a representative government. Fredrick grew more reactionary as time went on. And although his reforms made Prussia strong they failed to create a Germany unity.
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    Russia: Tsar Alexander I

    In Russia the tsar was considered the divine-right monarch. However, when Alexander I came to power he had seemed more Enlightened and willing to reform Russia. He issued some changes such as relaxing censorship, freeing political prisoners and reforming the education system. However, Alexander refused to accept a constitution or free serfs. Alexander's ideals shifted after Napoleon's defeat. Russia returned to a state of strict censorship.
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    France: Louis XVIII

    In 1814, the Bourbon family regained the throne through the reign of Louis XVIII. During his rule he accepted Napoleon's civil code, maintained property rights and a two house legislature was accepted. His rule was opposed by a group of ultraroyalists who felt that the king was compromising his power too much. Louis XVIII died on 1824.
  • Low Counties: Union of Netherlands and Belgium

    Low Counties: Union of Netherlands and Belgium
    In fear of France upsetting the European peace, several barriers were set up. One of the barriers was the creation of bigger and stronger counties, such as the union of the Netherlands and Belgium. The new enlarged kingdom of the Netherlands was composed of the Dutch Republic and the Austrian Netherlands, also known as Belgium. It was ruled over by William I of the house of Orange.
  • German States: Germanic Confederation established

    German States: Germanic Confederation established
    In 1815, the Vienna Settlement had recognized 38 separate states that had previously made up the Holy Roman Empire. Out of the 38 states, Austria and Prussia became the two great powers. All 38 states created the Germanic Confederation. However, this confederation held little to no power because there was no real executive. The federal diet was meant to make decisions but due to the need for all of the members to agree in order to take action it never completely held any power.
  • German States: Karlsbad Decrees

    German States: Karlsbad Decrees
    Burshenschaften were student societies that believed in an united Germany.These students were alarming to the government, especially their use of radical protests.The societies went too radical, with the assassination of a reactionary playwright.In response, Metternich and the Germanic Confederation created the Karlsbad Decrees.The decree stated that the Burschenschaften were to be shut down, the press was to be censored and universities were to be closely monitored.
  • Great Britain: Peterloo Massacre

    Great Britain: Peterloo Massacre
    There was a mass protest meeting of the Manchester Patriotic Union Society in Manchester, England. This society was fighting for the repeal of the corn laws and parliamentary reform. A large cavalry had stormed into the crowd. 11 were killed and more than 400 were injured. A large majority of this group was women and children.
  • Italian States: Revolts in Southern Italy and Sardinia crushed

    Italian States: Revolts in Southern Italy and Sardinia crushed
    Like in other countries, Italy attempted to have a revolution. However their revolution was crushed when Metternich sent Austrian troops to crush the revolts.
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    France: Charles X

    Charles X was Louis XVIII's brother and successor. Charles X was less accepting of change than his brother. In 1825, Charles gave protection to aristocrats who had lost their land during the French Revolution. In addition, Charles created a religious policy that had given the Catholic Church power over the education system. Due to the public outrage Charles signed a compromise, but in 1829 he violated that comprise. In 1830, at the end of Charles X reign, France was close to another revolution.
  • Russia: Decembrist Revolt

    Russia: Decembrist Revolt
    Upon Alexander I's reestablishment of strict ruling, a multitude of secret societies that opposed his power were introduced. One of these societies was the Northern Union. They were intellectuals and young aristocrats who served in the Napoleonic wars. When Alexander suddenly died in 1849, they had their chance to establish a constitutional monarchy. The Northern Union had revolted against the crowning of Nicholas. They were crushed by Nicholas's troops and executed.
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    Russia: Tsar Nicholas I

    When Tsar Alexander I had suddenly died, his brother Constantine was meant to rise to the throne, however he renounced the tittle and instead allowed his brother Nicholas become the ruler of Russia. At the start of his reign, Nicholas had fallen victim to an uprising from the Northern Union. His mindset changed from conservative to reactionary. He increased the power of the bureaucracy and the secret police. He was not only afraid of revolution in Russia, he stopped revolutions through Europe.
  • Low Countries: Belgian Independence

    Low Countries: Belgian Independence
    In 1815, the Congress of Vienna had added Belgium to the Netherlands to protect against France disrupting the peace of Europe. The Belgians had never been happy with this arrangement and in 1830, they started their revolt against the Dutch ruling. Belgium succeeded in convincing the major European powers that they should be an independent country. An constitutional monarchy was put in place, with Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, a minor German prince, becoming king.
  • Russia: Polish uprising

    Russia: Polish uprising
    The increasing rise of nationalism had helped contribute to the start of several revolutions, one of which would be the Polish uprising. Russia had held control over Poland, so Polish revolutionaries had attempted to stop this ruling by revolting against the Russians.
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    France: Louis-Philippe

    Louis-Philippe was nicknamed the bourgeois monarch. This name came from both his support and his favor of the upper middle class. He often issued laws that benefited the upper bourgeois
  • France: July Revolution

    France: July Revolution
    Charles X had issued the July Ordinances, a new set of edicts. The goal of the edicts was to create more censorship, get rid of the legislative assembly and reduce the public participation in elections. Immediately a revolution had began. Charles X was forced to flee to Britain. In Paris, a group of liberals created a quick provisional government and elected Charles X's cousin,Louis-Philippe, to become the new constitutional monarch.
  • Russia: Suppression of Polish Revolt

    Russia: Suppression of Polish Revolt
    When the Polish people had stood up against the Russian rule of Russia, they had expected assistance from France and Britain. However, this help never came so Russia and crushed the revolts and revolution attempt in Poland. By September 1831, Poland has became an oppressive military dictatorship.
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    Italian States: King Charles Albert of Piedmont

    When Venetia had rebelled against their Austrian rulers, the Venetians had become a republic in Venice.King Charles Albert had taken the chnace to become the leader of a war against Austria. He was not the most successful after having failures in invading Lombardy and by 1849 Austria had re-dominated Lombardy and Venetia.
  • Great Britain: Reform Act

    Great Britain: Reform Act
    Parliament had passed a law allowing for a change in the British electoral system. The upper middle class had a say in the government, while the lower middle class still had no vote.
  • Great Britain: Poor Law

    Great Britain: Poor Law
    This law required that all the poor and jobless people live in workhouses. The goal was to make life as miserable as possible so that poor people would seek higher employment.
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    Austrian Empire: Emperor Ferdinand I

    Emperor Ferdinand I and Austrian officials had attempted to appease revolutionaries in Austria. However, these appeasements were temporary as they awaited their chance to take strict control over Austria again.
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    German States: Fredrick William IV of Prussia

    The news of revolution in Paris had spread throughout Europe, causing revolution everywhere. In Prussia, King Fredrick IV was making an effort to appease revolutionaries. In part of his appeasement, he agreed to abolish censorship,establish a new constitution, and work towards an united Germany.
  • Great Britain: Repeal of Corn Laws

    Great Britain: Repeal of Corn Laws
    Corn Laws were taxes and tariffs imposed on food from 1815 to 1846. Industrialists were unhappy with the high price of food. So Robert Peel convinced his associates to support free trade and repeal the Corn Laws.
  • France: June Days: workers' revolt in Paris

    France: June Days: workers' revolt in Paris
    The provisional government of France had followed Louis Blanc's advice and set up national workshops that provided unskilled jobs. However the high costs became a problem for the government.In response, the moderates shut down the workshops. The people did not take this well and took to the streets. There was fighting and bloodshed between government forces and the people. By the end of the four days, thousands were killed and four thousand were sent to the French colony Algeria.
  • France: Election of Louis Napoleon as French President

    France: Election of Louis Napoleon as French President
    Napoleon Bonaparte's nephew, Charles Louis Napoleon Bonaparte had been elected President of the Second Republic. Within four years, he would go from President Napoleon to Emperor Napoleon.
  • German States: Revolution in Germany

    German States: Revolution in Germany
    News of the revolution in France had spread all over Europe. This allowed for revolutions to start all over. On example would be in the German States. Revolutionaries called for constitutions, free press, jury trails and the promise of a united Germany.
  • Austrian Empire: Revolt in Austrian Empire; Metternich Dismissed

    Austrian Empire: Revolt in Austrian Empire; Metternich Dismissed
    The social, political and nationalist grievances of the Austrian people had sparked into flames after hearing about the revolution in Paris. Revolts in Buda, Prague and Vienna had led to Metternich's dismissal.
  • Austrian Empire: Austrian Forces Under General Windischgratz Crush Czech Rebels

    Austrian Empire: Austrian Forces Under General Windischgratz Crush Czech Rebels
    In the German states,the conservatives were encouraged by the extreme divisions between radical and moderate revolutionaries. They used the middle class fear of a working class social revolution to their advantage. The conservatives had their first victory in June when General Alfred Windischgratz suppressed the Czech rebels.
  • Austrian Empire: Viennese Rebels Crushed

    Austrian Empire: Viennese Rebels Crushed
    A Viennese mob had murdered a minister of war. This act gave Windischgratz an excuse to attack Vienna. By the end of October all radical rebels in Vienna had been destroyed.
  • Italian Sates: Revolutions in Italy

    Italian Sates: Revolutions in Italy
    Giuseppe Mazzini and Cristina Belgioioso both had believed in a strong sense of nationalism and in an united Italy. Their ideas flared up in 1848, when several Italian states rose up in revolts. Staring in Sicily and spreading northward, Italian rulers had began to agree to constitutions.
  • Italian Sates: Charles Albert attacks Austrians

    Italian Sates: Charles Albert attacks Austrians
    When Charles Albert, the king of the Italian Sate Piedmont, had heard of the revolts he took it as an opportunity to start a war against the Austrians who dominated Italy.
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    German States: Frankfurt Assembly

    As a result of the promised unity, all of the German states held elections for male voters to become deputies for an all German parliament to meet in Frankfurt.The purpose was to prepare a new constitution.There were many debates on the type of government that would be in charge of the new German state.One the biggest debates was whether or not Austria should be included.After Austria left,Fredrick William IV still didn't accept the assembly.This led to the disbanding of the assembly.
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    Austrian Empire: Francis Joseph I

    In December, Ferdinand I stepped down to allow his nephew Francis Joseph I to become Emperor of Austria. Francis worked very hard to restore an imperial government to Hungary. However, his army was unable to defeat Kossuth's army.
  • France: Abdication of Louis-Philippe; formation of provisional government

    France: Abdication of Louis-Philippe; formation of provisional government
    A depression hit France in 1846.Louis-Philippe's government refused to make changes to the corruption that had infected the France.The upper middle class,the radical republicans and socialists rallied for the removal of the Guizot.Rallies were banned so they had to use political banquets to protest.A banquet was planned for February 22, but the government forbade it,people had shown up to protest anyway. Louis-Philippe was abdicated,so a provisional government was established.
  • France: Establishment of Second Republic

    France: Establishment of Second Republic
    As a result of the workers revolt in Paris, a new constitution was fortified on November 4, 1848. This constitution ratified the Second Republic.. The Second Republic contained an one-house legislature of 750 elected males and a president.
  • Austrian Empire: Defeat of Hungarians with help of Russian Troops

    Austrian Empire: Defeat of Hungarians with help of Russian Troops
    Emperor Francis Joseph I had tried extremely hard to restore an imperial government in Hungary. However, his attempts did not work and it was not until Nicholas I had sent a Russian army to aid Austria that the Hungarian revolution was squashed.
  • Italian Sates: Austrians reestablish control in Lombardy and Venetia

    Italian Sates: Austrians reestablish control in Lombardy and Venetia
    Charles Albert King of Piedmont had a failure when invading Lombardy.By 1849, the Austrians were able to recapture Lombardy and Venetia.