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History   >   The 1848 Revolutions


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The 1848 Revolutions

In this course, Dr Michael Rapport (University of Glasgow) explores the series of revolutions that arose in Europe in 1848-49. We begin by considering the medium- to long-term origins of the 1848 Revolutions, thinking in particular about the international order within Europe after the Napoleonic Wars and the Congress of Vienna. In the second module, we think about the dynamics of the revolutions as they took place, before turning in the third, fourth and fifth modules to look at specific aspects of the revolutions in specific geographical regions—nationalism in Germany and Italy, ethnic divisions in the Habsburg Empire, and social inequality in France. In the final module, we shift our attention from the revolutionaries to the conservatives, thinking about why it was that those that lost power so dramatically in the early months of 1848 were able to strike back so quickly and effectively.


In this module, we think about the longer-term background to the 1848 Revolutions, focusing in particular on the international order within Europe after the Napoleonic Wars (1803-15) and the Congress of Vienna (1815)—an order which focused on avoiding another major European war and promoting political conservatism across the continent. After this, we think about the three major challenges to the political conservatism of the period: (i) the rise of civil society, especially among the middle classes; (ii) the rise of liberalism and nationalism; and (iii) population growth, industrialisation and other economic crises.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Rapport, M. (2018, August 15). The 1848 Revolutions - Origins [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Rapport, M. "The 1848 Revolutions – Origins." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,


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Dr Michael Rapport

Glasgow University