The Revolutions of 1848


Gareth Stedman Jones, “Elusive Signifiers: 1848 and the Language of ‘Class Struggle’,” in Douglass Moggach and Gareth Stedman Jones, eds., The Revolutions of 1848 and European Political Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018.

Claus Møller Jørgensen, “Transurban Interconnectivities: An Essay on the Interpretation of the Revolutions of 1848,” European Review of History, 19:2 (April 2012)

Laszlo Deme, “Echoes of the French Revolution in 1848 Hungary,” East European Quarterly, 25:1 (1991)

Seminar Topics

 In 1848, revolutionary movements erupted across the European continent, demonstrating the resilience of revolutionary ideas. The causes of these revolutions have often been a point of debate among scholars who have looked respectively to rising nationalist aspirations, the effects of modernization and the intellectual influence of romanticism to explain them. Seminar discussions will examine questions of causation and the spread of these revolutionary movements, attempting to assess how and why continental Europe seemed to spontaneously erupt in revolt between February and March of 1848 and why leaders proved unable to capitalize on the initial gains made by these movements during the so-called “spring time of nations.”

Questions to consider:

  1. How can we explain the outbreak of multiple revolts and revolutions in 1848?
  2. According to Jørgensen, what factors influenced both the nature and spread of the revolutionary movements in 1848?
  3. Did the influence of the influence of the French revolutionary heritage have a real impact on events in Hungary as Deme sees it?

Further Reading:

Jonathan Sperber, The European Revolutions, 1848-1851. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Axel Körner, ed., 1848—A European Revolution? International Ideas and National Memories of 1848. Hounsmill: Palgrave Macmillan, 2000.

Peter Jones, The 1848 Revolution. Essex: Longman, 1981.

Mike Rapport, 1848: Year of Revolution. New York: Basic Books, 2009.

R. J. W. Evans and Hartmut Pogge von Strandmann, eds., The Revolutions in Europe, 1848-1849: From Reform to Reaction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

William Fortescue, France and 1848: The End of Monarchy. London: Routledge, 2005.

J.A.W. Gunn, “French Republicans and the Suffrage: The Birth of the Doctrine of False Consciousness,” French History, 22:1 (March 2008).

Mark Traugott, Armies of the Poor: Detriments of Working-Class Participation in the Parisian Insurrection of June 1848. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985.

Peter H. Amann, Revolution and Mass Democracy: The Paris Club Movement in 1848. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1975.

Judith DeGroat, “Working-Class Women and Republicanism in the French Revolution of 1848,” History of European Ideas, 38:3 (2012).

Benjamin McRea Amoss, “The Revolution of 1848 and Algeria,” The French Review, 75:4 (March 2002)

Yvette Katan, “Les colons de 1848 en Algérie: mythes et réalités,” Revue d’histoire moderne et contemporaine, 31:2 (April-June 1984)

Jennifer Sessions, “Colonizing Revolutionary Politics: Algeria and the French Revolution of 1848,” French Politics, Culture and Society, 33:1 (Spring 2015)

Wolfram Siemann, The German Revolution of 1848-1849. New York: Macmillan, 1998.

P. H. Noyes, Organization and Revolutions: Working Class Associations in the German Revolutions of 1848-1849. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1966.

Hans Joachim Hahn, The 1848 Revolutions in German-Speaking Europe. London: Routledge, 2001.

Jonathan Sperber, Rhineland Radicals: The Democratic Movement and the Revolution of 1848-1849. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991.

Brian E. Vick, Defining Germany: The 1848 Frankfurt Parliament and National Identity. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002.

Paul Ginsborg, Daniele Manin and the Venetian Revolution of 1848-49. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979.

Pieter Judson, “Whose Empire? The Revolution of 1848-1849” in The Habsburg Empire: A New History. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2016.

R. John Rath, The Viennese Revolution of 1848. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1957.

István Deák, The Lawful Revolution: Louis Kossuth and the Hungarians, 1848-1849 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1979.

Stanley Z. Pech, The Czech Revolution of 1848. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1969.

Charles Tilly, “Does Modernization Breed Revolution?” Comparative Politics, 5:3 (April 1973): 425-447.

Lewis Namier. 1848: The Revolution of the Intellectuals. New York: Anchor Books, 1964.

Priscilla Robertson, Revolution of 1848: A Social History. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1952.

Kurt Weyland, “The Difussion of Revolution: 1848 in Europe and Latin America,” International Organization, 63:3 (Summer 2009)

Miles Taylor, “The 1848 Revolutions and the British Empire,” Past and Present, 166 (February 2000)

Henry Weisser, “Chartism in 1848: Reflections on a Non-Revolution,” Albion, 13:1 (Spring 1981)