1848 revolutions in Germany and their failure

Mind Map by ellie.gt, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by ellie.gt almost 6 years ago


A Levels European History: Unification of Germany and Italy Mind Map on 1848 revolutions in Germany and their failure, created by ellie.gt on 04/09/2014.

Resource summary

1848 revolutions in Germany and their failure
1 Revolutions in Prussia
1.1 Berlin
1.1.1 13 March 1848, demonstration by workers, troops opened fire on them. Leading citizens asked King to make political concession. What had been a protest about pay and working conditions, turned into a general demand for 'the maintenance of the rights irrefutably belonging to the people of the state'. On the 18th March King ordered troops to clear crowds outside royal palace, serious fighting erupted as students and workers set up barricades. However, the king, who hated bloodshed and all military matters, appealed for calm by promising all troops would be removed if the barricades were to be demolished Berliners hoped that the King would support a German national revolution. On 21st March, he appeared in Berlin wearing the German colours round his arm and declared "I WANT LIBERTY: I WILL HAVE UNITY IN GERMANY". In the days following, he granted reforms, agreeing to the election of an assembly to draw up a new constitution for Prussia, and appointing a new liberal ministry The liberal ministry wasn't that revolutionary: it's members were loyal to the crown and determined to oppose social revolution. EVIDENCE: Riots and demonstrations by workers were quicly brought under control. The Ministry, supporting German claims to the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, declared war on Denmark. The new Prussian Parliament met in may - its main achievement was to abolish the feudal privileges of the Junker class. Conservative reaction: As a result of this abolition, the league for protection of landed property met wanted to abolish Prussian Parliament and see the dismissal of new ministry. The conservatives hoped the army would help them in their cause as most army officers were appalled at the triumph of the liberals. Frederick William was surrounded by conservative advisers who hoped to modernise Prussia but insisted that reform should come from the King, rather than the people. As desire for revolution began to fall in Prussia, the liberal ministry became increasingly isolated. August: Frederick William resumed control over foreign policy and concluded an armstice with the Danes (to the displease of Frankfurt Parliament). Riots by workers in October meant the Middle Class moved closer to ruling class. The king put an end to the Prussian parliament and liberal ministers November: Frederick William appointed his uncle Count Brandenburg, to head a new ministry. Martial Law was proclaimed, all political clubs closed, demonstrations forbidden It is questionable he submitted to the revolutions for necessity or conviction. However, as soon as he escaped from Berlin and rejoined his loyal army at Postdam, he expressed feelings of humiliation in the way he had been forced to make concessions to the people, and he made it clear he did not want to be a 'citizen' king. Despite this, he took no immediate revenge on Berlin and allowed for decision making to pass into the hands of the new liberal ministry, for a time. On the 16th March, news of revolution in Vienna and the dismissal of Metternich reached Berlin and as a result King Frederick William agreed to a new government, to recall the union diet and to end press censorship
1.2 During the Spring and Summer of 1848, uprisings in Saxony, Baden, Bavaria and in some Rhineland towns were put down by Prussian troops
1.2.1 Constitutional changes obtained by rulers in Saxony, Hanover, etc were revoked. Liberals over Germany were arrested, imprisoned and some even executed
2 FREDERICK WILLIAM ISSUED A CONSTITUTION IN 1848, (it was a mixture of liberal and absolute):It guaranteed freedom of religion, of assembly and association and provided for an independent judiciary. There was to be A REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY, VOTERS DIVIDED INTO 3 CLASSES, rich had far more electoral power than the poor. KING COULD SUSPEND CIVIL RIGHTS. MINISTERS WERE ONLY RESPONSIBLE TO THE KING, not parliament, KING COULD ALTER CONSTITUTION. KING RETAINED CONTROL OF ARMY
2.1 This constitution confirmed the King's devine right to rule whilst limiting his freedom to act
3 The counter-revolution went firther in Austria than in any of the other German States. In October 1040, 2000 people died in Vienna as Gov forces regained control of the Austrian capital from radicals. In December, Franz Joseph regained control of Austrian Empire including Hungary. He subjected all parts of the Empire to rigid control from Vienna. Martial Law was enforced in regions deemed to be infected with liberalism.
3.1 By 1850, it seems as if the events had never taken place as there seemed to be a complete restoration of the old order, even Metternich returned from exile to Vienna
4 The forces against the revolutions had triumphed and the three dynastic empires of Austria, Prussia and Russia continued to dominate central and eastern Europe. In the end, the revolutions failed because the enemy was stronger, better organised and possesed MILITARY POWER. For example, in Berlin the army was well trained and loyal to the King. Furthermore, once order was restored in the Austrian Empire and Austrian policy was still based on dominating Germany by keeping her weak and divided, there was no possiblity of any moves towards a more united Germany happening. Germany would only be unified once the military might and moral authority of the Austrian Empire had been overcome.
5 Lack of support/ strength
5.1 Revolutionary divisions: Differences in political aims as the liberals wanted a constitutional government in all states and a united Empire with a national Parliament. The Radicals, wanted social and political change within a republican framework. Additionally, there was still no agreement whether the new Germany should be Kleindeutschland or Grossdeutschland.
5.1.1 Different social classes also furthered divisions. The propertied classes seized power. Once middle class liberals secured election of their own assemblies, most were as afraid of social revolution as conservatives. Working class movements and the organisation of the radical left were not sufficiently well developed to force social change in their favour. Most workers had a purely practical revolutionary aim such as improving working and living conditions.
5.2 The harvests in the years leading up to the revolutions had been good and so the peasants weren't in desperate conditions and, consequently, were not enthusiastic at the thought of revolution. Many peasants felt hostility towards, rather than affinity with, the urban revolutionaries. The failure of the peasantry to support the revolutions was of crucial importance.
5.3 Much of the support for national unity had died down within a few months, the active support for a national parliament was short lived. This loss of support was encouraged by the slow progress being made by the Frankfurt Parliament. Local loyalties remained strong and proved an important obstacle in the way of national unity
6 significance
6.1 Setback for liberalism as the order was restored and Austria were still powerful
6.2 However, after 1848 virtually all monarchical regimes accepted the importance and need to modernise
6.3 Conservatives accepted the need to show an interest in social problems of the lower class in order to gain mass support for their policies.
6.4 The 1848-9 revolutions helped to stir up national consciousness across Germany
Show full summary Hide full summary


A2 Level Biology: Transcription & Translation
Ollie O'Keeffe
OCR AS Biology - Lipids
Chris Osmundse
Biology Unit 2 - DNA, meiosis, mitosis, cell cycle
OCR AS Biology - Enzymes
Chris Osmundse
Break-even Analysis - FLASH CARDS
Harshad Karia
AS AQA Accounting Unit 1 - FLASH CARDS
Harshad Karia
Key Definitions for organic chemistry
Holly Miles
Henry VII Rebellions, political power and control
A2 Level OCR: Communication & Homeostasis
Ollie O'Keeffe