The Turning Point

Marc Mulholland

in Bourgeois Liberty and the Politics of Fear

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199653577
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744594 | DOI:
The Turning Point

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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It is explained how Chartism in Britain signalled the emergence of the working class as a major political force: Chartism is repressed and appeased to defeat. Marx's response to the Prussian United Landtag of 1847 is discussed to delineate Marx's understanding of ‘bourgeois revolution’ as a contemporary phenomenon. After the prologue of the Swiss civil war, the 1848 pan-European ‘Springtime of Peoples’ is analysed to explain its initial dramatic success and rapidly following defeat. Having survived the ultimate challenge of revolution, the European states adopted a confident ‘neo-absolutism’, under which the state sidelined the aristocracy, fostered commercialism, and experimented with controlled constitutionalism to reinforce fiscal-governance (as discussed by Alexis de Tocqueville). Marx and Engels’ post-mortem on 1848, combining themes both of bourgeois betrayal and capitalist triumph, is discussed.

Keywords: Chartism; United Landtag; 1848 Revolutions; Marx; Alexis de Tocqueville

Chapter.  10498 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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