Chronology of the Restauration Era, 1815-1849

1815-1819 . . Initial Phase
The Vienna Congress had promised written constitutions, highly anticipated by the liberal Bourgeoisie. A number of constitutions were passed until 1819, but major powers such as Prussia and Austria refused to make good on their promises; the constitutions passed in other countries often disappointed the expectations of the liberal burghers, as many of them were oriented too much on an Ancien Regime model of society, and provided too limited authority for the diet. The assassination of Russian diplomat August von Kotzebue by German student Karl Sand in 1819 caused the Holy Alliance to respond with the Carlsbad Resolutions.

1819-1823 . . Early Restauration
Strict enforcement of the Carlsbad Resolutions in continental Europe. The Congresses of Laibach (1820) and Verona (1822) decided on the interference of the Holy Alliance in Sicily (1820), Spain (1823) to suppress liberal constitutions. The United Kingdom withdrew from the Holy Alliance.

1823-1830 . . State Repression and Liberal Opposition
The Greek Struggle for Independence was enthusiastically supported by Europe's liberals and nationalists. European artists glorified the Greek struggle in poems and paintings, identifying the 19th century Greeks with the ancient Greeks. The Holy Alliance failed to support the Ottoman Empire. Britain and Russia, by siding with Greece (1827) established a precedence - the creation of a new nation state, thus raising a question mark over the policy of the holy alliance. Begin of the railway construction boom.

1830-1831 . . Revolution Years, 1830-1831
Revolutions in France, Belgium, Poland (1830). The Revolution in Poland prevented Russia, the main power behind the Holy Alliance, to execute her intention to send troops to Paris and Brussels; the revolutions in France and Belgium thus succeeded. France withdrew from the Holy Alliance; Belgium was founded as a liberal state. Polish revolution suppressed by force (1831). Saxony accepted a constitution (1831); German students celebrated the Hambach Festival (1832), on the occasion of which the German flag was shown the first time.

1831-1840 . . Renewed Suppression
In the reactionary countries, renewed state suppression of liberal, democratic, patriotic elements, altogether regarded suspicios, caused emigration of intellectuals; Paris became Mecca of these emigres.

1840-1848 . . Relaxation of State Suppression
Early in the century German, French, Polish patriots believed each other to be allies, to fight for common interests. The French parliament debating the annexation of the (Prussian resp. Bavarian) left bank of the Rhine in 1840 shattered this common front of nationalists.
Railway construction reached a state where a railroad network began to emerge. The social fabric of society changed quickly, as traditional occupations such as the weavers were threatened in their existence; a proletariat emerged, the existence and needs of which the governments tried to ignore for too long. The POTATO FAMINE of 1845 caused governments into action; the abolition of the Corn Laws, however, was too little too late.
In Germany the Zollverein was founded to overcome the fragmentation of Germany in an economic sense, a necessity to permit Germany's industry to develop. In the context of economic change, state suppression relaxed somewhat. In Hungary, the parliament gained concessions from the Viennese administration. In Italy, Giuseppe Mazzini propagated a unified republican Italy.

1848-1849 . . Revolution Years, 1848-1849
Revolutions in France, Germany, Italy, Hungary. France, Denmark, Netherlands accepted new constitutions. Abolition of slavery in France, of serfdom in Austria.
In Germany and Italy, most reactionary governments were temporarily paralized and there was a real opportunity to democratically establish a unified German respectively Italian state. Factional differences and the question of disputed areas (Schleswig, Posen) finally caused the Prussian army to recognize royal sovereignty, and the revolution, in Germany, Hungary, Italy, was suppressed by force. Emigration to America increased drastically.


This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on October 5th 2003, last revised on November 16th 2004

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