Explain What is Meant by the 1848 Revolution of the Liberals. What were the Political, Social and Economic Ideas Supported by the Liberals?

By Mandeep Kumar|Updated : September 15th, 2022

In the 1848 revolution of the liberals, the demands for constitutionalism with national unification of men and women of Germany, Italy, Poland, and Austro-Hungarian were combined. They demanded the creation of a nation-state on parliamentary principles like a constitution, freedom of the press, and freedom of association. 

The 1848 Revolution of the Liberals

  • The 1848 revolution was initiated by the hungry and jobless peasants, workers, and educated middle class to achieve their demands for constitutionalism and national unification.
  • The February 24 Revolution in France spread revolutionary movements throughout Europe except the Scandinavian countries, Russia and Spain, starting with a small-scale war in Sicily, Italy in January 1848.

What were the Political, Social, and Economic Ideas Supported by the Liberals?

The political associations in the German regions whose members were middle-class professionals, businessmen, and prosperous artisans came together in the city of Frankfurt. They decided to vote for an all-German National Assembly. The matter of providing political rights to women was a controversial one within the liberal movement.

In the Social context, they did not want a biased environment based on class. Women started newspapers, political clubs, etc. They actively took part in political rallies and struggled for the right to vote. 

Economically, liberals demanded market freedom and rights for the property. They wanted the government to remove restrictions on the flow of capital and goods. In 1848, liberal activity was suppressed by the conservative forces.


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  • The liberals of the 1848 revolution combined their demands for constitutionalism with national unification. The Frankfurt parliament convened in the Church of St Paul. The parliament was dominated by the middle classes who resisted the demands of workers and artisans and hence lost their support.

  • A series of republican revolts against European monarchies, beginning in Sicily and spreading to France, Germany, Italy, and the Austrian Empire was the 1848 Revolution.

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