Toward 1848, and the End of Metternich’s Europe
The European revolutions of 1848 were characteristic of Metternich’s Europe, and they put an end to it. They put an end to it, on the whole, not by their successes, not even by driving Metternich himself out of office and into exile, but rather by their failures. The thwarting of them ended the era begun by the great French Revolution of 1789, because it showed that the course of history was not spontaneous and all of a piece, for liberals to delight in and conservatives to retard. It showed the men of social order that they could live in the modern world after all, and manage it, and it showed liberals that history would not do their work for them, nor need progress and liberty happily emerge from the dissolution of governments and social discipline.
KeywordsPrivate Life Public Life Grave Disturbance Constitutional Principle German People
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