Liberalism and Suffrage, 1848–65
The revolutions of 1848 were the kind of events liberalism was supposed to prevent. Revolution meant that liberalism had failed to achieve its goals, although this was not necessarily its fault — liberals were not the only ones influencing events. The relationship between liberalism and revolution varied in 1848. English liberals congratulated themselves that their timely Reform in 1832 had enabled the political system to avoid revolution entirely and to ward off the challenge of Chartism. For French liberals, on the other hand, the Revolution of February 1848 was a disaster for which they had only themselves to blame. Their defeat was briefly retrieved by the repres-sion of the June 1848 Paris workers’ revolt, the reconquest of a parlia-mentary majority and renewed limitation of the suffrage in 1850. But the triumph of the “Party of Order” was turned to dust and ashes by the coup d’’état of Napoleon III in 1852.
KeywordsMiddle Class Political Participation Lower Class Universal Suffrage Residency Requirement
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