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The Revolution of 1848 led to the end of the Orleans monarchy and the beginning of what was known as the Second French Republic. There were many causes to this revolution.
First, the French middle class watched The Reform Act of 1832 pass in Britain with interest. It extended the vote to anyone who paid for than ten pounds per year, allowing more than just landowners a political voice.
Another factor was the unemployment situation. Although unskilled workers in France had it better than their British counterparts, skilled workers were being thrown out of work left and right. The monarchy did little to address this situation.
A financial crisis and bad harvest in 1846, followed by an economic depression provided fertile ground for the seeds of discontent. More than a third of the population of Paris was on the dole. Aid could not reach the countryside thanks to a pathetic rail system, and any peasant rebellions or protests were mercilessly crushed.
Adding fuel to the fire were a series of inflammatory writers like Louis Blanc who’s work entitled, The Right to Work, helped lead to the eventually revolution.
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