1848 (Magill's Literary Annual 2010)
The year 1848 saw a series of political upheavals in France, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Germany, Italy, and Poland. Even places, such as England and Russia, that did not experience political change felt the shock waves of revolutionary activity, and Russia intervened in the conflicts to its west. The distant United States experienced the effects of this year when political refugees, especially Germans, emigrated during the aftermath. Despite the continental and even global reach of the struggles of this time, most historians have tended to concentrate on the events in only one nation. Mike Rapport’s book 1848: Year of Revolution attempts to provide a portrait of the revolutions as European phenomena, to examine their underlying causes, and to evaluate their consequences.
Rapport begins his account with the departure of the Russian socialist Alexander Herzen from his own country, which was under the autocratic sway of Czar Nicholas I, to begin a journey through the European lands to the west. Herzen would never see Russia again, but he would have a long record as a political commentator. He would also be a witness to the European events of 1848. Rapport describes the lands Herzen entered as dominated by the conservative political order that had formed in reaction to the Napoleonic wars. France, under the rule of King Louis-Philippe since the uprising against Charles X in 1830, had a parliament. Even under Louis-Philippe’s comparatively...
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2010)
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Booklist 105, no. 11 (February 1, 2009): 12.
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(The entire section is 47 words.)