I wanted to get another opinion to this question: To what extent was industrialization the cause of the Revolutions of 1848 in Europe?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I'd say industrialization impacted the Revolutions of 1848 to a large extent. It was industrialization that changed workers' lifestyle causing unheard of pressures and abuses of their humanity. This may be seen as joined with the panoramic awareness brought about by the advent of the printing press and may be seen in light of the added pressure resulting from the liberal alterations in how governments operated. Lifestyle changes--and a seeming redefinition of the workers' humanity--enforced by industrialization provided the motive, proved the motivating factor, behind the uprisings that, though short-lived, swept the nations of Europe in 1848.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In trying to research an answer to the question you asked, I first went to Google, and then I went to Google Books (under the "More" tab). In Google Books, I typed "industrialization as a cause of revolutions of 1848."  I then hit the "search" button.  This search turned up some useful links, but they seemed almost too specific.  It then occurred to me that a broader search might be better.  I reasoned that if industrialization were indeed a cause of the 1848 revolutions (as I suspect it was), it was probably only one of a number of different causes that may have interacted with it in some ways.  So I did a simpler search -- for "causes of revolutions of 1848." Here's what I found; I hope it's helpful to you:

http://www.google.com/search?q=causes+of+revolutions+of+1848&btnG=Search+Books&tbm=bks&tbo=1

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

As #2 makes clear, we can definitely say that the process of Industrialisation, and the accompanying loss of work and malcontent that occurred as a result, can be said to be one of the factors that helped create a situation of massive unrest and discontent amongst populations who suddenly found themselves out of work and facing poverty. Let us remember that violence had already broken out in response to industrialisation with the Luddites, who destroyed machines because of the way in which they robbed people of jobs and work.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Industrialization made everything mass-produced, and moved people from the farms where they owned a small piece of land to the factory where they worked for someone else.

Industrialization impacted revolutions because it increases the discrepancy between the haves and the have-nots. There is a stronger sense of exploitation of workers in a factory system. The owners are faceless and distant.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Industrialization played a major role in causing the unrest in areas of Europe in the mid-1800s. Factories came into existence in urban areas because that was where the money was to invest in building such facilities. Large numbers of formerly rural farm workers moved to the cities in search of jobs at the new factories - many more people than job openings, which led to widespread unemployment with the related difficulties of people who couldn't pay for housing, food, and other basic necessities. Unrest was heightened as the unemployed new city dwellers began demanding a voice in the government but were shut out of the voting process by requirements that required voters to be land owners.

The first European nation to begin addressing these problems was Great Britain, where the Industrial Revolution began. France reached crisis point and faced its crisis in 1848.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial