What were the results of the revolutions of 1830?
Nationalists in Poland also staged an uprising in 1830. But, unlike the Belgians, the Poles failed to win independence for their country.
In the late 1700s, Russia, Austria, and Prussia had divided up Poland. Poles had hoped that the Congress of Vienna would restore their homeland in 1815. Instead, the great powers handed most of Poland to Russia.
In 1830, Polish students, army officers, and landowners rose in revolt. The rebels failed to gain widespread support, however, and were brutally crushed by Russian forces. Some survivors fled to Western Europe and the United States, where they kept alive the dream of freedom.
How were the Belgian and Polish revolutions of 1830 different?
By the 1840s, discontent in France was again reaching a boiling point. The Industrial Revolution was changing life in France, especially in the cities. Politically, France remained divided. Radicals still wanted a republic. Utopian socialists called for an end to private ownership of property. Even liberals denounced Louis Philippe's government for corruption.
Discontent grew when a recession, or period of reduced economic activity, hit France. Factories closed and workers lost their jobs. Poor harvests led to rising food prices. In Paris, conditions were ripe for revolution.
In February 1848, the government took steps to silence critics and prevent public meetings. This action sent angry crowds into the streets of Paris. During the “February Days,” overturned carts, paving stones, and toppled trees again blocked the streets. Church bells rang alarms, while women and men on the barricades sang the revolutionary anthem “La Marseillaise.” A number of demonstrators clashed with royal troops and were killed.
As the turmoil spread, Louis Philippe abdicated. A group of liberal, radical, and socialist leaders proclaimed the Second Republic. The First Republic had lasted from 1792 until 1804, when Napoleon became emperor.
From the start, deep differences divided the new government. Middle-class liberals wanted moderate political reforms. Socialists wanted far-reaching social and economic change and forced the government to set up national workshops to provide jobs for the unemployed.
By June, however, upper- and middle-class interests had won control of the government. They saw the national workshops as a waste of money and shut them down.