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Revolutionary Europe 1820-1848

Liberty guiding the people

There were two major failings of the Congress of Vienna:

  • The redrawing of the map of Europe took no account of the wishes of the ordinary People. The same nationalist sentiment which had been fatal to Napoleon ' was aroused once more when millions of people in Europe refused to accept the imposition of "foreign", rulers and, as a result, nationalist revolutions broke out in many regions after 1820.

  • The second major failure of the Congress /of Vienna was that it acted as if the French Revolution and Napoleon had never existed. After the dismantling of Napoleon's empire it tried to put the clock back to 1789 by reinstalling monarchies of the ancien régime wherever they had previously existed. Inevitably this led to more revolts and revolution, because even in the areas of Europe which had fought against Napoleon out of nationalist sentiment, the liberal constitutions which he had introduced had made a profound impact.

After the French Revolution and Napoleon things could never be the same again. Inevitably, this resulted in liberal revolutions, when people demanded the right to have constitutional government with an elected assembly.

Nationalist Revolutions after 1820



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