Revolutions of 1830

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Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix commemorates the July Revolution
Episode of the Belgian Revolution of 1830, Egide Charles Gustave Wappers (1834), in the Musée d'Art Ancien, Brussels

The Revolutions of 1830 were a revolutionary wave in Europe. It included two "romantic" revolutions, the Belgian Revolution in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and the July Revolution in France along with revolutions in Congress Poland and Switzerland.

Romantic revolutions[edit]

The romantic revolutions led to the establishment of very similar constitutional monarchies, called popular monarchies. Louis-Philippe of France became king on 31 July 1830, Leopold I of Belgium became king, on 21 July 1831. The French July monarchy would last until the 1848 Revolution. The Belgian monarchy is still alive and well.

Louis-Philip wore the title of the King of the French while Leopold wore the title of the King of the Belgians. This title was in contrast to the King of France, which reflected a monarchy's power over the country, instead of a kings rule over its people. This title reflects that the king does not take his mandate from God but from the people themselves.

In 1832, Leopold married Princess Louise-Marie Thérèse Charlotte Isabelle d'Orléans, daughter of Louis-Philippe.

Brazil and Portugal[edit]

The outbreak of the revolutions in Europe provided the opportunity for Brazilian liberals to expel Emperor Pedro I from the country, where he had played an authoritarian role since the struggle for Independence. Given his commitment to Portuguese liberals, he took their side in the Portuguese civil war.

Poland[edit]

Simultaneously in Congress Poland, the unsuccessful November Uprising against the Czar of Russia occurred.

Switzerland[edit]

In Switzerland, the rural population was poor and uneducated while politically and economically under the control of the nearby cities. During the French controlled Helvetic Republic in 1798 the ideas of freedom and equality spread. The medieval idea of different laws for city citizens and countryside peasants was overthrown. However, in 1803 the Helvetic Republic collapsed and was replaced by the Act of Mediation which struck a compromise between the Ancien Regime and a Republic. In the following years, even the limited freedoms under the Act were undermined and following Napoleon's defeat in 1813 the Act was overturned. In the Restoration, which started in 1814, the new constitution reduced the representation of rural areas in the cantonal councils.[1]

The Ustertag meets near Zurich on 22 November 1830

Following the French July Revolution in 1830, a number of large assemblies were held calling for new cantonal constitutions. As each canton had its own constitution, the assemblies in each canton addressed different specifics, but they all had two main issues. First, they called for peacefully adjusting the constitutions by adjusting the way seats in local legislatures and the Tagsatzung were allocated. In particular they objected to what they saw as the over-representation of the cantonal capital in the government.[2] Secondly, they sought a way to amend the constitution. Very few cantons even had a way to amend or modify the constitutions, and none of them allowed citizen's initiatives to be added.

The first assembly was held near Weinfelden in Thurgau in October and November 1830. Followed in November by meetings in Wohlenschwil, Aargau then Sursee, Lucerne and finally the Ustertag near Uster in Zurich. In December there were three assemblies in the Canton of St. Gallen in Wattwil, Altstätten and St. Gallenkappel as well as in Balsthal in Solothurn. The final assembly was held in Münsingen in Bern in January 1831.

The speeches and articles reporting on the assemblies were widely distributed and became very popular. The crowds were generally well behaved and orderly. For example, in Wohlenschwil it was reported that they met "in unexpectedly quiet attitude with decency and perfect order".[2] Even in Aargau and St. Gallen, where the crowd marched through the streets of Aarau (known as the Freiämtersturm)[3] and St. Gallen, the protest march was peaceful. Following the assemblies and marches, cantonal governments quickly gave into the demands of the assemblies and amended their constitutions.

Italy[edit]

By 1830, revolutionary sentiment in favour of a unified Italy began to experience a resurgence, and a series of insurrections laid the groundwork for the creation of one nation along the Italian peninsula.

The Duke of Modena, Francis IV, was an ambitious noble, and he hoped to become king of Northern Italy by increasing his territory. In 1826, Francis made it clear that he would not act against those who subverted opposition toward the unification of Italy. Encouraged by the declaration, revolutionaries in the region began to organize.

Ciro Menotti

New French king Louis-Philippe had promised revolutionaries such as Ciro Menotti that he would intervene if Austria tried to interfere in Italy with troops. Fearing he would lose his throne, Louis-Philippe did not, however, intervene in Menotti's planned uprising. The Duke of Modena abandoned his Carbonari supporters, arrested Menotti and other conspirators in 1831, and once again conquered his duchy with help from the Austrian troops. Menotti was executed, and the idea of a revolution centered in Modena faded.

At the same time, other insurrections arose in the Papal Legations of Bologna, Forlì, Ravenna, Imola, Ferrara, Pesaro and Urbino. These successful revolutions, which adopted the tricolore in favour of the Papal flag, quickly spread to cover all the Papal Legations, and their newly installed local governments proclaimed the creation of a united Italian nation. The revolts in Modena and the Papal Legations inspired similar activity in the Duchy of Parma, where the tricolore flag was adopted. The Parmese duchess Marie Louise left the city during the political upheaval.

Insurrected provinces planned to unite as the Province Italiane unite (united Italian Provinces), which prompted Pope Gregory XVI to ask for Austrian help against the rebels. Metternich warned Louis-Philippe that Austria had no intention of letting Italian matters be, and that French intervention would not be tolerated. Louis-Philippe withheld any military help and even arrested Italian patriots living in France.

In the spring of 1831, the Austrian army began its march across the Italian peninsula, slowly crushing resistance in each province that had revolted. This military action suppressed much of the fledgling revolutionary movement, and resulted in the arrest of many radical leaders.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ City of Uster-Ustertag (German) accessed 6 January 2010
  2. ^ a b Volkstage in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  3. ^ "Auf nach Aarau, Freiämter!". Bremgarter Bezirks-Anzeigers (in German). 2 December 2005. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  4. ^ http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Italian_unification_-_Early_revolutionary_activity_1820_to_1830/id/1517955