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11. Why no Revolution in 1848 in Britain

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Published on Sep 2, 2009

European Civilization, 1648-1945 (HIST 202)

Revolutions occur when a critical mass of people come together to make specific demands upon their government. They invariably involve an increase in popular involvement in the political process. One of the central questions concerning 1848, a year in which almost every major European nation faced a revolutionary upsurge, is why England did not have its own revolution despite the existence of social tensions. Two principal reasons account for this fact: first, the success of reformist political measures, and the existence of a non-violent Chartist movement; second, the elaboration of a British self-identity founded upon a notion of respectability. This latter process took place in opposition to Britain's cultural Other, Ireland, and its aftereffects can be seen in Anglo-Irish relations well into the twentieth century.

00:00 - Chapter 1. The Nature of Revolution: Politicization of the Common Man
09:53 - Chapter 2. A Different Kind of Revolution in Germany and Italy: Unification after the Failure of 1848
20:37 - Chapter 3. The Absence of an 1848 Revolution in Britain: Reform and Chartism
28:20 - Chapter 4. The Unwanted Other: The Irish as a Potential Source of Insurgency

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Fall 2008.

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