We have prepared some fairly detailed, but hopefully "truth-full, informative, and ~ given the extent of the subject ~ brief", pages about a most deeply revealing episode in European History
in the spirit of attempting to learn worthwhile lessons of history!!!
The events of 1848 display the existence and latent power of many societal pressures which have subsequently fully contributed
to the "Emergence of Modernity" in the Western world.
Prior to 1848 the existence of these societal pressures was often unsuspected or ignored, - their latent power was certainly vastly unappreciated.
In February 1948, the British historian Lewis
Namier delivered a lecture commemorating the centennial of the
European Revolutions of 1848.
In this lecture Namier presented facts about the historical developments, themes, and events evident in 1848 and reached the conclusion that:-
remains a seed-plot of history. It crystallized ideas and projected the pattern of
things to come; it determined the course of the following century."
If Namier is right in viewing the "Revolutions of 1848" as featuring a seed-plot of history, and if we can identify the early attempts at growth
and development by such evident resulting "seedlings" as Liberalism, Constitutionalism, Democracy, Socialism and Nationalism ~ including such competition
as came to exist between them for "a Place in the Sun" (in situations where, although shaken, down-but-not-out dynastic authority was usually trying to
suppress them, fairly successfully in 1848 and with diminishing effectiveness over ensuing decades) then surely we will
have succeeded to some degree in actually learning lessons of history.
Learning lessons of history can surely be seen as a pressing necessity in the hope of yielding up some guidlines for the adoption of practical
policies intended to enhance the possibility for the lessening of injustices and for the avoidance of conflict.
We would hope that our coverage of this "dramatic historical watershed" will provide something of a persuasive outline as to how it came about that
the Dynastic Europe of 1815 came to undergo those sweeping changes which have tended to produce the populist Europe of Modern Times!
The European political map above, agreed at the Congress of Vienna of 1815, saw some changes,
(principally due to the emergence of Belgium and Greece), before the widespread Revolutions of 1848-1849.
The above map was placed on this page in 2013 and was even then a little out-of-date due to The Crimea
~ a southern peninsula of Ukraine since 1954 ~
seceding, early in 2014, to become closely linked with the Russian Federation).
[N.B. Our Series of European History pages focus mostly on Europe in the nineteenth century and continue with coverage of Italian Unification
, (as orchestrated by Cavour), and
, (as orchestrated by Bismarck), and the Diplomacy underlying the settlements to the First
tempestuous historical watershed ~ (as influenced by Woodrow Wilson].
The lessons of history
by Will and Ariel Durant
Will and Ariel Durant were popular historians based in the United States and were responsible for the authorship of many volumes
on diverse historical subjects.
"One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say."
Late in their careers the set themselves the task of attempting to investigate whether there actually were - lessons of history -
and became the authors of a slim volume, (and a CD set), on that subject.
The following two quotes come from The Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant.
The laws of biology are the fundamental lessons of history. We are subject to the processes and trials of evolution, to the struggle for existence
and the survival of the fittest to survive.
One lesson of history is that religion has many lives, and a habit of resurrection. How often in the past have God and religion died and been
reborn! . . . Atheism ran wild in the India of Buddha's youth, and Buddha himself founded a religion without a god; after his death Buddhism
developed a complex theology including gods, saints, and hell.