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French Revolution of 1848 collection
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French Revolution of 1848 collection

  • RC0820
  • Collection
  • 1848-1849

The French Revolution of 1848 was one of many national revolutions that swept across Europe in 1848. The revolution in France in February 1848 caused the fall of King Louis Philippe who had reigned since 1830. He abdicated and retired to England. The Second Republic (1848-1852) followed. National workshops were set up in Paris to provide work for the unemployed. Elections were held in April based on universal manhood suffrage but, even so, one-half of the deputies elected were monarchists. In May, Louis Auguste Blanqui (1805-1881) led a failed coup. With little money to support them, the workshops closed causing a rising of the Parisian unemployed called the June Days. By December 1848 Louis Napoleon Bonaparte had been elected President.

There are 316 broadsides and broadsheets, including campaign literature and electoral lists. The collection covers a wide range of topics including early annoucements about the outbreak of violence; efforts by workers' organizations to organize; official decrees of the provisional government; the April elections to the National Assembly; the insurgency in June; philosophical contributions by private citizens; Socialist and Communists tracts; satirical subjects; review of events and personalities such as General Cavaignac. There is also one envelope of smaller items, mainly lists of candidates for l'assemblée nationale, le départment de la Seine, and des ateliers nationaux. Also in the envelope is a document of arrest issued by the Paris police, 12 April 1848. There are notes in pencil on the verso of this document.