The European Spring, 1848–1851: Marx and Engels versus Tocqueville

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


If the French Revolution of 1789 inaugurated the modern era, as is widely recognized, its second edition secured its place in history. The 1848–1849 revolutions that commenced in Paris in February 1848 put in place, if haltingly, the prerequisites for republican rule in France; not for the last time a revolutionary process would extend over decades. The “European Spring,” as it would come to be known, commenced the definitive end to a centuries-old institution, absolute monarchy. That the mass upheavals that began in 2011 to put an end to decades-long despotic rule in North Africa and the Middle East—and that continue to reverberate—are called the “Arab Spring” is no coincidence. Three participants in those mid-nineteenth-century developments would come to exercise enormous influence afterward—two exactly because of the seismic character of what had taken place and whose lessons they distilled.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMarx, Engels, and Marxisms
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages59
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NameMarx, Engels, and Marxisms
ISSN (Print)2524-7123
ISSN (Electronic)2524-7131

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s).


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