This Day in History – February 22nd, 1848

The 1848 Revolution in France, sometimes known as the February Revolution (révolution de Février), was one of a wave of revolutions in 1848 in Europe that began on February 22nd, 1848. In France the revolutionary events ended the Orleans monarchy (1830–48) and led to the creation of the French Second Republic.

February French Revolution

Following the overthrow of Louis Philippe in February, the elected government of the Second Republic ruled France. In the months that followed, this government steered a course that became more conservative. On June 23rd, 1848, the people of Paris rose in insurrection, which became known as June Days Uprising – a bloody but unsuccessful rebellion by the Paris workers against a conservative turn in the Republic’s course. On December 2nd, 1848, Louis Napoleon was elected President of the Second Republic, largely on peasant support. Exactly four years later he suspended the elected assembly, establishing the Second French Empire, which lasted until 1871.

The February revolution established the principle of the “right to work” (droit au travail), and its newly established government created “National Workshops” for the unemployed. At the same time a sort of industrial parliament was established at the Luxembourg Palace, under the presidency of Louis Blanc, with the object of preparing a scheme for the organization of labour. These tensions between liberal Orleanist and Radical Republicans and Socialists led to the June Days Uprising.

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