During the first part of the 19th century Restoration of absolutism as well as the spread of liberalism resulted into new revolutions. Three different revolutionary outbreaks took place:

  • The revolutions around 1820 started in the South of Europe and Russia. Army officials and secret societies led the revolutions against absolutism. Liberals in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Russia rebelled against absolutism. Some monarchs such as Ferdinand VII in Spain accepted the constitutions but foreign intervention restored absolutism.


  • The revolutions in 1830 broke out all over Europe and liberals took power in many countries. They started in France and resulted in the outing of Charles X who was replaced by the constitutional monarchy led by the Duke of Orléans, Louis Philippe. After that revolution spread to Belgium and the country became independent from Holland. Later on Portugal, Spain , several Italian and German states. Once in the government , liberal leaders limited rights and freedoms. They established limited suffrage excluding the commoners from politics.


  • The revolutions of 1848 were more radical. They began in France with Louis Philippe´s deposition and the proclamation of the French Second Republic. The main achievements of the new government were the new constitution and the universal male suffrage. From France revolutions spread over Prussia, Austria – Hungary, Switzerland, German Confederation and Italian states. Leaders demanded more rights, universal male suffrage and social equality. The bourgeoisie felt threatened so they suppressed them and promoted conservative liberalism regimes.


Although many revolutions were suppressed, liberalism principles were accepted and written constitutions recognized censitary suffrage, abolishment of serfdom with the exception of Russia. On the other hand, France maintained universal male suffrage.

Those who benefited from the liberal revolutions were the bourgeoisie as they became defenders of public order and supporters of the conservative liberalism. Commoners neither got more political rights nor social changes. Therefore they created their own legal political parties and organizations to stand for their rights and against the liberal state they helped to create.






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