Teacher | Student
Originally produced in: Polska
Also available in: en

Curricular level

Class 2 of junior high school, history: Modern times, the nineteenth century. The Spring of Nations. The development of parliamentarism and the formation of nation states in Europe (15 years). Polska


The Spring of Nations is a term used to describe a series of revolutionary and national upris-ings, which occurred in Europe from 1848 to 1849. The concept of "nations" refers to societies seeking to participate in the ruling, to social classes looking to improve their living conditions and to nationalities struggling for autonomy, independence or unification within one state. During the Spring of Nations three revolutionary trends were thus revealed: related to political, social or national system. Revolutionary explosions of 1848 - 1849 covered almost the whole of Europe. There were no instances of it in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and in the Russian Empire. On the Iberian Peninsula only peasant revolts took place. Revolutionary movements in one country affected other nations. Information about events spread rapidly, leading to more uprisings. Many participants of the Spring of Nations were active in several countries.

Reasons for outbreak of a revolution in France.

As a result of the July Revolution in France (27 – 29 July, 1830) Louis-Philippe from the line of Burbon Orleans ascended the throne, proclaimed by the parliament on 7th August “the king of the French” (as opposed to “the king of France and Navarre”). The new king agreed to amend the constitution. A fragment about the divine origin of royal power was removed from it, replaced by the principle of popular sovereignty, the will of which makes the rulers. The tricolor flag was reinstated in place of the white Bourbon one, and the National Guards were restored. Both Houses of Parliament got the right of legislative initiative. The majority was taken by wealthy bourgeoisie by means of lowering the threshold of wealth and age, and ex-tending the number of people entitled to vote to 200 thousand. Louis Philippe I was nicknamed the "bourgeois king" and the system created by him the "bourgeois monarchy". Gradually, the king began to increasingly seek to gain real power. Conservative domestic pol-icy pursued by the king was supported by the Prime Minister François Guizot. In foreign pol-icy they approved of the policy of reaction of the Holy Alliance towards the Central and East-ern Europe, establishing close relationship with Chancellor Metternich. Gradually opposition against the reign of the king and conservative rich bourgeoisie strengthened. Liberal parlia-mentary opposition demanded lower property qualifications and extending the right to vote to the middle and petty bourgeoisie. Criticizing pro-Austrian foreign policy, the Liberals de-manded stronger support by France of Polish and Italian liberation movements. Dissatisfaction of workers caused by poor living conditions grew, which was reflected by the unrests brutally suppressed by the authorities. Among middle and petty bourgeoisie Republi-cans gained increasingly stronger position. In opposition to Louis Philippe were also Bonapar-tists, living the myth of the Napoleonic empire and having the greatest influence among the peasants. The deterioration of the economic situation in the late 1840s, having impact both on workers and the bourgeoisie, very harsh living conditions and increased number of unem-ployed created a revolutionary situation. The outbreak of revolution in France took place in February 1848 and led to the downfall of Louis Philippe I.

Materials for students are designed to enable them to learn about the origins and course of the Spring of Nations in France, Prussia, Austria and Hungary. These materials are to contribute to the knowledge of the requests and demands of revolting societies. They show the students what concessions the reigning sovereigns made, and how big were the political and ideologi-cal changes that occurred as a result of the revolution.

Conceptual Objectives

  • The student will develop knowledge of the revolutionary movements in Europe be-tween 1848 – 1849 known as the Spring of Nations.
  • The student will understand the reasons which led to the revolutionary movements in various European countries.
  • The student will develop knowledge of the demands of the revolutionaries in different countries.
  • The student will develop knowledge about the course of the revolution in selected European countries.
  • The student will develop knowledge about the participation of Poles in the Spring of Nations.
  • The student will know what concessions the reigning sovereigns made.

Methodological Objectives and Skills

  • The student will identify and characterize cause – effect relationship between economic and social situation of people, national and political conflicts and the outbreak of revolution in each country.
  • The student will be able to qualify for the demands of the revolutionaries as: social, political and national.
  • The student will identify similarities and differences between the demands of the in-surgents in different European countries.

Suggestion of Activities

Students are divided into 4 groups and asked, on the basis of the available literature (an ex-ample of bibliography in the page section + info), biographical dictionaries and the Internet, to prepare short biographies of Poles participating in the Spring of Nations in European coun-tries. Following names can suggested for this task: Józef Wysocki, Henryk Dembiński, Ludwik Mierosławski, Karol Libelt. Skills that students should acquire during this exercise are: the ability to find information on a specific topic, to identify the cause - effect relation-ship and to present the knowledge gained.

Suggestion for Evaluation

Taking into account the individual criteria and methods for evaluating students’ work of each teacher, in the case of the proposed exercise, to be assessed are primarily:

  • Ability to link knowledge about the Spring of Nations with information relating to the partici-pation of Poles in the German, Hungarian and Italian revolutions.
  • Ability to search for information on a specific topic.
  • Ability to make a statement and present knowledge.

Further Information and Interdisciplinarity

http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plik:Lar9_philippo_001z.jpg painting by Henri Felix Emmanuel Philippoteaux entitled Lamartine in front of the Town Hall of Paris rejects the red flag on 25 February 1848.

http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plik:Maerz1848_berlin.jpg picture of the Mach revolution of 1848 in Berlin.

http://literat.ug.edu.pl/jez/013.htm memoirs about Józef Wysocki .

http://literat.ug.edu.pl/jez/014.htm memoires about Henryk Dembiński.