Revolution and Reaction, 1848-1852: A Mid-Century Watershed

Revolution and Reaction, 1848-1852: A Mid-Century Watershed

Revolution and Reaction, 1848-1852: A Mid-Century Watershed

Revolution and Reaction, 1848-1852: A Mid-Century Watershed

Excerpt

Like other volumes of the Anvil series, this account of the mid-nineteenth century crisis offers a short survey and analysis of a "problem area" together with selected readings from relevant sources. The upheavals of 1848 have altered in outline as they receded, but their significance on the historical landscape has become clearer with the passage of time. Lying midway between the French Revolution of 1789 and the Russian Revolution of 1917 the events of 1848-52 may now be viewed as occupying a dividing line, a watershed. There, for a brief interval, currents residual and prophetic were juxtaposed. It is easier today than it was a generation ago to identify these currents, to recognize in the mid- century crisis which were the emergent, which the receding, influences. If the discussion that follows helps the reader to evaluate this "dividing of forces on their ways" it will have fulfilled its major purpose.

All who aided me by act or word in preparing the volume have my deepest gratitude. It is a special pleasure to record my obligation to Louis L. Snyder for his prompt, explicit, and encouraging editorial guidance. I am indebted to the Harvard University Press and the Columbia University Press for permission (acknowledged elsewhere) to reproduce material that is under their copyright. In the task of selecting, typing, and in some cases translating the readings I had the perceptive and vigilant aid of Miss Barbara Odell. The publisher's staff eased my duties and reduced my errors with selfeffacing devotion. All these able collaborators share the credit for whatever virtues the volume possesses; its flaws are my responsibility.

Ithaca, New York GEOFFREY BRUUN

January, 1958 . . .

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