The Revolutions of 1848

I am going to discuss four different revolutions, or attempts at revolution, during the year 1848.

The French revolution of 1848 began under the reign of King Louis-Philippe. It began because the government had banned public political meetings of more than twenty people. The people got around this law by having banquets at which they would talk about politics. When the government found out and attempted to prevent such a banquet, revolts broke out. With the revolution upon him Louis-Philippe left the throne and fled France.

The Second Republic of France was then established as the government. Socialists and liberals* worked side by side in this new republic. However, the liberals wanted to get rid of the socialists and therefore gave them useless jobs to keep them busy. Continue reading

The History of Compulsory State Education

Compulsory state education began in the West during the 16th century Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther wrote a letter to the German government in 1524 stating the following, “…If the government can compel such citizens as are fit for military service to bear spear and rifle…how much more has it a right to compel the people to send their children to school….” Subsequently, the first compulsory education system in the West was set up in 1559.

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Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 – 1821) was a French official and a commander of the French army after the French Revolution. He was appointed first consul by the French government. Soon after, a new constitution was passed, which gave Napoleon absolute power over France. In 1802, he was appointed consul for life. Two years later, he created the Code Napoléon, wherein were listed new laws, traditions and customs.

One major step taken by Napoleon after the disastrous French Revolution was to reunite the Catholic Church and France. In 1801 Pope Pius VII and Napoleon came to an agreement, closing the gap between them. Some of the terms were:

  • Catholicism would be acknowledged as the official religion of France
  • Bishops would be chosen by Napoleon and approved by the Pope
  • Priests would be selected by the bishops from government pre-approved lists

However, there were concessions made by the Pope. Two of these were that the priests would remain government employed (government would pay their salaries), and that the church lands that had been confiscated during the Revolution would not be returned to the pope.

In 1802, Napoleon Continue reading