Keith Flett on Britain and the 1848 Revolutions
With the inspiring events in the Middle East, comparisons have been made to 1848, a year of democratic revolutions throughout Europe. Those revolutions were mostly defeated over the following two years by a vicious and bloody wave of reaction. But there was unfinished business in Poland and Ireland and political democracy was left firmly and unavoidably on the agenda for the decades to come.
Britain however is often cited as an exception to this.In my view what is known by historians as ‘exceptionalism’ that is the argument that this or that country or movement is somehow unique is nearly always just bad history. As a matter of fact there was no revolution in Britain in 1848 but the underlying trend was actually very similar to the rest of Europe...
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