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Parallels between the Revolutions of 1848 and Arab Revolutions Essay

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Updated: Apr 1st, 2019

There are many similarities between the revolutions of 1848 and the Arab revolutions. One of the most significant parallel is that the revolutions end up with the existing governments being overthrown by local people. Some of the causes, ideals and the demands of the civilians who began the revolutions are significantly identical.

An analysis of the two revolutions shows parallels which are characterized by different contexts of the causes and impact on the existing political structures. Every revolution had a different kind of drama which unfolded in a different kind of fashion (Price 151). Moreover, every revolution had its own crises, heroes and heroines and therefore they deserve to be narrated differently.

Some of the causes of the 1848 revolutions included the middle class liberals who demanded for equal human rights. Secondly, many people were not content with the existing economical tides across. Additionally, there was a growing sense of nationalism with people hoping to unite and rule themselves.

The aforementioned causes are the main significance factors that led to the increased revolutions of 1848. The revolutions wave was to create a sense of socialism within regimes which were dictatorial. Although the revolutions began in France, they spread too many countries with an aim to fulfill the social discontent. At the end, the revolutions helped to change the poor governance of many countries across Europe (Dowe 123).

The bad economical tides characterized by massive Economic crises were the major cause of the revolutions. The great economic depression which affected many countries in Europe created a sense of discontentment with the current regimes. Many people though that the local governments were corrupt and did not provide the right leadership to enhance growth of the economies.

Poor governance of the monarchies did not provide change in the economical structures and this created tension to the people. Thus most of the 1848 revolutions were started by rebellions against the existing governments. Arguably, the shortages in food, economic depression and bad governance were the main critical factors behind most of the revolutions (Dowe 126).

Most of the rebellions demanded for liberal and democratic systems which would help to enhance socialism within many states. There were growing oppositions of the existing monarchies from many critics. These developed ideals in the civilians who then formed rebellions to fight against the existing regimes.

Nevertheless, there was also a growing nationalism sense which led people to formation of rebels. Many people thought that the revolutions would help to unite people. For instance, the French and the Italian revolutions were caused by the nationalism sense in many civilians. The people thought that overthrowing the existing structures would help to unite the people (LeVine 78).

Ideas also were a major contributor to the revolutions of 1948. For instance, France gave other nations across Europe to rebel against poor governance and improve their welfare. Some of the ideas such as democracy would help to improve the liberalism across many nations in Europe. In addition, many critics thought that democracy would help to unite people of different backgrounds irrespective of their diversities.

These ideas were created by different countries but spread rapidly. Many people accepted them because there was a view of universal unification of different people. Nationalistic ideas were also believed to enhance socialism between people irrespective of their skin color, origin or cultural diversity. Political ideas were spread by the critics of the governments and they led to the creation of the revolutions (LeVine 84).

The existing social and political conditions of many states across Europe led to the development of the revolutionary situations. The social revolutions characterized by demands to unify the people and also adopt the nationalistic views created a platform for people to unite and form rebellions.

The conflicts of interest created by the different political ideas also created a situation where the people could spring up rebellions leading to revolutions. In particular, bad governance played a major role in formation of rebellious situation which would later lead into the 1848 revolutions. For instance, many people across Europe were fed up with poor systems of governance and the poor politics and wanted to change their situation. The only option left for them was a revolution to provide an equivocal solution to their demands (Price 154).

According to the Marxist view, a revolution is created by a revolutionary situation. In general view, the argument is that the 1848 revolutions were not created but began earlier than they actually occurred. This is true because many people were discontent with bad systems of governance and the poor economical situations were affecting their existence.

The existing forms of governance did not provide a solution to their problems but instead they increased the demands of the people. It is thus argued that the 1848 revolutions were caused by a combination of political crisis, social crisis and economical crisis in Europe. Although there were many other factors leading to the start of the revolutions, these just acted as catalysts to the existing situations.

The revolutions being experienced within the Arab world as at present have been brought about various issues which are similar to those which caused the 1789 French revolution (Guerin 158). The revolutions taking place within the Arab countries are mostly as a result of economic rights, the abuse of the rights of the workers along with the absence of political equality.

Moreover, socio-economic changes within the Arab communities are being instigated by industrialization, as well as, technological advancement. In addition, elementary economic changes, which are characterized by wealth consolidation, have led to massive unemployment which has in turn aggravated the rising of the Arab revolutions.

The Arab revolutions which are characterized by riots along with protests are also being ignited by the neo-liberal reforms impact, as well as, escalating food prices. The scarcity of employment opportunities has angered the citizens thereby making them opt for staging protests against their governments (Filiu 82).

Besides, most of the Arab world’s governing authorities have being accused of diverse corrupt practices and the citizens believe that mass action is the only way to successfully topple such governments. Basically, the citizens of the Arab countries believe that their governments are subjecting them to cruelty, as well as injustice which must be brought to an end.

For decades, residents of the Arab countries had bore the brunt of various kinds of injustices. Individuals attempting to fight for civil rights were captured, imprisoned, shot and in other occasions hanged (Guerin 156). The Arab world citizens could not bear that any more and thus they initiated the revolutions with the aim of doing way with the dictatorial administrations.

The revolutions within the Arab countries were organized in demand of various issues in respect to the specific country. However, the items being demanded for by the revolutions culminated in the bringing into an end oppressive leadership. Putting into consideration an Arab country such as Egypt, protests were staged in demand of various issues.

For the case of Egypt, there were the demands which had to be responded upon immediately and those which could be resolved in the course of the transitional period. The demands which called for an immediate response included the leaving of office of the then president, that is, President Hosni Mubarak (Eman ¶1). The protestors also pushed for the withdrawal of the Emergency Law.

In addition, they demanded for the State Security Investigation abolition. These protestors also insisted on the withdrawal of Mr. Omar Soliman from the presidential race within the next general elections. Besides, there was the demand for the dissolution of the Shura council along with the People’s Assembly.

All the citizens who had being detained from the 25th of January, 2011, also had to be set free. Moreover, the curfew which had being imposed within the country had to be brought to an end so as to allow the return to normal life. The demonstrators were also pushing for the withdrawal of the guards positioned within universities (Eman ¶1).

There was also the call to have proper investigations undertaken to find out the individuals responsible for the violence attack on the January 25th peaceful demonstrators, along with the succeeding January 28th bullying.

The demonstrators had also demanded for the compensation of the shopkeepers as a result of the losses incurred in the course of the curfew period. Moreover, the demonstrators demanded that the aforementioned demands had to be broadcasted via the television along with radio.

On the other hand, within the Egyptian revolution, there were the demands which had to be met within the transitional period. As a matter of priority, a novel constitution had to be drafted. Additionally, the publication of newspapers, along with setting up of radio and Television stations had to be allowed to take place without any prior authorization (Eman ¶1).

Moreover, there was to be introduced the right to establish political parties upon issuing the relevant notice. In the same perspective, the right to form trade unions along with associations had to be introduced upon the issuance of notice. The security controls imposed on the internet, as well as, other communications had to be brought to an end (Eman ¶2). Taking a look at these demands and those within the other countries such as Tunisia, one will not fail to notice a good number of similarities.

Basically, the renowned revolutions taking place within the Arab countries, most of which have turned out as successful, have brought to an end two torpid paradigms. They have broken the Arab dictatorial ruler’s notion that radical Islam is the only best alternative to their dictatorial rule (Filiu 107).

In addition, the fear psychosis which had being hammered into the nations’ collective consciousness was shattered by the revolutions. Definitely, the Arab regimes cannot hide behind the failed policies, nationalist excuses or even sectarian any more.

However, the democratic pluralism battle along with the fight for universal rights within the Arab countries will only be won if the revolutions align themselves in such a manner that they involve all the Arab society’s segments. The reformist path can sometimes turn out as uneven, bloody, or even uncertain; but it is impossible to reverse it.

Works Cited

Dowe, Dieter. Europe in 1848: Revolution and Reform. New York: Berghahn Books, 2000. Print.

Eman, Hashim. Just Raise Your Head Up High. Feb. 2011. Web. <>.

Filiu, Jean-Pierre. The Arab Revolution: Ten Lessons from the Democratic Uprising. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. Print.

Guerin, Daniel. No Gods, No Masters. Oakland, Calif: AK Press, 2005. Print.

LeVine, Mark. Why They Don’t Hate Us: Lifting the Veil on the Axis of Evil. Oxford: Oneworld, 2005. Print.

Price, Roger. 1848 in France. London, UK: Thames and Hudson, 2004. Print.

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