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Word Count: 504
Whilst there were individual reasons giving rise to each of the revolutions of 1848 there were some common themes pertaining to all of them General living conditions had been poor for some time and an increase in industrialisation had led to overcrowding in cities extensive child labour and workers toiling long hours to create wealth in which they rarely shared Poor harvests in the years prior to 1848 led to discontent amongst the working classes while the middle classes wanted better representation in government As well as the French revolution in 1789 a more recent though only temporarily successful revolution in 1846 where peasants in Cracow in what was then the Austrian Empire slaughtered over 1000 nobles and declared the city a socialist republic may have rekindled the realisation of the power of the masses Austrian soldiers later reclaimed the city Some specific factors were oUniversal suffrage particularly in France This means that any person over the age of 18 is entitled to vote in elections In February of 1848 Louis Blanc and his socialist supporters guided what was the only permanently successful revolution of the year leading to the establishment of the Second Republic and universal suffrage oExtensive child labour Children were forced to work hours that would fatigue the fittest young man in unsafe conditions and as always for little pay oHunger The poor harvests from 1845 to the early 1890s meant there was a shortage of food and the Irish potato famine from 1845-49 was the worst of the 19th century affecting most parts of Europe in some way oLiteracy Education was for the most part reserved for upper class males and members of the clergy oDisease Overcrowded cities and poor hygiene led to illness amongst all classes with only the wealthy able to overcome it oEmployment Industrialisation was rising putting some people out of work and meaning others had to work harder for longer creating wealth in which they
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