In 1848 the continent of Europe was rocked by revolutions: only Great Britain and Russia remained relatively immune to the upheaval. Most spectacularly, the Revolutions swept across the German-speaking lands of central Europe, with the newly-released forces of nationalism and mass popular protest smashing the reactionary Metternich regimes which had held sway since the defeat of Napoleon. The Metternich system was dead: nationalism and national self-determination asserted themselves as the dominant dynamic forces of continental Europe in the later nineteenth century. This impressive history examines the political and social implications of the 1848 Revolutions for the future destiny and shape of Europe as a whole, and explores the wider forces at play in the German lands of nineteenth-century Europe.
Hans-Joachim Hahn is Professor and Head of the Department of German, Oxford Brookes University.