Aristocrats and the Crowd in the Revolutionary Year 1848: A by Josef V. Polisensky

By Josef V. Polisensky

Publication by way of Polisensky, Josef V.

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Extra info for Aristocrats and the Crowd in the Revolutionary Year 1848: A Contribution to the History of Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Austria

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21 I have saved two paperback volumes from my student days to which I returned for guidance in the labyrinth of questions surrounding the year 1848. They are the tenth Czech edition of the Communist Manifesto and Reiner's translation of Lenin's Stare and Revolution. It seemed to me that these two works might help me to place the 1848 revolution in a new perspective. But where could one find historical work in the tradition of Marx, Engels, and Lenin? I knew of the German writings of Mehring, Lukacs, and Pokrovsky, and had begun to study the essays of V.

5 It is remarkable that until recently the national antagonisms went unrecognizedat any rate, no attention whatever was paid to their political consequences. Austria was regarded as a united state with a quite uniform character and a single set of goals. The censored textbooks spoke only of the Austrian states. At the most there might be mention of the special relationship of Hungary to the rest of the hereditary states. It was quite forgotten that Austria carried within herself the irrepressible seeds of a confederation [Bundesgenossenschaft] which would foster the development of the nationalities [Volksstamme] by introducing a richly structured political life.

On the contrarywithin a few days of the outbreak of the popular riots, most of the people were seized with an overwhelming desire to contain the flood and restore public order. The National Guard was out night and day against the ominous spirit of unrest, which was expected in the guise sometimes of the proletariat, sometimes of the peasantry. In Vienna some wanted to outlaw every radical word. 5 It is remarkable that until recently the national antagonisms went unrecognizedat any rate, no attention whatever was paid to their political consequences.

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