World History 1848 Part 1

About the history of the world in 1848, the first department store, the Communist Manifesto is published, gold is discovered in California, and the Mexican-American War ends.



* Alexander T. Stewart opened the first department store, Marble Dry Goods Palace, on Broadway in New York City.

* Concerning the revolutions on the Continent in 1848, Thomas Macaulay in his History of England wrote: "All around us the world is convulsed by the agonies of great nations. Governments which lately seemed likely to stand during the ages have been on a sudden shaken and overthrown....Meanwhile, in our island the regular course of government has never been for a day interrupted....We have order in the midst of anarchy."

Jan. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published the "Communist Manifesto." Written in Brussels for a small group of secret German revolutionaries known as the Communist League, the "Manifesto" passed virtually unnoticed at the time and had no effect on the revolutions of that year. However, this 40-page pamphlet marked the birth of "scientific socialism," and its fundamental concepts were later developed by Marx in Das Kapital.

Jan. 24 Gold was discovered at Sutter's sawmill on the south fork of the American River in California.

Feb. 2 The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed, ending the Mexican-American War. Nicholas Trist, the American architect of the treaty, had been ordered home four months earlier by President Polk. But Trist, although officially unemployed, continued negotiations.

The treaty ceded California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona north of the Gila River, and parts of Kansas, Wyoming, and Colorado (500,000 sq. mi.) to the U.S. for $15 million and the assumption of $3.25 million in debts owed to Americans by Mexico. The treaty settled the Texas border dispute in favor of the U.S., placing the border at the Rio Grande River. The treaty was so favorable to the U.S. that Polk accepted it.

Feb. 22-24 The Revolution of 1848 began in Paris. On the 22nd, moderate political reformers staged a huge banquet and demonstrations, which King Louis Philippe refused to authorize. Fighting erupted as students and workers battled soldiers. The king fired his highly unpopular first minister, Francois Guizot, but this failed to stop the rioting.

The next morning, a massive demonstration encountered a detachment of soldiers blocking the way in the Rue des Capucines. Arguments led to scuffling, a shot was heard, and then the troops discharged a volley at the crowd, killing 50 people. News of the massacre spread, and by morning 1,500 barricades manned by rebels controlled Paris.

On the 24th, Louis Philippe ordered the regular army out of the city. The National Guard, on which he had been relying, joined the rebels. That evening Louis Philippe, the last French king, abdicated and fled to England with his family. The rebels proclaimed a republic and established a provisional government, pending the election of the Constituent Assembly.

Mar. 13 In Vienna, workingmen and students in revolt built barricades and fought soldiers. Emperor Ferdinand asked his advisers, "But are they allowed to do that?" Klemens von Metternich, the power behind the throne, was immediately dismissed in hopes of appeasing the rebels. He headed for England that night.

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