World History 1849

About the history of the world in 1849, Wagner supports revolution, revolution in Rome.



* Richard Wagner wrote revolutionary tracts for and participated in the Dresden Uprising with his friend Mikhail Bakunin, the Russian anarchist. The uprising was crushed, and Wagner, learning that a warrant had been issued for his arrest, fled to Zurich-thus missing the first performance of his Lohengrin, produced by another friend, Franz Liszt.

* Armand Fizeau, using a light, a revolving disk with holes in it, and a mirror on a hill 5 mi. away, measured the speed of light in the countryside near Paris.

Feb. 9 The Constituent Assembly proclaimed the restoration of the Roman Republic. Rome was to be ruled by a triumvirate, including the Italian nationalist philosopher Giuseppe Mazzini.

Apr. 29-30 French forces sent to restore the pope were repulsed by Roman revolutionary forces led by Giuseppe Garibaldi, who had, said Tennyson sympathetically, "the divine stupidity of a hero."

May 29-June 3 Republican Romans opened the city gates to French troops after the French negotiator, Ferdinand de Lesseps (later the builder of the Suez Canal), assured them that the republic would be respected. The French broke their promise as soon as they entered the city and proceeded to crush the Republican forces. Pope Pius IX returned to Rome a year later. French troops remained to protect him.

Aug. 28 Austrians besieged and bombarded Venice. The city, ravaged by cholera and mass starvation, was compelled to surrender on the 28th. The republican government was immediately suppressed.

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