Primary Source # 4: Revolutions of 1848

The Overthrow of the Orleanist Monarchy
[Page 559]
Note: The provisional government established in Paris after the mob had attacked the Tuileries, February 24, 1848, immediately issued the following proclamation.

In the name of the French people:

A reactionary and oligarchical government has just been overthrown by the heroism of the people of Paris. That government has fled, leaving behind it a trail of blood that forbids it ever to retrace its steps.

The blood of the people has flowed as in July; but this time this noble people shall not be deceived. It has won a national and popular government in accord with the rights, the progress, and the will of this great and generous nation.

A provisional government, the result of pressing necessity and ratified by the voice of the people and of the deputies of the departments, in the session of February 24, is for the moment invested with the task of assuring and organizing the national victory. It is composed of Messieurs Dupont (de l’Eure), Lamartine, Cremieux, Arago (of the Institute), Ledru-Rollin, Garnier-Pages, Marie, Armand Marrast, Louis Blanc, Ferdinand Flocon, and Albert (a workingman).

These citizens have not hesitated a moment to accept the patriotic commission which is imposed upon them by the pressure of necessity. With the capital of France on fire, the justification for the present provisional government must be sought in the public safety. All France will understand this and will lend it the support of its patriotism. Under [Page 560] the popular government which the provisional government proclaims, every citizen is a magistrate.

Frenchmen, it is for you to give to the world the example which Paris has given to France; prepare yourselves by order and by confidence in your destiny for the firm institutions which you are about to be called upon to establish.

The provisional government wishes to establish a republic,–subject, however, to ratification by the people, who shall be immediately consulted.

The unity of the nation (formed henceforth of all the classes of citizens who compose it); the government of the nation by itself; liberty, equality, and fraternity, for fundamental principles, and “the people” for our emblem and watchword: these constitute the democratic government which France owes to itself, and which our efforts shall secure for it.

Decrees of the Provisional Government Relating to the Workingmen
[Page 560]
Note: The workingmen and their leaders played an important part in the February revolution. This fact is emphasized by the decrees in the interest of the laboring classes which were issued by the provisional government on the day following its creation.

The provisional government of the French republic decrees that the Tuileries shall serve hereafter as a home for the veterans of labor.

The provisional government of the French republic pledges itself to guarantee the means of subsistence of the workingman by labor.

It pledges itself to guarantee labor to all citizens.

It recognizes that workingmen ought to enter into associations among themselves in order to enjoy the advantage of their labor.

The provisional government returns to the workingmen, to whom it rightfully belongs, the million which was about to fall due upon the civil list.

[Page 561] The provisional government of the French republic decrees that all articles pledged at the pawn shops since the first of February, consisting of linen, garments, or clothes, etc., upon which the loan does not exceed ten francs, shall be given back to those who pledged them. The minister of finance is ordered to meet the payments incidental to the execution of the present edict.

The provisional government of the republic decrees the immediate establishment of national workshops. The minister of public works is charged with the execution of the present decree.

 

* Source: http://history.hanover.edu/texts/fr1848.html

10 Responses to Primary Source # 4: Revolutions of 1848

  1. Mitchell Lichocki says:

    #9 How does evidence from this document fit into or alter your understanding of the period?

    The primary sourced confirmed most of what I believed regarding the people of France during this time period. France has a history of violence and strength, and this was a clear factor in the role of government. I was a little surprised however that the French government was, not necessarily so easy, but not such a difficult government to overthrow. I was also surprised when I realized the amount of support received by the people of France towards the new government established by the mob. The mob seemed as if they wanted to give the people everything they wanted, and it seemed somewhat like an “immature” government, looking to please everybody when it is very unlikely they will be able to do so. All in all I was half surprised by the reaction from the people and some of my previous ideas were confirmed.

  2. Omar Tafraoui says:

    What are the consequences of that chosen audience?

    The mouvement of the people of France

    After the mob attacked the Tuileries; a provisional government was established in Paris, in February 24th, 1848. It issued a immediate proclamation. The aimed audience was the people of France, like it is said in this quote “In the name of the French people”. The author is aiming this audience to induce them to patriotism. The provisional government was to satisfy the audience wants. They want to build a “ New France” by giving labor to all citizens. The author promised: “Liberty, equality, and fraternity, for fundamental principles, and the people”. Workingmen weren’t represent equally, which leaded them to rebel. The decrees of the provisional government concerning the workingmen finally satisfied their wants. The author obtained the French’s loyalty. The decrees “recognizes that workingmen ought to enter into associations among themselves in order to enjoy the advantage of their labor”, in conclusion its lead the people of France to work together to improved their country.

  3. Antoine_cammalleri@hotmail.com says:

    9. 9.How does evidence from this document fit into or alter your understanding of the period?

    The beginning of a New France

    After a mob attacked and overthrew the orleanist monarchy on february 24th, 1848, a provisional government was immediately established and then issued a proclamation aimed at the people of France. The proclamation resonated with an ethos of hope and unification, and is a very motivational peice of work that displays the new era France was embarking in. This is shown perfectly when the proclamation writes “The unity of the nation (formed henceforth of all the classes of citizens who compose it); the government of the nation by itself; liberty, equality, and fraternity, for fundamental principles, and “the people” for our emblem and watchword: these constitute the democratic government which France owes to itself, and which our efforts shall secure for it.”. It is entrenched in patriotism. All these qualities are the exact opposite of what I understood this time period to be for the french. I understood that instead of being a time of revolution, it was a time of darkness and decemation, where a lot of art was destroyed and people were in a very destructive mindset. I understood it was a sort of a negative period of chaos, when in reality it seemed almost like a rennaissance. This document changed my perspective and helped me understand where the french people were coming from, and that it was a time of revolution rather than a time of rampant chaos.

  4. Daniel La Schiazza says:

    #3 What form is it written in?

    The primary source on the revolutions of 1848 was written in the form of decrees. These decrees were written as letters from the government to the people of France. The reason this was done was due to the new government of France that had just taken command of the country due to the revolutions. Through this letter, the new leaders of France proclaim to the people that the government they have instituted is in order to represent the people, by instituting a new democratic form of government where the french population have the power. The form that these documents also take is the form of propaganda. The reason for this is that the french population who read this are only getting one side of the revolution. They are given the reasons for the overthrowing of the government and they are also told what this new nationalist government will do for them without having a say. This was a powerful technique to get the french people’s side to transition to a brand new government.

    • Antoine Cammalleri says:

      La Schiazza writes about question #3, what form this text is written in, and he overall does a pretty effective job. However, He writes in a very simple and straight forward way, with no real evidence from the text to back up what he says. For example, when he states that this text is written in the form of decrees, and that it takes the form of propaganda, he could add a quote from the text proving that it matches the characteristics of a decree. Also his text could have been better structured. What La Schiazza did is that he stated that this text was in the form of decrees, and then stated what it was. He then moved forward to show that it had also taken the form of propaganda, and he discussed the strategy behind it. This is a good approach, but in order to make his text a little more formal and structured, maybe he could have stated that the text was in form of decrees, then showed proof from the text in order to back up his statement, instead of leaving us to trust his word. He couldve stated, proved, and then explained. Lastly, I beleive the last part of his text is not clearly written and leaves many loose ends. It is hard to understand the point he is getting across, and it seems a little vague and unclear. Overall, it was a pretty good blog with a couple of edges to sharpen, just to tighten up his response. But besides that it still communicated and answered the question adequately

  5. Charlotte Arnould says:

    #6 What technology, if any, is discussed in the document? What was the technology used for and how has that technology been replaced in today’s world?

    Answering with Streets of Paris – Secondary Source

    The document discusses the foundation of the streets of Paris. In 1848, Paris faced the revolts of republicans. Students, radical republicans and discontent workers had built barricades to manifest against King Louis Philippe’s failures. Riots took place in the streets and it was impossible to predict when they would strike again since there was no actual map. Adding on to this the fact that “the streets were dark, evil-smelling, polluted with noise and smoke, and appalling to the senses,” Napoleon III, in 1849, planned to redesign the city. This lead to the construction of “the sunniest, most beautiful and functional streets ever seen.” It is discussed wether or not the construction of these boulevards were supposed to calm the riots, in any case Paris was riot-free for seventeen years. Also, Paris became a city of higher stature than it already was, streets could no longer be filled with waste and filth. Roads are still used today, most of Paris actual streets and boulevards are the same as in the late 19th century and Napoleon’s boulevards were widely copied around the world.

  6. Daniel Chitayat says:

    8) Where was the document written and where (and how) was it published or disseminated?

    This document (proclamation) was written on February 24th, 1848 in France after the French monarchy was destroyed by rebellion. It was published by the provisional government to assure the people of France that all the lives that were lost in the battle to overthrow the monarch had not gone to waste. This document was intended for all the people of France to see and to prove that the efforts of their countrymen were intended to secure equal rights for all. The sentiment of urgency is evident as the document states: “The provisional government wishes to establish a republic,–subject, however, to ratification by the people, who shall be immediately consulted.” Since this proclamation involved all citizens of France, except women, it was imperative that the document was distributed all around Paris and France. The provisional government wanted to make sure that everyone in France and surrounding countries knew that the citizens of France demanded justice, and would do what they had to do to attain it. Part of the document states: “Frenchmen, it is for you to give to the world the example which Paris has given to France.” It is obvious that in 1848, there was no Facebook, twitter, fax, or email, so delivering the document by messenger was the only method. One can only imagine how the information got distorted once it left Paris and moved outwards in France.

  7. chelsea parasuco says:

    # 4 Who was the intended audience

    After the reactionary and oligarchical government had been overthrown by the working class people of Paris,the provisional government made an address to the people.The provisional government being a representative of what the people wanted, a republic. Establishing a union where “liberty, equality, and fraternity, for fundamental principles, and the people” are the bases and that very citizen be it clergy or workingman is “magistrate”. In this address the audience is the workingmen class who had always been the biggest in numbers but never represented in the equivalent portion in demographics.Because of the miss representation the workingmen had rebelled and succeeded which led to the overthrowing of the governments previously mentioned. The provisional Government in turn promised equality and as Barrett says, responded to the needs of the workingmen by issuing labour laws. Throughout the proclamation we see the address to the workingmen as they are finally receiving what they deserve, equality.

  8. Ivona Topalovic says:

    7.What purpose did the author have in writing this document?

    The Resurgence of Nationalism by the Construction of Boulevards

    One of the causes of the French Revolution was the unemployment rate constantly increasing, just as the prices for food and goods. Most of the unemployed men were construction workers. The author’s goal was clearly to motivate the people’s feelings towards nationalism and the “new France” they would build (“they” being the French people). We can clearly see that goal in the following quote: “Frenchmen, it is for you to give to the world the example which Paris has given to France; prepare yourselves by order and by confidence in your destiny for the firm institutions which you are about to be called upon to establish.” To gain the people’s acceptance and trust, the author promises to give jobs to everyone. As Barrett says, work should be a right, not a priviledge. Since the city streets were filthy, narrow, and turned Paris into a maze, it is obvious the government would create jobs for the construction workers to clear up the streets and to build the nice, wide, and clean boulevards we know today. Therefore, the author gains the French’s loyalty and nationalism rises in France, as the people get together to establish and improve their country.

  9. Alexander Barrett says:

    2.When was it written and what are the historic circumstances of its composition?

    The Emergence of the Provosional Government

    On February 24th, 1848, the capital of France was destroyed, and the Orleanist monarchy was overthrown. The people of France rebelled against the government, and this led to the emergence of a provisional government. The statement was trying to motivate France into believing in this new government, and uses the previous government as a comparison. An example of this is seen when it says, “That government has fled, leaving behind a trail of blood that forbids it ever to retrace its steps.” The provisonal government felt, ”Pressing necessity, and ratified by the voice of the people . . .” The composition of this decree is mainly to show the french people what they plan to do. It is designed to prove to them that there will be new labor laws, and that every man in France will have a job. The government wants people to feel that working is a right, and not a priviledge. They announce that those who cannot find work will be set up in national workshops. The provisional government is attempting to respond to the people’s needs, and to address the pressing issues of the nation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s