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Economic crises and the European revolutions of 1848

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  • Berger, Helge
  • Spoerer, Mark

Abstract

Recent historical research tends to view the 1848 revolutions in Europe as caused by a surge of radical ideas and by long-term socioeconomic problems. However, many contemporary observers interpreted much of the upheaval as a consequence of shortterm economic causes, specifically the serious shortfall in food supply that had shaken large parts of the Continent in 1845–1847, and the subsequent industrial slump. Applying standard quantitative methods to a data set of 27 European countries, we show that it was mainly immediate economic misery, and the fear thereof, that triggered the European revolutions of 1848.

Suggested Citation

  • Berger, Helge & Spoerer, Mark, 2001. "Economic crises and the European revolutions of 1848," Munich Reprints in Economics 15926, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:15926
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    File URL: https://epub.ub.uni-muenchen.de/15926/1/economic_crises.pdf
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    1. Sascha Becker & Francesco Cinnirella & Ludger Woessmann, 2010. "The trade-off between fertility and education: evidence from before the demographic transition," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 177-204, September.
    2. Aidt, Toke S. & Jensen, Peter S., 2014. "Workers of the world, unite! Franchise extensions and the threat of revolution in Europe, 1820–1938," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 52-75.
    3. Markus Brückner & Antonio Ciccone, 2011. "Rain and the Democratic Window of Opportunity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 923-947, May.
    4. Baten, Joerg & Mumme, Christina, 2013. "Does inequality lead to civil wars? A global long-term study using anthropometric indicators (1816–1999)," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 56-79.
    5. Rabah Arezki & Markus Brückner, 2011. "Food prices and political instability," NCID Working Papers 01/2011, Navarra Center for International Development, University of Navarra.
    6. Quoc-Anh Do & Filipe R. Campante, 2009. "Keeping Dictators Honest: the Role of Population Concentration," Working Papers 01-2009, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
    7. Maria Waldinger, 2015. "The economic effects of long-term climate change: evidence from the little ice age," GRI Working Papers 214, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    8. Quoc-Anh Doy & Filipe R. Campante, 2009. "Keeping Dictators Honest : the Role of Population Concentration," Governance Working Papers 22076, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    9. Sarferaz, Samad & Uebele, Martin, 2009. "Tracking down the business cycle: A dynamic factor model for Germany 1820-1913," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 368-387, July.
    10. Carlos Bastien, 2011. "1848: A Primeira Crise da Teoria Económica," Notas Económicas, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra, issue 34, pages 57-66, December.
    11. Manoel Bittencourt & Rangan Gupta & Philton Makena & Lardo Stander, 2018. "Socio-Political Instability and Growth Dynamics," Working Papers 201855, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    12. Vidal-Robert, Jordi, 2013. "War and Inquisition: Repression in Early Modern Spain," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 119, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    13. Ticku, R. & Shrivastava, A. & Iyer, S., 2018. "Economic Shocks and Temple Desecrations in Medieval India," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1862, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    14. Lin, Faqin & Sim, Nicholas C.S., 2014. "Baltic Dry Index and the democratic window of opportunity," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 143-159.
    15. George Tridimas, 2016. "On the overthrow or endurance of kings," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 41-65, March.
    16. Mark Dincecco, 2010. "The Political Economy Of Fiscal Prudence In Historical Perspective," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 1-36, March.
    17. George Tridimas, 2014. "Why some democracies are headed by a monarch?," ICER Working Papers 07-2014, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
    18. Bengtsson, Erik, 2016. "Inequality and the working class in Scandinavia 1800 to 1910 - Workers' share of growing income," Lund Papers in Economic History 142, Lund University, Department of Economic History.

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