Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Encyclopedia of 1848 Revolutions

Encyclopedia of 1848 Revolutions. Articles about the people and ideas motivating the 1848 European revolutions. Most articles have bibliographies.

From the site:

The 1848 Revolutions challenge the maxim that winners write history. But the very concept of "vi ctors" is misleading. The Parisian February revolution of 1848 was a victory of harmonious reconciliation between high and low. Roman Catholic clergymen and lay who broke into the king's Tuileries gathered in the chapel to sanctify the new republic. A great number of artists depicted the historic moment of historic accord.

Since World War I, generations of national historians in the successor states to Austria-Hungary have vilified the Austrian chancellor of 1849, Schwarzenberg, as a national enemy. In response to the critics, a laudatory biography history of Prince Felix von Schwarzenberg characterized him as Austria's savior. However the aftermath of collapse of the iron curtain changed matters: a close friend and adviser to Vaclav Havel in Prague was a contemporary noble Schwarzenberg. The transformation from nemesis to hero was not merely in Prague. A new phalanx of central Europeans who had condemned Felix von Schwarzenberg's villainy in 1849, now a century and a half later regret his dereliction of "just" national claims that might have prevented Austria-Hungary's collapse into 20th century bitterness. This is a warning that historical judgment is always provisional and extremely controversial. Even in the short run any neat categorization into "winners" and "losers" is no more than provisional, because all historical verdicts are in a state of constant flux. Historical suppositions are kaleidoscopic. The passage of time shifts all perspectives and the entire picture muta tes. As new rulers replace those holding power, they also displace the old winners, transforming all perceptions.

When we began this project in 1986, we dealt with a powerful group who claimed to interpret historical truth for the "people." The historians assumed that the "people" whom they exemplified were the real victors of 1848. The governmentally employed advocates of approved historical truth professed to speak for the masses. As a consequence of 20th century wars, power h ad shifted in a number of successor states to displace the autocratic 19th century "victors" of Russia, Prussia and Austria. The new officially sanctioned history, claiming to interpret an active participant in the 1848 revolutions, Karl Marx, caricatured objectivity in large parts of Europe. Walter Ulbricht, the former leader of East Germany, for years ridiculed historical veracity by maintaining that had three professions: worker, politician, and historian. Following Stalin's example, Ulbricht's name embellished a multi-volume history of the German worker movement, and his speeches cluttered East Germany's scholarly historical journal in a cruel betrayal of professional standards. Ulbricht's blatant mockery of objective history was swept away by the 1989 revolutions. Yet the historical turning point of 1989, although the most dynamic, was only the latest of many historical metamorphoses dating back to the revolutionary era itself. And the only constant is ambiguity, because success and failure always depend on fleeting and momentary perceptions. Continually, the verdict of history mutates with contemporary events as we reconsider the accomplishments of what we perceive as history's "winners." Yet, although any verdict is ambiguous, provisional, and highly colored by ideology and national bias, a few features stand out.

2 comments:

by said...

Hi Miland I was wondering if you could direct me to where I could find your academic credentials or if you could post them. I am trying to use this site for a project and need to show that is an academci site. Thanks BY

M said...

You can find informtion about me at http://www.worldhistoryblog.com/2007/07/tagged-by-jennie.html. Thanks. Miland