The year 1848 was initially envisaged because of its importance as the year of revolutions that helped to create the political landscape of modern Europe:

  • the rising political and economic power of the middle classes
  • liberalism and political democracy
  • modern nationalism
  • the aspirations of the national minorities for their own nation states
  • the rising political aspirations of the working classes
  • the beginning of the end for the multinational European empires
  • and the growing economic divide between the centre and the periphery of Europe

Braunschweig Conference, 1–3 May 2003

This was the first of the 5 conferences held in the framework of the project. The conference was held at the Georg Eckert Institute in Braunschweig and was attended by around 50 participants and speakers.

The keynote lecture, “The European Dimension of 1848”, was given by Professor Dieter Langewiesche (University of Tübingen), one of the editors of the seminal publication, Dowe, Haupt, Langewiesche and Sperber (eds), Europe in 1848: Revolution and Reform, (Oxford 2000).

Other presentations included:

  • The French vision of 1848 in Europe”, Professor Pierre Baral (Montpellier);
  • Germany and the Habsburg Monarchy 1848-49”, Professor Wolfram Siemann (Munich);
  • The Hungarian Revolution of 1848 and its consequences”, Peter Bihari (Budapest);
  • The impact of 1848 in Romania and in Eastern Europe”, Maria Ochescu (Bucharest);
  • Liberty and Unity – an impossible combination. The centenary of 1848 in Germany in 1948”, Dr Rainer Riemenschneider (Georg Eckert Institute Braunschweig);
  • “The memory of 1848 in Eastern Europe: some examples”, Professor Wolfgang Höpken (Georg Eckert Institute Braunschweig and University of Leipzig).

Most of the academic presenters stayed for the whole conference and took an active part in the workshops, which, in turn, produced some excellent resource material that was included in the CD-ROM. It also led to the formation of a German group to collect source material for the project.