Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Revolutions of 1848

Chet Geering


Students will be able to process a variety of information on the Revolutions in Europe in 1948.


The student understands significant political developments in Europe in the 19th century.


-WORLD HISTORY THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE. New York: Glencoe McGraw-Hill, 2001. (or comparable text).
-Access to copy machine.
- Short Answer Questions (See attached file)
- Dry erase board and markers


1. Read text Chapter 17 (or appropriate chapter).
2. Look through the procedure listing and make sure you are familiar with the terms listed within.
3. Make copies of the questions for students.


1. Have students read chapter 17 in the text (or comparable chapter from another text) the night before the lesson.
2. Ask students, “What was the most significant event that affected almost all of Europe in the middle of the 19th Century?” (Answer: Revolutions of 1848.)
3. Ask students, “Why would people rebel against their government?”
4. Put student answers on the board.
5. Discuss students' answers.
6. Ask students, “Where in Europe were the Revolutions of 1848?” (Answers: Nearly everywhere, but some the worst rebellions took place in what is now Germany and Italy.)
7. Ask students, “What were the main causes of the revolutions of 1848 in Europe?” (Answers: nationalism, people wanted a say in government, people needed the basic necessities of life, such as food, and people were not satisfied with the way their rulers were running the country. However, in some places it was as simple as people who spoke the same language and had the same culture and living in different countries. These people had a desire to form new nations.)
8. Ask students, “What changes made rebellion easier in 1848 than in previous years?” (Answer: More people had learned to read, newspaper circulation was increasing, and most countries had very small police forces.)
9. Ask students, “What was the response of the monarchs to these rebellions?” (Answer: To try and establish the old rulers and make things the way they used to be before the French Revolution. The monarchs wanted to give nearly complete control of the government to the King or Queen. The monarchs wanted to keep the middle and lower classes from participating in government.)
10. Divide the class into two groups.
11. One group will represent the monarchs and one group will represent the lower and middle classes.
12. Ask each group to discuss ideas on how they would deal with the political problems of the times. What solutions would they create?
13. Discuss these solutions; it’s best if you can let the students debate between the two groups.
14. Put the solutions on the board.
15. Now the teacher should act as negotiator to try and get both sides to agree on how best to solve the problems.
16. Tell the students that most of the rebellions of 1848 failed, but the stage had been set for more rebellions in the future. Eventually, leaders would have to give into the demands of their citizens or face being overthrown.
17. Give students the questions as homework. (See attached file.)
18. Teacher evaluates the students' reponses to the questions.


1. Students will be graded on their answers to the series of short answer questions provided.
2. The teacher can also informally evaluate the students by encouraging class participation and discussion by as many students as possible.

Attached Files

The list of short answer questions on the Revolutions of 1848     File Extension: pdf

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