To the reactionary rulers of Europe the July Revolution of Louis Philippe (1830) seemed like a dire thing. To the French bourgeois, it was merely a necessary action to maintain the rights they considered naturally theirs, and which they had won nearly fifty years earlier. Working-class Republicans wanted more, and they began to prepare for another revolt. The July Revolution, if sort of a disappointment to radical republicans, heartened revolutionaries throughout the rest of Europe. It sent a message: the preemptive suppression of revolution by the Continental System was no longer working very well.

Once the revolutions were in motion, however, the powers that be did often have the strength to put them down. Russia had no problem crushing the Polish rebellion. Yet Russia's success stemmed in large part from the domestic factors limiting Britain and France from using the Polish rebellion as a lever to hurt the power of the Russians. Britain was facing its own reform movement, and Louis Philippe did not want to appear to have Napoleonic ambitions. In other words, of the conservative powers, only Metternich and Austria refused to intercede against the Russians on ideological grounds. Britain and France, had they been able, might very well have placed the contingencies of politics above the demands of conservative dogma.

Surprisingly, it was in Britain, where no revolt happened, that the most change occurred. In large part this change resulted from the societal transformation created by the Industrial Revolution. Even so, the July Revolution certainly spurred the political process. The French July Revolution showed the British bourgeoisie that if there was a revolution by the lower classes, the bourgeoisie could quickly assume control and use a working-class revolution to middle-class advantage. The realization that the bourgeoisie was acquiring more and more power and could use that power to create a revolt led the Tory party to grant some concessions.

The British Reform Bill of 1832 was really a compromise, since the reformers did not get everything they wanted. However, the bill was very important in that it made way for future reforms. Especially since the manufacturing cities of the North finally had substantial representation, the balance of power in British politics changed. Wealthy businessmen became part of the political elite. Parties reorganized, and the Whigs, a few radical Tories, and the radical industrialists formed the Liberal Party, while most of the Tories formed the Conservative Party. Under this new political configuration, and with the certain progression of the industrial revolution, further reforms were destined to take place. Interestingly, one aristocratic tactic to maintain power involved allying with the workers to strike back at the wealthy liberal businessmen. Landed aristocrats now allied with the poor so they could overcome the Liberal industrialists who were coming to dominate Parliament. Soon, the liberal industrialists caught on to this ploy, and allied with workers on certain issues. In 1838, manufacturers encouraged workers to form an Anti Corn Law League, and in 1846, under Prime Minister Robert Peel, the Corn Laws were abolished. Of course, the abolition of the Corn Laws were not only out of interest for Laissez Faire, but also because of a horrible famine in Ireland. The emergence of a political system with two parties of generally equal power allowed the less powerful workers to play both sides against each other and thereby gain concessions such as the Ten Hours Act. Ultimately, these progressive concessions allowed the British to avoid revolution, since those least represented in British society still felt as if they had some means to bettering their situation.

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