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Introduction. Un bilan de 50 années de recherches sur 1848 et la Seconde République (1948-1997)

Francis Démier and Jean-Luc Mayaud


Introduction. An assessment of 50 years of studies on 1848 and the Second Republic (1948-1997). The historiography of the 1848 revolution, when considered on a long length of time, has led to the progressive deconstruction of the explanation process developed in the 1950's which is linked to the expansion of studies on the 1789 french Revolution. From a macro-historical approach of the revolutionary phenomenon, we have moved to a closer study of local realities. The chronological analysis, however, has broaden out to the longer length of the birth of France as a democratic and republican country, the time necessary for the conquest of universal suffrage. The theme of the modernization of the french society has given a direction to the analysis of the social structures and of the "sociabilité". The problem of the various politicizations, according to location, has been brought up in the study of provincial revolution. The social battle of 1848 is now understood as the expression of an original "class-consciousness", the one based on an associative project and on the revolutionary educational method which makes the "bonne République" prevail. With the Second Republic, the progressive middle classes and the wealthy conservative classes have been led to rethink the political control of the "mass".

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Mots-clés :

1848, Historiographie
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Electronic reference

Francis Démier and Jean-Luc Mayaud, « Introduction. Un bilan de 50 années de recherches sur 1848 et la Seconde République (1948-1997) », Revue d'histoire du XIXe siècle [Online], 14 | 1997, Online since 10 September 2008, connection on 27 January 2021. URL : ; DOI :

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Francis Démier

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Jean-Luc Mayaud

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