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(1848) Rioting in France that led to the overthrow of the July Monarchy and precipitated the Revolutions of 1848. In 1840–49 there was a flowering of socialist thought begun by Charles Fourier, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, and others that fueled urban workers' discontent. A major recession in 1846–47 added to popular unrest, as did the increasing arbitrariness of King Louis-Philippe. An opposition campaign brought police action, and crowds of students and workers gathered in the streets and clashed with police. The king tried to appease the demonstrators, but, when an army unit killed 40 of them, he abdicated rather than face civil war.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on February Revolution, visit Britannica.com.
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