BUT Ju.E. Between Revolt and Loyalty: Students of the Austrian Empire in the 1848 Revolution

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.2.2 

Julija E. But

Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor,

Department of Modern and Contemporary History, Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin,

Turgeneva St., 4, 620083 Yekaterinburg, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4105-2387  


Abstract. Introduction. As a social group with its specific features and motivation, students have been long characterized by their active involvement in social and political unrest. However, the behavioral analysis of students in different historical situations has become an independent research topic as late as in the 1960s. Numerous nuances of student activity remain for that reason unexplored. That is true of the process of student politicization and nationalization in the multi-ethnic Austrian empire during the tumultuous year of 1848. In literature, this issue is either pushed aside or based on an image of a radical “Austrian” student helping proletarians to fight against the regime on barricades. The latter is not relevant in view of the diversity of student sentiments and ideas that were present in the vast Habsburg hereditary lands.

Methods and materials. This article analyzes students’ sympathies and actual participation in the rebellious events of 1848 considering the cases of two universities – that of the capital city of Vienna and the university of provincial Innsbruck. The study is based on students’ memoires, pamphlets, letters and newspapers of that time, as well as official documents and appeals by the government.

Analysis. The analysis shows that Viennese students had an effective voice in revolutionary events, but their demands were of relatively moderate liberal character, while they largely remained loyal to the emperor. The revolutionary activity of provincial students was much more modest and peaceful than in Vienna. In case of Innsbruck, in particular, an image of a patriotic student fighting with arms for his emperor and fatherland replaced the image of a student fighting for political freedoms.

Results. The participation of students in the revolutionary events of 1848 resulted in politicization of the “Austrian” student body and its consolidation as an independent social group.

Key words: 19th century, Habsburgs, Austrian Empire, revolutions of 1848, student revolt, history of universities, national movement, educational elite.

Citation. But Ju.E. Between Revolt and Loyalty: Students of the Austrian Empire in the 1848 Revolution. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2020, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 27-43. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.2.2.

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Between Revolt and Loyalty: Students of the Austrian Empire in the 1848 Revolution by But Ju.E. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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