Revolutions, Human Rights and the Constitutions
Revolutions, Human Rights, and Constitutions
Absolute monarchy was almost without exception the only form of government in the whole of Continental Europe during the 1600s and 1700s. In this period, the bourgeoisie gradually came to play a larger role in the central administrations, and the state ardently supported trade and industry. This did not increase the influence of the peasant, who everywhere led a poor life. But the many new ideas of the Enlightenment made the bourgeoisie turn against the kings from time to time, because they wanted more political influence, and around Europe something was brewing amongst the citizens.
A common feature of the development in all the countries was also the social uprising seemingly caused by the industrialization around the late 1700s. From the middle 1800s, large parts of the rural population started moving to the cities to find work. In the cities, they lived and worked under terrible conditions, but they encountered the ideas of socialism and revolution and thus gained a political awareness.
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