March 1847

"Workingmen of all countries unite!” It was those simple words etched onto paper that sent Europe into revolt. While some historians argue that the social unrest and liberal desires in Europe were building since the ages of Napoleon, it is hard to argue that the release of Karl Marx's work directly before the revolutions did not spark them.

In early 1847, Karl Marx would change the world when he teamed up with Friedrich Engels to release the Communist Manifesto. A document analyzing the European Class Struggle and failures of Capitalism. However, it was the latter parts of the work that calling for the reader to overthrow all social conditions that would change Europe.

After less than a year of publication, with the aid of the League of the Just [1], the simple pamphlet was being read across the German Confederation, France, Austria, and even the United Kingdom, where it was translated to English. Being printed in over 6 languages, the pamphlet had become well-known in the year since its publication; along with other sociopolitical factors, it would greatly contribute to the social unrest in the following years.


It is 1848. Revolution is upon us.

[1] Point of Divergence, The League of the Just becomes "above-ground" in September 1846 instead of June 1847. As a result, Karl Marx releases the Manifesto earlier and is able to get it spread across Europe.

This is my first real attempt at writing a full fledged Thread, so it probably won't be any good. Any feedback would actually be greatly appreciated.
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1848 Map

A map of the German Confederation in the year 1848 [1] showing the major revolutions in the region as well as monarchs who abdicated. Over the next few chapters, we will go over the revolutions in Europe and how they changed the regions they occurred in.

[1] A few things are a little inaccurate, but it will serve
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1848 - Alsatian Revolution
The Alsace Commune.

For the past few decades, the population of Alsace had been rapidly growing, leading to starvation, poor working conditions, and plain lack of work available. While many Alsatians would move to places like Russia, Austria, and the United States, the situation for those who stays continued to get worse. This was combined with the ethnic tension in Alsace Germans, culminating in a powder keg, waiting for a match to explode. When Revolution again struck France, ending the monarchy that was instilled since 1815, the local German Alsatians in Haguenau would use the opportunity to rise up and declare the Alsace Commune in February 1848. In many ways, the revolution went uncontested as there were bigger worries in Paris. But as more and more revolutionaries in surrounding towns joined, it became a problem.

By July, the Populist Revolutionaries would go on to control territory from Saverne to Lauterbourg, with the siege of Strasbourg being well underway. Smaller Pro-German revolts had begun to pop up in neighboring Bas De Rhin with the Mulhausen Commune and goal of both revolutionary groups was to connect the regions. However, negotiations with Baden, Württemberg and Bavaria for support had all miserably failed (though sympathies were felt, especially in the Bavarian Palatinate).

By the end of August the German revolts in Bas De Rhin had either been crushed or had surrendered and in early September, the French Army broke through the basic defenses set up in the Battle of Molsheim. The biggest battle of the revolt would come when the French flooded into the city of Strasbourg during the siege, and in the following Battle of Strasbourg a large portion of the Alsatian Militia had either died or been captured. Within the following month, Haguenau had been freed and the following day, Alsace surrendered and the Commune ended.

(Click map for Higher Resolution)

While the Revolt would ultimately be doomed to fail, the social effects it would go on to have among the German population in France is notable. Many Germans in France would be seen flying the Alsace flag in solidarity, even going on to attempt to rename towns and cities into Communes in the 1850's. [1]

[1] ITTL, French Towns are no longer known as communes as a result of the revolution.

(For simplicity's sake I am only going over the important revolutions that do not appear IOTL. However, I will cover the Italian and Hungarian revolutions as they have some important differences. I decided to do a single chapter for each revolt despite how short they are because these maps will take time to produce.)
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Watched. Still dunno where the POD is but the premise is otherwise interesting.

The POD is that the League of the Just (the group that largely funded and distributed the Communist Manifesto) goes above ground earlier, resulting in an earlier publication; granted I might be stretching a bit with how popular I have it become.
I’m interested in seeing how that happens.

Sorry, but we're largely pasted that; I'm going to try to push through the 40's and 50's, because the real interesting stuff I have planned in going to happen in the 1860's.

(Let us just assume Marx is better able to convince the League of how important it is for them to operate above ground)
Sorry, but we're largely pasted that; I'm going to try to push through the 40's and 50's, because the real interesting stuff I have planned in going to happen in the 1860's.

(Let us just assume Marx is better able to convince the League of how important it is for them to operate above ground)

Ok then. Speaking of Marx will the anarchists get covered?
1848 - The Rhineland Revolts
For many years, the Rhineland has been one of the most industrialized regions of the world. Since being given to Prussia in 1814, it had grown to be one of the economic centers of the kingdom. These factors made it an easy listener for the manifesto. The nearby Alsace Commune would also go to greatly excite the people of the Rhine. Like was with much of the Revolutions in Central Europe, these factors would go onto only diversify the revolutionaries of the region.


This concept of fractured revolt would turn out to be the most true in the Rhineland, where over a dozen very small revolts occurred. Some, such as the Rhenish Principality in Trier would nearly succeed and control their cities and the surrounding area for a few months. While others such as the Aachen Commune wouldn't even manage to control their regions within their cities.

Ultimately, at the end of the day, the northern regions of the province (Those being Köln, Aachen, and Düsseldorf) would see the least success, while the southern revolts would see more success. This had the effect of nationalist revolts being the most successful, igniting a small sense of Rhenish Nationality.

Sorry for the late update. I was experiencing some pretty bad writers block for how to do this chapter. Still not really happy with just how it came out, but I can't stay here forever. I still have at least two chapters for the 1848 revolutions (one on the Italian War for Independence and another listed very small revolts that will create minor butterflies). If there are any other revolts you want to see, you'll have to tell me.
Ok, you explain the earlier spread of Marx ideas to be able to influence the revolts of 48. That was already a stretch, but having also Bakunin break with Marx and influence his own revolts, you might to rethink that. Why not making it Proudhon. It may be that the man himself was anti violence, but that doesn't mean that there would be followers who took his ideas about the ideal society but not the method to achieve it. This is what Bakunin thought about 20 years later, but he wasn't that far around 1848.
Ok, you explain the earlier spread of Marx ideas to be able to influence the revolts of 48. That was already a stretch, but having also Bakunin break with Marx and influence his own revolts, you might to rethink that. Why not making it Proudhon. It may be that the man himself was anti violence, but that doesn't mean that there would be followers who took his ideas about the ideal society but not the method to achieve it. This is what Bakunin thought about 20 years later, but he wasn't that far around 1848.

Sorry, my mistake. I'm working on a simple understanding of the 1848 revolutions, hence why I'm trying to spend little time explaining the POD and trying to get into the butterflies in the 1860's/70's. I was just aiming to use names instead of plain Communist/Anarchist. Thanks for the advice though, I will see what I can do about editing the map.
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1849 - The Austro-Sardinian War

Much like in the German Confederation, the Italian Peninsula was racked with revolutions in the late 1840's. One of the first to be successful was that of the Sicilian Revolution in 1848; a revolt that would force Ferdinand II to adopt a constitution and go on to greatly inspire other revolts in Italy. Revolts occurred in all the Italian States and while some were able to be put down, other revolts forced their states to establish constitutions (Such as Tuscany, and Sardinia) and further revolts caused their monarchs to be ousted (Parma and Modena).

Austria as a state suffered from a large variety of revolts from the Czech Revolt, to the Hungarian Revolution; even their Italian holdings revolted, with separate governments being declared in Venice, Mantua, and Milan. The Fighting would be especially brutal in Milan, where the rebels successfully forced the Lombardy-Venetian Army out of the city. This victory inspired many other, smaller revolts across the ethnic Italian lands in Austria, such as in Como, Cadore and Verona, those these would be quickly put down by local forces.

Soon after the Rioting of Milan, King Charles Albert of Sardinia declared war on Austria, sparking the Austro-Sardinian War. Many factors led to the declaration of war, from Sardinian Liberal Revolutionaries, to a desire to expand Sardinia. The hope to establish Sardinia as the sole ethnic Italian state is theorized to have a large part in it; with Sardinia even calling the war "The Italian War of Independence" and establishing the Italian Tri-Color as the War Flag.

Sardinia was greatly benefited by support from several Italian States including Tuscany, Parma, and Modena. These states sent military regiments to support the war, but with very little true support for the cause. Additionally Two Sicilies were too busy with the Sicilian Revolt to send any real troops, though volunteer armies would still arrive.


After seeing the success of the Sicilian and Roman Republican revolts, the City of Mantua would break out into revolt on February 12th. While, like Verona, the rebels found minor success in the beginning they were soon slowed down and the fighting drew to a halt. That was until the arrival of the troops from Tuscany. With the arrival of some 6000 men from the Grand Duchy, the rebels were revived, and the Mantua troops were forced to flee to Peschiera in late March. However, soon after the revolt, troops from Mantua requested reinforcements from the Motherland.

After their initial defeat in Milan in late March, Austrian forces were forced to retreat to the Quadrilateral Fortresses (Peschiera, Verona, Mantua, and Legnago). One major benefit to Austria was that the initial revolt in Mantua in early February had fraught forces from deeper in Austria proper (namely from Krain and Tyrol) to put down the revolt. While the troops from Lombardy and Venetia were still initially surrounded by volunteer troops, the forces from the west were able to open a direct line from the Quadrilateral (Though one of the fortresses were under rebel control) directly to Vienna. This benefit was major as prior to the reinforcement, the only connection from the motherland to the Quadrilateral was a small corridor to the north along lake Garda. The combined forces from Lombardy-Venetia, Tyrol, and Krain quickly put down the Republic of Mantua on April 5th, immediately travelling west to meet the Sardinian forces.

Meanwhile, the Sardinian troops had crossed the Ticino River on March 29 and entered Pavia, where they were welcomed by the locals. They advanced to Lodi the next day to meet additional troops and learned that some of the enemy troops had retreated to Montichiari. The Sardinians divided their assault in two in an attempt to surround any remaining troops, with the larger group going to Montichiari and a smaller troop formation going to Cremona in an effort to meet reinforcements. However, the Battle of Montichiari saw an Austrian Victory, leading to a strategic retreat to Chiari (Though the bulk of the Austrian Troops would retreat as well). The southern formation saw better success, taking the city and meeting reinforcements on April 3rd.

Attempts were made by Italian Forces to cross the Mincio river to strike the weakened Austrian forces, but after the Austrian Defeat in the Battle of Asola on April 8th, the bridge itself was destroyed. Additionally, the Italian saw great losses, which were multiplied by the arrival of Austrian forces from the Quadrilateral on the next day. Luckily, the destruction of the bridge kept the Austrians from attacking.

However, by the 11th, Austrian forces had crossed the river with the goal of reoccupying Cremona. These troops met in Pontevieo and saw major Austria losses, with Italian troops from Chiari arriving - though the battle of Pontevieo would be an Austrian strategic victory. Meanwhile a major assault from Mantua had attacked the Italian troops from Cremona on their way to Mantua seeing a Sardinian Defeat in the First Battle of Bozollo. However, the Sardinian forces were quick to counterattack which gave an Asutrian defeat on April 21st. This greatly improved Sardinian morale, even though the bulk of the Austrian forces across the river remained ready to fight.

The Sardinians were achieving major strategic victories over time, but the influx of Austrian troops slowed down any meaningful progress. To make things worse, the Roman Republic had fallen and with its defeat came two major effects. First was the capture or death of several major Italian generals who had volunteered [Including Giuseppe Garibaldi]. The second was the reinstatement of the Pope; the Papal States under the Pope had removed their support for the war out of fear of a schism with the Austrian Catholics. This saw many official Papal Forces return to the Holy See, and further Catholic Volunteer forces to retreat. Even Charles Albert himself was quoted as saying that the Pope's speech "will do damage to the cause of Italian independence."


With the victory in Bozollo, Sardinia had begun an offensive with the goal of reaching and hopefully taking over the Quadrilateral. The army invading had two parts, one invading Monytechiari and another in Mantua, however, they first had to cross a river at Goito. On May 12th, the Sardinians advanced, but at a non-synchronized rate. However, the city had been reinforced by the Austrians without the correct knowledge of the Italians, leading to a massive defeat. Attacks on nearby hamlets failed and a large group of the Sardinian army had been killed or wounded. The defeat marked the true turning point in the war as Austri gained the initiative.

Austria took great advantage of the victory and continued deep into Sardinian occupied Lombardy. This lead to the Third Battle of Bozollo in which Austria took the victory. After several failed attempts to regain the initiative, Sardinian forces fell into inactivity as the Austrians laid siege to Cremona on July 7th. The siege failed and Sardinia once again gained the initiative, but after the forth Battle of Bozollo saw another Austrian Victory, the Sardinian Counteroffensive had failed.


With that defeat on July 16th, the Italian forces met to discuss opening negotiations with Austria, with a delegation sent to the Austrian camp. However, the terms of the truce were deemed unacceptable by Charles Albert: Italian forces were to retreat to the Adda river, and remove their occupation of Modena and Parma (With Parma being annexed in the Spring). However, a general retreat to Milan had begun on July 21st, which the Austrians followed to keep contact. By July 23rd, the Sardinians crossed the Adda and prepared to defend their posistion, but the line soon collapsed. Charles Albert further retreated to Milan (The Government there supported Sardinian annexation), but a large group supported declaring a Lombardy republic, which would have drawn French attention.

The Battle of Milain began on August 1st with Sardinian initially holding their own but by the end of the day the Sardinian army was within the walls of Milan, with Austria beginning to siege the city. The day after, the Sardinians were forced to leave the city and accept the Austrian terms. This caused a great deal of rioting and hatred towards the Sardinians from the people of Milan. After fleeing the city the war under Sardinia had been lost (with the war being in de facto ceasefire). However, ethnic Italians across the region continued to fight in "The War of the People" for several months until the second campaign of Sardinia in March of 1849.

Sardinia prepared over the ceasefire to re-invade and on March 20th they launched an invasion of Pavia. However, poor planning by the Sardinians and a massive numerical advantage from Austria led to a Sardinia defeat in the invasion and allowed Austria to invade Sardinia. Several battles followed in which Austria delved deeper into the Kingdom.


The War would end in the Battle of Novara, which ended up as the bloodiest battle of the whole war and saw an Austrian Victory. After it was over, Sardinia sought an armistice and they demanded the occupation of the Lomellina and Alessandria. During a later war council, Charles Albert announced his abdication. The armistice was soon followed by the Peace of Milan in which Piedmont-Sardinia paid 65 million francs to Austria. Over the following months, the other revolutions that were left in Italy (as well as attempts to start new ones) were defeated, with San Marco falling on August 22nd, ending the Italian Cause.


I'm trying out a new style that focuses less on maps and more on the writing itself; there will still be maps, but I'm not going to force myself to make them for every chapter from now on. Also I understand this chapter feels pretty similar to OTL, but what few differences happen will matter. This TL is primarily going to be focused on butterflies for a few more chapters until big things start happening.
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1849 - Great Saxon Railroad Strike
While throughout Europe many revolts occurred in the Spring of Nations, many were able to be self contained in their respective villages. However, in several cases some of the smaller revolutions would be seen as having larger or even unsuspecting results. For example, the revolutions in Germany would go to further inspires ideas of a Pan-German identity, While the Italian Revolts would go on to sour relations between Sardinia and her neighbors.

However, one of the revolts that would be influential to the development of Western travel, was the Saxon Railroad Strike.

Occurring in 1849, the strike started during the construction of a major railroad in the Kingdom of Saxony. Inspired by nearby revolts in Prussia and Bohemia, workers on the railroad rose up demanding better pay and more job security. After a few weeks, much of the rail networks of the region had fallen under the control of the revolt. Revolutionary leader, Karl Lerner was especially good at increasing the morale of his troops by hijacking trains and using them to transport troops, munitions, and other supplies across the front. In several instances even launching trains full of explosives into military fortifications.


However, by June, the Saxon army had better mobilized and put down the revolt, with the final rebels surrendering on June 28th. The cause was no lost; for many decades to come, many leaders would doubt the viability of railroads in the increasingly liberal world. These including notable figures such as Monsieur Duponchel, and David Meriwether (and several others in the United States). With later politicians such as Jacob Forth writing articles such as "The Railroad Industry: A Failure for America?"

Sorry for the great delay in writing this chapter as well as its shortness and general lack of quality. It was originally going to be much longer and cover several revolts that I was going to change. However, school got in the way and I decided that I should just try and focus on the major parts of the timeline. I was really stuck on the timeline and decided it was better to have a smaller more rough chapter and make up for it later than never upload a chapter.