The 1848 revolution of the liberals was led by the educated middle classes. Its main features were:
(i) Constitutionalism with National Unification:
Along with the revolts of the poor, unemployed, starving peasants and workers in many European countries, the educated middle class also revolted. Men and women of the liberal middle classes combined their demands for constitutionalism with national unification. They demanded creation of a new nation-state on parliamentary principles-a constitution and freedom of press and association.
(ii) Frankfurt Parliament:
In German regions, a large number of political associations of the middle class professionals, businessmen and prosperous artisans came together in the city of Frankfurt and decided to vote for the all German National Assembly. On 18th May 1848, 831 elected representatives marched to take their places in the Frankfurt Parliament. They drafted a constitution for a German nation headed by a monarchy, subject to a parliament.
(iii) Issue of Women:
In the liberal movement, a large number of women had participated actively. Women had formed their own political associations, and taken part in political meetings and demonstrations. Despite that, they were denied the right to vote.
(iv) Liberals’ Support: Monarchs were able to realise that revolutions could only be ended by granting concessions to the liberals. Hence, the autocratic monarchs of central and eastern Europe introduced the changes, abolished serfdom and bonded labour.