"the wave of revolutions in 1848"
Cartoon of the 1848 revolutions by Ferdinand Schröder
Public DomainCartoon of the 1848 revolutions by Ferdinand Schröder

1848 was a turbulent year in Europe.  The French Revolution, beginning in February, was followed by civil uprisings and rebellions in parts of modern Italy and Germany, Denmark, Hungary, the Hapsburg Empire, Switzerland, Poland and Wallachia - illustrated (and satirised) in the cartoon to the right. 

Britain escaped revolution, partly because of a series of voting reform acts that extended the vote to people who might otherwise have supported a revolution.

To learn more, listen to this discussion of the 1848 revolutions and how Britain avoided revolution, by Professor John Merriman of Yale University, USA.