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The 1820s marked a revolutionary moment in European history. Uprisings during this decade marked the last horseback-mounted epics where officers led their men from provincial towns in the hopes of reaching the capital and overturning the old order. Scholarly work has also stressed the great powers and their 1820s revolutions, namely, France, Germany, Italy, and Russia. In this book, Richard Stites aims to widen and refocus the lens of Europe by providing a narrative history of revolutions in Spain, Naples, Greece, and Russia and the relationships among them. Generally these uprisings are studied in individual nation-state contexts, and while this book tells the events in their national contexts, it highlights commonalities and divergences by setting them side by side. On the whole, it gives more weight to cross-national elements in the revolutions and the regimes they created or tried to create. Among the topics that emerge from their comparative study are constitutional liberalism in early nineteenth century Europe; the migratory history of the Spanish constitution of 1812; secret societies; military uprisings; the transfer of ideas and peoples across frontiers; the formation of an international community of revolutionaries; guerrilla warfare; and the appropriation of Christian symbols and language for secular purpose. Richard Stites was one of the most imaginative and broad-ranging Slavicists/Europeanists working in the United States. This book is his last work, and his colleagues John McNeill and Catherine Evtuhov have prepared the text for submission. A classic example of Stites' dazzling knowledge and idiosyncratic yet accessible writing style, this book promises to appeal to those interested in 19th century Europe and the history of revolutions.
Richard Stites was Professor of History and International Affairs at Georgetown University. A groundbreaking historian who opened up new territory with landmark works on the Russian women's movement and on Russian and Soviet mass culture, he also translated and edited a three-volume account of the Russian Revolution by Pavel Miliukov, and was a co-author of the widely used textbook A History of Russia: Peoples, Legends, Events, Forces.