The Revolution in Vienna in 1848

Emperor Ferdinand

Emperor Ferdinand was regarded by most as a well meaning monarch but suffered with fits of epilepsy and so it was
the Chancellor of Austria who would become the major political mind behind the scenes.


Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich


The chancellor Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich started to cut state expenditure and increased tax revenue, and thereby managed to stabilise the Empire’s financial situation but at the same time neglected its other political problems within the Empire. The dissatisfaction in Hungary, Italy and the Slavic lands was to give rise to problems and an explosive situation building, which then led on to the revolution of 1848.

The government lost control of events and in March 1848, a revolution was to take hold in Austria.

Metternich was forced to resign and fled to London.

The Revolution

The government lost control of events in March 1848 and the revolution started to take its hold in Austria. Metternich was forced to resign and fled to London.

At the same time in Germany, German nationalists and liberals had formed the Frankfurt Assembly and suspended the German Confederation, a move that was later to pave the way for German unification.
The conflict between different ethnic nationalists and liberal ideologies grew.
Ethnic Germans of Bohemia were represented at the Frankfurt Assembly, but the Czech Nationalists refused to take part and decided to plan their own constitution for a unification of the Slavs within the Habsburg Empire.
This was an attempt to prevent the ethnic Germans expanding their influence on the Slavic parts of central and southern Europe.
These moves, together with the liberal reforms in Hungary, led to the Austrian Emperor being compelled to allow a constitutional assembly.

The first parliament in Austrian history was opened in July 1848 and held its meetings in the Winter Riding School of Vienna's Hofburg.

The Austrian army under General Windischgrätz and General Field Marshal Jelacic re-established law and order in Vienna and Prague by use of military force and General Radetzky regained control of Lombardy-Venetia in August 1848.

Emperor Ferdinand abdicated in December 1848 in favour of his nephew Franz Joseph.

Barricades were built in the streets of Vienna



The Vienna Uprising or October Revolution marked the end of the Austrian Revolution of 1848.

The situation escalated quickly and violent fighting took place in the streets of Vienna.


Count Theodor Franz Baillet von Latour

An outraged mob besieged the Hofkriegsrat building am Hof in the city centre and lynched Count Latour.


The Hofkriegsrat Building (Imperial War Council)

The Hofkriegsrat (Imperial War Council) was the main office of the Imperial Army and was responsible for the administration, organisation, finance and deployment of the Imperial Army throughout the Habsburg Empire.
Although it was intended to be the supreme Imperial military body it never achieved a high level of centralization or efficiency and was inefficient and bureaucratic.

Count Theodor Franz Baillet von Latour was an Austrian soldier and statesman and had taken part in various military campaigns of the Napoleonic Wars and a highly decorated, distinguished officer.

In 1848, Latour, who was already 68 years of age, was appointed Imperial Minister of War was responsible for the deployment of the Imperial Army.

Uprisings in Hungary had made it necessary to send additional troops from Vienna to assist loyal forces for the subjugation of Hungary

On the 6th October, 1848, the people of Vienna revolted against their own government and a crowd of students, workers and mutineers tried to prevent the troops from leaving Vienna. The Vienna Uprising led to fighting in the streets within the old city and an outraged mob besieged the Hofkriegsrat building am Hof in the city centre and lynched Count Latour.

The revolutionists took control of the city.

The commander of the Vienna garrison, Count Auersperg, was forced to retreat from the city but waited outside until reinforcements under the command of Prince Windischgrätz arrived.
Windischgrätz took command and attacked the city the 23rd October, and within a week was able to put down the rebellion and heavy resistance.

Vienna was put under military rule and the revolution of 1848 in Vienna came to an end.



Execution of Robert Blum on the 9th November 1848
in Brigittenau near Vienna.

Robert Blum was born on the 10th November 1807 and died on the 9th November 1848.
He was a German politician and was also a member of the National Assembly of 1848.

In October 1848 he went to Vienna and joined the revolutionary forces and was arrested on the 4th November and brought before a military tribunal and executed on the 9th November.