Very little has been written on the impact of the European revolutions of 1848 on the Americas. Nevertheless, their influence, particularly in the case of France, as palpable. The revolutions of 1848 renewed and extended democratic vocabulary and republican symbolism from Canada to Chile. This collection looks at the catalytic effect of Europe's 'springtime of the peoples' in the Americas, prompting the disenfranchised to demand representative institutions and to conceive of themselves as sovereign people, and giving rise to radical and progressive liberal parties the Free Soil Movement/Free Democrats in the United States, the Reform Liberals in Mexico, the 'progresista' liberal parties in Colombia and Peru, the 'Society of Equality' and the Radical Party in Chile -- that challenged the political groupings that had served since Independence.
Guy Thomson is Reader in History at the University of Warwick. He is currently working on comparative aspects of nineteenth-century Mexican and Spanish liberalism.