Fires of Faith in Great Britain, 1848

The year 1848 was one of tumult across Continental Europe – revolution broke out in France, followed soon by others in Germany, Austria, Italy, and Hungary. The French king, Louis Philippe, fled Paris as the people raised barricades in the streets and demanded electoral reform, a democratic republic, and benefits for the working classes. In four days in June ten thousand people were killed or wounded in Paris, and their blood ran in the streets. Across the board Europeans demanded liberal constitutions and reforms.

Great Britain escaped such violence, the citizens always preferring to bring change about through parliamentary reforms. But with unemployment and hunger spreading, riots broke out in Glasgow while Chartists in London, the popular social and political reform movement, presented their petition to Parliament. But in the end the Chartist petition was rejected and the members gradually drifted away.

This period of political turmoil, of hope and despair, coincided with a dramatic growth in Mormon conversions.

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