The debacle of the 1848 revolution was a severe shock to most European radicals of that period. The resilience of the anciens regimes proved that, contrary to revolutionary prophecies, the millennium was not around the corner. If the powers-that-be withstood such a powerful revolutionary wave, how were they ever going to be toppled?
The disillusion was strongest among German radical revolutionaries. Many emigrated to the United States. Some, like Arnold Ruge and Bruno Bauer, slowly slid into cooperation with conservative circles and reemerged, decades later, as spokesmen for Bismarckian politics. Many just dropped out, quietly slipping into obscure and respectable bourgeois existence.
Karl Marx, in his London exile, a...
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