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1.1 1848: The year of the revolutions

1830/1848 Many of the problems that had set off the 1830 revolutions still existed in 1848.

1800/1840 The population in 1800 = 187 million, by 1840 it was 266 million.

The years before 1848 There were bad harvests for grain and potatoes (which were the basic foods of the poor), prices rose sharply.

1848 They were demanding action. (Began in Paris.)

23 February The French army fired on demonstrators (food prices and unemployment). At least 40 people killed.

2 days later The king abdicated.

2 days later A provisional government set up national workshops before the unemployed.

Rising population -> need more food -> food shortages -> people get angry -> social and political problems (small group rich people with a lot of power = inequality) -> start pressing for change.

Middle-class journalist want change -> also students and lawyers involved -> start organizing protests -> working people start supporting, bigger protests -> government want to stop the demonstrations -> fight

News spread and set off revolts in Germany, Austria, Hungary and Italy in March, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Croatia and Rumania in May and France revolted again in late June (because the provisional government had not made enough reforms).

Governments reacted in various ways to the revolts:

• French king abdicated.

• Habsburg lands and the German states that were under Prussian control, they faced a number of revolts in separate areas and had to decided which revolt to deal with first.

Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark made constitutional changes to avoid revolts.

Early 1840s William II ignored the demands.

March 1848 There were mass meetings and demonstrations.

27 March A big demonstration, William asked Johan Rudolf Thorbecke.

11 October 1848 Thorbecke presented the new constitution to the king.

Several kinds of changes in the constitution.

• More rights, freedom of education and speech and freedom of assembly.

• It cut the powers of the monarch.

• The cabinet and the ministers were responsible to the States General.

• The States General may make laws.

1.2 The power of ideas

Social and political ideas:

• Liberalism (freedom, toleration and social responbility)

• Nationalism (culture and language as nation)

• Socialism (no private property)

• Communism (a radical form of socialism)

• Feminism (women are equal to men)

• Confessionalism (began as religious movement)

1.3 Abolition of slavery

1807 The British made slave TRADE illegal.

1808 The African coast was patrolled.

1819 The squadron grew and was based on Freeport (USA was against).

1823 A new Anti-Slavery Society was set up, led by William Wilberforce. It pressed for the gradual abolition.

1830 The Anti-Slavery Society dropped ‘gradual’ from its demands and campaigned for an immediate end to slavery.

1833 The British parliament made a law for stopping slavery for all British Empire.

1807 Prussia abolished slavery.

1833 Britain abolished slavery.

Until 1848 France didn’t abolish slavery until ‘48.

1863 The Netherlands abolished slavery, when the government paid out 12 million florins in compensation.

1.4 Imperialism in Java (Dutch colony)

Two kinds of farming

• Enough for own family

• Plantations

1824: William I set up the Netherlands Trading Company to increase the profit on plantations.

1830: NTC set up the Cultivation System

• Javanese villagers must work (60 days a year) on Dutch plantations or grow crops for the government on 20% of their land -> not enough food for their own.

Dutch officials rule it through important Javanese families (one local officials (high salary & more crops=extra money)) and Chinese merchants (collect tax & crops)

1859: Eduard Douwes Dekker/Multatuli wrote ‘Max Havelaar’’the coffee auctions of the Dutch Trading company’. It awoke public feeling!

1862: Johan Thorbecke became prime minister of a liberal government that made changes for Java


• Abolish the Cultivation System for all crops except coffee (local people were paid wages).

• Cut down the amounts of sugar and indigo grown.

• Government introduce direct Dutch government.

1854: more Dutch for checking the local officials. (rule).

1865: 175 Dutch & 100 000 local officials -> people angry.




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