Culture is an important aspect of every society around the world, it determines people’s mindsets, actions, and activities. The French Revolution of 1848 was no different, much of the culture that is present in this society reflected the mentality at the time. A cultural lens will be looked at through the artifacts presented on this page. Readers will understand how political actors used poems, songs, and religions as tools for expressing their ideals and beliefs. As one would think, revolutions are not times of peace, these cultural mechanisms were curial in coping with the chaos of the time. This is why many political advocates used these cultural elements to their advantage in spreading their messages.

Chant Des Goipeurs


This “song of the vagabonds” rallies together the people of France who feel they have been disinherited, undervalued, and sacrificed by the elites. Repeated throughout the song is the line “à nous la liberté” – to us, liberty! The song’s proclamations acknowledge a collective identity among vagabonds or common people, and a sizeable one at that: “The law belongs to the majority, and the future of France belongs to us!”

Choeur song pg 1


This song serves a different purpose to "The Song of the Vagabonds." It is written in order to inspire a greater sense of patriotism amongst the French people; to fight and die for their country. The song presents the wish of a soldier's family and friends to see them find glory in war, to fight for France and for its empire. This was published during a time of intense social turmoil and displeasure with the emperor, indicating a disconnect between the publishers of this song and those who were supposed to be its recipients.

The Misery


This song is a scathing but indirect critique of the nobility. It sarcastically encourages people to forgive their leadership for their horrible material conditions, as they have human rights and justice—if only in name. As indicated by its name, “La Misère,” it implies that there is a deep misery present within French society, where people are told that they possess certain rights and freedoms, while in fact starving under the rule of an emperor.

La Caricature


La Caricature’s first issue was published in March of 1850. It was an illustrated newspaper distributed outside of performing arts theatres, presenting theatre programs, jokes, and caricatures. The newspaper proclaims to never discuss politics so that its readers can enjoy themselves. However, plays and other performances often serve as commentaries on societal issues. Further, the front pages asserts its constitutionality and affordability, two important concerns for French citizens especially in the aftermath of political upheaval.