Elberfeld Uprising of 1849

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Elberfeld Uprising of 1849


an uprising of workers and the petite bourgeoisie in the town of Elberfeld (since 1929 part of the city of Wuppertal) during the Revolution of 1848–49 in Germany. The uprising, which began on May 8, served as a signal to several cities of Rhine Province in Prussia to begin armed struggle in defense of the imperial constitution that had been drafted by the Frankfurt Assembly of 1848–49 and rejected by the Prussian king and other German monarchs.

F. Engels took part in the uprising, directing the construction of barricades. His policy of unifying the local centers of the uprisings in Rhine Province met with opposition from bourgeois circles, which had Engels banished from the town. In the early hours of May 17, workers’ detachments were driven out of Elberfeld; some broke through to the south, to the Palatinate, which was also in a state of rebellion.


Engels, F. “El’berfel’d.” In K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 6.
Engels, F. “Germanskaia kampaniia za imperskuiu konstitutsiiu.” Ibid., vol. 7.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.