On January 12, 1848, the people of Palermo, Sicily, rose up against their ruler, Ferdinand II. It was the first of almost fifty revolutions that rocked Europe in the first four months of 1848. Armed rebellions occurred in France, Austria, Prussia, and most of the smaller German and Italian states. There was no single revolutionary organization or movement. No concerted effort across state lines. But the revolutions all had a strong family resemblance as middle classes, proletariat, and peasantry united against absolutism and the remains of feudal privilege.