In March of 1849, Czar Nicholas I of Russia catches pneumonia and dies. His son, Alexander II, takes control of Russia and calls off preparations to assist Austria by invading Hungary. This abrupt change in policy causes a schism among the Russian military elite, and a civil war is started that will not end for six years.
Meanwhile, Hungary succeeds in establishing an independent state and encourages neighboring ethnic populations still under foreign domination, such as Poland and the Czechs, to revolt. Soon, a second wave of revolutions break out, inspired by Hungary's example and the weakness of Europe's monarchs. Because Russia did not intervene when they had the opportunity, the map and destiny of Europe changes forever.