France History – The Restoration

According to THESCIENCETUTOR, France came out of the Napoleonic period full of glory, but in a dangerous international and internal situation. Waterloo was followed by the new foreign invasion, much longer, more oppressive and stripping than that of 1814, and concluded with the second treaty of Paris (20 November 1815), which required the temporary occupation of part of the territory an indemnity of 700 million, the return of works of art robbed in the Napoleonic campaigns, the loss of some border territories that the first treaty had left (Chambéry, Annecy, Sarreluis, Landau, Philippeville). To this was added the isolation from the other great powers, united in the Holy Alliance. Inside of, White terror, and for the irreducible opposition that Bonapartists, republicans, old revolutionary elements, united around the glorious symbol of the tricolor, made to the monarchy, guilty of having returned as a result of national defeat and humiliation and “in the vans of the foreigner”.

Political life had to take place within the constitutional charter, granted by the restored monarchy, which established the representative regime through two chambers, that of peers appointed for life by the king and inherited, and that of deputies, the emanation of an electoral body to be part of the which had to pay a minimum annual tax of 300 francs. This meant that the electoral body was very small (the voters were never more than 88 thousand) and was the expression above all of the great land ownership, and of the industrial bourgeoisie that was forming in the north and east for the development of steel and textile industries. The bourgeoisie of professionals, traders and intellectuals had little electoral representation. Hence the seeds of discontent and turmoil that were to lead to the revolution of July 1830. Three quarters of the population consisted of rural elements and were absent from politics, albeit for the formation of a small and medium property and a large class rent (a consequence of the great land upheavals produced by the revolution) were an admirable reserve of living forces. The workers’ proletariat was just forming with the development of the large factories, and was in a miserable condition. although for the formation of a small and medium property and a large class of tenants (a consequence of the great land upheavals produced by the revolution) they were an admirable reserve of living forces. The workers’ proletariat was just forming with the development of the large factories, and was in a miserable condition. although for the formation of a small and medium property and a large class of tenants (a consequence of the great land upheavals produced by the revolution) they were an admirable reserve of living forces. The workers’ proletariat was just forming with the development of the large factories, and was in a miserable condition.

Louis XVIII in the first year of the difficult reign revealed singular gifts of shrewdness with the attitude taken against the room defined as unobtainable and made up mostly of ultra-share elements, who had triumphed in the elections held in August 1815, in an atmosphere of full reaction. The extremist tendencies of this chamber found firm resistance in the king, who finally dissolved it, causing new elections from which a moderate center majority emerged, equally distant from the distinctly reactionary right and the welcoming Bonapartist left and pushed liberals. In the spirit of this majority, the king wanted to inform internal politics, in contrast to the reactionary brother Count d’Artois, finding the right man of government in E.-L. Decazes. And in the new atmosphere an undoubtedly remarkable work was carried out for the internal pacification and the revival of France: the finances were healed, the 700 million d ‘ indemnity within a shorter period than expected, which also made it possible to shorten the foreign occupation, with the end of which coincided, in 1818, with the return of France to an active international policy in the European concert. This economic and political revival was accompanied by the strengthening and increase of liberal currents and tendencies, revealed year after year by the results of the partial elections. Hence the grave concerns of the ultra-realists and reactionaries, headed by the Count d’Artois, and their pressure on the king for a tightening of brakes, all the more so when in February 1820 the assassination of the Duke of Berry, son of the Count d’Artois, offered a sentimental motive for the reactionary campaign. And the king had to surrender, entrusting power to the ultra, whose representative man was J. Villèle. Thus the last four years of the reign of Louis XVIII (1820-1824) marked a decisive conversion to the right, characterized by important facts at home and abroad, such as the restrictive measures against the press and teaching, the measures in favor of of the clergy and landed aristocracy, and the 1823 expedition to Spain, destined to stifle the liberal movement beyond the Pyrenees.

The reactionary atmosphere worsened again – even while the development of secret societies of the Carbonaro type and the attempts of conspiracies showed the spreading discontent – when the Count d’Artois ascended the throne, with the name of Charles X, whose purposes and actions they appeared aimed at reviving the spirit and forms of the old regime. A strong opposition was formed against this approach, the success of which in the elections of 1827 seemed to impress the king, who broke away from the ultra and called a moderate from the center, J.-B. to power. de Martignac. But it was a parenthesis that the king closed abruptly in June 1829, taking advantage of the difficulties in which Martignac found himself in the room between an equally discontented and insidious right and left. Martignac was fired and replaced with Prince J. de Polignac, ancient emigrant, alongside whom was, as Minister of War, L. de Bourmont, known to have passed to the enemy before Waterloo. It was the return to the strong way and with hateful symbols.

But this could only provoke a very bitter political struggle, given the prevailing tendencies in the chamber and in public opinion, to paralyze and crush the necessary modifications to the 1814 Charter, in those points that allowed the oppositions to acquire too much consistency and voice through the press, electoral rallies and parliamentary action. Here is the genesis of the ordinances of July 1830. In the struggle, alongside the old opposition forces a new one was organizing itself, strong not so much for the number as for the quality of the adherents (Talleyrand, J. Laffitte, Thiers, Mignet, Casimir Périer, Guizot), aimed at resolving the conflict between the Bourbons and the liberal tendencies through a dynasty replacement, which allowed to avoid the unknowns of a republican revolution or a Bonapartist movement, both too disturbing for the bourgeoisie. The examples and models to which the new party conformed and which through a newspaper rapidly risen to great authority, The Nationals, he agitated before public opinion, were those of the “peaceful” revolution of 1688 in England, which had changed the dynasty and affirmed the liberal institutions. The man who would personify the movement was indicated in the head of the d’Orléans family, branch of the Bourbons, son of a conventional of 1793, a fighter in Jemappes, who returned to France in 1814, where he flaunted bourgeois habits in family life, and liberalizing tendencies in politics. The Orleanist party, which gathered elements of the first order and of great skill and ability in political maneuvering, was to be the heir to the greatest benefits of the opposition movement to Charles X.

Towards the end of the Bourbon monarchy, the internal political struggle was accompanied by intense activity in foreign policy, in which Charles X, abandoning the caution and prudence used by Louis XVIII, wanted to give France a leading role. A characteristic of this policy was the approach to Russia, which Charles X attempted and carried out during the last phases of the crisis in the East, which began with the Greek insurrection (1821) and ended with the Russo-Turkish war (1827-1829). The rapprochement aimed at giving life to a system (the Eastern alliance system) traditional in French foreign policy, as opposed to England and Austria, and which could allow France, in exchange for supporting Russian politics in East, successes and advantages towards the Rhine and in the Mediterranean. Indeed, the Russian support benefited Charles X, if not for enlargements on the Rhine, where the longed-for projects of territorial alterations could not have development, for the company of Algiers, which was conceived in the spring of 1830, both as a resumption of French expansion in the Mediterranean, both as a means of satisfying a little the French thirst for glory, which remained unsatisfied after the collapse of the Empire, and finally as a diversion from the internal struggles, which entered the last and most dramatic phase. The chamber, in conflict with the Polignac ministry, had been fired; but the new elections held in June had strengthened the opposing currents, showing that the majority of the voters, behind which the majority of the country stood, were against the

This was the situation in which Charles X, in agreement with Polignac, attempted the blow of force, necessary, according to his judgment, to fulfill the duties he had towards Heaven. On July 26, in fact, the ordinances with which the not yet reunited new chamber were dissolved, the freedom of the press was limited, almost to cancel it, and the electoral mechanisms were modified in order to reduce the voters, eliminating the elements of the bourgeoisie. But as soon as they were known, the ordinances provoked a violent insurrectionary outbreak in Paris, in which the leaders of the opposition parties had with them a large part of the working masses, and which in three days (27-28-29 July), overcame the resistance regie, both for the scarcity of regular forces, both for the difficult situation in which they found themselves fighting among the narrow, winding and easily barricaded streets. An attempt made by Charles X to save the dynasty with the abdication in favor of his nephew was thwarted by the readiness of the Orleanist leaders, who had already had contact with the Duke of Orleans during the struggle, and, having agreed with him, had provoked demonstrations in his favor, drawing even the old La Fayette, the idol of the Parisian insurgents, into the movement. On July 31, Louis Philippe, who promptly rushed to Paris, appeared on the balcony of the Hôtel de Ville with La Fayette, the patriarch of the revolution, at his side, and wrapped in the tricolor, he embraced him to the cheers of the people. The new monarchy was proclaimed in Paris. The rest of France, as already in 1789, in 1799 and then as in 1848, he accepted what had happened in the capital. The liberal bourgeoisie, that is the element that had reaped the greatest fruits of the victorious revolution, immediately wanted to organize itself in defense of victory, reconstituting the national guard that Charles X had dissolved in 1827.

In just fifteen years the Bourbon Restoration had been so worn down, which also had the indisputable merit of raising France from the abyss opened by the Napoleonic collapse, and, in its first phase, of implementing peace between the French as far as possible. to soften passions and hatreds, reconciling the return to monarchical forms with the preservation of many of the innovations and transformations of the revolutionary and Napoleonic period. But it had not succeeded in freeing itself, in the face of French patriotism and pride, of the original vice, of being linked to the victory of the foreigner and to those treaties of 1815 which had sanctioned the collapse of power and the humiliation of France. Hence a condition of discomfort and instability,

France History - The Restoration

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