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The Bourbon Restoration is the name given to the restored Bourbon Kingdom of France which existed from 1814 until the July Revolution of 1830, with the interval of the "Hundred Days" from Napoleon Bonaparte's return from Elbamarker to the Battle of Waterloomarker in 1814–15. The regime was a constitutional monarchy, unlike the ancien régime, which was absolute. The period was characterized by a sharp conservative reaction and the re-establishment of the Roman Catholic Church as a power in French politics.

The Armies of the Sixth Coalition restored the Bourbon pretender, Louis XVIII, to the throne of France in April 1814. A constitution, the Charter of 1814, was drafted, presenting all Frenchmen equal before the law, but retaining substantial prerogative for the king. He was the supreme head of the state, commanded the land and sea forces, declared war, made treaties of peace, alliance and commerce, appointed to all places of public administration, and made the necessary regulations and ordinances for the execution of the laws and the security of the state. King Louis was more liberal than his successor Charles X, choosing many centrist cabinets.

Louis XVIII died in September 1824. He was succeeded by his brother, Charles. Charles X pursued a more conservative form of governance than Louis. His ultra-reactionary laws included the Anti-Sacrilege Act, 1825, which saw his popularity plummet. The king and his ministers attempted to manipulate the outcome of a general election in 1830, through their July Ordinances. The ordinances sparked a revolution against Charles' coup; by 2 August 1830 Charles had fled Paris and abdicated in favour of his grandson Henri, duc de Bordeaux. Henri's theoretical reign was ended on 9 August when the Chamber of Deputies declared Louis Philippe d'Orléans, who was currently ruling France as regent, King of the French, thus ushering in the July Monarchy.

Louis XVIII, 1814–1824

First Restoration

Louis XVIII's restoration to the throne in 1814 was effected largely through the support of Napoleon's former foreign minister Talleyrand who convinced the victorious Allied Powers of the desirability of a Bourbon restoration. The Allies had initially split on the best candidate for the throne: Britain favoured the Bourbons, the Austrians considered a regency for Napoleon's son, François Bonaparte, and the Russians were open to either the duc d'Orléans (Louis Philippe) or Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte (Napoleon's former Marshal, who was in line for the Swedish throne). Napoleon was offered to keep the throne in February 1814, on the condition that France returned to its 1792 frontiers, but he refused. The feasibility of the Restoration was in doubt, but the allure of peace to a war-weary French public, and demonstrations of support for the Bourbons in Parismarker, Bordeauxmarker, Marseillemarker, and Lyonsmarker, helped assure the Allies.

Louis, in accordance with the Declaration of Saint-Ouen, granted a written constitution, the Charter of 1814, which guaranteed a bicameral legislature, with a hereditary/appointive Chamber of Peers and an elected Chamber of Deputies – their role was consultative (except on taxation), as only the King had the power to propose or sanction laws, and appoint or recall ministers. The franchise was limited to men with considerable property holdings, and around 1% of people could vote. Many of the legal, administrative, and economic reforms of the revolutionary period were left intact; the Napoleonic Code (which guaranteed legal equality and civil liberties), the peasants' biens nationaux, and the new system of dividing the country into départments were not undone by the new King. Relations between church and state remained regulated by the Concordat of 1801. However, in spite of the fact that the Charter was a condition of the Restoration, the preamble declared it to be a 'concession and grant', given 'by the free exercise of our royal authority'.
Popular colored etching, verging on caricature: "The Royal Family and the Allies concerned with the Happiness of Europe"
After a first sentimental flush of popularity, Louis's gestures towards reversing the results of the French Revolution quickly lost him support among the disenfranchised majority. Symbolic acts such as the replacement of the tricolore with the Bourbon white flag, the titling of Louis as the 'XVIII' (as successor to Louis XVII, who never ruled) and as 'King of France' rather than 'King of the French', and the monarchy's recognition of the anniversaries of the deaths of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were significant; a more tangible source of antagonism was the pressure applied to possessors of biens nationaux by the Catholic Church and returning émigrés to give back their lands. Other groups bearing ill sentiment towards Louis included the army, non-Catholics, and workers hit by a post-war slump and British imports.

Second Restoration

Napoleon's emissaries informed him of this brewing discontent, and, on 20 March 1815, he returned to Paris from Elbamarker. On his Route Napoléon, most troops sent to stop his march, including some that were nominally royalist, felt more inclined to join the former Emperor than to stop him. Louis was forced to flee Paris to Ghentmarker on 19 March, but returned after the Battle of Waterloomarker ended Napoleon's rule of the Hundred Days. In Louis's absence, a small revolt in the traditionally pro-royalist Vendéemarker was put down, but there were otherwise few subversive acts favouring the Restoration, even though Napoleon's popularity began to flag.

Talleyrand was again influential in seeing that the Bourbons reigned, as was Fouché, Napoleon's minister of police during the Hundred Days. This Second Restoration saw the beginning of the Second White Terror, largely in the south, when supporters of the monarchy sought revenge against those who had supported Napoleon's return, killing 200–300 and forcing thousands to flee. The perpetrators were often known as the Verdets because of their green cockets, which was the colour of the comte d'Artois – this being the title of Charles X at the time, who was associated with the hardline ultraroyalists, or Ultras. After a period in which local authorities were powerless to stop the violence, the King and his ministers sent out their own officials to restore order.

A Second Treaty of Paris was signed, which had more punitive terms than the First. France was ordered to pay 700 million francs in indemnities, and the country's borders were reduced to their 1790 level. After the Battle of Waterloomarker, France was occupied by 1.2 million foreign soldiers; occupation continued until 1818 by around 200,000 Allies, and France was made to pay the costs of their accommodation and rations, on top of the reparations.Staff. The European Magazine, and London Review, Philological Society (Great Britain), January 1918 p. 161 The promise of tax cuts, prominent in 1814, failed to actualize because of these payments. The legacy of this, and the White Terror, left Louis with a formidable opposition.

Louis's chief ministers were at first moderate, including Talleyrand, the duc de Richelieu, Élie Decazes; Louis himself followed a cautious policy. The chambre introuvable, elected in 1815 and given the nickname "unobtainable" by Louis due to the overwhelming ultraroyalist majority, threw out the Talleyrand-Fouché government and sought to legitimize the White Terror, passing trial against enemies of the state, sacking 50,000–80,000 civil service members, and dismissing 15,000 army officers. Richelieu, an émigré who had left in October 1789, who "had had nothing at all to do with the new France", was appointed Prime Minister. The chambre introuvable, meanwhile, continued to aggressively uphold the place of the monarchy and the church, and called for more commemorations for historical royal figures. Over the course of the parliamentary term, the ultraroyalists increasingly began to fuse their brand of politics with state ceremony, much to Louis's chagrin. Decazes, perhaps the most moderate minister, moved to stop the politicization of the National Guard (many Verdets had been drafted in) by banning political demonstrations by the militia in July 1816.

Owing to contrasting standpoints of the chamber and the King, the ultraroyalists began to assert the Chamber of Deputies' rights. This resulted in a concession from the government that the chamber had the right to approve state expenditure, granted after the ultraroyalists attempted to obstruct the 1816 budget. However, they were unable to gain a guarantee from the King that his cabinets would represent the majority in parliament.

In September 1816, the chamber was dissolved by Louis for its reactionary measures, and electoral manipulation resulted in a more liberal chamber in 1816 (see: French legislative election, 1816). Richelieu served until 29 December 1818, followed by Jean-Joseph, Marquis Dessolles until 19 November 1819, and then Decazes (in reality the dominant minister from 1818 to 1820) until 20 February 1820. This was the era in which the Doctrinaires dominated policy. The following year, the government changed the electoral laws, resorting to gerrymandering, and altering the franchise to allow some rich men of trade and industry to vote, in an attempt to prevent the ultras winning a majority in future elections. Press censorship was clarified and relaxed, some positions in the military hierarchy were made open to competition, and mutual schools were set up that encroached on the Catholic monopoly of public primary education. Decazes purged a number of ultraroyalist prefects and sub-prefects, and in by-elections, an unusually high proportion of Bonapartists and republicans were elected, some of whom were backed by ultras resorting to tactical voting. The ultras were strongly critical of the practice of giving civil service employment or promotions to deputies, as the government continued to consolidate its position.

By 1820, the opposition liberals (who with the ultras made up half the chamber) proved unmanageable, and Decazes and the King were looking for ways to revise the electoral laws again, to ensure a more tractable conservative majority. The assassination of the duc de Berry, the ultrareactionary son of Louis's ultrareactionary brother (and heir-presumptive) the future Charles X, by a Bonapartist in February 1820, caused Decazes's fall from power and the triumph of the Ultras.

Richelieu returned to power for a short interval, from 1820 to 1821. The press was more strongly censored, dentention without trial was reintroduced, and Doctrinaire leaders such as François Guizot were banned from teaching at the École Normale Supérieuremarker. Under Richelieu, the franchise was changed to give the wealthiest electors a double vote, in time for the November 1820 election. After a resounding victory, a new Ultra ministry was formed, headed by the Comte de Villèle, a leading Ultra who served for six years. The ultras found themselves back in power in favourable circumstances: Berry's wife, the duchesse de Berry, gave birth to "miracle child" Henri seven months after the duc's death; Napoleon died on St. Helena in 1821 and his son, the duc de Reichstadt, remained interned in Austrian hands; and literary figures, most notably Chateaubriand, but also Hugo, Lamartine, Vigny, and Nodier rallied to the ultras' cause (both Hugo and Lamartine later became republicans, whilst Nodier was formerly). Soon, however, Villèle proved himself to be nearly as cautious as his master, and, so long as Louis lived, overtly reactionary policies were kept to a minimum.

The ultras broadened their support, and put a stop to growing military dissent, in 1823, when intervention in the Spanish Civil War in favour of Spanish Bourbon King Ferdinand VII fomented popular patriotic fervour. Despite British backing for the military action, the intervention was widely seen as an attempt to win back influence in Spain, which had been lost to the British under Napoleon. The French force, called The Hundred Thousand Sons of St. Louis, was led by the duc d'Angoulême, the comte d'Artois's son. Support for the ultras was further strengthened by doling out favours in a similar fashion to the 1816 chamber, and fears over the charbonnerie, the French equivalent of the carbonari. In the 1824 election, another large majority was secured.

Louis XVIII died on September 16, 1824, and was succeeded by his brother, the comte d'Artois, who took the title of Charles X.

Charles X, 1824–1830

The ascension to the throne of Charles X, the leader of the ultra-royalist faction, coincided with the ultras' power in the Chamber of Deputies; thus, the ministry of the comte de Villèle was able to continue, and the last "restraint" (i.e. Louis) on the ultraroyalists was removed. As the country underwent a religious revival in the post-Revolutionary years, the ultras saw fit to upraise the status of the Roman Catholic Church once more. (The Concordat of 11 June 1817 was set to replace the Concordat of 1801, but, despite being signed, it was never validated). The Villèle government, under pressure from the Chevaliers de la Foi (which many deputies were members of), voted the Anti-Sacrilege Act in January 1825, which punished by death the theft of consecrated hosts as parricide. The law was unenforceable and only enacted for symbolic purposes, though the act's passing caused a considerable uproar, particularly among the Doctrinaires.

Charles being crowned at Reims
On May 29, 1824, Charles received his coronation in Reimsmarker, in an opulent and spectacular ceremony that was reminiscent of the royal pomp of the coronations of the ancien régime. Some innovations were included, upon request by Villèle: though Charles was hostile towards the 1814 Charter, commitment to the 'constitutional charter' was affirmed, and four of Napoleon's generals were in attendance. The Reims Cathedralmarker was decorated to portray the union of Alter and Throne, and Percier, the architect, adorned the building with neo-gothic décor, in a style that evoked the Middle Ages rather than classical antiquity, which he was renowned for (see: Empire style). Charles was anointed with the sacred oil brought from heaven by a dove in 496; prostrated himself before the altar; and received the ring, sceptre, hand of justice and then the crown. Charles also touched some people ill with scrofula (the King's Evil), and some were reported to have recovered. Hugo, Lamartine, and Rossini lauded over the ceremony, while critics saw cause for alarm, and Béranger notoriously mocked the King in a song titled "The Coronation of King Charles the Simple": others went as far as to accuse Charles of being a crypto-Jesuit.

In the months preceding the ceremony, the chambers approved legislation that paid an indemnity to émigrés, who had suffered by the confiscation of their lands during the Revolution, and the requirement that all children would inherit an equal share of land (thus ending the law of primogeniture). Although this law had been engineered by Louis, Charles was influential in seeing that it was passed. A bill to finance this compensation, by converting government debt (the rente) from 5% to 3% bond, which would save the state 30 million franc a year in interest payments, was also put before the chambers. Villèle's government argued that rentiers had seen their returns grow disproportionately compared to their original investment, and that the redistribution was just and would reconcile émigrés to post-Revolutionary France, whereas the opposition accused the ultras of taking money from small investors for disloyal nobles; the bill was eventually defeated in the Peers, where there was still a liberal contingent sitting, mainly appointees of Decazes. When the bill to reimburse émigrés went through in April, at a cost to the state of approximately 988 million francs (le milliard du émigrés), it was financed by government bonds at a value of 600 million francs, at an interest rate of 3%. Around 18 million francs was paid to the émigrés per year.

The state's payments were slower than expected, as the market value of the bonds fell; a quarter of those reimbursed received only 250 francs a year. Ironically, the main beneficiaries were perhaps the owners of bien nationaux (numbering around one million), as their property had been guaranteed as one of the conditions for the act's passing, which subsequently led to a rise in the value of their land.

In 1826, Villèle introduced a bill reestablishing the law of primogeniture; at least, it would be automatic for owners of large estates unless they chose otherwise. The liberal Peers and press rebelled, as did some dissident ultras such as Chateaubriand. The forcefulness of this criticism prompted the government to introduce a bill to restrict the press in December (having largely withdrawn censorship in 1824); this, however, only aggravated the ultras' opponents more, and the bill was withdrawn.

The Villèle cabinet faced increasing pressure in 1827 from the liberal press, including the Journal des débats, which hosted Chateaubriand's articles. Chateaubriand, the most prominent of the anti-Villèle ultras, had combined with others opposed to press censorship laws (a new law had reimposed it on 24 July 1827) to form the Société des amis de la liberté de la press; Choiseul, Salvandy and Villemain were among the contributors. Another influential society was the Société, Aide-toi, le ciel t'aidera, which worked within the confines of legislation banning the unauthorized assemblage of more than 20 members. The group, emboldened by the rising tide of opposition, was of a more liberal composition (it was associated with Le Globe) and included members such as Guizot, Rémusat, and Barrot. Pamphlets were sent out which evaded the censorship laws, and the group provided organizational assistance to liberal candidates against pro-government state officials in the November 1827 election.

In April 1827, the king and Villèle were confronted by an unruly National Guard. The garrison which Charles reviewed, unders orders to express deference to the king but disapproval of his government, instead shouted derogatory anti-Jesuit remarks at his devoutly Catholic niece, Marie-Thérèse, Madame la Dauphine. Villèle suffered worse treatment, as liberal officers led troops to protest at his office. In response, the Guard was disbanded. Pamphlets continued to be proliferated, which included accusations in September that Charles, on a trip to the northern départments, was holed up Saint-Omermarker, was colluding with the Pope and planned to reinstate the tithe, and had suspended the Charter under the protection of a loyal garrison army.

By the time of the election, the moderate royalists (constitutionalists) were also beginning to turn against Charles, as was the business community, in part due a financial crisis in 1825, that was blamed on the government's passing of the law of indemnification. Hugo and a number of other writers, dissatisfied with the reality of life under Charles X, also began to criticize the regime. In preparation for the September 30 registration cut-off for the election, opposition committees worked furiously to get as many voters as possible signed up, countering the actions of préfects, who began removing certain voters who had failed to provide up-to-date documents since the 1824 election. 18,000 voters were added to the 60,000 on the first list; despite préfect attempts to register those who met the franchise and were supporters of the government, this can mainly be attributed to opposition activity. Organization was mainly divided behind Chateaubriand's Friends and the Aide-toi; the Aide-toi backed liberals, constitutionnels, and the contre-opposition (constitutional monarchists).

The new chamber did not result in a clear majority for any side. Villèle's successor, the vicomte de Martignac (who began his term in January 1828), tried to steer a middle course, appeasing liberals by loosening press controls, expelling Jesuits, modifying electoral registration, and restricting the formation of Catholic schools. Charles, unhappy with the new government, surrounded himself with men from the Chevaliers de la Foi and other ultras such as the Prince de Polignac and La Bourdonnaye. Martignac was deposed when his government lost a bill on local government. Charles and his advisers believed a new government could be formed with the support of the Villèle, Chateaubriand, and Decazes monarchist factions, but chose a chief minister, Polignac, in November 1829 who was repellant to the liberals and, worse, Chateaubriand. Though Charles remained nonchalant, the deadlock led some royalists to call for a coup, and prominent liberals for a tax strike.

At the opening of the session, March 1830, the King delivered a speech that contained veiled threats to the opposition; in response, 221 deputies (an absolute majority) condemned the government, and Charles subsequently prorogued and then dissolved parliament. Charles retained a belief that he was popular amongst the unenfranchised mass of the people, and he and Polignac chose to pursue an ambitious foreign policy of colonialism and expansionism, with the assistance of Russia. France had intervened in the Mediterraneanmarker a number of times after Villèle's resignation, and expeditions were now sent to Greecemarker and Madagascarmarker. Polignac also initiated French colonization in Algeriamarker; victory was announced over the Dey of Algiers in early June. Plans were drawn up to invade Belgiummarker, which was shortly to undergo its own revolution. However, foreign policy did not prove sufficient to divert attention from domestic problems.

Charles's dissolution of the chamber of deputies, his July Ordinances, which set up rigid control of the press, and his restriction of suffrage resulted in the July Revolution of 1830. The major cause of the regime's downfall, however, was that, while it managed to keep the support of the aristocracy, the Catholic Church and even much of the peasantry, the ultras' cause was deeply unpopular outside of parliament and with those who did not hold the franchise, especially industrial workers and the bourgeoisie.

Charles abdicated in favor of his grandson, the Comte de Chambord, and left for England. However, the liberal, bourgeois-controlled Chamber of Deputies refused to confirm the Comte de Chambord as Henri V. In a vote largely boycotted by conservative deputies, the body declared the French throne vacant, and elevated Louis-Philippe, duc d'Orleansmarker, to power.

The Fall of the Restoration, 1827–1830

There is still considerable debate among historians as to the actual cause of the downfall of Charles X. What is generally conceded, though, is that between 1820 and 1830, a series of economic downturns combined with the rise of a liberal opposition within the Chamber of Deputies ultimately felled the conservative Bourbons.

Between 1827 and 1830, France faced an economic downturn, industrial and agricultural, that was possibly worse than the one that sparked the Revolution of 1789. A series of progressively worsening grain harvests in the lates 1820s pushed up the prices on various staple foods and cash crops. In response, the rural peasantry throughout France lobbied for the relaxation of protective tariffs on grain in order to lower prices and ease their economic situation. However, Charles X, bowing to pressure from wealthier landowners, kept the tariffs in place. He did so based upon the Bourbon response to 1816-1817, during which Louis XVIII relaxed tariffs during a series of famines, caused a downturn in prices, and incurred the ire of wealthy landowners, the traditional source of Bourbon legitimacy. Thus, peasants throughout France between 1827 and 1830 faced a period of relative economic hardship and rising prices.

At the same time, international pressures combined with weakened purchasing power from the provinces led to decreased economic activity in urban centers. This industrial downturn contributed to rising poverty levels among Parisian artisans. By 1830, then, multiple demographics had suffered from the economic policies of Charles X.

While the French economy faltered, a series of elections brought a relatively powerful liberal bloc into the Chamber of Deputies. The 17-strong liberal bloc of 1824 grew to 180 in 1827, and 274 in 1830. This liberal majority grew increasingly dissatisfied with the policies of the centrist Martignac and the Ultra-Royalist Polignac, seeking to protect the limited protections of the Charter of 1814. They sought the expansion of the franchise, and more liberal economic policies. They also demanded the right, as the majority bloc, to appoint the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.

Also, the growth of the liberal bloc within the Chamber of Deputies corresponded roughly with the rise of a liberal press within France. Generally centered around Paris, this press provided a counterpoint to the government's journalistic services, and to the newspapers of the right. It grew increasingly important in conveying political opinions and the political situation to the Parisian public, and can thus be seen as a crucial link between the rise of the liberals and the increasingly agitated and economically suffering French masses.

Thus, by 1830, the Restoration government of Charles X faced difficulties on all sides. The new liberal majority clearly had no intention of budging in the face of Polignac's aggressive policies. The rise of a liberal press within Paris that outsold the official government newspaper indicated a general shift in Parisian politics towards the left. And yet, Charles' base of power was certainly toward the right of the political spectrum, as were his own views. He simply could not yield to the growing demands from within the Chamber of Deputies. The situation would soon come to a head.

The Four Ordinances

Technically, the Charter of 1814 made France a constitutional monarchy. While the King retained extensive power over policy-making as well as the sole power of the Executive, he was nonetheless reliant upon the Parliament to accept and pass his legal decrees. The Charter also fixed the method of election of the Deputies, their rights within the Chamber of Deputies, and the rights of the majority bloc. Thus, Charles X in 1830 faced a significant problem. He could not overstep his constitutional bounds, and yet, he could not preserve his policies with a liberal majority within the Chamber of Deputies. Stark action was required.

A final no-confidence vote by the liberals in March 1830 spurred the king into action, and he set about to alter the Charter of 1814 by decree. These decrees, known as the Four Ordinances, or the Ordinances of St Cloud, were:

  1. Dissolution of the Chamber of Deputies
  2. Restriction of the Press Laws
  3. Restriction of the franchise to only the wealthiest within France
  4. Immediate new elections based upon the new electorate.

Word spread quickly of the king's intent. On July 10, 1830, before the King had even made his declarations, a group of wealthy, liberal journalists and newspaper proprietors, led by Adolphe Thiers, met in Paris to decide upon a strategy to counter Charles X. It was decided then, nearly three weeks before the Revolution, that in the event of Charles' expected proclamations, the journalistic establishment of Paris would publish vitriolic criticisms of the King’s policies in an attempt to mobilize the masses (this is the assertion of H.A.C. Collingham, and may require more explanation or elaboration). Thus, when Charles X made his declarations on the July 25, 1830, the liberal journalism machine mobilized, publishing articles and complaints decrying the despotism of the King’s actions.

The urban mobs of Paris also mobilized, driven by patriotic fervor and economic hardship, assembling barricades and attacking the infrastructure of Charles X. Within days, the situation escalated beyond the ability of the monarchy to control it. As the Crown moved to shut down liberal periodicals, the radical Parisian masses defended those publications. They also launched attacks against pro-Bourbon presses, and paralyzed the coercive apparatus of the monarchy. Seizing the opportunity, the liberals in Parliament began drafting resolutions, complaints, and censures against the King.

The king finally abdicated on July 30 1830. Twenty minutes later, his son, Le Duc d'Angouleme, who had nominally succeeded as Louis XIX, also abdicated, having lasted what is believed to be the shortest reign on record. The Crown nominally then fell upon his younger brother, Charles X's grandson, who became Henri V, with Louis-Phillippe, Duc d'Orleans, as Lieutenant-General of the realm. However, the newly-empowered Chamber of Deputies declared the throne vacant, and on 9 August elevated Louis-Philippe, to the throne. Thus, the July Monarchy began.

Louis-Philippe and the House of Orléans

Louis-Philippe ascended the throne on the strength of the July Revolution of 1830, and ruled, not as "King of France" but as "King of the French," marking the shift to national sovereignty. The Orleanists were thereafter in power, defeating the Legitimists.

Following the ousting of the last king to rule France during the February 1848 Revolution, the Second Republic was formed after the election of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte as President (1848–1852), who subsequently made a coup in 1851 and had himself declared Emperor Napoleon III of the Second Empire from 1852–1870.

Political parties under Restoration

Political parties saw substantial changes of alignment and membership under the Restoration. The Chamber of Deputies oscillated between recessive ultra-royalist phases and progressive liberal phases. Opponents of the monarchy were absent from the political scene because of the repression of the White Terror. Individuals of influence who had different visions of the French constitutional monarchy clashed.

All parties remained fearful of the common people, whom Adolphe Thiers later referred to by the term "cheap multitude". Their political sights were set on a favoritism of class. Political changes in the Chamber were due to abuse by the majority tendency (involving a dissolution and then an inversion of the majority) or critical events (for example, the assassination of the Duc de Berry in 1820).

Disputes were a power struggle between the powerful (royalty against deputies) rather than a fight between royal tyranny and noble defenders of the interests of the people. Although the deputies claimed to defend the interests of the people, most had an important fear of common people, of innovations, of socialism and even of simple measures such as the extension of voting rights.

The principal political parties during the Restoration were:


Constitutionnels were mostly rich and educated middle-class men: lawyers, senior officials of the Empire and academics. They feared the triumph of the aristocracy as much as that of the democrats. They accepted the charter because it guaranteed freedom and civil equality and created a barrier to the popular masses who were considered unable, because of their ignorance, to be involved in the management of public affairs. Important personalities were Pierre-Paul Royer-Collard, François Guizot and the count of Serre. Their newspapers were Le Courrier Français and Le Censeur.


Doctrinaires promoted a return to a moderate monarchy and were opposed to the extremists in the early period of the Restoration. The most prominent Doctrinaire newspaper was Le Courrier français.


Independents were mostly lower middle class: doctors and lawyers, bourgeoisie, men of law and, in rural constituencies, traders of national goods. They rejected the charter, considering it too conservative. They rejected the treaties of 1815, the white flag and the pre-eminence of clergy and of nobility. Important personalities were parliamentary monarchist Benjamin Constant, officer of the Empire General Foy, republican lawyer Jacques Antoine Manuel and Fayette. Their newspapers were La Minerve, Le Constitutionnel and Le Globe.

Liberal royalists

Liberals appeared as a party in the last years of the Restoration. Liberal royalists preached movement towards more liberty and openness. They wished to lower the taxable quota to support the middle-class as a whole, to the detriment of the aristocracy. Liberals had profited from the emergence of a new middle-class elite, due to the industrial revolution, which upset the aristocratic order.


Facing the representatives of the middle class, the Republican, then situated on the extreme left, addressed the miserable world of the worker. Workers were not represented, nor listened to. Their demonstrations were repressed or diverted, causing at most a reinforcement of parliamentarism, which did not mean democratic evolution, only wider taxation. For some such as Blanqui, revolution seemed the only solution. Garnier-Pagès and Louis-Eugène and Éléonore-Louis Godefroi Cavaignac considered themselves to be Republicans, while Cabet and Raspail were active as socialists. Saint-Simon was also active during this period, and made direct appeals to Louis XVIII before his death in 1825.


Ultra-royalists wished for a return to the Ancien Régime, such as before 1789, with a view toward absolutism: domination by the nobility and "other devoted Christians". They were anti-Republican, anti-Democratic, and preached Government on High, by a marked noble elite. They tolerated vote censitaire: a form of democracy limited to taxpayers. Ultra-royalists were interested in preserving aristocracy and promoting absolutism. They found the charter of 1814 to be too revolutionary. The ultra-royalists wanted a return to absolute monarchy, the re-establishment of privileges and a king: Charles X.

Prominent ultra-royalists theorists were Louis de Bonald and Joseph de Maistre. Their parliamentary leaders were François of Bourdonnaye, baron de Vitrolles and, in 1829, Jules de Polignac. Their main newspapers were La Quotidienne and La Gazette; other royalist papers included the Drapeau Blanc (named after the Bourbon white flag), and the Oriflamme, named after the battle standard of France.

See also




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