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How Far Was The 1830 July Revolution In France Inevitable?

1439 words - 6 pages

According to Colin Lucas a revolution is caused when "long term political causes combine with short term economic causes". In the context of the July Revolution, there had been both political dejection since 1820 and an economic recession that lasted from 1826-32, these "causes" meant that France was ripe for another revolution, and in fact it was almost inevitable.To prove that this revolution was actually inevitable, one has to look at the political unrest as far back as the reign of Louis XVIII (1814-24). Louis XVIII was the younger brother of Louis XVI and assumed the title of King in 1795, having fled into exile in 1791 during the revolution but became King only on the fall of Napoleon ...view middle of the document...

But during the early years of his reign i.e. 1816-1820 Louis XVIII aimed at a "middle of the road" government. He successfully cut the support of the ultra-royalists, who wanted a return to the ancien regime but failed in calling for the support of those who still clung to the revolution in one way or another.In 1820 the Duc de Berry was assassinated, he was the nephew of the king and the last in line of the elder Bourbons. It was claimed that "a liberal idea is what killed the Duc de Berry!" and this resulted in the elections of 1820 returning an ultra-royalist majority in the chamber. There was repression on the part of the government and censorship was brought back (this was already a violation of the Charter). Villele became President of the Council and there followed a period of stable finance, but unfortunately he was not so good with foreign affairs which Louis so badly wanted a success in.Louis' chance for a success in foreign policy came in 1823 when there was a liberal revolt in Spain against Ferdinand, the French army was authorised to help and quashed the revolt in less than 6 weeks. This was a little odd as France was a liberal nation on paper i.e. by the Charter, but it was evident at this point that it was slowly being eroded. To further endanger the Charter the 1823 elections reduced the liberals in the Chamber to just 19, and the head of the extreme right, Chateaubriand, looked towards the Comte d'Artois when Louis died in 1824.Already one can see that slowly but surely the Constitutional Charter of 1814 was slowly being eroded by several factors; the rise of ultra-royalist support in the elections to the Chamber, the introduction of government repression and censorship, and Louis repressing a liberal revolt, when France themselves were meant to be liberal. This erosion of civil liberties granted by the Charter continued under the reign of the Comte d'Artois who became known as Charles X.Charles X was the grandson of Louis XV and brother to both Louis XVI and Louis XVII. He enjoyed a notoriously dissolute life at court and became involved in reactionary politics. He returned to France after the revolution and became leader of the ultra-royalist group that put his brother Louis XVIII on the throne, he had fled to England at the beginning of the revolution and when he came to the throne he tried to reverse its achievements.Charles X's reign was a revisit to the days of the ancien regime, as he was crowned at Rheims, and as tradition dictated touched scrofula victims. He created 30 new dioceses and appointed 30 new bishops, and granted an indemnity to the émigrés. By this he was trying to make it easier for the bourgeosie to sell land that used to be the émigrés by offering the émigrés a contract. However, this was interpreted as wanting to return to absolutism (another danger to the liberal charter) . This "contract" however, failed because...

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