The Lure of Perfection: Fashion and Ballet, 1780-1830

By Judith Chazin Bennahum | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7

Pale Goddesses on the Street during the Romantic Movement

Charles X Ruled France from 1824-1830

The Romantic movement grew out of a reaction to the Age of Reason. The sweeping away of religious corruption effected a reevaluation of the meaning of religion. Probing questions were asked about the benefits and adversities of colonial expansion and the Industrial Revolution. These questions were not answered successfully by Charles X, whose reign led to a deeply divided and tumultuous France.

Charles X succeeded Louis XVIII to the throne and ruled France from 1824-1830. Charles, the Count d'Artois, was the younger brother of both Louis XVI and Louis XVIII and a grandson of Louis XV. An emigré from the Revolution in 1789, he conspired against the Revolution and spent several years in England. Unfortunately, he returned at the Restoration and led the Ultras, i.e., the ultra-Royalist party, after the Restoration. They were uncompromising believers in absolute monarchy and the supremacy of the church. His coronation at Rheims (May 29, 1825) was an occasion of great pomp, with so much religious emphasis that it shocked many people.

Hostility aroused by his anti-liberal, pro-Catholic policy culminated in the 27-29 July Revolution of 1830 that brought the rule of the elder branch of the Bourbons to an end. Charles X abdicated on July 31, 1830. Thereafter he spent his life in exile, partly in Edinburgh (at Holyrood) and partly in Prague. He died in 1836.

The proponents of conservatism and regressive government during Charles's brief reign could not cope with the massive economic changes that disturbed the core of French society and led to the revolutions of 1830 and 1848. Intellectuals, poets, dramatists, and choreographers sensed the

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