France and Latin-American Independence

By William Spence Robertson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIV
THE LAST CABINETS OF CHARLES X AND
SPANISH AMERICA

Villèle finally lost favor. Although a careful administrator who husbanded the resources of the state, he did not understand the mood of his countrymen. As Lucas-Dubreton has said, the French were less concerned with ensuring a good administration and with tangible realities than with thoughts of liberty and glory. In the spring of 1827 Count Peyronnet, Minister of Justice, tried to force through the chambers an unpopular law concerning the press. The Ordinance of April 29 disbanding the national guard also caused dissatisfaction. Another distasteful ordinance provided for the reëstablishment of censorship. The elections held on November 17 were won by the Opposition, which two days later celebrated its victory at Paris in riotous fashion. Elections held shortly afterward were also unfavorable to the government. On December 6, 1827, King Charles reluctantly notified Villèle that he had decided to form an entirely new ministry.

Early in the following year a cabinet was constituted under Viscount Martignac, an eloquent and courageous lawyer, who became Minister of the Interior. Count Chabrol was retained in the Navy Department, but Baron Damas was replaced in the Foreign Office by the experienced diplomat, Count La Ferronnays, who served until April 24, 1829. In January, 1828, the English ambassador at Paris expressed his opinion concerning the new Cabinet: "This Ministry will be disposed, I doubt not, in questions of Foreign Poli-

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