France and Latin-American Independence

By William Spence Robertson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XV
LOUIS PHILIPPE AND RECOGNITION

The reign of Charles X culminated in a conflict between parliamentary authority and the royal prerogative. In his address at the opening of the legislature in 1830, the King declared that the Charter of 1814 had placed public liberty under the protection of his royal rights and that, if political motives raised obstacles to his rule, he would overcome them by his determination to maintain the public peace. On May 15 he promulgated an ordinance which dissolved the Chamber of Deputies. After the election returned members of the Opposition to that chamber, the King revived the censorship of the press, dissolved the newly elected chambers of deputies in the departments, and altered the régime of the electoral colleges. These autocratic ordinances provoked so much discontent that in certain sections of Paris students and laborers constructed barricades over which they hoisted the tricolor. By July 29 the insurgents had become masters of the capital city.

After an attempt to save his crown by the choice of a new cabinet, Charles X was forced to abdicate and soon went into exile. Power now passed from the elder branch of the Bourbon dynasty to the younger branch. On August 7 the Chamber of Deputies announced that it had invited to the throne the democratic son of Philippe Egalité, Louis Philippe d'Orléans. Louis Philippe acknowledged the parliamentary character of his title under the revised charter. He became known as the Bourgeois King. The new King

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