French Civilization in the Nineteenth Century: A Historical Introduction

By Albert Léon Guérard | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
NAPOLEON III, 1848-70.

1. POLITICAL CONDITIONS.
1. Political Conditions: the Republic .--The Revolution of 1848-- Democracy--Socialism--The Constituent Assembly--The Days of June --Reaction--Election of Louis-Napoleon: its causes and its meaning.
2. The Coup d'Etat and the Empire. --The coup d'état: its causes and significance--Influence on French thought--Character of the Second Empire--Spiritual gloom--Did the Empire stifle intellectual life? The Roman Question.

THE Revolution of 1848 was an accident. The insurrections of Lyons and Paris, in 1831, 1832, and 1834, were better concerted and more formidable. They were not repressed without bloodshed, but the Government issued stronger from the battle. In 1848, more tact on Guizot's side, more decision on the part of the King, Bugeaud called earlier and given a free hand, and monarchy might have been saved, at least for a season. Perhaps a single random shot on the boulevard des Capucines was responsible for the catastrophe. But the fact remains that after eighteen years of a wise, peaceful, and prosperous reign, Louis-Philippe was at the mercy of an accident, and that fact is significant. The July monarchy, the result of a compromise, perhaps of an act of trickery, had lived on sufferance, without striking root deep in the soil. Legitimists, Catholics, Bonapartists, Republicans, Socialists, all were against it. It represented and satisfied no one except a portion of the bourgeoisie. By monopolizing power for nearly eight years and refusing any electoral reform which might endanger his political position, Guizot divided the forces of the middle class, which, even

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French Civilization in the Nineteenth Century: A Historical Introduction
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Note 7
  • Contents 9
  • Chapter I - The Foundations The Country--The Race--The Tradition 17
  • Bibliography 52
  • Chronological Table 54
  • Chapter II - Napoleon 55
  • Bibliography 86
  • Chronological Table 87
  • Chapteriii - Constitutional Monarchy 89
  • Bibliography 121
  • Chronological Table 122
  • Chapter IV - Napoleon Iii, 1848-70. 124
  • Chronological Table 149
  • Chapter V - The Third Republic, 1870-1913 150
  • Bibliography 184
  • Chronological Table 185
  • Chapter VI - The Social Question 186
  • Bibliography 219
  • Chronological Table 220
  • Chapter VII - Education 222
  • Bibliography 253
  • Chronological Table 254
  • Chapter VIII - The Religious Question 256
  • Chronological Table 289
  • Conclusion 292
  • Index 302
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