Charles X

Charles X acceded the throne of France upon the death of his brother King Louise XVIII in 1824. He was eventually deposed in 1830 during the second (July) revolution.

As the Comte d’Artois, he had fled France at the outbreak of the French Revolution and spent the early part of his exile in Savoy at the home of his wife. Later, he was to spend time in Great Britain, reputedly with his mistress in Edinburgh and in London.

An ardent monarchist and a leader of the ultra-royalist faction his reign “dramatized the failure of the Bourbons, after their restoration, to reconcile the tradition of the monarchy by divine right with the democratic spirit” [], then prevalent in France.

  • He instigated a law that saw fellow émigrés compensated for their loss of lands, at a cost of almost one billion francs.
  • He dismissed the National Guard.
  • He passed the Anti-Sacrilege Act in January 1825.
  • He tried to manipulate his governments as well as the outcome of elections.
  • He tried to revoke his constitutional government by means of four (July) ordinances:
    • Dissolution of the Chamber of Deputies
    • Restriction of the Press Laws
    • Restriction of the franchise to only the wealthiest within France
    • Immediate new elections based upon the new electorate

Furthermore, during the last few years of his monarchy the country experienced several poor harvests and the population were badly affected by this as well as by his policies.

Charles’ failure to understand or react to any of this led to his downfall in July 1830.

The Bourbon Restoration

The Bourbon Restoration

The Bourbons had been the royal power in France from the middle of the sixteenth century, ruling Navarre after 1555 and France since 1589. They were first overthrown in 1789 during the French Revolution. The dynasty was then briefly restored in 1814, before being deposed once more during Napoleon’s final ‘100 Days’.

Shows plaque outside house where Charles X lived in london
Wikipedia image

Then, following Napoleon’s final defeat at Waterloo in June 1815 the Bourbons once again became Kings of France. The pure Bourbon line was ultimately replaced by the House of Orleans in July 1830, when Louis-Phillippe, the Duke of Orleans replaced his uncle, Charles X, following the July Revolution.

This second revolution came about because Charles X (who had succeeded his brother, the slightly more moderate Louis XVIII in 1824) hadn’t tried to appease the spirit of first 1789 revolution; he’d tried to rule as if that had never happened:

His reign dramatized the failure of the Bourbons, after their restoration, to reconcile the tradition of the monarchy by divine right with the democratic spirit produced in the wake of the Revolution.[From: - downloaded 17/09/13]

Louis-Phillippe would be the last king of France, although there was still to be one more Emperor during this tumultuous 99 years.

Reading list

Evernote –

France – 1815 onwards

France – 1815 onwards – in brief.

I hope to be able to flesh out this initial research later, in the Chapters section of my blog. For now though, I have compiled a brief list of events that affected France between the relevant years (1815-1914).

I have shamelessly taken many of the dates I’ve used here from: with thanks, and full acknowledgement. Thank you; these have been a great start to my research. I’ve marked in red, the issues and events I will follow up more closely as I progress.

Image found online at: (image belongs to them) Used with thanks and full acknolwledgementBy 1815, a large majority of the French army had lost their lives in the Spanish (1807-1811) and Russian (1812) campaigns. These campaigns had also devastated army livestock; with the result that French cavalry was unable to respond with any real effectiveness to continuing allied aggression.

The eventual French capitulation at Waterloo led to the re-installation of King Louis XVIII.

The Bourbon Restoration

On  20th November 1815, The Treaty of Paris returned France to its pre-1790 frontiers. (I need to find out more about this treaty of Paris [there were others] and how it affected the rest of Europe).
1823 – France intervenes in Spain to restore King Ferdinand VII (how could they afford both financially and in manpower?)
1824 – September  – King Louis dies, Charles X become king. Crowned at Reims May 1825.
1830 – July Revolution: Charles X overthrown by his cousin Louis-Phillippe. (Shifts from Bourbon Restoration to July Monarchy – really?)
1831 – workers uprising in Lyon
1834 – workers riot in Paris and Lyon
1836 – Louis-Napoleon (nephew) stages failed coup. (I need to find out why is he important?)
1840 – another failed coup by nephew (placed in prison)
1846 – nephew escapes from prison
1848 – large scale demonstrations across Paris; Louis-Phillippe abdicates, a Republic is proclaimed.

 The Second Republic

1848 – December. Louis-Napoleon wins presidential elections
1851 – December. Louis-Napoleon carries out a coup (Why – if he’s president?)

The Second Empire

1852 – December. The Second Empire is proclaimed
1854 – War is declared on Russia (I need to know more about this – new to me)
1854 – Another Treaty of Paris signals the end of war with Russia
1859 – War is declared on Austria (I need more about this – new to me)
1861 – France begins to expand its empirical interests in Mexico and then in Cambodia. (I need more on this – and about how/why the 2nd Empire came to an end)

The Third Republic

1870 – September – Proclamation of the Republic
1871 – (I need more on this anyway – but in what context does it affect France) Unification of Germany???
– The Paris Commune???
– Domestic matters
1891 – Franco-Russian alliance
1904 – Entente Cordiale (Britain)
1908 – Annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (I need more on this)
1914 – 28 June Assassination of Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo
3 August Germany declares war on France

In the begninning

So, off we go – this is the first ‘blog’ post I have made that captures my research into the 99 ‘European’ years between 1815 and 1914.  For the URLs etc. that I save – see the links alongside my various posts and pages.

It is my intention to informally log things here as blog posts, but to try and be more structured under the ‘chapters’ page.

I’m starting by making a note of where the continent was in 1815.

Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated for the second time on June 22nd 1815, just four days after his defeat at the battle of Waterloo. This put an end to the warfare that had affected most of Europe for almost twenty years and an end to my knowledge of European history. I’d read a few books about the French revolution and Napoleon himself when I was in my twenties, and had read Churchill’s ‘History of the English Speaking People‘ about the same time – but neither told me about those ‘missing’ 99 years.

France had staged its ‘French’ Revolution, the United Kingdom had been newly formed from Great Britain and (the whole of) Ireland and had been fighting not only in Europe, but in America too. The ‘industrial‘ revolution was well under-way too, especially in England:

Among the Western European countries, Britain was the ideal incubator for the Industrial Revolution because an "Agricultural Revolution" preceded it. After the 1688 "Glorious Revolution", the British kings lost power and the aristocratic landholders gained power. The landholders tried to rationalize their landholdings and started the Enclosure Movement to bring more and more of their own land under tighter control, a process that went on throughout the 1700s. This policy had two main effects: it increased the productivity of the land, and transformed the people who used to work land into an unemployed, labor class of poor in need of work. Thus, the first factories had a ready labor- supply in Britain that was not available in other nations.[From:]

Monarchies would try to re-establish themselves following the years of turmoil. Some would succeed whilst others would in time become republics. There would be much social and political change during this period.

St Helena

Britain, Russia, Austria and Prussia (the four major nations in Europe) were particularly unhappy with the outcomes of the French Revolution and had opposed France, and Napoleon’s progress in one coalition or another for over twenty years. They would now come together for the Congress of Vienna, which would decide Europe’s immediate future:

(It)... would prevent imperialism within Europe, such as the Napoleonic empire,  and maintain the peace between the great powers. The second goal was to prevent political revolutions, such as the French Revolution, and maintain the status quo.[From:]

The exact positions of Russia, Prussia and Austria need more thought and more research, so for now I’ll complete this very brief synopsis of where things in Europe stood mid-1815,