|French Revolution of 1830|
Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix: a tableau of the July Revolution.
|Other names||The July Revolution|
|Date||26–29 July 1830|
|Result||Abdication of Charles X
Ascension of Louis-Philippe to the French throne and establishment of the constitutional July Monarchy
|Part of a series on the|
|History of France|
The French Revolution of 1830, also known as the July Revolution, Second French Revolution or Trois Glorieuses in French, saw the overthrow of King Charles X, the French Bourbon monarch, and the ascent of his cousin Louis-Philippe, Duke of Orléans, who himself, after 18 precarious years on the throne, would in turn be overthrown. It marked the shift from one constitutional monarchy, the Bourbon Restoration, to another, the July Monarchy; the transition of power from the House of Bourbon to its cadet branch, the House of Orléans; and the substitution of the principle of popular sovereignty for hereditary right. Supporters of the Bourbon would be called Legitimists, and supporters of Louis Philippe Orléanists.
On 16 September 1824, Charles X ascended to the throne of France. He was the younger brother of Louis XVIII, who, upon the defeat of Napoleon I, and by agreement of the Allied powers, had been installed as King of France. The fact that both Louis and Charles ruled by hereditary right rather than popular consent was the first of two triggers for Les Trois Glorieuses, the "Three Glorious Days" of the July Revolution.
Upon the abdication of Napoleon in 1814, continental Europe, and France in particular, was in a state of disarray. The Congress of Vienna met to redraw the continent's political map. Although there were many European countries attending the congress, there were four major powers that controlled the decision making: United Kingdom, represented by her foreign secretary Viscount Castlereagh; Austria, represented by the chief minister (and chairman of the congress) Klemens, Fürst von Metternich; Russia, represented by Emperor Alexander I; and Prussia, represented by King Frederick William III. Another very influential person at the Congress was Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, a French diplomat under Napoleon. Although France was considered an enemy state, Talleyrand was allowed to attend the Congress because he claimed that he had only cooperated with Napoleon under duress.
Talleyrand proposed that Europe be restored to its "legitimate" (i.e. pre-Napoleon) borders and governments; a plan that, with some changes, was accepted by members of the Congress. France returned to its 1789 borders and the House of Bourbon, deposed by the Revolution, was restored to the throne. In the eyes of the Congress, the political situation in France and Europe was now back to normal. However, the new king, Louis XVIII, knew that ideas of nationalism and democracy still lingered in his country; hence the establishment and signing of the Charte constitutionnelle française, the French Constitution otherwise known as La Charte. A document, La Charte was the second trigger of the July Revolution.
Charles X's reign
On September 16, 1824, after a lingering illness of several months, the 69-year-old Louis XVIII died childless. Therefore his younger brother, Charles, aged 66, inherited the throne of France. On 27 September Charles X as he was now known, made his state entry into Paris to popular acclaim. During the ceremony, while presenting the King the keys to the city, the comte de Chabrol, Prefect of the Seine, declared: "Proud to possess its new king, Paris can aspire to become the queen of cities by its magnificence, as its people aspire to be foremost in its fidelity, its devotion, and its love."
But eight months later, the mood of the capital had sharply worsened in its opinion of the new king. The causes of this dramatic shift in public opinion were many, but the main two were:
- The imposition of the death penalty for anyone profaning the Host of the Catholic Church (see Anti-Sacrilege Act).
- The provisions for financial indemnities for properties confiscated by the 1789 Revolution and the First Empire of Napoleon. These indemnities to be paid to any one, whether noble or non-noble, who had been declared "enemies of the Revolution".
Critics of the first accused the king and his new ministry of pandering to the Catholic Church, and by so doing violating guarantees of equality of religious belief as specified in La Charte.
The second matter, that of financial indemnities, was far more opportunistic than the first. This was because since the restoration of the monarchy, there had been demands from all groups to settle matters of property ownership; to reduce, if not eliminate, the uncertainties in the real estate market both in Paris and in France. But opponents, many of whom were frustrated Bonapartists, began a whispering campaign that Charles X was only proposing this in order to shame those who had not emigrated. Both measures, they claimed, were nothing more than clever subterfuge meant to bring about the destruction of La Charte.
Up to this time, thanks to the popularity of the Charte constitutionnelle and the Chamber of Deputies with the people of Paris, the king's relationship with the élite – both of the Bourbon supporters and Bourbon opposition – had remained solid. This, too, was about to change. On 12 April, propelled by both genuine conviction and the spirit of independence, the Chamber of Deputies roundly rejected the government's proposal to change the inheritance laws. The popular newspaper Le Constitutionnel pronounced this refusal "a victory over the forces of counter-revolutionaries and reactionism"
The popularity of both the Chamber of Peers and the Chamber of Deputies skyrocketed, and the popularity of the king and his ministry dropped. This became unmistakable when on 16 April 1827, while reviewing the Garde Royale in the Champ de Mars, the king was greeted with icy silence, many of the spectators refusing even to remove their hats. Charles X "later told [his cousin] Orléans that, 'although most people present were not too hostile, some looked at times with terrible expressions'."
Because of what it perceived to be growing, relentless, and increasingly vitriolic criticism of both the government and the Church, the government of Charles X introduced into the Chamber of Deputies a proposal for a law tightening censorship, especially in regard to the newspapers. The Chamber, for its part, objected so violently that the humiliated government had no choice but to withdraw its proposals.
On 17 March 1830, the majority in the Chamber of Deputies made the Address of the 221 (motion of no confidence) against the king and Polignac's ministry. The following day, Charles dissolved parliament, and then alarmed the Bourbon opposition by delaying elections for two months. During this time, the liberals championed the '221' as popular heroes, whilst the government struggled to gain support across the country as prefects were shuffled around the departments of France. The elections that followed returned an overwhelming majority, thus defeating the government. This came after another event: on the grounds that it had behaved in an offensive manner towards the crown, on 30 April the king abruptly dissolved the National Guard of Paris, a voluntary group of citizens and an ever reliable conduit between the monarchy and the people. Cooler heads were appalled: "[I] would rather have my head cut off", wrote a noble from the Rhineland upon hearing the news, "than have counseled such an act: the only further measure needed to cause a revolution is censorship."
That came in July 1830 when, on Sunday, 25 July Charles X signed the July Ordinances, also known as "The Ordinances of Saint-Cloud". On Monday 26 July, they were published in the leading conservative newspaper in Paris, Le Moniteur. On Tuesday 27 July, the revolution began in earnest Les trois journées de juillet, and the end of the Bourbon monarchy.
The Three Glorious Days
Monday, 26 July 1830
It was a hot, dry summer, pushing those who could afford it to leave Paris for the country. Most businessmen could not, and so were among the first to learn of the Saint-Cloud "Ordinances" from the Monday edition of 'Le Moniteur'. They did not like what they read, perhaps most of all because they suddenly learned they were now no longer permitted to run as candidates for the Chamber of Deputies, membership of which was the sine qua non of those who sought the ultimate in social prestige. In protest, members of the Bourse refused to lend money, and business owners shuttered their factories. Workers were unceremoniously turned out into the street to fend for themselves. Unemployment, which had been growing through early summer, spiked. "Large numbers of... workers therefore had nothing to do but protest."
The few politicians who still remained in Paris gathered in private to protest, exchange notes, point fingers, and avoid any real course of action. Journalists, on the other hand, took action.
While newspapers such as the Journal des débats, Le Moniteur, and Le Constitutionnel had already ceased publication in compliance with the new law, nearly 50 journalists from a dozen city newspapers met in the offices of the Le National. There they signed a collective protest, and vowed their newspapers would continue to run.
That evening, when police raided a news press and seized contraband newspapers, they were greeted by a sweltering, unemployed mob angrily shouting, "À bas les Bourbons!" (Down with the Bourbons!) "Vive la Charte!" (Long live the Charter!) Armand Carrel, a journalist, wrote in the next day's edition of Le National:
"France... falls back into revolution by the act of the government itself... the legal regime is now interrupted, that of force has begun... in the situation in which we are now placed obedience has ceased to be a duty... It is for France to judge how far its own resistance ought to extend."
As if living in a dream world, the Paris Préfet de police wrote on the evening, " ...the most perfect tranquility continues to reign in all parts of the capital. No event worthy of attention is recorded in the reports that have come through to me."
Tuesday, 27 July 1830: Day One
The sun rose to a Paris awash in radical newspapers. By noon, the noise and traffic on the avenues, which in the early morning had seemed to hold the promise of a typical day, began to disappear. The city grew quiet as the milling crowds grew larger. At 4:30 pm commanders of the troops of the First Military division of Paris and the Garde Royale were ordered to concentrate their troops, and guns, on the Place du Carrousel facing the Tuileries, the Place Vendôme, and the Place de la Bastille. In order to maintain order and protect gun shops from looters, military patrols throughout the city were established, strengthened and expanded. Amazingly, no special measures were taken to protect either the arm depots or gunpowder factories. For a time, those precautions seemed premature, but at 7:00 pm, with the coming of twilight, the fighting began. "Parisians, rather than soldiers, were the aggressor. Paving stones, roof tiles, and flowerpots from the upper windows... began to rain down on the soldiers in the streets". At first, soldiers fired warning shots into the air. But before the night was over, twenty-one civilians were killed. Rioters then paraded the corpse of one of their fallen throughout the streets shouting "Mort aux Ministres!" "À bas les aristocrates!" ("Death to the ministers! Down with the aristocrats".)
One witness wrote:
"[I saw] a crowd of agitated people pass by and disappear, then a troop of cavalry succeed them... In every direction and at intervals... Indistinct noises, gunshots, and then for a time all is silent again so for a time one could believe that everything in the city was normal. But all the shops are shut; the Pont Neuf is almost completely dark, the stupefaction visible on every face reminds us all too much of the crisis we face...."
In 1828, the city of Paris had installed some 2,000 street lamps. These lanterns were hung on ropes looped-on-looped from one pole to another, as opposed to being secured on posts. The rioting lasted well into the night until most of them had been destroyed by 10:00 PM in wanton acts of destruction, forcing the crowds to slip away.
Wednesday, 28 July 1830: Day Two
Though Paris had been quiet during the night, it had not been asleep.
"It is hardly a quarter past eight", wrote an eye witness, "and already shouts and gun shots can be heard. Business is at a complete standstill.... Crowds rushing through the streets... the sound of cannon and gunfire is becoming ever louder.... Cries of 'À bas le roi !', 'À la guillotine !!' can be heard...."
The King ordered Maréchal Auguste Marmont, Duke of Ragusa, the on-duty Major-General of the Garde Royale, to repress the disturbances. Marmont was personally liberal, and opposed to the ministry's policy, but was bound tightly to the King because he believed such to be his duty; and possibly because of his unpopularity for his generally perceived and widely criticized desertion of Napoleon in 1814.
Marmont's plan was to have the Garde Royale and available line units of the city garrison guard the vital thoroughfares and bridges of the city, as well as protect important buildings such as the Palais Royal, Palais de Justice, and the Hôtel de Ville. This plan was both ill considered and wildly ambitious. Not only were there not enough troops but, worse, from bullets to bread to clean drinking water, there were nowhere near enough provisions. The Garde Royale was mostly loyal for the moment, but the attached line units were wavering: a small but growing number of troops were deserting; some merely slipping away, others leaving, not caring who saw them.
The 73-year-old Charles X, prudently remaining at Saint-Cloud, was kept abreast of the events in Paris, and assured by his ministers that the troubles would end as soon as the rioters ran out of ammunition. After all, his ministers assured him, had not Marmont himself sent a report to His Majesty just the previous night assuring him all was under control?
In Paris, a committee of the Bourbon opposition, composed of banker-and-kingmaker Jacques Laffitte, Casimir Perier, Generals Étienne Gérard and Georges Mouton, comte de Lobau, among others, had drawn up and signed a petition in which, not surprisingly, they asked for the ordonnances to be withdrawn; more surprising was their criticism "not of the King, but his ministers" – thereby disproving Charles X's conviction that his liberal opponents were enemies of his dynasty."
After signing the petition, committee members went directly to Marmont to beg for an end to the bloodshed, and to plead with him to become a mediator between Saint-Cloud and Paris. In the near-chaos of his headquarters, Marmont explained with tired patience that petitions and humble requests were all well and good, but that the first step lay with the people of Paris – they must lay down their arms and return to their homes. Then, and only then, could there be talk. Discouraged but not despairing, the party then sought out the king's chief minister, the haughty, eerily calm de Polignac – "Jeanne d'Arc en culottes" as he was whisperingly called at Saint-Cloud. From Polignac they received even less satisfaction. He refused to see them, perhaps because he knew that discussions would be a waste of time. Like Marmont, he knew that Charles X considered the ordonnances vital to the safety and dignity of the throne of France. Thus, the King would not withdraw the ordonnances.
At 4 pm, Charles X received Colonel Komierowski, one of Marmont's chief aides. The colonel was carrying a note from Marmont to his Majesty:
"Sire, it is no longer a riot, it is a revolution. It is urgent for Your Majesty to take measures for pacification. The honour of the crown can still be saved. Tomorrow, perhaps, there will be no more time... I await with impatience Your Majesty's orders."
The king asked Polignac for advice, and the advice was to resist. Meanwhile, in Paris, a group of serious men met and talked. The name of the duc d'Orléans was mentioned for the first time.
Thursday, 29 July 1830: Day Three
"They (the king and ministers) do not come to Paris", wrote the poet, novelist and playwright Alfred de Vigny, "people are dying for them ... Not one prince has appeared. The poor men of the guard abandoned without orders, without bread for two days, hunted everywhere and fighting."
Perhaps for the same reason, royalists were nowhere to be found; perhaps another reason was that now the révoltés were well organized and very well armed. In what seemed like only a day and a night over 4,000 barricades had been thrown up throughout the city; nearly every tree of any size in the city had been chopped down to erect or strengthen these barricades; entire streets had had their cobble stones torn out for the same reasons. The tricolor flag of the revolutionaries – the "people's flag" – flew over buildings, an increasing number of them important buildings. Nowhere was there the white and gold flag of the Bourbon.
Marmont lacked either the initiative or the presence of mind to call for additional troops from Saint-Denis, Vincennes, Lunéville or Saint-Omer; neither did he ask for help from reservists or those Parisians still loyal to Charles X. Supporters of the July Revolution swarmed to his headquarters demanding the arrest of Polignac and the other ministers; Supporters of the Bourbon and city leaders demanding he arrest the rioters and their puppet masters. Marmont listened to them all with growing indifference, and did nothing. Instead he awaited orders from the king, just as his king had commanded.
By 1:30 pm, the Tuileries had fallen. It now seemed like an overturned ant-hill of radicals, rioters, and opportunists. What could not be pillaged was smashed to bits, or sent hurling through closed windows to the ground below. "A man wearing a ball dress belonging to the duchesse de Berry, with feathers and flowers in his hair, screamed from a palace window: "Je reçois! Je reçois!" Others drank wine from the palace cellars." It should be noted that the amount of looting during these three days was surprisingly little; not only at the Louvre – whose paintings and objets d'art were protected by the crowd – but the Tuileries, the Palais de Justice, the Archbishop's Palace[disambiguation needed], and other places as well.
Earlier that day, the Louvre had fallen, and even more quickly. The Swiss Guards, seeing the mob swarming towards them, and manacled by the orders of Marmont not to fire unless fired upon first, ran away. They had no wish to share the fate of a similar contingent of Swiss Guards back in 1792, who had held their ground against another such mob and were torn to pieces for their valour. By mid-afternoon came the greatest prize, the Hôtel de Ville, had been captured. A few hours later, politicians entered the battered complex and set about establishing a provisional government. Though there would be spots of fighting throughout the city for the next few days, the revolution, for all intents and purposes, was over.
The revolution of July 1830 created a constitutional monarchy. On August 2, Charles X and his son the Dauphin abdicated their rights to the throne and departed for Great Britain. Although Charles had intended that his grandson, the Duke of Bordeaux, would take the throne as Henry V, the politicians who composed the provisional government instead placed on the throne a distant cousin, Louis Philippe of the House of Orléans, who agreed to rule as a constitutional monarch. This period became known as the July Monarchy. Supporters of the exiled senior line of the Bourbon dynasty became known as Legitimists.
This renewed French Revolution sparked an August uprising in Brussels and the Southern Provinces of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, leading to separation and the establishment of the Kingdom of Belgium. The example of the July Revolution also inspired unsuccessful revolutions in Italy and Poland.
Two years later Parisian students, disillusioned by the outcome and underlying motives of the uprising, revolted in an event known as the June Rebellion. Although the insurrection was crushed within less than a week, the July Monarchy remained unpopular and was eventually overthrown in 1848.
- Mansel, Philip, Paris Between Empires (St. Martin's Press, New York 2001) p.198
- Mansel, Philip, Paris Between Empires (St. Martin Press, New York 2001) p.200
- Ledré, Charles La Presse à l'assaut de la monarchie. (1960). p.70.
- Marie Amélie, 356; (17 April 1827); Antonetti, 527.
- Duc de Dolberg, Castellan, II, 176 (letter 30 April 1827)
- Mansel, Philip, Paris Between Empires (St. Martin Press, New York 2001) p. 238
- Mansel, 2001, p.238
- Pinkey, 83–84; Rémusat, Mémoires II, 313–314; Lendré 107
- Pickney, David. The French Revolution of 1830 (Princeton 1972), p. 93.
- Mansel, Philip, Paris Between Empires, (St. Martin Press, New York 2001) p.239.
- Olivier, Juste, Paris en 1830, Journal (27 July 1830) p.244.
- Olivier, Juste, Paris en 1830, Journal (28 July 1830) p.247.
- Mansel, Philip, Paris Between Empires (St. Martin Press, New York 2001) p.245.
- Mansel, Philip, Paris Between Empires (St. Martin Press, New York 2001) p.247.
- de Vigny, Alfred, Journal d'un poète, 33, (29 July 1830).
- Mémoires d'outre-tombe, III, 120; Fontaine II, 849 (letter of 9 August 1830).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: French Revolution of 1830|
- Pinkney, David H. "A New Look at the French Revolution of 1830," Review of Politics (1961) 23#4 pp. 490-506 in JSTOR
- Pinkney, David H. The French Revolution of 1830" (1973)
- Pilbeam, Pamela (June 1989). "The Economic Crisis of 1827–32 and the 1830 Revolution in Provincial France". The Historical Journal 32 (2): 319–338. doi:10.1017/S0018246X00012176.
- Guy Antonetti, Louis-Philippe, Librairie Arthème Fayard, Paris, 2002 ISBN 2-213-59222-5
- Schmidt-Funke, Julia A. "Die 1830er Revolution als europäisches Medienereignis", European History Online, Institute of European History, Mainz 2011, retrieved: 21nd of February, 2013.
- Pilbeam, Pamela (December 1983). "The 'Three Glorious Days': The Revolution of 1830 in Provincial France". The Historical Journal 26 (4): 831–844.
- Price, Roger (December 1974). "Legitimist Opposition to the Revolution of 1830 in the French Provinces". The Historical Journal 17 (4): 755–778. doi:10.1017/S0018246X00007895.