French Provisional Government of 1848

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Provisional government of 1848
cabinet of France
Jacques-Charles Dupont de L'Eure.jpg
Jacques-Charles Dupont de l'Eure,
President of the council
Date formed 24 February 1848
Date dissolved 9 May 1848
People and organisations
Head of government Jacques-Charles Dupont de l'Eure
Predecessor Cabinet of François-Pierre Guizot
Successor Executive Commission of 1848
Members of the Provisional Government. Lets to right, top:Garnier-Pagès, Crémieux, Marrast; bottom: Flocon, Martin, Saint-Georges

The Provisional government was a short-lived government formed on 24 February 1848 at the start of the French Second Republic, after the Cabinet of François-Pierre Guizot and the July Monarchy had been thrown out of power. It was succeeded by the Executive Commission of 1848.


The Provisional Government was formed after three days of street fighting in Paris that ended in the abdication of King Louis Philippe I at noon on February 24. The leaders of the government were selected by acclamation in two different meetings later that day, one at the Chamber of Deputies and the other at the Hôtel de Ville. The first set of seven names, chosen at the Chamber of Deputies, came from the list of deputies made by the moderate republican paper Le National. The second set of names, chosen at the Hôtel de Ville, came from a list made by the more radical republican paper La Réforme. In addition to the first set of deputies it included three journalists and a representative of the workers. Later that evening the combined list was acclaimed at the Hôtel de Ville.[1]

The members of the new Provisional Government collectively acted as head of state. They included the former deputies Jacques-Charles Dupont de l'Eure, Alphonse de Lamartine, Adolphe Crémieux, François Arago, Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin, Louis-Antoine Garnier-Pagès and Pierre Marie de Saint-Georges. The three journalists were Armand Marrast, Louis Blanc (a socialist) and Ferdinand Flocon. The representative of the workers was Alexandre Martin, known as "Albert".[1]


Ministers were named to head the government ministries. The positions of power in the Provisional Government were mainly given to moderate republicans, although Étienne Arago was made Minister of Posts and Marc Caussidière became Prefect of Police. Alexandre Martin ("Albert"), Louis Blanc and Ferdinand Flocon did not get ministerial portfolios, and so had little power.[2] The ministers were:

Ministry Start End Minister Sub-Secretary
President of the Council 24 February 1848 9 May 1848 Jacques-Charles Dupont de l'Eure
Interior 24 February 1848 9 May 1848 Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin
Foreign Affairs 24 February 1848 9 May 1848 Alphonse de Lamartine
Finance 24 February 1848 5 March 1848 Michel Goudchaux
Finance 5 March 1848 9 May 1848 Louis-Antoine Garnier-Pagès Charles Duclerc (from 23 March 1848)
Justice 24 February 1848 11 May 1848 Adolphe Crémieux
Public Works 24 February 1848 9 May 1848 Pierre Marie de Saint-Georges
Agriculture and Commerce 24 February 1848 9 May 1848 Eugène Bethmont
Education and Religious Affairs 24 February 1848 9 May 1848 Hippolyte Carnot
Navy and Colonies 24 February 1848 9 May 1848 François Arago Victor Schœlcher (from 4 March 1848)
War 25 February 1848 20 March 1848 Jacques Gervais, baron Subervie
War 20 March 1848 5 April 1848 Louis-Eugène Cavaignac
War 5 April 1848 9 May 1848 François Arago

Key events[edit]

February 24:
  • Demonstration of public works and buildings workers in the place de l'Hôtel-de-Ville, Paris, to demand a Ministry of Labor and the 10-hour day
  • Creation of the Government Commission for workers headed by Louis Blanc, which implements the national workshops
  • Suppression of the Octroi and salt taxes[9]
March 2:
  • Abolition of the system of bargaining for hiring
  • Reduction of hours in the working day
  • Creation of the commission to implement abolition of slavery in the French colonies
  • Decision not to intervene on behalf of other European peoples revolting against their governments
  • Universal suffrage decreed for males
  • Convocation of a constituent assembly decided, with elections set for 9 April
  • Forced used of banknotes to prevent disappearance of the gold holdings of the Bank of France
  • Reopening of the Paris Stock Exchange (closed from 22 February)
  • National Guard opened to all citizens
  • Creation of a school of administration to train officials
  • Abolition of imprisonment for debt
  • Abolition of corporal punishment in criminal matters
  • Revolution in Berlin
  • Elite units of the National Guard abolished[7]
  • Workers demonstration in Paris for postponement of the election of the Constituent Assembly. Elections postponed to April 23.[10]
  • Revolt in Bordeaux against envoys of the provisional government
  • Creation of the Central Workers Committee of the department of Seine
  • Failure of the expedition of the Belgian Legion in Belgium
April 3:
  • Revolt in Valence against envoys of the Provisional Government
  • Failure of the Voraces Legion of Lyon to raise Savoy
  • Revolt in Besançon against envoys of the provisional government
  • Failure of the Paris demonstration for a further postponement of the election of the Constituent Assembly
  • Moderate success in elections to the National Assembly
  • Street fighting in Rouen between supporters of the defeated Democratic Republicans and those elected from the bourgeois list
  • Abolition of slavery in French colonies
May 4:
  • First meeting of the National Assembly[11]
  • Assembly unanimously proclamats the Republic[11]


  1. ^ a b Luna 2004.
  2. ^ Fortescue 2004, p. 70.
  3. ^ Fortescue 2004, p. 63.
  4. ^ Fortescue 2004, p. 64.
  5. ^ Fortescue 2004, p. 64-65.
  6. ^ Lamartine 1890, p. 17.
  7. ^ a b Agulhon 1983, p. 41.
  8. ^ Fortescue 2004, p. 96.
  9. ^ a b Augello & Guidi 2005, p. 132.
  10. ^ Agulhon 1983, p. 42.
  11. ^ a b Agulhon 1983, p. 47.