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Political change in the age of revolutions in France - Essay Example

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Many dates can be chosen as the beginning of the French Revolution. 1799 was nonetheless the year with an important impact in its course. The coup d'etat which then spread the Directory away, installed to power a dictator which was to last until 1814 and spin international relations in disarray…
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Political change in the age of revolutions in France
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Download file to see previous pages In the end, though, the dynasty that Napoleon hoped to found and the empire he set up both proved fragile. His unconditional abdication in 1814 was not the end of the story. He returned to France just under a year later from Elba where he had lived in pensioned exile, and the restored Bourbon regime vowed out at a touch. However, the battle of Waterloo in June 1815 ended Napoleon's illustrious history.
The regime installed in 1815 was still there, although somewhat shaken forty years later. This owed much to the salutary fear of revolution. In all the major continental states the restoration era, as the years after 1815 have been termed, was a great period for policemen, conspirators and plotters alike. Secret societies were widespread, undeterred by failure after failure. Class struggles proliferated. This period showed, however, that there was no subversive threat that could not be quashed easily enough.
Incorrectly, liberalism and nationalism were usually considered to be inseparable; this was to be proven terribly wrong in later times, but in so far as a few people did seek to change by revolution before 1848, it is largely true that they wanted to do so by espousing both the political principles of the French Revolution - government by representation, popular sovereignty, individual and press freedom - and those of nationality.
To the west of the Rhine, where the writ of the Holy Alliance, as was referred the big three conservative powers (Russia, Austria and Prussia), did not run, the story was different; there legitimism was to last for a short period. The very reinstitution of the Bourbon dynasty in 1814 had itself been a bargain with the principle of legitimacy. Louis XVIII was supposed to have ascended to power like any other French King, but he...
The man was Napoleon Bonaparte, the republic's former general and this time the First Consul of the new regime and soon to be France's first Emperor. In 1799, Napoleon Bonaparte had a great personal reputation and popularity. No one but the beaten politicians much regretted it when Bonaparte swept them aside and assumed power.After 1852 France was ruled by an emperor who again bore the name of Napoleon. He was the nephew of the first Napoleon. He had been elected president of the Second Republic, whose constitution he then rejected by a coup d’etat. The name Napoleon was itself terrifyingly portentous. It evoked a program of international reconstruction, in short, a revolution. Napoleon III – the second was legal fiction, a son of Napoleon I who had actually never ruled – stood for the destruction of the anti-French settlement of 1815 and, hence, of the Austrian domination which supported it up in Germany and Italy. He declared the rhetoric of nationalism with less reticence than most rulers and appears to have believed in it. With diplomacy and arms, Napoleon III forwarded the work of two great diplomatic technicians, Cavour and Bismarck, the prime ministers of Sardinia and of Prussia, respectively. Cavour died in 1861, and debate still persists over what was the extent of his real aims, but by 1871 his successors had established a united Italy under the former King of Sardinia, who was thus rewarded for the loss of Savoy, the ancestral duchy of his house. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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