Bourbon Restoration

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The Bourbon Restoration is the name given to the period following the successive events of the French Revolution (1789-1799), the end of the First French Republic (1792-1804), and then the forcible end of the First French Empire under Napoleon (1804-1814/1815) — when other regional powers of Europe restored the monarchy by arms to the heirs of the House of Bourbon as the once again possessors of Kingdom of France. The Bourbon restoration existed from (about) April 6th, 1814 until the popular uprisings of the July Revolution of 1830, excepting the interval of the "Hundred Days"[note 1] less than a full year into the restoration when the Bourbon monarchy again had made themselves so unpopular with the general population of France that the family had to once more flee Paris and France to Ghent ahead of exploding civil disorders and collapsing civil authority.

At the beginning of the hundred days deposed Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte returned triumphantly to Paris from Elba, greeted with dizzy acclaim and joy by French crowds lining the roads coming from far away with advance news spreading of his approach along all the way — crowds swelling his army overnight at his back, growing at every step, even by aggregating the very troops sent to arrest him by the monarchy on several occasions — and with the flight of the king, after reaching Paris, he re-announced and reclaimed his dignities as Emperor. World opinion among Europe's elites was no where near as welcoming, and the autocrats quickly mobilized armies once more — so events quickly lead to his decisive defeat in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 deposing him once and for all time.

There is little evidence the Bourbon regime took away any lesson in the aftermath, and became increasingly annoying to the Parisian populace, and around France in general. The pre-revolution problems soon returned with court behavior driving home new hatreds between upper and lower classes.

The new Bourbon regime was however a constitutional monarchy, unlike the ancien régime, which was absolute, so had some limits on its abilities to repress the population at large. The period was characterized by a sharp conservative reaction and the re-establishment of the Roman Catholic Church as a power in French politics,[2] and consequent minor but consistent occurrences of civil unrest and disturbances.,[3] though not as much in the hearts of the people, many of whom retained the new more liberal viewpoints.


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