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Describe the causes and effects of
The July Revolution.
After Charles X took the French throne in 1824, it looked as if the Old
Regime might once again take control of France's policies. The Catholic
clergy started to overtake schools, and a new law guaranteed the death
penalty for any who committed sacrilege in the Church. Still, the France
under the restored Bourbon crown was considered a free nation. In March of
1830, the so-called Chamber of Deputies passed a vote of no confidence in
the government. They rejected the King's policies. In what he deemed to be a
proportionate response, Charles lashed back with four ordinances in July of
that year. These ordinances dissolved the Chamber of Deputies, eliminated
freedom of the press, amended suffrage laws to concentrate the powerful
votes in the hands of the aristocrats, and called for a new election on the
The July Revolution began the following day. For three days, barricades
arose in the city, behind which swarming mobs of people fought the army and
police, most of whom refused to fire on the people. With no intention of
recreating the devastation his late brother had, Charles abdicated the
throne and headed to England.
In effect, the July Revolution of France revived the waning nationalistic
sentiments, causing the people to once again cry for the freedom of a
republic. Some, however, had reservations and wished to continue on with a
constitutional monarchy headed by a King they all felt they could trust. The
elderly marquis de Lafayette offered the Duke of Orleans for the position. A
somewhat distant relative of the Bourbons, the duke had served in the
republican army of 1792 as a young man. On August 7, the reborn Chamber of
Deputies offered him the throne; he would reign until 1848 with the title Louis Philippe.
To most outsiders, the reign of Louis Philippe was considered shockingly
revolutionary. The king owed his position to a mass insurrection, and he
flew the controversial "tri-color" flag as his French banner. (This flag was
as inspiring to the people as the hammer and a sickle of communist Russia.)
He adhered staunchly to the principles of the constitution of 1814, but made
sure to remove the tone of absolutism from French politics.
One of the most famous painters of the Romantic period, Eugene Delacroix
created the stunning work entitled "Liberty Leading the People." The
creation depicts Lady Liberty as a rational, yet passionate, leader, proudly
displaying the tri-colors. All manner of people surround her in the fight
(as is evidenced by the varied degree of formality in their costume) and a
wounded citizen just beneath her looks up to her in hopeful supplication.
The Reform Bill of 1832:
Adapting the English medieval system, England's Reform Bill of 1832 chose
not to emulate the liberal measures of the recent French Revolution. Meant
to change the majority in the House of Lords, the Reform Bill of 1832
allowed that members of the House of Commons represented boroughs and
counties without regard to population size. Qualification for voting was
intensely simplified, defined in terms of area of residence and rent.
Ten Hours Act:
The British Ten Hours Act of 1847 was a booming accomplishment for the
working classes. This Act limited the labor of women and children in
industrial establishments to more than ten hours a day. Men also were
loosely included in this legislation, as it then became custom for a man to
work only ten hours as well.
Honore Daumier, like Delacroix, was a famed painter of the romantic period.
His work "Big Investments" illustrated the mundane, financial side of the
revolutions that broke out in the mid-19th century, unlike Delacroix's
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