Topics: Louis XVIII of France, French Revolution, House of Bourbon Pages: 4 (1311 words) Published: November 25, 2013
DO YOU AGREE THAT THE BOURBONS WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN DOWNFALL IN 1830? In July 1830 a second French Revolution caused the then monarch, Charles X, to abdicate. He was replaced by the Duke of Orleans, marking the end of the Bourbon restoration, which had seen the Pre-Napoleonic regime return to power after the emperor’s exile. Although it lasted 15 years, and must therefore be judged as having its successes, cracks began to form in the regime and general dissatisfaction led to outspread revolt and revolution. It can therefore be established that some fault does indeed lie with the Bourbons. However how much blame can be apportioned to them?

In 1814, Louis XVIII signed The Charter, taking a big step towards a Constitutional Monarchy in France, and away from the Absolute Monarchy that was attributed to the ancien regime. This was the first in a series of steps made by the monarch to satisfy the people of France that he was committed to change and accepted the validity of both revolution and its ideals. This was of vital importance to the people as they would not wish to overthrow a body that kept in line with their wishes. In an attempt to promote equal rights, he extended both the franchise and the number of seats available in the Chamber of Deputies and he disbanded governments that were too right wing in favour of a more centre party line. Although he did make some unpopular decisions: raising taxes on tobacco, wine and salt as well as siding with the royalists not the revolutionaries in the Spanish Revolt. On the whole he did a very good job at reviving the French economy and settling terms with the other European leaders but his lacklustre approach to foreign policy made his reign seem very uneventful in comparison to Napoleon’s. However the fact that he died still on his throne shows that on the whole he led a relatively successful reign, and did not push the Bourbons towards their own downfall.

On the other hand his successor, Charles X, con not...
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