BECK index

France of Louis XVIII & Charles X 1814-30

by Sanderson Beck

France of Louis XVIII 1814-24
France of Charles X 1824-29
France’s Revolution of 1830
Socialism of Saint-Simon
Fourier’s Social Harmony
Constant’s Liberalism and Adolphe
Chateaubriand’s Romanticism

France of Louis XVIII 1814-24

      French princes in exile had proclaimed Louis XVI’s brother King Louis XVIII on 16 June 1795 while he was in Verona. He moved north when Napoleon invaded the Venetian Republic in 1796. He lived in Prussian territory until 1804 and then fled further north to Sweden and Livonia. He moved to England in 1807. On 12 April 1814 his younger brother, the Count of Artois, entered Paris and had his power confirmed as Lt. General of the realm. On 3 May King Louis was welcomed by many Parisians even though he was 59 and too obese to ride a horse or walk without aid. He gave Talleyrand authority to negotiate peace with the Allies and appointed him foreign minister, and on 30 May Talleyrand signed the treaty of Paris.
      A constitutional Charter was promulgated on 4 June 1814 that promised freedom of the press and religion, an independent judiciary, acceptance of the public debt and pensions, and not disturbing anyone for previous opinions. However, the Roman Catholic religion was established by the state. The legislature had two houses and had control over the budget, but the King ruled over war and peace and proposed laws. Deputies would be elected for five-year terms, a fifth of them each year; but the Imperial Legislative Body served as the Chamber of Deputies until the first election in 1816. More than 300,000 soldiers were dismissed in June 1814, leaving an army of 223,000 men. A treaty with Bern in September hired 6,000 Swiss officers whose pay was to be 20,390,000 francs.
      In October the restored Louis XVIIII returned national property to émigrés. The Chamber of Peers was appointed with 155 members including 84 from the Imperial Senate, 46 grands seigneurs or Church dignitaries, and 19 Marshals of the Empire. The administration retained three-quarters of the imperial personnel and two-thirds of the prefects. France had a debt of 759 million francs. To reduce this, expenses on the Navy were cut, and taxes were increased. The King was allowed 25 million francs and the princes 5 million, but these were less than had been allocated for Napoleon’s family. On 3 January 1815 Talleyrand agreed to a defensive alliance with Britain and Austria.
      News of Napoleon returning gained support in March 1815. On the 13th Talleyrand signed an Allied declaration against Napoleon. Louis XVIII fled from Paris on the 19th, and he settled in Ghent on the 30th. In Toulouse the National Guard supported Louis XVIII, and on March 23 a voluntary battalion of 400 men was organized. The Baron de Vitrolles tried to set up a monarchical government in Toulouse, but General Delaborde arrested him on 4 April. The Federation of the Midi formed in Toulouse on 26 May, and royalists recruited 800 Toulousains in the countryside.
      After Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, Louis joined Talleyrand at Mons on 22 June, the day Napoleon abdicated. On the 28th Louis XVIII at Cambrai declared that he had made mistakes, that he would uphold the Charter, and that he granted amnesty to his straying subjects except those who had instigated treason. At Arnouville on July 6 Talleyrand presented Fouché to King Louis who appointed him Minister of Police, and he named the rest of his cabinet the next day. Foreign Minister Talleyrand was elected president of the cabinet that included War Minister Marshal Gouvion-Saint-Cyr, Finance Minister Baron Louis, and Etienne Denis, Duke of Pasquier, as Minister of Justice and Interior.
      Louis XVIII returned to Paris on 8 July 1815. Within two weeks the British and Prussian army of 150,000 men was at the gates. Royalists gained control of Montpellier on 15 July and of Nîmes two days later. Marshal Davout commanded the army beyond the Loire; but he resigned on the 24th and was replaced by Marshal Macdonald. Louis banished Napoleon’s accomplices, and Fouché advised him to arrest 54 officials and soldiers charged with treason. Also on the 24th the Allies announced the terms of the occupation, and by September about 1,226,000 Allied troops were in France except in the southwest corner. Wellington managed to discipline the English and Dutch, and the Russians were well behaved except for the plundering Cossacks. The Austrians made money by seizing and selling goods, and the Prussians and Germans were even more oppressive. The Allies agreed to let the French govern in exchange for 50 million francs for their troops. The government made the rich loan them 100 million francs. In the fall some of the Allies began leaving.
      Peasants from Brittany to Maine and especially in the Vendée had begun rebelling in April. Insurrection had broken out at Marseille on 24 June 1815 as a royalist committee ordered assassinations and arrests, and at least a hundred Jacobins and Federates were killed. In July the King banned political demonstrations by the National Guard. Marshal Brune fled from Toulon and was killed at Avignon on 2 August. General Jean-Pierre Ramel was wounded on the 15th in Toulouse and then was killed by royalist verdets two days later. In Languedoc the Catholics attacked Protestants, killing prominent manufacturers. Fouché let the imperialists on the list escape; but Col. La Bédoyere came back to see his wife, and was the first to be condemned and executed on 19 August. A purge of the administration and military began that would remove or punish more than 50,000 civil servants and 15,000 military officers.
      Louis XVIIII dissolved the chamber of representatives that had been elected in 1815 during Napoleon’s 100 days. On 23 July he ordered the electoral colleges to meet and vote on 14 and 22 August. About 72,000 men over 21 who paid 300 francs a year or more in taxes could vote, and 48,500 did. The age requirement of deputies was reduced to 21, and their number was increased to 402. Ultraroyalists were 78% of the deputies elected. On 24 July the 29 Peers who had served under Napoleon in the 100 days were expelled, and on 17 August the King appointed 94 new Peers. Talleyrand persuaded the King to make their seats hereditary. Fouché was disappointed and agreed to go to Dresden as the ambassador.
      On 21 September Talleyrand rejected the Allies’ offer and resigned the next day. On the 24th King Louis appointed Armand-Emmanuel du Plessis, the Duke of Richelieu, to head his administration as Foreign Minister. He had been a general in the Russian army and governed Odessa as mayor 1803-14. The Comte Élie Decazes was elected a deputy for the Seine, and he was appointed Minister of Police and had to suppress the insurrection of the Revolutionaries and Bonapartists in the Second White Terror. The Ultras who won the August elections accepted the Charter. The famous Marshal Ney was executed on 7 December. General Lagarde was killed for trying to reopen a Protestant church in Nimes on 12 November. From July to December of the 210 people tried for political offenses 165 were imprisoned.
      In the second peace treaty signed at Paris on 20 November France was forced to cede the border fortresses at Sarrelouis and Saarbrücken to Prussia as well as Philippeville, Marienbourg, and Bouillon to the Netherlands. Austria got Landau and territory north of the Lauter, and Savoy went to the Kingdom of Sardinia. France was obligated to pay an indemnity of 700 million francs within five years while the eastern departments were occupied by 150,000 Allied troops whom France had to pay 150 million francs per year. Also the Allies removed the art works from the Louvre that Napoleon had taken from other countries.
      Louis XVIII opened the legislative session on 7 October 1815, and the new Chamber of Deputies had 197 bourgeois men plus eight who had become nobles during the Empire. There were 176 Old Regime nobles, but not one clergyman was a deputy. They passed the Law of General Security on the 29th, the Law on Seditious Speech and Publications on 9 November, and on 27 December they restored the Provost Courts to judge offenders. On 12 January 1816 the Amnesty Law did not include regicides. On 29 February an ordinance established primary education and gave the University authority to accredit teachers. Each canton was to have a committee of volunteers to supervise primary schools. Property not bought back by émigrés by April reverted to the communes. The White Terror prosecuted about 6,000 people who had supported Napoleon. In the south mobs lynched about 300 people.
      Those opposing the Ultraroyalists persuaded the King to dissolve the Chamber of Deputies on 5 September. A royal decree reduced the number of deputies to 262, and they had to be at least 40 years old. In the election on October 25 Constitutionalists supporting the government won 146 seats in the Chamber of Deputies that met in November; but only 92 were Ultraroyalists who blocked 24 others from being elected by preventing a quorum. Chateaubriand published On Monarchy According to the Charter; but Louis XVIII was offended by a passage and had Decazes ban the book. Chateaubriand opposed the seizure, and the publicity promoted his book. Several newspapers expressed various viewpoints, and the most influential Journal des Débats with 27,000 subscribers was influenced by Chateaubriand who also published the monthly Conservateur. The liberal Minerve had 12,000 subscribers by 1818 when the Constitutionel increased to 20,000. Parliamentary debates were reported in newspapers.
      Decazes and Gouvion-Saint-Cyr were moderates who opposed the Ultraroyalists. Decazes supported the liberal experiment of supporting mutual schools that used the Lancastrian method of having advanced students guided by instructors teach others. Elementary education was limited, and 25,000 communes still had no schools in 1821. Louis XVIII in 1814 had given money to restore Mont-Valérian which became the center of the missionary movement that the King made legal in September 1816. During the Restoration about 1,500 missions were held in France drawing thousands with some lasting for months. They included theatrical ceremonies, singing canticles, and long preaching sessions that associated regicide with the crucifixion of Jesus as an argument for the divine right of kings. January 21 was a national holiday to mourn the killing of Louis XVI, a date that had been celebrated during the Revolution.
      In 1816-17 scarce bread forced prices to more than triple, and France had to pay much to import wheat from overseas. In Paris more than 100,000 people were given relief. Riots broke out during winter in the north and in the Brie region during the spring of 1817. On 8 June armed groups with the tricolor flag rose up in Lyons. They were put down, and many were arrested with eleven guillotined. A new election law had been passed in February 1817, and the number of Allied troops in France was reduced by 30,000 in April. France conscripted 40,000 men out of 300,000 each year unless they paid for a substitute, but only 10,000 were fit enough for the army. On 30 September an ordinance removed the national guard from control by the Count of Artois. In the October elections the ultras did not attend election meetings and lost 15 seats. The government lost 4 seats, and the independents on the extreme left won about 20 seats. In November a Society of Friends of Freedom of the Press was founded. By 1818 the vote was limited to men over thirty who paid 300 francs in taxes, and deputies had to be 40 years old paying at least 1,000 francs. They increased the standing army from 150,000 to 240,000 men.
      During the October conference at Aix-la-Chapelle France paid off the compensation for war damages two years early by getting loans from the banks Baring of London and Hope of Amsterdam. The Four Allied Powers of Britain, Austria, Prussia, and Russia invited France to join them in maintaining peace in Europe based on treaties. Richelieu persuaded the convention to withdraw the troops by 30 November, and the Duke of Wellington evacuated foreign troops from France and resigned his office. Richelieu wanted to revise the election law again; but the cabinet opposed this, and he resigned on 26 December. The two chambers voted him a pension of 50,000 francs a year, but he donated it to the hospitals in Bordeaux.
      In January 1819 the government formed a coalition with the liberals. Early in the year Louis XVIII lost the use of his legs again and used a wheel chair. The dramatist Auguste Kotzebue was suspected of being an agent for Tsar Aleksandr, and the student Sand assassinated him at Mannheim on 28 March. From March to November the left gained a majority in the other Chamber of Peers by appointing 68 new peers, and a law in May freed the press. In August the Papacy and France agreed to return to the Concordat of 1801. General Jean-Joseph Dessolles was the first minister until 19 November 1819, and he was succeeded by the Interior Minister Decazes. He began by replacing 16 prefects and 40 subprefects. In the election of one-fifth of the deputies the independents won 35 of the 55 seats as the right lost 10 seats and the ministry 15. Benjamin Constant and the regicide Abbé Henri Grégoire were elected, but the deputies voted to deny the latter revolutionary his seat. Political exiles were allowed to return, and Napoleonic generals joined the Court.
      On 13 February 1820 the fanatical saddler Etienne Louvel killed Charles Ferdinand, the Duke of Berry, the son of the Count of Artois, and said he did it to end the Bourbon royal line. One week later Richelieu replaced Decazes as President of the Council with an administration of constitutional royalists with the Comte de Serre as Keeper of the Seals. Decazes was made a duke and left to be ambassador to Britain. The government with support from the right passed laws that allowed the detention of suspected conspirators for three months without trial, increased censorship of newspapers and periodicals, and doubled the vote of the 23,000 richest electors who paid more taxes, adding 172 delegates to the Chamber elected by one-quarter of the electorate. On 3 June the student Lallemand was killed by a royal guard, and two days later after his funeral about 500 mourners appealed to workers and marched on the Bourbon Palace. The royal cavalry was called out to disperse the crowd and was aided by a thunderstorm. The left-center party got the indirect two-stage elections removed from the bill, and on the 12th a new electoral law was passed 154-93. An attempt to bring about a military coup in August was discovered and squelched. On 29 September the wife of the late Duke of Berry gave birth to a son whom royalists welcomed as the miracle baby who revived the Bourbon line, and he was made the Duke of Bordeaux.
      Various secret societies were meeting. Bonapartists such as the Epingle noire and Bazar français, and the latter joined with the Friends of Truth, a masonic lodge to oppose the double voting. In 1820 Louis XVIII had 1,622 people in his court, only eight less than Napoleon had in 1814.
      After the elections on 4 and 13 November for the 172 seats elected by double voting the right gained a majority. On 10 December Richelieu and the other center-right ministers resigned, and the ultraroyalists formed a government on the 15th. The liberals had only 80 deputies out of 430. The King’s brother Artois approved the cabinet suggested by Richelieu that was led by Finance Minister Joseph de Villèle and included his friend, the Count of Corbière, as Interior Minister and Mathieu de Montmorency as Foreign Minister, a friend of Madame de Staël. Villèle had joined the Knights of the Faith in 1813, became mayor of Toulouse in 1815, and in 1819 had supported the party of Decazes. He centralized public finance, allowed voting on budget items, and managed a surplus every year except in 1827, his last year in office. This enabled him to cut taxes, mostly on property.
      On 27 February 1821 an ordinance put the bishops in charge of supervising secondary schools. Joubert and his friend Dugied brought the Carboneri movement from Italy to France in March, and they were supported by Lafayette and other notables. Their first uprising was at Saumur on 24 November, and an insurrection at Belfort spread to Alsace. The 45th regiment in Paris was suspected of conspiracies and was transferred to La Rochelle in February 1822. On the way they were charged with plots, and the four sergeants Bories, Pommier, Raoulx, and Goubin refused to inform on the chief instigators and were hanged on 21 September. Eight other soldiers were also executed between February and October, and then the Carboneri movement receded in France. Partial elections in October made little change in the parliament.
      On 24 February 1822 General Jean-Baptiste Breton took control over the small town of Thouars that had a garrison of five gendarmes. The next day he led 150 men against Saumur hoping for help from the Carboneri in the cavalry school. The mayor closed the gates and called up the national guard. Breton had lost control of Thouars and dismissed his force. The government also arrested the Colmar plotter Col. Caron, and he and Breton were executed in October. Also in 1822 Louis XVIII appointed the popular preacher Denis-Luc Frayssinous to be the grand master of the university and thus head of France’s secondary education. That year he appointed 19 bishops as peers.
      In March 1822 laws abolished the censorship of the Richelieu government; but they required periodicals to get preliminary permits, and they could be investigated and tried for their views and could be prosecuted for insulting religion or the King. Newspapers founded after 1 January 1822 were required to get prior authorization. On 5 September Louis XVIII made Villèle the President of the Council. Montmorency returned to Paris from the Congress of Verona in December and urged intervention in Spain with Austria, Russia, and Prussia; but Villèle wanted an independent policy of peace, and Louis did not trust Montmorency who resigned on the 26th and was replaced by Chateaubriand to please the ultras. The King had agreed to the revival of the Navy, but his health was beginning to decline. In the last three years of his reign the ultraroyalist Sosthènes La Rochefoucauld (1785-1864) saw Villèle every morning and then wrote a letter to Madame du Cayla who wrote the King each day and was his closest friend.
      On 28 January 1823 Louis XVIII declared to parliament that he had recalled his minister from Madrid, and he ordered the Duke Louis Antoine of Angoulême, the son of Artois, to command 100,000 French troops. In April they crossed the Pyrenees and were welcomed by royalists in northern Spain as liberators, and they entered Madrid on 24 May. The liberal government had fled to Cadiz taking King Fernando VII as a hostage. There the French assaulted Trocadero that dominated the city, and the liberals capitulated on 30 August. Fernando was freed and was welcomed by Angoulême on 1 October. Prince Charles Albert de Carignan was the heir to Piedmont and fought with the French in Spain, and at the victory celebrations in Paris in December he was welcomed as a hero. In February 1824 France and Spain signed a treaty that allowed 45,000 French soldiers to occupy Spain, and Fernando promised to grant amnesty. The French occupation of Spain lasted until September 1828.
      After the elections of 26 February and 6 March 1824 for seven-year terms the royalists had 410 deputies, and the 110 liberals were reduced to only 19. Royalist clubs were popular. Revenue had been only 542,000,000 francs in 1815, but in 1824 it was 919,276,468 francs. Expenditure that year included 21% for war and 28% for the debt from the intervention in Spain. Government stocks went from 60 in 1816 to 100 in 1824. Villèle tried to convert this stock from 5% to 3% interest so that they could compensate former property owners, but liberals in the Chamber of Peers blocked this on 3 June.
      In April a law gave bishops the job of issuing certificates to elementary school teachers. In May the annual conscripts into the army were increased to 60,000, and their military service was extended from six to eight years in order to increase the army from 140,000 to 250,000. King Louis dismissed Chateaubriand on 4 August 1824, and that month the Council restored censorship, though his brother Artois disapproved. Chateaubriand and the influential Journal des Débats became critics of the government. Louis XVIII died on 16 September, and he was the last king of France to die while on the throne.
      Théodore Géricault (1791-1824) was most famous for his painting of The Raft of the Medusa in 1819, and Eugène Delacroix also created historical paintings such as the Massacre at Chios in 1824, Death of Sardanapalus in 1827, and Liberty Leading the People in 1830.

France of Charles X 1824-29

      When the Count of Artois succeeded his older brother as King Charles X on 16 September 1824, he began his reign by promising to maintain the Charter and the institutions that they owed to Louis XVIII. On December 2 King Charles announced that 250 older officers were being dismissed from active service in the army. Because most were from the republican and empire eras, this aroused so much criticism that he made some exceptions. On the 22nd in his first speech to a joint session of the two chambers he stated his intention to bring financial justice to the émigrés and to bring about reforms in religion. The commissions proposed compensating 24,968 families, and other beneficiaries would bring the total to nearly 700,000 claimants. In April the indemnity bill passed, and 987,819,962 francs in 3% bonds were disbursed for 452,072 properties. Noble army officers got 32%, other nobles 25.5%, and clergy 26%. The Sacrilege Law was passed, but the legislators put so many conditions on the crimes that it was not enforced.
      On 20 May 1825 the chambers were prorogued for the coronation, and at Rheims nine days later Archbishop Latil crowned Charles X, pleasing the Ultraroyalists but not others. The Knights of the Faith enthusiastically supported the new King. In August 1824 Frayssinous had been appointed Minister of Religious Affairs and Education, and he was made a peer. In 1825 he published his lectures as Defense of Christianity which had 15 editions. In May 1826 Frayssinous made a long speech that mentioned the Jesuits and aroused much controversy. In 1826 liberal newspapers had a circulation of 50,000 to 15,000 for governmental papers. An economic depression started in France in 1826 when potatoes suddenly began a decline that lasted for four years. Four years of bad grain harvests began in 1827.
      Chateaubriand urged support for the Greeks against the Turks in his Note sur la Grèce in 1825, and in May 1826 he made a stirring oration in the Chamber of Peers. After the Turks took over Athens in June 1827, France joined Britain and Russia in the treaty of London on July 6. On August 18 the Allies gave the Sultan Mahmud II one month to accept mediation. To stop attacks by the Egyptian fleet they blockaded the Morea. In the naval battle by the port of Navarino on October 20 the Allies destroyed the Turkish and Egyptian fleets, and the French squadron had only 43 men killed and 117 wounded.
      By the end of the 1827 legislative session on 22 June an ordinance had restored censorship that Charles desired, and other reforms reduced administrative corruption. On 15 August the electorate was 70,000, but registration efforts in the next six weeks increased it to 88,000 voters. Chateaubriand’s Society of Friends of Freedom of the Press supported liberal candidates, and the statesman and historian François Guizot founded the liberal society called “Heaven Helps Those Who Help Themselves.” In the elections on November 17 and 24 the deputies supporting the government were reduced to less than 180 with 180 on the left and 70 on the right opposing them. Villèle appointed new ministers who insisted that he be made a peer and resign, which he did on 5 January 1828. Ministries of Commerce and Manufactures were founded.
      Increasing the production of pig-iron from 114,000 tons in 1818 to 220,000 tons in 1828 helped raise the scythes produced from 72,000 in France in 1817 to 120,000 in one factory in Toulouse in 1827. After studying the experiments of the Danish Hans Christian Ørsted showing that an electric current could change the direction of a magnetic needle, André-Marie Ampère (1775-1836) did experiments and calculated the laws of electromagnetism, publishing his work in 1827.
      The new cabinet announced on 5 January 1828 was led by Jean Baptiste Gay, Vicomte de Martignac as Interior Minster and included the Comte de La Ferronays as Minister of Foreign Affairs. King Charles liked them because they easily followed his will. He spoke to the two chambers at the Louvre on 5 February at the start of their legislative sessions, and he promised to preserve the authority of the crown with their assistance. On 25 March he introduced a bill to lessen the influence of the prefects on elections by revising voting registers annually. In April the Constitutionnel complained that of the 430 deputies no more than 280 ever attended. On 16 June the publication of two ordinances aimed at the unauthorized Jesuits caused controversy. The administration of schools were transferred from the Jesuits to the University, and no one belonging to an unauthorized order could teach. The second decree limited the number of students who could attend ecclesiastical schools, and no more than 20,000 would be admitted to seminaries. Another law he proposed required political publications to provide money to guarantee their good behavior, and violation would be punished by suspension for three months. Extremes on the left and right opposed the bill; but the moderates carried it, and it became law in July.
      On 12 August a French expedition led by General Maison sailed from Toulon and reached Navarino Bay on the 29th and occupied the Morea even though Egypt’s Wāli Muhammad ‘Ali had agreed to evacuate his troops in October.
      French émigrés, mostly clergy, received 240,844 francs in pensions in 1828. That year the lottery brought in 51 million francs. The government paid 100,000 francs for the Duchess of Berry’s tour of the provinces. The budget of 1829 spent 974 million francs and had a surplus of 12 million. Expenses of the monarchy and the royal family were 32 million. Charles X was criticized for having 62 aides de camp while the Austrian Emperor had only two and the British King one. France had 163 houses of prostitution with 2,653 filles en carte. Protests demanding production of Molière’s Tartuffe every night for two weeks ended on October 12 when the police came in and arrested 14 people.
      In October 1829 the electorate reached 98,000 voters. On 3 November Charles X reluctantly signed the ordinance removing twelve prefects. When Foreign Minister La Ferronays became ill in January 1829, Charles rejected the cabinet’s suggestion of Chateaubriand and appointed the Comte de Portalis temporarily while summoning Prince Jules de Polignac from London to join his cabinet. Charles wanted Polignac to form a cabinet, but controversy persuaded the King to send him back to London for a while. On 27 January he announced that he was recalling the troops from Spain, but the French blockade of Algiers begun in 1827 was continuing.
      On 8 April a coalition of the two extremes defeated Charles X, and the Martignac administration was no longer effective. Charles had signed hundreds of ordinances he decreed exercising his authority to appoint officials, grant pensions, exploit forest and mineral resources, accept bequests, extend mail routes, build bridges, and establish chairs in the universities. Low-level bureaucrats were paid only 600 francs a year; but the top minister got 150,000 francs a year plus allowances, and prefects made between 18,000 and 45,000 francs annually.
      More than 20 million of the French worked in farming, and only about half of the 32 million in France could read and write. About a quarter of the children went to school, and France had 329 secondary schools in 1830. Children in the cotton mills of Lille began working at the age of eight, and some children labored as early as six. Work was from dawn to dusk, and from 1815 to 1830 the real wages of workers decreased by 22% while the price of necessities went up by 10%. Average wages were 2 francs per day for men, one for women, and about 0.6 for children. A skilled iron worker could make 4 francs a day. Workers were not allowed to organize, though they could form mutual aid societies. If they went beyond charitable and social functions, police would intervene. Benjamin Constant expressed the “liberal” view that employers in agriculture, industry, and commerce should have complete freedom. In 1829 only 88,275 taxpaying men were qualified to vote. The peasants and 4,300,000 workers were not represented in either chamber.
      Prince Jules de Polignac returned to Paris on 26 July 1829. King Charles X told Martignac and his cabinet that they no longer had influence in the Chamber of Deputies, and on 5 August he approved the men selected by Polignac and La Bourdonnaye, the quarrelsome new Minister of the Interior. General Louis Auguste de Bourmont was appointed Minister of War, and the Comte Jean Joseph de Courvoisier was named Minister of Justice. Charles disliked the Comte de Montbel; but he was accepted as Minister of Church Affairs and Public Education because he could gain support from Villèle’s friends in the Chamber of Deputies. La Bourdonnaye resigned in November because he would not accept Polignac as president of the Council. Thus Polignac became the chief minister on 17 November. He had been convicted in 1804 of conspiring against Napoleon and was in prison until he escaped in 1813. Louis XVIII made him a general and a peer. During that reign Polignac support the future Charles X, and he was ambassador to England from 1823 to 1829. He wanted to increase the power of the landed aristocracy and admired British institutions.
      On 10 August the Journal des Débats predicted that the Polignac government would cause “national humiliations, misfortunes, and dangers.” The editor Bertin was prosecuted and sentenced to six months in prison and a fine, but on 24 December the Paris court acquitted him. On 14 August the Tribune des Départements referred to the new ministry as the extreme right trying to achieve counterrevolution which would be their end.

France’s Revolution of 1830

      In June 1829 Armand Marrast had founded the Jeune France newspaper, and in January 1830 students in Paris formed a republican society. That month the National newspaper was founded, and an article by Adolphe Thiers provoked a prosecution of his editor Sautelet who was imprisoned for three months. A damp autumn damaged crops, and a bitter winter increased discontent. By the end of January more than 4,000 people had died of lung diseases. Bread became expensive, and unemployment increased in industrial centers. The harvest of 1830 would be ruined. Financial relief and support were provided for the destitute. An opera benefit on 25 January raised 41,559 francs. Guizot wrote that Polignac did nothing because he was afraid of confirming that he was a counterrevolutionary. In February the Universal wrote that the royalists and the republicans opposed Charles X.
      On 2 March 1830 Charles X spoke to both chambers at their opening session. He noted that revenues had exceeded expenses in the previous year, and he hoped that conversion of the debt would allow financing of public works. He claimed that the rights of the crown are sacred, and he expected their cooperation in implementing his proposals. The next day the deputies submitted to him five nominees for their new president; Charles wanted none of them but selected Royer-Collard. On 9 March the Peers sent their address to the King, and they reminded him that the people value their liberties. The deputies formed a committee to draft a response. On the 15th with more than 400 deputies and the Polignac ministers in the chamber the address presented observed that the administration did not trust the French people who are offended because their liberties are threatened. The next day the deputies voted 221 to 181 to adopt the sections critical of the King and his ministers. On the 18th Royer-Collard and 46 deputies went to the palace and read the address to Charles who replied he would alter his resolutions.
      At a Council meeting Montbel proposed dissolving the deputies and calling for new elections, and these were announced on 19 March. Villèle and his wife came to Paris in March for the birth of their grandchild. He talked with the King and his ministers, and two men told Villèle that a majority of the deputies would approve a budget from a Villèle ministry. Polignac asked Villèle if he would join his cabinet; but he said no and left Paris on 12 April.
      A series of 178 fires occurred in France’s departments of Calvados, Manche, and Orne from 18 February to 7 July, and the royalists and liberals blamed each other; but the cause of the fires could not be determined. The Government dismissed several deputies who had voted with the 221 and had held posts, and six prefects were replaced for opposing the regime. Finance Minister Chabrol reported that the population of France had increased to 31,657,429 people, and the state-owned tobacco monopoly had increased its profits by 5 million francs in ten years. The national debt was 322,752,569 francs, and the 1831 budget expected a surplus of 3 million. On 16 May a new ordinance announced that the chamber was dissolved and that elections would be held on 23 June and 3 July and that the chambers were prorogued until 3 August. Interior Minister Courvoisier was replaced by Comte de Chantelauze, the former president of Grenoble, and Comte de Peyronnet, who been in Villèle’s cabinet, became Interior Minister.
      French conflict in Algeria had begun on 29 April 1827 when the Ottoman governor, Hussein Dey, struck the French Consul Deval with the handle of a fly swatter. This provoked Charles X to impose a blockade of Algiers. The French ships did not stop foreign merchants but kept Algerian ships in port. On 3 August 1829 the Algerians fired on the French parley ship Provence. On 31 January 1830 after long negotiations with Egypt’s Muhammad ‘Ali, the Council of ministers ordered an expedition led by General Bourmont and Admiral Duperre to be prepared. The British complained that France was neglecting the rights of the Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II. The French did not need English aid and wanted to stop piracy, eliminate slavery, and end tribute payments. On 16 May 1830 a French fleet of 103 warships and 464 vessels with 27,000 sailors and an army of 37,612 men left Toulon, and they landed in Algeria on 14 June. Hussein Dey mobilized an army of 10,000 Moors, Arabs, Janissaries, and Berbers, and they attacked the French on the 19th. On the 28th the French stormed Algiers, and the Dey capitulated on July 5. France had 415 men killed, and 2,160 wounded. The French expedition cost 80 million francs, but they took the Dey’s treasury of 48 million francs.
      On 14 June Charles X once again proclaimed his sacred rights and said he would maintain the Charter. Mayors read this aloud, and officials told voters to choose the King or the Revolution. Twelve officials who did not cooperate were removed. On the 18th an ordinance adjourned electoral colleges from 12 July to the 19th in twenty departments where liberals were likely to be elected. Nonetheless the 94,000 voters and 5,000 electors chose 274 deputies who opposed the regime and only 143 supporters. Of the 221 deputies who had voted against the King 202 were re-elected. Several ministers wanted to resign, but Charles insisted they stay. Even Metternich, who opposed constitutionalism, warned the French ambassador that abolishing press freedom and the electoral laws would end Bourbon rule, and France’s ally Tsar Nicholas felt the same way.
      Charles X claimed that article XIV of the Charter gave him the right to impose ordinances “to insure the safety of the state,” and he believed he had “duties to God.” On 29 June Justice Minister Chantelauze proposed suspending the constitutional system, annulling the election, and holding a reformed election. Peyronnet advised dissolving the new chamber, but Guernon-Ranville argued that the King could keep the government going. Charles and his son Angoulême agreed with new ordinances that would alter the Charter. On 25 July the King and all the ministers signed the four ordinances that would require censorship of newspapers, dissolve the Chamber of Deputies, reduce the number of deputies to 258, and decrease voters to 86,200 by excluding the tax on windows and doors. The richest men in each department would have more control. Many voting places were moved from liberal areas to royalist localities. The fourth ordinance set the elections on 6 and 13 September with the chambers convening on the 28th.
      On Monday 26 July King Charles X and his son were hunting all day. Early in the morning the police posted notices banning any unauthorized publication. Editors consulted lawyers who told them that the new ordinances were illegal. Journalists met in the offices of the National and agreed to publish. The National put out an extra urging taxpayers to resist the ordinances. Adolphe Thiers and others drafted a protest that 43 other newspaper owners and editors signed. They argued that laws regulating the press and elections required approval by the legislatures, nor could the King dissolve or annul the election or dissolve the chamber without giving a reason. The president of the civil tribunal allowed the Journal du Commerce to publish on a legal technicality. Commercial and industrial leaders met in city hall, elected officers, and voted to close their businesses, freeing employees. Paris had about 40,000 people in the printing business, and that night about 5,000 printers led a protest at the foreign ministry shouting against the ministers and for the Charter. Polignac and other ministers met at the Justice Minister’s office. As they were going to the foreign ministry, their carriages were pelted by rocks, and they fled from the mob. Banker and deputy Jacques Lafitte opposed pillaging and urged respect for property. The King came home late and went to bed before ordering in the morning Marshal Marmont, the Duke of Ragusa, to command the armed forces of Paris. Although Marmont hated the ordinances, he considered it his duty to defend them.
      On Tuesday the 27th the Globe, the National, and the Temps printed the journalists’ protest. Warrants for the arrest of 44 journalists were ordered but were never served. More employers released their employees, and clashes with royal troops broke out in the streets. Many skilled craftsmen participated, and they would make up almost a thousand of the 211 killed and 1,327 wounded. More than a quarter of the 750,000 people in Paris were receiving public aid, and Paris also had about 40,000 veterans with guns. Mobs pilfered and looted. At 3 in the afternoon about 30 deputies met at the home of rich Casimir Périer. They declined to support the insurrection, but Guizot was chosen to draft a protest against the ordinances. Nine regiments defected, and government forces were being defeated. Polignac and the ministers met at the Tuileries, and later that night they decided to declare a state of siege. He took the decree to the King the next morning; it was given to Marmont but never publicized. The ministers left Marmont and the King.
      On Wednesday the 28th at 8 in the morning Marmont wrote the King that the riot had become a revolution. About 600 barricades were put up using trees cut down and paving stones to block streets. Armories and arsenals were seized and ransacked for weapons. The mob took over the Hotel de Ville and Notre Dame and raised the tricolor flag. Insurgents occupied the royal printing office so that no decrees could be published. By the end of the day royal troops were exhausted from fighting with little food or water while defecting soldiers were given both by the people. In the afternoon deputies Lafitte and Etienne Gérard met with Marmont who did not arrest them during an attempted mediation, but Polignac declined to meet with the deputies. Lafitte decided to join the insurgents. The King offered a pardon but refused to negotiate unless the insurgents laid down their arms. That evening Charles played cards while the battle raged in Paris. The government had only 15,000 troops in the Paris area, but only 9,000 could be mobilized. Their best 40,000 soldiers were in Algeria. News of the ordinances and the uprising spread to Metz, Nantes, Bordeaux, Lyons, Arras, Le Havre, Rouen, Lille, Caen, and Toulouse. At Nantes soldiers shot at about 150 men who were attacking a barracks to get arms, killing 13 and seriously wounding 52. Many towns waited to learn from what would happen in Paris.
      On Thursday morning Marmont warned the King he must act to stop the fighting because the next day would be too late. The Peers’ leader Sémonville advised the King’s cabinet to revoke the ordinances and replace the ministry, but Polignac said that only King Charles could order that. Republicans led the forces that took over the Louvre and Tuileries, forcing Marmont to retreat. Sémonville went to see Charles and urged a ministry led by the Duke of Mortemart, but the King wanted the rebels to return to work first. Marmont had reported he could hold out for fifteen days. After a delay for the Mass they learned that Marmont was retreating, and he arrived to say the capital was lost. Charles replaced Marmont with his son. The King summoned Mortemart and persuaded him to be president of the Council to save the monarchy, but he did not leave for Paris until the next morning.
      Meanwhile on Thursday about thirty deputies had convened and appointed the elderly Lafayette to command the national guard. They set up a municipal commission to organize a provisional government. That evening Vitrolles, Sémonville, and Argout arrived at Paris to announce the new ministry, but they were told they would find the provisional government at the Hotel de Villes. They had no written evidence and were sent to the hotel Lafitte where the deputies were meeting. In the confusion Thiers suggested replacing the Bourbons with the Orléans dynasty. In three days of fighting about 800 insurgents and 200 troops had been killed.
      Early on Friday morning Thiers, Lafitte, and others posted notices and gave out pamphlets arguing that Charles X could not return to Paris because he had shed the people’s blood and that a republic would put them back in conflict with the rest of Europe. They noted that the Duke of Orléans was devoted to the Revolution and would be a citizen-king with the tricolor flag. Mortemart claimed he had signed decrees that satisfy the insurgents, but Auguste Bérard told him it was too late. The deputies had voted to make the Duke of Orléans lieutenant general of France. The editor of the Moniteur refused to publish Mortemart’s ordinances unless they were approved by the municipal commission or the deputies. A crowd surrounded Lafayette at the Hotel de Ville, and a delegation urged him to become president of a republic, but others wanted guarantees. Lafayette said that Mortemart must resign because Charles X was no longer king. Louis Philippe, the Duke of Orléans, spent the day thinking and left for Paris late at night. Deputies argued that he should be king to prevent Lafayette from declaring France a republic.
      Charles and his family traveled during the night for four hours, and they arrived at Trianon at dawn on 31 July. That morning the commission offered Louis Philippe the generalship. He wrote and had printed his declaration of allegiance to the Charter and the tricolor. At 1 p.m. he agreed to be the Lt. General of France, and nearly a hundred deputies signed the proclamation. They marched from the Bourbon Palace to the Hotel de Ville where he waved a tricolor flag from a window and embraced Lafayette, pleasing the crowd.
      The dauphin Angoulême joined his father Charles and told him of the army’s desertions. Yet Guernon-Ranville convinced them to transfer their government to Tours and to summon the deputies to meet there on 15 August. Soon Charles realized that his ministers were arousing hostility, and he asked them to leave him. He gave them each 6,000 francs and a passport, and they went their separate ways. Charles moved on to Rambouillet with only the ex-ministers Montbel and Baron de Capelle. At Rambouillet they worked on a public statement; but then Charles informed them that he had appointed Louis-Philippe lieutenant general of the kingdom because the rebels had chosen him.
      On 1 August Louis-Philippe of Orléans was formally proclaimed the commander. The next day Charles X abdicated in favor of his 10-year-old grandson Henri, the Duke of Bordeaux, but both chambers rejected Henri as king. Louis-Philippe had appointed Dupont del’Eure for judicial affairs, Gérard for war, Guizot for interior, and Baron Louis as governing commissioners. That night they took his offer of safe conduct to Charles, and the abdication was given to Louis-Philippe in Paris. Very early on 3 August these commissioners told him that Charles still had 8,000 troops and refused to leave Rambouillet. The commissioners were sent there with an armed mob that was feared to be 60,000 people, and so Charles dismissed his guards, ordering them to return to Paris and to submit to Louis-Philippe. Also on the 3rd the deputies voted 219-33 for the revised Charter, and the Peers approved it 89 to 15 with 10 abstentions.
      Charles moved on to Maintenon and then to Cherbourg, England, and Scotland. His brother Louis XVIII had deposited ten million francs in a London bank, and this supplemented the 600,000 francs the commissioners gave him at Cherbourg. Polignac was captured at Granville, and Guernon-Ranville, Chantelauze, and Peyronnet were arrested at Tours. Montbel escaped to Vienna, and Hassez made it to England. The arrested ministers were tried for treason in December and were sentenced to life in prison but were released in 1836. The historian Guizot observed that the French Revolution from 1789 to 1830 was a triumph of the middle class.
      On 7 August the deputies informed Louis-Philippe of Orléans that they had elected him King of France, and two days later at the Bourbon Palace he swore to uphold the new Charter. The preamble of the old Charter was omitted. Catholicism was described as the “religion of the majority of the French people,” and the law of sacrilege was repealed, making holders of national property more secure. Press censorship was prohibited but later was modified. The franchise for men at least 25 years old paying 200 francs in direct taxes expanded the number of voters from 94,000 to 166,000. The King could no longer suspend laws, and the chambers could introduce legislation. Workers were disappointed because laws against unions, strikes, and picketing remained. The Constitution of 1830 also replaced conscription with military recruiting based on law.
      Louis-Philippe of Orléans was born on 6 October 1773. His father Philippe-Egalité had been a Jacobin and regicide member of the Convention before being guillotined. In 1793 Louis-Philippe went into exile in Switzerland, the United States, and Naples. The Restoration restored his large fortune, but he was known as a “Voltairean” and a liberal. The British led by the Duke of Wellington were the first to recognize the new sovereign of France, and other nations soon followed. The republican Society of the Friends of the People had been founded in Paris on 30 July, and their meeting drew a thousand people at the Pellier riding school, though they were expelled from there on 30 September. Louis-Philippe appointed the Deputies’ president Lafitte to be president of his Council on 2 November. Thiers had become secretary-general of Finance. The administration removed 76 prefects, 196 sub-prefects, and 393 mayors or deputies, and 65 of the 75 active generals were dismissed. The number of nobles holding offices fell from 64 to 30, and 15 of the 30 new prefects who were nobles had been ennobled by Napoleon. In the Chamber of Deputies 52 members declined to swear allegiance to Louis-Philippe, and 68 lost the next election.

Socialism of Saint-Simon

      Count Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon, was born in Paris on 17 October 1760, the oldest of nine children in the family of an impoverished noble. He had several tutors including the famous d’Alembert, and he claimed he visited Rousseau once. He had his valet wake him each morning with the words, “Remember, you have great things to do.” He felt oppressed by his father and went on to challenge the aristocratic system. He was given a military commission at the age of 17, and in June 1779 he was promoted to captain. He served in the Touraine Regiment that was sent to fight against the British and for American independence at the siege of Yorktown in October 1781. He commanded a section of artillery and was elected into the Society of Cincinnatus. He fought in the disastrous battle of St. Kitts on 25 January 1782 and was one of the 5,000 French captured by the British in the Battle of the Saintes on 12 April 1783. He later described his effort as “fighting for the cause of industrial liberty” and wrote “that this revolution would necessarily bring about major progress in general civilization.”1
      After being released he met the Viceroy of Mexico and suggested a canal connecting the oceans through Lake Nicaragua. In 1785 he traveled in Holland on a secret mission to form an alliance against the British in India; but it never came off, and he returned to France in 1786. He went to Spain in 1787 and promoted building a canal to connect Madrid to the Atlantic Ocean via the Guadalquivir River.
      Saint-Simon returned to France again in 1789 and supported the French Revolution by presiding over popular assemblies and writing local lists of grievances (cahiers), giving speeches, and even commanding the local national guard. He disliked the Terror but made profitable investments by buying church land. As a Jacobin on 20 September 1793 he renounced his noble titles and adopted the name “Claude-Henri Bonhomme.” Between 1792 to 1795 he invested in the property of emigrating and guillotined nobles worth three or four million francs in partnership with the former Prussian ambassador Count Redern. Saint-Simon was arrested on 19 November 1793 being mistaken for a Belgian banker. On 2 May 1794 he was transferred to the Luxembourg prison where most awaited the guillotine. After the Terror subsided, he was released in late August and joined the circle of Barras engaging in Directory politics. Saint-Simon entertained in a Paris mansion with twenty servants. He mortgaged his property and invested in commerce and industry. He participated in peace negotiations at Lille in August 1797. That year he ended his partnership with Redern in order to dedicate himself to helping humanity, but he got only 150,000 francs in 1799 while Redern retained property that earned him 100,000 a year.
      Dissatisfied with how his mistress acted as a hostess, in August 1801 Saint-Simon married the writer-composer Alexandrine-Sophie Goury de Champgrand who could invite artists and musicians to their parties. However, she did not like his philosophical ideas, and they were divorced in June 1802. That year he traveled to England and Switzerland where he proposed to the widow, Madame de Stael who said no.
      Saint-Simon published his Lettres d’un habitant de Genève which was ignored until his disciple Olinde Rodrigues had it republished in 1832. He saw society as divided between property owners and those without property with a third intellectual class of scientists and artists who bear the seeds of progress. He suggested that the intellectuals should be supported, honored, and be allowed the freedom to do research instead of being used to develop weapons of destruction. Saint-Simon wanted science and education to be reorganized for the production of goods and other practical purposes. Science should also study psychology and society to discover the positive laws that can be used to guide social action. People with feelings could give the new industrial society a cohesive humanitarian spirit. He believed that every nation in Europe would go through the same revolution that France experienced.
      In May 1804 Saint-Simon’s friend Rigomer Bazin tried to publish their writing, but Napoleon’s police squelched the effort accusing Saint-Simon of opposing the government and seeking “perfectibility of the human spirit.” His early work was influenced by the Rosicrucians—Valentin Andreae’s Christianopolis (1619) and Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis (1627). The Parliament of Improvements would be elected by the people and would supervise education, the heart of society.
      In 1808 Saint-Simon published his Introduction to the Scientific Studies of the 19th Century. His goal was to create a society in which everyone has “the greatest possible opportunity for the development of their faculties.” He hoped that the love of humanity would move and energize society. Yet every person and group try to increase their power, but they cannot replace the being who rules all nature. The progress of human civilization is reducing the disadvantages of the love of dominion. Morality enables humans to curb their passions. The new moral order is going beyond “Know yourself” to “Know your capacity.” The disparity of rewards for humans has made the primary goal to raise the conditions of the poorest and most numerous classes. People are no longer subjects of a monarch but are becoming members of an industrial society. The old society was based on force, but the new one will rely on cooperation and true association. Instead of a struggle for power, natural aptitudes will lead to “rivalry in good works.”
      After his fortune dissipated, Saint-Simon asked for money and aid. A former servant let him live in his house for two years. He studied science and published several tracts between 1807 and 1813. He felt he had been cheated by Redern and wrote pamphlets against him. He became quite ill in early 1813 and was treated by the famous Dr. Pinel in the Charenton hospital for the insane, but he recovered by 1814. In 1813 he published his Essay on the Science of Man. He was depressed by the devastating wars and was concerned that the sciences were becoming too specialized. He built on the ideas of Turgot and Condorcet to develop a theory of progress.
      Saint-Simon hired a series of secretaries, and with the future historian, Augustin Thierry (1795-1856), during the Congress of Vienna he published De la reorganization de la Société Européene that had a second edition in December. He discussed the peace plan of the Abbé de Saint Pierre that would unify Europe to prevent wars. Saint-Simon wrote,

There will doubtless come a time
when all the peoples of Europe will feel that
they must regulate matters of general interest
before descending to matters of national interest.
Then evils will decrease, troubles will be quieted,
wars will be extinguished….
The Golden Age of the human species
is not behind us, it is before us.
It lies in the perfection of the social order.2

With a union of peoples as with a union of individuals,
common institutions and an organization are required.
Without these everything is decided by force.
To seek peace in Europe by means of treaties and congresses
is to seek the maintenance of a society
by conventions and agreements.
In both cases a compelling force is required
which will unite wills, concert movement,
make interests common and undertakings firm….
The balance of powers is a completely false conception;
since peace is its aim,
and it has produced nothing but wars, and what wars!3

Book 2 is entitled

All the nations of Europe should be governed
by national parliaments and should combine
to form a common parliament to decide on
the common interests of the European community.

      Saint-Simon’s goal was to create a society in which everyone has “the greatest possible opportunity for the development of their faculties.” He hoped that the love of humanity would move and energize society. He wanted to lay the foundation for constructing a society that treats the common interests of people which have been neglected by making politics, morals, and philosophy devoted to social happiness. He found that the philosophy of the 18th century had been critical and revolutionary, but he believed that in the 19th century it would be “inventive and constructive.”
      Saint-Simon traded his portion of his ancestral estate to his family for a small annuity. During the Hundred Days in 1815 he worked in the Arsenal library until Louis XVIII was restored. He published his manifesto L’Industrie in 1817, and that summer Auguste Comte (1798-1857) replaced Thierry as his secretary and was treated as an adopted son. From 1819 to 1822 they collaborated writing for the periodicals Le Politique, L’Organisateur, and Du système industriel. In The Organizer in 1819 he wrote,

The scientists, artists, and artisans, the only men whose work
is of positive utility to society, and cost it practically nothing,
are kept down by the princes and other rulers
who are simply more or less incapable bureaucrats.
Those who control honours and other national awards owe,
in general, the supremacy they enjoy, to the accident of birth,
to flattery, intrigue, and other dubious methods….
From the point of view of morality, the most immoral men
have the responsibility of leading the citizens towards virtue;
from the point of view of distributive justice,
the most guilty men are appointed
to punish minor delinquents.4

      Saint-Simon believed that privileges would be abolished and replaced by a system of equality. He argued that France no longer needed an army for national defense. He suggested replacing judges with arbitration tribunals. If a state was run like a national workshop, a business-like budget would cut expenditures. He asked what great accomplishments humanity would achieve if people refrained from power conflicts and devoted themselves to cooperative work. If the goal of society is the general happiness, then government action could be reduced to “almost nothing.” Only managerial action would be needed.
      Saint-Simon shot himself in 1823, but doctors helped him survive. He quarreled with Comte in 1824 and became associated with Olinde Rodrigues. Saint-Simon’s last work, Nouveau Christianisme, was published unfinished in 1825, and he died on May 19. In his last hours he said, “Remember that, to achieve great things, one must feel passionately.” Although he admitted the religious system of the middle ages was no longer in harmony with positive science, he prophesied that religion would not disappear but would adjust itself to scientific advances. His disciples Rodrigues, Bazard, and Enfantin helped publish his work in the Producteur in 1825-26 and in Exposition de la Doctrine St. Simonienne in 1829.
      Saint-Simon’s New Christianity was intended to be an “aristocracy of talent.” He believed that the Christian religion is based on the Golden Rule of treating everyone like brothers. If the teaching of Jesus to help the poor is applied, then the goal is to work for the amelioration of the poorest people. He believed that propagating Christian doctrine by force is contrary to Christianity. Yet he also held that the New Christianity is compatible with the profit system of capitalist society. He noted that the clergy had not kept up with scientific knowledge and therefore no longer had the right to act as the intellectual elite. By failing to preach brotherly love they had lost their spiritual power. He lamented that in the modern age people had become self-centered and egotistic just as science had become more specialized. Monarchs and aristocrats take money away from the poor to spend it on their court and soldiers. He criticized Protestants for being excessively preoccupied studying the Bible. In the dialog between the Conservative and the Reformer they come into agreement. The Conservative says,

The whole community should strive
to improve the moral physical existence of the poorest class,
and should organize itself on lines most fitted
to bring about this great end.5

The Reformer concludes,

Remember that Christianity commands you
to use all your powers to increase
as rapidly as possible the social welfare of the poor.6

Fourier’s Social Harmony

      Charles Fourier was born on 7 April 1772 at Besançon. His father was a cloth merchant. At the age of five he was punished for telling the truth to a customer, and he came to hate the market mentality that is based on the “lying art of selling.” After graduating from the Collège de Besançon, he studied rhetoric for a year at Dijon. He tried to study law at the University of Besançon, but it did not appeal to him. He disliked the Revolution, the philosophes, and the Catholic religion. In 1791 he went to work in Lyon. His father had died in 1781, but his will insisted that his son work in commerce by the age of 20 and marry by 25 to get his inheritance; but he never married and received 42,932 livres in assignats in May 1793. That year in Lyon his cotton bales were turned into barricades, and his rice, sugar, and coffee were requisitioned for soldiers. He was conscripted into Lyon’s army in their counterrevolutionary uprising against the Jacobin republic.
      After Lyon was defeated, Fourier was imprisoned and claimed he “escaped the guillotine three times by telling good lies.” He returned to Besançon and was jailed again before being drafted into the cavalry of the army of the Rhine and Moselle where he observed the profiteering of army suppliers. The army discharged him because of poor health in January 1796, and he worked as a commercial traveler in Marseille. In 1799 he studied mathematics and natural science in the National Library at Paris and discovered his theory of “natural or attractive association.” His fortune gone, in June 1800 he went back to Lyon to work as a commercial broker. He was influenced by Rousseau’s Emile, Confessions, and Nouvelle Héloise, Horace, Boileau, Molière, La Fontaine, and utopian writings. During Napoleon’s Empire he worked in Lyon. He had many love affairs, sexual and chaste, and became interested in lesbians in 1807. He remained friends with his former lovers.
      In December 1803 Fourier published in the Bulletin of Lyon his short article, “Universal Harmony” in which he contrasted the earthly societies of savagery, barbarism, and civilization to the future harmony he envisioned that would establish perpetual peace, universal unity, and the liberty of women. He considered war deplorable in his time because the victors were lowered to the level of the vanquished. He was searching for a way to awaken the Europeans from the “frightful dream” of civilization.
      In 1805 Fourier began working on his description of the ideal community, and his first major work, Theory of the Four Movements and the General Destinies was published anonymously in 1808 showing “Leipzig” as the place, though it was actually printed in Lyon. At the end of the book he identified himself as “Charles at Lyon.” His main purpose was to expose the “known vices and unknown dangers” of free competition, and secondarily he took on the vices of the conjugal system. His goal was to transform social chaos into universal harmony. He sent 600 copies to agents in Frankfurt, Leipzig, Milan, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Geneva, Basel, and Brussels.
      Fourier’s Theory of the Four Movements and the General Destinies refers to social, animal, organic, and material movements, but he focused only on the social. He described twelve radical passions and the passion for unity which would harmonize the whole. The five luxurious passions relate to the five senses and concern relations with things, health, and material affluence. The two passive senses are sight and hearing; smell is a mixed sense; and the two active senses are taste and touch. Groups and personal relationships form from the four affective passions of friendship, ambition or corporation, love, and paternity or family. He defined a “harmonic group” as a free gathering of those united by sharing common objects of affection, and a “subversive group” as one in which the real passion is different from the ostensible purpose. The three distributive passions coordinate the sensual and affective passions, and they are the desires for intrigue or complexity, for variety, and for deep experiences that are spiritual as well as physical. The transcendent thirteenth passion is the desire for harmony and unity. Individuals with this trait may be seen as eccentric because they do not seem to fit in with the mores of civilization.
      He diagnosed that in his time the God-given passions were being suffocated and thus were perverted into sadism, aggression, and hostility. He argued that natural passions are beneficial; but a repressed passion becomes malevolent. The solution is to create social institutions and relationships that fulfill passionate needs. A person could have many different kinds of love relationships with different people. He suggested creating ideal communities he called “phalansteries” with 1,620 people where the lives of men and women would be fully integrated. He prophesied that industrialization would end scarcity and magnify human prosperity. He observed that so far capitalism was compelling people to work by the threat of starvation.
      Fourier’s Theory suggested that human enlightenment so far is only a quarter of the way to its destiny. Civilization is still a very flawed system, and thus he recommended “absolute doubt” and “absolute separation” from the inexact sciences. He proposed “agricultural association.” In antiquity agricultural workers were slaves. He offered “natural and attractive association” of 810 different types of people, and he argued that such communities would produce three times as much as those with isolated families. He believed that his laws of passionate attraction agree with the “unified system of movement for the spiritual and material world” explained by Newton and Leibniz. He argued that the liberation of slaves and women was needed to form the progressive series and to establish world unity. The phase of civilization suffers from general adversity and scientific pride.
      In his Theory Fourier noted three problems in raising children. First, they are ignorant of paternity. Second, they experience aversion as they grow up and encounter the “abuse of misdirected paternal authority.” Third, adolescents notice the contrast between lofty claims of parents and on what they are based. He concluded, “The extension of the privileges of women is the basic principle of all social progress.”7 He advised emancipating women for love affairs at the age of eighteen. He suggested the unrecognized method of “passive resistance,” and he noted that England would have done better to use “passive aggression” instead of the ravaging “active aggression,” treating the continent as an enemy.
      In regard to commerce Fourier described the three phases of barbarism based on forced sale, maximizations, and tariffs; civilization with its free competition and independent merchants; and replacing these with the guarantee of social competition with “solidarity and subordination of the commercial body to the interests of the producers, manufacturers, farmers, and proprietors.”8 He warned against the mercantilism that plundered the political economy of the social body by bankruptcy, hoarding, speculation, waste, and the commercial spirit. He wanted public education extended to all useful professions. He advised the solution of

Finding a new social order that ensures
the least important workers enough comfort
for them constantly and passionately to prefer work
to the state of inertia and brigandage they aspire to today.9

      By the end of 1815 Fourier had left Lyon and had gone to the village of Talisseu in Bugey where he lived for five years with the children of his sister Mariette de Rubat who was a widow and had been committed to a mental institution. His nieces became interested in soldiers and sex. In 1816 Juste Muiron became Fourier’s first disciple. Muiron was deaf, and much of their written communication survived. From 1816 to 1818 Fourier was writing The New World of Love, but it was not made public until 1967. Fourier worked hard on his theory, and between 1808 and 1822 he published only two newspaper articles to answer critics. In March 1817 he discovered the harmonious sentiments, and he refined the social uses of love. His first stage in the transition from civilization to social harmony he called “guaranteeism” that increased happiness gradually by improving love and commercial relationships. On 3 April 1819 he told Muiron about the “mixed associations” that could balance passions. He wanted to experiment with the poor without involving the rich by using “simple association” that would focus entirely on morals and so would not attract as much opposition.
      In 1820 Fourier was invited to join an agricultural society in Belley, and he analyzed the obstacles to agricultural reforms. He left Belley in April 1821, and the next month he noted that frosts damaged the harvest; but in May 1822 heat caused a “material subversion.” That same month he described the “spiritual subversion” caused by the Turks massacring 40,000 Christians at Chios while taking 20,000 girls and 40,000 children into slavery.
      Fourier criticized civilization that diverted capital from industry and agriculture while merchants exploited farmers and manufacturers using the free enterprise system to plunder industry and cheat consumers like pirates or vultures. He emphasized not just the right to seek work but the natural right to work. He criticized philosophers for trying to improve conditions in the prison of civilization while he offered escape. He observed that progress in science and the arts increased gratification. Yet he believed that neither the rich nor the poor had realized their full potential for enjoyment. He noted that the “wealth of nations” still had not freed most workers from rags and a life worse than animals had. Industrialized England and Belgium had 30% of the people living in poverty while in agrarian Russia and Portugal only 3% of the people were indigent. He argued that poverty is worse than vice.
      The problems of civilization he saw were indigence, fraud, oppression, carnage, climatic derangement, new diseases, and selfishness. The benefits of social harmony are general and graduated wealth, truth in all relationships, real liberty, permanent peace, equilibrium in climate and temperature, a universal sanitary system, encouraging discoveries tested by experiments, collective and individual philanthropy, and united social action.
      He also blamed the sexual mores of marriage and family, especially adultery or cuckoldry. He argued that marriage treated the woman as “a piece of merchandise offered to the highest bidder.” He believed that if women were freed from conjugal slavery, they would outshine men in dedication to work, faithfulness, and all mental and physical functions not requiring physical strength. He described the emancipated women of Tahiti and contrasted them to the servitude of women in China and Spain. He argued that the liberation of women would bring about the greatest social progress. Laws restricting women’s desires led to much deception and hypocrisy. Adulterers do not satisfy their passions and pay costs that disrupt contentment. He hoped that the flowering of passions would increase pleasure and enjoyment. He was concerned about the conflicts between the sexes and between generations.
      Fourier’s educational goals were first to develop social harmony among different kinds of people as well as those of different ages and economic condition and social class. Second was to develop psychological growth and balance by allowing natural desires to find expression and fulfillment. Third was to develop vocational and professional competence. He recommended integral education for all parts of the body and for all the faculties of the soul. He advised limiting teachers to ten or less students at a time, and he encouraged part-time teaching by qualified experts. He pioneered sex education and recommended virginity until the age of eighteen. He criticized the tyranny of parents and wanted to replace family structures with more open and free relationships that allow sexual freedom including homosexuality as well as heterosexuality and trial marriages. He believed that European society was psychologically repressive and wasted human potential.
      Both Saint-Simon and Fourier published their initial ideas in 1808 and began gaining followers in 1825. Fourier criticized the Saint-Simonians for preaching universal love while he claimed that he accepted human nature and found ways to use the passions to achieve happiness instead of trying to deny or stifle them. Fourier’s first phalanstery was tried in Rumania where a landowner experimented with his serfs in Scăeni; but their neighbors felt so threatened that they invaded with firearms to crush the effort. In November 1822 Fourier printed his Treatise on Domestic Agricultural Association, and he shipped 500 copies to Paris. The title was later changed to Theory of Universal Unity. In 1829-30 The New Industrial World and Society was published. In this work he defined “passionate attraction” as “the drive given us by nature prior to any reflection, persistent despite the opposition of reason, of duty, and of prejudice.”10 This book summarized his ideas and explained how to organize an experimental community.

Constant’s Liberalism and Adolphe

      Benjamin Constant was born in Lausanne on 25 October 1767, and his mother died 16 days later. His father was a Swiss Protestant of French origin who was an army officer in Holland. Benjamin was raised by his grandmothers, a peasant who became his stepmother, and a series of tutors who taught him Latin, Greek, German, and English. In 1782 he attended Erlangen University in Germany, but he was expelled for a duel over a woman. During his life he would fight several duels. He studied at Edinburgh University 1783-85 where he ran up gambling debts. He had many love affairs including with Madame Johannot in Brussels and then with the 46-year-old novelist Isabelle de Charrière in Paris and Switzerland. In 1788 his father sent him to the court of the Duke of Brunswick where he married Minna von Cramm in 1789, but he met married Charlotte von Hardenberg and divorced his wife.
      In September 1794 Constant became attached to Germaine de Staël in Switzerland. In 1795 he bought property near Luzarches in order to become a French citizen so that he could engage in politics. He was one of the first to use the word “liberal,” and he published political pamphlets. He supported the Directory and started the anti-royalist political Club de Salm in March 1797, and he supported the coup on 4 September. That year Germaine gave birth to his daughter, and he published Des reactions politiques and Des effects de la Terreur. In 1798 he fought another duel. In May 1799 he was defeated in an election to represent Geneva, and he published his Réflexions sur les constitutions, la distribution des pouvoirs, et les garanties, dans une monarchie constitutionnelle. Sieyès helped him get elected to the Tribunate on 24 December; but he criticized Napoleon who removed him in 1802. That year Constant began working on a republican constitution for a large state.
      Constant left Paris with Staël when she was banished in 1803. They visited Weimar together, but she refused to marry him in 1804. In October 1806 he resumed his affair with Charlotte von Hardenberg and began writing a novel. In 1807 he joined Staël in Coppet, Switzerland. Constant spent much time studying religion, and he was influenced by mystics in Lausanne. On 5 June 1808 he secretly married Charlotte, but he continued his friendship with Staël. In 1809 he published his translation into French of Schiller’s Wallenstein tragedy. He and Charlotte lived in Göttingen, Brunswick, and Hanover 1811-14.
      Constant wrote The Spirit of Conquest and Usurpation in December 1813 and published it as a pamphlet in January 1814. He supported Sweden’s crown prince Bernadotte and published a second edition at London in March and a third in April at Paris. There his passion for the beautiful Juliette Récamier was unrequited. He was influenced by the writings of Montesquieu, Rousseau, Adam Smith, Hume, and Gibbon. Constant opposed conquest and usurpation, writing that in the modern age even a victorious war is too expensive. He believed that expanding commerce was modifying the nature of war which has lost its usefulness as well as its charm. People need to be united by morality more than by self-interest. He observed that war had become systematic and “carries the seeds of future wars.” Commerce depends on cooperation between nations and “can be sustained only by justice” which is based on equality and “thrives in peace.” He wrote,

A useless war is the greatest offence
that a government today can commit.
It destroys every social guarantee without compensation;
it jeopardizes every form of liberty; it injures every interest;
it upsets every security; it weighs upon every fortune.
It combines and legitimizes
every kind of internal and external tyranny.
It introduces into judicial forms a hastiness
destructive both of their sanctity and of their purpose.
It tends to represent all the men whom the agents of authority
view with hostility as accomplices of the foreign enemy.
It corrupts the rising generations;
it divides the people into two parts;
one of which despises the other
and passes readily from contempt to injustice.
It prepares future destructions by means of the past ones
and purchases with the evils of the present
the evils that are to come.11

      During the first restoration of Louis XVIII in April 1814 Constant wrote articles favoring freedom of the press. One year later he accepted a position on Napoleon’s Council of State, and he worked on a new constitution for the empire. In May 1815 he published his Principles of Politics. He advised freedom of religion without any restriction or privilege. He argued that freedom of the individual depends on public and private morality; but arbitrary power destroys morality because there can be no morals without security. In October he left Paris and went to Brussels and then to London with Charlotte in 1816.
      Constant probably worked on his novel Adolphe over the years, and he gave several readings during Napoleon’s Hundred Days in 1814 in which he himself and his audience wept. He first published it at London in June 1816. In the second edition that year he warned readers about identifying fictional characters with real people, and he defended the character of Madame de Staël as “so noble, so courageous under persecution, so faithful in friendship, so generous in devotion.”12 In the preface to the third edition he wrote,

What I wanted to describe was
the pain inflicted upon even the hardest hearted
by the suffering they cause to others.13

      The novel Adolphe is narrated by the young German Adolphe who was mentored by an older woman whose death makes him think about that fate everyone faces. He wants to win the love of Ellenore, who is ten years older and the mistress of a Polish count and has two illegitimate children by him. Her parents are refugees from dismembered Poland. Adolphe observes that she feels anxiety about her children and is thus emotionally unstable. She is enslaved by her feelings but finds peace by devoting herself to others. After he realizes he has fallen in love, he tells her that he cannot live unless she will see him. She agrees to see him if they never talk of love. Gradually she lets him talk more of love, and then she admits that she loves him. After they become lovers, he realizes their bodies do not corrupt them, though society’s customs do. He loves and respects her more because she has given herself to him. He has told his father that he will leave her after six months and come home. They have a serious quarrel but are reconciled. After the count orders her not to see Adolphe, she decides to separate from the count. She informs Adolphe that the count has given her an income, and she can stay there six more weeks. They both worry about the future but are afraid to talk about it, and people criticize both of them.
      The time comes for Adolphe to leave, and he promises to return. They write to each other, and he finds his anger turning to grief; but he begins enjoying his independence. She decides to join him against his advice, and his father tries to make her leave town. She tells Adolphe she is being persecuted and that he only pities her. They leave together, and he writes to his father that he will leave her after she no longer needs him. The count writes to her that he will give her half his fortune if she leaves Adolphe who tries to persuade her to accept the settlement. Her father has his wealth restored in Poland and invites her to live with him. She wants this for her children but tells Adolphe he must come with her. They decide to go to Poland, but Adolphe no longer feels that their hearts are in harmony. She learns that her father died and that she is his sole heir. His father argues that she no longer needs him, but she will be keeping him in her house. His father’s friend Baron T asks Adolphe if they will marry, and he replies they never intended that. Baron T warns him he will resent his lost youth as she gets older. Adolphe realizes he no longer loves her and confides this to her friend who tells Ellenore. This leads to a serious quarrel and their parting. He learns that people are condemning him, and he complains to her. She sends some people away, and they are reconciled; but he feels burdened by her new claims. He implies he still feels deep affection for her, and they begin a new chapter.
      She says, “Love was my whole life, but it could not be yours.”14 She asks him to take care of her, and he promises never to leave her. She becomes weaker, and he says, “I have many sins to atone for—perhaps my love for you has been a sin, but I could not believe that if it made you happy.”15 He is with her when she dies. He reads a letter he promised her he would not read which tells how she really felt about him.
      The novel portrayed human suffering during the moral poverty of the modern era. Constant believed that the virtues needed to preserve liberty are strong will, keeping commitments, goodness, sympathy, and an unwillingness to make others suffer. Adolphe is framed by a brief note from the publisher at the beginning and another at the end which states that the novel’s

lesson is for men, for it shows that intellect,
which they are so proud of,
can neither find happiness nor bestow it;
that character, steadfastness, fidelity, and kindness
are the gifts we should pray for.16

      Constant made Le Mercure de France a liberal journal, but Louis XVIII’s government closed it in December 1817. He and his friends began the weekly La Minerve française to promote individual freedom. He was elected a deputy from Sarthe in March 1819. That year he gave a speech comparing the liberty of the ancients with the moderns in which he suggested that the age of commerce is replacing war with help from religion and ethical and intellectual progress. He believed that trade is bringing people closer together. The leaders of nations may be enemies, but the people are compatriots.
      He also started the daily newspaper La Renommée; but after the assassination of the Duke of Berry on 13 February 1820, it was closed down. Constant lost his seat in parliament in November 1822. He published his Commentary on the Works of Filangieri to express his views on legislation, education, and religion, opposing state control of education and the slave trade. In 1824 he published the first volume of De la religion. In the next two years he campaigned for Greek independence and against the slave trade. In 1827 he was elected deputy from Strasbourg, and his speeches were published. His health was declining, but on 30 July 1830 he helped write a declaration favoring Duke Louis-Philippe of Orléans. He had been correcting the proofs of his 5-volume De la religion when he died on 8 December 1830. In 1829 Constant summed up his work this way:

For forty years I have defended the same principle:
freedom in all things,
in religion, philosophy, literature, industry and politics.
And by freedom I mean the triumph of the individual
both over an authority that would wish to govern
by despotic means and over the masses who claim
the right to make a minority subservient to a majority.17

Chateaubriand’s Romanticism

      François-René, viscount de Chateaubriand, was born at Saint-Malo in Brittany on 4 September 1768, the youngest of ten children. After nearly dying as an infant, his nursemaid fulfilled her prayer by always dressing him in the blue of the Virgin until a priest released her from the vow. In 1778 the family moved to his father’s large chateau in Combourg. He was close to his sister Lucile, and he wrote of an ideal woman he called “Sylph.” After schooling he joined the Navarre Regiment as a 2nd lieutenant. He was introduced at court by his older brother and embarrassed Louis XVI by getting to the stag on a hunt before the King. He witnessed revolutionary events in Paris, but as an aristocrat he fled for five months in 1791 to America where he tried to meet George Washington and traveled as far as Niagara, observing the natives. After returning to France in January 1792 he married the heiress Céleste Buisson de la Vigne but discovered that the Revolution had taken her fortune. He left her behind to go with his brother to Brussels and joined a Breton company in the Army of Princes. He was wounded at the siege of Thionville, suffered from smallpox, and was discharged in October.
      After regaining his health in May 1793 he went to England where he stayed for seven years. He gave French lessons and fell in love with the pupil Charlotte Ives. Her mother hoped for a wedding; but he had to admit he was married, and he returned to London. He worked on Les Natches about America. In April 1794 he learned that his brother and sister-in-law had been put to death in Paris. He wrote his essay on revolutions that was published in May 1797 as Historical, Political and Ethical Essay on Ancient and Modern Revolutions, Considered in Their Relation to the French Revolution.
      After his mother died in 1798, Chateaubriand cried and discovered religion. He began working on a book defending Christianity. After Napoleon came to power, he returned to France in May 1800, and Bonaparte’s sister had his name removed from the list of émigrés. Chateaubriand had an affair with the Comtesse Pauline de Beaumont who had also lost family in the Terror.
      Chateaubriand published his novella Atala in 1801, and it was so popular that it had five French editions within a year and was translated into Spanish, Italian, German, and English. This very imaginative tale was stimulated by his experience in America and depicts the native tribes there and a few dedicated Christians. The Frenchman René meets old and blind Chactas of the Natchez tribe who adopts him as his son and gives him an Indian wife. Chactas tells René the story. Chactas says his father was killed in a battle against the Muskogees, and he is captured and taken by Spaniards to their colony at Saint Augustine where he meets and is protected by old Lopez. After thirty moons Chactas insists on returning to his Indian life despite the dangers, but he is captured by Muskogees and Seminoles who plan to burn him in a big village. Tied down and guarded, at night he is visited by the chief’s daughter Atala who has a crucifix on her breast. She explains that her mother became a Christian and that her father was Spanish. After several nights she helps him escape. She goes with him but instead of yielding to him she prays to her mother and the Queen of Virgins. Four warriors recapture him, and at Apaluchucla he is prepared for the flames. A council of 100 elders meet and condemn him to the stake. He is tied down on the ground. He falls asleep and dreams Atala is freeing him. He awakes, and they run away, chased by the warriors. She dresses his wound and makes a cloak for him from bark.
      Having gotten away, she explains that she cannot be his bride because her mother made her a Christian and informed her that her father is Lopez. During a thunder storm they hear a bell and find the old Christian hermit Aubry who takes in strangers. Chactas says he is not a Christian, but the hermit says that Jesus died for all men whom he considers brothers. He says the Indians persecute him but that God will enlighten them. He is teaching native followers who have the simplicity that brings happiness. Atala is feeling weak and explains that her mother consecrated her virginity to the Queen of Virgins. Before her mother’s death when Atala was sixteen, she promised that she would keep the vows. Chactas blames God for choking off nature. Aubry says that she will recover and that he will write to the Bishop of Quebec who can absolve her of the vows. Atala says it is too late because she took poison. Aubry tries to console her and explains that man is naturally unfaithful and changing. She says she will die happy if Chactas has patience and courage. They forgive each other. She gives him the crucifix, and Chactas says he will become a Christian. As she is dying, they seem to experience the presence of angels and God. Chactas persuades Aubry to bury her body secretly by the Groves of Death. In the epilogue the author says that a Seminole told him this story. Then he travels to Niagara where he meets a woman with a dead child. She tells the author that Aubry was tortured and killed by Cherokees but withstood it with great courage.
      Chateaubriand’s autobiographical story “René” was published with The Genius of Christianity (Le Génie du Christianisme) in April 1802. René is a minor character in Atala, and the two short works were published together in 1805.
      When the French aristocrat René joined the natives of Natchez, he accepted an Indian wife; but he did not live with her as he preferred the solitude of the woods. The blind Chactas persuades him to tell of his sorrows, and René agrees to relate “the innermost feelings of his soul.” His story concludes with his departure from France to Louisiana, and the rest is his first-person account of his life up till then.
      An instrument was used during his birth, and his mother died. His father gave everything to his older brother, and René liked being alone or with his older sister Amelia. He described youth as the “morning of life.” His father died of disease in his arms; but René felt the soul is immortal as it left the body lifeless. Amelia and he leave to live with old relatives. She longs for the joy of a religious life, and he notes how agitated Europeans find lonely retreats. René decides to go abroad and visits the ruins of Rome and Greece. He seeks out poets and artists who have intuitions of death but die “like new-born infants.” He admires Italian architecture and the Etna volcano.
      René stops his narration to notice happy Indians passing by, and yet he pities them. The native Chactas urges him to temper his character which brings him grief. René refers to the sudden changes in France that changed genius, respectful religion, and dignified manners into clever godlessness and corruption. He has studied the world and learned nothing but lost his innocence. He feels he is giving more than he is receiving, but he is considered “an impractical dreamer.” He decides to be by himself in exile. He finds limitations and considers finite things worthless. He feels he could create worlds and prays for a woman but feels weary and resolves to end his life. He writes to Amelia about his worldly goods, and she comes to see him, the only person he ever loved. She persuades him to swear he will not try to take his life. He loves her angelic purity.
      Amelia writes to René that she is miserable and is going to join a convent. She urges him give up solitude, get married, and have children, and she gives him her material possessions. He wonders if she fell in love with a man. He goes to the convent but is not allowed to talk to her. Yet she asks him to act as her father when she takes her vows. During the ceremony while she is lying on the floor as though dead, she whispers a prayer for her brother who never shared her forbidden passion. He embraces her, causing a disturbance. The sisters close the grille, and he is carried away unconscious. He plans to go to America and listens to hymns coming from the convent before sailing away. René shows to Chactas and the priest there a letter telling how Amelia died after caring for the sick. Chactas consoles René, but the priest says he is infatuated with illusions and has withdrawn from the burdens of society in idle dreams. He says that only those with limited vision can hate men and life. While in the woods René is neglecting his duties. Solitude is bad unless one lives with God. Chactas feels reprimanded too and says the priest is right. René returns to his wife but still finds no happiness. In his Memoirs Chateaubriand wrote that he would destroy the “René” story if he could because of the effect it had on writers.
      The adventurous Atala and the emotional “René” reflected a common mood in France after the Revolution as many people came back to their religious beliefs.Chateaubriand’s Genius of Christianity: Poetic and Moral Beauties of the Christian Religion was published the month that Napoleon restored religious rights, and he dedicated the second edition to Napoleon for having revived the Christian religion for “thirty million Frenchmen.” Chateaubriand contrasted the classical virtues of courage, temperance, and prudence that aimed at individual development to the more social Christian virtues of love, faith, and hope. He considered the love of God the goal of ethics which he believed was strengthened by a belief in a future life when one can atone for mistakes made on earth. Instead of pagan literature he emphasized the Bible, especially the life of Jesus and the teachings of the Christ.
      In 1803 Chateaubriand was appointed First Secretary at the French Embassy in Rome. Pauline joined him there in October 1803 but died on 4 November. The ambassador requested his recall, and Chateaubriand was sent as minister to the Swiss canton Valais. He protested the execution of the Duke d’Enghien by resigning in March 1804, the year his sister Lucile died, probably by suicide. He began working on Les Martyrs de Dioclétien, and in 1806 he traveled to Greece and the Mideast to do research. He returned to France in the summer of 1807, but an article he wrote for Mercure de France got him banished from Paris. He published The Martyrs in 1809 and an account of his visit to the Mideast in his Itinerary from Paris to Jerusalem in 1811.
      In 1814 Chateaubriand criticized Napoleon and supported Louis XVIII in De Bonaparte et des Bourbons, but he was only appointed the minister in Stockholm. He was briefly Minister of the Interior during Napoleon’s Hundred Days. After being made a minister of state and a Peer of France by the second restoration of Louis XVIII, Chateaubriand published the critical On Monarchy According to the Charter in September 1816 and lost his position with its stipend. The beautiful Juliette Récamier was now past forty and accepted a relationship with Chateaubriand that lasted thirty years. He sided with the Ultra-royalists and started the journal The Conservative that opposed the government for two years until it was closed down.
      In 1821 Chateaubriand was named minister in Berlin and then became ambassador at London in 1822. He assisted the Foreign Minister Mathieu de Montmorency at the Congress of Verona in 1823; but after Montmorency had to leave, he reversed the nonintervention policy in Spain and was appointed Foreign Minister. The French army helped restore the Bourbon King Fernando VII; but the war was costly, and Louis XVIII dismissed Chateaubriand on 6 June 1824. That month he attacked Villèle in the Journal des Débats, but the new King Charles X felt snubbed by him at his coronation in May 1825. In 1828 Chateaubriand accepted the position as ambassador at Rome where he could visit museums by day and entertain at night. After Charles X appointed the Ultra-royalist Prince de Polignac, Chateaubriand resigned in 1829. After the revolution in July 1830 he withdrew from the House of Peers and refused to swear allegiance to Louis-Philippe of Orléans. Instead he backed the Duchess de Berry and the child Henri V which got him two weeks in prison and ended his political career.
      Chateaubriand had been working on his Memoirs since 1809, but he did not want them published until after his death. However, he needed money. Mme de Récamier promoted readings of the Memoirs in February 1834, and more funds were obtained by serializing them in 1836. That year he published his translation of Milton’s Paradise Lost and his Essay on English Literature. He completed his Memoirs in 1841, and they were finally published a few months after his death on 4 July 1848 as Memoirs Beyond the Tomb (Mémoires d’outre-tombe). His wife Céleste had died in 1847, and Mme de Récamier died in 1849.


1. Quoted in The New World of Henri Saint-Simon by Frank E. Manuel, p. 20.
2. Ibid., p. 177.
3. “The Reorganization of the European Community” in Social Organization, the Science of Man and Other Writings by Saint-Simon, tr. Felix Markham, p. 35-36.
4. Ibid., p. 74 and 75.
5. Ibid., p. 108.
6. Ibid., p. 116.
7. The Theory of the Four Movements by Charles Fourier, ed. Gareth Stedman Jones and Ian Patterson, p. 132.
8. Ibid., p. 223.
9. Ibid., p. 275.
10. Quoted in The Prophets of Paris: Turgot, Condorcet, Saint-Simon, Fourier, and Comte by Frank E. Manuel, p. 220.
11. Political Writings by Benjamin Constant, tr. Biancamaria Fontana, p. 81.
12. Adolphe by Benjamin Constant, tr. Leonard Tancock, p. 26.
13. Ibid., p. 30.
14. Ibid., p. 115.
15. Ibid., p. 118.
16. Ibid., p. 125.
17. Mélanges de littérature et de politique, Preface by Benjamin Constant tr. Dennis Wood.

Copyright © 2018 by Sanderson Beck

EUROPE & REVOLUTION 1789-1830 has been published as a book.
For ordering information, please click here.

France’s Revolution 1789-95
France & Napoleon’s Rise & Fall 1796-1815
France of Louis XVIII & Charles X 1814-30
Britain’s Reaction to France 1789-1799
Britain: War and Recovery 1800-30
Romantic Era of English Literature 1789-1830
Germans, Austria & Swiss 1789-1830
German Idealists and Romantics 1789-1830
Spain, Portugal and Italy 1789-1830
Netherlands and Scandinavia 1789-1830
Poland, Russia & Greek Revolution 1789-1830
Summary and Evaluating Europe 1789-1830


Chronology of Europe 1716-1830
World Chronology 1715-1815
World Chronology 1816-1830

BECK index