Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Italian unification

This post owed a considerable debt to Robert Gildea's textbook, Barricades and Borders: Europe 1800-1914 (Oxford University Press, 2003) and to David Gilmour's very revisionist The Pursuit of Italy: A History of the Land, its Regions and their Peoples (Allen Lane, 2011.)

You might be interested to learn more about the wonderfully operatic Italian national anthem, Fratelli d'Italia. Here is its history. You can hear it on youtube.
Cavour and Napoleon III
Count Camillo Benso di Cavour  (1810-61)
Giuseppe Mazzini
With Austria weakened by the Crimean War, Cavour, the Prime Minister of Piedmont (above), aimed at expelling the Austrians from Italy and annexing the northern provinces of Lombardy and Venetia under Victor Emmanuel II. But neither he nor the king wanted a united Italy, which would be harder to control and might fall prey to democrats and nationalists. The man they most feared was Mazzini (left) who commanded a revolutionary corps of conspirators, organizing a National Party in London in 1850.

Nationalists increasingly recognized that Austria still remained a great power and could only be removed from Italy by military force, and that this would have to be under Piedmontese leadership with French assistance. In 1857 the veteran nationalists Garibaldi and Manin established the Italian National Society which cut itself off from Mazzini’s doctrinaire republicans.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Austrian coronations

On Wednesday 10 December the Society for Court Studies will be hosting a presentation by Dr William Godsey of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. His subject is Coronations and Royal Inaugurations in the Austrian Monarchy 1790-1848, a topic that is clearly of interest to our course. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at New York University, 6 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3RA, room 102.

The website can be found here.

Thanks to Audrey Heard for drawing this to my attention.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Napoleon III

This post owes a good deal to James F. McMillan, Napoleon III (Longman, 1991)

Early Life
Louis Napoleon Bonaparte was born in 1808, the son of Napoleon’s brother, Louis King of Holland, and Hortense de Beauharnais, the daughter of Josephine. After 1815 he was brought up in Switzerland but as a young man he settled in Italy and became involved with Carbonari politics. With the death of Napoleon’s son, the duke of Reichstadt in 1832, he became the heir to the to the Bonaparte dynasty.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Europe post 1848: conservatism and change

This post and the subsequent ones are indebted to two text-books in particular: Robert Gildea, Barricades and Borders: Europe 1800-1914, 3rd edn. (Oxford University Press, 2003) and Michael Rapport, Nineteenth-Century Europe (Palgrave, 2005).

Europe post 1848: the New Conservatism
After 1848 the conservative order re-asserted itself, but it did not simply restore the old order. The growing pace of economic and social change made this impossible. The international scene also grew more threatening. Between 1848 and 1878 a series of wars reshaped Europe and destroyed the Vienna settlement.

For Napoleon III, see subsequent post.

The Second Republic

The group of moderates who formed the provisional government was acclaimed by the crowd at the Hôtel de Ville on 24 February. Alphonese de Lamartine became the Foreign Minister, Alexandre Ledru-Rollin Minister of the Interior. As a gesture to radicals, Louis Blanc was included. By midnight the two factions were able to produce the statement: ‘The Provisional Government gives its vote to the Republic, subject to ratification by the People, who will be consulted forthwith’.

The Second Republic had come into being almost by accident and at a time of collapsing businesses and food shortages. Under pressure from the radicals inside the government and from the Parisian crowds, the government introduced some hasty reforms: it reduced the daily working hours to ten in Paris and eleven in the provinces, recognized the ‘right to work’ and set up ‘National Workshops’ to provide work and poor relief. This was an expensive measure, and to fund it, taxes had to be raised by 45%.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

The French Franc and the German Mark

Austrian vereinsthaler of 1866
In answer to questions raised in class about the currencies of France and Germany I have found the following very informative websites.

See here for the franc and here for the mark. See here and here for the older currencies, the thaler and the vereinsthaler.

Monday, 12 November 2012

The Revolutions of 1848

Much of the information for this post is taken from Jonathan Sperber, Revolutionary Europe, 1780-1850 (Longman, 2000) and Robert Gildea, Barricades and Borders: Europe 1800-1914, 3rd edn (Oxford, 2003). The pictures above are of the proclamation of the Roman Republic in the Piazza deo Popolo and the Frankfurt Parliament (see below).

The revolutions of 1848 ignited the countries of Europe in a way that would not be repeated until 1989. Violence broke out because legal and parliamentary movements for change were frustrated. The only countries were revolution was avoided were those were adequate concessions were made in time (Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands) of where opposition was negligible and repression total (Russia).

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Melvyn Bragg: In Our Time

Here are two programmes that are very relevant to the course.

Click here for a discussion of Delacroix' Liberty Leading the People

And here for '1848: The Year of Revolutions'.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The July Monarchy (1830-48)

On 31 July, following three days of fighting in Paris, the veteran general Lafayette, appeared on the balcony of the Hôtel de Ville with Louis-Philippe, the 57-year-old head of the Orléanist family. Both men were holding a large tricolour flag. When Lafayette embraced Louis-Philippe, the crowd gave both men a prolonged ovation. On 3 August Louis-Philippe opened the new session of the Chamber of Deputes as Lieutenant-General of the Kingdom. On 9 August he accepted the deputies’ invitation to be King of the French. He then mounted the throne, acknowledging that ‘the will of the nation has called me’.  This was the closest he got to a coronation. Supporters of the July Revolution compared it to Britain’s Glorious Revolution of 1688-9.  It was not a divine right monarchy and Louis-Philippe was designated king of the French not king of France. According to Lafayette, whose support was crucial, this was
‘a popular monarchy surrounded by republican institutions’.  
The tricolore replaced the white flag of the Bourbons as a sign that Louis-Philippe, who had fought at Jemappes and was the son of the revolutionary Philippe Égalité, was a ‘Citizen King’. He stood between France and a republic.

The Bourbons (1814-300

The Monarchy restored
Lous XVI had two younger brothers, Louis-Stanlslas, count of Provence (b. 1755) and Charles-Philippe, count of Artois (b. 1757), who had been in exile since 1791. Following the death of the little dauphin (‘Louis XVII) in 1795 Provence claimed the title Louis XVIII. At the time of Napoleon’s fall both brothers were living in England.

Because Napoleonic France was a police state, it is difficult to assess the state of opinion. Nevertheless, evidence suggests that there were people of royalist sympathies in all classes. As Napoleon’s troubled mounted, the Bourbons began to hope for a restoration. In February 1813 Louis issued a declaration from his English home, Hartwell in Bucks, promising pardon to those who served Napoleon or the Republic and compensation to the original owners of confiscated lands.

On 12 March 1814 Anglo-Portuguese forces entered Bordeaux and the city proclaimed Louis XVIII.  This convinced the Allies that there was genuine support for a Bourbon restoration. On 31 March allied armies entered Paris. A provisional government was set up under Talleyrand and throughout France towns spontaneously proclaimed Louis XVIII. On 24 April Louis, now known as ‘le Desiré’ arrived back in France.

The Charter

On 4 June 1814 he introduced a constitution, the Charter, which recognized the fundamental principles of equality before the law, and a reasonable liberty of the press. Trial by jury and an independent judiciary were established. All senior officers and officials were to be appointed by the King. There were to be two chambers on the British model: the Chamber of Peers (appointed by the King, who could be either hereditary or life peers) and the Chamber of Deputies of 268 members, who had to pay more than 1,000 francs in taxes; a fifth were to be elected every year by every man who paid more than 300 francs a year in direct taxes . Catholicism was recognized as the state religion, but Protestant ministers were to be paid a salary.