Why did Charles X of France abdicate?

The European revolutions of 1830/1831

In the years 1830 and 1831, a number of European states were shaken by revolutionary protests, which, like the revolutions of 1848/1849, were related to each other despite different starting points and results, and were also related to one another by contemporaries.1 Within a few months, unrest and uprisings broke out in France, Belgium, the German Confederation, Poland and the Italian states, which resulted in government reshuffles in many places and, in the case of Belgium, even led to the establishment of a new state. A large part of the continent was in motion, calling into question the reorganization of the world of states that had been negotiated by the European powers 15 years earlier at the Congress of Vienna. The consequences of these revolutionary upheavals were to be felt by the middle of the decade.

The protests in Paris began,2 where King Charles X (1757–1836) from the house of the restituted Bourbons on July 25, 1830, in several ordinances, considerably restricted the freedom rights enshrined in the constitution imposed in 1814: the freedom of the press was curtailed, the Chamber of Deputies, which was only elected in June 1830, was dissolved and the Limited voting rights. Resistance to these measures quickly spread to ever larger circles of the Parisian population, and it succeeded during the so-called Trois Glorieuses from July 27th to 29th, in street fighting to gain control of the city. Echoes of the revolution of 1789 were inevitable: The Louvre was stormed, the tricolor was hoisted, and a new National Guard was formed under the leadership of the veteran Marie Joseph Marquis de Lafayette (1757–1834). Charles X then had to accept the formation of a liberal transitional government, which declared Louis-Philippe (1773-1850), Duke of Orléans, from a branch of the House of Bourbon, as governor-general. Although Charles X abdicated on August 2, 1830 in favor of his grandson Heinrich (1820-1883), the two French chambers decided on August 8 to propose the crown to Louis-Philippe. He was made King of the French on August 15, 1830.

While the new government in Paris was trying to calm the domestic and foreign political situation, the wave of revolution spread to Brussels on August 25, 1830.3 Dissatisfaction with the rule of the Orange, who ruled Belgium together with the northern Netherlands in a United Kingdom that had existed since 1815, resulted in a struggle for state autonomy. The insurgents succeeded in defending Brussels against Dutch troops, so that they could form a provisional government on September 26, 1830, which declared Belgian independence on October 4. After the European great powers had de facto recognized the new state in January 1831, a Belgian constitution was enacted on February 7, 1831, and on June 4, 1831 Leopold of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1790-1865) became king of the Belgians crowned.

In the meantime, the wave of revolution in September 1830 had also reached the states of the German Confederation.4 Revolutionary situations occurred in Braunschweig, Kurhessen and Saxony, but the situation in other German states was also tense. The quite heterogeneous German insurrection movement was fed by a mixture of social protest, constitutional and customs policy demands.

In Eastern Europe, on November 29, 1830, an assassination attempt on the Russian governor by Polish officers rocked the Kingdom of Poland.5 As in Belgium, there was also dissatisfaction in the so-called Congress Poland with the solution found in 1815: The Russian tsar ruled the country as the bearer of the Polish royal crown and only sent a governor to Warsaw. This office was exercised by the brother of Tsars Alexander I (1777-1825) and Nicholas I (1796-1855), Grand Duke Constantine (1779-1831). Although the attack directed against him failed, Constantine fled Warsaw soon afterwards. In the period that followed, the insurrectionary movement became radicalized and in January 1831 deposed Tsar Nicholas as the bearer of the Polish crown. The ensuing war between Russian and Polish troops dragged on into the early autumn of 1831 and ended in a complete defeat for the Poles.

Beyond the Alps, uprisings broke out in early February 1831 in the northern Italian duchies of Parma and Modena and in the Papal States.6 Provisional Governments were formed in papal Bologna on February 5, in Modena on February 9, and in Parma on February 15. But in March 1831 the movement came to an end when Austrian troops marched in.

As early as the autumn of 1830, the demands for liberal constitutions and political participation in numerous cantons in Switzerland had tightened.7 The situation was also tense on the Iberian Peninsula, particularly in Andalusia, although minor uprisings were suppressed there.8 It was also restless in Great Britain, where agricultural and early industrial social protests were combined with demands for political participation.9

Revolution and European messaging

The ordinances of the French King Charles X had aimed, among other things, at restricting the freedom of the press guaranteed in 1814. The liberal Paris papers, including Le National, Le Temps and Le Globe, therefore appeared on July 27, 1830 without permission to print, whereupon they were confiscated by the authorities. In this respect, the liberal press in the French capital had a vital interest from the start in putting the protest against the royal violation of the constitution on a broad basis. Influential journalists like the editor-in-chief of the National, Adolphe Thiers (1797–1877), were therefore among the supporters of the revolution and stood after the Trois Glorieuses available for political office. There was therefore a close connection between the revolution and the media from the outset, which created the best conditions for the Europe-wide reporting on the events in Paris, which soon began.

The news from France found their echo in a European communication area, in which an increasingly differentiated press system had taken over the professional transmission of news and had come alongside private and official correspondence. However, around 1830 the numerous relay riders who were commissioned by both the governments and the large trading and banking houses were even faster than the regular mailing of letters and newspaper distribution. The shortening of travel times through the construction of the highway, steam navigation and the first railways accelerated communication; Telegraph lines have already been used.

The major English and French daily newspapers such as the Times or the Monitor were read across Europe around 1830, after having been expelled to large parts of the continent in the 18th century. To a lesser extent, the most influential German-language daily newspaper, founded in 1798, also had it general newspaper by the Tübingen publisher Johann Friedrich Cotta (1764–1832), via a European readership. The spread of these papers was facilitated by a number of technical innovations that had simplified and accelerated the printing process of the major daily newspapers since the turn of the century, and thus enabled ever higher print runs. The paper machine invented by Louis-Nicolas Robert (1761–1828) in 1798 and the high-speed press developed by Friedrich Koenig (1774–1833) and Andreas Bauer (1783–1860) in 1811 were particularly pioneering. After the authors of these innovations had succeeded in turning their inventions into a business with the help of English capital and know-how, the paper machine and the high-speed press, which was now also powered by steam, returned to the continent, where they prevailed in the 1820s.10 In addition, the publishers tried to make the editorial processes more efficient. In addition to full-time editors, the influential papers had a dense network of employees and correspondents who regularly sent in reports and reports.11

Taken together, it made it possible for the news of the ordinances of Charles X and, a little later, of the reports of the Paris Revolution to pass through Europe within a short period of time. The uprisings in Belgium and Poland received no less media coverage in the months that followed. Contemporaries already noticed the extraordinary intensity and speed of the transmission of messages. So they commented General Political Annals of the liberal politician Karl von Rotteck (1775-1840) a few weeks after the Trois Glorieuses: "The news of these events passed through Europe with blazing speed."12 At the same time, the paper addressed the restrictions to which the press was subjected in many countries. But even the official censorship could not prevent the European news transfer, especially since the Paris reports had to a certain extent spoken for themselves: "The daily papers under fetter and intersection also spoke more freely and more intelligently by retelling what happened and what was said."13

Relay from the Rothschild banking house brought the first news of the events in Paris to London.14 As early as July 28, 1830, the reported Times about the situation across the English Channel,15 on August 3rd it published an extensive article compiled from French papers16 and paid tribute to the crime of the revolutionaries in an accompanying commentary.17

In the Cottaschen General newspaper was first read on August 1st in a letter from Paris of July 26th about the orderlies.18 The same edition also included a translation of the ordinances in an extraordinary supplement.19 On August 3, the quoted general newspaper from trading relay that reported on skirmishes and the meeting of the National Guard led by Lafayette,20 on August 4th, we read for the first time about the provisional government and about the "revolution that broke out in Paris"21. The readers of General newspaper but not until August 6, 1830, after the editors "finally Paris letters and liberal newspapers"22 had received.

The Paris news reached a large part of the European elite in the communication centers of the international bathing and health resorts. The French ambassador to Kurhessen, Sabatier de Cabre, heard about the events in Paris while visiting the baths in Wiesbaden.23Freiherr vom Stein (1757–1831) received first information from Ems,24 Heinrich Heines (1797–1856) [] Sister, Charlotte Embden (1803-1899), first learned of the events in Paris.25 Heine himself was on the cure on Heligoland, where he learned of the July events around August 6th through the newspapers sent over from the mainland. Heine processed his memories of this moment in his Börne memorandum published 10 years later:26

I was reading this very story in Paul Warnefrid when the thick newspaper bundle with the warm, scorching news from the land arrived. They were sun rays, wrapped in printing paper, and they kindled my soul to the point of the wildest fire. ... The other bathers were also hit by the Parisian sunstroke, especially the Berliners ... Even the poor Heligolandans cheer for joy, although they only understand the events by instinct.27

According to Heine, the events in Paris in the seaside resort of Cuxhaven had just as great enthusiasm among the Hamburg spa guests staying there.28 The Bavarian King Ludwig I (1786–1868) was startled by reports from Paris on August 3rd in Brückenau.29 The Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III. (1770–1840) the news reached the Bohemian town of Töplitz,30 the Russian Foreign Minister Count Karl Robert von Nesselrode (1780–1862) in neighboring Karlsbad,31 while the Austrian State Chancellor Prince Klemens von Metternich (1773-1859) and his confidante Friedrich von Gentz ​​(1764-1832) were informed of the July Revolution at the nearby summer residence of Metternich in Königswart. Relay had them already on July 31st Monitor of July 26th, in which the orderlies were printed. Further relays, which ran via Frankfurt, arrived on August 2nd and 3rd, and on August 4th there was certainty that the Parisian revolutionaries would win.32 The intensive reading of the latest French journals brought the circle around Metternich further information about the events in the following days.33

Apart from the seaside resorts and capitals, many people are likely to have found out about the events in Paris in a similar way to the publicist and politician Johann Georg August Wirth (1798–1848) in Bayreuth. According to his recollections, he only heard relatively late, namely in the first days of August, about the restrictions on freedom rights imposed by Charles X, thanks to continuous trade routes.34 The curious people who then flocked together were soon able to escape from society resource Subscribed daily newspapers learn that Karl X. had been overthrown. The German papers brought excerpts from the French newspapers and it was read aloud what had happened.35

Relay of the banker Ascan Wilhelm Lutteroth (1783–1867) brought news to Hamburg on August 1, 1830 about Charles X's escape and the barricade fighting in Paris.36 In Weimar, Thuringia, the first information from Paris arrived on August 3, 1830; two days later there was clarity about the overthrow of the French king.37 The events around August 5th were also known to the Viennese population.38

News of the Paris Revolution reached St. Petersburg on August 11, 1830. Although Tsar Nicholas I initially forbade the press to report on the events, rumors about it spread in aristocratic salons, cafes and universities. They were put into circulation on the one hand by the well-informed high nobility, on the other hand by foreigners staying in Russia, especially the French themselves.39 When the July Revolution was officially announced by the state-controlled press on August 19, news of it had spread not only in St. Petersburg and Moscow, but also in the provincial cities.40

In Kiev, however, according to a report by a French veteran, news of the revolution did not arrive until August 20, but there it caused a considerable stir "surtout dans la classe la plus élevée de la société".41 Probably also in August the Decembrists exiled to Siberia and their families received news of the July Revolution through letters and newspapers, which they received with great jubilation. Here, too, enthusiasm for the revolution was more of an elite phenomenon. The guards, on the other hand, watched the exuberance of the Decembrists "without understanding", because "they had no idea about politics."42

In the weeks and months following the Trois Glorieuses the newspaper reports were supplemented by eyewitness reports in monographic form. The events in Paris prompted numerous contemporary witnesses to record their experiences in personal reports such as diaries, letters or memoirs, only a small part of which was printed.43 Some eyewitness accounts first appeared in French and were soon translated into many European languages, while others were written in their mother tongue by foreigners living in Paris. Publishers in Lugano, Glasgow, London, Utrecht, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, Leipzig and Quedlinburg took the sensational reports into their programs.44 These writings marked the beginning of "a boom in Paris books, eyewitness reports, sketches, 'silhouettes', 'paintings', historical and political analyzes, which continued for several years."45that nourished the myth of the metropolis of Paris.

Some of the reports had images showing the key characters or scenes of the Trois Glorieuses showed. Published by the English publicist and satirist William Hone (1780–1842) in September 1830 Full annals of the revolution in France showed, for example, the portraits of Louis-Philippe and Lafayette, the hoisting of the red flag on the Porte St. Denis as well as the storming of the Hotel de Ville and des Palais de Justice.46 The Paris News was also put into the picture by the typical medium of the time, the picture sheet. Companies such as the Pellerin publishing house in Épinal, which produces for the European market, or the more German-speaking companies Campe in Nuremberg and Kühn in Neuruppin, produced such sheets in large numbers around 1830; the total annual output of these publishers ran into the hundreds of thousands.47 In the medium of the news sheet,48 Measured by more popular motifs, which only reached a relatively small group of customers, the interweaving of European events was shown particularly impressively:49 A sheet probably printed in Nuremberg around the turn of the year 1830/1831 represented "The most memorable days of 1830" by showing scenes from Paris, Brussels, Leipzig, Dresden, Braunschweig, Hanau, Antwerp and Warsaw.

Revolution, memory and political public

The importance attached to the events everywhere was based essentially on the experiences of crises, upheavals and wars that people had made in the previous four decades. The memory of 1789 was everywhere, so that in the face of the renewed Paris Revolution, neither the governments nor the politicized public nor the mass of the population could remain indifferent. They appeared to many Trois Glorieuses as the return of the first French Revolution. They therefore assumed that the unrest in distant Paris would affect their everyday lives in one way or another. This conviction was strengthened when the Belgian uprising broke out in August 1830, with which the revolution began to spread from west to east. Associated with this was a widespread fear of war, which peaked in the first half of 1831 and flared up again and again until the end of 1832.50

Opponents and supporters of the revolution both inside and outside France saw the French nation as a source of impetus for Europe, as a state, according to Metternich, "whose fate affects European life so deeply".51 "En effet, tout ce qui se fait en France est un événement européen",52 it was already said on August 4, 1830 in the liberal Journal des débats. In February 1831, the conservative commented Courrier de l'Europe: "C'est une destinée de la France de ne pouvoir faire chez elle aucun change qui n'aille à l'instant même porter des changements semblables au bout du monde."53

Victor Hugo (1802-1885) [] conjured up on August 19, 1830 in the Paris Journal Le Globe the memory of revolutionary and Napoleonic France and affirmed the pioneering role of his country. In his under the title A la jeune France published poem which he dedicated to the pupils and students involved in the struggles of the Trois Glorieuses had been involved, it was said: "L'Angleterre jalouse et la Grèce homérique, / Toute l'Europe admire, et la jeune Amérique / Se lève et bat des mains, du bord des océans."54

The July Revolution not only brought back memories of 1789 and Napoleon, but also reactivated the system of symbols that had been developed after the first French Revolution and made known throughout Europe. First and foremost, the tricolor was raised to the French national coat of arms. As they did after 1789, supporters of the revolution now again adorned themselves with blue-white-red cockades, for example the French commercial couriers who arrived at the federal fortress of Mainz at the beginning of August, but where they had to take them off immediately at the behest of the authorities55 or the elegant Irish woman who appeared at a meeting in Dublin in September 1830 wearing a matching headdress.56

The uttering of vivat calls to Lafayette and Napoleon I (1769–1821), the singing of the Marseillaise and the Parisienne by the French poet Casimir Delavigne (1793–1843)57 or the reenactment of revolutionary scenes on the theater stage were further possibilities to express the solidarity with the French revolutionaries. The planting of trees of freedom was also widespread, for example in Palatinate Bavaria, where this symbol was, however, charged with idiosyncratic meanings.58

Heinrich Heine decorated his memory of this reactivation of revolutionary symbols during the summer of 1830 as follows:

Lafayette, the three-colored flag, the Marseillaise ... My longing for peace and quiet is gone. I now know again what I want, what I should, what I have to ... The French are brought their well-deserved vivat in all languages ​​.... In Hamburg the tricolor flutters, the Marseillaise sounds everywhere, even the ladies appear in the Theater with three-colored ribbons on their chests, and they smile with their blue eyes, red mouths and white noses ...59