History Optional Paper-2 Solution – 2015: Q.5 (c)
Q.5 (c) “The whole episode that is known as the July Revolution (1830) was fought and won not for the establishment of an extreme democracy but to get rid of the aristocratic and clericalist attitude of the restored Bourbons.”
Charles X came to power in 1824 after the death of Louis XVIII. He
was the younger brother of Louis XVIII, who, upon the defeat of Napoleon I, and by agreement of the Allied powers, had been installed as King of France.
Louis XVIII had adopted moderate policy to balance different factions but when Charles X came to power, the reactionary policy prevailed:
(1) He decided to restore the old regime by undoing the work of Revolution. He based his government on the pretensions of divine right and conducted it in the interest of the clergy and the nobility at the expense of popular liberty.
(2) Many privileges were restored to the clergy and a large sum of money was voted to indemnify the nobles for their losses during Revolution.
(3) The Jesuits were allowed to return and penalties for sacrilege and blasphemy were increased.
(4) Matters came to a crisis when he appointed a most reactionary ministry headed by Polignac. At Polignac’s instance, he issued four ordinances in July, 1830:
(a) Suspension of press liberty
(b) Dissolving the Chamber of Deputies
(c) Changing the electoral system
(d) Reducing number of voters.
These ordinance effectively meant revocation of the Constitution. Protests and demonstrations were followed by three days of fighting, the abdication of Charles X, and the proclamation of Louis-Philippe as “king of the French”.
The July Revolution was by no means a widespread popular rising. It was more in the nature of a coup. Though there were sections who had demanded true democracy or Republican form of Government, the Revolution was precipitated mainly due to Charles X’s pro-clerical and pro-aristocrats policy and not due to any radical demands from the populace.
The July Revolution was conceived by the upper middle class, or bourgeoisie who did not was to loose the liberty and equality they got after French Revolution. After Revolution, the upper middle class, or bourgeoisie, secured a political and social ascendancy but there was no step towards the establishment of extreme democracy which could give political and social power to all, including lowest section of society.
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