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Re-Writing the French Revolutionary Tradition
Liberal Opposition and the Fall of the Bourbon Monarchy


Part of New Studies in European History

  • Date Published: September 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521039765

£ 53.99

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About the Authors
  • This book examines the politics of the French Revolutionary tradition during the Bourbon Restoration and early July Monarchy. Robert Alexander argues that political change was achieved by legal grassroots organization and persuasion - rather than by the revolutionary tradition of conspiracy and armed insurrection. Moreover, political struggle was not confined to the elite, as common material values linked the electorate to those deprived of the power to vote. Battle between advocates of national and royal sovereignty constituted the principal dynamic of the period, and fostered significant developments in party formation previously unrecognized by historians. To substantiate his claims, the author analyses relations among the Liberal Opposition, ultraroyalists and the state, concluding that although Liberals triumphed in the 1830 Revolution, thereafter they contributed to the destabilization that produced an immobile Orleanist regime. Nevertheless, they had pioneered a model for change which could successfully adapt pursuit of reform to longing for civil order.

    • Presents an interesting interpretation of the nature of revolutionary tradition
    • Challenges interpretations that divorce elite and popular politics and reveals previously unrecognized developments in party formation
    • Based on extensive archival study which integrates national and local politics
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Professor Alexander's well-researched and carefully argued study is a welcome addition to the literature of a comparatively neglected period of French history.' William Fortescue, History

    'A well-grounded scholarly study … Alexander's work will play a major role in studies on the post-1815 period …' Journal of European Studies

    'This is an invaluable scholarly contribution to a welcome revival of interest in the early nineteenth century … specialists will delight in the detailed empirical research and stimulating broad arguments.' The English Historical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521039765
    • length: 404 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 26 mm
    • weight: 0.58kg
    • contains: 5 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of maps
    List of tables
    List of abbreviations used in notes
    Introduction: open questions
    1. False starts and uncertain beginnings: from the First Restoration (May 1814) to the elections of September 1816
    2. Battle commences: from September 1816 to July 1820
    3. Self-defeating opposition: from July 1820 to February 1824
    4. Back on track: from March 1824 to January 1828
    5. Towards victory?: from January 1828 to July 1830
    6. Aftermath: liberal opposition and the July Revolution
    Conclusion: revolutionary tradition

  • Author

    Robert Alexander, University of Victoria, British Columbia
    Robert Alexander is Professor of History at the University of Victoria, Canada. He has previously published with Cambridge University Press on Bonapartism and Revolutionary Tradition in France (1991).

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