Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Policies of Louis XVIII

The liberal politics of the former Comte de Provence, treacherous brother of Louis XVI, were resented by many during the Restoration. From Nobility:
But the joy of the royalists was not unmixed. They found their triumph incomplete. It was quite another sort of Restoration that they had imagined. Louis XVIII was not a king according to their own hearts. They would have accused him of Bonapartism and Jacobinism if they had dared. They thought him ungrateful toward the émigrés and Vendéans. While the five children of Cathelineau, the commander-in-chief of the Vendéan army, vegetated in poverty, Robespierre’s sister received an annual pension of six thousand francs. The government did not even pay the expenses of the last campaign in Vendée, that of 1815, which had, nevertheless, been undertaken only by the King’s command, and they had to be met by the officers. And yet at the same time, the arrears due for the expenses of the Republic and the Empire, and even those of the Hundred Days, were paid without examination. To the émigrés a government which did not restore national property to its former owners was simply a continuation of the Revolution. The most discontented of all were perhaps Louis XVIII’s companions in exile, the courtiers of Mittau and Hartwell, who, having been present in time of trial thought they had a right to form part of the triumph. These could not console themselves for the preferment of a Pasquier, a Mounier, a Portalis, a Siméon, a Decazes. The favors heaped by the King upon Napoleon’s favorites seemed to them an insult to monarchy, a blow aimed at royalty by the King himself. They could hardly conceal their exasperations under an enforced politeness….(Read entire post.)


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