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What Were The Main Failings Of The July Monarchy ?

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Very few of the 36 million people of France wanted a revolution in1848 and even few expected. However there was in most sections of the French community widespread dissatisfaction with the political system and the government of king Louis Philippe.
The king who the middle classes had trusted to promote their interests was elected by the chamber of deputies with a new and more democratic sounding title 'king of the French'. From the very commencement of his reign his position was insecure. He was the first elected monarch in French history which implied the right of those who had elected him to get rid of him if he did not live up to their expectations.
Discontent in all sections of the population had deprived Louis Philippe's government of many of it's usual supporters and there was a lack of confidene in the regime which was pursuing what appeared to be a weak foreign policy. The discontent had accelarated and serve to radicalise a campaign for suffrage reform. In the absence of determined leadership and given the governments failure to act to pereserve order in the february demonstrations there was nothing to impede the seizure of power by a small group of Republicans in Paris. Republicansim was the only political faith that appeale to the crowds in the streets of the city. The heterogeneity of this government by popular demand was to be a source of the weakness but a certain unity existed as far as the majority of it's members though politically Republican were socially conservative.
Popular pressure nevertheless forced the new government to introduce measures which in the context of the period were radical: universal male suffrage, a reduction of the working day, national workshops as part of a guaranteed right to work and the Luxembourg commission to inquire into further reforms. The second of theses measures, however was ineffective, the third was merely an expedient to provide essential relief to the unemployed and clear them off the streets and the fourth was a means of postponing necessary reform.

The problems facing Louis philippe in foreign policy were great. The previous government to a certain extent had revived France's prestige as a military power. Many people were expecting Louis Philippe to go ahead with this policy especially the legitimists, liberals and bonapartists. The July revolution triggered off disturbances throughout Europe and nationalists and liberals looked forward to a foreign policy supporting peoples struggle for freedom. However Louis Philippe himself considered the best policy to be the maintainence of peace in order to promote the industry and tarde of the MC on whom he relied for most of his support. His reign began with a partia success in Belgium but he was forced to alter his policy by Palmerston and withdraw the candidate of his son for the thrown. France also failed to help the Italians when Austrain troops entered the Papa states to crush a revolt. French troops were, however sent to occupy Ancove a gesture against Austrian interference rather than support for unification or revolution. Over Mehmet Ali he set on a course from which he was once again forecd to withdraw as ...

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