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Restoration

Restoration, in French history, the period from 1814 to 1830. It began with the first abdication of Emperor Napoleon I and the return of the Bourbon king, Louis XVIII, but was interrupted (1815) by Napoleon's return (the Hundred Days). After Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo, Louis XVIII was again restored as king of France. The Bourbon regime was responsible for considerable French economic recovery and expansion and for the restoration of French prestige abroad. These years also saw the growth of the romantic movement in French literature and arts. However, the period marked the failure of the attempt to reconcile the royalist and Revolutionary traditions. Increasing political influence was exerted upon the moderate Louis XVIII by the ultraroyalists, dominated by his brother, the comte d'Artois, who succeeded (1824) Louis as King Charles X. The ultraroyalists sought a return to the ancien régime. They were aware, however, that this could not be achieved and acted instead to ensure their own political and social predominance. Their power was finally broken by the July Revolution of 1830.

See N. Hudson, Ultra-Royalism and the French Restoration (1936); G. de Bertier de Sauvigny, France and the European Alliance (1958), D. P. Resnick, The White Terror and the Political Reaction after Waterloo (1966); J. H. Stewart, The Restoration Era in France (1968).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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