France 1837 CE

The French Revolution, and then the rule of Napoleon, have changed France for good.

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What is happening in France in 1837CE

The French Revolution

Once the forces of Revolution had been unleashed, in 1789, the situation rapidly deteriorated until a period of “Terror” followed (1793-4), as the Revolutionaries executed thousands of real and supposed enemies, including the king and queen. This aroused the hostility of the rest of Europe, and they found themselves at war with the other leading powers, Prussia, Austria and Britain.

Napoleon and the Napoleonic Wars

The French, however, found in Napoleon Bonaparte one of the most brilliant generals in history, who won great victories and then, by means of a coup, gained the leadership of the French state. He transformed French institutions with an astonishing series of measures touching every aspect of public life and, in 1804, made himself Emperor.

Napoleon’s wars lasted on and off until 1815, engulfing the entire continent. Brilliant generalship brought him great success, but gradually all the major powers of Europe allied themselves against him and he was finally and decisively defeated at the battle of Waterloo.

Bourbon Restoration

The victorious powers now set about trying to restore a European order based, as far as possible, on the situation before the French Revolution. The Bourbon monarchy again ruled France; however, it was not the same country as before. A measure of parliamentary democracy was maintained, the old nobility and the Church had lost their privileged place in society and state, and the land was now in the hands of the peasant farmers. Anger at efforts to restore absolutism under the last Bourbon king Charles X (1824-1830), led to the enthronement of the liberal Louis Philippe, the “Citizen King”, who has governed the country since.

Next map, France in 1871

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