Louis Philippe’s
Domestic Policy
Demands for parliamentary reform and rise of
socialism and bonapartism
There were many political and social changes in France under the reign of Louis Philippe …
The king could no longer suspend laws nor rule by decree (royal power)
The assembly could propose legislation
The electorate increased from 94,000 to almost 130,000
The power of the church was removed and Catholicism was reduced
Religion was tolerated and even more so became practised by the majority
Because of such political and social reform, the constitution of 1830 became known as ‘The party of
However, due to the focus of parliamentary reform being in favour and beneficial to the upper middle class
(Bourgeoisie), socialism and Bonapartism started to rise due to their demands for parliamentary reform…
Socialism and Bonapartism
Fought for the return of Napoleon
as ruler of France
Supported the Bourbons and royalist
Lower middle class frustrated with
their place under the reign of LP’s
Wanted to return the days of glory
Opposed the Orleanist Monarchy and
instead supported the son of the Duc
de Berri (murdered in 1820)
Gained the support of the poorer
classes who wanted a more
democratic system
Attempted to proceed with 2
rebellions (or coups) against LP—
however, both coups failed in 1836
and 1840
Attempted to lead a coup in 1832 but
Each group greatly disapproved of the reign of LP as, from the start, they were not happy with an
Orleanist becoming the legitimate heir to the throne
Thus they posed as a dominant threat to King LP
Early rebellions and economic development
LP was well aware of the undercurrent of unrest throughout his reign, but rather than
address it, he tended to accept it as something beyond his control
Political frustration was one of the key factors in the fall of LP in 1848
As well as this, bad weather led to poor harvests and caused rising food prices which
resulted in bakeries and food shops being looted.
Economic development
Signs of discontent fluctuated along with economic circumstances
By 1847, economic and social conditions in France were attracting widespread interests as
the government was unable or unwilling to address issues.
Different ministries-Guizot and Lassiez Faire
LP relied on ministers of similar views as himself—he used traditional means of influence to ensure that
the chamber of deputies supported his chosen leaders
1830-47= LP was unable to increase the number of royal officials who sat as deputies from 142 to 193 out
of a total of 459 seats
Jaques Laffitte
Led LP’s 1st ministry
Regarded the July revolution as only favouring further reform
However, rioting and disorder continued because of this
Laffitte dismissed in March 1831
Casimir Perier
Led LP’s 2nd ministry
Was a traditional liberal
Regarded the July revolution as nothing more than a change in
1831—Perier carefully managed the July elections in order to return a
chamber prepared to use force if necessary to curb/reduce unrest
French historian Bertier de Sauvigny stated: ‘Perier typified monied
Bourgeoisie, loathing disorder and he brought to the task of
governing a force of willpower and energy that was wildly passionate’
He demanded unquestionable obedience from his colleagues and
even LP!
He managed to reduce the unrest and set the regime on firm
Perier died in march 1832 of cholera
May 1832-october 1840– there were no more than 10 ministries
Adolph Thiers
• One of the most influential spokespeople in the chamber
• Thiers brought the LP to power
• However, his attitudes towards the king were slightly different as he
believed he should act as a figurehead
• Thiers was dismissed is 1840
Francois Guizot and the Duc de Brogile
• Also the most influential spokespeople in the chamber
• Brogile and Guizot were very much content with the constitutional
• King LP now relied on Guizot who dominated politics
Education policy
Being an Orleanist, LP believed that education should be granted to all
He changed education in a way that was to provide French society with an opportunity to strive
academically and experience new ways of learning
• Thus in order to improve education, LP achieved the following the following
 Removed the dominant influence of the catholic church on education *successful
 Had the Guizot Law of 1833 passed= this gave the minister of education (who at this point was firmly
separated from religion), the right to allow all communes, i.e. different groups of people such as socialists,
to run primary schools for boys * successful
 By 1840, approximately 30,000 communes were allowed to run schools *partially successful-only 30,000 out of
37,000 communes allowed to run schools
 Lay teachers tolerated under LP’s education policy
 Male teachers received teacher training courses at the newly introduced Ecole Normale (training colleges)
*successful-teachers no longer had to be catholic or monks and other such catholic figureheads. Also teachers had the
freedom to teach in their own terms and no under the influence or catholic teachings
LP gave boys whose parents were poor, full entitlement to free education *partially successful-some children still
had to pay a fee. Also, education based its primary focus on boys rather than girls and women who were restricted of their
rights. However, the poor were still taken into some consideration.
The masses, i.e. lower and middle class were granted the right to attend primary schools *successful-fairer
opportunity for all
By 1848, 3.25 million children attended primary schools *partially successful-despite such an increase in children
attending school, a ¼ of boys and vast majority of girls never attended school or received any form of educational
Basic literacy improved dramatically and rapidly *very successful-under the reign of King Charles X in 1824, only 45%
of army conscripts could read-under the reign of LP in 1830, this figure rose to 67%!
It is evident that education was becoming more lenient and slightly equalised among the masses, however, LP
faced problems due to the opposition towards his education policy…
• Opposition…
 Jesuits (catholic group) were still alive and present in education and ran schools for the rich
notables and aristocrats *unsuccessful
 LP feared the influence of the Jesuits and wanted to distance himself from them
 Influence of Jesuits lead to resistance in 1843 by students and supporters of LP: Quinet and
Michelet—they attempted to expel the Jesuits
Referring to the question: Was Louis Philippe’s reign a success
or failure? Discuss whether or not his domestic policy was
successful and given reasons for your answer…

similar documents