July, 1795: Louis XVIII, Declaration of Verona
Louis XVI’s younger brother Provence had left for the border on June 20, 1791, the same night that Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette took the less fortunate route toward Varennes. A still younger brother, Artois, was already abroad by this time. With the execution of Louis XVI on January 21, 1793, Provence assumed the title of regent, the new king being Louis XVII, who was still a boy and was being held prisoner in Paris, like his mother, Marie Antionette, who was to be executed on October 16, 1793. When Louis XVII died on June 8, 1795, the regent assumed the title of Louis XVIII, which he bore with considerable dignity during many years of adversity until his actual attainment of the throne on French soil in 1814. In 1795, however, Louis XVIII had some reason to believe that the situation in France was developing in the direction of a restoration of the monarchy, and he was, moreover, surrounded by people whose attitudes toward the revolution had been growing more and more intransigent, whose image of the old regime in France had been growing more and more idealized, and who, to the extent that they went in for philosophizing, tended to be under the influence of a kind of neo-absolutism that was maturing in the minds of many émigrés and was soon to find its most imposing expression in the works of Louis de Bonald and Joseph de Maistre. Although many factors other than doctrine contributed to the failure of the royalists to bring about a restoration and thereby to enable France to enter the nineteenth century without the Napoleonic adventure, an indisputably important fact was the difference in attitudes between Louis XVIII and most of the émigrés, on the one hand, and, on the other hand,persons actually living in France, most of whom, even the royalists, favored or were at least resigned to some aspects of the revolution.
KeywordsYoung Brother Insurmountable Barrier Ancient Race Iron Yoke Rival Faction
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