Why did the Second Republic fail to survive?

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  • Created on: 21-05-14 12:39
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  • Why did the Second Republic fail to survive?
    • Surprising that the Second Republic came into existence at all.
      • Little belief in this form of government among right wing/moderates.
      • Chamber would've been prepared to accept accession of Comte de Paris with his mother as regent.
    • Destruction of the left.
      • At first, balance between left and right wasn't clear.
        • Left had a number of successes.
          • Intruding 3 of their spokesmen into the Provisional Government.
          • Secured manhood suffrage for elections to a Constituent Assembly.
            • Increased electorate from 241,000 to 8 million.
          • Provided work for the unemployed in National Workshops.
        • April 1848 - Election: overwhelmingly right-wing Constituent Assembly
          • Composed of middle-class men like lawyers, landowners, etc. 80% over 40 years of age.
            • Anti-Republican message to Paris from the rest of France
          • New right-wing commission replaced provisional Government.
            • Direct presentation of petitions was prohibited.
              • Provoked an intervention by a mob but was dealt with by National Guard.
            • May 1848 - National Workshops closed down.
              • Provoked 'June Days' in Paris.
                • 1500 killed, 15,000 arrested, 4000 deported.
                  • Strongest supporters of the continuation of a Republican form of government were off the scene.
    • Emergence of Prince Louis Napoleon Bonaparte as a viable alternative.
      • Originally kept out of France under terms of the law of 1832 but as he won successive by-elections this became more difficult.
        • When he did return, he was underestimated by his opponents ("He's unintelligent. He's a fool whom we shall be able to lead"/"What an idiot!"
        • Had a wide-ranging appeal.
          • Had been uninvolved in the events earlier in 1848.
          • 'Bonaparte' suggested "La Gloire".
          • Appealed to all classes.
        • Constitution of the Second Republic played into Louis-Napoleon's hands.
          • Provided for an elected President to mobilise public opinion and use his executive power to overthrow legislature.
      • Constitution of the Second Republic played into Louis-Napoleon's hands.
        • Provided for an elected President to mobilise public opinion and use his executive power to overthrow legislature.
      • December 1848 - Elected President: "The French had already chosen the man who was to destroy the republic in which most of them had lost faith."
    • Louis-Napoleon manoeuvred deftly to strengthen his position.
      • Success of Louis-Napoleon.
        • Careful not to overreach himself.
          • Most people expected the instigation of an imperial regime, but the new Constitution in January 1852 was more imperial than Republican.
            • Press controls introduced.
        • Triumphant progress through France in autumn culminated in a Senate declaration of the Second Empire.
          • Once it had been massively endorsed by a plebiscite, the new Empire formally came into being in December 1852.
            • Second Republic was finished.
          • 1870 - France instigated the Third Republic.
            • Origins were uncertain and most ardent supporters on the left were destroyed.
            • Monarchist alternatives to the Third Republic couldn't organise themselves effectively and Republican regime survived for 70 years.
      • Emergence of Prince Louis Napoleon Bonaparte as a viable alternative.
        • Originally kept out of France under terms of the law of 1832 but as he won successive by-elections this became more difficult.
          • When he did return, he was underestimated by his opponents ("He's unintelligent. He's a fool whom we shall be able to lead"/"What an idiot!"
          • Had a wide-ranging appeal.
            • Had been uninvolved in the events earlier in 1848.
            • 'Bonaparte' suggested "La Gloire".
            • Appealed to all classes.
        • December 1848 - Elected President: "The French had already chosen the man who was to destroy the republic in which most of them had lost faith."
      • Won support from the Catholic right.
        • Crushing of the Roman Republic and restoration of the Pope in 1849.
        • Falloux Law 1850.
      • Successful tours to French cities in August and September 1850.
        • Demonstrated that he also had the common touch.
      • Summer and November 1850 - Attempted to secure a constitutional amendment allowing him to continue beyond a single four term.
        • Genuine? Or just a way of discrediting the Chamber as a prelude to a coup?
      • Carried out a well-organised coup.
        • Careful to secure backing in a plebiscite with around 7 million people supporting his actions.
    • Success of Louis-Napoleon.
      • Careful not to overreach himself.
        • Most people expected the instigation of an imperial regime, but the new Constitution in January 1852 was more imperial than Republican.
          • Press controls introduced.
      • Triumphant progress through France in autumn culminated in a Senate declaration of the Second Empire.
        • Once it had been massively endorsed by a plebiscite, the new Empire formally came into being in December 1852.
          • Second Republic was finished.
        • 1870 - France instigated the Third Republic.
          • Origins were uncertain and most ardent supporters on the left were destroyed.
          • Monarchist alternatives to the Third Republic couldn't organise themselves effectively and Republican regime survived for 70 years.

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