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FrRevol_501-550.indd 49 3/16/12 1:13 PM CHAPTER III Ofthe Circumstances That Render the Representative Government at This Time More Necessary in France Than in Any Other Country. The resentment ofthose who have suffered greatly by the Revolution and who cannot flatter themselves with recovering their privileges but by intolerance ofreligion and despotism ofthe Crown, is, as has just been said, the greatest danger to which France can be exposed. Her happiness and her glory consist in a treaty between the two parties, taking the constitutional charter as the basis. For besides that the prosperity ofFrance depends on the advantages acquired by the mass of the nation in 1789, I do not know anything that could be more humiliating to the French than to be sent back to servitude like children subjected to chastisement. Two great historical facts may be, in some respects, compared to the restoration of the Bourbons: the return of the Stuarts in England and the accession of Henri IV. Let us first examine the more recent of the two: we shall afterward return to the former, which concerns France more directly. Charles II was recalled to England after the crimes of the revolutionaries and the despotism of Cromwell;1 the reaction always produced on the minds of the ordinary people by crimes committed under the pretext of a noble cause repressed the zeal of the English people toward liberty. It was almost the entire nation which, represented by its parliament, de1 . In 166o. FrRevol_501-550.indd 50 3/16/12 1:13 PM PART V manded the return ofCharles II; it was the English army2 that proclaimed him; no foreign troops interfered in this restoration, and in this respect, Charles II was in a much better situation than that of the French princes. But as a parliament was already established in England, the son of Charles I was not called on either to accept or to grant a new charter. The difference between him and the party who had caused the Revolution related to quarrels of religion: the English nation desired the Reformation and considered the Catholic religion as irreconcilable with liberty . Charles II was then obliged to call himself a Protestant; but as, in the bottom ofhis heart, he professed another faith, he cunningly deceived public opinion during his whole reign; and when his brother/ who had more violence of temper, permitted all the atrocities which the name of Jefferies4 recalls, the nation felt the necessity ofhaving at its head a prince who should be king by means of liberty, instead ofbeing king in despite of liberty. Some time after, an act was passed excluding from the succession every prince who should be a Catholic or who should have espoused a princess of that religion. The principle of this act was to maintain hereditary succession by not entrusting to chance for a sovereign, but by formally excluding whoever should not adopt the political and religious faith of the majority of England. The oath pronounced by William III, and subsequently by all his successors, proves the contract between the nation and the king; and a law of England, as I have already mentioned, declares guilty ofhigh treason whoever shall support the divine right, that is, the doctrine by which a king possesses a nation as a landholder possesses a farm, the people and the cattle being placed on the same footing, and the one having as little as the other a right to alter their situation. When the English welcomed back the old family with delight, they were hopeful that it would adopt a new doctrine; but the direct inheritors of power refusing this, the friends ofliberty rallied under the standard ofhim who submitted to the condition without which there is no legitimacy. The Revolution of France, down to the fall of Bonaparte, is greatly similar to 2. General Monk played a key role in this regard. 3· The future King James II (1633-1701), who reigned from 1685 to 1688. 4· English magistrate famous for his ruthlessness. George Jeffreys was arrested and imprisoned during the Revolution of 1688. 55o FrRevol_551-600.indd 1 3/16/12 1:14 PM cHAPTER I I I. Representative Government in France that of England. Its resemblance with the war of the League and the accession ofHenry IV is less striking; but in return, we say it with pleasure, the spirit and character of Louis XVIII recalls to our minds Henri IV much more than Charles II...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781614878636
Related ISBN
9780865977327
MARC Record
OCLC
836874520
Pages
834
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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