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To decide whether he was successfulor not, first the word success has to be defined. Success is, in terms of beingking, keeping the country running well (socially, economically and politically).I feel that during Louis's time as king, many importan...

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Introduction

Mansoor Almodhahkah 13O 16/10/04 How successful was Louis XVIII in establishing stability in France during his reign? Louis XVIII came to the throne after the warfare and economic dislocation of the Napoleonic years. He was king of France from 1814 until his death in 1824. To decide whether he was successful or not, first the word success has to be defined. Success is, in terms of being king, keeping the country running well (socially, economically and politically). I feel that during Louis's time as king, many important changes and incidents happened for the French people which he handled amicably and he was an overall success. His reign can be split into different periods, the liberal era and the ultra era. Upon coming to the thrown in 1814, Louis XVIII faced several problems. Since the demise of his brother, Louis XVI, France had been 'characterized by warfare and economic dislocation' (Randell). Napoleon had left a war-weary population under heavy taxes to bankroll his doomed foreign conquests that had resulted in France being on the periphery of international politics. How ever Napoleon was successful in setting up an effective civil service bereft of corruption and the French people, particularly the Bourgeoisie, had gained from the French Revolution and feared the new Bourbon monarch would revert to the ways of the Ancien Regime. ...read more.

Middle

This disproves the opinion of many that whilst in exile the Bourbons 'learnt nothing and forgot nothing'. There existed a faction within the Royalists known as the Ultras. These were considered more royalist than the king himself. Many were �migr�s and wanted an Autocracy, as in the days of the Ancien Regime. They possessed political clout in abundance and Louis was successful in keeping them in check, however they gain importance in the later years. The downfall of many Kings is in the Ministers they appoint. Louis XVIII shrewdly appointed competent moderate ministers in the face of an Ultra dominated Chamber, the most prominent Ellie Decazes. Under his guidance France experienced an economic boom which brought prosperity to the people and fostered stability in the country. Napoleon escaped from Elbe in 1815 and seized power in a period knows as the '100 days'. Due to the support the French people gave him the allies punished France by making them pay war indemnities and stationing their troops in France until this was paid off. The presence of foreign troops in France angered the French people but the economic boom allowed for France to pay off the war indemnity by 1817 and the allies duly removed their troops. ...read more.

Conclusion

During Louis's time as king, many important changes and incidents happened for the French people, many of which I feel Louis handled with great shrewdness and intelligence; therefore I feel that as king of France, Louis XVIII was a success. This is because of his attitudes politically, introducing the charter and therefore realizing that France could no longer return to the ancien regime; because he chose ministers who had moderate elements, so France could attempt to recover after war; and because he did his best to avoid any extremes in policy. On the other hand, there is evidence that Louis could have been described as a poor king, with, even though he was not directly involved, the 'white terror' and the Ultra government, which had power But in 1820 the situation was becoming increasingly chaotic and Decazes resigned. Meanwhile Louis's age (he was 65 at this point) was telling on him. It was getting harder for him to fend off the Ultras. Increasingly power even within his own cabinet was passing out of his hands--in particular when he was forced to accept Vill�le (1822-1824) as prime minister and to take on board his brother as a member of the cabinet. In 1824 Louis died--and the Ultras now found themselves free to dictate public policy ...read more.

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