The Republican Experiment, 1848 1852
Before 1848, France had been ruled by the 'July Monarchy', a liberal regime without democratic participation. After 1852, France was to be ruled by ... Show synopsis Before 1848, France had been ruled by the 'July Monarchy', a liberal regime without democratic participation. After 1852, France was to be ruled by the Second Empire, an anti-liberal regime with some democratic participation. In the intervening period, the Second Republic boldly attempted to combine liberty with democracy for the first time in French history. Despite the Republic's failure of 1851 2, its aims were of great significance and marked the beginning of the modern era of republican France: the starting-point of what we nowadays consider the normal standard of politics in civilised countries. The reasons for the Republic's temporary failure are no less instructive, and in explaining them Professor Agulhon considers the problems of social conditions and the psychological 'apprenticeship' of the masses of new citizens. Thus his book has a special purpose, beyond the narrative treatment of events: to emphasise the relationship between the political history of France 1848 52 and the history of popular culture and thought.