Napoleon's Legacy: Problems of Government in Restoration Europe

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David Laven, Lucy Riall
Bloomsbury Academic, Feb 1, 2000 - History - 291 pages
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This ground-breaking, revisionist collection of essays, based on the most recent research, provides a long-needed reassessment of the legacy of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars upon the governments of Restoration Europe. Traditionally the Restoration has been regarded by historians as a period in which European governments returned to the reactionary policies which prevailed before the upheavals of 1789, and which involved an outright rejection of the reforms of the Napoleonic era. In this book, leading historians challenge this interpretation and emphasize the sometimes surprising loyalty shown to Napoleonic policies of modernization by Restoration governments.

The problems of dealing with new ideologies, accommodating the interests of old elites, and keeping the benefits of recent reforms were broadly similar across Europe, and provide a connecting theme throughout the volume. However, the nature of governmental response was never uniform. The essays explore these varieties of response, both through detailed case studies and more general surveys, and address issues such as policing and censorship, revolutionary symbolism, elite formation and bureaucratic structures in France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Poland, making a fascinating contribution to the study of the nature of political change in the modern period.

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About the author (2000)

David Laven University of Reading Lucy Riall University of London

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