Restoration (England)

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the idea of restoration, in theory and in practice
restoration in the international arena
conservative alternatives to restoration
1830: the abandonment of restoration and the rise of a conservative consensus

Restoration is the term that historians have adopted to describe the political settlement that reigned in Europe between the abdication of Napoleon in 1815 and the Revolutions of 1830. Yet in reality "restoration" was only one of a range of options available to the allies who met at the Congress of Vienna and to individual regimes as they emerged from the turmoil of the Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. The states that wholly rejected the experience of the Revolutionary era and sought determinedly to put the clock back and restore Christian monarchy (the cases of Spain and Piedmont-Savoy in 1814, for example) were, in fact, the exception rather the rule.

The majority of regimes sought to compromise in one way or another with the political changes of the Revolutionary era, whether by adopting limited constitutions (such as in France, or in the states of southern Germany), or by preserving the advances made in administration under Napoleon, while rejecting constitutional government (as in Prussia and Austria). The agreement finally signed at the Congress of Vienna in 1815 did not support the radical, counterrevolutionary aspirations of those hoping for a restoration. In fact, it produced a territorial settlement that both acknowledged many legacies of the Revolutionary period and sowed the seeds for future revolution. Yet the wish for a Restoration was very powerful right after 1815 and it would take more than a decade of experimenting with counterrevolution before even its staunchest defenders would abandon it in 1830 in favor of other more effective and less incendiary tactics for shoring up a conservative political order in Europe.

the idea of restoration, in theory and in practice

Many of the key concepts of Restoration philosophy emerged in the last decades of the eighteenth century, when writers such as Edmund Burke (Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790), Joseph de Maistre (Considerations sur la France, 1796), and Novalis (Christenheit oder Europa, 1799) launched an assault on the Enlightenment and its seemingly destructive and sinful cult of abstract reason. Against the necessarily dangerous and violent consequences that for them stemmed ineluctably from the presumptuously optimistic belief that rational individuals could form the basis of a political system born of their own design and consent, these counterrevolutionary philosophers hearkened to an idyllic and peaceful Old Regime characterized by tradition, respect for hierarchy, and humility before Providence. While English conservatives (chief among them Burke) remained committed to Lockean individualism and an idea of representative government, Continental Restoration philosophers upheld traditions over rights, saw families and communities rather than individuals as constitutive of human society, and yearned for the social organicism and political authoritarianism that reigned supreme in the Old Regime. More than attempting a restoration of eighteenth-century monarchy, these Continental thinkers strove to revive the social and political order as it existed before a century of enlightened reform had whittled away at the power and prestige of the church, the monarchy, and the nobility.

As revolutionary ideals and institutions spread across Europe during the Napoleonic wars, more voices joined this late-eighteenth-century chorus, and when Napoleon I (r. 1804–1814/15) was finally defeated in 1815 they found an audience receptive to their ideas and eager to seize the opportunity to put them into practice. Most enthusiastic among those desiring a return to the Old Regime order of things were the noblemen, clergymen, and monarchs forced out of power and into exile during the Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. De Maistre (1753–1821) and Louis de Bonald (1754–1840), for example, returning émigrés, writers, and politicians who served the regime of the restored Bourbon monarchs, spent their lives trying to transform the ideal of Restoration into a reality in France. Ridiculing the rationalist pretensions of the eighteenth century, interpreting the violence of the Revolution, the Terror, and the Napoleonic Wars as divine punishment for the crime of unbelief, these writers espoused divine right monarchy and the renewed power of the pope across Europe; they lent their support to Louis XVIII (r. 1814–1815, 1815–1824), and later to Charles X (r. 1824–1830), in the hopes that they might lead the Continent back into the hands of Providence. Such a view allowed for no compromise or negotiation with the revolutionary legacy; the people of France had to be returned to Christ, the legal system and bureaucracy consolidated under Napoleon had to be dismantled, any idea of founding monarchy on the basis of a man-made constitution had to be abandoned. For as de Maistre explained, "[Man] can no doubt plant a pip, grow a tree, improve it by grafting, and prune it in countless different ways, but he has never imagined that he had the power to make a tree; how then can he have supposed he had the power to make a constitution?"

During the fifteen years that the Bourbon monarchs ruled in France in the nineteenth century (1815–1830) a religious revival, supported by powerful nobles and clergymen, translated these radical, counterrevolutionary Restoration ideas into practice. Missionaries traveled to all corners of the kingdom to reintroduce French subjects to the catechism and to deliver the sacraments. They organized autos-da-fé of Enlightenment texts (especially those of Voltaire [François-Marie Arouet, 1694–1778] and Jean-Jacques Rousseau [1712–1778]), and denounced from their pulpits the selling of church lands during the Revolution (biens nationaux) and the killing of Louis XVI (r. 1774–1792) and Marie-Antoinette (1755–1793). Their six-week-long revivals culminated in spectacular processions in which tens of thousands of followers were enjoined to expiate for the sins of the Revolution, a ritual crowned by the planting of a mission cross, an enormous crucifix adorned with the Bourbon royal lily, representing the reconsecration of the French nation to God, Church, and King. While Louis XVIII officially sanctioned this religious revival, he did not lend it his public support. In contrast, when his more religious, and ultrareactionary brother, Charles X, ascended the throne, he not only participated in the missionaries' spectacles (as for the Papal Jubilee in 1826), he also passed a series of laws defining sacrilege and indemnifying nobles for the biens nationaux. His regime also favored nobles with lucrative positions in the administration and the clergy; churchmen actively campaigned for ultra-royalist candidates from their pulpits. In short, it appeared as if the ideal of a restoration of Christian monarchy had been translated into reality in France (at least after 1825).

Similar enactments of the Restoration ideal took place in Spain and in Italy after 1814. In Spain, when Ferdinand VII (r. 1808, 1814–1833) was released from captivity by Napoleon and restored as an absolute monarch, religious orders were welcomed back, the Inquisition was reinstated, and many nurtured hopes that the power and privileges gradually taken away from the nobles and the church by the enlightened Bourbon monarchs of the eighteenth century would be restored. All over Italy sovereigns proclaimed the renewed alliance between altar and throne after 1815, but King Victor Emmanuel I (r. 1802–1821) of the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont distinguished himself in the early days of the Restoration by the zeal with which he brought back into force both the letter and the spirit of the Old Regime. Abolishing Napoleonic legislation in a single decree, he also purged the administration, judiciary, and army of those who served under the previous regime.

In each of these cases—in France, Spain, and Italy—this counterrevolutionary enactment of the Restoration ideal provoked unrest and ultimately revolution. In France, Charles X's elaborate Old Regime–style coronation at Reims, his participation in the papal jubilee, and the Passage of the Sacrilege Law aroused growing suspicion and eventually a broad anticlerical movement against the monarch suspected by many of being a "Jesuit-king." Theater riots around Molière's (Jean-Baptiste Polquelin, 1622–1673) anticlerical comedy, Tartuffe (1667), and seditious writings and songs publicizing the dangers of the regime's clericalism escalated into violent assaults on the emblems of Christian monarchy, the mission crosses planted all over the kingdom. By 1830 a full-fledged revolution broke out, and the Bourbon Charles X was deposed in favor of the less religious, more moderate constitutional monarch, the Orleanist, Louis-Philippe (r. 1830–1848). In Spain in 1820 a military revolt against Ferdinand VII led to a proclamation of the constitution of 1812, a document issued by Donoso Cortes (Juan Francisco María de la Salud, 1809–1853) during the fight against Napoleon, saturated with liberal and even democratic ideals, which had been revoked in 1814. In Piedmont Victor Emmanuel I was driven to abdicate in the face of a revolution in 1821. Put down by the Habsburgs, the revolution produced a successor, Charles Felix (r. 1821–1831), who continued to pursue a restoration strategy, granting a powerful role to the church in political life, working for administrative decentralization and the restoration of noble prerogatives, clerical privileges, and local autonomies. These are precisely the issues that would arouse continuous protest and unrest during the 1820s. It would take another revolution, and the reformist efforts of Charles Albert (r. 1831–1849), to move beyond the dynamic of counter-revolution and revolution that defined Piedmont in this post-Napoleonic era.

A closer look at even these most reactionary and counterrevolutionary regimes illustrates that restoration was not only a dangerous and potentially inflammatory goal but also one that was never fully embraced by any of the rulers in this period. If Charles X came to the throne in 1825 and moved in a direction that seemed to favor the ultraroyalists seeking a restoration of the Old Regime, his predecessor, Louis XVIII, had ruled for eight years before him at the head of a bureaucracy and on the basic of a legal code inherited from Napoleon. While he represented himself as a monarch by virtue of birth and tradition, he ruled on the basis of the Charter of 1814, which included protection for basic freedoms (of expression, of worship), and a representative government (with one appointed Chamber of Peers and one elected Chamber of Representatives, based on a very limited franchise). If even Louis moved in a reactionary direction after 1820 in the wake of the Duke de Berri's assassination, he still presided over a nation with a Charter he promised to respect. While he purged the bureaucracy of one-third of its Napoleonic staff (although only after the Hundred Days), and while nobles certainly moved back into the administration over the course of the Restoration, recruitment continued on the principle of merit and talent, rather than birth and privilege, and Napoleonic educational institutions, such as the École Polytechnique, continued to furnish this new elite.

Similarly, while the Catholic Church was favored in this period (religious orders were allowed to return and clergymen and religious institutions in general became notoriously richer), the basic subjugation of the church to the state that had taken place over the eighteenth century and that had been consolidated by the Revolution and Napoleon's Concordat (of 1802), was not undone. The biens nationaux were not restored; the church hierarchy was appointed and paid for by the government; while Catholicism was recognized as the religion of the state, freedom of worship for Protestants and Catholics was protected by law. Even Charles X, when faced with outright opposition to his blatant clericalism, relied upon this bureaucracy and legal framework to bring peace to the nation. The police did not clamp down on protestors nor punish anyone under the unpopular Sacrilege Law (which would have involved cutting off their hands, before marching them to the town square for public execution); rather his civil officials enjoined missionaries to stay inside their temples, mission crosses were quietly removed from public squares, and sermons were checked for incendiary attacks on biens nationaux or other revolutionary legacies that were protected by law in France.

In Spain, far from restoring the power of the church to its glory days of the Spanish Inquisition, King Ferdinand VII did not relinquish the gains of his eighteenth-century predecessors. He refused to give back the ecclesiastical estates sold off during the war with Napoleon, and he found new ways to plunder the church's revenues. He appointed more than sixty new bishops and blatantly used the church as a weapon of political control. The radical hopes of churchmen and nobles alike were frustrated by the continued regalism of the king. Struggles regarding the legacies of the eighteenth-century kings, the Napoleonic innovations, and the limited Restoration after 1814 (and again after 1823) sparked unrest and revolution well into the 1830s. In Italy the Napoleonic regime had not offered the full, democratic participation in government with which France experimented during the Revolution, but the Napoleonic state did offer a secularized and egalitarian government that reformed society from above and left room for the emergence of liberal political discussion.

In spite of the appearance of a restoration of the power and privilege of the church and state, which predated these innovations, governments up and down the peninsula retained significant elements of the Napoleonic legacy. This was true in the Kingdom of Lombard-Venetia, in the Duchies of Parma and Modena and in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, and in the principality of Lucca; it even took place in the Papal States, and, within a few years, in the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont, where the most thoroughgoing Restoration seemed to have been achieved. Everywhere in Italy subjects remained fundamentally equal before uniform legal codes, a Napoleonic innovation not undone by any of the restored monarchs. Neither aristocratic title nor ecclesiastical office brought with it fiscal or judicial immunities or privileges. While it is true that the purge of the bureaucracy (as in Sardinia-Piedmont) left room for many nobles to fill vacant positions, they remained cogs in a machine over which they had no control, and which gave them no particular advantage. As a result, within ten to fifteen years many of these nobles withdrew from their posts in disappointment.

restoration in the international arena

At the international level the eastern monarchies (Russia, Austria, and Prussia), most often led by Alexander I (r. 1801–1825), tried to push the Allies who had defeated France in 1814 (and especially in 1815 after Napoleon's return in the Hundred Days) down the path of restoration and counterrevolution. Certainly the Holy Alliance proffered by Alexander I in 1815 expressed a desire to unify Europeans around the wish for Christian monarchy and a renunciation of all of the liberal legacies of the Revolution. The Foreign Secretary, Viscount Castelreagh (Robert Stewart, 1769–1822), the British representative at Vienna in 1815, refused to have anything to do with this alliance. The text that he did agree to sign, the Treaty of the Quadruple Alliance (20 November 1815), which established the territorial settlement and the diplomatic architecture of Europe that would reign for the next few decades, was much more modest and moderate in its goals. The principle of legitimism inscribed in the treaty bore no trace of the divine-right monarchy desired by the signatories of the Holy Alliance. Rather, this term, invented by Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord (1754–1838), was used to mean that the rights of pre-Napoleonic rulers of European states should be respected and their thrones restored to them if they lost them in the course of the wars. Likewise, the determination to ensure a stable "balance of power" was not predicated on any specific agenda to undo the domestic or international legacies of the past decades. Rather it was based on two pillars: first, that Austria, Prussia, Russia, and Britain agreed to maintain, by armed force, the exclusion of the Bonaparte dynasty from France for twenty years; and second, that the Allies were to "renew their meetings at fixed periods" for the purpose of consulting upon their common interests, and to take such action as was necessary for "the maintenance of the peace of Europe."

Between 1815 and 1823 the Russians tried repeatedly, with the support of Austria and Prussia, to broaden the terms of this initial treaty, and to interpret the "peace of Europe" or the "balance of power" as being dependent on putting down any and all changes brought about by revolutionary action. This was the spirit of a memorandum signed by Austria, Prussia, and Russia at the Congress of October 1820 in reaction to a succession of revolutionary uprisings in Spain and Italy. Castelreagh refused to go to Troppau or to adhere to the so-called Troppau Protocol. Indeed he responded with a famous memorandum denouncing the blanket counterrevolutionary goals of his allies: "The Principle of one state interfering in the internal affairs of another in order to enforce obedience to the governing authority is always a question of the greatest moral, as well as political delicacy…. to generalize such a principle, to think of reducing it to a system or to impose it as a blanket obligation, is a scheme utterly unpracticable and objectionable."

Individual monarchs acted on behalf of the principles of Restoration and counterrevolution although these tenets were not adopted as the official policy of the Concert of Europe. The repressive Carlsbad Decrees, adopted in the German Confederacy at the urging of the Austrian chancellor Clemens von Metternich (1773–1859) in 1819, represent an important moment in which at least the eastern allies tried to enforce counter-revolution and prohibit the more liberal German states in the south and west from consolidating constitutional governments. In 1821 the Habsburgs intervened militarily and put down the revolutions in Italy; in 1823 the French Bourbon monarchy sent a hundred thousand troops to put down the revolution in Spain. In both cases this was done with the express sanction of those continuing to meet at regular congresses. But Britain increasingly refused to attend or send representatives to these congresses, and so the practice of meeting regularly to maintain a Concert of Europe broke down by 1823, precisely over the question of how committed to Restoration and counterrevolution the Concert of Europe should be.

conservative alternatives to restoration

The case of France serves as one example of a conservative alternative to Restoration worked out over the period between 1815 and 1830. Ultraroyalists launched a full-scale attack on the liberal legacy of the eighteenth century and rejected all compromises in the form of man-made constitutions defining the sovereignty of the monarch, limiting the power or authority of the church, or depriving the nobility of their natural and traditional right to rule. Yet they met with staunch opposition from liberals, also known as Doctrinaires, who were committed to retaining many of the political and material legacies of the Revolution while avoiding its excesses. They defended, above all, the Charter, which ensured basic freedoms (especially of the press and of religious expression) and limited representative government. But it was necessary to bolster this limited constitutional government with traditions and habits of deference that would assure social peace even as liberty was being expanded. Hence, Pierre-Paul Royer-Collard (1763–1845), a chief spokesman for the Doctrinaires continued to support the monarchy and the hereditary Chamber of Peers as necessary counterweights to the elective Chamber of Deputies. François Guizot (1787–1874), who led the fight against the ultraroyalists in the 1820s, espoused constitutional government, but, unlike his radical predecessors in the eighteenth century, denounced popular sovereignty as leading ineluctably to tyranny. He believed in the sovereignty of reason, but it was not something that could be determined by the majority, but rather by those elites capable of knowing what would ensure the greatest happiness for all. This limited liberal constitutional program was complemented by a conservative social and cultural agenda with which many ultra-royalists agreed, such as giving the church the right to educate the young, and therefore instill habits of deference and obedience, or enacting legal reforms to shore up the family, such as the abolition of divorce.

A second conservative alternative to Restoration was forged in Prussia in these years. The history of the German Confederation, to which Prussia belonged, beautifully captures the complexity of real political settlements after 1815 and the degree to which this period was marked not only by a return to what was, or a reconciling to some changes, but also by innovations and important legacies of its own. The very existence of the German Confederation in 1815 is testimony to the willingness of the signatories at Vienna not to go back to the world of the Old Regime. Rather than restore the more than three hundred states that existed before the Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, the German Confederation was composed of about three dozen states. Furthermore, each member state was required by the terms of the treaty to establish a constitution for the assembly of its estates. In the south and in the west, some leaders of German states, such as the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar and the rulers of Bavaria, Württemburg, Baden, and Hesse-Darmstadt took advantage of this opportunity and granted very liberal constitutions.

Prussia adopted a very different course. In much the way that Italian monarchs maintained and modified the structure of the Napoleonic bureaucracy and legal code, Prussia built on the efficient corps of highly trained, well-educated civil servants that came out of the Napoleonic period and used it both to institute reforms from above, and through its police functions, to ensure absolute obedience to an increasingly powerful state. King Frederick William III (r. 1797–1840) expanded universal education and made Prussian universities among the best and best-funded in the world; he pursued economic liberalization (taking on the Junkers and serfdom, pushing for the Zollverein, or a free-market zone for the German states). These "progressive" changes that one could clearly describe as legacies of the eighteenth century and the Napoleonic period were balanced by measures to ensure stability and the power of the state. Constitutional, representative institutions did exist, but they were always subordinate to the state, and for decades remained powerless. The Carlsbad Decrees of 1819, which extended state surveillance and control over the educational system, the press, and all political activity, ensured that calls for political liberty and real constitutional government could easily be thwarted. This was extended throughout the German Confederation by 1820, and so the authoritarian, repressive influence of Prussia reached some of the more liberal, constitutional states to the South and West as well. King Frederick William III also innovated in the realm of church-state politics. In 1817 he created a new (Protestant) Church of the Prussian Union and over the 1820s he used it to pursue an aggressive confessional statism; in particular he used it against Catholic minorities who had been added to Prussia by the settlement of Vienna.

1830: the abandonment of restoration and the rise of a conservative consensus

After the trauma and violence of the Revolution, the Terror, and the Napoleonic Wars both international and domestic politics were motivated above all by a desire to ensure peace and stability in Europe. Yet how that was to be achieved was far from clear in 1815. For the ultrareactionaries this required nothing less than a frontal assault on all changes brought about during the entire eighteenth century. Monarchs needed to be put back on their thrones, established churches needed to be restored to their full power and glory, the radical spirit of the Enlightenment, and all of the evils to which it had given rise, had to be expunged and actively prevented from reemerging in Europe. Powerful figures espoused this radical Restoration philosophy at the Congress of Vienna in 1815 and were in a position to enforce it in many parts of Europe in the years that followed. Yet, nowhere in Europe was a real restoration of the Old Regime realized; too much had changed and too many people were invested in those changes. This was clear everywhere monarchs, nobles, and clergymen tried to stage such a restoration. More importantly, efforts to do so proved to be quite destabilizing, producing (as in Spain and northern Italy by 1820, and France after 1825) popular revolts. By 1830 Russia, Prussia, and Austria accepted changes to the original territorial settlement from Vienna and acknowledged the independence of Greece and Belgium, even though national independence had been won by revolution, in the name of liberal constitutionalism. These countries still pursued counterrevolutionary policies, putting down revolutions (for example in Poland, Germany, and Italy in 1830). But as a general policy, Restoration was progressively abandoned by 1830, even by the signatories of the original Holy Alliance.

By 1830 the idea of a Restoration proved to be impossible, even dangerous, and this is one reason it was scuttled; but another reason it was abandoned was that over the past decade and a half regimes had developed new strategies for containing the disorder and the uncertainty of the Revolutionary period using many of the tools that came out of that era. In France the Doctrinaires led the way toward a more moderate constitutional monarchy: using the bureaucracy and legal structure inherited from Napoleon, they fought not for popular sovereignty and a perfect liberal polity, but rather for a mixture of institutions and traditions from the Old Regime and the Revolution that would allow them to avoid the worst excesses of the Revolutionary period. In Prussia, the administrative centralization and empowerment of the state that was the primary consequence of the Napoleonic era was not undone; rather it was used to institute a wide range of reforms and to create an economically liberal, but politically and socially authoritarian state that would find many emulators in decades to follow. What one sees across the political spectrum during the period known as the Restoration (including most liberal England) is the abandonment of the most radical hopes and wishes that were at the heart of the Enlightenment—that society and politics could be organized on rational principles and the idea that the freedom and enlightenment of every individual was absolutely essential for the prosperity and happiness of all. For men like Adam Smith (1723–1790) and Marie-Jean-Antoine-Nicolas de Condorcet (1743–1794) the reasoning power of every man and woman was a necessary bulwark against the tyranny of powerful and established institutions of all kinds (the church, the monarchy, monopolies). But two decades of political violence and turmoil led the leaders of Restoration Europe to turn back to those powerful and established institutions and reconsider how they might be used to provide stability and security, and very few of them talked about the price for that shift. Leaders in the period between 1815 and 1830 did not succeed in restoring the Old Regime and abolishing the rational spirit of the Enlightenment and liberalism entirely, but they did preside over a world that saw the return of faith in religion, in political authority, in tradition, and in hierarchy and a profound loss of faith in the project of freedom and liberty for all.

See alsoCharles X; Concert of Europe; Congress of Vienna; Ferdinand VII; Francis I; Frederick William III; Greece; Guizot, François; Lafayette, Marquis de; Louis XVIII; Metternich, Clemens von; Ottoman Empire; Revolutions of 1820; Revolutions of 1830.


Alexander, Robert. Re-writing the French Revolutionary Tradition: Liberal Opposition and the Fall of the Bourbon Monarchy. Cambridge, U.K., and New York, 2003.

Berdahl, Robert M. The Politics of the Prussian Nobility: The Development of a Conservative Ideology, 1770–1848. Princeton, N.J., 1988.

Bertier de Sauvigny, Guillaume de. The Bourbon Restoration. Philadelphia, 1966. Standard work on the French Restoration, with detailed attention to the political controversies defining the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X.

Boime, Albert. Art in an Age of Counterrevolution: 1815–1848. Chicago, 2004.

Broers, Michael. Europe after Napoleon: Revolution, Reaction, and Romanticism, 1814–1848. Manchester, U.K., 1996. Excellent overview of the range of political settlements negotiated in Europe among a specific generation.

Callahan, William J. Church, Politics, and Society in Spain, 1750–1874. Cambridge, Mass., 1984.

Di Scala, Spencer M., and Salvo Mastellone. European Political Thought, 1815–1989. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1998.

Fitzpatrick, Brian. Catholic Royalism in the Department of the Gard, 1815–1832. Cambridge, U.K., 1983.

Gibson, Ralph. A Social History of French Catholicism, 1789–1914. London, 1989.

Higgs, David. Ultraroyalism in Toulouse: From Its Origins to the Revolution of 1830. Baltimore, Md., 1973.

Jardin, André, and André Jean Tudesq. Restoration and Reaction: 1815–1848. Translated by Elborg Forster. Cambridge, U.K., 1983.

Kroen, Sheryl. Politics and Theater: The Crisis of Legitimacy in Restoration France (1815–1830). Berkeley, Calif., 2000. On the ideal of Restoration as enacted by the missionaries as opposed to the moderate, conciliatory policies of the regimes; also considers popular reactions to both.

Laven, David, and Lucy Riall, eds. Napoleon's Legacy. Oxford, U.K., 2000. Superb series of articles representing a new generation of scholarship exploring the complexities of negotiating the Napoleonic period in the years right after 1814. Absolutely indispensable.

MacMahon, Darrin. Enemies of the Enlightenment: The French Counter-Enlightenment and the Making of Modernity. Oxford, U.K., 2001.

Matthews, Andrew. Revolution and Reaction, Europe, 1789–1849. Cambridge, U.K., 2001.

Pilbeam, Pamela. Themes in Modern European History, 1780–1830. London, 1995. Excellent, lively overview, with good detail on France.

Rosanvallon, Pierre. La Monarchie Impossible: Les Chartes de 1814 et de 1830. Paris, 1994.

Rothschild, Emma. Economic Sentiments: Adam Smith, Condorcet, and the Enlightenment. Cambridge, Mass., 2001. Beautiful treatment of the economic and political liberalism at the heart of Smith and Condorcet; how and why the Revolutionary and Napoleonic period severed the connection between economic and political freedom, and left a world where economic liberalism would be coupled to social and political conservatism for almost two centuries.

Sevrin, Ernest. Les Missions religiueses en France sous la Restauration, 1815–1830. Vol. 1: Le Missionnaire et la mission. St. Maudé, France, 1948. Vol. 2: Les Missions, 1815–1820. Paris, 1959.

Sheehan, James J. German History, 1770–1866. Oxford, U.K., 1989.

Sperber, Jonathan. Popular Catholicism in Nineteenth-Century Germany. Princeton, N.J., 1984.

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Woloch, Isser. The New Regime: Transformations of the French Civic Order, 1789–1820s. London, 1994.

Sheryl Kroen

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Restoration, in English history, the reestablishment of the monarchy on the accession (1660) of Charles II after the collapse of the Commonwealth (see under commonwealth) and the Protectorate. The term is often used to refer to the entire period from 1660 to the fall of James II in 1688, and in English literature the Restoration period (often called the age of Dryden) is commonly viewed as extending from 1660 to the death of John Dryden in 1700.

Restoration of Charles II

After the death of Oliver Cromwell in Sept., 1658, the English republican experiment soon faltered. Cromwell's son and successor, Richard, was an ineffectual leader, and power quickly fell into the hands of the generals, chief among whom was George Monck, leader of the army of occupation in Scotland. In England a strong reaction had set in against Puritan supremacy and military control. When Monck marched on London with his army, opinion had already crystallized in favor of recalling the exiled king.

Monck recalled to the Rump Parliament the members who had been excluded by Pride's Purge in 1648; the reconvened body voted its own dissolution. The newly elected Convention Parliament, which met in the spring of 1660, was overtly royalist in sympathy. An emissary was sent to the Netherlands, and Charles was easily persuaded to issue the document known as the Declaration of Breda, promising an amnesty to the former enemies of the house of Stuart and guaranteeing religious toleration and payment of arrears in salary to the army. Charles accepted the subsequent invitation to return to England and landed at Dover on May 25, 1660, entering London amid rejoicing four days later.

Politics under Charles II and James II

Control of policy fell to Charles's inner circle of old Cavalier supporters, notably to Edward Hyde, 1st earl of Clarendon, who was eventually superseded by a group known as the Cabal. The last remnants of military republicanism, as exemplified in the Fifth Monarchy Men, were violently suppressed, and persecution spread to include the Quakers. The Cavalier Parliament, which assembled in 1661, restored a militant Anglicanism (see Clarendon Code), and Charles attempted, although cautiously, to reassert the old absolutist position of the earlier Stuarts.

The crown, however, was still dependent upon Parliament for its finances. The unwillingness of Charles and his successor, James II, to accept the implications of this dependency had some part in bringing about the deposition (1688) of James II, who was hated as a Roman Catholic as well as a suspected absolutist. The Glorious Revolution gave the throne to William III and Mary II.

England during the Restoration

The Restoration period was marked by an advance in colonization and overseas trade, by the Dutch Wars, by the great plague (1665) and the great fire of London (1666), by the birth of the Whig and Tory parties, and by the Popish Plot and other manifestations of anti-Catholicism. In literature perhaps the most outstanding result of the Restoration was the reopening of the theaters, which had been closed since 1642, and a consequent great revival of the drama (see English literature). The drama of the period was marked by brilliance of wit and by licentiousness, which may have been a reflection of the freeness of court manners. The last and greatest works of John Milton fall within the period but are not typical of it; the same is true of John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress (1678). The age is vividly brought to life in the diaries of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn, and in poetry the Restoration is distinguished by the work of John Dryden and a number of other poets.


See A. Nicoll, A History of Restoration Drama (1923); B. Willey, The Seventeenth Century Background (1934); D. Ogg, England in the Reign of Charles II (2 vol., 2d ed. 1955); G. N. Clark, The Later Stuarts (2d ed. 1956); C. V. Wedgwood, Seventeenth-Century English Literature (2d ed. 1970).

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restoration. Process of carrying on alterations and repairs to a building with the intention of restoring it to its original form, often involving reinstatement of missing or badly damaged parts, so it usually includes replication, that is new work in an old style. While often necessary after a disaster, it is generally regarded as more drastic than conservation, which suggests retention, repair, and maintenance. Wyatt's interventions at Hereford (1788–96), Salisbury (1789–92), and Durham (from 1794) Cathedrals were so ruthless that they provoked antiquarian outrage (mostly Carter's) and were later to enrage A. W. N. Pugin. Wyatville's work (1824–37) at Windsor Castle recased almost the whole ensemble, so that what we see now is virtually a creation of the Regency and William IV periods. The revival of interest in medieval ecclesiastical architecture in C19, and researches into liturgy, had a darker side, for often medieval fabric was destroyed to make the building conform to an architect-approved style (e.g. ‘Great’ Scott's ‘restoration’ of the north nave-arcade at the Church of St Mary de Castro, Leicester). Many churches were stripped of C17 and C18 furnishings, often with unfortunate results. In France, Viollet-le-Duc attempted to give several medieval buildings a stylistic unity they never had, and his work at Pierrefonds, Oise (1858–70), and Carcassonne (1844 on-wards—where he rebuilt the walls and fortifications), owed more to his own creative powers than to an archaeological approach. Another drastic (though less successful) French example was Abadie's work at St-Front, Périgeux. Ruskin, Morris, Webb, and others deplored such activities, and, prompted by Scott's proposals for Tewkesbury Abbey, Glos., and drastic Italian notions of ‘restoring’ the Church of San Marco, Venice, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) was founded in order to promote a greater sensitivity to the retention of ancient fabric. Although architects such as Boito urged that ‘restoration’ should be less comprehensive and destructive, many churches were altered to make them conform to what was regarded as their ‘original’ state: this often involved the removal of Baroque and other accretions (even whole façades) and their replacement with conjectural designs. See also reconstruction.


Casiello (ed.) (1996);
Chamberlin (1979);
Crook (1995);
J. Fawcett (ed.) (1976a);
Morris (1966);
Pevsner (1972);
Pugin (1841, 1843, 1973);
Ruskin (1903–12)

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Restoration. The restoration of the monarchy in 1660 was due more to the failure of alternative republican regimes than to the efforts of loyalists. An army junta dispersed the Rump Parliament in October 1659 but failed to rally civilian support. Dissident garrison soldiers restored the Rump and General Monck invaded England with the army of occupation in Scotland. He quickly realized that the Rump no longer possessed the consent of the nation; he therefore restored the MPs who had been excluded from the Commons in 1648, on condition that they dissolved Parliament so that new elections could be held. The resulting Convention—so called because it had not been summoned by the crown—invited Charles II to return. Suggestions that conditions should be attached came to nothing.

Restoration meant the return of legality, ending arbitrary or ‘sword’ government and changes enforced by a politicized army. Arbitrary high courts disappeared and Charles I's prerogative courts were not revived. Parliaments were again to be elected on the traditional franchises and by the old constituencies. The Lords returned. Levels of taxation fell sharply as most of the army was disbanded. An amateur militia replaced it. An Indemnity Act pardoned all except the regicides. The Convention contained a majority of former parliamentarians but old cavaliers in the 1661 Parliament tried to modify what had been done. Charles successfully resisted their attempts to exclude from office all who had fought his father and to restore estates to cavaliers who had lost them. This Parliament strengthened the crown with new treason laws, a Licensing Act establishing censorship, and a purge of urban corporations. It also enacted the Clarendon code restoring the church and it was this narrow settlement that provoked bitterness and lasting division.

J. R. Jones

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res·to·ra·tion / ˌrestəˈrāshən/ • n. 1. the action of returning something to a former owner, place, or condition: the restoration of Andrew's sight. ∎  the process of repairing or renovating a building, work of art, vehicle, etc., so as to restore it to its original condition: the altar paintings seem in need of restoration. ∎  the reinstatement of a previous practice, right, custom, or situation: the restoration of capital punishment. ∎  Dentistry a structure provided to replace or repair dental tissue so as to restore its form and function, such as a filling, crown, or bridge. ∎  a model or drawing representing the supposed original form of an extinct animal, ruined building, etc. 2. the return of a hereditary monarch to a throne, a head of state to government, or a regime to power. ∎  (the Restoration) the reestablishment of Charles II as King of England in 1660. ∎  (Restoration) [usu. as adj.] the period following this, esp. with regard to its literature or architecture: Restoration drama.

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Restoration, in French history, the period from 1814 to 1830. It began with the first abdication of Emperor Napoleon I and the return of the Bourbon king, Louis XVIII, but was interrupted (1815) by Napoleon's return (the Hundred Days). After Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo, Louis XVIII was again restored as king of France. The Bourbon regime was responsible for considerable French economic recovery and expansion and for the restoration of French prestige abroad. These years also saw the growth of the romantic movement in French literature and arts. However, the period marked the failure of the attempt to reconcile the royalist and Revolutionary traditions. Increasing political influence was exerted upon the moderate Louis XVIII by the ultraroyalists, dominated by his brother, the comte d'Artois, who succeeded (1824) Louis as King Charles X. The ultraroyalists sought a return to the ancien régime. They were aware, however, that this could not be achieved and acted instead to ensure their own political and social predominance. Their power was finally broken by the July Revolution of 1830.

See N. Hudson, Ultra-Royalism and the French Restoration (1936); G. de Bertier de Sauvigny, France and the European Alliance (1958), D. P. Resnick, The White Terror and the Political Reaction after Waterloo (1966); J. H. Stewart, The Restoration Era in France (1968).

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Restoration In English history, the re-establishment of the monarchy in 1660. After the death of Oliver Cromwell, his son and successor, Richard, was unable to prevent growing conflict or restrain the increasing power of the army. He resigned (1659), and the crisis was resolved by the march of General George Monck from Scotland. Army leaders backed down, and a new Parliament was elected. From exile, Charles II issued the Declaration of Breda (1660), promising an amnesty to opponents (except those directly responsible for the execution of Charles I), payment of the arrears in the army's wages, and religious toleration. He was invited by a new Parliament to resume the throne. The term Restoration is often extended to the period following 1660, and is especially associated with a flowering of English literature, notably in Restoration drama. In French history, it refers to the restoration of the Bourbons (1814–30) after the defeat of Napoleon.

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Restoration. The re-establishment of the Stuart Monarchy in Great Britain and Ireland in 1660, so the period following this event, later in the reign of King Charles II (1660–85) referred to as the Carolean period. Restoration architecture was strongly influenced by Continental fashion, the dominant style being Baroque derived from French and Netherlandish precedents. Typical Restoration buildings were the symmetrical houses of Pratt and Hugh May, the grander works of Talman, and the great contribution of Wren, whose chief sources were French and Italian.

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Restoration ★★★ 1994 (R)

Set in the 17th century after Charles II is re- stored to the British throne, the title may instead refer to the restoration of one man's values. After curing one of the king's dogs, physician Downey is elevated to courtier and falls into drunken debauch- ery. He is soon forced to marry (but not touch) the king's favorite mistress. Unfor- tunately, he is caught trespassing on his majesty's main squeeze and banished from the court. Cast among the common rabble, he encounters the plague and the Great Fire of London while trying to re- deem himself. Strong cast and sumptuous set design help to propel Downey's performance. Adapted from Rose Tremain's 1989 novel. Release was delayed a year because no one could seem to come up with a marketing strategy. 118m/C VHS, DVD . Robert Downey Jr., Meg Ryan, Sam Neill, Hugh Grant, David Thewlis, Polly Walker, Ian McKellen; D: Michael Hoffman; W: Rupert Walters; C: Oliver Stapleton; M: James Newton Howard. Oscars '95: Art Dir./Set Dec., Costume Des.

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restoration The addition of nutrients to replace those lost in processing, as in milling of cereals. See also fortification.