As a disclaimer before we embark, the June Rebellion is another highly complex topic in which I intend on doing my Masters' Thesis.
The issues I bring up are ones that I intend to research even further, but this is a brief article that I hope will inspire you to also read more. Without further adieu citizen- we must get into the time machine. Here is your phyrigian cap and cockade!
Citizen! You are back on the jouney through time!
Oh citizen, much has happened since I left you in the Reign of Terror. Napoleon Bonaparte (or as us republicans like to say "Buonaparte") tried to take over all of Europe.
Can you believe it? Is that crazy?
What is more? Napoleon himself had a very interesting life and if you are intrigued I strongly encourage you to read up on him. I disagree with his ideology and dislike him as a ruler, but its still worth a read!
So much to the indignant of all the republicans: Jacobins, Cordliers and Girondins. Guess what took the throne of France? That is right UGH no no no anything but this!
Wait for it...
A Bourbon monarchy!
Yes, that very same regime whose corruption I complained about in my last time travel post.
Well, first we have Louis XVIII but he did not reign long- only a year.
Then Buonaparte comes back for 100 Days.. but Waterloo.
Louis XVIII again, and then Charles X.
Charles X, May He Live a Million Years!
Oh the grandeur of the monarchy. The gold, the luxury and the oppression of the masses I mean...
Well citizen, today I'm going to argue for the June Rebellion and why it was needed. Oh if only those at the barricades prevailed against such despotism!
Took to the barricades in 1830
Finally! Our hopes and dreams of a republic near before our eyes. On this barricade I stand in my white dress, phyrigian hat and
NOOOO!!! We sacrificed lives for this? for....
Oh no citizen, it can't be. Let me cry for a bit, another monarch.
Our Destination: 1832
Citizen, we have arrived. You stand here at the Saint-Merri barricade with me. Charles Jeanne, the leader, is a little taller than 5'2. He speaks passionately and ohh listen,
"Citizens! Our friends have sacrificed their lives for a republic only for their sacrifices to be met with another despot on the throne. Oh citizens, the dream of my every moment has been Patria- her liberty and equality. Long live the republic. I would rather die with a clean conscious than bow before the worm eaten throne of despotism" (partially borrowed from his actual writings)
I will now show you why I believe the 1832 Rebellion was completely justified and that Louis Phillippe is a despotic tyrant.
I know what you are thinking,
"Citizen Hausheer! You are much too involved and emotional about history"
But citizen, it is history that makes us human. If we do not think about the major lessons of the past- where are we today? These are stories, stories to guide us into making a better world and creating a better future.
Personally I believe Louis Phillippe was still a despot.
Just because he finally allowed people to worship freely without being killed doesn't mean he was a perfect progressive ruler. He still had the majority of power, and it would not have been possible to peacefully protest and disagree with him. Dissent (especially political dissent) was crushed.
He even enacted really brutal methods of putting down the rebellion. Louis' troops tossed people out of apartment buildings whether they supported the rebellion or not. Louis also caused several revolutionaries to lie during the trial. Some may have lied out of fear, but others out of the king's constant questioning and wanting them to sign his statement. This defines a despot, one that was best left overthrown by the people.
A Republic is the Best Form of Government
When people have the ability to represent their own interests, a nation has been proven to flourish. When ambition is checked with ambition, it becomes hard for monopolies to form and a multiparty system (not a two party system) effectively checks of the interests of many groups. A Republic has a constitution in place to safeguard the liberties of man, and ensure the equality of all citizens. This is also why I support the revolution of 1832- a republic is a better form of government for solving the problems of a nation, than an out of touch monarchy. Even if the monarch is a "nice monarch" he has no realistic way to solving and knowing every citizen's concerns.
Louis Phillippe basically stole the 1830 Revolution
The people wanted a Republic, many of them took to the streets and died for a republic. What did they get? A monarchy. I would be pretty disappointed also citizen, even if it was a more mild monarchy.
A republic is better at hearing the people's wishes, than a monarch. The more checks and balances a system of government has the less likely that government will infringe on the rights of man. When a republic does something wrong, the people can always vote in new officials. In a constitutional monarchy? Well, not exactly but depends.
Oh but citizen! Look how Louis Phillippe is more liberal.
Young citizen, I'm very aware that Louis is more liberal than other Bourbons. But this doesn't make him a saint. He is still guilty of war crimes at the barricade (yeahhh I know its 1832 so the UN isn't around yet, but if it was I'm pretty sure they'd disapprove!) and the conditions of the lower classes in France are getting even worse. A leader shouldn't just benefit the rich and upper classes, a leader should benefit all the people- he is everybody's leader not just the rich.
You may be rolling your eyes right now and saying "But he isn't Charles X and is against the absolute monarchy!"
Yeahhh because he likes power. The thing that would end this whole "who is the rightful king? which royal family?" would be- have a republic, elect your president and congress and we do not have to worry about genetics and DNA determining rulers.
There is no chance of success at the barricades
Success or no success, we should always stand up for what is right.
As the saying goes "stand up for what you believe in, even if you are standing alone."
We might not make it, but we might make it. People were free to come and go to the barricades without any obligation. It worked in 1830, the people don't yet know that 1832 will not work. I would rather remain on the barricades and stand for my beliefs, than leave and wonder "what if I stayed?" and have my conscious bother me.
Tell me dear citizen- how else would the people in the 1830s have been heard? It isn't like 21st Century United States where we could just go to the capitol and protest anything we like. Peaceful protests would have been considered dissent and you could be committing treason against the crown. The barricades worked in 1830 against a very brutal Bourbon king. How come they didn't work in 1832? It was because Louis Phillippe, the "nice democratic leader" was just as brutal and effective at finding ways to crush dissent as Charles was. Louis was a genius of the subtle, he knew how to please the international community and get what he wanted.
Maybe there is a chance? Maybe there is not. We do not know- we are here on a hot summer night in 1832 during a rain storm. Some are rushing into the church for sanctuary, some are rushing into an apartment building where the king's troops have been ordered to massacre people without any form of trial. The details at this point are very vague, remember we are standing here at the barricade.
These are ideals at stake- how shall we govern ourselves? what does it mean to be a leader? how shall dissent be dealt with? shall all methods of peaceful dissent be curtailed so people have no other option than to take to the barricades?
Citizen, I must tell you that "liberty" and "equality" are both the most precious ideals of my life. These are vague terms, but they mean the world to me. A world such as Louis Phillippe's is so different from ours, it is a world where we cannot peacefully advocate against the king. This isn't liberty. People weren't able to advance themselves and succeed.
Is that equality? I'm afraid not.
While a republic has many problems, and there are times I disagree with the president or congress. At least I can peacefully protest them. At least I can make my voice heard.
Back to Louis Phillippe- such ideals would have been considered "too idealistic" and "too unrealistic."
A republic was an idealistic out of reach world, but for me- a republic is everything. A republic, although imperfect is worth opposing Louis Phillippe for.
Oh no, citizen we lost. Now we are standing in the king's courtroom. People are laughing at us, many of those who we knew are changing sides in possible exchange for favors.
One second citizen, hold my seat!
"Citizen Phillippe, by the suppression of all other means of defiance I must proclaim this- liberty, equality, fraternity. I oppose your regime, and although I may suffer for it. At least I have a clean conscious that I supported the republic."
Is the ride over
Ahh citizen! the king's troops are chasing us. Over there! Oh no, they are coming faster.
Quick, grab your papers and run with me this way! into the time machine! Ahh we are back! the 21st century.
What did you think? Would you have supported the June Rebellion also? It may have been considered a "failed rebellion," but I agree entirely in principle.
Was it really a failed rebellion- or was it more of an example of what happens when all other channels are crushed?
Well, that is good food for thought. History is an exciting topic, isn't it?
I'm still here in my phrygian cap if you need me to answer any history questions. Let me know if you are up for another journey.
I hope you enjoyed the June Rebellion, as well as our entertaining cast of characters- Louis Phillippe (the charming but controversial king)
Charles Jeanne (the actual leader of the 1832 Saint-Merri barricade, known for his passion and dramatic defiance. "Why My Favorite is a Little Known French Revolutionary" is an article I wrote about him)
and yours truely as the elusive time-travelling revolutionary. Enjoy your coffee, and I hope to see you again on another adventure.