The Bourbon Restoration was the period of French history following the fall of Napoleon in 1814 until the July Revolution of 1830. The brothers of executed Louis XVI of France reigned in highly conservative fashion, and they were nonetheless unable to reverse most of the changes made by the French Revolution and Napoleon. At the Congress of Vienna they were treated respectfully, but had to give up all the gains made since 1789. King Louis XVI of the House of Bourbon had been overthrown and executed during the French Revolution, a coalition of European powers defeated Napoleon in the War of the Sixth Coalition, ended the First Empire in 1814, and restored the monarchy to the brothers of Louis XVI. The Bourbon Restoration lasted from 6 April 1814 until the uprisings of the July Revolution of 1830. There was an interlude in spring 1815—the Hundred Days—when the return of Napoleon forced the Bourbons to flee France, when Napoleon was again defeated by the Seventh Coalition they returned to power in July. During the Restoration, the new Bourbon regime was a monarchy, unlike the absolutist Ancien Régime. The period was characterized by a conservative reaction, and consequent minor but consistent occurrences of civil unrest. It also saw the reestablishment of the Catholic Church as a power in French politics. The eras of the French Revolution and Napoleon brought a series of changes to France which the Bourbon Restoration did not reverse. First of all, France became highly centralized, with all decisions made in Paris, the political geography was completely reorganized and made uniform. France was divided more than 80 departments, which have endured into the 21st century. Each department had an administrative structure, and was tightly controlled by a prefect appointed by Paris. The Catholic Church lost all its lands and buildings during the Revolution, the bishop still ruled his diocese, and communicated with the pope through the government in Paris. Bishops, priests, nuns and other people were paid salaries by the state. All the old rites and ceremonies were retained, and the government maintained the religious buildings. The Church was allowed to operate its own seminaries and to some extent local schools as well, bishops were much less powerful than before, and had no political voice. However, the Catholic Church reinvented itself and put a new emphasis on personal religiosity that gave it a hold on the psychology of the faithful, education was centralized, with the Grand Master of the University of France controlling every element of the entire educational system from Paris
Allégorie du retour des Bourbons le 24 avril 1814 : Louis XVIII relevant la France de ses ruines, by Louis-Philippe Crépin
Popular colored etching, verging on caricature, published by Décrouant, early 19th century: La famille royale et les alliées s'occupant du bonheur de l'Europe (The Royal Family and the Allies concerned with the Happiness of Europe)
Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, who served under several regimes, depicted "floating with the tide". Note the high heel of Talleyrand's left shoe, alluding both to his limp and the Devil's hoof.