Henry IV of France
Henry IV known by the epithet Good King Henry or Henry the Great, was King of Navarre from 1572 and King of France from 1589 to 1610. He was the first monarch of France from the House of Bourbon, a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty, he was assassinated in 1610 by François Ravaillac, a fanatical Catholic, was succeeded by his son Louis XIII. The son of Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme and Jeanne d'Albret, the Queen of Navarre, Henry was baptised as a Catholic but raised in the Protestant faith by his mother, he inherited the throne of Navarre in 1572 on his mother's death. As a Huguenot, Henry was involved in the French Wars of Religion escaping assassination in the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, he led Protestant forces against the royal army. Henry IV and his predecessor Henry III of France are both direct descendants of the Saint-King Louis IX. Henry III belonged to the House of Valois, descended from Philip III of France, elder son of Saint Louis; as Head of the House of Bourbon, Henry was "first prince of the blood."
Upon the death of his brother-in-law and distant cousin Henry III in 1589, Henry was called to the French succession by the Salic law. He kept the Protestant faith and had to fight against the Catholic League, which denied that he could wear France's crown as a Protestant. To obtain mastery over his kingdom, after four years of stalemate, he found it prudent to abjure the Calvinist faith; as a pragmatic politician, he displayed an unusual religious tolerance for the era. Notably, he promulgated the Edict of Nantes, which guaranteed religious liberties to Protestants, thereby ending the Wars of Religion. Considered a usurper by some Catholics and a traitor by some Protestants, Henry became target of at least 12 assassination attempts. An unpopular king among his contemporaries, Henry gained more status after his death, he was admired for his conversion to Catholicism. The "Good King Henry" was remembered for his geniality and his great concern about the welfare of his subjects. An active ruler, he worked to regularise state finance, promote agriculture, eliminate corruption and encourage education.
During his reign, the French colonization of the Americas began with the foundation of the colony of Acadia and its capital Port-Royal. He was celebrated in Voltaire's Henriade. Henry de Bourbon was born in Pau, the capital of the joint Kingdom of Navarre with the sovereign principality of Béarn, his parents were Queen Joan III of Navarre and her consort, Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme, King of Navarre. Although baptised as a Roman Catholic, Henry was raised as a Protestant by his mother, who had declared Calvinism the religion of Navarre; as a teenager, Henry joined the Huguenot forces in the French Wars of Religion. On 9 June 1572, upon his mother's death, the 19-year-old became King of Navarre. At Queen Joan's death, it was arranged for Henry to marry Margaret of Valois, daughter of Henry II and Catherine de' Medici; the wedding took place in Paris on 18 August 1572 on the parvis of Notre Dame Cathedral. On 24 August, the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre began in Paris. Several thousand Protestants who had come to Paris for Henry's wedding were killed, as well as thousands more throughout the country in the days that followed.
Henry narrowly escaped death thanks to the help of his wife and his promise to convert to Catholicism. He was forced to live at the court of France, but he escaped in early 1576. On 5 February of that year, he formally abjured Catholicism at Tours and rejoined the Protestant forces in the military conflict, he named Catherine de Bourbon, regent of Béarn. Catherine held the regency for nearly thirty years. Henry became heir presumptive to the French throne in 1584 upon the death of Francis, Duke of Anjou and heir to the Catholic Henry III, who had succeeded Charles IX in 1574; because Henry of Navarre was the next senior agnatic descendant of King Louis IX, King Henry III had no choice but to recognise him as the legitimate successor. Salic law barred the king's sisters and all others who could claim descent through only the female line from inheriting. Since Henry of Navarre was a Huguenot, the issue was not considered settled in many quarters of the country, France was plunged into a phase of the Wars of Religion known as the War of the Three Henries.
Henry III and Henry of Navarre were two of these Henries. The third was Henry I, Duke of Guise, who pushed for complete suppression of the Huguenots and had much support among Catholic loyalists. Political disagreements among the parties set off a series of campaigns and counter-campaigns that culminated in the Battle of Coutras. In December 1588, Henry III had Henry I of Guise murdered, along with his brother, Cardinal de Guise. Henry III thought that the removal of the brothers would restore his authority. However, the populace rose against him. In several cities, the title of the king was no longer recognized, his power was limited to Blois and the surrounding districts. In the general chaos, Henry III relied on King Henry of his Huguenots; the two kings were united by a common interest—to win France from the Catholic League. Henry III acknowledged the King of Navarre as a true subject and Frenchman, not a fanatic Huguenot aiming for the destruction of
Catherine de' Medici
Catherine de Medici, daughter of Lorenzo II de' Medici and Madeleine de La Tour d'Auvergne, was an Italian noblewoman, queen of France from 1547 until 1559, by marriage to King Henry II. As the mother of kings Francis II, Charles IX and Henry III, she had extensive, if at times varying, influence in the political life of France. From 1560 to 1563, she ruled France as regent for King of France. In 1533, at the age of fourteen, Catherine married Henry, second son of King Francis I and Queen Claude of France. Throughout his reign, Henry excluded Catherine from participating in state affairs and instead showered favors on his chief mistress, Diane de Poitiers, who wielded much influence over him. Henry's death thrust Catherine into the political arena as mother of the frail fifteen-year-old King Francis II; when he died in 1560, she became regent on behalf of her ten-year-old son King Charles IX and was granted sweeping powers. After Charles died in 1574, Catherine played a key role in the reign of her third son, Henry III.
He dispensed with her advice only in the last months of her life. Catherine's three sons reigned in an age of constant civil and religious war in France; the problems facing the monarchy were complex and daunting but Catherine was able to keep the monarchy and the state institutions functioning at a minimum level. At first, Catherine compromised and made concessions to the rebelling Calvinist Protestants, or Huguenots, as they became known, she failed, however. She resorted, in frustration and anger, to hard-line policies against them. In return, she came to be blamed for the excessive persecutions carried out under her sons' rule, in particular for the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of 1572, in which thousands of Huguenots were killed in Paris and throughout France; some historians have excused Catherine from blame for the worst decisions of the crown, though evidence for her ruthlessness can be found in her letters. In practice, her authority was always limited by the effects of the civil wars.
Her policies, may be seen as desperate measures to keep the Valois monarchy on the throne at all costs, her patronage of the arts as an attempt to glorify a monarchy whose prestige was in steep decline. Without Catherine, it is unlikely; the years during which they reigned have been called "the age of Catherine de' Medici". According to Mark Strage, one of her biographers, Catherine was the most powerful woman in sixteenth-century Europe. Catherine de Medici was born on 13 April 1519 in Florence, Republic of Florence, the only child of Lorenzo de' Medici, Duke of Urbino, his wife, Madeleine de la Tour d'Auvergne, the countess of Boulogne; the young couple had been married the year before at Amboise as part of the alliance between King Francis I of France and Lorenzo's uncle Pope Leo X against the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I. According to a contemporary chronicler, when Catherine was born, her parents were "as pleased as if it had been a boy". Within a month of Catherine's birth, both her parents were dead: Madeleine died on 28 April of puerperal fever or plague, Lorenzo died on 4 May, his title over Urbino reverting to Francesco Maria I della Rovere.
King Francis wanted Catherine to be raised at the French court, but Pope Leo had other plans for her. Catherine was first cared for by Alfonsina Orsini. After Alfonsina's death in 1520, Catherine joined her cousins and was raised by her aunt, Clarice de' Medici; the death of Pope Leo in 1521 interrupted Medici power until Cardinal Giulio de' Medici was elected Pope Clement VII in 1523. Clement housed Catherine in the Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence; the Florentine people called her duchessina, in deference to her unrecognised claim to the Duchy of Urbino. In 1527, the Medici were overthrown in Florence by a faction opposed to the regime of Clement's representative, Cardinal Silvio Passerini, Catherine was taken hostage and placed in a series of convents; the final one, the Santissima Annuziata delle Murate was her home for three years. Mark Strage described these years as "the happiest of her entire life". Clement had no choice but to crown Charles Holy Roman Emperor in return for his help in retaking the city.
In October 1529, Charles's troops laid siege to Florence. As the siege dragged on, voices called for Catherine to be killed and exposed naked and chained to the city walls; some suggested that she be handed over to the troops to be used for their sexual gratification. The city surrendered on 12 August 1530. Clement summoned Catherine from her beloved convent to join him in Rome where he greeted her with open arms and tears in his eyes, he set about the business of finding her a husband. On her visit to Rome, the Venetian envoy described Catherine as "small of stature, thin, without delicate features, but having the protruding eyes peculiar to the Medici family". Suitors, lined up for her hand, including James V of Scotland who sent the Duke of Albany to Clement to conclude a marriage in April and November 1530; when Francis I of France proposed his second son, Duke of Orléans, in early 1533, Clement jumped at the offer. Henry was a prize catch for Catherine; the wedding, a grand affair marked by extravagant display and gift-giving, took place in the Église Saint-Ferréol les Augustins in Marseille on 28 October 1533.
Prince Henry danced and jousted for Catherine
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
The Pont Neuf is the oldest standing bridge across the river Seine in Paris, France. It stands by the western point of the Île de la Cité, the island in the middle of the river that was, between 250 and 225 BC, the birthplace of Paris known as Lutetia, during the medieval period, the heart of the city; the bridge is composed of two separate spans, one of five arches joining the left bank to the Île de la Cité, another of seven joining the island to the right bank. Old engraved maps of Paris show how, when the bridge was built, it just grazed the downstream tip of the Île de la Cité. Today the tip of the island is the location of the Square du Vert-Galant, a small public park named in honour of Henry IV, nicknamed the "Green Gallant"; the name Pont Neuf was given to distinguish it from older bridges that were lined on both sides with houses. It has remained, it has been listed since 1889 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture. As early as 1550, Henry II was asked to build a bridge here because the existing Pont Notre-Dame was overloaded, but the expense was too much at the time.
In February 1578, the decision to build the bridge was made by Henry III who laid its first stone in 1578, the year when the foundations of four piers and one abutment were completed. Pierre des Isles, one of the builders, convinced the supervisory commission that the bridge, planned straight, would be more resistant to the river currents if its two sections were built at a slight angle; the change they adopted in May 1578. Further design changes were made during the summer of 1579. First, the number of arches was changed from four to seven and five; this was not a problem on the north side, where nothing had been built, but on the south, where the four piles and the abutment on the Left Bank were laid, the addition of the fifth arch necessitated reducing the length of the platform on the island, the terre-plein, from 28.5 toises to about 19. Second, it was decided to allow houses to be built on the bridge; this required the widening of the bridge. The remaining piers were built over the next nine years.
After a long delay beginning in 1588, due to political unrest and to the Wars of Religion, construction was resumed in 1599 under the reign of Henry IV. The bridge was opened to traffic in 1604 and completed in July 1606, it was inaugurated by Henri IV in 1607. Like most bridges of its time, The Pont Neuf is constructed as a series of many short arch bridges, following Roman precedents, it was the first stone bridge in Paris not to support houses in addition to a thoroughfare, was fitted with pavements protecting pedestrians from mud and horses. The decision not to include houses on the bridge can be traced back directly to Henry IV, who decided against their inclusion on the grounds that houses would impede a clear view of the Louvre, which the newly built galerie du bord de l'eau linked to the Tuileries Palace; the bridge had heavy traffic from the beginning. It has undergone much repair and renovation work, including rebuilding of seven spans in the long arm and lowering of the roadway by changing the arches from an semi-circular to elliptical form, lowering of sidewalks and faces of the piers, spandrels and replacing crumbled corbels as to the originals as possible.
In 1885, one of the piers of the short arm was undermined, removing the two adjacent arches, requiring them to be rebuilt and all the foundations strengthened. A major restoration of the Pont Neuf was begun in 1994 and was completed in 2007, the year of its 400th anniversary.. The mascarons are the stone masks, 381 in number, each being different and which decorate the sides of the bridge, they represent the heads of forest and field divinities from ancient mythology, as well as satyrs and sylvains. They are copies of the originals attributed to the French Renaissance sculptor Germain Pilon, who sculpted the tomb of King Henry II of France and Queen Catherine de'Medici in the Basilica of St Denis, five kilometers north of Paris; the mascarons remained in place until 1851–1854, when the bridge was rebuilt. At that time six of the original mascarons from the 16th century were placed in the Musée Carnavalet, along with eight molds of other originals. Eight other originals were first placed in the Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge, are now in the French National Museum of the Renaissance in the Château d'Écouen.
At the time of the reconstruction, the Renaissance masks were replaced with copies made by noted 19th century sculptors, including Hippolyte Maindron, Hubert Lavigne, Antoine-Louis Barye and Fontenelle. Fontenelle made sixty-one masks which are found on the upstream side of the bridge between the right bank and the Île de la Cité. At the point where the bridge crosses the Île de la Cité, there stands a bronze equestrian statue of king Henry IV commissioned from Giambologna under the orders of Marie de Médicis, Henri’s widow and Regent of France, in 1614. After his death, Giambologna's assistant Pietro Tacca completed the statue, erected on its pedestal by Pietro Francavilla, in 1618, it was destroyed in 1792 during the French Revolution, but was rebuilt in 1818, following the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy. Bronze for the new statue was obtained with the bronze from a statue of Louis Charles Antoine Desaix, as well as from the statue of Napoleon in Place Vendôme, melted do
Émilie du Châtelet
Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, Marquise du Châtelet was a French natural philosopher, mathematician and author during the early 1730s until her untimely death due to childbirth in 1749. Her most recognized achievement is her translation of and commentary on Isaac Newton's book Principia containing basic laws of physics; the translation, published posthumously in 1759, is still considered the standard French translation today. Her commentary includes a profound contribution to Newtonian mechanics—the postulate of an additional conservation law for total energy, of which kinetic energy of motion is one element; this led to her conceptualization of energy as such, to derive its quantitative relationships to the mass and velocity of an object. Her philosophical magnum opus, Institutions de Physique, or Foundations of Physics, circulated generated heated debates, was republished and translated into several other languages within two years of its original publication, she participated in the famous vis viva debate, concerning the best way to measure the force of a body and the best means of thinking about conservation principles.
Posthumously, her ideas were represented in the most famous text of the French Enlightenment, the Encyclopédie of Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond D'Alembert, first published shortly after Du Châtelet's death. Numerous biographies and plays have been written about her life and work in the two centuries since her death. In the early 21st century, her life and ideas have generated renewed interest. In addition to producing famous translations of works by authors such as Bernard Mandeville and Isaac Newton, Du Châtelet wrote a number of significant philosophical essays and books that were well known in her time; because of her well-known collaboration and romantic involvement with Voltaire, which spanned much of her adult life, for generations Du Châtelet has been known as mistress and collaborator to her much better known intellectual companion. Her accomplishments and achievements have been subsumed under his, as a result today she is mentioned only within the context of Voltaire's life and work during the period of the early French Enlightenment.
However, professional philosophers and historians have transformed the reception of Du Châtelet. Historical evidence indicates that Du Châtelet's work had a significant influence on the philosophical and scientific conversations of the 1730s and 1740s – in fact, she was famous and respected by the greatest thinkers of her time. Du Châtelet corresponded with renowned mathematicians such as Johann II Bernoulli and Leonhard Euler, early developers of calculus, she was tutored by Bernoulli's prodigy students, Pierre Louis Moreau de Maupertuis and Alexis Claude Clairaut. Frederick the Great of Prussia, who re-founded the Academy of Sciences in Berlin, was her great admirer, corresponded with both Voltaire and Du Châtelet regularly, he introduced Du Châtelet to Leibniz's philosophy by sending her the works of Christian Wolff, Du Châtelet sent him a copy of her Institutions. Her works were published and republished in Paris and Amsterdam. Most intriguingly, many of her ideas were represented in various sections of the Encyclopédie of Diderot and D'Alembert, some of the articles in the Encyclopédie are a direct copy of her work.
Émilie du Châtelet was born on 17 December 1706 in Paris, the only girl amongst six children. Three brothers lived to adulthood: René-Alexandre, Charles-Auguste, Elisabeth-Théodore, her eldest brother, René-Alexandre, died in 1720, the next brother, Charles-Auguste, died in 1731. However, her younger brother, Elisabeth-Théodore, lived to a successful old age, becoming an abbé and a bishop. Two other brothers died young. Du Châtelet had an illegitimate half-sister, born of her father and Anne Bellinzani, an intelligent woman, interested in astronomy and married to an important Parisian official, her father was a member of the lesser nobility. At the time of Du Châtelet's birth, her father held the position of the Principal Secretary and Introducer of Ambassadors to King Louis XIV, he held a weekly salon on Thursdays, to which well-respected scientists were invited. Her mother was Gabrielle Anne de Baronne de Breteuil. Du Châtelet's education has been the subject of much speculation, but nothing is known with certainty.
Among their acquaintances was Fontenelle, the perpetual secretary of the French Académie des Sciences. Du Châtelet's father Louis-Nicolas, recognizing her early brilliance, arranged for Fontenelle to visit and talk about astronomy with her when she was 10 years old. Du Châtelet's mother, Gabrielle-Anne de Froulay, was brought up in a convent, at the time the predominant educational institution available to French girls and women. While some sources believe her mother did not approve of her intelligent daughter, or of her husband's encouragement of Émilie's intellectual curiosity, there are other indications that her mother not only approved of Du Châtelet's early education, but encouraged her to vigorously question stated fact. In either case, such encouragement would have been seen as unusual for parents of thei
The Bourbon Restoration was the period of French history following the first fall of Napoleon in 1814, his final defeat in the Hundred Days in 1815, until the July Revolution of 1830. The brothers of the executed Louis XVI came to power, reigned in conservative fashion, 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 nearly all the territorial gains made since 1789. Following the French Revolution, Napoleon became ruler of France. After years of expansion of his French Empire by successive military victories, a coalition of European powers defeated him in the War of the Sixth Coalition, ended the First Empire in 1814, restored the monarchy to the brothers of Louis XVI; the Bourbon Restoration lasted from 6 April 1814 until the popular 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 constitutional monarchy, unlike the absolutist Ancien Régime, so it had some limits on its power; the new king, Louis XVIII, accepted the vast majority of reforms instituted from 1792 to 1814. Continuity was his basic policy, he did not try to recover property taken from the royalist exiles. He continued in peaceful fashion the main objectives of Napoleon's foreign policy, such as the limitation of Austrian influence, he reversed Napoleon regarding Spain and the Ottoman Empire, in order to restore the friendship that had prevailed until 1792. The period was characterized by a sharp conservative reaction, consequent minor but consistent occurrences of civil unrest and disturbances. Otherwise, the political establishment was stable until the late reign of Charles X, it saw the reestablishment of the Catholic Church as a major power in French politics. Throughout the Bourbon Restoration, France experienced a period of stable economic prosperity and the preliminaries of industrialization.
The eras of the French Revolution and Napoleon brought a series of major changes to France which the Bourbon Restoration did not reverse. First of all, France became centralized, with all important decisions made in Paris; the political geography was reorganized and made uniform. France was divided into more than 80 departments; each department had an identical administrative structure, was controlled by a prefect appointed by Paris. The complex multiple overlapping legal jurisdictions of the old regime had all been abolished, there was now one standardized legal code, administered by judges appointed by Paris, supported by police under national control; the Catholic Church lost all its lands and buildings during the Revolution, these were sold off or came under the control of local governments. The bishop still ruled his diocese, communicated with the pope through the government in Paris. Bishops, priests and other religious people were paid salaries by the state. All the old religious rites and ceremonies were retained, the government maintained the religious buildings.
The Church was allowed to operate its own seminaries and to some extent local schools as well, although this became a central political issue into the 20th century. Bishops were much less powerful than before, 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. Public education was centralized, with the Grand Master of the University of France controlling every element of the national educational system from Paris. New technical universities were opened in Paris which to this day have a critical role in training the elite. Conservatism was bitterly split into the returning old aristocracy and the new elites arising after 1796; the old aristocracy felt no loyalty to the new regime. The new elite, the "noblesse d'empire," ridiculed the older group as an outdated remnant of a discredited regime that had led the nation to disaster. Both groups shared a fear of social disorder, but the level of distrust as well as the cultural differences were too great, the monarchy too inconsistent in its policies, for political cooperation to be possible.
The old aristocracy recovered much of the land they had owned directly. However, they lost all their old seigneurial rights to the rest of the farmland, the peasants were no longer under their control; the old aristocracy had dallied with the ideas of the rationalism. Now the aristocracy was supportive of the Catholic Church. For the best jobs, meritocracy was the new policy, aristocrats had to compete directly with the growing business and professional class. Public anti-clerical sentiment became stronger than before, but was now based in certain elements of the middle class and the peasantry; the great masses of French people were peasants in the countryside or impoverished workers in the cities. They gained a new sense of possibilities. Although relieved of many of the old burdens and taxes, the peasantry was still traditional in its social and economic behavior. Many eagerly took on mortgages to buy as much land as possible for their children, so debt was an important factor in their calculations.
The working class in the cities was a small element, had been freed of many restrictions imposed