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1815: King Charles X and the Ultra Reaction


Well-known member
Published by SLP
Much like with the downfall of the direct Capets 400 years earlier, in which King Philippe le Bel had three sons (of varying degrees of competence) who all reached and died on the throne of France in short order, so did their Bourbon descendants fall, when the three sons of Dauphin Louis Ferdinand became the last three Bourbon rulers of France. You may remember:

Louis XVI: guillotined in 1793
Louis XVIII: restored to power twice, spent half his reign under foreign occupation armies
Charles X: lost the throne but kept his head.

Now, Louis XVIII (1814/15-1824) was the kind of centrist, consensus-seeking, amnesty-granting moderate who would have been murdered by extremists in any other time (just ask Louis XIII and Henry IV), while his younger brother Charles X (1824-1830) was the reactionary leader of the Ultra Royalists.

Now, there might or might not have been talk of giving the throne to Charles after Louis was overthrown during the Hundred Days, but let’s keep matters simpler by just having Louis die in exile for some reason or another, meaning it is Charles of Artois who is put on the throne of France in 1814 (and again in 1815, unless he’s thorough in his purge of Bonapartists)

Possible changes:

-Reforms made at the behest of the Occupation Forces (Chart, Chambers...) would go as IOTL, but implemented by a King who is actually opposed to them and might seek to undermine them in time.
-A worse White Terror, and maybe a purge of Bonapartist officers, which might or may not prevent the Hundred Days, or might turn them into a French Civil War rather than Restoration-+Waterloo.
-If no 100 Days, then Vienna goes differently and France keeps the 1792 borders; then again, purges and Revanche might trigger an earlier coup;
-The more oppressive and reactionary domestic policy might mean France is hit by the Revolutionary Wave of 1820 (Portugal, Spain and Italy), which gives us 2 options:

A. Charles is overthrown 10 years earlier than IOTL, the Duke of Orleans is made king 10 years earlier (although there could be other candidates), the Spanish Liberal Revolution of 1820-1823 is not crushed by the Duke of
Angoulême and the Holy Alliance and so on.

B. Much like how the IOTL Congresses of Laibach and Verona authorized Austrian and French armies to crush the revolutions in Naples and Spain, respectively, some Congress sends some combination of Austrian, Russian and Prussian troops to restore order.

France’s situation and British desire to keep the Holy Alliance in check (as done with the Greek Situation) might mean A. is likelier, though.

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Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
What's likely to happen in France with Charles-to-Louise ten years early, smack in the middle of other uprisings? Feels like he'd be in a more precarious position than OTL and not last as long (never mind until 1848)