3. principles and circumstances

    The revolutionary fevers of 1848 redefined the identities of European powers for generations to come. Their germs came from France. The first banners of rebellion arose in the cause of universal suffrage. The end of the revolutionary and Napoleonic wars in 1814, with its tragic aftermath at Waterloo in 1815, ushered in the reactionary restoration of the Bourbon dynasty in the person of Louis XVIII. This new King of France was a brother of Louis XVI, guillotined during the revolution. The key to his fate was forged by Talleyrand. That shadowy architect of French polity, who in 1796 had consigned it to Napoléon’s Brumaire coup d’état, endured to rescue it in 1814 from humiliation by its victors at the Congress of Vienna.

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