France's many revolutions and republics
Les Miserables and France's many revolutions Overview of early 19th century French history and context for Les Miserables
Les Miserables and France's many revolutions
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- There's a very popular and I thought, good movie, out
- based on the play,
- which is based on the novel by Victor Hugo,
- Les Miserables
- and I'm sure I'm mispronouncing it.
- It means The Miserable, for who it was not obvious.
- And what I want to give is a bit of context
- because, in that book/play/movie
- there is an attempted revolution, and sometimes
- people try to associate it with the French Revolution.
- But that is not depicting
- the French Revolution that people talk about
- when they talk about the French Revolution.
- So I thought I would give a little bit of a scaffold
- of French history in the late 1700s
- and all the way through the mid 1800s.
- To give a little bit of context on the matter.
- So let's start off in 1789.
- 1789. That's when you have the French Revolution.
- The First French Revolution, you could say.
- Or the French Revolution,
- which is the French Revolution that people talk about,
- when they're talking about the French Revolution.
- It was all about deposing Louis 16th
- and his wife, Marie Antoinette
- This is her body there, I think she just got guillotined.
- This is her head, it was a very bloody revolution.
- This is the storming of the Bastille. Right over here.
- And that starts the beginning
- of the First Republic in France.
- The First Republic.
- So there were all these dreams and aspirations that
- France would now be a country of the people,
- and not too dissimilar to the United States.
- But, revolutions are not so easy or so clean or so fast
- and France had to go through several,
- of a long period of pain before it could
- really establish itself as a real republic.
- But let's keep going on... further off in history.
- Let me do that in a different color.
- Put the timeline in white.
- So let's fast forward to 1799.
- This is when Napoleon Bonaparte comes to power.
- So when people talk about Napoleon,
- they are talking about Napoleon Bonaparte.
- We'll see there are other Napoleons
- but people just say hey, Napoleon did this or that,
- they're talking about Napoleon Bonaparte.
- So this is Napoleon comes to power. Napoleon...
- And he officially ends the first Republic, in 1804
- because he declares himself emperor.
- But let's fast forward.
- There's many videos on the Khan Academy dealing with
- the Napoleonic wars and the French Revolution
- but let's fast forward to 1815.
- So let me do that in white again.
- So you get to 1815.
- So that was about, 10 years, and this is about, 16 years.
- So this is.. let's put 1815 right over there
- 1815 is essentially Napoleon faces his Waterloo
- which is literally at Waterloo
- that's why people talk about "facing your Waterloo".
- So that was... he was banished a little bit at Elba
- he was able to come back
- He had 100, actually 111 days in power
- But then he was finally defeated.
- And then he was finally put into exile at St. Helena,
- where he died.
- And 1815, you essentially have
- the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy.
- So Louis 16th's younger brother
- comes to power, and they call him Louis 18th.
- So this is Louis the 18th.
- Which raises a very good question:
- what happened to Louis 17th?
- Louis 17th was Louis 16th's son, who died in prison
- at the age of 10 in 1795, during the Revolution.
- So let's keep...
- Or during the Revolutionary period, I guess we could say.
- So this right over here, this right over here, let me draw..
- this is Napoleon's...
- Let me do this in the same color as I did Napoleon, right
- So 1799 to 18...
- actually 1814 is when Napoleon's reign ended
- but he then came back for a little bit,
- so I'll draw a little bit of dotted line here
- A little dotted line
- And then 1814 was the formal restoration
- of the Bourbon Monarchy
- And then of course Napoleon comes back a bit.
- But after Waterloo, it's really firmly, firmly established.
- So you have the restoration of the Bourbon Monarchy.
- So this is Louis 18th.
- And then in 1824, he dies. And he dies childless.
- 1824. So let's see, it's about 9 years.
- I will put this about right over there. 1824.
- He dies childless, and so his younger brother,
- Charles 10th comes to power.
- So then you have Charles 10th
- I'll do all the Bourbons in purple.
- Charles X.
- And this is Charles X right over here.
- And so let's go a little bit further off into history.
- You fast forward all the way to 1830.
- You fast forward to 1830
- A lot of discontent.
- And now you have the Second French Revolution.
- You might say,
- ho hey, this must be what Les Miserables is about.
- NO. We're not there yet.
- Les Mis is not about the 2nd French Revolution,
- which is sometimes called the July Revolution.
- July Revolution
- And this revolution actually did not, it was successful,
- but it did not establish a republic at this point.
- Instead, it installed.. and this whole time,
- there was kind of a liberalization.
- The monarchy, even when it was put in power
- had a kind of gradual decline in how much power it had.
- But after the July Revolution, they put in
- Charles X's cousin.
- Charles X's cousin, who was the Duke of Orleans.
- The Duke of Orleans, who was this guy right over here.
- Louis Phillipe the 1st.
- So let me write that, so this is Louis Phillipe the 1st
- And so you're saying,
- Sal, you started off this video talking about Les Mis
- and you haven't mentioned Les Mis yet!
- Give me a little bit of context.
- So now I will give you context.
- So if you watched the movie,
- it starts off with Jean Valjean
- he's at like a shipping place,
- where they're repairing ships of some sort.
- That was in 1815, after Waterloo.
- So it was under Louis 18th's regime.
- So that's right over here.
- Let me see where the start of the movie
- The start of the movie is right... right about there.
- And then the real climax of the movie
- which is this rebellion,
- there's these barricades being set up in Paris,
- you have all these young, idealistic folks
- were trying to overthrow the government.
- This does not happen until 1832.
- This is 1832.
- I'll do it right over here.
- And what catalyzed it,
- there were several things that were catalyzing that
- And actually,
- most revolutions are catalyzed by just...
- economic discontent. If people are rich and happy, and
- have jobs and aren't getting sick,
- most people won't be in the mood to revolt.
- But in 1832, as you can imagine,
- the economic situation was not good.
- There was also a very nasty outbreak of cholera
- and what really catalyzed the events in Les Mis
- and they even referred to it in the movie
- is the death of this chap right over here.
- Jean Maximilien Lamarque
- Let me write them down, write the name down
- Jean Maximilien...And I'm sure I'm mispronouncing it.
- And he dies in June of 1832.
- And he was very sympathetic to the plight of the poor
- to the plight of the common man.
- and he... kind of the average folks
- because it said, "Hey, look, he's our guy in government"
- and he had kind of an influential role in government.
- So when he died, they're like,
- "look, we don't have anybody else
- kind of in a high position who can speak for us.
- Let's use his funeral as a catalyst for revolt."
- And you saw that happening in the movie, Les Mis.
- So Les Mis, in that climactic moment
- that is the June rebellion of 1832.
- And it's not, you don't have to
- have amazing comprehension of watching movies
- to realize that this was unsuccessful.
- So this right here, didn't work. Didn't work.
- If it did work,
- it might have been called the Third French Revolution.
- But it was not, it was an unsuccessful revolution,
- or unsuccessful rebellion really.
- And as Victor Hugo observed it, and that's why
- he was able to recount it in so much detail.
- The barricading, the young people,
- the shooting in the streets, all the rest.
- So just as a little bit of review.
- When people talk about the French Revolution,
- they're usually talking about the
- French Revolution 1789, which establishes or
- begins to establish the First Republic.
- It was a successful revolution.
- The second French Revolution,
- this is the July Revolution,
- this is in 1830, this puts into power Louis Phillipe the 1st,
- the person that they're trying to overthrow in Les Mis
- And they don't establish the Second Republic after this.
- For the Second Republic, we have to go
- all the way to the Revolution
- we have to go all the way to the Revolution... of
- Let me make sure I can scroll properly
- Go all the way... let me continue my timeline.
- So this is Louis Phillipe 1st
- to go 18 years to 1848
- where you have the Third French Revolution.
- So Third French Revolution
- which leads to the popular election of
- Napoleon Bonaparte's nephew.
- Louis Napoleon Bonaparte.
- This guy right over here.
- But France is still not done.
- It still can't establish itself as a long and lasting republic.
- In 1851 this character declares himself emperor.
- So 1851, he too declares himself emperor.
- And France is not finally free of kings and emperors
- until 1870.
- So let's do this run all the way to 1870.
- Where France essentially loses the Franco-Prussian war
- And this character right over here is deposed, and
- you have the establishment of the Third French Republic.
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