The ORLéANISTS were a French right-wing (except for 1814–1830)
faction which arose out of the
French Revolution , as opposed to
It took its name from the Orléans branch of the House of Bourbon (descended from the youngest son of Louis XIII ), who were its leaders. The faction comprised many liberals and intellectuals who wanted to restore the monarchy as a constitutional monarchy with limited powers for the king and most power in the hands of parliament. Orleanists were opposed by the more conservative Bourbon faction, who wanted the heirs of Louis XVI restored to the throne with great powers. Both Orleanists and Bourbons were opposed by republicans who wanted no king at all.
* 1 Origins * 2 French Revolution
* 3 Restoration (1815–1830)
* 4 Later history
* 4.1 Second Republic (1848–1852) * 4.2 Second Empire (1852–1870) * 4.3 Third Republic (1870–1940) * 4.4 Fifth Republic (1958–present)
During the early period of the French Revolution, Louis Philippe Joseph, Duke of Orléans , who disliked King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette , naturally assumed the position of a spokesman of the liberal royalists. It was a short step from this position to the attitude of liberal candidates for the throne, which Philippe's son Louis Philippe eventually would achieve.
The Orléanists aimed politically to find a common measure for the monarchical principle and the "rights of man" as set forth by the revolutionary leaders in 1789 and the princes of the branch of Orléans became the advocates of this attempted compromise.
The elder Bourbon branch (as represented by Louis XVIII and later by
its last scion,
Henri, Comte de Chambord
The Bourbons' feudal language offended many Frenchmen, who concluded
that rights granted as a favour were always subject to revocation as a
punishment. Therefore, those of them who considered a monarchical
government as more beneficial to France than a republic, but who were
not disposed to hold their freedom subject to the pleasure of one man,
became either Bonapartists who professed to rule by the choice of the
nation, or supporters of the Orléans princes who were ready to reign
by an "original compact" and by the will of the people . The
difference therefore between the supporters of the elder line, or
The first generation of Orléanists were swamped in the turmoil of the Revolution. Philippe himself, who under the Republic, had assumed the name Philippe Égalité and voted for the King's execution, was nonetheless guillotined himself in 1793.
Despite this setback, according to Albert Sorel , the Orléanists subsisted under the First French Empire , and resurfaced when the revival of liberalism overthrew the restored legitimate monarchy of Louis XVIII and Charles X .
After the restoration of the Bourbons (1815), the liberals were
identified with the Orléanists, who rejected the legitimism of the
elder branch as well as
As equality before the law and in social life, which had been far dearer to Frenchmen of the revolutionary epoch than political freedom, seemed secured, the next step was aiming as political freedom. This happened under the guidance of men who were Orléanists because the Orléans princes seemed to them to offer the best guarantee for such a government.
The liberals who were Orléanists found their leaders in men eminent
in letters and in practical affairs—François Pierre Guillaume
Adolphe Thiers , Achille Charles Léon Victor, duc de Broglie
and his son Jacques Victor Albert , the banker
When the July Revolution of 1830 resulted in the downfall of the elder Bourbon branch, the Orléanists stepped in. Louis-Philippe, Duke of Orléans , who became King, marked a profound change by assuming the title of a "King of the French" (instead of the traditional "King of France and Navarre ". That king appeared as the chief of the people by compact with the people, and not by "divine right".
ORLéANIST RULE (1830–1848)
The Orléanists, in their dislike of "divine right" on the one hand,
and their fear of democracy , which they were convinced would result
Caesarism or a return to
The French equivalent for the English middle-class constituencies was
to be a pays legal of about a quarter of a million of voters by whom
all the rest of the country was to be "virtually represented". Guizot
expounded and carried out this doctrine with uncompromising rigour.
SECOND REPUBLIC (1848–1852)
The revolution of 1848, partly due to errors of conduct in individual
princes and politicians but mainly to the resentment of those excluded
from the pays legal, swept the
SECOND EMPIRE (1852–1870)
During the Second Empire, which evolved from the Second Republic when Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, its president, declared himself in the tradition of his uncle to be Emperor of the French, the discreet opposition of the Orléanists, exercised for the most part with infinite dexterity and tact, by reticences, omissions, and historical studies in which the Empire was attacked under foreign or ancient names, was a perpetual thorn in the side of Napoleon III . Yet they possessed little hold on the country outside a cultivated liberal circle in Paris.
THIRD REPUBLIC (1870–1940)
When the Second Empire was swept away by the
Franco-Prussian War of
1870–1871, the people, in disgust at the Bonapartists and its fear
of the Republicans, chose a great many royalists to represent it in
the Assembly which met in
This enabled President
Adolphe Thiers , himself an Orléanist, to
impose the Third Republic on the unwilling majority of the Assembly.
After this, the Orléanists sought a fusion with the
Republican gains in the elections of 1876 and the crisis of 16 May
1877 ended the royalist dominance. In 1883, the death of the Comte de
Chambord ended the elder Bourbon branch and left the Comte de
However, the party ceased to exist as an independent political organisation, as many supporters progressively rallied to the Republic, while radical right wing groups, particularly Action Française espoused the house of Orléans as the only way to rescue France from what they perceived to be the corruption of the Republic.
Although the Orléanists were given a new vitality, the initiative
passed to other organisations who although sincere monarchists also
had other agendas. The
FIFTH REPUBLIC (1958–PRESENT)
Under the Fifth Republic, presidents Valéry Giscard d\'Estaing and
Jacques Chirac have both been classed on the
ORLéANIST PRINCIPLES OF SUCCESSION
Main article: Line of succession to the French throne (Orléanist)
* The Crown descends to males born in the male line of
Hugh Capet .
* The succession normally passes by primogeniture in the male line .
* Only children born of legal marriages conforming with the canon
law of the
Catholic Church are dynasts.
* The Sovereign or Head of the House must be
Roman Catholic .
* The Sovereign or Head of the House must be French and inherit
succession rights through a dynast of French nationality.
* Rules of succession to the Crown are governed by the Constitution
and/or laws of the realm. It is this rule that separates the
LIST OF ORLéANIST CLAIMANTS TO THE FRENCH THRONE SINCE 1848
CLAIMANT PORTRAIT BIRTH MARRIAGES DEATH
LOUIS PHILIPPE I
6 October 1773
Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans
PHILIPPE, COUNT OF PARIS (LOUIS PHILIPPE II) 1850–1873 1st term 24 August 1838 Paris son of Prince Ferdinand Philippe, Duke of Orléans and Duchess Helen of Mecklenburg-Schwerin Princess Marie Isabelle of Orléans 30 May 1864 8 children 8 September 1894 Stowe House aged 56
HENRI, COUNT OF CHAMBORD (HENRI V) 1873–1883 29 September 1820 Paris son of Charles Ferdinand, Duke of Berry and Marie-Caroline of Two Sicilies Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria-Este November 1846 No children 24 August 1883 Kostanjevica Monastery aged 62
PHILIPPE, COUNT OF PARIS (LOUIS PHILIPPE II) 1883–1894 2nd term 24 August 1838 Paris son of Prince Ferdinand Philippe, Duke of Orléans and Duchess Helen of Mecklenburg-Schwerin Princess Marie Isabelle of Orléans 30 May 1864 8 children 8 September 1894 Stowe House aged 56
PHILIPPE, DUKE OF ORLéANS
24 August 1869
York House, Twickenham
son of Philippe, Count of
JEAN, DUKE OF GUISE (JEAN III) 1926–1940 4 September 1874 France son of Robert, Duke of Chartres and Marie-Françoise of Orléans Isabelle of Orléans 30 October 1899 4 children 25 August 1940 Larache, Spanish Morocco aged 65
HENRI, COUNT OF PARIS
5 July 1908
Chateau de Nouvion-en-Thiérache,
HENRI D\\'ORLéANS, COUNT OF PARIS
June 14, 1933
* ^ Alain-Gérard Slama , "Vous avez dit bonapartiste?" in L\'Histoire n°313, October 2006, pp.60-63 (in French)
* This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Orleanists". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. * Aston, Nigel. "Orleanism, 1780-1830," History Today, Oct 1988, Vol. 38 Issue 10, pp 41–47 * Beik, Paul. Louis Philippe and the July Monarchy (1965) * Collingham, H.A.C. The July Monarchy: A Political History of France, 1830–1848 (Longman, 1988) * Howarth, T.E.B. Citizen-King: The Life of Louis Philippe, King of the French (1962). * Newman, Edgar Leon, and Robert Lawrence Simpson. Historical Dictionary of France from the 1815 Restoration to the Second Empire (Greenwood Press, 1987) online edition
French dynastic disputes
Succession to the French throne
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