19th Century Paris, Center of Political Exiles


Korean Minjok Leadership Academy
International Program
Song, Yong-hyun
Term Paper, AP European History Class, December 2007



Table of Contents


I. The Background : Europe in the 19th Century
II. The Background : Paris in the 19th Century
III. Political Exiles in Paris
III.1 Poles
III.2 Germans
III.3 Communists
IV. Conclusion
V. Notes
VI. Bbliography



I. The Background : Europe in the 19th Century
            There was serious civil unrest during the early half of the 19th century in Europe. The liberal political movement and nationalist movement clashed with the conservative government. There were many revolutions attempting to throw out the conservative ruling forces. Especially in 1830, there were revolutions in many parts of Europe. However, most of these revolutions failed. Most conservative forces retained their stance. In parts of Europe, the government restricted freedom of the press and suffrage right. For example, in Prussia, the newspapers were censored and were uncritical; not reporting about domestic affairs. There was even a secret police that dealt with political dissent (1).
            The year 1848 saw many revolutions too. Starting in Paris, revolutions exploded all around and Europe, and some of these revolutions succeeded in influencing the government. "Most of the revolutions of the early 19th century were suppressed. In the climax year of 1848-1849 the simultaneous revolutions came close to reorganizing the political map on a basis of democratic nation states; a number of monarchic governments were either eliminated or paralyzed." (2)
            However, there were many cases when the provisional government restored their stance after the revolutions. The constitutional government was abolished in the Habsburg Empire and in most of the German and Italian states as the revolutions collapsed. As for the constitutions, which had a highly-limited nature, they survived in formerly absolutist Prussia and Sardina. Liberal constitutional reforms survived only in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Belgium. Because many revolutions failed, many revolutionaries had to flee in exile.

II. The Background : Paris in the 19th Century
            In 1789, France revolutionists put forward the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. This document guaranteed the French a constitutional right of freedom of press and speech. During the early 19th century, France experienced many changes in its political structure: First Republic (1792-1804), First Empire (1804-1814), Restoration (1814-1830), July Revolution (1830), July Monarchy (1830-1848), 1848 Revolution, Second Republic (1848-1852), Second Empire (1852-1870). Throughout these changes, there were many changes of policies concerning the freedom of press. However, Paris constantly remained one of the most enlightened places of Europe; especially after 1830.
            At the end of the Bourbon Restoration (1814-1830), the press of Paris proved strong and influential organizations (even though in 1827, censorship was reintroduced and the press was curtailed). When Charles X tried to set up rigid control of the press and suffrage, the journalistic establishment of Paris made published of vitriolic criticism of the King's Policies in an attempt to mobilize the mass. As a result, there was the July Revolution which changed the French government structure (3). This event shows the freedom and power of the French press before 1830.
            After the July Revolution, a constitutional monarchy was set up (the July Monarchy). A constitutional monarchy, at that period of European history, was an advanced form of government. France had a free press and trial by jury by law. However, the July Monarchy also did not go long. The civil rights and suffrage rights of the public were reduced. During the later part of the July Monarchy, the lower class that lacked the property qualifications to vote were about to erupt in revolt. In 1846, there was a bad harvest and a financial crisis that lead to an economical depression. Louis Phillip (the last king of France) who opposed to parliamentarism was unpopular and was considered indifferent to the needs of the society. Finally, in February when the government tried to oppress a banquet organized to criticize the regime, the populace exploded into the 1848 Revolution. During the July Monarchy, the freedom of the press was present in Paris despite some restrictions placed by the government (such as the law restricting the freedom of press of 1835 which was only barely passed after facing fierce oppositions). For example, the civil unrest of in the year 1841 was supported by the left wing press. The Canut Revolution also utilized the press. If the press was not free and powerful enough, the left wing press could not have acted so strongly in opposing the government. (4)
            After the 1848 revolution, Parisians gained more suffrage, changed political structure, and expanded the freedom of press. About 450 newspapers sprang up in the aftermath of the February 1848 revolution, and the suffrage rights extended from 250,000 to 8 million people after the March proclamation of manhood suffrage. Also, Paris became the hearth of the political club movement with over 400 groups established after the February revolution.
            In 1852, the Second Empire was set up by Napoleon III. who rose to power by a coup d'etat (1852-1870). Napoleon III was favorable towards the freedom of the press. He began his policies by removing the gag which was keeping the country in silence. On November 24, 1860, he granted the press the right of reporting parliamentary debates, and also granted various voting rights. All in all, the freedom of the press was supported during the Second Empire (5).
            As a conclusion, the background situation of Paris was: a place where freedom of press was supported and where frequent revolutions changed the government into one of a modern structure. Paris was the starting point which stimulated other revolutions in other countries. Revolutionaries often learned about the revolutionary spirit from Paris. This was an adequate environment for the political revolutionaries of other countries to come for exile. As a result, Paris home to not only individual political exiles but also to the headquarters of armies of German, British, Polish, and Italian revolutionaries (6).

III. Political Exiles
            During the fist half of the 19th century, there were many revolutionary movements in Europe. Revolutionaries preparing for uprising had to live in exile for protection and less censorship. Failed revolutionaries also had to flee. Many of them went to exile in Paris. The following section will examine 3 groups of political exiles: the Poles, the German, and the Communists

III.1 Poles
            The Polish national movement started in the late 18th century. Poland was separated and was under the rule of neighboring countries: Russia, Prussia, and Austria. Polish nationalists tried to gain independence. Napoleon de Bonaparte supported this independence movement. However, when his influence over the Polish region subsided, the nationalist movement was suppressed. Many Polish patriots chose to live in exile in Paris and Switzerland. After the 1830 revolution, there was the 'Great Immigration' where many Polls came to live in Paris. The immigrants were welcomed by the French population and were given places to stay in: "they were directed to some provincial towns where the so-called depots, organized after a military fashion, had been set up. Those politically most active sought to stay in Paris." (7). In 1831 a Polish National Committee was founded in Paris. This committee prepared for the 1848 revolution of Poland in Paris. The polish population of Paris also published journals such as : Demokrata Polski (Polish Democrat) (1837-1863); Nowa Polska (New Poland) (1833-1837, 1839 - 1845]; Orzel Bialy (White Eagle) (1830-1848); Trzeci Maj (The Third of May) (1839-1848); Przeglad Rzeczy Polskich (Review of Polish Affairs) (1857-1863); Glos Wolny (Free Voice) (1863-1870) (8) There were even Polish military schools founded in Paris. Paris served almost like new home for the Poles
            To name a few influential personals, there was Prince Adam Jerzy Czartorysky. He was the leader of the Polish Government-in-Exile in Paris. Another was Fryderyk Chopin, a famous pianist, also in exile in Paris. Lastly, poets such as Adam Mickiewicz chose patriotic themes to contribute to the rise of Nationalist sentiment (9).

III.2 Germans
            Germany was a loose collection of 38 different states during the early 19th century. Nationalist Germans of various of these states tried to gain a voice in politics, and in some cases. People with revolutionary purposes made repeated calls for freedom, democracy, and resisted against the traditional political structure. Many German revolutionaries stayed in Paris in preparation of the revolution in Germany. They made publications of the revolutionary cause and even had the head quarters of the revolutionary army in Germany. There were people such as Karl Marx, Arnold Ruge and Heinrich Heine. Karl Marx was a famous communist philosopher who shall be discussed later on in the paper, and Arnold Ruge was a German political writer who later coordinated the revolutionary movements of 1848 in France. Heinrich Heine was a German poet associated with the utopian socialist in Paris. He lied most of his life in Paris after 1831. (10

III.3 Communists
            The most known communist who came to Paris in exile was Karl Marx. He arrived in Paris in 1843. He came to exile in Paris because in Prussia, where he previously stayed, the press was severely censored. Marx met Friedrich Engels in Paris and worked on some communist publications. He also worked with Arnold Ruge (a German Revolutionary) on the Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher. They published these newspapers in Paris and smuggled them into Germany. However, smuggling the journals proved difficult and the Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher stopped. After that, Marx wrote for the most radical German newspapers (example: Vorwärts) from Paris. When not occupied with newspaper articles, Marx studied the French Revolution. Although Marx left Paris, he returned to Paris in exile in years 1847 and 1849. Paris was like an asylum for Marx where he could study, write, and publish on the topic of communism (11).
            Friedrich Engels was also in Paris for revolutionary purposes. In the year 1844, he came to Paris to meet Karl Marx and work with him on communist related publications. Later on, in 1849, Karl Marx and Engels both were in political exile in Paris coming from their home country, Prussia. Engels even lost his citizenship of Prussia. (12)
            Besides these two most widely known communists, there were other communists in Paris. There was, for example, the League of the Proscribed (1846-8) and League of the Just (1843-6). The League of Just later on turned into the League of Communists. After staying in Paris during the stated years, the League of the Just community went to London. (13).

IV Conclusion
            Europe saw many revolutions during the early half of the 19th century. However, most failed and the conservative government were still in power. On the other hand, Paris, France not only had successful revolutions that changed the French government into a modern, advanced form but also affected revolutionary movements in other parts of Europe. Especially from 1830 and on, Paris enjoyed much freedom of press and suffrage rights. Paris provided asylum for political exiles from other countries: the freedom of press was respected, and there was a strong tradition of revolutions that set up a modern type of government.


Notes

(1)      WHKMLA, Prussia 1815-1847
(2)      WHKMLA, Revolutions
(3)      Article : Bourbon Restoration, from Wikipedia
(4)      Article : July Monarchy, from Wikipedia
(5)      Article : Second Empire, from Wikipedia
(6)      Article : Karl Marx, from Wikipedia
(7)      Encyclopedia of Revolutions of 1848, Great Polish Emigration
(8)      ibid.
(9)      WHKMLA, Prussia 1815-1847
(10)      Article : Heinrich Heine, from Wikipedia
(11)      Article: Karl Marx, from Wikipedia
(12)      Article : Friedrich Engels, from Wikipedia
(13)      Encyclopedia of Revolutions of 1848, Communist League


Bibliography

Note : websites quoted below were visited in December 2007.
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