Louis Philippe, king of the French from 1830 to 1848, born in the Palais Royal, Paris, Oct. 6, 1773, died at Claremont, near London, Aug. 26, 1850. He was the son of Philippe Egalite, duke of Orleans, and of Louise de Bourbon de Penthievre. On his father's side he was descended from a brother of Louis XIV.; on his mother's from the count of Toulouse, a natural but legitimized offspring of that monarch and Mme, de Montespan. His godfather was Louis XVI.; his godmother, Marie Antoinette. His earliest preceptor was M. de Bonnard. In 1782 he was placed under the care of Mme, de Genlis, whose opinions in regard to education were modelled after those of Jean Jacques Rousseau. She taught her pupils to cherish habits of hardihood and enlarged views of humanity, and he possessed a naturally philosophical and well balanced mind. In 1785, when his father became duke of Orleans, he exchanged his original title of duke of Valois for that of duke of Chartres, with the rank of a colonel in the army. Following his father's example, and notwithstanding his mother's opposition, he was carried away by the enthusiasm of the revolution of 1789, and gave his solemn allegiance to its principles (Feb. 9, 1790), took an active part in the Jacobin club, was appointed commandant of Valenciennes (August, 1791) and lieutenant general (September, 1792), and displayed much courage in several engagements, particularly at the battle of Valmy (Sept. 20) and at Jemmapes (Nov. 6). A temporary visit to England having brought his sister and Mme. de Genlis under the category of emigrees, they were banished from Paris; and Louis Philippe left his post to escort them to a safe retreat in Belgium, but soon returned to aid in the bombardment of Venloo and Maestricht, and to take a brilliant share in the battle of Neer-winden (March 18, 1793). Dumouriez having incurred the suspicion of the convention, Louis Philippe shared his flight to Mons, and afterward retired with his sister and Mme. de Genlis to Switzerland. The feeling in the convention against the royal princes became in the mean time greatly exasperated.
Louis Philippe was considered as an accomplice in the alleged conspiracies of Dumouriez; Marat proposed to offer a reward for his head; his father and the other members of his family were arrested, and on Nov. 6, 1793, his father was executed. Louis Philippe spent only a short time at Schaffhausen, and soon left Zurich and Zug for a refuge of greater safety, which was vouchsafed to him by a brother exile, Gen. Montesquiou, at Bremgarten in the canton of Aargau. Leaving the two ladies at the convent of St. Clara, he proceeded on foot over the Alps, accompanied by his devoted servant Baudoin, at times short of money, shelter being denied to him by the monks of St. Got-hard and in several other localities. Subsequently Montesquiou procured employment for him in a boarding school at Reichenau, in the Grisons, where he gave lessons in mathematics and geography under the name of Chabaud-Latour for several months. After learning of his father's execution he returned to Bremgarten under the assumed name of Corby; but fearing to involve his friend in difficulties, he left Switzerland for Hamburg in March, 1795. He travelled in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Lapland, and Finland, returning to Hamburg in January, 1796. On Sept. 24 he took passage on the ship America as a Danish subject, and landed in Philadelphia, Oct. 21. In company with the duke de Montpensier and the count de Beaujolais, who after the recovery of their liberty had lost no time in joining their elder brother, Louis Philippe now made the tour of the United States, visiting Washington at Mount Vernon in 1797. The three brothers proposed to go to Spain, where their mother lived in exile, but were detained at Havana by order of the court of Madrid, and eventually compelled to return to the United States. They sailed from New York for England, arriving there in January, 1800; and after several fruitless attempts to visit Spain, they took up their abode in Twickenham, near London. The duke de Montpensier died of consumption in January, 1807, and the count de Beaujolais in June, 1808. Louis Philippe now repaired to Messina, and next to the court of Ferdinand IV. at Palermo. He there made the acquaintance of Ferdinand's accomplished and pious daughter, Marie Amelie; but being induced to accompany her brother to aid the Spanish Bourbons against King Joseph Bonaparte, he was stopped at Gibraltar by order of the British government, with whose schemes the movement did not agree, and taken to England, where he was joined by his sister Adelaide. Shortly after they had the satisfaction of being reunited at Palermo with their venerable mother, who had been living first at Barcelona, and afterward at Figueras, since 1797. Louis Philippe's marriage with Marie Amelie took place in the royal chapel at Palermo, Nov. 25, 1809. In the spring of 1810 he again endeavored to go to Spain; but, once more thwarted by English diplomacy, he returned to Palermo, where his first child (afterward duke of Orleans) had been born during his absence (Sept. 3, 1810). His reconciliation with the elder branch of the Bourbon family having been effected in 1799, very much through their common hatred of Napoleon, the fall of the emperor permitted Louis Philippe to return to France in the spring of 1814, after an exile of 21 years.
His rank in the army, the estates of his father and his own, were all restored to him, while the considerable property of the duke of Penthievre was restored to his mother. On Napoleon's return from Elba, Louis Philippe, after an attempt at cooperation with the count of Artois, retired to England. After the battle of Waterloo he returned to Paris, and remained there till Oct. 13, 1815, when, having incurred the displeasure of the court by his opposition to its reactionary policy, he again retired to Twickenham. In February, 1817, he obtained permission from Louis XVIII. to return to France, but the title of royal highness was not accorded to him until the accession of Charles X. in 1824. With the latter he was personally on friendly terms, but vainly urged him to liberalize his policy. Louis Philippe looked upon the support of the middle classes or bourgeoisie as the only substantial guaranty for safety between the extremes of republicanism and absolutism. At the same time his generous hospitality to politicians, men of letters, and artists contrasted favorably with the rigid exclusiveness of the court of Charles X. The charms of his conversation fascinated all who came in contact with him, and he won public favor by the amenity of his manners and by the virtues of his domestic life.
During the revolution of July, 1830, his name occurred to Laffitte, Beranger, and other leaders of the movement, as the only one which could rally the nation in support of constitutional monarchy; and after some hesitation Louis Philippe accepted the title of lieutenant general of the kingdom, his public reception at the hotel de ville taking place on July 31, where together with Lafayette he appeared at the window with a tricolor flag, and the general embraced the duke. A provisional public administration was formed, including Dupont (de l'Eure), Gen. Gerard, Baron Louis, and Guizot, the last two names being much commented upon on account of their associations with the old dynasty. At the sitting of the chambers on Aug. 7 the constitution was modified, the forfeiture of the old dynasty pronounced, and a new one instituted, 219 out of 252 votes electing Louis Philippe as " king of the French." The peers approved the action of the deputies, notwithstanding the eloquent remonstrances of Chateaubriand. The solemn transfer of the crown took place on Aug. 9 in the Palais Bourbon, at a royal sitting of both chambers, when Louis Philippe made his entry to the sound of the Marseillaise and the noise of cannon fired at the Invalides, accepting the crown, and, amid the cries of Vive le roi, swearing faithfully to observe the modified charter.
One of his first acts was the nomination of Talleyrand as ambassador to London, which bound French diplomacy to the maintenance of the treaties of 1815 and the renunciation of the Russian alliance, and laid the foundation for that between France and England. The first six years of his reign were spent in combating the legitimist, Bonapartist, and republican parties. The trial of the ex-ministers of Charles X. gave rise to serious disturbances, in appeasing which Lafayette compromised his popularity and forfeited his com-mandership of the national guard. Guizot, De Broglie, and their friends, the so-called doctrinaires, were dismissed, and Laffitte was placed at the head of the administration, Nov. 3,1830. Universal suffrage was rejected, but a new electoral law was passed, which became the basis of what Guizot called the middle-class tory party. The leader of this party, Casimir Perier, succeeded Laffitte, March 13, 1831, and remained prime minister until his death in May, 1832. Poland was left to her fate, and after the occupation of her capital by the Russians, the announcement that "order reigns in Warsaw " was made in the chamber by Count Sebastiani. Paris became the scene of an insurrection during the funeral of Gen. Lamarque in June, 1832. This having been put down by force of arms, a new administration was formed by Soult, Oct. 11, 1832, including De Broglie, Guizot, and Thiers, which, with some modifications, continued in power until Feb. 22, 1836. In home affairs it steered between the extremes of parties, and in foreign affairs pursued a peaceful policy.
Yet, King Leopold of Belgium having married the princess Louise, daughter of Louis Philippe, a French army under Gerard crossed the Belgian frontier in his interest, and after an obstinate siege conquered the citadel of Antwerp (December, 1832). In Italy the influence of Austria was counterbalanced by the occupation of Ancona (February, 1832). A quadruple alliance between France, England, Spain, and Portugal was signed in 1834. A new system of primary education was introduced, savings banks were established, and other kindred measures passed; but the revolutionary spirit, although curbed, was not crushed, and Louis Philippe's situation was surrounded with great perils, as attested by the bloody insurrections at Lyons (1831 and 1834), Grenoble, and Paris (1834), republican conspiracies by the elder Cavaignac, Marrast, and others, the attempted insurrection in the west of the kingdom by the duchess of Berry (1832), who was punished by imprisonment in the fortress of Blaye, and especially by the numerous attempts upon the king's life, the most formidable of which was that of Fieschi, July 28, 1835. (See Fieschi.) An attempted military insurrection at Strasburg in favor of Louis Napoleon, as a claimant of the throne, was easily suppressed (1836). From without Louis Philippe was met by the distrust of the foreign powers, especially of Russia, concerning the stability of his government.
From 1836 to the end of 1840 the history of his reign is that of contests between him and the chambers, and of rivalries between Thiers, Guizot, Mole, and Soult, who were successively at the head of the administration. Thiers withdrew on account of the opposition of the king and of the chambers to his views about intervention in the affairs of Spain and of other countries, and the defeat of the Guizot-Mole cabinet was hastened by the opposition to Louis Philippe's demands for the aggrandizement of his family. Under the Mole administration, a general amnesty was granted on occasion of the marriage of the duke of Orleans with Helena of Mecklenburg, May 30, 1837; and the foundation of the national museum of Versailles, which was inaugurated June 10, was one of the great achievements of Louis Philippe's reign. A coalition of Guizot, Thiers, Odilon Barrot, Berryer, and Garnier-Pages led to the downfall of Mole and to a ministerial crisis, which ended in placing power in the hands of Soult, who in his turn was supplanted by Thiers, March 1, 1840. During his administration the second attempt of Louis Napoleon to excite an insurrection in his own behalf took place at Boulogne, in consequence of which that prince was imprisoned in the fortress of Ham. Strikes and riots among the working classes were rife at the time, and new names were added to the list of fanatics who conspired against the life of Louis Philippe. But the principal difficulties of Thiers's administration were in connection with the conflict between the viceroy of Egypt and the sultan.
Thiers wished France to interfere in favor of the former, and commenced extraordinary armaments; but found himself once more at variance with the peace policy of Louis Philippe, when a new administration under Soult and Guizot was formed, Oct. 29, 1840. Henceforth, until the revolution of 1848, Soult remained in power, but few modifications taking place in his cabinet, of which Guizot was the master spirit, and Duchatel and Villemain were eminent members. Conspicuous among the measures of the administration were the forti-cation of Paris, which had been proposed by Thiers, and the law of 1842 for the establishment of the great railway lines. In 1840 the body of Napoleon was brought to Paris by the prince de Joinville, and interred in the Inva-lides (Dec. 15). The peace at home was not materially broken, while the war in Algeria was carried on with continued energy, leading also to a short war with Morocco in 1844. But domestic afflictions overtook Louis Philippe, who had already been plunged in sorrow in 1839 by the death of his accomplished daughter Marie, and who was still more severely tried in 1842 by the accidental death of the duke of Orleans, whose life, if continued, might possibly have averted the revolution of 1848, and whose loss was justly considered a national calamity.
In foreign affairs the long cherished entente cordiale with England reached its climax in 1843-'5, when visits were exchanged between the queen of England and Louis Philippe; but it was shaken by the question of indemnity for the forcible removal of the English consul Pritchard from the Society islands (see Du Petit-Thouars), and was seriously broken by the Spanish marriages (see Isabella II.), which were brought about by Louis in direct violation of his word pledged to Lord Aberdeen a year before. Among the most important events of his reign were the conquest of Abd-el-Kader, the colonization of Algiers, and the formation of an army and a school of generals who added new lustre to the arms of France. Compared with the convulsions in the earlier part of his reign, the Soult-Guizot administration was marked by calm and prosperity. In 1847, however, the shortness of the crops entailed much suffering upon the people. Scarcity caused disturbances, and bread riots broke out in various parts of the country. The democratic and socialistic press became exceedingly active; scandalous affairs in high circles were wildly commented upon; and new histories of the revolutionary period of France by Lamartine and Louis Blanc revived the republican spirit among the people.
Banquets for the discussion of political reforms were proposed. One announced to be held Feb. 22, 1848, was opposed by the government, but Odilon Barrot, Ledru-Rollin, and other popular leaders insisted upon its taking place. Louis Philippe, unconscious of the coming storm, was reluctant to see it suppressed by force of arms, and at length (Feb. 23), when the government called the national guard to its assistance, that body answered with shouts of Vive la reforme ! Numberless barricades sprang up in almost every quarter of Paris; the king's abdication in favor of his grandson came too late, his throne was burned on the Place de la Concorde, and the chamber of deputies finally sanctioned the overthrow of the monarchy (Feb. 24). On the morning of Feb. 25, when the old monarch with some members of his family had already fled from the capital, he was apprised of the proclamation of the republic. With great difficulty he succeeded in crossing the Seine with his wife from Honfleur to Havre under the name of Smith. From thence he was carried by a steamer sent for his use by the English government, and arrived on March 4 at Clare-mont, the palace of the king of the Belgians, near London, where he spent the rest of his life.
In 1872 his remains were brought from England to France, by permission of President Thiers, and interred at Dreux. - The most important publications on the political history of the reign of Louis Philippe are Louis Blanc's Histoire de dix ans, and Guizot's Memoires pour serrir d l'histoire de mon temps, works in which the great events of the period are considered from opposite points of view.