Bernard Rulof publishes book on popular legitimism and the monarchy in France

Popular Legitimism and the Monarchy in France. Mass Politics without Parties, 1830-1880 (Palgrave Macmillan) explores the implications of popular support for a royalist movement that has traditionally been portrayed as an aristocratic force intent on restoring the Old Regime.

Besides, it claims that this political movement was characteristic of a period which saw the emergence of mass politics, while parties were still non-existent.

This book:

  • Explores the implications of popular support for French legitimism in mid-nineteenth-century France;
  • Analyses popular, rather than élite, support for the monarchy, addressing a gap in previous literature; and
  • Argues that popular royalism was a political movement characteristic of the emergence of mass politics in this period, before the creation of political parties.

This book explores mid-nineteenth-century French legitimism and the implications of popular support for a movement that has traditionally been portrayed as an aristocratic force intent on restoring the Old Regime. This type of monarchism has often been understood as a form of elitist patronage politics or, alternatively, identified with ultramontane Catholicism. Although historians have offered a more nuanced view in the last few decades, their work, nevertheless, has predominantly focused on legitimist leaders rather than their followers and their professed feelings of loyalty to monarchy and monarch.

This book’s originality therefore is twofold: firstly as an analysis of popular rather than élite monarchism; and secondly, as a study which portrays this form of royalism as a political movement characteristic of a period which saw the emergence of mass politics, while parties were still non-existent. It not only discusses the social and cultural settings of (popular) monarchism, but also contributes to the history of political parties, citizenship and democracy.

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