Napoleon III, Lord Palmerston and the Entente Cordiale

Roman Golicz explores relations between Britain and France under Pam's 'liberal' foreign policy during the Second Empire.

In July 1830, the ‘bourgeois revolution’ in France ousted Charles X and the Second Bourbon Restoration, and a new era in Anglo-French relations ensued. The terms set down at the Congress of Vienna in 1815 following Napoleon’s defeat were now considered academic. Britain, as victor against France, had been obliged to uphold the articles of the various treaties, designed, as one of them stated, for the purpose of ‘maintaining the order of things re-established in France’. The quasi-constitutional Orleans monarchy of Charles X’s successor Louis-Philippe was therefore recognised by Britain. But from now on Anglo-French relations would depend on the ambiguous responses of individual politicians rather than on a set of codes signed in 1815.

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