Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Quote of the Week

"In France, the bourgeoisie, after the great Revolution, resorted to every kind of desperate expedient for avoiding responsibility - empire, revived monarchy, sham monarchy, sham empire - until the failure of all left them with no escape from responsibility in the Third Republic, and even that perished from lack of a true governing class." A.J.P. Taylor, in The Habsburg Monarchy, 1809-1918 (new edition, London, 1948), p. 138. I don't think Taylor is entirely fair to the Third Republic, but I suppose it was hard for someone who remembered that republic's last few years to credit it with ever having produced responsible legislators or capable leaders.

[Image at right: the coat-of-arms of the aforementioned "sham monarch," Louis-Philippe (1830-48).]

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