Population report Various fields of research increasingly use the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions EU-SILC database because of its large country coverage, the availability of harmonized socioeconomic measures, and the possibility of merging partners. Its measures of the number of children risk being biased, however, because the questionnaire does not directly ask about the number of children ever born to a woman or man, and only those children who live in the parental household are observed.
These limitations are problematic not only for demographic but also for socioeconomic analysis because family size and fertility behaviour are important determinants of income and living conditions. Population report Various fields of research increasingly use the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions EU-SILC database because of its large country coverage, the availability of harmonized socioeconomic measures, and the possibility of merging partners. Its measures of the number of children risk being biased, however, because the questionnaire does not directly ask about the number of children ever born to a woman or man, and only those children who live in the parental household are observed.
These limitations are problematic not only for demographic but also for socioeconomic analysis because family size and fertility behaviour are important determinants of income and living conditions. One of the purposes of this dissertation, therefore, is to attempt a more extensive account of this community than has hitherto been provided. Yet there are reasons other than this historiographical gap to study the French exiles. In order to highlight some of them, we should take a moment to demarcate the 4 Exiles from European Revolutions: Refugees in Mid-Victorian England, ed.
Firstly, this is a dissertation about a particular group of French exiles, not a history of asylum in Britain generally. The French exiles studied here were republicans. What bound them together more than any socioeconomic, professional, or geographical factor was their shared commitment to the establishment of lasting republican governance in France. It is true that there were also monarchist French exiles in Britain after , as King Louis-Philippe and a handful of his close ministers sought refuge after the toppling of their July Monarchy in February that year.
But this group was very small and remained quite distinct from the republican exiles. It also disappeared quickly. Louis-Philippe died in and his ministers, not having been officially banished in the first place, generally returned to France after only a short time abroad. As control of the Second Republic began to slip away from republicans in , their political enemies constructed a system of official repression that occasionally resorted to the banishing of prominent or troublesome republicans. Indeed, he expelled only a handful of his monarchist opponents, and quickly commuted their sentences.
Meanwhile, hundreds of the republicans who resisted his coup remained officially proscribed for years. Indeed, Bonaparte issued an amnesty for most of them only in The French exile community in Britain was, therefore, overwhelmingly and almost by definition republican. This community existed between , when the first republican supporters of the February Revolution were chased out of France, and , when the fall of the Second Empire allowed the last anti-Bonapartist holdouts to return.
This made them distinct from the French exiles that began to arrive in Britain nearly a year later, as a result of the bloody suppression of the Paris Commune in May Although these two sequential exile communities did share a few individual members, they were largely drawn from different generations and were the victims of very different circumstances. The group studied in this dissertation had been driven from France by the progressive dismantling and ultimate destruction of the Second Republic during the years The communards of , meanwhile, had protested the particular policies of the new Third Republic and had tried to carve out an autonomous political space for themselves in Paris.
Their defeat did not represent the end of the Third Republic or the rise of a new anti-republican regime. Unlike their predecessors in exile, therefore, the communard refugees were not struggling for the total overthrow of the ruling regime in France and when their amnesty came, it was won for them by their political friends, rather than granted to them by their political nemesis. Finally, although French refugees in this period sought refuge in a number of different countries, this dissertation is concerned only with those that took up asylum in Britain.
As a result, its activities can tell us much about the initial reconstitution of republican resistance to the empire and the changes in French republican political thought that flowed from the disaster of Exploring this role is important because, as Aprile has rightly noted, it has been well over a century since historians of French republicanism have paid much heed to the contributions of the exiles in this period. Multiple historians of exile have assumed that the French reacted to this cultural distance with an air of cool indifference to British life.
But for many, this was not the case. Instead, many exiles, including some of the most famous and influential of them, participated enthusiastically in a number of elements of British life, affecting both themselves and their host country in ways that have gone hitherto unnoticed by historians. Much of this dissertation, therefore, is dedicated to delineating these instances and highlighting some of the consequences that they had for both Britain and France.
This dissertation is divided into six chapters. The first delineates the origins of the French exile community in Britain. Many of these exiles were then attracted to Britain, where they could enter freely and continue their political activism. Early mutual impressions between the exiles and the British were ambivalent, however, and the chapter closes with a brief survey of these initial perceptions.
Chapter two provides an account of life in exile. Likewise, the cultural experience of living in Britain had diverse effects on the refugees, and some exiles shrank away from the British while many others enthusiastically embraced their new homes and made friends, and even built families, with the natives. At the same time, the exile community, free to organize itself and propagandize, constituted an important centre of the initial republican resistance to the new Bonapartist regime. Chapter three therefore delineates the political thought and activism of the exiles.
Chapter four demonstrates, however, that many exiles were also deeply involved in British political life. As time passed, many exiles realized that their stays in Britain would be lengthy and that they therefore had direct stakes in the character of the British polity. As a result, they thoroughly involved themselves in a wide array of political and economic activities and organizations, and indeed their presence shaped some of these latter decisively.
Familiarity also often bred a reflective appreciation quite different from the reflexive hostility often assumed to be the standard exile attitude towards Britain. Indeed, many exiles wrote extensively about their highly nuanced impressions of Britain. The topical material of such commentary was often diffuse and sprawling. Chapter five therefore attempts to unify some of the more salient and common themes running through exile characterizations of Britain.
Where Britain was successful, the exiles hoped France could follow. Chapter six therefore opens with an account of the ways that a number of exiles, both before and after their returns to France, used examples of British success to advocate for change in France.
At the same time, after so many years as beneficiaries of British asylum, the exiles found traditional French Anglophobia utterly outdated. They therefore lobbied their compatriots and fellow republicans to rethink their attitudes towards Britain. In short, there is much to be gained from a study of the French republican exiles in Britain during the period This is not only because the group itself has received, despite its size and the famous names within it, a curiously small amount of historical attention. It is the aim of this dissertation, therefore, to offer some initial insights into this rich and promising historical topic.
Her description was a generalization of all those expelled by the Second Empire, regardless of where they found their refuge.
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Nevertheless, as a model for the exiles that sought asylum in Britain, this is a reasonable enough portrayal. Many of them were indeed former political functionaries and, partially because of this fact, white collar professionals were disproportionately represented in their ranks. But one should not come away with an overly homogenized picture of the exile community.
Thousands of exiles, chiefly the poorest and least known among them, flowed out of Britain in the early s. Yet even so, a number of working class exiles remained in Britain until after the fall of Napoleon III. Therefore, the exiles were bound together more by political affiliation than by social background.
The men who assumed power after the February Revolution did not seek retribution against the partisans of the July Monarchy. The first of these were in London as early as the summer of In the aftermath of his coup, moreover, Bonaparte was more willing to dole out expulsion orders to his republican enemies than to his rightwing opponents. They were almost immediately released, with the exception of five prominent Orleanists […] 3 Aprile mentioned Martin Nadaud as a prominent counterexample. John M. Thiers, for example, was pardoned and back in France in a matter of months.
Although some were quickly pardoned, hundreds more had to wait until the general amnesty of before they could set foot in France again. Even then, a few individual exiles remained banished. This chapter therefore opens with an attempt to delineate the political origins of the people subjected to this experience. Three main incidents of this repression caused its victims to go into enforced or voluntary exile. These occurred in the summer of , in June of , and in the winter of The first was the result of the fallout from the unsettling events of 6 Maurice Agulhon, The Republican Experiment, , trans.
Rieder, , p. The second, larger set of expulsions came when President Bonaparte chose to treat a popular demonstration against his foreign policy and demanding his impeachment as a potential uprising and as an opportunity to strike a blow against his opponents in the Legislative Assembly and the press. Many politicians deemed threatening to the coup regime were pre-emptively arrested and subsequently expelled. The exiles had a number of choices for possible locations of refuge.
Britain, however, was both close and far less susceptible to such bullying. Its laws guaranteed free assembly and expression, and its military might and national pride ensured that these rights would not be sacrificed for the pleasure of a French dictator. Moreover, Britain at this time enforced no immigration control and its government had no legal right to detain or expel any individual unless they had been found guilty of breaking British law.
Thus, exiles in Britain enjoyed a very secure asylum. For those who would not accept defeat or silence, it was the only rational destination. The chapter closes with a brief account of the welcome the exiles that went to Britain received from their hosts. This was, essentially, a mixture of warm welcome in some corners, open hostility in others, and total indifference everywhere else. This occurred because the optimistic atmosphere that initially followed the February Revolution and the establishment of the Second Republic quickly evaporated.
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As the year wore on and political and social tensions came into sharper relief, a period of intense political polarization set in. This group, which included monarchists of all stripes and enjoyed the endorsement of the Catholic clergy, was joined by a number of republicans for whom the fear of socialism outweighed that of a monarchical restoration.
Starting in late , Ledru-Rollin, a former republican legislator during the July Monarchy and member of the provisional government of the Second Republic, attempted to initiate a broad reconciliation on the republican left. Therefore, it was time for true republicans to set aside their doctrinal differences and personal rivalries. This was demonstrated at a celebration of the first anniversary of the February Revolution. Old enemies like Delescluze and Proudhon, having dueled the previous fall, now showed outward signs of accord.
Proudhon praised Ledru-Rollin, and former Blanquist conspirators embraced republican deputies.
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When Ledru-Rollin proclaimed himself a socialist before the banquet crowd of three-thousand, he made the gesture that enabled him to assume the leadership of a united democratic-socialist movement. As he noted, this involved some sceptics of state solutions to social questions swallowing their misgivings, while those of a more conspiratorial bent agreed to foreswear seditious activity and recognized the legitimacy of electoral politics. But by the beginning of , when the pure republicans had either joined the reaction or resigned themselves to political impotence, the rest of the republican left agreed to a common political strategy and rallied to an eclectic socialist ideology.
Democrats overcame their distaste for socialism and embraced the social question, while socialists affirmed their commitment to democratic procedures and institutions. Whereas all members of the alliance sought to nationalize certain key sectors of the economy, some proposed a much more extensive list of nationalizations than others. In the field of taxation, all democ-socs fought for the abolition of indirect imposts, but they differed over whether a revamped republican tax structure should be progressive or proportional.
All coalition members sought to expand peasant landownership, but some wanted to limit government initiative in this realm to providing cheap state-guaranteed credit, while others — the majority — sought more widespread state intervention. These areas returned a fair number of montagnard representatives in the legislative elections of , and they 19 Ibid. In some parts of the country, even wearing red ties or scarves in public was considered a provocative and risky act.
In particular, three political crises, occurring in the summer of , June of , and the winter of , triggered successive and progressively larger waves of republican refugees fleeing from repression in France and seeking asylum abroad. A considerable crowd gathered and, after a parade, it made its way to the virtually unguarded Assembly meeting chamber.
The crowd proceeded to invade, led by a small but determined avant-garde. He mounted the rostrum and began to call out a list of names, as if calling for support for a new provisional government. The subsequent tragedy of the June Days only further poisoned the political atmosphere.
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A popular protest 27 For the scuppering of Polish national ambitions in Prussia and in the Austrian empire in the spring of , see Mike Rapport, Year of Revolution London: Little Brown, , pp. Historians have estimated that between a minimum of 10, and a maximum of 50, Parisians rebelled against the government, many of whom were not dependent on the national workshops for sustenance. The rebellion also included in its ranks perhaps 3, members of the National Guard. Meanwhile, the authorities were eventually able to bring to bear , troops and guardsmen against the insurgency, although many of these arrived after combat had ceased.
At least 4, combatants were killed in the fighting, and over 11, real or suspected insurgents were arrested, 4, of whom were subsequently jailed or transported to penal colonies and many more summarily shot by the army. The June Days were therefore far bloodier and traumatic than the revolutions of either July or February Rather than wait to be arrested, both immediately fled.
As Blanc hurriedly boarded a train for the Belgian border, Pyat remarked to him, 32 These figures are drawn from two accounts of the uprising. Hugo, p. Agulhon, p. You open the way; other republicans will follow. In the spring of , another crisis caused a larger group of republicans to seek refuge abroad. Earlier that year, a revolution in Rome had ejected Pope Pius IX from the city and established a republic, led in part by the famous Giuseppe Mazzini.
President Bonaparte sent an expeditionary force to Italy, initially to prevent the Austrians from advancing too far down the peninsula in the course of their war with Piedmont. It was arguably unconstitutional. It is not clear whether there was any idea, in the event of a massive rally, of turning the happening into a substantial show of force.
What is certain is that there was no massive turn-out, that Ledru-Rollin and his friends hesitated between various alternative courses of action and that they soon found themselves cut off, isolated and pursued by the army. Several representatives were arrested. Ledru-Rollin himself managed to go into hiding in time and then make his way secretly to London, where he lived in exile for more than twenty years.
For a full exposition on the protest, its prelude, and its aftermath, see Calman, Ledru-Rollin and the French Second Republic, chs. Others, including Avril, Boichot, and Pyat, spent some time in Switzerland before moving on to Britain. Already made wary by a rather obvious police detail assigned to observing him, Delescluze decided to disappear. He left his home in Paris and lingered in France for a few months before deciding to leave for London, where he arrived on 18 January The constitution would have to change.
Bonaparte tried to revise the article limiting presidential terms through various legal means during 1, but these efforts came up short. The army and police were out in force and, in an effort to forestall the development of resistance, a number of high-profile representatives were pre- emptively arrested before dawn. But Paris had been demoralized and partially disarmed ever since the disaster of the June Days. Thus, perhaps 2, people came out to resist the coup,57 a much smaller number than those that had fought in the February Revolution or the June Days.
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Its repression was methodical and brutal. Joyce and Arthur Locker London: Routledge, As resistance in Paris crumbled, many of its participants fled the country to evade capture. At times, this required desperate and violent struggle. It was also laced with irony. In order to avoid detection, Schoelcher, a noted atheist, was forced to disguise himself as a priest. Apparently, he looked the part. Therefore Nadaud, who had been pre- emptively arrested in the early hours of 2 December, received a notice with his fellow prisoners.
Hugo, pp. Thus, shortly after the coup, exiles were streaming out of France, both of their own accord and by government order. This probably would have been the limit of the proscriptions had the crisis not deepened in a way that Bonaparte and his accomplices had not anticipated. Tens of thousands of people across provincial France rose up in defence of the republic. Republican rebels across the provinces marched on, and occasionally seized, their local chefs-lieux and municipal capitals. Many of them unseated Bonapartist officials and replaced them with republicans.
The government marshalled its forces and brought them to bear on the affected areas, engaging in a number of pitched battles with the rebels. The overwhelming technological and organizational advantages enjoyed by the army made the outcome a foregone conclusion. See Margadant, p. The punishments doled out by these commissions included, at their harshest, court-martialling and transportation to penal colonies in Cayenne and Algeria.
Lighter punishments included free residence in Algeria or forced and observed residence in remote locations in France. Most recently, Aprile has put the number condemned to penal colony transportation at 9, The number of those actually deported was therefore closer to 6, Many simply fled the chaos of post-coup France without being specifically ordered to do so. Others feared arrest in the repressive post-coup environment and decided that it was safer to simply vanish, as the outspoken radical and feminist Jeanne Deroin did in August This volume does not credit its translator.
Indeed, as the successive waves of emigrants flowed out of France, significant exile communities began to appear in Belgium, in Switzerland, and in Piedmont. All three, for example, shared an often porous land border with France. Both Belgium and Switzerland, meanwhile, offered a great measure of cultural familiarity. Moreover, during the period of the First Republic and First Empire, both had been annexed to France outright. For Nadaud, therefore, living in Brussels seemed nearly identical to living in France. Yet there were a number of compelling reasons for the refugees to seek their asylum in Britain.
Firstly, they were absolutely free to do so. During this period, Britain placed no regular restrictions on entrance into the country. Indeed, the only notable exceptions to this during our period came in the form of measures in the s to inspect disembarking passengers for contagious diseases, and to detain those that exhibited symptoms. It was largely 80 Ibid.
The one exception to this was the Alien Act of This measure, quickly passed in the aftermath of the European revolutions, briefly provided ministers with the power to expel individual foreigners from Britain that were deemed a threat to the peace of the realm. Yet this power was hardly summary. Meanwhile, the smaller countries along the French border were susceptible to pressure from the French government.
Bonaparte was aware of this and attempted to browbeat his weaker neighbours into clamping down on the political and propagandistic activities of their resident exile communities. In early , several dozen exiles were expelled from Switzerland at the behest of the French government and issued passports to Britain and the United States.
London, National Archives N. Sometimes this treatment was pre-emptive. Thus, in January , after they had resided there briefly, the burgomaster of Brussels informed Pierre Malardier, Nadaud, and Schoelcher that they were no longer welcome in the city, and they proceeded to Antwerp before embarking for Britain. Moreover, since the British government had no legal means of expelling the exiles, the only other way it might have acted against them would have been by silencing their political speech and propaganda, or by arbitrarily detaining them.
As chapter four will show, this was politically impossible. Schoelcher, at any rate, was already planning to leave in order to escape the conspicuous presence of Bonapartist agents in Brussels. Hugo, ch. The Governments of Belgium and Switzerland are ordering all those known in their respective Countries away, unless they obtain a special order from the Government, they, then are placed under the surveillance of the Police.
They prefer coming to England. The spread of railways and steam ships meant that a journey from London to Paris could take less than a day. Therefore, for those exiles that intended to maintain their contacts with radicals in France and to smuggle propaganda into the country or even infiltrate it themselves, Britain was a desirable location.
Indeed, this reasoning was shared by exiles of all European nationalities. Throughout most of our period and until after the civil war of , roughly half of the American states legally sanctioned the institution of slavery. For a number of the exiles, this was abhorrent enough to make settling in America utterly unthinkable. As we will see in the next chapter, their presence offered newer exiles a measure of security and orientation that served to soften the cultural shock and personal dislocation that refugees often experienced upon entering a new and foreign city.
This, of course, is not to imply that the other common places of refuge did not have pre-existing exile communities in Yet it is clear that the existence of the one in London enticed refugees to Britain who may otherwise have remained on the continent. Nadaud, for example, only decided to move to Britain when Blanc contacted him about an employment opportunity in the London building trade. As we will see in the next chapter, however, poverty and desperation in Britain would ultimately drive hundreds of exiles across the Atlantic in search of employment.
There were two censuses taken during our period. But since these were taken in and , they missed the bulk of the French exiles, who arrived in their largest numbers in the early months of and left the country in the mids. Moreover, while the censuses did take note of national origins, for instance there were 6, French nationals in Britain in , it did not specify the reasons why foreign nationals were domiciled there. Meanwhile, it is impossible to glean the correct number from French sources.
Thus, while an exile like Desquesnes may have been shipped to London without his consent, he was subsequently free to leave Britain if he desired. Other exiles arrived in Britain only after years spent elsewhere. As we have seen, many that initially sought refuge in Switzerland later removed themselves to London. Esquiros, on the other hand, spent nearly five years in Belgium and Holland before finally arriving in Britain in Moreover, many who came to Britain as exiles were not officially proscribed at all.
Some simply fled the chaos and repression of the post-coup environment, while others made their way to Britain after having escaped from French penal colonies in Africa and South America. The only real sources for determining the size of the exile community, therefore, are the specific estimates made by the Metropolitan Police. First impressions As they arrived in Britain, the exiles already had a number of British supporters.
Most of them were motivated by ideological affinity. A number of historians have noted the enthusiasm with which some Chartists greeted the outbreak of the February Revolution. However, neither cited their source and I have not found corroborating evidence for the figure. Therefore, it is unclear whether Aprile and Bensimon meant that opened with French exiles in Britain and remained at the end of the year, or whether the figures were and respectively. Believe that we shall forthwith endeavour to act in a manner worthy of men who have seen, and who know how to appreciate a great deed!
Blanc, while he was in power in France, had functioned for many Britons as a conspicuous symbol of socialism. He had therefore been feared and loathed in circles where socialism too was feared and loathed. Once he had been divested of political power and became a modest intellectual celebrity in London, however, he was no longer a threat and was able to personally charm many opinion-makers. Some of this was simple ideological prejudice. Indeed, publications such as Punch openly mocked them. They were insufficiently mature for representative government and their institutions therefore swung violently from one form to another.
Jonathan Parry described this analysis. The French people lacked experience and education in self-government. They could be distracted by material bribes, sensation or talk of military glory, and failed to see through utopian dogma. French politics were thus dominated by passion rather than reason and by the clash of irreconcilable economic principles. Intolerant of despotism, the French were unsuited to freedom; instability was inevitable. This was because, among other things, the French, including republicans, did not sufficiently value individual civil liberty. To take one example, Ibid.
The constitution of , , , the 18th of Brumaire, the restoration, the hundred days, , all passed away without conferring this one inestimable boon — this sine qua non of freedom; and the result is, that never in their wildest days of license have Frenchmen enjoyed half the liberty — half the exemption from, or security against, the tyranny of their sovereign or their neighbour, as the poorest and meanest Englishman has possessed for the last century and a half.
To all appearance the revolution of will pass away like its predecessors, without having bestowed on the French nation this easy, this simple, this grand, yet apparently this undesired achievement. There was, rather, a widespread tendency for French republicans in the era leading up to to harbour intense political antipathy towards Britain.
Republicans also derided Britain for its purportedly oligarchical political and economic orders. With its monarchy, its powerful landed aristocracy, and its conspicuous disparities in wealth, it was assumed that Britain was irrevocably hostile to the ideals of the French Revolution, to political democracy, and to social justice.
Churton London: Churton, , p. I came to you as to brethren, without believing in all those rivalries, in all those hatreds, which kings and princes endeavour to kindle between the nations in order to better enslave them. Indeed, he argued, as the dark forces of reaction swept across the world, Britain remained a single bright beacon of hope. This was ultimately why hundreds of them chose to remain there for as long as two decades. What sufferings, what privations, what tears … and what triviality, what narrowness, what poverty of intellectual powers, of resources, of understanding, what obstinacy in wrangling, what pettiness of wounded vanity!
They had been suddenly driven into a country where they lacked the support of friends and family, as well as the linguistic skills needed for basic interaction; privation and isolation were therefore often the norm. Moreover, in the context of isolation, poverty, and political defeat, relations between exiles were often fractious. Many prospered during their time in Britain and a few, such as the mason-turned-schoolteacher Nadaud, achieved levels of employment security and material comfort that they had never known in France.
Life in Britain could also be socially rewarding, as many exiles integrated into British communities, making friends and even occasionally starting families with the natives. This chapter focuses on the geographical, economic, and social aspects of life in exile. As they did so, they resorted to a wide variety of activities to support themselves. Some had independent wealth or were able to continue in their old lines of work. Others had to improvise. These unfortunates relied on the charity of fellow exiles and of French and British sympathizers. In all this the exiles were supported by a number of different social networks that provided emotional and material succour.
Such networks sometimes included Britons and this chapter therefore concludes with an account of both the sense of alienation from Britain that some exiles felt and the remarkable levels of integration into British life that other refugees sought, experienced, and enjoyed. In , for example, there were roughly exiles living in London, compared to in Jersey and another scattered throughout the rest of the country.
Smaller clusters of refugees lived in Smithfield, Whitechapel, and Lambeth.
Schoelcher, for example, divided most of his time between residences in Chelsea and Twickenham. As Schoelcher noted of his Twickenham lodgings, suburban prices could be substantially lower than those in central London. In , Elibron Classics released facsimile copies of both volumes.
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Rien de plus vrai. Time is money. Chacun pour soi et le ciel noir pour tous. After reading the work of Henry Letheby, a physician and public health official employed by the City of London, he became convinced that the practice of taking day trips into the countryside, an increasingly popular pastime for Londoners, ultimately stemmed from hygienic desperation.
This fashion of making excursions is based upon a real want and a hygienic fact. Letheby, a physician who has for many years studied the subjects, states, with all the authority derived from statistics, that the mortality in London is double that which affects the country. How, then, can it be wondered at that this great stone cage should sometimes open and let loose whole flights of prisoners, who take wing for the fields and woods, and try to breathe the life-giving air? See Porter, Refugee Question, p. As Robert and Isabelle Tombs have argued: Despite the condemnation of London by French and many British observers as a purgatory of filth, poverty and smog compared with the charms of Paris, Londoners had much more space, better hygiene, a higher standard of living, more children of whom a larger proportion went to school, and longer life expectancy.
Despite accusations that London epitomized harsh class inequality, income was more evenly distributed there than in Paris, where more people lived on unearned income, and far more children worked. During the s and s, a number of accounts and dramatizations of the working class quarters of Paris had 35 Louis Blanc to Le Temps, 18 July , in Louis Blanc, Letters on England, trans. Pyat had also written a number of plays on these subjects during the s.
Over the course of and , they came together as his classic London Labour and the London Poor. Firstly, London was undeniably a marvel of modern engineering. What grandeur there is in these vast arches, which seem to have been bent by the hand of giants! What boldness in the prodigiously long and wide glass roofs that protect the station! What a feeling of strength, allied to a certain richness of architecture, in these vestibules of colossal aspect, which might be 40 For this trend, see Robert Gildea, Children of the Revolution: The French, London: Allen Lane, , pp. Alphonse Esquiros, The English at Home, trans.
Do we not act wrongly in restricting the idea of monuments to palaces and churches through an association of historic facts whose influence it is easy to explain? Must not architecture undergo the pressure of the times like the other arts? Why, in an age of industry, should not termini and railway stations, though in no way allied with the Greek style and the phantasies [sic] of Gothic art, express, by an ensemble of characteristic features, the might of the interests that transform men and cities?
The inhabitant of London has already at his orders more railways than exist in any capital of the world, and he commands a network of electric wires ever ready to transmit his messages and wishes from one place to another for a few pence. To several railway stations drinking fountains are attached, which pour out for him gratis the purest and freshest water. All along the line he can purchase for a trifle newspapers, in which men dare to say everything.
Even with a light purse he is in reality richer than a satrap of Asia or a nabob of India, for true wealth consists in the development of the means of action. For Esquiros, it was an exhilarating, if exhausting, spectacle, and one that catered to all manner of people and pursuits. Each, according to the range of his ideas, or his occupation, perceives in London a different city. Rothschild seeks there the bank of the whole world; the merchant the largest stage of business in existence; the breeder a vast market for cattle; the statesman the seat of government and the different branches of the administration; the man of pleasure the playbills or the tavern door; while the artist seeks and finds there all these at once.
Whoever loves the sight of multitudes and immense cities, readily abandons the desert to the traveller. He finds in London that forest of men, a subject for contemplation equal in grandeur at least to all the prodigious scenes of nature. Esquiros deemed the palace a veritable temple of secular knowledge.
By , there were probably around of them living in Jersey and Guernsey. These small, lightly inhabited islands set in the middle of the English Channel were attractive to the exiles for several reasons. Firstly and most importantly, the Channel Islands are very close to France.
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