This ground-breaking, revisionist collection of essays, based on the most recent research, provides a long-needed reassessment of the legacy of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars upon the governments of Restoration Europe. Traditionally the Restoration has been regarded by historians as a period in which European governments returned to the reactionary policies which prevailed before the upheavals of 1789, and which involved an outright rejection of the reforms of the Napoleonic era. In this book, leading historians challenge this interpretation and emphasize the sometimes surprising loyalty shown to Napoleonic policies of modernization by Restoration governments. The problems of dealing with new ideologies, accommodating the interests of old elites, and keeping the benefits of recent reforms were broadly similar across Europe, and provide a connecting theme throughout the volume. However, the nature of governmental response was never uniform.
The essays explore these varieties of response, both through detailed case studies and more general surveys, and address issues such as policing and censorship, revolutionary symbolism, elite formation and bureaucratic structures in France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Poland, making a fascinating contribution to the study of the nature of political change in the modern period. 'A dazzling collection of articles by the sharpest young historians in the field [that] overturns much of the received wisdom about Europe after Napoleon' Tim Blanning, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge
"A dazzling collection of articles by the sharpest young historians in the field [that] overturns much of the received wisdom about Europe after Napoleon" --Tim Blanning, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge
"Historians have tended to see the restoration as a period of uninhibited reaction or as a mere interlude between two periods of revolution. The essays in this volume make a substantial contribution to the development of a more balanced judgement. Almost without exception they are of a very high standard and will prove invaluable for teachers of European history." --History
"Napoleon's Legacy is surely destined to become essential reading for all students of early to mid-nineteenth century Europe." --Modern Italy
"(Napoleon's Legacy is) the single most important statement in English on the most recent revisionist research into the impact of French rule . . . This valuable collection mounts a powerful new challenge to much received opinion." --English Historical Review