a1 University of East Anglia
The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent and character of the early legitimist opposition to the Orleanist regime. It seeks to demonstrate the secondary importance of their political loyalties for most of those with a significant material stake and status in the existing society. The basic theme is thus one of the effective formation of a conservative alliance pursuing the politics of selfinterest and prepared to sacrifice its ideals to do so. The cause of the legitimate monarch after 1830 could only have succeeded, and only came close to succeeding, if and when it promised to serve as the most efficient guarantor of social order. It failed because it appeared too concerned with ideology and ideals and not sufficiently with compromise, conservative unity and material progress. Its weakness was evident in 1830 in the manner in which its potential supporters reacted to the change of government.
* I would like to thank Dr Christopher Johnson, of Wayne State University, Detroit, for his extremely constructive criticism of the first version of this article.