The Old Print Shop

Elections en France 1869 : Plebiscite 1870.



    DATE: 1869-70.

  • EDITION SIZE: Embossed boards, cover size 25 9/16 x 18 1/2 x 1" (64.9 x 47 x 2.5 cm).

  • DESCRIPTION: <strong>A stunning political scrap book of forty-three French campaign posters for the election that ushered in the Third French Republic.</strong><BR><BR> Hand printed broadsides on various colored papers, 1869-1870. All bound into a hand covers with embossed gold title on cover and spine. <BR><BR> This is a collection of 36 French political broadsides and 10 voting cards covering the French legislative election of 1869; 4 plebiscite election broadsides and 12 plebiscite election cards for May 8, 1870. The last sheet is an issue of “Journal Officel du Suir” or the Official Evening Journal with give the results of this important election. <BR><BR> In 1848 Charles-Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, known as Napoleon III, was elected President of Franc. He disbanded much of the legislature, seized power, and named himself Emperor, and so began the French Second Empire. In the 1850’s France was an authoritarian government. The legislative branch was rebuilt with only pro-Napoleon III politicians. Historians point to economic growth during this time in France although anyone who disagreed either had to leave the country or not speak against the reigning government. <BR><BR> Napoleon III often used the plebiscite to placate the people, giving the illusion of popular control to ratify decisions already made. After the election of 1869 Napoleon III called a plebiscite on May 8, 1870, to approve the liberal reforms made since 1860. Napoleon III won the vote by a wide margin; however, the dissension was obvious. The cities overwhelmingly voted against Napoleon III, and the countryside voted overwhelmingly for Napoleon III. The assassination of Victor Noir a journalist, by Pierre Bonaparte, a member of the imperial family, caused further uprising in the urban areas. On July 15, 1870, France declared war on the Prussian Empire. On September 1 the Prussian army crushed the French troops and captured Napoleon III – a humiliating defeat. Lacking a leader the opposition filled the streets on September 4 and converged on the Corps Legislatif, demanding the proclamation of a republic. Léon Gambetta declared the end of the Second Empire and the beginning of the Government of National Defense. It is noted as the most bloodless revolution in French history. <BR><BR> Plebiscite – The direct vote of all the members of an electorate on an important public question such as a change in the constitution. <BR><BR> Plebiscite – A vote by which the people of an entire country or district express an opinion for or against a proposal especially on a choice of government or ruler. <BR><BR> This collection was meticulously put together by a collector who must have understood the importance of this election in France.


  • CONDITION: Overall good condition, minor wear on the binding and a few of the broadsides show wear, especially those that are multi folded into the book. All that being said a remarkable collection is overall good condition.


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