Louis Philippe

Louis Philippe was born in Paris in 1773 and died in 1850. He was king of France from 1830 to 1848. Louis Philippe belonged to a branch of the French royal family stemming from Philippe I, duc d'Orleans, the brother of King Louis XIV. Louis Philippe was in sympathy with the French Revolution, and in 1790 he joined the Jacobins, members of a French radical political club. During the regime of the Directory and that of Emperor Napoleon I, Louis Philippe remained outside of France. In 1814, after the abdication of Napoleon, Louis Philippe returned to France and was welcomed by King Louis XVIII, who restored to him the Orleans estates.
By the late 1820s under the autocratic rule of Louis XVIII's brother and successor Charles X the middle and lower classes were growing disobedient. France was moving towards a republic when Adolphe Thiers put forward a replacement king, Louis-Philippe. He would rule as a Constitutional Monarch. Louis-Philippe became king almost by accident, as there was little historical momentum behind this event.
Louis-Philippe's support came from the wealthy middle classes. He had peaceful foreign policy that was unpopular. He pursued this policy in order to gain foreign recognition. In the Belgian Revolt of 1830, Belgium declared independence from the Dutch. Louis-Philippe was reluctant to help the Belgians. He also did not help the Poles against the Russians, or the Italians against the Austrians. In France, Louis-Philippe failed to improve the conditions of the working classes, which had become epidemic with the widening of the income gap and an economic crisis in 1847. Louis's laissez-faire policy allowed industry to prosper and left the poor no way out of the slums.
A result of this was there was a demand for parliamentary reform. The right to vote was still restricted to a small subset of the population, and demands for the extension of the franchise were refused. The Parliament was also corrupt, and the principle minister, Guizot, held himself in power through a system of bribes. The opposition to Louis-Philippe's government started a series of Reform Banquets. A Reform Procession was organized even though it was banned. Many people turned up resulting in the 1848 Revolution. Louis-Philippe abdicated and a provisional government was set up forming the Second Republic.