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The corollary was that all social problems would be solved by the end of the Monarchy. By 1848 the monarchy was weakened, but this was not insurmountable. That it so suddenly succumbed to this weakness is no sign of the inevitability of its collapse; nor was the growing pressure of republicanism during the 1840s any guarantee of the installment of the Republic in 1848, any more than the presence of monarchists in the Republic’s governments after 1848 a guarantee that the monarchy would be restored.

Melun was seen as too radical by many Catholics for the very act of organizing charity in any other way but individualistic lines. One of the neophytes in this movement was Alfred de Falloux, who believed that he had privileged knowledge of the worker (and he admitted that he had no great knowledge of socialist literature). 56 This confidence was to have disastrous consequences in June 1848. From this narrow circle, there emerged men who were to have great influence during the Second Republic. 57 A complex, passionate man, his brand of Catholicism was not the product of counterrevolutionary ideology but of his engagement with Ireland in 1830 and his admiration for Daniel O’Connell.

81 It was as if by claiming to define socialism, Reybaud had fancied that he had smothered it in the cradle. 84 Two works that were very different but would be fused together in conservative ideas of socialism were the Organisation du travail by Louis Blanc and Proudhon’s Qu’est-ce que la propriété? Both of these were published close to each other, in 1839 and 1840. These works went through several print runs in the 1840s, which explains Blanc’s huge popularity among the workers in the spring of 1848.

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