social and political developments

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Social and political developments


Here you will find in chronological order short info on social and political developments that were related to the Impressionists. First you will find some general info on earnings and costs. For the general references (=R) see and for the references to internet pages (=iR) see.


General info on earnings and costs:

  • Workers at stone quarries earned around 3 1/2 francs a day, which was about three times higher than the average rate for manuel labour (R59,p157). So this makes about 18 francs a week, 72 francs a month and 864 francs a year for a stone quarries worker. And 6 a week, 24 a month and 288 francs a year for a manuel labour.
  • Around 1859 a young man could live from 125 francs a month (1500 francs a year) (R22, p25).
  • In 1863 Monet had to pay 3,75 francs for a full-pension at the Inn ‘Cheval-Blanc’ (R22,p49), This makes 112,50 a month.


Chronological developments:

  • 1789: French revolution against the absolute power of the King
    1789/07/14: assault on the Bastille
  • 1896: Napoleon Bonaparte supreme commander
  • 1804: Napoleon Bonaparte crowned emperor
  • 1815/06/18: battle of Waterloo / defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte
  • 1830: Start of the July monarchy by king Louis-Philippe I.
    It started liberal, but ended reactionary (R59,p129)
  • 1839: Daguerre invents photography
  • 1848: Februar revolution; several changes of power (R59,p131)
  • 1848: Marx + Engels: Communist manifest
  • 1849: Louis-Napoleon elected as president of the French republic (R59,p131)
  • 1852: Louis-Napoléon became emperor Napoléon III (R59,p131)
    1852-1865: Hausmann rebuilds Paris with Boulevards
  • 1867: Karl Marx publishes ‘Das Kapital’ (R5,p44)
  • 1870: Paris had grown to 1,9 million inhabitants (in 1800: 550.000, in 1850: 1 million) (R3,p130)
  • 1870/07/19: start Franco-Prussian war (R2,p96)
    1870/09/04: proclamation third French Republic (R3,p103)
  • 1871/01/14 (or:28): armistice Franco-Prussian war (R2,p96; R3,p103)
    1871, 03/18: start of the revolting Commune in Paris, trying to establish a socialist government (R2,p96; R60,p34; R3,p103)
    1871/05/16: demolition of the column of Napoleon on the Place Vendôme (R5,p70)
    1871/05/28: submission of the Paris Commune by the government (R5,p70)
    1871/05/10: Peace of Frankfurt; treaty with forces France to pay large sums of compensation (R2,p97)
    1871/05/21?: downfall of the Paris Commune (R2,p96)
  • 1872: increase of trade; France pays back the debts to Germany (R5,p74)
  • 1873: start of a world wide economic crisis (R3,p111)
  • 1876: the Republican party wins the elections (R5,p95)
    1876: quarrels within the First International between marxist and anarchist factions (R5,p95)
    1876: invention of the telephone by Bell (R5,p95)
    1876: the economy of France still didn’t go well (R3,p197)
  • 1878: the French economy glided into a depression (R2,p202)
  • 1879 partly and 1880/07/11 or 21: full amnesty for Communards (=people who joined the Commune in 1871) (R5,p114+123; R3,p218)
  • 1881/11/12 Proust, a friend of Manet, becomes minister of fine arts (R5,p124)
  • 1882/02/01: start of a long period of economic stagnation, after the bankruptcy of the Union Générale; the economic depression lowered the prices of paintings (R2,p421; R5,p128)