chapter  10
13 Pages

Fall from power

In the early summer of 1870, liberalisation appeared to have given the Second Empire a new lease of life. The liberal ministry had weathered the storms of its first months in office and had embarked on a broad programme of reform. On 30 June, Ollivier told the Legislative Body that the plebiscite of M ay ought to be regarded as a Trench Sadowa’ . He added: ‘at no epoch was the peace of Europe more assured’ .1