Joachim had spent time with his fellow students and especially the political active and many of those who participated in the Revolution. It had a unique effect on his young mind. He was afterall only 15 and very acceptable to external influences. These students helped to obtain a somewhat radical predisposition. However he was still in tutelage in the Palais-Royal. These two impulses played on each others's strenghts and helped him to define his own political views. He would with many fellow students come together in Parisian cafés to write articles and notes for a student journal. It wouldn't be far reaching, yet it would affect the minds of the young students. They came together under the pseudonym of M.Civitas. On thing was certain, writing these articles in the cafés were a lot more fun and thrilling than the lessons in aristocratic etiquette.
Do the so called "centerparties" share a unique, common ideology? It is difficult to see, but it do make for a much more exciting election this summer.
Where is the juste milieu in French politics?
The election is underway. It will be exciting and a thriller, it will be an even one and no one can really predict who will become the Prime Minister this autumn. Yet there seem to be some sort of acceptance around centrism and the juste milieu. If there was a "juste milieu dictionary" and we examined the definition of centrism/juste milieu it's definition would likely be something in the lines of "centrism are the political and philosophical ideals who seek common ground between various extreme positions. Often one will look toward the traditional right/left dichotomy. Political currents who's aligned close to the center, such as moderate conservative ones and royal-liberals ones, are often refered to as "center-right" and "center-left". Among the currents in the French political climate the Tiers Party are counted as centrist along with the Doctrinaires and Centre Gauche. Moreover the Politique and Gauche Dynastique are considered center-right and center-left respectively".
According to such a definition it is really only the Republicans, Legitimist (both the oath breakers and Rallíes) and Bonapartists who may not join into the juste milieu.
An ideological alternernative.
If we are to ask specific centrist politicians, such as Thiers, they would emphasise the juste milieu is not only something "in the middle of things", but also a valid political and ideological alternative on it's own. "We will attempt to remain in a juste milieu, in an equal distance from the excesses of popular power and the abuses of royal power", our august King defined the juste milieu in his own words. The center is the only viable alternative to abuse by the right or the left. By figures such as Saint-Fulgent or Robespierre.
Today there's many who believe the traditional left-right dichotomy are becoming increasingly less important, due to other conflict lines are progressively becoming more important. I concur, yet I believe many are going too far in writing off the left/right in favor of the juste milieu. The current ministry claimed to represent the juste milieu, but as many among the loose alliance of the Resistance Party and the Legitimists noted, there was really very little that was moderate and centrist in their policies. If we are to look upon the ideologies of certain ministers of the current government, some are now openly claiming they are in the "Third Party" being a centrist alternative and seeking unity with the various factions, by the ways of the juste milieu. Yet the same ministers have been reported to openly side with the National Guard in their radicalism during the riots, and to have stood by the barricades during the revolution. Is that a true third alternative to the Resistance and Movement factions?
The left/right spectrum is still very much valid. An axis that justify the left-right spectrum in French politics is economics. Republicans, the Mouvement and the Resistance al support an economy favorable to modern economics and market friendly reforms. Meanwhile on the right we find the Legitimists who still clinge to the ideas of the old, while arguably the Mouvement are more prone to market friendly reforms under the leadership of figures such as Laffitte and Duvalt.
A sort of metropolitan axis.
A second axis of the left and right may be the metropolitan one. In this sense we examine the point of view on trade and immigration. To start with the Right the Legitimists are the most restrictive in this sense. Advocating strict residency politics and high tarriffs in conjuction with their reactionary philosophy. The Resistance also have many members known for supporting high tarriffs, alltough perhaps not as high, and place themself firmly on the right - alltough the more moderate Doctrinaires may be more prone to free trade in relation to their more leftist economical views. Still their view on residency and immigration are much more left based than their Legitimist adversaries, yet both Republican and the Mouvement find themself on the hard left on this matter (pehaps with the exception of the Centre Gauche who are more moderate in their views) and advocate much freer trade and freedom of movement. In relation to their modern views and especially their influences by market liberalism, "magnificent dynamics" and physiocratists. As with econoimcs the axis on metropolitanism is quite clear from the right to the left: Legitimist, Resistance, Mouvement and Republicans.
Don't say much of reform will.
Yet when it come to conditioning and attitudes toward reforms the lines are somewhat more diffuse. In short we can label it as those who are open to changes, and those who are in favor of traditions and stability. In many ways the Left-Right spectrum is still very valid. (Radical)Republicans want drastic changes in society bound toward mob rule and disorder, meanwhile (radica)Legitimists want to revert all changes and be put firmly under the whip of Charles. However after this the lines become more diffuse. The Resistance have proven itself to be amicable toward reforms. A prime example would be the Politique, with excellent orators and pragmatics such as Decazes and Barante, are willing to compromise with the Doctrinaires and the Mouvement. The Rallíes too accept the current reforms and may be willing to compromise.
Yet again among the Centre Gauche they claim to be liberal and one would believe them to be very much inclined toward reform. However they are much more moderate than their Dynastique brethren, and will likely find themself able to compromise with Doctrinaires to achieve moderate reforms and gains. Meanwhile it is the whole Tiers Parti who bring more confusion into the arena. Among their leading orators and politicians many have proven to be in favor of hardlin reforms and restructuring of society, in such extent they would be more welcome among the ranks of the Gauche Dynastique and Centre Gauche, and perhaps even moderate republicans, than Doctrinaires and Politiques. One can wonder why they choose to adher to a third party, when their inclination clearly lies with the Mouvement. However this may be they are dogmatic followers of the juste milieu, but it remain to be seen if the Tiers truly will remain a centrist alternative or if it will end up supporting the Dynastique Gauches in their much more radical and reformist program.
Then there's other areas on have to take into account. The Church may for many seem as a clear Right-Left divide. "Jesuits" and "Carlists" on the right and anti-clericals among the left. However if we are to look upon the last ministry, it was indeed members of the Resistance who pressed for less Church influence in the educational system, than their Mouvement/Trier Parti counterparts. And the situation is even more muddled with the addition of our Franchophone Belgian brothers. Their liberals are much more religious and focus less on anti-clerical measures that have long been a tradition of the French left.
Even the "urban vs. rural" conflict may at first seem pretty clear in opposition toward eachother. That there is only Legtimists with their agragrian policies and strenght among landowners who are in favor fo the rural, and the Orléanists and Liberals draw their support from the ubran classes. However prior to the glorious revolution the proto-Orléanists, who during the current climate would be among the left wing of the Mouvement Party, did flirt with the rural communities and rejected reforms on the basis that they were too centralising and gave too much power to urban centers. And Republicans are known for similar sentiments, to empower the districts - alltough in a much more radical fashion. Bonapartism provide an even more interesting addition to this. Afterall Bonaparte is still very much popular among the rural communities - and especially poverished peasants (an argument in itself for the juste milieu and against Republicanism to avoid Ceasrism).
A conclusion is difficult to produce. This was merely an examination and observation. However the juste milieu is a noble pursuit. That the members of the Resistance and Mouvement come together under the banner of Orléans and their philosophy of the juste milieu. In many ways they hve much more common with eachother than their extreme counterparts. And perhaps even Republicans should follow in the footsteps of the Legitimistes Rallíes to come to the center of politics. To forsake their radicalism to gain actual reforms and politics implemented. As it is of now the Republicans and Legitimists remain fringe elements of the political spectrum, excluded from the juste milieu. Republicans could moderate their views, such as Marquis de La Fayette, to have an acutal saying in legislation. One can ask themself if one can get their ideas put into real life if they continue to remain on the fringe and refuse to cooperate, or come to the center and work toward the juste milieu.