I am reading this book and have come across a slightly puzzling passage on p. 154:

[Palmerston] kept on good terms with Louis Philippe of France until he felt, in 1846, that Louis was taking an unreasonable line about French claims to the Spanish throne. He made his resentment plain, and within two years Louis was an exile in England.

What could have the author had in mind? He seems to ascribe to Palmerston a positive agency of some sort in removing Louis Philippe but I've never seen such a claim in other sources. Perhaps he means that Palmerston failed to support Louis Philippe in his hour of need when revolution against the latter broke out, but then, again, I cannot imagine how Palmerston could have materially helped the French King to hold on to his throne.

So am I missing something or had D. Thomson committed a Post hoc ergo propter hoc?

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    Other sources seems to contradict almost every single word of this. Palmerston seem to have had a quite negative attitude to France well before 1846. There seems to be no direct British influence in the events of 1848, nor could they have done much. Oct 6, 2013 at 11:35
  • @LennartRegebro Can you make an answer out ot the comment? Oct 6, 2013 at 19:23
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    Maybe, but that will take a bit of research and digging to fins good sources, so maybe not. Somebody else can do it if they want. :) Oct 6, 2013 at 19:30
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    I read that as saying that Louis was an exile within two years because he didn't listen to Palmerston. Not that the guy caused it, but that he tried to talk Louis out of it.
    – T.E.D.
    Nov 18, 2016 at 19:35

1 Answer 1


The passage you quote does not actually say that the British statesman Lord Palmerston's disagreement with King Louis Phillippe of France in 1846 had a causal connection to the King's downfall 2 years' later. I am not certain we should read that in.

Indeed, the very next fact we are given, that after his overthrow the King sought and was granted exile in Britain, rather than any other country, suggests they were not on too bad terms.

I do not know if the context of the passages explains it, or just that the author did not express himself in that sentence as clearly as he might.

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