Legitimism

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(from L. legitimus, according to the Law, and from Fr. légitimiste). Principle presented at the International Congress of European powers in Vienna in 1814-15 by French diplomat Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord to defend the objectives of the French Bourbon dynasty, which had been deposed in 1792 and restored in 1814–1815, and which was considered by the monarchist circles to be the legitimate government of France. According to this principle, no territory claimed may be unless its legitimate owner abdicates as its ruler; possessions that have been plundered must be returned to their legitimate sovereign. Following the July 1830 Revolution in France, the partisans of the Bourbons, who were deposed in the course of that revolution, proclaimed themselves as “legitimist,” in opposition to King Louis Philippe de Orléans (1830-1848). During the Second Republic (1848-1852), the legitimist joined with the Orleanists to form the “party of order,” which was monarchist and clerical. Today the term “legitimist” refers to a supporter of a prince or a dynasty because of their belief that said prince or dynasty is legitimately called to occupy the throne.