After the Revolution, Parisians struggled
to satisfactorily define the roles of different classes. This
was a difficult and unstable task while the power of the French
government was constantly disrupted. Printed materials reflected
this process of self-awareness and national-awareness by not just
addressing, but becoming more responsive to the middle and lower
classes. The general public grew more involved in political and
social affairs as the printed word gained popularity and expanded
| 1789 - Revolutions
de Paris exemplifies new goals of the political press during the
revolution: impartiality, accuracy,
and education of the public.
1798 - Invention
of the lithographic press
allows quick and inexpensive production of images and text, which
arrives just in time for a surging demand for newspapers. The publishing
arena of Paris becomes even more active and encompassing with 221
printing shops in the capital city.
1830 - A large
audience interested in their own government role emerges in response
to the Revolution of 1830. Caricature succeeds as a popular representation
of the people in relation to their stifling rulers, and artists
such as Honore Daumier express the growing desire for liberty and
individualism. Since pictures can be understood by people of all
classes, it becomes an extremely effective method to directly denounce
the French government and authority figures.
1832 - Caricature
artist Daumier arrested for the implied negative
commentary in his depiction of the king in Gargantua.
1835 - The
September Laws enforced by the July Monarchy strictly regulate art
and press, and illustrated journals must gain police approval before
1848 - Revolution
of 1848 abolishes press censorship.
1851 - Louis
Napoleon siezes power and officially orders caricaturists to suspend
their political activism in the form of public drawings.