Chamber of Representatives (France)

The Chamber of Representatives (French: Chambre des représentants) was the popularly elected lower body of the French Parliament set up under the Charter of 1815. The body had 629 members who were to serve five-year terms.[1] The upper body was the Chamber of Peers.


Jean Denis, comte Lanjuinais served as president of this body while it existed.[2]

The Chamber of Representatives was short-lived. At the end of the Hundred Days, with the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, the chamber issued Napoleon a demand for abdication as Emperor of the French.[3] On 22 June 1815 the Chamber of Representatives elected three members (Carnot, the duc d'Otrante, and the comte Grenier) of a five-member commission, the Commission de gouvernement, to constitute a new government, and on 23 June 1815 the Chamber of Representatives named Napoleon II as Emperor.[3]

The allied powers of the Seventh Coalition soon occupied Paris, and the chamber capitulated on 3 July. It soon became clear that the occupiers wished to again restore the Bourbon monarchy. On 8 July 1815, the chamber was kept from meeting by armed force, effectively ending it.[3]

With the restoration of the Bourbons, the Chamber of Deputies was returned as the lower body of Parliament. The reactionary Ultra-royalist delegation that was seated in October 1815 was nicknamed the Chambre introuvable.

Proposed 1873 Chamber of Representatives

During the first years of the French Third Republic, France's Parliament was a unicameral National Assembly, elected in 1871, which also acted as a Constituent Assembly. The initial constitution, drawn up by this Assembly on 20 May 1873, provided for the re-establishment of Chamber of Representatives, with a Senate serving as the upper house. However, the final French Constitutional Laws of 1875 passed by it established the Chamber of Deputies as the lower house instead.


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