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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a political principle advanced by the French diplomat Talleyrand at the Congress of Vienna in 1814–15 to justify and defend the territorial interests of France and, in particular, to preserve the borders existing on Jan. 1, 1792, and prevent Prussian expansion.

According to the principle of legitimism, no one has the right to dispose of a crown or territory until its legitimate owner has formally relinquished his right to it. The possessions taken away from their “legal” sovereign must be returned to him. According to Talleyrand, Europe needed to banish forever any possibility of acquiring the right to a territory by a sheer conquest and to restore the sacred principle of legitimism, which ensures order and stability. The principle of legitimism was not adopted by the Congress of Vienna because it contradicted the annexation plans of tsarist Russia and of Prussia.

The term “legitimism” is also used in another sense: the loyalty to the “legal” (legitimate) dynasty of the Bourbons in France. This term arose after the July Revolution of 1830, which brought Louis Philippe of Orléans to the French throne. In a more general sense, any supporter of an overthrown monarchy is called a legitimist.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
If the arguments of moral legitimists are correct, criminal law can do little to move a community's social norms when those norms are well established and widely adopted.
An essentially aristocratic establishment, it suffered from legitimists' "interior emigration" after 1830.
The Carlists emerged to continue the conservative tradition in Spain by following the realists, who rejected the French Revolution and its unsavory repercussions; and the legitimists, who staunchly supported the traditional Spanish constitution.
The Legitimists held only thirty seats, and the Orleanists and Bonapartists the remainder.
Yet, confronted rapidly by demands from workers and republicans who quickly realized that the new government had slammed the drawbridge shut after doubling the number of those eligible to vote, and that the doughty "citizen-king" remained, after all, a monarch, the July Monarchy confronted its opponents on left and right (the Legitimists).
The favour of the Legitimists and their leader, the art-loving Duc de Luynes, did not prejudice Francois-Desire's relationship with Louis Philippe, Queen Marie Amelie and their children.
On one side are legitimists, who justify their belief in a divinely ordained papacy by pointing to John Paul II, and on the other, revisionists, for whom our present pontiff's continued occupation of the throne of Saint Peter is the clearest possible sign that church government needs restructuring.
Recognizing that the political winds are blowing against the legitimists, he moves into the liberal camp and brings Gouraud and the friendless Rogrons with him.
Napoleon banished Juliette from Paris; and the legitimists and intellectuals prudently deserted her to ingratiate themselves by trying to marry their children Into the new Napoleonic noblesse.
The pamphlet went through many printings and undermined High Tory legitimists who looked longingly for another Stuart to save England from the gloomy, uncouth Dutchman.
(Thus supporters of the Bourbons' dynastic claims were called "Legitimists.") In general, the "respectable people" who took this designation were bitter about the Revolution and anxious to restore or preserve what the Revolution had set out to destroy.