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In When the French Tried to Be British, J.A.W. Gunn studies the French effort during 1814 to 1848 to adopt the set of common understandings that lent a comparative stability to British government. The institutions of a loyal opposition and disciplined political parties seemed to be implicit in the parliamentary model, but their acceptance foundered on French reluctance to accord legitimacy to political opponents. A sophisticated minority - including such major figures as Chateaubriand, Constant, Mme de Staël, and Guizot - recognized the need for something approaching the British political culture, but the wounds opened by the Revolution could not readily be healed. A more or less complete acceptance of the civil disagreement that was the spirit of the British model had to await the Fifth Republic.
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