At the general elections of 1881 after the fall of the Ferry cabinet he was returned to the chamber on a programme which included the separation of Church and State, a policy of decentralization, and the imposition of an income-tax.
Dantonists, came a limitation to the powers of the Committee of Public Safety, now placed in dependence upon the Convention; and next followed the destruction of the revolutionary system, the Girondin decentralization and the resuscitation of departmental governments; the reform of the Revolutionary Tribunal on the 10th of August; the suppression of the Commune of Paris on the 1st of September, and of the salary of forty sous given to members of the sections; the abolition of the maximum, the suppression of the Guillotine, the opening of the j~rjsons, the closing of the Jacobin club (November if), and the henceforward insignificant existence of the popular societies.
He was elected a member of the French Academy in 1899, his most notable works being Orateurs et hommes d'etat (1888), Figures de femmes (1889), La Decentralization (1895), La Question sociale (1898).
He remained in power during five years of unbroken peace (1851-1856), and carried many useful reforms. The most important of these was the so-called Additional Act of the 5th of July 1852, which amended the charter of 1826 by providing for the direct election of deputies, the decentralization of the executive, the creation of representative municipal councils, and the abolition of capital punishment for political offences.
Such a statesman was sure to clash with the doctrinaires, like Salmeron, who wanted to imitate French methods; with Pi y Margall, who wanted a federal republic after purely Spanish ideas of decentralization; and above all with the intransigent and gloomy fanatics who became the leaders of the cantonal insurrections at Cadiz, Seville, Valencia, Malaga and Cartagena in 1873.