After similar ministries at Piacenza he himself fell ill.
He entered the Piedmontese parliament, and was attached successively to the Ministries of War and Foreign Affairs.
He had no sympathy with political liberalism, but throughout his long reign of forty-two years, with a constant interchange of ministries and many ministerial crises, he never had a serious conflict with the states-general, and his ministers could always count upon his fair-mindedness and an earnest desire to help them to further the national welfare.
The Liberal ministries of 1848 were dismissed, the constitutions were changed or abolished, and new chambers were elected under a severely restricted suffrage.
Although he really directed the policy of the various ministries, he evidently thought that the time was not ripe for asserting openly his own claims to direct the policy of the Republic, and seemed inclined to observe a neutral attitude as far as possible; but events hurried him on, and early in 1881 he placed himself at the head of a movement for restoring scrutin de lisle, or the system by which deputies are returned by the entire department which they represent, so that each elector votes for several representatives at once, in place of scrutin d'arrondissement, the system of small constituencies, giving one member to each district and one vote to each elector.