Where do democratic political practices originate? This issue has long concerned republics, but few historians have studied the process by which people learn the skills of rights-based government. In this illuminating history, Amy Wiese Forbes addresses these origins by analyzing how republicanism took shape through the political satire that flooded French newspapers, theaters, courtrooms, and even academic life in 1830. Forbes shows that satire was the chief source of the critical spirit of republicanism that erupted in the 1840s and sustained the Republic in the 1870s and argues against the notion that satire had no lasting political impact. This book will speak to historians of French politics, republicanism, popular culture, the July Monarchy, satire and political humor, class and gender formation, and legal history.