The Combeferre thing I think is more a reminder of the essential humanity of the men on the side of the government in a moment when that would otherwise be completely lost. People on both sides will die, and that is the greatest tragedy, that men must be mown down for the betterment of all other men. Combeferre won't let himself forget that, but he won't let Enjolras forget it either, which is more important. Combeferre is described as completing Enjolras in the humanitarian sense, in the application of the grand abstract philosophy of revolution to the actual salvation of mankind. It's just Hugo illustrating what he said before, but now in the context of the heat of battle. It's to humanise Enjolras, too, because there's a nineteenth century literature emo-tear to accompany the pulling of the trigger. Literary illustration of Combeferre's humanism and its effect on Enjolras.
As for Enjolras, and revolution in general, there are many things one has to keep in mind when coming at it from a 21st century POV and little background in the period. High mortality rates, high levels of starvation among the working class (if bread prices go up too much, eventually you can no longer afford to eat enough at your current rate of pay, and getting a raise in a recession is no picnic today), very obvious differences in appearance between classes and little geographical division between classes (rich and poor often lived in the same buildings, unlike later when the poor were exiled to their own exclusive neighbourhoods on the outskirts of the city), and the sheer number of times the government changed hands. The French Revolution worked in overthrowing the King. Structurally, the reason one cannot compare it to the American Revolution is that the American colonies had a long tradition of local elective representative government, while the French state was centralised, it was up to the King to call together a parliament of the three estates, and one had not been called in a very long time. Thus, when the head of state was removed, there wasn't a structure already in place to take over governance. Also, Americans were a lot wealthier and the social structure a lot more flat, so that you didn't have issues over loyalty to crown vs. loyalty to people aligning with economic arguments.
Since you're in the UK, Savushkin, you're probably not getting all the "yay American Revolution" that we of course get over here, but I do wonder if the way the history is taught varies in a similar way. That because the American Revolution was fought army to army, it was legitimate, while the French Revolution involved socioeconomic as well as political questions and the wholesale condemnation of an unproductive class brings up too much Marxism for comfort even now and therefore is still treated very carefully. Plus Napoleon sucked because Wellington ended up kicking his ass, and the whole snobbery of how can a grocer's son set up his entire family as kings across Europe? Since Bonaparte is a direct result of the French Revolution.
While in France in the 1820s, the left was split between liberals who thought the Empire rescued but perverted the Revolution and Bonapartists who thought Bonaparte was the exemplar of the Revolution. A lot of nostalgia almost straight away, since with the economy plunged into the toilet (bad harvests in 1816 and 1817, plus a royal regime that was not so into ostentation depressed the luxury trades in Paris, also too possibly because Italy and Germany and Spain were now open to British goods again), foreign soldiers occupying Paris, the psychological depression of having had to surrender the capital of the nation, it was easy to forget the difficulties of the wars that went on for a generation: the conscription, the deaths, the blockades, the taxation to pay for it all. Hugo's generation watched it all collapse as they were coming to adulthood, and there seemed to be nothing for anyone in the Restoration, as all greatness had ended with Bonaparte and the King was pushed around by ultraroyalists who somehow thought they could clamp down on everything and it would return to the old regime, the revolutionary genie back in the bottle and bonapartists to whom he had promised to be fair.
When people die all the time, and Bonaparte's armies are still looked at as heroes, it's a lot easier to consider dying for something rather than just dying anonymously. And since it had been proved that kings can be overthrown, the revolution simply needs some fine tuning based on the lessons learned from the Terror. Which is how we get to 1830. Where everyone on the left got screwed. They retrenched and tried again in 1831. Didn't help. But, in 1832, we get the cholera in Paris, which is a brand new disease that kills people grotesquely and without warning and no one knows how it spreads and it's killing more poor people than rich people. Wouldn't you rather try to overthrow the government who is doing nothing in the face of this brutal disease than wait around to die from it yourself? Also, apparently (if I believe Graham Robb), there were legitimists involved, too, who hoped to topple Louis Philippe and restore Charles X or his grandson to the throne. Like 1830, it was a coalition of groups with disparate political aims who could all agree that Louis Philippe needed to go.
That's, very briefly sketched, much of the context that led up to 5 June 1832.
What kind of literature and what kind of life is the same question. - Tom Stoppard