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The metric system is a system of units for measurement developed in late 18th century France by the chemist Lavoisier to replace the disparate systems of measures then in use with a unified, natural and universal system.
Later improvements in the measurement of both the size of the Earth and the properties of water revealed discrepancies between the metric standards and their originally intended values.
The Industrial Revolution was well under way and the standardisation of mechanical parts, mainly bolts and nuts, was of great importance and they relied on precise measurements.
Though these discrepancies would be mostly hidden in the manufacturing tolerances of those days, changing the prototypes to conform to the new and more precise measurements would have been impractical particularly since new and improved instruments would continually change them.
It was also reinstated in 1820 by a somewhat unlikely person, King William I of the (United) Netherlands.
Although he was clearly an exponent of the Reaction, he was desperate to bring at least some form of unity to his rather disunited kingdom.