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All riqhin rfserr^d. 









ClmncteT of the oountiy 1 

Dutcli sailors 3 

Early races of the Netherlands 3 

Feudalism and the Church 4 

Growth of cities 6 

The burgomaster and the baron 9 

Influence of trade guilds 13 

The nobles as citizens 14 

Military prowess of the towns 15 

Confederation of towns, 1323 .16 

James Van Arteyelde 16 

Philip Van Artevelde 17 

Guilds of the Flemish cities 17 

Improved culture in the Netherlands 19 

Guilds of rhetoric 19 

Dutch and Flemish painters 20 

The cities represented in the estates 20 

Increasing power of the soyereigns 21 

House of Burgundy 21 

The great privilege .23 

The Archduke Maximilian 24 

PhiliptheFair 26 

The Emperor Charles V 26 

Former liberties in Spain 26 

Decay of Spanish liberties 27 

The Netherlands under Charles V 28 

Bebeilion of Ghent 29 



Its punislmieiit 29 

The liberties of the Netherlands in abeyance 80 

Fortunes of Italy and the Netherlands compared .... 80 

Impending struggle for religious liberty 81 


THE NETHERLANDS — continued. 

Charles V. and the Reformation 82 

Persecution of Protestants in the Netherlands .... 83 

Religious persecution a political crime 88 

Philip II. of Spain . . . * 85 

Regency of the Duchess Margaret . . . 85 

William Prince of Orange 86 

Spread of the Reformation 87 

Severities of Philip 88 

Efforts of nobles and people 89 

LesGueux 89 

The Iconocla9ls 40 

The Duke of Alva 40 

Outlawry of the Prince of Orange 48 

Revolt of the Netherlands * . . 44 

Prince of Orange retires to Holland . 45 

Don Luis de Requesens 46 

The siege of Leyden . . . . , 47 

Allegiance to Philip renounced 48 

The * Spanish fury ' 40 

Pacification of Ghent 49 

New unipn of Brussels 61 

The Prince of Parma 52 

The union of Utrecht 58 

Attempts to seduce the Prince of Orange 58 

His ttxcommunicf^tion by the king 54 

The prince's * apology * 54 

He declines the government 54 

Independence of the Provinces proclaimed 55 

Attempted aBsassination of the prince 56 

He becomes count of Holland 56 

The * French fury ' 57 

The prince again refuses the government 57 

His assassination 57 

The prince the apostle of civil and religious liberty ... 58 

Events succeeding his death 59 



NegotiatioDS with France 00 

And with England 00 

Aid given by Qaoen Elisabeth 61 

The Spanish Armada 61 

Piinoe Maurice 62 

Decline of the Spanish power 63 

Death of Philip of Spain 68 

Prosperity of the republic 64 

State of the Spanish provinces 65 

The twelve years' truce 67 

Beligious toleration prayed for Catholics 67 

Beoognition of the republic 60 

Union of freedom and commerce 69 

Domestic history of the Dutch republic 71 

The Stadtholder and Bameveldt 73 

Wars of the republic 73 

The house of Orange 73 

England and Holland 74 

The Perpetual edict, 1667 76 

William IIL ascends the Englbh throne 76 

Declining fortunes of Holland 77 

Revolution proclauned by the French in Holland . . . 70 

Constitutional monarchy, 1818 80 

Separation of Belgium from Holland 81 

Ultramontanism in Belgium 82 

Continued freedom of the Netherlands 83 



The country and the people of France S5 

The Franks and feudalism 86 

Growth of the monarchy 87 

Misery and discontent (k the people 88 

The Jacquerie 88 

Stephen Marcel 80 

Municipal liberties 00 

States-general 02 

Provincial assemblies . 08 

The parliaments 04 

The monarchy absolute under Louis XIV. 06 

OentraUsation in France 06 

The courts of justice 07 




The court of LouIb XTV 08 

High offices monopoliaed hy nohles 100 

Sale of offices 101 

Exemptions of nobles 102 

Burthens upon the peasantry . • . 102 

Effects of non-residence of nobles 103 

Peasant proprietors 106 

'Vhrt jr«mf* Inwts . » * ♦ 100 

liiirUit<t)S4>me taxoa . .107 

ThtfimUtJii 107 

VtynitHv find braad riots « 108 

Tbs provinciji] towns ,..*...». 10^ 

ImpofwifthmL'nt of the uoblra .,*.... 100 

Hise of other dass«s ; official noblas 110 

Capitalists , Ill 

liaQof lt)tti<ra * » * 112 

nmhsmrjffome .,♦,.», t , . 112 

Ql^C nitlablcM , , , , . , , , , . , llS 

Thael«t^ *.*....,,. 114 

Ttukwyers 116 

Hi* »tw plulosopby • , , IIS 

YOltait* . . ! 117 

^B/mmm . , . . , jj^ 

OMm»l and the ' Kt»cjclop4die * lie 

Hm Okitfoh and pubik opinion ^ . 130 

flM HugMDOls , . . ISl 

4Wti]ei of healthy public opinioa 1S3 

IMliml failures of Louis i^V^ .134 

MgtofljHiliXV \ 136 


ouitXVL , 127 

T^'i^* . , ! 138 

dvUegeddteM . J28 

lindepend^m .ISO 

'" lai 

|t«bl«9, 1787 . laa 

lOOOTokfld , . , 133 

Bt ' • 134 

ooeml 136 

, . 137 



The natioiial assembly 188 

Union of the ordera 189 

Dismissal of Necker 140 

Taking of the Sastile 140 

Renundation of privilegesy August 4 143 

Oondidon of Paris 146 

The clubs 147 

The invasion of Veisailles by the mob 140 

The king at Paris 149 

New constitution prochumed, July 12, 1790 160 

Foreign aid invoked by the court 151 

The king's flight to Varennes ........ 153 

Relations of the king to the revolution 154 

National legislative assembly 156 

Position of the king 157 

War with Austria 158 

Riotous mob of p^tioneiB, June 20, 1792 159 

Duke of Brunswick's manifesto 160 

Insurrection in Paris, August 10, 1792 161 

The commune of Paris 162 

The September massacres 163 

Abolition of the monarchy 166 

The Girondists 165 

The Mountain 166 

Revolutionary propaganda 167 

Trial of the Idng 168 

IBs dignified conduct 170 

His execution ; and character 172 

FBANCE — ooTUiniied. 

Triumph of the Mount4iin 173 

The coalition against France 173 

Meaeurea of defence 174 

The committee of public safety 175 

Arrest of the Girondists 176 

The convention and the people 177 

The invasion ; France in arms 178 

Men of the revolution 181 

Triumph of French aims 183 

Omelties of the Mountain ; Lyons, &c 183 

Execution of Marie Antoinette 186 



And of the Girondists 186 

Heroism of the revolution . . 187 

The worship of reason . 187 

Ascendency of Hobespierrb 188 

The Revolutionary tribunal 189 

Decline and fall of Robespierre 191 

Reaction 193 

Proceedings against the terrorists 196 

Insurrections 196 

Royalist reaction 197 

New constitution 198 

Defence of the convention by Napoleon Bonaparte . . . 199 

France under the Directory 200 

The republican army 208 

Return of Bonaparte from Egypt 206 

Ooa^hd'^tat, 18 Brumaire, 1799 206 

Disregard of liberty throughout the ru volution .... 209 

Bonaparte First Consul 209 

Constitution of Sieyds 210 

The rule of Bonaparte 211 

Peace of Amiens 211 

Bonaparte at Notre Dame 212 

First Consul for life .213 

Napoleon emperor 213 

Napoleon and the revolution 216 

His military domination 216 

IBs divorce and marriage 217 

Decline of his fortunes 218 

His abdication at Fontainebleau 219 

Results of the revolution 220 

Effects of the revolution upon Europe ...... 221 


FRANCE — continued. 

Conditions of the restoration 224 

Charter of Louis XVIII 225 

Return of Napoleon from Elba 226 

Second restoration 226 

Weakness of the monarchy 226 

Political parties 227 

Violence of the royalists 229 

Coup-d'^tat, September 5, 1816 . 280 



The king opposed to the royaliBts 231 

RoyaHst reaction 232 

Accession and character of Charles X 235 

Unpopular measures 236 

Dissolution, June, 1827 237 

The Polignac ministry 238 

IMssolution and coup-d'^tat, May, 1830 230 

Insurrection in Paris, July, 1830 241 

Abdication of Charles X 242 

Louis Philippe, king of the French 244 

Influence of the revolution of July, 1830, upon foreign States . . 244 

FBANCB — continued. 

Difficulties of Louis Philippe's position 246 

State of parties 247 

Contrast between 1780 and 1830 240 

Abolition of hereditary peerage 250 

Insurrections 251 

MRTwhA.1 Soultf s ministry ........ 253 

Corruption 254 

Attempts to assassinate the king 255 

Ifinislry of Thiers, 1836 ... 255 

Louis Napoleon at Strasburg 256 

Marshal Soult^s second minbtry 266 

Insurrection of Barbte, 1830 256 

A^tation for reform 258 

Thiers restored to power 250 

Louis Napoleon at Boulogne 250 

Marshal Soulf s third ministry 261 

Discontents of the working classes 261 

Reform agitation, 1840-1842 262 

The Spanish marriages, 1846 265 

Reform banquets, 1847-1848 266 

Tumults, February 22, 1848 268 

Ministry of Thiers and Odillon Barrot 260 

Abdication of the king 270 

Fsilures of Louis Philippe's reign 271 

State of Europe from 1830 to 1848 272 

Social changes 273 

Intellectual progress 273 

Efiects of the revolution of 1848 upon Europe .... 274 


FBANOB — ooTvtvmiecL 


The republic of 1848 280 

National workshops 282 

Bad TepublicaoB^ socialists, and communists 282 

Finnness of Lamardne 285 

Invasion of the Hotel deVille 287 

Storming of the assembly 288 

Oavaignac dictator 290 

Louis Napoleon elected president 291 

The president and the assembly 296 

Thecoup-d'^tat, December 2, 1851 801 

The massacre on the bouleyards 303 

Measures of coercion 305 

LouIb Napoleon after the coup-d'^tat 307 

The second empire 308 

The imperial court 310 

Principles of government 311 

Wars of the empire 311 

Domestic policy 313 

The war with Prussia 316 

Its fatal issue ; the emperor deposed 317 

Fate of the first and second empires compared 318 

The government of National Defence 319 

National assembly at Bordeaux 320 

TheOommune 321 

Progress of socialism 323 

Communist outrages 327 

Paris in flames 323 

The Commune suppressed 328 

The republic under Thiers 329 

The royalists and the Comte de Chambord 329 

Marshal MacMahon president 330 

The 16th May, 1877 332 

The future of France 333 



History of England, that of liberty, not of democracy . . 334 

Character of the country 335 

The Celts 337 



The Romans 337 

The Anglo-Saxons 330 

The Banes 343 

The Norman conquest 345 

The Crown, the barons, and the people 346 

Representation of the commons, 1266 347 

Political and social progress in the fourteenth century . 340 

I>eca7 of feudalism 360 

Wat Tyler's insurrsction 362 

Reaction against the conunons 362 

Wars of the Roses 363 

Absolutism of Henry Vm 364 

The Reformation 366 

The reign of Elizabeth 367 

Social changes ; nobles and country gentlemen .... 368 

The Puritans . , .361 


ENGLAND — COTltvaued. 

Accesdon of James L 367 

His treatment of the commons 367 

And of the Puritans 368 

The king and the Church 360 

Ifis contests with parliament 371 

Close of his reign 373 

Charles I. and his parliaments 374 

ResolTes to goyem without a parliament 370 

Taxes by prerogative 370 

Ship-money 380 

The Star Chamber and High Commission courts . . 380 

Laud and Strafford • . 381 

Rebellion in SootUnd, 1630 382 

Short parliament of 1640 383 

The long parliament, 1640 386 

Remedial measures 386 

Impeachments 386 

Attainder of StrafPord 387 

Parliamentary excesses 388 

The Mng and the long parliament . * 302 

Arrest of the fiye members 306 

The Militia bill 307 


vsahAm>— continued. 


The civil war 898 

The solemn league and covenant 400 

The Independents 401 

Oliver OromweU 402 

Self-denying ordinance 403 

The king given up by the Scots 404 

Fall of the Church of England 405 

Presbyterians and Independents 406 

The Idng, the army, and the parliament 407 

Growth of republican opinions 413 

Trial and execution of the king 410 

Oontempoiary opinion, and judgment of posterity ' . .410 



Provisional government " . . . 419 

Republican theories 420 

Cromwell's supremacy 422 

Cromwell protector 424 

"Vigour of his rule ... 426 

Aspires to a crown 428 

ms death 429 

His character 430 

Richard CromweU protector 431 

General Monk, and the Restoration 433 

Effects of the civil war upon the monarchy 436 

Reaction under Charles H 436 

James H 437 

Revolution of 1688 438 

Securities for public liberty • . . 439 

Characteristics of the Revolution 440 

William in 440 

The representation 442 

Power of the aristocracy 443 

From the revolution to the accession of George III. . 444 

Ascendency of the Crown, the Church, and the land . . . . 4*15 



ENGLAND — coTvtinued. 


Fiist years of George III 448 

The war of American Independence 449 

E£fect8 of the French revolution 450 

Social changes 451 

Giowth of townsy commerce, and manufactures 452 

The Church and dissent 454 

Political education 455 

Political associations 457 

The Catholic Association 460 

Agitation for Pttrliamentary reform, 1830-1832 .... 462 

Repeal agitation 468 

The Chartists 464 

The 10th April, 1848 466 

Anti-coni law league 466 

Meetings in Hyde Park 467 

Moral of political agitation . 468 

Trades unions 470 

Changes in the representation 472 

Increase of popular influence and remedial legislation . . . 473 

Democratic opinions * 475 

Loyalty 476 

Reign of Queen Victoria 479 

Illness and recovery of the Prince of Wales 479 

Conservative elements of society 480 





The history of the Netherlands presents illustrations chap. 
!i of democracy under two distinct aspects. The first - — r^ — - 
exhibits the growth and political power of municipal JCJrl'! 
institutions ; the second, the assertion of civil and Smwracr. 
religious liberty: Of these, the former was common 
to the Netherlands and other Eiux)pean States. The 
latter affords^ the first and most memorable example, in 
' the history of the world, of the struggles of a nation for 
the rights of conscience. 

No country could form a greater contrast to character 
Switzerland than the Netherlands. Instead of being a wuntrk-. 
land of mountains and valleys, Holland and the greater 
part of Belgium are an alluvial plain, below the level 
of the sea. Formed by deposits from the Khine, the 
Meuse, and the Scheldt, it is a dead flat, as far as the 
eye can reach. The landscape is broken by no liill or 
rising ground. But in this far-stretching plain, man 
has carried on a more difficult struggle with nature^ 
VOL. ir. * B 



cuaP tkan the Swiss mountaineer. He found it a morass, 
over which the waters of great rivers, and of the ocean, 
flowed. By patient toil, by hardihood, and by skill, 
he reclaimed this watery wilderness from nature, and 
converted it to his own enjoyment. He embanked the 
rivers : he raised huge barriers against the ocean : he 
drained the swampy soil which he had rescued from 
the floods ; and, by his skilftd industry, he made it as 
fertile as the most favoured lands of Europe. So little 
had nature helped him, that he might almost have 
claimed the toil-won earth as his own creation. The 
races by whom this stupendous work was done, wrestled 
with dangers, hardships and discouragements, without 
a parallel in the records of human enterprise. Nor 
could they rest from their labom^s, when the work w^as 
(lone. They had still to maintain an incessant battle 
with the elements, to save their fields from being again 
engulfed ; and too often were they overcome in the 
unequal strife.^ They could find no foundations for 
their dwellings, but sand and bog, and piles. They 
had neither stone nor wood for building. Their quays 
and warehouses, inviting the commerce of the world, 
were raised above the waters, by forests of timber from 
distant lands. In all their undertakings nature continued 
adverse. Such men were brave, hardy, and resolute. 
Their lives were one sustained struggle for existence. 
Dtttch Having thus divided the land on which they dwelt 

«*»ioni. ^j,^^ ^j^^ waters, these stalwart settlers, already sur- 
rounded by the sea, and by estuaries and navigable 
rivers, constructed a network of canals as the common 

* Sir W. Temple said : — * They employ more men to repair the dykes 
than all the com in the province would maintain.' — Observations on the 
United Provinces^ ch. iii. p. lo (Works). 


highways of their country. They were natural-bom chap. 
sailors. They had thrust back the sea from their ^ — ^ — ' 
homesteads : but they were ever ready to brave its 
dangers. Water was their element : they crossed the 
ocean, to foreign ports : they coasted along their 
own sinuous shores : they navigated the rivers and 
canals. Such a people were naturally destined to 
advance in commerce, in wealth, in industrial associa- 
tion, and in freedom. 

The races by which the Netherlands were peopled E*riy races 
had sprung from Teutonic and Cehic tribes. The JJ^^j'®'- 
Frisian, Batavian, and Saxon Teutons generally migrated 
to the North : the Belgic and Gallic Celts settled in 
the South. Holland became the home of the Teutons : 
the greater part of Belgium of the Celts.^ Both had to 
contend with the natiu-al difficulties of their country : 
but the hardest struggle, and the worst cUmate, were 
the lot of the northern settlers. The inhabitants of the 
North and of the South had many interests in common. 
The Frisians and the Flemings especially were united 
in the toilsome work of reclaiming their lands from 
the hungry waters, and they were engaged in the same 
maritime and industrial pursuits. But differences of 
race, of language, of social habits, and of religion, 
withheld them from so complete a fusion, as would pro- 
bably have followed the settlement of kindred tribes. 
The one spoke a language of German root : the other 
generally shared the speech of the kindred Gauls. And 

' I^ieamed studies concerning the origin and settlements of these 
Tarious tribes will be found in Desroches, Hist, Ancienne des Payi-BaSf 
liy. L ; Schayes, Les Pays-Bas avant et durant la dommntion Rwnaine ; 
Renard, Hist, Politique et Militaire de la Belgique\ Petigny, Etudes sur 
rkistoire de V^poque Merovingienne ; Juste, Hist, de Belgique, ch. L-iv. ; 
and Motley, Bise of the Dutch Bepublicj Introduction. 



their history discloses a continued divergence of character 
and of destiny, in these two ancient families of man. 

All these tribes were naturally brave and warlike. 
The Nervii, the Batavi/ and the Belgse, are renowned 
in history, as worthy foes of Cajsar, and the Eoman 
legions.* All the races imited, under the Batavian 
chief CSvilis, and fought bravely, but in vain, to resist 
the dominion of the Roman Empire. The dwellers in 
the high grounds of the frontier, near the Meuse, — 
now the Walloon provinces, — took service in the 
Roman armies : but the inhabitants of the plains of 
Holland and Flanders steadily pursued their battles 
with nature, cultivated their lands, and engaged in 
new maritime adventures. After the fall of Imperial 
Rome, the Franks took possession of the Belgic Nether- 
lands : but the Frisians of the north held out, until at 
length they were reduced by Charlemagne, and became 
»24a.i>. subjects of his vast empire. The Netherlands were 
afterwards lost to the Franks, and were united to 
Feudalism Meanwhile feudalism and the Church of Rome 

Church. were taking a firm hold upon these provinces. In the 
north the Count of Holland and the Bishop of Utrecht, 
— a Prince of the Chiurch, — were the great feudal 
sovereigns. In the south, the Dukes of Lorraine and 
Brabant, the Earls of Flanders, the Bishops of Li^ge 
and Toumay, and a host of counts and barons, divided 
the sovereignty of the coimtry.' Fortified castles were 
aa threatening, in the Flemish plains, as in the mountains 

^ The Batayi are called by Tacitus ' ferox gem,' But. L 59. 

* CfiBsar, De Bello QaUico, books i.-iy. 

' A detailed account of the seyeral provinces and their soyerdgna, 
and their relations with France, the Empire, and Spain, is giyen in Juste, 
Higt. de Belgiqusj i. 160 ; ii. 261. See also GrimeBton, General Hut, €f 


of Switzerland, and on the rivers of Germany. Friesland ch ap. 
alone extorted concessions from Charlemagne, which ^^ — r — ' 
restramed feudal rights ; and successfully resisted the 
claims of feudalism. The people maintained their 
ancient liberties, and acquired the name of the Free 
Frisians. Fot centuries the iron rule of feudaUsm 
held the Netherlands, hke other parts of Eiurope, in its 
chains. Whatever may have been the traditions of free- 
dom am(»ig the German races, they were lost under 
the empire of force. But the causes which overcame 
feudalism elsewhere,^ were gradually undermining its 
power in the Netherlands. Bival counts were at war 
with one another, and with their sovereign : feudal 
lords and bishops were meeting sw^ord in hand, in the 
field of battle : nobles were impoverished by costly 
state, and extravagance ; and the Crusades thinned 
their ranks, and ruined their fortimes. Above all, the 
steadfast character of the people, and the peculiarities 
of their country, favoured an early development of 
maritime enterprise, commerce and manufactiures. 
These were followed by the rapid growth of towns, and 
the formation of urban communities of enterprising and 
wealthy bui^hers, — of merchants, traders, and artificers. 
While feudahsm was declining, the towns were ever 
increasing in power. 

The commerce and industrial arts of Italy had Growth of 

•^ Cities. 

favoured the growth of its memorable repubUcs ; and 
the same causes developed the liberties of the great 
cities of the Netherlands. The position of this country 
was no less favourable to commerce, in the north of 

the Netherlands \ Wioquefort, Hiit. des Provinces Unis) Lothian, Hist, 
of the Netherlands, 
* See supra^ chap. tL 


CHAP. Europe, than that of Italy in the south. Bordering on 
— ^ — ' France and Germany, and witliin a day's sail of England, 
its merchants were in the very centre of northern 
commerce. By the Ehine and the Elbe, they conveyed 
their merchandise into the very heart of Gennany ; and 
the Scheldt and the Thames invited, from opposite 
shores, the interchange of Flemish and English pro- 
ducts. Flanders also became an entrepot for the com- 
merce between the north of Europe and the Mediter- 
ranean. Bruges was the great central mart of the 
cities of the Hanseatic League, and was the rival of 
Venice in the Eastern trade. Itahan merchants brought 
there the spices of the East, the silks and jewelry of 
Italy, and the rich productions of the Mediterranean : 
the English displayed their wools and famous woollen 
fabrics : the Flemings sold their cloths, lace, and hnens ; 
and traders from the Baltic and North Seas bartered 
their salt-fish, hides and tallow, for the tempting luxuries 
of Southern climes.^ Antwerp and Bruges have been 
aptly described as the Liverpool and Manchester of 
the fifteenth century. In course of time, new fields of 
commercial enterprise were opened to Dutch and Flem- 
ish merchants. The discovery of America offered a 
new world to their commerce ; and the sea passage to 
the Indies, round the Cape of Good Hope, diverted the 
Eastern trade from the Italian cities, and the Mediterra- 
nean, to the adventurous mariners of the Netherlands. 

In manufactures, and the industrial arts, the excel- 
lence of the Netherlands was no less marked. Their 
fabrics in silk, tapestry and linen, and their artistic 
works in brass and iron, were sought for in every 
market of Europe. In sliipbuilding, their artificers 

^ Bobertson, Charles V, sect. i. ; Juste, Hist de Belffique, i. 152, &c. 


were the most active and ingenious of their times. In citap. 
navigation, their seamen were skilful and adventiu-ous. 

Fleets of merchant ships traded with the coasts of 
England, France, Spain and Portugal. Their fisheries 
were pursued, with extraordinary daring, as far as the 
coasts of Scotland. So far were they advanced in the 
arts of commerce, that in 1310, there was an insurance 
chamber at Bruges. Thousands of skilled artificers were 
busy in the factories and workshops of Bruges, Ghent, 
Antwerp, and other prosperous cities. In the fourteenth 
century many of these cities had risen to extraordinary 
greatness. Ghent is said to have numbered 250,000 
inhabitants:' Bruges 100,000: Ypres 200,000 : Antwerp 
nearly 200,000; Brussels about 50,000, — at a time 
when the population of London was less than 50,000, 
and that of Paris not more than 120,000. Noble 
cathedrals, churches, and town-halls still attest their 
splendoiur. Bruges was adorned with fifty churches ; 
Thiel with fifty-five. The domestic architecture of the 
chief cities bears witness to the magnificence and culti- 
vated taste of their citizens. Their wealth and luxuries 
excited the envy of crowned heads. In the seventeen 
provinces of the Netherlands there were 208 walled 
cities and 150 chartered towns. So vigorous a growth 
of town societies was necessarily accompanied by 
municipal organisation, and corporate privileges. 

Charlemagne had instituted municipal officers called Ean.r con- 
scabini or sherifis, to assist the counts in the government the townn. 
of the cities. They were chosen by the count from ^^^•^' 
patrician families, which, with some of the higher 
bourgeoisie^ ruled these cities. From an early period 

^ At the siege of Ohent, in ISSl, there were said to he 80,000 men, 
hearing arms : Froiaaart, Chron. ii. ch. 91 (Collection de Buchon). 


CHAP, the inhabitants secured exemption from feudal servitude. 
*" ■ ' ■- But it waa not imtil the twelfth century that they 
obtained the privileges of mimicipal self-government. 
Trade guilds were then organised, which laid the 
foundation of municipal Uberties. The guilds chose 
wardens ; and they again elected two or more of their 
own body as burgomasters. And to these cities, charters 
were freely given by the counts, which encoiuraged 
self-government. Among their privileges was that of 
erecting a belfry, to the sound of whose bells the in- 
habitants assembled, to deliberate upon the affairs of 
the city, or flew to arms to repel their enemies.^ 

The chartered towns now governed themselves, 
having their own laws, their own courts of justice, 
their own system of finance, their police and burgher 
guards. Their constitutions were generally alike. 
Each town had its senate composed of burgomasters^ 
and sheriffs ; and a council of citizens, by whom the 
senate was elected. The trade guilds were trained to 
arms, and assembled imder their distinctive banners, 
at the sound of the great bell, or by order of the 
magistrates. This municipal organisation favoured a 
spirit of liberty and independence, and placed con- 
siderable power in the hands of an armed people. 
Flanders, being more favoured by its position, was in 
advance of Holland, in the number and prosperity of 
its towns ; many of which obtained charters, a hundred 
years before their Dutch neighbours. 

^ Gudegherst, Chroniques ^ AnnaleB de Flandre ; Van Praet, Origine 
des Communes de Flandre; De Bast, In^itutifm dea Comnmnes en Belgique ; 
Grimeston, General History of the Netherlands ; Juste, Higt, de Belgique^ 
i. 178, 8rd Edition. 

^ Most of the towns had three or four burgomasters, but some had 
one only. 


A new political power was thus arising, which chap. 
threatened the supremacy of the nobles. The burgo- 

master was becoming a more formidable power than 2ia*t^??nd 
the baron. The trained bands of the city guilds soon ^*** ^*'^°- 
outnimibered the vassals serving under the standards 
of their feudal chiefs. If less accomplished in the arts 
of war, they were brave, impetuous, and stubborn. If 
their onslaughts were not made according to the re- 
ceived tactics of their age, they were too vigorous and 
determined, to be easily repelled by the most experienced 
soldiers. These sturdy burghers, convinced of the 
justice of their cause, and animated by a strong espnt 
de corps, were slow to admit defeat. If worsted in the 
strife, they returned to the battle-field, with redoubled 
force; and rarely laid down their arms, until their 
cause was won.^ Their collisions with the counts were 
incessant; and while their enemies were continually 
weakened by divisions among themselves, they were 
ever increasing in numbers, in wealth, in organisation, 
and in confidence. 

The contest was otherwise unequal, on the side of L«cai di«- 

1 1 rrrt n -t n i advantages 

the barons. The confined area of the country at once of the 
restricted their numbers, and the extent of their 
territories. It afforded no such field for feudal 
dominion as the wide plains of Germany and France. 
The towns were constantly encroaching upon these 
narrow domains: while their prosperity and fireedom 
attracted multitudes of country people, who gladly fled 

^ You know, my Lord, the humour we of Ghent 
Have 8tiU indulged — we never cry for peace, 
But when we're out of breath : give breathing time. 
And ere the echo of our cry for peace 
Have died away, we drown it with ' War I war I ' 

FkUip Vtm ArtevMef act i. 0c. iy. 


CHAP, from feudal servitude, and agricultural laboiu", in the 

dullest of all habitable lands, to the lucrative employ- 
ments, the comforts, and the free and active social life 
of the busy town. 
The The pecuhar character of the country itself also 

country ill- ^ ■» i -t . ,. t . 

suited for placed the barons at a certain disadvantage, m presence 
of their powerful and combative neighbours. In Italy 
and Switzerland, in Germany and France, we see the 
ruined castles of the feudal lords, frowning from rocky 
heights, and commanding the rivers and valleys beneath 
them. The Alps, the Apennines, the Biviera, the 
Pyrenees, the Ehine, the Moselle, the Danube, and the 
Loire bristle with these grim monuments of mediaeval 
life. Nature had there provided fortresses for the 
warUke barons : but in the low plains of the Nether- 
lands, they sought in vain for height, or crag, or other 
defensive vantage-ground. Nature had been niggardly 
in her gifts to this sorry land. The peasant coidd find 
no safe foundations for his humble cot : the lord could 
find no defence for his castle, save in the moat, the 
raised drawbridge, the loopholes and the battlements 
of his own construction. His stronghold could be sur- 
rounded by his enemies : it was open to sudden assaults 
and surprises, to the onslaught of armed men, or to 
the insidious torch. The hosts of burghers, who 
swarmed from the city walls, often foimd the castles of 
their baronial foes an easy prey to their impetuous 
Character Such being the inequaUties of the strife, it was 

burghers, natural that the towns should gradually have prevailed. 
Their quarrels with the nobles were incessant. Some- 
times new claims were repelled : sometimes the 
payment of accustomed dues was resisted : sometimes 


a casual provocation, on either side, was resented, chap. 
In these rude times it were vain to inquire, to ^- — r^— ' 
which side justice more often inclined. The barons 
were haughty, and exacting ; and ever ready to 
draw the sword. The burghers, proud of their 
civic franchises, bearing their own municipal burthens, 
and inflated with local patriotism, showed scant 
respect for feudal rights. Feudalism, with all its in- 
cidents, had been established by the power of the 
strongest ; and by a still stronger force, it might 
now be overthrown. The like conflicts had arisen 
everywhere : they were the natural results of feudalism, 
endiuing in the midst of a changing and growing 
society. But nowhere had the burghers been so head- 
strong and aggressive, so resolute in the assertion of 
their rights, so prompt to assail others, as well as to 
defend themselves, as in the Netherlands. In Holland, 
they were stubborn and determined : in Flanders, 
Brabant, and other provinces, where the Celtic tempera- 
ment prevailed, they were violent and impulsive. But 
all pursued the same ends, in their own fashion. In 
their dealings with local barons, or provincial sovereigns, 
they were ever determined to have their own way. 
Parley and compromise were not to their taste : their 
rude and hardy fibre prompted instant action. They 
were as ready to begin the fray, as to maintain it. 
They fought with nobles, as they had wrestled with 
the sea, and with adverse nature. They would not 
allow any power to withstand them. Such a temper 
advanced their liberties, while it disturbed the peace of 
the country, and checked their social prosperity. In 
admiring their courageous love of freedom, we cannot 
be blind to the rough and unmannerly fashion in which 


CHAP, it was, too often, asserted.^ They lived in a rude age. 


when men were more ready with blows than words : 
when force was still the first law of society: when 
every man's hand was raised against his neighbour: 
when the baron was at war with baron and burgher : 
when the lord of the strong castle was, at once, warrior 
and brigand. In such a condition of society, hard- 
working burghers are not to be judged by the standards 
of our settled times. They had sprung fix)m robust 
northern races, more given to deeds of hardihood than 
to gentle manners : their lot had been cast in an un- 
promising land, and an ungenial climate : they could 
gaze ujx)n no scenes of natiural beauty : there was httle 
of warmth or colouring in the atmosphere : there was 
nothing around them to inspire their imagination, to 
raise their thoughts above their daily toil, or to invite 
repose and tranquil enjoyments. They were traders, 
weavers, shipwrights, mariners, striving lustily in the 
battle of life : they worked under leaden skies, and 
looked out upon a landscape like the Isle of Dogs, 

^ Hallam saye : — ' Liberty never wore a more unamiable countenance 
than among these burghers, who abused the strength she gave them by 
cruelty and insolence.' — Middle Ages, ii. 86. 

Mr. Motley says : — ' Doubtless the history of huouin liberty in Holland 
and Flanders, as everywhere else upon earth where there has been such 
a history, enrols many scenes of turbulence and bloodshed, although these 
features have been exaggerated by prejudiced historianB. Still, if there 
were luxury and insolence, sedition and uproar, at any rate there was life. 
Thorn violent little commonwealths had blood in their veins : they were 
compact of proud, self-helpbg, muscular vigour.* — JSise of the Dutch R^ 
pvHHiCy Intr. p. 36. 

According to Juste : — ' Gette vieiUe terre de liberty ne sut jamais sup- 
porter le despotisme, quel qull fat, religieux, ou philoeophique, espagnol, 
autrichien ou hoUandais. De 1&, le reproche de turbulence adreaa^ m4- 
chamment & un peuple qui se bomait & d^fendre les droits les plus sacr^, 
les liberty confirmees par le serment du prince, des traditions oonserva- 
tricee de la natioDalitd.*— ITw^. dsB^ffifue, Intr. p. 10. 


Such men were naturally rough, earnest, and obstinate, chap. 
They were brave, as the bravest knights: but they knew ' — *^— ' 
not chivalry, or courtesy. 

In following the rude struggles of the burghers for influence 
freedom, we must not overlook the influence of trade guild* 
guilds upon their character, and political life. These 
associations, — ^useful, and even necessary, in the infancy 
of industrial trades, — contributed to the early civilisation 
of the inhabitants of towns, and forwarded their civil 
liberties. They were a great source of strength to the 
people : but the gathering together of a great number 
of men, engaged in the same employments, having 
common interests and sympathies, and separated fix)m 
other members of the community, tended to narrow 
their political aims, and to encourage a dangerous 
esprit de corps. like trades-unions of modem times, 
they could only see their own side, in any dispute : they 
were possessed by a single idea ; and they advanced it 
with passionate resolution. At home they were led 
into turbulence, factions and tumults: abroad, they 
were hurried into impulsive wars with nobles and rival 
cities. Such were the burghers of the Netherlands ; and, 
whatever their faults, they won for themselves an extra- 
ordinary measure of freedom, at a time when freedom 
was little known in Europe. 

Unhappily, the rude struggles of these city com- Rival 
monwealths were not confined to contests for freedom. *^ 
The eternal jealousies of rival cities had been fatal 
to the peace of Ghreece, of Italy, and of Switzer- 
land ; and they were no less disastrous in the Nether- 
lands. Ghent and Bruges, and other cities,^ fought 

^ ' Tontes oes guerres et haines qmrent par orgueil et par enrie que les 
boxmes villes de Flandre aToient Fune but Tautre, ceux de Qand but la 


CHAP , against each other with as much fury as any rival 

cities, in other lands. Chronic warfare was the lot of 
these unsettled times ; and was common to burghers as 
well as barons. Had they hved in peace, and united 
their forces, no sovereign could have withstood them, 
as was proved in many memorable successes^ in later 
The nobles The couutry beyond the limits of the town-lands 
formed the domains of the noblesse and of bishops and 
abbeys. The nobles exercised an extensive jurisdiction ; 
and were exempt from taxes, in consideration of their 
feudal obhgations. Many of the nobles, however, at- 
tracted by the increasing luxuries of the towns, which 
offered a more agreeable residence than their own 
swampy plains, came to live among the citizens, and 
to share their security and ease. Between the tw^o 
classes there was as httle fellowship as between the 
earl and the alderman, of modern times. But, for the 
sake of power, several nobles obtained admission to 
the trade-guilds, and concerned themselves in the 
municipal government. Some thus became leaders of 
the people: while others, by their haughty bearing, 
their violence, and attempts at usurpation, made them- 
selves obnoxious to their fellow-citizens. In 1257, 
Utrecht thrust forth its bishop, and nobles, and began 
a lengthened struggle with feudahsm. In 1303, 
Mechlin and Louvain, the two principal cities of 
Brabant, — ^Uke many of the Itahan repubhcs, — expelled 
the patrician famiUes from their walls. 

As the military strength of the cities increased, their 

ville de Bruges, et ceux de Bruges sur la ville de Qand, et ftinBi les autres 
villes, les unes sur les autres.' — Froissart^ Chroniquet, ii. cb. lii. (Collection 
de Buchon). 


pretensions were no longer confined to local struggles ^^^''• 
with the nobles or rival cities. They resisted the ^77 — 
decrees of the great sovereign dukes and counts of prowei»iof 

, . . ... . . 1 . the WwuH. 

their provinces, and took up arms to maintain their 
rights. They were even able to contend against foreign 
kings. The Flemings, to overcome the Count of 
Flanders, had accepted the sovereignty of Philip the 
Fair, King of France : but, discontented with the rule 
of their new master, they were not afraid to revolt 
against him. In 1301, the burghers of Bruges, led 
by Peter de Koning, a draper, and John Breydel, u 
butcher, drove out the French garrison ; and, in the 
following year, won a signal victory over the army of 
the King of France, at the battle of Courtrai. Other 
towns sent forth their militia; and after two more 
years of stubborn warfare, the Flemings overcame their 
royal foe. 

This remarkable triumph of civic arms revealed the <^/»"ftHUra- 
uses of union among the towns, in defence of their ^v^.V*' 
common hberties; and a confederation was formed 
between the towns of Flanders and Brabant. In 1323, 
the warUke Bruges was again in arms. With the aid 
of other Flemish cities, the stubborn buighers made 
w^ar upon Count Louis of Flanders, and the nobles. 
They stormed, and dismantled the feudal castles, 
throughout the province, and they took prisoners, tkv 
Count himself, and the greater part of the nobles, who 
had fled, for safety, to Courtrai. But their triumph 
was short-Uved. Ghent, the jealous rival of Bruges, 
had taken no part in the movement ; and the King of 
France, coming to the rescue of the Coimt, in a new 
dispute, routed and destroyed the gallant Flemings, at 
the battle of Cassel. 


niw. Ghent was the next city to take the lead in 


Flemish politics ; and, by the union of the burgher 
A^e'i'eidr forces of confederate cities, it was able to play a con* 
spicuous part in the history of the Netherlands and of 
Eiux)pe. James Van Artevelde, a patrician, who, — 
in order to direct the councils of the city, — had joined 
the guUd of brewers, became the leader of the Flemish 
people. He soon swayed a greater power than the 
Count of Flanders himself. Having overcome the 
Coimt, and driven him into France, he assumed the 
}X)pidar sovereignty of the province. He negotiated 
a treaty of commerce with Edward HI. of England ; 
and, having persuaded the Flemings to transfer their 
allegiance to that monarch, as King of France, he 
joined, like an independent power, in the war between 
the rival kings. He brought 60,000 men to the 
Enghsh army at Antwerp ; and sent a Flemish 
squadron to Sluys to aid the English fleet. These 
timely reinforcements largely contributed to the suc- 
cess of the English arms. A truce was agreed to, 
between the combatants ; and Van Artevelde ruled 
over Flanders, under the name of Ruward, as a sovereign 
prince. According to Froissart, * there never was in 
Flanders, nor in any other country, prince, duke or 
other, that ruled a country so peacefully, for so long a 
time.' The power of the burghers, over feudalism, 
was illustrated by the wondrous career of the brewer 
of Ghent. But the popular sovereign, having risen to 
power by their favour, fell a victim to their wrath. 
Outraged by his attempts to transfer the sovereignty of 
Flanders, to the descendants of Edward HI. of England ; 
and suspecting him of having sent the Flemish revenues 
out of the country, the citizens, especially the members 


of the lesser guilds, rose and slew him in his own chap. 

1 ^^_ 

The military power of the burghers of Ghent showed p^^p Vnn 
itself again, under the guidance of his no less distin- 
guished son Philip. He overthrew Louis de Male, 
Count of Flanders, by a bold coup de main upon 
Bruges : * was proclaimed regent of the provinces ; and 
like his father, ruled with all the state of a sovereign 
prince. His burgher forces proved themselves not un- 
worthy foes of the chivalry of France, commanded by 
their young king Charles VI. in person ; but, weakened I882 a.©. 
by the defection of many cities, and overcome by 
superior forces, the gallant Philip fell, upon the field of 
battle, in the midst of his routed host.' 

While the burghers were thus contending with the 
nobles, and maintaining their rights against their feudal 
superiors, they were not without grave divisions among 
themselves. The guilds were divided into greater or Guilds of 
lesser trades, the former being composed of burghers, cium. 
— ^generally employers of labour, — ^and the latter of 
artificers. The members of the greater guilds were 
wealthy, powerful and ambitious. They enjoyed 
the dignities of burgomasters and councillors: they 
were clothed in the municipal purple ; and they ruled 

* Froiflsart, C^omqueSf i. ch. 248 (OoUection de Buchon). Few 
chapters in Froiasart are more interestbg than this. 

He was the noblest and the wisest man 

That ever ruled in Ghent ; yet, Sirs, ye slew him ; 

By his own door, here, where I stand, ye slew him. 

PkHip Van Artevelde, act ii. sc. 2. 

* Froissart, Ca^aniquei, ii. pp. 101, 102, 121, 153-160 (Collection de 

» Froissart, Ckromque9, ii. ch. 176-198 (Oollection de Buchon). The 
history of this time is delightfully told by Froissart, and may now be read, 
with redoubled interest, in Sir Henry Taylor's dramatic romance of Philip 
Van ArtevMe. 

TOL. 11. C 


CHAP, with the power of an aristocracy, over the civic state. 

^ — ^ — ' The working classes could gain admittance to the 
greater trades, by giving up manual labour for a year 
and a day : but the great mass of artificers, bound to 
the lesser trades, were continually striving against the 
power and privileges of their more exalted brethrcH. 
In every town, the old war was waged between a 
commercial aristocracy and a democracy. At Brussels, 
Louvain and Antwerp, the people rose in arms against 
the privileged citizens. In many of the cities, the 
municipal constitutions having become close, and in a 
great measiu^e self-elective, it was only by such demon- 
strations, that the lesser guilds were able to assert their 
influence. Such constitutions were not framed upon a 
democratic basis : no provision was made for the legiti- 
mate expression of popular opinion, in the municipal 
coimcils, by the direct election of representatives ; and 
the elements of democracy, which abounded in these 
populous cities, instead of being duly associated with 
authority, were left to maintain irregular and impulsive 
struggles against it. The local government was often 
an oligarchy, while the spirit of the burghers was 
pecuharly democratic. 

FactioM. Violent factions were also formed, Uke the White 

Hoods of Ghent, who, banded together, in arms, took 
the direction of aflairs out of the hands of the 
magistrates, and hurried the people into wars and 
tumults.^ It was by such bands as these, that the 

* Froiasart, ChrindqyiMy ii. ch. 52, 60. 

For truly bere there are a sort of crafts, 
So fjutious still for war, and obstinate, 
Tbat we shall be endaDger'd. Suing for peace 
Xb ever treason to the White Hoods. 

FkSUp Van Arteveide, act i. so. 1. 


industrious biughers were often enticed from the chap. 
factory and the workshop, to disturb the peace of the — r^ — ' 
dty, to slight and provoke their counts, or to engage in 
quarrels with their neighbours. 

In the midst of all these wars and tumults, Society improToj 
was advancing rapidly in culture. The levival of thixealer- 
literature and the arts in Italy was associated with the '*"**** 
rise of its republics; and the like result is to be 
observed in the free cities of the Netherlands. The 
culture of the wealthier citizens was higher than that 
of their own class, in any other part of Europe except 
Italy. Their sons were educated at their own re- 
nowned university of Louvain, at Paris, and at Padua. 
Without neglecting the classics, they were proficient in 
modern languages, so peculiarly necessary for a com- 
mercial people. Their artisans also were not only 
skilled in handicrafts, but were remarkable for their 
intelligence and mental activity : they associated in 
dubs and other societies for recreation and instruction, 
of which the most important were called guilds, or 
chambers, of rhetoric. Here poetry, satires and lampoons Guiw« of 
were recited, plays, masques and pageants acted, and (5ift^"uh 
music performed. Among a free, robust and turbulent ''®"^"''>)- 
people, pohtics naturally intruded into such per- 
formances, — just a» the Gueek drama became political ; 
and these societies exercised mruch influence upon the 
pohtical sentiments of the people. Great license was 
enjoyed by them ; and in anticipation of the printing 
press, which was about to revolutionise the mind of 
Europe, they were powerful instruments for the as- 
sociation and political instruction of the people. While 
courted by princes and nobles, they boldly assailed the 



CHAP, abuses of the government, and the vices of the clergy ; 


and they prepared the way for the Reformation. 

Dutch and In the arts, the free cities of the Netherlands were 
painters, not unwoithy rivals of their more gifted brethren of 
Italy. In the fifteenth century, the brothers Van 
Eyck, Hans Hemling, and other masters were already 
founding a national school of painting, whose works 
became the admiration of Europe. In stately and 
])icturesque architecture, the cities of Flanders and 
Brabant will bear comparison with the best examples 
of Italy. Their carvings in wood attained such per- 
fection as to entitle them to rank with sculpture, as a 
fine art. Such are the evidences of a cultivated society, 
and of advanced civilisation. 
The cities While the cities of the Netherlands were thus ad- 

in the vancing in wealth, culture, and military power, they 
^ were acquiring more extended political privileges in 
the government of the State. They sent delegates to 
the provincial assembly of the Estates,^ where they sat 
with the nobles, whom they generally outnumbered.* 
In the thirteenth and fomteenth centuries the principal 
cities of Holland, Flanders and Brabant, sent their 
deputies to the Estates ; and, while supreme in their 
own municipal afiairs, they voted all the provincial 
taxes, and exercised a commanding influence in the 
general administration of the province.* 
Character- Here wcrc all the characteristics and traditions of a 
fr^*om. free people, — ^the manly northern race that had battled 
bravely with Eoman conquerors, — the long training of 

> In Holland the deputies were elected by the senates, each city having 
one only, whatever the number of deputies. 

^ In Brabant there were fourteen deputies, of whom four were nobles, 
and ten were chosen by the burghers. 

* Davies, HtBt. of HoUand, i. 76 et $eq. 


free institutions, the spirit of commercial enterprise^ chap. 
the culture which, in all ages, has been the handmaid - — , — ' 
of freedom, and the association of citizens in business, 
in instruction and amusement. 

In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the hberties chanp<»« of 


of the Netherlands had attained then: greatest develop- 
ment, when they were checked by changes of dynasty, 
which were destined to provoke disastrous conflicts 
between the people and their rulers. 

The burghers had been no unequal match against increwmg 
their own counts and bishops, even when assisted by ^^^4- 
foreign alliances : but when the Netherlands fell into ^^^' 
the hands of powerful sovereigns, with standing armies, 
and foreign resources, they were at a serious dis- 
advantage. They had been able to resist feudalism : 
it was now to be seen how far they could withstand 
the encroachments of monarchs upon their civil rights, 
and the assaults of tyrants upon their rehgious liberty. 

Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, first acquired nonac of 
the sovereignty of Flanders and Brabant ; and his ac- issi a.d: * 
cession promised well for the hberties of his subjects. 
So long as the dominion of the House of Burgundy 
was confined to these provinces, the towns continued 
to display their accustomed independence. 

But at length PhiHp the Good, Duke of Burgundy, obi a.d. 
secured the sovereignty of nearly all the remaining 
provinces of the Netherlands.^ And this new sovereign 
was also ruler over his own domains of Burgundy, and 
considerable territories in France. He found the 
bui]ghers of Bruges and Ghent as intractable as ever : 

* His territories did not include Ftiesland, the bishopric of Utrecht, 
Gueldera, or laSge, Guelders was afterwards conquered by his son Oharles 
the Bold. 



ciL\p. but he subdued them. Ghent resisted him, in open 
war, for two years : but, at length, he conquered the 
rebellious city, and punished it by the forfeiture of its 
most important privileges. He visited with greater 
severity the refractory burghers of Li^ge, and Dinant. 
The municipal councUs had begim to exercise great in- 
fluence, even beyond the boimdaries of their own cities, 
and were able to control the sovereign and the nobles. 
Philip confined them to their municipal affairs, and 
permitted no interference with his sovereignty. Ghent 
recovered its privileges from Charles the Bold : ^ but 
liege, again rebelUous, was given up to pillage.* 
This haughty and impetuous prince was too much en- 
grossed with foreign wars, to concern himself much 
about the welfare of the Netherlands : but he drained 
them by excessive taxes, and often provoked revolts 
by his exactions. He raised a standing army ; and he 
gave arbitrary powers to the supreme court, to deal 
with the charters of the provinces. His power was 
weakened by the victories of the free and gallant 
Swiss ; and his early death defared, for some years, 
the impending struggle between liberty and despotism.' 
But while, during the rule of the first princes of the 
House of Burgundy, the political power of the people 
was subdued, their wealth and prosperity were rapidly 
on the increase, and were laying the foundation of their 
future freedom. At the death of Charles the Bold, the 

' For a graphic account of the bold and unmannerly fashion in which 
this was effected; see Philippe de Commines, Mini, ii. eh. 4. He says : ' A 
la y^rit^ dire, apr^ le peuple de Li^e, 11 n'en est nul plus inconstant 
que ceux de Gand/ See also Barante, Hist, de» Duns de Baurgog7M\ 
Juste, HtU. de Belgique^ i. 348. 

' Philippe de Oonimines, MSm, ii. ch. 13, 14 ; Juste, Hiti, i. 348. 

* P. de Gonimines, Mhn, y. ch. 1, 8. 


provinces and towns assembled a convention at Ghent, chap. 
and extorted from the young Duchess Maxy/ the * Great 

Privilege/ or charter, by which the free constitution of Jh^ Gf«5«t 
Holland was restored. The right of the provinces and j^^-^^ 
towns to hold diets, for the consideration of public 
affairs, was admitted. The sovereign was not to im- 
pose taxes, to declare war, or to coin money, without 
the consent of the Estates. The sovereign undertook 
to meet the Estates in person, and demand the necessary 
supplies. All the privileges of the cities were confirmed : 
they appointed their own magistrates, had their own 
municipal courts, and were not to contribute to taxes 
which they had not voted. Similar privileges were 
granted to Flanders and other provinces ; and thus a 
constitution was obtained for the Netherlands, which 
recognised, to an unexampled extent, all the rights of a 
free people imder a constitutional monarchy. 

By the union of so many provinces under the House The 
of Burgundy, the Netherlands had now become a con- lands a 
siderable State. Each province had its own constitution, awTsute. 
and its assembly of Estates, and voted its own subsidies, 
while it sent delegates to a general assembly of the 
Estates of all the provinces, for the discussion of national 
afiairs. Each province was as independent as a Swiss 
canton ; and the general assembly of the Estates was 
not unlike the Swiss Federal Diet, The constitution 
was mimicipal rather than political, each province and 
city holding fast to its own privileges and separate 
interests, and reducing the power of the states-general, 
just as the jealousies of the Swiss cantons enfeebled the 
action of the confederation. The delegates were envoys 
from the different provinces, with limited powers, and 

^ P. de CommineSy Mhn, v. ch. 10, 17. 


CHAP, precise instructions — not representatives entitled to 
^^-»^ — ' deliberate and vote, according to their own discretion. 
The passion for municipal freedom, diversities of inter- 
ests, and the recent union of the provinces, naturally 
caused this decentrahsation of political power. The 
national forces were divided and weakened : while the 
legislative and administrative powers of the sovereign 
were enlarged. It was not until the provinces should 
be united by a community of sentiments, interests and 
wrongs, that a complete federal union could be accom- 
phshed ; and this result was hereafter to be brought 
about by the oppressive policy of their rulers. While 
Switzerland was a republic, the Netherlands enjoyed 
the widest freedom, under a constitutional sovereign, 
and had generally been strong enough to maintain it. 
2u?keMtti. Had this Uberal constitution been maintained, the 
°^'°' Netherlands would, next to Switzerland, have been the 
freest State in Europe. But the yoimg duchess married 
the Archduke MaximiUan, son of the Emperor, and 
the Netherlands became an inheritance of the House of 
Hapsburg, The Great Privilege and other charters 
were annulled, and the Netherlands were ruled as a 
province of the German empire. 
VH^i^ On the death of the Princess Mary, the rebeUious 

Mary, 1484. gpint of the Flemings was aroused. They resisted the 
authority of the archduke : they refused to recognise 
him as guardian of his own children; and they en- 
countered him in open war. The people of Bruges 
even seized upon his person, and detained him in prison. 
Nor would they release him, at the urgent sohdtation 
of the Pope, imtil they had extorted from him a treaty 
granting them pardon for their treason, and security 
for the free enjoyment of their franchises. The duke. 


thus defied by his own subjects, appealed to his father, chap. 
the Emperor, who came to his aid with 40,000 men. ^ — r^— ' 
But the Flemings were not overawed by this invading 
force. Under the command of Philip of Cleves, they 
offered so stout a resistance, that, on payment of a 
subsidy, they were able to obtain a confirmation of 
their liberties. 

The constant struggle of Maximilian with his PMiipihe 
turbulent and rebellious subjects was, at length, 
brought to a close by his accession to the Imperial 
throne of Germany. He was succeeded in the 
sovereignty of the Netherlands by his youthful son, 
Philip the Fair, who, as the heir of a native princess, 
was greeted with loyal demonstrations, by his people. 
He restored peace and tranquillity to his distracted 
provinces ; and won their willing confidence. Ha\ing 
projected a double alliance for himself and his sister, 
with the royal family of Spain, he sought the consent 
of the States-General. Flattered by his deference, they 
cheerfully consented to a union which was fraught with 
the gravest dang^s to the fiiture liberties of their country. 
The marriage of Philip the Fair with Johanna of Spain 
was to bring the Netherlands under the inauspicious 
dominion of his son, the Emperor Charles V. 

The liberties of the Netherlands, notwithstanding The 
the stubborn resolution of the people, had already been chories v. 
seriously compromised by the growing power of the 
House of Burgundy, supported by its close connection 
with the German empire. They were now to be ex- 
posed to a far more formidable danger. The new 
sovereign Charles V., uniting under his rule the ^^^®- 
kingdom of Spain and the Indies, Milan, Naples, Sicily, 
and the German empire, was the most powerful 


CHAP, monarch in Europe.* How could these narrow 
* — ^ — ' provinces hope to contend against the successor 
of Charlemagne ? His power was great ; and his 
imperial will was absolute. There had been times, 
when to become subjects of the constitutional monarchy 
of Spain would have promised the recognition of ancient 
franchises : but changes had lately come over the ancient 
pohty of that State. 
Former Jfo monaTchv iu Europe had once been more free 

liberties in ^ '- 

Spain. than that of Spain. In Castile and Aragon, and other 
Spanish kingdoms, the prerogatives of the Crown had 
been unusually hmited ; and the Cortes were bold and 
independent parhaments. In Catalonia, the people had 

1462 A.D. deposed their sovereign John II., and his posterity, as 
unworthy of the throne, and endeavoured to estabUsh 
a republic. In Castile, the nobles had deposed their 

1465 A.D. king Henry IV., with the general assent of the people. 
In Aragon, the kings were originally elective ; and it 
was an article of the constitution, that if a king shoidd 
violate the rights of the people, it was lawful to 
dethrone him and elect another in his place. The re- 
presentatives of the cities held an important place in 
the Cortes, without whose consent no tax could be 
imposed : no war declared, nor peace concluded. The 
institutions of Castile were no less popular ; and in the 
Castilian Cortes, as in the English Parliament, it was 
an ancient custom to postpone the granting of supphes 
to the Crown, imtil grievances had been redressed, and 
other business affecting the pubUc welfare concluded. 
Throughout Spain, the cities had attained extraordinary 
social influence, and political power. They were 

' He had preyioualy become soyereign of the Netherlands in 1515, at 
the age of fifteen. 


wealthy and prosperous : they were peopled by nobles chap. 
and landowners, by churchmen, lawyers, scholars, 

merchants, traders, and, artificers ; and to defend them- 
selves against the Moors, they maintained armed forces. 
The nobles being exempt from taxation, it was to the 
cities that the kings were forced to apply for pecuniary 
aid ; while they were ready to grant privileges and im- 
mimities in return. 

But Spanish freedom was now a thing of the past. Vecny ot 
Ferdinand and Isabella had increased the royal preroga- iXrtili. 
tive in Castile and Aragon ; and Charles V. had still i|,^,f"*^^^ 
further enlarged the powers of the Spanish Crown.^ 
But he had found a spirit of freedom and independence 
in his subjects, which was not suddenly to be repressed. 
The Cortes having voted a free gift to the Emperor, 
without a previous redress of grievances, a formidable 
insurrection was provoked. Toledo, Segovia, and most 
of the principal cities of Castile formed an armed con- 
federacy, or holy Junta, for the redress of their 1520 a.d. 
grievances. In a remonstrance to the Emperor, they 
stated the wrongs of the Castilian people in language 
which, a century later, the sturdy commons of England 
repeated, with more effect, to the arbitrary Stuarts. 
Their remonstrance not being received, they flew to 
arms; and under the popular Don Juan de Padilla, 
and other leaders, they boldly fought against the 
royal troops. They were routed and destroyed : their 
leaders were put to death : but Padilla's heroic widow 
long defended Toledo, by arousing the enthusiasm of 
the people. Insurrections also broke out in Valentia, 
and Aragon : but they were readily repressed ; and, 
in subduing these popular movements, Charles over- 

^ Robertson, Charlet F., sect iii. 


CHAP, threw the ancient liberties of Spain.^ By dividing the 
^ — ^ — nobles and the commons, he weakened the power of 

both ; and contrived to reduce the Cortes to a power- 
less and obsequious assembly. 
The Such was the monarch who now ruled over the 

lands under Netherlands. Absolute king and emperor, in other 

realms, his relations with his Dutch and Flemish 

subjects differed widely from those of former sovereigns, 

— counts of Holland and Flanders, and dukes of 

Burgundy. Provinces which had fought successfully 

against feudal superiors, were now the dependencies 

of a vast empire. Charles, who had overcome the 

liberties of his own land, was little inclined to respect 

provincial firanchises; and his power was too great 

to be trifled with by turbulent and rebellious burghers. 

New tax- But hc was wclcomcd by his new subjects as a 

native prince, who had been brought up amongst 

them ; and, at first, he seemed disposed to respect their 

liberties. These provinces were the richest part of his 

dominions, and the most fruitful source of his revenues. 

Being at war with Franc>e, he urgently needed their 

subsidies, which they granted freely in reply to his 

demands. They had no interest in the cost of an 

empire, and a Spanish war; and the new taxes fell 

heavily upon them : but they bore their burthens 

cheerfully. They ventured, however, to assert the 

freedom of their gifts, and their right to refiise pay- 

* ment of any tax levied without their consent. The 

Emperor somewhat contemptuously acknowledged their 

privil^es : but gave them to understand that he would 

allow no parley as to his claims. He waa not to be 

* haggled with like a huckster.' The people were 

1 Bobertflon, OkarUt P., b. liL 


slow to realise the change which had come over their chap. 
destinies. They had been accustomed to resist any ^- — . — * 
invasion of their privileges, and they had not yet 
measured the power of their new sovereign. But they 
were soon to learn that they held their liberties at 
the mercy of a ruler, whom they could not venture 
to defy. 

The great city of Ghent, — ever foremost in resisting Rebellion 
provincial sovereigns, — was the first to provoke the *°'' 
wrath of the Emperor. A heavy subsidy had been 
granted to him, by the Netherlands: but the sturdy 
citizens of Ghent refused to pay their share, upon the 
plea that their consent had not been sought, according i689 a.d. 
to their charters. Nor did their rebellion rest here. 
They even oflTered to surrender their city to the king 
of France. But, finding themselves without help, they 
sued, in vain, for mercy. Again and again, had they 
braved their rulers with impunity : but they were now 
under the iron hand of a new master: they had rebelled 
against him ; and punishment awaited them. 

The great potentate who dominated over Europe, its punish- 
could not brook the independent spirit of Flemish SSo 
citizens. He humbled the proud city for its rebeUion, 
by making its senators and other burghers pray for 
pardon at his feet with halters round their necks : 
he put several of the principal citizens to death, and 
banished many others: he abrogated its municipal 
privileges, and mulcted it with heavy fines. ^ Hence- 
forth, the municipal officers were to be appointed by 
the Emperor himself; and the guilds, reduced in 

> Kobertaon, CharUt F., book tI.; Motley, Biu of the DtUch E^nihlic, 




CHAP, numbers, were deprived of all their rights of self- 

^- — 'r- — ' government. 

^es^o^e After such an example of imperial power, further 

inndiTn resistaucc was checked, throughout the Netherlands. 

abeyance, rpj^^ empire WBfl SO stroug, and these Uttle provinces 
were so overshadowed by its power, that they seemed 
to have no higher destiny than the Spanish provinces of 
Aragon, or Catalonia. They were the domains of 
Spain, and must be governed by the will of its 
autocratic king. They retained, indeed, their municipal 
and provincial institutions: but these were bereft of 
substantial force. All their charters were held at the 
pleasure of the supreme court of Mechlin ; and if they 
served to maintain the traditions of former freedom, 
they offered no present security for the franchises of 
the people. 

fuh'^ami^^ The fate of this once free country, afi^er centiuies 

landi wm'" ^^ pcrsisteut stTUgglcs, HOW rcscmblcd that of Italy. 

pared. Both had advanced in commerce, in cidture and in 
freedom. In both, municipal institutions had over- 
come feudahsm, and secured freedom and self-govern- 
ment for the people. And now both alike were 
under the arbitrary rule of kings and emperors. The 
Netherlands, indeed, had escaped the intermediate 
scoiu-ge of usurpers and tyrants, under which Italy 
had suffered. They had enjoyed their Uberties to 
the last: they had asserted them roughly, and tur- 
bulently, after their own rude fashion : they had 
defied feudal lords and sovereigns, rival cities, and 
civic factions : but their independence was suddenly 
overthrown. Their victories over feudalism were, at 
once, wrested from them ; and without any decay of 
their pohtical spirit, without any dechne of their 


virtues, without any social changes, at the height of chap. 


their prosperity and power, they were reduced to the 
same poKtical subjection as Tuscany and Lombardy. 
With marked diversities in the history of Italy and the 
Xetherlands, no less than in the genius and character 
of their inhabitants, their protracted struggles for 
liberty had been equally in vain. In the sixteenth 
century, it seemed as if nothing were left to the patriots 
of both these historic lands, than sadly to cherish the 
memories of the past, without a hope of the fiiture. 
Absolute monarchies were in the ascendant ; and the 
race of freedom had been run. And such, indeed, 
was the lot of Italy, for the next three centuries : but a 
more hopefiil destiny awaited the Netherlands. 

Following in the footsteps of Italy, the Netherlands J;;,^",f,*"« 
had illustrated the political power of municipal com- fPJ.^'^*; 
munities. They had shown how the wealth, population ^^^"^^-^ • 
and enhghtenment of towns could dominate over the 
mediesval forces of feudalism. They now displayed 
the feebleness of municipal franchises, in presence of 
an overmastering monarchy. So far the like examples 
are to be found in the history of Italy, of Spain, of 
France, and of Germany. But, for the first time in 
the annals of Europe, the Netherlands, as a nation, 
were about to enter upon a new struggle, in defence of 
the rights of conscience, and the free exercise of their 
religion. It was an heroic struggle which was to 
change their own pohtical destinies, and to promote 
the future liberties of Eiurope. 



Charles V. 
and the 


THE NETHERLANDS {continued), 


The Beformation, — the most signal event in the reign 
of Charles V., — was gravely afiecting the relations of 
subjects to their rulers. This rehgious movement 
spread rapidly over the north of Europe. It extended 
over Germany, England, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, 
and Switzerland. It found many adherents in France, 
and in the Netherlands. The Emperor was prepared 
to crush this movement, throughout his dominions : 
but in Germany the new faith was accepted by so large 
a number of his subjects, and by so many princes and 
free cities, that it was beyond his control : while his 
attention was diverted by troubles in other parts of his 
wide-spread empire. In Spain, the Reformation gave 
him no concern. Heretics were promptly punished by 
the Inquisition ; and the Spanish mind was closed 
against the doctrines of the reformers. But in the 
Netherlands, where these obnoxious doctrines were 


begiiming to be rife, he was resolved to lose no time in chap. 
repressing them, with all the powers of an autocrat. 

In order to arrest the spread of the new opinions, Pewecw- 
Charles resorted to the severest measures. He decreed Protest- 


that all converts should be punished with death and 1621-1528. 
forfeiture of their goods. He forbade, under like 
penalties, the reading of the Scriptures, private meet- 
ings for worship, and even religious discussions at the 
family fireside. For the detection of offenders he re- 
warded informers with one-half the property of con- 
victed heretics. And for carrying out these decrees, 
he introduced the terrible Inquisition. Hence sprang 
the foulest religious persecution that had disgraced the 
world since the sufferings of the early Christians under 
the Boman Empire. The number of its victims, during 
this reign, have been estimated at from 50,000 to 
100,000. When constantly increasing numbers adopted 
the new faith, and were pursued with cruel rigour, the 
breach between the goyemment and the people became 
Irreconcilable. Already there was repugnance to the 
alien Spaniards, resentment at their haughty rule, 
r^ret for liberties overthrown, and suffering under 
heavy taxation. These sentiments were now inflamed 
by religious zeal and hatreds, and by a stubborn spirit 
of resistance to persecution. 

No greater crime had ever been committed by a 2*Jf^' 
ruler, than this merciless persecution of his Protestant ^^^ 
subjects by Charles V. These provinces had been 
brought under his dominion, by the accident of a 
marriage, in his royal house : their destinies were in 
his hands, for good or for evil : they had, for centuries, 
been prosperous, and contented : they had enriched all 
Europe with their commerce and industry : they had 



CHAP, advanced the civilisation of the North with their en- 
' — . — ' Ughtened intercourse : but all their claims to favour 
and indulgence were ignored. They had received new 
religious inspirations, not recognised at Madrid; and 
they were to be proscribed with the malignity of a 
Marius or a Sulla. 
Pewecu- A new form of tyranny had grown out of the 

fonnof Eeformation. There had been earher examples of 
^™^^* religious persecution : but now it had become the 
poUcy of rulers to treat obnoidbus creeds with greater 
severity than rebellion against the State. It was not 
enough that their people were good and loyal subjects, 
obedient to the civil laws, and zealous in the service of 
their country. If they dared to worship God in any 
other form than that prescribed by the State,^ they 
were piuiished as the worst of criminals. Despotism 
over the souls of Christians waa the great aim of states- 
craft, in the sixteenth century ; and it was pmrsued 
with a cold-blooded cruelty and ferocity rarely displayed 
by the most implacable tyrants. If it was ever just 
and lawful for subjects to maintain their civU hberties 
with the sword, it was now a solemn duty to defend 
the rights of conscience, and the sacred offices of re- 
ligion. 'To take up arms for religious Uberty, was a 
holier patriotism than to draw the sword for civil free- 
dom. The worst oppression was that which coerced 
the soul; and to resist it was the natural right of 
freemen. The relations of subjects to their rulers were 
now at once civil and religious. 

* At the Diet of Augs^ui^ in 1656, it was declared that the nilera of 
ever}' Oennan State, or city, might tolerate or prohibit the Catholic or 
Protestant faith, at their pleasure. This Diet secured the toleration of 
Protestants, but it admitted the right of rulers to determine the faith of 
their subjects. 


In the midst of his persecutions, Charles V. abdicated, chap. 
with great pomp and ceremony, at Brussels ; and the 

Netherlands became the inheritance of the cruel and 2sj5a?.' 
malignant bigot Phihp 11. of Spain.^ Altogether a f^f^* 
Spaniard, and speaking no other language but his own, 
— haughty, sullen, taciturn, treacherous and dissem- 
bling, — ^this alien ruler was, in himself, repugnant to all 
the sjrmpathies of his Dutch and Flemish subjects ; and 
his arbitrary and oppressive policy was soon to become 
intolerable. To allay the apprehensions of the people, 
he swore to observe all their charters, privileges and 
constitutions, which he had resolved to violate. But 
at the same time he renewed all the edicts of the 
Emperor against heretics, and ordered them to be 
carried vigorously into execution. He was met by 
startling proofe of the independence of his subjects : 
his demand for supplies was refused by the Estates of 
the provinces: but a considerable grant was offered, 
which he was constrained to accept. They also de- 
manded, as a condition of their subsidies, the with- 
drawal of the Spanish troops, to which he was forced, 
reluctantly and with an ill grace, to consent. Indig- 
nant remonstrances were also made to him by the 
States-General, against the pillage and disorders of these 
foreign troops. 

With these words of complaint and remonstrance Regency of 
ringing in his ears, and ftill of wrath, Philip left this Margaret 
uncongenial realm under the regency of the Duchess 
Margaret of Parma, a natural daughter of Charles V. 

^ For the following narratiye of events during the protracted struggles 
of the Netherlands with Spain, I have mainly relied upon Mr. Motle/s 
admirable and ezhaustiYe histories of the JRise of the Dutch RepvbUo 
(1555-1584), and of the United Netherlands (1584-1609). 

D 2 


CHAP. The real ruler, however, was the Bishop of Arras, after- 


wards Archbishop of Mechlin, and Cardinal Granvelle, 
— an artfiil, ambitious and accomphshed priest, after 
Philip's own heart. A despot and bigot upon principle, 
slavish towards his master, arbitrary towards the people, 
by profession a scourger of heretics, adroit, plausible, 
and deceitful, he was the very man to carry out Philip's 
policy, in PhiUp's own way. It was the aim of both to 
subdue the proud spirit of the Netherlands, and to extir- 
pate heresy fJrom the land : and they were prepared to 
reach it by force, cruelty, treachery and dissimulation, 
wimam But monarch and priest were to be conJ&x)nted by 

^^ the greatest man of that age, — ^William of Nassau, Prince 
of Orange, — ^who is ever to be remembered as the first 
statesman, whose guiding principle was civil and religious 
liberty. A descendant and representative of the former 
sovereigns of the Netherlands, he had b6en trained in 
the service of the Emperor Charles V., in war, diplomacy 
and statecraft. Trusted and honoured by PhiUp, no 
less than by his father, and already the first prince in 
his own land, he could have enjoyed all the dignities 
and distinctions which royal fevours could bestow : but 
love of his country, a noble ardoiur for pohtical firee- 
dom and rehgious toleration, and an heroic spirit, com- 
bined to make him a patriot, and the Uberator of his 
countrymen. The high purposes of his life received 
their first impulse, in his early youth. While on a 
mission to France, in 1559, he learned from the lips of 
the king himself,^ that he had entered into a secret 
agreement with Philip, to extirpate heresy ftx>m their 
respective dominions, by the massacre of all Protestants, 
high and low; and he was told that in the Netherlands 

^ Henry n. 


the Spanish troops would be the chief insttuments of chap. 
this massacre. William listened in silence, and ap- ■ i- ' 
parently munoved, to this shocking revelation: but, 
though himself a Catholic, and high in the confidence 
of his sovereign, he at once resolved to coimteract this 
iniquitous plot.^ He wished well to his own jEeiith: 
but the persecution of innocent men, on account of 
their religion, was repugnant to his just and noble 
nature ; and he recoiled, with horror, from the suflfer- 
ings to which his own beloved countrymen were 

He hastened home, and knowing the secret ser- Histoie»r 
vices to which the Spanish troops were destined, he 
prompted the Estates to insist upon their withdrawal. 
As Stadtholder of Holland, Friesland and Utrecht, he 
received the king's commands to execute his bloody 
edicts against heretics : but his tenderness and mercy 
made them harmless. He had already incurred Philip's 
displeasure, before that tjrrant left the Netherlands ; 
and as the scheme of the Spanish government was 
more ftilly disclosed, he braved every danger to 
resist it. 

The Netherlands were peculiarly open to the ^p'^^.^ 
influence of the Eeformation. They had never been mauon. 
devoted to Bome : they had been disturbed by earlier 
reformers, — ^Waldenses, Lollards, Hussites, — and now, 
with the Lutherans of Germany on one side, and the 
Huguenots of France on the other, the new fidth made 
lapid progress amongst them. Its advance was 
quickened by the wide intercourse of the people with 

1 For hii demeanour on thb occauon, the finest orator and writer of 
hoB age, — the num whose eloquence swayed councils^ senates and multi- 
tudes, whose state-papers were models of noble simplicity and force, — 
was fooliriily nicknamed ' the SUent.' 


CHAP, foreigners and their commercial activity. Their lives 
*- — r-^— and their steadfast character prepared them to maintain 

of Philip. 

independence of thought in religion, as well as in 
political and mimicipal affairs. 
Sewities Such wcrc the people whom Philip had resolved tx) 

coerce. The edicts of Charles were severe enough: 
their severity could hardly be increased ; so he renewed 
them, without alteration: while he took credit for 
making no innovations in reUgion. But, by increasing 
the number of bishops and prebendaries, he added to 
the active staff of the Inquisition ; and persecution 
was renewed with more severity than ever. Not 
satisfied with the vigilance of local informers and in- 
quisitors, Philip continually directed, from Spain, the 
tortin^ of his Flemish. subjects. Notwithstanding his 
promises, he had resolved to make his Spanish troops 
assist in his cruelties : but he was forced to yield to the 
firm resistance of the people ; and, after a delay of some 
months, he sent them out of the country. The new 
bishops and inquisitors also excited popular resentment : 
the monstrous persecutions of which they were the 
agents, were condemned by all but the merciless bigots, 
who were zealous in the bloody work. 

The Prince of Orange, and Coimts Egmont and Horn, 
resented the power and the insolence of Granvelle. 
Nobles and people alike were opposed to the Spanish 
government : they were unable to resist the cruelties of 
the Inquisition : but they drove Granvelle out of the 
Netherlands. The king's policy, however, underwent 
no change. No man was safe from the cupidity of 
informers, and from the rack, the stake, or the gibbet 
of the inquisitors. If those who witnessed the martyr- 
dom of their friends and fellow-citizens were outraged, 


the royal bigot still deemed the penalties of heresy too chap. 
lenient. He now insisted that the canons of the * — r^— ' 

council of Trent should be proclaimed, which ex- i*^^"*- 
communicated heretics, and placed them beyond the 
pale of the law, and of society. 

The nobles and people stood aghast at these in- Effcrtoof 

-'■''• *-' 1 J • 1 nobi«8 and 

creased severities. The Prince of Orange had vainly pwpie, 
opposed them : even the council had desired their mi- 
tigation: but the King was inflexible; and the Prince 
foresaw that there was no longer any hope for the 
outraged people, but in rebellion. The first active 
measiures were taken by the nobles. They signed a 
protest known as * the compromise : ' they presented a 
* request ' to the Regent, for redress of grievances; and 
formed themselves into a riotous confederacy, called 
Les Gueux, or * the Beggars.' The Prince and Counts LesGucux. 
Egmont and Horn, held aloof from these movements, 
which they vainly sought to moderate. While the 
Prince was striving, with earnest statesmanship, to 
obtain concessions from the government, the young 
nobles were bringmg discredit upon the national cause, 
by their levity and convivial frolics. 

The council was persuaded to recommend some Minion to 
trifling mitigation of the cruel edicts, and to send the ^' 
Marquis Berghen and Baron Montigni on a mission to 
Madrid. But the mission was fruitless, and the ill* 
feted envoys fell victims to the wrath of the cruel and 
perfidious Phihp.^ 

MeanwhUe the executions of sectaries were con- continued 


tmued with sickening barbarity : but severity seemed 
to multiply their numbers, and to increase their zeal. 

^ Berghen died of grief in 1667| not without suspicion of poison j and 
Montigni was privately executed in prison in 1670. 


CHAP. At length, maddened by their hatred of a persecuting 


of Alva. 

Church, the people rose in the principal cities through- 
out the Netherlands, and destroyed the sacred emblems 

Theicono- of CathoKc worshlp. The noble chiurches were de- 
' secrated, their pictures and statues defaced, their costly 
monuments of marble and precious stones demolished. 
The inquisitors were exterminating thousands of men 
and women : the furious multitude were destroying 
the proud works of human genius. Eeligious hatreds, 
thus exacerbated, threatened civil war. Armed bodies 
of Catholics, Lutherans and Calvinists, thirsted for each 
others* blood. At Antwerp they were only restrained 
from deadly conflict, by the influence and judgment of 
the Prince of Orange. 

The Duke The pcoplc wcrc now threatened with a darker doom. 

PhUip had resolved to rule his rebellious subjects mth 
a stronger hand ; and Alva was coming to the Nether- 
lands, with a Spanish army. It was his mission to 
trample out rebellion and heresy with his soldiery; and 
how was he to be resisted ? The Prince of Orange 
knew but too well the fate which was impending over 
his country: but he stood alone. He had not one 
foreign ally : the confederation of frivolous nobles who 
had made merry as ' beggars ' was dissolved : Coimts 
Egmont and Horn, — ^the foremost men of the Nether- 
lands, next to the Prince himself, — still put their trust 
in Philip, and would not raise the standard of revolt 
against him: the provinces were without concert or 
preparation ; and the people without arms or discipline. 
If nobles and people had cordially united under the 
Prince, Alva might possibly have been held at bay: but 
resistance was now hopeless. The Prince retired into 
exile, in time to escape the death to which Philip had 


already sentenced him.^ In vain he warned Counts chap. 
Egmont and Horn of their danger. They relied upon . — Ji^- 

their own loyalty, and public services, and the good 
faith of their king ; and their confidence was repaid by 
the forfeiture of their lives, upon the scaffold. 

Alva at once established a revolting tyranny, — to be His mwi- 
execrated in all ages. His devilish * council of blood* *** 
struck terror into the hearts of the people. Its mission 
was to punish all persons concerned in the late 
troubles : it was supreme over all other coiu*ts : it was 
restrained by no laws but its own will : it took cogni- 
sance of all offences committed, or even not prevented ; 
and every act of opposition to the government, — even 
the signing of petitions for redress, — ^was condemned 
as high treason, and pimished with death. It may be 
briefly described, indeed, as a State Inquisition. Its 
commissioners were despatched all over the country to 
discover delinquents; and upon their reports the council 
promptly decided. In three months this dread tribunal 
had doomed to death no less than 1,800 victims. 
Men of high rank and character, and acknowledged 
loyalty, suffered death for their patriotism or humanity. 
Not to have approved of every measiu^ of Philip's 
tyranny was high treason. To be rich was a dangerous 
crime, for confiscations formed the greater part of 
Alva's financial resources. Crowds would have fled 
fix>m the accursed land of their birth : but the * butcher ' 
Alva had closed every outlet, and held his victims 
firmly in his toils. There was terror and mourning 
throughout the land : every household was stricken 
and sorrowful: the whole nation was in tears. No 
crime sO great had yet disgraced the history of 




Alva as 


of the 
Prince of 

Christendom. Many had been the crimes of tyranny 
and bigotry : but none, — not even those of the Inquisi- 
tion itself, — could equal, in calculating n^Jignity, this 
concerted crime of Philip and Alva. 

The heart of Philip was gladdened by the wretched- 
ness of his people ; and Alva was rewarded for the 
nnnocent blood he had shed. The Duchess of Parma 
retired fix)m the sickening scene; and Alva ruled 
supreme as governor-general of the provinces The 
coimcil had been indefatigable : but blood enough had 
not yet been shed ; and the Spanish Inquisition came 
to Alva's aid. By a sentence of that holy court,^ — 
which reads like a solemn pleasantry, — all the in- 
habitants of the Netherlands were condemned to death, 
as heretics. It was followed by a royal proclamation, 
directing the sentence to be immediately executed, 
without respect for age or station.* This monstrous 
sentence did not aim at extermination : but it conferred 
absolute power over the lives of every man, woman and 
child in the Netherlands, without proof of heresy, with- 
out trial, without a hearing. Why should any be 
heard? Were they not already condemned? They 
who escaped their doom, were to be accounted 
fortunate. And thus blood flowed out; and Alva's 
exchequer flourished. It was the work of demons, 
profaning the name of religion. 

The Prince of Orange, though out of the realm, was 
dted before the blood council, condemned and out- 
lawed. His property w:as confiscated, and his eldest son 
seized at the college of Louvain and sent captive into 
Spain, He published a noble 'justification' of himself; 

1 February 16, 1668. 

s Motlejy Duieh ^t^ublic, iL 158. 


and proclaimed to the world the wrongs of his chap. 
suffering country. Meanwhile he had resolved to do ^ — -^— ^ 
battle with the tyrant : he was appealing to the ^^^^ 
sympathies of the Protestant provinces of Germany : 
he was in correspondence with England, and with the 
Huguenots of Prance : he was raising money and en- 
listing troops. He sold Ids own plate, jewels and 
furniture ; and he gathered subscriptions from princes, 
nobles, cities and private individuals. He was absolutely 
without personal ambition: he was no revolutionary 
leader : but he was striving to restore the liberties of 
his country, and to resist tyranny and persecution. 

Alva was now threatened with an invasion to 
rescue the Netherlands from his grasp. Never were 
troops led to fight in a nobler, or a holier cause, — the 
rescue of a whole people from oppression. But the 
incidents of the long struggle between the patriot 
Prince and the Spaniards cannot be related here. The 
first campaign, with the exception of a single victory 
by Prince Louis of Nassau, was disastrous: the in- 
vading forces were routed and destroyed ; and Alva 
was stronger and fiercer than ever. The Prince's 
friends were discouraged, and advised him to desist 
from further efforts : the Emperor Maximilian com- 
manded him to lay down his arms : but the heroic 
William was not to be turned aside from his great 
mission, by defeat and dangers. 

The cause he had espoused was now doubly sacred The 
m his eyes. Hitherto he had striven as a patriot to toiSSon. 
save his country from persecution: but he had now 
renoimced the Catholic Church; and the martyred 
Protestants were of his own brotherhood. His fiiith 
was grave and earnest, as became his great soul : but 


CHAP, he was superior tx) the fanaticism of his age. While 
• — r-^— " yet a Catholic, he had protected Protestants ; and now 
his toleration embraced Catholics, and every sect of 
reformers. In an age of narrow bigotry, he stood alone 
as the champion of religious hberty. Catholics, 
Lutherans, Calvinists and Anabaptists were ready to 
burn one another : but he was resolute to protect them 
all alike. 
Continued The couucil and the Inquisition still thirsted for 

oppression. i i i , . i i -i i 

1569. more blood : but executions had ceased to be pro- 
ductive to the revenue. The richest men had already 
perished : commerce and industry had been stricken 
by the reign of terror. Alva was, therefore, driven to 
financial expedients less simple than confiscation. He 
assembled the Estates, and demanded taxes which 
would have utterly nuned their trade.^ Overawed by 
Alva, they were, at first, disposed to assent to this ruinous 
taxation : but ultimately they obtained a commutation. 
Utrecht, more resolute in its resistance, was cruelly 
punished for its contumacy. 
An am- Philip and Alva were, at length, shamed into an 

nesty.15/0. ^jjjjjgg|^y ^^^ i]^^^ ^^y ^^pg wcary of shedding blood : 

but the country was desolated ; and its sufferings had 
become a scandal throughout Europe. To save ap- 
pearances, therefore, an act of grace was proclaimed, 
by which none were parfoned. In the words of Mr. 
Motley, * the innocent were alone forgiven/ It was a 
cruel mockery of the wretched people ; and no one 
was deceived by its merciful pretences. 
Revolt of Alva now revived his ruinous scheme of taxation, 

the Nether- , 

landfl. 1671. which was everywhere resisted. The crushed people 

^ Among them was a tax of ten per cent, on ereiy sale of merchan- 


were alinost goaded to revolt, when a timely diversion chap. 


was made in their favour, by a descent of privateers, in 
the service of the Prince of Orange, upon the coast of 
Holland, and the^occupation of Walcheren. At length 
there was hope for the people : city after city rose up 
against its magistrates and raised the Prince's banner : 
Holland, Zealand, Friesland and Utrecht were soon 
entirely his own. He was proclaimed stadtholder: 
but allegiance was sworn to the king of Spain. 

At a congress of the northern provinces at Dort, congreas 
the Prince obtained liberal supplies, and raised an ^ 
army. He marched boldly onwards: many cities, — 
Mechlin among the number, — declared in his favour : 
he was supported by auxiliary forces from France, 
whence he was promised other reinforcements. Mons 
had been seized by a successful raid of Count Louis of 
Nassau ; and he seemed on the point of reconquering 
the Netherlands from its oppressors, when his prospects 
were suddenly darkened by the astounding intelligence 
of the massacre of St. Bartholomew. It was a heavy Manacn 
blow to the Protestant cause, and destroyed all hope of thoiomew. 
further assistance from Prance. 

Again was the Prince obliged to disband his army, ^^^«^ 
and retire into Holland, leaving Mons and Mechlin to Holland. 
the savage vengeance of Alva, while other cities again 
bowed their necks before the conqueror. Flanders and 
Brabant were soon subdued: but the contest continued 
to rage in Holland. The sieges of Harlem and Alkmaar 1672-78. 
are memorable in history, for the heroic coxurage and 
endurance of their citizens, — worthy of the great cause 
for which they fought. 

With some briUiant successes, but many grievous His 
losses, the Prince still maintained his ground, in the 


CHAP, northern provinces, with straitened resources : seeking 
everywhere for help, and bs yet finding none. Without 

advisers or agents, he performed all the labours of the 
State ; and he was in correspondence with most of the 
coiurts of Eiu'ope. He was often grieved by the ex- 
cesses of his own followers, who had caught the con- 
tagion of Spanish ferocity : but he was ever constant 
and hopeful. The two great purposes of his life were 
freedom of conscience, and the recovery of the ancient 
liberties of the commonwealth. 
Retirement His hopcs wcrc soou to bc raiscd, once more, by 
1673. ^ the retirement of the tyrant Alva from the scene of his 
cruelties. He had been faithful to his master : he had 
not spared the rod, but his victims were not reduced to 
slavery by his chastisements : he had slain multitudes, 
in battles and sieges : his rule had been signalised by 
more than eighteen thousand executions : he had 
scoxurged the land with confiscation, pillage, and the 
outrages of a brutal soldiery: but the Prince of Orange 
still defied his power, and Protestants had multiplied. 
He had wrung ruinous taxes from the people : but his 
treasury was empty, and his troops were without pay. 
His name had become a reproach throughout Europe : 
yet his cruel mission had proved a failure. 
Don , With a new governor, some change in the fortimes 

Reque«n«. of the couutry might be hoped for ; and Don Luis de 
Eequesens, grand commander of Castile, was believed 
to be coming to rule by conciliation and clemency. 
To gain time and to deceive and divide his enemies, he 
1573-74. favoiffed the illusion, and talked of an amnesty : but 
no such purpose was in the gloomy mind of Philip, 
who would grant no pardon to heretics. After many 
months, a mock amnesty was issued, granting pardon 


to all who should become reconciled to the Church of chap. 


Kome. It was received with scom by the stout Calvin- ^^ — r^— ' 
ists of Holland. 

Meanwhile, the war was continued with varying Theweffe 
fortunes. At sea the patriot fleets were victorious: 
but on land an army under Count Louis was cut to 
pieces; and that gallant commander, the very right 
hand of Orange, and his brother Coimt Henry, lost 
their lives. But the great event of this period was the 
remarkable siege of Leyden — unique in history. The 
courage and constancy of its citizens : the marvellous 
strategy of the Prince of Orange, who called in the 
ocean waves to drcmnvent the besieging Spaniards: 
the devotion of the husbandmen, who cheerfully gave 
up their lands and houses to the devouring flood: 
the advance of Admiral Boissot's fleet, over fields, 
through dykes, and imder fortresses bristling with 
cannon, to the reUef of the beleaguered city ; and the 
j8olemn thanksgiving of the survivors of the siege, are 
incidents which have consecrated, for all time, this 
heroic struggle, and its holy cause. 

At the instance of the Emperor Maximilian nesotia- Negotia- 

1 T /. tionflfor 

tions for peace were now commenced ; and conferences peace, ists. 
were held at Breda to arrange its terms. But the 
obstinate bigotry of the king rendered them hopeless. 
The people of Holland and Zealand had now become 
Protestants : few Catholics were to be found amongst 
them : yet PhiUp insisted that the CathoUc faith should 
be restored throughout the Netherlands. One conces- 
sion, indeed, he made to Protestants. They were per- 
mitted to sell their goods, and leave the country. In 
other words, the inhabitants of the entire provinces 
were to submit to confiscation and banishment! The 


conferences were broken off, and the civil war con- 
tinued. To strengthen the national cause, the union of 
^p?ii?p* Holland and Zealand was agreed upon, and the Prince 
renounced. ^£ Orange bccame the ruler of the United Provinces. 
This was followed by the unanimous resolution of the 
nobles and cities, assembled in a Diet at Delft, to 
renounce their allegiance to the king, and to seek 
foreign assistance. They had no thought of founding 
a repubUc : but were ready to submit themselves to 
some other monarch, less bigoted and cruel than 
The Con- The suddcu death of De Eequesens placed the 

BdS.^ government, for a time, under the State council of 
Brussels, and afforded a brief interval of repose to the 
distracted provinces. The Prince redoubled his efforts 
April, 1676. ^ strengthen the national party. At the congress of 
Delft, he reconstituted the union of Holland and 
Zealand, upon a representative basis: the reformed 
faith was established, but no man was to be troubled 
on account of his behef or conscience ; and supreme, 
if not dictatorial, authority was conferred upon the 
Prince himself. Here was laid the foundation of the 
futiu'e repubhc. 
Foreign aid Help was Urgently needed fix)m abroad. The 
withheld, ^^j^tiy i^ad been laid waste by war, and the trucu- 
lent severities of the Spaniards : its resources in men 
and money were unequal to the conflict with its 
oppressors. But help there was none. The Queen of 
ftotestant England was profiise in expressions of good- 
will, but held her purse-strings tight : in France, 
attempts to conciUate the Huguenots had raised the 
hopes of the Prince, without present result: in Germany 
there was coldness towards the Protestant cause, and 


bitterness between rival sects ; and the Prince's iin- ch\p. 


ceasing diplomacy was unfruitful. ^ — r-^— * 

And now there came a new and unexpected scourge Mutiny of 
upon the people. The Spanish troops, which had been troopi! 
so long the bloody agents of oppression, had grievances 
of their own. They had done their hat^efiil work, but 
were denied their pay. There had already been muti- 
nies for the same cause: and, at length, the whole army 
was in revolt, and preparing to pay itself by general 
pillage. That such savages should be let loose upon a 
defenceless people was a fearful evil : but it held out 
hopes for the popular cause. 

With a mutinous army, the government was re- ^^^^ ^ 
duced to impotence ; and the universal hatred of the 
Spanish soldiery, might prove the ground of imion 
among all the provinces. The Prince, with his usual 
sagacity, seized the occasion, and assembled a congress 
of all the provincial Estates at Ghent : the state council 
at Brussels was arrested ; and, for a time, the Spanish 
rule seemed at an end. But the terrible soldiery were, The 
in the midst of the people, like unchained devils, — Fur"" 
plundering, murdering, ravishing. Maestricht was ^^^^* 
sacked, and its people butchered. The opulent city of 
Antwerp, however, suffered most from their brutality : 
it was wantonly set on fire, and its finest buildings 
burned to ashes : its citizens were murdered by 
thousands, their women outraged, and their property 
stolen, wasted and destroyed. This devils' work was 
execrated as the * Spanish Fury,' — ^a wrong never to be 
forgotten or forgiven. 

This awful tragedy quickened the deliberations of Pacifica- 
the congress ; and on November 8, a treaty between Gh«it. 
the several provinces was agreed to, known as the is/e. ' 



CHAP, pacification of Gheat. The provinces bound them- 
, ^'' ' selves to unite in expelling the foreign soldiery : the 
Protestant faith was established in Holland and 
Zealand, and entitled to toleration in the other 
provinces ; and the Inquisition was condemned. This 
treaty, confirmed by popidar acclamation^ seemed the 
commencement of a new era in the sad history of the 
Concee- On the arrival of the new governor, Don John of 

^^dL " Austria, the Estates were able to dictate conditions to 
Aontiia. j^jg assumption of the government. They forced him 
to agree to the departure of the foreign troops ; and 
the Spanish forces were actually sent away. They ex- 
torted from him a colourable adherence to the pacifica- 
tion of Ghent, and promises to maintain the charters 
and constitutions of the Netherlands. But, on their 
side, they bound themselves to maintain the Catholic 
faith, and to disband their troops.* The Prince of 
Orange was ill pleased with these conditions. He dis- 
trusted the governor : he saw deceit and artifice in his 
concessions ; and was indignant that securities were 
wanting for the Protestant faith. In vain Don John 
attempted to gain over the Prince, by fair promises. 
The lead^ of the patriot party was not to be moved 
from his watchfid and vigorous resistance to Philip, 
either by offers of personal rewards, or by hollow pro- 
fessions of lenity to his people. 
Continued Don Johu, howcvcr, by his concessions, secured 

the Prince, his acknowledgment as governor, and endeavoin^ to 
win popularity by mixing freely with the people. The 
Prince, meanwhile, was striving to strengthen his party 
in the States. He gained Httle support jfrom the 

» The Perpetual Edict, signed February 17, 1677. • 


nobles, who, however much opposed to the Spaniards, chap. 
wete fearful of taking an active part against the govern- 

ment, and were generally Catholics. But he found the 
heartiest sympathy, and most courageous self-sacrifice, 
from the middle classes. It was among them that the 
Eeformation had taken root: they suffered most in 
their trade and mdustry, from the oppression of the 
Spaniards ; and they were animated by the same love 
of freedom as their burgher ancestors. There lay 
the Prince's strength ; and there has been foimd 
the spring and source of liberty, in all ages and in all 

As the governor's power was weakened, the Prince HUwcend- 
of Orange recovered his ascendency throughout the pro- ^^^' 
vinces. He was invited to Brussels by the Estates : he 
was received everywhere in triimiph ; and was elected 
to the ancient office of Buward of Brabant, and Stadt- 
holder of Flanders. The Netherlands were again under 
his rule. Even in the more Catholic provinces, the 
people were on his side : but the nobles were plotting 
against him. They endeavoured to supplant him, by 
inviting the Archduke Matthias to assume the govern- 
ment: but their intrigues were counteracted by the 
prudence and self-denial of the Prince, who was willing 
to take for himself a second place. Again and again 
was he obliged to deplore the inconstancy and treachery 
of the nobles. Even when they offered resistance to 
the government, they were rash, precipitate and violent, 
and did little to sustain his general policy. His sole 
reliance was upon the people. 

The Estates were persuaded by the Prince ot Orange New Uniot 
to adopt a remarkable act of toleration. The Pacifica- 1573, 
tion of Ghent had recognised the toleration of reformers : 



CHAP, the New Union of Brussels bound all comnnmions to 


' — r-i — ' protect each other from persecution. The Estates also 
agreed to a free representative constitution of the 
Netherlands. It was a great triumph of the Prince's 
policy: but it was short-lived. In presence of the 
Spanish power, the State was not to be governed by the 
resolutions of a congress, but by the sword. The Prince's 
diplomacy and recent successes had, at length, secured 
promises of aid from Elizabeth of England. It was the 
b^inning of that course of meanness, irresolution, deceit 
and treachery, by which the Queen brought discredit 
upon herself, and embarrassment to the Netherlands. As 
yet, however, the Prince had nothing but native levies 
and mercenaries, commanded by nobles, imskilfiil in 
war, and of doubtful loyalty to himself and to his cause. 
A few weeks after the Union of Brussels, these forces 
were utterly destroyed in the disastrous battle of 
Gemblours ; and the Netherlands seemed again at the 
mercy of the Spanish governor. 

The Prince The Priuce was expecting help from England and 
from France, when one other hope was found, for 
the national cause, in the illness and death of Don 
John of Austria. This hope, however, was doomed to 
speedy disappointment. Don John was succeeded by 
the Prince of Parma, the ablest and most politic of all 
the governors by whom the Netherlands had yet been 
ruled. The Ei^lish contingent, — ^impaid and demoral- 
ized, — ^was soon broken up ; and the Duke d'Alen9on 
disbanded his French troops^ and retired into France. 
Meanwhile, the new governor, with Italian subtlety, 
was undermining the confederacy by corruption. The 
Catholic nobles of the South were jealous of the Prince 
of Orange : they had no sympathy for the people : they 


were estranged, by their religion, from the national chap. 
cause ; and they foresaw more profit fronx the king of - — r-^— 

Spain, than from a popular stadtholder. Tempted by 
high rewards, they were able to detach the five Walloon 
provinces^ from the union. The inhabitants were chiefly 
Catholics, of Celtic blood, and ahen tongue ; and they 
were an agricidtural people, with little of the in- 
telligence of the commercial provinces of the North. W79. 
They readily followed their faithless leaders, and with- 
drew from the national union, which they had so recently 
joined. This schism was a greater triumph to absolut- 
ism, and the Cathohc Church, than any which the arms 
of Alva had effected. 

This perilous defection was immediately met by the The Union 
Union of Utrecht, by which the Prince of Orange brought 
together the seven provinces of Holland, Zealand, 
Utrecht, Gelderland, Zutphen, and the two Frisian pro- 
vinces, into a league which was eventually to grow into 
the republic of the United Netherlands. In this, as in 
every other act of the Prince, the principle of civil and 
religious liberty was maintained ; all local constitutioub 
being upheld, and freedom of conscience respected. 

The diplomacy of Parma was seconded by equal Attraipts 
vigour in arms. Maestricht fell, after a defence as oruge. 
heroic as that of Harlem or Leyden, and was punished ^^^^' 
with a truculent severity, worthy of Alva himself. 
Encouraged by hiB success with the nobles, Parma next 
approached the Prince of Orange with ofiers of high 
reward : but that noble soul put them aside aa treason 
to hiB country. His trusted friends, men whose wrongs 
might have secured their constancy, were seduced from 
his side by bribes and high conunands : he was sur- 

> Vis. Hainanlt, Artoia, LUle, Donay, and Oichias. 


CHAP, rounded hf treachery ; but — ^ruined and afficted as he 
>.-'^/ .^ waa — ^he was proof against every interest but that of 

his noble cause, 
m^^ti^' Finding Orange superior to the subtle arts of Parma, 
kmg^ the king now tried intimidation. He had long since 

favoured the secret assassination of hid foe; and how 


he fulminated against him a ban of civil excommimicar 
tion.^ He denoimced him as an enemy to the human 
race : gave his property to anyone who shoidd seize it ; 
and offered 25,000 crowns, and a title of nobility, as 
reward for his assassination. This infamous edict, — ^in- 
famous even in a king already stained by every crime, — 
Prince's ^^ uobly answcrcd by the Prince, in an * apology,' in 
•apology.' -v^hich he proudly vindicated himself and his cause ; and 

hurled defiance and rebuke at his oppressor. 
SegiSof Hitherto the national party had continued to profess 
Northern aU^giance to the Spanish crown : but when all hope 
provincea. of conccssious had passed away, they began to discuss, 
with freedom, the reciprocal rights and duties of princes 
and their subjects. Forfeiture of hereditary ri^t, by 
crimes against the people, was boldly maintained by the 
Prince in his apology; and it was plain that the 
northern provinces would soon declare their indepen- 
The Prince Whatever the form of their government, — whether 

declines the ° 

govern- Constitutional monarchy, or republic, — ^there was but 
1580. one man fit to rule them : the patriot Prince who had 
achieved their freedom. With a magnanimity peculiar 
to himself, the Prince renounced his proper place in the 
commonwealth. He had sacrificed everything for his 
coimtry ; and now that the highest reward c^ a patriot 
statesman,— the power by which he could best serve 

> Dated Mftreh 16, 1680 ; but not published until June. 



Hs countrymen, — ^was pressed upon him, he waved it chap. 
aside as a bauble, and offered humble service to the ^-^ — r^ — - 

This self-sacrifice was due, however, not to any lu^ 
want of confidence in himself, — ^not to any shrinking 
£rom peril or responsibility, — not even to fear of mis- 
construction by his enemies, — but to a desire to 
strengthen his alliance with foreign States. • With 
this view he promoted an arrangement for securing 
the sovereignty of D'Alen9on, now Duke d'Anjou. He 
hoped thus to obtain the support of France and England 
against Spain : for EUzabeth was now coquetting with 
the Duke, and their union was believed to be assured. 

Holland and Zealand would submit to no ruler but indcpen- 

deooe of tb6 

their own beloved Prince : but the other provinces ac- proviuces 
cepted the sovereignty of Anjou ; and on July 26, 1581, 
the provinces at length solemnly declared their inde- 
pendence, by an act of abjuration, proclaiming the king 
lawfully deposed, for his tyranny, and the violation of 
the laws and franchises of the people. There was no 
pompous assertiob of the abstract rights of the people : 
but a simple deposition of a sovereign who had broken 
his contract with them, and had forfdted his power by 
misrule. Its example was to be followed, in England, 
upon the same principles, a century later. But the 
provinces wore divided. The Prince, who might have 
united them under his own rule, was with difficulty in* 
duced to accept the temporary government of Holland 
and Zealand, while the other provinces Were left to the 
!Prench prince. A republic was not yet established in 
name : but it was, at least, a State, or Commonwealth, 
without a king. 

It was not intended that the Duke d'Anjou should 


CHAP, be invested with more than a high dignity, and nominal 

' '— power : but it was a disastrous choice. The alliance 

JAnjiS?* proved worthless : his match with Elizabeth was ridicu- 
lously broken off; and his own conduct was to prove 
inconceivably base and treacherous. He was, however, 
received with great rejoicings, and he swore to observe 
the ancient charters and constitutions of the provinces. 
How he kept his oath will be seen presently. 
Attempted The Priuce of Orange, meanwhile, was beset with 
tionof dangers. The ban was beginning to bear its fruits. 
"^^^ On March 18, 1582, he was wounded, almost to death, 
by a hired assassin. A bankrupt merchant Anastro 
had bargained with Philip to get the murder done for 
80,000 ducats, and the cross of Santiago. The wretch 
himself escaped : his instrument was cut to pieces for 
his crime ; and other agents in the plot were executed. 
He becomes The Prfuce survivcd; and his countrymen loved 
Holland, and trusted him more than ever. They now insisted 
upon his acceptance of the office of Count of Holland, 
which constituted him hereditary ruler of Holland and 
His liberal Zealand. His powers, however, were limited by a 
^ *^' singularly free constitution. He derived his authority 
from the people; and all his powers were to be 
exercised subject to their representative Estates. This 
constitution was the work of his own hands : he sought 
no dominion for himself : but pohtical liberty, justice, 
-and freedom of conscience for his countrymen. The 
great aims of his policy were so fer fulfilled, in his own 
little commomvealth. 
Treawn of How different the lot of the provinces which had 
d'Anjou.* done homage to Anjou! They were soon ovemm 
again with Spanish troops ; and the Duke, their sworn 
protector, was plotting to seize the chief cities^ and 


to hold them for the French crown. His treason was chap. 
at first successful : he took possession of Dunkirk, Ostend, « — .-^— ^ 
and some other towns : but was foiled in an attempt Jj^*^ 
upon Bruges ; and routed in a shameful raid on Antwerp. 
This ignoble enterprise was called the ' French Fury/ The 
and revealed to the world the falsehood, treachery, and Fury.* 
cowardice of Anjou. The Netherlands had sought a 
powerful friend ; and had foimd a scourge as fierce as 
the Spaniards. This base prince, discovered and thwarted 
in his treason, denied his guilt, while he was bargaining 
with Spain for Ihe sale of the towns he had surprised. 
Covered with infamy, if not with shame, he quitted the 
coimtry, and died, not long afterwards, in France. 

The provinces, which had been thus betrayed, Onnge 
again besought the Prince of Orange, their natural t^th^ 
and trusted chief, to assume the government; and mem? 
again his modesty, self-denial and freedom fixjm 
ambition, held him back from a great mission. It is 
the duty of the foremost man in a State, to assume its 
highest responsibiUties ; and the Prince's shrinking 
from that duty was his only shortcoming, in a noble 
life of public service. Foreign alliances had hitherto 
brought nothing but disappointment and disaster. The 
union of the State, under such a ruler as Orange, 
would have served his country better than the intrigues 
of France, and the broken promises of Elizabeth. 

But the career of this great man was now drawing Hi* »8sa». 
to a close. His unscrupulous enemies had doomed him 
to death: they coula not conquer him in war, or 
diplomacy, but they could bribe assassins to take his 
life. He had escaped assassination by poison, at 
Bruges, in July 1582; when the assassins confessed 


CHAP, that they had been hired by the Duke of Parma.^ 


Three other attempts were made upon his life, in httle 
more than twelve months; and many bravos had 
received blood-money from the Spanish government, 
without giving work for their wages. At length the 
right man was found, in one Gerard. While coveting 
the rewards promised for his crime, he was a fanatic 
who beheved that he was doing service unto God. 
Too well did the wretch carry out his plot ; and on 
July 10, 1584, the noble patriot was slain, in his own 
house at Delft, and in the midst of hb family. The 
assassin suffered death: but his parents received the 
rewards of his crime, being ennobled by Philip, and 
endowed out of the estates of the murdered Prince. 
It was reserved for a king, so stained with crimes, to 
attain this crowning infamy ! 
w« Y"oJ^* Thus died the patriot, the soldier, the statesman, 
civil and the orator and diplomatist, who had dedicated his life 
liberty. to his couutiy, and to the sacred cause of civil and 
religious Uberty. He was the first statesman in Europe 
who had proclaimed the doctrines of freedom of 
conscience : he was the first to teach the great political 
lesson that the rights of kings are forfeited by tyranny, 
and that subjects may lawfully take up arms to resist 
oppression. Such doctrines practically maintained, in 
the sixteenth century, laid the foundation of European 
liberties. The man himself was worthy to be the 
apostle of such a cause. Pious, earnest, simple, 
constant, self-denying, generous, and brave, he stands 
forth as a central figure in history, a noble repre- 
sentative of liberty. In his age, absolutism also had 
its representatives, in the Emperor Charles V., Philip 

^ The Duke d'Anjou was to haye been poisoned at the same time. 


of Spain, and Charles IX. of France. K a cause may chap. 
be judged by the character of the men who espouse it, 

the catise of William of Orange will not suflSer by the 

The Netherlands mourned the loss, of their great Events snc 
leader with indignant sorrow: but they had been death!*^ 
trained to freedom: their courage was high: their 
hatred of the Spaniards was sublimed by this crowning 
wrong ; and they resolved to wage war against their 
tyrant unto death. The states-general of the provinces 
not yet recovered by Spain,^ appointed an executive 
state council, under the presidency of Prince Maurice, 
the. second son and representative of Wilham of 
Orange, — a noble youth of seventeen, who afterwards 
succeeded his father as stadtholder. It was a small i585. 
State to resist the richest and most powerful kingdom 
in Europe ; and was soon reduced by the defection 
or conquest of the parts of Flanders and Brabant 
which had hitherto held out against Faxma. Ghent, 
Brussels and Mechlin capitulated ; and Antwerp sur- 
rendered, after one of the most eventful sieges in 
history. The sad northern provinces of Holland, 
Zealand, Friesland and Utrecht alone remained to con- 
stitute the new republic. 

It was natural that so small a State, wasted by its search for 
protracted struggles, should desire, more earnestly than XIS^s. 
ever, an alliance with some stronger power ; and it was 
among States supposed to have sympathies with 
Protestants, that such an alliance was sought. From 
the Protestant countries of Germany there was no 

^ Holland, Zealasdi Friesland, Utrecht, and parta of Flanden and 


CHAP, promise of help ; and the eyes of the Dutch diplomatists 


were therefore turned towards France and England. 

Negotia- In Prance, the Huguenots, having recovered from 

F?M<r St. Bartholomew, jiow enjoyed toleration ; and were a 

rising and hopeful party, under the patronage of Henry 

of Navarre. K the king of France would protect 

Holland from Philip, and extend to its people the same 

toleration which he allowed his own subjects, Holland 

offered him the sovereignty of the united provinces. 

Bipted This tempting offer was dechned: for a new policy 

Vmc^ was now to be declared, which united France and 

^^^' Spain in a bigoted crusade against the Protestant faith. 

The League, under the Duke de Guise, gained a fatal 

ascendency over the weak and frivolous king, Henry HI., 

and held dominion in France. Henceforth the Catholic 

worship alone was to be allowed ; and heretics were 

to be punished with death and forfeiture. After six 

months, all who had not conformed to the Chiu-ch were 

doomed to banishment for life.^ Nor was the baneful 

against the iuflueuce of the League confined to France : it formed 

faith. a close alliance with Philip and the Pope, with whom 

it was plottmg the overthrow of Protestant England, 

the subjection of the revolted provinces of Spain, and 

the general extirpation of heresy throughout Europe. 

War waa declared, by absolutism and the Church of 

Bome, against dvil and religious liberty. 

Negotia- The only hope of the Netherlands was now in 

Kogiani England, which was threatened by a common danger ; 

and envoys were sent to Elizabeth with offers of 

the sovereignty, which had been declined by France. 

So little did the Dutch statesmen as yet contemplate a 

1 Edict of Nftntes, JUI7 18, 1686. 


republic, that they offered their country to any sovereign, chap. 
in return for protection. ^^* 

Had bolder counsels prevailed, Elizabeth might, at views of 
once, have saved the Netherlands, and placed herself 
at the head of the Protestants of Europe. She saw her 
own danger, if Philip should recover the provinces: 
but she held her purse-strings with the grasp of a 
miser : she dreaded an open rupture with Spain ; and 
she was unwilling to provoke her own Catholic subjects. 
Sympathy with the Protestant cause, she had none. 
She discoimtenanced Catholics, because they denied 
her supremacy, and plotted against her life and throne: 
but she was indifferent to the Church of England, and 
hated the Calvinists. Her royal instincts were also 
naturally opposed to a rebellious people. Accordingly, 
in n^otiating with Holland, she desired to afford as 
much assistance as would protect her own realm against 
Philip, at the least possible cost, without precipitating a 
war with Spain. She agreed to send men and money : 
but required Flushing, Brill, and Eammekens to be 
held as a security for her loans. She refused 
the sovereignty of the States : but she despatched troops 
to the Netherlands, and sent her favourite, the Earl of 
Leicester, to command them. As she had taken the 
rebellious subjects of Spain under her protection, Philip 
retaliated by the seizure of British ships. Spanish 
vengeance was not averted, while the Netherlands 
profited little by her aid. The English expedition 
failed : the Netherlands were disheartened and sus- 
picious: Elizabeth's scheming missed its mark; and 
Philip was planning the invasion of England.^ 

The fortunes of Holland were at their lowest point, Th6 
when a momentous event suddenly opened a prospect ifiSida. 
' Sse Froude, ' Hiat. of Eoghnd,' xii. 137, 868, 378, 412. 


CHAP, of deliverance. The Spanish Armada, which Philip 
— r^ — ' had prepared to ruin England and the Netherlands, 

with one blow, had been routed and dispersed into the 
North Seas, by the British fleet. Spain was humbled ; 
and the cause of absolutism and bigotry was cast 
The Other critical events were also promising well for 

in France, the liberties of Holland. France was torn by anarchy 
^^^^' and civil wars. The king had destroyed or imprisoned 
the leaders of the League, and had been himself assass- 
inated : Catharine de Medicis was dead : Henry of 
Navarre — ^the idol of the Huguenots^-was in arms, 
claiming the crown, by hereditary right : Phihp of 
Spain was fighting to gain it for himself or his daughter 
the Infanta. It was now Phihp's dream to conquer 
France ; and thence to take vengeance upon England, 
and to recover the united provinces. All his efforts 
were to be first concentrated upon France; and the 
Absence of Dukc of Panua was withdrawn from his charge iu 
from the Flaudcrs, to fight the king's battles upon French- soil. 
lands. His absence offered the Netherlands an unexpected 
opportunity of dealing heavy blows against the Spaniards. 
With their accustomed gallantry, and signal military 
skill, they soon profited by the occasion. 
Prinoe The young stadtholder. Prince Maurice, rising from 

Maunce. j^ boyish studics, proved himself at once a consummate 
general. He reorganised the army, with the ripe judg- 
ment of a veteran, far in advance of the military system 
of his own age. In coolness, courage, and scientific 
strategy, he had no equal save his experienced enemy, 
the Duke of Parma. Ably supported by Olden- 
Bameveld, and other shrewd and vigorous councillors 
of the Eepublic, he resolved to recover all the fortified 


towns still held by the Spaniards, in and near the chap. 
united provinces. He surprised Breda: he took 

Zutphen, Deventer, Nymegen, and many other towns ; 1590-1592. 
and the death of Parma opened fresh prospects of 

Meanwhile, Philip's French enterprise had failed. Henry of 
The dashing and unscrupulous Henry of Navarre had becomes 
won his crown, by conforming to the Catholic faith. FrS». 
Already the most popular and powerful of the rival 
candidates, he thus removed the only bar to his claims : 
while he assured his Huguenot friends of protection, 
and freedom in their worship. Great was the shock, 
given by his politic apostacy, to the religious sentiments 
of Europe : but it was fatal to the ambition of Philip ; 
and again the Netherlands could count upon the friend- 
ship of a king of France. Their own needs were great : 
but the gallant little republic still found means to 
assist the Protestant champion against their common 
enemy, the king of Spain. 

In the Netherlands the Spanish power was dechning. Decline of 
The feeble successors of Parma were no match for j^we?"" 
Maurice of Nassau and the republican leaders: the ^^^• 
Spanish troops were starving and mutinous : the pro- 
vinces under Spanish nde were reduced to wretchedness 
and beggary. Cities and fortresses fell, one after another, 
into the hands of the stadtholder. The Dutch fleet 1595-1597. 
joined that of England in a raid upon Spain itself, 
captured and sacked Cadiz, raised the flag of the re- 
public on the battlements of that famous city ; and left 
the Spanish fleet burning in the harbour. 

Other events foUqwed, deeply affecting the fortunes De«th of 
of the republic. Philip at length made peace with spai^^ 
Henry of Navarre, and was again free to coerce his 


CHAP, revolted provinces. But his accursed rule was drawing 
— r-^— ' to a close. In 1598 he made over the sovereignty of 
^^^^' the Netherlands to the Infanta Isabella and her affianced 
husband, the Archduke Albert, who had cast aside his 
cardinal*s hat, his archbishopric, and his priestly vows 
of celibacy, for a consort so endowed. Philip had ceased 
to reign in the Netherlands ; and a few months after- 
wards he closed his evil life, in the odour of sanctity, — 
assured that he had done no man wrong, and needed 
no repentance. 
of^^^^ The tyrant was dead : the little republic, which he 
republic, had scourged so cruelly, was living and prosperous. 
Throughout its trials, the sturdy citizens, masters of the 
sea, and trained to commerce and maritime enterprise, 
had extended their ventures far and wide, and had 
grown in wealth, and lucrative industry. The popula- 
tion was recruited by immigrants firom the less favoured 
provinces. They had no democratic theories or senti- 
ments : but in resisting tyranny they had become, by 
force of circumstances, a republic; and their robust 
spirit of freedom displayed itself in all the acts of the 
commonwealth. While the despotic Philip, with all 
his vast possessions, was starving his soldiers, and re- 
pudiating his debts, this brave little citizen-state was 
bringing model armies into the field, was sending forth 
its fleets to victory, and its merchant^ships to discover 
new realms, and to trade with the whole world. It was 
helping the Protestant cause in France with men and 
money ; and was speeding its blunt, outspoken envoys 
to the French king and English queen, to combat, with 
truth and earnestness, the artful diplomacy of crowned 
heads. While in the other States of Europe religious 
persecution raged, or toleration was only fitful and in- 


secure, freedom of conscience had been founded for chap. 


ever, in this land of dvil and religious liberty. Nor 
were its rulers less careful of the intellectual culture of 
the people, than of their material welfare. The renowned 
University of Leyden was founded for the learned edu- 
cation of the rich, and free schools were established for 
the general instruction of all classes. 

Far different was the lot of the ill-fated provinces state of 

Ml • 1 /• 1 mi 1 -I 1 the Spanish 

still m the grasp of the tyrant. The land lay waste provinoee. 
and desolate: its inhabitants had fled to England or 
Holland, or were reduced to want and beggary. Ant- 
werp was ruined, and its commerce transferred to 
Amsterdam : weeds grew in the streets of Ghent and 
Bruges, which had once been thronged with crowds of 
thriving citizens. Merchants and artificers had been 
driven forth from a land, where their Kves and property 
were held at the will of their oppressors, and where 
industry was blighted by war and rapine. England, 
France, and Holland were already profiting by their 
skill and enterprise : while Spain had lost the best of 
her own subjects, and the most fruitful sources of her 

As the government of the republic was founded on constitu- 
the ancient constitutions of the provinces, it was repubUc.^ 
municipal rather than popular. The states^eneral, 
which exercised supreme authority, even over the state- 
council itself, consisted of delegates from the provincial 
assembhes. These assembUes again were chosen by the 
municipal magbtrates of the different cities, who were 
themselves self-elected. Nowhere was there popular 
election : the representation was mimicipal throughout. 
The few nobles in the repubUc had a voice in the pro- 
vincial assemblies and in the states-general, as supposed 

VOL. n. p 


CHAP, representatives of the rural districts and smaller towns : 

' — r-^— ' but the greater number had left their northern home, and 
were in the councils, or armies of the king. Thus the 
entire power of the State was in the hands of the middle 
classes. From among themselves they elected magistrates 
and del^ates, and so ruled their dtizen-state. In theory 
it was far fix)m being a model republic: but as yet, 
the interests of the community were bound up in a 
common cause ; and the staid burghers governed with 
honesty and patriotism. 

Further That the republic should have outUved its chief 

oppressor, was an event of happy augury: but 
years of trial and danger were still to be passed 
through. The victory of Nieuport raised Prince 

1600. Maurice's fame, as a soldier, to its highest point ; and 
the gallant defence of Ostend, for upwards of three 
years, against the Spaniards, proved that the courage 

1601-1604. and endurance of his soldiers, had not declined dining 
the protracted war. At sea the Dutch fleets won new 
victories over the Spaniards and Portuguese; and 
privateers made constant ravages upon the enemy's 

1604-1606. commerce. But there were also failures and reverses, 
on the side of the repubhc, dissensions among its 
leaders, and anxieties concaving the attitude of foreign 

Approach And thus, with varied fortunes, this momentous war 

had now continued for upwards of forty years. On 
both sides, the foremost men of two generations had 
passed away : tens of thousands had lost their Uves in 
battles and sieges: all had undergone privations and 
suffering. The republic coidd only maintain the 
struggle by great sacrifices : the Spaniards obtained 
little succour from Madrid, or revenue from the wasted 

of peace. 


provinces. Their neglected troops were in constant chap. 


mutiny. On knd, the prospects of the two parties 
were fairly balanced, and promised interminable war. 
At sea the Dutch had a decided and increasing supe- 
riority. On both sides there was a desire for peace. 
The Dutch would accept nothing short of unconditional 
independence : the Spaniards almost despaired of re- 
ducing them to subjection, while they dreaded more 
republican victories at sea, and the extension of Dutch 
maritime enterprise in the East. 

Overtures for peace were first made cautiously xegotia- 
and secretly by the archdukes,^ and received by the 

States with grave distrust. Jealous and haughty was 
the bearing of the republic, in the negotiations which 
ensued. The states-general, in fiill session, repre- 
sented Holland, and received the Spanish envoys. The 
independence of the States was accepted, on both sides, 
as the basis of any treaty : but, as a' preliminary to the 
n^otiations, the republic insisted upon its formal re- 
cognition, as a free and equal State, in words dictated 
by itself ; and upon the consent of the king of Spain. 
Full of diplomatic wiles and subterfuges, the Spaniards 
in vain attempted to evade these conditions. They 
were foiled by the finnness, and straightforward 
purposes of the states-general. The proud little republic 
dictated its own conditions to the archdukes ; and at 
length an armistice was signed, in order to arrange the Mav 4, 
terms of a treaty of peace. It was a welcome breathing 
time : but peace was still beset with difficulties and 
obstacles. The Spaniards were insincere : they could 
not bring themselves to treat seriously, and in good 
faith, with heretics and rebels: they desired the re- 

^ This was the 1itl& of the archduke and aichduchess, 


CHAP, establishment of the Church of Borne; and they 


claimed the excliuaive right of trading with the East 
and West Indies. The councils of the republic were 
also divided. Bameveldt, the civilian, was bent upon 
peace: Prince Mamice, the soldier, was burning for 
the renewal of the war. But Bameveldt and the peace 
party prevailed, and negotiations were continued. 
Again and again, the armistice was renewed: but a 
treaty of peace seemed as remote as ever. 

ThetwdT^ At length, after infinite disputes, a truce for twelve 

Im, ^ years was agreed upon. In form it was a truce, and 
not a treaty of peace: but otherwise the republic 
gained every point upon which it had insisted. Its 
freedom and independence were unconditionally re- 
cc^msed : it accepted no conditions concerning religion : 
it made no concessions in regard to its trade with 
the Indies. The great battle for freedom was won : 
the republic was free : its troubles and perils were at an 
end. Its oppressors had been the first to sue for peace : 
their commissioners had treated with the states- 
general at the Hague; and they had yielded every 
point, for which they had been waging war for nearly 
half a century. 

Religious Nor Were these the only triumphs of the republic. 

proved for Philip had burned Protestants by thousands : but his 
^ ^ son, in ratifying the truce, besought indulgence for the 
Catholics. President Jeannin, the French ambassador, 
made an eloquent appeal to them in the same cause, 
asserting that no slavery was so intolerable as restraints 
upon the free exercise of religion. The tables were 
turned ; and the republic had made illustrious converts 
to religious toleration. 

The recognition of the Dutch republic, by Spain 


and Other States, was nn important epoch in the chap. 
history of European liberties. Absolute power had 

been successfully resisted : the right of a people to ^*Srlh« 
revolt against oppression had been recognised by '^"^^ 
crowned heads ; and freedom of conscience had been 
maintained against the Church of . Borne, and the 

Such principles as these could not be confined itnigni- 
Within the narrow limits of the United Netherlands : but 
were spreading and bearing fruit throughout Europe. 
In France the Huguenots had recovered freedom of 
worship, under Henry IV. In England there were 
already signs of the coming conflict between the 
Stuarts and the Parliament, in which the principles of 
the divine light of kings, and ecclesiastical dominion, 
on one side, and civU and religious liberty on the other, 
were to be fought out. In Bohemia, the disciples of 
John Huss had long since obtained toleration for the 
reformed religion ; and at this very time,^ the Emperor 
granted freedom of worship to Protestants, in Hungary 
and Austria. In resisting the tyranny of Philip of 
Spain, the Netherlands had been fighting the battle of 
Protestantism, and of European liberties. 

The Spaniards and Portuguese had hitherto taken union of 
the lead in geographical discoveries, and remote com- and^m. 
mercial adventures: the Pope had assumed to give 
them a monopoly in trade with the Indies : but now 
the free State of the Netherlands, whose commercial 
resources had enabled it to resist the overwhelming 
power of Spain,^ wrested from the hands of despotism 

1 In HuDgarj, Oct. 19, 1608: in Austria, March 12, 1609. 
* Philip I. haying conquered and annexed Portugal, enjoyed tha 
daminioD and commercial rights of both countries. 


CHAP, the primacy of the seaa, and the commerce of all 
^*. , ' ■■> nations. Henceforth England, — ^also advancing in free- 
dom, — was to be its only rival in maritime enterprise, 
in distant conquests, and wide-spreading empire. 
Despotic Spain was declining in power, in wealth and 
intellectual activity; and the two freest States in 
Europe were sharing the commerce, the riches, and the 
dominion of the worid. 
intdiectnAi The intellectual development of Holland was also 
Oa^ associated with its freedom. The whole population 
was educated ; and the higher classes were singularly 
accomplished, especially in modem languages, in 
which they have retained their proficiency, in modan 
Fiwdom of Among the Uberties enjoyed, in the early days of 
**^*^"' the repubUc, was a remarkable freedom of speech and 
of the press, upon all affairs of State, far exceeding that 
permitted in any other country, in the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries. 
The Painfully instructive was the contrast between the 

pw^Mes other Netherland provinces, and the more fortunate 
repubUc. They had cast in their lot with despotism ; 
and had lost their very life-blood. Fax superior, in 
natural advantages, to the northern provinces, they 
had once engrossed the commerce and manufactm^es of 
the Netherlands. But ships were now rotting in the 
port of Antwerp : the looms and workshops of Ghent 
and Bruges were silent as the grave. Bealms, once 
happy and prosperous, were blighted by tyranny ; and 
for more than two centuries, continued an example and 
a warning to Europe. On one side were freedom and 
prosperity : on the other, oppression and ruin. 

after the 


These provinces continued to observe their old chap. 
constitutional forms. Theu- provincial assemblies, 

composed of the clergy, the nobility, and the third J;Hnti^?' 
estate, or commons, were accustomed to meet: but 
their power was monopolised by a few churchmen and 
nobles. Deputies from the larger towns were chosen by 
the privileged and self-elected magistrates ; and all the 
smaller towns, and the country, were without even the 
form of representation. After 1634, the smnmoning of 
the states-general was discontinued; and the Nether- 
lands, as a nation, were governed by the viceroy, with- 
out popular control or responsibility. But, apart from 
political administration, the people continued to enjoy 
many privileges conceded to them in former times. 
The administration of justice was independent; and 
the liberty of the subject assured by law. Some of the 
provinces claimed peculiar franchises under charters, 
the most remarkable of which was thejoyeuse entrie of 
Brabant ; and the old municipal constitutions of the cities 
were generally maintained : but with their life and 
spirit subdued by local oligarchies, and foreign rule. 

The Dutch republic was confirmed as an independent Domestic 
State : its embassies were received with consideration the ontch 
and respect, by crowned heads : a great future of com- 
mercial prosperity, of colonial conquest, and European 
wars, by sea and land, was before it : but its domestic 
history cannot be followed without disappointment and 
sadness. A people who had won their freedom, by 
such heroic sacrifices, should have made its worthy 
enjoyment an example to the whole world : but they 
were distracted by religious discords and civil strife. 
A municipal constitution, and a federation of provinces, 
provoked disunion : while the jealousies and ambition 




The Stadt- 
holder and 



Wars of the 



of rulers, and the factious violence of the populace, 
brought reproach upon a free country. 

The stadtholder, now become Prince of Orange, by 
the death of his ill-fated brother, was the first to do 
wrong to the Republic, which he had so nobly defended. 
His hatred of Bameveldt had increased since the truce, 
until he was bent upon his ruin, even at the cost of 
freedom and justice. To subvert his influence in the 
states^eneral, he arbitrarily changed the senates of 
many of the towns, and filled them with creatures of 
his own, — an act more worthy of the tyrants with 
whom he had done battle, than of the chief of a free 
commonwealth. This breach of the constitution was' 
followed by the ill^al arrest, and judicial murder, of 
the aged Bameveldt, by which the freedom of the 
republic was profaned. Grotius, and other friends of 
this eminent statesman, were cast into prison; and 
ministers of rehgion of the * remonstrant ' party were 
banished and imprisoned. Such were the fruits of civil 
and rehgious liberty, mider Maurice of Nassau.^ 

And now the republic was to be drawn into the 
great whirlpool of European wars, which desolated 
many lands for upwards of a century. It fought for 
the Protestant cause, against the Catholic League, in 
the thirty years' war,' which shook the foundations of 
absolutism and the Church of Bome. The twelve 
years' truce expired, and hostilities were resumed 
between Spain and the Netherlands. The arms of the 
republic were again victorious : but it was nearly thirty 

1 See Mr. Motley's Uft and Death <^Jokn cf Bameoddt, ch. 18-22. 

* On one aide were the Elector Palatine, Henry IV. of France, the 
kings of England, Denmark, and Sweden, and the United Proyinces : on 
the other, the Pope, the Emperor of Germany, the king of Spain, and the 
archdukes of the Netherlands. 


years before an honourable peace was, at length, con- chap. 
eluded. The gallant little State had won a considerable 

place among the powers of Europe ; and this period ^^^ 
was the cidminating point in the glories of the republic. 
Its maiitime genius was not yet overshadowed by 
that of England : its struggles with foreign enemies 
had united domestic factions in a common cause ; and 
its extended commerce and foreign possessions had 
poured prodigious riches into the land. Cultivation 
and the arts flourished with its wealth and liberty. It 
was the age of Grotius, Heinsius, and Meteren: of 
Bembrandt, Wouvermans, Cuyp, and Paul Potter. 

A less propitious period was approaching. The TheHonne 
office of stadtholder had become virtually hereditary in 
the House of Orange, and those princes were assuming, 
more and more, the pretensions of royalty. William 11. 
of Orange had married the princess-royal of England, 
daughter of Charles I. This alliance naturally assured 
his sympathies with that unfortimate monarch, and 
embroiled the republic with the English Parliament. 
In imitation of the errors of Charles, which had pre- 1660. 
cipitated his doom, he arrested six of the most emi- 
nent deputies of the states-general, and surrounded that 
assembly with troops. He attempted to seize Amsterdam, 
by an armed force, in the dead of night, and to wreak 
his vengeance upon that wealthy city, which had 
ventured to oppose his royal will. This hopeful prince 
would either have trampled under foot all the liberties 
of the republic, or, like his English model, would have 
provoked rebellion : but his career was suddenly cut 
short by death, at the early age of twenty-four. 

A week later, his princess gave birth to a son, — Birth of 
destined hereafter, as the renowned William HE., to m. 


CHAP, rule over England as well as Holland. Meanwhile, 
-^ — r^— ' the office of stadtholder was in abeyance; and the 
states-general, relieved fix)m the yoke of a master who 
had treated them so roughly, assumed to themselves 
the sovereignty of the republic. 
E«yi«»d The English and the Dutch were bound together 

land. by so many ties, — ^by ancient friendships, by rehgion, 
liberty and commerce, — that an alliance between the 
commonwealth and the republic would have seemed 
most natural ; and such was the wish of the English 
Parliament, and of many of the statesmen of Holland. 
But the sympathies of the Orange party, and of the 
people, were with the royal family of Kigland. The 
1651. Prince of Wales, afterwards Charles H., had taken 
refuge at the Hague ; and when Oliver St. John and 
Walter Strickland came as ambassadors from the Parlia- 
ment, they were hooted at, in the streets, by republican 
mobs, as regicides. They sought the friendship of 
Holland : but, as they insisted upon the immediate ex- 
pulsion of the English ftigitives, their mission would 
necessarily have failed, even if the temper of the people 
had been more friendly. They retiuned in anger ; and 
hostile measures were immediately commenced. The 
navigation act was passed, for Uie express purpose 
of ruining Dutch commerce : ^ letters of reprisal were 
issued ; and very soon the republics were at war. The 
two great naval powers were not imfairly matched: 
but the English proved themselves the stronger. 
1658-64. Peace was soon restored : but Cromwell insisted that 
the States should exclude the infant Prince of Orange, 

1 This memorable act prohibited the importation of the prodadaons 
of Asia, Africa^ and America, except in English ships, and the productions 
of Europe, except in the ships of the country whence they were imported. 
Nothing could have been more injurious to the carrying trade of HoUancb 


and his descendants, from the stadtholderate ; and to chap. 


this unjust and ignoble condition, the pensionary De --r-^— ^ 

Witt persuaded them to submit. 

The republic was doomed to further wars, ruinous Constant 
alike to its commerce, its finances and its industry. 
Its sympathies with the royal cause of the Stuarts, and 
its hospitality to Charles 11., were forgotten ; and it was 
soon at war again with the English monarchy. It even 1666-67. 
measured its strength with England and France com- i762-i678. 
bined. For years it battled bravely against Louis XTV.; 
when, by a strange shifting of parts, its only ally, in all 
Europe, was Spain, its traditional enemy. Its achieve- 
ments during these wars, by sea and land, are memor- 
able in history. All eyes were turned to the little 
State which was able to contend against the navies of 
England, and the armies of ^ Le Qrand Monarque.' 

But such contests were a severe trial to its resources, xhe Per- 
and aggravated the weight of its taxation. At the ^ia, 
same time, internal dissensions were introducing weak- ^^'' 
ness and disorders into the administration of public 
affairs ; and serious changes in the constitution of the 
republic. In 1667, the provincial Estates of Holland, 
led by the pensionary De Witt, fearful of renewed 
usurpations upon their freedom, and jealous of the 
Orange family, abolished, by what was termed the 
'Perpetual Edict,' the oflSce of stadtholder in that 
province. This edict was violently resented by the 
party of the young Prince of Orange, and was repug- 
nant to the wishes of other provinces. But, on the 
breaking out of hostilities, the young Prince, scarcely 
of age,^ was appointed captain-general, on condition 

' His majority had been&ced at twenty-two, and he stUl wanteid a 
few montha of that a^fe. 


CHAP, that he should refuse the stadtholderate, if offered to 


' — r-^— ' him. Instead of preparing themselves, with one accord, 
to resist their enemies, the parties of De Witt and of 
the Prince of Orange were almost plunged into civU 
war. In the midst of tumults and anarchy, the Per- 
petual Edict was revoked, and the Prince was proclaimed 
Death of stadtholder, De "V^tt and his brother Cornelius fell 
victims to the vengeance of the Orange party and the 
fury of a mob. Since the death of Bameveldt, there 
had been no such statesman as John de Witt. The 
first had been sacrificed to the jealousy of a ruler : the 
second to party feuds, and popular violence. The fate 
of both these eminent men was a disgrace to the re- 
public, and a reproach to its fi-ee institutions. 
The Prince The Priucc of Orange (William III.) was now 
William*' master of the State, and immediately invaded the 
liberties of the towns, by changing the municipal 
governments, and filling them with his own devoted 
followers. Eepublican liberty had already been sacri- 
ficed, again and again, to each succeeding exigency ; 
and its ultimate destiny was now foreshadowed. Another 
important step, in the history of the republic, was soon 
Thertadtr to follow. The stadhoMcratc of the provinces was 
hereditary, declared hereditary in the Prince of Orange, and his 
descendants. He was now virtually sovereign of the 
United Provinces ; and higher honours were awaiting 
Ascends him. In 1667, he married Princess Mary, daughter of 
throne? " the Dukc of York (afterwards James H) ; and, in 1688, 
won for himself and his consort the throne of England. 
English liberties owed much to William HE. : but 
Holland found herself a weak State under an hereditary 
prince, and allied to a stronger power, in whose wars 




she was entangled, and to whose interests her own chap. 
were sacrificed. w ^/-^ 

At his death, in 1702, without issue, Holland was Hoii«id 
released from this injurious connection : but did not death. 
escape from the unceasing wars in which she had been 
involved. For several years, the government of the 
repubUc was resumed by the states-general: but in i747. 
1747, William Prince of Orange (William IV.) recovered 
the imited offices of stadtholder, captain and admiral- 
general, which, mainly through the influence of the 
nobles, were now declared hereditary in his family. 
He soon assumed most of the attributes of royalty. 
He was king, in all but the name ; and having the 
personal command of the army and navy, he was, 
in truth, far more powerful than a constitutional 
sovereign. Meanwhile others changes were passing 1747-1779. 
over the government of the republic. Loud com- 
plaints were made of corruption in the states-general : 
offices of trust were said to be bought and sold : even 
the administration of justice was tainted with suspicions 
of bribery ; and the municipal councils had been so 
often arbitrarily changed, that they had lost their in- 
dependence. The people themselves, weighed down 
by heavy taxes, — ^the firdt of constant warfare, — and 
suffering from the gradual decay of Dutch commerce, 
appeared to be losing their old spirit of freedom and 
patriotism. There had always been disunion among ite de- 
the provinces : the feuds of rival parties had caused tv^^ °' 
weakness to the State: but now the administration 
seemed stricken with infirmity, and the people with 
political languor. The noble little State was rapidly 
declining : its navy was rotting : its harbours were 
being choked with sand : its colonies falling into decay : 


CHAP, its trade and manufactures perishing under the rivalry 


of England. 

War with These various causes had long been undermining 

1780,"* *^^ power of Holland, when her ruin was nearly com- 
pleted by a war with England. Her commerce was 
swept from the high seas : her colonies fell, one after 
another, before the arms of her victorious rival ; and 
1788. she was humbled by an ignominious peace. 
The patriot The failurcs of the government favoured the 
come by growth of a ' patriot ' party, opposed to the stadtholder, 
n'w^iw. ^^d clamorous for the recovery of popular liberties. 
By the struggles of this party with the friends of the 
Prince of Orange, the country was plunged into civil 
war ; when the king of Prussia invaded the provinces 
and restored the ascendency of the Orange family. 
Thepatriot The patriots being now trampled upon, without 
Fr^^ ^ mercy, by the dominant party, fled in great numbers 
to France, which was already throbbing with the first 
throes of its impending revolution. Hitherto there 
had been little of democracy either in the constitution 
of the republic, or in the sentiments of the Dutch 
people. The populace had often been turbulent and 
riotous: but their sympathies were all on the side 
of the princes of the House of Orange. The 
patriot party had striven to diminish the excessive 
power of the stadtholder, and to restore municipal 
liberties : but they professed none of the doctrines of 
theoretic democracy. The recent foundation of a 
democratic republic in America had, indeed, awakened 
in Holland, as elsewhere, a bolder spirit of political 
discussion t but little had yet been heard of social 
equality and the rights of man. But now the banished 
patriots naturally caught the spirit of French demo- 


EEVOLUnON OP 1794. 79 

cracy. They allied themselves with the revolutionary chap. 
party ; and hoped to obtain their recall fix)m exile, and ^ / -^ 
the triumph of their cause, by the aid of the soldiers of 
the revolution. 

These exiles were in close conmiunication with warwith 


their friends at home ; and when, in 1793, the National 1798. 
Convention declared war against the stadtholder, a con- 
siderable party were in secret correspondence with the 
enemy, and hailing the invaders as champions of the 
liberties of Holland. Overpowered by the French, for 
whom a severe frost had bridged over the waters, 
— thitherto the natural bulwarks of Holland, — ^and 
weakened by domestic treason, the stadtholder and 1794-1795. 
his family fled ; and the revolution was proclaimed RevoioUon 

•^ ^ proclaimed. 

throughout the provinces. Dutch citizens decked 
themselves with tricoloured emblems : fraternised with 
the French soldiery : planted the tree of hberty in 
every town, and celebrated the triumph of liberty, 
equality, and fraternity with feasts and dancing. 

A revolutionary committee was formed upon the xbenew 
French model. The sovereignty of the people and the Sm!""' 
rights of man were proclaimed : the ancient municipal 
constitution of the provinces was overthrown ; and a 
representative assembly summoned, to be chosen by 
universal suflrage. The hereditary titles of the nobility 
were abolished ; and their domains appropriated for the 
use of the State : feudal customs were abrogated : the 
use of heraldic devices and liveries was prohibited : 
even the gallows and the whipping-posts were pulled 
down as emblems of slavery. Eevolutionary clubs 
were founded on the model of those of France : but 
they were less violent than their prototypes : they were 


CHAP, not supported by ferocious mobs ; and they were held 


in restraint by a constitutional government.^ 

Hoiumd The revolution was accomplished: all Dutch 

JrovSw, citizens were free and equal : but their country was 
treated like a province of France. French troops were 
quartered upon them, and maintained at their expense : 
French assignats were passed off upon them for good 
money ; and the quarrels of France had become their 
own. For a few years the republic was allowed a 
nominal independence, under the domination of France : 
but in 1806, Napoleon sent his brother Louis to rule 
as bis vassal king; and in 1810, he absorbed its 
territory into the French empire. 
CoMtitu- For three years Holland suffered under the op- 

monarchy, pressive rule of the emperor : she was Exhausted by 
taxes and exactions : the blood of her sons was shed 
imder the eagles of Napoleon, on the battle-fields of 
Europe; and her commerce was utterly destroyed. 
But in 1813, she was able once more to cast off the 
yoke of the foreigner, and to recover her independence. 
It was not a time for republican experiments ; and a 
constitutional monarchy was established in the House 
of Orange. The Netherlands were now included 
with Holland in the new kingdom of the Netherlands, 
under William V., Prince of Orange.* The same con- 
stitutional privileges were assured to them, as were 
enjoyed by the Dutdi provinces, including complete 
religious freedom. The Belgians now enjoyed more 

1 Juste, Hist, de Beigique,]iYTe ix. ch. 1. Mrs. DaTies, Mem, of Ondaatje 
(Utrecht, 1870), 172, 173. Many details of the revolationarj moyement 
in the Netherlands, not given in general histories, will be found in this 

• At this time he was called ' sovereign prince ' of the Netherlands. 
In March 1816 he proclaimed himself King of the Netherlands. 


constitutional freedom than had been their lot for three chap. 
centuries ; and they were again united with the - — ^^-^-^ 
northern provinces, under a descendant of the great 
Wilham of Orange, who had struggled, with their 
common ancestors, for civil and reUgious liberty. 
Brussels, a Belgian dty, was the capital of the new 
kingdom ; and the commercial and agricultural pro- 
sperity of Belgium received an impulse from re- 
stored freedom, which had been unknown to many 

This union, however, was not destined to be of long Hoiund 
duration : it was the work of the allied sovereigns — gium. 
not the spontaneous fusion of the two nations ; and the 
religious differences of the northern and southern pro- 
vinces gravely affected the stability of the new State. 
The Calvinists of the North and the Boman Cathohcs 
of the South had no common sympathies: while for 
upwards of two centuries they had been governed upon 
opposite principles, — the former being under the rule 
of a repubUc, — ^the latter under foreign governors. 
Commercial rivalries, no less than poUtical jealousies, 
contributed to the estrangement of the two peoples. 
Both in commerce and in political influence, Holland 
was the dominant power, and she regarded Belgium 
merely as an extension of her territory : while Belgium, 
on her side, considered herself annexed to a rival State, 
rather than united with a friendly people.^ Moreover, 
the king was a Dutchman : he carried a new constitu- 
tion with a high hand against a majority of Belgian 
notables; and otherwise favoured the interests and 
nationality of Holland. The highest ofiices in the 

1 Nothomb, JEasai 9ur la rSvolutum Beige, 44 ; Jiute, Hist, de Beigique, 
livT. ix. ch. 2. 



CHAP. State and in diplomacy were bestowed upon Dutchmen. 


By interferences with freedom of education, by re- 
straints upon the press, and by discouragement of the 
language and pecuUar laws of the Belgians, the govern- 
ment united against itself the Roman Catholics and the 
Liberal party, — otherwise opposed. Pretensions to pre- 
rogatives, scarcely compatible with so new a monarchy, 
increased the alienation of the Belgians. At length, in 
1830, the Revolution in France precipitated an insur- 
rection in Belgium, which resulted in the separation of 
that country from Holland, and the establishment of a 
free and prosperous kingdom, under the enlightened 
rule of Leopold L, king of the Belgians.^ 
uitramon- The two kiudrcd countries, whose fortunes had 

bSgkIm? sometimes been united, and sometimes dissevered, now 
became distinct constitutional monarchies. In both, 
the principles and traditions of freedom were maintained ; 
and the rights of the people ivcre guaranteed by hberal 
institutions, and by the good faith and moderation of 
their sovereigns. But in Holland the Protestant religion, 
for which so noble a struggle had been made, in former 
times, has saved that State from the dangers of ecclesi- 
astical domination. In Belgium, the ancient ascendency 
of the Church of Rome was upheld ; and a grave con- 
flict has, tor several years, been waged between the 
Ultramontane Cathohcs and the Liberal party, which 
threatens the civil liberties of the country. In no other 
European State have the pretensions of the Church, in 
recent times, been pressed so far, or with so much suc- 
cess. The issue of this conflict is yet to be determined. 
The majority of the people are Catholics : the priest- 

* Jufite, Hi^. de Belgique, livr. iz. ch. 3. 


hood know how to wield popular forces in furtherance chap. 
of their cause ; and the Church of Eome, discomfited — . - — 
in other States, has exerted all her influence, to recover 
dominion in Belgium, which she has lost elsewhere. 
But the times are unpropitious to Ultramontane 
schemes : the Church of Eome has lost her hold upon 
the leaders of thought, throughout Europe; and the 
Belgians, however faithful to her creed, are not Kkely 
to suffer her pretensions to impair their cherished liber- 
ties. In a free State, such pretensions have become an 
anachronism ; and their ultimate failure is assured,^ 

The eventful history of the Netherlands : their Continued 

,..«•, 1 . , freedom of 

ancient freedom : their pamiul struggles against despot- t»»e Nether- 
ism : their critical contest for the ri^ts of conscience ; 
and their good and evil fortunes, naturally command 
our sympathy. The two independent States, into which 
the seventeen historic provinces are now divided, are 
both enjoying ample poUtical freedom, and revived 
prosperity. In contending for their traditional fran- 
chises, the people had never been moved by the prin- 
ciples and aims of democracy. Holland had become 
a repubhc by the force of circumstances : it was not 
founded upon a democratic basis ; and it soon sub- 
mitted, once more, to the rule of an hereditary prince. 
The Batavian republic was but an offshoot of the French 
Eevolution. For centuries the Netherlands desired 
nothing more than the enjoyment of munidpal privi- 

1 ' Si dans les longs sidles du moyen-age, la papaut^ a ^t^ toute- 
puisaante, n'est-ce point parce qu'elle dominait sur les espritaP et si 
aujourd'hui elle perd sa puissance, n'est-ce pas parce que I'empire des 
&mes lui ^happe P ' — ' Nous ne croyons -pea a uii veritable danger, car il est 
impossible que Phumanit^ retoume dix si^cles en arriftre.' — LEglise et 
fJStat depuis la Revolution, Preface. The third book of this very 
thoughtful work treats fully of Ultramontanism in Belgium ; and the 
whole volume deeeires an attentive perusal. 

e 2 


CHAP, l^es, under their native sovereigns; and Holland and 
— ^— ' Belgium are still free, prosperous, and contented under 
the rule of their constitutional kings. Their liberties 
are now far greater than any to which they aspired in 
former times. They have retained their municipal 
franchises : while the people have acquired the poUtical 
rights of citizens, and a share in the sovereignty of a 
free State. Their past struggles have fitted them for 
the temperate exercise of popular privileges ; and their 
institutions are in harmony with their traditional senti- 
ments and predilections. 




- CLASSES, nr society — the new PHILOBOPHT — ^THE CHURCH AHD 

We now approach the history of a great European chap. 
State, which illustrates, above all other examples, the ' — -^—^ 
social and political causes of democracy, its forces, and L«te 
its dangers. In France, democracy was of a much democracy 
later growth than in Italy, Switzerland, or the Nether- 
lands. The revival of society, after the dark ages, 
had, indeed, secured some popular franchises, from the 
Crown and the nobles. But these were lost as the 
monarchy advanced in power ; and, until late in the 
eighteenth century, no government in Eiux)pe appeared 
more firmly established. Democracy then revealed 
itself, in new forms : professing new principles : seeking 
new aims ; and causing unexampled revolutions. 

Of all the coimtries of Europe, France is the most Thecrmntry 
favoured in situation, in climate, and in the fertility of people of 
her soil. On the north, her coasts are open to the com- 
merce of England, and the States of northern Europe : 
on the West, to Spain and the Atlantic ; and on the south 
to the Mediterranean. On the east, her frontiers extend 


C1IAP. to Germany and Switzerland. Her climate, adapted by 
— ^-^-- the natural variations of so extended a realm to a great 
diversity of products, is everywhere temperate. Her 
soil yields com, wine, and oil in generous abundance. 
Her people are endowed with rare in!;elligence, ingenuity 
and taste. Gay, sociable, and fond of pleasure, they 
are yet industrious, temperate, and thrifty. An ad- 
vanced civilisation was the result of these fortunate 
conditions; and France became distinguished, among 
the nations of Europe, in arms, in wealth, in culture, 
and in all the arts and accomplishments of social life. 
Yet, with all these natural advantages, the prosperity 
and happiness of the people were blighted by political 
and social ills. Misgovernment and unequal laws 
thwarted the beneficence of nature. 
The Franks Latc iu the fifth century, the Gauls had been con- 
f"udaiisra. quered by the Teutonic Franks, under Clovis. This small 
band of conquerors — ^not exceeding ten thousand — 
ha\ing overcome the Goths and the Burgundians, w^ho 
had already settled in the country, laid the foundations 
of the French monarchy. Dividing amongst them 
the fairest domains of the conquered country, they 
established the rule of feudalism. The Franks were to 
the Guuls what, at a later period, the Normans were to 
the Anglo-Saxons. The landowners were of a different 
race from that of the tillers of the soil : they spoke 
another language, and had their own distinct laws, 
traditions and customs. The dominant race guarded 
their rule, and provided for their interests as landowners, 
by exacting all the rights and dues of feudal superiors. 
Large grants of land were also made to the Church, to 
which all the feudal rights of that period were attached. 
In no other country was feudalism more firmly estab- 


lished. It lay heavily upon the ix?ople : but it was a chap. 
cause of weakness to the monarchy. — .-^ 

The enlargement and consoUdation of the French (;rowth 
kingdom was the work of many centuries. By wars, Inanichy. 
intrigues and alUances, province was added to province, 
until the magnificent realm of France was, at length, 
completed. Meanwhile the monarchy was feudal, and 
in the earlier times, elective. Its w^ars were sustained by 
the military services of the vassals of the Crown. But 
their allegiance sat lightly upon them : at one time they 
disobeyed the summons of their chief, at another they 
encountered him in open war. The country was deso- 
lated by foreign wars, invasions, and internal strife : 
but, throughout all its troubles and vicissitudes, the 
power of the Crown was steadily advancing. Princes overtbrow 
and barons were successively brought under subjection : feudal 
their dangerous power was broken by the civil wars of 1662.' 
the Fronde; and finally overthrown by the vigorous 1624-iwi 
administration of Eichelieu. 

The Church was long another source of weakness to TheChurch. 
the Crown. With vast possessions and privileges, and 
supported by the alien power of Kome, she was nearly 
independent of the State. But, after protracted contests, isie. 
Francis I. obtained from the Pope the nomination to 
ecclesiastical dignities ; and the clergy became amen- 
able to the direct influence of the Crown, and were liberal 
in their subsidies. 

By these continued conquests over feudalism and Supreme 

^ "* power of 

the Church, the supremacy of the monarchy was estab- the cruwn. 
lished. The king, no longer relying on the miUtary 
services of his vassals, raised standing armies; and 
assumed independent prerogatives of legislation, of 
judicature, and of taxation. 


CHAP. While France was thus advancing in greatness, and 


her kings in power, the people were sufiering from the 
MiwT and distracted state of the country, and the oppressive weight 
ofule " of feudalism. They suffered from invasions and civil 
'**'***■ wars, from the rigour of feudal service, and from 
vexatious restraints upon their industry. They were serfs 
of nobles and of the Church; and were bound to 
slavery in body and soul. The Albigenses and other 
heretics were hunted down like wolves, and learned 
some of that ferocity which displayed itself in later 
times. From the time of Charlemagne, we read 
of the wretchedness of the peasantry ; and in the 
fourteenth century the country was desolated by famine 
1348. and pestilence. This period is also memorable for a 
formidable insurrection of the peasantry after the battle 
of Poitiers, when King John had been taken prisoner 
to England, and the country was almost in a state of 
The jac- anarchy. The peasants suffering from want, and resenting 
i8f>3. ' the oppression of the feudal lords, rose in great numbers, 
in different parts of France : they burned many castles, 
murdered the owners, and committed the most fright- 
ful outrages upon women and children.^ Their fierce 
hatred of the nobles and gentry proved the severity of 
the feudal yoke : * but it also showed the savagery to 
which a French populace could be roused. At this 
period, struggles with feudalism were rife in other 
parts of Europe. In England, they exploded in the 

1 Froissart, Chrm, (Collection de Buchon), ch. 885. 

' ' Us cmrent qu*il leur ^toit permis de se soulever contra les nobles 
du royaume, et de prendre leur revanche dee mauvaie traitemente qu'ils 
en avaient re^us/-^ Con^. de NangtB, iii. 110. 

'Et chacun d*eux dit, "II dit voir (vrai), il dit voir: honni eoit 
celui par qui il demeurera que tous les gentils homniee ne soit d^- 
truits."'— FroiBsart^ Chnm, (GoUection de Buchon), ch. 385, xii. 293. 


rebellion of Wat Tyler : ^ in the Netherlands in the rising chap. 
of the towns against the barons and the counts of — .-^ 
Flanders.^ But nowhere did insurgents commit atrocities 
so barbarous as those of the French Jacquerie/ and in 
later times, the like passions were to be revealed, in 
excesses no less monstrous, and unnatural. 

The Jacquerie was repressed with merciless severity :* 
but the spirit of vengeance long rankled in the minds 
of the peasantry ; and several years later a fresh out- 
break was threatened. According to Proissart, if the ^^**^- 
king had been defeated in Flanders by Philip Van 
Artevelde, there would have been a general massacre 
of the nobles and gentry of France.* 

Nor was the democratic spirit confined to. the Stephen 
peasantry. Before the outrages of the Jacquerie, i^a-ms. 
Stephen Marcel, Provost of Paris,^ was master of the 
capital, and nearly of the kingdom. By him and his 
civic force, Paris was placed in a state ^of defence, 
against invaders. He dominated over the Estates, as- 
sembled at this crisis : he put the king's ministers to 
flight ; and, by means of a committee of the Estates, 
he assumed the practical sovereignty of the State. He 
even joined his own name with that of the regent in 
summoning a meeting of the Estates. But his rule 
was short. The popular leader was slain by his fellow- July i358. 

* In 1381. 

, * See supra, 16-17 ; Peirens, Democratie en France^ ii. 31-37. 

' ' Certes oncques n'avint entre Chi^tiexifi et Sarraasins telle forceoerie 
que cea gena faaoient, ni qui plua fisfient de maux et de plus vilains faits, 
et tela que cr^ture ne devroit oser penser, aviseri ni regarder.' — Froissarti 
Oinm. Hvr. i. ch. 385. 

* ' Si commenc^rent aussi & tuer et k d^couper ces m^chants gena, sana 
piti^y et sana merci ; et lee pendoient par foia aux arbreei ou ila les trou- 
▼oient.'— Ilnd. ch. 386. 

* Ibid. Hvr. ii. ch. 186 (Collection de Buchon). 

* Provost dea marchanda. 

90 FRANCE. . 

CHAP, citizens,^ and the democracy was overthrown. Thef 

— r-^ brief career of this remarkable provost naturally recalls 
the memory of Bienzi in Italy, and the Van Arte- 
veldes in Flanders.^ Each of these conspicuous men 
represented, for a time, the democracy of the fourteenth 
century : each lost his life in the cause he had 
espoused : not one of them permanently advanced the 
liberties of his country. 

RebeUiooin ^"^ ^^^ mutiuous Spirit of Paris was not subdued ; 

J^jJi"- * and in 1382 the people, resenting some new taxes, 
rebelled against the king, broke open the prisons, and 
armed themselves from the public armouries. Kouen 
also joined in this rebellion.® Elements of disorder were 
widespread throughout France : but the Crown was 
steadily consolidating its power, and reducing nobles 
and people alike to subjection. 

Municipal The kiugs had at first favoiu:ed municipal liberties 

as a counterpoise to the power of the barons ; and as 
the towns increased in wealth and prosperity, they 
showed much of that spirit of freedom and inde- 
pendence which had distinguished the free cities of 
other lands.* In the south, traditions of the ancient 
lioman municipalities may have served to keep aUve 
this spirit ;'^ and everywhere resistance to feudalism, 
and the common interests of their trades, united the 
biu:ghers into powerful municipal communities. They 
elected their own magistrates, and shared in the active 

^ Froissart, Chran* livr. i. ch. 303 ; PerreoSi La DSmocratie en Franctf 
ch. i.-xii. 

'^ Perrens^ La Ddmocratie en France, i. 332. 
» Froiflsart, Chron, livr. ii. ch. 127, 128, 161. 

* De Tocqueville, Lancien Regime j 63 j Freeman, Hi$t. Essays, 2nd 
eer. 12. 

* Robertson, History of Charles V., sect i. n. [Q] ; Lecky, Hist, of 
nationalism, ii. 270. 



pubKc Kfe of a free society. But at an early period, chap. 
the government of most of the French towns had — r-^— ' 
become the heritage of a small body of the richer 
burghers,^ who were more tamest in securing pri- 
vileges for themselves than in advancing the political 
influence of their municipalities. And, considering 
their importance, the towns played an inconsiderable 
part in the politics of France. In political power, they 
never approached the renowned cities of Italy, of 
the Netherlands, of Germany, or even of Spain. If 
any town displayed too much independence, it was 
promptly deprived of its municipal franchises ; ^ and 
Louis XI. subjected the jurisdiction of the towns to 
his own lieutenants.^ In 1692, Louis XIV. abolished 
all municipal elections; and sold the right of governing 
the towns to the rich citizens, who were ready to pur- 
chase it.^ The monarchy was now far too strong to 
suffer from municipal independence ; and this traffic in 
offices was simply a financial expedient. So little did 
the king concern himself about popular privileges, 
that no sooner had he sold the municipal offices, than 
he treated with the burghers for the repurchase of 
their rights. So great a mockery had municipal fran- 
chises become, that, in some towns, these rights were 
thus sold no less than seven times.^ But, whether sold 

> ' Au omihme ou douzi^me d^le les communee se montrent. Au 
treizi^me si^le la decadence ^tait d^jiL complete. II est certftin que ces - 
revolutions communales avaient ^t^ roeuvre de la partie riche des 
habitants des yilles. Les prol^taires suiTaient: mais, h^las! k aucun 
moment ils ne extent rien qui ait eu vie, meme d'un jour.' — Edgar Quinet, 
La Revolution, i. 43. 

* e,ff, Bordeaux, by Charles VII. 

* De TocqueviUe, Lancien JRSffime, 64 j Orowe, Stat, of France, 

* De Tocqueville, 63. » Ibid. 64. 


CHAP, to individuals or to the burghers at large, the result was 
-- — r-^ practically the same : the towns being governed by a 
small oKgarchy, uncontrolled by the people, and com- 
pletely under the direction of the officers of the Crown.^ 
They were efiaced from the poUtical constitution of Prance. 
Stote»- Another institution of the middle ages shared the 

same fate. The Estates of the realm were assembled, 
in early times, to advise the king. These, indeed, 
were originally councils of barons and prelates.* But, 
in 1302, Phihp the Fair summoned the Hers etat^ being 
delegates from the towns, to meet the nobles and pre- 
lates in Notre-Dame ; and this was the first convention 
of the states-general. They were afterwards assemblal 
irregularly, in times of national difficulty and danger, 
or when the necessities of kings drove them to 
demand extraordinary subsidies ; • and, in 1355, it 
appears that the three Estates deliberated together.* 
Again, in 1484, the states-general were convoked, so 
as to ensure a national representation, and embraced 
delegates from the country, as well as from the towns. 
These dehberations were conducted not by orders, but 
in six bureaux, which comprised the representatives of 
all the orders, according to their territorial divisions.^ 
In England, assemblies such as these, grew into a free 
and powerful Parliament, controlling the prerogatives 

^ ' An diz-huiti^me si^le le gouvernement municipal des TilleB avait 
done d^g^n^rd partout en one petite oligarchie.' — De Tocqueville, Vandm 
BSffime, 68. 

' e,g. The Parliament assembled in Paris in 1284, by Louis tbe Hardy. 

* Louis Blanc, JTm^. de la Hev. Fr, i. 157 et seq. 

* Perrons, La DSmocratie en France au moyen»4ge^ i. 125. This 
author says : ' Quel qu'ait ^t6 le but pourauiyi et le but atteint, il est 
impossible de ne pas remarquer qu'& leur insu nobles et pr^ts &iflaient 
un premier pas dans la voie de Tdgalit^ entre les trois ordres.' 

* Aug. Thierry, Eseai mrVhittoire de la formation du Tiers^tat, i. 87 ; 
Louis Blanc, Skt, de la Revolution Fr, i. 153. 


of the Crown, and protecting the rights of the commons, chap. 
But in Prance, they had no settled place in the con- --^-r-^— - 

stitution: they were clothed with no defined authority: 
they laid their complaints {cahierd) at the foot of the 
throne, without any assurance that they would be 
listened to: they were called and dismissed, at the 
pleasure of the Crown ; and were, at length, wholly 

With the states-general of 1614, these national Their dis- 
assemblies were brought to a close ; and, henceforth, >««• 
the king levied his subsidies by prerogative. These 
assemblies had, indeed, imposed little restraint upon 
the increasing power of the Crown: but they had 
maintained the principle of representation, in the 
constitution of France. The nobles, the clergy, and 
the commons, had been brought into the presence of 
the king ; and the commons had been recognised as a 
political order. Two of these orders, closely associated 
with the Crown, and profiting by its prerogatives, con- 
tinued to enjoy great power and privileges: but the 
third, or commonalty, now wholly lost their recognition 
as an Estate of the realm. 

Several of the provinces, which had been, from time provinci*i 
to time, acquired by France, still retained their ancient ***"******• 
constitutions ; and their Estates imposed a certain check 
upon the prerogatives of the crown, in the levying of 
taxes. In Languedoc, Burgundy, Provence, and Brittany, 
and other provinces, or pays (TetatSj the Estates, con- 
sisting of bishops, nobles, and city magistrates, 
met annually to grant subsidies to the king, and to 
assent to new taxes. Sometimes they opposed his 
demands: but they were generally coerced by his 

1 Louis Blanc, Biti. i. 160-169. 



The Parlia 

overruling power. They were, however, mainly as- 
semblies of nobles and churchmen, the last strongholds 
of feudalism ; and Eicheheu, in his contest with the 
survivors of feudal power, endeavoured to abolish 
them. Most of the provinces proved too powerful to 
be yet overcome, by the strong hand of prerogative. 
But Louis XIV. was afterwards able to deprive Nor- 
mandy, Anjou, Touraine, and other provinces, of their 
provincial assemblies. Languedoc, Burgundy, Provence, 
Brittany, and other provinces, were permitted to con- 
tinue as pays d'etats : but their assembUes were com- 
pletely governed by .the commissaries of the king. 
And thus another institution, endowed with some 
measure of constitutional independence, was over- 

A further check upon prerogative was found in the 
P^rUaments. These bodies, however, were in no sense 
representative. They were nominees of the Crown ; 
and, as high courts of justice, they proved firm friends 
to prerogative, and enemies to feudalism.^ But courts 
are ever ready to enlarge their own jurisdiction ; and 
as the king promulgated his decrees, or ordinances, by 
requiring them to be registered by the Parliaments, 
they assumed the right of delaying or refusing this 
registration : or, in other words, of putting a veto upon 
the acts of the Crown. Having no commission from 
the king, nor from the people, for the exercise of such 
a function, their pretensions were naturally resisted. 
The king knew how to maintain his prerogatives. He 
could overcome the contumacy of a Parhament, by 
holding a Lit de Justice ; and, if it continued refractory, 
he could banish its most mutinous members, or order the 

1 HaUam, MiddU Ages, 193-196. 


removal of the Parliament, in a body, until it submitted chap. 
to his will.^ But, in the absence of any other controlling ^^ — r^^ 
power, the opposition of the Parliaments often ex- 
pressed public opinion ; and as the only barrier against 
the arbitrary power of the king, they formed a popular 
element in the constitution.* Nor did the Parliaments 
confine their opposition to the decrees of the Crown : 
they often ventured upon the strongest remonstrances 
against the policy of the government. 

The Parliament of Paris was the first of these 
distinguished bodies : but the provincial parliaments, — 
originally eight in number, and afterwards increased 
to fourteen, — were also powerful within their own juris- 
dictions. They exercised the highest judicature in 
their several provinces. They consisted of the most 
eminent lawyers and magistrates in France, — ennobled 
by their offices, distinguished by their learning, 
eloquence, and cultivation, — the ornaments of French 
society .• The Parhaments continued to display a strong 
spirit of independence, until they were abohshed by 
Louis XV., m 1771.* 

And thus, in each succeeding age, the prerogatives ^^®,"^°;,^ 
of the Crown were enlarged, while every other power ^"'* ^^^{v 
in the State was subjected to its dominion. And as the 
commonalty were advancing in wealth, in intelligence, 

* Henri Marten, Hist, de France, ix. 109, xv. 142, &c.; Louis Blanc, 
Hiti, de In Hev. i>. i. 435 ; Laferri^re, Hist, du Droit de Frcmce, 

* Be Tocqueville, L^nncien Begime, 244. 

* ' France, so fertile of great men in the sixteenth and seventeenth 
centaries, might hetter spare, perhaps, from her annals, any class or de- 
scription of them, than her lawyers.' — Hallam, Middle Affes, i. 196. 
' The spirit and learning of the French provincial magistracy, — the old 
Parliamentary spirit, — was the very salt of the nation before the Revolu* 
tion of 1789.' — Reeve, Moyal and Revolutionary FrancBy ii. 92. 

* See mfra, p. 125. 


CHAP, and in social influence, they were excluded from all 
^--, ^ voice in the government of their country.^ Under Louis 
XIV. the monarchy had become absolute. Whatever 
constitutional rights may have been opposed to the 
power of the king, he exercised prerogatives which 
overcame all resistance. He coidd silence a Parhament 
by a lit de justice : he could imprison his subjects by 
lettrea de cachet: he could banish them by lettres dexil: 
he could confisgate their property : he could tax their 
revenues. Nor was he content to rule over the temporal 
rights of his subjects only : he assumed to govern their 
souls ; and, by revoking the Edict of Nantes, he sub- 
jected the consciences and worship of his people to his 
own will. And while the monarchy was thus acquiring 
a monopoly of power, it was losing much of its feudal 
ontrMisa- Most of the old local authorities had been gradually 
F^«. superseded by nominees of the Crown. The king's 
council (fe canseil du rot) combined the highest 
powers, judicial, administrative, and even legislative. 
The comptroller-general was a minister who wielded 
nearly all the executive power of the State. In every 
province was an intendant, who administered its affairs 
as agent of the government. In the words of Law, 
the notorious financier, *the kingdom was governed 
by thirty intendants.' These officers levied the 
taxes, regulated the militia and police, superintended 
the roads, bridges, and other public works, and under- 
took the relief of the poor.^ The intendants even ruled 

1 MigTiet, But. de la Rev. JFV*. Intr. 8, 0. 

* ' O'est radministration de T^tat qui s'tStend, de toutes ports, ear lea 
d^ris dee pouvoirs locaux: c'est la hi^rarchie des fonctionnaires qui 
remplace, de ploa en plua, le gouvernement des nobles.' — ^De TocquoTille, 
LancUn Bigime^ 26. 

The inten 


over the towns as well as the country, — administering chap. 
their finances, establishing their octrois^ and author- ^ — r-^ 

ising the execution of their public works.^ In the 
villages the people once had a voice in the management 
of their ovni afiairs : but in the eighteenth century, they 
had all Mien under the tutelage of the intendants. These 
active and vigilant officers, greatly extended the power 
of the Crown : but in the same measure, they increased 
the burthens of the people. It was their first duty 
to enrich the royal treasury; and they performed it 
with little regard to the sufferings and repugnance of 
the tax-payers. 

Even the courts found their jiuisdiction superseded JfYuXe!' 
by the administrative activity of the intendants. They 
continued to determine private aniits between parties : 
but were not allowed to interfere in cases in which the 
government and its officers were concerned. These 
courts had done good service to liberty, under an 
absolute government. All their proceedings were con- 
ducted in public: their decisions were open to appeal : 
they were independent ; and, above all, they were not 
venal: they afforded protection against public and 
private vnrongs. It was a grievous blow to hberty, and 
to public security, when power prevailed over justice, 
and the people could only protect themselves by 

All these changes tended to concentrate the entire 
power of Prance in the capital. From early times 

^ De Tocqueyille, Va/ncien Migime, 69. 

' De Tocqueville aays : ' Quand un peuple a d^truit dans son sein 
raristocratie, U court vers la centralisation comme de loi-mSme.' — Handen 
Bigimtj 88. 



CHAP. Paris had been the seat of the court and of the govern- 
ment, the chosen resort of literature and the arts, and 

of society. It was also a centre of industry and manu- 
factures, to which great numbers of capitalists and 
skilled artisans were attracted. And while the capital 
was thus advancmg in power, riches, and culture, the 
gradual absorption of all local authorities, by the central 
government, withdrew fix)m the provinces their activity 
and life. The provinces were depleted of their life- 
blood by the capital. Their weakness and stagnation 
were increasing, while Paris was stimulated into ex- 
cessive vitality. Its commercial industry attracted mul- 
titudes of workmen ; and the working classes acquired a 
dangerous preponderance.^ 

Eyih of ab- This concentration of all the powers of the State in 
the Crown was fetal not only to the liberties, but to 
the material and social well-being, of the country. No 
longer controlled in the levying of taxes, kings were 
firee to riot in every extravagance. They engaged 
lightly in serious wars : they built costly palaces : they 
maintained extravagant establishments; they sur- 
rounded themselves with a court of extraordinary state- 
liness and splendour. There were no bounds to their 
expenses ; and when more money was needed for the 
royal state, fresh taxes were laid upon the people. They 
Kved for themselves alone, for their ambition, their 
pride and their pleasures. They had no thought of 
duty to their subjects. Ruling by hereditary right, 
they were the representatives of God upon earth, and 
were accountable to no man. 

c^Sf^ The court of Louis XIV., at Versailles, was the 


* De TooqueTiUe, L^ancim Biffime, eh. yiL 


most magnificent and the most costly in Europe. No chap. 
earthly sovereign could be surrounded by greater state, ^ — r-^ 
or approached with deeper reverence.^ So brilliant a 
society of princes and nobles had never been collected. 
Nowhere had graceful manners, weU-bred courtesy, and 
polished conversation been cultivated to such perfection. 
This favoured circle formed the ideal of social elegance 
and refinement. It made France fiwnous as the politest 
of nations. But it was idle, frivolous, and corrupt. 
Pleasure and preferment were its only aims. It had 
no sense of public duty or responsibility. Courtiers 
enjoyed a gay society, which scarcely cared to cover its 
vices with the thin veil of gallantry. They performed 
no useful service to the State : but were ever seeking 
new offices and pensions. With all their pride of birth 
and station, they were not ashamed to beg unmerited 
favours from their royal master. And then: insatiable 
greed multiplied the burthens of the people.' 

The evils of such a court as this were grave enough : f-viu of the 
but its indirect consequences were fatal to the interests 
of society. The attraction of nobles and high ecclesi- 
astics, from their provincial strongholds, to the royal 
court, had commenced in the reign of Francis I., and 
increased with the decline of feudalism, and the aggran- 
disement of the monarchy. The warlike chiefs of one 
age, became the silken courtiers of another. Before the 
nobles were attracted to the court they lived upon 
their own territories : they were surrounded by their 

1 < Bepuis leB O^Bars, aucune vie hmnaine n'a tenu tant de place au 
floleil.' — ^Taine, Lea Originea^ 114. The second book of this remarkable 
work cootaiiis a description of thi& oourt^at once compiehensm and 

* As a smgle example : ' En 1767 Timpdt est de 288^166^000 liyres ; 
en 1780, de 476,294,000.'— Taine, Lea Origins, 466. 


100 FRANCE. 

CHj^p. neighbours and dependents : they were identified with 
' — ' — ' the social life of the provinces. Their feudal rights 
were invidious and oppressive : but in the eyes of their 
own people, they were princes, to whom all accustomed 
services were rightly due. They kept alive a sentiment 
of hereditary loydty.^ Their bravery and manly 
virtues, the splendour of their hospitality, their charities 
and fidendly offices, endeared them to their countrymen. 
And in more tranquil times, they were able to lay 
aside the sword, and assume the duties and responsi- 
bilities of magistrates, provincial councillors, and country 
gentlemen. At this very period, when they could have 
done the best service to society, they deserted their 
ancestral halls, and flocked to Paris and Versailles. 
Princes in the provinces, they now became the gilded 
servants of the king ; and their revenues, instead of 
maintaining their old feudal state, contributed to the 
splendour of the royal court. But they profited by 
the munificence of the king and the privileges of their 
order ; and while still enjoying the rights of feudalism, 
they escaped from all its duties. On the ground of their 
feudal services to the Crown, they had formerly 
claimed exemption from other pubhc burthens; and 
now that these services were no longer rendered, their 
exemption was maintained, 
mgh offices All the highest offices in the Church, the State, and 
SS^?y the army, were conferred upon nobles. No commoner 
°^ ^ could aspire to hold them. The bishop, the abbot, and 
the prior were of gentle birth : the half-starved curS 

^ ' La seigneurie, le comt^^ le duch4 deviennent une patrie que Ton 
aime d'un instinct aveugle, et pour laquelle on se d^roue.' — ^Taine, 
Lea Origines, 13. 


was a plebeian.^ The bishop lived like a prince, sur- chap. 
rounded by luxuries, and mixing freely in the gay, and ^ — r-^— 

not too moral society of the court. The curdj ill- 
housed and ill-fed, laboured in his humble calling, with- 
out encouragement from above, and without a hope of 
preferment. To be a captain in the army, an officer 
was required to prove that he had four d^ees of 
nobility ; and throughout the service, promotion was to 
be gained, not by merit, but by court jEavour. Sinecm:es 
were multiplied for the nobles, in the public administra- 
tion, and in the court. They were of no service to the 
State : they contributed little to the dignity of the royal 
household : but they weighed heavily upon the national 
finances.* Preposterous pensions were lavished upon 
courtiers and favoured ladies, without any pretence of 
service to the State.' 

Nor were offices multiplied merely for the gratifica- ^« <>' 
tion of courtiers. Since the fifteenth century, the sale 
of public offices had been resorted to by the Crown as 
a source of revenue. To enhance their saleable value, 
many of them were made hereditary : some even carried 
with them a patent of nobility : all entitled the fortunate 
holders to exemption from many taxes. Multitudes of 
offices were created, not because they were necessary, 
but because they could be sold. Such offices existed 
in every department of the State ; and thus there stood 
between the government and the people, an independent 
offidal aristocracy, very burthensome to the country, 
and little under the control of its rulers. To administer 

' 'Xes vrais pasteors des Ames, lea co-op^rateun dans le saint 
mimst^, ont & peine une subsistance.' — ^Le Marquis de Mirabean, died 
by Taine, Let OHginegf 94. See also Lament, LEglite et VJEtat, 2>11. 

» TMne, 81-89. » Ibid. 90. 

102 FRANCE. 

CHAP, the affairs of a great State efficiently, with such a staff, 
^ — r-^— ' was out of the question; and Louis XIV., in great 
measiu:e, superseded them by the appointment of an 
intendant and subdilegues in every province. Yet 
more offices were created and sold ; and their holders 
bang exempt from taxation, the burthens upon their 
less fortunate neighbours were increased ; and their 
own privileges became the more obnoxious. Even 
the reversions of offices were sold. Monopolies were 
also granted, at high prices, which crippled trade, and 
brought ruin upon numbers of industrious families. 
^aMinj- While the nobles were thus enjoying the lucrative 

nobles. officcs and honours of the court, and distributing 
favours to their friends, their feudal domains were de- 
serted. The State taxes, from which their own pro- 
perty and that of the Church were wholly or partly 
exempt, were constantly becoming more burthensome 
to the poorer proprietors, for whom there was no ex- 
emption. About one-half the soil belonged to the 
favoured rich, and the other half to the heavily-laden 
poor.^ But yet more grievous were the feudal dues 
and local burthens borne by the unprivileged lands. 
All the great nobles and dignitaries of the Church were 
now absentees ; and the lesser nobles and proprietors, 
still resident, were deprived of their local fimctions 
by the officers of the State. Nothing of feudalism re- 
mained but its burthens ; and these were heavier than 
Bnrih^ The corvie^ or statute-labour, exacted for the repair 

pMMntrjr. of thc roads and various local works, tolls on the roads, 

^ 'Si on d^fidque les teirres pubUques, lee privil^gi^ poeeedent la 
mollis du Toyaume. £t oe gioe lot est, en m^e temps, le plus riche.' — 
Taine, Leu OngmeB, 18. 


ferries across the rivers, dues at fairs and markets, 9hap- 
exclusive rights of grinding com, of pressmg grapes, * — • — ' 
and of keeping pigeons : fees on the sale of land, dues 
and ground-rents to the feudal lord, in money and in 
kind : tithes and seignorial dues to the Chiu*ch : such 
were the chief burthens upon the land.^ As wealth 
and civilisation increased, more constant demands were 
made for public roads. They were most needed for 
the rich : but they were made at the cost of the poor 
peasants, to whom they were of little use.^ Besides these 
feudal dues, the public burthens upon the peasantry 
were grievous. Among them were the taiUe, a heavy 
personal tax, unequally assessed and arbitrarily levied ;' 
and others no less onerous.^ 

These demands upon the peasant proprietors and ^^^ 
&rmers became more repugnant when the feudal residence, 
superiors had lost their power. So long as the nobles 
administered justice, executed the laws, and took the 
lead in all local affairs, these pubhc duties seemed 
to justify their rights. They stood in the same 
relation to the people as the State, — ^rendering services, 
and receiving taxes; but now the services were 
withdrawn, and the exactions continued. These dues 
were constantly becoming more burthensome. In 
the absence of proprietors, agents and stewards were 
hard task-masters. It was their business to collect 
the uttermost farthing from the peasantry. The un- 
just steward knew how to profit by his exactions: 
the honest servant was boimd to meet the urgent 

' De Tocqueville, Landen Bigime, 42. 

^ Thk peculiar hardship was strikingly condemned by the king him. 
self in an edict against the corvSe. — ^Ihid. 266. 

» IHd. 186. * See infra, p. 107. 

104 FRANCE. 

CHAP, necessities of his employer. Still worse was the lot of 
' — r^--' the unhappy peasant when the dues were leased to a 
stranger, or mortgaged to a creditor. Unfeeling and 
rapacious, such men, who now stood in the place of the 
proprietor, became the terror and scourge of the cul- 
tivators, — ^reducing them to beggary, and driving them 
from their homes.^ 
Resident There were many proprietors, indeed, still resident 

proprietow. , . "L^ ^ .11 i. 

upon tneu: estates. Too poor to enjoy the pleasures of 
the capital, for which they longed, they Uved penuri- 
ously in their own chateaux. They were relieved of 
all the public duties of a country gentleman : ^ but they 
were tenacious of their old feudal rights, — ^the dove- 
cot, the warren, and the game preserves.*^ With more 
sympathy for the peasantry than the collectors of 
absentee proprietors, they were too poor to be liberal. 
They lived upon their feudal rights, and could not 
aflford to for^o them.* Whether the proprietor was 
resident or not, there was no relief for the peasant ; 
and at length the long-suffering cultivators of the soil 
learned to cast sullen and revengeful looks upon the 
ch&teau. There lay the treasured title-deeds which 
had doomed them to penury. There might be foimd, 

^ 'On comprend que, exerc^ par leun nuunB (lee femueia on 
d^iteuTs), la fiSodalit^ p&t pandtre souyent plus dure qu'au moyen-age.' — 
De Tocqueville, Lancitn Migimty 406 (note). ' (Test un loup layiasant, 
que Ton l&che snr la terie, qui en tire jusqu'auz deniiers sous, accaUe lea 
sujets, les reduit k la mendicit^y fait darter lea cultiyateurs, rend odieux 
le maitre qui se trouve forc^ de tol^rer see exactions^ pour le faire jouir.' — 
Benauldon, 628, cited 'by Taine, Leg OrigmeB, 67. 

^ De Tocqueville, Lancien lUgime, 89, 66, &c. 

* Taine, La Ortgmes, 60. 

^ ' Le peuple, qui d'un mot ya souyent droit & Tid^, ayait donn^ k 
oe petit gentilhomme le nom du moina gros des oLseaux de proie : il Tayait 
nommd le hobereau.' — De Tocqueville, 181. 


at some future time, the means of rescue and redemp- chap. 
tion/ '^ — , — ' 

Besides these two classes of feudal landowners, Peasant 
there was a prodigious nxmiber of peasant proprietors, 
who had gi^ually acquired portions of the original 
feudal grants. Serfdom had been generally unknown 
for centuries before the Eevolution.^ In Normandy it 
had ceased to exist so far back as the thirteenth cen- 
tury ; * and the peasantry, no longer serfs, became, in 
vast numbers, proprietors of the soil. Long before the 
Eevolution and the Code Napol^n, the extraordinary 
subdivision of the land, among peasant proprietors, 
had been observed by French statesmen.* Numbers 
of nobles and landowners, impoverished by extrava- 
gance and by the mismanagement of their estates, were 
induced to sell portions of their land to the peasantry. 
To this class about one-third of the land of France 
belonged. They were generally poor, ignorant, and 
struggling for a bare subsistence. Though they had 
purchased their little patches of soil out of their scanty 
savings, they had not acquired exemption fix)m feudal 
dues ; and as their richer neighbours, to whom these 
dues were paid, were exempt fix)m other taxes, the 
chief burthens fell upon this single class, which was 
least able to bear them. Whatever the pride of owner- 
ship, the peasant proprietor was still called upon to 
leave his own farm, and to work for another, without 
reward. His crops were devoured by his great neigh- 
bour's game : his com was ground dearly at the pri- 

' Taine, Les Oriffinei, 62. 

' The only exception was in teiritoriee in the east of France, aoquiied 
iiom Germany. 

' De TocqueviUe, JOancim BSghM^ livr. ii. ch. 1. 

^ Ibid. ; Doniol, La BMluticn Ihmgaige, et la FSodaUtS, 

106 FRAKCK. 

CHAP, vileged mill ; and he still paid feudal rents for lands 
^^^!^' ■■> which he called his own. Can we wonder that the 
peasant proprietors hated the nobles and the Church? ^ 
Them©. AuothcT class of peasants, who shared the suffer- 

ings and wrongs of the small proprietors, were the 
peasant tenantry of the nobles and the Church, known 
as metayers^ who paid their rent in kind. Without 
capital or skill, or interest in the soil, their farming 
was wretched. The landlord suffered by the unpro- 
ductiveness of his land : the tenant was oppressed by 
agents, collectors, and money-lenders. At best, the 
metayer earned a bare subsistence, — ^living a hard life, 
ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and ignorant ; and upon 
him fell the taxes firom which his privileged landlord 
Poverty was exempt. Both these classes of peasants were poor 
p«w*nto. enough : but, to escape impositions, they pretended even 
greater poverty. Their wretched houses were out of 
repair, and nearly stripped of furniture : their clothing 
was beggarly, and their food coarse and scanty.* 
Thegtme. Another grievous wrong was suffered by the pea- 
santry, from the feudal game-laws. Qume was strictly 
preserved for the use of the lords of the soil ; and for 
its protection, the peasant was exposed to the most 
vexatious injuries. His crops were destroyed without 

1 Many interesting illustrations of tlie condition of the peasantry, before 
the Hevolution; will be found in Bonnem^, JTisf . de$ Paysans ; in Boulan* 
TiUiers, Etat de la France ; and in LhiiUnre ^un Paytan^ 1789, 1792, 1793, 
1794rl816, byErckmann-Ohatrian. 'La noblesse et le clerg^,ce8 deux oidres 
rapacesyse sont appropzi^ tons les avantages de la socifit^, ont £ut tarir pour 
nous toutes les sources de Faisance et de la prospdrit^ ; on nous a yex^ 
mac^r^ & peu prte comme dee b^tes de somme. Ges ennemis du bonheur 
des peuples ne paient rien k T^tat, quoiqu'ils possddent les plus grands 
Hens, des biens immenses : tout est ft eux, lien ft nous, et avec ce rien 
nous Bommes obliges de faire fiuse ft tons les besoins de la chose publique.* 
SifiexioM tPun PhiloBcphe Breton, Intr. au Moniteur, p. 609. 

* Taine, Let Oriymet, 445. 


compensation : he was forbidden to protect them by chap. 
the inclosure of his land : he could keep neither dog '^ — r-^— ^ 

nor gmi. Woe to him if, at the hatching season, he 
disturbed the partridges by cutting his own grass, or 
lucerne, or osiers. Any breach of these laws was 
punished with rigorous severity.^ 

The peasantry were ruined by State taxes, by local weight of 
burthens, and by feudal dues and services. The tax- 
gatherer was ever at their doors : he even pursued 
them as they came fix)m church : their goods were Isold 
for non-payment of taxes; and their ignorance ex- 
posed them to extortion and fraud.*^ Not only were 
these taxes ruinous in amount, but some, like the salt- 
tax and the wine-tax, were levied by means so oppress 
sive and vexatious, that the loss to industry and trade 
was more serious than the tax itself^ 

The last wrong of the peasantry was that of recruit- Themffitia. 
ing for the militia. The military forces were drawn 
exclusively fix>m the lower classes : all people in com- 
fortable circumstances, as well as their servants, enjoyed 
exemption firom service ; and none but the poor pea- 
sants, who had no friends, were pressed into the 
ranks.^ Dragged from their homes, and made soldiers 
against their will, they were treated with severity and 
n^lect. While thefr noble officers were faring 
sumptuously every day, the common soldiers were 

^ 'LeuTS capitaines de duisse, veneun, gardes forestiers, grayersi 
prot^gent lee bStes oomme si ellee ^talent dee honunee, et poursuiyent lee 
bommes ocmuDe s^ ^taient dee betee.'— Taine, Xei Origine$y 72. 

' ' lA plupart . • • reaeemUent aux f eUahe d'Egypte, aux laboureun 
de llndouetan.'— nnd. 466. 

> lUd. 46a-47a 

^ ' Le service leur est a odieux^ que soavent ils se sauyent dans lea 
1»is, oa il faut les poursuiyre & main arm^.' — ^Ibid. 5134 




No agricul- 

and bread 

coaxsely and sparely fed, ill-lodged, and ill-treated.^ 
Nowhere was the hard contrast between the noble and 
the peasant] more striking than in a French r^ment. 
The soldiers, sullen and discontented, deserted in 
thousands, and lived upon society as outlaws, marau- 
ders, poachers, and vagrants. 

There was no agricultural middle class, like that of 
yeomen, or large tenant farmers, as in England. The 
rural society was that of nobles, squires, and peasants. 
Nor did any of the middle class, enriched by trade, 
choose their homes in the country. Eepelled by the 
haughty bearing of the proprietors,^ and by the local 
burthens which fell heavily upon them, as unprivil^ed 
owners, they took refuge in the towns, and swelled the 
ranks of the bourgeoide.^ 

With such discouragements to the industry of the 
peasantry, we learn without surprise of the miseries 
by which large parts of France were often afflicted. 
Famines were not infrequent, which carried off multi- 
tudes of sufferers ; and reduced the survivors to the 
most frightful privations.* While nobles and prelates 
were feasting, at Versailles, thousands of their wretched 
people were dying of hunger. Large tracts of land, 
deserted by the peasantry, were thrown out of cultiva- 
tion. Many fled from their miseries to the provincial 
towns, and to Paris : where a starving populace were 

^ ' Sbc sous par jour, un lit tooit pour deux, du pain de chien, et depuis 
quelques ann^, des coups comme & un chien/ — Taine, Le» Originet, 512. 

* ' Le sei^eur qui r^aidait dans ees terres montrait d'ordinaire une 
certaine bonhomie famili^re enyers les payaans; mais son insolence 
Tis-AryiB dee bourgeois, see voisins, ^tait presque infinie.' — ^De TocqueviUe, 
LofMsien BSgirne, 134. 

' 'La presque totality de la classe moyenne dans Pancien regime 
babitait les villes/— Ibid. 134, 136. 

^ Taine, Xei OrigineB, 430, et ieq. 


often driven to riots and pillage. They broke down chap. 
the barriers at the octroi, they forced open granaries, ^ — r-^-^ 
and provision shops : they plundered markets, and they 
hung bakers. Multitudes of beggars infested the 
country roads, the towns and the capital. In 1767, no 
less than 50,000 were taken up, by order of the govern- 
ment.^ Bands of armed robbers and poachers, cut 
down woods, swept away game and poultry, and 
plundered farm-houses. These dangerous vagabonds, 
trained to outrage, were ready to lead famished mobs in 
tumults and insurrections.^ 

The towns were more prosperous than the country : Thepro- 

/vi'-ii rm vincial 

but they suflTered grievous burthens. They were towns. 
subject to a heavy octroi, and to public and local im- 
posts : their trade waa injured by monopolies, and fiscal 
vexations: no one was free to follow his calling in 
his own way : everywhere privilege was opposed to 
freedom. Niunbers of their own workmen were often 
without employment ; and they were overrun by 
paupers and v^^rants from the country.® 

While the country was sufiering from misrule, impover- 
mjiistice, and selfishness, unportant changes were the nobles. 
coming over the society of France. The old nobles 
retained their ancient privileges : but their social posi- 
tion was gravely altered. Such was the respect due to 
birth, that nobifity once stood alone and unapproach- 
able in society. It was a distinct caste.* Nobles rarely 
married beyond their own privileged circle, and never 

^ De Toeqneville, L^ancien MSgime^ 109. 
s Taine^ Lbb Originea, 607, 606. 
"^ Ibid. 482, 605. 

^ ' La noblesse est deyenue une caste, c'est-drdire que sa marque 
distincte est la naisaance.' — ^De Tooqueyille, Lancien Regime, 124. 

110 FBANCB. 

CHAP, without discredit. They were also the only wealthy class : 


their great possessions placing them far above the reach 
of rivahy. And when they resided upon their patrimonial 
estates, their influence over provincial society was 
unboimded. But their ranks had been thinned by the 
civil wars ; and court life had impaired their fortunes. 
Their estates were impoverished by neglect and mis- 
management ; and not all the lavish bounty of the king 
sufficed to maintain their extravagance. Many sank 
deeply into debt : some saved themselves from ruin by 
imequal marriages.* Above all, they had wholly abdi- 
cated their proper duties, as a governing dass. While 
the country was distvffbed by dangerous disorders, — . 
mainly due to their neglect, — ^they were spending a life 
of pleasure and frivolity. They were masters of wit 
and epigram: but they were without statesmanship, 
patriotignn, or a sense of public duty. They had lost 
their influence over society ; and they took no pains to 
recover it. If they desired power, they sought it 
through the favom: of the king. They had no ambition 
apart from the court. And thus France was deprived 
of the guidance of its natural leaders. 
Ri^ of Meanwhile other classes had been rising in French 

^^^ society. While the nobles were becoming poorer, inten- 

Official dants, financiers, merchants and lawyers were growing 
rich. If they had formed a powerful middle class, con- 
trolling the nobles, and representing the interests of the 
people, they could have done much to repair the evils 
of French society. But it was their first ambition to be 

^ 'Bepuis plufiieurs sidcles les noliles fran^ais n'avaient oesed de 
B^appauYiir. '^Malgr^ ses privil^B, la noUease se niine, et fl^anteitit 
toua lea joura, et le tien-^tat s'empaie des fortunefi," 6caAt tristement iin 
gentiOiQmme, en 1765.^-— De Tocqneyille, Lancien BSgimej 117. 


ennobled. A part of their wealth was at once invested in chap, 

^ XII. 

the purchase of an oflBce, which conferred the rank 
and privileges of nobility.^ The social position of these 
official nobles was equivocal. By the old noblesse, they 
were still regarded as roturiers ; and they added nothing 
to the political power, or social influence, of the nobility. 
On the other hand, they were viewed with jealousy, by 
their former equals. Their privileges were invidious ; 
and their pretensions offensive.' They were exempt 
fix)m burthens, which fell the more heavily upon their 
neighbours ; and their pride provoked envy and ridicule. 
They failed to acquire the respect of the people, like 
the ancient nobles : while they aggravated the sense 
of inequality, which had long been rankling in the 
minds of the unprivileged classes. Unlike the judicial 
nobles of the Parliaments, whose learning and pubhc 
services ensured respect, they formed no element of 
stability in French society. 

But the increasing commerce of France had en- capitaiitta. 
riched great numbers of citizens, beyond this privileged 
circle, — capitalists, bankers, contractors, and merchants. 
Such men became the chief creditors of the State and of 
the nobles ; and so great were the necessities of the 
court, that they often suffered losses, and ruinous delays, 
in the recovery of their debts,* Many were richer than 
their debtors, hved in the same splendour, and vied 

^ In the time of Necker the number of such offices was no less than 
4,000.^De Tocqueville, Lancim lUgime, 183. 

' * Dans certaines pnmnoes, les nouveaux anoUis sont repousste d'un 
cottf paice qu'on ne les juge pas assez nobleB^ et de rautre pazoe qu'on 
trouTe qu'ils le sont d^j& trop.' — ^Ibid. 134. 

* Taine, Xei Origmes, 406. 

112 FRANCE. 

CHAP, with them in social pretensions.^ But there was a 
-^ — r^—^ broad gulf between them. The nobles were gradually 
relaxing some of their dignity: but they held themselves 
aloof from the rotujners. They borrowed their money, 
but avoided their company. The capitalists had 
become a power in the State : but they were estranged 
from the court and the nobles. ^ 
irttol' The only class with whom the nobles associated, 

upon equal terms, were men of letters. These gave 
lustre to their salons ; and enlivened the conversation of 
the great, with wit and graceful learning. They were 
courted and flattered,— often receiving attentions due 
to men of the highest rank.® There was no question 
of their birth, but only of their genius and celebrity. 
As leaders of public opinion, they might have been 
powerful auxiliaries of the court and the nobles : but 
their literary influence was hostile to the higher classes, 
and was undermining the ancient febric of French 
^^'"" If we search for a middle class in French society, 

we must look to the bourgeoisie. But who were they? 
There was a time when they had a recognised place in 
the State. They exercised theu* municipal franchises ; 
and they were represented as part of the tiers-etat^ in 
the Estates. But they had lost all these privileges : 

1 'Us avaient les mSmes id^B, les memes habitudes, suivaient lea 
mSmes go&ts, se livraient aux memes plaisirs, lisaient les mSmes livres, 
parlaient le mSme langage. Us ne difil$raient plus entre eux que par les 
dimts.' — ^De Tocqueville; LandmlUgimey 121. 

» Ibid. 130. 

' < En beaucoup d'occasions, les tltres litt^raires avaient la pi^f^rence 
suT les titles de noblesse.' . . . ' On voyait fr^uemment, dans le monde, 
des hommes de lettres, du deuxidme et du troisi^me rang, accueillis et 
trait^s avec des ^ards que n'obtenaient pas les nobles de province.' — ^De 
S%ur, Mim, cited bj Taine, Les Oriffines, 390. 


they performed no services to their country, or their chap. 


order : but had become a race of greedy place-hunters. 
Vast numbers of small offices were created and sold for 
their gratification.* Of these, many thousands exempted 
the holders from the whole or part of the public bur- 
thens, from service in the militia, from the land tax, or 
the corvee. Here were more privileges and inequalities ! 
The petty phiceman, who served the king, was set 
above his fellows. He gave himself the airs of a 
great man : he contrived to shift the local burthens to 
the shoulders of his poorer townsmen ; and was repaid 
by their envy and hatred. In every town, the govern- 
ment had created a privileged aristocracy, alienated 
from the people, useless to the State, and a just cause 
of popular discontent 

Nor was the civic aristocracy confined to placemen, civic 
The more prosperous burghers were members of cor- 
porate companies, or guilds. The municipal functions 
of these bodies had long since passed away : but their 
members were notables of the town : they held them- 
selves above their fellow-citizens ; and contended for pre- 
cedence among themselves. The notables claimed to be 
sprinkled first with holy water: the barbers would not 
yield the place of honour to the bakers. Such trifling 
disputes occupied the attention of the intendant, the 
tribunals, the Parliaments, and even of the king himself.* 
Everywhere there was privilege, inequality, pretension. 
There was no sound middle class, proud of its position, 
contented with its lot, and uniting to maintain the 

^ ' De 1698 k 1709, seulement, on calcule qu'il en fut crM quarante 
mille, presqae toutes 4 la port^ des moindres bourgeois.' . . . ' Ohacan, 
Buivant son ^tat, dit un contemp'>raiu, yeut etro quelque chose de par 
le Toi.' — De TucquaTille, Vancien Regime^ 137. 

» IWd. 141.. 

114 FRANCE. 

(^HAP. public liberties. But there was a bourgeoisie, divided 
— ,— -' against itself, and wholly separated from the people. 
The clergy. Such bciug the coustitution of French society, to 
whom was the oppressed peasant, or humble artificer, 
to appeal, for the protection of his interests, and the 
redress of his wrongs ? He could look for little help 
from the absentee noble, the impoverished squire, the 
king's host of functionaries, or the city notable. But 
he had friends and advisers of the middle class, to 
whom he turned in all his troubles. The curS was of 
the same class as himself: his own lot in life had 
been hard and unthankful ; and he sympathised with 
the sufferings and wrongs of his afflicted flock. He 
knew too well the selfishness and iudifference of the 
higher churchmen, and lords of the soil ; and he was 
a daily witness to the painful struggles of his humble 
brethren. His sympathies were* with the poor ; and he 
revolted against the oppression of their rulers. He was 
I)Qor and ignorant : he could give them little help : but 
he comforted them in their sorrows, and hoped for better 
times, when he might serve them. 
The ^ But a more powerful adviser was at hand. In 

every dispute with a landlord, or collector, the lawyer 
was ready to help his humble clients. He was clever 
and dexterous : they could seldom read or write : he 
knew the subtleties of the law, and the tricks of agents 
and collectors ; and he could plead the cause of the poor 
with skill and boldness. Lawyers^ swarmed throughout 
the country ; and they exercised a prodigious influence 
over the people. Like the cures, they were of humble 
birth ; and were generally repelled from the society of 
their privileged neighbours. But in education they 

^ Viz : Ayocata, procureurs, notaires. 

law vers. 


were superior to all but the highest class, and men of chap. 
letters. They knew all the abuses of the law, and — r^—- 
of official administration ; and they were famiUar with 
the new philosophy. At the same time, they resented 
the social inequalities, under whicJi they smarted ; and 
they perceived, in the wrongs of the people, the means 
of reforming the intolerable evils of the State. Active 
and ambitious : with large opportunities of association, 
among themselves, and with other classes, — they pre- 
pared the way for a revolution, in which they were 
hereafter to play a conspicuous part.^ 

Such then was the political and social condition P<'iiti<ai 

•I'll rm fMM-ml 

of France, m the eighteenth century. There was a t-onaitioii 
monarchy all but absolute : a feudal nobility with op- 
pressive powers, and invidious privileges : a burthen- 
some official aristocracy, with its own privileges and 
exemptions: an exacting royal administration: injurious 
monopoUes; and an oppressed and suffisring people, 
without political rights. These were evils which 
threatened the State with danger. They were viewed 
w ith indifference by the courtly nobles at Versailles : 
but they did not escape the notice of an acute English 
observer. Lord Chesterfield, writing from Paris Dec. 
25, 1753, said : * In short, all the symptoms I have 
ever met with in history, previous to great changes and 
revolutions in government, now exist and daily increase 
in France.' ^ 

But where was redress to be sought for the The new 
grievances of the people? The states-general might J''"'""'''' '•' • 
have represented the national wrongs, and withheld 
subsidies until relief was obtamed : but they had long 

> Taine, Let OrigineB, 618-621. 
* Lard ChederfiekTs Letten, 

116 FRANCE. 

^ X M* ' ^^^s^^ t^ ^^^® ^ place among the institutions of Prance. 
' — ' — ' A free press'might have awakened the attention of rulers 
to the dangerous condition of the country : but, until 
late in the eighteenth century, political discussions 
were prohibited. Any attack upon the government or 
its oflBcers was visited with severity : but the utmost 
license was permitted to the discussion of abstract 
questions of religion, philosophy, and politics. God 
might be insulted with impunity : the foimdations of 
society, the rights of property, and the sacred duty of 
insurrection might be discussed: but let a writer 
beware how he criticised an intendant.^ The country 
needed a bold exposure of existing evils, and a practical 
discussion of suitable remedies. But the literatiu-e of 
the eighteenth century took a direction ill calculated to 
redress the wrongs of the people. Instead of pursuing 
a sober investigation of practical evils, it revelled in 
abstract speculations. Instead of exposing distinct 
abuses in Church and State, it assailed religion, and 
aimed at the reconstruction of society, upon a theoretic 
basis. A host of brilliant writers were discussing the 
most momentous questions in religion and politics : but 
not one contributed to the moral and social improve- 
ment of his countrymen. They wrote without practical 
knowledge, and without serious aims. They knew 
little of the peasantry : they possessed little sympathy 
with their wrongs: but they w^ere eloquent in their 
visions of ideal bhss. For all the ills of an old and 

^ ' Le gouvernement pennet de discuter fort librement toutes sortes 
de tileries g^n^rales et ab?traites, en matiere de religion, de philosophie, 
de m'^rale, et meme de politique. U eouffire as^ez volontiers qu'on 
attaque lea principes fondamentaux eur lesquels repoFait alors la soci«^t^, 
et qu on difcute jusqu*ik Dieu mSme, pourru qu'on ne glose point sur sea 
moindres agents.'— De TooqueviUe, VaneimRigimt^ 05. 


complex society, they could perceive no remedy but in chap. 
a return to nature. They wrote for theorists and ^ — r^-^^ 

sentimentalists, — not for statesmen or earnest philan- 

The two principal authors of the new philosophy voiuire. 
were Volteire and Eousseau ; and for many years the 
vigorous and versatile intellect of the former exercised 
the greatest influence over French thought. He united 
more conspicuous talents than any man of letters, of 
his own, or perhaps of other, times. Wit, epigram, 
raillery, satire, ridicule, and argument, were equally at 
his command. He was at home in every variety of 
literatiure, — ^in history, poetry, the drama, the essay, or 
the romance. Brilliant in conversation, he was the 
delight of the most polished society in Europe. 
Crowned heads were among his disciples. He had 
little faith in religion, in moral systems, in governments, 
or in hmnan natijre ; and he projected no schemes for 
the regeneration of society. But throughout his long 
life, he laboured to assail the Church, to shake the 
national faith, and to overthrow traditions. There was 
no reverence in his being: he had no respect for 
authorities : his philosophy was that of a reckless icono- 
clast. It was his single mission to cast down the 
cherished idols of his countrymen. His mocking spirit 
was congenial to the fashionable society of his age : 
the frivolous courtiers made no secret of their infidehty ; 

* ' Jaouds de faits: rien que des abstractions, des enfilades de sentences 
sor la nature, la raison, le peuple, les lyrans, la liberty, sorte de ballons 
gonfl^ et entrechoqu^ inutilement dans les espaces.' — Taine, Xes 
Or*^et, 262. ' Tons pensent qu'il convient de substituer des r^les 
nmples et ^Itoentaires, puisnes dans la ralson et dans la loi naturelle, aux 
coutomes compliqudee et traditionelles, qui r^giaeent la soci^t^ de leur 
temps.' — ^De Tooqueville, Lancien lUffime, 206. 

118 FRANCE. 

c HAP. and even the higher ecclesiastics professed little eamest- 
--^>r-^ ness in the feith of the CathoUc Church.^ His caustic 

sarcasms were repeated in every salorij and inspired 
the profane wit of minor writers.* 
Rousseau. Eousseau formed a singular contrast to his great 

contemporary. Gifted with an original genius, he was 
a sublime egotist : a visionary, with a vein of madness : a 
philosopher whose belief was in fictions. According to 
his scheme, property was a wrongfiil appropriation of 
what belonged to society : government was an usiupa- 
tion of the common rights of the people. He was the 
advocate of communism, and of Ihe absolute sovereignty 
of the people. The existing order of society was the 
violation of an imaginary social contract, into which 
men in a state of nature and equality had entered ; and 
all who opposed a return to this state of nature — ^kmgs, 
priests, or nobles — ^were to be overthrown, as enemies to 
the human race. The individual rights, interests, and 
affections of the citizen were to be renounced in favour 
of the general community. Even the education of 
children was to be withdrawn from the parents, and 
entrusted to the State. All the natural instincts, 
passions and habits of mankind : all the laws, customs, 
and traditions of society were ignored ; and a fanciful 
contract, opposed to all human experience, was to be 
assumed as the supreme rule for the government of the 
world. Voltaire had been first in the work of demoli- 
tion : Eousseau became the apostle of social reconstruc- 
tion ; and during the latter part of the eighteenth cen- 

^ * It was as necessary to the charaeter of an accomplished man that 
he should despise the religion of his country, as that he should know his 
letters.'— 3facau%'« .&wr/y«, iii. 114 (Ranke^B Bitt of the Pcpe$), 

• Taine, X« Oriffines, 37^-384. 


tury, his philosophy was in the ascendant.^ It waiia chap. 
attractive even to the polite circles, who followed — r-^-^ 
Voltaire, and it was accepted with enthusiasm by the 
middle classes — the provincial lawyers and the 
bourgeoisie. In a land of privileges and inequality, it 
taught that all men were equal : in the midst of suffer- 
ing and wrong, it promised the ideal happiness of a 
primitive society. 

A crowd of able writers contributed to the spread Jl^^Knc;"*."'* 
of the new philosophy, of whom Diderot was the chief, ^opedii-. 
Powerful in his own resources, he associated with his 
literary labours a body of learned men, who, in the 
renowned * Encyclop^e,' discussed every question 
in religion, philosophy and politics, with unexampled 
freedom. The new philosophy was spread throughout 
Europe ; and it was made popular in tracts, tales, and 
comedies. It gave the tone to all the thought and 
literature of the age.* 

Its doctrines were not original : ' they were 
borrowed from English philosophers : * but in England 

^ 'On peut dire que la seconde moiti^ du si^e lui appartient.' — 
Taine, I^es OrigineSf 354. 

' Dana les classes mitoyennes et inf^rieures, Rousseau a eu cent fois 
plus de lecteurs que Voltaire.' — ^Mallet-Dupan^ cited by Taine, ibid. 414. 

* Mr. Lecky maintains that ' a revolutionary movement of some kind 
was the normal result of the tendencies of the age, and that its chief causes 
are to be sought entirely outside the discussions of political philosophers/ 
but he aUows that ' they undoubtedly modified, and in a measure directed, 
the movement that produced them.' — RaiiotMlism in JEurope, ii. 234. 

' Had there been no Voltaire, there would have been no Camille 
Desmoulins. Had there been no Diderot, there would have been no 
Marat.'— Lord Lytton, The ParinarUf ii. 183. 

> ' Une paieUle pens^ n*^tait pas nouvelle : elle passait et repassait 
sans cesse depuis trois mille ans a travers Timagination des hommes, sans 
pouvoir s'y fixer.' — De Tocqueville, Lancien Rigimey 205. 

^ Gomte gave Hobbes credit for being the first philosopher of this 
school : — ' O'est surtout 4 Hobbes, en effet, que remontent historiquement 
les pluB importantee conceptions critiques, qu'un irrationel usage attribue 




Opinion in 
Kurope in 
tliF middle 
«if th« 

niid public 

they had never taken root. They had been confined 
to the realms of speculation, like perpetual motion and 
the philosopher s stone. The practical English mind 
addressed itself to the redress of present grievances, 
and the amendment of existing laws. It accepted the 
State and society as it found them, without dreaming of 
their theoretical reconstruction. But in France, where 
practical poKtical discussion had long been imknown, 
and men of letters and wits were the chief disputants, 
the startling theories of the new school captivated the 
imagination, and inspired the eloquence, of a host of 
contemporary writers. The minds of men were un- 
settled : their faith was shaken in every principle which 
had hitherto been their guide ; and no practicable aims 
were set before them, to direct their fiiture coiu-se. 

Npr were the doctrines of the new school confined 
to France. They reached the thrones as well as the 
salons of Europe. The brilliant writings of Voltaire 
touched alike the coarse nature of Frederick the Great 
of Prussia, the hard instincts of Catherine of Eussia, 
and the hberal spirit of Joseph 11. of Austria. Even 
the Pope, Benedict XTV., waa among the number of his 
disciples. The spirit of free inquiry took possession of 
despotic rulers, whose influence gave a ftirther impulse 
to the prevailing sentiment of the tiraes.^ 

To beheve in nothing was the new creed ; and how 
was it to be combated by those who held fast to the 
old faith ? The philosophers, men of letters, and wits, 

encore A nos philoiophes du zviii* d^le, qui n'en fuient easentiellement 
que lea indispensables propagateurs." — Philos. Po$, v. 713 ; and see Taine, 
Les Ongmei,S30. 

^ See Mm, Hqn-, Gout. 16. 

' L'inreligion ^tait r^pandue parmi lea princes et lea beaux esprits : 
elle ne pen^trait gu^re encore dans le sein des classes moyennes et du 
peuple.'— Be Tocqueville, Lancim lUgime^ 220. 


were its champions : society accepted it : the Church chap. 
stood alone in resisting it. But the Church had lost — r-^— ^ 
much of her influence since the Middle Ages. Her 
wealth, dignity, and invidious privileges remained : but 
her spiritual authority had been weakened by the 
Beformation — ^by religious controversies — by conten- 
tions with the Parliaments — and, above all, by the 
growing spirit of philosophical inquiry, which marked 
the eighteenth century. The intellect of France had 
received a great impulse from the revival of learning in 
Italy.^ Beligious thought had been awakened by tlie 
Beformation : but the CTiurch was immutable in her 
teaching and her policy : she had repressed all freedom 
of opinion. 

Having failed to exterminate the Huguenots, in one T»ie 
age, she had driven them out of France, in another. They 
were the most prosperous, enlightened, and well-ordered 
of the king's subjects : they were the flower of the middle 
classes. K toleration had been extended to them, they 
would have formed a barrier between the Church and in- 
fidelity. Their spirit was earnestly religious ; and if they 
had questioned the doctrines of the Church, they would 
have discussed them with reverence, while spreading more 
widely a knowledge of Christian truth. But, left to her 
own unchanging course, the Church continued to teach 
the doctrines of the Middle Ages ; and left the people in the 
darkest ignorance. She enjoined obedience, submission, 
and self-abasement to a people suffering from intolerable 
wrongs. And, unconscious of danger, she was suddenly 
confronted by a new class of thinkers, hostile to the 
Church and to religion itself. The intolerance which 
had repressed even the modest faith of the Huguenots, 

> Aug. Thieny, Essai $wr VHiit du TkrB-Etat, L 107, 10& 

122 PRANCE. 

CHAP, naturally promoted a reaction. The Church now en- 
' — r-^— ' countered the most searching criticism of her doctrines 
and traditions, a scathing exposure of her abuses, and 
ribald sarcasms upon her faith. And to those who 
shrank from infidelity, were presented the most attrac- 
tive pictures of the perfectibility of the human race, and 
of a social paradise, from which men had hitherto been 
excluded by cruel barriers which the Church her- 
. self had raised. Need it be said that the Church was 
unequal to the strife ? She had lost the great weapon 
of persecution ; and the intellect and temper of the age 
were opposed to her teaching.^ Sometimes attempts were 
made to restrain the license of the press : but they were 
such as to irritate, rather than to frighten the writers 
into silence.^ Prosecuted for irreligion, they redoubled 
their assaults upon the Church and its doctrines. And 
authors had now become the most powerful order in 
the State. They were coiu-ted by kmgs, princes, and 
nobles : they were worshipped in society : they were 
flattered by ladies of rank and fashion; and they 
directed the public opinion of their time.^ 
The^wer But the peasantry, and multitudes of the French 

people, were still ignorant : few of them could read or 
write. Philosophical treatises were above their com- 

* *No Bossuet, no Pascal came forth to encounter Voltaire.' — 
Macaidtn/s EssayBj iii. 340 (Rankers Hist, of the Papcs). 

' 'Les auteurs n'^taient persecute que dans la meeure qui fait 
plaindre, et non dans celle qui fait trembler.' — De TooqueYille, Lancien 
Regime, 225. 

^ ' Visiblement, dans ce monde, le premier role est auz ^crivains ; on 
ne s'entretient que de leurs faits et gestes: on ne se lasse pas de leur 
rendre hommage.' — ^Taine, Le$ OriffineSf 370. 

* La vie politique fut yiolemment refoul4e dans la litt^rature, et les 
^iivains, prenant en main la direction de Topinion, se trouy^rent un 
moment tenir la place que les chefs de parti occupent d'ordinaire dans les 
pays libres.'-^De Tocqueville, 209. 


prehension : even the popular Hteratiire could scarcely chap. 
reach them. But the spirit of the new philosophy had - — .-^ 
penetrated society. The leaders of thought and action 
were everywhere possessed by it. Even the courtiers 
of Louis XV. were apt to mingle with their license and 
frivoUty, a freedom of philosophical thought which 
threat«ned their own order. It was natural that they 
should think Ughtly of religion : but their speculations 
spared neither the Church, nor any of the traditions 
upon which the State and society were founded.^ The 
same freedom of discussion was observed in other 
circles less exalted ; and, as at the Eeformation, 
opinions spread rapidly from the thinking classes to 
the lowly and uneducated ; so the spirit of the new 
philosophy gradually reached deep into the strata of 
French society. And it was quickened by the growing 
discontents of the people. If they failed to under- 
stand the principles of a philosophy which waa discussed 
so freely, they were yet unsettled by the opinions of 
others, and prepared to follow those who promised 
relief from their sufferings, and a happier future. They 
were not unfaithful to their religion, hke the higher 
classes : but they were moved by visions of earthly 
happiness . 

K the people had been familiarised, by freedom. Absence of 
with the practical administration of pubhc affaira, they public' 
would have been less influenced by dangerous specu- **^*°*^"' 
lations. But poUtical intelligence had been dulled by 
cxintralisation : the nobles had long ceased to exercise 
independent influence over public opinion ; and, so far 

1 'Nous goQtaons k la fois lea avantages du patriciat, et lea douceura 
d'une philosophie pl^b^ienne/ said a young noble (De S^gur), cited hj 
Taine, Let Oriffines, S90. 

124 FRANCE. 

CHAP, as their influence extended, it was in fiivour of those 


theories which were destined to overthrow their own 
order, and subvert the government on which they 
rested. Eulers were wholly blind to the dangers by 
which the State was threatened. They had no such 
warnings as those which are given in a free State, 
where the grievances and sentiments of the people are 
made known. Theoretical writers were confident and 
powerful: while those classes, by whom the State 
should have been governed, were inert and without 
foresight or statesmanship, 
cuswcai And while the new philosophy was alienating* its 

disciples from the Church and religion, and filling them 
with aspirations for the political rights of man, the 
scholarship of the age dwelt with admiration upon the 
examples of antiquity, and the glories of the Greek 
and Eoman republics. In the courtly dramas of 
CJomeille, and the grave romances of F^nelon, re- 
pubhcan virtues were gracefully represented. Ideal 
characters were easily transformed into hving beings, 
worthy of present imitation. Such studies stimulated 
the prevailing sentiments of society ; and classical names 
and models were hereafter to assume a conspicuous 
place in the Eevolution. 
Poiiticiii Such being the condition of society and of opinion, 

Louis XIV. in the eighteenth century, the reigns of two of the 
kings who ruled over France, during that period, were 
adverse to the influence and stability of the throne. 
The wars of Louis XIV., and his domestic extravagance, 
tried severely the resources of the State. Taxes were 
multiplied : but no exactions could supply the needs of 
the exhausted treasury ; and the sufferings of the people 
were aggravated by the financial embarrassments of 


the government. Nor were the disorders of the in- chap. 
temal administration reduced by the ascendency of — ^-^ 
France in Europe. The ambition of Louis XIV. had 
overreached itself; and his latter days were clouded 
by failures and reverses. After all the sacrifices of 
France, the lustre of her great king was fading. His 
taxes and exactions continued : but his glory was de- 

The reign of Louis XV. aggravated all the evils ^*'^^„ 
under which France was suffering. The monarchy 
was degraded by his vices: the nobles and society 
were debased by his scandalous court. The feebleness 
of his rule encouraged feuds between the Church and 
the ParUaments; and discussions were provoked, in 
which the Crown and all the privileged orders were, 
in tiurn, assailed. By an unwarrantable interference 
with the ParUament of Paris, to screen a minister 
charged with corruption, he stirred the resentment 
of the Parliaments ; and was driven at last to suppress 1771. 
them, with the strong hand of prerogative. These 
eminent bodies were supported by pubUc opinion : they 
were regarded as the only bulwarks against arbitrary 
power; and their fall left the people wholly at the 
mercy of a corrupt court, and an oppressive and in- 
capable government.* 

The credit of the king was further impaired by 
his feeble foreign poUcy and military failures, by the 
disastrous battle of Eosbach, and the treaty of Paris. 
France was at once oppressed and dishonoured. Vio- 
lations of public faith to creditors were already fre- 
quent : a national bankruptcy was threatening : the 
load of taxation was heavier, and more galUng than 

* De Tocquevillei Vandtn SSgitne, 244. 

126 PRANCE. 

CHAP, ever : discontents were rife, and ominous disorders 


^ — r-^ prevailed throughout the country. The deplorable 
policy of the government was assailed with unwonted 
freedom. The speculative writings of the last fifty 
years were now succeeded by controversies upon poh- 
tical economy and finance, and other questions directly 
afiecting the administration of the State. Still founding 
their views upon the abstract principles of the philo- 
sophers, they questioned every law and institution of 
the State, and condemned the abuses under which the 
country was sufiering.^ And never had there been a 
time when the monarchy could so ill bear the scrutiny 
of public opinion. The ignoble reign of Louis XV., in 
dishonouring the monarchy, had forfeited the loyal 
veneration of his subjects, and shake^ the hereditary 
throne of the kings of France.^ 

^ ' Toutes lea institutions que la Revolution devait abolir sans retoiir, 
ont 6t6 I'objet particulier de leurs attaques ; aucune n*a trouv^ grace k 
leurs yeux.* — De Tocqueville, Lancien R6gimej 234. 

'Us ont d^ja con9u la pens^ de toutes les r^fonnes socialee et 
administratiyes que la Revolution a &ites, avant que Tid^e des institutions 
libres ait commence k se faire jour dans leur esprit.' — Ibid 236. 

' Henri Marten, Hist, de France, livre cii..; Louis Blanc, Hist de la 
mv, Fr. i. 422 et aegr, Orowe, Sist. of Framce^ ch. 35, 36. 




Threatening, indeed, were the prospects of France, chap. 
when Louis XVI. ascended the throne : the finances of ^-" --- 
the State disordered : the people discontented and tui- a* jes^^ion 

I t^ of I-.OUIH 

bident : factions embittered : the higher and lower ?;^'!i\,'!'^'' 

^ 11, 14 t4. 

classes hostile : the Crown weakened : the nobles dis- 
credited and unpopular : the Parliaments dissolved, 
but still intractable : a public opinion aroused and 
inflammable; and a country without a single institu- 
tion commanding public confidence.^ 

Never was there a more amiable or virtuous king mn 
than Louis XVL, nor one more ahve to his own duties "^ **"^*'' *^' 
and responsibihties. He was ready to redress all the 
grievances of his subjects, with modest beneficence : 

' The general narratiye of eyents during this reign, and throughout 
the ReTolution, is mainly founded upon the Historiea of Thiers, Mignet, 
Louis Blanc, Lamartine {Higt, de$ OironeUns), Von Syhel, Crowe (Hist, 
of Francf\ De Tocqueville (Vancim lUgime et la Hivoiutum). With 
the widest divergencies of opinion among these writers, there is a general 
agreement as to the leading events of the period. 



^xm' ^^^ ^^ ^^ himself without capacity to govern.* He 
^ — '7—' had succeeded to a perilous inheritance ; and, inno- 
cent himself, was doomed to suffer for the faults of his 

luiiuL^' His reign was opened with reforms. He at once 

reduced the overgrown royal establishments. He re- 
called the Parliaments, and commenced the revision 
of the finances. But the institutions and society of 
France were unfitted for the safe execution of neces- 
sary reforms, aAd the king waa at once in the midst of 
troubles. For centuries it had been the policy of the 
State to multiply privileges ; and now the time had 
come when they must be overthrown. His able 

IrvalZT ™"^^^r Turgot, relying upon the hearty support of his 
royal maater,* grappled at once with some of the worst 
abuses under whici France was suffering. He abo- 
lished at once the obnoxious corvee :^ he wrested 
trade firom the grasp of the guilds, and released it from 
internal customs dues : he made the system of taxation 
less biuthensome, while he extended it to the nobles 
and the clergy. He even held out the hope of en- 
larged political rights, by means of provincial assem- 
blies, and ultimately of the states-general. 

Opposition Little had the bold and honest reformer calculated 

vwegj^^' upon the opposition which his measures would encounter. 

cijwses. g^^ ^j^^ privileged classes united against him ; and he 
was without that popular support upon which he 
might have relied in a free country. The court cried 

^ ' Prince Suitable, mod4i^ dans ses goats, n^ligemment 6\eY6, mais 
port^ au bien par on penchant nature!.* — Thiers, Iligt. de la Reo. Fr, L 7. 

' ' Louis zvi a r^p^t^ souvent, *' II n*y a que moi et Turgot, qui soyons 
les amis du peuple." '—Thiers, Hist, de la Rev. Fr. i. 7. 

^ In the preamble to the edict, the king condemned this impost in the 
most forcible lang^uage. — De TocqueviUe, Lancien RSgime^ 266. 


out against his measures as ruinous to the Crown and chap, 
the aristocracy; and the Duke of Orleans fomented -- r ' ->- 
riots, in the streets of Paris, against a reforming mi- 
nister, who was striving to redress the wrongs of the 
people. Turgot had none to support him but the 
king himself; and he, at length, gave way to the influ- 
ence of his court and the clamours of misguided mobs. 
A firmer will than his might possibly have prevailed : 
yet how was such a combination of powerful interests 
to be overborne ? The people, for whose benefit these 
reforms were proposed, were ignorant, and without 
pohtical rights : there was no party or popular organi- 
sation: no representative chamber. The Parliament 
of Paris, itself a privileged body, hotly espoused the 
cause of the nobles and the gmlds. The intelligence, 
as well as the power of the country, was on the side 
of privilege. The minister fell : his healing measures 
were summarily revoked ; and a policy of reaction was 
commenced. Such reforms as those of Turgot, ap- 
proved by the people and accepted by the privileged 
classes, might have averted the revolution. They 
anticipated, by several years, the scheme of the revo- 
lution itself. They were the commencement of a 
remedial policy, which would gradually have mitigated 
the sufferings, and appeased the discontents of the 
people. Now they proclaimed abuses, without corrects 
ing them, raised hopes and disappointed them, and 
revealed the powCT and selfishness of the privileged 
classes, already hated by the people.^ 

1 De Tooquerille says : — ' L'ezp^rience apprend que le moment le plus 
dangerenx pour un mauvais gouyernement est d'ordinaire celui on il 
commence a se rdfonner.' ' Le mal qu'on souiirait patiemment comme in- 
evitable, semble iiurapportaUe d^ qu'on con9oit Fid^ des'y soustraire.' — 
VOL. U. K 

130 PRANCE. 

CHAP. These events were soon followed by the recogni- 

tion of the revolted American colonies, and the wax 

Ameri^*^^ with England. Here was another prelude to revolu- 
dence!"' ^on. Already the minds of men, — not in France only, 
but throughout Europe, — ^had been disturbed by the 
discussion of abstract political rights ; and now the 
king of France was the ally of the rebellious subjects 
of another monarch, and supporting the foundation of 
a democratic repubhc.^ It was the reahsation of the 
dreams of Eousseau : it was the theory of popular phi- 
losophers, reduced to practice by American statesmen, 
and approved and maintained by the king of France. 
And when the great republic was fully established, as 
an independent State, it afforded an example of free- 
dom and equality, unknown in the previous history of 
the world. 
Expensei Nor was it ouly by the spread of democratic 

sentiments, that this war advanced the cause of revolu- 
tion. Costly armaments had been undertaken, with 
an ill-furnished exchequer : the resources of taxation 
were almost exhausted .: a loose administration of the 
finances permitted heavy arrears and deficits ; and a 
reckless system of loans was hurrying on the State to 
bankruptcy. Meanwhile the inordinate expenses of 
the court were not reduced. Necker, who had suc- 
ceeded Turgot, fell in attempting to restrain them : 
Calonne sought favour with the courtiers, by giving free 
scope to their extravagance. 

L*ancten USgimey 259. We must, however, ^ard ourselyes against the 
coDcluRion, that it is safer to maintain abuses than to correct them. 

* ' La France pr^idait 4 Torigine d^une nation libne, et elle avut mis 
elle-meme la main dans ce berceau.' — Edgar Quinet, La Ith>. i. 48. 

' Par quel yertige les amis d*un roi absolu Tayaient-ils pouss^ 4 tendre 
la main i das insurgentB P' — Louis Blanc, Hut. de la ESv. Ft, ii. 45. 


Meanwhile, the king and his ntiinisters were intro- chap. 

. XIII. 

ducing further reforms into the administration. In •'^ — r-^ 
1779, provincial assemblies were revived, in many parts rMpT,a,Hei 
of Prance, and somewhat later throughout the realm ; '"^*^'***- 
and they applied themselves with great zeal to the dis- 
cussion of the grievances of the people.^ In 1787, 
they were entrusted with considerable powers, — execu- 
tive and administrative, — and encroached upon the 
functions of the intendants. Local self-government, so 
long unknown, was suddenly endowed with life and 
activity. Useful reforms were made ; and in several of 
the provinces the nobles and clergy displayed a praLse- ' 
worthy desire to relieve the people, and to contribute 
their due share to the public burthens.*^ But generally 
they exposed abuses, without redressing them, and in- 
flamed discontents, instead of allaying them. Mean- 
while these elective assemblies became masters of the 
seigneurs ; and the revolutioti was half eflected by 
the State itself.* 

Another (critical reform, at this period, was the ^^,7 " 

publication of Necker's memorable * compte rendu' A 
system of loans was necessarily founded upon public 
credit ; and, to satisfy the capitalists, whose money he 
was anxious to borrow, Necker, for the first time, pub- 
lished a full account of the receipts and expenditure 
of the State. Whatever its effect upon the public cre- 
ditors, its consequences were otherwise momentous. It 
revealed the monstrous extravagance of the court : it 
enabled the people to contrast the excessive emolu- 
ments of the nobles, who engrossed all the higher 

* De Tocqueville, Htmcien JRSffime, 270. 

* Taine, Leg Oriffines, 392-396 ; De LayergnO; Les AuembUei iVo- 

* Be TooqueTilIe^ ch. yii. 



132 PRANCE. 

c'liAP. offices of the State, and in the army, with the nig- 


gardly pay of the minor civil functionaries, and of the 
neglected soldiers — all men of the people ; — and it 
acknowledged the new principle of public responsi- 
bility. Hitherto the government had been accountable 
to no one: henceforth it became accountable to the 
country and to public opinion. 
Public The discussion of reforms had stimulated public 

opinion. QpiuiQn^ throughout the country. Already awakened 
by the controversies of previous reigns,^ it had now 
acquired an extraordinary influence. The king was 
still absolute in theory: but he was constrained to 
consult and to flatter it.^ The press had cast off all 
restraints, and was freely discussing the measures of the 
government. Without free institutions, the monarchy 
was surrounded by the irregular forces of democracy, 
bivor™* ^^ length, in 1787, bankruptcy could no longer be 
jnm!*^^*' averted, except by a new financial pohcy ; and Calonne 
revived the remedial schemes of Turgot. Warned by 
the experience of his predecessors, he endeavoured to 
propitiate the privileged classes, by submitting his 
plans to an assembly of notables : * but, far firom giving 
him support, they urged his removal from office. The 
PiU'liament of Paris also condemned his measures. 
Again the court, and the privileged classes, were too 
strong for a reforming minister, however urgent the 
public necessities ; and Calonne, like his far worthier 

> See suprOf p. 126. 

' * D^ 1784, Necker disait dans un document public, comme un fait in- 
oontest^ : '* La plupart des Strangers ont peine k ee iaire une id^ de 
Tautorit^qu'exerce en France aujourd'hui I'opinion publique ; ilacompren- 
nent difficilement ce que c'est cette puisflance invisible, qui commande 
juaque dans le palais du roi.*— De Tocqueville, Lancifn Biffimey 256. 

' There bad been no assembly of notables since 1626, under Bichelieu. 



predecessors, was sacrificed to their resentment. But chap. 

- Xlll. 

it was not enough to reject his schemes : the evils he ^ — r-^- 

was attempting to surmount were beyond dispute, and 
demanded instant remedies. His successor, De Brienne, 
appealed to the Parliament of Paris for its assent to 
new taxes. It refused ; and the king endeavoured to co- 
erce it, and other Parliaments who made common cause 
with it, by an arbitrary use of his prerogatives, unsuited 
to the times, and resented by public opinion. He even 
exiled the members of the Parliament of Paris — 235 in ^"ff««^ «• 
nmnber — to Troyes, by lettres de cachet And having 
recalled the Parliament, he ventured, in ominous 
imitation of Charles I., to arrest two of its leading 
members — D'Espremenil andGoislart — ^in the hall of the 
Parliament itself. It was now too late to govern by prero- 
gative ; and the two bodies which had been consulted, 
on behalf of the nation, were opposed to the Crown. 

Some new course was inevitable ; and the Parha- Jj|f^.riL*^ 
ment of Paris had already demanded that the states- 
general should be assembled, to devise measures for 
the relief of the country.^ It was nearly two hundred 
years since this disused and almost forgotten body had 
been called into existence.^ The policy of reviving 
such an assembly, at this critical time, was distrusted by 
the government as uncertain, if not dangerous. But 
it was advocated by powerful classes, who hoped to 
strengthen their own interests : it was honestly desired 
by many, as a national council suited to the emergency : 
it was prayed for by the distressed peasantry, as the 
only hope of relief; and it was demanded by the 
enemies of the court and the government, as a means 

« Thiers, Higt. de la Rh, i. 14. 

' Its last meetbg was in 1614. See tufra^ pp. 92^ 93. 

134 FRANCE. 

CHAP, of embarrassment, and possibly of disorder. And, at 
- — r-l-' length, the king, distracted by divided councils, but lean- 

men t, 

ing to a liberal policy, resolved upon this hazardous 
Jan 24, veuture, and convoked the states-general.^ Meanwhile 
De Brienne retired, and Necker was restored to power, 
"rexiw/i- '^'^^ approaching experiment waa fraught with 
danger. Under an established constitution it is diffi- 
cult to forecast the result of an appeal to the people : 
but in France everything was uncertain — the electors, 
the members, and the constitution of the body itself, 
and the relations of its different orders. The notables 
were again assembled to advise upon these matters : 
but afforded little aid to the government. The ministry 
settled that the deputies of the tiers-etaty elected by 
nearly universal suffrage, should be double the number 
of the other orders. Yet it was not determined whether 
the three orders should sit apart, as in former times, or 
sit and vote together, in a single chamber. The one 
course assured the ancient ascendency of the nobles 
and the clergy : the latter at once transferred their 
power to the lowest order, which had hitherto been 
without poetical influence. This critical question was 
hotly discussed by the two parties : the nobles denounc- 
ing any infraction of their rights : the popular party in- 
sisting upon a scheme which promised them an easy tri- 
umph. And it was asked why was the number of the 
commons double that of each of the other orders, unless 
with a view to their powers of voting ? Meanwhile 
the elections were held, with this important question 
still unsettled. . 

This uncertainty increased the excitement, which 
was marked by some threatening riots. The popular 

» For May 6, 1789. 



fcause was signally advanced by another incident of the chap. 
elections. In each district, the electors werfi invited - — r— ^ 

to prepare a statement of their grievances, for the in- 
struction of the deputies, known as cahiers ; and thus 
were brought together, and discussed, the most for- 
midable indictments against the entire poUty of the 
State.^ They were generally drawn up by the lawyers, 
who, having been familiar with the sufierings of their 
neighbours, promptly assumed the position of their ad- 
visers and leaders at this crisis. The discontents of the 
people were universal ; and they received expression in 
such a form as to command attention. Eeforms amount- 
ing to revolution were everywhere demanded ; and a 
new and imtried assembly was about to consider them. 

At this time, the king and his ministers were at suteof 
issue with the nobles, and in conflict with the Parlia- p****®** 
ments : the treasury was empty : the people were famish- 
ing : factions were raging furiously ; and public opinion 
was disturbed and threatening. Even the fidehty of the 
troops was doubtful : the officers leaning to their noble 
order ; and the soldiers sympathising with the wrongs of 
the peasant class, and having discontents of their own.^ 

The result of the elections marked the dominant compo»i- 
feelings of the coimtry. Many of the nobles, indoc- i^mbiy!* 
trinated with the new philosophy, were reformers and 

^ Ohasdn published a collection of these cahiers^ which De Tocqueville 
justly calls ' un document unique dans Tbistoire.' Again he says, ' Quand 
je viens a r^unir ensemble tons ces vceuz particuliers (des trois ordres), je 
m'apeT9ois avec une sorte de terreur, que ce qu'on r^lame est Tabolition 
simultande et syst^matique de toutes les lois, et de tons les usages ayant 
eours dans le pays : je Tois sur-le-champ qu'il ya s'agir d'une des plus 
Tastes et des plus dangereuses revolutions qui aient jamais paru dans le 
monde.' — Uancien Rigime, 211. 

* Four months after the opening of the states-general, there were 
16,000 deserters roving about Paris. — Taine, Les OngineSy 515. 

136 FRANCE. 

CHAP, philanthropists: but the majority sternly maintained 
' — r-^ the rights of their order. The great body of the de- 
legates from the clergy were cures^ having an earnest 
sympathy with the people. They had boldly demanded 
the redress of all the popular grievances, and they as- 
serted the right of the people to tax themselves, through 
their representatives.* Of the 600 deputies from the 
tierS'^tat^^ there were no less than 374 lawyers ; * — the 
authors and instigators of the cahiers : there were men 
of letters, .artists, and citizens ; but few country gentle- 
men. The noble, Mirabeau, expelled from his own order, 
and the Abb^Sieyes, had cast their lot with the commons. 
It was a body intent upon reforms, and a sturdy foe to 
privileges. Its mission was to satisfy the complaints of 
the people ; and it was burning to resist the pretensions 
of the nobles and the Church.^ 
Meeting of Ou May 5, the states general were opened, by the 
gincrai. king himsclf, in the Salle des Menus, at Versailles, 
according to the stately ceremonial of 1614. The 
clergy assembled on his right, the nobles on the left, 
and the modest commons at the lower end of the 
chamber.^ The king and his ministers were welcomed 

' Mr. Oarlyle says of them, ' who, indeed, are properly little other 
than oommons disguised in curate-frocks.' — Fr, Rev. h. iv. ch. 4. 

' De Tocqueville, Vancien jRigime, 108, 169 ; Louis Blanc, Hid. de 
la Biv. Fr. ii. 221. 

^ The total number of deputies to the states-general was 1214, one 
half of whom were &om the tien^tat. 

^ Bonill^, M4m. i. 68. 

* ' Oe ne sont ni les imp6tB, ni les lettres de cachet, ni tous les autres 
abas de Tautoritd, ce ne sont point les vexations des intendants, et les 
longueurs ruineuses de la justice qui ont le plus irrit^ la nation : c*est la 
pr^jug^ de la noblesse par lequel elle a manifesto plus de haine.' — Hiyarol, 
Mhn. cited by Taine, Les OriffineSf 419. 

* The ceremony was marked by a significant incident. When the 
king, being seated upon his throne, put on his hat, the clergy and nohlea 


with hearty acclamations, and his majesty's generous chap. 
and earnest speech was received with applause. But -— * ' -^ 
here ended all that was hopeful, on this remarkable 
day. Neither the king nor his ministers, Barentin and 
Necker, who afterwards addressed the states, proposed 
a certain policy, or specific measiures of relief: but, 
proclaiming the urgent necessities of the country, they 
appealed to the wisdom and patriotism of the assembly; 
whom they cautioned against extreme measures, and 
invited to union. 

The supreme question of the separate or united «tting« 
voting of the orders, was left to the determination of Estates. 
I^ose rival orders themselves: not, however, without 
intimations that the ancient usage wafl favoured by 
the government. This fatal hesitation was due to the 
distracted councils of the king's advisers. The king 
himself would have shared his prerogatives with the 
people, for the common good : but neither the clergj^ 
the nobles, nor the court were prepared to sacrifice 
their own interests or privileges. They had successfully 
resisted the king and his reforming ministers, Turgot, 
Necker and Calonne ; and they would not submit to 
the despised commons. The position was, indeed, 
embarrassing. If the orders voted separately, there 
was little hope of satisfaction to the people: if they 
voted together, there was immediate hazard of revolu- 
tion. But to leave the orders, who hated and dis- 
trusted one another, to determine their own rights, was 
an invitation to anarchy. 

The two higher orders now sat apart in their 

proceeded to cover themflelyes, aocordingp to ancient custom ; when, for 
the first time, the commons ftssertad the like privilege^ in the presence of 

The com- 
mons as- 
811 me to 


138 FRANCE. 

CHAP, respective chambers, leaving the commons, as the 
largest body, in possession of the great hall;^ and 
proceeded to the separate verification of their powers. 
beThe*^ The commons, being resolved that there should be no 
AJMrabiy. separation of orders, insisted that the verification of the 
powers of the three Estates should be conducted by the 
entire body ; and awaited the coming of the two other 
orders. Their inaction assured their ultimate triumph. 
They were united to a man ; while many of the nobles 
were on their side : they commanded the sympathies 
of the inferior clergy ; and they were supported by the 
people. After five weeks of fruitless negotiations, the 
commons took a bolder step ; and declared themselves 
June 17, * the National Assembly.' ^ It was an act of usurpation 
which marked the commencement of the revolution. 
Nor was it a mere declaration of right : it was followed 
by decrees designed to ensure their own authority. 
Taxes imposed by the Crown were declared illegal ; 
but their collection was provisionally allowed, during the 
sitting of the National Assembly. The public debts 
were consoUdated, to the great satisfaction of the 
pubhc creditors ; and a committee of subsistence was 
appointed to provide for the wants of the people. As 
they were thus assuming superior legislative power, it 
was clear that they must be put down, or that the 
Crown, and the two other orders, must associate them- 
selves with, their labours. The court persuaded the 
king to adopt the former course ; and, on the plea of 
an approaching royal stance, the doors of the hall were 
closed against the Assembly. The commons at once 

i La Salle des Etats, 

* Edgar Quinet truly says, ' Oe nom, qui ^voquait la natioD, ^tait deja 
la yictoire.' — La B^volution, i. 76. 


adjourned to the racket court, where they swore not chap. 
to separate until they had given a constitution to 

France. The racket court being soon closed against ''"°® ^^' 
them, they adjourned to the church of St. Louis ; and June 22. 
here they were joined by the majority of the clergy. 

On the following day the king came, in state, to the The king 
hall of the states-general, rebuked the Assembly, and ^tefio^iie 
annulled its decrees as illegal. He directed that the A'Jllmbiy! 
separate orders should be maintained : announced cer- ^^^ ^*' 
tain reforms, comprised in thirty-five articles, which he 
invited the states-general to accept ; and intimated that, 
unless they were agreed to, he should himself promote the 
welfare of his people.^ At the same time, he threatened 
them with a dissolution. In conclusion, he ordered 
the deputies to separate. The nobles and the clergy at 
once left the hall : but the commons refused to move. 
Reminded of the king's orders by his usher, De Breze, 
they replied, by the mouth of Mirabeau, ' Go, Monsieur, 
tell those who sent you that we are here by the will of 
the people, and that nothing but the force of bayonets 
shall send us hence.' They resolved to persist in their 
decrees, which the king had just condemned ; and voted 
the inviolability of their members. This defiance of the 
king's authority, instead of being met by the threatened 
dissolution, was submitted to by the court ; and fix)m 
that day, power passed into the hands of the Assembly. 

Another victory was soon gained by the popular union of 
party. The Assembly, resuming its sittings in the church **** ^' *"' 
of St. Louis, was at once joined by the clergy, who had 
sat there before, and in a few days by forty-seven nobles, 
including the Duke of Orleans, and at last by the entire june 27. 
body of the nobles and clergy. The union of the orders 

^ ' Seul je ferai le bien do mes peuples.' 

140 PR.\NCE. 

CHAP, was now complete, and the ascendency of the commons 
-- . ' ^ was assured.^ The two foremost Estates of the realm 

were, in truth, efFaced from the constitution of France ; 

and the Crown itself had lost its sovereignty.^ 
Disniisiiai Xhc couTt had sustained a grave discomfitiu-e : but 

ofXccker. ... 

it was not even yet too late to imtiate reforms, and as- 
sume the direction of the popular movement : but, un- 
happily, the reactionary party again prevailed in the 
king's councils. It was determined to overawe the As- 
sembly : its hall was siirroimded by a foreign soldiery ; 
and large bodies of troops were concentrated upon 
Versailles, upon Paris and its environs. When these 

July 11. military preparations were completed, Necker was dis- 
missed, and banished from France. 

Taking Btthcrto the issue had been between the court and 

Bautiie. the Asscmbly : it was now a conflict betw^een the govern- 
ment and the people. The Parisians rushed to arms, 

Jil^y 1*. and the troops refused to fight against them : the Bas- 
tile was stormed ; and the capital was in the hands of 
the populace.* The king now came to the Assembly, 
asswed them of his confidence, and promised the im- 
mediate withdrawal of the troops from Paris and Ver- 

juiy27. sallies. On the following day he visited Paris, with- 
out guards, and was received with loyal demonstra- 
tions. But he was forced to humble himself before the 
people. Waving his hat, decked with the insurrec- 
tionary cockade, from the windows of the Hotel de 

^ ' Juaqu'di ce jour, du moins, la bourgeoisie fut la Revolution : elle 
fut le peuple.' — Louis Blanc, Hist, de la lUv, JFV*. ii. 315. 

^ ^ Lia royaut6 n*etaitplu3 au palais de Louis xvi. : elle dtait a la Salle 
des Etats.'— IWd. 813. 

' On hearing of these events from the Duke de Liancourt, the king 
saidy ^ C'est una r^volte I ^ ' Non, sire^' replied the Duke, ' c'est une r^« 



Ville, he aroused transports of enthusiasm from the 9jhap. 
crowd below. He had made his peace, for a time, with ' — ^ — ' 
his capital : but he had worn the badge of the revolu- 
tion, and played the part of a citizen king.^ The ^^u^""' 
policy of the court had been foiled ; and Necker was Jn^y 17. 
recalled from his exile. 

Paris, with its popular magistrates and national ^^j°^ 
guards, reconciled for a time to the king, was, however, July nw. 
independent. Other cities followed its example, and 
electing new magistrates, and enrolling national guards, 
sided with the popular cause. In the provinces there 
were grave disorders : castles were burnt down : nobles 
and country gentlemen were murdered ; and their title- 
deeds destroyed by the peasantry : monasteries and 
farmhouses were plundered : estates were forcibly occu- 
pied by squatters : rents and services were withheld 
from the proprietors : tax-gatherers were hunted down 
like wild beasts : the peasantry roved over fields and 
forests in pursuit of game, which they cooked on the 
spot with wood from the plantations of their seigneurs. 
Life and property were a prey to agrarian anarchy.*^ 

The three orders being now united, the Assembly, — fi^nlTthd 
henceforward called the Constituent Assembly, — con- ^^^^^^^^^x- 
sisted of more than twelve hundred members : a number 
excessive for deliberation, and liable to sudden and un- 
controllable impulses. Its members had come recently 

* ' Le flouveiaiii ffodal venait de disparaltre ; il ne restait plus en 
France qu'un monarqney chef dee bourgeois.' — Louis Blanc, HUt, ii. 422. 

' So early as Julyl790, the Constituent Assembly received a report that 
' property was everywhere the prey to briganda^ : that on all sides castles 
were burned, convents wrecked, and farms given up to pillage : that all 
aeignorial righta were at an end : that the laws were without force, the 
magistrates without authority, and justice but a phantom which was 
flouizht in vain in the tribimal8.'-^Nettement, Vie de M, la Mortise de 
la Rochejaquelemy 71. 



tiiAP. fro"^ ^h^^ constituents, who were aroused to a keen 
xi^'- sense of their wrongs, and expected immediate relief 
from their representatives: while the prevailing ex- 
citement in Paris, and in the provinces, could not fail to 
influence their deliberations. As public life in France 
had long been suppressed, by centralised administra- 
tion, there were no men, in all this vast body, trained 
to statesmanship, or quahfied by experience, or political 
reputation, to direct its coimsels, and guide it through 
the fearful dangers by which it was surrounded. The 
nobles were unaccustomed to dehberative bodies : they 
had never practised public speaking, or the politic man- 
agement of men of different classes.^ No ministers of 
the Crown were there to concert a policy, upon which 
the executive and legislative authorities might agree : 
but jealousy and suspicion were rife between them. 
There were parties indeed, — the right, or royalist ; the 
centre, or constitutional ; and the left, or democratic : — 
but there was little party organisation, or concerted 
action, which might have given consistency to the policy 
of the Assembly. It was without any rules or tradi- 
tions of order. A hundred deputies would rise together, 
and insist upon being heard. They even read their 
speeches.^ Motions were made, and decrees passed, ' 
without notice, and upon the sudden impulse of the 
moment.® Its galleries were filled with strangers, who 

* 'Jamais conducteurB (141001X1168 ii*ont tellement d^sappris Tart de 
conduire les hommes, art qui consiste k marcher sur la meme route, mais 
en tete^ et a gaider leur travail en y prenant part' — Taine, Xes Origine*, 

' Arthur Young's Travd», i. Ill et seq, 

' This practice was continued throughout the revolutionary period, 
and has not been corrected in recent times. Under the presidency of M, 
Thiers, critical votes were taken without notice, e.ff. on tiie vote of oonfi-* 
denoe, Nov. 30, 1872. 


cheered and hissed, without a check, and interrupted chap, 
the debates with threatening clamours. Its foremost * — r-^ 
member was Mirabeau, — a man distinguished, above 
all his rivals, by genius, eloquence, and statesmanship ; 
and, in the early stages of the revolution, all his influence 
was used to forward the popular cause. The Abb^ 
Sieyes, great in constitution-making, found ample scope 
for his inventive talents, in this pohtical chaos ; and Tal- 
leyrand, the bishop of Autun, was preparing to sacrifice 
his Church to the revolutionary cause, and his own am- 
bition. General Lafayette, overflowing with vanity, 
moved by a restless ambition, and fresh from Ameri* 
can pohtics, was ready to proclaim the rights of man, 
while he secured his own ascendency. D'Orleans, a 
prince of the blood, sat dark and silent, on the left, as 
an enemy of the court. Eobespierre was there, not yet ' 
a conspicuous figure, but brooding over the future. 

The people were clamouring for reforms, and the Renuncia- 

4 11 1 . . -, , . . . tion of 

Assembly promptly ministered to their impatience. pnvaegM. 
There was a general uprising against feudal rights ; and, i789. 
in a sudden outburst of enthusiasm, the orders agreed 
to the renunciation of class privileges, and a wholesale 
redress of grievances. Feudal rights were redeemed, 
and personal servitude abolished : tithes were discon- 
tinued : exemptions from taxes renounced : plurality of 
offices surrendered : the exclusive rights in game, and 
various other feudal privileges and jurisdictions, con- 
demned. In a single night, nearly all the grievances of 
the people were redressed.^ The nobles and the Church 
renounced the privileges which it had taken them cen- 
turies of struggle and usurpation to acquire. Just and 

1 Thiers, Hist. i. 123 et seq. ; Mignet^ Hist, i. 100; Von Sybel, Msat. I 
84; Louia Blanc, Mi^. ii. 4S4, 




Hopes of a 

in the 

necessary as were these concessions, they were made, 
not with the judgment of lawgivers, but with the rash- 
ness and impulsiveness of revolutionists ; and so sudden 
an interference with existing rights, without securities 
for the maintenance of order, gave a fresh impulse to 

The revolution had now wrested power from the 
hands of the king, and privileges from the Church and 
the nobles : but it had not yet overthrown the frame- 
work of the government. The king still reigned, but 
with a limited authority : an Assembly representing all 
classes of the people, and generally animated with senti- 
ments of patriotism and moderation, was preparing to se- 
cure the fruits of the great national movement to which 
it owed its birth. At this period, indeed, it seemed pos- 
sible that the revolution would assume a constitutional 
form. But the Assembly was divided into three prin- 
cipal parties, whose principles and aims, and whose re- 
lations to the government, prevented the solution of 
constitutional difficulties. The right, consisting chiefly 
of nobles and ecclesiastics, clung obstinately to the old 
regime : the centre desired moderate reforms, and con- 
stitutional liberty : the left were • the revolutionary 
party, — advocates of the rights of man,— enemies of the 
Chiurch and the nobles, — ^and though not yet repubh- 
cans,^ hostile to the Crown. The work of reconstruct 
tion was discussed : but in vain. An idle, vapouring, 
and mischievous declaration of the rights of man was, 
indeed, adopted : * but a definite constitution could not 

^ OamiUe Desmoulins said, ' Nous n'^tioDs pas alors plus de dix i^ 
publicains en France.* — Louis Blanc, lUv. Fr, livr. ii. eh. 4. 

' ' La France rompant avec le pass^, et youlant r^monter k T^tat de 
nature, dut aspirer & donner une declaration complete de tons les droits de 
rhomme et du citojen.'— Thiexs, Hist, i. 137. See also Oomte, FkU, iVt. 
yi. 358,360,888. 


be agreed upon. A senate, or second chamber, was ghav. 
proposed; but the noblep naturally desired to make it ^ — r-^ 

the means of recovering their power ; and who could 
seriously hope that the commons, who had so lately 
triumphed over the two other Estates, would suddenly 
agree to restore a separate chamber, of equal authority 
with their own ? Again, it was proposed to secure to 
the king a veto upon all legislative acts of the Ass^nbly : 
but this was considered by the popular party too great 
a power, and the veto was restricted to the duration of 
two assemblies.^ 

* But, in truth, the passions of the different parties 2?p^"^ 
concerned in the revolution, were too heated to allow 
a peaceful settlement of the momentous questions now 
at issue. Paris was excited and turbulent : the clubs 
were maintaining a daiigerous agitation ; and multitudes 
of the people were starving. At the very time when ^^J^ 
the central government had been dangerously weakened, p*""* • 
the power of the municipality of Fwis was no less dan- 
gerously increased. Its mayor w^ a great political 
personage : its national guard was an army of 80,000 
men, ever on the spot; while the king's forces were 
jealously removed from the capital. Its general, La- 
fayette, at once a soldier and a politician, was master 
of the city and of the State. Its constitution was 
essentially democratic. The municipal administration 
wae vested in a large body of representatives, — originally 
120, but soon increased to 300 : while every section 
had its own noisy assembly to dictate to the H6tel de 

Evary great city has its dangerous classes: they it«p«>pift. 
swarm in the back streets, courts and alleys : they are 

' Thiers, MiH. I UU162. 

146 FRANCE. 

CHAP, to be seen amidst the crowds of the greater thorough- 
^ > ■ ^ fiEO'es. No one can walk among them, watch their 
countenances, and overhear their language, without 
wondering how the peace and safety of society can be 
guarded. But Paris, at this period, surpassed all other 
cities,-^except perhaps ancient Bome, — ^in the dispro- 
portionate numbers of its poor, wretched, unemployed, 
and desperate inhabitants, — included in the compre- 
hensive term of proUtairea. France had, for genera- 
tions, been infested with crowds of vagrants and beg- 
gars.^ Of these, multitudes swarmed to the capital: 
the disorders of the time increased their number : thou- 
sands of workmen were thrown out of employment by 
the disorganisation of sodety : the smaller employers 
suffered as much as the workmen ; and there was a 
fearful scarcity of food. A partial and inadequate poor- 
law was quite unequal to cope with such prodigious 
pauperism ; and the police, in Paris, as elsewhere, was 
scanty and ill-organised. Such were the elements of 
disorder and violence, at a time of fevered political 
excitement. The people, suffering and excited, grossly 
ignorant and credulous, were exposeii to the wildest 
delusions. Democratic newspapers aroused their pas- 
sions; and inflammatory placards appealed to them, 
upon all the walls of the capital. Journalism was a 
new force in the Revolution.* The artful whispers of 
revolutionary agents, and the declamations of mob- 
orators, goaded them to madness. There were turbu- 
lent meetings in the sections, and in the Palais Boyal : 

> In 1789 the numl)er was eBtdmated at 2,000,000.— Louis Blanc, Hist. 
livr. iy. ch. 2. 

* A fiill account of the journalism of this period will be found in 
Louis Blanc, HiU. de la Biv, Fr. iii. 121 et 9eq. 


there were riots in the streets, — sometimes the natural chap 
fruits of anarchy, — sometimes provoked by the secret ^^}L^ 
machinations and the bribes of revolutionary dema- 
gogues. Society was seething with tempestuous passions ; 
and the gold of Orleans, and other dark conspirators, 
was not wanting to inflame them.^ 

Order was partially maintained by the municipal 
authorities and the national guard : seditious meetings 
in the Palais Boyal were prohibited : restraints were 
put upon the press :* a police force was organised by 
General Lafayette: pubUc workshops were provided 
for the unemployed poor: the municipal funds were 
exhausted in furnishing cheap bread to the people ; and 
at length, the State was obliged to save the multitude 
from starving. 

Immediate danger was averted by these expedients : 
but the general condition of Paris was aggravated. 
Cheap bread, and public wages for nominal work, at- 
tracted crowds to the capital, bringing with them fresh 
elements of discontent and turbulence ; and not long 
afterwards it was found necessary to close the public 
workshops.® It was soon to be seen how Uttle these 
masses could be controlled by authority; and how 
easily they could be stirred to insurrection. 

But the force of the revolution was mainly derived ^^ ''^"^**' 

^ For evidence as to these transaclioiis^ see Mirabeau, Oorr. ; Bailly, 
Mitn. ii. 298 ; Oroker, EsMys, pp. 50, 70; Von Sybel, Bist, I 76, 114, 
119, 124, 132 ; Lord Auckland's Oorr. ii. 866 ; Ducoin, Phil^etOrUarUy 
72. Speaking of the alleged bribes of the Duke of Orleans, M. Thiers 
says :— ' Du reste, cette influence n'est point k compter parmi les causes de 
la revolution, car oe n'est pas avec un peu d'or, et des manceuvres secretes 
qu'on ebranle une nation de vingt-dnq millions d'hommes.' — Hitt, de la 
M(v, Fr. i. 80. This portion of his history is strongly criticised by Oroker. 

* No printed matter -was to be issued without the name of an editor 

» July 1, 1790. 


148 FRANCE. 

CHAP, from the clubs and political associations. Here men 


-^ — r-^ were brought together to discuss their grievances, and 
give vent to their fierce passions. The club orators 
were the true apostles of the revolution. Speculation 
gave way to political action ; and the ambition of leaders, 
and the hot zeal of partisans, lashed an ignorant and 
famishing people to fury.^ The most powerful and dan- 
gerous of these clubs was that of the Jacobins, which 
was to jday a decisive part in the revolution. For 
Danton and other revolutionists, however, even this club 
was not violent enough ; and they founded the more 
hofr-headed Cordeliers. Another club, — ^theFeuillants, — 
established by Lafayette and Bailly, was too moderate 
to excite the passions of the crowd,' These dubs were 
formidable enough in themselves : but they became 
more dangerous by the union and correspondence of 
numbers of affiliated societies.^ 

i^eaction While the popular party were busy in the As- 

by the 

y ^« sembly, in the clubs, and among the populace of Paris, 
the court were smarting under the indignities to which 
the king had already been exposed, and the abase- 
ment of the nobles. They were powerless in the 
Assembly ; and despaired of recovering their position 
otherwise than by force. The king still had an army. 

^ ' Jamius les liTres ne pioduiiont use r^olution' durable^ ai Ton n'j 
ajoute la parole pablique. O'est elle seule qui porte et communique la 
Tie/ ' Si la sdndme si^e n'ayait eu que dee ^riyainB, jamais il n'aurait 
enfuit^ la E^forme. II fallut que les tlitologiens devinssent miasionnaires. 
Lee liyree de Lutber, de Calvin, de Zwingle firent dee th^ologiene. Leur 
parole yivante i^pet^, comments par dee orateurs ^mua, fit la revolution 
leligieuse.'— Edgar Quinet, La BSv, i. 72. 

» Thiers, Siit. de la IUp, Fr, i. 213, ii. 12 et$eq.', Oarlyle, Sist. of the 
JV, Bev. b. ii. ch. 5. 

' ' The Paris Jacolnns became the mother society, Society M^re ; and 
had as many as three hundred shrill-tongued daughters in direct coire* 
spondence with her.' — Oarlyle, Sid, of the I^, Reo, b. ii. ch. 5. 


Why not leave Versailles, and, surrounded by his chap. 
faithful soldiers, defy his enemies, and trample down ^- — r-^ 
sedition ? Beaction was again attempted by a display 
of military force at Paris and Versailles ; and sinister 
rumours were spread of a sudden dissolution of the 
Assembly, and a coup (TStat They were confirmed by '^^^' 
the festivities of the king's bodyguard at the castle, in ™^"^''» 
which the officers, with loud demonstrations of loyalty, gJJ'^*;^^ 
trampled upon the national cockades, and decked «»i789. 
themselves with the white cockade of the Bourbons. 
These threats of military reaction, while they irritated 
and alarmed the revolutionists, were not sufficient to 
overawe them. They were met by frantic excitement 
in Paris, by the celebrated march of the women upon 
Versailles, by the invasion of the castle itself by a Oct 5 and e. 
riotous mob, and by the enforced removal of the king 
and his family to Paris. 

The king was henceforth at the mercy of the mob. The kipg 
Deprived of his guards, and at a distance from his * 
army, he waa in the centre of the revolution ; and 
surrounded by an excited and hungry populace. He 
was followed to Paris by the Assembly ; and, for the 
present, waa protected from further outrages by La- 
fayette and the national guards. Mirabeau, who was 
now in secret communication with the court, warned 
the king of his danger, in the midst of the revolutionary 
capital. * The mob of Paris,' he said, * wiU scourge 
the corpses of the king and queen.' He saw no hope 
of safety for them, or for the State, but in their with- 
drawal from this pressing danger, to Fontainebleau or 
Bouen, and in a strong government, supported by 
the Assembly, pursuing liberal measures, and quelling 
anaxohy. His counsels were frustrated by events ; and 

150 FRANCE. 

CHAP, the revolution had advanced too far to be controlled 


' — r-^ by this secret and suspected adviser of the king.^ 
other Meanwhile, the Assembly waa busy with further 

measures ' ^ •' •' 

of the schemes of revolution and desperate finance. France 

Assembly. '■' 

was divided into departments: the property of the 
Church was appropriated to meet the urgent necessities 
of the State : the disastrous assignats were issued : the 
subjection of the clergy to the dvil power was decreed : 
the ParUaments were superseded, and the judicature 
of the country was reconstituted, upon a popular basis : 
titles of honour, orders of knighthood, armorial bear- 
J",JJJ^' ings— even liveries — ^were abolished: the army was 
reorganised, and the privileges of birth were made to 
yield to service and seniority.* All Frenchmen were 
henceforth equal, as ^ citoyena ; ' and their new privileges 
were wildly celebrated by the planting of trees of liberty. 
The monarchy was still recognised : but it stood alone, 
in the midst of revolution. 
New con- This ucw coustitutiou was accepted by the king, 

piT^urmed. and consecrated by a pompous ceremony in the Champ 
\m.^^ de Mars : but the revolution, as it advanced, had 
raised hosts of enemies who were combining to arrest 
it. Every power, interest and privil^e had been 
assailed ; and the most powerful classes of society 
were arrayed against it. The king had sworn to 
observe the new constitution : but he found himself 

^ The relationfl of Mirabeau with the court have since been fully re- 
vealed in the interesting Corrupondance entre U Cotnte de Mirabeau 
et le ConOe de la MarckpendmU lei armSes 1789, 1790 et 1791. Par M. 
de Bacourt^ 1851. Mr. Reeve ' can discover no evidence of the common, 
but conjectural belief, that if the life of Mirabeau had been prolonged, 
it would have fared otherwise with the French revolution.' — Boyal and 
Eqntbtican France, i. 286. 

* Thiers, Biti, i. 22Q et teq. It is to be noted that on Feb. 24, 
1790, the Constituent Assembly decreed the equal division of property, 
among children^ without a single protest on the part of the nobles. 


stripped of his kingly attributes, separated from his chap. 
friends, a prisoner in the midst of a jealous and turbu- ^ — r-^ 
lent mob, and exposed, at any moment, to insult and 
outrage. The nobles had lost their power, their privi- 
leges and their titles : the clergy theh: property and 
independence: the provincial parliaments, judges and 
other functionaries, their time-honoured jurisdictions : 
officers in the army their birthright of promotion. 
And large bodies of moderate and thoughtful men 
were alarmed by the rapid movements of the revolu- - 
tion, the collapse of every recognised authority, and 
the absorption of power by popular municipalities, 
national guards, revolutionary clubs, restless agitators, 
and a riotous populace. The hasty and impulsive 
legislation of the Assembly had spread anarchy 
throughout France. 

In vain the nobles and the clergy attempted to stir Forwgn aid 
up the people, in the provinces, against the Assembly. 
With the country at large the new laws were popular : 
they had redressed many flagrant abuses, and had 
relieved the peasantry from oppression and wrong. Nor 
had absentee nobles much influence over neighbours and 
dependents, to whom they were only known by their 
ex^actions. Failing to arouse a spirit of reaction, within 
the kingdom, the nobles began to cherish hopes of 
assistance from abroad. Twice the display of an 
aymed force had precipitated the king into deeper 
troubles : but if his faithful troops could be supported 
by friendly powers, and the reactionary party encou- 
raged by foreign sympathies, the good cause might yet 
prevail. With these hopes great numbers of the nobles 
began to emigrate. Many, indeed, had already fled to 
save their lives: their homes had been laid waste: 

152 FRAKCE. 

CHAP, their femilies outraged.^ Surrounded by clangers, they 
^ — r-^ were powerless to save the king. If they submitted 
without resistance to the revolution, they appeared to 
acquiesce in it: if they attempted to resist it, they 
were denounced ss rebels to the king, in whose name 
it was conducted. They were glad to quit a country 
in which their lives and property were in danger, and 
where they had lost their dignity and influence. They 
had been trained to arms, and hoped to return at 
the head of triumphant armies. • They were invited to 
serve the royal cause, by the king's nearest relatives, 
and foremost adherents, and were swayed by the 
example of the flower of the French nobility. And if 
they were accused of appearing in arms against their 
country, they replied that they were supporting the 
king against his rebellious subjects.* Nor were there 
wanting examples in the history of France in which 
foreign aid had been invoked by political parties.* But, 
whatever their motives, they left the king surrounded 
by his dangerous enemies, and exposed to the charge 
of waging war against his country. The violence of 
parties threatened civil war at home, while the emi- 
grants were planning invasion from abroad. 

^ Madame de Stael, in her Considerations sur la Bivolution Eranqaise^ 
says : — ' jusqu'en 1791| r^migratioii ne fut provoqu^ par aucune sorte de 
dangers, et qu'elle dftt ^tre eonsid^rte conune une oeuyre de parti ; tandis 
qu*en 1792, rdmigration fut r^Uement foic^.' But their dangers had 
commenced in July 1790. See supra, p. 141. 

^ The best defence of the emigrants is to be found in Nettement^ Vie 
de Madame de la Bochejaqueleitiy 71 et seq. He says that even Napoleon 
acknowledged that the emigrants ' merely obeyed the summons of their 
princes, whom they regarded as their captain»-general.' — ^Ibid. 73. 

^ 'Pendant la Ligue, les cathoUques avaient pu s^appuyer sur les 

• Espagnols ; les Protestants sur les AUenSands et les Anglais ; pendant la 

Fronde, Oond^ avait donn^ la main aux EspagnoU. et Mazarin avait pu 

levenir avec une arm^ d'Allemands, sans exciter Tindignation que de 

pareUles alliances ezdteraient aujourd^hui.' — ^Ibid. 74. 



The political condition of Europe, indeed, favoured otap. 
the hopes of the emigrants. Kings had been appalled 

by the revolutionary movemeWs of a neighbouring of Europe. 
country. Their ambition and rivalries were for a time 
forgotten, and the Emperors of Austria and Bussia, 
and the Kings of Prussia and Sweden, were regarding 
France as the common enemy of Europe.^ In Eng- 
land, not only the king, but the great majority of the 
governing and educated classes, responding to the im- 
passioned appeals of Edward Burke, dreaded the revo- 
lution as a pressing danger. To minds so prepared, 
the appeals of the emigrants were not made in vain. A 
formidable confederacy of European States * was con- 
<5erted against Prance ; and crowds of distinguished 
emigrants assembled under the banners of the Prince 
de Cond^ and the Count d'Artois. 

Meanwhile, the king was ill at ease in Paris. He ^JJ^the* 
was little more than a State prisoner : he was not even 
allowed to drive to his palace at St. Cloud : his queen 
was exposed to insults and obloquy: he was sur- 
rounded by a riotous populace ; and, since the decrees 
of the Assembly against the Church, he had become 
entirely estranged from the revolution. His friends 
had long \u*ged his flight; and on one occasion had 
even attempted to carry him off from the Tuileries.* 
The efforts of his troops, and of his partisans and allies, 
could avail him little while he continued in the hands of 
his enemies ; and at length he fled. It was a bold 
scheme. Had he eluded the vigilance of his pursuers, 

^ In May 1791 a conyeniion was secretly signed between the king 
and the German emperAr, providing for the invasion of France with 
100,000 men in the following July. 

^ Austria, Russia, Prussia, Spun, Sardinia, and Switzerland. — ^Mignet, 
Sid. i. 100 et ieq. Mignet, But. i. 182. 

154 FRANCE. 

CHAP, and placed himself at the head of the armies of France 


^- ' "^ — supported by his allies — ^he might yet have overcome 

th?idn^ the revolution, and recovered his power. But his flight 

T^ 20""^ ^^ clumsily carried out. In a light' caliche he might 

«;d 21, perhaps have escaped : but he chose a lumbering berlin, 

drawn by eight horses, — at once slow and inviting 

suspicion. His untoward arrest at Varennes proved fatal 

to himself and to the monarchy. He was suspended 

from his functions by the Assembly: a guard was 

mounted over him ; and the republican party now 

openly avowed its aims. 

ReUdoDB The relations of the king to the revolution, and to 

of the king . ^ 

to thereto- his own people, were hopelessly changed. He had 
fled to join the enemies of his country, to crush the 
revolution, and to restore the old rSgime. The revolu- 
tionary party were no longer under any restraint, in 
exasperating popular prejudices against the king. 
Even calm and moderate citizens, who had not aided 
the revolution, were shocked that the king should seek 
the aid of foreigners against his own country : they 
dreaded the renewal of feudahsm, and the triumph of 
the haughty nobles. The revolution was still popular 
with the masses of the people ; and all who had pro- 
fited by it, viewed with dismay an attempt to wrest 
from them their recent gains, by force of arms. Were 
they to pay tithes again ? Were feudal rents and ser- 
vices again to be wnmg from them ? Were the Church 
lands, which they had bought cheap, to be restored ? 
In truth, the king's ill-omened flight united all classes, 
except the nobles and the clergy, against himself, and 
in support of the revolution. 

The king had been thus laid low, and the revolu- 
tionists elated, when the Emperor of Austria and the 


King of Prussia issued the memorable declaration of chap. 

XI 11. 

Pilnitz, in which they demanded that the king should ^ — r-l- 
be restored to power and freedom, and the Assembly tioST" 
dissolved, under pain of an immediate invasion.^ Need juiy 27, 
it be said, that so haughty a dictation to a great people ^^^^' 
aroused indignation and a determined spirit of resist- 
ance, instead of submission? The king's cause was 
gravely compromised by the indiscretion of his friends. 

Another step in the progress of the revolution was Elections 
about to be made. The Constituent Assembly, in a J^mwyr 
false spirit of self-denial, had decreed that no member 
of the Assembly should be capable of re-election, or of 
accepting, for four years, any office from the king.^ 
Nothing could have been more fatal to the stability of 
the laws and poUcy of France. The Assembly had 
consummated a great revolution: but it comprised 
many statesmen and patriots ; and the majority were 
disposed to moderate councils. It had represented the 
sentiments of the middle classes rather than of the 
multitude : it had aimed at the redress of grievances 
and constitutional reforms, and not at revolution ; and it 
had striven to maintain order, and moderate the vio- 
lence of extreme parties. But now an assembly of new 
men, without experience, or the responsibilities of a 
tried public life, was to be summoned, under an ex- 
tended franchise. No State can break safely with the 
past ; and such was the condition of France in the very 
throes of a revolution. Not less injurious was the ex- 

> Mignet, Hwt, i. 204. 

' Mirabeau had infflbsted, in the Assembly, that deputies should be 
able to hold offices in the government, in order to bring ministers into 
harmony with the legislature ; but the Assembly, wishing to weaken the 
government, and jealous of Mirabeau, who was suspected of aspiring to 
power, determined otherwise. — Von Sybel, JKrf. i. 137, 149. 

156 FRANCG4 

CHAP, elusion of ministers of the Crown from seats in the 


— — n — ' National Assembly, No single measure could have 
contributed so much to bring the executive government 
into harmony with the legislature, as the choice of the 
foremost men of the majority as ministers, and the 
asc>endency of their influence and eloquence in the 
assembly.^ At the same time, Lafayette resigned 
the command of the National Guard ; and Bailly, the 
. mayoralty of Paris. Both had lately striven to main- 
tain order in the capital ; and their retirement increased 
the perils of the king. The fiiture was dark: but 
every circumstance seemed to be conspiring against him. 
L^^«v« ^^ ^®^ * National Legislative Assembly ' met on 
Awembiy. Qctober Ij 1791. Its constitution was naturally more 
democratic than that of the late Assembly. The 
nobility and the clergy, relying upon help from abroad, 
had not cared to use their influence in the elections ; 
and accordingly there was no party in favour of the 
old rigime. The most conservative party was that of 
the Feuillants, who were prepared to maintain the con- 
stitution lately decreed. The Girondists, so called from 
their eminent leaders Vergniaud, Guadet, and others 
who represented the Gironde, were more advanced : but, 
in the main, were averse to extreme measures.^ There 
was a third party, far more democratic, sometimes 
acting with the Gii'ondists in the Assembly, but closely 
allied with Eobespierre and the Jacobins, Danton and 
the Cordeliers, and the Parisian demagogues. The 
two latter parties, both fevouring democracy, together 
formed a large majority in the Assembly. These 

^ See some excellent remarks upon this question in the Quarterly 
JtevieWf July 1872, p. 48. 

* Von Sybel represents tliem as far more democratic than they would 
appear, from other authorities, to have been. — Hid, i, 314 et §eq. 


parties were distiDguished as the right, the centre, chap. 
and the left; the extreme section of the latter being ^ — ^-^ 
afterwards known as the Mountain.^ 

The early relations of the Assembly with the king Jjfth^hi''"* 
were mifriendly. His Majesty received its formal com- ^^«' 
munications coldly and haughtily ; and the Assembly 
retorted by voting that, on coming to the Chamber, 
the king should have a chair, like that of the Presi- 
dent, instead of the royal throne, and should not be 
addressed as 'sire' or 'his majesty/ This insulting 
vote, however — agreed to in a sudden fit of ill-humour 
—was revoked the next day, and the king was received 
with the accustomed ceremonies. He was greeted with 
cordial acclamations, and his conciliatory speech was 
well calculated to bring the throne and the Assembly 
into friendly accord. This result was desired by the 
king himself, by his ministers, and by the Feuillants, 
or constitutional party in the Assembly, to which they 
belonged. But it was rendered hopeless by the court, 
the emigrants, the armed coalition, and the clergy on 
one side, and the more advanced parties on the other. 

What was the position of the king himself? He j^^'y^^^ 
had sworn to observe the new' constitution, to which 
he had assented : but his family, and most zealous per- 
sonal friends had protested against it, as a surrender of 
the rights of his crown. His nearest relatives, and the 
first nobles of the land, were in arms against their 
country, in order to recover his prerogatives; and 
crowds of emigrants were on their way, to serve under 
their standards* Upwards of fifteen thousand had 
assembled, at Coblentz : officers from the king's army 
had joined them : arms were being forged for them at 

^ Out of 746 membera no leas than 400 were lawjerd. 

158 FEANCB. 

CHAP. Li^e : horses were bought to mount their cavalry in the 


German fairs : an army of Frenchmen was threatening 
the frontiers of France, and its leaders were loud in 
their cries of vengeance. His cause was espoused by an 
armed coalition of powerful aUies, who were preparing to 
invade his realm. By his flight, he had shown his repug- 
nance to the revolution, if not his sympathy with the 
enemies of his country. 
Conflict Such being his relations with the party of reaction, 

AMombij. he was soon brought into conflict with the Assembly. 
That body, in preparing for the defence of the State, 
could not overlook the emigrants, or the disaffected 
nonjuring priests, who were fomenting disorders in the 
provinces. Three decrees were accordingly passed : 
the first required the king's eldest brother. Monsieur, 
to return to France on pain of forfeiting the regency : 
the second was directed against the emigrants assem- 
bled on the frontier ; and the third against the non- 
juring priests. To the first of these decrees the king 
assented : to the second and third he signified his veto. 
But, at the instance of the Assembly, he called upon 
the German princes to repress the hostile assemblage of 
French emigrants in their States, or otherwise threatened 
them with war. He further gratified the Assembly 
by choosing a new ministry from the Girondist party, 
which, by the remarkable eloquence of its leaders, and 
by its holding more advanced opinions than the consti- 
tutionalists, for the time, commanded a majority.^ Upon 
the advice of his new ministers, he proposed to the 
War with Assembly to declare war against Austria. The king was 
thus drawn into a war against his own friends : but it 
availed him nothing with his people. It was destined 

^ The oonrt sneered at it aa the iam-imhtte miniatry. 



to complete the triumph of the revolution, and to chap. 
precipitate his fall. War had been originally provoked ' — r-^ 
by the king's friends, in order to repress the revolution :^ 
but its mission was to propagate democracy throughout 

The commencement of the war was disastrous to the B?S^" 

of the war. 

French arms ; and the Jacobins saw in successive, de- 
feats the treachery of reactionists, and complicity with 
the invaders. The Assembly voted its sittings perma- 
nent, disbanded the king's guard, decreed the formation 
of an army of 20,000 men in Paris, and armed the 
people with pikes. And, to discourage internal troubles, 
it decreed the banishment of the non-juring priests. 
The king dismissed his ministers, and refused his assent 
to the decrees relating to the army of Paris, and the 
priests. Again he resorted to the constitutional party, 
which was weaker than ever. Its restoration to power 
revived the hopes of the reactionists : while it threw 
the Girondists more into the hands of the Jacobins. 
Their intentions were not yet hostile to the monarchy : 
but, in order to recover power, they allied themselves 
with the people, and adopted the tactics of the Mountain. 

The population had been incited to petition in favour Riotons 
of the late decrees ; and on June 20, a tumultuous as- |^itionera< 
semblage of petitioners marched to the Hall of the As- im. ' 
sembly. A deputation was admitted, and after a violent 
speech from its spokesman, the whole mob of petitioners, 

^ Most historians concur in tibis view : but Von Sybel says^ ' The war 
was begun by the Gironde to do away with the monarchical constitution of 
1789 ; ' and he treats the combination of the king, the ^migr^s, and the 
foreign powers as a mere pretext to secure the support of the people. — 
Si$t. af Fr, Rev, i. 381. He further says, ' the whole future policy of the 
Gironde was comprehended in this debate (Dec. 17, 1701). War in aU 
directions, without regard to the law of nations ; and by means of war, 
the revolutionary rule orer France, and the extension of the revolution 
through the neighbouring States.' — Ibid. 804. 

160 FBANCB. 

CHAP, numbering 30,000, — ^men, women, and children, — some 


carrying revolutionary flags and emblems, others armed 
with pikes, and shouting popular watchwords, were al- 
lowed to file through the hall. Such a d^iadation of 
the Assembly showed, but too clearly, that legitimate 
authority was to be overborne by the violence of the 
populace. The mob, thus encouraged, marched on to the 
king's palace, forced their way into the royal apartments, 
and passed noisily before his majesty, demanding his 
sanction to the decrees of the Assembly. With calmness 
and dignity, he declined to pledge himself to grant the^* 
prayer of the petition : but he appeased their clamours 
by putting on a red cap of liberty, which was handed 
to him on the top of a pike,^ 
Pirtiai PB- Such outragcs as these caused an apparent reaction 
in favour of the king, which Lafayette and the con- 
stitutional party endeavoured to turn to account : but 
they received no encouragement from the court, which 
now cherished more hope from its allies abroad, than 
fit)m any party at home. Meanwhile the Girondists 
were daily becoming more hostile to the court: the 
relations of the king with the enemies of his country 
were openly denounced ; and his deposition was not ob- 
TO^try de- scurcly threatened. The Assembly declared the country 
J|^i° in danger, and called the people to arms. The re- 
volution was now identified with the defence of the 
country. The king waa declared to be in league with 
the enemies of France ; and both must be resisted by 
an uprising of the people. 
^eDuke At this pcrilous conjuncture, the Duke of Bruns- 

wick's wick, who commanded the confederate army, issued an 

1792 ^^' * ^ ^^® ^ Edgar Quinet eays :— ' La jcmra^ du 20 Juin arait 

laiBsd en lui (le roi) ime ^^yation morale^ qu'il garda jusqu'^ la fin, et 
qui le livra^ les mains li^, i la Revolution. Lliomme grandit, le chr^tien 
86 montra, et le prince fat perdu.* — La lUtolutiony i. 286. 


extravagant manifesto, — ^more injurious to the monarchy chap. 


than any of the machinations of its enemies. In the 
name of the Emperor of Austria, and the King of Prussia, im,^^' 
he declared that the allies were marching to put down 
anarchy in France, and to restore the king to his rights 
and hberty. He threatened vengeance upon any towns 
which should dare to defend themselves, and especially 
upon Paris, which would be given up to destruction. 
All the members of the Assembly, and other fimction- 
aries, were to be judged by military law. To complete 
the insults of this missive, the people of Paris were 
promised that, if they obeyed these haughty mandates, 
the great potentates would intercede with the king for 
the pardon of their offences ! 

This ill-judged manifesto, identifying the king iMnrrec- 
throughout with the invasion, and chiding and scolding Pans. 

1 iM 1 .11 1 1 1.1 % August 10, 

a great people like children, was the deathblow of 1792. 
the monarchy. The Girondists were now prepared to 
depose the king, by a vote of the Assembly :. but the 
Jacobins were bent upon more violent measures, and 
organised an insurrection in the capital. The faubourgs 
were armed: the national guard was deprived of 
ammunition : impassioned f^der^ from Marseilles, and 
other cities, inflamed the popular excitement; while 
the assemblies of thq sections of Paris, sitting en 
permanence^ voted the deposition of the king, and sent 
commissioners to the H6tel de Ville, to supersede the 
municipaUty, as a new commune. 

On August 10, the insurgents marched against the 
Tuileries ; and the troops and national guards showed 
themselves unwilling to defend the palace. In this 
imminent danger, the king, accompanied by the queen, 
sought protection in the hall of the Assembly, saying 


162 PEANCB. 

CHAP, that he came to prevent a great crime. After the king 
. ^."' . had left the palace, it wbb assailed by the insurgents, 
his Swiss guards were massacred, and the royal apartr- 
ments overrun by a howling mob. The assailants led 
to this decisive outrage were but a few thousands : but 
when the deed was done, they were joined by the popu- 
lace of Paris. A knot of conspirators, with their re- 
solute band of ruffians, were able to overthrow the 
monarchy of France.^ The revolution, which had com- 
menced in the discontents of the country, was consum- 
mated by the violence of a mob, from the streets of 
Paris. The Assembly was immediately besieged by 
importunate deputations, insisting upon the deposition 
of the king. These demands were acceded to by the 
suspension of the king, the restoration of the Girondists 
to power, and the convocation of a national convention. 
The kin- The unhappy king, to whom every stage of the 

TeraX'''^ revolution brought yet darker troubles, was sent to 
the Temple as a prisoner. The 20th of June had over- 
thrown the authority of the Assembly : the 10th August 
completed its ruin. The king was cast down, and the 
authority of the Assembly was rapidly passing into the 
The com- hands of the commune of Paris. This revolutionary 
pTris. body usurped power in the name of the people, and, 
with the aid of the sections and the mob, dictated its 
will to the Assembly. Its leaders, the Jacobins, were 
now masters of France. The commune had insisted 

J < Au moment du combat, U n*y avait gu6re paimi les aasMllants 
que trois mille hommes ; aprfes le suoc^, ce fut un peuple immense. Des 
poign^es d^hominee d^idwent de tout. Plus tard, quand cette tete fut 
d^truite, il resta, comme par le pas86, une nation 6tonn6e de ce qu'elle avait 
fait, prete a renier ses guides.* 

* L'ame vivante de la revolution ^tait dans un petit nombre : voili 
pourquoi la nation s'en est si vite lassie. Elle suivait les audaces de 
quelquea-uns, passive encore jusque dans ses plus fibres r^voltes.'— Edgar 
Quinet, La JR^volutian, I 302. 


upon the imprisonment of the king in the Temple ; and chap. 
now it decreed the removal of the statues of kings and '^ — r-^ 
the destruction of every emblem of the monarchy ; and 
it forced the Assembly to appoint an extraordinary 
criminal tribunal. Suspected persons were arrested and 
put upon their trial by the sectional assemblies. The 
revolutionary army of Paris was increased to 100,000 
men : the democracy of the capital was armed, and 
disciplined to do the bidding of its leaders. The 
bourgeoisie of the national guard was generally dis- 
armed. The property of the emigrants was confiscated. 
All ground rents were abolished as feudal dues. The 
church plate was seized and melted, for the use of the 
commune. Danton was the leading spirit of the com- 
mime, and with him were associated Marat, TaUien, 
and others who became memorable in the blood-stained 
history of the revolution. These desperate leaders knew 
that the revolutionary party formed a minority of the 
French people, and were resolved to overcome the 
majority by terror.^ 

At length the Prussians had crossed the frontier, ^'g^^'®" 
and were advancing towards Paris. While schemes of i792. 
defence were being discussed, it was the terrible Danton 
who first proposed to subdue the royalists by terror, 
and to enlist the wild and maddened spirit of the revo- 
lution in defence of France. The commune carried 
out his scheme of intimidation, by domiciliary visits, by 
constant arrests, and, lastly, by the wholesale massacre 

^ At this very time, when the revolution appeared victoriouB, Danton 
said, ' Le 10 ao^t a diyis^la France en deux partis, dont Pun est attache 
a la rojaut^, et I'autre yeut la r^publique. Oelui-<n, dont youb ne pouyez 
V0U8 dissimuler I'extreme minority dans TEtat, est le seul but lequel tous 
puiflsiez compter pour combattre.' — Mignet, i. 301 : thus admitting that 
the republicans were in a minoiily. 

M 2 

164 FRANCE. 

CHAP, of the royalists confined in the various prisons. It was 
^- — r-^ the commencement of that reign of terror to which so 
many Frenchmen fell victims, and which ultimately 
avenged them by the pmiishment of its authors. Terror 
was not confined to Paris: but commissioners were 
despatched into the provinces, with instructions * to let 
the blood of all traitors be the first sacrifice ofiered up 
to liberty, so that when we march against our enemies, 
we may leave none behind to molest us.' ^ These 
atrocious massacres were executed by a mere handful 
of wretches, who did the bidding of Danton and 
Marat ; and Paris, surprised and stupefied with terror, 
remained a passive witness of murders which pubhc 
indignation ought to have arrested.^ The commune 
of Paris publicly avowed these monstrous crimes, say- 
ing that ferocious conspirators, detained in the prisons, 
had been put to death by the people, and inviting the 
MiiitaiT whole nation to imitate their example. To resist the in- 
nation. vasiou the tocsin was sounded, cannon were fired, and 
masses of armed men were reviewed on the Champ de 
Mars, and despatched to the fix)ntier. The revolution 
was supreme, and the invasion was repelled.* No one 
will now be persuaded that this cruel and wicked 
system of terror was necessary for the defence of 
France fix)m her foreign enemies : the national enthu- 
siasm might have been aroused by worthier means : but 
its terrible eflScacy cannot be questioned. Internal re- 
sistance to the prosecution of the war was crushed : the 
royalists were overawed; and a wild and passionate 
enthusiasm was excited in the revolutionary party. 

^ Circular of Danton : Blondier-Langlois, i. 262. 

* These horrors are fiilly described in Thiers, Higt. de la R6v, Fr, ii. ch. 6. 

' It was about this time that Danton said, ' II nous faut de Taudace, 
et encore de Taudace, et toujours de Taudaoe.' — Monitew, Hist. Pari. xri. 
847; Thiers^ iR<f. ii. 816. 


The irresistible powers of the democracy were yet to be chap. 
developed : but this first essay revealed its capabilities. > — r-^ 

The revolution was now to advance with giant Abolition 
strides. Violence and terror had been used throughout monarchy. 
France to secure the return of revolutionary candidates 17^2; 
to the National Convention. The Parisian deputies 
were all ultra-democratic : but in the provinces, candi- 
dates of the moderate parties, notwithstanding every 
discouragement, very generally prevailed. The great 
majority of the convention, however, were republicans. 
That the extreme party were in a minority was con- 
fessed. * All France is against us,' cried the younger 
Eobespierre, in the Jacobin Club : * our only hope is in 
the citizens of Paris.' And proofs abound that, in every 
period of the revolution, the party of order, throughout 
France, and even in Paris itself, was supported by a 
majority of the people.^ The first act of the National 
Convention was to abolish the monarchy and proclaim 
a republic. Its revolutionary enthusiasm, and con- 
tempt for the past, were further displayed by decreeing 
that henceforth the revolution should date firom the 
.first year of the French repubhc.^ 

The Girondists, advancing with the revolutionary The 
passion of the times, had now become repubhcans : but ^*"^°^'*-'* 
the ideal of this refined and intellectual party was a 
republic governed by capable statesmen, and resting 
upon the intelligence and patriotism of the most en- 
lightened classes.* They had no sympathy with the 

1 See Mpra, 162, 163 ; infra, 197-203 ; Mortimer-TemauZy Higtoire 
de la Terreur, 1792-1794 ; Adolphe Schmidt; Tableaux de la R6volutum 
Fran^aise ; Daulxui, La Dimagogie, en 1793, h Parte: et Pane en 1794 et 

* Up till this tame, 1792 was the fourth year of liberty : the year of 
our Lord having been discontinued in 1789. 

* f Bs se proposaient de fieure une constitution r^publicaine, k Timage 

166 FRANCE. 

CHAP, ignorance and passions of the populace, and they re- 
• - — r-^ volted from cruelty and bloodshed. But the time had 
passed for the trial of a philosophical repubhc. This 
party had, indeed, a majority in the convention : but 
there was little earnestness, and neither party organisa- 
tion nor discipline. They were also too fex compro- 
mised by their share in the revolution to be able to 
arrest its progress. Their sympathy with the revolu- 
tion was colder than that of the Mountain, and con- 
sequently less popular: while it went far enough to pre- 
cipitate the greatest events of this momentous time. 
Tiie Their dangerous rivals, the Mountain, cai'ed httle 

for the votes of the convention. Their reliance was 
upon the commune of Paris, upon the Jacobins, and 
the populace of the faubourgs. The commune ruled the 
capital, and the capital dominated over France. If the 
Mountain was in a minority in the chamber, it could 
rely upon the acclamations of the galleries, upon savage 
threats to its opponents, and upon the clubs, and armed 
mobs of Paris. The time had passed when eloquence, 
or reason, or the votes of the representatives of the 
people, were to guide the councils of the State. The 
destinies of France were in the hands of those who 
swayed the revolutionary proUtaires} The leaders of 
this redoubtable party were the too notorious Panton, 
Bobespierre, and Marat. Of Eobespierre it has been 

de cette Beule dasse ddvant laquelle venaient de s'^vanouir la royaat^, 
r^glise et raiistocratie. Sous le nom de r^publique^ ils Bouft-entendaient le 
r^gne des lumidres, des vertus, de la propri^t^, des talents, dont leur dasse 
avait d^rmais le privilege.' — Lamartine, Hitt. de$ Otrondim, iv. 90. 

' Oe parti . . . ne youlait pas la r^publique qui lui ^chut en 1793 ; il la 
rSvait avec toiis ses prestiges, avec ses yertus, et ses mcBurs s^vdros.' — 
Thiers; Hist, ii. 12. 

^ * Les dube acqui^rent k cette ^poque une plus grande importance. 
Agitateurs sous la constituante, ils devinrent dominateurs sous la legisla- 
tive.'— Ibid. 


well said by a thoughtful historian, that he owed it to ^^liF' 
his inferior abilities that he appeared among the last '"""'' — '* 
of the revolutionary leaders — a great advantage in a 
revolution ; ^ for the earlier leaders are certain to be 
swept away. 

These two parties were jealous and hostile : their The rival 

* ^ parties. 

principles and their ambition alike brought them into 
conflict. The Girondists, utterly condemning the Sep- 
tember massacres, denounced the blood-stained demo- 
crats who had brought them about. They strove at 
once to discourage such revolutionary excesses, and to 
overthrow the rival party which had been guilty of 
them. They appealed to the better feelings of the 
country, in the hope of conducting the new republic 
upon principles of moderation and justice. There was 
a third and intermediate party in the convention, called 
the Plain, which sided now with the right and now 
with the left, according to their convictions, or their 
fears. Such a party has been common to most popular 
assemblies; and its action has generally been more 
nuschievous than useful. 

Upon one point all parties were agreed. What- Revoii*. 
ever their domestic pohcy, they equally favoured the pn^ 
waging of wars against kings, and a crusade in support ^^^ 
of republicanism, and the rights of man, in concert 
with the oppressed nations of Europe. This was the 
popular cry of the commune and the faubourgs ; and 
no party could hope for toleration unless they joined in 
it. The Girondists, as authors of the war, were not less 
zealous than the Moimtain, in the revolutionary war- 
cry. The Jacobins encouraged it, as strengthening the 
revolution, and uniting different parties in its cause, 
which were otherwise moderate or reactionary. This 9?L^^* 

^ Mignet, Rist. de la Riv. L 323. 

168 FRANCE. 

CHAP, passion for war was further encouraged by the desperate 
^ — r-^ state of the finances. The property of the Church, and 

of the emigrants, had been sold ; and even their bankers 
were ordered, under pain of death, to take to the ex- 
chequer all their efiects and papers. Assignats had been 
recklessly multiphed : but still the excJiequer was empty. 
It was now time to levy contributions upon other coun- 
tries ; and the armies of victorious France were to be 
supported by the enfranchised peoples of Belgium, 
Holland, and Germany. 
Nov. 19, In November the convention declared that France 


offered her help to aU nations who were struggling for 
freedom; and that her generals should be ready to 
support them. This decree was ordered to be translated 
into all languages, and distributed among the peoples.^ 
In reply to deputations from Nice and Savoy, Gr^goire, 
the president of the convention, said : * All governments 
are our enemies : all peoples are our aUies : we shall 
fall, or all nations will be free.' 
Dec. 15, But in what sense this promising alliance was to be 

carried out was soon disclosed by another decree of 
the convention. It was decreed that the conditions of 
French miUtary aid should be the abohtion of taxes, 
tithes, feudal rights, titles, and all other privileges : the 
confiscation of the property of the State, of corpora- 
tions, and of royalists : the administration of the go- 
vernment by French commissioners; and the main- 
tenance of the French armies, at the cost of the rescued 
Momitain ^^^ *^^ Mouutaiu wcrc preparing a stroke, which 

S^f the s^^^^ gi^® ^ decisive impulse to the revolution, and 
^»°«- frustrate the pohcy of their rivals. In the revolutionary 
clubs and coteries, the fate of the unhappy king had 

» MarUteur (1792), 1379. » Ibid. (1792), 1496. 

THE king's trial. 169 

"been discussed with ominous severity : petitions were chap. 
presented to the convention calling for vengeance upon - * > - ^ 
Loms Capet \ and the Jacobins were stirring up the 
people to cry aloud for his blood. 

The popular anger against him was further inflamed iHscovety 
by the discovery of papers at the Tuileries, which be- »tthe 
trayed his secret relations with the emigrants, the 
priests, and the coalition. He was accused, in a report 
to the convention, of having plotted to betray the State, 
and overthrow the Eevolution. Evidence was also dis- 
covered of his previous intrigues with Mirabeau, and 
other popular leaders.^ 

The momentous question was now proposed to the Discussions 
convention — What should be done with the illustrious tnaiofthe 
prisoner at the Temple ? Such was the state of public 
feeling, and such the constitution of the convention, 
that none were found bold enough to defend the king, 
and justify his conduct. A committee reported that 
the kinff ought to be tried by the convention. The views of 

^. -I. 1 11 1. A theGiron- 

Girondists, however, endeavoured to save him from dists, 
a trial, upon technical grounds ; ^ and proposed to 
consider whether he should be continued in captivity, 
or banished the realm. 

The Mountain, represented by St. Just and Eobes- ^d of the 

, T . , , . . . , , Mountain. 

pierre, contended, with characteristic violence, that 
Louis was not an accused person, nor the convention 
his judges, but that he stood already adjudged and 
condemned ; and that nothing remained for the con- 

* Thiers, Hui, ii. 197. Von Sybel casts doubts upon this part of the 
case ; and gives it a secondary importance (ii. 265). Danton had aroused 
suspicions as to the good faith of these discoyeries by going alone to open 
the iron armoury, in which the papers were concealed. 

' The conduct of the Girondists^ throughout these proceedings, is 
fully described by Lamartine, Hiit, des GiroTidina, liv. xxxvii. 

170 PEANCE. 

CHAP, vention but to decree his death, as a traitor to France, 


and a criminal to humanity. So monstrous a proposal 
was naturally repugnant to the great majority of the 
convention : but it gratified the revolutionists of Paris, 
and increased the embarrassment of those who were 
attempting to save the king. Ultimately, the majority 
chose the middle course, and following the opinion of 
its own committee, resolved that the king should be 
brought to trial before the convention itself. 
Dignified Never did the king acquit himself with greater dig- 

conductof . - - ^ 11.1 ,1 

the king, mty and courage than when his deepest troubles were 
gathering round about him. Summoned to the bar of 
the convention, he answered the questions put to him 
calmly, and with singular readiness and judgment. He 
asked for counsel, and his demand was granted. To 
MalesherbeSjwho had offered to undertake this perilous 
office, Louis said nobly, in prison, * I am certain they 
will take my hfe : but, no matter, let us apply our- 
* selves to my cause, as if I ought to gain it ; and, 
indeed, I shall gain it, since my memory will be with- 
out a stain.* 

Hu^ His defence was dehvered by Deseze,^ a distin- 

giushed young advocate ; and nothing was wanting to 
persuade a just tribunal, — not under the influence of fear, 
and revolutionary zeal, — ^that his reign had been one of 
beneficence to his people, and that none of his acts 
could be adjudged as crimes agamst the State. 

Adjudged The Girondists could still have saved him : but they 

were irresolute, temporising, and alarmed.^ The Moun- 

^ Maleslierbes was too old and nervous to speak before the Oonyention. 
Target declined the arduous task, on account of ill health: but published 
a pamphlet in support of the king ; and so the defence fell to Desdze. 

* When Vergniaud pronounced *La mort/ Danton whispered to Brissot, 

' Vantez done tos orateurs. Des paroles sublimes, des actes laches.' 

Lamartincy Sigt. des GfircnditUj t. 69. 




tain were, as usual, loud and threatening : the galleries otap. 

were crowded with armed Jacobins ; and the multitude, 
thronging the courts and corridors of the convention, 
glamoured for vengeance. After many days,^ the Con- 
vention unanimously pronounced him guilty : but some, 
in the hope of saving him, proposed that his punish- 
ment should be referred to the primary electoral assem- 
bUes : some desked his imprisonment or banishment : 
others, chiefly Girondists, were for passing sentence of 
death, with a reprieve. When the votes were taken, 
sentence of death was declared by a majority of 
twenty-six. Many had voted in the hope of securing 
a reprieve : but this was rejected ; and the dread sen- 
tence was at once pronounced. 

The judgment was not that of a coiui; of justice, 2d"i2«nii- 
nor the grave vote of a popular assembly : but it was ^***^'^- 
secured by clamour and intimidation, inside and outside 
the chamber,^ lasting for many days, and organised by 
the Jacobins. The Mountain exulted, but the great 
body of the people mourned. In vain, however, were 
all sympathies with the fallen monarch. The blow had 
been dealt so suddenly, that loyal subjects and peaceful 
citizens were stunned by its shock.® 

The unhappy Louis was doomed to die, not for 

^ The proceedings upon this trial commenced on Dec. 26, and were 
not brought to a close until Januaiy 19. 

' * Les tribunes accueillaient par des murmures tout vote qui n'^tait 
point pour la mort ; souvent elles adressaient & i'aasembl^ elle-m6me 
des gestes mena9ants. Les d^put^ y r^ponduent de Tint^rieur de la 
salle, et U en r^sultait un ^change tumultueux de menaceS| et de paroles 
injurieuses.' — ^Thiers, Hut, iii. 262. 

' 'Dans Paris r^ait une stupeur profonde; Taudace du nouyeau 
gouvem'ement avait produit Tefiet ordinaire de la force sur les masses ; 
elle avait paralyse, r^uit k silence le plus grand nombre, et excite seule* 
ment I'indignation de quelques &mes plus fortes.' — Ibid. iii. 260. 

172 FRANCE. 

CHAP, crimes which he had committed, but to advance the 
--. ' ■- fierce designs of the Jacobins. They had resolved to 
;?i!™ bini!** crush their enemies by terror ; and the royalists were 
stricken by the same blow as the king. They sought 
to triumph over the Girondists and moderate repub- 
licans, by appealing to the wildest passions of the revo- 
lution ; and by this audacious deed, they hurled defiance 
at the sovereigns who had espoused the cause of the 
fallen king, and committed the French nation irrevocably 
to the war. It was by terror that they designed to over- 
awe hostile majorities, to gratify the democracy of Paris, 
and to lay France at their feet, 
weaknert The wcakucss of the Girondists had cost the king 

Girondists, his life ; and in quailing before the lawless spirit of the 
revolution, they were preparing for themselves the same 
inevitable doom. 
Exeontion Louis met his cruel fate with calmness and dignity, 

Jam 21,^"^ and with a clear conscience. To Malesherbes he said, 
^'^^* * I swear to you, in all the truth of my heart, as a man 
who is about to appear before his God, — I have con- 
stantly desired the happiness of my people, and never 
have I formed a wish which was opposed to it.' 
His Among the long roll of kings, of modem Europe, few 

' *™*^ '' have been distinguished by more virtues, or stained by 
less vices. The revolution was caused by no faults of his ; 
and if moderation and self-denial could have averted 
it, they were found in his gentle rule. In such evil 
times, more force of character, and a greater mastery 
over his friends and councillors, would have served him 
better than all his virtues : but the revolution was an 
irresistible force, which probably no firmness or sagacity 
could have checked, or diverted from its fearfiil course. 


FRANCE {continued). 


Thb execution of the king was a national crime, and, chap. 


in the interests of France, a political error : but it was 
a crowning triumph to the revolutionists. Their dread 2fth?^^ 
policy had prevailed, and the ascendency of the Moun- fountain. 
tain was assured. France was irrevocably committed 
to the revolution, and to the impassioned rule of its 
leaders. These desperate men, having shocked all but 
their own headstrong followers, and defied Europe, 
were driven to rely more than ever upon violent 
courses, and upon the passions of the multitude. In 
the words of Marat, *They had broken down the 
bridges behind them.' And their hands were 
strengthened by the dangers which threatened 
their country. The coalition, which had received JiJn^'ngi 
a fresh impulse from the defiant attitude of France, ^"""^e. 
enabled them to appeal to the frenzy and fanati- 
cism of the populace. Their country must be 
defended against the invaders : the aristocrats who 

174 FRANCE. 

CHAP, conspired with them, must be put down : the entire 
^ — ^ — ' nation must rise in the names of * Liberty, Equality, 
and Fraternity ' : the law must bow before the will of 
the people. 
Measures of France was compassed round about by foreign 
enemies. England had, at length, joined the coalition : ^ 
Holland, Spain, the Roman States, and Naples had 
taken the same side : all Germany was now united 
against the republic. The convention decreed a new 
levy of 300,000 men ; and, under pretence of main- 
taining security at home against the enemies of the 
revolution, the Mountain secured the nomination of a 
revolutionary tribunal of nine members, with undefined 
powers, — ^an evil augury to the future of the revolution.^ 
The army was revolutionised by the fusion of the volun- 
teers with the regular army, and by the election of 
two-thirds of the oflScers by the soldiers themselves. 
General Dumouriez, at first victorious in Belgium, suf- 
fered signal reverses in Holland. The latter were 
ascribed, by the Jacobins, to the treachery and incom- 
petence of the Girondists and their generals, who were 
held up to popular execration. The Jacobins were so 
March 10. impatient to ruin their rivals that they even conspired 

' ThiB war was not sought by England. After the king had been cast 
into prison, she had withdrawn her ambassador from Paris, but with a»- 
surances that she bad no desire to interfere in the internal afiairs of France ; 
and, notwithstanding grave provocations, these assurances were after- 
wards repeated. The French ambassador, M. de Ohauvelin, was not ordered 
to quit London until after the execution of the king and the marching of 
a French army upon Holland : when, on Feb. 1, 1793, war was declared 
by France herselif, not by England. Such was the attitude of France 
towards other States, that war could not have been long averted : but 
the blame of this rupture cannot justly be laid upon England. See Von 
Sybel, Hitt. il 246 et seq, ; Thiers, mst, iii. 283. 

' Ministers, generals, and members of the convention were exempted 
from its juiisdictioni unless impeached by that body itselfl 


to take their lives in the convention : but their infamous chap. 


conspiracy was frustrated.* Untaught by recent ex- ^ — r-^ 
perience, the Girondists still hoped to maintain their Gi^rondist*. 
ground by noble sentiments and fine speeches : while 
the Mountain rested upon the commune, the clubs, the 
sections of Paris, the tocsin, and an armed populace. It 
was an unequal strife between words and force :^ but 
throughout their perilous struggle, the Girondists main- 
tained a lofty courage, and defied their truculent foes, 
in the heroic strains of Roman patriots. 

Every danger to the State afforded a new power to Committee 
the revolution. The msurrection of La Vendee was Safety. 
followed by severe measures against the priests and 
emigrants, who were placed out of the pale of the law. 
The alarming defection of Dumouriez led to the ap- 
pointment of the Committee of Public Safety. 

The battle of parties was rapidly approaching a The strife 
crisis. The Jacobins accused the Girondists of being ^ ^ ^ 
in league with the traitor Dumouriez. The convention, 
besieged and threatened by the mob, resolved to put 
down the commune, by whom these disorders had been 
encouraged. A committee of twelve was appointed to 
inquire into the authors of these conspiracies; and 
Hubert, an active member of the commune, was 
arrested. This vigour on the part of the convention, Thccon- 
was resisted by insurrection. The commune, at- invaded br 

•' ' the mob. 

^ In his eloquent denunciation of this conspiracy Vergniaud finely 
said, with the spirit of a prophet, ' Citoyens, il est ik cndndre que la i^ 
volution, conune Satume, ne d^vore successiyement tous ses enfans, et 
n'engendre enfin le despotisme avec les calamity qui Taccompagnent.' 
— Buzot, Mhn. 107 ; Mignet, iltwJ. i. 376. 

' Banton said of them, ' Oe sont de beaux diseurs, et gens de pro- 
c^d^. Mais ils n'ont jamais port^ que la plume, et le b&ton d'huiasier.' — 
Mim. de Bmidot^ quoted by Edgar Quinet, i. 363. 

the moT 

176 FRANCE. 

CHAP, tended by deputations from different sections of Paris, 
'^ — r-^ and by a revolutionary mob, invested the convention. 
17^. • Insisting upon the dissolution of the committee of 
twelve, and the release of Hubert, they took posses- 
sion of the benches, and voted with the Mountain, 
in favour of their own importunate demands. The 
next day these irregular and scandalous votes were 
rescinded : but the Jacobins, resolved to triumph over 
Miy 1. the convention, organised the mob of Paris, put arms 
into their hands, and paid them forty sous a day. 
The tocsin was sounded, the ragged rout was marshalled 
in the faubourgs, and marched upon the convention. 
A hundred thousand men were under arms, that day, in 
Paris. There were horse, foot, and artillery, — a revo- 
lutionary army. Again the suppression of the com- 
mittee of twelve was demanded tumultuously, at the 
bar, and was conceded to clamour and intimidation. 
But this was not enough for the Jacobins : they had 
resolved to put down the Girondists, and the agitation 
of Paris was continued. The dreadful tocsin was 
sounded once more, and deputations, petitioners, and 
thToiron- the axmcd mob invaded the convention, and demanded 
^'^ the arrest of the members who were conspiring against 
1798. ' their country. Marat, who had contrived this outrage, 
himself designated the conspirators ; and the foremost 
members of the Girondist party were placed under 
arrest. Henceforth the convention was at the feet of 
Marat, Kobespierre, and the Jacobins. Moderation 
must ever be sacrificed, in revolutionary times ; and the 
Girondists, with all their eloquence and public virtues, 
had committed errors which precipitated their fall. 
They had been the only barrier against the worst ex- 


cesses of the revolution, and they were now swept chap. 
away.^ ' — ^-^ 

The wild course of the revolution was made more Contact of 
furious and imcontroUable by the close contact of the uon with 
convention with the people. Thiere were no less than 
twenty-four tribunes for spectators. These were crowded 
by the populace of Paris, of whom one or two thousand 
gained admission. The upper benches of the convention 
reached up to the tribunes ; and the deputies held free 
converse with the audience. The passions of the mul- 
titude swayed the dehberations of the Assembly. Mobs, 
not satisfied with the tribunes, sometimes invaded the 
haU of the convention itself. Deputations were con- 
stantly presenting themselves at the bar. Crowds of 
men and women forced themselves into the middle of 
the Wl, and fraternised with their representatives. 
PoUtical cries, threats, and compliments were bandied 
about between the deputies and the mob. Delibera- itsdcbttes. 
tion was impossible in the midst of tumults.^ The debates 
were conducted with frenzied anger : insults, threats, 
and denunciations were exchanged : violent gesticula- 
tions added force to words : daggers and pistols, grasped 
with fury, showed the violence and lawlessness of the 
men who held the destinies of France in their hands. 

^ ' Oe parti tomba de faibleese et d'ind^cision, comme le roi qu'il avait 
renyers^.' — ^Lamartine, Hiit, des Oirondins, vi. 161. 

' La pens^, runit^, la politique, la resolution, tout leur manquait Us 
avaient fait la r^publique sans la youloir : ils la gouvemaient eans la com- 
prendre.*— -Ibid. 162. 

' * The experience of France has shown other dangers, arising from 
the number of spectators, equalling or exceediag that of the Assembly.' 
. . . ' There are some men, who, surroimded with the popularity of the 
moment, would be more engaged with the audience than with the As- 
sembly ; and the discussion would take a turn more favourable to the 
excitements of oratory, than to logical proofs.' — Bentham, 'Political 
Tactics ; ' Bowring's Ed., Works, ii. 826. 









invanon of 

It was a wild scene of revolution and anarchy, such as 
the world had not witnessed since the latter days of the 
Boman republic. The resolutions of the convention 
were passionate and impulsive. The hall, ill-lighted by 
day as well as by night, was a fit abode for gloomy 
thoughts, imaginations, and passions. 

Yet this convention, ui^ed on by the force of the 
revolution, achieved some great reforms. It abolished 
slavery, and condemned the slave trade : it founded a 
system of national education : it made provision for the 
sick and aged : it promulgated a civil code, which was 
to be the foundation of the Code Napolten : ^ it inau- 
gurated the decimal system : it established uniformity 
of weights and measmres ; and it created the Institute 
of France. 

But the revolutionists were not allowed to enjoy 
their triumph without a further struggle. The Girond- 
ists and the royalists raised formidable insurrections 
in the provinces ; and La Vendee was more threaten- 
ing than ever. Lyons, Marseilles and Bordeaux 
were in arms ; and no less than sixty departments sup- 
ported the insurrection. The country was shocked at 
the violence and usurpation of the revolutionists of the 
capital ; and resented the outrages committed against 
its representatives. The fanatical vengeance wreaked 
upon Marat, by the heroic Charlotte Corday, was but an 
example of the indignation which burned against the 
blood-stained leaders of the Mountain.' 

While insurrection and civil war were raging 


^ This code was the work of Oambac^res, Thibaudau, and otlier 
jurists of the convention , who reproduced their own work in 1803, and 
allowed Napoleon the credit of it. 

■ Of Marat, Lamartine says: — * L'Evangile ^tait toujours ouvert sur sa 
table. Lta revolution, disait-il k ceux qui s'en ^tonnaient, est tout entiSre 
dans I'Evangile.'— -Hm*. dei Qirmdim, v. 313. 


France, the country was surrounded by enemies ; and ^xiv^' 
the treachery of Dumouriez, and the disorganisation of ' — ' — 
his army, had opened the northern frontiers to the 

To repel such dangers demanded extraordinary Newcon- 
vigoui; on the part of the Mountain. Nor was it want- 
ing either in the men, or in the democracy, which they 
governed. A new constitution was framed, founded 
upon the sovereignty of the people, with universal 
sufirage, and an assembly annually chosen. This con- 
stitution did homage to the revolution : but it formed 
no government for such a crisis : nor did it secure the 
absolute rule of its authors. This was not a time for 
trifling with political theories and sentiments : but for 
giving force and concentration to the national will. 
The constitution was therefore suspended : the com- ^''^^cc m 

^ arms 

mittee of pubhc safety was reconstituted ; and a levy 
of all citizens, between the ages of eighteen and twenty- 
five, waa decreed by the convention. France was trans- 
formed into a huge camp, and mihtary arsenal : fourteen 
armies were raised: twelve hundred thousand men 
were under arms : they were supported by forced re- 
quisitions : a waxlike frenzy possessed the entire people. 
* The young men shall go to the battle,' said Barrere : 
*it is their task to conquer: the married men shall 
forge arms, transport baggage and artillery, and provide 
subsistence : the women shall work at soldiers' clothes, 
make tents, serve in the hospitals : the children shall 
scrape old linen into surgeons' lint : the old men shall 
have themselves carried into the public places, and 
there, by their words, arouse the courage of the young, 
preach hatred to kings, and security to the republic' * 

^ Moniteur : DSbats, August 23, 1793. 


180 FRANCE. 

CHAP. The public dangers, and revolutionary fanaticism com- 
' — r-^ bined to secure enthusiastic support to the prodigious 
efforts of the executive. The poorer citizens of Paris, 
subsidised with forty sous a day, flocked to the meetings 
of their sections, and applauded every revolutionary 
measure. Nor were the amusements of the people 
forgotten. Even free theatres were opened, — after the 
manner of the Athenians. The sovereignty of the 
people in other lands, and * war to the castle, peace to 
the cottage,' were proclaimed, in the convention.^ 
Kevoiu- But at what a cost were these warUke preparations 

made! Forced loans: requisitions for miUtary stores 
and equipments : extravagant j&nes upon citizens, for 
pretended offences against the people : confiscation of 
the property of aristocrats, and emigrants : spoUation 
of churches : wholesale plunder and robbery : — such 
were the means by which the armies of the republic 
were sent forth to the war. These lawless and tyran- 
nical measures, however successful, were ruinous to 
the country. Not only was the property of citizens 
forcibly and capriciously taken, for the service of the 
State : but it was injured, wasted, and stolen. While 
industrious citizens were ruined, the public treasury 
was still empty ; and regiments were marched to the 
frontier, half-clothed and ill-provisioned. In France 
itself, the troops were maintained, as in an enemy's 
country. Nor could regular taxes be levied upon those 
who had already been plundered and impoverished. 

Notwithstanding these prodigious armaments, the 
armies of France were ill-disciplined and irregular. 

* February 1, 1793. Gaubon concluded liis speech in favour of the 
revolutionary propaganda abroad with these words — 'Guerre aux cha- 
teaux: paix aux chaumi^res.' — Thiers, Bkt, iii. 286. 


The revolutionarv sentiments of the time had de- chap. 


moralised the troops. Hatred of aristocrats bred dis- • — r-^ 
obedience to officers; and liberty and equality were 
not congenial to discipline. The elected officers were 
ignorant and incapable: the soldiers unruly; and as 
most of the recruits had been driven to the standards 
by force, the regiments were alarmingly thinned by 
desertion. But these evils were vigorously checked; 
and a reorganisation of the army was effected. That 
it was extravagantly and wastefuUy managed, there can 
be little doubt : that it was led without regard to the 
cost of life and materials is certain : but, with all its 
shortcomings, it achieved the most signal victories and 

These great wars were conducted by civilians without Men of t).f 
experience-by men whom the revolution " had thrown ''^■"'""""- 
to the surface. Lawyers, priests, men of letters, news- 
paper writers, clerks, were the great administrators. 
The lawyer. Merlin de ThionviUe, defended fortresses : 
the Protestant minister, St. Andr^, was made an admiral, 
and reorganised the fleet : the student, St. Just, fought 
with the armies of France, and was, at once, a political 
leader, and an indefatigable administrator. The trained 
leaders, upon whom a State is accustomed to rely, had 
emigrated, or were hostile to the republic ; and it was 
necessary to choose other men to take their place. The 
revolution had suddenly reduced France to the condition 
of a new country, and her humble citizens were serving 
her in the cabinet, in the office, or on the battle-field.^ 

* The same phenomenon was witnessed seventy years later, in the dvil 
war of America : when lawyers, railway-managers, and tradesmen suddenly 
appeared as generals, and officers of cavalry and artillery. The emergen- 
cies were alike, and produced the same results. 

182 FRANCE. 

CHAP. As the revolution advanced, a lower class was gradu- 
^-- r ' -- ally rising to power. The free-thinking nobles and 
gentlemen had given the first impulse to the Eevolu- 
tion : the lawyers, men of letters, and the middle 
classes continued it : the fanatics and low adventurers 
completed it.^ At no time did a peasant or artisan 
take the head of the proletariat. There was no Masa- 
niello, or John of Leyden : but lawyers and men of 
letters, like Marat, St. Just, and Eobespierre, and 
others above the working class, were the leaders of the 
populace. The only peaaanl^leader was Cathelineau, 
the royalist voiturier of La Vend^, under whose 
standard the highest nobles — ^De Lescure, de la Eoche- 
jacquelein, de Charette, and de Bonchamps — ^were 
content to serve.* 
Law The policy of the Mountain would have been im- 

^"^etcd perfectly carried out without a scheme of terror, and 
accordingly the law against suspected persons was 
decreed. Every one suspected of unfriendliness to 
the government, was at die mercy of the committee 
of pubUc safety. The nobles had fled : but Prance 
abounded with royalists and moderate repubhcans 
of other classes, whom it was necessary to overawe. 
Many worthy citizens were thrown into prison, — ^there 
to be detained until the peace. Not in Paris only, 
but throughout Prance, the new law was put in force, 
with no less caprice than injustice and cruelty. 

* Oollot d'Herbois was a half-starved actor from Lyons. H^rt had 
been ticket-collector at a theatre before he became editor of the in&mouB 
JPh'e Duchesne, BiUaud-Varennes, son of a poor advocate at La Rochelle, 
married his fathex's maid-aervant, and became an actor^ a pamphleteer, 
and a teacher. Heniiot, who played so important a part in the Com- 
mune, had been a domestic servant, a petty officer of customs, and a police 
spy. — ^^'^on Sybel, JSist. iii. 09. 

' Nettement, Vie de Madame de la RochiQacqueUmy 135, 191, &c. 



These extraordinary efforts were everywhere crowned chav. 
wiih success. Insurrection was trampled out in the ' — .-^ 
provinces : invasion was repelled fix)m the fix)ntiers of PrenSf ^ ""^ 
France. A regular government, aided by the patriotism "™'* 
of the people, might have achieved these astonishing 
triumphs : but a revolutionary executive, supported by 
a furious popular enthusiasm, superior to the usual 
restraints of law, and subduing hostile parties by 
terror, wielded powers hitherto unknown in the history 
of the world : they were use^ with passionate resolu- 
tion, and the result was the triumph of France, and of 
the revolution. No despot was ever more absolute AbsoiutUm 
than the republic, nor was the will of rulers ever repubuc 
enforced with more rigorous severity. A national 
cause and a despotic executive, whether under a king 
or a republic, are the best instruments of military 
prowess. Under the monarchy, all executive power 
had been centred in the Crown : under the republic, 
it was wielded by revolutionary leaders. The preroga- 
tives of kings had been above the law, and were now 
usurped by the revolution.* 

Meanwhile, we recoil with horror from the cruelty cruelties 
and bloodthirstiness, with which the reputed enemies Mountain. 


of the revolution were pursued. All men were ac- 
counted enemies, who did not heartily join the revolu- 
tionary party. The local clubs and committees were 
formed of needy malcontents who hated the rich. In 
their eyes, every rich man was an aristocrat, and an 
enemy of the republic. It was well for him, if they 
were satisfied with extortion and plunder. Thousands 
of quiet merchants and traders, who had taken no part 
in politics, but had naturally held themselves aloof 

* De Tocqueville, Lancien HSffime, 277 et seq. 




fix)m the Jacobins and sans-culottes^ were cast into 
prison, and dragged to the guillotine. At Strasburg, 
St. Just boasted to Eobespierre that all the aristocrats 
of the municipaUty, the courts of justice, and the re- 
giments had been put to death.^ Everywhere the law 
was set at naught ; and society was shaken to its very 
Severides guch was the revolutionary rule throughout France, 

ingurgents. whcrc there had been no rising of royalists or Girondists. 
Let us now follow it into places where resistance had 
been offered to the republic. The insurgents of Lyons, 
Marseilles, Toulon, and Bordeaux, were punished with 
pitiless severity. 
Lyons. Lyons had revolted, and the convention decreed 

the destruction of the city, the confiscation of the pro- 
perty of the rich, for the benefit of the patriots, and 
the punishment of the insurgents by martial law. 
Couthon, a commissioner well tried in cruelty, hesitated 
to carry into execution this monstrous decree, and was 
superseded by CoUot d'Herbois and Fouch^. Thousands 
of workmen were now employed in the work of de- 
struction : whole streets fell under their pickaxes : the 
prisons were gorged : the guillotine was too slow for 
revolutionary vengeance, and crowds of prisoners were 
shot, in murderous mitraillades. The victims were 
cast into the Eh6ne, or buried on the spot ; and when the 
musket had failed to do its work, the spade was uplifted 
against the dying, before they were hurled into the pit.* 

* Robespierre, in the Jacobin Club, November 21, 1793, cited by Von 
Sybel, iii. 232. Another revolutionist thus spoke of these atrocities : — 
^ Sainte Guillotine est dans la plus briUante activity I Quel maitre boucher 
que ce garden 12i I " 

* De Tocqueville, Vancien Riyime, ch. 7. 

» Carlyle, JKrf. iii. 185, who cites Deux AmU^ xii. 251-262. 


At Marseilles, twelve thousand of the richest citizens ch^ap. 
fled from the vengeance of the revolutionists, and their ^ — r — ' 
property was confiscated, and plundered. "** 

When Toulon fell before the strategy of Bonaparte, Touion. 
the savage vengeance and cruelty of the conquerors were 
indulged without restraint. All the inhabitants were 
compromised by the insurrection, and Fr^ron, the com- 
missioner, seemed bent upon their extermination. The 
dockyard labourers were put to the sword : gangs of 
prisoners were brought out and executed hj fusillades : 
the guillotine also claimed its victims : the sans-culottes 
rioted in confiscation and plunder. 

At Bordeaux, Tallien threw fifteen thousand citizens Bordeaux, 
into prison. Hundreds fell imder the guillotine ; and 
the possessions and property of the rich were offered 
up to outrage and robbery. 

But all these atrocities were far surpassed in La Lt vendue. 
Vendue. There, the royalists had made the most de- 
termined stand against the revolution. Nobles, gentry, 
and peasants, devoted to the Catholic faith, and to the 
monarchy, had long maintained an heroic struggle 
against the overwhelming forces of the republic.^ 
When they were, at length, overcome, no quarter was 
given to the woimded or prisoners : unarmed peasants 
were shot: old men and women were put to the sword : 
whole villages were reduced to aahes. The barbarities 
of warfare were yet surpassed by the vengeance of the 
conquerors, when the insurrection was, at last, over- 
come. At Nantes, the monster Carrier outstripped his Stntes. 
rivals in cruelty and insatiable thirst for blood. Not 
contented with wholesale mitraillades, he designed that 

^ Nettement, Vie de Mad. de la Rochejacqudein, 122, 128-133, &c. ; 
U Abb^ Tresvaux, La pert^ctUion rSvohUionnaire en Bretagne, 

186 FRANCE. 

CHAP, masterpiece of cruelty, the noyades ; and thousands of 
' — r-^ men, women, and children who escaped the muskets of 
the rabble soldiery, were deliberately drowned in the 
waters of the Loire. In four months, his victims 
reached fifteen thousand. At Angers, and other towns 
in La Vend^, these hideous noyades were added to 
the terrors of the guillotine and the fusillades. The 
bounds of human wickedness were passed ; and men had 
assmned the form of devils. 
Execution While thcsc horrors were covering the revolution 

Antointtto. with infamy, the imhappy Marie Antoinette, after re- 
volting cruelties and insults, was sent to the scafibld, as 
And of the a defiance to Eiurope. The Girondist deputies were 
^"^ *' delivered fix)m their prison to the executioner. The 
temperate and high-principled Bailly, who had presided 
over the National Assembly, and, as mayor of Paris, 
had moderated the violence of the revolution, was sacri- 
ficed for the crime of halting behind the rapid strides 
of the Jacobins. Even Egalit^, Duke of Orleans, fell 
an unpitied victim of the jealousies of the Mountain. 
The fury which had possessed the Jacobin leaders was 
not that of democracy, but of an unprincipled faction, 
bent upon the ruin of its rivals. It was the blood- 
thirstiness of Marius, Sulla, and the triumvirs, in the 
anarchical period of the Boman republic. It was the 
murderous frenzy of St. Bartholomew. The civil feuds 
of France had ever been infamous for a savagery, which 
The com- Culminated in the reign of terror.^ The committee 
™ubiic of pubUc safety, now wholly of the Moimtain party, 
^ ^* exerdsed absolute power in the name of the convention, 

> ' Les Franfais, qui sont le peuple le pluB doux, et meme le plus 
bienyeillant de La terre, tant qu*il demeure tranquiUe dans son naturel, en 
deyient le plus barbare, dte que de violentes paasions Ten font sortir/ — 
Be TooqueTille, Lancien, Bigmu, 276 ; Freeman, Hist, of Fed. Gov, i. 60, n. 


and arrested its enemies, at pleasure ; while the revolu- chap. 


tionary tribunal condemned the accused, almost without — r-^ 

a hearing, in the name of liberty.^ 

One of the redeeming characteristics of the revolution Heroiim of 

, . , A . . 1 . t , . the rovolu- 

— m the midst of its violence, its rashness, and its tion. 
crimes — ^is the heroism of its principal characters. The 
victims of the guillotine displayed the noblest courage 
and endurance. The king and queen died in the spirit 
of Christian martyrs : Madame Boland, Danton, and the 
Girondists met their doom with the calm fortitude of 
the ancient stoics. Condorcet hid himself in Paris imtil 
he had finished his Progrh de Fesprit hwnain, when 
Jie came forth fix)m his hiding-place to die. 

In the midst of events so momentous, we read of Refomt- 
the childish reformation of the Calendar with a sad calendar, 
smile. History and Christianity were to be efiaced, by 
dividing time upon a new republican model. The 
Sabbath was ingeniously suppressed, by changing the 
familiar weeks into periods of ten days, and by a 
strange nomenclature. 

An extravagance, yet more profane, disgraced the The wor- 
revolutionary party. The commune, headed by Hubert, Reawn. 
insisted upon substituting for the Christian faith the 
worship of Beason. The noble cathedral of Notre- Novemix»r 
Dame was consecrated, in the presence of the convention, ' 
to the goddess of Eeason, personated by a ballet dancer, 
in the transparent costume of the stage. But the com- 
mittee of public safety, under Bobespierre, main- 
tained the worship of the Supreme Being, and asserted 
the principle of religious liberty. The great mass of 
the people, inflamed by the revolutionary spirit, had 

1 In the midflt of this reign of terror twenty-three theatres were open 
every night in Paris, and sixty dancing saloons. — Mercier, Mem. iL 124. 

188 FRANCE. 

CHAP, been hostile to the Church, as a privileged body : but 
' — r-^ infideUty had not taken deep root amongst them. The 
frantic leaders of the revolution were infidels of various 
types : but their hatred of Christianity wbs alien to the 
principles of democracy, and to the general sentiments 
of the French people.* The Church of Kome survived 
their assaults. There was no new faith to supplant it:' 
but it was opposed by a negation of all faith, or by 
strange and idle fantasies, which appealed neither to the 
sentiments nor the reasonable judgment of the nation. 
The revolution, hostile to all rehgion, found support 
from none;^ and while it abased the Catholic clergy, its 
contempt for every creed restrained it from religious, 
Ascen- The commuue and the committee of public safety 

rX^^ shared in all the iniquities of the reign of terror : but 
jiierre. ^^^ commuue surpasscd their rivals in revolutionary 
extravagance. Meanwhile, in the party of the Moun- 
tain itself were men who, having so far advanced 
with the revolution, now desired a pause in its career 
of violence and bloodshed, and some legal restraints 
upon the tyranny of the executive. Foremost among 
them were the redoubtable Danton and Camille Des- 
moulins. Eobespierre, and the committee of public 
safety, were assailed by both these parties : by Hebert 

* De TocquevUle, Vancien ItSffime, 275. 

' ' Une religion ne peut 6tre eztirp^e que par une autre religion.* — 
Edgar Quinet, La lUo, ii. 36. 

» Ibid. i. 164. 

^ ' n y a deux manidres de r^soudre lee questions religieuses : ou rinter- 
diction, ou la liberty. La revolution n'a employ^ ni Tune ni Tautre de oes 
moyens. Lea r^Tolutionnaires proscrivaient, en fait, les cultes, et ils gar^ 
daient, en thtorie, la tolerance ; ce qui lotait, 4 la fois, TaTantage que les 
modemes tirent de la tolerance, et Tavantage que les andens ont tir^ de 
la proscription.* — ^Ibid. i. 128. 


and the commune on one side, and by Danton and chap. 

^ . XIV. 

his friends on the other. With consummate cunning, ^ — r-^— - 
Eobespierre effected the ruin of both. The former 
were condemned as anarchists, the latter as enemies of 
the revolution.^ Robespierre vras now master of the 
convention, of the commune, of the committee of public 
safety, of the revolutionary tribunal, and of France. 
He justified his uncontrolled power as ' the despotism 
of hberty against tyranny.' 

The committee of public safety, known as the De- The com- 

mittee of 

cemvirs,were insatiate of blood, — not from any natural p«biic 
cruelty or ferocity of character, but from a settled con- 
viction that terror was necessary for uniting the forces 
of the revolution against foreign and domestic enemies. 
There was also a cold calculation that death was the 
only security against their enemies. In the words of 
Barrere, ' II n'y a que les morts qui ne reviennent pas.' 
The dread triumvirate most guilty of these monstrous 
outrages upon humanity were Eobespierre, St. Just, 
and Couthon, who ruled the committee of public 
safety. The first is said to have been the least blood- 
thirsty of the three. Before his revolutionary career, 
he had resigned a judgeship at Arras rather than 
condemn a fellow-creature to death.^ But he was a 
fanatic, who believed in terror as a sacred duty. St. 
Just was a philosopher, of intense convictions, rather 
than a fanatic — bold, resolute, and without human pity. 
* Dare,' said he, — ' there lies the whole secret of revolu- 
tions.' Couthon was another fanatic, whose counte- 

^ At this time Robespierre thus described his policy : — ' Le ressort du 
gouvenieinent populaire, en revolution, est & la fois la vertu et la terreur : 
la yertu, sans laquelle la terreur est funeste ; la terreur, sans laquelle la 
vertu est impuissante.' 

» Oarlyle, Hist, i. 124. 

190 FRANCE, 

CHAP, nance bespoke gentleness : but his devilish creed of 
-- » ' ^ terror steeled him against mercy. 

ArepubUc Yet these men, whose rule was the shedding of 
virtuLpro- blood, who wcFC bhttd to justice and insensible to 
the common principles of humanity, whose cold and 
calculated cruelties are without a parallel in the history 
of nations, were planning a model republic, representing 
all the virtues. Its watchwords were * liberty, equality, 
and fraternity : ' its first principle was virtue : its wor- 
ship the Supreme Being : the rule of its citizens probity, 
good sense, and modesty. This hideous mockery of 
principles, which were hourly outraged in practice, was 
gravely inaugurated by its authors Fetes were 
decreed in honour of the Supreme Being, truth, justice, 
modesty, friendship, frugality, and good faith ! 
Rob«picrre This ucw republican creed was celebrated through- 
priest out France, on the 20th Praiiial, 1794. At Paris, 
1794. " ' Robespierre officiated as its high priest. Attired in a 
sky-blue coat and black breeches, and holding a bou- 
quet of flowers and wheat-ears, he strutted fifteen paces 
in front of the convention. This strange augury of the 
new republic was not lost upon observers. In the high 
priest of liberty and equality, men perceived the coming 
Increased Eobcspierrc had triumphed over all his enemies, 

triSuSai. * and he might now rest awhile. Surely blood enough 
had been shed ! Not so thought the triumvirs. The 
revolutionary tribunal was too slow, and trammelled by 
too many forms. The accused had found defenders : 
none should henceforth be allowed. They were now 
tried singly : let them hereafter be tried in battalions : 
They had been judged according to revolutionary law : 
let them now be judged by the conscience of the jury. 


Members of the convention could not be judged with- ^^j^^- 
out the consent of their own body : this privilege they ' * ' 
were forced to renounce, and henceforth they were the 
slaves of the committee of public safety. The tribunal 
could not condemn its victims fast enough ; and it was 
divided into four, that its vengeance might be fourfold. 
Fouquier Thinville, and his colleagues, were now able 
to send fifty victims daily to the hungry guillotine. 
Pretended plots were discovered among the helpless 
prisoners ; and their overcrowded cells were cleared by 
the nightly tumbril, which bore them to ruthless trial 
and execution. 

But the end of this murderous tyranny was DecUneof 


approaching. The terrible Eobespierre had struck pierre'» 
down the leaders of every party : he was himself the 
idol of the populace : the leading spirit of the Jacobins : 
all powerful with the commune of Paris : supreme in 
the convention : the chief of the revolution. But in 
his blood-stained career, he had raised against himself 
implacable hatreds, jealousies, and suspicions. In his 
own committees,^ through which he governed, and in 
the convention, which he had subdued to his will, he 
had enemies and rivals, who distrusted him as an 
usurper. Thwarted by his colleagues, he withdrew from 
the committees and the convention, and threw himself 
more than ever upon the Jacobins and the democracy 
of Paris. With these he plotted the overthrow of the 
committees, and of the convention. First he endea- 
voured to arouse the convention against the commit- 
tees : but all parties united to oppose him, and he was 
foiled. He had lost his influence over that body, which 
had lately been terrified into submission. 

^ There was the committee de boIiU publique and de tureti ff^nSrale. 




>... — -• 

upon the 
9 Ther- 

FaU of the 

of Robes- 

From the convention, he appealed to the democracy : 
he denouDced his recent defeat as the proscription of 
the patriots, and conspired with the commune and the 
Jacobins, to overthrow his enemies by an armed coup 
d!itaL Before it was effected, the triumvirs again tried 
their strength in the convention : but their conspiracy 
was ab-eady known, and they were denounced and 
arrested. The commune released them from their 
arrest, and conducted them to the Hotel de Ville : the 
tocsin was sounded, and the people were called to arms. 
For a time the convention was in imminent danger : 
even its own guns were turned against it : but the 
gunners, seduced for a moment, refused to fire. The 
convention confronted its dangers with courage : it 
placed the conspirators beyond the law ; and its com- 
missioners, hastening to the insurgent sections, brought 
them over to the side of the convention. While the 
conspirators were preparing to march against the Tui- 
leries, the convention invested the Hotel de Ville. The 
triumvirs and their confederates were at bay, and 
there was no escape. Eobespierre endeavoured to 
elude his enemies by blowing out his brains : but was 
seized, with his jaw broken. Couthon also vainly 
attempted suicide: St. Just awaited his arrest with 

Eobespierre was carried upon a litter, shattered and 
bleeding, to the committee of general safety. There • 
he was assailed with taunts and reproaches, and sent 
on to the Conciergerie. Condemned by his own revo- 
lutionary tribunal, with upwards of twenty of his con- 
federates, he was borne to the scaffold, amidst the 

^ There are different versions of this arrest, but this is the most gene- 
rally received. 


execrations and rejoicings of the multitude. The chap. 
brutal mob was ever ready to exult over the shedding 

of blood. It had yelled at the execution of royalists dor^?^"* 
and Girondists, of Danton and Hubert ; and now it 
revelled in the death of Bobespierre. The leader of 
the Jacobins seemed to have no friends. He had lately 
been extolled as the incorruptible ; and now he was 
condemned and reviled as infamous. Even the Jacobin 
clubs forswore him. A few months before, Danton 
had said — ^'''I carry Eobespierre with me : Bobespierre 
follows me;' and his pre<£ction was now fulfilled. 
The crimes of which he had been guilty were, at 
length, avenged upon his own head. The leaders of 
every faction, which had borne a part in this bloody 
revolution, had now been brought to the scaffold, 
or had died a violent death — ^royalists, constitutional 
revolutionists, Girondists, H^bertists, Danton and his 
followers, and at last, the arch-revolutionist and his 

The fall of Eobespierre was followed by the first Reaction. 
symptoms of reaction, in the revolutionary fever. Blood 
enough had been shed to sicken all but fanatics and 
savages ; and the majority of the convention, differing 
in many points, were agreed that the reign of terror 
should be closed. 

The revolutionary tribimal was suspended ; and its ii Themu. 
hateful president, Fouquier-Thinville, was tried and 
executed for his crimes. The tribunal was re- consti- 
tuted ; and the regular procedure of a court of justice 
restored. The suspected, who had escaped the guillo- 
tine, were treated with indulgence, and gradually re- 
leased from prison. The sections of Paris, instead of 
meeting every day, were restricted to a meeting once 


194 FRANCE. 

CHAP, in ten days ; and the fee of forty sous a day was with- 



drawn from the poorer citizens who attended. 

Agents of So far this was a return to law and order ; and 

of terror those who wcrc uow brought to judgment, were not the 
suspected enemies of the revolution, but the most 
guilty agents of the reign of terror, who had cruelly 
and wantonly shed the blood of innocent men, women, 
and children. 
Thefw- The followers of Eobespierre, however, led by 

Rob€«- Billaud-Varennes, Collot d'Herbois, and Carrier, were 
"** not content to submit to the dominant party in the 
convention,* by whom they had been threatened with 
punishment for their past misdeeds. They had lost 
their influence in the convention, and in the commune : 
but they had stQl the support of the Jacobins, and 
were busy in the faubourgs of Paris. They complained 
of their proscription : patriots, they said, were now 
thrown into dungeons, from which aristocrats had been 
released : the convention was denounced ; and dan- 
gerous appeals were addressed to the populace, 
jeonoiie But this was a period of general reaction, and the 

convention boldly profited by its support. It put 
down the famous confederation of club®.^ It met the 
agitators upon their own ground, in the faubourgs, and 
appealed to the sections for support against the dis- 
turbers of order. The most noticeable sign of reaction, 
however, was found in the jeunesse dorecj a body of 
young men who marched through the streets, as de- 
fenders of order.* Armed with loaded canes, they 

1 Since the &U of Robeepiene tliift part j had been called the Ther- 

« Supra, p. 148. 

' They wore grey coats with black collars, and crape on the arm, in 
memory of the rugn of tenor ; and wore long hair plaited at the tem]^ea, 


boldly charged the revolutionary mobs, and took the chap. 
Jacobin club by storm. This formidable club was — ^-^ 

now closed, by order of the convention, and the 
revolutionists were deprived of their chief rallying 

The conservative character of the convention was continued 
also strengthened, by recalling sixty-seven members . 
who had been excluded for their moderation ; and 
twenty-two members of the conventional and Girondist 
parties who had been proscribed.^ The decree for 
the exile of the nobles and priests was repealed ; and 
public worship was restored.^ 

Nor was the reaction confined to remedial laws. Proceed- 
To satisfy justice, and to guard against a revival of Lgalnat the 
the revolution, Billaud-Varennes, CoUot d'Herbois, and ^^'^ 
other prominent terrorists, were brought to trial, and 
numbers of public functionaries of that party were 
removed. Again the faubourgs were aroused. Great 
numbers had been impUcated in the events of the last 
two years ; and who could say how hx the proscrip- 
tion of the patriots would be pressed ? The agitation 
was increased by wide-spread suffering among the 
people. There was great scarcity of provisions : prices 
had risen, and the forty sous a day had been with- 
drawn from the poor. Trade had been ruined by the 
disorders of the time. There was little demand for 
manual labour : the rich had been driven into exile, 
guillotined, or imprisoned: employers, in terror of 
their lives, subject to requisitions, without security for 
their capital, and embarrassed by worthless assignats 

^ They had been absent for eighteen months. 

' A few months afterwards, in consequence of the activity of the 
royalist priests, this latter concession was withdrawn. 


196 FRANCE. 

CHAP, and the extravagant law of the maximmn, were paralysed 


in their enterprises. Here were accumulated the most 
dangerous elements of revolution ; and they soon threat- 
ened the overthrow of the reactionary government. 
iriHirree. First, a risiog was attempted to save the terrorist 

chiefs from trial. A mob of petitioners man;hed upon 
the convention, but were routed by the jeunesse doree. 
While the trial was proceeding before the convention, 
armed insurgents forced the guard, and made their way 
into the very chamber of the convention. A second 
time the convention was rescued by friendly citizens : 
the tocsin^ was sounded, and the neighbouring sections 
flew to arms and repelled the insurgents. 
Invasion A third iusurrcction, more deeply planned, was 

wn^ention. wcll uigh succcssful. The deliberations of the conven- 
1 Prairui, tiou wcrc interrupted by the intrusion of an armed mob, 
clamouring for bread and the constitution of 1793. The 
chamber became the scene of a fearful fray. Deputies 
drew their swords : the guards rushed in to their rescue : 
shots were fired by the insurgents : one deputy was 
killed, and another wounded : most of the deputies fled ; 
and the mob gained possession of the chamber. Boissy- 
d'Anglas, the temporary president of the convention, 
behaved with noble firmness. With pikes at his breast, 
the mob insisted upon his putting to the vote the de- 
mands of the insui^ents : but he refused, and rebuked 
them for their violence. But the other deputies, who 
had kept their places, being in league with the in- 
surgents, at once proceeded to decree their demands, 
which released the * patriots,' restored the constitution 
of 1793, and placed the government in their hands. 

^ Thig formidable eignal had been taken from the commune, and was 
now the safeg^rd of the convention. 


Meanwhile, the commissaries of the convention, chap. 


who had been despatched to the sections for aid, re- 

turned at the head of a body of armed citizens, drove S^n-**^ 
out the insurgents at the point of the bayonet, and re- ''^^^^' 
called the deputies, who had fled for safety, to their 
places. The decrees of the false deputies and the 
usurping mob were forthwith annulled ; and twenty- 
eight of the conspiring deputies were arrested and sent 
out of Paris. The sections were now disarmed : they Th« 
had already lost their leaders and their organisation ; disarmed, 
and henceforth the populace of Paris ceased to rule 
the destinies of France. The government was restored 
to the moderate party in the convention — the represen- 
tatives of the middle classes. 

The extreme party of the revolution had fallen : France yic- 
but not until by its extraordinary vigour, it had made the wari? 
France victorious over all her enemies. Her troops 
had occupied the Netherlands, and held possession of 
the Bhine. Prussia and Spain had made peace. The 
country was safe from invasion ; and its very safety 
contributed to the fall of the extreme party, whose 
violent and arbitrary measures could no longer be 
necessary for its defence. 

But the reaction did not rest here. The royalists Royalist 
rejoiced at the fall of the terrorists : but they spared ^^^ *''"* 
the revolution : they respected the repubUcan conven- 
tion no more than the committee of pubUc safety. 
Their single aim was the restoration of the monarchy.^ 
They differed widely, indeed, among themselves : the 
priests and nobles would have restored the ancien 

* The Danphin^ only son of Louis XVI., died in prison on June 8, 
1795 ; and his succession to the throne had fallen upon Louis XVIII.^ 
then in command of the emigrant army. 

198 FltANCB. 

CHAP. rSgime, with all its privileges : the middle classes and 
' — r-^ bourgeoisie desired a constitutioiial monarchy, with free 
institutions. The old jealousies of orders and clajsses 
were not forgotten, but they all agreed in enmity to 
the republic. The convention stood between the royal- 
ists on one side, and the violent revolutionists, whom it 
had lately repressed, on the other. The jeunesse dorie^ 
lately the champions of order, and defenders of the 
convention, now sided with the royalists, and threatened 
the republic. 
Royalist Fraucc was just escaping from the revolutionary 

reign of terror ; and now the royalists, in the provinces, 
were wreaking vengeance upon their late oppressors. 
At Lyons, at Marseilles, and other towns, they nearly 
rivalled the commissaries of the committee of public 
safety. Eevolutionists were slaughtered in their prisons, 
pursued and cut down in the streets, or cast headlong 
into the river. The revolution was still demanding its 
victims ; and it was the turn of its authors and agents 
to suffer. 
Newconsti- Mcauwhile, the convention opposed to both ex- 

ttttion. - . , _ 

tremes, and mtent upon restoring peace and order to 
France, was maturing a new constitution. The executive 
power was invested in a Directory of five members : the 
legislative in two councils or chambers, — ^the council of 
five hundred, and the council of * ancients,' consisting 
of two himdred and fifty. One-third of each of these 
bodies was to be renewed every year, but, in order to 
frustrate the designs of the royalists it was provided 
that, at the first election, two-thirds of the council of five 
hundred should be chosen from members of the conven- 
tion. The Directory was to be nominated by the council 
of five hundred, and appointed by the council of ancients. 


The royalists revolted against the new constitution, <5|ap. 
and especially the re-election of members of the con- ^- — • — ' 
vention, whom they had hoped to supplant ; and raised loBarrJ!:. 
a formidable insurrection in Paris. The convention 
entrusted its defence to Barras, and to Napoleon Bona- 
parte, who had already shown his generalship at the 
taking of Toulon. The appointment of this extraordi- 
nary man changed the course of the revolution, and of 
the history of Europe.^ 

The convention was about to be assailed by an armed thJfSS^jJ- 
insurrectionary force of forty thousand men, and was de- ^JJo^jJ^ 
fended by five thousand. Bonaparte, with the cool judg- Bonaparte, 
ment of a consummate soldier, drew up his troops and miataS 
artillery so as to place the convention beyond the reach of 
assault. He dealt with the insurgents as with an enemy 
on the field of battle, and routed them — not by street 
fighting, but by military skill and strategy. His terrible 
artillery, loaded with grapeshot, swept them firom the 
quays and streets, and the insurrection was at an end. 
That day proved the mastery of an army over a mob, 
and foreshadowed the time when the sword should 
overcome the revolution. 

When the insurrection had been repressed, the new The two 
constitution was completed. The two councils, when elected. 
constituted, appointed the Directory,* and the new 
government was complete. The convention, which had 
passed through so many vicissitudes,* was no more ; but 
among its last acts it had decreed an amnesty, and had 
changed the Place of the Eevolution into the Place of 

^ M. Lanfrej haa thrown much new %ht upon his chmacter : Hist, 
de NapoUan^ i^. 

' La R^TeiUdre-Lepeauz, Rewhell, Letourneur, Barras^ and Oarnot. 
* The convention had lasted from Sept. 21, 1798, to Oct. 26, 1796. 

200 FRANCE, 

CHAP. A more settled form of government had now been 

XIV. ^ 

' — r-L- established : each of the extreme parties had, in turn, 
«nderthe ^^^ overcome : the moderate republicans were in 
^"^tory- power ; and the people, exhausted by their struggles 
and sufferings, were sighing for repose. Passionate 
faith in the revolution had been rudely shaken : illu- 
sions had vanished : but a republic had been secured. 
The Directory were confronted by bankrupt finances, 
by disorganised armies, and by famine : but they met 
these evils with energy and judgment. Their modera- 
tion inspired general confidence. They put down the 
lingering insiurection in La Vendue : they discovered 
and punished the conspiracy of the communists under 
Baboeuf,^ and the plots of the royalists in the army. 
The first signs of political calm were followed by a 
marked social revival. Society began to resume its 
wonted habits and luxuries : commerce improved ; and 
the working classes, whose labour had been set free 
from all restraints, by the abolition of corporations 
and privil^es, were prosperous. At length, the wounds 
of the revolution appeared to be healing. Paris gave 
itself up once more to pleasure and gaiety. Released 
from terror, the Parisians wantoned again in the delights 
of their bright capital. 
The w«r. Prosperity and confidence were reviving in Prance : 

but the war had been languishing, and the treachery 
of Pich^ru had exposed the republic to serious danger. 
Prompt measures were taken for restoring the military 
power of the country. Bonaparte, Joiu-dan, and Moreau 
were entrusted with the command of three great armies ; 

^ This seems almost, if not quite, the first outbreak of communism. 
The conspixators proclaimed the 'common good' and 'a division of 


and to Bonaparte was given the array of Italy. By chap. 
the marvellous victories of this great general, Austria ^- — r-^ 

was forced to submit to a disastrous peace : repubUcan 
institutions were further extended beyond the bounds 
of France ; and the victorious general became master 
of the republic. He created the Cisalpine republic of 1796. 
Milan and the Boman States/ and the republics of 
Venice and Genoa.* The arms of the French republic 
had overthrown the monarchies of Europe; and the 
foundation of republics everywhere followed her vic- 
tories. Emperors and kings had combined against 
democracy ; and democracy had been spreading, like a 
flood, over their fairest domains. 

Hitherto the Directory had been well supported by Royaiwt« 
the councils : but in the elections in May, 1797, the coundb. 
royalists obtained a majority in both assembhes. The 
traitor Hchegru was elected president of the council of 
five hufidred ; the royalist Barth^lemy was nominated 
to the Directory. The reaction, which had already 
been strong in the provinces and in the streets of Paris, 
was now for a time master of the legislature, and had 
gained a footing in the executive. It was supported 
and encouraged by crowds of emigrant nobles and 
priests, who had returned ftom their exile. The repub- 
lic and the government were too strong to be suddenly 
overthrown by the royalists in the legislature. But 
what if another election should fill it with royaUsts ? 
Their leaders counted upon this result, and were plot- 
ting to overthrow the Directory. 

The new constitution threatened the ruin of the 

> The Romagna, Bologna, and Ferrara, were ceded by the Pope, and 
united to the Oisalpme republic of the Milanais. 

' By the treaty of Oampo Formio, Venice was afterwards given up 
to Austria. 

202 F&ilNCS. 

CHAP, republic ; and the Directory determined to appeal sud- 
— r-^ denly from the royalists of the legislature, and the 
^^e^ provinces, to the republican armies of France. Threaten- 
Directoiy. • j^g a^dresscs were presented to the councils. ' Tremble, 
ye royalists,' said the army of Italy ; * fix)m the Adige 
to the Seine is but a step.* Menaces were promptly 
followed by deeds. Troops were brought from the 
army of the Sambre-et-Meuse, and quartered at 
18 Fructi- Versailles, Meudon, and Vincennes. On the night of 
s^^AugSst,' August 2, the troops entered Paris under Augereau, 
and early in the morning occupied the Tuileries, and 
arrested Hch^ru and the leading members of the 
royalist party. The councils were dispersed, and or- 
dered to meet at the Od^n and the School of Medicine. 
The directors Camot and Barth^lemy were also placed 
under arrest. 
Frtnoe Whatever the constitution of France, she was clearly 

thl*^OT(L to be governed by the sword. Bonaparte had saved 
the republican convention by his artillery ; Augereau 
had overthrown the royalist councils at the point of 
the bayonet. To this had the republic come. The 
monarchy had been struck down : the king and queen 
had died upon the scaffold : thousands of royaliste had 
suffered death, exile, or the dungeon : liberty, equality, 
and fraternity had been proclaimed among men : a 
subtle constitution had been filmed to ward off usur- 
pers ; and now a military cowp d!itat^ after the example 
of Cromwell, was necessary to save the republic from 
a royalist reaction ! 
ProBcrip- This bold coup dCetat was followed by a general pro- 

TO^aUrtL* scription of the royalist party. Hitherto each defeated 
party in succession had been sent to the guillotine : but 
now the proscribed royalists were transported to Cayenne 


or the island of E^ — ^a hopeful change in the bloody chap. 
annals of the revolution. But the proscription was not ^ — r— ' 
less thorough. Hostile journalists, and active partisans 
in the elections, were banished : the law permitting the 
return of priests and emigrants was repealed : the 
elections of many departments were annulled, to make 
room for repubUcan candidates. Throughout France 
the royalists were again beaten down by force, and by 
violations of the new constitution. 

Meanwhile, the army had saved the republic at The 
home : it had scattered the enemies of France abroad. »nny. 
The armed coalition was at an end ; and England was 
the only power still at war with the republic. Bona- 
parte was received in Paris with all the honours of a 
Eoman triumph ; and the coming Csesar was welcomed 
with enthusiasm. But what should now be done with 
the army, and with its too powerful general? The 
Directory had won its present power by the sword, 
and was not yet prepared to submit to its rule. The 
troops could neither be kept at home, nor disbanded 
with safety ; and, above all, Bonaparte must be dis- 
patched to a distant enterprise. With these views, an Expedition 
expedition to Egypt was projected, to wound England 
through her Indian possessions. Bonaparte readily 
accepted the command, which promised fresh victories 
and glory. Its distance, its difficulties, and even the 
vagueness of its objects, appealed to the imagination : 
it was another chapter from the hfe of Caesar. Sailing i» May, 
from Toulon with a fleet of four hundred sail, bearing 
part of the army of Italy, he took possession of Malta, 
and passed on to the fabled land of Egypt. 

There were other enterprises nearer home, for the ToSwitzer- 
restless valour of the army. The republican constitu- 

204 FRANCE. 

CHAP, tion of Switzerland was no protection against French 


democracy ; and the Directory soon found occasion to 
establish the Helvetic Eepublic, upon French revolu- 
tionary principles, by force of arms,^ 
proiMi- Rome was also changed by French arms into a 

thcrevoiQ. repubUc. Naples was soon afterwards added to the 
number of revolutionised States, as the Parthenopean 
Eepublic. The victories of French arms became every- 
where the triumphs of democracy. Revolutionary 
France was making converts, as Mohammed had made 
them, at the point of the sword : but the flashing sword 
of France, however terrible, was not destined to con- 
tinue much longer the harbinger of democracy. 
Renewal The Directory, which had lately been seeking out- 

wmiition lets for its troops, was suddenly surprised by events 
¥u^ which demanded all the mihtary resources of France. 
1798. Negotiations with the emperor at Rastadt were broken 
off; the French plenipotentiaries, on their return home, 
were miu-dered : the coalition was renewed : and France 
was again at war with Europe. Under like circum- 
stances, the revolutionary government had relied upon 
a levy en masse: but the Directory introduced the 
more regular system of a conscription, which at once 
placed at its disposal two hundred thousand men, and 
laid the foundation of the mihtary ascendency of France. 
Troubles The first issues of the war, however, were disas- 

Directory, trous to the Frcuch. They were defeated in Italy, on 
the Rhine, in Holland, and in Switzerland; and the 
invasion of France was threatened on every side. 
Military failures are generally fatal to an executive 
government ; and they were not the only troubles by 
which the Directory was beset. In the elections of 

» See $upra, vol. i., 377-86. 


May, 1798, the prostration of the royalists had led to chap. 
the triumph of many of the extreme revolutionary or ^ — r-^ 
* anarchist ' party, whose elections were annulled by 
the Directory. Again, at the elections of May, 1799, 
conducted in the midst of military disasters, the ex- 
treme republicans, and other candidates hostile to the 
Directory, prevailed over the friends of the govern- 
ment. Hitherto the Directory, when at variance with 
the legislature, had overcome it by force of arms and 
high-handed violations of the constitution : but weak- 
ened and divided, it was now forced to yield to the is June, 

. . ' •^ 1799. 

angry majority in the coimcils, and resigned. 

Li the new Directory, the moderate and extreme 2>« new 

T 1 Directorv. 

repubucans were both represented ;^ and Barras, havmg 
belonged to each of the revolutionary parties in turn, 
now began to intrigue with the royalists.^ In the midst 
of distracted councils, the parties into which France had 
been divided, during the revolution, were seeking for 
mastery. The hopes of the royalists had been revived 
by the threatening advances of the coalition, which, 
however, were soon checked by French victories. The 
revolutionists and the moderate republicans were watch- 
ing each other, in the Directory and in the councils, and 
were plotting the overthrow of their rivals. Barras 
was in correspondence with the Bourbons ; Sieyfes, 
whose ideal had long been a moderate republic, was 
preparing to defend the constitution against the revo- 
lutionists, by another military coup (fitat. 

^ The new directoiy were Banas, Siey^, Moulin^, Roger-DucoB^ and 

' ' Ayant trahi, tour k tour, tons les partis, reni^ tout( s les opinions, il 
ne repr^sentait plus qu*une chose, rimmoralit^: mais teUe ^tait hi corruption 
publique et priv^, que c*^tait encore U une force.'— -Lanfrey, Ifist, de 
A<y. I'^, i. 424. 

206 FRANCE. 

CHAP. In this critical condition of parties, Bonaparte re- 

-- t ' -^ turned from Egypt. His exploits had been brilliant, 
retSST** but unfruitful : he saw no field, in that distant realm, 
Eg^t. for further glory ; and political affairs at home de- 
manded his immediate presence in the capital. He 
was the foremost citizen of Prance, her greatest general, 
the idol of the army, an adroit and resolute negotiator, 
the creator of foreign repubUcs ; and his career had 
kept him aloof from domestic factions. His ambition 
was as vast as his genius ; and he was without scruples. 
Force was his ideal of government. Before his expe- 
dition to Egypt, he had conceived projects of usurpa- 
tion, which would have been carried into effect if the 
Directory had failed in its coup ditat against the 
coimcUs (3rd Aug. 1797), and had the time seemed 
ripe for action. 
Hii reu- In his journey through Prance, and in Paris, he 

sieyfcs. was reccivcd with ovations. He was courted by all 
parties, but committed himself to none. Sieyes, who 
was seeking a general to overthrow the Jacobins, pene- 
trated the dangerous ambition of Bonaparte, and hesi- 
tated to confide to him his scheme. But they were 
brought together by mutual friends : the suspicions of 
Sieyes were allayed ; and Bonaparte found in the prac- 
tised politician an opportune ally. 
Coup On November 9 their arrangements were completed. 

?1^^*" The council of ancients, alarmed by tales of Jacobin 
™jjj«, conspiracies and the renewal of the reign of terror, 
were easily persuaded, by accomplices of the crafty 
Sieyes, to decree the removal of the legislature to St. 
Cloud. Bonaparte was appointed general of the seven- 
teenth division, and entrusted with the execution of 
their decree. All had been prepared : Bonaparte was 


ready with his troops and with proclamations to the chap. 
people. The Directory, taken by surprise and deprived 

of their guard, offered no resistance. But there were andw?^ 
grave dangers yet to be surmounted. The repubUcans ^^^ 
of Paris were provoked to frenzy by the daring plot. 
Bonaparte was execrated as a Caesar and a Cromwell, 
and however anxious for a time to wear a mask, his 
proclamations had betrayed his ambition and egotism. 
He reproved the Directory with the airs of a potentate. 
* What have you done,' he said, * with this France 
which I left you so glorious ? I left you peace : I find 
war I left you victories : I find reverses. I left you 
the miUions of Italy : I find everywhere spoliation and 
misery. What have you done with a hundred thousand 
Frenchmen whom I knew — all my comrades in glory ? 
They are dead.' In vain he assured the people that 
any attempt upon the liberties of France would be a 
sacrilege. The dictator stood revealed, and the men 
who had made so many sacrifices for freedom gnashed 
their teeth with rage. Would Paris rise, in its might, 
agtunst the ambitious soldier ? Would his troops be 
true to him, or to the republic ? The submission of the 
Directory : the adhesion of the council of ancients : a 
vague dread of the Jacobins : confidence in the consti- 
tutional party, and the prompt measures of the conspi- 
rators, combined to avert a rising of the populace of 
Paris. But there was still the council of five hundred 
to overcome, and it proved the greatest peril of the 

On the following day, the councils met at the Thecoundi 

_ . of ancients. 

palace of St. Cloud, which was surrounded by troops. 
Sieyte, cunning in the tactics of revolution, had 
counselled the previous arrest of his most dangerous 

208 FRANCE, 

CHAP, opponents. Bonaparte despised their impotence, and 
^ — r-^ trusted to the bayonets of his soldiers. First presenting 


himself at the bar of the council of ancients, he com- 
plained of the calumnies against himself, and professed 
his devotion to liberty and equality. He was desired 
to swear obedience to the constitution : but having re- 
counted, with great presence of mind, how often the 
constitution had already been violated, he said that new 
guarantees were required. The ancients were satisfied, 
and applauded. As they had already made themselves 
parties to the coup ditat^ their comphance was to be 
counted upon. But it was otherwise with the five 
The Flushed with his recent success, Bonaparte pro- 

Fiv^ ^ ceeded to the hall of the five hundred, attended by 
some soldiers, whom he left inside the door, while he 
advanced alone and uncovered to the bar. But the 
deputies, on seeing the soldiers, shouted * Down with 
the dictator ! ' and one of them, taking him by the arm, 
rebuked him so sternly that he withdrew, escorted by 
his soldiers.^ In the council there was tumult : cries 
were raised to place the tyrant beyond the law, and his 
brother Lucien, the president, left the chair. Sieyes 
and Bonaparte, informed of the tumult, sent troops into 
the council, who returned with Lucien Bonaparte. The 
latter assured the troops that daggers had been raised 
against their general in the council : that the majority 
of the deputies were held in terror by their colleagues. 
Bonaparte gave orders to clear the council, and a body 
of grenadiers marched into the hall and turned out the 

^ * Venu pour intimidery le g^n^ral p&lit, il tombe en d^faillance dans 
le« bras de ses grenadiers, qui Tentrunent hors dela salle.'— Lanfrej, Hiti. 
de Nap, I*^, i. 472. 


indignant deputies at the point of the bayonet. The chap. 
plot was ill designed and clumsily executed, but it was ^ — --^ 
successful. Like Cromwell, Bonaparte was too strong 
to be resisted : but to assemble the councils merely to 
disperse them, by a coarse display of military force, 
was a wanton and perilous outrage, which, for a time, 
was on the point of failure.^ 

From this time forth, it was idle to speak of any Disregard 
government but that of the sword. Throughout the tSroi^'oXt 
revolution, indeed, there had never been any semblance tion. ^^"' 
of liberty. How had each party, in succession, gained 
the ascendent ? By tumults, by violence, by mobs, by 
terror, by the guillotine, by armed insurrections, and 
by military force. The Directory had violated the 
constitution, again and again, against royalists and Jaco- 
bins. No party had scrupled to use force, to acquire or 
to retain power. Bonaparte was preparing to trample 
upon all parties ahke. He acknowledged no party : he 
recognised no principles : but, filled with a selfish am- 
bition, he was resolved to rule by the sword. Sieyes 
and his party, and probably the republican soldiers who 
had obeyed the orders of their general, believed that 
he was merely repressing anarchy : but he had made 
himself master of the republic. 

The republican leaders knew that the republic was Bonaparte 
no more : but the people, after years of revolution and Consul. 
popular misrule, were slow to realise the danger of a 
military det^pot. The royalists flattered themselves 
that the Bourbons would be restored : while the mode- 

* Louis Napoleon, half a century later, perpetrated his daring and 
unscrupulous coup d^Hat. with far more judgment. He arrested the leaders 
of tjjhe AsseinVy in the night ; and did not allow the meeting of the body, 
wifiich he had resolved to overthrow. See infra, chap. xvii. 

VOL. n. P 

210 FRANCE. 

CHAP, ration of the new rulers went far to allay suspicions of 
- — r-^ the dictator. A provisional government was announced, 
consisting of three consuls, — Bonaparte, Sieyes, and 
Eoger-Ducos ; and of two commissions for the prepa- 
ration of another constitution, 
constitu- Sieyes was once more in his element, framing aii 

sievfes. mgemous and mipracticable constitution. After ail his 
experience of the revolution, he was still contriving to 
shackle ambition, and enchain factions, with constitu- 
tional cobwebs. He offered the ambitious soldier, who 
had the repubhc at his feet, the high sounding office of 
prodamateur-electeur^ with great dignity, and revenues, 
but with power little more than nominal. Bonaparte 
contemptuously asked how any man of talent could be 
expected to play the part of a hog fattening upon some 
miUions;^ and the scheme was at once put aside. The 
constitution of Sieyes, amended by Bonaparte, laid the 
foundations of an imperial throne. The executive 
power was entrusted to the first consul, with whom 
two consuls were associated for consultation. The 
senate, nominated by the consuk, the legislature elected 
by the senate, the tribunate and the conseil d'etat^ were 
the institutions of an autocracy. The first consul was 
everything : the people were ignored. This narrow 
constitution was, nevertheless, approved by more than 
three million citizens.^ 
General The rcactiou against revolution, and in favour of 

reaction. ^ ' 

order, and a settled government, was general. A series 
of revolutions without Uberty : a succession of rulers, 

* *Voulut se r^signer au role dun cochon a Tengrais de quelques 

* The plebiscite was not now introduced for the first time. The con- 
stitution of 179.3 had been approved by less than two millions ; and that 
of the year III. by little more than one million yotes. 


arbitrary, violent, and oppressive : disorders, anaichy, chap. 


mob-rule, and the reign of terror, had wearied the 
people of revolutionary experiments. Among this 
party of reaction were to be reckoned the new owners of 
the soil, who had bought church lands and confiscated 
estates. These men dreaded, above all things, juiy dis- 
turbance of their rights : they were in fear of the 
retium of the royalists, on one side, and of renewed 
revolutions, on the other. Hence they welcomed a 
government founded upon the principles of the revolu- 
tion, and supported by the army. 

Bonaparte was now chief of the State: but in Tiieniie<.f 
wielding the sceptre, he did not lay aside the sword. Ma^an^ 
He reconquered Italy at Marengo, and returned, after '^"""^^ ^^^^• 
a brief absence, with new glories, and increased popu- 
larity. In civil affairs, his first efforts were directed to 
the conciliation of parties. Superior to all, and con- 
nected with none, he desired to bring the best men, of 
every party, into the service of the State. This policy, 
however, was rudely interrupted. His assassination was 
attempted, by an infernal machine, planned in England, 
by royalists (chauans). Attributing the plot to the 
republicans, he arbitrarily transported one hundred and 
thirty members of that party; and created special 
military tribunals for the trial of offences. These arbi- 
trary acts at once alienated the republicans, and the 
constitutional party, who protested against violations of 
the law. They served also to betray the despotic spirit 
of the chief of the republic. 

The peace, at length concluded with the European Peace of 
powers, left the first consid free to apply himself to mwcHs, 
the internal condition of France. By an amnesty, and ^®^^- 
by indulgence to the emigrant nobles and refractory 

p 2 

212 FEANCB. 

CHAP, priests, he endeavoured to restore society to its accus- 
^-r-*— tomed relations. He encouraged industry and commerce. 
By his celebrated codes, he designed a new body of law 
for a coimtry which, having cast off its ancient tradi- 
tions, and passed through a period of convulsion, specially 
needed a new system of jurisprudence. Prance was 
without liberty, but she prospered under the enlight- 
ened despotism of the first consul. 
**arte"« While restoring peace, order, respect for law, and 

wnbition. the material welfare of his country, he was at the same 
time filled with schemes of ambition. He was already 
maintaining the state and ceremonies of a court, at the 
Tuileries; and he cherished visions of the imperial 
purple. He was preparing society, and the institutions 
of France, for its acceptance. By re-establishing the 
Catholic Church,^ he calculated upon the support of the 
Pope, and of a grateful clergy, to his future throne. 
Sunday, and the Catholic fete days were restored, and 
the revolutionary calendar was discontinued. 
Ceremony This ccclcsiastical rcvival, — utterly repugnant to the 

Dame. spirit of the rcvolutiou,^ — was celebrated by a grand 
ceremony at Notre-Dame. The first consul drove to 
the cathedral in the state carriages of the Bourbon 
court. The senate, the legislative body, and all the 
high officers of state attended high mass, and large 
bodies of troops added brilliancy to the festival. A 
])roclamation announced to the people the reconciliation 
of France with the sovereign pontiff; and the streets 
were illuminated in honour of the great event. 

Having thus alUed himself with the clergy and the 

* By « concordat with the Pope, ratified Au^rust 15, 1801. 

^ It was happily said by Gteneral Delmas to Bonaparte : — * CMtait une 
belle capucinade: il n'y manquait qu*un million d^hommes qui ont 4it6 
tu^ pour d^truire ce que rons r^tabliasez.* — Mij^et, Hist. ii. 300. 


Catholic laity, it was time to gratify the army. This chap. 
he attempted by the creation of the Legion of Honour, ^- --7- 
which he designed for the double purpose of rewarding of iioimu?.' 
military services, and of reviving honorary titles in Mayi8<i2. 
French society. This reactionary policy was received 
with great repugnance : but it formed part of his scheme 
for overthrowing the republic ; and his will could not 
be resisted. 

These measures were but preparatory to the further Bonapnrte 
aggrandisement of his own power and dignity. He was consul for 
appointed, by a Senatus-Consultum, first consul for ten Maye, 
years ; and three months later, first consul for life. ^^^^\^^ .^ 
A new constitution followed, under which the senate 1802. 
was empowered to change constitutions : to suspend 
trial by jury : to annul the judgments of tribunals : to 
place departments beyond the constitution ; and to dis- 
solve the legislative body and the tribunate. The first 
consul had with him the army and the clergy. The new 
political bodies, — the conseil cTetat^ the senate, the tri- 
bunate, and the legislature, — were his creatiures. 

No more power was possible to the chief of a re- Napoicon 

IT 1 1-1 n* 1 /• 1 • • T i* emperor. 

public: but higher flights of ambition were before juneino.;. 
him. The renewal of the war with England, in 1803, 
raised fresh visions of glory and conquest ; and some 
months later the obsequious senate invited him, in m^mb!'" 
the interests of his country, to assume the hereditary ^^^• 
dignity of emperor. This imperial crown he accepted, 
as he affirmed, *in order to secure irrevocably the 
triumph of equality and public liberty.' A military 
empire was established upon the foundations of de- 
mocracy.^ . A modem Caesarism was created, after the 

^ The Napoleonic scheme of exercising absolute power in the name 
of the people had already been conceived by Frederick the Great, and 

214 PRANCE. 

CTiAP. models of Rome and Byzantium. The grateful clergy 
^ — .-^ perceived, in the French empire, the finger of God, 
and the order of providence ! The people submitted, 
without a murmur, to a despotism far heavier than that 
of the Bourbons, as it still proclaimed the principles of 
the revolution. 
Th-impe- It was fit that the emperor should have his satel- 

lites ; and he surrounded himself with princes and 
marshals of the empire. His court glittered with 
chamberlains, pages, and a praetorian guard. That his 
rule would be absolute was soon shown. The press 
had already little hberty enough : but it was with- 
drawn : the tribunate was docile : but its sittings were 
henceforth secret. No voice was to be heard in the 
preparation of laws : but the will of the emperor would 
be made known in decrees and proclamations. 

The coro- The last act of this reactionary drama was the coro- 

nation of ^ •' 

Xnpoiflon. nation. This was celebrated at Notre-Dame, by Pope 
Pius Vn. in person, with all possible pomp and splen- 
dour. Napoleon was there enthroned, wearing the 
imperial piu-ple, and crown, and holding the coveted 
sceptre in his hand : the crown and sword of Charle- 
magne were borne before him. The usurping consul 
was made * God's anointed ' by the hands of the Pope : 
heralds proclaimed him * Emj^ror of the French : ' 
thanksgivings were addressed to heaven, in the solemn 
strains of the Te Detim ; and cannon announced the 
joyful tidings to mankind. 


fonns part of his code. — De To«][ueville, L^ancien JRigime^ note, p. 

' Descendez au fond de sa pens^, tous verrez qu*il avait pour idM 
Tempire de Oonstantiny et de Theodore; et cette tradition, U la tenait 
de ces ancetres, comme tous les Ghibelins Italiens.' — Edgar Quinet, La 
Riv, ii. 3«8. 

' L'esprit Latin de Rome vieillie se retrouve en tout ' — Ibid. 


The French had renounced their revohition ! They chap. 


had overthrown their ancient monarchy : they had 

cast down their Church : they had abjured the Christian ^^10^''''' 
faith ; and now they had chosen a military autocrat to '®°°""****- 
rule over them : they saw him crowned and anointed, 
in the metropolitan cathedral, by the head of the 
Church which they had humbled ; and they heard 
praises offered to God, according to the rites of a reUgion 
at which they had lately scoffed ! They had aboUshed 
titles, and confiscated the estates of the nobles : but 
rank and dignities were revived, and the nobles were 
soon to recover the greater part of their property.^ 
Nothing remained of a revolution which had cost such 
sacrifices. Not a hero of the repubUc was held in 
popular veneration : not a single fete was continued, to 
commemorate its glories.''^ 

Napoleon had no faith in the principles of the re- Napoleon 
volution. He had known how to flatter republicans, revolution, 
and found republics : he had learned the familiar lan- 
guage of his countrymen : but he beheved that French- 
men had no real affection for liberty, equality, and fra- 
ternity ; and were moved by one sentiment only — that 
of honour.^ Upon this belief he acted. He did not 
scruple to sacrifice Hberties which he deemed to be so 
Uttle prized ; and he appealed, with confidence, to that 
sentiment of honour, which ministered to his own 

The principles of the revolution, which the arms of Repndia- 

; / n . r, tionof 

the republic had forced upon foreign States, were now republic. 
to be renounced. Democratic propagandism at once 

* Niebulir, History of Rome, iii. 374. See infra, p. 236. 

* 'Le peuple n'a pas gard^ une seule des fetes de 1789 4 1800: oet 
immense bonleversement ii*a pu d^placer tm seul saint de village.' — Edgar 
Quinet, La Hdv. iL 121. 

' Mim. inidUs de Tkibaudeau, died by Mignet, ii. 301. 

216 FRANCE. 

CHAP, became a mockery, under the empire. The military 
-" ' . ' -- ascendency of France continued : but kingdoms took 
the place of republics. The cisalpine republic which 
Napoleon had created, became a kingdom ; and he 
J^^^^*' was crowned king of Italy at Milan, with the ancient 
iron crown of Lombardy. Genoa, which he liad formed 
into the Ligurian republic, was united to the empire. 
He endowed his sister and her husband, the Prince of 
Piombino, with the little republic of Lucca. 
Napoleon's The toweriug ambition of Napoleon was now more 
ambition, dreaded by the sovereigns of Europe than the propa- 
gandism of the republic. It threatened universal 
domination; and Europe was again in arms against 
him. But his own genius, and the valour and devotion 
of his soldiers, routed his enemies, and increased the 
ascendency of France. The zeal of his armies was 
influenced by victories and honours : the enthusiasm 
of his people, under all their sacrifices, w^as sustained 
by the sentiment of national glory. 
tKraTt. After Austerlitz, and the peace of Presburg, he 

received, from his admiring subjects, the title of Napo- 
leon the Great. It was their homage to the greatness 
of France, which he represented. At home he recast 
the institutions of France, upon the model of a military 
1808. empire. An hereditary nobility was restored ; and 
it was his aim to reconstitute the ancienne noblesse of 
France : military schools, or lycees^ replaced the central 
schools of the republic ; and the cixdl administration 
of the State was organised so as to execute, with me- 
chanical obedience, the dictates of a single will. The 
centraHsation of the monarchy, and the arbitrarj^ 
powers of the republic, had prepared the way for his 
imperial rule. 

napoleon's divorce. 217 

Abroad the domination of Napoleon was continu- chap. 


ally -extended by his marvellous triumphs. His own 
kingdom of Italy was enlarged by conquests from tionof 
Austria, and the Pope: Wurtemburg and Bavaria, iver 
raised into kingdoms by his arms, owed fealty to his 
crown : he deposed Ferdinand, king of Naples, and 
placed his brother, Joseph Bonaparte, on the throne, as 
king of the Two Sicilies : he converted the republic 
of Holland into a kingdom, and sent his brother Louis 
to reign over it : fiefs of the empire were multiplied in 
Germany and Italy: he constituted himself mediator 
of the Swiss republic; and protector of the German 
princes who formed the confederation of the Ehine. 
Such was his influence in Germany, that Francis II. 
renounced his proud title of emperor. Having humbled 
and despoiled Austria, he partitioned Prussia. He 
erected the kingdoms of Saxony and Westphalia, and 
conferred the latter upon his brother J^rdme. He 18O6-7. 
placed his brother Joseph on the throne of Spain, and isos. 
transferred the crown of Naples to his brother-in-law 
Murat. He wielded the sceptre of Charlemagne ; and 
his vassals did homage from the north, and from the 
south. He dethroned the Pope, and seized his re- i^o^- 
maining territories : he deposed his brother Louis, 
and added Holland to the empire. Bemadotte, one 
of his own generals, ' was elected to the throne of 

Great was the empire of Napoleon. It threatened Napoleon's 
to be universal ; and it was hereditary : but he had no marriage. 
son. Hence the flagitious divorce of the Empress 
Josephine, and his iU-judged alliance with Marie 

^ lie was elected hereditary prince, and adopted by the king, 
Oharleg XID. 

218 PEANCE. 

CHAP. Loiiise of Austria.* The last link which connected him 


- ■ . ' — with the revolution was broken. He had been raised 
to power by the republican armies of France : he had 
established a military empire, and supported it by 
victories and glory : he had proved himself a greater 
enemy to crowned heads than the republic itself ; and 
the popular ardour, which had sustained the republican 
arms, followed the victorious emperor through his w^on- 
derful career of conquest and dominion. Though ab- 
solute master of France, he was still a son of the revo- 
lution. But his second marriage connected him with 
the old regime. He was admitted to the great family 
of European kings, and severed from the people. Le- 
gitimacy was beyond his reach : it was the heritage of 
another race : but, to the revolutionary origin of the 
usurper, he now added the pretensions of a legitimate 
sovereign. Hitherto his nobility had been formed of 
his marshals, generals, and high officers of state — ^the 
new men of the revolution — ^now he sought to surround 
himself with the ancient nobles of France, and to blend 
UifKi*' the old rigime with the empire. The first object of the 
of Rome, niarriagc was, however, attained. An heir was bom 
1811! to the imperial crown, and from his cradle, bore the 

title of King of Rome. 
Y^^\"® of But this dazzling career of power and aggrandise- 

fortunes. mcnt was about to be checked. Napoleon's scheme of 
a continental blockade, to ruin the commerce of Eng- 
land, had pressed severely upon the maritime States of 
the North, and upon the general commerce of Europe. 
The haughty domination of Napoleon had aroused 

' *Que de vies gen^reuses n'avait-il pas fallu immoler, de part et 
d^autre, pour qu*une semblable alliance fat possible estre Tancien et le 
nouveau Cf^aar.* — Lanfrey, Hiit, de Nap, J*^, v. 177. 


the hatred of every independent State ; and now he chap. 


provoked the hostility of the commercial interests of 
his own, and other countries. In Spain his armies were 
defeated by the valour of the English troops, and the 
genius of Wellington. His rash march upon Moscow, 
and his disastrous retreat, brought ruin upon his arms, 
and upon his empire. A great army was destroyed : 
his own prestige of victory was lost ; and combinations 
against a falliog power were encouraged. His domina- 
tion over Europe was everywhere endured with repug- 
nance. The States he had created turned against him, 
and made common cause with the kings whom he had 
conquered and despoiled. His military genius shone 
more brilliantly than ever : but the battle of Leipsic 
nearly completed the ruin which the retreat from Mos- 
cow had commenced. 

Pressed by defeats, disasters, and defections abroad, Ducontenta 
his position at home was no less threatening. Constant 
victories had long sustained the national ardour : an ex- 
hausting conscription and burthensome taxes had been 
borne for the sake of glory : but defeats quickly 
awakened the people to a sense of their sacrifices and 
sufferings. They had surrendered their liberties for 
honour : their sons had bled on every battlefield in 
Europe : their industry and thrift had been burthened 
with the cost of prodigious armaments : their commerce 
had been crippled by rigorous blockades ; and yet 
their beloved country, stripped of her conquests, was 
again threatened with invasion. They were weary of 
wars, and they had lost faith in their restless and 
exacting emperor. Formidable parties in the State 
were again scheming against his power. The priest- 
hood, who had been gained over by the re-establishment 

220 FRANCE. 

CHAP, of their Church, had since been alienated by the dethrone- 
- ■ ' . -^ ment of the Pope, and the spoliation of the Holy See. 
Their natural sentiments were in favour of the Bourbons 
and the old regime ; and their rupture with Napoleon^ 
and his impending ruin, quickened their loyalty to the 
fallen House. The royalists, who had never despaired 
of their cause, foresaw in the reverses of the emperor, 
and the successes of the confederate sovereigns, an 
early realisation of their long deferred hopes, and 
plotted actively against the government. The party of 
the revolution, who had been their most formidable 
opponents, were now inert and indifferent. Napoleon 
had outraged * them ; and they cared not for his 
The Legis- The fceliugs of the coimtry found expression in the 
Aweinbiy. legislative body. Until Napoleon's retreat from Leipsic, 
they had ever been obsequious to his will : but now, 
instead of offering aid, in the prosecution of the war, 
they demanded a surrender of his conquests, and the 
restoration of liberty. 
Napoleon's The enemics of Napoleon were closing in upon him, 

on every side. In vain were fresh victories, and the 
most brilliant campaigns of his wonderful career. He 
was overpowered by numbers, and weakened by defec- 
tions: the allies entered his capital, and the senate 
im ^*' deposed him from his throne. His abdication, on behalf 
of himself and his son, was soon forced upon him at 
Fontainebleau; and he exchanged for his vast European 
empire, the sovereignty of the petty island of Elba. 
Se^revo^*^ France had now struggled, suffered, and bled for 

lotion. five-and-twenty years, through a fearful revolution and 
ruinous wars ; and what were the results ? Her enemies 
were in possession of her capital : all hef conquests 


were surrendered ; and the Bourbons were restored to chap. 


the throne of then* ancestors. * — r-^ 

But these were not the only consequences of the 
late convulsions, to France or to Europe. France, 
indeed, was governed by another Bourbon king : but 
the ancien rigime was no more : the oppressive privi- 
leges of feudalism tad been abolished ; and a constitu- 
tional charter was granted by Louis XVIII. But all 
these benefits had been secured in the first two years 
of the revolution, before the monarchy had been de- 
stroyed, without a reign of terror, and without desolating 
wars. She had gained nothing by her crimes, her 
madness, her sacrifices, and her sufferings, since the 
constitution of the 14th September, 1791. 

Upon Europe, the effects of the revolution were Effect of 
conspicuous. The old rigime of France was subverted ; tion upon 
and in most European States, where a similar system had 
been maintained, since the middle ages, its foundations 
were shaken. The principles of the revolution awakened 
the minds of men to political thought; and the power of 
absolute governments was controlled by the force of 
public opinion. The earlier campaigns of revolutionary 
France also spread democracy abroad, and created a 
democratic party, in many States, where such a party 
had been hitherto unknown. The French revolution, 
in its expansive force, resembled the religious reforma- 
tion of the sixteenth century, which stirred the whole 
of Christendom.^ The sympathies of every people 
in Europe were aroused : the principles proclaimed in 
France were common to all nations alike : they were 

^ ^ La revolution fran9aiBe est done une revolution politique qui a op^r^ 
k la mani^re, et qui a pris, en quelque chose, Taspect d'une revolution 
religieuse/ — De Tocqueville, L^ancien BSgimey 16. 

222 FRANCE. 

CHAP, preacihed with the ardour of a new faith: liberty. 


equality, and fraternity were not only the rights of 
Frenchmen, but the universal * rights of man : ' they 
were to politics, what the right of private judgment was 
to religion.^ The principles and character of democracy 
were changed, as well as the relations of rulers to their 
Altered The passiouatc sentiments which the revolution had 

ki^ at first aroused, in other States, were naturally repressed 
by the rough domination of the French republic, and 
the haughty ascendency of Napoleon. The principles 
of the revolution were also discredited by the reign of 
terror,^ and the military empire. But a change had 
come over the political life of Europe. Subjects had 
sometimes Been provoked to rebellion by oppression, 
and wrongs : but loyalty, and reverence for the divine 
right of kings, had become a tradition, and almost a 
faith. This sentiment was severely tried by the French 
revolution, and the empire. Kings were dethroned, 
and republics created, to give place to new kings with 
no other title than the will of a foreign despot. The 
allegiance of subjects was transferred from one ruler 
to another, by the sword of the conqueror. Crowns 
seemed but baubles, to be worn for a day, and put 
aside, or snatched by some other hand. The traditional 

' ' Comme elle avail Fair de tendre k la r^g^D^ration du genre humain 
plus encore qu*lL la r^forme de la France, elle a allum^ une passion que, 
ju8que-14, les revolutions politiques les plus violentes n'avaient jamais pu 
produire.' — Ibid. 19. See also Lecky, RationalUm in Europe, ii. 240. 

' ' La terreur est ce qui a fait perdre, en partie, au monde le sens de 
la revolution. La liberty parut un mensonge, le jour ou on rinvoqua, une 
hache k la main. L'^galite donna le frisson, meme k ses amants, quand 
elle fut regalite devant I'^chafaud. La fraternity P Quelle ^nigme, quand 
on vit les hommes s^entr^^gorger en son nom.' — Louis Blanc, Hist, de la 
lUv, lii. 598. 


reverence for thrones ' could not withstand the teaching chap. 


of such examples. With reverence less imdouhting, ' — . — ' 
there arose an assertion of popular rights, and a ques- 
tioning of the laws by which States were governed. 
A mai ked change came over the relations of rulers and 
subjects, which was hereafter to show itself in revolu- 
tions, and constitutional charters ; and everywhere, in 
the abatement of prerogatives and privileges, and the 
extension of popular influences. 

But while the principles of the revolution were Political 
silently working pohtical changes in Europe, they were Europe, 
naturally abhorrent to rulers. The dangers of demo- 
cracy had been painfully revealed: its excesses had 
aroused the horror and indignation of the civihsed 
world : all that was noble in the revolution had been 
overshadowed by its crimes. Hence a reaction, dan- 
gerous to liberty itself, succeeded the first outburst of 
sympathy with the regeneration of a great people. 
Monarchs dreaded democracy, as dangerous to their 
thrones : the governing classes feared it, as subversive 
of order, and the rights of property ; and liberty was 
everywhere confounded with democracy. For several 
years after the revolutionary period, political reaction 
was general throughout Europe. 

^ 'Tliere^B such divinity doth hedge a king, 
That treason can but peep at what it would, 
Acts little of his yiUl.*— Hamlet, Act iv. Sc. 5, 




of the re- 

PEANCB {continued). 


Louis XVIIL was recalled to the throne of his ancestors 
by the senate of his own country : but, in truth, he 
was imposed upon France by the allied sovereigns, 
whose victorious armies occupied the capital.^ Such 
a title, accepted by royalists who had supported the 
prerogatives of Louis XVL by force of arms, was 
humiliating to France, which had passionately resented 
foreign intervention. It was repugnant alike to the 
revolutionary party, whose schemes were frustrated, 
and to the adherents of Napoleon, who had derived 
his power from the Eevolution, and had assumed to 
represent its sentiments. The revolution had been in 
vain : the conquests of France had been wrested from 

^ In the narratdve of the period of the restoration (includinor the reigns 
of Louis XVin. and Charles X.) the following works havn been mainly 
relied on, viz. : Lamartine, Hiitaire de la Restauration ; Oapefigne, Hiit, 
de la Mestawafiany par un homme ditat ; Lacretelle, Hist, de la Jlestatwa^ 
tion ; Lubis, Hist, de la Restauration ; Chateaubriand, M6moires d outre 
toftibe\ Louis XVUI., Lettres et Instructions au Convte de St. Priest ^ 
pr^^d^s d*une notice, par M. de Barante ; Politique de la Restauration a 
1B22 et 1823, par le Comte de Marcellus. 

THE CHARTER OP 1814. 225 

her : her victories had been followed by crushing de- chap. 


feat. The restoration of the monarchy, under such 
conditions, was unpropitious. Nor were the acts of the 
king such as to win popularity. 

Even in granting a constitutional charter, the charter of 
Bourbon stood confessed. He declared himself to be xviii. 
in fiiU possession of his hereditary rights, while he de- JlJJ.^^' 
sired so to exercise the authority which he had received 
from God ana his fathers, as to place * limits ' to his own 
power.^ France was to receive her liberties as the free 
and gracious gift of the king, who ruled over her by 
divine right and hereditary title. And, still further to 
ignore the revolution, the charter was dated * in the 
nineteenth year of our reign.' The revolution was 
fiirther spumed by the abolition of the national tri- 
colour, under which the greatest glories of the French 
armies had been achieved, and the restoration of the 
white flag of the Bourbons, which had almost come to 
be regarded as the standard of an enemy. Well might 
Napoleon say of the Bourbons, * lis n'ont rien appris : 
ils n'ont rien oubli^s.' 

The insecurity of the Bourbon crown, notwithstand- Return of 
ing its divine and hereditary title, was soon disastrously from Eib«. 
proved by the triumphant return of Napoleon ftx)m 
Elba, and the flight of Louis from the realm, which he 
had so lately recovered. After an exile of a hundred 
days, he was again restored by his victorious allies, who 
had triumphed over the French armies at Waterloo ; 
and he retiu'ned under the very shadow of the British 
and Prussian standards.^ 

* Speech of the Chancellor M. d'Ambray. 

* The provisional gOTemment, in a message to the Chambers, on the 
7th July, 181 5, stated that 'Tons les souverains s'^taient engages i replacer 


226 FRANCE. 

CHAP. France was doubly humbled by this second resto- 

^^* ration. Again her capital was occupied by foreign 

IS^ration. ^niies : her destinies were at the mercy of her ene- 
mies : the Louvre was stripped of the treasures of art 
which she had taken from foreign galleries : her fron- 
tiers were contracted : an indemnity of upwards of 
60,000,000/. was exacted by her conquerors : prodi- 
gious armies were for a long time quartered upon the 
country ; ^ and when they were at length withdrawn, a 
hostile army of occupation,^ to be supported by herself, 
was left in her fortresses. The monarchy was restored : 
but, in its cause, the patriotism and honour of France 
were deeply wounded. 

wcakne* And what supi)ort had the king upon his throne ? 

moDMchy. France, which he was now called upon to govern, was 
the France of the revolution and the empire. The 
principles, the passions, the parties, and the interests of 
a transformed society, stood between him and the mon- 
archy of his forefathers. There was a royalist party, 
indeed : but the old noblesse had been crushed by the 
revolution : their estates had been confiscated, and a 
great part of their domains had passed into the hands of 
new proprietors — ^the creatures of the revolution. They 
were echpsed by the new nobility of the empire, whose 
names were associated with the military glories of their 
country. The Church, once a great territorial power, 
had lost her possessions, and was a humble pensioner 
of the State. Nor could her influence be soon reco- 
vered. The wild irreligion of revolutionary times was 
not to be suddenly checked by a weakened and irapo- 

Louis XVIII. BUT le trone, et qu'il doit faire ce soir, ou demain, son entr^ 
dans la capitale.' — Lamartine, Hist, de la Regt, y. 117. 

^ No less than 1,140,000 men. > 160,000 men. 


verished clergy. AH. the sympathies of the army, it chap. 
was but too well known, were with Napoleon at St. — ^^— 
Helena. Could Louis rely upon the traditionary devo- 
tion of the people to his royal house ? Under the old Decay of 
monarchy, loyalty was a tender sentiment of affection "^* ^* 
and duty, akin to religion. It passed away with the 
revolution, and could not be revived. Napoleon had 
awakened it for a time, as the representative of national 
glory : but the ancient sentiment had not survived the 
revolutions, factions, and political changes of the past 
generation. Nor had Louis any personal claims to 
the attachment of his people. After his long exile, he 
was as much a stranger to them, as if he had dropped 
from the clouds. Meanwhile, France herself had been 
transformed by time and the revolution. Her manners, 
institutions, sentiments, — all were changed. France 
was as strange to Louis, as he to France.^ Loyalty 
— ^the great strength of monarchies — was shaken, and 
respect for the law had been lost, amid the convulsions 
and anarchy of the revolutionary period. Authority 
had been too long known as an arbitrary and capri- 
cious force : it had shown itself in executions, pillage, 
terror, prisons, and the guillotine ; and, without con- 
fidence in a government, there can be no respect for 
the law. 

The revolution and the empire still lived in the Political 
hearts of Frenchmen. Many clung to the ' rights of ^" *^* 
man,' and ' the sovereignty of the people : ' many had 
profited by the ruin of the Church and the noblesse : 

^ ' Tout ^tait change dans la patrie — ^moeun, infititutioiiB, esprit reli- 
gieux. Une g^ndration nouvelle ^tait ntfe et croissait k Tombre des 
opinions et des id^ de la r^Tolution fran^aise. . . . Une cour vieillie et 
France jeune, I'^migration et la r^olutibn allaient etre en prince.' — 
Gapefigue, Hist, de la Best, i. 404 


228 FRANCE. 

CHAP, all were proud of the glories of French valour, under 
^ — r-^ the republic and the empire. Formidable parties were 
opposed to the Bourbon dynasty,^ — ^the republicans, 
a section of the liberal or constitutional party,* and, 
above all, the imperialists. The latter commanded great 
power and influence, notwithstanding a reaction against 
Napoleon, after his recent disasters. It comprised the 
foremost men in the army, and in the State ; and 
was strengthened by the glorious memories of the 
greatest soldier of France. There was scarcely yet 
an Orleans party : but an influential coterie, attached 
to the interests of the Duke, formed a section of the 
liberal party. But none of these parties were so em- 
barrassing to the king, or so dangerous to his throne, 
as his too zealous fri<^nds, the royalists.® They formed 
the party of reaction : they saw in the restoration a 
revival of the ancien rigime : they abhorred all the 
principles of the revolution ; and they were burning 
for vengeance upon their enemies. They had suffered 
exile and confiscations : they had witnessed the ruin of 
■every institution, and the violation of every principle, 
which they had learned to cherish ; and, at length, the 
good time had come when their wrongs were to be 
redressed and avenged. 

The monarchy was now constitutional : but pre- 

' 'ToutefoiB, leB parties politiques ^talent restte d^bout. Januus 
ke pafitioDS haineufies, les exigences des factioiis, n'ayaient 6t^ plus 
grandes ; et le spectacle des malheurs de la patrie, qui devait £tre si puis- 
sant sur des coeurs firan9ais, n'arretait pas ee d^bordement des opinions.' 
— Capefigue, Hia. de la Rest, ill. 2. 

^ One section of this party was really constitutional: another was 
estranged from the Bourbons, and opposed to the dynasty. — Gapefigue, 
Hist, de la Best. iv. 83. 

3 ' Les royautdi neuves p^zissent par leurs ennemis, les restaurations 
par leurs amis.* — ^Lamartine, Higt. de la Rest, viii. 412. 


rogative was still to be paramount, in the government chap. 
of the State. One of the king's first acts was to issue 

a royal ordinance altering the electoral law, and sum- p^'^ ^^ 
moning a new legislative body, with an extended suf- ^'^*' 
frage. By another ordinance he reconstructed the 
chamber of peers, and made it hereditary. The king 
further relieved all pubUcations, except journals, fi:om 
the censorship. Some of these measures were liberal : but 
they were the acts of prerogative, not of the legislature. 

Before the elections, the temper of the royalists had violence 
been displayed in many parts of France, and especially royalists. 
in the south. At Marseilles, at Nismes, and at Tou- 
louse, the violence of royalist mobs recalled the atro- 
cities of the Jacobins in 1793. An overwhelming 
majority of royalists found a place in the legislature, 
bent upon vengeance against the imperialist party, and 
upon a reactionary policy in the State. Their first 
measures provided for the punishment of seditious 
cries, for indefinite arrest, and for the trial of political 
offenders by courts-martial. They insisted upon the 
trial and execution of Marshal Ney, and his brethren 
in arms, who had returned to the standards of Napo- 
leon.^ When a general amnesty was proclaimed, 
they opposed the king's act of clemency. This 
party was far more royalist than the king himself; 
and was soon in open opposition to his government. 
They defeated a new electoral law, which threatened 

^ Of this act Lamartine says : — * Un sentiinent plus dangereuz que la co- 
lore, parce qu'il eat plus durable, couya dans les coeun de la jeuneeae 
impartiale, de rarm^ outrage, du peuple reconnaissant. Ce fiit le d^go&t 
pour la pumllanimit^ de cettecour qui n*avait pas combattu, et qui laiasait 
r^paudre pour sa cause un sang populaire et glorieux, en libation k I'^tran- 
ger sur un sol fould encore par noa ennemis.'— Jiamartine^ Higt, de la Rett. 
iv. 69. 

230 FRANCE. 

CHAP, their o^vn influence : they resisted the budget, and 
' — r-^— ' were opposed to the moderation, and remedial measures 
of the ministers. Eoyalism was becoming one of the 
chief dangers of the State ; and while the government 
was embarrassed by royalist zeal on one side, it was 
threatened, on the other, by dangerous republican con- 
spiracies at Paris, Grenoble, and Lyons. 
Coup Xo meet these difficulties the king resorted to the 

d*etat. J° 

Sept. 6, characteristic expedient of French policy, a coup cTetat 
He suddenly dissolved the legislative body, and by a 
royal decree proclaimed a new electoral law, with a 
suffrage restricted to persons paying three hundred 
francs direct taxation to the State, and generally resem- 
bling that provided by the charter of 1814. It was 
considered as a middle-class franchise, comprising the 
small proprietors and tradesmen, and it was founded 
upon the principle of direct representation. This 
stretch of prerogative provoked the bitterest denun- 
ciations of the royalists : ^ but it was condoned by the 
republican and imperialist parties, as promising in- 
. creased influence to themselves. It was clear that 
constitutional government had not yet taken root in 
France ; and that neither the excesses of the old 
monarchy, nor of the revolution had been forgotten. 
^^^^ At the elections, the relations of parties were sin- 

royaiists. gular. The moderate party and the republicans sup- 
ported the government : the royalists were everywhere 
opposed to it. The new electoral act, however, had 
been so dexterously contrived that the ministerial 

1 'Dissoudre la eeule assemble/ said Chateaubriand^ 'qui depuis 
1789 ait manifesto des sentimens pui*ement royalistes, c^est, k mon avis, 
line strange mani^re de sauyer la monarchie.' — La Monarchic seion ia 
Outrte, (EuvreSf xviii. 431. 


party secured a majority. The new chamber imme- chap. 


diately passed another electoral law, founded upon the 
same principles as the last ordinance, which was con- Sw^^of™* 
stitutionally agreed to by the chamber of peers and ^^^^' 
the king. The restrictions upon the liberty of the 
press, and the liberty of the person, were also con- 
tinued for a year. 

The royalist ministers were removed, and the go- Liberal 
vemment was formed entirely from the moderate ™®"**'^ 
liberal party, which commanded a majority in the 
chamber. By the late electoral law one-fifth of the 
chamber was to be renewed annually, and the succes- 
sive elections of 1817 and 1818 increased the strength 
^of the liberal, and even of the democratic party ; and 
was gradually excluding the royalists from the chamber. 
The firmest friends of the monarchy were losing ground ; 
and were supplanted by the revolutionary and impe- 
rialist parties. The moderate ministry of the Duke de 
Bichelieu was broken up, and succeeded by a ministry 
of more advanced opinions, under General Dessoles. 
Oblivion of past offences was the main policy of this 
ministry. The officers of Napoleon were restored to 
commands in the army ; and the magistracy and civil 
service were filled with adherents of the revolution and 
the empire. The censorship of the press was removed ; 
and the trial of offences of the press entrusted to juries. 

The royalists, powerless in the representative cham- 
ber, still commanded a majority in the chamber of The king 

' . . . opposed tf 

peers. There they insisted upon a change in the elec- *i^« 
toral law, which had been the ruin of their party. 
They were answered by the creation of sixty-three new JJ^J^^ ^' 
peers, all of the liberal party, among whom were 
six of Napoleon's marshals. By one coup d^etat the 

232 FRANCE. 

CHAP, king had overcome the royalists in the legislative body : 
— r-^ by another he overthrew them in the hereditary cham- 
ber. The reliance of the crown was now placed uiK)n 
the very parties which had opposed the restoration of 
the monarchy. The king was pressed by a hard alter- 
native. K he aist in his fortunes with the royalists, he 
hazarded revolution : if he severed himself from them, 
he was drifting into the arms of his enemies. 
Ilti^tir& ^^^ latter danger was aggravated by the elections 
cS^c*^ of 1819, which resulted in the return of a large ma- 
p^y- jority of the democratic party. The king, alarmed by 
the rapid advances of democracy, was persuaded that 
ariother revision of the electoral law was necessary for 
the security of his throne. As his liberal ministers did 
not concur in this view, a new ministry was formed 
under M. Decazes, to carry it into effect. This rupture 
with the liberal party provoked the most violent at- 
tacks of the enfranchised press, and fresh conspiracies 
against the monarchy. When the excitement caused 
by this change of policy was at its height, the assassi- 
nation of the Duke de Berri, produced a sudden reac- 
Koyaiut tiou in fiivour of the royalists ; and the Duke de Riche- 
lieu was restored to office, with the support of that 
party. Its policy was the revival of the censorship of 
the press, a continuance of discretionary arrest (in the 
nature of a suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act), and 
a new electoral law. Notwithstanding a violent oppo- 
sition in the chambers and in the press, and serious 
disturbances in the streets of Paris, and elsewhere, 
these three measures were passed. By the electoral 
law, a new constituency was created, favourable to rank 
and property ; and the king supported the royalist 
party with all the influence of the crown. Before the 



elections, he addressed a lithographed autograph cir- chap. 
culax to every elector in his realm, advising him to ^ — r^-^ 
vote for candidates devoted to his throne, and to the 
charter. The result of the elections could not be 
doubtful. The new franchise, and a strong reaction in 
favour of the king, seciured the royalists and their 
allies, the priest party, a large majority. The moderate, 
or constitutional, party was unable to hold its ground ; 
and a royalist ministry was soon appointed, under M. 
de Villele. The State was ever destined to be impelled 
from one extreme to another. 

The first measure of the new ministry was a law Boyaiut 
imposing fresh restrictions upon the press, and with- ^^^^ 
drawing the trial of press offences from juries. It was 
passed : but the exasperation of the hberal party was 
extreme. Power had been wrested from their hands ; 
and the policy of royalist reaction had been avowed. 
There were popular commotions, and some insurrec- 
tionary movements in the provinces, which were 
promptly suppressed. But the worst symptom of the 
time was the formation of secret societies, in corre- 
pondence with the Italian Carbonari.^ Lafayette, who, 
thirty years before, had played so active a part in the 
great revolution, was not yet weary of revolutionary 
intrigues : but was the chief promoter of these dan- 
gerous democratic conspiracies.^ The extreme parties 
of the revolution were again in full activity, and mode- 
rate constituticmal councils, which had been the con- 
stant aim of the king, were exposed to the obloquy 

' ' LacarbonArisme, dont rprigine seperd dans la nuit du moyen-age, 
coxnme la finno-ma^omierie, dont il fut^ tour a tour, Tallin et rennemi, 
^tait une sorte de Jacobiiuame Italien.' — IjBjnaxtmefIR$tdela^68t.yi,S12, 

* Lamartme, Hid, de la Red, vii. 2Q et $eq,\ Oapefigue, Hid, de la 
Red. vii. 808. 

234 FRANCE. 

of royalists on one side, and of republicans on the 

Spanish Successive elections continued to increase the 

strength of the royalist party. Meanwhile, the death 
of Napoleon had depressed the hopes of the impe- 
rialists ; and a diversion had been caused, from the 
fierce conflict of parties, by the brilHant success of the 
brief war in Spain. That war was, indeed, a royalist 
war. It was concerted with the despotic powers at 
the congress of Verona,^ and French armies were 
marched to support the King of Spain against a 
popular revolution. Such a policy was repugnant to 
the hberal party in France, and throughout Europe : 
but military glory has ever rallied the French people 
round their rulers, whether royal or republican. For a 
time, the monarchy was strengthened by this success : 
but the pretensions of the royaUsts were dangerously 
encouraged.*'^ France had accepted the repressive 
policy of the Holy Alliance ; and her rulers were to 
become yet more defiant of the principles of the 
Death of The policy of Louis XVIII. himself had been one 

xviii. of moderation, clemency, and justice ; and at his death, 
^§^/^» in September 1823, he left France apparently more 
safe from the war of factions, than at any period of his 
troubled reign.^ 

^ Gapefigue, Hist, de la Rett, vii. 345 et seq, 

» Lamartine, Hist, de la Rett. rii. 223. 

' 'Si la restauration, le plus difficile des gouyernementSy neut que 
ce regne, ce fut la faute de son Hge, ce ne fut pas celle de sa politique. II 
avait en lui le g^nie flexible, temp^rd et n^goci&teur des restaurations.' 
— Lamartine, Hist, de la Rest. vii. 340. 

' Au conseil rarement il indinait pour les partis Tiolens : il savait 
que dans un pays agit^ par les revolutions, les termee moyens sont encore 
ce qui vit le plus bng temps.' — Capefigue, Hi^, de la Rest, x. 381. 


It was a fortunate moment for the commencement chap. 

XV. " 

of a new ^reign ; and the king's brother, the Comte ^ — r^—^ 
d'Artois, who succeeded him, as Charles X., had many ^^^^"^""^ 
showy and popular qualities to recommend him to the ^^^^^ ^• 
favour of the French people. His first act was to con- 
ciliate the press, by the abolition of the censorship ; and 
the journals proclaimed the inauguration of freedom, 
and mutual confidence between the king and his people. 

But his popularity was shortlived. With generous His 
sentiments, Charles X. cherished a lofty ideal of his 
own prerogatives : as leader of the royalist party, in 
the late reign, he was identified with their principles ; ^ 
and having grown devout, after a youth of gaiety, he 
was surrounded by priests and Jesuits. The evil influ- 
ence of the latter determined his policy, and was fatal 
to his crown. During the late reign, the poverty of 
the Church had been relieved by increased endow- 
ments : the religious feelings of the people had shown 
signs of revival ; and the Church promised, at no distant 
time, to recover her spiritual influence. But there was 
still a strong jealousy of the priesthood, and a repug- 
nance to the political domination of the Church. 

The king continued the royalist ministry in power ; Pnestiy 

, , . , , . ^ *ii ^' influence. 

and he constituted a pnestiy camanlla his secret coun- 
cillors, and keepers of his conscience. His palace was 
made gloomy with incessant prayers and masses : his 

^ Louis XYUL said to one of his ministers : — ' Mon fr^re est impatient 
de d^vorer mon r^gne, mais qu*il se souvienne que s'U ne change pas, 
le sol tremblera sous lui.' — Capefigue, Hitt, de la Rett, (title-page). 

On his deathbed Louis XVIII., warning his brother against the royal- 
ists, ' lui peignit, par des mots entrecoup^s et fedbles, les difficult^s de 
son rdgne, le moyen d'^yiter les ^cueils qu'une trop grai^e e2caltation des 
opinions royalistes pouTait produire/ adding, 'Agissez comme je Tai 
fait, et Tous arrivere* ^ cette fin de paix et de tranquillity.' — ^Ibid. x. 877, 

236 F&ANCE. 

CHAP, houseliold was filled with creatures of the Jesuits ; and 


^ — r-1— many important offices of state were entrusted to the 
priest party. Such favour to the ultramontane faction 
was unpopular in itself; and the priestly policy was 

Unpopular The armv was offended by a large scheme of super- 
annuation, designed to remove from active service the 
marshals and generals of the empire. An indemnity 
of 40,000,000/. was granted to the royalist emigrants, 
whose estates had been confiscated dining the revo- 
lution. A law of extreme severity was passed against 
sacrilege. An attempt was made to restore the rights 
of primogeniture, to which the people were passion- 
ately opposed: but it failed, even in the house of 
peers. A doleful religious jubilee was celebrated 
throughout France, for six tedious weeks ; and Thanin, 
the narrow ultramontane bishop of Strasbui^, was 
appointed preceptor to the young Due de Bordeaux. 

Diacon- Thcsc mcasurcs had provoked the vehement op- 

position of the press ; and their secret authors were 
scourged with merciless invectives. It was not from 
priestly rulers that tolerance of free discussion could 
be expected ; and they retaliated by proposing a severe 
law against the press. Such was its severity, that, 
resisted by intelligent men of all parties, it was de- 
feated in its most stringent provisions ; and served but 
to increase the enmity of the joxuTialists, and the in- 
tellectual classes. The ill-feeling cauised by the reac- 
tionary policy of the cabinet and the camarilla was 
yet rife, when the king reviewed the national guard of 
Paris, apd expression was given to the popular discon- 
tents by some soldiers of the tenth legion. Cries were 
raised oi^ Ahasles ministres I a has lesJimites 1 ' It 


was a breach of discipline, demanding prompt repres- chap. 


sion and punishment : but the king was advised, by his 
dangerous councillors, to assert his dignity by a signal 
mark of his displeasure. He, at once, disbanded the 
entire national guard. If this severity was necessary, 
prudence would have suggested the disarming of the 
force: yet 40,000 men, oflfended and resentful, were 
left in possession of their arms and accoutrements. 

But the incapacity of the priestly statesmen was Dissolution 
soon to be shown upon more momentous occasions, chamber of 
Their majority in the chambers had been shaken by ^^j ^' 
their recent policy ; and they found themselves exposed 
to bold criticism, and often to serious resistance. The 
country was far more hostile to the government than 
the chambers : yet a dissolution was determined upon, 
at this critical time. No sooner was the session closed Jane 1827. 
than the censorship of the press was restored by a 
royal ordinance. In November, no less than seventy- 
six peers were created ; and the chamber of deputies 
was dissolved. The impolicy of the dissolution was 
soon made evident. Even the higher class of electors, 
who had been created to secure the success of royalist 
candidates, turned against the court. There were riots 
in Paris, where liberal candidates were returned, in 
the midst of dangerous popular excitement ; and the 
temper of the leaders of the liberal party threatened 
a determined onslaught upon the government. 

The ministry of de Villele yielded to the coming Liberal 
storm, and withdrew before the meeting of the cham- Se^ew* ^ 
bers : but did not escape censure from the chamber of ^ *°* 
deputies. The ministry of de Martignac had been 
constituted to appease the anger of the liberal party : 
but, being obnoxious to the king and his camarilla, 

238 PRANCE. 

CHAP, it was to be dismissed when it had served its purpose. 


The new chambers showed a reforming spirit, repug- 
nant to the policy of the court. They restrained the 
army of government oflScers from voting at elections, 
and they restored the liberty of the press. And, in 
order to satisfy the prevailing sentiment against the 
Jesuits, the king was prevailed upon to issue ordinances 
suppressing schools under their management, and 
limiting the number of students for holy orders. This 
ministry having neither the confidence of the king, nor of 
the chambers, was dismissed, and was succeeded by the 
famous royalist administration of the Prince de Polignac. 
The This ill-omened minister, with many eminent quali- 

rainii!tr>% tics, was iu Statesmanship little better than a priest : hb 
im!^ policy was that of a past age. He regarded the pre- 
rogatives of the crown as sacred, and above all laws 
and constitutions ; and freedom of worship as * an out- 
rage against the altar of the true God.' ^ Such a min- 
ister was dear to the inmost hearts of the Jesuits : but 
to the French people, just recovering from the wild 
Kcense of the revolution, his nomination was a defiance. 
The new ministers were everywhere denounced. The 
press foretold the downfall of the monarchy : Guizot 
and Thiers deplored the blindness and infatuaticm of 
the king : Lafayette organised the political societies ; 
and made a tour of agitation in the south of France.* 
Want of In March 1830, while this popular excitement con- 

i^lhe*"^ tinned, the chambers were opened ; and the deputies, 
miiiStry. in their address to the king, conveyed, in measured 

^ Lamartine, Siit, de la Rest, viii. 329. 

* *La contre-r^volution pleine et enti^re anrive avec M. de Polig- 
sac : alors le sol a tremble sous les pas de Charles X., pour nous ser- 
yir de la proph^tique expression de son fir^re.' — Capefigue, Hut, de la 
Jiest. z. 894. 


and respectful terms, their want of confidence in the chap 
Polignac ministry. The king resented this address as 

an assault upon his prerogative. Denying the right of f^!^ ^' 
the chamber to advise him in the choice of his own 
ministry, he would not allow the Prince de Polignac to 
resign : but prepared for a contest with his antagonists. 
He repUed to the obnoxious address in language which 
bespoke his determination ; and on the following day 
the chambers were prorogued, before any of the busi- 
ness of the session had been transacted. The breach 
between the king and his parliament was now com- 
plete. That it was full of danger to the monarchy, 
none but the blindest councillors could fail to see; 
and the infatuation of the high-prerogative faction pre- 
cipitated the impending crisis. Prosecutions were com- 
menced against several newspapers, which increased 
the exasperation of the popular party : while the royal- 
ist journals openly exhorted the king to exercise his 
prerogatives for the defeat of disloyal factions. 

Notwithstanding the unmistakable public sentiment Another 
against the policy of the court, ministers resolved upon y^l^^ 
another appeal to the people ; and in May the cham- ^^^• 
hers were dissolved. As every one but ministers had 
foreseen, an overwhelming liberal majority was re- 
turned. The verdict of the country was unequivocally 
pronounced against the reactionary policy of the king 
and his advisers : but they resolved to brave it. The Coup 
hostile chamber of deputies could not be safely encoun- j^ij 25, 
tered, and it was dissolved before the day appointed ^^^' 
for its meeting. So far, the king, though taking a 
violent and dangerous course, was acting within his 
prerogative. But how was another hostile majority to 
be averted ? By a new electoral law, under the sole 

240 PRANCK. 

CHAP, authority of a royal ordinance I This illegal ordinance 
' — r^— was accompanied by another, prohibiting the publica- 
tion of any newspapers, without a licence from the 
government. The misguided king had been advised 
that the fourteenth article of the charter^ permitted 
such an exercise of prerogative ; and it was affirmed 
that Louis XVllL had issued similar ordinances without 
objection. But it was forgotten that the king was now 
repealing express acts of the legislature, which had been 
passed since the ordinances of the late reign ; and that 
he was unquestionably exceeding the powers of a con- 
stitutional sovereign.* His contest with the popular 
party had already been fraught with danger : but, by 
this plain violation of the law, he gave his adversaries 
an overwhelming advantage, by which they were not 
slow to profit. 
Want of The king had committed himself to a violation of 

prepara- *-' 

««. the law and the constitution : he had offended the 

press, the liberal party, and the people. His policy 
was that of force. He had taken his stand upon his 
own prerogatives, and should have been prepared to 
defend the dangerous position he had assumed. Yet 
such was the blind confidence of his advisers in the 
royal authority, and such their ignorance of popular 
sentiments, that, while provoking insurrection, they had 
taken no measures to repress it Paris was the great 
centre of political movements, the source of all former 
revolutions : it had a turbulent populace, a discon- 
tented bourgeoisie^ a disbanded, but not disarmed, 

^ 'Le roi . . . fait les r^^lemena et les ordonnances n^oessaires 
pour Tex^ution dee lois^ et la B&T6td de T^tat.' 

■ Even the Duke of Wellinprton, one of the hest friends of the Boup- 
bontt, and certainly no unfriendly critic of prerogative, admitted ' that 
the throne of Charles X. had fallen from his own acts.' 


national guard, two hundred thousand men trained to chap. 
arms, and bold leaders versed in the tactics of street- 

fighting. What were the forces prepared to resist 
these formidable elements of disorder ? In Paris there 
were about ten thousand troops, of all arms, of whom 
4,600 were of the royal guard, and twelve gims,^ with 
six rounds of grapeshot. No attempt had been made 
to strengthen the garrison, from other stations, and 
Marshal Marmont, who had just been appointed to the 
command, being ignorant of the impending coup d'etat^ 
had made no preparations for the defence of the 
capital. His scanty force was ill supplied with food 
and ammimition, and without the means of securing 
immediate reinforcements, or supphes. 

Such was the condition of Paris when the ordinances insurrec- 
were published. The leading opposition journalists, Pans, 
advised that they were illegal, refused obedience to issb. 
the law for the regulation of the press, and published 
a protest, in which they proclaimed their determination 
to resist it. This protest was signed by forty-four 
journalists, among whom was Thiers. Attempts to July 27. 
seize the refractory journals, and close their offices, pro- 
voked disorders in the streets. While a meeting of 
thirty liberal deputies, including Casimir P^rier, Dupin, 
and Guizot, were deliberating upon the perilous situa- 
tion of affairs, a general insurrection had broken out in 
Paris : barricades were erected : the people were arming 
themselves with pikes and seizing arms : the disbanded 
national guards were in the midst of them, not ranged 
on the side of order, but in arms against the handful of 
troops, which had been left to defend the capital, and 

^ Four of these were at the Invalides, and were not brought 
into action. 


242 FRANCE. 

CHAP, the monarchy. This small force, half-starved, tliirsty, 
ill provided with ammunition, and wearied with exces- 

sive duty, was wholly unequal to cope with the over- 
whelming masses by which it was surrounded : but it 
succeeded in carrying several of the barricades, and 
other strong positions of the insurgents. At length, 
however, tlie troops of the line, who had been left for 
hours in conversation with the people, were seduced 
from their allegiance, and offered no further resistance 
to the insurgents. The royal guard continued faithful 
to the last : but the insurgents had gained possession 

July 29. of the Hotel de Ville, the Louvre, and the Tuileries : 
the tricolor flag was flying from the towers of Notre- 
Dame ; and the insurrection was everywhere trium- 

TheUberri Mcanwhilc, the liberal leaders, who had been in 
frequent consultation during these events, were encou- 
raged, by the pn^ess of the insurrection, to place 
themselves at the head of the movement. Guizot, 
Thiers, and Villemain shrank from taking part in the 
insurrection : but Lafitte, Lafayette, and others resolved 
to make common cause with the insurgents. Lafayette 
accepted the command of the insurrectionary forces, and 
established himself at the H6tel de Ville, at the head 
of a provisional government ; while other leaders were 
busy with plans for giving a safe direction to the suc- 
cessful movement. 

The king When the king was fully informed of the state of 

July do, the capital, he revoked the obnoxious ordinances, and 
dismissed his ministers: but it w^as too late; and a 
proclamation was issued, from the H6tel de Ville, de- 
claring that Charles X. had ceased to reign in France. 
On the following day he abdicated in favour of his 


grandson, the Due de Bordeaux.^ His abdication was chap. 
accepted : but the succession was repudiated by all but — --^— - 
the defeated royalists ; and the unfortunate monarch, uon o*' 
anxious to avert the shedding of more blood in his Aul^ust?' 
cause^ retreated to Cherbourg, where he embarked for 
Edinburgh. There was no attempt to arrest his flight ; 
and the revolution was spared the embarrassment of 
determining the fate of a captive king.. The examples 
of English history were followed. One king had been 
brought to the scaffold: another was suffered to 

The throne was vacant ; and how should France be 
governed ? The republicans had been the authors of 
the revolution, had fought in the streets, and had con- 
quered : Lafayette, their leader, was in command of 
their armed multitudes, — a revolutionist of more , than 
forty years' experience, and ambitious of being the 
founder and dictator of a new republic. The empire 
had multitudes of friends : but the death of Napoleon, 
and the youth of the King of Eoipe, discouraged any 
attempts in favour of that dynasty. But there were 
wiser heads at work upon another scheme. They had 
taken no part in the insurrection : they had imcurred 
no danger ? all the fighting had been done for them : 
but they now sat in conclave to distribute the fruits of 
the victory. Lafitte, the banker, Guizot, Thiers, and 
other journalists were determined, if possible, to rescue 

' ' Telle fut la fin de la refltaHration, — gouvornexnent le plus difficUe de 
tous ceux que llustoire retrace en le^on aux hommes, et oh lea fibutes 
Bont lea plus inevitables, meme auz plus droi'tes intentions, paice que 
les choses abolies par la r^volufiion, et personnifi^es dans les dynasties 
proscrites, s*efforcent, par nature, de revenir arec ces dynasties, et po?^ 
tent outrage aux choses nouvelles.' — Lamartine, Hist, de la Rett, yiii. 


244 FRANCE. 

CHAP. France from another period of revolution, and mob-rule. 


Lafitte had long maintained the closest relations of confi- 
dence with the Duke of Orleans ; and during the last two 
reigns had assumed the lead of the Orleanist party, or 
coterie. The chief journalists, being men of political 
moderation, were either associated with that party, or 
friendly to the objects which it had in view. With 
rare address and management, this little knot of clever 
men issued a proclamation recommending the Duke of 
Orleans to the vacant throne. They overcame the ir- 
resolution of that prince himself : they prevailed upon 
the deputies and peers then in Paris ta offer him the 
crown : they extolled the claims of their candidate in 
all their newspapers : they outwitted Lafayette and the 
republicans ; and obtained their reluctant acquiescence 
in * a throne surrounded by republican institutions.' ^ 
Louis In a few days every difficulty was surmounted : 

king of the a new constitution was prepared : Louis Philippe ac- 

French. t/« /• i -r. i . ^ 

Autrnt^t cepted the crown, as ' King of the French, and swore 

7 and 9. ^ , 1 - . mi 1 

to observe the constitution. The new settlement of 

the crown resembled that of England in 1689. The 

essential laws of the State were little changed : the 

charter of Louis XVm., with the exception of the 14th 

article, which had caused the fatal errors of the late 

reign, was generally maintained : the tricolor flag was 

restored ; and the trial of press offences was once more 

remitted to juries. 

Influence The rcvolutiou of July had changed the dynasty of 

revolution Fraucc, and founded a constitutional monarchy. It was 

statw!'^"*^ the work of few hands : it was no national movement : 

• Of these proceedingB, it is cleverly said by Mr. Reeve, *The crown 
waA disposed of by a hand-bill, and the dynasty enthroned by a placard.' 
— Boyal and EepubUcan France^ ii. 62. 


but it was accepted by the nation, as the overthrow of chap. 
royalist principles repugnant to the constitution. In ^ — r-^— 
other European States it encouraged a revolt against 
the absolutist pohcy which had been maintained 
since the peace of 1815. The vague declarations of 
the Holy Alliance^ acquired significance at Troppau, at 
Laybach, and at Verona. The great powers, — dreading 
a revival of the revolutionary spirit, which had shaken 
thrones, and disturbed the peace of nations, — had com- 
bined to repress popular movements in Naples, in Pied- 
mont, and in Spain; and they had exercised their 
influence everywhere in discouraging democracy. 
Greece alone had been aided in her struggle for free- 
dom and independence, by the liberal policy of 
England, and the religious sympathies of Eussia. 

The revolution of July suddenly frustrated the re- 
pressive policy of the great powers, and was the com- 
mencement of a new era in the Uberties of Europe. It 
gave an impulse to the revolution in Belgium : to the 
insurrection in Poland ; to the democratic constitutions 
of Switzerland : to political reforms in several of the 
States of Germany; and to parliamentary reform in 
England. Its influence was felt in Italy, in Spain, and 
Portugal : in Hungary, and in the Sclavonic provinces 
of Austria. And, even beyond the bounds of Europe, it 
reached from Egypt and Syria, in the east, to South 
America, in the west. The period of reaction was now 
closed, to be succeeded by the progressive development 
of constitutional freedom. 

' On September 26, 1816, the Emperors of Rufisia and Austria and 
tlie King of Prussia had entered into a convention, known as the Holy 
Alliance, to give effect to the precepts of justice, Christian charity, and 
peace : but its true objects were subsequently disclosed. 

246 PRANCE. 

FBAXCE (continued). 


c'HAi'. Upon Loiiis Philippe had devolved the difficult experi- 
' — r-^ ment of a constitutional government, — to be maintained 
dmIcuuS! ^g^o^^ royalists on one side, and republicans and Bona- 
partists on the other : with rival parties supporting his 
throne, and hostile factions plotting to subvert it : Avith 
all the principles of the revolution in fuU activity ; and 
with few of the safeguards of an estabUshed monarchy.^ 
Journalists had been the king-makers of this crisis, and 
were rewarded by a considerable share of power under 
the new dynasty. But Louis Philippe, whose chief 
characteristics were prudence and caution, was con- 

' The following are the principal works relating to the reign of Loais 
Philippe. They differ essentially in principles, aims, and party views : 
but they agree generally in their narratives of the chief events of the 
period :— Louis Blanc, JETm^. de Dix Ans, 1830-1840; and Hist, de HuU 
AnSf 1840-1848 ; Oapefigue, DLc Ana de Louis JPkUippe ; Lamartine, Sist. 
de la lUv, de 1848; Gamier Pag^s, Hist, de la lUv, de 1S4S] Duvemier 
de Hauranne, Hist, du Oouv, Pari, 1814-1848 ; Regnault, Hist, de Huit 
Ans, 1840-1848, and Hist, du Oouvemement Provisoire ; Granier de Oas- 
sagnaCy Hist, de la ChxUe de Louis Philippe, ^c. ; Guizot, M6m. pour servir 
a l^Histoire de tnon Temps ; D'Haussonville, Hist, de la Politique ext^rieure 
du Oouvemement Francois, 1830-1848 ; Beaumont- Vassy, Hist, de mon 
Temps ; AjxM^ Boudin, Hist, de Louis Philippe. 


strained to form a ministry of such social pretensions as chap. 
befitted a great monarchy, and commanded the confi- ' — ^'— 
dence of the aristocracy, as well as of the democracy. 
Accordingly his first ministry was formed utder the 
Due de Broglie : but Giiizot was Minister of the Inte- 
rior ; and Lafitte, Diipin, and Casimir Perier were not 
forgotten, but had seats in the cabinet, without office. 
The democratic party, however, were greatly dissatisfied 
^vith the share of power which had fallen to their lot : 
the republicans were smarting under their recent 
discomfiture ; and the disorganisation of French society 
promised little political repose to the citizen king. A 
revolution had raised him to the throne : revolutionary 
sentiments had been revived by the triumph of the 
barricades ; and the problem to be solved was how 
a constitutional king should govern a democracy, 
which he was obliged at once to propitiate and to 

All the parties of the late reigns were as irrecon- sta^e of 
dlable as ever: royalists, Boijapartists, doctrinaires, 
liberals, republicans, and the now dominant party of 
the Orleanists. But the royalists were no longer su[)- 
porters of the throne. They had been devoted ad- 
herents of the restored monarchy, which represented, 
in their eyes, the sacred principle of hereditary right, as 
well as a time-honoured institution, to which they and 
their ancestors had owed allegiance. But now they 

^ 'Rien n'^tait vrai dans cette royaut^, qu'un trone et un peuple 
^galeinent fhistr^s. Tot oa tard, U devait B*an^ntir, oomme il avait surgi, 
dans un souffle.' — Lamartiiie, Hitt de la Rest, {IWambtUe, 9). 

' Entre Th^r^dit^, qu*il avait bannie, et Mection nationale, qu*il avait 
^lud^, que pouvait-il faire ? Manoeuvrer^ n^gocier, atermoyer, capter, 
corrompre : gouvernement k deux visages, dont aucun ne disait une y^rit<$.' 



248 PRANCE. 

CHAP, were the bitterest enemies of the sovereign, who had 
— r-^ usurped the throne of their legitimate king. 
Reliance The main rehance of Louis Philippe was upon the 

Sie * large society of the middle classes who dreaded demo- 
cracy, on one side, and prerogative, on the other. And 
it became the policy of his reign to secure the adhesion 
of these classes, by favouring enterprise and industry : by 
placing the chief power of the State in their hands : by 
lavishing upon them patronage and profits ; and by an 
extended system of political corruption. Unable to 
rely upon the traditions or sentiments of his people, he 
was driven to appeal to their interests.^ The bour- 
geoisie were naturally attracted to the sober rule of the 
citizen king ; and their relations with their workmen, 
Socialism, at this time, further ensured their adhesion. After the 
revolution of 1830, the principles of socialism, founded 
upon St. Simon, were more widely adopted by the 
working classes of Paris. Their creed was shortly 
this : that they should regulate the prices of their own 
labour, and distribute its products among themselves : 
that the inheritance of property should be forbidden : 

* Of these classes Louis Blanc says: 'Comme classe militante, la 
Imurgeoisie a bien m^rit^ de la civilisation. Elle possMe d'ailleurs des 
qualities : Tamour du traTail, le respect de la loi, la haine du fanatisme, et 
de ses emportementSy des moaurs douces, T^conomie, ce qui compose le 
fond des vertus domestiques. Mais elle manque en g^n^nU de profondeur 
dans les id^es, d'^Mvation dans les sentiments ; et elle n'a aucune yaste 
croyance.* — Jlist. de Dix Ans, v. 332. 

According to Guizot : ' £t lorsqu'elles ont ^t^ amen^es, en 1830, a 
fonder une monarchie nouvelle^ les classes moyennes ont port^, dans cette 
difficile entreprise^ un esprit de justice et de sinc^rit^ politique dont 
aucun dv^nement ne pent leur enlever Thonneur. En d^pit de toutes les 
passions^ de tons les perils qui les assaillaient, en d^pit de leurs propres 
passions, elles ont sdrieusement touIu et pratique I'ordre constitutionnel ; 
elles ont eifectayement respects et maintenu, au dedans et pour tout, la 
liberty, k la fois l^^gale et yive, au dehors et partout, la paix, la paix actiye 
et prospdre.' — De la DSmocratie en Ftaneej 44. 

1780 ASD 1690. 249 

that maniJige should be abolished ; and that the com- chap. 
munity should take the place of famiUes.^ 

One hopeful contrast is to be observed between the CtmtnA 
spirit of the revolution of 1789 and that cf 1S30. In i789 Md 
the first, a ferocious thirst for blood disgraced it in the 
eyes of Europe and of liist<MT : in the secmid, no blood 
was shed save in the streets of Paris, during the three 
days of July. Frinoe de PoUgnac, and some of his 
colleagues, had not escaped, like their royal master ; and 
were brought to trial Uk their crimes against the law. 
Their trial was watched by the people, with threjiteiiing 
demonstrati(xis. In 1793 their lives would have been 
sacrificed to the popular fury: but now they were 
calmly judged by the chamber of peers. They had 
violated the law, and were condemned : but their 
crimes were punished by transportation and imprison- 
ment, not by death. 

The troubled course of Louis Philippe's reign may Summan- 
be briefly followed. The Due de Brc^lie's ministry soon ^Q^^YSa'^ 
fell, and was succeeded by that of Lafitte* the king- 
maker. It was their policy to prevent the revolution 
from drifting into anarchy ; and they had the cointige 
to dismiss the republican chief Lafayette JBrom the 
command of the national guard. This ministry soon March i3, 
gave place to another under Casimrr Perier. To gratify 
the popular party, the elective franchise was now ^**^{T*' 
extended, and the electors were at once increased from 
99,000 to 168,000, and in the course of the next ten 
years to 224,000.^ Ministers had pledged themselves 
to govern by the chambers alone ; and the first election 

1 See Louis Blanc, SUt, de Dix Ang, ii. 268. 

* Speech of Guizot on electoral reform, FeVniarj 10, 1842. 

250 PRANCB. 

(niAP. under the new law, left them in a mmority of one, in 


the chamber of deputies. 
Au>iition The revolution waa again asserting its influence, and 

diton'^ the first sacrifice made to it was the hereditary peerage. 
^^^^^' An overwhelming majority of the deputies were bent 
upon its abolition, and the luckless upper chamber was 
coerced, by the creation of thirty-six Ufe peers, into the 
surrender of its privileges. The nobles had lost their 
territorial power and social influence: the political 
ascendency of the middle classes had been seciured by 
the electoral law ; and the fall of the hereditary peers 
was demanded at once by the bourgeoisie, and by the 
democracy. Henceforth the upper chamber consisted 
of hfe peers only, created by the crown. The general 
policy of an hereditary chamber, as part of a constitu- 
tional monarchy, was little concerned in this determi- 
nation. Such was the poUtical and social state of 
France, that no upper chamber, whether hereditary or 
not, could withstand the popular influences ; and the 
hereditary principle excited too much jealousy, to be 
maintained against the revolutionary sentiments which 
were still in the ascendent. The hereditary peers had 
done nothing to save Napoleon or Charles X., and they 
could do no more for Louis Philippe. They had neither 
supported the crown againist the people, nor upheld 
Uberty against prerogative : they had no will or policy 
of their own, but had been overborne, again and again, 
by large creations, and made obedient to the dictates 
of the king's ministers, and the chamber of deputies. 
Discontenu The king was now left face to face with the revolu- 
rectioM!' tiou, to guidc it as best he could ; and he was encom- 
passed by the gravest difficulties. The working classes 
were suffering and discontented : trade was injm-ed by 


the shock which commercial confidence had sustained chap. 


from the late revolution : there were fierce contests ^ — r-^ 
between workmen and their emplcy^ers, concerning the 
rate of wages : the disorders of society were multiphed, 
and the passions of pohtical parties were not appeased. 
The dangerous spirit of the working classes was shown 
in the insurrection at Lyons. The troops were driven November 
out, and the city fell into the hands of the insui^ents. 
Nor was it reduced to submission imtil the arrival of 
Marshal Soult, a fortnight afterwards, at the head of Dec. a, 
forty thousand men. There were plots and conspira- 
cies on every side. The republicans were plotting, and 
fomenting disorders at Paris, Strasburg, and Grenoble. 
The adventiurous Duchesse de Berri was vainly raising 
the Bourbon standard at Marseilles and in La Vendee. 

But it was in the streets of Paris that the government ipsurrec- 
was threatened with its greatest danger. A rising had Pan*- 
long been projected by the restless democrats of that 
irrepressible city ; and at the fimeral of the popular 
general Lamarque, they assembled in vast crowds, and 
attempted another revolution. For a time it seemed as J^| ^» 
if the three days of July, 1830, were about to be 
repeated ; and Lafitte, Lafayette, and other leaders of 
that time were watching the course of events, and pre- 
paring to take the lead again, if the insurrection should 
prove successful. Three-fourths of the city fell at once 
into the hands of the insurgents, and their rapid advance 
was threatening the Tuileries : but now the government 
were amply prepared. Marshal Soult was in command, 
with sixty thousand regular troops and twenty thousand 
national guards,^ and one himdred and twenty pieces of 

> About aOyOOO of thb force failed to appear to the muster. 

252 FRANCE. 

CHAP, artillery. With this large force, he stormed all the 
--^-r-^ barricades and other positions of the insurgents. The 
insurrection was crushed; and the monarchy was 
The king 13ut this formidable insurrection was the tuming- 

ox^ the point in the reign of Louis Phihppe. It had been at 
once his policy, and his own earnest wish, to govern 
France according to the constitution, which he had 
sworn to observe. But the people of his capital had 
defied the law, and appealed to arms. The normal 
reign of law was for a time superseded by force ; and 
for the first time in his reign he was constrained to 
June 6, transgress the bounds of the constitution. While Paris 
was still in arms against him, the printing presses of 
the repubUcan joiunals were seized and broken up, to 
prevent them from aiding the insurgents ; and when the 
insurrection was quelled, Paris was declared in a state 
of siege. This measure placed the capital under mar- 
tial law ; and all ofiences connected with the late rising, — 
even ofiences of the press, — were withdrawn from trial 
by jury, and entrusted to courts martial. Hundreds of 
persons were arrested without being brought to trial, 
and the journals were pursued with unrelenting sever- 
ity. These exceptional measures were a painfiil 
anomaly in the reign of a constitutional king ; and they 
united against him the repubhcans, the royalists, and 
the Bonapartists. He could not expect popular support 
in so rigorous a pohcy : but one incident of the insiu*- 
rection went far to rally around him the middle classes 
of France. The workmen had taken the chief part in 
the insiurection : the insurgents had fought under red 
banners, and many had worn the red caps of the revo- 
lution. These dread emblems of the * red republic ' 

THE king's relation TO PARTIES. 253 

were a terror to industrious and thriving citizens : they chap. 


recalled memories of mob-rule and the guillotine : they * — r-^ 
threatened ruin to trade, and danger to life and pro- 
perty. Louis Philippe had, at least, saved them from 
these calamities ; and a large, but not demonstrative, 
* party of order ' was forming itself, upon whom every 
successive government has since rehed, in resisting 
revolution. Notwithstanding the rancour of parties, 
so complete a victory over insiurection, at Lyons, in 
La Vendue, and in Paris, seciu^ed the confidence of 
Prance and of Europe, in the stabihty of the govern- 
ment. This confidence Marshal Soult's ministry 
increased by the success of the armed intervention of 
France, in concert with England, in the affairs of Bel- 

Casdmir P^rier had died before the late events ; and ^^^^^ 

' Soult 8 

in October was succeeded, as premier, by Marshal min^try. 
Soult, who presided over a doctrinaire cabinet, includ- 
ing the now celebrated names of Thiers and Guizot. 
That a marshal of the empire should be first minister of 
the citizen king, pointed to the unwelcome truth that 
the revolution was still to be combated by the sword. 
The first act of the new minister was the creation of 
sixty-three peers, in order to ensm-e the cordial sup- 
port of the upper chamber. Whether the peerage was 
hereditary, or for life, constant creations seemed to be 
the law of its existence. 

Louis Philippe was in open war with the revolution: Relation of 
he was estranged from the legitimists; and he relied pJti^'^ 
upon the middle classes, who dreaded anarchy, and upon 
the Bonapartists, whose leaders he trusted, and whose 
sentiments he often took occasion to flatter. . The ad- 
herence of the latter was further favoured by the death 

254 FRANCE. 

CHAP, of Napoleon's heir, the Due de Eeichstadt. His policy 
--^ .-^ was therefore marked out for him. It was that of re- 
ml.^^* ])resaing the revolution on one side, and of conciliating 
the electors and the chamber of deputies on the other. 
Keprewive One of the most formidable instruments of the revo- 

StedT lutionary party was found in the secret societies ; and 
a law was proposed for their repression. Though 
vigorously opposed in the chamber of deputies by 
Odillon Barrot, Garnier Pagfes, and other members of 
the liberal party, it was passed by large majorities. 
The revolutionists, however, determined to resist its 
execution; and they succeeded in exciting so much 
popular feeling against it, that insmrections broke out at 
April 1884. Lyons, St. Etienne, and Paris: but they were promptly 
suppressed,^ These strong measures increased the resent- 
ment of the revolutionists: but they eflTectually dis- 
couraged further insurrections. That they were ap- 
proved by the electoral body, and the moderate, or 
juste milieu, party, was proved by the overwhelming 
majority with which they supported the government, 
at the dissolution.* 
Corruption. It was to this class and this party that Louis Philippe 
continued to look, for confidence and political support ; 
and upon a limited constituency he waa able to bring to 
bear the influence of a vast government expenditure 
and patronage. He could not nde by a military 
despotism : he could not rely upon the loyalty of the 
people ; and he was driven to the use of corrupt in- 
fluences, over the classes who alone were disposed to 

^ Lafayette, who had been one of the most active promotera of insur- 
rectionsy died on the 20th of May. 

^ There had been ministerial changes : but the policy of the govern- 
ment was unchanged. 


support constitutional government. The policy of chap. 
William IH. , of England, was now to be repeated in - — r-^ 
France, and parliaments and electors were to be swayed 
by the influence of the crown.^ 

The day of armed insurrections had passed for Attempta 
awhile : it was now the turn of the assassin. In July j?at« t^« 
1835, the king narrowly escaped from the infernal ma- jaiy 28, 
chine of Fieschi ; and on several other occasions ^ his 
life was sought by the hands of assassins. His personal 
danger was great : but his throne was strengthened by 
acts which aroused the indignation of all good citizens 
of every party. The crime of Fieschi, however, pro- 
voked new measures of repression, especially against 
the press, which further inflamed the hatred of the re- 
volutionary party. 

In the conflict of great principles and parties, Ministry ot 
ordinary changes of ministry requite no special notice : isse- 
but the formation of an administration under Tliiers, in 
February 1 836, afiected the future poHcy of the State. 
There had long been a divergence of opinion between 
that statesman and his distinguished colleague, Guizot, 
increased by their rivalry, and by the restless ambition 
of the former. The policy and instincts of Guizot were 
conservative : the sympathies of Thiers were with the 
revolution, controlled by force, as in the reign of 
Napoleon. Hence his ministry was of a somewhat 
democratic character ; and Guizot foimd no place in it. 

^ There were 140|0(X) civil offices, besides commissions in the army. 
For evidences of corruption during this reign, see Oassagnac, i. 97 ; Reg- 
nault, iii. 47, &c. ; Capefigue, ix. 335 ; Louis Blanc, Bir Am, v. 3^. 

» Attempt of Alibaud, June 26, 1836: plot of Hubert, December, 
1837 : attempt of Darm^s, October 17, 1840 : attempt of Quenisset, upon 
the lives of the Due d'Orl^ns and tlie Due de Nemours, September 13, 
1841 : attempt of Lecompte, April 16, 1846. 

256 PRAKCB. 

CHAP. In a few months he fell, and was succeeded by Count 


' — .-^ Mole, at the head of a conservative and doctrinaire 

ministry, which included Guizot. 

LouUNar At this time, the coimtry was suddenly startled by 

Q^*b*"'8o ^^^ Napoleons attempt to seduce the garrison at 

1886. ' Strasburg. Its failiu-e, indeed, was as sudden as the 

enterprise: but the defection of the artillery, and the 

extraordinary excitement caused by the familiar cry of 

' Vive TEmpereur I ' betrayed the sentiments which stiU 

clung to the memory of Napoleon. Louis Napoleon 

was banished to America : but, so strong was the popular 

sympathy with his cause, that, in defiance of conclusive 

evidence, his accomplices were all acquitted.^ 

^^it^^ With many changes, the ministry of Count Mole 

continued for five years, sorely embarrassed by the 

strife of parties. In 1838, a dissolution secured a small 

majority in the chamber of deputies ; and fifty-three new 

peers were created, to ensure the support of the upper 

^*** house. This ministry, however, could not long hold 

Sir^^i 839 ^^ groimd ; and the insurrection of Barbes again brought 

Marshal Soult to the head of afiairs. 
in^urrec- It was uot Until May, 1839, that the latent spirit of 

tion of - _ . •11 • . • im 

Barbfes. the revolution agam broke out m insurrection. Tms 

1839. . 

insurrection had long been planned by Barbes, Blanqui, 
and several other members of a secret society, which 
first called itself La SocieU des Families^ and after- 
wards the SocieU des Saisons, The insurrection was of 
so limited a character, and was so promptly repressed, 
that its chief interest lies in the objects for which it was 
planned, and the principles of its promoters. It was 
intended as the first step in a social revolution: its 
objects were, not so much to resist the government, as 

» Jerrold, Life of Nt^oleon III, B. iii. ch. 7-14. 


to overthrow the existing order of society. The con- chap. 
spirators, hke their predecessors in the revolutionary - — . — ' 
struggles of France, maintained the popular doctrines 
of equality, and the sovereignty of the people. But 
these formed a small part of their creed.- like all 
repubUcans, they denounced aristocrats : but who were 
aristocrats? *A11 monied men, bankers, cx^ntractors, 
monopolists, great proprietors, stock-jobbers.' Such 
men governed the people by force ; and who were the 
people ? The people were all citizens who worked, — 
the proUtaires. They were treated by the rich as 
slaves and negroes. Their tyrants had silenced the 
press, and had repressed societies. They governed by 
force, and by force they must be overcome. The 
social revolution would humble the rich, and the State 
and society would henceforth be governed by working 

Such were the socialist principles of this movement. 
They had already taken deep root among the revolu- 
tionary members of the working classes, and their 
growth was destined to bring serious calamities upon the 
country. Who can wonder that the citizens of France, 
against whom the movement was directed, should 
earnestly support the government in the maintenance 
of order, and in the repression of the red repubhc ? 
The electoral body, and all pohtical parties, in both 
chambers, condemned these dangerous principles, how- 
ever much they differed upon other questions affecting 
the policy of the State. 

While Soult was minister, Thiers, now leader of the ^'■'•J"- 


parties of the gauche and gauche centre, was aiming at parties.* 

* Hittoire des SocUtii S6crHe$, ii. 19 ; Lotiis Blanc Hist, de JDiv 
Anif y. 410 «< seq, ; Oapefigue, Dijc Ans de Zouta Philippe, x. 63. 

VOL. II. . S 

258 FRANCE. 

cH vp an early restoration to power, with a liberal ministry. 

— ^-> — ' The contest of rival statesmen and parliamentary 
parties was like that of whigs and tories in England. 
They advocated, in different degrees, the hberty of the 
press and of associations, the extension of the franchise, 
and economy in the public estabhshments : but they 
were all fiiithful to the monarchy, and to the constitu- 
tion of France. They were struggling for power among 
themselves, under Louis Phihppe : but outside the 
chambers, repubUcans and Bonapartists were ever plot- 
ting the overthrow of the monarchy, and profiting by 
the strifes of the parliamentary parties. 

Agiution In what manner momentous consequences followed 

the comparatively tnvial contentions of parliamentary 
parties, may be briefly told. In 1839, the opposition, 
led by Thiers and Odillon Barrot, commenced a move- 
ment in favour of the extension of the suffrage, or 
parliamentary reform. At the same time, they urged 
the responsibility of ministers to the representative 
chamber. Both were natural and proper subjects, to 
be advanced by a parUamentary opposition. But the 
king, who was throughout his reign the chief of his 
own cabinet^ had been growing more and more con- 
servative. His fierce conflicts with the revolutionists, 
and the frequent attempts upon his life, had naturally 
led him to recoil from clianges which might strengthen 
the forces of revolution. The middle-class electors 
had supported his throne, and helped liim to repress 
anarchy. His natural caution and his increasing age, 
confirmed his unwiUingness to entrust power to untried 
hands. Hence, he feared an extension of the suffrage as 
the first step in the course of revolution : while he resisted 
the full responsibility of ministers to the chambers, as 


an infringement of his sovereign rights. Like George chap. 


in. of England, he was slow to admit limitations upon 
his prerogative of choosing ministers, and directing their 
policy. His confidence was placed in Soult, Guizot, 
and the conservative party ; and their resistance to con- 
stitutional changes gravely affected the political pros- 
pects and idtimate fate of the monarchy. 

Upon the fall of Soult s second ministry, Thiers, the Ministry 
leader of the opposition, was once more restored to February 
power. He conciliated the revolutionary party by a *^^»^^^- 
further amnesty, by consecrating a sepulchre for those 
who fell in the glorious days of July, and by raising a 
monument to their memory, in the Place de la Bastille. 
The statue of Napoleon had already been restored to 
its place on the column of the Place Vend6me ; and 
now he gratified the Bonapartists, by the removal ctf the 
remains of their idol firom St. Helena to the Invalided. 
In celebrating these events, he delighted the multitude 
by fetes and pageantry. But the popular excitement 
showed the undying force of parties. The revolutiou 
and the empire still had their devoted adherents^ and 
their old sympathies were revived. 

Louis Napoleon, having returned to Europe from Louis Na- 
his banishment across the Atlantic, had since been Boulogne. 
active in reviving the hope» of his party. His work, 
* Les Id^es Napol^oniennes,' presented the policy of the 
Emperor in its most attractive aspects; and fi:iendly 
newspapers dwelt upon the glories of the empire, and 
the freedom and happiness of France under its benefi- 
cent influence. Too confident in the strength of his 
party, and impelled by a fatalism, which had taken 
possession of him, he resdived upon another desperate 
enterprise. Without awaiting the arrival of the ashes 


260 FRANCE. 

CHAP, of Napoleon in France, and the enthusiasm of such 


an occasion, he made his memorable descent upon 
1840?**^' Boulogne. The incidents of this adventure and its 
failure were covered with ridicule : but his proclama- 
tion appealed to the sentiments of the French people. 
Glory and freedom were his watchwords; and he 
trusted to a response from republicans and Bonapartists 
alike. Condemned to imprisonment for hfe in the 
castle of Ham, his visions of empire were as clear as 
ever ; and in the sohtude of his prison he prepared 
himself, by patient study and contemplation, for his 
December great dcstiuy. His prison doors had not long closed 
16, 1840. ypQjj IjJjq^ when the enthusiastic cries of * Vive TEm- 
pereiu: ! ' which hailed the obsequies of Napoleon, at the 
Invalides, gave fresh encouragement to his aspirations.^ 
o?m^^ The flattery which Thiers had offered to repubUcans 
on one side, and to Bonapartists on the other, had not 
been without risk to the throne of Louis Philippe. 
Meanwhile, the professions of the leader of the opposi- 
tion were not realised by the responsible minister, and 
the liberals murmured at his shortcomings. But his 
fall came suddenly, from an unexpected quarter. It 
was not from the king, nor from the chambers, nor from 
the streets of Paris, that a blow was struck at his 
power: but from the cabinet in London. The igno- 
minious failure of his diplomacy in the affairs of Turkey 
and Egypt : the isolation of France from the other 
powers of Europe : the brilliant exploits of the English 
fleet on the coast of Syria : the evasion of the French 
squadron from the scene of those achievements, in 
which it had no part to play ; and war angrily threat- 
ened, but not declared, — were humiliations which no 
minister could survive. 

* Jerrold, lAft of Napoleon HI. vol. ii. B. iv. v. 


Power was restored to the conservative party. The chap. 


veteran Soult was, for the third time, premier, and ^ 
Guizot became minister for foreign affairs. Henceforth, ^^* ' 
the coimcils of the State were directed mainly by the octobl^ig, 
latter ;^ and the conservative policy of the king was ^^^' 
maintained throughout the remainder of his reign. 

One measure demands special notice. Thiers had Fortifica- 

. . tions of 

proposed the fortification of Paris ; and this scheme was ?»«». 
now vigorously carried out by Soult. It had been 
reconmiended for defence against foreign invaders : but 
the detached forts were no less designed to command 
the streets of Paria This object was but too manifest 
to the revolutionists, and they denounced the scheme 
as another menace to the Uberties of the people. 

At this time France was prosperous : but its expen- rHflcontents 
diture was excessive : and its people were heavily taxed, working^ 
The multiplication of offices and contracts continued to 
afford to the government vast influence over the cham- 
bers and the electoral body. In the chamber of depu- 
ties there were one hundred and thirty placemen ; in 
the country there were one hundred and thirty thousand 
offices at the disposal of the executive.*^ The wealth of 
the country was constantly increasing : the land was 
laboriously cultivated by the peasant proprietors :' com- 
merce and manufactures were flourishing ; and railways 
were opening up fresh fields of enterprise and industry. 
Merchants, traders, and the middle classes generally, 
were satisfied with a government to which they owed 

' He did not become president of the council, or premier, until Sep- 
tember 1847. 

3 De 0Bjm4, Etudes »ur VhiU. du Oouv. repr. 1789-1848, ii. 238, 280, 

' At this time there were 10,860,000 separate properties in land, sup- 
posed to belong to about 6,000,000 proprietors. — 8tatikiq%M8 de la J^ance 
yiL 90; Bepmault, IRtt. de Suit Ans de Louie Philippe, ii. 276. 

262 FRANCE. 

CHAP. SO much. But the ouvriers were still discontented : 


* — . — ' they were in perpetual conflict with their employers, 
and sometimes in open revolt : republican and socialist 
doctrines were gaining groimd amongst them ; and they 
scowled wuth sullen aversion upon the rule of the 
bourgeoisie. They denounced its corruption, its selfish- 
ness, its treachery to the popular cause, and its reckless 
extravagance. Above them was a large class, excluded 
from the narrow franchise, who demanded admission to 
the privileges of the constitution. Nothing short of 
universal sufirage would meet the political aims of the 
ouvriers : but they espoused the cause of parliamentary 
reform, as an assault upon the unpopidar chamber of 
deputies. They aimed at social revolution : but they 
were not the less ready to strike an immediate blow 
ngainst the dominion of their masters in the chambers, 
and in the government of the State. 
Electoral Such being the political and social condition of 

1840. * France, electoral reform became the foremost question 
of the time. During the ministry of Thiers, an active 
Kefunn agiUitiou had been organised: reform banquets had 
j?m?rJuiy, been celebrated in various parts of the country : elo- 
Aliffust. quent addresses in support of the cause were delivered 
by Arago, Odillon Barrot, Garnier Pages, and other 
popular leaders : the press shared eagerly in the dis- 
cussions; and the question was ably debated in the 
chamber of deputies. But it found no support from 
the liberal minister, 
poiuh No interference had hitherto been attempted w4th 

prohibited, thc political bauqucts : but, soon after the accession of 
29, 1841. the Soult-Guizot ministry, a Polish banquet, in which 
the French democratic leaders were to take part, was 
prohibited by the prefect of police. Such an exercise 



of power was naturally resented by the democratic chap. 
press* the government retaliated with prosecutions, ^ — r-^ 
and provoked the fierce hostility of the Uberal party, 
and of the press. The indignation of the press was 
fiurther aroused by a judgment of the chamber of peers, 
which held newspapers guilty of moral complicity in 
crimes committed by others, after the publication of 
inflammatory articles.^ 

In 1842, the question of electoral reform was pre- Electoral 
sented, in the chamber of deputies, in a very modest fSIh- 
form. It was proposed that the franchise should sim- ^^^* 
ply be extended to all persons qualified to serve upon 
juries : but it was resisted, and Guizot .declared his 
opinion that the agitation for reform was promoted by 
the enemies of social order. This, indeed, was the 
conviction of the king, and of his ministers ; and they 
dreaded lest any enlargement of the franchise should 
weaken the security of law and order, in a coimtry dis- 
tracted by factions, and still convulsed by the passions 
of the revolution. 

Another proposal, for disqualifying future deputies Conaerva- 
for office, was also resisted by the government. Minis- anoe, 
ters had determined to take their stand upon a limited 
franchise, and political corruption. They could not 
hope to conciliate democracy by moderate concessions : 
but they might have strengthened the monarchy against 
its enemies, by forming a wider basis of representation. 
By refusing any change, they repelled numbers of good 
citizens, beyond the narrow circle of the franchise,' 
who, in a growing society, would have formed a bulwark 
against democracy. They took up the same position, 

^ Oase of the J&wmal du Peuple, November 1841. 
* At this time there were 224,000 electors only. 

264 FRANCE. 

CHAP, in regard to electoral reform, as that assumed by the 
^^ — r-^' Duke of Wellington, in 1831. The constitution was 
perfect, and there was no reasonable ground for change. 
In England, this question was soon brought to an issue 
by a strong parliamentary party: in Prance, being left 
to democratic agitation, it was preparing the way for 
1>eattiof The melancholy death of the Due d'Orleans, in 

croriAms. July 1842, was a serious shock to the present djTiasty. 
1842. Under a more settled monarchy, his infant heir, the 

Comte de Paris, would have sufficiently represented the 
royal line : but, under a government recently foimded 
upon revolution and the choice of the people, it could 
not be doubted that the sudden removal of a manly 
and popular prince from the succession, threatened the 
stability of the throne. 
Continued With many causes of anxiety, the conservative policy 

to?Srm? was successfully maintained for some years. The parlia- 
mentary opposition was becoming more formidable, in 
talent and in numbers: but ministers commanded a 
steady majority. The press continued hostile : the revo- 
lutionists were disaffected ; and the national guard were 
not to be trusted. Neither the king nor his ministers 
were popular. Even the middle classes of Paris were 
alienated by the narrow principles of the conservative 
party : but, with the support of a friendly parliament 
and a faithful army, the steady course of administration 
was piu^ued. 
Kscapeof In May 1846, Louis Philippe was reminded, by the 

Napoleon, escapc of Louis Napolcou from Ham, of the presence 
'iH4'6. ' of a dangerous pretender to his throne. The prince 
courted, at once, the friends of the revolution and of the 
empire : he addressed himself to their sjrmpathies : he 
promised them freedom and glory : but as yet his preteiN 


fiions were but the dreams of a few conspirators — not chap. 


the watchword of a party. ^ — r-^— 

A dissolution soon afterwards confirmed the minis- The 
terial majority. Everything promised peace and security nSSilges. 
to the throne, when Louis Philippe's unworthy intrigues j^Z ^ 
to bring about the Spanish marriages ^ suddenly dis- i^^'* 
turbed his cordial relations with England, and shook 
his credit for good faith, iu France and throughout 
Em-ope. In addition to charges of domestic misgovern- • 
ment, his enemies w§re now able to accuse him of sacri- 
ficing the honour of France, to his own family ambition. 
The estrangement of England fi-om France was followed 
by a marked opposition in their foreign policy. In 
Italy and Sicily, in Spain, Portugal, and Switzerland, 
England was found in sympathy with the liberal 
party, and favoimng constitutional freedom: while 
France, dreading revolution everjrwhere, was con- 
certing measures with the absolute powers of Europe, 
to discourage and repress all popular movements in 
those States.^ In foreign and domestic policy, the 
citizen-king was now reverting to the traditions of 
the Boiu-bons. This contrast between the policy of Eng- 
land under a liberal ministry, and that of France under 
a conservative king and minist^s, could not fail to 
embitter the hostility of the democratic party ; and the 
* king of the barricades ' was denounced as the enemy 
of freedom, at home and abroad. Popular discontents i84e^7. 

^ Much additional light has been thrown upon these intrigues by the 
Memoirs of Baron Stockmar, ii 130-207 ; and the firs^ volume of Mr. 
Theodore Martin's IJife of the Prince Coneort, 

* ' Les grandes puissances de TEurope venaient t^moigner k la France 
le d^r de se concerter avec elle, 4 rexclusion de TAngleterre. Notre 
calnnet avait accepts leurs ouvertures : un jour dtait pris (le 16 Mars) 
pour donner auz arrangemens d^jk d^battus une forme arrets et precise.' 
^lyHausaonTiUe; Hiit. dela Politique ext, du Oouv. Fr. 1830-1848, ii 

266 PRANCE. 

ciiAP. were further inflamed by scarcity aud high prices, and 


severe commercial and financial pressure. 
Kxpo«urc While the government was thus surrounded by 

ruption. troubles, some scandalous transactions were revealed on 
the part of M. Teste, lately minister of public works, 
and others, connected with a concession of certain salt 
mines. ^ This, and some other discoveries of a like nature, 
confirmed the accusations of corruption, by which the 
chambers and the government had long been assailed, 
shook public confidence, and thr^w fi-esh weapons of 
ofi^ence into the hands of the democratic party. 
Uevived The present unpopularity of the government en- 

for reform, couragcd the revival of agitation for electoral reform. 
Nor was this movement confined to the liberal op- 
position and the revolutionists. The Bonapartists 
supported it, with the hope of overthrowing the 
ministers, if not the monarchy. The bourgeoisie of 
Paris, which had been gradually becoming more liberal, 
and less satisfied with the government, supported the 
opposition leaders. The advocates of the cause resolved 
to excite the public feeling in its favoiu- to the utmost. 
Thiers, as leader of the opposition, stood foremost in 
the cause ; and was supported by Odillon Barrot, Du- 
vergier de Hauranne, and other public men ; and the 
revival of reform banquets was chosen as the best form 
Rcfonn of agitation. These banquets commenced in July 1847; 
and the parliamentary leaders, resting upon the revolu- 
tion of July 1830, advocated reforms consistent with 

^ In this reign the public works had been one of the chief means of 
oorraption. ' Pour qu'on put agrandir la sphere des faveurs k dlstribuer, 
et donner pature auz ames y^nales, la direction des travaux publics, enle- 
T^e a r^tat, est devenue un instrument d*agiotage pour les banquiers, un 
moyen d'achalandage Electoral pour les miuistres.' — Louis Blanc, Hist, de 
Dix Am, v. 333. 



the constitution : but Lamartine, already a popular chap. 
leader, expressed more revolutionary sentiments ; and at — r--— - 
some of the banquets, the socialists did not miss the 
opportunity of advancing their peculiar principles of 
social revolution.^ Partly from these divisions, but 
mainly from the absence of any real earnestness in the 
cause, the banquets had no striking success ; and before 
the meeting of the chambers at the end of December, 
the agitation showed symptoms of failiu'e. Li the December 
chamber of deputies, a laboiu'ed assault upon the policy 
of the government also failed, and the opposition saw 
that, without more vigorous action, their cause was 

A reform banquet, annoimced for January 19, had ^^^^^ 
been postponed, in consequence of a prohibition of 
the police, under a law of 1790 : but the leaders now 
determined to defy this prohibition, as illegal, iand f^^i^^' 
announced a banquet for February 22. As the time 
approached, however, public excitement had been so 
much aroused by the impending collision between the 
reformers and the government, that the leaders, alarmed 

^ On January 27, 1848, M. de Tocqueville had said, in the chamber of 
deputies : — ^ The working claases are not agitated, as they sometimes have 
been, by political passions : but can you not perceive that their passions, 
which were political, are now social P Oan you not see that opinions and 
ideas are spreading amongst them, which tend not only to overthrow this 
or that law, this or that minister, or even this or that government, but 
society itself, and to shake the foundations on which it rests P Can you 
not hear what is daily repeated, that everything which is above their own 
condition is incapable and unworthy to govern them : that the present 
division of wealth in the world is unju9t : that property rests upon no 
equitable basis P And are you not aware that, when such opinions as 
these take root, when they are widely diflFiised, when they penetrate the 
n^asses, they will bring about, sooner or later — I know not when, I know 
not how — the most tremendous revolutions P Such, sir, is my convic- 
tion: we are slumbering on a volcano. I am certain of it.' — Keeve, 
Boyal and JRepuhlican France^ ii. 126. 

268 FRANCE. 

CHAP, at the crisis which they themselves had raised, readily 
' — r-^ listened to a compromise. It was agreed that the meet- 
ing should separate at the first smnmons of the police ; 
and that the right of meeting, and the legality of the pro - 
hibition, should be determined by a court of law. But, 
to prevent the complete failure of their demonstration, 
they announced that there would be a procession to the 
place of meeting, in the Champs Elys^es, in which the 
Thepio- national guard were invited to attend, in uniform. This 
"^"""^ demonstration was obviously far more dangerous than 
the banquet, which had been abandoned ; and the go- 
vernment determined to prevent it, by force of arms. 
Again the leaders of the movement shrank from the 
dangers which they had provoked; and exhorted the 
people to give up the procession. The popular gathering 
being thus abandoned by its promoters, the military 
preparations for preventing it were discontinued. 
FeSSl^ Meanwhile, though no procession was attempted, a 

22, 1846. large concourse of people assembled in the streets of the 
capital. The republicans, indignant at the desertion of 
their parliamentary leaders, had encouraged a peaceful 
demonstration in favour of reform : many were ignorant 
that the procession had been countermanded : multitudes, 
indifferent to the cause, gathered together, in expectation 
of disorders, or in search of excitement, and to gratify 
curiosity. All day the streets were occupied by agitated 
and expectant crowds: but no disorders were committed 
until the evening, when some troops of cavalry were pelted 
by the mob, and attempts were made to raise barricades. 
Such another day, however, could not safely be en- 
coimtered, and the government resolved upon a military 
occupation of the city by troops of the line, and the 
national guard. The latter promptly answered to the 


call : but they assembled, — ^not to fight against their chap. 
fellow-citizens, but to make common cause with them 

against the government. Their disaffection was too soon Jnhf °° 
declared. They shouted '' Vive la riformel ' and placed ^S2^** 
themselves between the soldiers and the people. The 
troops could not disperse the mob, without a conflict 
with the national guards, and were thus reduced to in- 
action. There was no fighting: but the people were 
effectually protected by the artful intervention of their 
armed allies. Without a blow, authority had been over- 
come ; and the mob had triumphed over the government. 

Guizot resigned, and was succeeded by Thiers, to Mmigtiy of 
whom Odillon Barrot was soon added. So far, the Odiuon 

. . Barrot 

cause of reform, and the ambition of the opposition 
leaders, had prevailed. But in the streets and in the 
oflSces of the democratic journals, the ' E^forme ' and 
the ' National,' the defection of the national guards, the 
victory of the populace, and the surrender of the 
government, were triumphs too great to be satisfied by 
a change of ministry. They were an encouragement to 
revolution; and while the national guards returned 
home, after a day of equivocal distinction, the republi- 
cans organised armed bands of revolutionists to march 
through the streets, and renew the popular excitement. 
A shot being fired at the soldiers on guard at the Hotel 
of Foreign Affairs, they rephed with a volley. Upwards 
of fifty of the mob were killed, and their bodies were 
carried through the streets, and exhibited as the victims 
of an atrocious tyranny. The ghastly spectacle inrar. 
aroused the fury of the populace, and Paris was soon in pwiT *° 
a state of insiurection. In presence of this new danger, 
Marshal Bugeaud was promptly appointed to the mili- 
tary command of Paris, and General Lamoriciere to the 

270 FRANCE. 

CHAP, command of the national guard. The marshal lost no 
'^ — r-^ time in restoring order. Not a shot was fired : but 
every barricade was levelled, every position of the 
insurgents taken ; and in a few hours the miUtary occu- 
pation of the capital was completed. The insurrection 
was overcome : authority was vindicated ; and Nothing 
was now wanting, but to inspire the people with confi- 
dence in the new ministers. At this very moment, 
when the government had been rescued from its danger, 
Marshal Bugeaud received an order to withdraw his 
troops from their positions I Thiers and Odillon Barrot 
had resolved upon this fatal order, to conciliate the 
people, and avert further disorders. But it proved the 
death-warrant of the monarchy. Abashed and dispi- 
rited, the troops withdrew ; and Paris was left at the 
mercy of the republican leaders and the populace. 
Thiers, scared by the mischief he had done, resigned in 
favour of Odillon Barrot : but it was now too late to 
arrest the danger. The mob had occupied the Palais 
Abdication EovaL and was advancing to the Tuileries. The troops 

oftbeking. "^ I . . . i i , mt i • i 

were fraternising with the people. The kmg, assured 
that his cause was lost, signed his abdication in favour 
of his grandson, the yoimg Comte de Paris. The royal 
family had scarcely time to escape from the palace, when 
it was in the hands of the mob, to be wrecked and rifled 
at their pleasure. 
The The courageous Duchesse d'Orl^ans hastened to the 

Orleans and chamber with her two sons, the Comte de Paris and the 
Due de Chartres ; and the chamber, by acclamation, de- 
clared the young prince king, and his mother regent. 
But, suddenly an armed mob burst into the hall, and 
in the midst of tumult and violence, a provisional go- 
vernment WHS appointed, with Lamartine at its head. 


Meanwhile, another provisional government had been ^xvl * 
proclaimed at the H6tel de Ville : but a fiision was ' ' ' 
effected, imder the presidency of Dupont de TEiire; visional 
and the republic waa proclaimed by Lamartine, from ment. 
the front of the H6tel de Ville. A Parisian mob had 
overthrown the monarchy, and, in opposition to the 
chambers and the vast majority of the people of France, 
had suddenly established a republic I ^ 

Thus ended the trial of constitutional government Failures of 
imder Louis Philippe. Whatever his faults and failm-es, Philippe's 
there had been more of liberty and respect for the law, ^^^' 
and more material prosperity, during his reign, than in 
any former period in the history of France. On every 
side, there had been disastrous errors. The foimdations 
of his throne, which had always been narrow, were 
further contracted by the reactionary policy of the last 
years of his reign. Less reliance upon corruption, and 
more confidence in the people, might have saved his 
throne. The reform agitation had been grossly mis- 
managed by the opposition, on one side, and by the 
conservative ministry, on the other. In the crisis of the 
revolution, the king and his family were timid and irre- 
solute : but the crowning error was that of Thiers and 
Odillon Barrot. The insurrection, which brought them 
into power, was trifling compared with those which had 
been repressed by Marshal Soult ; and it had been already 
overcome, when they delivered up the capital to the 
populace. Their royal master was the king of the barri- 
cades : they were themselves the creatures of the present 
crisis ; and they shrank from the unpopularity of a con- 
flict with the people. As for the republican journalists, 

* ' Donner la France de 1848 k la monarchie, c'^tait la donner aux 
factions. Le pays devait prendre sa dictature. La dictature du pays, 
c^est la r^publique.' — Lamartine, Hist, de la Rest. {Priambukj 10). 

272 PRAKCE. 

CHAP, the leaders of secret societies, and professional revolu- 


tionists, they found their opportunity in the anarchy 

which they had encomtiged, and which ministers and 

liberal deputies had weakly suffered to gain ground. 

State of The revolution of 1 830 had awakened the democracy 

from 1880 of EuroDC : the revolution of 1848 aroused it to still 
toiai8. ^ . . _. _ _ ^ , _ 

greater activity. Eighteen years had worked many 

changes in European politics and society. During that 
period, France had been governed by a constitutional 
king, deriving his power from the people, and re- 
nouncing the old traditions of the Bourbons. England 
had strengthened her popular institutions, and reformed 
the abuses and corruptions of centuries. A new politi- 
cal life, — ^healthy, vigorous and hopefiil, — ^was animating 
her people at home, and throughout her colonial empire. 
Her example, and the liberal foreign policy of her 
statesmen, was giving encouragement to the aspirations 
of patriots in other lands. In Greece, the birthplace of 
European liberties, an historic people had cast off the 
Turkish yoke, and were enjoying independence and 
constitutional freedom, under the protection of England, 
France, and Russia. In Belgium, the new monarchy, 
guided by the consummate judgment of King Leopold, 
presented a conspicuous example of freedom, reviving 
prosperity, and contentment. Spain, aided by English 
sympathies, had overthrown the absolutism of the 
Bourbons, which had been fastened upon her by French 
intervention i^i 1822 ; and secured guarantees for consti- 
tutional government, under the youthful Queen Isabella. 
Italy had been fretting, more impatiently than ever, 
against foreign domination, and the repressive policy 
of her rulers. Himgary had grown discontented with 
her subjection to Austria. I'he States of Germany were 
stirred with aspirations for national freedom, and for 

STATE OF EUROPE 1830-1848. 273 

Germaii unity. Everywhere was to be observfed a chap 

... xvr. 

sympathetic movement of races, nationalities, and re- * — r-^ 

ligions, in favour of independence and union. Such 

sentiments had once been little regarded in European 

politics, but were now becoming a potential force in the 

destinies of nations. 

While Europe was thus prepared for further politi- social 
cal changes, her social development had vastly increased 
the power of the people. Having recovered from the 
exhaustion of the revolutionary wars, they had made 
imprecedented advances in material welfare, and in- 
tellectual activity. The inventions of science had en- 
larged the capacity of hiunan laboiu*. Steam had ex- 
tended the productive forces of manufactures, the range 
of commerce, and the commimications of the world. 
The electric telegraph had commenced its magic 
operations, and was quickening the intercourse of society 
and of nations. Some restraints upon trade and com- 
merce had already been removed : sounder principles 
of taxation were beginning to be accepted : industry was 
encouraged by more enlightened laws, by bolder enter- 
prises, and improved organisation. Wealth and capital 
were rapidly increasing : evidences of growing pro- 
sperity were universal. The industrial classes were ac- 
quiring an extended social influence. 

Yet more remarkable had been the intellectual intellectual 
progress of society during this period. In science and ^^^^' 
philosophy there was a bold spirit of inquiry, aUied with 
practical aims for the immediate welfare of mankind. In 
literature there was unexampled variety, and a rare 
freedom of thought. The labours of the learned were 
now popularised for the use of the multitude. The suc- 
cessfiil piu-suit of knowledge was accompanied by its 



CHAP, general diffusion. A cheap literature found its way 


into every household. It had become the wise policy 
of most States to encourage the education of the people ; 
and popular writers completed the work which govern- 
ments had commenced. In politics, the newspaper 
press had acquired extraordinary expansion, and exer- 
cised an influence previously unknown, except in revo- 
lutionary times. AU questions of public interest were 
discussed with earnestness and freedom. Even in States 
where the Uberty of the press was little respected, 
newspapers had become an acknowledged poUtical 
power. Thus nations had been instructed ; and public 
opinion had become a force which rulers could not 
defy with safety. 
Sudden Such being the development of European society, 

tijerevoiu- the rcvolutiou of February 1848 suddenly aroused the 
February latent discoutcuts of many nations. In Italy, repugnance 
In Italy. ^^ ^^ Bourbous and to Austrian rule, had become irre- 
pressible. Sicily was already in revolt, and Naples was 
March 1, threatened with immediate insurrection. Milan rose 
in arms against the Austrians, and drove out their 
forces, imder Marshal Sadetzky, to Mantua and Verona. 
Venice, animated by the same spirit, and encouraged 
by the success of the Milanese, renounced the dominion 
March 26. of Austiia, and proclaimed a provisional government. 
The Dukes of Parma and Modena fled from the sudden 
wrath of their subjects. The Grand Duke of Tuscany 
saved his throne by making common cause with his 
March ;4. pcoplc against his old alUes, the Austrians. The Pope 
hastened to allay the discontents of the Bomans, by 
granting them a new representative constitution : but 
was driven nevertheless, by the continued demonstra- 
Mflv 1. tions of his people, into a declaration of war against 


Austria. But the most signal event of this period — chap. 
decisive of the destinies of Italy — ^was the determination ' — ^-^ 
of Charles Albert, the King of Sardinia, to unfurl the 
standard of Italian unity, and to brave the Austrian March 28. 
l^ons, as leader of that national cause. Italy was now 
in arms against her rulers ; and was entering upon that 
long and critical struggle, by which her foreign rulers 
were ultimately expelled from her soil, and freedom and 
national imion were achieved under Victor Emmanuel. 

Threatened in her Italian dominions, Austria wajs Austria. 
surrounded by dangers yet more critical at home. In 
the capital, tumultuary risings were followed by the 
concession of constitutional reforms, and by the flight of 
Prince Mettemich, the veteran councillor of absolutism. 
Twice the emperor withdrew from the continued disor- 
ders of Vienna : nor could the city be reduced except 
by a besieging army. And at length he resigned his 
crown into the more vigorous hands of his youthful December 
nephew, Francis John. Meanwhile the empire was in 
danger of dismemberment. Hungary was preparing to 
assert her independence : the jealous and hostile races 
of Germans, Magyars, and Sclaves were arrayed against 
each other : Sclavonic diets were convened : schemes of 
a new Sclavonic monarchy were projected ; and a pro- 
visional government was proclaimed at Prague. Eaces 
and nationalities had become an imminent peril to the 
State. Through the agonies of this crisis the empire 
passed, with a fearful strain upon its power. The Hun- 
garian insurrection could not be crushed without the 
aid of Eussian arms : the Sclavonic troubles were over- 
come, for a time, by force and by concessions. Ulti- 
mately, a free constitution was granted to Hungary ; and 
the institutions of the Austrian empire were remodelled 

T 2 

27 () FRANCE. 

CHAP, upon a constitutional basis. Throughout its dominions, 
' — r-^ the principles of absolutism were renounced in favour 
of freedom. The conflicting claims of rival races and 
nationalities, in this composite empire, have since proved 
a grave embarrassment : but Austrian statesmen have 
learned to treat them with moderation and liberality, 
and in harmony with the principles of a free State, 
(iermany. Throughout the neighbouring States of Germany, 

the shock of the revolution was no less violent. Not- 
withstanding the reforms of 1830, these States had 
generally maintained their former laws and customs. 
In every kingdom, or feudal principality, were to be seen 
an old-fashioned court, an exclusive society, a grotesque 
worship of rank, titles, paligrees, and armorial quarter- 
iiigs, a tenacious etiquette, invidious privileges, and a 
narrow }3olitical rule, Prussia, under Frederick the 
Great, continued to be the ty|)e of the German States, 
in the nineteenth centmy. Wise coimcillors had long 
foreseen the necessity of timely concessions to the 
advancing public opinion of the time : but an inert 
(conservatism had resisted change, and was now to en- 
counter revolution. Nowhere was society more ripe for 
pohtical changes than in Germany. In the midst of 
old-world customs, had arisen a learned and spe- 
cnilative generation of thinkers, who had ventured, with 
singular originality and boldness, into every department 
of serious study. In history, in philoso})hy, in politics, 
and IE religion, they had questioned the received 
opinions of the world. As defiant of authorities and 
])rejudice as the French enc^yclopaedists, they were far 
deeper and more earnest in their researches, and more 
demonstrative in their reasoning. The novel specula- 
tions of professors were eagerly caught up by enthusi- 


astic students ; and the educated classes were trained to chap. 


original thought. German literatiu-e wa» animated by a -■ r ' -- 
free spirit of inquiry ; and an expanding society, which 
bore little part in the government of the country, had 
learned political principles opposed to the narrow policy 
of their rulers. 

Everywhere the revolutionary 'spirit of the time ^if^: 
revealed itself. The Grand Duke of Baden averted movement., 
timiidts by promptly conceding liberty of the press, a 
national guard, and trial by jury. Popular demonstrar 
tions at Wiesbaden, Frankfort, Diisseldorf, Cologne, 
and Hesse-Cassel were followed by concessions of poU- 
tical franchises. In Bavaria, the art-loving king 
Ludwig, who had made his capital a classic city, was 
forced to abdicate. At Dresden and Hanover, popular 
movements were satisfied by constitutional guarantees. 
Disorders spread from the cities to the country, where a 
peasant war was imminent. Castles were stormed : their 
archives were burned ; and the frightened inmates fled for 
their lives. Throughout the whole of Germany a strong 
agitation arose in support of German unity, which re- 
sulted in the meeting of a national assembly at Frank- May i8. 
fort. At Berlin the king endeavoured to allay the 
popular excitement by liberal concessions, and by adhe- March is. 
sion to the cause of national unity. But there were 
disastrous coUisions between the troops and the popu 
lace ; and the square beneath the very windows of the 
royal palace was stained with blood. The king bowed 
down before the people, and accepted the revolution. 
He rode through the city, wearing the coloiu-s of the 
German democracy,^ and promised to take the lead of 

* The tricolour of blacky red, and yellow. 

278 PRANCE. 

CHAP. German liberty and unity. Without piursuing further 


the progress of events in Germany, it may be briefly 
said that the revolutionary storm had burst over the 
land, and that everything was changed. Feudalism, 
[)rivileges, and old-world traditions gave way before the 
force of public opinion, and the pressure of a new 
society. Democracy was held in check by the political 
and social conditions of the fatherland : there were 
numbers of speculative politicians, — democrats, of every 
creed, republicans and communists, — and society was, 
for a time, disturbed and demoralised : but the free in- 
stitutions of England formed the ideal of the German 
liberals.^ Constitutional freedom was achieved ; and, 
January after many years, the dream of German imity was rea- 
lised in the conquering sceptre of the Emperor William. 
Bei«ium While other countries were thus convulsed by the 

Enoiand. irresistiblc force of the revolution, the moral strength 
of free States presented an instructive political example. 
Belgium, so lately enfranchised, contemptuously repelled 
the insignificant eflbrts of French and native revolu- 
tionists.^ In England, the timehonoiu-ed home of 
freedom, the government, enjoying the hearty confi- 
dence of the people, easily repressed the threatening 
movements of chartists and repealers. Those govern- 
ments only were secure which rested upon the broad 

* On March 26, at a great meeting at Heidelbei^, Heir Welcker 
said, ' Let England be our model : she has long enjoyed free institutions : 
she alone now remains unshaken by the storm which is howling around ; 
and it is to her we must look as our model and our guide.' -^^nn. Reg. 
1848, p. 363. 

* * Belgium/ wrote the Queen of England to King Leopold, ' is a 
bright star in the midst of dark clouds.'— Theodore Martin, lAfe of the 
Prince Consort^ ii. 23. Among the most striking portions of this interest- 
ing work are the admirable letters of the Queen herself. 


basis of public opinion and national support. And from chap. 
this critical year of revolutions the moral may be drawn, ^" — ^ — ' 
that freedom is the surest safeguard against demo- 

^ For a fuUer narrative of the events of 1848| in different parts of 
Europe, see Lord Normanby, A Year of Revclution ; Oayley, The Euro- 
pean Revolutions of 1848 ; the Annual Register , 1848 ; Theodore Martin, 
Life of the Prince Coniortf vol. ii. ; Lamartine, Hiit, de la Riv. de 1848. 

280 PEANCE. 

FRANCE— conftnw^d. 


CHAP. France was now under a democratic republic ; ^ and 

XVII, ^ 

The Ke- 
piiblic of 

1*^43- .1nr,f 2 

after nearly five-and-forty years of Imperial and 
monarchical rule, democracy was again in the ascen- 

dant.^ Its character and aims had undergone some 

^ The following are the principal authorities upon the Republic of 
1848 and the Second Empire : — Lamartine, Hist, de la Hin, de 1848 ; 
rb. MSm. inSdiU ; Granier de Oassagnac, Hist, de la Chute du JRoi Louis- 
Philippe^ de la JR^publique tie 1848 ^ du UStablisBement de VEmpire\ 
Louis Blanc, Pages d^Hist. de la JUv, de Fivner; lb. Hist, de la BSv, 
de 1848; lb. RMlaiums HiUoriques\ Regnault, Hist, du Gouveme- 
ment Prcfvisoire ; Lord Normanby, Year of Revolutions \ Oaussidi^re, 
Mem, ; Emile Thomas, Hist, des Ateliers Nationaux ; Proudhon, Con- 
fessions d^un Riv<dutionnaire\ Guy, Hist, de NapoUon III,; Lespez, 
Hist, de Louis-NapoUon ; Provost Paradol, La France Nouvelie, 1860 ; 
MSmoires posthumes d'OdHon Barrot ; Jules Simon, Souvenirs du 4 Sep- 
tembre: Origine et Chute du Second Empire \ lb. Gouvemement de la 
DSfense Natumale\ lb. La LibertS; Mauduit, Revolution MiHtaire; 
Xayier Durrien, Le Coup tPEtat ; Hippolyte Magen, Hist, de la Terreur 
Bonapartiste ; La V^rit^, RecueU dtActes Oficiels : Awnuaire, 

^ Writing in 1849, M. Guizot thus speaks of democracy : — * O'est le 
drapeau de toutes les esp^rances, de toutes les ambitions sociales de 
I'humanit^i pures ou impures, nobles ou basses, sens^es ou insens^s, 
possibles ou chim^riques.* — De la DStnocratie en France, 3. ' L'empire du 
mot democratic n^est point un accident, local, passager. O'est le d^veloppe- 
ment — d*autres diraient, le d^hunement-^e la nature humaine tout 
enlidre, sur toute la ligne et 4 toutes les profondeurs de la society ; et 

KEPUBLIC OF 1848. 281 

chances : but its fundamental principles were the same chap. 


as ever. The revolution of February, 1848, was cha- ^ — ^-^ 
racterised by the same lenity as that of 1830. So far 
jfrom attempting to arrest the royal family in their 
flight, the provisional government forwarded money to 
speed them on their way.^ The late ministers were 
threatened, to gratify the people : but, in happy contrast 
to the reign of terror, suffered no molestation. And, 
further, a decree was issued abohshing capital punish- 
ment for political offences. Otherwise the new republic 
resembled its celebrated prototype of 1792.^ 

Once more the almost forgotten words, * liberty. May % 
Egalite, Fraternity,' appeared upon all the public build- word of the 

. ^ . .,-,.. , , 1 1 Revolution. 

ings : agam ' citoyen and ' citoyenne took the place precedents 
of * monsieur ' and * madame : ' aU titles of honour were foVowed. 
abolished : ^ the streets received revolutionary names : 
trees of liberty were planted, and a red ribbon was ap- 
pointed to be worn in the button-hole of every good 
citizen. Such were the playthings of the revolution. 

par cons^uent la lutte flagrante, g^n^rale, continue, inevitable, de ses 
bona et de ses mauyais penchants, de ses vertus et de ses vices, de toutes 
ses passions et de toutes ses forces, pour perfectionner et pour corrompre, 
pour dlever et pour abaisser, pour cr^r et pour d^truire. 0*est 1& d^sor- 
mais retat social, la condition permanente de notre nation.' — ^Ibid. 6. 

» Lamartine, Higt. de la RSv, de 1848, livre x. ch. 2-11 ; Lord Nor- 
manbj, A Tear of JRevolutionj i. 180 et seq, 

^ ^La r^publique, telle que Tentendait Lamartine, n'^tait point un 
bouleversement & tout hasard de la France et du uionde ; c^^tait un av^ne- 
ment r^volutionnaire, accidental, soudain dans la forme, mais nSgulier 
dans son d^yeloppement de la democratic ; un progr^ dans les voles de la 
philosophic et de lliumanite ; une seconde et plus heureuse tentative d'un 
grand peuple pour se tirer de la tutelle des dynasties, et pour apprendre 
a se gouvemer lui-meme.' — Lamartine, Hist, de la ESv, de 1848, livre 
ix. ch. 7. 

* This was done without the consent of Lamartine, who said, ' Ne 
commen^ons pas la revolution par un ridicule ; la noblesse est abolie, mais 
on n'abolit ni les souvenirs ni les vanitds.' — Hist, de la HSv, de 1848, livre 
X. ch. 1. 

282 PKANCE. 

CHAP. In its more serious form, the revolutionary spirit of 

— *— ^ former times was also revealed. The tranquil rule of 
o^^d"*" tihe bourgeoisie was overthrown. The clubs, which had 
been closed, were now reopened, and resumed their 
dangerous activity. The streets and environs of Paris 
were still crowded by the insurgents, by workmen out 
of employment, and by the convicts, thieves, and ruf- 
Nationai fiaus of that vast city.^ To avoid general plunder, it 
wor 8 ops. ^^ necessary that this hungry midtitude should be fed. 
The provisional government decreed that employment 
should be ensured to all citizens; and, by opening 
national workshops, they at once met this pressing 
danger, and gratified the socialists. The city was still 
in possession of the populace : the municipal guard had 
been disbanded, and the troops sent out of Paris ; and, 
for the double purpose of protection and of the employ- 
ment of dangerous proletaires, the government orga- 
nised the Garde Mobile from the men who had lately 
fought upon the barricades. 
Red Re- The rcvolutiou had been mainly the work of red 

republicans and socialists, and the country was in 
danger of falling into the hands of that desperate party. 
These men were imbued with the principles and ex- 
amples of the revolution of 1789. They were burning 
to establish the dictation of the mob, by terror, by 
confiscations, by the dimgeon and the guillotine. 
France was not to govern herself by fair representation : 

* The populace of Paris may be compared with that of Rome, in the 
days of Catiline, as described by Sallust : — * Sed urbana plebes, ea vero 
pra&ceps ierat multis de caims. Primum omnium, qui ubique probro, 
atque petulantia maxume prsestabant: item alii, per dedecora, patri- 
moniis amissis ; postremo omnes, quos flag^tium, aut facinus domo ez- 
pulerat, hi Romam, ncuti in sentinam, confluxerant.' — Belium CatiU" 


EEPUBLIC OP 1848. 283 

but waa to be ruled by the clubs and demagogues of chap. 

Paris. Their appropriate signal was the red flag. 
Their followers were the proUtaires of the capital, — ^the 
dregs of the populace.^ They clamoiu-ed for the red 
flag, as the standard of the republic : but Lamartine 
bravely maintained the national tricolour. They fiercely 
claimed dominion, in their turn, over the bourgeoisie^ 
* who had sold the sweat of their brows to the mon- 
archy.' They .demanded immediate war against all 
thrones and aristocracies : terror to traitors ; and the 
suspension of the axe of the people over the heads of 
their eternal enemies.^ 

But the most important characteristic of the revolu- Socialists 

,«,.,. . 1 . . and com- 

tion IS to be found m the mcreasmg power and activity munists. 
of the socialists and communists. Of these there were 
several schools. All aimed at the suppression of pro- 
perty, and community of goods : some by direct means : 
others, of whom Louis Blanc waa the chief exponent, 
by the organisation of labour, which, without confisca- 
ting property, was calculated to exhaust capital.*^ There 
.were the disciples of Fourrier, whose doctrine of the 
community of goods they cherished as a religious 
faith.* They were peaceful enthusiasts, — ^not conspir- 
ators. There were the followers of Cabet, of Pierre 
Leroux, of Proudhon, and of Raspail, — some practical, 
some metaphysical, and some even religious, in their 
schemes of commimism. The aims of all these philo- 
sophic sects of communists were, at least, philanthropic. 
If they were wild and impracticable, they had in view 
the happiness of the human race, according to their own 
Utopia. These theories gave a certain air of political 

^ Lamartine^ ^st. de la BSv. de 1848, livre vii. 

« Ibid, i 371, 392. • Ibid, livre vu. * Ibid. 

284 FR-\NCE. 

xviF' ^'isdom and morality to the wildest speculations. They 
— ' — ' had the merits, no less than the defects, of a false reli- 
gion. But other communists, without the excuse of 
such theories, aimed simply at destruction and pillage. 
They hated and envied the rich; and were bent on 
sharing the good things of this world, which the 
favoiu-ed few had hitherto appropriated to themselves.^ 
In the midst of these dangerous factions, the provi- 
sional government, by assuming a position of firm 
moderation, propitiated the upper classes and the 
bourgeoisie^ and gained the confidence of foreign 
powers : but were estranged from the communists and 
red repubhcans.^ They dissatisfied these violent fac- 
tions : but they saved France from anarchy.^ 
organisa- The socialist views of the rights of labour were 

labour. partially gratified by the establishment of national 
workshops, in which upwards of 100,000 were soon 
employed, at two francs a day. Louis Blanc vainly 
attempted to organise these establishments, upon the 
favourite socialist principle of community of labour and 
profits among the workmen, without the control of 
employers.* The paramount interests of workmen were 
also regarded in the legislation of the republic. It was 

* Lamartine, Higt, de la lUv, de 1848, livre vii. xi. 

^ Ibid, livre ix. Lamartiiie sadly confessed, ' U n^y a pas de g^nie 
humain qui soit k la hauteur d'une fausse situation.' 
> Ibid. 

* Louis Blanc, Payes de VHiH. de la liSvolutian de F^vrier, 63. 

' I^ coeur de Louis Blanc ^latait en sentiments fratemels, sa parole 
en images, mais son syst^me en t^nebres.' — Lamartine, Hist, de la JRiv, 
de 1848, livre ix. ch. 21. 

The principles and aims of Louis Blanc may be briefly explained in 
his own words : — * La vie, le travail, toute la destine humaine tient dans 
oes deux mots supremes. Done, en demandant que le droit de vivre par 
le travail soit r^gl^, soit garanti, on fait mieux encore que disputer des 
millions de malheureux a Foppre^ion de la force ou du hasard: on 

REPUBLIC OF 1848. 285 

decreed that the hours of labour should be limited in chap. 


Paris to ten hours, and elsewhere to twelve.^ Promises 

were given that wages should not be reduced in times J^J^^ ^^' 
of depression. No wonder that thousands of workmen 
were now discharged, and thrown upon the national 
workshops. By another decree, the taxes on salt and New taxes. 
other articles of consumption were remitted ; and the 
direct taxes were increased forty-five per cent. The 
proprietors of land in the provinces, who had taken no 
part in the revolution, recognised in this decree a 
scheme of the communists of Paris, for relieving them- 
selves at the expense of their neighbours, and were 
resolved to seize the first opportunity of resistance. 

It was, indeed, by the firmness of Laraartine, and Firmness of 
some of his colleagues, that the principles of the red re- ^*™*^^*^®* 
publicans were not suflered to prevail. He disclaimed 
revolutionary propagandism : he assured Europe of the 
pacific disposition of the republic : ^ he turned a deaf 

embrasse dans sa g^n^ralit^ la plus haute, dans sa signification la plus 
profonde, la cause de Fetre humaine ; on salue le Or^ateur dans son 
OBuvre.' — Organisation du Travail, Intr. 4 (5me 6d.) 

' Le gourernement serait consid^i^ comme le r^gulateur supreme de la 
production, et invests, pour accomplir sa tache, d'une grande force.' — 
Ibid. 102. 

' Une revolution sociale doit 6tre tent^e.* — Ibid. 117. 

See also Louis Blanc, Hist, de dix Ans, ii. 277-282, iii. 109, 110 ; Le 
Play, Organisation du Travail \ and Organisation de la Famitte ; Emile 
Thomas, Hist, des Atel, Nat, 

^ Reduced to eleven on April 2. In England, the hours of labour of 
women and children in factories and workshops have been abridged by 
laws which have also indirectly affected the employment of men. In other 
trades,the hours of labour have been shortened by combinations of workmen. 

^ 'La guerre n*est done pas le principe de la r^publique fran9ai8e, 
comme elle en devint la fatale et glorieuse n^cessit^ en 1792.' — Manifeste 
a TEurope ; Ijamartine, Hist de la Siv, de 1848, livre iz. ch. 16. 

' Lord Palmerston et le cabinet anglais paraissent avoir compris, avec 
une haute sagacity, le ca^lract^re paciiique, mod^ et civilisateur de la 
r^publique, dirig^ au dehors dans un espiit de respect et d'inviolabilit^ 
auz institutions diverses des peuples.' — ^Ibid. livie 2d. ch. 10. 

286 FRANCE. 

CHAP, ear to Mr, Smith O'Brien and his deputation of Irish 
^■^ — '-—' republicans : he resisted the ultra-democratic schemes 
of Ledru Eollin, Louis Blanc, and the red republicans : 
he braved the violence of Blanqui, Barbes, and their 
revolutionary mobs.^ And, instead of usurping power 
for a faction, he appealed to the free judgment of his 
National The good faith of the provisional government was 

4nvSS[ shown in the prompt convocation of a national assem- 
bly, to determine the future constitution of France.^ 
Universal suflSrage was the basis of representation : no 
narrower franchise would have suited a democratic 
repubHc, or satisfied the revolutionary party.* Secret 
voting was also established. The assembly was to 
consist of nine hundred members, each of whom was 
entitled to twenty-five francs a day during the session.^ 
Opposition Paris alone had achieved the revolution. Would 
tions. France ratify it? Its authors and leaders were the 
rulers of the State : their principles were in the ascen- 
dant. Would France approve and confirm them? 
Such were the questions which agitated the capital and 

^ All these events are graphically detailed by Laznartine himself, in 
his hifitoiy of the revolutioD of 1848, and in his Trcit Moi» au Pouvoir. 

' * Leshommes s^rieux, partisans du gouyemement d^mocratique, dans 
le conseil du gouyemement provisoire, youlaient que la r^publique fi&t un 
droit et non une escroquerie de la force ou la ruse d'une faction.' — 
Lamartine, Hi$t de la lUv, de 1848, liyre yi. ch. 8. 

' ^ Nous comptons les jours. Nous ayons hate de remettre la r6pub- 
lique k la nation,' said the provisional government, in a proclamation to 
the people.' — Lamartine, livre xii. ch. 5. 

* * L'^ection appartient a tons sans exception. A dater de cette loi, 
il n'y a plus de prol^taires en France.' — Proclamation of the provisional 

^ The decrees for convoking and constituting the assembly were issued 
on the 6th and 12th March, 1848. The elections were fixed for the 27th 
April, and its meeting was appointed for the 4th May, the anniversary of 
the assembling of the statee-general in 1788. 

EEPUBLIC OF 1848. 287 

the provinces, the members of the provisional govern- chap. 
ment, and the red republicans. Commissioners were - — r-^ 
despatched to every part of France to secure support to 
the government and the repubUc : doubtful prefects 
were dismissed: impa^ioned exhortations were ad- 
dressed to the electors ; threats were uttered of another 
appeal to the barricades. The socialists and red 
republicans of Paris naturally distrusted the provincial 
electors. At present they were masters of the situa- 
tion : they had the clubs and populace at their com- 
mand : the government were without troops : the 
national guards were a democratic force, drawn from 
the working classes ; and Ledru Eolhn and other 
members of the provisional government were known to 
favour their extreme opinions. Should they await the 
verdict of the provinces, or at once assail a weak govern- 
ment, which seemed in their power? Their choice 
was made in the true spirit of French revolutionists. 

On March 17 they organised a threatening proces- invasion of 

1 TTA 1 -I TTMi mi .1. the Hotel 

sion to the Hotel de Ville. The sociahsts were repre- de vuie. 
sented by Louis Blanc and Albert : the red republicans 
by Blanqui, Easpail, and the democratic clubs: red 
flags were waved above the companies aa they marched : 
the procession extended from the Champs-Elys6es to the 
Place de Greve, and mustered more than a hundred 
thousand men.^ A deputation from this vast body was 
admitted ; and Blanqui, as their spokesman, demanded 
the postponement of the elections, and the absolute 
submission of the government to the will of the people, 
as represented by the democratic clubs. Even Louis 
Blanc was shocked by the extravagance of these de 

1 * On r^yaluait & cent ou cent quarante mille hommea.' — Lamar^e, 
Hist, de la lUv. de 1848, livre zii. ch. 9. 

288 PRANCE. 

CHAP, mands : nor was Ledru Eollin prepared to surrender 


-- — ^-^ his power to Blanqui and his confederates. The pro- 
visional government, therefore, firmly withstood the 
deputation, who retired sullen and revengeful, to lead 
Aniiwur- awav their discomfited followers. They immediately 
thwarted, plotted an insurrection, in order to take the Hotel de 
Ville by storm, to postpone the dreaded elections, and 
to force themselves into the provisional government. 
The storming of the Hotel de Ville, however, by an 
organised mob, was prevented by the courage of La- 
martine and the mihtary skill of General Changarnier ; 
and France was again saved from the red repubUc.^ 
Meeting ^|^ length the elections were held, and the national 

A^'rii 28 ' assembly met in Paris. In the capital, and the great 
May 4. towus, the rcpubhcaus of different types were trium- 
phant : but in the departments, a general reaction 
against the revolution could not be disguised. The 
leaders of the red republicans, Blanqui, Barbfes, Eas- 
pail, and Cabet, found no places in the assembly. One 
of the first acts of the assembly was to appoint an exe- 
cutive commission, to supersede the provisional govern- 
ment.*^ Not one of the extreme democrats was chosen. 
Ministers were nominated by the commission. Not 
one belonged to the extreme party. Their cause was 
evidently lost, unless it could be restored by force. 
They had striven to overthrow the provisional govern- 
ment, and now they directed their forces against the 
Storming Under pretence of presenting a petition for the 

assenJbiy. rcUcf of Polaud, a mob burst into the hall of the 

' Laraartine, Hitt. de la 2iiv, de 1848, livre xiii. ch. 10-24 ; Lord 
Normanby, Year of EevotutiarUy i. 322-326. 

^ They were Arago,Qaniier-Pag^Marie|Laiuartine,andLedru-Rollin. 

REPUBLIC OP 1848. 289 

assembly, turned out the members, declared the chap. 
assembly dissolved, and proclaimed a new provisional ^ — <-^ 
government. Among the new rulers of France were iSs/^* 
Barbes, Blanqui, Louis Blanc, Easpail, Albert, and 
Proudhon. Happily the rule of these red repubUcans 
and socialists was short. The hall of the assembly was 
soon cleared by the national guards : the members of 
the new provisional government were besieged and 
arrested, in the H6tel de Ville, and the Prefecture of 
Police : the democratic clubs were again closed ; and 
order seemed to be restored.^ 

But these dangerous conspirators were not discou- New eicc- 
raged. In June there were several new elections, and 
Paris returned Proudhon and other socialist leaders. 
The general result of these elections, however, was not 
favourable to that party : while Count Mol^, Thiers, 
and several other statesmen of the monarchy recovered 
seats in the assembly; and at the same time Prince Prince 
Louis Napoleon was elected by no less than four de- Nal^ieon 
partments. He had been supported not only by Bona- 
partists, but by red republicans, and even by commu- 
nists, to whom his speculative writings had commended 
him.^ Many parties confronted one another in the 
assembly : but the ultra-democrats formed an insignifi- 

^ Lamartine, livre xv. ch. 1-16. 

» Jerrold, Life of Napdem III, ii. 395-400. The Prince wrote to 
the President of the Assembly: — ^*Je n*ai pas cherchd Phonneor d'etre 
repr^sentant du peuple, parce que je savus les soup^ons injurieuses dont 
j'^taifl robjet. Je rechercherais encore moins le pouvoir. Si le peuple 
m'imposait des devoirs, je saurais les remplir.* — Ibid. 405. He resigned 
his seat in the Assembly, and in September was again elected for no less 
than fiye departments. — Ibid. 410. He now 'went quietly to the H6tel 
du Rhin, in the Place Vendome, from the windows of which he could 
see towering over the capital the figure of the great man whose genius 
had been the guiding star of his life.' — Ibid. 411. 


290 PBANCB. 

CHAP, cant minority. Growing more desperate as political 
-- r ' -^ power eluded their grasp, they were plotting another 
insurrection, when the assembly determined to disperse 
the idle and dangerous workmen in the national work- 
shops, who had now risen to one hundred and twenty 
infurreo- This momeut of discontent was promptly seized upon, 

juni 22-26, The clubs and the red republican and socialist leaders 


appealed to the workmen, to the revolutionary prole- 
taires, and to the forcflia^ and Paris flew to arms. Of 
all the insurrections of the revolutionary period, this 
was the best planned, the most skilfully executed, and 
the most formidable. It was not a riotous gathering of 
the people, with uncertain purposes : but the insurrec- 
tionary forces were distributed with military strategy : 
the most important positions in the city were occupied 
by barricades of stone, bricks, and earthworks : ^ the 
windows were crowded with tirailleurs to fire upon the 
troops ; and the insurgents were inspired with a des- 
perate courage and resolution. So imminent was the 
Gencna danger, that General Cavaignac was appointed dictator. 
ciicutor. It was not untU after himdreds of bloody fights, on four 
1848. ' successive days, with feaiful loss of life on both sides, 
that this terrific insurrection was overcome. On either 
side, there were prodigies of bravery : but the most 
memorable incident of the strife was the heroic self- 
sacrifice of Monseigneur Afire, Archbishop of Paris, 
who fell upon the barricade in the Place de la Bastille, 
in a vain attempt to arrest the slaughter.' 

' It was estimated that no less than 10,000 of this latter class took 
part in the insurrection. Lamartine, Hist, de la BSv, de 1848, livre xv. 
ch. 14-17 ; Lord Normanbj, A Year of ItevolutiaM, ii. 27. 

' There were nearly 4,000 barricades in different parts of the cit j. 

' Lord Normanby, Year of Mevclutians, iL 60. 


The red republican insurrection was crushed : a ter- ^^yu 
rible danger had been surmounted : but France was more ' — ; — ' 
than ever awakened to the perils which threatened her against the 
peace and social order. Her capital had been desolated 
by a civil wax ; and if the insurgents had conquered, 
her fortunes would have been at the mercy of red 
republicans and socialists. The reaction against demo- 
cracy was imiversal ; and Frenchmen of all classes were 
resolved that their noble country should not fall a prey 
to the canaille of Paris. 

The dictatorship of Cavaignac was continued: the Measures of 
capital was surrounded by troops : the national work- 
shops were closed: the disaffected or untnistworthy 
legions of the national guard were disbanded : the 
democratic newspapers were suspended: repressive 
laws against the press were revived : the clubs were 
suppressed. Liberty was surrendered for a time, to 
save the State from anarchy. But the extent of the Newconsti- 
reaction was soon to be shown in a more striking form, ^^t!^-^ 
The permanent constitution of the repubUc was yet to mi ' 
be determined ; and the assembly, after much delibera- 
tion, decreed that the future government should be 
vested in a single chamber, and in a« president, to be 
elected for foiu: years, by universal suffrage. 

The principal candidates for the presidency were ^"*^j^ 
Cavaignac, the dictator, who had saved France from «iected 

^ ' , . . president. 

the red republic; Ledru-Kolliu and Lamartine, — the 
most eminent members of the late provisional govern- 
ment, — and Prince Louis Napoleon. Cavaignac still 
commanded all the influence of the government: he 
was known to be an earnest republican ; and his late 
services, in the cause of order, deserved w^ell of his 
country : but Prince Louis Napoleon was chosen by 

V 2 

292 FRANCE. 

CHAP. 5,484,226 votes. He also professed devotion to the re- 


public, and proclaimed the sovereignty of the people.^ 
But was he chosen to maintain the republic, or to restore 
the empire ? That he secured the votes of all Bona- 
partists, and of millions who still cherished the glorious 
memory of the great Emperor, is certain:^ but his 
election was also an emphatic protest of the middle 
classes and of the proprietors of the soil against the 
red republic and the mob-rule of the capital.® For the 
prince himself, the long dream of his life was realised.* 
Tike his imcle, he was chief magistarate of the French 
republic ; and his foot was well nigh upon the steps of 
the imperial throne.^ 'In the presence of God, and 
before the French people represented by the national 
assembly,' he swore ' to remain faithful to the demo- 
cratic republic : ' but visions of the empire were ever 
floating before his eyes. 

^ So far back as October 21, 1843, be wrote from bis prison at Ham : 
— * J'avais une baute ambition, mais je la pouvais avouer — ^I'ambition de 
r^unir autour de mon nom populaire tons les partisans de la souverainet^ 
du peuple, tons ceux qui vonlaient la gloire et la liberty.' — Delord, 
Hiit, du Second Empire, i. 46. And tbis continued to be tbe strain of bid 
later appeals. 

^ ' Le peuple ne savait pas, en d^finitiye, de la revolution que ce qu*il 
apprenait dans les ^olee et dans les camps — les vraies 6coles de TEmpire : 
il croyait en Napol^n, r^empteur de la France et du peuple, cmciiie 
par les rois sur le Oalyaire de Sainte-H^l^ne.' — Delord, Hi$t. du Second 
Einpire/\, 121. 

' ' n s*agit moins pour le pays, dans le mouyement iie reaction auquel 
il eet livr^, de revenir k tel ou tel des r^mes d^cbus, que d'avoir raison 
en tin d*un esprit de subversion qui s'attaque indistinctement \ tons les t&- 
gimes, et qui depuis soixante ans n'a consenti k en laisser dui«r aucun.^ 
— Dunoyer, La R6v, de 24 Fevrier, 188. 

* ' Le jeune pr^tendant dut entendre plus d'une fois, au fond des bos- 
quets d'Arenenberg, des voix qui lui disaient : " Tu regneras."* — Delord, 
Hist, du Second Empire^ I 28. 

* On January 0, 1840, Walter Savage Landor wrote : — ' Necessity will 
compel bim to assume the imperial power, to wbicb tbe voice of tbe army 
sad people will call )iim.' — Jeirold, Ufe of Napoleon III, ii. 376^ 


We will not follow Louis Napoleon through his brief chap. 

. . XVII. 

presidency. His ambition and his destiny were divined, - — <-^- 
alike by republicans, legitimists, and Orleanists ; ^ and Jency?*'" 
all parties united in resistance to his aims. They were 
naturally hostile to his pretensions. Red republicans 
and sociahsts dreaded the strong hand of a ruler sup- 
ported by the army and the party of order. Eepubli- 
cans detected, in his fair promises, the betrayer of the 
republic, and the crafty usurper. RoyaUsts, who, in 
the fall of Louis Philippe and the anarchy of the revo- 
lution, had cherished hopes of another restoration, 
feared lest an empire should again stand between the 
Bourbons and their inheritance. Orleanists, who had 
lately been cast down from their high places, were fret- 
ting for the recovery of their power. In vain he 
endeavoured to allay suspicions of his ulterior designs, 
by profuse protestations of his allegiance to the repub- 
lic, and his respect for the laws.^ His opponents dis- 
trusted his assurances, and multitudes of his supporters 

^ Graoier de Oassagnac, Higt. IL 34 «^ ieq, 

^ Before bis election in December, 1848. be said : — ' Je ne suis pas un 
ambitieux. Elev^ dans des pays libres, et k T^ole du malbeur, je res- 
terai toujours fiddle aux devoirs que mlmposeroiit tos suffi-ages et les vo- 
lont^ de r Assemble J And after his election, be said : — * Le sermentque 
je Tiens de preter commande ma conduite future. Mon devoir est trac^ : 
je le rempKrai en bomme d'bonneur. Je verrai des ennemis de la patrie 
dans tons ceux qui tenteraient de cbanger, par des Toies iU^gales, ce que 
la France entiftre a ^tabli.' — Donoyer, Le Second Empire^ i. 146, 147. 
And to tbe Assembly be addressed tbese words, on December 20, 1848 : 
— ' Vous Youlez, comme moi, trayailler au bien-Stre, k la gloire, a la pro- 
spirit^, du peuple qui nous a ^us, et, comme moi| vous pensez que les 
meilleurs moyens d'y paryenir ne sont pas la violence et la ruse, mais la 
fermet^ et la justice.' — Ibid. 147. At Lyons, on August 12, 1849, be 
said : — ^ Les surprises et I'usurpation peuveot 6tre la reve des partis sans 
appui dans la nation ; mais I'^lu de six millions de snfirages ex^ute les 
Yolont^ du peuple : il ne les trabit pas.' — Delord, Hitt, du Second Em- 
pire,L 194. 


294 PRANCB. 

CHAP, were already prepared to welcome the revival of the 
^ — -r— ^ empire.^ 

Janiiary29, Hc met with opposition on every side. The re- 
June 13, volutionists of Paris were again busy with plots : but 
one insurrection ignominiously failed, and another was 
easily repressed. A socialist insurrection at Lyons was 
promptly overcome, with great slaughter. Within the 
walls of the assembly, he encountered difficulties of an- 
other kind. He was the elect of France, and was bent 
upon asserting his personal rule, — the only rule hitherto 
known in France to king, president, or emperor. The 
assembly, chosen like himself by universal suffrage, and 
having a title equal to his own, disputed with him the 
government of the country. They claimed that his 
ministers should have the confidence of the majority of 
their body : the president, resting upon the confidence 
of the people, assumed the right of nominating ministers 
at his own discretion. Hence jealousy and contrariety 
of views could not fail to arise between the executive 
and the legislatiu^e. Such were the relations of parties 
to the president and to one another, that an orderly 
government, by parliamentary majorities, was naturally 
beset with difficulties. Similar difficulties, however, 
had lately been overcome by Louis Philippe; and 
might have been successfully encountered by Louis 
Napoleon, if he had been faithful to the repubhcan 
constitution. But he was not disposed to share his 
power with poUtical rivals : he regarded the represen- 
tatives of the people as obstacles to his own supremacy; 
and was actively scheming the restoration of the empire, 
upon the ruins of the republic. 

After the elections, in May 1849, the president dis- 
missed the ministry of Odilon Barrot, which had com- 

1 Dunoyer, Le Second Empire, i. 146 e^ $eq. 


manded a majority of the assembly ; ^ and formed a new chap. 
ministry of obscure men, from all parties. He explained * — r— ^ 
his purpose by declaring to the assembly that he needed 
men who acknowledged * the necessity of a single and ^^f^^ ^^» 
firm direction/ in other words, men who looked to 
himself, and not to the assembly, for guidance.* Such 
a declaration increased the estrangement of the assem- 
bly. Alarmed at the election of six socialist candidates }i^^^ lo. 
. . . 1^^- 

in Paris, they passed a bill* requiring three years' 

residence for the exercise of the franchise, and other- 
wise striking at the revolutionary proletaires, of all 
nations, who infested Paris. They opposed the aug- 
mentation of the president's salary : they denied him 
the nomination of mayors ; and they appointed an 
unfriendly commission, from the difierent parties, to 
control him during the recess.* 

Meanwhile the president, opposed by all parties in The prem. 
the assembly, — which, however adverse to one another, theaiJ*' 
were ever ready to combine against him,^ — appealed to 

* According to some authorities, the strength of the republican party 
was increased in the national assembly : but Delord says : — < L' Assem- 
bl^e constituante ^tait r^publicaine : T Assemble l^gialatiye qui lui succ^ 
dait se composait en grande majority de royalistes.' — Hist, du Second 
Empirey i. 152. So also Jerrold, Nap, III, iii. 87. But, however that 
may have been, the president resolved to set himself free from the re- 
straints of party government 

' In his message to the assembly, he said : — ' La France, inqui^te 
parce qu*elle ne voit pas de direction, cherche la main, la volont^, de V^lu 
du 10 d^cembre.' The national will had been expressed by the election 
of a Napoleon ; and ' ce nom est ^ lui seul tout un programme.' — Du- 
noyer, Ijt Second Empire, i. 165. 

' 'It was afterwards alleged that this measure had been passed in op- 
position to the wishes of the president: but, according to Deloid, 
' rhistoire ne trouve aucune trace de oette pr^tendue repugnance de M. 
Louis Bonaparte, ni dans ses discours, ni dans ses conversations.' — Hitt, 
du Second Empire, i. 187. But see Jerrold, Nc^. Ill, iii. 124. 

*' Granier de Cassagnac, ii. 147-160. 

* ' On Yoyait toujours quatre partis prSts ft faire cause commune contre 
un seul.' — Dunoyer, Le Second Empire, i 31. 


296 FRANCE. 

CHAP, the sympathy of the people,^ and the attachment of the 
-- — r— ^ army. At Lyons, at Strasbuig, and other large towns, 
his presence was greeted with enthusiasm. At reviews 
October 11, he was cheered with cries of *Vive Napoleon!' and 
at Satory, the cavalry, as they passed him, shouted 
November * Vivc Napolfeu ! Vivc TEmpereur ! ' ^ The infantry, 
in obedience to the orders of their general, Neumeyer, 
were silent; and the general was soon afterwards 
removed from his command. At other reviews the 
like cries were heard.® Soon afterwards, General 
Changamier issued an order to the troops under his 
command,* reminding them that the law and military 
regulations forbade them to utter cries while under 
arms. Two months afterwards he was superseded.^ 
Other generals were promoted, who enjoyed the entire 
confidence of the president ; and officers friendly to his 
ambition were carefully sought out and encouraged.^ 
He was constantly proclaiming his reliance upon the 
fidelity of the army.^ 

While making these appeals to the people and the 
army, he continued his professions of fidelity to the 
constitution, and endeavoured to disarm suspicions by 
affecting a lofty disinterestedness. To the assembly he 

^ At Dijon lie said^ on January 1, 1860 : — ' J^appelle de tous mes voeux 
le moment oh la voix pulssante de la nation dominera toutes lea opposi- 
tions et mettra d'aocord toutes les riyalit^s.' — Diicours €t JVodamationa, 

> Delord, Hitt. du Second Empirey i. 193. 

' ' Le pr^ident pendant ce temps-lli passe des revues ou on crie, ' Viye 
I'empereurl' comme au temps ou les Idgions faisaient dee C^sars.' — 
Delord, Hid. i. 207. 

^ He was commander of the troops of Paris and the department of the 

^ Dunoyer, Le Second Empire^ i. 169. 

• Ibid. i. 161. 

' Ibid. 174 


said, on November 30, 1850 : * The noblest object, and chap. 
the most worthy of an exalted mind, is not to seek, - — ^—^ 
when in power, how to perpetuate it, but to labour to 
fortify, for the benefit of all, those principles of authority 
and morality, which defy the passions of mankind and 
the instabihty of laws.' 

The suspicious policy of the president was met by Jwiuaiyii, 
a resolution of the assembly, declaring that it had no 
confidence in his ministers. He changed his ministry : 
but not a single minister did he choose from among 
the members of the assembly. After a continuance of 
the strife for some time, he invited Odillon Barrot to kadx lo, 
form a ministry ; and, on his failure, he again resorted 
to the assembly for a cabinet. The new ministry, 
however, did not embrace any of the leaders (rf parties ; 
and was uot designed to conciliate their support. The 
president's poUcy of personal rule was incompatible 
with representative government ; and his ulterior aims 
alienated all parties but his own. 

The time was approaching when a revision of the Revision of 
constitution was demanded : but while a majority of tution. 
the assembly approved it, a vote of three-fourths, as 
required by the constitution, could not be obtained. July 20, 
The powers of the president were hmited to four years, 
and he was disqualified for re-election. He was already 
straitened in his dvil list; and he must soon lay 
down his power, and retire into poverty and obscurity. 
An event so fatal to his ambition, he was resolved to 
avert. His ultimate reliance was upon the army and 
the people : but, in the meantime, he sought, by a 
popular measiu:e, to increase his influence and popula- 
rity. If he found the assembly intractable, other means 
must be tried to ensure the continuance of his power. 

298 PRANCE. 

CHAP. Believing that the restoration of universal suflSrage 
^^ — r— ^ would favour his own claims, he now urged the repeal 
of the law of May 31, 1850. Hia ministers, fearing a 
socialist majority in the next assembly, objected to the 
change, and resigned ; and, with the advice of a new 
ministry, the proposal was made by the president to the 
^^ovember assembly. But his object in seeking an extension of 
the suffrage was too well known to find favour with 
his opponents. The republicans were drawn towards 
him by so democratic a measure : but the royalists 
were no less opposed to it than to its author.^ 
Distrust The distrust of the assembly in the designs of the 

assembly, president was now further aroused by a speech ad- 
dressed by him to the oflScers of some regiments lately 
arrived in Paris, selected as faithful to his cause. He 
told them that he had placed at their head men 
who had his entire confidence ; and that, if the gravity 
of affairs should compel him to appeal to their devo- 
tion, he was assured that he should not be disappointed. 
He would not say to them, ' March, and I will follow 
you : ' but he would say, * I march : follow me.' Such 
words as these seemed to betray some hidden purpose, 
not warranted by the foreign or domestic necessities 
of the State. General St. Amaud, the new minister of 
war, also issued an order of the day, protesting against 
the power of the assembly to require the aid of a mili- 
tary force. To guard against surprise fi:om the master 
of many l^ons, the assembly looked about for some 
means of defence. Accordingly, the quaestors sub- 
mitted a motion for gi\ing effect to a decree of May 11, 
1848, which empowered the president to require the 
armed force of the State for its protection. A com- 

^ Bdord, Hiit, du Second Empire^ i. 249-265. 


mittee adopted this motion ; and no less than three ^xyil 
hundred members supported it by their votes in the ^J^^^jJ^ 
assembly.^ ^^' ^®^^- 

A serious conflict between the president and the as- The prcsi- 
sembly was now imminent. Prefects, mayors, and the the i^ 
Bonapartist press espoused the cause of the president, ^™ ^' 
and rebuked the assembly as factious and unpatriotic. 
It was accused of thwarting his enlightened measures, 
and even of plotting against his authority. But, in truth, 
the president had himself provoked the contest, by dis- 
sociating himself from the representatives of the people, 
by his alarming appeals to the army, and by his ill-con- 
cealed designs of personal ambition.* The strife, however, 
was unequal. The president was armed with all the 
powers of the State : the assembly was utterly defence- 
less. Its different sections might concert measures for 
the protection of the republic : they might resolve and 
protest : they might beat the air, but they could not 
command the services of a single soldier or policeman.^ 

» Delord, Hist, du Secmd Empire^ i. 265-266. 

* ^ Des projetfl de d^crets pr^par^s dans le cas o^ rAflsembl^e seralt 
obligee de requ^rir la force publique ne sont pas dee actes de conspiration.* 
— Delord, Hist, du Second Empire, i. 272. According to De TocqueyiUe, 
' Les amis de M. Loids-Napol^n, pour excuser Facte qu*il yient de com- 
mettre, r^p^tent qu^il n'a fSedt que prendre les devants sur les mesures hoe- 
tilee que TAssembl^e allait adopter centre lui. Cette mani^re de se d^ 
fendre n'est pas nouvelle en France. Tous nos r^Folutionnaires en ont us($ 
pendant ces soixante demi^res ann^s. . . . L*Assembl^e, loin de conspirer 
contre Louis-Napolton et de lui chercher querelle, a pouss4 la moderation 
et le ddsir de yivre avec lui en bon intelligence presque i un degr^ Toion 
de la pusillanimity.' — Letter to the TimeSf November 11, 1862. Mr. 
Kinglake says: — ' It is not true, as was afterwards pretended, that the 
executive was wickedly or perversely thwarted either by the votes of the 
assembly, or by the speeches of its members : still less is it true that the 
representative body was engaged in hatching plots against the president' 
— ^Kinglake, Invasion pf the Crimea, i. 206 (4th edition). 

' For some obscure evidences of the defensive plans of the assembly, 
see Lespez, ii. 361 ; Ashley, Life of Lord Palmerston, 1. 286 ; Jerrold, 
N(^. IIL iiL 304-317. 

300 FRANXE. 

CHAP. Meanwhile the president was busy with a daring 

— -— ' scheme of usurpation. It could not be attempted 
tilSsfor without assurances of the support of the army, and 
If^tar^ these were obtained at a confidential meeting at General 
i^im^^ Magnan's, where twenty-one general officers engaged 
to obey his orders, and to save France.* The army was 
safe, and the president was acquiring the command of 
the police, the magistracy, and all the executive depart- 
ments, for carrying out his designs against the assembly.^ 
His advisers were not responsible ministers, whose 
names would have been a guarantee for constitutional 
measures : but were creatures of his own, devoted to 
his cause,— daring and unscrupulous men, who were 
fitted for the dark schemes of conspirators. There was 
no more persistent schemer than the president ; and he 
found in his confederates — ^De Morny, Fleury, Persigny, 
St. Arnaud, De Maupas, and De Seville — men bolder 
and more resolute than himself. To make their ser- 
vices eflfective, the most important offices were entrusted 
to them. De Morny as Minister of the Interior, St. 
Arnaud as Minister of War, and De Maupas as Prefect 
of Police, commanded the civil and military forces of 
the State ; and were ready to use thenl, without scruple, 
for the overthrow of the Kepubhc. 

The plan concerted by them was more deeply 
plotted than that of the 18th Brumaire, of which it 
was otherwise the parallel : it was matured with the 
secresy and craft of a conspiracy, and carried out with 

1 Delordy Hist, du Second Empire, i. 244. 

* De Tocqueville, writing to Mr. Senior on November 28, said : — ' II 
ne pent plus aboutir qu'li de grandes catastrophes. Cette provision m 
elaire et si prochaine me remplit le coeur d'une douleur si profonde et si 
am^re que je cherche, autant que je le puis, k en d^toumer ma pens^.' — 
(Eavres et Corr. inidites, ii. 183. 

COUP D'fiTAT, DECEMBER 2, 1861. 301 

a selfish and cruel resolution which recals the deeds of chap. 


the terrprists of 1793.^ ^ ^ 

On the night of December 1 everything was ready, Coup d'etat 
when the president took final counsel with his secret issi. * 
advisers, the Comte de Morny, General St. Arnaud, De 
Maupas, Prefect of Police, De Persigny, and Colonel de 
Seville ; and the bold enterprise was at once carried into 
execution. They had at their disposal all the powers 
of the State, the army, the national guard, the police, 
the civil administration, the courts of justice, the State 
printing-ofiice, and a Bonapartist press, while the as- 
sembly was divided and disarmed. The parliamentary 
leaders were fast asleep in their beds at two o'clock in 
the morning of December 2, when they were aroused by 
the police, and carried ofi* to prison. The most dis- 
tinguished generals shared the same fate. The foremost 
men of France ^ were treated like felons, and carted 
away in the dead of night to ignominious cells.® The 
hopeful career of many was stopped for ever, and all 
hopes of liberty or constitutional government were ex- 
tinguished. The chief revolutionists of the clubs and 
secret societies were at the same time arrested and im- 
prisoned. Eighty-four of the men whose resistance 
was most feared were in safe custody. All but the 
Bonapartist newspapers were seized and silenced. , 

Before daylight the walls of Paris were placarded with 

» Supra, p. 206. 

' ' Contre qui sont dirig^s les premieres et les plus grandefi violences 
de M. Jjouis Bouaparte ? £st-ee contre les d^magog^es et les anarchistes P 
Non ; c'est contre les amis de Tordre les plus connus, les plus considera- 
bles, les plus d^vou^.' — ^Dunoyer, Le Second Empire, i. 183. ' Les ad- 
yersaires de son ambition, Yoilk les y^ritables objets de sa haine et les 
ennemis qu^il faut surtout dompter/ — Ibid. 184. 

' They were conveyed, ' de propos d^lib^r^, dans les voitures destinies 
*au transport des criminels condanm^s au bagne,' — ^Ibid. 231. 

302 PRAXCB. 

CHAP, a proclamation/ announcing to the astonished world the 

^- — r— ^ dissolution of the assembly, the repeal of the law of 

May 31, 1850. and the election of another assembly by 

universal suffrage. The council of state was dissolved, 

and Paris was declared in a state of siege. 

The president accused the assembly of forging the 
arms of civil war, and plotting to overthrow the power 
which he held from the people. At the same time, he 
submitted the scheme of a new constitution, consisting 
of a chief magistrate elected for ten years, a cabinet 
appointed by himself alone, a new council of state, a 
legislative body chosen by universal sufirage, and a 
second chamber of illustrious men. And he asked 
these favours on behalf of the cause of which his name 
was the symbol^ 
other When the members of the assembly, who had been 

of^Sie " spared by the police, learned the arrest of their col- 
iSi^risoned. Icagucs, they hastened to concert a resistance to the 
coup detat They met at different places. Some found 
their way into the hall of the assembly itself, whence 
they were driven by force, twelve of their number 
being seized and hurried off to prison. At length two 
hundred and twenty deputies assembled at the Mairie 
of the 10th Arrondissement, where they decreed the 
deposition of the president, and declared that the 
executive power had passed to the national assembly. 
Their deliberations, however, were soon interrupted by 
the entry of soldiers and police ; and as they refused to 

^ This proclamation had been printed at the State printing-office, the 
printers having worked in custody of the police. 

' ' Si vous croyec que la cause dont mon est le symbole— c'est-i^-dire, 
la France r^g^n^r^ par la revolution de 1789, et organist par Fempe- 
reur — est toujoursla v6tre, prodamez-le en consacrant les pouvoin queje 
vous demande.' — ^Delord, Hiat. du Second En^e, i. 282, 

COUP D'fiTAT, DECEMBER 2, 1861. 303 

disperse, they were marched oflf as prisoners to the chap. 
cavalry barracks on the Quai d'Orsay.^ Hence, after * — r-^ 
nightfall, they were conveyed, in prison vans, to Vin- 
cennes and to the prison of Mazas.^ Two hundred and 
thirty-five representatives of the people, including 
twelve statesmen who had been cabinet ministers, were 
treated as felons.* Many were afterwards banished 
from France/ 

The high court of justice, while deliberating upon ibe high 

1 .,. ^, . . 1.,. ./. c<>»rt of 

the violations of the constitution, which it was its func- justice. 
tion to restrain, was interrupted by the police, and was 
closed by force.* Every constituted authority was 
silenced ; and scattered deputies and journalists vainly 
attempted to arouse a popular insurrection against 
the president. The bourgeoisie and the people were 
divided, the assembly was unpopular, and the president 
still professed his fidelity to the republic. There was 
no common ground of resistance to the coup detat 
Parties and classes were disunited and surprised : while 
the executive wielded the army, the police, and the 
civil administration of the State. The red republican 
party had been shot down in the street fights of June, 
1848, imprisoned, and transported ; and their surviving 
leaders had just been captured. 

The troops, among whom the president had dis- Themas- 
tributed fifty thousand francs — the last remains of his STukvards! 
private fortune* — continued faithful to his cause j and 

1 Delord, EM. du Second Empire^ i. 309-823. 
» Ibid. 336, 336, SU et seq. 363. 
' Einglake, Invasion of the Oimea, i. 251, 2o2, 
* Ibid. 300. 

^ Delord, Hist, du Second Empire, i. 326-328, 364-366 ; Annuaire, 
p. 373. 

' Qranier de Oaasagiuic, ii. 431. 

304 FRANCE. 

CHAP, under their protection he rode tlirough the streets of 
-^ — .— ^ Paris. He was received with acclamations: but the 
^^' ^' people, taken by surprise, and uncertain as to the true 
purport of the startling events of the morning, were 
curious and wondering rather than demonstrative.^ 
The capital was commanded and held in check by an 
overwhelming force : yet several barricades were raised, 
which for a long time were not assailed by the 
Dwv 4. troops, but at length, on December 4, they were easily 
carried. All who were found upon the barricades were 
put to death: no quarter was given to insurgents. 
But the gravest incident of this day was the firing of 
the troops upon the windows of the houses on the 
boulevards, and upon the loiterers on the pavement.* 
In vindication of this murderous fire, it was alleged that 
the houses were occupied by insurgents, who threatened 
the passing troops: but the assertion is contradicted 
by the best contemporary evidence. The extent of the 
slaughter may have been partly due to misapprehension 
and panic : but there is too much reason to believe that 
the assault was designed to strike terror into the people, 
and to display the resolution of the troops. The con- 
trivers of the coup ditat were almost disconcerted by 
/the tame submission of the people. Where was the 
danger which had justified these daring violations of the 
law? This unwarrantable massacre at once magnified 
an abortive insurrection, and proved the vigour of the 
usurper, Charles X. and Louis Philippe had quailed 
before the populace of Paris : but Louis Napoleon had 
no pity upon insm-gents. The capital was subdued and 

^ Mr. Kinglake eays, ' Upon the whole, the reception he met with 
seemB to have been neither friendly nor violently hostile, but chilling, and 
in a quiet way scornful.' — Invasion of the Crimea, i. 246. 

« Delord, Hut, du Second Empire, i. 367-384; Kinglake, Hiit, of 
the Crimean War, i. 265-274 ; Ann, Reg, 1861. 


COUP D'fiTAT, DECEMBER 2, 1861. 305 

terror-stricken, and the spirit of resistance was trampled ^x^^* 
out in blood. No act during the numberless conflicts ' — ' ' 
in the streets of Paris was remembered with so much 
bitterness and resentment. The coup d'etat waa suc- 
cessful : but it was stained with innocent blood, the 
shedding of which was never forgiven.^ 

Great numbers of citizens were known to be faithful Measures of 
to the republic. They had taken no part in the street 
fights : they had not opposed the irresistible forces of 
the coup (JCitat : but they were dangerous, and must be 
disabled. All men who had been members of secret so- 
cieties were declared liable to transportation to Algeria 
or Cayenne ; ^ and for this cause thousands of active 
citizens were transported without a trial. Within a few 
weeks after December 2 no less than 26,500 persons 
were transported as guilty of divers offences against the 

' See the account of the coup tFStat in the Times of December 11, 
1861, written by M. de Tocqueville, who was one of the deputies arrested 
on December 2. — Heeve, Baytd and Republican France, ii. 136, 137. 
Also letter of Captain Jesse to the Times, December 13. — Ann, Register, 
De Tocqueville says, in one of his letters, ' This government has esta- 
blished itself by one of the greatest crimes recorded in history.' — ^Ibid. 
ii. 138. 

' n faut qu^on le sache bien, en effet, nulle transaction avec Tesprit r^vo- 
lutionnaire, avec ce detestable esprit de violence et de fraude dont Fatten- 
tat du 2 d^cembre a ^t^ la plus odieuse manifestation parmi nous, ne 
saurait etre de nature k nous assurer la paix.' — ^Dunoyer, Le Second Em" 
pire, L 116. 

' n est manifesto pour tout homme de bon sens qui prend la peine 
d'examiner les faits, que cette acte d*insigne f<$lonie n*etait n^essaire. ni 
pour la conservation des pouvoirs l^gaux du president, ni pour la defense 
de la 9oc\4t6 centre la d^magogie socialiste, ni pour la conciliation des 
partis mod^r^.' — ^Ibid. i. 146. 

One of the best, but most severe, accounts of this grievous incident is 
to be found in Mr. Kinglake's Invasion of the Crimea, i. 266 — 274 (4th 
edition). Mr. Jerrold justifies this and every other incident of the coup 
dStat more boldly than any French writer {Life of Nap. IIL iii. B. 8). 

^ Decree of December 8, 1861. 


306 PRANCE. 

CHAP. State.^ About two thousand republican journalists, 
-■ ^ i '-^ lawyers, physicians and other educated men, were 
imprisoned until all fear of popular movements had 
passed away. The revolution had been wholly the 
work of the rulers of France : it had met with a feeble 
resistance : yet the proscription which ensued was as 
merciless as if the people had risen in arms against 
a lawful government. In any other country, such 
deeds would have been followed by the execrations of 
Europe : but in this land of revolutions, where force 
had long been the arbiter of laws and hberty, they 
• were too easily condoned by Frenchmen, and by 
European opinion. 

The capital was subdued by force, and the pro- 
vinces were under control. Twelve departments round 
Paris were in a state of siege : thirty-two departments 
were placed under martial law ; and elsewhere, the 
prefects, the mayors, and all other functionaries were 
ordered, under pain of instant dismissal, to secure the 
adhesion of the people in the approaching plebiscite. 
In overthrowing the assembly and the constitution, the 
president was everywhere proclaimed as the champion 
of order, and the unrelenting enemy of socialists and 
red republicans. By supporting his authority good 
citizens would put down socialism and anarchy. Com- 
missaries were despatched into the provinces to overawe 
resistance, and the priests were active in leading their 
flocks to the poll. No meetings were permitted : the 
press was silenced : the distribution of n^ative voting- 
papers was forbidden : the army had already voted 
The pi^ ' Yes,' and few out of the mass of affrighted electors 
ventured to say ' No.' They had but to say * Yes ' or 

> Gronier de Caasagnac, ii. 438 ; Delord, Hitt. du Second Empire, ii. 32. 



* No •/ and in this form the acts of the president and the chap. 


new constitution were ratified by the votes of 7,439,216 

electors; and Louis Napoleon, absolute master of 
France, was left to choose his own time for the restora- 
tion of the empire. 

His aims were soon disclosed. He immediately Louis 
replaced the Eoman eagle upon the national standards, aftS^thlT 
and took up his residence at the Tuileries.^ His new ^'^^ ^ ' 
presidency, or dictature, was celebrated at Notre 
Dame, with a pomp which recalled the glories of the 
First Napoleon.^ His powers, under the new constitu- 
tion, were little less than imperial.^ He was president 
for ten years: he commanded all the forces of the 
State, by land and sea : he made treaties with foreign 
powers : with him rested the initiation, the sanction, 
and the execution of the laws ; justice was adminis- 
tered in his name: he exercised the prerogative of 
mercy. The legislature was stripped of every 'in- 
convenient privilege. It could neither initiate laws, 
nor ask questions of ministers. No amendments 
could be discussed without the previous approval of 
the Conseil cPEtaL The budget was no longer voted 
in chapters, or articles, but in ministerial departments.* 
The president, in truth, was already emperor, save in 
name ; and this consummation was not long delayed. 
In all his proclamations and addresses, the empire was 
held up as the ideal of national happiness and glory .^ 

* January 1, 1872.— Delord, Hist, du Second Empire, i. 897. 
» Ibid. 

' ' In the making of such laws as he intended to give the country, 
Prince Louis was highly skiUed, for he knew how to enfold the creation 
of a sheer oriental autocracy in a nomenclature taken from the polity of 
free European States.' — ^Einglake, Invasion of the Crimea^ i. 305. 

* ' Par minist^re.'— Peloid, i. 401, 402. 

^ In distributing eagles to the army^ on May 10, he said : — ' L*aigle 

1 2 

308 PRANCE. 

CHAP. And, while gratifying the army, and the natural pride 


of Frenchmen, by recollections of the military prowess 
of the first empire, he appealed to the prudence and 
sobriety of the middle classes, and the susceptibilities 
of foreign powers, by proclaiming the forthcoming 
empire as the inauguration of peace. * L'empire, c'est 
la paix,' he said at Bordeaux; and his words were 
iiccepted as a pledge that, in succeeding to the throne 
of Napoleon I., he renounced his poUcy of war and 
aggression. The State functionaries and the Bona- 
partist press were busy in preparing pubUc opinion 
for the impending change : conspicuous demonstrations 
in honour of the coming Csssar were concerted : he 
was greeted with enthusiastic cries of 'Vive TEm- 
pereur ! ' and at length he announced that the signal 
manifestation, throughout France, in favour of the re- 
storation of the empire, imposed upon him the duty of 
consulting the senate. That body was devoted : the 
people accepted a plebiscite restoring the imperial dig- 

Deoember nity by 7,824,129 votes ; and Louis Napoleon accepted 

' *' ■ the proffered crown as Napoleon m.^ 

The second The sccond empire was proclaimed with becoming 

empire. cercmonies, and an imperial court was formed of rare 
magnificence. The scattered members of the Bona- 
parte family appeared again upon the scene, as princes 
and princesses of the emph'e. The authors of the 
€oup (f^tat^ and other friends and followers of the 
emperor, were rewarded witli dignified and lucrative 
offices. The imperial household was graced by num- 

Tomaine, adopts par Tempereur Napol^n au commencement de ce 
siecle, fut la si^ification la plus ^latante de la r^g^n^ration et de la 
grandeur de la France.' — Ibid. 437. 

* His title was * Napoleon III., by tbe grace of God, and by the will 
•of tbe people, Emperor of the French.' 


bers of stately functionaries, with high-sounding titles, chap. 
The representation of the empire was arranged upon - — »-^ 
a scale of splendour and extravagance, which recalled 
the times of Louis le Grand. 

But this grandeur was incomplete without a consort The 
to preside over the society of the court; and the SSS'^c! 
dynasty was inseciure without an heir to the crown. 
The emperor, having vainly sought a bride in the 
royal houses of Baden and HohenzoUern, hastened to 
oflfer his hand to the beautiful Spaniard, Eugenie de 
Montego. She could boast of no royal Uneage : but 
the Austrian alliance of the First Napoleon had proved 
the worthlessness of such a union to a revolutionary 
throne ; and the fair lady of his choice was well fitted, 
by her graces and virtues^ to adorn the new imperial 

After the coup (Tetaty Louis Napoleon had already The nobles. 
restored titles of honour ; and he now endeavoured to 
surround himself by the most illustrious nobles of 
France. The nobility of the first empire were naturally 
the chief ornaments of his court : but the old Legi- 
timist and Orleanist nobles generally held themselves 
aloof from the Bonapartist circle, and afiected the 
more select society of their own friends in the Fau- 
bourgs St. Germain and St. Honor^.^ But if the old 

^ At first ' la majority du parti l^itimiste semblait plus dispos^e k 
suivre Texemple du clerg^, devenu ardent Bonapartiste; qu'k se rallier k la 
Toix de rh^ritier des lis.' — Delord, Mist, du Second Empire, ii. 122. 
Several accepted public emplojmentB : but they became more and more 
estranged from the empire^ and the greater part absented themselyes 
from the court. * In France^ for the most part, the gentlemen of the 
country resolved to stand aloof from the government, and not only de- 
clined to vouchsafe their society to the new occupant of the Tuileries, but 
even looked coldly upon any stray person of their own station, who suffered 
himself to be tempted thither by money.' — Einglake, Invtmon of the 
Crimea^ i. 823. 

310 PRANCE. 

^xvu' ^^^^^^^7 ^^^^ absent from the Tuileries, there was no 
' — • — lack of aspirants for new honours and distinctions. 
Military dukedoms, and other titles of nobility, were 
created, as in the first empire. Plebeian names were 
dignified by the ennobling prefix, so much cherished in 
French society ; and the legion of honour was lavished 
with such profusion, that to be without its too familiar 
red ribbon was, at length, accounted a mark of dis- 
The A court so constituted could not represent the 

wiirt?* highest refinement of French society. It was gay, 
luxiu'ious, pleasure-seeking, and extravagant : ^ but 
adventurers, speculators, and persons of doubtful re- 
pute,^ were in too much favour to win for it the moral 
respect of France or of Europe. Nor did it gain 
lustre from the intellect of the age.* Men of letters 
were generally faithful to the fallen monarchies or to 
the republic ; and were not to be won over by the 
patronage of the empire. They had been cruelly 
scourged by Louis Napoleon, and neither the prin- 
ciples of his rule, nor the character of his associates, 
attracted the intellectual classes.* Material force, 

* * La cour donne un bal aujourdliui : demain c'est le ministre, aprfes- 
demain le directear-g^n^ral : la semaine prochaine le chef de bureau. Le 
luxe s^vit d*un degrS k Tautre de T^chelle des families comme une ^pid^ 
mie. Oe fl^au moral ^puise la nation : d^penser plus que Von ne gagne, 
Toilik r^oonomie politique du luxe : tous les moyens sont bons pour gagner 
de I'argent, telle est sa morale.' — Delord, Hitt. du Second Empire, i. 608. 

' ' Un pouvoir cr^ par la force^ avec la rapidity d'un cbangement de 
d^cor a vue, ne groupe autour de lui que des hommes assaillis d'embarras 
d'argent, prets k embrasser la premiere cause que leur ofire une chance de 
se d^livrer de leurs cr^anciers.' — Ibid. ii. 2. 

^ ' There is an absolute divorce between the political system and the 
intellectual culture of the nation.' — Lord Lytton, The ParmanSf i. 187. 

* * La presse, Tacad^mie, les salons, runiversit^ytoutes les forces intel- 
lectuelles du pays, sauf le cleigS, dtaient tous en hostility, ouverte ou 


wealth, and splendour were the idols of his court, chap. 

^ XVII. 

and the poet and philosopher were ill at ease in such 
a company. 

The empire was now firmly established, and Louis Principles 
JNapoleon wielded a power as great as that of any ment. 
former king or emperor. But he ruled by a different 
title, and upon other principles of government. His 
empire, founded upon the sovereignty of the people, 
was a strange development of democracy. He had been 
chosen by universal suffrage, yet he wielded a power all 
but absolute and irresponsible. He ruled by the voice 
of the people : but he forbad the expression of their 
sentiments in the press or at pubhc meetings. The 
chamber of deputies was elected, like himself, by the 
whole people. An assembly so popular in its origin 
ought to have been a check upon the will of the 
emperor : but it did not hesitate to accept his policy 
and approve his acts. Enjoying a freedom of discus- 
sion unknown beyond its walls, it was able to give 
expression to public opinion : but it never aspired to 
independence. Yet the democracy of France was 
not ignored : the emperor was sensitively alive to 
the national sentiments, which he was always striving 
to propitiate : he never forgot the democratic origin 
and basis of his throne. Political liberties were re- 
pressed : but public opinion, so far as it could be 
divined without free discussion, was deferred to and 

To satisfy this public opinion, and to win the sup- wawofthe 
port of various sentiments, interests and parties, the ^^^^ 
policy of the emperor assumed many forms. He had 

cach^, centre le gouyernement, r^duit k les compiimer pour assurer son 
existence.' — Delord, Hist, du Second JEtnpire, ii. 272. 

312 FRANCE. 

CHAP, proclaimed the empire as peace : ^ but, to gratify the 
* — r— ^ susceptibihties of Frenchmen, he afterwards declared 
that * not a gun should be fired in Europe without the 
consent of the Tuileries ; ' and he desired to revive the 
miUtary glories of France, to restore his influence in 
the councils of Europe, and to gratify the army, to 
whom he mainly owed his crovra. Hence his for- 
1854. wardness in bringing about the Crimean wax. Urged 
by the same motives, he espoused the cause of Italy, 

1859. against Austria, while he concihated the republican 
party and their confederates, the carbonari, by fighting 
the battles of ItaUan liberty. He was no soldier : but 
in the Italian war he took the lead of French armies, 
and strove to emulate the military renown of the First 
Napoleon. His warlike ambition was allied to a 

1860. greed of territorial aggrandisement;* and his services 
to ItiJy were rewarded by the cession of Savoy and 
Nice. This adventurous pohcy was popular; and it 
diverted the thoughts of Frenchmen from the loss 
of their liberties: but it was fraught with dangers.* 

1859-61. New enterprises were planned: French armies were 
despatched to Morocco, to China, and to Syria ; and a 

' Speech at Bordeaux, OctoW 8, 1852 : — ' Kempiie, c'est la piux.' 
^ ' La France seule, avaJt dit Napol^n III., combat pour une id^. 
Oette id^, pour le second empire, comme pour le premier, n'^tait-eUe 
que Taugmentation de son tenitoire.' — ^Delord, Higt, du Second Empire, ii. 

^ De Tocqueville forecast these dangers eighteen years before the &11 
of the second empire. He wrote : — ' This government, which comes by 
the army, which can only be lost by the army, which traces back its po- 
pularity and even its essence to the recollections of military glory, — ^this 
government will be fatally impelled to seek for aggrandisement of terri- 
tory and for exclusive influence abroad ; in other words, to war. That 
at last is what 1 fear, and what all reasonable men dread as I do. War 
would assuredly be its death, but its death would perhaps cost dear.' — 
Keeve, Boyid and Republican France, ii. 139. 


wild scheme of intervention in the affairs of Mexico, chap. 


in order to extend the influence of France in America,^ • ^ 

resulted in conspicuous failure and humiliation.^ This ^®^^"^^- 
failure was the turning-point in the fortunes of his 
reign ; and at length he was hurried into a still graver 
error. Jealous of the victories and aggrandisement of 
Prussia, and possessed by the passionate faith of his isee. 
countrymen, that the Ehine was the natural frontier of 
France,^ he brooded over schemes of conquest, and 
annexation, until he plunged into the fatal war with 
his too powerfid neighbour, which was to be his ruin. i87o. 

In his military ambition Louis Napoleon followed Domestic 
the traditions of the empire. In his domestic policy, 
he took examples from the empire, the reign of 
Louis Philippe, and the republic of 1848. While yet 
president, he had propitiated the clergy, and outraged 
the repubhcans, by assisting the Pope, against the im. 
Eoman republic. When he threw himself into the 
Italian wars, he continued his patronage to his Holi- 
ness, and by other measures strove to secure the good 
will of the clergy and the Catholic laity. He was not 
less rigorous than the First Napoleon in restraining 
the Uberty of the press, and of political association. 

^ ' M. Michel CheyalieTy membre du s^nat, en annon^ant, dans un 
recueil important, le choix de rarcltiduc Maximilien, " d^ign^ pour la 
lourde tAche d'inaugurer la couronne mezicaine,'*'d^larait que Texp^dition 
du Mezique ayait pour but d'assurer la preponderance de la France sur 
les races latines, et d'aiigmenter llnfluence de ces demiSres en Am^rique.' 
— ^Delord, Hist, du Seccnd Empire, ill. 849. 

' Ibid. iy. 169, et eeq. America declared ' qu*il ne conyient pas & la poli- 
tique del Etats-TJnis de reconnaitre un gouyemement monarchique eiey^ 
en Am^rique sur les mines d'un gouyemement republicain, et sous les 
auspices d'un pouyoir europ^en quel qu'il soit.' The Emperor Maximilian 
was sacrificed, and the French scheme of Latin domination collapsed. — 
Ibid. iv. 241. 

8 Ibid. iy. 478-488. 

314 PRANCE. 

CHAP. He even interdicted a banquet to celebrate the three 



hundredth anniversary of Shakespeare.^ Not less re- 
solute was he in maintaining his personal rule, and 
swaying ministers and senates, in obedience to his will. 
The imperial court was maintained in unexampled 
splendour and profusion. In all things, he revived the 
memories of the first empire. 

Corruption. Nor was he unmindful of the lessons of Louis' 
Philippe. That monarch's power had rested upon the 
commercial and middle classes. The rule of the 
emperor was foimded upon a far wider basis : but he 
studied the interests of the bourgeoisie with even 
greater care than the citizen king himself. He gave 
encouragement to every commercial and industrial 
enterprise. He developed, with signal success, the 
material resources of the country. The activity of 
the Bourse — mischievous in many ways — afforded 
evidence of the abounding energies of French com- 
merce. By international exhibitions, he stimulated in- 
vention, and attracted rulers and people of all nations 
to his capital. Notwithstanding an ever-increasing 
taxation, the people were growing rich. Not without 
economic errors, his policy was so far statesmanUke ; 

I860. and in his commercial treaty with England he en- 
couraged free trade, in an enlightened spirit, far in 
advance of French opinion. But, further, he practised 
the arts of corruption upon a far larger scale than 
Louis Philippe. By concessions of railways and other 
pubhc works, he put riches into the hands of eager 
capitalists and speculators. He gratified the munici- 
palities and the inhabitants of provincial towns with 
costly palaces of justice, markets, and other public 

1 Belord, Hiit, du Second Empire, iii. 517. 


buildings, not unworthy of a capital. He multiplied chap. 
places, with a lavish hand ; and the legion of honour • — r-^ 
adorned the button-holes of thousands of faithful citi- 
zens. Black was their ingratitude, if they proved un- 
faithful to the empire. 

The republic had recently tried the dangerous ex- Empioy- 
periment of national workshops, which had resulted in ubSur. 
failure and insurrection. But the emperor found, in 
that communist scheme, suggestions for an imperial 
design, which united with public employment a monu- 
mental work to the honour and glory of France. The 
working classes had proved a chronic danger to the 
State; and he resolved to associate them with his 
policy and his ambition. It had been the boast of 
the Emperor Augustus that he had found Eome brick, 
and had left it marble ; ^ and the French CsBsar, emu- 
lous of his fame, determined to rebuild his capital, 
upon a scale of costly magnificence. In this enterprise 
his chosen agent was Haussmann, the bold and spirited 
Prefect of the Seine. The work of reconstruction was 
undertaken : large munbers of workmen were main- 
tained in constant employment : the narrow and crooked 
streets of the ancient city were replaced by broad 
thoroughfares and stately boulevards ; and a new 
capital arose, which, — ^if somewhat monotonous in its 
uniformity, and wanting in the picturesque features of 
old Paris, — was distinguished for its architectural gran- 
deur. Nor was this scheme of reconstruction confined 
to Paris. The municipal glories of the capital were 
emulated in the provinces ; and Lyons, Marseilles, and 

^ ^ Urbem, neque pro majestate imperii ornatam, et inundatiooibus 
incendiisque obnoxiam, excoluit adeo, ut jure eit gloriatus, mannoream se 
relinquere, quam latericiam accepisaet/ — Suetonius, i. 237 (Delph). 

316 FRANCE. 

('HAP. Bordeaux vied with the Prefect of the Seine in archi- 


-— ^ tectural enterprise. A vast scheme of national work- 
shops was established, without the taint of communism, 
while founded upon its evil principles. What if these 
costly enterprises should be interrupted, or brought to 
a close ? What if financial difficulties should arrest, or 
zealous haste too speedily complete them ? The spectres 
of hungry crowds, and barricades, hovered over the 
vast creations of Haussmann. And while architects 
were designing broad streets, and boulevards, generals 
wore planning how they could be swept, from end to 
end, with grape-shot. Meanwhile, mimicipal extrava- 
gance kept pace with the profusion of the State. France 
was living fast in those days, and was not yet reckoning 
the cost of her ambition. The empire prospered ; and 
its superficial admirers, in English society, were heard 
to lament that their own country lacked the fostering 
care of the wonder-working emperor. 
VltYT" But the end was approaching. In the midst of his 
Prussia, magnificence, the emperor was ill at ease. like the 
First Napoleon, and Louis Philippe, he had been exposed 
to the plots of assassins. He was, further, disturbed 
by an increasing pressure for constitutional reforms. 
So great and cultivated a society as that of France, 
could not live contentedly under the repressive pohcy 
of the empire ; and the race of republicans and revo- 
lutionists, though subdued, were not extinct. To satisfy 
public opinion, he resolved to introduce ministerial 
responsibility, to defer to the judgment of a majority of 
the chambers, and to restore a large measure of freedom 
to the press. He was driven to entrust his imperial 
powers to the hands of a Liberal ministry, imder 
Emile Ollivier. Forced to make concessions to the 


popular movement, the emperor once more resorted to chap. 
the familiar expedient of a plebiscite^ which revealed ' — r— ^ 
the repugnance of the towns to the imperial rule, and 
no less than 50,000 adverse votes in the army. He 
had entered upon the perilous experiment of com- 
bining imperialism, and personal rule, with constitu- 
tional freedom, and democracy. Many Frenchmen, 
not unfriendly to the empire, murmured at the loss of 
French influence, in the councils of Europe, since the 
Mexican catastrophe, and the sudden ascendency of 
Prussia. While still smarting under the failure of 
abortive negotiations with his great rival, for an ex- 
tension of the frontiers of France, hijs hostility was 
suddenly provoked by the candidature of a prince of Juiy i87o. 
the house of HohenzoUern for the crown of Spain. 
Notwithstanding the withdrawal of the prince's claims, 
the emperor, urged on by long-cherished jealousies, 
and warhke ambition, and misled by headstrong ad- 
visers, and by a false estimate of public opinion, and of 
the sentiments of the German States, persisted in his 
quarrel, and rushed blindfold into a war with the King July 19, 
of Prussia. 

The fetal issue of this conflict was soon declared. it» fatal 
The French had been excited by boastful assurances "*"^ 
of a victorious march to Berlin : but they were met 
with crushing defeats and disasters. The emperor's 
throne was shaken by his first reverses, the State being 
placed under the regency of the empress ; and when 
the astounding intelligence of his capture at Sedan, sedan,Sep- 
with the whole of his army, reached Paris, he was at ^h^ "^ * 
once deposed. His overthrow was accomplished, hke dTj^d! 
many former revolutions, by a mob. While the legis- 
lative body was deliberating upon the measures to be 

318 FRANCE. 

CHAP, taken at this crisis, the populace, from the streets, 
^ — r—l-^ forced their way into the chamber, and demanded the 
dethronement of the emperor, and the proclamation of 
a repubUc. The supporters of the government were 
overborne by the rioters ; and the greater part of the 
deputies retired : when the members of the opposition 
who remamed, supported by the clamours of the mob, 
declared the emperor deposed. These members, headed 
by Gambetta, then proceeded to the H6tel de Ville, 
where they proclaimed the republic, and appointed a pro- 
visional government, or government of national defence. 
Fate of the The sccoud empixc, like the first, had perished under 
the B^nd militaary failures. The First Napoleon, having lost his 

empires 3 v i • 

cumpaied. crowu, was couvcycd by his conquerors, as a pn- 
soner, to St. Helena. Napoleon III. was now a captive 
in the castle of WUhelmshohe. Both had been raised 
to power, and both had fellen, by the sword. In the 
one case, the Bourbons had been restored by the con- 
querors : in the other, the imfortunate emperor, having 
brought a fearful calamity upon his country, was judged 
by his own people. His first judges, indeed, were the 
mob of Paris, — or ' gentlemen of the pavement,' as 
they were contemptuously called by Count Bismarck : 
but their judgment was accepted by France. Mihtaiy 
failures are never forgiven by Frenchmen ; and men 
of all parties, — however opposed to a repubhc, — 
agreed that the * Man of Sedan ' could no longer rule 
over them.^ 

» 'Meseieursdu pav^.' 

' Julee Favre, in his circular to the foreign representatiyes of France, 
said the population of Paris * has not pronounced the deposition of Napo- 
leon III. and his dynasty : it has registered it in the name of right, jus- 
tice, and public safety ; and the sentence was so well ratified beforehand 
by the conscience of all, that no one, even among the noisy defenders of 

REPUBLIC OP 1870. 319 

France was, once more, under a republic, in pre- ctl\p. 


seuce of a terrible national danger ; and, to the credit 
of a country so often stained with blood, it must be veiSi^nt 
recorded that public order was maintained in the midst ddfence?"*^ 
of revolution.^ Political passions were calmed, in 
presence of a calamity which demanded the united 
action of all Frenchmen against their common enemy. 
The King of Prussia had declared that he made war, 
not against France, but against the emperor. The 
emperor had fallen ; and hopes were cherished that an 
honourable peace might now be obtained. But these 
hopes were quickly dispelled. Jules Favre, the minis- 
nister for foreign affairs, in his circular to the foreign 
representatives of France, said, 'We will not cede 
either an inch of territory, or a stone of our fortresses ; ' 
and upon this declaration, victorious Prussia, at once, 
took issue. In vain the veteran Thiers hastened from 
coiu't to court, to solicit help or mediation. Conces- 
sions might still have secured a peace, of which the 
odium would have been laid upon the late emperor. 
But the leaders of the repubUc determined upon a des- 
perate resistance. Their main forces had been routed, 
captured, or invested in their own fortresses. The 
victorious armies of Prussia could only be encountered 
by raw levies, and by scattered forces already defeated 
and disorganised. Prudence dictated peace : but, when 
a hopeless struggle was continued under the guidance 
of the brave, impetuous, and indefatigable Gambetta, 
— the heroic bravery and sacrifices of the French went 

the power that was falling, raised his voice to uphold it.' — Ann. Rfg, 
1860, p. 174. 

' The same circular says : — ^ Order has not been disturbed for a single 

320 FBANCB. 

CHAP, far to redeem the dishonour which had fallen upon 
^ — r-^ their arms, at the beginning of the war. But all their 
efforts were vain : they were in the relentless grasp of 
their enemy. Their forces were everywhere defeated : 
and Paris, after five months of suffering, was^starved 
into submission to the conqueror, who dictated, from 
Versailles, the rigorous terms of a disastrous peace.^ 
Mtiomd "^^^ government of national defence was of neces- 

Jlt'fito"^ sity provisional, and in the negotiations at Versailles 
deaux. it was iusistcd that the conditions of peace should be 
ratified by a national assembly, more fully represent- 
Februtry ^^S Fraiicc- It was accordingly decreed that such an 
13. 1871. assembly should be immediately elected by universal 
suflfrage; and on February 13 it met at Bordeaux. 
Its mission was to resolve the question of peace or war. 
At the elections the Bonapartists, who had commenced 
the war, had not ventured to brave the popular wrath : 
the republicans, who had protracted it, to the bitter end, 
found little favour, save in Paris and other great cities. 
Hence the Legitimists, who had long been excluded 
from public affairs, formed a majority of the new 
assembly. Belonging to the first families in France ; * 
commanding great influence in the several provinces, 
and being blameless of the recent calamities, they were 
trusted by the people, at this crisis. So indestructible 
are parties in France, that the adherents of the Bour- 
bons were again in the ascendent. 
Rigorous Before the meeting of the assembly the government 

conditions n t t* • tit • rm- 

of the of defence resigned, and the eminent statesman Thiers 
was appointed head of a new executive administration. 

^ On January 28, 1871, an armistice for three weeks was signed, which 
was continued from time to time. On Fehruary 26, the preliminaries of 
peace were signed. 

^ It was said hj the Due de Broglie that he had never met so many 
dukes in his life, as he found assembled at Bordeaux. 


By his advice, the assembly ratified the preliminaries chap. 
of the treaty which had, at length, been agreed upon — ^ — r— -^ 
a cession of Alsace and Lorraine, Metz and Strasburg, f^\f ^' 
a ruinous indemnity, a prolonged occupation of French 
soil by foreign armies, and an entry of German troops 
into Paris to assert their conquest of the capital. • The Deposition 
assembly, while forced to accept these deplorable con- emperor 
ditions, voted by acclamation the deposition of Na- 
poleon m. and his dynasty, declaring him to be re- 
sponsible for the ruin and dismemberment of France. 
Six Bonapartist deputies only refused to concur in this 
decisive resolution. 

The horrors of foreign invasion were now coming The 

. Til 1 .,1 Comraune. 

to an end ; but mternal troubles, not less terrible, were 
impending. The popidace of Paris had been armed 
diuing the siege; and the national guard, many of 
whom had already proved rebellious, had been allowed 
to retain their arms.^ The entire disorganisation of 
labour, the prolonged sufierings and privations of the 
people, and the disorders of a beleaguered city, had 
demoralised the popidation of the capital, — at all times 
abounding in dangerous elements. Eed republicans 
and communists had been busy in fomenting discon- 
tents, and organising their forces ; committees of vigi- 
lance and revolutionary clubs had been sitting ; violent 
harangues had been delivered; and when the siege 
was raised, the firm hold of civil and military authority 

^ ' Une partie de la garde nationale, la plus daDgereuse, la plus re- 
douts, celle qui pendant le si^ge n'ayait pas craint, en presence de 
r^tranger, sous see yeuz, sous sea bombes, de chercher k renverser par des 
coups de main le gouvemeinent de la defense nationale, cette portion 
haineuse et fi^yreuse de la milice citojeime n'avait point rendu les armes, 
et somm^ de le faire^ avait r^pondu par un refus formal aux injonctions 
de Tautorit^.' — De Beaumont-Vassy, Hist, de la Commune en 1871, 16. 

Election of 
the Com- 

322 TEANCB. 

CHAP, was, for a time, relaxed. No sooner had the Prussian 

XVII. ' 

^ — ' — -^ troops marched out of Paris, than the capital was found 
to be in the hands of insurgents. They held Belleville, 
La ViUette, and Montmartre : they had upwards of 400 
cannon, and were 8upp6rted by 100,000 national guards. 
Parley with them was tried in vain ; and an attempt to 
recover the cannon miscarried.^ Some of the troops 
refused to fight, and even joined the insurrection. Two 
generals, Clement Thomas and Lecomte, were taken 
prisoners, and shot by a file of national guards. On 
March 18, the whole city was in the hands of the 
insurgents ; and a central committee proclaimed, from 
the Hotel de "Vllle, the immediate election of a com- 
mune for the government of Paris. 

Communist working men were the leaders of this 
movement, intent upon carrying out their principles of 
social revolution.^ The Commune was an offshoot of 
the International Society of Workmen,^ and its chief 
aims were to trample upon property and the employers 
of labour, and to exalt workmen into the place, of mas- 
ters. Many of its members, and most active confed- 
erates, were foreigners. Prince Bismarck estimated 
that amongst them were 8,000 English, Irish, Belgians, 
and Italians.* Their designs were favoured by the 
political discontents of the moment. They could de- 
claim against the surrender of Paris to the enemy; 
the shameful peace, and the royalist assembly which 
frowned upon republican deputies, and had resolved to 
sit at Versailles instead of Paris. So formidable was 

* De Beaiimont-Vassy, Higt. de la Communef 28-39. 

* ' Quels dtaient cea horames P c'est que chacun se demandait ; comme 
les ''hommes noirs'' du po^te B<5ranger, ces hommes I'ouges sortaient de 
dessooB terre.' — ^Ibid. 60. 

» Ibid, a 

* Speech in the German Parliament, May 2, 1871. 


the insurrection, and so crippled the strength of the chap, 


government, that it was found necessary to parley with 
the insurgent leaders. But these attempts at concilia- 
tion were vain ; and the movement was gathering force 
by delay. The new commune was elected, and orga- March 26, 
nised ; ^ and at once b^an to issue decrees and pro- 
clamations, hke an established government. Mean- 
while, the authorities at Versailles were preparing to 
reduce the insurgent city. But the French forces were 
disabled by the late war : a great many were prisoners 
in Germany ; and Prussia had insisted upon a reduction 
of the military forces of the state. Hence the progress 
of the siege was slow ; and the new commune had 
time to reveal its principles and the character of its 

Socialist principles had been known from time Piogressof 


immemorial.^ They are to be traced in the ancient 
institutes of Menu.' They were recognised in the 
laws of Crete, of Sparta, and of Carthage.* Plato 

^ 'Cob hommes, parmi lesqnels on retrouyait presque tousles membres 
du comity central, ^talent d'anciens ouyriers, ou des oratenrs de cluln, ou 
d'anciens journalistes et gens de lettres de second ordre.' — De Beanmont- 
Vassy, 80. 

' ' Lea id^s de la r^publique sociale ne sont point nouyelles. Le 
monde les connait depuis qu*il existe. H les a vues surgir au milieu de 
toutes les grandes crises morales et sociales, en Orient comme en Occident, 
dans Tantiquit^ comme dans les temps modernes. Les deuzi^me et troi- 
sieme sidcles en Afrique, et sp^cialement en Egypte, pendant le travail de 
la propagation du christianisme, le moyen-^ge dans sa fermentation confuse 
et orafifeuse, le seizidme si^le, en Allema^e, dans le cours de la r^forme 
religrieuse, le diz-septidme, en Angleterre, au milieu de la revolution 
politique, ont eu leurs socialistes et leurs communistes, peneant, parlant 
et agissant comme ceux de nos jours.' — Guizot, De la Bimocraiie en 
France, 21. 

' Book i. sec. 100 ; Book viii. sec. 37, 416 ; Book ix. sec. 44. Franck, 
Le Communiime, 33. 

* Supra, vol. i. pp. 30, 64 ; Aristotle, Poi, Book ii. ch. 7, 8, 9 ; Strabo, 
Book X. ; Plutarcb (Lycurgus) *, Sudre, JSUt, du Communisnie. ch. 2. 

T 2 

324 PEANCB. 

CHAP, propounded them in his celebrated * Eepublic ; '^ Dio- 
■ » ' ^ genes of Sinope, in his teaching ; and Sir Thomas More 
in his ' Utopia/ The Anabaptists reduced them to 
practice.^ And they have been found in the primitive 
customs of some barbarous and half-civilised races.* 
In France the genius oT Rousseau made them attrac- 
tive and popular.* Morelly,** Mably,® and Baboeuf ^ 
laboured to reduce them to a practical scheme of 
social life. The leaders of the first revolution avowed 
the doctrines of this school, and partially carried them 
into effect.^ In the Jacobin club, in 1792, Eobes- 
pierre, Danton, and Billaud-Varennes proclaimed that 
the governing power rested with the sovereign citi- 
zens alone, and that to them should be given the pro- 
perty of the rich. Marat preached an entire subversion 
of society. After August 10, 1792, socialist principles 
were still more generally proclaimed. * The rich,' ex- 
claimed Marat, * have so long sucked the marrow of 
the people, that they are now suffering retribution.' The 
cry of the working men was to raise the condition of 
the poor, by relieving the rich of their superfluities. 

* Everything belongs to the people, and nothing to the 


^ See Platoi by Jowett, and Qrote. Aristotle, Fd, Book ii 

' Catron, Hut, det Anabnqftigtei ; Michelet^ Mhn, de Luther ; Sudre, 
Hist, du Commumtme, ch. 8. 

' See an interesting account of tlie Eskimo, in the Quarteirly Reoiew^ 
Oct. 1876, Art. 2. 

* DucouTB 9ur VinSgaliti parmi ie$ hammes; Liconomie folitique; 
Ccntrat social. 

'^ Code de la Nature, 1755 ; La BasUiade. 
^ Dela Legislation, Amsterdaniy 1776. 
7 Pieces saisies ^ Tarrestation de Baboeuf. 

* ' Ce contrat social, qui diasout les soci^t^s, fut le Goran des discou- 
reursappi^t^ de 1789, des Jacobins de 1790, des r^publicains de 1791, et 
des forcen^s les plus atroces.'— Mallet Dupin. 


individual,' said Isore, one of the commissioners of the chap. 


convention, at Lille.^ 

In 1793, the convention decreed, on the motion of Com- 
Barere, the right of every man to employment, gra- March is, 
duated taxation upon the rich, and the division of the ^^^^• 
municipal lands of Paris among the poor. And much 
of the legislation of this period was leavened by the 
same principles.'^ Later writers ^ continued to maintain 
the like doctrines, which became more and more popu- 
lar with the ouvriers. Disputes with the employers had 
embittered their feelings ; and while in the revolution 
of 1789, the nobles and the clergy had been the objects 
of democratic fury, in the later revolutions of 1830 and 
1848 the bourgeoisie had become the aristocrats, and 
capital was regarded as the worst form of tyranny. In 
1848, the principles of socialism had been partly car- 
ried into practice ; * and since that time they had been 
further extended by the International Society,^ and by 
French^ and German writers.^ But 1871 was the first Socialism 
occasion upon which socialism gained the ascendant, ascendant, 
And even now the Commune, engrossed with the de- 

1 Isor^ to Bouchotte, November 4, 1703 ; Legros, cited by Von Sybel, 
iii. 229. 

' De Martel, ^vde 9ur FouchS, et 9ur U Comimmume dans lapratiquej 
en 1703. (1873.) Von Sybel, Hist, of the Fr, Rev. i. 260, iii. 220 e^ seq ; 
Stein, Geschichte der Socialen Bewegwng in Frankreichy I860. 

' Fourier, TJUorie de funitS universelle, &c. ; Oabet, Voyage en Icarie, 

* Supra, p. 281. 

* L^Intematicnale,^T Oscar Testut, 3. Debate in the House of Com- 
mons, April 12, 1872 ; Oorrespondence with Spain, presented to Parlia- 
ment, 1872. 

' Proudhon, Qiiegt-ce que la prapriiti: Thiorie de la propriStS: St. , 

Beuve, itttdes mr Proudhon \ Blanqui, De VEcanomie politique depuie lee 
anciensjuBqtCa noe jours ; Eejbaud, Etudes, ^, ; Pierre Leroux, L'iyalit^f 
De Vhumanitif &c. ; Louis Blanc, Organisation de TravaUy 8^c, 

^ Diebueck, 1847 ; Schulze-Delitzsch (H.), Associationdmchfur deutsche 
Mandwerker und Arbeiter, 1863 ; Dr. Jacobi, 1860 ; Karl Marx, 1862 ; Das 
Ei^al, 1867. 

326 FRANCE. 

CHAP, fence of the city, and embarrassed by prodigious difficul- 
— r— ^ ties, was unable to give practical effect to its principles. 
ff"^t^*** Their scheme of government was the extension of 

Commune, independent communes throughout France ; while the 
unity of the state was to be maintained by a vo- 
luntary association of communes.^ Nor were these 
communes to be simple municipalities. They were 
designed to carry out the principles of sociahsm, — 
the confiscation of individual property, community 
of goods, and the organisation of labour. The com- 
munists wished to divide their fair country into 
37,000 little sovereign states, or communes. In each, 
the property of the rich was to be appropriated for 
the use of the community : in each, the individual 
citizen was to be merged in the state. Frenchmen 
would have exchanged their coimtry for their com- 
mune. The intellect, the arts, the industry of her people, 
all brought into the conmion stock, would have been 
lowered to the baser function of providing mere sub- 
sistence for the community. Her high civilisation 
would have been followed by another age of darkness 
and slavery.^ The leaders of the movement further 
advocated the suppression of religious worship.* 

1 Proclamation, April 10, 1851. 

* Of comimiTiiHTn, M. Franck says : — ' U supprime la propri^t^, il sup- 
prime la liberty tant civile que politique, il supprime la famille. On peut 
dire qu*il supprime la personne humaine, et, par cona^uentyla conscience 
morale de Hioinme, pour mettre k sa place la toute-puissance, la tyiannie 
ooUectiye et n^ceesairement irresponaable de I'^tat. — Le OomtnumismejvffS 
par Pkuto^e, pref. And again : — ^ L*6tat sera le maitre unique, abaolu, 
des hommes et des chosee, des biens et des personnes. Nous serous en 
plein oommunisme, et le oommunisme lui-meme ne pourra s'^taUir et se 
conserver que sous la rdgle du despotisme Bemeur^ le seul en- 
trepreneur, le seul capitaliste, I'^tat sera tout, et llndiyidu ne sera rien, 
oe qui est la marque distinctiye du communisme.' — Ibid. pref. 

> De Beaumont-Yaasy, 82, 83. 


To meet their immediate exigencies, the Com- chap. 

mune exacted loans from the Bank of France, and 
from other administrative departments, and appro- 
priated the receipts of the octroi. Their confede- 
rates and followers were among the poor : their 
enemies were the rich and the bourgeoisie ; and to gra- 
tify one of these classes at the expense of the other, 
they decreed that the rents of all lodgers, between 
October and April, should be remitted. The sale of 
articles deposited at the monUde-piete was also suspended. 
At first there were no signs of a ferocious spirit ; and 
the guillotine was pubUcly burned in the cause of hu- 
manity. But as the siege advanced, a spirit of fury and 
vengeance took possession of the combatants. Denounc- 
ing one another as bandits and assassins, they waged 
war without truce or pity.^ The insurgents were 
treated as rebels ; and Duval, one of their generals, 
being taken prisoner, and shot, the Commune threat- 
ened the most terrible reprisals. They decreed that for 
every communist prisoner executed by the government 
of Versailles, three hostages should be put to death. 
They arrested the archbishop of Paris, his two grand 
vicars, and several priests and other persons, whom they 
detained in prison as hostages. They declared their 
enmity to the memory of the great Napoleon, by the 
destruction of his celebrated column in the Place Ven- 
ddme, as a * monument of barbarism, and a symbol of 
brute force and false glory : ' ^ they demoUshed the 

1 The Marquis de Gallifet, in an order of the day, said :— ' War has 
been declared by the bandits of Paris ; yesterday, the day before, and to- 
day they haye assassinated my soldiers. It is a war without truce or pity 
that I wage against those assassins.' The Commune called their enemies 
< the banditti of Yersulles.' 

' Journal Offlciel, April 12. 






VariB in 

May 23. 

Mav 26. 

of the 

house of M. Thiers, and confiscated his books and 
works of art : they despoiled churches ; and when 
their enemies were, at length, closing in upon them, 
they resolved upon a desperate vengeance. The city 
which they could no longer defend, should be destroyed ; 
the conquerors should find nothing but a heap of ruins. 
The word was given ; and the Tuileries, the Palais 
Eoyal, the Hotel de Ville, the Ministry of Finance, the 
Hotel of the Quai d'Orsay, the Palace of the Legion of 
Honour, and other pubhc buildings, and private houses, 
were in flames. The unoflfending Dominicans at Arceuil 
were massacred. The venerable archbishop, and the 
other hostages, were hastily brought before a court 
martial, and shot. Numbers of priests, gendarmes, and • 
other obnoxious persons, were seized and slaugh- 
tered. Ruffians were let loose to feed the raging 
conflagration with petroleum.^ The communists had 
done their worst during their term of power ; and it 
was now their turn to sufier the vengeance of their 
conquerors. Overpowered by the troops from Ver- 
sailles, under Marshal MacMahon, they were shot 
down without trial, and without mercy. Numbers of 
wretched women, accused of incendiarism, shared their 
fate. About 10,000 insurgents lost their lives; and 
the prisons were fiUed to overflowing. The trials of 
communist prisoners were continued when their crimes 
had been almost forgotten. It has been the unhappy 
destiny of Prance that most of her political conflicts 

* ' On a trouv^ sur les f^d^r^ tu^ aux barricades, et on a saiBi dans les 
perquisitions faites apr^ la chute de la Commune^ beaucoup d*ordres aussi 
formels que laconiquea, ne laissant aucun doute sur les terribles intentions 
des honunes de lHotel de Ville, relativement a la destruction par le feu de 
la malLeureuee cit^, qu'ils avaient condamn^ d'avance, en cas de defaite, 
k un complet an^antissement.* — De Beaumont^ Vassj, 225. 


have been stained with blood ; and this — the latest of chap. 
a deplorable series — was as cruel and merciless as any * — r-l- 
in her dreadful annals.^ 

The reign of the Commune had been maintained for The repub- 
two anxious months ; and the repubUc was now free to TWere!*' 
conclude its negotiations with its conquerors, and to 
restore order, and a settled government to the distracted 
country. It was a republic without a constitution, and, 
as it was said, without repubUcans. The assembly was 
monarchical; and the legitimists and Orleanists, if 
united, were masters of the State. But Thiers, the 
chief of the executive, — a monarchist in principle, and 
by his antecedents, — had become convinced that a re- 
public was then the only possible government for 
France. Such being the political situation, the majo- 
rity of the assembly were bent upon two main purposes, 
— a fusion of the royalist parties, and the prevention of 
a definitive constitution of the repubUc. The repubUc 
might be a present necessity : but they hoped that it 
would soon give way to a restored monarchy. They 
elected the distinguished chief of the executive, who 
had performed conspicuous services to the state, as 
president of the republic ; and accepted him as a pro- 
visional ruler, until their scheme of a monarchy was 
ripe for execution. 

And this scheme would assuredly have been acCom- The rovai- 
plished, if the head of the house of Bourbon, — for whom oomte de * 
the crown was destined, — ^had not frustrated all their 
efforts. But the Comte de Chambord was every inch a 

^ De Beaumont-Vassy^ Hist, de la Commune ; Dauban, Lefand de la 
SocUti, 1873 ; Sudre^ Hist, du Communieme ; Leighton, Paris during the 
Commune; Reybaudi t^vdee mr hs HSformateurSf ou SociaUste» Mo~ 
demes ; Maxime du Oamp, Les prisons de Paris sous la Commune ; Bevue 
des Deux Mondes, i-iv. 1877. — ^De Tkite, Paris sous la Commune. 

330 FRANCE. 

CHAP. Bourbon, — ^unchanged and unchangeable. He still 

' — r-^ clung to the divine right of kings : he would concede 

nothing to modern ideas : he refused to parley with the 

revolution. He lost no time in proclaiming that if 

July 6, called by France, he would come with his principles 

and his flag, — * that white flag which had been the 

standard of Henry IV., of Francis I., and of Joan of 

jannwy Arc' Somc mouths later he declared that * no one 


would, under any pretext, obtain his consent to become 
the legitimate king of revolution.' Notwithstanding 
these discouragements, the moderate royalists were not 
without hopes of the ultimate triumph of their cause. 
The republicans were gaining ground, and the presi- 
dent seemed to be inclining to their side. The impe- 
rialists, recovering from their prostration, were giving 
signs of renewed activity. The republicans were de- 
manding a dissolution of the assembly ; and a revision 
of the constitution was impending, which might perma- 
nently establish the republic. The situation was critical 
for the royalist cause ; and fresh efibrts must be made 

January 9. to promotc it. The death of the ex-emperor, which 
checked the immediate designs of the imperialists, 
revived the hopes of the royalists. One pretender to 
the throne had been removed ; and if the claims of the 
two royal princes could be reconciled, their united 
parties were still strong enough to restore the monar- 
chy. The Orleanist princes humbled themselves at the 

january2i, shriuc of the ChapeUs Expiatoire of Louis XVT., in 
commemorating the martyrdom of the Bourbon king ; 
and submissive overtures were made to the Comte de 

Marshal Meanwhile, discussions upon the new constitution 

MacMahoQ , 

president, were proceeding, which led to the resignation of the 


president. He was succeeded by Marshal MacMahon, chap. 
— once a legitimist, and lately in the confidence of the ^ — r— ^ 
emperor, — whose sympathies were certainly not with the 1873.^' 
republic. A supreme effort was now made to effect a 
fusion of the royal houses. The Comte de Paris paid 
homage to the Comte de Chambord at Frohsdorf, and 
withdrew his claim to the throne, in favour of his 
royal cousin. The cousins embraced ; and the desired August 6, 
fusion seemed assured. Throughout France, the roya- ^^^^' 
Ksts and the clergy were elated, and a restoration was 
thought to be at hand. But as yet, the Bourbon 
prince had been silent or ambiguous. N^otiations 
were continued ; and, at length, M. Chesnelong, who 
had waited upon him, at Salzburg, with a deputation, 
reported his acceptance of the principles of liberty 
of conscience, equality before the law, the right of 
all parties to public employment, universal suffrage, 
and liberty of the press ; the critical question of the 
flag being reserved for future consideration. Encou- 
raged by these politic concessions, the royalists wer^ 
preparing resolutions to submit to the assembly, at its 
meeting on November 5, for calling the Comte de 
Chambord to his hereditary throne, when all their 
hopes were suddenly extinguished. The Bourbon 
prince disclaimed his supposed concessions.^ He had 
been misunderstood : he would not become the legiti- 
mist king of a revolution : he would not renounce the 
white flag of France — ^the standard of Arques and Ivry : 
he would submit to no conditions. The Comte de Paris 
had waived the claims of the house of Orleans in his 
favour ; and now he stubbornly renounced the crown. 

The royalists now turned to the president as the Republican 


» Letter to M. Ohesnelong, dated Sakbuig, Oct 27. ^on ami- 


332 PRANCE. 

CHAP, only safeguard of their cause. He promised a conser- 
-- — '— ^ vative policy, while they promoted the extension of his 

powers ; and at length the septennate was decreed. 
tolniu«r ^^® president was secured in his rule for seven 

1^ m?^ years ; and such were his powers, and such the relations 
of parties, that he was more like a constitutional king 
than the chief of a republic. The strife of rival parties 
continued ; and it was not until late in 1875 that the 
new constitution, embracing a senate and a chamber of 
deputies, was finally agreed upon. But the septennate 
afibrded a salutary pause in the momentous political 
issues which still excited France. The cause of royalty 
was in abeyance. The heir of Napoleon HI. was in 
his minority ; and time was yet required to revive his 
cause and consolidate his party : but his adherents were 
active and confident. The republicans were gaining 
strength, and hoped to prevail over all pretenders to 
the crown. At the dissolution, in January 1876, they 
secured a majority in the chamber of deputies ; and the 
most powerful section of that party, under the leader- 
ship of Gambetta, have since displayed a remarkable 
moderation. To all these parties the septennate conti- 
nues to ofier hopes of future victory ; and, in the 
meantime, the President, secured in the possession of 
bis powers, has been able to maintain public order 
and security. The state had been spared fi-om the fear 
1877. ' oi coups (T Stat, or popular revolutions, until May 16, 
1877, when France was again thrown into confusion by 
the sudden dismissal of the republican ministry of M. 
Jules Simon, followed by the dissolution of the cham- 
ber of deputies, and a vigorous policy of reaction, 
fotoe^ ^^^ ^^^^^ *^® destinies of France are hanging in the 

France. balance. After ninety years of revolutions, without 

THE nation's DESTI^^^. 333 

liberty : after bloody civil wars and cruel proscriptions : chap. 
after multiplied experiments in republican, imperial, * — )-i^ 
and monarchical institutions, who shall venture to fore- 
cast her political future? Her democratic excesses 
have discredited the cause of popular government : the 
usurpations and bad faith of her rulers have shaken 
confidence in law and order. She has advanced the 
liberties of other states, without securing her own. 
She has aimed at social equality : but, — save in the 
levelling spirit of her people, — she is as far from its 
attainment as ever. The fearful troubles through 
which she has passed have checked her prosperity, 
demoralised her society, and arrested the intellectual 
growth of her gifted people. Yet is she great and 
powerful ; and high — ^if not the first — in the scale of 
civilised nations. Blessed with recuperative powers, 
beyond those of any other state, she is rapidly ejBfacing 
the scars of war and revolution ; and, profiting by the 
errors of the past, she may yet found a stable govern- 
ment, enjoying the confidence of all classes, and worthy 
of her greatness and her enlightenment. 





CHAP. Let us now turn from France to England, — ^her neigh- 

xviii. . . . . 

'^ — r— ^ boiu* and ancient rival. The history of the one, in 

En^2Sd^^ modem times, is the history of democracy, not of 
liSi^, not liberty : the history of the other is the history of Hberty, 
c^r^ not of democracy. It is the history of popular rights 
and iranchises acquired, maintained, extended, and de- 
veloped, without subverting the ancient constitution of 
the state. It is the history of reforms, and not of 
revolutions.^ It is the history of a monarchy, under 
which the people have acquired all the freedom of a 
repubUc.^ It is the history of a country in which the 

> ' n en est de mdme dans tout le cours de lliistoire d'Angleterre ; 
jamais aucan 4\6ment ancien ne p^rit compl^tement, jamais aucun ^l^ment 
Douveau ne triomphe tout-a-fait, jamais aucun principe special ne par- 
vient k une domination exclusive. H y a toujours d^veloppement 
simultand desdiiSSrentes forces, transaction entre leurs pretentions et leurs 
int^reta.'— Guizot, JBTMf. dela Civ. 335. 

^ Thiers, speaking in the National Assembly, at Versailles, on June 8, 
1871, declared 'that he found greater liberty existing in London than in 
Washington.* — Times, June 10, 1871 . In a recent political satire, the con- 
stitutional monarchy has been irreverently described as 'a democratic 
republic, tempered by snobbism and corruption.' — Prince Flarestan. 


forms of a monarchy, an aristocracy, and a republic, chap. 
have been combined in a manner and to an extent with- ^ — ^-^ 

out example elsewhere.^ 

Britain has been marked out, by nature, as the home ^^'^^ 
of a maritime and industrial people. Her insular posi- countfy. 
tion familiarises a large part of her population with 
the sea ; and her shores, indented with bays, creeks, 
estuaries, and natural harbours, are singularly favour- 
able to navigation. Her geographical position com- 
mands an extended commercial intercourse with other 
nations. On the east, she stretches out towards the 
Netherlands, and the north of Europe. On the south, 
she approaches the shores of France and Spain. On 
the west, the broad Atlantic opens to her the commerce 
of the world. 

Her climate, less genial than that of France, is tem- The 
perate, healthful, and invigorating. Variable, humid, 
and often inclement, it is exempt from the extremes of 
heat and cold, which affect many lands otherwise more 
favoured.* It is such as to promote the strength, vigour, 
and activity of the stalwart races who at different times 
have peopled the country. This northern land was not 
destined to be the retreat of ease and luxury : but was 
fitted for war and the chase, for deeds of daring and 
hardship, for bold enterprises, for struggles with man 
and nature, for stubborn resolution, for an earnest faith, 
and for a manly spirit of freedom. 

The soil is generally fertile. Not blessed with the Thcaou. 
rich and varied abundance of France, its pastures are 

^ M. le Flay says England ' is patriarchal in the home, democratic in 
the parish, aristocratic in the country, and monarchical in the state.' — La 
Conttitution dAngleterrey 1876. 

' 'Goelum crebris imbrihus, ac nebulis foedum: asperitas frigorum 
abest.* — ^Tacitus, Agricola, 12. 


CHAP, renowned for the rearing of flocks and herds, and for 
' — r— ^ the breeding of horses : its tillage yields a fair return 
to the skill and labour of the husbandman. The pro- 
ducts of the earth are not to be won, as in more fa- 
voured climes, by an easy reliance upon the bounties of 
nature ; but are earned by skill and watchful hus- 
bandry, and by the sweat of the brow. The tiUer of 
the soil must be no sluggard, if he would* prosper in 
his work, 
itgsccnciy. The natural aspects of the country are varied and 
attractive. Hill and dale, and woodland, the pictu- 
resque glade, the winding river, the spangled meadow, 
the breezy down and common, — such are its charac- 
teristic features. Natiu^e has made it the fitting home 
of a people who delight in a country life. The 
Teutonic races, even in the most inhospitable regions 
of the north, shrank from the confinement of towns ; 
and in Britain they found a land which invited them to 
dwell in the midst of its cheerful scenes. They loved 
it, and helped to make it what it is. They built 
their homesteads on sunny slopes, and in smiling val- 
leys ; and sought pleasure in the chase, and in the manly 
pursuits and duties of rural life. In no other country, 
is the rustic home so redolent of comfort and content- 
ment. Nowhere has the careful art of the husband- 
man and gardener done such justice to the gifts of 
nature. In every generation, the land has been im- 
proved and beautified by culture, and the loving taste of 
its inhabitants ; and while trade and manufactures have 
massed large populations in the towns, the ideal home 
of the Englishman is ever in the coimtry. The French- 
man is never so happy as in a town : the Englishman 
pines in the narrow street, and exults in the free air 


of the hill-side, the river, and the sea-coast. And this chap. 


abiding love of country life has exercised a remarkable -— ^ — ^ 
influence upon the society, and the political destinies of 

Another physical characteristic of Britain is her Minerals. 
mineral wealth. No country in Europe is so rich in 
coal and iron, in tin, lead and copper. Nature, which 
had made her a maritime State, had also destined her 
to be the seat of mining and manufacturing industry. 
But the treasures of the earth could only be acquired 
by labour, by dangers, and by endurance. The perils 
of the mine are no less fearful than the perils of the 
deep.^ Whether at sea, or on land, it has been the lot 
of great numbers of oiu: countrymen to brave hard- 
ships, exhausting toil, and the loss of life and health, 
in pursuit of their useful callings. And in every form 
of labour, their strength and steadfastness have made 
them the foremost workers of the world. Such has 
been the fibre, and such the moral force, of the British 
people, that they have steadily advanced in civilisation, 
in social development, and in political freedom. 

It is not among the earlier Celtic races who peopled The c eirs. 
the land,* that we need search for the germs of British 
freedom. But, though little advanced in civilisation, 
they already gave promise of the industrial destinies of 
England, their productive tin-mines being known to 
the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, and the Eomans. 

The conquest of Britain, by the Eomans, intro- t^^« 

66 B.C.- 
' Her Majesty has lately been graciously pleased to include miners, 4^8 a i>. 

and other workers on land, in the honours of the Albert medal, which had 

previously been confined to the reward of acts of heroic courage in saying 

life at sea. — Lcndon Oazettey May 1, 1877. 

' They are enumerated and described in Wright, TA^ CeU, the Romany 

and the Saxon, 39-44. 



(HAP. diiced a higher civilisation, a vigorous administration, 
^ — -^ — ^ and some free institutions, which survived their rule. 
To build and inhabit fortified cities had been the cus- 
tom of that great people, in Italy, and in every coun- 
try conquered by their arms. In Britain they fomided 
walled towns, throughout the land and on the coasts, 
as centres of military defence, association, and trade. 
London, Canterbury, Dover, Winchester, York, Chester, 
and many other cities and towns, which have since risen 
to importance, owe their origin to the civilising genius 
of the Eomans. They had come as conquerors, but 
settled as colonists. Military conquest was followed 
by immigration : Eoman citizens from many lands, — 
Germans, Belgians, Gauls, Spaniards, and T-hracians,^ — 
men of different races, but all subject to the laws, and 
speaking the language of Imperial Eome, — flocked to 
this northern land, which offered them a new field for 
conquest and enterprise. Britain was reduced to a 
Soman province ; and Eoman laws, institutions, and 
Koman custOHis wcrc everywhere established. In the towns, 
municipalities were founded upon the republican model 
of Eome and the Italian cities ; ^ and as the towns in- 
(Teased in population, and were recruited by the con- 
tinued immigration of Teutonic and other races, they 
became almost independent communities.* K these in- 
stitutions did not survive the overthrow of the Eoman 
power, their traditions were not wholly lost:* while 

» Wright, The Celt, the Romany and the Saxmiy 253-267, and ch. v. 

' Ibid. ch. xii. See mpra, toL i. 163. 

» Wright, 391, 

* * We trace here and there the preservation of Roman power, and 
Koman principles, and we trace still more distinctly almost every munici- 
pal right, and municipal power, which were, at a later period, guaranteed 
hy royal or other charter, and which, hy comparison with the privileges 



town life, with which they were associated, was en- chap. 
couraged among the Saxons, whose tastes were other- ^ — , — i^ 
wise rural. 

The life of a highly civilised people, who dwelt in influence 
the land for four centuries, cannot be effaced from the nponTatw 
history of England. Supplanted by races less advanced, *"*"* 
their ancient civilisation was trodden down : their arts 
and learning were lost : even Christianity, which was 
taking root among them, relapsed into Paganism. The 
Eomans left fewer traces of their rule in Britain than 
in some other lands : but in the social revival of later 
times, their continued influence is not to be ignored. 
We may even be allowed to speculate how far the ad- 
mixture of Koman blood, and the character and example 
of that great people, may have moulded the political 
destinies of England. The characteristics which distin- 
guished ancient Eome, — a stem love of liberty, a pro- 
longed constitutional development, a strong and steadfast 
purpose, world-wide conquests, and a peculiar power 
of governing subject races, — have since been illustrated 
in the history of England. No other modern State has 
presented so many points of resemblance ; ^ and English- 
men may proudly ascribe to Eoman ancestry and tute- 
lage, some part in the historic glories of their country. 

The Eoman legions, weakened by the decay of the The Angio- 
Western Empire, by revolts, and by internal divisions, '"°°** 

and goTernment of corporate towns in France and Italy, and elsewhere on 
the continent, we learn to have been derived from the political constitution 
of the Romans.' — Ibid. 454. On the other hand, Mr. Freeman says : < The 
municipal institutions of the Roman towns utterly perished : no dream of 
ingenious men is more groundless than that which seeks to trace the fran- 
chises of Fnglish cities to a Roman source.' — Hid. of Ncrmati Conqunt^ 
i. 17. 

^ See tupra, toI. i. p. 134 vi. 

z 2 


CHAP, were at length overcome by the Picts and Scots ; and 
' — r— -^ the Celts were once more supreme in their ancient home. 
44i»A.D. But they soon found new masters in the Angles, the 
Saxons, and the Jutes. In their earlier emigrations 
these Teutonic races appear to have found friends and 
allies in kindred tribes, who had already settled under 
the protection of the Eomans.^ But they afterwards 
descended upon the shores, as enemies and conquerors ; 
and pushed on their conquests, by fire and sword, 
throughout the land. They came from the north of 
Europe, from Schleswig, Holstein, and Friesland, from 
the countries between the Rhine and the Oder, and from 
Jutland. Akin to the hardy races that had peopled the 
Netherlands, they were natural-bom seamen, and braced 
to adventures by the hardships and dangers of their 
northern homes. 
An-io- While the towns were thus being peopled by the 

conquests, mixcd raccs of the Boman and Anglo-Saxon migra- 
tions, the country was occupied by the new invaders. 
They drove out or slew the Celtic inhabitants, or re- 
duced them to slavery ; ^ and the chiefs took possession 

» WrigH The CfU, &c., 30»-«W. 

' The Anglo-Saxon conquest is generally described as one of exter- 
mination : but it may be doubted whether the extinction of the Celts in 
the conquered districts, was so complete as the testimony of historians, 
confirmed by the evidence of language, would imply. It must be remem- 
bered that the invaders came in boats, illnsuited for the transport of entire 
families, and that the greater part were probably young adventurers, with- 
out incumbrance. After the earlier invasions, a more complete emigration 
followed ; but there are some grounds for believing that the English have 
more Oeltic blood in their veins than is usually supposed. — See I^cholas, 
The Pedigree of the Englieh People, third edition. ^ The women would 
doubtless be larg»ly spared : but as far as the male sex is concerned, we 
may feel sure that death, emigration, or personal slavery, were the only 
alternatives which the vanquished found at the hands of our fathers.' — 
Freeman, Hi$t, of Norman Conquest, i. 18. 

THE AXGL0-SAX0N8. 341 

of the land, upon which they settled with their house- chai*. 


holds and followers* For three centuries they con- 

tinued to press forward their settlements, driving the 
Celts further to the north and to the west, — to Scot- 
land, to Wales, and to Cornwall.^ In no other parts of 
the Eoman Empire, had Teutonic races achieved so 
complete a conquest. They made the land their own, 
in name, in language, in nationality, and in freedom. 
They changed a Eoman province into a free Teutonic 

Everywhere the Anglo-Saxons carried with them Teutonic 
their own Teutonic laws and customs ; ^ and it is cuTtoma. 
to these that we must mainly look for the origin of 
English institutions. Their society was as primitive as 
that of the ancient Greeks. Their kings* and princes 
claimed descent from the god Woden : the nobles, or 
' eorls,' were the chiefs of their tribes, in war and peace : 
the priests presided at the pagan sacrifices; and the 
people were divided into freemen and slaves.* Their 
customs were remarkable for the important place as- 
signed to the community. The king's title was here- 
ditary in certain families, but subject to personal 
election by the witenagem6t, by whom he could also 
be deposed. He enjoyed many prerogatives and privi- 

^ The occupation of Cumberland and Westmoreland, in the north, and 
of Somersetshire, Devonshire, Oornwall, Herefordshire, and ^ropshire, 
being effected at a later period, when the rage of conquest had somewhat 
subsided, and the hostility of the two races had been abated by the com* 
mon profession of the Christian faith, the Celts, or Welsh, &• they were 
caUed, were not driven out. 

' See supra, vol. i. p. 224-226. 

' ' The Saxons had no kings at home; but they create Mngi in Britain.' 
— Stubbs, Canst, Hist, i. 60. See also Freeman, Hist, of Norman Conquest, 
i. 73, and App. K. 

* Of these there were two classea, — the cultivating serf and hA 
absolute slave. 


CHAP, leges, and extensive possessions : but he was a constitu- 
^ — • — ^ tional sovereign, boimd to govern justly, and according 
to the laws. Of the nobles, some derived their rank 
from descent, but the greater part from service under 
the crown, as ealdormen and thegns. And, when the 
Anglo-Saxons had accepted the Christian faith, their 
bishops and abbots took their places among the nobles, 
as councillors of the king, and members of the local 
and national assemblies, 
nltbn"'^' In the mark, the township, the tithing, and the 

parish, the principles of local representation and self- 
government were maintained in the gem6t.^ Every vil- 
lage was a little commonwealth. In the burh-gem6t, the 
hundred-moot, and the shire-moot, the freeholders bore 
their part in local administration and judicature ; and in 
the several kingdoms of the heptarchy, and afterwards 
in the united realm, there was the supreme witena- 
gem6t, or meeting of the wise, by whose advice and 
consent the king made laws for his people, levied taxes, 
exercised supreme judicature, and made grants of land. 
These assembhes deUberated upon affairs of State, and 

^ ' The yestiy is the representative of the gemot , with which it was 
once identical/—- Stubha, Contt, Hitt, L 91. 

The mark or township ' was an organised and self-acting group of 
Teutonic families, exercising a common proprietorship over a definite tract 
of land, its mark, cultiyating its domain on a common system, and sus- 
taining itself by the produce. It is described in Tacitus, in the " Germany,** 
as the '' Yicus :** it is well known to have been the proprietary and even 
the political unit of the earliest English society.* — Maine, ViUage 
ComfMirUtieB, 10. 

< The village community of India exhibits resemblances to the Teu- 
tonic township which are much too strong and numerous to be aoddentaL 
. . It has the same double aspect of a group of families united by the 
assumption of common kinship, and of a company of persons exercising 
joint ownership over land/— Ibid. 12. See also ibid. 61, 62, 81, 8^^ 
120, 133. Freeman, Hiit. Norman Conquest, i. 83. 


questions of war and peace. They were not represen- chap. 
tative : but the freemen assisted at their deUberations, — -r-~-^ 

according to the primitive customs of their race ; and 
shouted approval or dissent. The Saxon witenagem6t 
has been universally accepted as the origin of the parlia- 
ments of later times. ^ But as the kingdom extended, 
the voice of the freeman was rarely heaid in the national 
councils. He could still attend the moot of the himdred 
or the shire : but without representation, the distant as- 
sembly of barons, prelates, and thegns was far beyond 
his reach. 

The Anglo-Saxons had long been masters of the The Danes. 
country : their society was advancing in security and 
civilisation : they had been enlightened and refined by 
the Christian Church ; and their institutions had assumed 
a national character, when they were threatened with the 
same fate as that of the Celtic races whom they had over- 
thrown. The Scandinavian Danes, from Denmark and 
Norway, descended upon their coasts, and overran their 
peaceful towns and villages. They were pirates and 
marauders, and they were heathens. They burned and 
plundered churches and monasteries : they destroyed, 
with the brutal ignorance of barbarians, the cherished 
treasures of a more civilised people ; and they pushed on 
their conquests, till more than half of England had fallen 
imder their rule. The civilisation of the Eomans had 
perished under the conquering Saxons ; and now the 
civilisation of the Saxons was endangered by the ruder 
Danes. But the Danes, arrested in their conquests by 

^ 'Alone among the political assemblies of the greater States of 
Europe, the Parliament of England can trace its unbroken descent from 
the Teutonic institutions of the earliest times. . . No other nation, as a 
nation, can show the 9ame unbroken continuity of political being.' — 
Freeman's Comp, Pol. 40, 47. 


CHAP. Alfred the Great, accepted the Christian faith. They 
-— » -^ were of kindred northern races : they were governed by 
the like customs and traditions; and, gradually mingling 
with the earlier settlers, they formed part of the great 
ioia.104-2. English people. At a later period they renewed their 
conquests, and Danish kings ruled over the fair realm 
of England : but the laws and customs of the Saxons 
were little changed ; and when the old line of native 
kings was restored, in the person of Edward the Con- 
fessor, the Danes had left few traces of their rule, save 
in the names of places in which they dwelt, and in the 
mixture of their northern blood, with that of the races 
which they had overcome. Their fibre was even harder 
than that of the Saxons : their independence was no less 
resolute ; and in the sturdy races of Yorkshire, Lanca- 
shire, Northumberland, and other northern counties, 
which have since been forward in the industrial and 
poUtical development of England, we may recognise 
the descendants of Danish conquerors. 
Tiie The Norman conquest wrought more serious 

roi""uwt. changes in the social and political destinies of England. 
The Normans, descended from a strong northern stocky 
— akin to the Saxons and the Danes, — had been civi- 
lised by their settlement in a more genial clime, and by 
intercourse with their polished neighbours in France. 
They were more advanced than the Saxons, in the arts 
of peace and war : but in their laws and customs, liberty 
found scant recognition. They ruled England as con- 
querors, and wherever they met with resistance, they 
pursued their enemies with merciless severity. But 
William the Conqueror accepted the crown as successor 
to the English kings : he strove to maintain the laws of 
Edward the Confessor ; and it formed no part of his de- 


sign to overthrow the institutions of his new domain, chap. 

Yet the conquest introduced essential changes in the 
social and pohtieal relations of the rulers and the people, 
and in the administration of the laws. Of these, the 
greatest was effected by the appropriation and tenure 
of the lands. William rewarded his followers by pro- 
digious grants of the conquered territories : he retained 
large possessions as the property of the crown ; and 
where he spared native owners, he brought them into 
subjection as vassals to himself, or other feudal superiors 
of the Norman race. 

Military service was the condition under which the Norman 
entire soil of England was henceforth to be enjoyed by 
its owners. This strict feudalism at once increased the 
power of the Crown, and of the nobles. The great 
landowners were the king's vassals : while their own 
feudal rights made them complete masters of the 
people. Feudalism under the Saxons had been patri- 
archal : it had grown out of the relations of the family 
and the tribe : but feudalism under the Normans, was a 
stem military organisation, which bound all the subjects 
of the realm to serve under the standards of the king 
and his barons. The most obnoxious characteristics of 
continental feudalism were now displayed. The Saxon 
nobles had lived in simple dwellings, in the midst of 
their kinsmen and people. The Normans dwelt in forti- 
fied castles, defended with fosse and drawbridge, with 
battlements and loopholes : they surrounded themselves 
vidth armed retainers, and dominated roughly over their 
neighbours. They were foreigners ; and they lived as 
in an enemy's coimtry. They plundered the peasants : 
they waged war upon one another ; and they laid waste 
the land with violence and rapine. 


CHAP. This social change was naturally accompanied by 

-^ — r— ^ political innovations no less notable. To weaken the 
Thi^^ nobles, the Conqueror continued the gem6ts of the hun- 
dred and the shire : but, the scheme of government 
being purely feudal, the witenagem6t gave place to a 
great coimcil of barons, prelates, and abbots, who were 
summoned as tenants-in-chief of the crown. The people 
had no voice in their deliberations : the realm belonged 
to the king and his vassals ; and the commons were no 
longer within the pale of the constitution. All the high 
offices were filled with foreigners ; and Englishmen were 
treated as a conquered race. 
The crown But the Normau rule, however adverse to popular 
^opie.* liberties, was not long maintained without serious in- 
roads upon its scheme of military government. The 
king found his vassals too powerful for the security of 
his crown; whilst the barons were ever straggling 
against his prerogatives. Neither power singly could 
overcome the other. Hence both alike looked to the 
people for support. William Bufus overcame his un- 
ruly barons by the aid of his subjects, to whom he 
promised a redress of grievances. Henry I. gave the 
people a charter of liberties, and promised to restore the 
laws of Edward the Confessor. To London, and many 
other towns, he granted municipal charters. Henry H. 
also favoured the commonalty. He reduced the power 
of the barons, by judicial and administrative reforms : 
he demolished their dreaded castles : he overcame them 
by force of arms ; and, while enlarging the preroga- 
tives of the crown, he extended the privileges of the 
people. By commuting military services for scutage, 
he was enabled to raise forces independently of the 
barons ; and, by the * assize of arms,' he superseded the 


baronial levies, by a national militia under his own direct chap. 

, . XVIII. 

command. By these measures the domination of — r— ^ 
feudalism was arrested. And in his reign, the fusion of 
the Normans with the English was nearly completed ; 
and the rule of the foreigner was no longer a scourge 
to the people. England was restored to the English ; 
and their social freedom and poUtical influence were ex- 
tended by the absorption of the dominant race.^ 

So far the crown had received support from the peo- The barons 
pie against the barons. At a later period, the barons ^pie.^ 
and the Church were aided by the people, in extort- 
ing the Great Charter from King John. Hitherto the Magn* 
barons had fought for themselves alone ; now they be- 1215. 
came the national leaders in maintaining the liberties 
of England. But society was not yet suflBciently ad- 
vanced to ensure the enjoyment of liberties so extended. 
The crown, the nobles, and the Church were powerful : 
the country was disturbed by disorders and civil wars ; 
and the people were still too weak to assert their rights. 
But the Great Charter was appealed to as the basis of 
English freedom : it was confirmed again and again ;*^ 
and, while often violated, its principles were accepted 
as the constitutional law of England. 

Further contests between the crown and the barons ^^p^. 
continued to advance the rights of the people ; and it ot the 

•^ "■''*' commons. 

was to Simon de Montfort, who led the armed barons i265. 
against Henry HE., that the commons first owed their 
representation in paxUament. 

^ Mr. Freeman says : * The older and stronger elements still survived, 
and, in the long run, they again made good their supremacy.' — Histt 
Norman Conquest , intro. 1. 

' 'H y en eut plus de trente confirmations entre le xiiL et le xvi. 
Bi6cles.' — Guizot, Hiit, de la civilization en Europe, 314. 


CHAP. In the reign of Edward L, the commons acquired 

win . 

-«-^— ^ — ^ a more settled place in the legislature : knights of the 

pow7?ot"^ shire being regularly summoned to represent the coun- 
ment " ^^^®» ^"^ citizeus and burgesses to represent the cities 
^^^•'- and towns. But as yet their influence was little felt. 
They accepted their mission with reluctance, and shrank 
from the costly honour of obeying the royal summons 
to appear and be duly taxed. The barons still took 
the lead in resisting abuses of the king's prerogative. 
To them was mainly due a renewed confirmation of 
the Great Charter, and the denial of the king's claim 
to raise taxes otherwise than with the consent of the 
1307-8. realm. The parUaments of Edward 11. insisted upon 
the dismissal of obnoxious ministers, upon the redress of 
grievances before the granting of subsidies to the crown, 
and upon the legislative rights of the commons. And, 
1327. further, a parliament of this reign assumed the right 
of deposing the king, for the violation of his coronation 
oath, and other offences, — a precedent to be followed 
in the case of Richard II., and again, on a more 
memorable occasion, in 1688. These spirited acts, 
though mainly the work of the barons, extended the 
constitutional rights of parliament. Under Edward 
III., the two houses assumed their present fdrm ; and 
the House of Commons acquired an independent place 
in the councils of the realm. It denounced abuses, it 
1876, impeached ministers, it insisted upon the annual calling 
of parliaments, it re-afBrmed the principle that to raise 
money without the consent of parliament was illegal, 
and it maintained the freedom of elections. It was 
now fully established that every law required the con- 
currence of king, lords, and commons, and that it was 
the undoubted right of parliament to advise the king 


in matters concerning peace and war. The principles chap. 
of political freedom were established, ^ — ^^^--^ 

Under Eichard EE., the commons insisted upon their 
right, not only to vote subsidies, but to limit their 
appropriation, and to examine pubhc accountants ; and 
they exercised their right of inquiring into public 
abuses, and impeaching ministers of the crown. The 
Parliament also deposed the king himself, for his * no- 
torious demerits;' and furnished another precedent 
for the revolution of 1688. The same bold and inde- 
pendent spirit was displayed by the commons, under 
Henry TV. and Henry V. 

The parliamentary history of the fourteenth cen- Political 
tury foreshadowed the momentous movements of the progress in 
seventeenth. Liberties were then acquired which could twnth 
never be wholly overthrown. The prerogatives of the 
crown, and the privileges of parliament, were defined ; 
and the monarchy was limited and constitutional. 
These political changes were accompanied by a remark- 
able development of English society. The commons 
were enabled to assume a more important place in 
the government of the State, by the increasing in- 
fluence of the commonalty, throughout the country. 
The ranks of the barons were thinned by civil wars, 
and failures in the succession; while the number of 
country gentlemen, yeomen, and tenants was continu- 
ally on the increase. The towns were making rapid 
advances in wealth and prosperity : the burgesses had 
been trained in the arts of self-government, and em- 
boldened by civic freedom. At the same time, Eng- 
land was sharing in the revival of learning, for which 
the age was remarkable, throughout Europe : her lan- 
guage was assuming a national character ; and the 







I>ec«T of 

universities were stimulating a taste for classical litera- 
' ture and philosophy. In every aspect, society was 
advancing; and its claims to political power were 
maintained by the increasing boldness of the House 
of Commons. 

Meanwhile, religious and social changes were ad- 
vancing, which gravely affected the political destinies 
of England. The bold spirit and genius of Wycliffe 
were laying the foundations of the Protestant reforma- 
tion. He stirred the minds of scholars, churchmen, 
and citizens to a new religious thought : he exposed 
the abuses of the Church of Eome, and shook its 
traditional doctrines and authority. His followers, the 
Lollards, began the long strife between nonconformity 
and the imited forces of Church and State ; and the 
people were awakened to controversies which have 
not yet ceased to disturb the minds and consciences 
of Christians. The faith of considerable numbers was 
already severed from that of the State Church. The 
Lollards, — the parents of Puritanism, — by inveighing 
against the Church, and exposing the abuses of the 
clergy, promoted the spirit of religious revolt which, 
in another age, was the support of the Eeformation. 
Their creed, founded upon the hves of the early 
Christians, and affected by the social discontents of 
the time, was not without the taint of communism. 
They were punished without mercy, and their sect was 
repressed with an iron hand : but the conflict between 
civil and ecclesiastical power on one side, and noncon- 
formity on the other, was to be resumed hereafter, 
upon less unequal terms. 

While society was aroused to religious thought, it 
was convulsed by the decay of feudalism, and the rise 


of new agricultural classes. Serfdom had gradually chap. 
given way to improved social relations; and the soil '^ — r- ' 
was beginning to be cultivated, as in modem times, by 
tenant farmers, by freeholders, and copyholders, and 
by free labourers. Changes so important in the rela- 
tions of landowners to the cultivators of the soil, could 
not be effected without serious disturbance. The four- 
teenth century was marked, in other countries, by col- 
lisions between feudalism and a growing society ; ^ and 
the like conflicts arose in England. The gradual i848. 
emancipation and escape of serfs had caused a great 
scarcity of labourers, which was aggravated by the 
depopulation of the country, — ^in common with the 
rest of Europe, — by the plague, or * black death.' The 
landowners were not prepared to submit to the opera- 
tion of these natural causes : but took vigorous mea- 
siu-es for the recovery of their feudal rights, and the 
securing of forced labour. Serfs who had been set statutes of 

Til /• • T • labourers. 

free, or had taken refuge m the towns, were again re- 1349-1350. 
duced to servitude ; and free labourers, forbidden to 
leave their own parish, were bound to serve their em- 
ployers, at wages fixed by statute. These high-handed 
measures, to restore the hateful yoke of feudalism, pro- 
voked a passionate resistance. 

Stung with a sense of oppression and wrong, and Popular 
suffering from the harsh rule of their masters, the or- tenta. 
detly and patient peasantry were goaded into a for- 
midable revolt. For the first time, in our history, we 
discover a fierce hatred of nobles and gentlemen, and 
a startling assertion of levelling principles. John Ball, 
a, Kentish priest, preached doctrines of social equality, 

» Supra, p. 88-90. 


CHAP, as bold as any which were taueht, four centuries later, 

XVIII. o ' ' 

'-^— , — ^ by the revolutionists of France. The popular feeling of 


the time was expressed in the familiar couplet : — 

' When Adam delved, and Ere span, 
Who was then the gentleman P* 

The gentlemen of England were oppressing the poor ; 
and their claims were rudely questioned. These dis- 
contents were influenced by an iniquitous poll-tax; and 
at length an alarming insurrection biurst out under 
Wat the leadership of the celebrated Wat Tyler. This 
f^^rrectiJISl Tcvolt agaiust feudalism, and the injustice of feudal 
law-givers, was marked by some of the excesses of the 
French Jacquerie.^ Manor-houses were burned : ma- 
norial records were destroyed : obnoxious lawyers were 
murdered : the primate, and two of the chief officers 
concerned in the levy of the poll-tax, were beheaded 
on Tower Hill. But neither in the revolt itself, nor in 
its suppression, was there an approach to the savagery 
of contemporary France. 
Reaction Throughout thcsc timcs, the commons had been 

advancing in influence ; and had maintained the due 
authority of their order in the councils of the State. 
But a period of reaction was at hand, when the power 
of the commons sensibly declined. Several causes 
cx)ntributed to this reaction. The commons were still 
the weakest estate of the realm; and they were at 
the mercy of the crown, the nobles, and the church. 
Whichever of these powers happened to be in the 
ascendent, the commons inevitably suffered, except 
when their aid was sought by one of these rival powers. 
In the reign of Henry VI., the barons had recovered 
much of their former domination : they were jealous of 

» Supra, 88. 

af^ainst the 


the growing influence of the commons ; and such, for chap. 


a time, was the weakness of the crown, and of the > — . — ^ 
chiurch, that they had no need of an alliance with the 
popular forces. By narrowing the old freehold fran- hso. 
chise of the counties to 40^. freeholders, and by dis- 
franchising the leaseholders and copyholders, they 
became masters of the county representation. Mean- 
while a similar reaction was at work in the boroughs. 
The franchises of the burgesses had been gradually 
restricted ; and their municipal and electoral privileges 
were monopolised by select oligarchies. Everywhere, 
barons and landowners were acquiring a dominant in- 
fluence in elections. The commons were becoming the 
creatures of their crown and the nobles, rather than re- 
presentatives of the people. Armed barons dominated 
in the country, and in the Parliament. That there 
were grave discontents among the people was betrayed 
by the insurrection under Jack Cade : but the com- h5o. 
monalty were held in safe subjection. 

, The rivalries of the houses of York and Lancaster, warnofthc 
however, entirely changed the balance of political ^* 
power. In the wars of the White and Eed Eoses, all 
England was convulsed by the bloody strife : the 
barons were divided into hostile camps ; and the flower 
of the English nobility perished on the battle-field, or 
on the scaffold.^ Feudalism was crushed; and the 
crown reigned supreme over a prostrate realm. The 
armed barons, who alone could hold it in check, were 
no more; and the people were not yet sufficiently 

^ 'I take it, after the battle of Tewkesbury, a Norman bai-on was 
(ilmost as rare a being, in England, as a wolf is now.' — Coningsby. 

<0f the shattered aristocracy of Entrland, only twenty-nine presented 
tbemselyes when Henry called his first Parliament ; and many of these 
were recent creations.* — Forster : The Grand Remonttrance, 68. 

354 EXGLAJO). 

cjiAP. strong to assert their rights. Accustomed to rely upon 

XVIII. . . 

•^—^'-^ the barons, as leaders, they were without union or force, 
in opposition to the power of the crown. The land- 
owners, who had succeeded the barons in territorial 
influence, were engaged in a bitter strife with their 
discontented peasantry, and were in no mood to be- 
come popular leaders: but looked to the Crown for 
support. And the Chiurch, alarmed by heresies and by 
her own unpopularity, was glad to link her fortunes 
with those of the ruling power. The liberties of Eng- 
land, acquired by so many struggles, seemed to have 
been suddenly lost in the absolutism of Edward IV. 
Throughout Europe, the kingly power was rising at 
this period, upon the ruins of feudahsm ; and the pros- 
pects of freedom appeared to be no more promising 
in England, than in Spain, in France, or in Germany. 
The authority of Parliament was now set at naught. 
It was rarely assembled: confiscations had made the 
king comparatively independent of subsidies ; and, 
with the advice of his council, he assumed to make 
laws, and levy taxes. Benevolences and forced loans 
again formed part of the royal finance : arbitrary im- 
prisonments, and judicial murders, marked the rule 
of an absolute king. The popular pretensions of 
Richard HI. caused a brief revival of the influence of 
Parliaments : but Henry VII. confirmed the absolutism 
of Edward IV. Parliaments were put aside ; and the 
royal miser relied upon prerogative to fill his treasury 
with benevolences, fines, and other exactions. 
Ai.M,iutiMi» The reign of Henry VIII. was no less opposed to 
via!"*' public Uberty. The character of the king, and the 
peculiar circumstances of his time, alike impelled him 
to strain his prerogatives. By nature a tyrant, his strife 
with the Church of Eome, and his own unruly passions, 


gave full sway to his despotism. Other kings had chap. 
renounced the interference of parliaments: but they * — »— 1^ 
had been controlled by a council of prelates and nobles. 
Henry put aside his council and exercised his vast pre- 
rogatives, in Church and State, with the aid of a single 
confidential minister. Yet he could not always prevail 
over the rights and liberties of his subjects. While 
served by the politic Wolsey, he never summoned a 
parliament save for the raising of subsidies: but he 
found the commons stubborn in resisting extravagant 
demands ; and when he resorted to the old expedient i62S-:524. 
of benevolences, he was threatened by the resistance of 
the people. The traditions of liberty were still able to 
prevail over absolutism. 

But when the king was heated by opposition to his He effects 
divorce, by his fierce conflict with the Church of Eome, formatiuc. 
and by his singular matrimonial inconstancies, the selfish 
and cruel tyrant was revealed.^ Queens, nobles, pre- 
lates, and faithful statesmen perished on the scaffold : 
no power coidd withstand his lust or his anger: the 
church was struck down : laws and Uberty bowed before 
the will of the despot. In repelling the jurisdiction of 1534. 
the Pope, the royal supremacy was established, which 
made the king absolute master of the church. He was 
at once king and pope.^ By nominating the bishops, 
and claiming to depose them, he made them his crea- 
tures: he bridled the convocation: he dictated the 
preaching of the clergy : he curbed them in his eccle- 
siastical courts : he assumed to determine the religion 
of the State and of his people. No longer afraid of 

> Mr. Froude's able defence of Henry has not affected the judgment 
of history, upon Ms true character. 

' In the yulgar phrase of the time, he was ' a king with a pope in 
his beUy.* 

A A 2 


CHAP, parliaments, he invited them to act as convenient in- 


' — r— ^ struments of his will. They passed the Act of Supre- 

macy : they sanctioned the suppression of the monas- 
teries : they registered acts of attainder : they created 
new treasons and felonies : they clothed the royal man- 
dates in the recognised forms of English law. They 
were associated with the king in every act of the great 
reformation. But while doing his bidding, they shared, 
and represented, the religious feelings of considerable 
numbers of their countrymen, who, scandalised by the 
abuses of the clergy, and stirred by the religious con- 
troversies of the time, were prepared to accept the 
ecclesiastical changes which their rulers were bringing 
about. The independence of parliament was overborne 
in the excitement of so great a crisis, 
inrreawd Thc powcr of the crown was increased by the pro- 

thecrowB. digious Wealth of the church, which was now at its 
disposal. The great nobles who revolted agamst the 
reformation were slain, or brought to the block ; and the 
last representatives of the old feudalism were destroyed. 
The new nobles were creatures of the king, enriched by 
the plunder of the church, and ready instruments of the 
royal will. The lords spiritual, already Henry's humble 
servants, were bound up with him in the great work 
of reforming the church, and changing the religion of 
the country. The commons, in great part, nominees 
of the crown, were also led to support prerogative, by 
their earnestness as reformers. The courts of justice 
were as ready as the parhament to uphold the king's 
strong measures ; while the royal council was usurping 
an extraordinary judicature, untrammelled by the Kberal 
doctrines of the common law. Everywhere prerogative 
was paramount. Eoyal proclamations assumed the force 


of statutes; and loans and benevolences were levied chap. 


like lawfid subsidies. * — r— ^ 

Throughout the further course of the religious revo- couwe of 
lutions of the sixteenth century, the passionate impulses fomation. 
of the movement continued adverse to civil and reli- 
gious liberty. The reformation of Henry was completed 
under Edward VI. Some of his absolute powers were 
renounced : but the reforms of the chiurch were carried 
out with no less violence and disregard for law; while 
the zeal of the reformers hurried them into the deplor- 
able policy of persecution. The Catholic reaction under 
Queen Mary was marked by the same arbitrary power, 
and by a more resolute persecution. Parliament, which Frequent 
had concurred in the reformation, was now prompt to reiigS^.^' 
undo its own work. The Catholic faith was restored : 
the State humbled itself before the Holy See : but the 
parliament, while lending itself to this sudden reaction, 
resisted the more violent and bigoted measures of the 
queen, and displayed a spirit of independence which had 
been rarely shown in the two last reigns. Happily this 
bloody reign was short. Hundreds of Erotestants perished 
at the stake : but before their faith coidd be utterly 
cast down, another Protestant queen was preparing to 1531-1559. 
restore it for ever, as the religion of the State. For the 
fourth time, within the life of a single generation, the 
national faith was changed by the crown and the par- 
liament, without the general consent of the people. 

But the long reign of Elizabeth proved the turning Reign of 
point in the pohtical fortunes of England. Not less 
resolute than her predecessors in maintaining her pre- 
rogatives, she foimd herself opposed by popular forces 
to wliich she was sometimes constrained to submit. 
When parliaments had done their work in the religious 


CHAP, revolutions of the age, the queen, dreading their intru- 
^ — r— ^ sion in affairs of State, called them together as rarely as 
possible. She levied taxes by prerogative : she raised 
money by the grant of monopoUes : she invaded the 
province of the legislature by royal proclamations. By 
the creation and revival of boroughs, the influence of 
the crown had been largely increased. But when she 
was forced to meet her parliaments, they displayed a 
temper long since unknown. The commons asserted 
their privileges, — freedom of speech, freedom from 
arrest, the determining matters of election, and the 
right to discuss affairs of State. They successfully re- 
sisted the grant of monopohes. • For more than a 
hundred years, their political powers had been in abey- 
ance ; and now they were about to be recovered and 
extended. Prerogative was safe in tlie strong hands of 
Elizabeth : but new social forces were rapidly changing 
the balance of political power. 
Social With the decline of feudalism, English society had 

Nobles and acquircd an extraordinary development. The nobles, 
j^'entiemen. eujoyiug fcw iuvidious privileges, were raised little 
above the country gentlemen: their sons and daughters 
married freely into the families of their country neigh- 
bours ; and their descendants were soon lost in the ranks 
of the commonalty. As an estate of the realm, they 
formed a support to the crown: but they also gave 
importance and strength to the people. Country gen- 
tlemen had succeeded the feudal barons, as a proprietary 
class, and their relations with the people were essen- 
tially changed. No longer relying upon feudal services 
for their support, and for the cultivation of the soil, 
they lived upon the rental of their estates, while the 
soil was tilled by farmers, yeomen, and free labourers. 
The gloomy castles of feudal times were succeeded by 


cheerful and elegant country houses. New leaders of chap. 


the people were multiplied tliroughout the land. En- ^ — r— ^ 
riched by the division of the old baronial estates, and 
by the spoils of the church, they were wealthy and 
prosperous. But they were not set up above the 
people, like the feudal lords of the soil. They were 
at the head of a free society, and were associated with 
its duties and interests. In other countries they would 
have been ennobled : but here they cast in their for- 
tunes with the commons. As sheriffs, and justices 
of the peace, they were active in the administration 
of the law ; they took the lead in all local affairs : 
they encouraged the agriculture and the sports of the 
neighbourhood: they were welcomed as the leaders 
of society. They loved the country; they devoted 
their fortunes to the support of the ancestral hall, 
or manor-house, the park, the pleasaunce, and the pre- 
serves, and to free-handed hospitalities, and charity: 
but they found little attraction in the distant capital.^ 
No class has contributed so much to the social and 
political stability of England. Their instincts were in 
favour of the traditions of English liberty ; and they 
were prepared to maintain, with honest resolution, the 
legal rights of the people. But they were conservative 
and unchanging. Not easily moved by impulses or 
theories, they were ready to resist innovations, whether 
proceeding from the king, the church, or the people. 
Such men were returned to parliament by their own 

^ ^Poggio, in his travels, wrote, tliree centuries ago, this sentence so 
full of truths and of consequences : '' Among the English, the nohles 
think it shameful to sojourn in cities; they inhabit retired parts of the 
country among woods and pastures ; they consider him the most noble 
who has the largest revenue ; they addict themselves to field affairs, sell 
their wool and their cattle, and do not consider rural profits disgraceful/ 
— Taine, Note$ on Bnglandf 170. 


CHAP, counties, and neighbouring boroughs, and were the 
most independent members of the House of Commons. 

Surrounded by courtiers, placemen, and lawyers, their 
voices were raised in support of the privileges of par- 
liament, and the rights and liberties of the people. To 
them is mainly due the contrast between the political 
destinies of England and of France. With such a class 
of country gentlemen, the liberties of Frenchmen might 
have been extended, without the terrors of perpetual 
lu'^ While the gentry were drawn nearer to the people 

than the barons of old, the increasing prosperity of the 
country had raised a numerous and powerful middle 
class, between them and the great body of the nation. 
The forest, the marsh, and the moor, w^ere receding 
before the persevering toil of the husbandman. Agri- 
cultiu-e, freed from the shackles of feudal service, and 
encouraged by the united interests of landlords and 
tenants, had become more skilful and productive. 
Farmers and yeomen had grown into a considerable 
social class. 
Commerce At the samc time, manufactures, commerce, and 

factures. shipping had enriched the towns and seaports. The 
woollen manufactm-e had become an important in- 
dustry; and manufacturers in linen, in silk, and in 
iron, however modest in their pretensions, were already 
contributing to the wealth of the middle class. Com- 
merce and navigation had made prodigious advances. 
There had long been an active intercourse with the 
Netherlands; and the wreck of Flemish prosperity, 
under the tyranny of Spain, had driven numbers of 
merchants, manufacturers, and artificers to our shores, 
who quickened the enterprise, and enlarged the reJa- 


tions of British commerce. Our merchants traded chap. 


with the north of Europe : with Italy, and the Medi- - — . — ^ 
terranean : with the East and West Indies, and with 
America. They were beginning to rival landowners 
in wealth and influence- Their dwellings, if less stately 
than the palaces of Italian princes, and less pictur- 
esque than the houses of the magnificent citizens of 
Brussels, Ghent, and Antwerp, bore witness to their 
riches, taste, and social advancement The smaller 
traders and artificers showed the like signs of pros- 
perity ; and the busy communities of commercial towns 
were becoming a new, and ever increasing, power in 
society, and in the State. 

The intellectual progress of society had kept pace intellectual 
with its material improvement. The revival of learn- ^^^^^ 
ing in Europe had borne its fruits in England as else- 
where : the study of the classics had raised the standard 
of thought and culture: a new national literature 
appealed to the tastes and sentiments of the people : the 
printing press had spread far and wide the writings of 
the learned, the speculations of philosophers, the fancies 
of poets and dramatists, and the popular pamphlets 
and songs of the period. For centimes the universi- 
ties had promoted the culture of the country ; and the 
grammar schools of Edward VI. and Elizabeth at once 
proved the growing desire of the middle classes for 
improved means of education, and gave a marked im- 
pulse to their intellectual advancement.^ 

But none of these causes contributed so much to ReUgiom 
the moral and intellectual development of society, and m^tL 

^ The national progress under the Plantagenets and Tudors is admir* 
ably described by Mr. Green^ in his zemarkable history of the English 
people, chape, iy. and t. 


(mAP. to its political activity, as the religious controversies 
> — , — ^ and revolutions which had so long convulsed the coun- 
try. Since the days of Wycliffe, the minds and con- 
sciences of the people had been awakened to religious 
thought; and the furious conflicts of the reformation 
had divided society into hostile and irreconcilable 
religious sects. The persecutions which all in turn 
had suffered, had hardened their convictions, had exas- 
perated their «eal, and widened their divisions. The 
people, indeed, had not been consulted in regard to the 
successive changes of the national faith : but they were 
profoundly stirred by all the religious questions of the 
time. Before the close of the long reign of Elizabeth, 
the great majority of the English people had renounced 
the Catholic faith : but they were far from accepting 
a single Protestant creed. The doctrines and ceremo- 
nial of the Church of England had been founded upon 
the moderate principles of Luther, and l^is school of 
reformers. The errors of the Church of Rome were 
condemned, and her authority repudiated : but the 
reformed church was otherwise modelled upon the 
foundations of the old establishment. 
The The State had determined the national faith, and 

exacted a rigorous uniformity of public worship. But 
the religious dissensions of the age had advanced 
too far to be composed by acts of parliament. Calvin 
had his followers as well as Luther : his doctrines and 
church polity had been embraced in Switzerland, in 
the Netherlands, and in Scotland ; and in England he 
found many disciples. They deplored that any Romish 
doctrines and observances had been retained in the 
reformed church : they affected simpler forms of wor- 
ship, and revolted against the rule of State bishops. 


Many Calvinists, to escape the persecutions of Queen chap. 
Mary, had taken refuge in Switzerland and Holland, - — r— ^ 

where their convictions were confirmed, and their 
alienation from the Church embittered. The English 
Bible was now in the hands of the whole people : it 
was accepted as the rule of faith: and every man 
interpreted the sacred book, according to his own 
private judgment. It was a new revelation, which 
inspired earnest souls with reverence and passionate 
devotion. It occupied all their thoughts: scriptural 
phrases and imagery entered into their familiar speech : 
children received Hebrew names at their baptism : the 
family, and social life, were governed by the precepts 
and examples of Holy Writ. The politics of the age 
were identified with its religion. As the revival of 
classical literature had, for a time, transformed the 
thoughts and language of the learned, so did the Bible 
now give a new direction to the spirit of general society. 

This form of religious thought had attracted many The 
of the clergy, and numbers of country gentlemen : but character, 
it was among the farmers, the yeomen, and the middle 
classes, that its full force and vitality were revealed. 
Such men, and all whose religious views were more 
serious than those of ordinary churchmen, were dis- 
tinguished as Puritans. If we could form our ideal of 
the Pmitan character, from so noble a gentleman as 
Colonel Hutchinson, as pourtrayed by his loving biogra- 
pher, or from so rare a genius as Milton, it would stand 
out as a model of grave and lofty virtues. Nor can it 
be doubted that the Puritans had conceived a higher 
standard of religious and moral piu-ity than their con- 
temporaries. But the greater number, having no 
other guide than the Bible, which they applied, after 




aects of 

views of 

jealoosy of 

their own fashion, to all the affairs of daily life, were 
stern, narrow and unsocial They frowned upon the 
amusements of the world as sinful : they condemned 
the ceremonies of the church as idolatrous ; and they 
learned to distrust their rulers, as the patrons of a 
system, in Church and State, which was obnoxious .to 
their faith. 

Elizabeth and her bishops had vainly striven to 
repress divisions in the church : the ecclasiastical 
commission had strained its formidable power to seciure 
imiformity of doctrine and worship : numbers of pious 
ministers were cast out : but puritanism was gaining 
ground in the Church, and sectaries were multiplied. 
The Star Chamber endeavoured to stifle religious con- 
troversies in the press : but the church and the bishops 
were assailed with increasing boldness. The earlier 
Piuritans were churchmen : but considerable sects of 
nonconformists were now growing up, outside the pale 
of the chiurch. Of these, the most powerful were the 
Presbyterians, and the Separatists or Independents. 

These various sects, however opposed to one another, 
were hostile to the chiu-ch, and estranged from the 
civil polity which was identified with her rule. The 
queen and her bishops were supreme in Church and 
State alike; and rehgion assumed the first place in 
the politics of the age. The republican spirit of the 
Presbyterians, in ecclesiastical affairs, shaped their 
political views, and inclined them to stubborn resistance 
to the civil power. Other Puritans also, relying upon 
the Bible for guidance in civil life, judged their rulers 
with the stern independence of their austere creed. 

Upon the most momentous question of the time, all 
Puritans, — whether churchmen or nonconformists, — ► 


were earnestly agreed. They were zealous in the cause ^iap. 
of Protestantism ; and never was zeal more justified in - — . — ^ 
a holy cause. Throughout Europe the Protestant faith 
was threatened : the great work of the reformation 
seemed about to be undone : the Church of Rome was 
recovering her shattered dominion. There was CathoUo 
reaction in Austria and Southern Germany : Spanish 
armies were trampling upon Protestantism and liberty, 
in the Netherlands : the massacre of St. Bartholomew, 
and the apostacy of Henry of Navarre, had crushed the 
hopes of the Huguenots in France. Who could say that 
the true faith was safe in England ? There had been a 
fearful Catholic reaction under Mary : there had been 
Catholic insurrections and conspiracies against Elizabeth. 
Catholics at home and abroad had hailed Mary Stuart 
as the coining queen of Catholic England. The queen 
herself was not without CathoUc predilections : nor had 
the reformed church been purged of all Eomish super- 
stitions : the most earnest Protestants were persecuted 
by Erastian bishops, and prelacy might again be in 
alliance with popery. 

Elizabeth herself was confronted by the stubborn Elizabeth 
spirit of the Piuritans : ^ but, counselled by able ministers, po^ng. 
she knew how to avert dangerous conflicts ; and her 
glorious triumph over Catholic Spain aroused the patriotic 
sympathies of her Protestant subjects. She left the 
power of the crown unimpaired : but social and religious 
forces had arisen within her realm, which wer^ about 
to change the destinies of the English monarchy. The 
period of reaction against popular rights had passed ; and 
a new era of constitutional freedom was approaching. 

> Ilallam, Canst, Hist. i. 252, et seq. ; Froude, Hkt. of Enghndy zii. 
649, et seq. ; Forster, The Grand Bemofutrance, 87 ; Green, S/tort History 
of the British People, chap. yiiL 

3G6 ENGLA>'D. 


ENGLAND— -COn^nW^rf. 


CHAP. Such was the condition of society, and such the state 
— ^^' — ' of religions opinion, when the Stuarts succeeded to the 
.^""th^*^** throne. The commons were powerful, and sensitive 
ujoa.^"* ^^ ^^y invasion of their liberties : the Stuarts had high 
notions of their prerogatives; and the church, while 
she went hand in hand with the crown in temporal 
affairs, was becoming reactionary in her own creed, 
and persecuting to other communions.^ 
Character^ It was uot unuatural that the Stuarts should jealously 
maintain the prerogatives of their crown. They were 
encouraged, as well by the example of EngUsh kings, 
as of foreign monarchs. Throughout Europe, the 
power'of kings dominated over that of nobles, parlia- 
ments, and popular institutions. They had assumed 
to direct the religion and conscience of their subjects, 
no less than their civil duties. They had, indeed, dis- 
covered, in the reUgious movements of the time, some 

' For tbe reigns of the two first Stuarts there is a wealth of autho- 
rities. In addition to the histories of Olarendon and May, and other 
contemporary writers, considerable light has been recently thrown upon 
these times by the writings of Forster, Gardiner, and Ranke. 

of Jaiues I. 


dangerous elements of resistance ; and the revolt of the chap. 
Netherlands had proved the force of a national struggle -- T ' -- 
against oppression. But they had not yet learned to 
measure the strength of a people ; and, in their eyes, 
the assertion of pubUc rights was simple disaffection.^ 

Elizabeth had carried her prerogatives with a high 
hand, and often with much of a woman's temper : but 
her own character, her sex, and latterly her age, the 
statesmanship of her councillors, her popularity with 
the Protestants, — ^who feared to disturb the succession, — 
and the respect of her people, averted a coUision be- 
tween the crown and the commons. But James I. had 
openly asserted doctrines of prerogative, which were 
strange in the mouth of an English king. With dull 
pedantry, he had already maintained, in prints his 
startling opinions upon monarchy.'^ In his view, a 
king ruled by right divine: he had power to make 
and suspend laws, without being boimd to obey them : 
while the duty of his subjects was simply that of pas- 
sive obedience to his will. And he lost no time in 
proving that he was prepared to reduce his theories to 
practice. The pedantry of the study accompanied him His treat- 
to the throne. He was ever ready with a lecture. He ^mmoM!*^ 
lectured the nonconformists in one proclamation : he ^^^' 
lectiu-ed the constituencies in another ; and he -was soon 
at issue with the commons upon questions of privilege 
and grievance. He commanded them to hold a con- 
ference with the judges concerning a controverted 
election : he rebuked them for the freedom of their 
debates, and reminded them that they held their 

* James himBelf said in the Star Chamber, ' It is presumption and a 
high contempt in a subject to dispute what a king can do, or to say that 
a king cannot do this or that.' 

' True Law of Free McnarcMes, King Jamos's Works, 



CHAP, privil^es solely by his grace. They responded, with 
> — r-^ a spirited ' apology,' in which the rights and liberties 
of the commons were boldly vindicated.^ Still he con- 
tinued to take notice of their debates, and to admonish 
them not to consider petitions and grievances which had 
been brought before them. Every impopular act was 
made more provoking by the blunt assertion of some 
arbitrary principle. It was always made clear that the 
only rule of government must be the royal pleasure. 
And of the But he Committed errors far more grave and 
dangerous than these wranglings with the commons. 
Smarting under the affronts he had suffered from his 
Presbyterian subjects in Scotland, he was determined to 
show no mercy to English nonconformists. He threw 
ten clergymen into prison for presenting to him a 
respectful petition, signed by upwards of 800 clergy, 
praying for changes in the formularies of the church. 
January Hc iusultcd the Puritau divines at the conference at 
Hampton Court.^ He issued a haughty proclamation 
for enforcing conformity, in which he declared his own 
judgment to be the rule for the consciences of other 
men; and commanded the bishops, — ^who were only 
too ready to obey him, — to seek out and punish the 
clergy who neglected any of the ceremonies of the 
The king church. The convocation, in excess of their juris- 
church! diction, assumed to impose civil disabilities upon all 
who should deny the truth of any of the Thirty-nine 
Articles ; and the king, whose notions of his own and 
other jurisdictions were confused, assented to these 
extravagant canons.' The king was ever disposed to 

* Commons Jaum,, 20th June, 1604 ; Hume, Hist, chap. 45 ; Gardiner, 
Hist. i. 201-208. 

• Gardiner, Hut. of England, i. 167-173. 

' They were treated aa invalid hj the courts. 



support the pretensions of the church, which was not chap. 
less constant in her zeal for prerogative. The bishops 

and the high-church clergy were never weary of exalt- ^^^^ ^ 
ing prerogative and abasing civil liberty; while they 
strove, in alliance with the king, to enlarge the spiritual 
power of the church. The High Commission Court, 
by its unwarrantable encroachments of jurisdiction, 
and invasions of civil rights, displayed the dangers of 
ecclesiastical rule; and increased the unpopularity 
of the church, which had already become obnoxious 
to the Piuitans. This waa no fitting time for the. 
assertion of such pretensions in Church and State. 
Country gentlemen and lawyers condemned them, as 
opposed to the laws and liberties of England. The 
Puritans, who could discover no warrant for them in 
Holy Writ, rejected them as contrary to the Word 
of God. 

The relations of the king to the various religious Relations 
communions of his realm, already sufficiently critical, to ie%iouH 
were rendered dangerous by this narrow policy. The ^*'^**^* 
CathoKc worship was already forbidden : priests saying 
mass were subject to the penalties of treason ; and 
heavy fines were levied upon Popish recusants. The 
discontents and fanaticism of the Catholics exploded in leos. 
the monstrous Gunpowder Plot ; and this desperate 
outrage naturally provoked further severities against the 
followers of an obnoxious faith, so- deeply stained with 
treason. To persecute Catholics was popular : but James 
soon aroused the jealousies of the Piuitans by an un- 
wonted toleration of Popish recusants. A wise scheme 
of toleration was beyond the conception of this age. It 
might have averted many of the impending perils of 
the State : but when confined to a single creed, — and 



CHAP, that at once the weakest and the most unpopular, — it 
^ — .-^ was resented as part of an insidious scheme of foreign 
and domestic policy, adverse to the Protestant cause. 
The Puritans were daily gaining strength and influence: 
they were becoming the strongest and most imited 
party in the country : yet James scomiged them with 
unrelenting severity. In Scotland, — ^his own native 
land, — ^where a Presbyterian Church had been founded 
by the will of the people,^ he vexed his Cah-inist 
subjects with a revival of episcopacy, and by unwel- 
come interferences with their national faith. He had 
cast his lot with his reactionary bishops, and defied 
the English Puritans and Scottish Presbyterians, who 
formed the most earnest and resolute portion of his 
Levy of Having provoked the commons, and alienated a 

prer^a- ])Owerful body of his subjects by religious persecution, 
the king ventured upon a still more dangerous mea- 
sure, — the levy of taxes by prerogative. Having 
levied an import duty upon currants, the legality of 
160G, which was affirmed by the Court of Exchequer, he 
1608. was emboldened to issue a new tariff* of duties to be 
collected, at the ports, upon merchandise. 

Such a measure struck at once at the privileges of 
the commons, and at the acknowledged liberties of the 
j)eople. If taxes could be levied by prerogative, what 
property was safe from the king's demand? The 
commons contested the prerogative, and though com- 

^ * The Scotch Elrk was the result of a democratic movement, and for 
Aome time, almost alone in Europe, it was the unflinching champion of 
political liberty.' — Lecky, BationaUgm^ i. 146. < Scotland was the onlj 
kingdom in which the Reformation triumphed oyer the resistance of the 
state ; and Ireland was the only instance where it failed, in spite of govern- 
ment support.'— Lord Acton, The History of Freedom m ChrietianUy, 7. 

king's contests with parliament. 371 

manded by the king not to question the impositions, chap. 
they presented a remonstrance, in which they firmly 

maintained their right of free discussion, and condemned ^^^^' 
the illegal taxes. They further passed a bill to annul ^^^^' 
them. Other remonstrances followed against the High 
Commission Court, the abuse of proclamations, assum- 
ing the force of laws, monopoUes, and other grievances. 
But no redress was obtained, and the first parliament 
of James, which had so resolutely maintained the 
constitutional rights of the people against prerogative, 
was dissolved, in displeasure. This parhament had 
represented the general sentiments of the country. It 
had upheld the traditional rights of the commons, and 
a faithful observance of the laws by the king, and by 
the church. On his part, the king had strained his 
prerogatives : he had asserted principles of arbitrary 
rule, obnoxious to his subjects ; and in his personal 
character he had exposed himself to obloquy and 
ridicule. It was an inauspicious commencement of 
the rule of the Stuarts. 

James, having vainly endeavoured to support his f^^^" 
revenue, by loans and other expedients,^ summoned ^^^''^' 
another parliament in 1614. The first act of the com- memb«r9 

^ ^ ^ committed. 

mons was again to denounce the illegal customs duties ^^^^ 
levied at the out-ports. They voted no subsidy ; and 
parliament was soon dissolved without passing a sin- 
gle statute. Immediately after the dissolution, James 
further strained his prerogative, and outraged the pri- 
vileges of the commons, by committing four members 
to prison, as a punishment for their independence. So 
strong was the public feehng against the measures of 
the court, that the country, or popular party, were 

^ Among others, hj the creation and sale of baronetcies. 

B B "^ 


CHAP, returned in much greater numbers, and among them 
^ — r-^ Pym, Wentworth, and Eliot, who were to bear a con- 
siderable part in the future history of this time. 
James For six vcars, James now governed without a 

without* parliament. By forced loans and benevolences, by 
monopolies and licences, by an excise duty on malt, 
by fines inflicted by the Star Chamber, and other expe- 
dients, he endeavoured to maintain his revenue, without 
the authority of parliament. He was safe, at present, 
from the remonstrances of the watchful commons: 
but it was an interval fraught with mischief to the 
crown. The people were smarting under his illegal 
exactions : while the arbitrary judgments of the Court 
of Star Chamber, the Privy Council, and the High 
Commission Court, the cruel treatment of Lady Ara- 
bella Stuart, the mysterious murder of Overbuiy, and 
the execution of Baleigh, were making the king and 
his government odious in the sight of his subjects. 
Quarrels In 1621, Jamcs was obliged to call another parlia- 

pariiament mcut ; and the commons soon displayed their enei^ 
and public spirit, by the impeachment of Mompesson, 
and Bacon. They also resented an ill-advised admoni- 
tion from the king not to meddle in affairs of State. 
They vindicated their privilege of freedom of speech, 
in a celebrated * protestation,' which the king, with his 
own hand, offensively struck out of the journal. A 
dissolution soon followed this passionate quarrel ; and 
again the privileges of the commons were grossly 
violated by the commitment of Sir Edw^ard Coke, Sir 
E. PhiUps, Mr. Pym, and others, for their conduct in 
parliament. Such measures naturally increased the 
unpopularity of the king, while the political vigilance 
of the commonalty was more than ever awakened. 

CLOSE OF James's eeign. 373 

But when another parliament was summoned in 1624, chap. 


the rupture of the unpopular negotiations with Spain, 
for the marriage of Prince Charles with the Infanta, o^ielT.*"' 
had so far restored the commons to good humour, that 
further quarrels with the king were averted. The 
spirit of parliament was, however, shown by the im- 
peachment of the Earl of Middlesex, and the abohtion 
of monopolies by statute. 

Throughout these contests, the commons were ear- increaaing 
nestly supported by their constituents. Notwithstand- ooiwtituen- 
ing the limitations of the franchise, the creation of de- 
pendent boroughs, and the close electoral privileges 
which had been secured by corporations, the commons 
had become a great representative body. The country 
gentlemen enjoyed the confidence of the freeholders 
of their counties, and exercised a commanding influ- 
ence in the neighbouring boroughs ; and when impor- 
tant principles were at stake, they were supported by 
public opinion. At this period, and in later times, 
before the correction of electoral abuses, — however 
imperfect the representation, and however powerful 
the influence of the crown, and of the peerage, — the 
love of freedom, which ever animated the English 
people, made itself felt in parliament. 

The ill-omened reign of James was now drawing cioee of 
to a close ; and he left a perilous inheritance to his son. rdgaf * 
With personal quahties which excited contempt and 
aversion, the principles of his rule had been such as to 
arouse the jealousies of his people against the preroga- 
tives of the crown, the domination of the church, and 
the arbitrary judgments of the courts of justice; and 
to awaken them to their duty of maintaining the civil 
and religious liberties of their country. .The preroga- 


CHAP, tives of the crown, and the rights of the commons, 
^ — r-^ had been fearlessly discussed : the popular party had 
successfully met the crown lawyers, upon their own 
ground of law and precedent, and had exposed the 
weakness of the royal claims. They had also displayed 
the power and resolution of the commons, in defence 
of pubUc rights. The gentlemen of England had not 
quailed before the displeasure of the king ; and it was 
clear that, if Tudor kings had been able to overcome 
the patriotism of parliament, a new power had now 
arisen, with which the Stuarts could not safely trifle. 
The question at issue was no longer one of precedents, 
and legal disputation : but whether the crown or the 
people were now the stronger force in the realm. The 
king had accepted a policy of reaction in Church and 
State : the commons had withstood him : but the decisive 
contest was reserved for the next reign. 
Character Many of the errors of James were due to his con- 

charies I. ccit and pedantic convictions, rather than to an arbi- 
trary temper. But Charles, far superior to his father 
in his personal character and virtues, was more abso- 
lute in his will, and more imyielding in his resolutions. 
He succeeded to the throne when grave issues were 
pending between prerogative on one side, and law and 
' parliamentary privilege on the other, which were em- 
bittered by his pohcy, until his country was convulsed 
by civil war. 
First par- To the embaiTassments that he had inherited, he 

chariei. added that of a war with Spain and France. He dis- 
trusted parliaments : but their help was indispensable 
1626. for carrying on the war. A parliament was accordingly 
summoned : but as the commons were smarting under 
the grievances of the late reign, none of which had 


yet been redressed, their temper was sullen ; and they chap. 
were bent upon extorting concessions from Charles, ' — r-^ 
before they granted him an adequate revenue. It had 
long been the custom, at the commencement of every 
reign, to grant the duties of tonnage and poundage for 
the king's life : but they now displayed their distrust 
of Charles, and their determination to secure their own 
rights, by granting these duties for one year only. The 
bill, so limited, was thrown out by the Lords; and 
consequently no grant of these duties took eflfect. They 
granted two subsidies: but, before further arrange- 
ments could be made for meeting the financial neces- 
sities of the State, parliament was suddenly dissolved, 
in order to avert proceedings which were threatened 
against the king's favourite, the Duke of Buckingham. 

Some of the members most obnoxious to the court The kingv 
were appointed sheriffs of their cotmties,^ in order to with the 

T ,.«■ IP ... 1 T new parlia- 

disqualify them from sitting m the new parliament : ment. 
but this artifice failed to weaken the opposition, while 
it added another provocation to the popular party. 
The attack upon the Duke of Buckingham was about 
to be renewed in the commons, when the king sent a 
message forbidding them to question any of his ser- 
vants ; and another threatening them with dissolution. 
An impeachment, however, was voted ; and the king 
sent two of the managers, Sir John Eliot and Sir Dudley Members 

_ . 1 m n n 1.1 committed. 

Digges, to the Tower, for words spoken m the cause. 
Nor did he spare the privileges of the lords. He com- 
mitted the Earl of Arundel to the Tower, and refused 
a writ of summons to the Earl of Bristol, who sat by 
patent. Again Buckingham was saved by a dissolution. 

* Sir Edward Ooke, Sir Bobert Philips, Sir Thomas Wentworth, and 
Sir Francis Seymour. 


CHAP. The arbitrary measures of the court were now 

^ — -^-^ reaching a climax. The commons had voted five sub- 
iwM sidies, but had not passed the bill, when Parliament 
^nsentof was dissolvcd. Yct the government attempted to 
paruaincnt (^|]g^^. t,]iem, as if they had been granted by parlia- 
ment. The people, however, resisted ; and the at- 
tempt was too grossly illegal to be persisted in. Other 
expedients, not less arbitrary, were now resorted to. 
\^^ The king had already raised money by loan, from the 
more wealthy gentlemen of the different counties, whose 
names had been returned by the lords-heutenant. And 
now a general loan was demanded of all persons liable 
to assessment for subsidies. No stretch of prerogative 
so monstrous had yet been tried. The king was de- 
manding an equivalent for the subsidies that he had 
failed to obtain from parliament. The country would, 
indeed, have been without spirit, if it had tamely sub- 
mitted to such an exaction. Many country gentlemen 
refused to pay, and were committed to prison by the 
Privy Council. Five of them, of whom the great John 
Hampden was one, sought their release by a writ of 
habeas corpus : but, as they had been committed by 
special mandate of the king,^ the court refused them 
relief. This judgment was opposed to the most cher- 
ished doctrines of English liberty ; and proved but 
too plainly, that the judges, like the bishops, were pre- 
pared to uphold prerogative, in its encroachments upon 
tlie settled law of the land. 
Another But thcsc aud other exactions, no less unlawftil, 

parliament i i • 

Bummmied wcrc uucqual to mcct the pressmg necessities of the 
State ; and another parliament was summoned in 1628. 

' ' Per speciale mandatum regis.' 


So little did Charles expect a compliant temper in this chat. 
parliament, that he was preparing to bring over troops — -r--^ 
from Flanders, in case of need. And, in truth, no 
parliament had ever met in England, with more just 
causes of resentment against a king. But the com- 
mons contented themselves with a grave and tempe- 
rate vindication of the just liberties of the people. 
They passed the celebrated ' Petition of Eight,' which Petition of 
condemned as illegal, exactions by way of loan, the i6"^»- 
commitment of persons refusing to pay, and the 
denial of their habeas corpus, the billeting of soldiers 
and sailors, and punishments by martial law. The 
lords, after vainly attempting to amend this bill, were 
constrained to concur in it. The king endeavoured 
to escape from an express assent to it, by evasion and 
equivocation : but both houses took umbrage at this 
treatment, and, at length, he made the petition law, by 
his royal assent. The commons immediately granted 
five subsidies : thus showing that, if grievances were 
redressed, they were ready to provide amply for the 
service of the State. 

At this time, a reconciliation of the rights of the P® Ji^f '* 

' ^ o bad faith. 

crown, and the parliament, and mutual confidence 
might have been established : but the king soon be- 
trayed his duplicity and bad faith, — qualities, which 
were ere long destined to forfeit the loyalty of his 
subjects. He had resolved that this restrictive law 
should be evaded or overruled. Before his first equi- 
vocating answer, he ha;d asked the judges how far 
the law could be evaded, if he gave his assent ; and 
when he had been obUged to agree to it, and parlia- 
ment had been prorogued, he actually printed the 
statute with his first answer annexed to it, as if it had 

378 ENQLANl). 

CHAP, not received the royal assent in the usual form.^ He 

--^-T-^ had received the subsidies as the price of this statute ; 

and he had resolved, by unworthy subterfuges, and by 

evasions of the law, to repudiate the conditions to 

which he had assented. 

Duties of The commons, meanwhile, having secured the 

tonnage ' . . ' - . , ° 

and royal assent to the petition of right, were preparing 

1628. * to pass a bill granting duties of tonnage and poimdage, 
the bill of the late parUament having been lost by the 
dissolution. But before this bill was passed, they pre- 
pared a remonstrance against the levying of such duties 
without the consent of parliament. The king, how- 
ever, to avoid receiving the remonstrance, abruptly 
prorogued parliament : at the same time plainly an- 
nouncing his determination to continue the collection 
of tonnage and poimdage, as his own rightful revenue. 
Provoca- Nor wheu this parliament met again, were any fur- 

PuritaoB.* ther measures taken to estabhsh the revenues of the 
crown upon a legal foundation. The Puritans were 
now exasperated by the rigours of the high church 
prelates against themselves, by the approaches which 
the church was making, in doctrines and ceremonies, 
to the hated church of Eome, by the indulgence shown 
to Cathohcs, and by the extravagant doctrines of passive 
obedience preached by high church divines. Their 
repugnance to the spirit of the church was aggravated 
by the Catholic reaction abroad, and by the discomfi- 
ture of their Protestant brethren in foreign lands. 
Their faith was everywhere in danger, and must be 
guarded against its insidious foes. When the com- 
mons showed the temper in which they were preparing 

» See further Forster'a Lift of Sir 7. JSftVrf, ii. 229-271. 


to resent these grievances, the king at once dissolved chap. 
the parliament. - — .-^ 

Three parliaments had now been successively dis- Charies 
solved by Charles, in four years ; and, having found govern 
that institution intractable, he determined to rule with- parliament. 
out it. So far from disguising this resolution, he an- 
noimced it, in a proclamation to his people. He cast 
all the responsibility of this step, upon those who had 
opposed his will, and threatened them with punish- 
ment. Nor was he slow to carry out his threats. In 
violation of the petition of right, to which he had so 
recently assented, he committed several of the most 
obnoxious members of the House of Commons, — ^in- commifc- 

ment of Sir 

eluding Sir John Eliot, Denzil Holies, Selden, and JohnEUot 

^ . . a»d other 

Strode, — ^for their conduct in parliament. All, however, membenu 
were soon released, except Sir John Eliot, who was 
singled out for the vengeance of the court, Mr. Denzil 
Holies, and Mr. Valentine, who were sentenced to im- 
prisonment during the king's pleasure. Sir John Eliot, 
the most eminent of these prisoners, refiised to make 
any submission, and, as is too well known, died several 
years afterwards in the Tower.^ The illegality and in- 
justice of these proceedings were long afterwards^ deci- 
sively condemned by both houses of parliament ; and the 
judgment itself was reversed by the House of Lords.* 

Meanwhile the king was ruling without a parlia- Taxes by 
ment, and was driven to extremities to support his &vT** 
revenue. The customs duties continued to be levied, 
by prerogative only : money was raised by composi- 
tions for knighthood, by fines for encroachments upon 

^ The history of hh deeply iDteiestiiig life is told most effectiyely hy 
Fonter, in his remarkable l^graphy, which embraces all the eyenta of 
this period. 

> In 1667. • In 1668. 

380 ENGLA^^). 

^xix' *^® royal forests, by grants of monopolies, and lastly 
^- * -• ' by the memorable levy of ship money. Every class 
inoney. was aggrieved, — ^nobles, country gentlemen, merchants, 
and traders. But it was the illegal exaction of ship 
money, first at the seaports, and afterwards throughout 
the country, that caused an irreparable breach between 
the king and his subjects. The noble resistance of 
Hampden stirred up the country to a ftiU sense of its 
wrongs. The tax itself was plainly unlawful, and in 
express violation of a recent statute, — the petition of 
right ; while the arguments by which the judges main- 
tained it, distinctly raised the king's prerogative above 
the law, and placed the property of his subjects at his 
absolute disposal. And, fiirther, the king, by his pro- 
clamations, vexatiously interfered with various trades 
and manufactures. The time had plainly come when 
it must be determined whether England should be 
governed by prerogative, or by law, — ^whether the 
king should be absolute, like the kings of France and 
Spain, or should rule according to the time-honoured 
constitution of his country. 
Chamber Auothcr gricvdncc of this time was the severity 

SmS^^ of the Court of Star Chamber in the punishment of 
sion Courts, offenccs. Euiuous fines, imprisonment, the pillory, 
mutilation, whipping, branding, — such were its repul- 
sive sentences. And too often the fines were deter- 
mined, not by the gravity of the ofience, but by the 
wealth of the ofiender, and the poverty of the exche- 
quer. The court was the tyrannous agent of an arbi- 
trary rule. And while civil ofiences were thus cruelly 
punished by the Star Chamber, offences against the 
ecclesiastical laws were punished, with no less cruelty, 
by the High Commission Court. 


Such grievances as these were a sore aflliction chap, 
to the people. There were other wrongs, however, ^ — .-^ 
which weighed even more heavily upon the minds of str^^l 
the leaders of the popidar party, and of the Puri- 
tans. In the absence of parliament, the king's policy, 
in Chm-ch and State, had been mainly directed by 
the counsels of Laud and Strafford, — the one a nar- 
row, arbitrary and reactionary prelate ; the other an 
apostate patriot, and now a bold and unscrupulous 
statesman, in the service of the crown. The policy of 
the latter, in his own expressive phrase, was * thorough.' 
He favoxu'ed absolute rule by prerogative: even the 
judges of his time were too timid in its assertion, and 
threw too many obstacles in the way of its exercise : 
he scorned any halting or compromise. Laud, and 
his high chiu-ch prelates and divines, lent the full autho- 
rity of the church to such a policy ; and, in the govern- 
ment of the church, while exacting from the Puritan 
clergy a rigorous conformity, and seeking every occa- 
sion to drive them from their benefices, were themselves 
leaning, more and more, to Eomish tenets and obser- 
vances.^ No toleration or mercy was shown to Puri- 
tans : indulgence was reserved for Catholics. Tolera- 
tion formed no part of their policy : but the court and 
the high church clergy simply persecuted those to 
whom they were hostile, and favoiu-ed those with whom 
they sympathised.^ 

^ In the words of Lord Falkland, ' It seemed that their work was to 
try how much of a Papist might be brought in without Popery.' . . . 
^The design has been to bring in an English, though not a Boman 
Popery. I mean not only the outside and dress of it, but an equally 
absolute and blind dependence of the people upon the clergy, and of the 
clergy upon themselves.' — Debates on the Grand Itemonttrance, Forster, 
208, 217. 

■ May, History of the Parliament, chap. ii. 


(HAP. So grievous was this oppressive rule in Church and 

State, and so hopeless seemed the cause of civil and 

thT/i^ri-^ religious liberty in England, that numbers of worthy 
Puritan Puritans left her shores in despair ; and founded, on the 
i6^>n^o"' ^^^^^ side of the Atlantic, those settlements of New 
England which were destined, in after ages, to be the 
foundation of the greatest republic in the history of the 
(^rowinR No party in England dreamed of resistance to the 

arbitrary rule under which they suffered. Some sought 
freedom in other lands : some hopefully awaited redress 
from a future parliament : but throughout the country, 
and among all classes, there was an ever-growing dis- 
KebeiHon In Scotlaud, the oppressive and vexatious rule of 

in Scot- IT. iiTrt* •• k ^ 

und, 1639. the dommant party provoked a different spu-it. Alx)ve 
all things, the Scots prized their Presbyterian faith, and 
simple ceremonial. The king, guided by the evil 
counsels of Laud, forced upon them a high church 
ritual, utterly repugnant to their reUgious convictions 
and national habits. They had ever shown a stubborn 
and independent spirit, especially in matters of reUgion ; 
and this last outrage upon their faith goaded them to 
rebellion.^ With Scotland in arms, the king was in 
greater embarrassment than ever : but rather than 
summon a parliament to his aid, even in this perilous 
conjunctiu'e, he sought contributions from Catholic 
nobles and gentlemen, who were grateful for the in- 
dulgence they had received, and expected fiuther con- 
cessions from rulers who showed so much leaning to their 
faith. But these small doles were quite unequal to the 

* May, History of the Parliament, chap8. iii., iy., v., ri. 

PARLIAMENT OF 1640. 383 

support of a war ; and Charles was soon reduced to chap. 
make terms with the Scots, at Berwick. — '-^ 

The respite thus obtained was brief: fresh disorders short par- 

T "I • r« 1 -I -I 1 Hament of 

broke out m Scotland : the treasury was empty ; and at i64o. 
last Charles consented, against his own judgment, to 
call another parliament. The new parUament met in 
April 1640, after a parliamentary interregnum of eleven 
years, during which the king had exercised all the 
powers of the State. He had taxed his subjects without 
the consent of parUament : he had enacted laws in the 
form of proclamations : he had dispensed with, and 
ignored statutes ; and now he was to confront a body 
whose authority he had usurped. Meanwhile, the com- 
mons, whose privileges had been outraged, had become 
a more powerful estate : the commerce, industry and 
wealth of the people had been rapidly increasing ; and 
the wrongs which they had suffered had filled them 
with deep poHtical convictions. They had long brooded 
over the redress of their grievances ; and at last their 
opportunity was at hand. 

The members of the new House of Commons were chaxactev 

of the newr 

grave, temperate, and earnest men: resolute in their House of 

o ' r ^ ' ^ ^ ^ Commons. 

duty of redressing grievances : inflexible of piurpose : 
but wholly free from disloyalty to the king. They had 
no schemes of aggression upon his just prerogatives : 
but were determined to protect their own privileges, and 
the constitutional liberties of the people. That much 
w^as expected of them, was soon made evident by the 
unusual number of petitions praying for the redress of 
notorious grievances. But all hope of useful delibera- 
tion was soon dispelled. The king demanded twelve 
subsidies : but, according to time-honoured custom, — 
never so much needing observance as at this time, — the 


CHAP, commons first applied themselves to the consideration 
- ^ . ' -- of grievances. The lords ventured to advise them to 
vote the subsidies first ; and their advice was naturally 
resented. The king offered to discontinue the levy of 
sliip money, if the subsidies were voted ; but the 
commons were resolved to condemn that impost as 
illegal, and to restrain the arbitrary exercise of prero- 
gative. The king sharply rebuked them for their 
May 1640. audacity, and impatiently dissolved parliament. He 
had obtained no subsidies for himself; and had greatly 
increased the irritation and suspicions of his people. 
He further exasperated the commons by committing 
Bellasis, Sir John Hotham, and Crew, — members of 
their house, — for their conduct in ParUament. 
Rrijoiiion This suddcu rupture with the parliament left no 

Und hope of accommodation between Charles and his sub- 

jects. His exactions became more general, and were 
enforced with greater severity : but in vain. The Scots 
were again in open rebellion, and their forces crossed 
the English borders. The king had driven one of his 
kingdoms into revolt ; and had forfeited the confidence 
of another. Ireland also, notwithstanding the vigorous 
rule of Strafford, was in a state of rebeUion and disorder. 
It was dear that such difficulties could only be over- 
come by the willing aid of an English parUament, en- 
joying the confidence, and wielding the resources of 
the coimtry. But, with ruin threatening him, Charles 
dreaded another Puritan parliament more than the 
invading Scots. He knew that his cherished preroga- 
tives would be wrung fi-ora him, and he recoiled from 
the sacrifice. To postpone the evil day, he summoned 
a council of peers at York : but they could give him 
no help, and merely offered the unwelcome advice, that 
he should summon another parliament. 



Humbled by the victorious Scots, and harassed by ciivp 
divided councils and pressing embarrassments, he ^ — r— ^ 
assented to this hateful necessity, with a heavy heart. p^ii^"ent 
The memorable Long Parliament met, and the struggle JSJo™''"^'^' 
between prerogative and popular power at once began, 
which was destined to overthrow the ancient monarchy, 
and to establish a republic upon its ruins. We are ap- 
proaching the most critical and eventful period in the 
domestic history of England. 

The Long ParHament was not a revolutionary The Long 
assembly. It comprised men of the best families in mentmwts 
England, loyal country gentlemen, eminent lawyers, i64o. * 
rich merchants, many faithful coiurtiers, and a large body 
of resolute Puritans, of unflinching purpose, but as yet 
aiming at nothing but effectual securities for liberty.^ 
It differed little, in its composition, from the late par- 
liament : but recent events had embittered its relations 
with the king ; and its leaders, taught by experience, 
and encouraged by strong popular support, were pre- 
paring to grapple with prerogative, and to punish evil 
coimcillors. Distrusting the king and his advisers^ who 
had set aside laws, and outraged liberty, they deter- 
mined to bind them down, in future, by restraints which 
they could not break through. 

The first and greatest abuse was the long intermis- Remedini 

, measures. 

sion of parliaments ; and this was corrected by the Trien- 
nial Bill. Ship money was condemned as illegal, and the 
iniquitous judgment against Hampden was annulled 
by statute. The levying of customs duties, otherwise 

^ For a list of the membeis of the Long Parliament, see Pari. Hist, 
ii. 597. Among them will be found such honoured English names as 
Hampden, Vernej, .Hippesley, Carew, Temple, Bering, Buller, Trevor, 
Viyian, Ourzon, Seymour, Russell, Strode, Northcote, Strangways^Lumley^ 
Mildmay, Knightley, and Vane. 


386 ENGLA^^). 

ciiAP than with the consent of parliament, was once more 
-- t ' ^- pronounced illegal : while the customary duties of ton- 
nage and poundage were at length formally granted to 
the crown. The Star Chamber and the High C5om- 
mission Court were abolished. The abuses of purvey- 
ance, of compulsory knighthood, and of the royal forests 
w^ere corrected. Impressment for the army was con- 
demned. The privileges of parliament were vindicated. 
Such were the principal laws by which the Long 
Parliament recovered and confirmed the liberties of 
England. They were all temperate and judicious : they 
infring(?d no constitutional prerogative of the crown : 
they followed ancient precedents: they were framed 
for defence, not for aggression : they secured liberty, 
but were not conceived in the spirit of democracy.^ 
iniiK^ach But it was not enough to pass good laws, w^hich 

might again be trampled upon by arbitrary rulers and 
compliant judges. Prerogative had been upheld as 
superior to the law : crimes had been committed against 
the State ; and it was necessary to punish the offenders, 
as an example and a warning to after times. The com- 
mons struck first at the greatest offenders. They im- 

' The Venetian ambassador, Giovanni Giustinian, writing on the 11th 
of January, 1641, N.S., speaks of a biU for securing the annual meeting 
of Parliament, which the commons had paj>6ed and sent to the lords, as 
' fraught with important consequences/ and says, * The lords are appre- 
hensive lest similar diminution of the royal authority, coupled with the 
frequency of parliaments, may augment immoderately the licentiousness 
of the people ; and that, after throwing off the yoke of the monarchy, 
there is evident risk of their next dispensing with the nobility Hkewise, 
and reducing the government of this realm to a pure democracy, which is 
the sole aim of the most seditious of these politicians, atid above all of the 
Puritans. The king on his part, encourages this opinion to the utmost, 
and labours arduously to prevent the commons from succeeding in so 
bold a project, which wounds his prerogative in its most vital part.'— 
MSS. (Mr. Rawdon Brown), vol xlvi. (Becord Office). 



peached the Earl of Strafford and Archbishop Laud chap. 
of high treason, and the lords committed them to the - — » — ' 
Tower. The Lord Keeper Finch, and Secretary Winde- 
bank, were also impeached : but they escaped, and fled 
to the continent. The unhappy prelate was left to 
languish in prison ; and the wrath of parliament was 
first directed against Strafford. 

To sustain an impeachment against him, such a con- Attainder 
struction of the laws of treason and of evidence was ne- ford.*^ 
cessary, as was repugnant to the principles of English 
jurisprudence. This form of proceeding was there- 
fore dropped ; and a bill of attainder was introduced. 
This bill was readily passed by the commons ; and the 
expected resistance of the lords was overcome by the 
intimidation of armed mobs, which besieged the houses 
of parliament, and clamom-ed for justice against Straf- 
ford.^ The painful struggles of Charles with his own 
conscience, on this critical occasion, have been often 
described : but one of his efforts to save the life of his 
faithful minister must not be passed over in silence. 
He declared his readiness to pledge himself never to 
employ Strafford again in the public service. Un- 
happily this proposal was made by Charles to induce the 
House of Lords not to pass the bill of attainder ; and, 
instead of being accepted as a concession, by the popular 
party, was resented as an interference with the privileges 
of parliament.^ The king, assailed by popular clamours, 
and overcome by the embarrassments and dangers of 
his position, at length consented to the sacrifice of his 
councillor ; and Strafford expiated his political crimes Mar 12, 
upon the scaffold. In these peaceable times, we con- 

1 Clarendon, Hiit. L 232, 256; Roshworth, v. 248. 
• Rushworth, v. 239. 

c 2 


CHAP, demn the severity with which Strafford was pursued 


to death : but he had committed crimes, and he was 
judged according to the spirit and usage of his age. 
The hands of English kings and councillors were red 
with the blood of many innocent men condemned as 
traitors; and powet was now passing from the king 
to parliament. The commons were without mercy : 
but at this crisis, their pitiless temper was aroused in 
defence of the liberties of England. 
dioMT*^ So far the acta of the commons were constitutional, 

wmSf^ and within the acknowledged limits of the authority of 
meotT' parliament. But, having entered upon an imexampled 
contest with the king and his councillors, they did not 
hesitate to assume powers, for which there was no 
warrant in law or precedent. The king had stretched 
his prerogative ; and now the parliament entered upon 
a systematic abuse of its privileges. Not contented with 
their unquestionable right to denounce abuses, with a 
view to the passing of new laws, or the punishment of 
offences against the law, before the legal tribunals, par- 
liament claimed to punish, as delinquents, all persons 
Deiin- whom they adjudged guilty of offences against the law.* 
Reviewing the late course of administration, they con- 
demned, as delinquents, large classes of persons who 
had been concerned in the performance of duties au- 
thorised by the executive government, — ^lieutenants of 
counties for executing the king's orders, and sheriffs for 

^ 'This word <' delinquent ** was very much in use during this par- 
liament. Thus, a great number of those who had been most noted for 
their adherence to the maxims of the court, or the principles of the 
archbishop, were voted Delinquents, and thereby kept in awe hy the 
commons, who, according as they behaved well or ill to them, could 
prosecute or leave them unmolested.' — Eapin, But, ii. 356. See also 
Kushworth, iv. 58 ; Clarendon, EuL L 141, 144 ; Hume, ffkt. v. 9, 10. 



levying ship money :* officers of the revenue, who had chap, 
collected the duties of tonnage and poundage. The ' — ^-^ 
judges who had given judgment against Hampden in 
the great case of ship money, were accused before the 
House of Lords, and required to give surety for their 
appearance. Judge Berkeley was even seized, by order 
of the house, while sitting in his court.* Clergymen, 
who had introduced new ceremonies into the church, 
w;ere declared delinquents, and committed to prison.® 
And a committee for scandalous ministers having been 
appointed, numbers of ministers, obnoxious to the Puri- 
tans, were censured and esipelled from their livings, by 
the sole authority of the commons.* They also made 
orders for the pulling down of all crucifixes, images and 
altars in the churches. Even crosses were removed, 
by their authority, from the public streets and market 
places.^ In September 1641, a joint committee of the 
two houses, with considerable executive and coercive 
powers, was appointed to sit during the recess. ^ And 
similar committees, with unaccustomed functions, con- 
tinued to form part of the administration of the parlia- 
ment. Nor did they encroach upon the law alone : 
their encroachments upon prerogative commenced very 
early in the strife. In August 1641, the two houses , 

passed an ordinance, without the assent of the king, 
for disarming all the papists in England;^ and, in 
November, another ordinance for raising forces for the 

> Olaiendon, i. 80S-316. 

« Whitlocke, 39; ParlHia. ii. 917. 

' Pari Hist. ii. 678 ; Clarendon, Hitt. L 475 ; Rushworth, Y. 203, 351. 

« Nalson, Collection, ii. 234,245. 

* Whitlocke, 45. 

• Rushworth, v. 387 ; Pari. Biit. ii. 910-916. 

^ Com, Joum, Aug. 30, 1641 ; Olarendon, Siit. ii. 3. 


CHAP, defence of Ireland.^ And similar ordinances were 


- — r-^ passed throughout the time of the Long Parliament.' 
These encroachments of the commons served to terrify 
all the agents of the government, to strengthen the par- 
liament, and to discourage opposition to its measm^es : 
but they were no more defensible than the excesses of 
which the king and his ministers had been accused ; and 
they marked the commencement of the revolutionary 
movement upon which parliament was about to enter. 
]lnci'w[th ^^^ revolutionary spirit of the Long Parliament 

the lord*, ^as furthcr shown by the dealings of the commons 
with the House of Lords, its own members, and the 
people. Their own will was the only law which 
they were prepared to recognise. Li December 
1641, taking notice that certain bills had not been 
retiuned by the lords, they desired their lordships 
should be acquainted, at a conference, ' that this house, 
being the representative body of the whole kingdom, 
and their lordships being but as particular persons, and 
coming to parliament in a particular capacity, that if 
they shall not be pleased to consent to the passing of 
those acts, and others necessary to the preservation and 
safety of the kingdom, that then this house, together 
with such of the lords that are more sensible of the 
safety of the kingdom, may join together and represent 
the same unto his Majesty.'® Thus early was displayed 
a determination to deny the lords their lawful rights 
of legislation. Nor would they allow debates in the 
other house, of which they disapproved, to pass with- 
out censiu-e. They punished the Duke of Eichmond 

» Com. Joum, Nov. 9, 1641. 

* See Husband's Acts and Ordinances, 

* Com, Joum. Dec. 3, 1641, ii. SSO. 


for a few words, spoken in his place ; ^ and impeachal chap. 
twelve of the bishops for a protest against the validity * — r-^ 
of proceedings of the House of Lords, while they were 
prevented from attending by the mob/^ In their own Freedom of 
house they violently repressed all freedom of debate, strained. 
Opposition to the majority was treated as a contempt, 
and punished with commitment or expulsion.' Pri- 
vilege had become more formidable than prerogative. 

Petitions had now become an important instnunent And right 

/» T • 1 • • -r* 1 T ij of petition. 

of poutical agitation. But the paruament would not 
tolerate petitions, however moderate and respectful, 
which opposed their policy, or represented the opinions 
of the minority. Often the luckless petitioners were 
even sent to prison.* But petitioners, who approved 
the measures of the majority, were received with favour, 
even when attended by mobs, which ought to have 
been discouraged and repelled.^ In our own time the 
multiplication of petitions in support of popular views ^^atfii 
of public policy, and as a means of influencing parha- 
ment and public opinion, has become familiar to us : 
but, until the meeting of this parliament, it had been 
wholly unknown. Now, however, petitions were pre- 
pared complaining of every grievance, and signed by 
large numbers of petitioners. These were discussed in 
the house, and immediately published, for the informa- 
tion of the people. No less than forty committees were 
appointed to inquire into these alleged grievances, with 
large powers roughly exercised ; and their outspoken 

^ 0>m. Jaum, ii. 400, 643, &c ; Pari Hist, ii. 1062. 
» Pari JUst, n. 996, 1092 ; Clarendon, Hist. ii. 118-121. 
» Cam. Joum. ii. 168, 411, 703, &c. ; Pari Hist, ii. 1072. 
< Pari Hist, ii. 1147, 1160, 1188 ; Clarendon, Hist, ii. 322. 
« Kg, The BuekinghatnaMre Petition] Clarendon, J3m<. ii. 166; Pari 
Hist. ii. 1072-1076; iii. 43. 


CHAP, reports, and the discussions to which they led, fomented 
' — r-^ the popular excitement^ The leaders of the popular 
bjMnoi*!* party also encouraged the assembling of mobs for 
supporting their cause, and intimidating their oppo- 
nents. On December 28, 1641, there were disturbances 
outside both houses of parliament, with cries of * No 
bishops!' and an afiray arose between some gentlemen 
and the mob. The lords desired the commons to join 
with them in a declaration against these disorders, 
which was discussed there. Strong observations were 
made upon the preferring of petitions by tumultuous 
assemblies. According to Lord Clarendon, however, 
some members urged * that they must not discourage 
their friends, this being a time they must make use 
of all friends;'* and the like practices were con- 
tinued throughout the troubled period of this parlia- 
ActRjjainst Thc commous and the popular party had now 
or^i^-" completely triumphed over prerogative, and had sig- 
m!!J^i64i. nally avenged the wrongs which they had lately 
suffered. But their contest with the king could not 
rest here. They held him in profoimd distrust : they 
dreaded a dissolution, and a government by the sword. 
They had provided against the intermission of parlia- 
ments : but how should they protect themselves from 

* Clarendon, Hist. i. 357, &c. 

» Clarendon. Hiit, ii. 87 ; iVrW. Hist. ii. 986. 

* On July 26, 1647, riotoua mobs of apprentices surrounded the 
House of Commons, and some of them irere cidled in to present a petition. 
The apprentices were afterwards very disorderly in the lobby, knocking 
at the door, preyenting a division from taking place, hustling the 
Speaker, and forcing him back into the chair, which he had left, and 
obliging him to put a question. Both houses were overawed by these mobs, 
and forced to repeal an ordinance relating to the London militia, and a 
declaration lately made against framing petitions. Pari, Sut, m. 718, 
722 ; Whitlocke, Mem, 263 ; Ludlow, Mem. i. 191. 


the sudden overthrow of theu- own power, the renewed chap. 


domination of the king, and his vengeance against 
themselves ? Their only protection was to be sought 
in a bold invasion of the royal prerogative. They 
passed a bill to forbid a dissolution of the present par- 
liament, without its own consent; and to this aggressive 
measure the king, humbled by defeat, was constrained 
to give his assent. It was the first undoubted infringe- 
ment of the constitutional rights of the crown ; and it 
secured not only the independence, but the mastery of 
the resolute commons. 

The parliament, having secured its own permanence. Attempts 
was more formidable than ever. But its victories over modation. 
prerogative had satisfied many of the popular party : 
the public liberties had been recovered: grievances 
had been redressed : unlawful acts had been con- 
demned and punished : might not peace and confidence 
between the king and the commons be, at length, 
restored ? For a time such a result seemed attainable, 
by the admission of some of the parliamentary leaders 
to the service of the crown : ^ but the more violent 
sections of the party : the Presbyteiians and Indepen- 
dents : men who desired further changes in Church 
and State : men who profoundly distrusted Charles 
and his court, determined that the struggle should not 
yet be closed. Nor was it possible to embrace all the 
leaders of the opposition, or to persuade the selected 

> The £arl£ of Essex and Holland, Lords Say and Falkland, and Mr. 
St. John. The Earls of Hertford, Bedford, Bristol, and Warwick, and 
the Lords Savile and Eimbolton, were also admitted to the Priyy 
GouncU. Clarendon, But, i. 369 ; Rushworth, v. 189. It was further 
proposed to make Holies Secretary of State, Pym Chanoellor of the 
Exchequer, Lord Say Master of the Wards, the Earl of Essex governor, 
and Hampden tutor to the Plinoe of Wales. Clarendon, Siit> L 2I0| 


CHAP, few to separate themselves from their party, and desert 
— ^-T-^ a cause which was still hotly pursued by their friends 
and adherents. The distrust of the popular party was 
further inflamed by the rebellion in Ireland. The 
horrible excesses of the Irish rebels could not be 
suffered to continue : but what if an army, raised for 
service in Ireland, should be used for the coercion of 
the English parliament? In June 1641 this party 
carried a bill to deprive the bishops of their votes in 
the House of Lords : but it was rejected by the 
other house. Agivin, tp keep alive the strife, in No- 
vember 1641, they voted a grand remonstrance to the 
king, in which they reviewed the several grievances 
imder which the coimtry had lately suffered, the pro- 
gress made by parliament in redressing them, and 
the obstacles still opposed to further reforms. It was a 
terrible indictment against the pohcy of the court ; and. 
was designed not so much as a remonstrance to the 
king, as an appeal to the people ; ^ and it was responded 
to with passionate enthusiasm. The city of London made 
common cause with the parliament; and associations 
were formed, in the provinces, for the support of the 
commons in their bold struggles for the public liberties. 
Political The chief political grievances, indeed, had been 

gnevanccs ir o ' ' 

aj^jdvre- already redressed. But the Puritans were more in- 
Thc Pari- flamed by religious than by pohtical grievances. They 
detested the bishops with as much fiiry as their 

^ Clarendon, Hi$t. ii. 49, et $eq, : ' It is tbe most authentic statement 
, ever put forth of the wrongs endured by all classes of the English people 
during the first fifteen years of the reign of Charles I. ; and for that reason, 
the most complete justification on record of the Oreat Rebellion.' 
( Forster, The Orand J^emonstrancey 114.) Every incident connected with 
this remonstrance is related, with exhaustive fulness, in the work just 


brethren in Scotland : they hated the liturgy : they chap. 
were offended by the surplice : they objected to bow- ^- — r-^ 
ing towards the alter : they disapproved of the use of 
the cross in baptism, and of the ring in marriage ; and 
of other usages and ceremonies of the church. The 
Scots had rebelled against these things, and had re- 
covered their cherished forms of worship : the English 
Puritans were bent upon seciu-ing equal privileges for 
themselves.^ The heroic and successful resistance of Growth of 
Calvinistic Holland to the oppressions of Philip 11., and influ^ 
the establishment of Piuitan forms of worship in that 
country, also animated the English Puritans with a 
more active and aggressive spirit. With them religion 
ever had the foremost place in politics ; and they could 
not rest until their faith had prevailed. 

With such religious zeal and hatreds among the Revoiu- 
Puritans, the revolutionary spirit was sustained so long spirit sub- 
as the royal cause continued to be identified with the 
church. Such men were ready to assist in any political 
convulsions which should ensure the fall of the church ; 
and, from the peculiar religious opinions of this time, 
Church and State soon became confounded in the minds 
of zealots, in a common hatred, and exalted into a holy 
cause.^ The animosity and distrust of this party were 
not allayed by past successes : the more violent werie 
meditating further restraints upon the king, and re- 
newed assauljp upon the bishops : while the courtiers 
provoked them by their haughty bearing and contemp- 
tuous language. The main object of the leaders, 

1 Clarendon, Siit. i. 233. 

' In the seventeenth century the church had so allied itself to the 
tyranny of the king and the persecution of other sects, that puritanism in 
England became the representative of democracy. — ^Leckyi Eationaiiam 
in Europe, ii. 9. 


CRAP. Pym, Hampden, and St. John, was to restrain the 
• — r-^ undue exercise of prerogative : the first aim of their 
Pwitan followers, — the most irreconcilable members 
of the party, — was to overthrow episcopacy, and the 
domination of the high church divines, and to arrest 
the Bomish reaction, which was undoing the work of 
the reformers of the last centiuy. 
HaihneM of On One side, the coiui; regarded this party as in- 
solent and disaffected, and its measmres as intolerable 
encroachments upon the just prerogatives of the crown. 
On the other, the majority of the patriots were bent 
upon the subversion of the existing polity, in Chiurch 
and State. A mortal struggle was still threatening, 
which could only be averted by restoring some mea- 
sure of confidence between the king and the commons, 
when Charles's rash and foolish attempt to arrest the 
Axrwtof five leaders of the popular party,^ in the House of 
in^mberB, Commous, at once destroyed all hope of accommoda- 
iwi. tion. To have put down the obnoxious parliament, by 
force of arms, might have been attempted by a strong- 
handed monarch : but to irritate a powerful and hostile 
body, by this feeble outrage, was fiatal to Charles and 
to the monarchy. Many who had still hoped to con- 
trol prerogative by remonstrances and remedial statutes 
now saw that they had to deal with a king, whose 
insincerity had been too often exposed, whom no con- 
stitutional securities could restrain, and whose arbitrary 
temper was ever ready to outrage law and privilege. 
f*"*^tiii ^^ stronger measures were now determined upon. 

to the king. 

^ Pym, Hampden, Beniel Hollis, Sir Arthur Haalerig, and Strode. 
May, Siit. of tke BarL book ii. cliap. ii. ; FoTBter, Arred of the Five 
Memben, xii.->zxi. &c. In tliis work, much of the kiatory of tke time u 
grouped round thiB eentnl incident 


First, the Puritans were gratified by the passing of their chap. 
cherished measure, for depriving the bishops of their ^ — .-^ 
seats in the upper house, to which the lords agreed, 
and the king was constrained to give his assent. Next, 
a more serious invasion of prerogative was proposed, 
than any which had yet been ventured upon. The 
commons had, for some time, shown their jealousy of 
the king's uncontrolled power over the military forces Tiie Militia 
of the country ; and they now passed a bill to wrest Feb! i642. 
the control of the militia from the crown, and to place 
it under the orders of the two houses of parliament. 
To such a bill the king could not be expected to con- 
sent. He could not deliver up his sword to his enemies, 
without first doing battle. If willing to share his 
power with the parliament, he could not strip himself 
of it altogether. After some parley, he at length 
refused his assent to the bill;^ and prepared for the 
impending contest, which was to cost him his life. 

> Clarendon, TTut, ii. 261. 




^xx*** ^ CRISIS was now at hand, in which parliamentary 
' — ^ — ' strife was to give place to the arbitrament of the swonl. 
leavw*"^ The public excitement which prevailed, and the tumul- 
tuous assemblages which the parliamentary struggle 
had encouraged, afforded the king sufficient ground 
for leaving his capital : but he was already preparing 
to resist any further invasion of his prerogatives, by 
an appeal to arms. His queen was sent abroad, 
with the crown jewels, to equip foreign troops for the 
king's service, while he himself retired to the north of 
England, and commenced preparations for raising an 
army.^ At York, he was followed by the * nineteen 
propositions ' which, if assented to, would have made 
him a mere puppet in the hands of the parliament. 
With the fortunes of war before him, no king could 
have submitted to such conditions ; and his preparations 
were continued. 
Prepara- Hc was soou siuToundcd by faithful followers and 

war. adherents to his cause. Peers and members of the 

House of Commons, who had vainly raised their voices 
for him at Westminster, followed him to York. They 
were generally averse to war ; and would have advised 

* May, Hiit. of the Pari, book li. ch. ii 


any reasonable accommodation between the king and ^?x^' 
the parliament. ' — ^ — - 

There were country gentlemen, friends of liberty, The king's 
but loyal to the crown, and resolute to defend their *^^®'®"*^ 
king against his enemies. There were spirited young 
nobles and gentlemen eager to chastise the rebellious 
Puritans, whom they despised and hated. There were 
Catholics ready to draw their swords for what they 
believed to be the common cause of the monarchy and 
the Catholic faith. And there were soldiers, trained to 
arms in continental wars, who were burning to gain 
fresh laurels upon English battle-fields. A cause thus 
supported soon gathered together a considerable army. 
Was it to be used for making reasonable terms with the 
parliament, or for overthrowing the popular party, and 
crushing the hberties of the people, which had lately 
been secured? The best and worthiest advisers of 
Charles desired no more than to save his just pre- 
rogatives from the encroachments of the parliament. 
The courtiers, the soldiers, and the more headstrong of 
the royalists, were eager to march to Westminster, to 
scourge the parliamentary rebels, and to restore the 
king to Whitehall, as absolute master of his dominions. 
That the king's forces would soon be engaged with the 
troops was only too certain. Sir John Hotham, who 
had been made governor of Hull, refused admittance to 
the king himself,^ and everywhere preparations were 
being made, by the parliament, for meeting the royal 
forces in the field. 

If there were divided counsels at York, there were Divided 
coimsels no less divided at Westminster. The parlia- westoin- 
ment had not been slow in collecting an army to resist ' 

' May, Butt, of the Pari book ii. ch. ii. 


CHAP the king : but the approaching civil war was regarded 
'w -^ — ' with conflicting feelings by different sections of the 
popular party. The royalists had generally seceded 
from both houses : but there remained many moderate 
men who deplored the extremities to which they had 
been driven, and would gladly have averted the shed- 
ding of blood. But when the sword had been drawn, 
vain was the office of peacemakers on either side. The 
early successes of the king, indeed, strengthened for a 
time the endeavoiu^ of the peace party in parliament : 
but, at the same tune, they gave encouragement to the 
uncompromising party among the royalists. N^otia- 
tions were tried at Oxford between the king and the 
parliament : but neither party was ready to make oon- 
cessions which the other could accept ; and the final 
issue was now left to the sword. 
The civu On both sides, the contest assumed a more irrecon- 

cilable character. The secession of other royalists and 
moderate men from the parliament, left the ccmduct of 
affairs in the hands of the extreme party at West- 
minster : while the ruptiu-e of negociations for peace 
confirmed the ascendency of the warlike party, in the 
councils of the king. The commons impeached the 
queen : the king declared the two houses to be no par- 
liament : the two houses passed an ordinance for making 
a new great seal ; and, in order to win over the Scots, 
The Boiemn they entered into a * solemn league and covenant ' to 
<S^1" abolish prelacy, and adopt the Presbyterian form of 
church government in England: they persecuted the 
clergy of the Anglican Church : they revived the im- 
peachment of Laud, which had been suffered to sleep 
for the last three years, while the unhappy prelate 
v^HSL ^^™^^^ ^ prisoner in the Tower, and at length brought 
him to the block. 


Meanwhile, the king had summoned another parlia- chap. 
ment at Oxford,^ which threatened to be as troublesome ' — 

as some former parliaments at Westminster. It was ^oSTfOT 
moderate and constitutional, and more eartiest in its ^f; 
aversion to Catholics, than in its zeal for the king's cause : 
but, above all, it was pacific, and insisted upon further 
overtures for peace. Negociations were accordingly car- 
ried on at XJxbridge : but the breach was too wide be- 
tween the two parties, and the fortunes of war were as 
yet too imdecided, to allow of a peacefiil solution of the 
strife. Nor, if the ccmditions of a peace could have 
been agreed upon, could Charles and his indissoluble 
parliament have quietly laid down their arms, and 
retiu-ned to the steady track of constitutional govern- 
ment. They had drawn the sword, and could not 
sheath it again imtil one or other was the conqueror. 
The two parties were irreconcilable ; and their long- 
continued strife had embittered their personal feuds, 
and increased the divergence of their principles. 

A republican spirit was now beginning to be appa- Theinde- 
rent, especially among the Independents. These men ^"' *"^* 
no longer sought concessions from the crown, or secu- 
rities for popular rights : but aimed at the overthrow 
of the monarchy, and the ruin of the hated church. 
They were the first example of a democratic party 
in England. ' Liberty had often had its fearless 
champions : but democracy was unknown. The Inde- 
pendents had gradually separated themselves from the 
Presbyterians ; and as their creed was more subversive 
of ecclesiastical institutions, so were their political views 

^ In the coBTention at Oxford with the king there were more peers 
than at Westminster, and nearly two hundred memhers of the House of 
Commons. Pari. Hiit, iii. 202. 




c iiAP. more violent and implacable. Their political ideal was 
— ^.-^ a republic, without king or nobles, in which all citi- 
zens should enjoy an absolute equaKty. Of this stem 
and resolute party Oliver Cromwell, Sir Harry Vane, 
Nathaniel Fiennes, and Oliver St. John were the 
leaders ; and their capacity and strength of will were 
destined to prevail over their rivals. In parliament 
and in the country, their party formed an insignificant 
minority : it was in the parliamentary army alone that 
they coidd hope to attain ascendency. 

Oliver Cromwell, who had already risen to eminence as a 

soldier, clearly foresaw that the army would soon * give 
law both to king and parliament ; * ^ and his character 
and opportunities alike led him to seek power from the 
soldiery rather than from parliament. A consummate 
general, and a popular commander, his influence in the 
army was paramount His skill and bravery in the 
field: his famiharity with his Puritan soldiers: his 
fanatical spirit : his prayers and pious exhortations, made 
him the idol of the Roundhead soldiery, who held the 
fortunes of the country in their hands. In parliament he 
could not have attained pre-eminence, otherwise than aa 
a successful poldior. As a speaker he was tedious, ob- 
scure, confused and unimpressive: his purposes were dark 
and inscrutable ; and he addressed a Presbyterian ma- 
jority, who were members of a different school in religion 
and politics, and distrusted his policy and his ambition. 
The leaders of the Independents were no less strong 

pr»M. h( r:*. in the pulpit than in the army ; and, whenever they 
desired to sway public opinion, their preachers were 
ready at their call. With the word of God for ever in 

t Statement of the Earl of Manchester. (J[Bxen6ion,Hid.oftkeBebel' 
/Mm, y. 561. 


their mouths, they interpreted his will, at pleasure, chap. 


with all the force of revelation ; and every design of 
their leaders was proclaimed as the voice of the Holy 
Spirit. With the fervid faith of the ancient Hebrews, 
they taught that God's hand directed and controlled 
every act of man ; and they assumed to reveal his 
divine purposes. In their eyes, the government of 
England had become a theocracy, and God himself 
ruled through his ministers and instruments. No more 
powerful auxiliaries could have been found than these 
impassioned preachers, whose inspiration was never 
doubted by their God-fearing flocks.^ 

The ambitious leaders of the Independent party, Seifdeny- 
jealous of the ascendency of the Presbyterians in par- IToce? 
liament, in the army, and in the chief offices of State, 
conceived a cunning scheme for stripping them of their 
power. Their preachers, having first denounced the 
self-seeking and covetous disposition of members of 
parliament, who had taken to themselves the chief 
commands in the army, and the most lucrative civil 
offices, — to the injury of the State, and against the 
manifest will of God, who had made their enterprises 
to fail, — they proposed the celebrated * self-denying 
ordinance.' By this ordinance the members of both 
houses were called upon to renounce all their military 
commands and civil offices ; and, after much debate, and 
with many misgivings, the Presbyterian majority, against 
whose domination it was obviously directed, were D<^r- 
suaded or constrained to submit to this act of suicide. 

By this artfiil scheme Cromwell at once superseded vmhy- 
Lords Essex, Manchester and Warwick, and other chief ^"^ah 
officers of the army. Sir Thomas Fairfax was appointed ^"'^'"^^'^ 

> See Selden, Table Talk, Works iii., Part ii. 2042. 
D D 2 


CFTAP. general, while Cromwell himself, cunningly evading the 

operation of the ordinance, contrived to retain his 
command as lieutenant-general ; and became practically 
the leader of the parliamentary forces. Never had a 
poUtical party been so outwitted by the bold artifices of a 
crafty minority. All power was now in the hands of the 
Independents ; and a fierce republican spirit animated 
their councils. Hitherto commissions in the parliamen- 
tary army had been issued in the name of the king and 
parliament: Fairfax's commission was granted by the 
parliament only. Even the pretence of loyalty was now 
cast aside, 
m^eiun With ucw officcrs in command, the army was 

of the inspired with fi-esh fanaticism. The officers preached 

arm J, 1645. ^ *^ 

and prayed with their men; and soldiers, possessed 
with a wild religious fervour, sang psalms and songs of 
praise, and discussed among themselves the manifesta- 
tions of the Holy Spirit, which had been vouchsafed to 
them. This religious enthusiasm, — ^however derided by 
the royalists, and however repugnant to the taste of 
other sects in that and succeeding ages, — formed the 
great strength of the parliamentary army. It maintained 
the influence of the sectarian officers : it animated the 
men to fight and sufier in a holy cause ; and it ensured 
a stern and spontaneous discipline. While riot and dis- 
orders weakened the royalist forces, and made them 
objects of dread no less to their friends than to their foes, 
the despised Eoundheads, steady, earnest and elated, 
were marching, with the spirit of crusaders, to victory. 
The battle The battle of Naseby ruined the fortunes of the king, 
june"*!*^* and established the ascendency of Cromwell. The un- 
^^l' happy king, everywhere defeated, and without hope from 
i64iL ' any of the English parties, at length sought refuge with 


the Scots at Newark. The Presbyterians were less hostile chap. 


to him than the dominant Independents ; and he hoped * — r-^ 

for the friendly mediation of his northern subjects. 
Never were hopes more falsified. He found himself a 
prisoner in the Scottish camp ; and no sooner had the Scots, 
turning their royal prize to good account, made terms 
with the English parliament, for the payment of their ar- Januaiy so, 
rears, than they surrendered their captive to his enemies. 

With the overthrow of the royal cause by the hands p«ii of the 
of the Puritans, the ruin of the Church of England was England. 
also consummated. Prelacy had been, for some time, i<546. 
abolished ; and now the Presbyterian polity was intro- 
duced into the church: but lawyers and laymen of 
rational views of church government, assisted by the 
Independents, were able to moderate the intolerance 
and priestly pretensions of the scheme which Scottish 
Presbyterians would fain have imposed upon England.^ 
In a Presbyterian church there was no toleration for 
the Episcopal clergy. Denounced as prelatists and 
royalists, about one half were ejected from their bene- 
fices : ^ the other half being content to conform to the iw7. 
new estabhshment, to give up the Uturgy, and subscribe 
the covenant. Nor was this settlement long allowed to 
continue without distmrbance ; for when the Indepen- 
dents gained the ascendent, they were opposed to a lesi. 
ijiational established church, and preferred ministers of 
their own sect, or itinerant preachers, to the Presbyte- 
rian and conforming clergy.* 

1 See the Ordinance; Ruflhworth, Tii. 210; ibid. 260, 306; White- 
lock, 106. 

» Dr. John Walker, NunAers and S^ermgs of the derffy. 

' In Wales, the clergy having been ejected as Malignante, their places 
were supplied by a few itinerant preachers. Dr. John Walker, Numbers 
and Stefferinga of the CUrgy, 147. This was probably one of the first 
causes of the general spread of dissent in Wales. 


CHAP. The parliament was victorious, and was not slow to 

— r^-^ claim the rights of conquerors. It was computed that 
irf'the piw nearly half the estates of England were sequestered 
lument. diuing the civil war, as the property of delinquents. 
Committees were appointed throughout the country to 
seek out delinquents, sequester their estates, and sub- 
ject them to fines and imprisonment They were abso- 
lute masters of the fortimes and hberty of Englishmen ; 
and their powers were exercised with rude severity, and 
with scarcely any control from the parliament.^ The 
committee-men, no less renowned for their piety than 
for their rigour, proclaimed it as their mission to spoil 
the Egyptians, and oflfered up prayers that the sins of 
their victims might be forgiven. 
Conflict The king being powerless, and his caiise. desperate, 

pi^b^ the contest for power now lay between the Presbyte- 
i^^a^^ rians and the Independents, and between the parliament 
iiento, 1647 ^^^ ^^^ army. The Presbyterians still commanded a 
majority in parliament : but they well knew the inse- 
curity of their power, in presence of a victorious army, 
commanded by the leaders of the rival faction. As 
the war had been brought to a successful issue, they 
proposed to disband a part of the army, and further to 
weaken it by sending detachments for service in Ireland. 
But their crafty rivals were not to be overcome by these 
devices. A mutiny in the army was readily fomented. 
The devout sectaries denounced the sinfulness of dis- 
banding soldiers who had fought God's battles against 
the imrighteous: two * agitators' were chosen by each 
troop or company ; and the whole army was organised 
to resist the parliament While Cromwell was affecting 

^ Walker, Hid, of Independency^ 6; Rushworth, yii. 588. Clazendon^ 
Hitt, of the MebelUonj tu. 250, yii. 188. 


to mediate between the parliament and the army, the chap. 
king, who had hitherto been in the custody of parlia- ^ ^ V -* 
mentary commissioners, was seized and brought into the 
camp. Master of the king's person, and undisputed 
leader of the army, Cromwell now assumed the chief 
command, and suddenly marched his forces against the 

That body had few friends to rally in its defence, cromweif 
Even in the peculiar sanctity of the time, it had been the pS 
outdone by the sectarian army. The rule of the par- 
liament was at an end, and had passed into the hands 
of the bold and crafty general. The leaders of the 
Presbyterian party were proscribed, and forced to with- 
draw ; and every demand of the army was conceded. 
When the army withdrew, the parhament was coerced 
by the apprentices and populace of London. In times 
of revolution, when law and order are in abeyance, a 
parliament is impotent. Its accustomed supports, — 
respect for the law, the reverence of the people, and the 
material aid of the executive power, — are wanting, and 
it becomes the sport of military dictation on one side, 
and popular violence on the other. And such was now 
the abject condition of the once powerful Long Parlia- 

Meanwhile the captive king was courted by all par- The king in 
ties. Whichever party could make terms with him, ^p'*^"^* 
seemed assured of a triumph over the other. The 
king's chief reliance was upon the army, which was at 
once the most powerfiil body, and seemed the most 
indulgent to himself. Cromwell and his generals were 
courteous and respectful : they spoke of his restoration, 
and discussed his prerogatives and the settlement of his 
revenue. On his side, the king endeavoured to tempt 


CHAP, their ambition by offers of honours and high commands.^ 
— ;^— That Cromwell could have been seduced from his 
greater ambition, and from his repubhcan principles, by 
any rewards which the king was able to offer, ia most 
improbable : nor could he have coimted upon the sup- 
port of his fanatical troops in restoring a kmg, whom 
they had been taught to abhor as Antichrist. In their 
eyes, he would have been a traitor to their common 
cause, bought over by the enemy, 
the"?^ xUii- ®^^» while cherishing hopes from Cromwell and the 
tionxof the army, the king was active in his negodations with the 
piu-liament and the Scots ; and was endeavoming to play 
off each party against the other. At length the pro- 
positions of the army were submitted to hun at Hamp- 
ton Court ; and, still hoping to secure better terms else- 
where, he rejected them. That the conditions were 
hard, cannot be denied : but they were less severe than 
any yet proposed, even when his fortunes were not so 
low. He was conquered and a captive : the army alone 
could restore him to liis throne : it could trample upon 
the parhament, and defy the Scots, whose succour he 
vainly expected : yet he ventured to offend his masters 
at this crisis of hia fate. It may, indeed, be doubted 
whether these conditions were framed, in good faith, 
for his acceptance. For the time, all parties seemed 
to be agreed that the king must be treated with, and 
his concurrence secured in the future government of 
the State. Hence the army was boimd to make piro- 
posals for a settlement : but none of the parties, in 
treaty with the king, were so Uttle disposed to favour 

^ According to Hume, he offered GromweU the Garter, the earldom 
of Essex, and the command of the army ; and Ireton the lieutenancj 
of Ireland. HUi. of England, y . 233. 


the revival of his power, as the fierce republican sol- ^^x!*' 
diery and their ambidous leaders. But, whatever the ' " — ' 
motives which dictated these proposals, their rejection 
was resented by the army : his dealings in other quar- 
ters were not unknown to the leaders : his letters had 
been intercepted ; and designs unfavourable to them- 
selves were apprehended. Henceforth the king's capti- 
vity was made intolerable : a stricter watch was kept 
over him : his accustomed indulgences were withdrawn ; 
and even the danger of assassination waa hinted at. 

HI at ease, and despairing of more favourable treat- ^•p*' 
ment from the army, Charles hastily escaped from ^*y°JP***^ 
Hampton Court. It was well to recover his freedom ; 
and, if he could have fled across the Channel, his Ufe, 
and possibly his throne, might have been saved. But, 
with a strange fatuity, he directed his steps to the Isle 
of Wight, — as to a trap, — and was immediately made 
a safe prisoner in Carisbrook Castle. 

Even here there still seemed hopes of the royal The king 

^ "^ and the 

cause, though in truth his enemies were gathering pariia- 
roimd about him. Charles offered fresh terms of 
acxjommodation to the parUament : but, in reply, they 
submitted to him four bills, as preUminaries to a treaty, 
to which he refused his assent. The commons, acting 
upon the advice of Ireton and Cromwell, retorted by 
a resolution that no more addresses should be presented 
to the king, nor communications received from him ; 
and in this resolution the lords were induced to concur. 
So decisive a resolution, amounting to a renunciation of 
allegiance, by both houses of parliament, marked the 
increasing breach between the king and his enemies. 
By fresh elections the Independents had gained strength 
in the House of Commons ; and, through the lapse of 


CHAP, the self-denying onlinance, the chief officers of the 


army belonging to that party, had found seats in that 
assembly. Cromwell, who had first encouraged poli- 
tical agitation in the army, in order to coerce the 
parliament, had found it necessary, for the sake of dis- 
cipline, to repress it. And now that his own party had 
recovered influence in parliament, he prudently put 
that body forward, in furtherance of his own designs, 
while he kept the army, for a time, in the background. 
RMoiaUon Not the Icss wcrc the destinies of the country 
KeneraU, Still govemcd by CromwcU and his generals. And 
about this time they came to a momentous resolution 
concerning the king's fate. At a secret council held at 
Windsor, they agreed that, so long as the king lived, 
the country would be disturbed by insurrections and 
civil wars ; and that it was therefore necessary to bring 
him to justice for his crimes against the people.^ 
The Soot. The execution of these dread counsels, however, 

•ion. was for the present suspended. As a last hope of 

safety, Charles had executed a secret treaty with the 
Scots' commissioners, in which he engaged to establish 
the Presbyterian discipline in England, and to suppress 
the Independents and other rival sects, while the Scots, 
in return for this concession to their fiedth, promised 
him the aid of an army to restore him to the throne. 
In execution of this treaty, a Scottish army marched 
into England ; and insiurections were raised in various 
parts of the country. In the midst of nc^odations with 
the army, and the leaders of the Independents, he had 
betrayed them to their Presbyterian rivals, and had 
again brought dvil war into the land. Cromwell and 

1 OlarozidoD, Eitt, y. 92, vi. 224; Sir J. Berkley, Mem. Mo^er^ 
Tracti, i. 383 ; Somer^ TracU, yi. 409: Hume, Hid. v. 242. 


the army now bitterly accused him of treachery and chap. 
treason. But for a time, this diversion seemed hopeful ^ — - — ' 

to the royal cause. Fairfax, Cromwell, and the generals 
hurried, with the army, to the North, to repel the inva- 
sion, and quell the insurrections ; and the Presbyterian 
party in parliament, strengthened by their absence, and 
emboldened by the invasion of their Scottish brethren, 
revoked the hostile votes against the king, and opened 
fresh negodations with him for the settlement of the 
kingdom. But before the terms of the treaty of New- Treaty of 
port, as it was termed, could be agreed upon, the Sept.i648. 
Scottish invaders were routed, and the royalist risings 
everywhere crushed by the vigour and promptitude of 
the parliamentary generals. 

The victorious army was once more opposed to the Kemon- 
pairliament; and the resolutions of its leaders were now the army, 
openly declared. At a council of generals, a remon- lui 
strance was agreed upon, denouncing the proposed 
treaty with the king, and demanding that he should be 
brought to justice for the treason and bloodshed of 
which he had been guilty.^ Petitions to the same 
effect were presented to the commons : while clamours 
were raised among the soldiers, and appeals thundered 
from the pulpits, for punishing the great delinquent for 
his crimes. 

For a time, the parliament withstood the haughty The army 
demands of the army with dignity : but troops were ^fut^ 
quickly despatched to Westminster to invest the houses "^'' 
of parliament. Even then the commons were pre- 
paring to conclude the treaty with the king : but further 
resistance to the will of the generals was summarily 
prevented by a coup (Titat Colonel Pride with his 

» Nov. 17tli, 1648. Pari. JEKst. iiL 1077. 



CHAP, soldiers seized 41 members, and excluded by force 
- ^ . ' " 160 other members of the Presbyterian party. By 
p"r^f Dec. ' Pride's puTge/ as it was jocularly termed, the House 
6, u4«. ^£ CQnamons was now reduced to about 60 members, 
wholly devoted to Cromwell and his confederates. 
Since the beginning of the strife Uttle freedom had been 
allowed m parliament : opposition had been punished 
as delinquency,^ and lately the army had dictated its 
pleasmre to the majority: but never yet had so gross an 
outrage been attempted upon the privileges and inde- 
pendence of parliament. Yet so little did that body 
command the respect of the people, that its ignominy 
excited more ridicule than resentment. 

This remnant of the Long Parliament was a ready 
instrument for carrying out Cromwell's designs. It was 
no part of his poUcy that he and his generals should 
have the responsibiUty of bringing the king to trial. 
It was fitter that it should fall upon the parliament. 
Nay, even as a member of that body, he shrank from 
advising a measure, upon the execution of which he 
had long since determined; and, with characteristic 
hypocrisy, he assigned to divine inspiration, the bloody 
counsels which he shrank from avowing as his own.* 
The commons, familiar with the hypocritical language of 
their own school, were not slow to carry out the settled 
scheme of their crafty leaders. They resolved that it 

The parlia- 
ment and 
the king. 

^ See tupra, 888. 

' He said, ' Since Providence and necessity h&ye cast us upon it, I 
will pray God for a blessing on your counsels, though I am not prepared to 
giyeyou myadyioe upon this important occasion. . . . When I was lately 
offering up petitions for his Majesty's restoration, I felt my tongue cleave 
to the roof of my mouth, and considered this preternatural movement as 
the answer which Heaven, having rejected the Mng, had sent to my sup- 
plications.' — Pari, Miit, 


was treason for a king to levy war against his parliament ; ^^x^* 
and appointed a High Court of Justice to try Charles "■ — • — ' 
Stuart, King of England, for. this offence. The lords 
unanimously refiised to concur in this resolution : where- 
. upon the commons declared ' that the people are, under 
God, the origin of all just power ; and that the com- 
mons of England, being chosen by and representing the 
people, have the supreme power of the nation ; and 
that whatsoever is enacted and declared for law by the Jw. -*. 

J 1648. 

commons in Parliament assembled, hath the force of 
a law, and all the people of this nation are concluded 
thereby, although die consent and concurrence of the 
king or the House of Peers be not had thereto.' 
Having thus disposed of all authority but their own, 
they passed the ordinance for the trial of the king. 

The most democratic act in the history of Europe, Growth of 

^ JT ' republican 

was about to be consummated, by the will of a few opiDion*. 
resolute men, supported by a fanatical army, and a 
small minority of the representatives of the people. It 
is certain that a majority of Englishmen did not desire 
the execution of the king, or the foundation of a 
republic. Rancorous hatr^ of the king, and schemes 
of republican government, were mainly confin^ to the 
Independents and other fanatical sects, with whom 
these sentiments were inflamed by the fervid harangues 
of their ministers, by their own perverted readings of 
the Scriptures, and by the excitement of a bloody 
civil war. The soldiers of those sects had received a 
fiurther impulse, in this direction, itom their ambitious 
officers, who used their passionate devotion to urge 
them on to deeds of daring in the battle-field. 

The political organisation of the army, and the en- RepnWi- 
couragements given to discussions among the soldiers, ^^c army. 


CHAP, had also advanced the growth of republican opinions. 

' — A-* In the new-modelled army, the king was commonlj 
denounced as a tyrant, and his death spoken of as a just 

i-cTdien. atonement for his crimes. The levellCTs and CommcHi- 
wealth's men msisted upon the abolition of the monarchy 
and the House of Lords, and the establishment of a 
new commonwealth in which all men should be equal. 
The sectarian preachers found ample warrant in Scrip- 

scripturai turc for bringing the king to the scaffold. Casting all 


the blame of the war upon him, they cried * Whoso 
sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed ; ' ^ 
and again, * The land cannot be cleansed of the blood 
that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed 
it.' * The king's enemies were saints in their aght, and 
were exhorted, in the words of the Psalmist, * to bind 
their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters 
of iron : to execute upon them the judgment written : 
this honour have all lus saints.' • 
pietr and Nor wcrc thcsc religious inducements confined to 

ref.aciae. ^ , 

fanatical preachers and theu* coarse and ignorant fol- 
lowers. Such was the spirit of the time, that grave 
and temperate men like Colonel Hutchinson persuaded 
themselves that God had enlightened them in prayer, 
and had guided their consciences to a righteous judg- 
T!»ePrw. The Presbvterians were not less earnest in their 

religious faith than the Independents, and had especially 
laboured to overthrow the Church of England, and 
estabUsh their own ecclesiastical polity. They had 
been foremost in resisting the early encroachments 

* Geneus ix. 6. Somer^ Tracts, v. 100, 0^ $eq. 
' Numbers xxxv. 33. 

* 49th Psalm. « HutchinaoD, Mem. 303. 


of prerogative, and had entered with zeal into all chap, 
the measures of the parliament for bringing the civil ^ — r^-r 
war to a successful issue. But betvsreen them and the 
Independents a separation arose, during the contest, 
which was continually widening. They were united 
in their opposition to the church : but the Presby- 
terians desired another church government upon their 
own model : while the Independents claimed for each 
congregation complete freedom and independence. The 
Presbyterian church polity was repubhcan in form, 
and tended to develop a democratic spirit in pohtics, 
as the history of Scotland, since the Eeformation, had 
shown. But this spirit, while it encouraged resistance 
to the civil power, in questions affecting the chiurch, 
and a stubborn and turbulent freedom in temporal 
affairs, did not assume hostility to the principles of 
monarchical government. 

The Independents, insisting upon individual freedom The inde- 
in religion, were led to more advanced speculations 
upon the form of civil government, which tended, 
more and more, towards repubUcanism, In religion, 
they surpassed their rivals in the outward forms of 
sanctity, in scriptural phraseology, and in theocratic 
faith. Led by ambitious soldiers, and bearing the 
brunt of the later battles against the king, their hatred 
of royalty was inflamed by dangers, by hard- won 
victories, and by the enmities of civil war. This party, 
which claimed superior godliness, and sought the 
Almighty for guidance in all its actions, was now bent 
upon bringing the king to the block, and overthrowing 
the monarchy. The regicides of England, in the seven- 
teenth century, were distinguished for their religious 
fervour : the regicides of France, in the eighteenth 


t!HAP. centiuy, were no less conspicuous for their frantic zeal 
:- ' f ' — against religion. But the political principles of these 
parties were the same ; and, in each case, according to 
the -necessary law of revolutions, the extreme party 
ultimately triumphed, before a reaction set in against 
their violence. 
T^iai and Upou this independent party, represented by Crom- 

of thekLg. well and his generals, and by the small band of mem- 
bers permitted to sit in the House of Commons, rests 
the responsibility of bringing the king to trial. There 
was no flinching on their part : no weakness or hesi- 
tation in venturing upon this unprecedented measiu^e. 
The High Court of Justice was appointed by the com- 
mons; and among its members were Cromwell and 
his generals, and men who had prejudged his cause. 
Charles, who had borne his long troubles with patient 
dignity, acquitted himself nobly on this momentous 
occasion. He was accused of having traitorously and 
maliciously levied war against the parliament : he 
refused to acknowledge the jurisdiction of a court 
founded upon usurpation : the judges were his subjects, 
and could not sit in judgment on their lawful king, 
who could do no wrong. Such pleas were not likely 
to be regarded ; and on the fourth day of his trial, 
sentence of death was pronounced upon him. Some few 
of his enemies would even now have spared his life : 
but Cromwell and his confederates were obdiu-ate ; and 
Jan. 30, three days afterwards, the unfortimate king expiated 
the errors of his life, upon the memorable scaffold, at 
contempor- The mcu who had done this deed of blood justi6ed 
mwitar**' themselves to God, and to their own consciences : but 
England and all Europe exclaimed against it with 


horror and indignation. The king's errors had made chap. 
him, for a time, unpopular with his pe(^le : but the >-^^'--^ 
violence and injustice of the faction who had taken his 
life, and the noble dignity with which he had borne 
his sufferings, went far to revive their affections for 
himself and his family. Beyond the narrow bounds 
of the Independents and the army, there were none 
to approve the execution of the fallen king. 

By the royalists of that day, and later by the High Opinions 
Church and Tory party, the memory of * King Charles kmg's exe- 
the Martyr,' was held sacred ; and the regicides 
have been condemned as murderers. On the other 
side, the execution of the king has been extolled, in 
this and other coimtries, as a great act of national 
justice. But we have now learned to view controversies 
between rulers and their subjects, with a more tem- 
perate judgment. That the parliament, having taken Thejudg- 
up arms against the king and conquered, would have j^sterUy. 
been justified in deposing him, can scarcely be ques- 
tioned by any who accept the principles of the revo- 
lution of 1688. And such is the course which woidd 
have been appproved by the judgment of posterity. 
But few will be found to vindicate his execution as a 
traitor. The responsibility of the civil war was shared 
by the king and the parliament. They fought : they 
negociated; and at length the parliament prevailed. 
The king was their prisoner : but is it lawful to put 
a prisoner of war to death? He was condemned, not 
for liis early abuses of prerogative, but simply for 
making war upon the parliament, and the people whom 
they represented, — ^a crime unknown to the laws of 
England. Nor was this the parliament whom the 
people had chosen. The royalists had been expelled 



(HAP. as delinquents : the Presbyterians had been driven out 
'■" » i ^ by military force ; the peers had been set aside ; and 
a small minority of the king's bitterest enemies had 
been left to do the bidding of the victorious generals, 
who had resolved that their royal prisoner should die 
the death of a traitor. No sufficient plea of averting 
danger to the State, can be ui^ed in defence of this act 
of political vengeance. Still less will the revelation? 
of God's pleasure, as interpreted by rehgions, or hypo- 
critical, enthusiasts, be accepted as an excuse. In 
truth, the execution of Charles was the worst, and, 
happily, one of the last, of the judicial murders by 
which the annals of England have been stained. 


ENGLAND — continued. 


The king was dead ; and England was without a lawful ^xxl 
government. The parties which had been unable to ' ' ** 
save his hfe, were powerless to call a successor to his provisional 
throne ; and the State became, by the force of circum- ^^*™' 
stances, a repubUc or commonwealth, as Cromwell had 
designed it to be.^ The commons resolved that the Feb. 6 and 
House of Peers and the monarchy should be abolished; ' 
and soon afterwards a Council of State was appointed, Feb. is. 
charged with the executive administration of the State. 
But as yet no republican constitution was promidgated.^ 
At length acts were passed for the abolition of the March 
kingly office and of the House of Lords; and the ^^'^^' 
commons published a declaration, in which they ex- 
plained the grounds upon which they had * judged it 

^ The principal authorities for this period aie : Clarendon, JTw^. of the 
lUbeUion, and State Papers', Bisset, Hid. of the Commonwealth ; Walker, 
Hist, of Independency ; Thurloe, State Papers ; Burton, Diary ; Oarlyle, 
Oliver CromwelTs Letters and Speeches) Guizot, The RepuhUo and 

^ A new great seal was struck, with a motto inscribed ' On the first 
year of freedom, bj Qod's blessing restored, 1648,' which may have 
served as a model to French republicans in the next century. Clarendon, 
Hid. Ti. 247. 



<'HAP. necessary to change the government of this nation from 
-^ 1-^ the former monarchy into a republic, and not to have 
any more a king to tyrannise over them/ ^ It was now 
declared that the people of England * shall be and are 
hereby constituted, made, established, and confirmed 
to be a Commonwealth and Free State.' 
tteui**" There was no lack of republican theories. The 
levellers contended for a political and social equaHty, 
and a community of goods, not unlike the scheme of 
the French socialists of a later age.* The Millenarians, 

» Pari I£i$t. iii. 1292. 

* Prol)ablj these extreme yiews were held by a small section only of 
the party generally described as levellers; while the majoritj were 
steady republicans, who opposed the pretensions of OromweU and his 
officers. Some * were willing^ to acknowledge the proprietors of landit, 
and principally the lords of manors, as their elder brothers, and rijrbtfiillT 
possessed of the chief inheritance ; but praved to be allowed to cultivate 
the wastes and commons for their support' (Hutchinson, Mem. 317, n. 
Bohn*8 ed.) Walker, in his Higtonf of Independency^ part iL p. 138, says 
of them : ' They are the truest assertors of humane liberty, and the oioet 
constant and faithful to their principles of any in the army. . . . though 
they have many redundancies and superfluous opinions yet to be pnined 
off by conversing with discreet honest men, or rather, by a discreet and 
just publique authority.' Again he calls them ' enemies to arbttraTj 
government, tyranny, and oppr&ssion, whether they find it in the govern- 
ment of one or many ; whether in a councel of officers, a councel of state, 
or a fag end of a House of Commons ; whether it vaile itselfe with the 
title of a supreme authority, or a legislative power.' And he here prints 
a declaration of that body entitled ' England's Standard advanced,* in 
whi^h there is no trace of the peculiar views attributed to them (ibid. 
1 68). Elsewhere he extracts from * The Leveller Vindicated ' the foUowinj? 
pasflsge : ' The whole fabrick of this commonwealth is fallen into tk^ 
grossest and vilest tyranny that ever Englishmen groaned under, &c.,' in 
proof that their aim was to resist the martial domination of Cromwell 
and his officers (ibid. 248). Clarendon speaks of the levellers as a * des- 
perate party — many whereof had been the most active agitators in the 
army, who had executed his (Cromwell's) orders and deeiims in incensing 
the army against the Parliament, and had been at this time his sole con- 
fidents and bedfellows: who, from the time he assumed the title of 
protector, which to them wa«« as odious as that of king, pos^ssed a 
mortal hatred to his person* {Hist, of the Hebellion, vii. 34). 


or fifth monarchy men, hoped to establish a theocracy, chap 

in which Christ should supersede the agencies of men, 
until his second coming.^ The Anabaptists cherished 
a democratic ideal of the reign of reason in Church 

In ' The Leveller, or the Principles and Maxims concerning govern* 
ment and religion which are asserted by those that are commonly called 
^* lievellers,** ' 1669, the tenets imputed to them of favouring a division of 
lands are denied. In politics their principles are there defined as equality 
before the law : the making of laws and levying of money by the people's 
deputies in Parliament, and the putting down of mercenary armies. In ' 
religion the widest toleration is asserted in some remarkable passages. 
It is said ' the only means to preach the true religion, under any govern- 
ment, is to endeavour rightly to inform the people's consciences, by whose 
dictates God commands them to be guided.' ' Ohrist never mentioned 
any penalties to be inflicted on the bodies or purses of unbelievers, 
because of their unbelief.'— JTar^eum MisceUany, iv. 643. See also 
Godwin, m^t, of the Commonwealth, iii. 66; iv. 160-166, 260. 

^ The creed of this party is exemplified by the grotesque scene of the 
Five' Lights, enacted at Walton-on-Thames by Master Faucet, the 
minister of the parish, in which he revealed the will of God, that the 
Sabbath, tithes, ministers, magistrates, and even the bible should be 
abolished as ' ufeless, now that Christ himself is in puritie of spirit 
come amongst us, and hath erected the kingdom of the saints upon 
earth. . . . now Christ is in glory amongst us ' (Walker, Higt, of In- 
dependency, part. ii. 162). ' Some, struck with enthusiasm and besotted 
with fanatic notions, do allow of none to have a share in government 
besides the saints, and these are called Christian royalists, or 'Fifth 
Monarchy men ' (Clarendon, Hist. vii. 272). They believed * in the reign 
of the saints on earth, being the millennium, or thousand years, spoken 
of in the book of Revelations, when men should live together in a state 
of sinless perfection, and nee and crime be wholly unknown.' Ac4X>rd- 
ing to them, ' all earthly governments are to be broken in pieces and 
removed, like the iron and clay that composed the feet of Nebuchad- 
nezzar's image. All the kingdoms of the world are to become the 
kingdoms of the Lord and his Christ' 'Supreme absolute legislative 
power, and authority, are originally and essentially in the Lord Jesus 
Christ, by right, conquest, gift, election, and inheritance' (Common^ 
Joum. April 11, 1667, vii. 621 ; Thurloe, vi. 184-188 ; Ludlow, 462 ; 
Godwin, Hist, of the Commonwealth^ iv. 372-378). Even the sage 
Milton thus argued against monarchy . 'All Protestants hold that Christ 
in his Church hath left no vicegerent of his power, but himself without 
deputy is the only head thereof, governing it from heaven ; how then 
can any man derive his kinship from Christ, but with worse usurpation 
than the Pope his headship over the Church ' {Free Commonwealth), 



CHAP, and State. The Antinomians indulged in a scheme by 
— r-^ which the elect were to govern themselves ^from their 
inner consciousness. But these visionaries, while thej 
swelled the ranks of the republican party, had no 
influence in determining the fiitiure settlement of the 
constitution ; and they were generally opposed to the 
pretensions of Cromwell.^ A more practical form of 
government had been sketched by a coimdl of officers, 
in November 1647, in which all power was vested in 
a representative assembly, 
crotnwtn^i But for the present, the settlement of the com- 

•upremAcy. *■ 

monwealth was provisional. Cromwell was in reality 
supreme in the State, and in the army. He had not 
assumed the ostensible character of a civil governor, 
but became captain-general of the forces in England ; 
and there was yet other work for him to do. Scotland, 
far from adopting a republic, proclaimed the Prince of 
Wales as king : a civil war was still raging in Ireland ; 
and the prince raised the royal standard again in 
England. But Cromwell was equal to every emer- 
sept 8, gency : the battle of Worcester utterly destroyed the 
last hopes of the royalists ; and Charles escaped from 
his piusuers, to seek safety in a foreign land. 
The Long CromwcU now perceived that supreme power was 

duiohSr within his reach, and even cherished dreams of reviving 
the monarchy, in his own person.^ His immediate aim, 
however, was to secure his present ascendency. The 
people were held in subjection by force : there was no 
pretence of freedom : even trial by jury, in cases of 
treason, was superseded by a high court of justice : 

' ' They who were raised hy him, and who had niaed him, even 
aknost the whole hody of aectaries, Anahaptists, Independents^ Quakers, 
declared an imphicable hatred against him.' — ChuendoB; Sut. tiL 254. 

» Whitelock, 616. 


but a settled government, and an assured title to chap. 
power were wanting. After a time, the parliament ^ — r-^ 
began to show signs of independence. He broke in April lo, 
upon it with his soldiers : he took away ' that bauble,' 
the mace, — the emblem of its authority, — and dissolved 
the assembly which was no longer his slave. It waa a 
rough coup (Tetat, executed without dignity or decency: 
but it showed the brute force of the military chief, and 
tjie contemptible impotence of the parliament, which, 
under his patronage, had exercised so terrible a power. 
The members whom he now insulted and trampled upon, 
were of his own Independent party : they had served 
his purpose for a time ; and were now put out of his " 
way. The royalists and the Presbyterians rejoiced over 
their fall; and the people were indifferent to the 
fate of a body which had long ceased to represent 

But, however absolute the power of Cromwell, in Barebone'i 
wielding the military force, he did not venture to m^nt. 
govern without some semblance of a parliament ; and 
not venturing upon any general appeal to the coimtry, 
he summoned, by the advice of his council of oflBcers, 
128 persons, named by himself, to sit as a* parliament 
at Westminster. Having separated himself from the 
more moderate section of the Independents, he chose 
for this strange assembly a number of fanatics, pos- 
sessed with the wildest views of religion and politics. 
Never was so godly a parliament brought together : 
they spent more time in prayers than in debate ; and, 
instead of enlightening one another by words of worldly 
wisdom, they were for ever seeking the Lord. Even 
in that age of religious extravagance, this devout body 
became an object of derision ; and, acquiring the name 



CHAP, of one of its most ridiculous members, was laughed at 
^- ■ "^ as * Barebone's Parliament.' Believing the earth to be 
already ripe for the reign of the saints, they were bent 
upon the destruction of such merely human institutions 
as the clergy, tithes, the universities, the common law, 
and the lawyers. So contemptible an assembly was 
never collected in this or any other country. Even 
Cromwell was ashamed of its absiu-dities, and ill- 
pleased that his own creatiu'es should affect to derive 
their power from the Lord, instead of from himself.^ 
The pretended parliament was therefore dissolved as 
Dec. 12, irregularly as it had been called together. The Speaker 
and a few of its members resigned its authority to 
Cromwell, in the name of the whole body ; and the 
rest were turned out by his soldiers. 
Cromwell England was now literally without a civil, govern* 

ment. Cromwell ruled it as captain-general of the 
forces : but there was no parliament, and even the 
army perceived that their general should be invested 
with some civil authority. A council of officers, at his 
instance, drew up a new constitution, xmder which he 
was declared Protector for life. It was a strange 
function for a miUtary council to frame a political 
constitution : even Barebone's parliament would 
have been a fitter body for such a work. But the 
new scheme so far did them credit, that Cromwell 
was not entrusted with absolute power. The pro- 
constitu- tector, indeed, was all but king, but he was to be 
pr^ecto^* controlled by a council of State : he was boimd to 
summon a parliament every three years, which was 
to sit for five months without being prorogued or dis- 
solved ; and was only allowed a suspensive veto upon 

^ Thurloe, i. 303. Olarendon, Hiit, yii. 13. 




their acts for twenty days. Until the parliament was chap. 
assembled, the protector in council might pass laws, ' — r-^ 
subject to the approval of parliament.^ Nor did it 
appear that this parliament was to be a phantom of 
representation, like those which had preceded it. The 
protector framed a new scheme, or reform act, which 
disfranchised the smaller boroughs, increased the 
number of county members, enfranchised Manches- 
ter, Leeds, and Halifax, and equalised the qualifica- 
tions of electors, — a measure nearly two centuries in 
advance of the policy of his own time.^ For the 
first time, also, he effected a parliamentary union with 
Scotland and Ireland;'^ and thirty members were 
returned by each of these countries to the parhament 
at Westminster. 

The results of a free election, under this extended The r.€w 
scheme of representation, proved how little Cromwell mentricM. 
had secured the confidence of the people. Eoyalists, 
Presbyterians, Independents, and EepubUcans, united 
against him. His authority as protector was ques- 
tioned in the very first debate of the new parliament : 
but Cromwell sent for the members to the Painted Cham- 
ber, and rebuked them with more than the haughtiness 
of a Plantagenet or Tudor king. Charles in his lec- 
tures to his parliaments had been gentle compared with 
the usurper. The Protector obUged them to sign an 
acknowledgment of his authority ; and none were ad- 
mitted to their places in the house until they had 
signed it. But their refractory spirit was not over- jan.22» 
come, and he dissolved them. 

" Whitelock, 671 ; Somen^ Tracts, vi. 257 ; Thurloe, yi. 243. 
* Act for the Settlement of the Qovemment of the Goinmonwealth| 
Dec. 16^ 1653. ' Ordinance, April 12, 1654. • 


CHAP. Again, without a parliament, and opposed by all 

- ' '" political parties, Cromwell relied upon the army alone ; 
^J^s, and an abortive rising of the royalists atforded him 
rrmy,^i666. » pretext for extending the military occupation of 
the country. To punish the royalists the protector, 
in coimcil, imposed a * decimation,' or tax of a tenth- 
penny, upon that party ; and for the collection of this 
tax, divided England into twelve military districts, 
imder major-generals, who exercised uncontrolled 
power throughout the country. There was no longer 
a pretence of dvil liberty: England was openly 
governed by a dictator and his army. Taxes were 
levied at the sole will of the protector, and exacted 
with more rigour than any former taxes by preroga- 
tive : there was a strict censorship of the press ; and 
subgects were denied redress against the arbitrary acts 
of the government. 
Vigour of Cromwell was an usurper, and had trampled upon 

all the hberties of the people : but even his enemies 
could not deny that he was a great ruler. At home 
he had subdued the rebellions and disorders of Eng- 
land, Scotland, and Ireland : he had maintained a 
respect for the law : he had displayed a spirit of reli- 
gious toleration far in advance of his times : he had 
shown marks of high statesmanship ; and he had 
upheld the dignity of the first magistrate of the com- 
monwealth. Abroad he had made the name of 
England as much respected and feared as in the 
palmiest days of Queen Elizabeth. It was his boast 
that an Englishman should be held in the same esteem 
as a Eoman citizen of antiquity. The warlike spirit of 
England had been aroused by the civil wars : her 
generals and soldiers had been perfected in the arts 


and toils of wax ; and the concentration of power in chap. 
a single hand gave vigour and efficiency to the naval ^^ — r-^ 
and military forces of England. No State is more 
powerful in war than a republic when its resources are 
wielded by a dictator, supported by the enthusiasm of 
the people, or coerced by his extraordinary authority. 
The victories of Blake established the naval supremacy 1652-1657. 
of England, which has never since been shaken : ^ the 
commonwealth triumphed over Holland and Spain; 
and exercised a commanding influence over France, 
Sweden, and other Emropean States. The foreign 
policy of the protector, if not prudent, in the interests 
of England, was especially popular with the great 
body of the people, as it ever fitvoured the Protestant 
subjects of foreign States. Amidst all the divisions of 
party, Englishmen had begun to be proud of their great 
ruler, who had raised the glories of his country: but so 
bitter were the hatreds excited by the civil wars, that he 
was continually threatened with assassination ; and the 
political parties, upon whom he had successively tram- 
pled, were alienated, and hostile. 

Meanwhile, Cromwell was himself fully sensible of ^^^^ 
the disadvantages and dangers of a military rule, and {2^^^*°*» 
was anxious to secure the support of another parlia- 
ment. Accordingly, in 1756, he issued writs for the 
election of representatives ; and hoped, by the credit 
of his administration, and by the influence of his 
officers over the electors, to secure a majority friendly ^p*-» ^^^• 
to his government. But, notwithstanding an active 
interference of the army with the elections, he found 
the new parliament hostile; and it was only by forcibly 

1 For a narrative of these Tictories, Hepworth Dixon's Life of Blake 
may be oonaulted. 


CHAP, excluding a hundred members, that he was able to 

secure a majority. 

amWtTom*' The unbounded ambition of Cromwell was not 
satisfied with his present ' dignity. Unlike the great 
patriot, William of Orange, who had rescued his comi- 
try from tyranny, he aspired to a crown ; and it was the 
mission of his parliamentary friends to place this prize 
within his reach. This proposal was accordingly made; 
and, despite the resistance of the chief officers of the 
army, was accepted by a large majority. A com- 
mittee was appointed to confer with the protector, and 
to persuade him to become their king. Never had 
Cromwell been agitated by such doubts and mis- 
givings. That he coveted the crown for himself and 
his descendants, is certain : that he had himself 
prompted the offer, which was now made to him, 
cannot be doubted : that he believed its acceptance 
would confirm his own power, and secure the settle- 
ment and tranquillity of the coimtry, can scarcely be 
questioned. Yet the obstacles he encountered were 
grave and perilous. The fiercest repubUcans in the 
land were his own generals, and fanatical soldiery. 
They had been taught to abhor a king, with pious 
horror, as Antichrist: they had followed their great 
chief as the enemy of crowned heads. Could they 
now be prevailed upon to forswear the republic^ and 
to make their leader a king to reign over them? 
The army had long been his sole support : could he 
now brave their fierce resentment? He was threat- 
ened with assassination if he mounted the throne, which 
he had himself cast down : could he defy his assas- 
sins ? He was bold enough to confront these dangers : 
but his own family, and truest friends, besought him 

Cromwell's ambition. 429 

to decline the proffered crown; and, after a long chap. 
struggle with his doubts and forebodings, the protector - — ^-^ 
announced his determination to resist the great temp- 
tation, by which he had, for a time, been overcome. 
The greatest weakness ever betrayed by his strong 
nature, was this ill-disguised longing for the crown, 
which, when laid at his feet, he did not venture to 
raise to his brow. 

But, having refused the crown, he was fflad to Confirmed 
, ,. ,, as lord pro- 

receive from the parliament a confirmation of his tector,May 

* 19, 1667. 

powers, under the title of Lord Protector. Hitherto 
his title had been derived from the army: it was 
now confirmed by parhament: his revenue was settled; 
and he was empowered to nominate his successor. At 
the same time, a second chamber was revived, imder the 
name of the other house. 

When Cromwell next met his parliament, he pro- 2^^^*^^! 
fited little by his new parliamentary title. The oppo- yjJU'^^J* 
sition had recovered strength : the republicans, in the icw-si 
commons, were indignant with the other house, which 
had assumed the title of the Lords' house ; ^ and Ci-om- 
well angrily dissolved the parliament which had ofiered Feb. 4. 
him the crown, and confirmed his powers as protector. 
Dissolutions had become as frequent as in the reign 
of Charles I. 

But his days were now drawing to a close. Beset Peath of 

•iTr*»i- T •• IT 1 Cromwell. 

With difficulties and anxieties: apprehending revolts 
in the army : in constant dread of assassination ; and 
harassed by discords in his own family, he was stricken 
with mortal illness ; and he died, at the meridian of sept. 3, 
his power, and in the most threatening crisis of his 

» Whitelock, 605 j Pari. Hist, iii. 1623; Thurloe, vi. 1107. 


^xxF' Cromwell was the foremost Englishman of his age ; 

^ — ^ — ' and may claim a place among the great men of history. 

ofCrom- As a soldicr, his self-taught genius was conspicuous. 
In the field he was at once bold and circumspect : in 
the camp he knew how best to recruit and organise his 
forces, what oflBcers to trust,* and how to sustain the 
warlike spirit and devotion of his army. In civil 
affairs he was no less bold and cautious than in war : 
his ambition and fanaticism urged him to undertake 
the boldest enterprises : but he veiled them with the 
most profound dissimulation. Instruments were never 
wanting to further his ambition: religion was ever 
foimd to sanction his most questionable acts. His 
hypocrisy and dissimulation, which impair his title to 
greatness, were mainly due to the peculiar religious 
school of which he was an accomplished professor. 
When God's pleasure was assumed for every design of 
a bold and ambitious man, he naturally seemed a 
hypocrite in the eyes of all but the elect. He had 
brought a king to the scaffold, and had founded a 
republic : but he displayed no love of liberty. In the 
early contests of the parliament with Charles I. -he 
laboured with the other leaders of the popular party 
to secure the lights of the people : but when the civil 
war broke out, the principles of liberty were set at 
defiance, — ^as they always are in times of revolution. 
When he exercised supreme power in the State, he 
governed by the army, and trampled upon parliaments. 
He had carried his supremacy by -force: the'authority 
of successive parliaments had no better foundation 
than his own ; and as the master of tweilty legions, he 
refused to submit to them. When all parties were 
leagued against him, he could only rule by the sword. 


In religion only did he display a greater sense of freedom P^.^- 
than many of his contemporaries. While the Presby- ^ — '— ' 
tenans were m the ascendent, they proved themselves uon. 
more intolerant than Laud and his bishops : but Crom- 
well, belonging to a sect which professed congregational 
independence, naturally leaned to toleration. But, as 
he excepted fix)m his favour Eoman Catholics and 
prelatists, his principles were scarcely those of a broad 
and comprehensive toleration.^ He fell short of the 
ideal spiritual hberty for which MUton then contended,^ 
and which was not destined to be fully realised for two 
hundred years : but he was in advance of his own age, 
and of the narrow sectaries by whom he was sur- 

The strong hand of Cromwell alone was able to J^^**"^ 

1 T 1 -I . -1. -I 1 Cromwell 

maintain the commonwealth ; and it did not long sur- protector. 
vive the accession of his feeble son Eichard. Eoyalists, 
Presbyterians, and honest republicans were united in 
their aversion to the mihtary rule of the protector: 
the tyranny of the major-generals had exasperated all 
classes of the people ; and such was the irreconcileable 
division of parties, that a settled constitutional govern- 
ment, under a commonwealth, was impracticable. But 
Eichard had to meet a still greater danger. His father 

^ The extent of CromweU's toleration may }» jud^^ by consulting 
the following authorities : Neal, Higt. of the PuritarUf ii. 98| iv. 28, 1*38, 
144, 838, &c; Whitelock, Mem. 499, 676, 614; Collier, Bigt. 829; 
Bates' Elen, pt.ii.211 ; Olarendon, Higt. vii. 253; Baxter's Life, i. 64; 
Kennet, JSMf. iii. 206; Rushworth, yii. 308; Short, Hist. 425; Brook, 
Hitt. ofEeUg. Lib. i. 504, 513-528. 

' 'The whole fineedom of man consists either in spiritual or cItU 
liberty. As ft>r spiritual, who can be at rest, who can enjoy anything in 
this world with contentment, who hath not liberty to serve Qod, and 
to save his own soul, according to the best light which God hath planted 
in him for that purpose, by the reading of his revealed will, and the 
guidance of his own Spirit.' — ^Milton, Dree ComtnonioeaUh, 


(HAP. had kept down every fection, by his army : but the 


foremost generals, and leading fanatics of the army, were 
now conspiring against himself. He had summoned a 
parliament which seemed not unfriendly to his rule: 
but the generals insisted upon its inmiediate dissolution. 

April 22. He consented ; and a few days later, resigned his pn> 

^^^' tectorate. 

The Jjmg England was ruled again by the army alone : but 

revived. the council of officers, in order to give some pretence 
of dvil authority to their rule, revived the Long Par- 
liament. With the subtlety of old lawyers, they main- 
tained that, as this parliament had never consaited to 
its own dissolution, it was still lawfully in existence, 
and need only resume its sittings. And accordingly 
this singular body, consisting of about seventy mem- 
bers, proceeded to sit, with their o\^ speaker Lenthal 
in the chair. But this pretence of legality was suffi- 
ciently exposed by the continued exclusion of the 
members whom Cromwell had forcibly turned out. 
No wonder that this abaiud assemblage should have 
been called, with the coarse humour of the age, ' the 
Rump.' But the revival of the Long Parliament proved 
a double error. It was more hateful to the people 
than the army itself; and it endeavoured to become 
the master, instead of the slave, of the generals. The 
unpopularity of both these powers, and the anarchy 
into which the State seemed drifting, encoiu^ged a 
royalist movement. This, however, was soon re- 
j)ressed : when the army proceeded to disperse the par- 
liament. The authority of the latter was replaced by 
a ' committee of safety,' chosen by the officers of the 
army themselves 

Anarchy. In truth, howcvcr, the country was without a 

CVt. 13, 


government : it was profoundly disturbed, and longing chap. 
for some settlement: rival generals were following - — ^-^ 
their own ambitions; and a civil war was iramiuent 
between different divisions of the army. Again the ^- ^6, 
Long Parliament was revived, which so far served the 
cause of order, that it broke up the repubUcan army 
under Fleetwood and Lambert. 

From this deplorable anarchy the country was General 
rescued by the prudent caution of General Monk. 
Marching Ixom the north at the head of his army, he 
found the people everywhere disposed for the restora- 
tion of royalty, to which his own wishes and judgment 
inchned. But, refraining from any premature dis- 
closure of his designs, which might have fnistrated 
their execution, he marched on to Westminster. There 
he insisted upon the resuscitated parliament dissolving March le, 
itself; and, in order to ensure its obedience, he restored 
the excluded members to their places. 

The Ldng ParKament was at last effectually dis- Long Par- 
solved ; and the history of that body, and of every dissolved. 
other parliament, smce the commencement of the 
dvil war, shows that in times of revolution, freedom 
of election, and freedom of discussion, in a legislative 
body, are unknown. The legislature is subservient to 
the dominant party in the army, or among the popu- 
lace ; and independence is incompatible with the con- 
ditions of a revolutionary government. 

A free parUament was now to be chosen, and a xhereatop. 
general enthusiasm was shown in favour of the mo- 
narchy. Presbyterians who had fought against the late 
king were now vying with the royalists, who had 
fought by his side, to recal his son to the throne of 
his ancestors. The people, wearied by civil wars, 
VOL. IL p F 


CHAP, military oppression, burthensome taxes, and anarchy, 
— V-^ cried aloud for a revival of the good old times before 
the commonwealth. That government had brought 
neither peace nor liberty to the people : it had dis- 
appointed the hopes, of republicans : ^ it had dispelled 
the visions of religious and political enthusiasts : it had 
outraged all the parties, in succession, which had taten 
part in the revolution and civil war. Meanwhile, Monk, 
who still kept his own counsels, had taken effectual 
measures for disabling, and holding in check, the scat- 
tered forces of the repubhcan army; and when the 
new parliament met, tie restoration of Charles was 
unanimously voted, amidst the acclamations of the 
people. The lords returned to their places in the 
upper house, and joined in the popular vote. 
Judicious Monk was blamed, at the time, by partisans of the 

M^k!**^^ king, and since by many writers, for imdue caution 
and reserve, in this delicate enterprise : but his reticence 
disarmed the dangerous resistance of the republicans 
in the army, the parliament, and the coimtry ; and it 
seciu-ed the constitutional restoration of the monarchy 
by a free parliament, instead of by military force. He 
had nlaintained the peace of the country, while it freely 
pronounced its opinion, instead of restoring his sove- 
reign by a coup dHat ; and his politic measures coa- 
tributed to the enthusiasm with which Charles was 
received by his joyful people. Stern republicans com- 

^ * Where is this goodly tower of a commonwealth which the Engliah 
hoasted they would huild to overshadow kings, and be another Ronoie in 
the West ? The foundation they lay gallantly, but fell into a worse 
confusion, not of tongues, but of factions, than those at the tower of 
Babel ; and have left no memorial of their work behind them remaining' 
but in the common laughter of Europe/— Milton, Free CommonweaUh, 


plained with Milton ^ that, ' having been delivered by chap. 


the Lord from a king, they were returning to the ca^ 
tivity from whence he freed them : ' but the multitude 
received thdr hereditary king with loyal devotion. 

For eighteen years the country had suffered all the Effects of 
evils of civil war, of mihtary oppression and anarchy ; war upon 

, , ,, 1 -.,.the monar- 

and at length the monarchy was restored, with its chy. 
ancient prerogatives undiminished. The revolution 
seemed to have borne no fruit : another king reigned 
in the place of him who had been sacrificed to the 
cause of liberty : but otherwise the poUtical constitu- 
tion of England appeared to be unchanged. But, in 
truth, the late struggles had materially altered the 
relations of the people to the crown. The power of 
the parliament, and of the commons of England, had 
been demonstrated ; and a democratic spirit had been 
suddenly aroused among the people. The responsi- 
biUties of kings and statesmen had been terribly illus- 
trated: the traditional reverence for power, whether 
exercised by king or parliament, had been rudely 
shaken. The political sentiments of the nation had 
also been awakened by the impassioned appeals of the 
pulpit and the press. Throughout this revolutionary 
period of our history, the pulpit had made its rehgious 
mission subservient to pohtical agitation ; and the 
religious fanaticism of the time became identified 
with its fierce political passions. The activity of the 
press was unexampled : the rise of political writings, for 
universal circulation, may be dated from this time : of. 

^ ' As if he shall hear now, how much less will he hear when we cry 
hereafter, who once delivered by him from a king, and not without 
wondrous acts of his providence^ insensible and unworthy of those high 
mercies, are returning precipitantly, if he withhold us not, back to the 
captivity fi!om whence he freed us.' — D^ee CommontiwUth. 

V v2 




Charles II. 

which thirty thousand political pamphlets and news- 
papers have been preserved.^ A deep interest in politics 
was aroused by the personal conflicts and sufieiings of 
the dvil war. The political results of the revolution 
were briefly these : increased political knowledge, a more 
independent spirit, quickened popular instincts, and 
greater powers of combination among the people, with- 
out any sensible diminution of their traditional loyalty. 
They had learned their powers of resistance to pre- 
rogative : but they had also sufiered fix>m the oppression 
of usiu^ing parliaments, and republican armies. The 
lessons they had learned led them to value liberty 
more than ever, and to associate it with a constitutional 

Upon the restoration, the work of the late revo- 
lution was speedily undone. The monarchy was re- 
instated without any new limitations: the House of 
Lords was admitted to its ancient privileges : prelacy 
was revived : the bishops were restored to their seats 
in parliament ; and the Presbyterian and Puritan clergy, 
who had obtained benefices in the church in the late 
anti-prelatical times, were thrust out again by a rigorous 
act of imiformity. The church, restored to her former 
ascendency, further avenged herself upon the Puritans, 
for her late prostration, with penal laws, and civU 
disabilities. These severities, which delighted loyalists 
and churchmen, were not unacceptable to the great 
body of the people. The gloomy fanaticism, and re- 
ligious extravagances of their late rulers, had disgusted 
them with the praying and preaching sects, who were 

> They were collected hy Mr. Thomasffon, and occupy 2,000 volumes 
in the British Museum. Disraeli, Oin'ogUies of Literature, i. 175; 
Knight, Old IMnter mid Modem PreUf 199. 

JAKES II. 437 

now in disgrace, and droye them to the opposite chap. 
extreme of royalist license. 

Every sign betokened a complete revival of the Eiemente 
former government in Church and State : the revolu- freedom, 
tion appeared to have left no traces of its destructive 
force. But it was soon to be discovered that the 
people, educated in jfreedom, were prepared to resist, by 
force, any invasion of their rights. And, in later times, 
the alienation of the nonconformists bore fiiiits, in the 
weakening of the church establishment, and the 
strengthening of popular movements in favour of civil 
and religious liberty. 

The renewed confidence of the Enghsh people in charies ii. 
the Stuarts was ill requited. Before many years had 
passed, Charles II. was shamefully intriguing with his i678. 
great neighbour Louis XTV., for aid in repressing the 
liberties, and subverting the religion of his own sub- 
jects.^ The last years of his life were spent in straining 
his prerogatives : while his courtiers, lawyers, and high 
churchmen proclaimed his divine right, and inculcated 
upon his subjects the duty of passive obedience. The 
monarchy seemed as powerful as in the early years of 
Charles I. The lessons of that reign had been for- 
gotten ; and Charles died too soon to be reminded of 

B^it his brother, James II., more bUnd than himself james ii. 
to the pohtical experience of his family, wid to the 
signs of the times, was rudely awakened to the d^onger 
of trifling with the liberties and the religion of his 
country. Such were the sentiments of loyalty, by 
which the great body of the people were animated, 
and such the subservience of parliament, — influenced 

1 Dalrymple, 162, 280, 237. 


CHAP, by corruption and artful * management,' — that James's 
— ^r-^ monstrous designs upon the civil liberties of England 
might not have provoked resistance. But, as he was 
clearly bent upon restoring the Eoman Catholic faiths 
which was odious to the whole country, churchmen 
and nonconformists, and the friends of civil liberty 
miited against him, and expelled him fix>m his throne- 
The very bishops who had preached the doctrines of 
non-resistance, and the University of Oxford -which 
had asserted the divine rights of the Lord's anointed, 
were now foremost in resisting his dangerous encroach- 
ments u|x>n the liberties and religion of the people. 
i^^'o^tion Democracy bore so small a part in ' the glorious 
revolution ' of 1688, that its incidents need not here 
be dwelt upon But it can scarcely be doubted that 
so prompt and general a resistance ta James could not 
have been organised, unless the people had been pre- 
pared, by the traditions of the great rebellion, to 
withstand invasions of their rights, and even to take 
up arms against their king. The opposition to Charles 
was inflamed and embittered by religious passions; 
and his son encountered the same dangerous union of 
political and religious zeal. In both cases, the English 
people determined to maintain their rights, even by 
the sword, against the unlawful acts of their sovereign. 
Twice they overcame the reverence and awe in yvhich 
the majesty of the king was held. Twice they re- 
belled, when rebellion was accounted a sin. And 
now the revolution, not for the first time,^ — recognised 
the right of subjects to resist violations of their lawfiil 

For centuries the supreme and indefeasible rights 

1 Supra, pp. 438, 439. 

REVOLUTION OF 1688. 439 

of the monarchy had been maintained : but henceforth chap. 

. XXI. 

it became a constitutional maxim that . the parliament -- j ' -- 
and people of England could depose a king for a ofthe?evo- 
violation of the laws, and place another upon his im"'' 
throne.^ The right of changing and limiting the suc- 
cession to the crown, and defining its prerogatives, was 
also maintained by parliament. From this time forth, 
the monarchy, while still based upon hereditary right, 
was unquestionably subject to the la^^'s of the realm, 
^ and to the judgment of the parliament and people of 
England. It was a constitutional monarchy, brought 
into harmony with a free people, and democratic in- 

The revcdution of 1688 is a memorable example securities 
of the temperate and orderly spirit of English freedom, ubert>^^'*^ 
Every security was taken for the public liberties : every 
principle affirmed that was essential to the government 
of a free people : yet were these popular privileges 
maintained, not in the spirit of democracy, but in asser- 
tion of lawful rights and franchises. The revolution, 
indeed, was founded upon the democratic principle, 
that the judgment and will of the people should pre- 
vail over hereditary rights, and royal prerogatives. But 
the statesmen and parties, who affirmed that principle, 
were as far removed as possible from the character of 
democrats. It formed no part of their design to favour 
the ascendency of the people in the national councils. 

^ The terms of the celebrated resolution of the commons, Jan. 28, 
1888 (agreed to by the lords on Feb. 6) were these: 'That King 
James II. having endeavoured to subvert the constitution of this king- 
dom, by breaking the original contract between king and people, and, 
by the advice of Jesuits and other vdcked persons, having violated the 
fundamental laws, and having withdrawn himself out of the kingdom, 
has abdicated the government, and that the throne is thereby vacant.' 

440 fSyGLAM). 

CHAP. They had appealed to the sentiments of their country- 


of 1688. 

men, in defence of their religion and liberties : but so 
soon as the revolution had been achieved, they were 
prepared to govern on the old lines of the constitution. 
fsK Ae The stability of the settlement of 1688 was due to 
the respect in which it held the ancient laws and insti- 
tutions of the State. There was no theoretical recon- 
struction of institutions : no irreverence for traditions : 
no neglect of the interests of different classes. The 
constitution had been the growth of many centuries : 
its fundamental laws and hberties were well known, 
and cherished by the people : kings had lately violated 
them, and had been deposed : the commonwealth had 
outraged them, and had perished ; and now the consti- 
tution was restored to its normal limits. The prerogatives 
of the crown were restrained, and placed in trust for 
the welfare of the people : securities were taken for 
the due execution of the laws : the church was secured 
in its faith, its pohty, and its revenues, while freedom 
of worship was extended to other communions : the 
peers were maintained in their ancient honours and 
privileges : the commons were confirmed in their inde- 
pendence, and in their valued right of taxation : the 
people were assured of their hberties ; and the property 
and interests of all parties and classes were respected. 
Such a revolution was not the triumph of one party 
over another ; but the renovation of the State, in the 
spirit of its own traditions and predilections. 

Such being the spirit of the revolution, the reign of 
William m. was marked by a vigorous spirit of con- 
stitutional reform. The prerogatives of the crown were 
limited : the authority of parUament was enlarged. 
Henceforth, the mihtary forces, and the resources of 



the crown, became absolutely subject to the will of par- chap. 
liament. Many remedial laws were passed for securing ^ — .-^ 
freedom of election, the independence of parliament, 
and the liberty of the subject : but all were conceived 
in a constitutional spirit, and were consistent with the 
principles of a limited monarchy. In none of the 
legislation, or parliamentary debates, is there to be found 
a trace of revolutionary or republican sentiments. No 
republican party appears to have survived the common- 
wealth. But the spirit of jfree inquiry, which had been 
aroused by the struggles of that period, continued to 
animate the speculative and controversial writers of 
WiUiam's reign ; and the principles affirmed by the 
revolution, when hotly pressed into their service, could 
not fail to assume a republican colour. To dwell upon 
the sovereignty of the people : to urge that all civil 
government is founded upon the consent of society, 
and an original contract between the people and their 
rulers, was unquestionably to maintain the principles of 
democracy. But such abstract speculations, which were 
common at this time,^ were without influence upon the 
practical government of the State. The theories of 
John Locke affected the political movements of his own 
age, no more than the ' Eepubhc ' of Plato, the 'Utopia' 
of Sir Thomas More, the 'Ecclesiastical Polity' of 
Hooker,* or the ' Free Commonwealth ' of Milton. 

The Whig writers and pamphleteers of the reign 
of William, founding their arguments upon the princi- 
ples of the revolution, often advanced propositions 
which exposed them to the taunt of republicanism from 
their opponents : but nothing could be more harmless 

^ See Somen^ Tracts, especiaUj x. 148 ; and State Tracts of William 
III., 8 vols. fol. * See books L and viiL 




The Whig 

The repre- 

than their writings. It was their aim to uphold the 
principles, and defend the conduct, of their own paxty, 
— to advocate measures which they favoured, — ^OAd to 
expose the reactionary principles of thdr Tory rivals. 
Their controversies were nothing more than the conten- 
tions of rival parliamentary parties, seeking for power 
and advancement under the monarchy ; and to re- 
proach the Whig writers of that day with democratic 
sentiments can only provoke a smile. 

Whatever the principles of the revolution, and of 
the Whig party, who were its representatives and expo- 
nents, it is certain that democracy formed no part of 
the politics of England. The most advanced opinions 
were entirely consistent with all the institutions of a 
limited monarchy. And how far did the principles of 
freedom, contended for by the most liberal of the poli- 
tical parties, transcend their practice ? 

In the reign of William, the rights of parliament 
were fiilly established : the House of Commoas acquired 
its proper place in the legislature, as guardian of the 
interests of the people. But how were the people 
represented? It has been demonstrated, again and 
again, that a general representation of the country had 
become almost a fiction. The county members were 
generally the nominees of great territorial nobles : a large 
proportion of the borough members owed their seats 
to the crown, to local magnates, and to close corpora- 
tions ; and even the representatives of more considerable 
places, too often acquired then: seats by bribery and 
other corrupt influences. Seats in parliament were pur- 
chased with no more compunction than lands, houses, 
or the public funds. They were a political investment, 
recognised by society, and not yet condemned by public 


opinion. Hence, the House of Commons, though it often chap. 
gave expression to popular sentiments, represented not ^ — r-^— 

so much the people, as the crown and the territorial 
aristocracy. Nor was this all. The House of Commons 
had lately proved itself too dangerous a body, even un- 
der franchises so hmited, to be trusted with the free 
exercise of its powers ; and, soon after the restoration, 
the 'management' of that body became one of the arts 
of statesmanship. It was not enough for rulers to com- 
mand the representation : it was fuither necessary to 
secure the services of the representatives themselves, 
and their fidelity to the governing party. Hence arose 
the greatest reproach upon the history of our constitu- 
tion, — the system of securing parliamentary support 
by places and pensions, and even by grosser forms of 
pecuniary corruption.^ 

By these electoral and parliamentary abuses, the power of 
crown and the aristocracy contrived to emasculate the tocrJJ^ 
popular representation of their country. Meanwhile, the 
crown, having lost much of its power by 'the revolution, 
and by the measures which followed it, the government 
fell easily into the hands of the great territorial families, 
who had most influence over the House of Commons. 
It has even been contended that the constitution of Eng- 
land had become an oligarchy : but, happily, the prin- 
ciples of EngUsh freedom were not overthrown. The 
Whigs, who were identified with the reigning family, 
continued to assert the liberal principles which had called 
it to the throne ; and even their Tory rivals were fain 

^ ThJB sketch of the abuses of parliamentaiy repnsentation is neces- 
sanly brief; but a full review of them will be found in the sixth chapter 
of the author's Canstitutional History of England iince the accession 
of Oeorge IILf 6th ed. 

444 ENGLAin). 

CHAP, to borrow them, in their endeavours to obtain popular 
^^ — r-— ' support. The rivahy of parties favoured liberty ; and 
popular institutions, however corrupted, kept alive the 
free spirit of the nation. Parliamentary government 
was assuming a form most favourable to fr-eedom. 
Ministers of the crown, no longer able to govern the 
State without the confidence of parliament, were con- 
strained to defer to public opinion ; and whatever of 
personal power was thus lost to the crown was gained 
by the people. At the same time, the growing influence 
of the press, — corrupt and venal as it was, — ^became a 
safeguard against misgovemment, and flagrant abuses of 
revdaS n From the revolution to the accession of George m., 

toGeoige -^hile England enjoyed more freedom than any country 
in the world, there are no traces of democracy. There 
were, indeed, two dangerous rebellions : but they aimed 
at the restoration of the reactionary Stuarts, who had 
been deposed for violating the liberties of the people. 
That the people could be aroused to a successful resist- 
ance of unpopular measures, was proved by the resolute 
opposition of the Irish, under the influence of Swifl*s 
1723. celebrated *Drapier's Letters,' to the introduction of 
Wood's new hal^nce into Ireland : ^ by the popular 
1788. clamours against Sir E. Walpole's excise scheme : by 
the riotous agitation of the metropolis against the 
1736-1742. gin act, which led to its repeal ^ ; and, again, by the 
^^^ successful outcry for the repeal of the recent act for the 
naturalisation of the Jews. But such explo^ons of 
popular discontent were not signs of a democratic spirit 

^ See a spirited account in Thackera/s HumariiU {Bmh) as well as 
in the usual histories. 

* SmoUett, Hi$t. ii. 331, 428. 


among the people. In all countries, even the most ch/p. 


despotic, — ^in Asia, in Turkey, in the autocratic States 
of Europe, and in all ages, — such outbreaks have been 
known. But they are evidences not of freedom of 
opinion, or of popular control over the government : 
but of the sufferings, passions, and prejudices of the 
multitude. They have, indeed, been most frequent in 
States in which there was the least hope of securing 
the redress of grievances by constitutional means. 
Free institutions have formed the best safeguards 
against popular tumults. During this period, many 
useful securities were devised for public liberty ; and 
the commonalty, rapidly advancing in numbers, wealth 
and intelligence, were laying the foundations of in- 
creased political power. 

Powerful middle classes were rapidly rising up : Aacen- 
but as yet the crown, the church, the nobles, and th^i^, 
the country gentlemen were in the ascendent. In anVthe'^*' 
wealth, dignity, public respect, and social influence, JnheMu! 
they prevailed over all other classes ; and their poli- 
tical power corresponded with their commanding 
position in society. The church had recovered from Thechoreh. 
the rough assaults of Presbyterians and Independents, 
and was enjoying a period of repose and security. 
Dissenters, discountenanced and repressed by civil dis- 
abilities, were no longer dreaded as enemies of the 
establishment. The clergy, inert and indifferent, were Thecierg)'. 
losing much of their spiritual influence : but, in union 
with the crown and the proprietors of the soil, they 
wielded a great social and political power. 

The nobles, continually increasing in niunbers, and The noWee. 
enriched by the spoils of the church, by grants of 
crown lands, by great ofiices, by inheritance, and by 


CHAP. alliaiK^es, had become possessed of extensive territories 
^ — r-^ in every county. Like their forefathers, they cherished 
their country homes. They built noble mansions: 
they surrounded themselves with parks, woods, and 
pleasure grounds : their domains were tastefully 
planted, cultivated, and fenced : the traveller recog- 
nised them, at a glance, as the stately abodes of the 
great and noble. These surroundings were more con- 
genial to their tastes than the attractions of the capital. 
James L had discouraged their resort to Whitehall ; * 
but Charles 11. had seduced many from their retire- 
inent, by the gaieties and pleasures of his profligate 
coiut. like the nobles of Louis XIV., they were in 
danger of exchanging their feudal power, in the coun- 
try, for the frivolous life of gilded courtiers. But this 
peril to their order passed away, in succeeding reigns ; 
and the nobles continued to enjoy the power, without 
the invidious privileges of feudalism. As leaders of 
society : as magistrates : as patrons of every local 
enterprise, their influence was paramount. 
The coun- The couutry gentlemen formed another section of 

«en, the aristocracy of the land. Many boasted of a lineage 

as ancient as that of the proudest peer ; and in wealth 
and influence this more considerable body even sur- 
paased the peerage-: but these two orders, instead of 
impairing their power by poUtical rivalries, w^re 
firmly united in principles and interests; and made 
common cause in maintaining the ascendency of the 

^ ' He was wont to be yery earnest with the country gentlemen to go 
from London to their country seats. And sometimes he would Bay 
thus to them: ''Gentlemen, at London you are like ships in a sea, 
which show like nothing; but in your country Tillages you are like 
ships in a riTsr, which look like great things."' — ^Lord Bacon, Apo- 
pkthegmM ; Hume, mu. iy. 355. 


proprietors of the soil over all other classes of society, chap. 
Their power was confirmed by their extraordinary '^ ■ , ' -- 
influence over the clergy. The bishops were the 
relatives, college friends, and tutors of nobles and 
ministers of State ; and a large proportion of the clergy 
owed their benefices to the favour of lay patrons. Most 
of them were connected with the county families ; and 
all were beholden to the peer, or to the squire, for 
hospitality and social courtesies. Never was a church 
so closely identified with the land. A society so consti- 
tuted naturally commanded political supremacy, imtil 
other classes should arise to contest it ; and this deve- 
lopment of social forces, already silently advancing, 
was to reveal itself in later times. 



ENGLAND — Continued. 


First yetn 
of George 



The first twenty years of George IH.'s reign displayed 
the augmented force and activity of popular move- 
ments. That monarch endeavoured to revive the per- 
sonal influence of the sovereign, in the government of 
the State, which had been little exercised since the 
time of William III. ; and his unpopular measures 
aroused a spirit of opposition, which suddenly revealed 
the power of public opinion, and developed new 
agencies for giving expression to it. The storm of 
ridicule and abuse by which the royal favoiuite, Lord 
Bute, was driven from favour: the bold and artfiil 
agitation of Wilkes: the increasing boldness of the 
press: the triumphant persistence of the printers in 
pubUshing Parliamentary debates : the turbulent spirit 
of the people : the influence of public meetings and 
political associations; and the increasing freedom of 
speech in Parliament,^ were symptoms of a democratic 
force long unknown in England. 

^ See the authoi's CurutUtitiofud Miitory, chaps. viL viii. ix., for 8 
more particular account of these moyements. 


This popular movement received an extraordinary chap. 
impulse from the revolt of the American colonies. The 

contest between the two great EngKsh parties, in rela- IS^eriS^^ 
tion to the insiugent colonists, brought out, in bold '^dence. 
relief, the democratic principles of 1642, and 1688 — 
the unlawfiilness of taxation without the consent of the 
taxpayers, through their representatives, and the right 
of the people to resist oppression by force. This con- 
troversy encouraged the formation of a small democratic 
party in England : ^ while the ultimate success of the 
rebellion, and the triumph of the English party which 
had espoused the cause of the colonies, further advanced 
the principles of democracy. 

But it was in Prance, far more than in England, it« effects 

° greater lu 

that the struggle of the American colonies for indepen- ™nce 
dence encouraged the spirit of democracy. Whatever England. 
the abstract principles involved in the contest between 
the mother country and her colonies, the honour and 
interests of England were at stake, and the feelings of 
Englishmen were naturally enlisted in support of their 
own country : wliile in France, which had made com- 
mon cause with the colonies against England, the prin- 
ciples of her new allies were eagerly espoused, and 
popularised. Englishmen, again, were generally con- 
tented with their constitutional freedom: while the 
French were suffering from the accumulated ills of 
many centiuies of arbitrary rule. Hence, in England, 
the popular excitement caused by the American war 
of independence soon subsided: while in France, it 
contributed, with other grave causes of political and 

1 Stephen, Zf/e of Borne Toake, i. 162-175^ ii. 28 ; Oooke, Hist, of 
Party, iii. 188 ; WyyiU, Political Papers, ii. 403. 



^xxn' ®^"^^ discontent, to the momentous revolution of 
^^— 1789.1 

lJ^y««t'' The sympathy which vibrates, with mysterious force, 
inEngUnd. through different nations, in times of revolution, was 
illustrated upon this, as upon other similar occasions.* 
It was now followed by an active democratic move- 
ment in England and Scotland. It failed to reach any 
considerable number of the people : it embraced no 
persons of i)osition or influence; and it was sternly 
repressed by the authority of Parliament.* If France 
had contented herself with the redress of her acknow- 
ledged grievances, and the establishment of well-ordered 
liberty, she would have commanded the sympathy of 
most Englishmen: but her revolutionary excesses at 
once revolted and alarmed them. The principles of 
the French revolutionary leaders were wholly foreign 
to English simtiments ; and their wild bloodthirstiness 
outraged humanity. Hence the higher and middle 
classes of English society not only recoiled from any 
contract with democracy : but, in their determination to 
repress it, notwithstanding the eloquent remonstrances 
of Fox and other popular leaders, were forgetfiil of 
their cherished principles of liberty. 
Kffeou of The revolutionary wars and propagandism of France 

wvoiiltiOT^ increased the repugnance of English society to French 
principles ; and democracy appeared to be utterly crushed. 
The severity of the laws, and the overwhelming force 
of pubUc opinion, combined to stamp it out. But the 
influence of the French revolution, throughout Europe, 
was never effaced. It has since borne fruits in every 

' See wprfff u, IdO et $eq, 

« E,g, 1830, 1848. Supra, pp. 244, 272. 

* See chap. ix. of the tuthor^a OoitutUuitumal Midory. 


country ; ^ and in England, democracy, though effectually chap. 
repressed, as an outward danger to the State, or to the — r-l' 
governing classes, from that time became a political 
force, which was destined to acquire increasing power 
and development. For thirty years the repressive 
policy of the government was maintained : prosecutions 
of the press aboimded ; and the popular discontents 
of the last years of the r^ency brought down upon 
the press, and upon public meetings, restrictions of 
increased severity. 

But the six acts of Lord Sidmouth, may be taken The six 
as the tiuning-point in the fortunes of English liberties. 1819! 
Under the dark shadows of the French revolution, 
society had supported the repressive measures of the 
government: but in 1819, when the fires of that 
revolution had burned out, and democracy was no 
longer a danger, or a bugbear, restraints upon public 
liberty were received with far less favour. They were 
opposed by many eminent statesmen, by the Whig 
party in Parliament, and by a strong popular sentiment 
in the country, which continued throughout the reign 
of George IV. 

And during this long period of repression, society ^J^^ 
had imdergone remarkable changes. It had advanced 
in power, in knowledge, and in political sentiment. 
The middle classes had attained far higher influence 
and consideration ; and new generations were claiming 
a fuller recognition in society and in politics, than any 

^ ' Oette date de 1789 est la grande date de tous lee peuplee. Beau- 
coup d'institutioxiB sont tomb^s k cette date; oelles qui ne eont pas 
tomb^es se sont transfoim^s; quelques-unes qui paraissent yiTie, ne sont 
plus que des ombres. Dans la pratique de tous les peuples, et dans la 
spteulation de tous les peuples, est la trace philosophique de la B^Tolutlon 
Fraii9aiBe.* — Jules Simon, La Uherti, i. 43. 

o e 2 


CHAP, to which their fathers had aspired. The exclusive terri- 

XXII . . . 

^- > -^ torial basis, upon which social privileges and political 
power had long been founded, could not much longer 
be maintained. An advancing society, and growing in- 
terests, demanded a wider polity. 
Growth of Since the accession of Geoi^e III. the face of 
oo^eree, England had been changed; and was still conspicuously 
^tAoaJ ' changing. Her destinies, as the first commercial and 
manufacturing country in the world, were being fill* 
filled. Since the colonisation of America, in the seven- 
teenth century, and the industrial decay of the Nether- 
lands, England had been making continued advances 
in navigation, conmierce, and manufactures. But the 
most signal progress was observable from the beginning 
of the present century. The population had enor- 
mously increased; and this increase was chiefly in 
the cities and towns.^ Agriculture was encouraged, 
and the cultivation of the soil was improved and ex- 
tended : but agricultural industry was far outstripped by 
trade and manufactures.* Land which had once been 
the principal source of wealth, and the main support 
of the population, was losing its preponderance as a 
national interest. Vast towns had arisen, with a mar- 
vellous growth. The population of London was equal 
to that of Scotland. Liverpool, Manchester, Birming- 
ham, Leeds, Sheffield and Glasgow, had become like 
the capitals of considerable States. The woollen and 

1 In 1801 the population of Qiest Britain was 10,942,364, in 1831 it 
had increased to 16,630,318. Population Returns of 1801 and 1831 ; 
Porter, Ptogregs of the Nation^ chap. i. 

> In 1811, 896,098 families were employed in agriculture in Great 
Britain, and 129,049 in trade and manufactures; in 1831, 961,134 fami- 
lies were employed in the former, and 1,434,873 in the Utter. In 1841, 
14,90,786 persons were employed in agriculture, and 3,092,787 in trade 
and manufactures. Porter, chap. ii. 


cotton manufactures, having acquired prodigious powers 9^i?* 
from the spinning jenny, and the steam engine, were "*— ^^ — ' 
supplying the world with their varied fabrics. Manu- 
&ctures of iron, and other metals, and of machinery, 
were advancing with no less vigour. Mining enterprise 
kept pace with these industries ; and the production of 
coal and iron was facihtated by all the resources of 
science. The internal communications of the coimtry 
had been extended by canals, by the improvement 
of navigable rivers, and by the best roads in Europe ; 
and were about to be multiplied by the wonder-working 
inventions of railways and locomotive engines. Steam 
navigation had made the sea a safe highway for the 
coasting trade, and foreign commerce. 

Arkwright, Watt, and Stephenson had revolutionised 7^1^^ *" 
the industry of England and the world, and had trans- ^ J™ie 

*^ ~; , and mana- 

formed society. Wealthy merchants, shipowners, and factures. 
manufacturers were now rivalling the landowners, in 
riches and social pretensions: thousands of traders 
were enriched by supplying the wants of an increasing 
and prosperous population ; and skilled artificers were 
beginning to outnumber the tillers of the soil. Nor 
were these the only social changes of the period. The 
constant accumulation of capital had created a con- 
siderable body of independent gentry, and a new 
middle class, attached neither to the land nor to trade, 
whose claims to a share of political power could not 
be ignored. Bath, Cheltenham, Leamington, Brighton, 
Hastings, and the suburbs of London bear witness to 
their numbers and their wealth. The balance of politi- 
cal power was shaken. The landed proprietors, profit- 
ing by the increasing prosperity of the country, were 
richer than ever ; and by the zealous discharge of the 


CHAP, public and private duties of their station, had sustained 
' — r-^ their accustomed local influence : but they could no 
longer claim an undisputed supremacy in the State. 
These industrial and social changes, remarkable as they 
were in the reign of George IV., have since continued, 
with a still more striking development ; and this period 
of social advancement has been signalised by a yet 
more memorable political progress. 
Th« While the .relations of the land to the trading 

di^t*^ classes were undergoing these notable changes, the 
church was also losing much of lier exclusive authority, 
as the representative of the national faith. Puritanism 
had been nearly trampled out by the restoration ; and 
early in the eighteenth century, nonconformists had 
shared the contented slumbers of churchmen. The 
fierce contentions of former times were succeeded by 
a period of religious repose. But Wesley and White- 
field had since awakened a new spiritual movement ; 
and dissent had been making alarming progress through- 
out the land. Wales was almost lost to the church : 
the teeming populations of the manufacturing towns 
became the ready disciples of dissenting preachers: 
where the church had been negligent, dissent was 
active and zealous ; until at length the humble chapels 
and meeting-houses of various sects of dissenters, were 
beginning to outnumber the churches of the establish- 
ment. The church still enjoyed all her l^al rights 
and securities : but she was no longer the acknowledged 
church of the people. The union of Presbyterian 
Scotland and Catholic Ireland, had further affected 
the position of the English establishment as a State 

The church and the land had been firm allies; 


and the power of both was alike impaired. They had chap. 


successfiiUy maintained religious disabilities, a narrow 
and corrupt electoral system, the manifold abuses of ^^^^^^ 
close corporations, a criminal code of reckless severity, Se ul^d""^ 
imequal and oppressive taxes, and injurious restrictions ***"^^^®*^- 
upon trade, and upon the food and labour of the people. 
The conservative powers of society had now to en- 
counter the restless and aggressive forces of democracy. 
The country was opposed to the towns ; and the church 
to Catholics and nonconformists. And in the approach- 
ing struggle, society was now armed with new weapons 
for coping with its powerful rulers in Church and State. 

The political education of the country had kept pace ^**"*'*^^„ 
with its material and social progress. No single cause, 
perhaps, had more contributed to this result than the 
free publication of debates in Parliament. Measures had 
been discussed more boldly, by minorities, when they 
could appeal, from the closely-packed benches of the do- 
minant party, to the judgment of their countrymen. And 
when the people were admitted to the councils of their 
rulers, a public opinion was formed, to which all par- 
ties were constrained to defer. If the press had done 
nothing more for public instruction, this single service 
to the cause of popular government would claim the 
highest acknowledgment. But the press had rendered 
other services to the same cause. Notwithstanding the 
restraints to which it had been subject, despite the 
severity with which the law had been administered, 
it had been constantly extending its influence. And 
as society advanced in knowledge and cultivation, a 
higher class of minds was attracted to the labours of the 
periodical press.^ 

^ The Edinburgh and Quarterly Bemws had introduced a statesman- 


CHAP. Sunday newspapers had also established a position 


in the periodical press, &voui*able to the careful and 
studied investigation of political questions, and qualified 
for the guidance of thoughtftil minds. 

Krpwiom of From the beginning of the reign of GteoiTge IV., the 
press enjoyed so much of the confidence of the people 
as to ensure its general immunity from rigorous oppres- 
sion ; and its complete freedom was soon to be estab- 

18S0. 1831. lished. Ten years later were witnessed the last prose- 
cutions of the press by the government; and an 
unrestrained freedom of political discussion has sin<^ 
been allowed by the State. This general freedom of 
the press was followed by the repeal of the advertise- 
ment duty in 1853, of the newspaper stamp in 1855, 
and of the paper duty in 1861. These successive 
measures removed every restraint upon the activity 
and energies of the press. Henceforth a freedom of 
opinion, unknown in any other age or country, and 
unexamplal agencies for its expression, brought every 
class of society within the extended circle of political 
thousfht and deliberation. Never since the assembled 


Kke spirit into political discussions, in which the opinions of the V^ 
and Tory parties had been represented. In 1833, the Weattnintier Jiener 
was established by Jeremy Bentham, for the advancement of his own 
opinions, and for promoting the cause of the Radical party, as against the 
Whi^ It commenced with an assault upon the Edmburjfh Review and 
the Whig party, and a scheme of radical policy, written by Mr. Jam«i 
Mill, author of the History uf Britith India. This new roTiflw con- 
tinued, for several years, to represent the opnions of the philosophical 
radicals and advanced Liberal party. Written with force and apintf 
and expressing the earnest convictions of the Benthamite and radical 
schools of thought, at a time when there was a general movement in public 
opinion, favourable to a more liberal policy in the State, it undonbtedlr 
contributed to strengthen the Liberal cause. See Avtobiografhji^ by 
John Stuart Mill, p. 87 ef teq. This school, however, was never popu- 
lar in England ; and the Review, with aU its ability, fidled to reach an 
extended circulation. Ibid. p. 120. 


citizens of Athens had been consulted, in' the agora, (^p. 
upon affairs of State, had a whole people been so freely ^ — r— ^ 
called into council, as in England, after the complete 
emancipation of the press. The democracy of small 
States had raised its voice in streets and market-places : 
the democracy of the great English monarchy made 
itself heard through its multitudinous press.^ 

With this great extension of political freedom and Education, 
activity in the press, there was a simultaneous advance 
in the general education of society. It was not in 
political writings only that the resources of the press 
were developed. Cheap literature, accessible to the 
multitude, had been popularised by attractive publica- 
tions, designed to bring science, literature, and art 
within the reach and comprehension of all readers. 
The treasures of the learned were freely shared with 
mankind. Foremost in this useful work were the 
teachers of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Know- 
ledge, — ^Lord Brougham, Mr. Matthew Davenport Hill, 
and Mr. Charles Knight ; who were successfully followed 
by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and 
by the Messrs. Chambers. Schools had laid the founda- 
tions of instruction : but to the press we owe the gene- 
ral spread of education and enlightenment. 

Another agency for the expression of public opinion Political 
was found in the increasing development of political SST** 
associations and public meetings. These powerftil 
instruments of agitation had been exercised since the 
early years of George DX^ By these means the popu- 

1 Some good illustrations of the operation of freedom of the press in 
France, and of restraints upon it, will be found in Jules Simon's La 
UherU, ii. 347 a ieq, 

' See the author's CorutitutiontU Hutory of England, chap. ix. 


CHAP, lar cause of Wilkes had been supported : the movement 
^ — '-^ in favour of economical and parliamentary reform ad- 
1779I17W ^^'^^^d- *^® fanatical Protestantism of Lord George 
1790. Gordon and his followers inflamed : the abolition of the 
slave trade achieved. But the revolutionary crisis, which 
agitated the latter years of the last century, arrested the 
progress of such popular movements. Public meet- 
ings and associations, which had been permitted in more 
tranquil times, were now discouraged and repressed. 
Popular liberties were sacrificed, for a time, for the 
sake of quelling dangerous disorders, sedition, and 
treasonable designs.^ Fresh disorders during the 
r^ency caused a revival of this repressive policy ; and 
political agitation, in its various forms, was efiectually 
Poiitieai But the time was now approaching in whidii pi;d>&c 

opinion was to prevail over governments and parlia- 
ments ; and as the press was acquiring increased power 
and freedom, so public meetings and political organisa- 
tions displayed the growing force of popular demon- 
strations. The association of strong bodies of men in 
support of a political cause, difiers from the action of 
the press upon pubKc opinion. It is more powerful, 
and it is more democratic. It is at once an expression 
of public opinion, and a demonstration of physical force. 
It attests not only the convictions of numbers, but their 
earnestness. It allies thought with action. It brings 
men together for discussion, as in the agora ; and the 
reasoning, the eloquence, and the passions of the 
speakers thrill multitudes with emotion and stem re- 
solves. Its influence in politics is like that of com- 
mimions and preaching, in religion. Zeal can only be 

* See author*8 Cofut, Bid. of EngUmd, chap. Tii. 

inflaence of 


aroused by the contact of man with man. New chap. 


thoughts are born in the study : but they take hold of ^ — r-^ 

nations by association, by discussion, by sympathy, 
and by the. voices of the leaders of men. 

Nor is popular agitation confined to the propaga- Dangew of 
tion of opinions. The union of niunbers, in a common Wagea. 
cause, may threaten force and coercion. Vast assem- 
blages of men may occasion tumults and dvil war. 
Meetings of citizens in the ancient Gbreek cities, or in 
the modern Swiss cantons, were free from danger : but 
prodigious gatherings in the populous cities of Great 
Britain, may be dangerous to life and property, and 
menace freedom in the councils of the State. Public 
discussion may assume the form of intimidation and 
violence. Numbers, not satisfied with arguments, may 
resort to force. Here are the elements of democratic 
revolution, so often developed with iatal fcmse in vwn- 
ous coimtries, and especially in France. Popular 
wrongs and sufierings, violent leaders, an unpopular 
government, and a weak executive, have, again and 
again, been the causes of sudden revolutions. The 
danger of such revolutions is in relative proportion to 
the good government of States. Where the govern- 
ment, and the administration of the laws, enjoy the 
confidence of the people : where the great majority of 
subjects are prepared to support their rulers: where 
principles of wisdom, equity, and moderation prevail 
in the national councils, — ^there wUl the dangers of 
revolution be the least. The history of England, 
during the last fifty years, presents striking illustrations 
of these truths. It exhibits the triumph of great causes 
by political agitation ; and it shows how revolutionary 


CHAP, forces have been held in check by confidence in the 
^ — r-^ government, and respect for the laws. 
The Such being the force, and such the dangers of 

Alicia- political agitation, we may proceed to follow its instruc- 
1823. tive history. The penal laws against Catholics had been 
maintained long after their policy had been renounced 
by the most enlightened statesmen of the age. Their 
repeal had been advocated, for several years, in Parlia- 
ment and in the press : but a powerful majority, fisuth- 
ful to the narrow principles of government, in Church 
and State, which had descended to them from former 
times, successfully resisted it. At length, in 1823, an 
oi^amsation was created for securing Catholic relief, 
which extended over the whole of Ireland. The 
Catholic population were taught to demand their rights, 
as with a single voice. They were represented in 
Dublin by the association, which assumed the authority 
of a parliament : contributions were levied in support of 
the cause in every parish : the press appealed to the 
passions of the people : the Catholic pulpits resounded 
with fervent exhortations to the faithful. While the 
Catholics were thus pressing their claims by a move- 
ment little short of national, the Protestants were 
resisting them by Orange societies and other associa- 
tions, less numerous indeed, but not less earnest and 
impassioned. A religious war seemed imminent ; and 
parliament, not being yet prepared to allay the strife, 
by concessions to the stronger party, resolved in 1828 
to protect the public peace, by suppressing these dan- 
gerous associations, — ^as well Protestant as Catholic. 
But the danger could not be so arrested. The act 
of the legislature was evaded, and in three years it 


The danger was now more formidable than ever. chap. 
The public excitement had increased, the associations ^^^^' 

were more violent, and vast meetings of Catholics were S^?^ 
assembled with the disciphne, and symbols of a military ^®^^- 
array. Such meetings were not designed for the expres- 
sion of opinions, but were threatening demonstrations of 
physical force. If suffered to continue without a check, 
they endangered the pubUc peace, and were calculated to 
overawe the government and the Protestant community. 
If repressed by mihtary force, there was the hazard of 
bloody collisions between the troops and vast masses of 
the people. The position was one of extreme emer- 
gency. The government, however, prohibited the 
meetings, as causing terror to peaceable subjects ; and 
the association, unwilling to brave a collision, and 
sensible that- the government was supported by an 
overwhelming force of pubUc opinion, submitted to the 
prohibition. Bloodshed was averted by the firmness 
of the government, and the discretion of the CathoUc 
leaders : but the cause of Catholic emancipation was 
pressed with greater energy than ever, and its triumph 
was at hand. 

In the next session, a Protestant ministry and a Cathoiic 
Protestant parhament, pledged to resist the CathoUc tS"*^^ 
claims, were forced to concede them. Their convic- 
tions were unchanged: but they were coerced by a 
popular agitation which they could no longer venture 
to resist. The State had been overcome by the irregu- 
lar forces of democracy. ^ But the cause which had pre- 
vailed was just and righteous : it had been too long 
opposed by narrow statesmanship and religious preju- 
dice. It was support^ by eminent English statesmen, 
and by the liberal judgment of an enlightened party 


CHAP, in parliament and in the country. In these events we 

XXII. . - 

^ — r-^ see the power of a government, resting upon public 
opinion, to repress disorder ; and the force of popular 
agitation, in securing the triumph of a just cause with- 
out violence. 
Agiution This national agitation was soon followed by an- 

Sl!^i!uS!^ other, yet more formidable, in support of parliamentary 
I^^"2. reform. Democracy had received a strong impulse 
from the recent revolution in France ; and the circum- 
stances of the times encouraged its activity. A popular 
ministry was at length engaged in passing a measure 
for the enfranchisement of the people ; and was resisted 
by that party which had long ruled England by means 
of a narrow representation, and a dependent Parliament 
Such were the forces opposed to this measure, that its 
success was doubtfid; and the people came forward, 
with passionate energy, to support it. The press was 
violent : political unions were threatening : public 
meetings of unexampled magnitude were assembled. 
Eiots and disorders disturbed the public peace. Eevo- 
lution seemed to be impending. But it was averted by 
the ultimate submission of the Tory party, in the House 
of Lords, to irresistible pressure. The peers were 
coerced and himibled; and popular agitation again 
prevailed. But here it was not the State which was 
overcome : the ministers of the crown, an overwhelm- 
ing majority of the House of Commons, and a consider- 
able minority in the upper house itself, had ardently 
supported the Beform Bill. It was not the cause of 
demagogues or revolutionary mobs, but the scheme of 
responsible statesmen, who enjoyed the general confi- 
dence of their countrymen. Noblemen and gentlemen 
of high station had been the leaders of the movement ; 


and the middle and working; classes had laboured chap. 


together in support of it. The agitation was demo- — r-^ 
cratic, and almost revolutionary : but the cause which 
it advanced was constitutional and statesmanlike. 
The scheme brought no revolutionary changes, but 
sought to restore the representation of the people to its 
theoretical design. But for the protracted resistance 
of the peers, it might have been discussed, in parliament, 
without provoking excessive agitation in the country. 
Again a just and constitutional measure was carried by 
the aid of the irregular forces of democracy. Yet, 
however potent these forces, they were but the auxiU- 
aries of a good cause, supported by constitutional 

While this dangerous excitement was rife in England, Repeal 
an agitation scarcely less formidable had been organised, i^o^i?' 
in Ireland, for the repeal of the union. Mr. O'Con- 
nell, lately triumphant as the champion of the Catholic 
claims, was now threatening to rend asunder the legis- 
lative union of England and Ireland. But far different 
was the cause he had now espoused. It had no leaders 
but demagogues : it was repudiated by statesmen of 
all parties : it was condemned by the public opinion 
of the United Kingdom. The repealers made noisy 
demonstrations : but the government, resting upon the 
support of parliament and the country, were able to 
repress them. 

A few years later, the mischievous agitation was mo-i844. 
revived. A more extended organisation was estab- 
lished ; and ^ monster meetings ' were assembled which 
endangered the pubUc peace. But again the govern- 
ment were able to quell the agitation, and to bring its 
leaders within the reach of the law. The cause was 


Smr ^^ * ^^ ^^ obnoxious alike to the State and to sodety, 
'"^ — ' — " and its fiulure was signal and complete. 
1^^^ No less easily was the pernicious orgaoisatioD of 

1IJ35-1886. jjjg Orange lodges repressed. Founded upon religioiij 
hate, and party passions, it endangered the publi 
peace, and affected the administration of justice. T 
could expect no support from an enlightened pubii 
opinion, and it fell before the condemnation of par- 
An«- While these agitations in favour of unworthy enl* 

Society, had failed, the anti-slavery association, by peacefiil ani 
orderly appeals to the good feelings and reason <: 
their countrymen, had succeeded in their humane a&i 
iighteous cause, and had given freedom to the sh'^ 
of the wide British empire. 
The While the repeal agitation was still rife in Ireh!)'! 

1H34-1948. the Chartist organisation, not unlike it in its character 
and incidents, had risen to importance in England. I 
consisted almost entirely of working men, who b 
adopted as the five points of their * charter,' univei^ 
suflrage, vote by ballot, annual parliaments, payme:;: 
of members, and the abolition of their property qua^ 
fication. This scheme of radical reform met with n 
favour from the higher and middle classes, who were 
satisfied with the recent settlement of the representa- 
tion ; and was specially repugnant to the employers ai 
labour. But the working men, discontented with thei: 
lot in life, and hoping to improve it by remedial law?. 
were encouraged by the success of other politici 
agitations, to resort to the familiar expedients of an 
extended association, crowded meetings, and ' monsUr 
petitions.' Too often their activity led to riots, whici 
were promptly quelled by the magistracy. Their 


numbers were great, and tbeir organisation was main- chap. 
tained for several years : when suddenly the revolution — ^ . ' -- 
in France, in February 1848, which re-animated de- 
mocracy throughout Europe, determined the Chartists 
to attempt a revolutionary movement in favour of their 

Having complained that their petitions had been "^heioth 
neglected, they resolved to march to the House of 
Commons, in force, and present another petition, said 
to have been signed by five million persons. For this 
purpose, a vast meeting was summoned, on the 10th 
April, at Kennington Common, whence a procession 
was to march to Westminster. In. Paris, such as- 
semblages had often accomplished revolutions. But in 
London, the 10th April afforded a memorable proof of 
the strength of the government, jmd of society, in re- 
sisting revolutionary movements condemned by public 
opinion. The meeting was declared illegal, by procla- 
mation : 170,000 special constables were sworn in to 
maintain the public peace: Westminster Bridge and 
the approaches to the Houses of Parliament were 
guarded, as for a siege, by artillery and soldiers, care- 
fully concealed from view. . The meeting proved a 
failure: the procession over Westminster Bridge was 
interdicted ; and the dispirited crowds dispersed to their 
homes without disturbance. 

The scheme of the Chartists had been ill-planned : weakness 
their leaders were little in earnest, and they were in- chardst 
capable and cowardly: but even with better leaders, *^"**^ 
their failure would have been assured. They stood 
alone, — without the sympathy of other classes, with- 
out the countenance of any parliamentary or national 
party, and without a cause which appealed to the 




ciiAp. general sentiments of the people. They were strong 
-- . -^ in numbers, but they were opposed by the united force 
of the State and of society ; and they were powerless. 
They might have caused disorders and riot, but they 
could not have achieved a poUtical triumph. 
Atiti-cora Meanwhile, another agitation, differing widely from 
Lo.^e. that of the Chartists, and followed by other results, 
had been brought to a successful conclusion. The 
Anti-Corn Law League affords the example of an agi- 
tation in which the cause itself was good, the object 
national, and the triumph complete. Here the em* 
ployers of laboiu-, and the working classes, were com- 
bined in support of interests common to them both : 
the leaders of the movement, Mr. Cobden and Mr. 
Bright, were able and popular speakers, capable alike 
of enforcing the truths of political science, and arousing 
the passions of the people ; and their principles had 
long been maintained by many eminent men, and a 
considerable party in parliament — ^foremost among 
whom was its able and consistent advocate, Mr. Charles 
Villiers. But the interests opposed to them seemed 
overwhelming. Protection had been, for ages, the 
settled principle of English commercial policy. The 
landowners and farmers looked upon restricted imports 
of corn as essential to British agricultiu^e : the manu- 
facturers were not, at first, alive to the importance of 
free trade ; and the cause was resisted by overpower- 
ing majorities in parUament. But the agitation was 
pursued with rare energy and persistence : it was 
favoured by concurrent political and social conditions 
— more particularly by the Irish famine — ^and in less 
than eight years, it haH converted public opinion, rival 
statesmen, and parliament itself, to the doctrines of free 


trade. Its victory was not achieved without bitter- chap. 


ness : the landlords and farmers, and the statesmen ^ — r-^ 

ranged on their side, were assailed with fierce denun- 
ciations : the working classes were aroused to a deep 
sense of wrong : but, although the interests and pas- 
sions of the multitude were engaged in the strife, it 
was not discredited by any acts of violence or intimi- 

This agitation, if an illustration of the force of its moral, 
democracy, is also an example of the power of reason, 
in a free State. The coxmtry and its rulers were 
convinced by argument, and swayed by popular 
demonstrations : but the good cause was won by 
rational conviction, and not by the overruling force of 

Many years now passed without any conspicuous Meetings 
popular movement. At length, in 1866, the revival ParkT* 
of parliamentary reform, in the legislature, aroused some 
popular excitement. The Eeform League announced 
a public meeting in Hyde Park, on the 23rd July. It 
was prohibited by the government: but inadequate 
precautions for enforcing this prohibition led to the 
memorable destruction of the railings, and the tri- 
umphant occupation of the park by the mob. In the May e, 
following year, another meeting in Hyde Park was 
prohibited, but was held in defiance of the govern- 
ment. On both occasions, democracy prevailed over 
the government : but the legality of prohibiting meet- 
ings in the park was at least doubtful : and the weak- 
ness and irresolution with which the popular movement 
was encountered by the executive, were mainly respons- 
ible for the contempt shown by the populace to the 
authority of the State. 

H H 2 

468 BN6LAKD. 

CHAP. Meetings in Hyde Park have since been subjected 

' — r-^ to r^ulation, but not to prohibition ; and have become 
public nuisances, rather than popular demonstrations. 
If they sometimes molest society, and threaten disorder, 
they l\ave wholly failed to influence public opinion, or 
to afiect the resolutions of the legislature. They are ex- 
amples of democracy in its least attractive forms, exhi- 
bidng the sores of society, and not its healthful action. 
The Match Another small agitation scarcely deserves notice, 
1871. except that it was the last, and achieved a sudden 
success. In 1871, the Chancellor of the Exchequer 
having proposed, as part of his budget for the year, a 
tax upon lucifer-matches, the principal manufieu^tiu^rs 
of those articles suddenly threw their workpeople out 
of employment, who crowded down to Westminster, 
by the streets, and by the Thames Embankment, to 
protest against the obnoxious proposal. It was a 
trivial tax upon a single industry, and found scant 
favour with the House of Commons, or with the public : 
the poor match-makers met with general sympathy ; 
and the abortive scheme was promptly abandoned. The 
popular demonstration quickened the determination of 
ministers: but the new tax had been at once con- 
demned by public opinion ; and the successful remon- 
strances of the threatened interest can scarcely be cited 
as among the triumphs of democracy. 
Monu of From these examples of political agitation, we are 

i^uuoD. ^^^^ ^ ^^w s^°^® conclusions concerning democracy, 
as it affects our laws and institutions. The public 
peace has often been threatened by popular demon- 
strations ; and vast gatherings of men, in populous 
places, must always be attended with danger. The 
government and parliament have sometimes been over- 


borne by powerful combii>atioDS, using the manifold chap. 
arts of modem agitation. The passions of society have 

been aroused to the very verge of rebellion. The 
evils incident to great popular excitement are unques- 
tionable : but cases have been rare in which tumults 
and disorders have arisen out of the agitation of poli- 
tical questions. The law has been strong enough to 
restrain and to punish them. None of the great 
agitations in our history have proved successful un- 
less founded upon a good cause, and supported by 
a parliamentary party, and by a large measure of public 
opinion. Good laws have thus been forced upon the 
acceptance of the legislature : but bad causes* however 
clamorously urged, have failed before the firm resist- 
ance of the government and of society. 

Of smaller agitations little need be said : but they Minor agi- 
have become so numerous as gravely to affect the 
relative strength of parties, and the legislation of the 
country. Associations for disestablishing the church, 
for legalising marriages with a deceased wife's sister, 
for securing women's rights, for the protection of pub- 
licans, for a permissive prohibitory liquor law, for the 
repeal of the contagious diseases acts, and for other 
objects, have made their special causes superior to the 
great political principles which concern the general 
government of the State. The merits of their re- 
spective causes may be judged by the ultimate results 
of their agitations. Where they are good, and com- 
mend themselves to the enlightened judgment of the 
country, they may be expected to prevail : where they 
are founded upon error or prejudice, and are coldly 
received, or condemned by society, they will encounter 
discouragement and failure. 


CHAP. Another form of association demands a special 

' — r— ^ notice. The unsettled relations between capital and 

Tnuie* labouT havc been among the causes of successive tumidt^ 

and revolutions in France ; * and in England they have 

been the cause of serious mischief to the trade and 

industry of the country ; but hitherto they have had 

comparatively little influence in political controversies. 

In France, and other European States, associations of 

workmen have generally aimed at an improvement of 

their condition by radical changes in the institutions 

of the State : while in England such associations have I 

striven to increase wages, to diminish the hours of i 

labour, and to attain a larger share of the profits of 

their employers, by strikes and trade regulations. The 

International Society was of foreign origin ; and its 

revolutionary doctrines* were coldly received by the 

working men of England.* 

Processiont The trade associations of this country have rarely 

i^"^ concerned themselves in political affairs. In 1834, 

1 See iupra, pp. 250, 269, 282, 200, 321. 

' ' Social order is menaced in ite deepest foundations by the Inter- 
national, which flies in the face of all the traditions of mankind, which 
effaces Qod from the mind ; familj inheritance from lifls ; nations from 
the civilised world, sspiring solely to the well-being of the workmen on 
the basis of universal community . . . which begins by declaring itself 
the enemy of every political school, and incompatible with all existing 
forms of government.* — Oircular despatch of Senor de Bias to Spanish re- 
presentatives in foreign States, Feb. 0, 1872. See also mtpraj Introduction. * 

' ' This society, although set on foot as a centre of communication 
between workmen and trades unions in different parts of the world, 
confines its operations, in this country, chiefly to advice in questions of 
strikes, and has but very little money at its disposal for their support : 
whilst the revolutionary designs which form part of the society^s pro- 
gramme are believed to express the opinions of the foi^dgn members 
rather than those of the British workmen, whose attention is turned 
chiefly to questions affecting wages.* — ^Earl Granville to Mr. Ijayard^ 
8th March, 1872. 


of trades 


a procession of trades unions vainly endeavoured to chap. 
obtain the remission of a sentence of transportation 
upon the Dorchester labourers,^ whom they regarded 
as martyrs to their cause. Again, in December 
1866, a procession of trades unions, amounting to be- 
tween 20,000 and 25,000 men, under the auspices 
of the Eeform League, marched with banners and 
emblems through the streets of London, to a meet- 
ing at Beaufort House, Kensington.^ In itself it was 
of little significance: but it is an example of the 
use of trades unions for political agitation. A later 
example is to be found in the Trades Congress at 
Sheffield in 1873, when general questions of legis- 
lation and fiscal policy, affecting the interests of the 
working classes, was discussed, in a spirit antagonistic 
to the rights of property and capital. Any association 
with the objects of the International Society was dis- 
claimed : but political questions were not the less freely 

And, of late years, trades unions have successfully Their 
laboured to obtain amendments of the law affecting tion, 
masters and workmen. Their own interests, as unionists, 
and as working men, were concerned ; and, like other 
classes of society, they used their organisation for 
political ends.' Such unions, however, are not without 

> Aathor'B Qnut, Hut, ii. 405. 

^ Ann. Beg. 1866 \ Chron. p. 188; Time$,^ik Dec. 1866; Personal 

* Mr. Burt, one of the two working men's candidatee returned to the 
parliament of 1874, wrote in March of that year: ' The unions, except 
in the north of England, where thej have hampered themselves by 
no unwise restrictions, really wield little political power. Some of the 
oldest and largest of them wholly ignore politics. Their rules wiU not 
allow them to mention the subject in their meetings. They can take no 
united and yigorous political action.* And he proceeds to exhort them 


CHAP, their dangers. Their numbers present an over- 
— ^V-^ whelming display of physical force : their organisation 
and discipline are effective. In times of political ex- 
citement they not only endanger the public peace, but 
may intimidate and coerce the government and the 
legislature. Wild theories concerning government, 
the rights of property, and the relations of capital and 
labour, have been spread amongst them ; and might 
be espoused with dangerous unanimity. How are such 
dangers to be met ? Not by panic : not by distrust ; not 
by irritating repression : but by continued efforts, on the 
part of the State, to do equal justice to all classes of 
the people, to secure the support of public opinion, 
M'hile it is prepared to resist, with overwhelming force, 
any attempts to intimidate the legislatiure. Such are the 
lessons which our history teaches. There may be riots 
and disorders : no State can hope to be wholly firee from 
them : but the working classes, notwithstanding their 
preponderance in numbers and physical force, will not 
prevail, unless they have a cause founded upon justice, 
leaders of higher station than their own, and a parUa- 
mentary party to represent them in a constitutional 
manner. Revolutionary violence may overcome a 
State, whether it be an absolute monarchy or a re- 
public : but the best security against such an event is 
to be found in the mutual confidence of the govern- 
ment and the general body of the people, 
changwiin While cxprcssion has been given to public opinion 
^nuti^ by the press, and by popular agitation, constitutional 
changes have rendered the legislature more represen- 

to acquire political knowledge, and exert tlieir united influenoe for the 
political emancipation of the working claeees. — Pali Mall Oaiett0, 27th 
March, 1874. 


tative of the general sentiments of the people, and chap. 
responsive to their wants and interests. The Eefonn ' — r— ^ 
Acts of 1832 diminished the preponderating influence 
of the territorial nobles and landowners ; and invested 
the middle classes with a large share of political power. 
The Eeform Acts of 1867 and 1868, by the adoption 
of household sufirage as the basis of representation, 
admitted considerable numbers of the working classes 
to the same poUtical privileges as their employers. 
And, lastly, the Ballot Act of 1872, by introducing 
secret voting, struck at the influence of patrons and 
employers over the independence of electors. 

These successive changes, having been made with a Tncrease of 

• /I . 1 ' popular m- 

new to mcrease popular influences m the government fluence. 
of the State, have been advances towards democracy. 
And since 1832, the legislature has borne the marks 
of strong popular inspiration. Powerful interests and 
privileges have been overthrown : the welfare of the 
many has been preferred to the advantage of the few. 
But can it be affirmed that the traditional bounds of 
English liberty have been transgressed? Can it be 
said that democracy has usurped the place of settled 
constitutional government ? Many public abuses have 
been corrected: many remedial laws have given 
wealth and contentment to the people : many consti- 
tutional changes have been accomplished : the wrongs, 
the errors, the abuses and neglect of centuries were 
corrected, in the lifetime of many Englishmen who 
have themselves witnessed the transition from the old 
to the new polity. Beligious Uberty was granted to 
Dissenters, to Catholics, and to Jews. The notorious 
and indefensible abuses of the representation, which 
had defrauded the people of their rights, were cor- 


^xxiF' r^c*^' Municipal institutions were restored to their 
•*— ^^ — ' ideal of popular self-government. The revenues of 
the church were reviewed, tithes were commuted, 
and church rates abolished. The shackles were struck 
off from the negro-slave : the poor-laws were amended : 
the severity of the criminal code was mitigated ; and a 
national system of education was establish^. The taxa- 
tion of the country was revised, upon equitable and en- 
lightened principles. Bestraints upon the importation 
of food, and upon trade and industry, were removed. 
Free trade was inaugurated. Earnest endeavours were 
made to improve the condition, and appease the discon- 
tents, of Ireland. The Protestant Chmxsh of Catholic 
Ireland was disestablished : the rights of landlords over 
their tenants were regulated. The widespread colonies 
of the British Empire, entrusted with the privileges of 
responsible government, were allowed to flourish as 
democratic republics, under the gentle sovereignty of 
the parent State. Such has been the Uberal and pro- 
gressive poUcy of England during the last fifty years. 
But moderation and equity have distinguished all the 
measures of the legislature. Private rights and pro- 
perty have been respected : the recognised principles 
of a constitutional State have been maintained. 
Continuity The salutaiy reforms of this active period averted 
revolution. Founded, not upon theoretical principles 
or vague aspirations, but upon the rational experience 
and acknowledged necessities of the country, they 
restored, instead of subverting, the wholesome con- 
ditions of an ancient state, and a highly organised 
society. English reformers, however bold and adven- 
turous, never broke with the past : it was ever their 
mission to improve and regenerate, rather than to 

of reforms. 


destroy.^ In the familiax words of our renowned poet chap. 


laureate, England has been : * — .-^ 

A land of eettled goTernment, 
A land of just and old renown : 
Where freedom broadens slowly down, 
From precedent to precedent. 

It cannot be denied that democratic opinions have 
gained ground amoug considerable numbers of the opink!^ ^ 
people : but as yet they have found no representation 
in the legislature. If democracy had been making 
decided advances, in public opinion, we should have 
seen parliaments growing more and more democratic, 
after each appeal to the country. But, so far from 
presenting evidence of such results, some remarkable 
illustrations of a different tendency may be mentioned. 
In Uttle more than two years after the passmg of the 
Eeform Act of 1832, which had been opposed by the 
Tory party, as revolutionary, that party had nearly re- 
covered their strength. Again overpowered by the 
Liberal party, in 1835, they were restored to power in 
1841, supported by a powerful majority of the repre- 
sentatives of the people. Three times again were that 
party entrusted with the government of the State, with- 
in a period of fifteen years ; ^ and, lastly, in 1 874, — 
when democracy was said to have received a great 
impulse from household suffrage and vote by ballot, — 
the triumph of the same party over the party of pro- 

' ' PauTres Franfais, si pauyres, et qui viyent camp^ f Nous sommes 
d'hier, et ruin& de p^re en fils par Louis XIV., par Louis XV., par la 
Revolution, par TEmpire. Nous ayons d^moli, U a fallu tout refaire & 
nouveau. 19!, la generation suivante ne rompt pas arec la pr6cedente : 
les reformes se superposent aux institutions, et le present, appuye sur le 
passe, le continue/ — ^Taine, NttUt war VAnffleterref chap. iv. 

a Viz. 1862, 1868 and 1866. 


CHAP, greas was not less signal than in 1841,— ^before those 
^ — r-^ democratic measures had yet increased the popular 

Democratic In some of its aspects, the government of England 
th^ngiuh is one of the rarest ideals of a democracy, in the 
mcnl'"* history of the world. It is directed by the intelligent 
judgment of the whole people. In Athens, the citizens 
met in the Ecclesia, discussed affairs of State, and 
voted with impulsive acclamations : but they only 
swayed the destinies of a single briUiant city. The 
people of the great State of England cannot, indeed, 
meet together in a market-place : but they choose their 
representatives in the national councils, they assemble 
freely in public meetings, they have the right of peti- 
tion, they enjoy a perfectly free press, they manage all 
their local aflGsiirs, and in place of ruling a city, they 
govern an empire. 
Liberty But, ou the othcr hand, the State enjoys all the 

rather ttian .. . , «ii,i»i-i- 

democracy sccuntics of an auacut monarchy, of old-established in- 
stitutions, and of a powerful and well-organised society. 
All orders, classes, and interests have found adequate 
representation; and the State has been governed by 
public opinion, and not by the dominating force of 
numbers. Bank, property, high attainments and com- 
mercial opulence, have maintained their natural in> 
fluence in society, and in the State. 

Loyalty. Loyalty to the crown, and respect for the law, have 

contributed, not less than free institutions, to the 
steady course of English political history. Loyalty 
has generally been regarded as a sentiment of the 
olden time, which is declining in an utilitarian age. 
Yet the period in which devotion to the king's person 
19 assumed to have been the greatest, was marked by 


rival pretensions to the crown, by bloody civil wars chap. 

and insurrections. The Wars of the Boses, the con- 
vulsions of the Beformation, the Catholic insurrections 
and plots against Elizabeth and James I., the civil war 
of Charles I., the revolution of 1688, the Jacobite 
rebellions pf George I. and George II., are blots upon 
the ideal loyalty of former ages. If kings held a more 
conspicuous place in the eyes of their people, they 
were yet identified with hostile parties in the State, 
with rehgious persecutions, with judicial murders, and 
with cruel severities against great numbers of their 
subjects. The loyalty and devotion of their own fol- 
lowers may have been great : but the allegiance of the 
country was divided by the bitterest feuds. If they 
were beloved by many, by many were they feared and 

But constitutional government, while it has, in a Efrectof 
great measure, withdrawn the monarch from that per- upo/"* 
sonal exercise of power, which appeals to the imagina- 
tion of men, has relieved him from party conflicts, 
from responsibility for unpopular measures, and from 
the rigours of the executive government. If he is not 
associated with devotion to a cause or a party, neither 
is he pursued with the hatred of religious sects or 
political factions. The rancour of his subjects is ex- 
hausted upon one another: he is himself above and 
beyond it : none can reach him, upon his throne. He 
holds an even balance between rival statesmen and 
parties : he espouses no cause or policy. Ministers are 
responsible for the exercise of his prerogatives ; and 
take upon themselves the unpopularity of every act of 
the executive. At the same time, all honours and acts 
of grace proceed directly from the crown itself. 


478 ENGLAim. 

CHAP. All these circumstances concur in associating loyalty 

with patriotism, and a respect for law and order, of 

«na**'^ which the crown is at once the symbol and the gua- 

patnotism. j^^^g^ gu^^jj sentiments are more constant and en- 
during than loyalty itself; and they are the special 
characteristics of Englishmen. They sustain the spirit 
of loyalty, even when personal devotion to the sovereign 
is weakened by exceptional causes. After the over- 
throw of the Stuarts, several sovereigns failed to con- 
ciliate the affections and sympathies of their subjects. 
William HI., notwithstanding his great services to 
the State, was unpopular. He was a foreigner, and 
his manners were cold and ungenial. The reign of 
Queen Anne was illumined with glory : but though her 
amiability won her the title of * Good Queen Anne,' 
she had none of the qualities which arouse devotion. 
The two first Georges were foreigners, and took little 
pains to acquire popularity with their alien subjects ; 
while the loyalty of the country was undermined by 
Jacobite intrigues. 

Loyalty to Bu(t with Gcorge in. the traditional loyalty of the 
*^^*^ ' English people was revived. He was an Englishman, 
a plain country gentleman, of simple tastes and habits, 
pious and domestic, and fairly representing the character 
of the Englishmen of his time. He took too active and 
personal a part in politics, to escape occasional impopu- 
larity : but he generally possessed, throughout his long 
and chequered reign, the affections of his people. The 

George IV. character of Geoige IV. was not such as to command 
respect ; and at the very commencement of his reiga, 
he braved unpopularity by his proceedings against 
Queen Caroline. Yet was he greeted with remarkable 
demonstrations of loyalty; and his admiring people 


delighted to honour * the first gentleman in Europe/ chap. 
The name of William IV. being associated with the - — r— ^ 
great measure of Parliamentary reform, he became the ^^^^ 
most popular of kings : but politics are an imstable 
foundation of public attachment ; and before the close 
of his reign, his popularity had sensibly declined. 

With the reign of Queen Victoria, the chivalrous ^^^ ^^ 
loyalty of Englishmen was revived. A fair young victoria. 
Queen, endowed with every virtue, and graced with 
every accomplishment, won the ready affections of her 
people. None of her ancestors had aroused a loyalty 
so genuine and universal. Holding herself above 
political parties, and faithfully observing the obliga- 
tions of a constitutional sovereign, her popularity has 
never been impaired by the errors of statesmen, or the 
jealousy of factions. Never did sovereign more truly 
deserve, or more abundantly enjoy, the loyalty of a 
nation. Bestrained by a great affliction, and after- 
wards by ill health, from some of the more public func- 
tions of sovereignty, it was feared by many that her 
popularity had declined : but such fears were promptly 
dbpelled, whenever the people found an occasion for 
displaying their feelings. 

No more touching example of loyal and affec- lUncasand 
tionate devotion to the Queen and the royal family tj*^""** 
can be conceived, than the episode of the illness and i87i. 
recovery of the Prince of Wales, in the winter of 1871. 
While he was in danger, the anxiety of all classes was 
that of friends and relations : crowds pressed forward 
to read the bulletins : the thoughts of all men were 
fixed upon the sufferer at Sandringham. When his 
happy recovery was celebrated by the thanksgiving at 
St. Paul's Cathedral, not even George IIL on a similar 


oHAP. occadoD, received demonstrations of attachm^it so 


< — r-^ earnest and universal. No man who witnessed the 

events of that memorable day, — the solemn service in 
the metropolitan chiurch, — the vast crowds that greeted 
the royal procession, with earnest sympathy, for many 
miles, through the streets of London, and the rejoicings^ 
of a whole people, will venture to doubt the loyalty of 
Her Miyesty's subjects. Nor have such manifestatioDs 
of hearty loyalty been confined to the capital. When- 
ever Her Majesty, the Prince of Wales, or other mem- 
bers of the Royal Family, have visited great industrial 
or manufacturing cities, which are supposed to be 
leavened with a republican spirit, they have beec 
received with enthusiastic devotion 
No pro- All evidence, therefore, contradicts the assertion 

r*>puba<s that loyalty has declined in England. The personal 

sentiment is sustained, with all its touching interest:^ 
and affections ; and it is associated with a sober rever- 
ence for the laws and institutions of the country.^ It 
is well known that republican speculations have occa- 
sionally been ventured upon : but they have not found 
favour with any considerable class of sode^ : ther 
have not been addressed to a single constituency : tbev 
have not been even whispered in Parliam^t ; and thev 
are repelled by the general sentiment of the country. 
Conaerrar While loyalty to the crown has survived all the 

eieLnts of advsuccs of dcmocracy, the church has awakened from 
*^^^^' a long period of inaction, and by her zeal and good 
works, has recovered much of her former influence : 
while the continual increase of wealth has strengtheneil 

^ 'Reyeronoe for the part, confidence in the pieeent, fidth in the 
fature, that is the Bum of Engliah Btateemanahip.* — Speech of Sir WilliuD 
Vernon Haroourt at Oxford, 8th Sept, 187a 


the conservative elements of society. The nobility, chap. 
augmented in numbers, still enjoy an influence httle - ^ ' . ' -' 
less than feudal, in their several counties. The country 
gentlemen, united with them in interests and sym- 
pathies, have become far richer and morg powerful 
than in the time of George lH. : while they have 
advanced, still more conspicuously, in culture and 
accomplishments. Trained in the public schools and 
universities, the army, and the Inns of Court, they are 
qualified, as well for their high social position, as for 
the magistracy and public afllurs. Commercial wealth 
has been lavished upon the land ; and merchants and 
manufacturers have recruited the ranks of a class, to 
whom they were once opposed. The goodly array of 
independent gentry, multipUed by the increasing wealth 
of the country, and by pubUc employments, have gene- 
rally cast in their lot with the proprietors of the soil. 
The professional classes, enlaiged in numbers, in 
variety of pursuits, and in social influence, have gene- 
rally associated themselves with the property of the 
country, with which their fortunes are identified. 
The employers of labour, anxiously concerned in the 
safety of their property and interests, and irritated 
by the disputes of their workmen, have looked coldly 
upon democratic movements. Great numbers of persons 
in the employment of pubUc companies and commercial 
firms, may be included in the ranks which give 
stability to English society. It may be added that 
many of the higher grades of operatives invest their 
savings, and are bound up with the interests of their 
employers; and that a considerable number of the 
working classes gain their livelihood from the expen- 
ditiure of the rich. 

VOL. II. I 1 


CHAP. A society so strong, so varied, and so compos!:-, 

— r-l- assures the stability of our institutions, and the equr 

SS^,*3?* able policy of our laws. In France, the disorganisati- : 

***^*^* of society has been the main cause of revolutions ; ir 

England, its sound condition has been the foundati.^r 

of political progress and constitutional safety. 


' A ARAIJ, Peace of ISwiu Cm^eds- 
Hl ration] 

Absolutism, erils of, ii. 98; of the 
French Republic, 183 

Achaian League, the, its services to 
Greece, i. 129 ; one of the earliest 
examples of a federal State, 129 ; 
compared with democracy of 
Athens, 129, 130 

Act of Mediation ISwiti Confede' 

A-dvertisement duty repealed, ii« 456. 

AfEre, Monseigneur, archbishop of 
Paris, killed on the barricades, ii. 

Agitation, political, in England, 457- 
468 ; the moral of, ii. 468 

Agora, the, its beneficial influences, 
i. 45 

Agrarian law, of Spurius Cassins, i. 
144 ; of Licinius, 171 ; oontinuallj 
demanded in Bome, 172 ; of Tibe- 
rius Gracchus, 175, 176 

Agricultural communities, conserva- 
tive, but with elements favourable 
to freedom, Introd. zzxvi. xzzvii. ; 
different classes of cultivators, 
xzxvii. ; the Metayer system, 
xxxvii. ; general character of, zzziz.; 
in Greece, i 57; in Bome, 150, 156, 
171 ; in the dark ages, 221 ; in 
Italy, 275; in Switzerland, 337, 
339-341, 356 ; in the Netherlands, 
ii. 2 ; in France, 88, 102-108 ; in 
England, 335, 358, 446, 480 

Albigenses, the, i. 266 ; U. 88 

Albizzi, the [Florence] 

Alfred the Great, arrests the progress 
. of the Danes in England, ii. 343 

Alkmaar, the siege of, ii. 45 
Alps, the, scenery of, and i^ influence 

on man, i. 334 
Alva, the Duke of {^Netkorlandi^ 

American War of Independence, the, 
a prelude to revolution in Europe, 
iL 130; alliance of France with 
the colonists, 130 ; stimulates the 
popular movement in England, 
449 ; and in France, 449 

Amiens, peace of, ii. 211 

Amphictyonic Council, the, L 49 

Amsterdam, attempts of William II. 
of Orange to seize, ii. 73 

Anabaptists, the, i. 270 ; in England, 
their ideal, ii. 421 

Anglo-Saxons, the [^England] 

Anjou, the Due d*, sovereign of the 
United Provinces, except Holland 
and Zealand, ii. 55 ; his match with 
Queen Elizabeth broken off, 56 ; 
takes the oath to observe the char- 
ters and constitutions, 56 ; his 
treason, 56, 57 ; his departure and 
death, 57 

Anti-Com-Law League, the, its 
action and triumph, IL 466 ; moral 
of the agitation, 467 

Antinomians, the, ii. 422 

Anti- Slavery Society, the, its success, 
ii. 464 

Antwerp, burnt, and its citizens mas> 

sacred by the Spaniards, ii. 49; 

raid of Anjou on, 57; capitulates 

to Prince of Parma, 59 
Arabs, the [Saraoeni] 
Aragon, liberties of the Cortes, ii. 26 ; 

insurrection in, 27 






Aqninas, St. Thnma<<, his political 

views, Introd. zxiii. d. 
Archons, government of, at Athens, i. 

67 ; office thrown open by Aristides, 

74 ; election by lot, 74 ; deprived of 

jQdicial functions, 76 

Areopagns, the, iU powers, i. 74; 
obnoxious to the democratic party, 
74 ; stripped of its powers, 76 

Aristocracy, one of the first forms of 
govern mentf Introd. xxvi. ; its in- 
fiuence surviving its exclusive 
power, xxviii.; the natural onsti- 
tution of a pastoral State, xxxvi. ; 
aptitude of, for government, liv. ; 
conflicts with the people, Iv. ; con- 
flict of, with democracy, i. 66 and n. ; 
united with monarchy and popular 
institutions at Sparta, 63 and n. ; 
the Roman patricians, 136, 137, 143, 
144 ; fusion of old and new, at 
Rome, 162, 163 ; political reaction 
of Roman, 166; ascendency of, 
after fall of the Gracchi, 181 ; the 
ft^ri ktmUneit 191 ; relations of, with 
t he Church of Rome, 239 ; the feudal, 
242 ; of Venice, 291, $qq. ; conflict 
of, with democracy at Genoa, 296 ; 
at Florence, 304, tqq. ; growth of a 
new, at Florence, 309 ; the com 
mercial, 312, 313; of Berne, 361; 
of Fribourg, 352 ; of France, ii. 99 ; 
in England, 346, 347, 368; power 
of, after the Revolution, 443 

Armies, standing, the formation of,, 
a check to the development of de- 
mocracy, Introd. Iviii.; injurious 
effects of, lix. ; consequences of, in 
Rome, i. 166; danger of, under 
Marius, 182; organised under the 
empire, 208 ; governed Rome, 218 ; 
approach to establishment of, by 
Swiss Confederation, 369; raised by 
Charles the Bold, ii. 22 

Arnold of Brescia [jRmm] 

Artevelde, Ja^nesvan, becomes leader 
of the Flemings, ii. 16 ; sovereigii 
of Flanders, his exploits, 16; his 
death, 17 

— Philip van, his exploits and death, 
ii. 17 

Arundel, Earl of, committed to the 
Tower, ii. 376 

Aryans, their original seat and migra- 

tions, i. 39 ; their civilisation at- 
tested by their language, 40 ; ci>n- 
tributed to European liberty, 40, n. 

Associations [PlfUtical ABtttciatuMul 

Athens, contrasted with Sparta, i. 66 ; 
the intellectual centre of Greece, 
67 ; an oligarchy, government by 
Archons, 67 ; constitu*ion of SoL^n, 
68 ; council of Four Hundred, 6U ; 
Ecclesia, 69 ; encouragement t>f 
commerce, 69 ; suspension of free- 
dom under Feisistratusand his sons, 
70 ; const itution of Cleisthenes, 70 ; 
division into ten tribes, 70 ; Senaie 
of Five Hundred, 71 ; tlie EcclesisL, 
71 ; ostracism, 72 ; chancres in con- 
stitution of Cleisthenes, 74 ; reforms 
of Pericles ; the Areopagus, 74 ; tie 
dicasteries, 76 ; scrutiny of ma^s- 
trates, 77 ; restraints upon the de- 
mocracy, 78 ; increased power of the 
Ecclesia, 78 ; the Council of Five 
Hundred, 79 ; introduction of pay- 
ment for public services, 80, 81, 82 : 
popular amusements provided at 
expense of the State, 83 ; distribu- 
tion of profits of mines of Ijuirium 
among the citizens, 83, n. ; public 
works promoted by Pericles, 83: 
the Theoricon, 84 ; example of a 
pure democracy, 86; ambassadors 
received by the assembly, 87 ; her 
democratic influence, 88 ; overthrow 
of the democracy by Peisander, 88 ; 
overthrow of the oligarchs, 89; a 
polity established, 90; democracy 
restored, 90: humiliation and sur- 
render of the city to Lysander, 90 : 
rule of the Thirty Tyrants, 91 ; pro- 
scription, 91 ; rescued by Tlurasy- 
bulus, 92 ; the democracy restored. 
92 ; decline of her asoendencj, 92 : 
her orators and philosophers, 93 ; 
Macedonian conquest, fall of the 
democracy, 93 

— Her greatness under the demo- 
cracy, 94 ; coincidence of enli^ht^ti- 
ment and freedom, 94 ; her warlil^o 
spirit, 96 ; her great victories, 96 ; 
employment of mercenary troop«i, 
96 ; its bad effects, 97 ; her politicai 
activity, 97 ; her leaders, 99 ; influ- 
ence of birth, 99, 100 ; dispan^e- 
ment of the 'demagogues,* lOO : 
good and bad demagogues, lOl : 
study of oratory, 102 ; the sophist k« 
102 ; freedom fi speech, the natural 




growth of Athenian life, 104 ; at- 
tempt to restrict it, 104, n. ; licence 
of the stage, 105 ; Socrates an ex- 
ample of Athenian toleration, and of 
its breach, 105 ; the drama, music, 
106; means of culture, 107 and n. ; 
smallness of Athens as a State, 1 08 ; 
rudeness of its form of government, 
109 ; need of representation, 110 ; 
the Greek religion, 111 ; slavery, 
114 ; selfishness of Athenian policy, 
116; Athenian franchise, 116; 
lowering of the franchise, 117; 
lowering of the character of the 
democracy, 118; its power in- 
creased, 118 ; burthens upon the 
rich, and upon the poor, 119; patriot- 
ism undermined by payments for 
attendance, 119, 120 ; paid advocates, 
121 ; popular judicature, 122 ; the 
Sycophants, 122 ; public amuse- 
ments at cost of the State, 123 ; the 
system completed by Eubulus, 124 ; 
misappropriation of money, 126; 
corruption of generals and envoys, 
126 ; efforts of Demosthenes to re- 
form abuses, 127 ; poor laws, 127 ; 
public life in, compared with Rome, 
1()2 ; Athenian democracy compared 
with Roman, 210 ; their judicatures 
compared, 211 ; compared with 
Florence, 298 

Athens, the Duke of IFhrenee'] 

Augsburg, Diet of, allows rulers to 
determine the faith of their sub- 
jects, ii. 34, n. 

Augustus lOetavws'} 

Austria, the German Emperor signs 
Declaration of Pilnits, ii. 154 ; joins 
with Prussia in declaration of war 
against France, 161 ; Francis II. 
renounces title of Emperor of Ger- 
many, 217; insurrections in Italy 
against her rule (1848), 274 ; dis- 
turbances at Vienna, abdication of 
the Emperor, 275 ; new constitu- 
tion, 275, 276 

BAILLY, Mayor of Paris, ii. 148; 
resigns, 156 ; executed, 186 

Ball, John, his bold social doctrines, 
ii. 351 

Ballot, the, .used in Rome, i. 174; 
adopted in England, 1872, ii. 473 


Barb^, his insurrection, ii. 256; its 
object, 267 : resisted by Lamartine, 
286 ; member of provisional govern- 
ment, arrested, 289 

Barebone*s Parliament lEn^land"] 

Bameveldt, Jan van Olden, supports 
Prince Maurice, ii. 62: his peace 
policy, 68 ; his illegal arrest and 
execution, 72 

Barras, ii. 199, 205 

Barrot, Odilon, his opposition to re- 
pressive measures of Louis Philippe, 
ii. 254 ; leads agitation for reform, 
258, 266 ; minister with M. Thiers, 
269 ; first minister, 270 ; his minis- 
try dismissed by Louis Napoleon, 
294 ; invited to form a ministry, 

Basle, a municipal republic, i. 842; 
its mixed constitution, 353, 354 ; 
peasant war, 371 ; revolution at, 
379; the bishopric annexed to 
France, 379; domination of the 
town over the country, 387 

Bavaria, abdication of King Ludwig, 
ii. 277 

Belgium, Celtic settlers in, ii. 3 ; 
occupied by the Franks, 4 ; insur- 
rection in, 81 ; made a separate 
kingdom under Leopold I., 82 ; as- 
cendency of Ultramontanism, 82 ; 
progress of, 1830 to 1848, 272; 
remains at peace in 1848, 278 
[Neth&rloHdity and Netherlarndsy 
kingdom of thei^ 

Berlin, insurrection at, 1848, ii. 277 

Bemadotte, elected King of Sweden, 
ii. 217 

Berne, a municipal republic, i. 342; 
privileges of its burghers, 342 ; 
forms alliance with Fribourg, 
Bienne, and NeufchAtel, 343; its 
aristocratic constitution, 361, 352 ; 
corruption of the rulers, 365 and 
n. ; peasant war in, 371 ; becomes 
an oligarchy, 373; intervenes 
against the burghers of Geneva, 
375 ; again, with Zurich, France, 
and Savoy, occupies the town, and 
suppresses its liberties, 376 ; heavy 
contributions levied by the French, 
383 ; oligarchic rule restored, 387 ; 
revolution of 1830, 388; concili- 
ation of parties, 395 




Bern, the Dqc de, amassination of , ii. 

Bianobi and Neri, the, at Florence, 

i. 307 
Bible, the Bnglish, its influence on 

Snglish society, ii. 363 
BillAud-Varennes, ii. 182 n., 194, 19fi 

Bishops, in England, nominated bj 
the king, ii. 355; proposal of the 
Commons to deprive them of their 
seats in the Honse of Lords, 394 ; 
the bill passed, 397 ; reinstated at 
the Restoration, 436 

Blanc, Lonis, Socialist leader, ii. 283 ; 
attempts to organise national worl^- 
shops, 284 and n. ; resisted by 
Lamartine, 286 ; takes part in inva- 
sion of the Hdtel de Yille, 287 ; in 
storming of the Assembly, 289; 
member of provisional government, 
arrested, 289 

Blanqni, takes part in the insur- 
rection of Barb&, ii. 256 ; leader of 
the Red Republicans in invasion of 
the Hotel de Yille, 287 ; member 
of provisional government, arrested, 

Bohemil^ provisional ^vemment 
proclaimed at Prague, ii. 275 

Boissy d'Anglas, his firmness as presi- 
dent of the Convention, ii. 196 

Bologna, the head of the confedera- 
tion of cities south of the Po, 1. 
300; joins the Lombard Leafrne, 
301 ; staunch to the Guelphic 
party, 303 

Bonaparte, Jerome, made King of 
Westphalia, ii. 217 

— , Joseph, made King of the Two 
Sicilies, ii. 217 ; king of Spain, 217 

— , Louis, made King of Holland, and 

deposed, ii. 217 
->, Napoleon ^Napoleon Bonaparte] 

Bordeaux, under the Reign of Terror, 
ii. 185 ; meeting of National As- 
sembly at, 320 

Borromean League, the, alliance of 
seven Catholic Cantons of Switzer- 
land, 1. 366 

Bourbons, the, fruitless attempts at 
fusion of the two houses, ii. 331 

Bourgeoisie, the, the middle class in 
France, ii. 112, 113 


Brahmans, the, interpreters and ad- 
ministrators of the law, i. 4 ; pride 
of caste, 5 

Bright, Mr., one of the leaders of the 
Anti-Com-Law League, ii. 466 

Bruges, the central mart of the Han- 
seatic League, ii. 6 ; its insurance 
chamber, 7 ; expels the French giuri- 
son, 15 ; victory over the French at 
Courtrai, 15 ; joins in war against 
Count of Flanders, 15; resists 
Philip the CKxxi, 21 ; seizure and 
imprisonment of Archduke Maxi- 
milian by the townsmen, 24 ; they 
extort a treaty from him, 24 ; 
unsuccessfully attacked by Duke of 
Anjou, 57 

Brussels, capitulates to Prince of 
Parma, ii. 59 ; capital of the new 
kingdom of the Netherlands, 81 

BuGkingham, Duke of, proceedings 
against him threatened, ii. 375; 
the parliament dissolved to avert 
them, 375 ; impeachment voted, 
again saved by a dissolution, 376 

Buddhism, freedom unknown to, L 3 

Bugeaud, Marshal, commander of 
Paris, ii. 269 

Bureaucracy, growth of, at Rome, i. 

Burgundy, House of, acquires sove- 
reignty of the Netherlands, iu 31 

Bussolari, Jacob dei, his enterprise at 
Pavia, i. 317 

piADIZ, capture and sack of, by 
\J Dutch and English fleets, ii. 63 

GiBsar, C. Julius, one of the leaders 
of ^e Roman democracy, i. 194 ; 
bids for popularity, 195 ; Pontifex 
Maximus, 196 ; alliance with Pom- 
pey, 197; his popular measures, 
198 ; military commands, 198 ; 
victories, 199 ; triumvir, 200 ; 
rivalry with Pompey, 201 ; crosses 
the Rubicon, 202 ; master of Rome, 
202 ; his powers and policy, 203 ; 
his constitutional and remedial 
laws, 204 ; slain, 205 ; the assassins 
justified by Montesquieu, 205, n. ; 
routs the Helvetii, 336 

Calendar, reformation of the, ii. 187 
Calonne, ii. 130; his measures, 132; 
his fall, 133 




Calvin, John, his scheme of church go- 
vemmenty i. 271 ; his influence in 
reformation of Switzerland, 366 ; 
his rule in Geneva, 368 ; moral influ- 
ence of his religious discipline, 368 ; 
his doctrines and polity embraced 
by many in England, ii. 362 

Calidnists, the supporters of political 
liberties, Introd. hdi. IPuritam'] 

Capital punishment, for political 
offences abolished in France, ii. 

Capitalists, a class of, created at 
Rome, i. 167 ; in France, become a 
power in the State, ii. Ill 

Capponi, Florentine statesman, i. 326 
Carrier, at Nantes, ii. 186, 194 

Carthage, its republican constitution, 
i. 30; democratic elements, 31 ; 
growth of an oligarchy, 31 ; ana- 
logy with constitution of Venice, 
31 ; the Punic wars, 167 ; invasion 
of Italy by Hannibal, 157 ; colony 
at, founded by Cesar, 205 

Caste, in India, i. 5 ; in Persia, 14 ; 
in Egypt, 26 

Castile, liberties of, the Ck>rtes, ii. 
26 ; the king deposed, 26 ; remon- 
strance of the holy^nto rejected 
by Charles V., 27; insurrection 
under Padilla, suppressed, and 
Padilla put to death, 27 

Catalonia, the king deposed by the 
people, ii. 26 

Cathelineau, Vendean leader, ii. 182 

Catholic Association, the^ formed, ii. 
460 ; Act for suppression of, passed, 
460 ; meetings prohibited, 461 

Catholic Emancipation, conceded, ii, 

Catholics [ Church of Borne] 

Catiline, L. Sergius, his conspiracy, i. 

Cato, the censor, 1. 169 

Cato, M. Pordus, leader of senatorial 
purty, i. 196 ; his tactics, 198, n. 

Cavaignac, General, i^)pointed Dic- 
tator, suppresses Socialist insurrec- 
tion atBuris, ii. 290 ; his measures, 
291 ; candidate for the Presidency, 


Celts, the, their early condition, In- 
trod. zlv. ; state of countries peo- 
pled by, zlv. ; settlers in Belgium, 
ii. 3 ; in England, 337 

Censorship of the Press, in France, 
partially removed, ii. 229 ; removed, 
231 ; revived, 232 ; abolished, 235 ; 
restored, 237 ; abolished, 238 ; in 
England, under Cromwell, 426 

Centralisation, in France, ii. 96, 97, 

Chambord, Comte de, his resolute 
adhesion to the white flag, ii. 330 ; 
failure of attempts at fusion, 331 

CSiangamier, General, prevents storm- 
ing of the Hotel de Ville, u. 288 ; 
superseded in command of Paris, 

Charlemagne, his schools, i. 253, 254 ; 
reduces the Frisians, ii. 4 ; his ap- 
pointment of municipal officers in 
the Netherlands, 7 

Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, 
thrice defeated by the Swiss, i. 347 ; 
gives up li^e to pillage, ii. 22 ; 
his tyranny in the Netherlands, 22 

Charles X. of France, his. accession, 
ii. 235 ; his character, 235 and n. ; 
under priestly influence,. 235, 236 

Charles Albert, King of* Sardinia, 
begins the war for Italian unity, ii. 

Charles Y., Emperor, becomes sove- 
reign of the Netherlands, ii. 25 ; 
enlarges powers of the Spanish 
crown, 27; suppresses insurrections 
and overthrows ancient liberties of 
Spain, 27, 28 ; his rule in the Ne- 
therlands, 28; his hostility to the 
Reformation, 32; his cruel perse- 
cution of Protestants in the Nether- 
lands, 33 ; abdicates, 35 

Charles I. of England, his character, 
ii. 374 ; his bad faith, 377 ; resolves 
to govern without a P&rliament, 
379; convokes another, 383; dis- 
solves it, 384 ; summons a council 
of peers at Tork, 384 ; summons 
the Long Parliament, 385 ; assents 
to attainder of Strafford, 387 ; his 
rights infringed by Act against 
dissolution of parliament, 393 ; at- 
tempts to arrest the Ave members. 




396 ; refuses assent to the Militia 
Bill, 397; leaves London, 398; 
prepares for war, 398 ; his adherento, 
399 ; divided counsels, 399 ; sum- 
mons a parliament at Oxford, 401 ; 
negotiations at Uzbridge, 401 ; de- 
feated at Naseby, 404 ; takes refuge 
with the Scuts, 401, 405 ; given up 
by them, 405 ; seized and taken to 
the camp, 407 ; in captivity, 407 ; 
rejects the propositions of the 
army, 408; escapes from Hamp- 
ton Court, 409; imprisoned in 
Carisbrook Castle, 409 ; treats with 
the parliament, 409; his secret 
treaty with the Scots, 410; ac- 
cused of treachery and treason; 
his trial demanded, 411 ; his trial 
and execution, 416; contemporary 
sent iments, 4 1 6, 4 1 7 ; the j udgment 
of posterity, 417 

Charles, Prince of Wales, proclaimed 
Kin>r in Scotland* ii. 422 ; defeated 
by Cromwell at Worcester, 422 ; 
restoration of, 434 ; his rule, 

Chartists, the, in England, organisa- 
tion of, ii. 464; their methods of 
action, 464 ; the procession to West- 
minster of April 10, 1848, pro- 
hibited and prevented, 466 ; weak- 
ness of their cause, 465 

Cliina, early civilisation of, i. 16; 
theoretical principles of its govern- 
ment, 16 ; Confucius and Mencius, 
16; restraints upon the power of 
the emperor, 17 ; superiority of its 
jurisprudence, 18; functionaries, 
18; boards and other offices, 18; 
vices of administration, 18; the 
censors, 19; extensive Sjrstem of 
education,' 19; learning the sole 
road to power, 19; influence of 
the literati upon public opinion, 
2<) ; frequency of insurrections, 20 ; 
village communities, 20 ; simplicity 
uf the State religion, 21 ; industry 
of the people, 21 ; causes of the 
absence of freedom, 22 ; absence of 
wealthy and middle cl&sses, 22; 
density of population, 23; moral 
condition or the people, 23; their 
unsocial isolation, 23 

Chivalry, institution of, its refining 

influences, i, 243 
Christianity, influence of, upon £u- 


ropean civilisation, i. 229; its pre- 
cepU, 230; addresses itself to the 
individual, 230, n. ; appealed to in 
support of opposite systems, 230. 
231, nn.; its propagation, 232 ; cor- 
ruptions of churches, 233 : church 
government, 234 ; growth of power 
of bishops uid priests, 234 [ ChMrch 

Church of England, the revival in 
the, Introd. Ix. ; the royal su- 
premacy established by Henry 
VUI., ii. 356 ; reformation effected 
by the king, 356 ; its doctrines and 
ceremonies mainly Lutheran, 362 ; 
revolt of the Puritans against, 362 ; 
attempts of Queen Elizabeth to 
repress divisions, 364 ; rise of non- 
conformity, 364 ; Catholic reaction 
under Mary, 366 ; illegal canons of 
Convocation sanotioneid by Jame:^ 
L, 368; exalts prerogative, 369; 
passive obedience taught^ 37 S ; 
its policy directed by Laad, 381 ; 
proceedings of the Long Parlia- 
ment against the clergy, 389 : 
episcopacy assailed by the Puritans, 
396 ; the Presbyterian polity initxt>- 
duced, the Episcopal clergy ejected, 
406; held sacred the memory of 
<King Charles the Martyr,' 417; 
restored to ascendency at the 
Restoration, 436; persecates the 
Puritans, 436 ; resists the enciosbch- 
ments of James IL, 438 ; its repose 
in the 18th century, 446 ; disturbed 
by Wesley and Whitefield, 464; 
affected as the church of tiie people, 
464 ; her policy threatened, 465 
\B\ahap9^ I^$bjfteriant, Pmritanf] 

Church of Rome, her hold on culti- 
vated minds shaken by modem 
free thought, Introd. lix. ; partial 
recovery of her power, lix. ; the 
revival accompanied by supersti- 
tious doctrines and practices, Ix. ; 
the pontiff, i. 236; influence of, 
upon freedom, 235 ; the ascetic 
spirit, 235 ; its teaching adverse to 
freedom, 236 ; the church and civi- 
lisation, 237 ; the priesthood, 237 ; 
its salutary moral influence, 338; 
its relations to the poor, 238 ; to the 
aristocracy, 239; to kings, 839; 
claims of the Pope, 239 ; itsspiritoal 
and secular power a check to free- 
dom, 241 ; represses free Inqairy, 




260; its inflnenoe impaired by 
growth of modem languages, 961 ; 
conflictof , with freedom of thoaght, 
265 ; its unity threatened by here- 
sies, 266; the Inquisition, 267; 
growth of opposition to, 268 ; its 
claim of supreme dominion, 268 ; 
the Protestant Reformation, 269 ; 
Catholic reaction, 271 ; ascendency 
of, maintained in Belgium, ii. 82 ; 
in France, originally a source of 
weakness to the crown, 87 ; resists 
the new philosophy of France, 121 ; 
her teaching unchanged, 121 ; ex- 
pulsion of the Huguenots, 121 ; 
when exposed to criticism, unequal 
to the strife, 122 ; re-established in 
France by Bonaparte, 212; strife 
of Henry VIH with, 354, 356; 
Catholic reaction in Europe, 365 ; 
persecution of Catholics by James 
I., 369 

Cicero, M. Tullius, wins popularity, 
i. 195; discovers Catiline's con- 
spiracy, 196; banished, 199; re- 
called, 200 

Cimon, rival of Pericles, his largesses 
to the people, i. 82 ; takes part in 
fortifications of Athens, 83 

Cinna, L. Com., his reversal of Sulla's 
policy, i. 187 : with Marius, takes 
Rome, 188 ; consul, 189 ; slain, 189 

Ciompi, the IFlorenee'} 

Cisalpine republic, the, created, ii. 
201 ; made a kingdom, 216 

Civilis, Batavian chief, resists the 
Romans, ii. i 

Cinlisation, its connection with free- 
dom, Introd. xxi. xxii. ; contrasts 
between Eastem and Western, i. 1 ; 
inferiority of Eastem, 1-3 ; its un- 
progressive character, 2; arrested 
by wars, 2; freedom unknown to 
it, 3; Greek, 132; European, pro- 
moted by influence of traditions of 
Rome, 227, 228; by the church, 
237 ; by chivalry, 243 ; Byzantine, 
characterised, 256 ; Saracen, 257 ; 
influence of the Jews on European, 
259 ; ancient, recovered, 261 

Cleisthenes, constitution of, i. 70-74 

Clients, class of, at Rome, i. 167 

Clodius, demagogue at Rome, i. 189 

Climate, effects of, on freedom, 


Introd. zzxii. ; tropicfid, conducive 
to despotism, xxxii. ; temperate, 
conducive to freedom, zxxiii ; of 
India, i. 7; of Palestine, 32; of 
Greece, 42 ; of Italy, 135 ; of Swit- 
zerland, 335 ; of the Netherlands, 
ii. 12 ; of France, 86 ; of England, 

Clubs, political, at Athens, i. 88; 
enter into plot of Peisander, 88 ; 
at Rome, 150 ; revival of, proposed 
by Clodius, 199, n. ; at Geneva, 
376 ; revolutionary, at Paris, con- 
federation of, ii. 148; their im- 
portance, 166, n. ; their confedera- 
tion suppressed, 194 ; reopened in 
France, 282; join in inciting to 
insurrection, June 1848, 290 ; sup- 
pressed by Cavaignac, 291 

Cobden, Mr., one of the leaders of 
the Ajiti-Com Law League, ii. 466 

Collotd'Herbois, ii. 182, 184, 194, 195 

Colonisation, Greek, i. 131, 132 ; re- 
lations of colonies to mother 
country, 131, n. ; Roman, in Italy, 
154 ; beyond the Alps, proposed by 
Marius, 183 ; British colonies under 
responsible government, ii. 474 

Columbus, Christopher, i. 266 

Comitia, the, at Rome, admission of 
the plebs to, i. 143; checks upon, 
151 ; vote by ballot introduced, 
174 ; order of voting changed, 178 ; 
changes under Sulla, 192; daily 
report of its proceedings ordered 
by Caesar, 198 ; controlled by 
OcUvius, 206, 207 ; fall into disuse, 
208 ; irregular action of, 214 

Committee of Public Safety [French 

Commons, the House of, acquires in- 
dependent place in the legislature, 
ii. 348 ; its growing powers, 349 ; 
reaction against, 352 ; under Henry 
Yin. nominees of the crown, 356 ; 
claims freedom of speech under 
Elizabeth, 358; contests the pre- 
rogative under James L, 370; 
presents a remonstrance to the 
king, 371 ; Charles I. and his Par- 
liaments, 374-387 ; Interferes with 
the House of Lords, 390 ; restrains 
freedom of debate and right of 
petition, 391 ; presents the Grand 
Remonstrance to the king, 394 and 
n. ; arrest of the five members, 396 • 




the Militia BiU, 397 ; ap- 
points High Coort of Justice for 
trial of Charles L» 418; declares 
itself supreme, 418; mana^ment 
of, by gift of places and pensions, 
an art of statesmanship* after tlie 
Bevolntion, 443 [Parliament] 
Commonwealth, the [JSn^lafid] 
Commune, the [France, Paris] 

Communists, the most mischievous 
fanatics of democracy, Introd. 
Ixiv. ; decry * individualism,' Ixv. ; 
tyranny of communism, its depres> 
sion of higher natures, Ixv. ; pro- 
scription of higher aims of society, 
Ixvi. and n. ; its dreams realised in 
France, Ixvi. ; culmination of its 
dangers in the Paris Commune, 
1871, IxviL ; a revolt against capi- 
tal, Jbcvii. ; overcome by the second 
French empire, Ixvii; in France, 
conspiracy of Baboeuf , ii. 200 and 
n. ; under republic of 1848, 283 
[International Astooiationj Social- 

Condottieri, the, i. 314; Swiss, 362 

Confucius, i. 16 

Conscience, freedom of, proclaimed 
by William, Prince of Orange, iL 
58; progress of the struggle for, 
in Burope, 69 

Conscription, the, introduced in 
France, ii. 204 

Constantinople, saved amidst wreck 
of Europe, i. 266 ; oriental charac- 
ter of its civilisation, 256 ; arts of, 
256 ; its literary treasures, buried, 

Constituent Assembly [French Bo- 

Consuls, chiefs of Boman Bepnblic, i. 
139 ; their simple state, 140 ; office 
suspended and military tribunes 
appointed, 148 ; restored, first ple- 
beian elected, 148 ; canvassing for 
the consulate forbidden, 149 ; their 
check upon the Comitia, 161 ; form 
of consulate preserved under the 
empire, 208 

Corday, Charlotte, ii. 178 

Cordeliers* Club, the, ii. 148, 166 

Cortes, the, of Spanish kingdoms, ii. 26 

Corvee, the, In France, ii. 102 


Country gentlemen, their position and 
influence in England, ii. 349, 353, 
446, 481 

Couthon, ii. 184, 189 

Crassus, M. Licinins, one of the 
chiefs of the oligarchy, i. 193 ; joins 
the democracy, 196 ; his wealth and 
influence, 196 ; Triumvir, oomman- 
der in Syria, 200; death, 201 

Critias, author of the proscriptioii at 
Athens, i. 91 ; his death, 92 

Cromwell, Oliver, one of the leaders 
of the Independents, ii. 402; his 
character and influence, 402 ; under 
the self-denying ordinance, super- 
sedes the Presbyterian generals, 
403 ; defeats Charles L at Naseby, 
404 ; assumes chief command, 407 ; 
overcomes the Parliament, 407 ; re- 
presses political agitation in the 
army, 410; with his generals re- 
solves to bring the king to justice, 
410 ; repels invasion of the Scots, 
411 ; * Pride's Purge,' 412 ; declines 
to advise trial of Charles I., 412 
and n. ; as captain-general, virtually 
supreme, 422 ; dissolves the Long 
Pi^liament, 423; nominates Bare- 
bone's Parliament, 423 ; dissolves 
it, 424 ; declared Protector for life, 
424 : his electoral reform Act, 425 ; 
his authority questioned by the new 
Parliament, 426 ; dissolves it, 425 ; 
governs with the army, 426 ; vigour 
of his rule, 426 ; threatened with 
assassination, 427; calls another 
Parliament, 427 ; his ambition, the 
crown offered to him, 428 ; and re- 
fused, 429 ; confirmed as Protector, 
429 ; dissolves the Parliament, 429 ; 
his death, 429 ; his character, 430 ; 
his toleration, 431 

Cromwell, Bichard, succeeds his fa- 
ther as Protector of the Common- 
wealth, ii. 431 ; resigns, 432 

Crusades, the, i. 244 ; their influence 
upon European enlightenment, 244, 
245; upon feudalism, 245, 246; 
upon the enfranchisement of com- 
munes, 246 


,ANTB, banished from Florence, i. 

Danton, ii. 148, 166; leader of the 
Commune of Paris, 163, 164 and n. ; 





166; weary of bloodshed, 188; 
overthrown by Robespierre, 189 ; 1 93 

Dark Ages, the, i. 221, 222, 223, 240 ; 

life of man in, 263, n. 
De Brienne, exiles the Parliament of 

Paris, and recals it, ii. 133 ; arrests 

d*Espr6menil and Goislart, 133; 

resigns, 134 

* Defensional,' the ISwiu Contfedera- 


* Delinquents,' ii. 388 and n. ; 389 ; 

sequestration of their estates, 406 
Democrac7» development of popular 
power a natural law, Introd. xxix. 
and n. ; illustrations from English 
history, and from French history, 
zzx., zzzi. ; democratic tendencies 
of town populations, xlii. ; its power 
increased by events following the 
Protestant Beformation, xlvii. ; and 
the French revolution, xlvii. ; free- 
dom the firmest barrier against it, 
Iviii. ; its development arrested by 
formation of great standing armies, 
Iviii. ; and checked by ecclesiastical 
revival, lix. ; relations of infidelity 
with, Ixii., Ixiii. ; its excesses in 
Europe, Ixiii. ; irreverence and in- 
tolerance of the extreme party, 
Ixiii.; highest ideal of, Ixiv.; its 
ideal decried by Communists, Ixv. ; 
its probable future progress, Ixx., 
Ixxi. and nn. ; element of, in republic 
of Carthage, i. 30 ; in Jewish theo- 
cracy, 34, 35 ; in Greek republics, 
43 ; in the Agora, 46 ; advance of, in 
Greece, 52 ; moderate, preferred by 
Aristotle, 53, n. and 55, n. ; varieties 
of, 54; advanced by growth of 
towns, 59 ; democratic institutions 
at Sparta, 64 ; most fidly developed 
at Athens, 67 ; scheme of, consum- 
mated by introduction of payment 
for public services, 82; evils of 
Athenian, 86 ; lowering of its cha- 
racter, 118 ; general principles illus- 
trated by study of Greek democracy> 
128; growth of, in Bome, 146; 
Roman compared with Athenian, 
210 ; its share in the overthrow of 
the republic, 212 
— Extinguished during the dark 
ages, i. 223 ; Greek and Teutonic, 
contrasted, 250 ; germ of, in Cal- 
vin's theocracy, 271 ; of the Italian 
republics, 277 ; the basis of Savona- 
rola's reform, 327 ; examples of, in 

Switzerland, 333 ; simplest form of, 
in the Forest Cantons, 340, 341 ; in 
the Grisons, 355 ; in the rural can- 
tons, conservative, 357 ; primary 
doctrine of a pure democracy, 397 ; 
maintained in Swiss institutions, 
397 ; instructive study of, afforded 
by the Swiss Confederation, 402 ; 
twofold illustration of, in history 
of the Netherlands, ii. 1 ; Dutch 
refugees catch the spirit of French 
democracy* 78 ; late growth of, in 
France, 85; the Jacquerie, 88; 
Stephen Marcel, 89; represented 
in 14th century by Rienzi, Marcel 
and the Van Arteveldes, 90; de- 
mocratic basis of the French 
Empire, 213; spread of, by cam- 
paigns of revolutionary France, 
221; its principles and character 
changed, 222 ; reaction against it, 
in Europe, 223; advances of, in 
France, 232 ; impulse from the re- 
volution of July, 245 ; held in check 
in Germany, 278 ; freedom the safe- 
guard against it, 279 ; ascendency 
of, in France, 280 and n. ; universal 
reaction against, 291 ; new develop- 
ment of, in second French Empire, 
311 ; combination of, with Im- 
perialism, attempted by Napoleon 
m, 317 ; in England, represented 
by Puritanism, 395, n.; the Inde- 
pendents, first democratic party in 
England, 401 ; bears small share in 
revolution of 1688, 438, 439; its 
principles maintained by specula- 
tive writers, but without inJQuence 
on practical government, 441 ; 
symptoms of, in first years of 
George ICL, 448; fostered by 
American War of Independence, 
449 ; democratic movement in Eng- 
land, 450 ; repressed by Parliament 
and public opinion, 450 ; becomes a 
great political force, 451 ; advances 
towards it, by changes in the repre- 
sentation, 472, 473; spread of de- 
mocratic opinions in England, 475 ; 
democratic aspects of the English 
govemment,476 IBnglandyFloiwice, 
France, Greece, Italian Bepubliet, 
Netkerlande, Btme^ SnitzerlandjJj^c. ] 

Demosthenes, i. 93 ; his efforts to re- 
form abuses, 119, 125, 127 

Des^ze, defends Louis XVL on his 
trial, ii. 170 




Desmoulins, Camille, ii. 188 

De Witt, John ; penuioDaiy of Holland, 
ii. 75 ; procures the passing of the 
Per[)etual Edict, 75; murdered, 
with hifl brother Cornelius, 76 

Dicaffterien, the, of Athens, i. 71 ; 
constitution and jurisdiction of, 76, 
76 ; a field for cultivation of ora- 
tory, 76 ; contribute to intellectual 
development of the citisens, 77 

Diderot, and the EncyclopMie, ii, 119; 
its doctrines, borrowed from Bnjr- 
li^h philosophers, 119, 120; their 
prevalence in Europe, 120 ; society 
penetrated by them, 123 

Dig^^cs, Sir Dudley, committed to the 
Tower, ii. 375 

Directory, the l^I^anee, French 

Dissent, progress of, in England and 
Wales, ii. 454 [CalrinUtt^ Nonean- 
formuttf Pwritans] , 

Doge, the, of Venice, first election 
and powers of, i. 289 ; limitations 
of his power, 291, 292 ; of Genoa, 295 

Dumouriez, Qeneral, ii. 174 

EAST, the [Aryan», Carthage^ China, 
CiviliMtionf Ji^pt, India, Japan, 
Jen-Mf Persia, Pha^nimans, Turkey] 

Ecclesia, of Athens, the sovereign 
political power, i. 71 ; extension of 
its powers, 78 ; payment for attend- 
ance introduced, 81 ; receives am- 
bassadors, 87, n. ; range of ita 
powers and functions, 87 

Edward the Confessor, the old line of 
native kings restored in him, ii. 344 

Edwardl., 1I.,IIL,IV. [ParliameiU] 

Education, extensive system of, in 
China, i. 19; ideal of Greek, 106 ; 
means of, at Athens, 107; free 
under Boman empire, 219; ob- 
stacles to, in the dark ages, 241 ; 
revival of learning, 253 ; promoted 
by Charlemagne ; his schools and 
universities, 253,264; promoted by 
the i:>aracens, the schools of Bagdad, 
257 ; and in Spain, 268 ; the Scho- 
lastic system, 260 ; interference of 
the Jesuits with, in SwitzerUmd, 
390, 391 ; high standard of, in the 
Netherlands, ii. 19 ; universality of, 
in Holland, 70; national system 


of, founded in France, by the Con- 
vention, 178 ; general diffusion of. 
in Europe, 274; progress of, in 
England, 349, 360, 361, 457 ; pro- 
moted by cheap literature, 457 

Egmont, Count [^Xetherlands] 

Egypt, its religion and polity of 
Eastern origin, i. 26; division of 
society into castes, 26 ; enlighten- 
ment confined to the rulers, 27; 
despotic government, supported by 
physical conditions of the country, 
27 ; and confirmed by Turkish con- 
quest, 27 ; introduction of European 
civilisation, 27 ; the Khedive abso- 
lute, 28 ; captivity of Israelites in, 33 

Eliot, Sir John, committed to the 
Tower, ii. 376 ; again, 379 ; ref Q£^-9> 
submission, and dies in the Tower, 
379; the judgment reversed by 
House of Lords, 379 

Elizabeth, queen of England, refuses 
aid to the United Provinces, ii. 48 : 
promises aid, 62 ; sovereignty of 
the Netherlands offered to her, 60 : 
declines it, but sends troops, 61 ; 
her views, 61 ; her reign the tun- 
ing point in the political fortunes 
of England, 357 ; maintains her 
prerogative, 358 

Empire, the French, first and second 
[France, AiapolcoH Bomaparie, 
Napoleon, Louii] 

Encyclopedic, the [Diderot] 

England, her aid sought by the 
Dutch, ii. 60, 61 ; ties between 
England and Holland, 74; joins 
the coalition against France, 174 
and n. ; her relations with France 
disturbed by intrigues of Louis 
Philippe about the Spanish mar- 
riages, 265; opposition in their 
foreign poUcy> 266 ; state of, 1830 
to 1848, 272 ; secure amidst revolu- 
tions of 1848, 278; her history 
that of liberty, not of democracy, 
334 ; character of the country, 335 ; 
the climate, the soil, 335 ; the 
scenery, 336 ; minerals, 337 ; tlie 
Celts, the Bomans, 337 ; Boman 
towns, 338 ; influence of Rome upon 
later times, 339; resemblance be- 
tween ancient Rome and England, 
339 ; the Anglo-Saxons, 339, 340 ; 
their conquests, 340 and n. ; Tea- 




tonic laws and costoms introduced, 
341 ; free institutions, 3i2 and n. ; 
the witenagemot, 342, 343; the 
Danes, 343 ; the Norman Conquest, 
344; policy of WlUiam the Con- 
queror, 344 ; Notman feudalism, a 
military organisation, 345 ; politi- 
cal duuiges, 346; the crown and 
the people, 346 ; measures of Henry 
I. and Henry IL, 346 ; the harons 
and the people, 347 ; Magna Charta, 
347 ; increasing power of parlia- 
ment, 348 ; deposition of Edward 
n. and Bichaid n. by the parlia- 
ment, 348, 349 ; political and social 
progress in the fourteenth century, 
349 ; Wycliffe and religious inquiry, 
350; the Lollards, 350; decay of 
feudalism, 350, 351 ; statutes of la- 
bourers, 351 ; popular discontents, 
351 ; Wat Tyler's insurrection, 352 ; 
reaction against the Commons, 352, 
353 ; Wars of the Boses, feudalism 
crushed, 353 and n. ; increase of 
kingly power, 354; absolutism of 
Edward IV., of Henry VIZ., and 
Henry VUI., 364; Henry VIIL 
effects the Reformation, 356; his 
supremacy, 355 ; the parliaments do 
his bidding, 356 ; increased power 
of the crown, 356 ; course of the 
Beformation, 357 ; Catholic re- 
action under Queen Mary, frequent 
changes of religion, 367 ; reign of 
Elizabeth, 357, 368 ; social changes, 
nobles and country gentlemen, 358, 
359 ; their conservatism, 359 ; rise 
of a powerful middle class, 360; 
commerce and manufactures, 360 ; 
intellectual progress, 361 ; Gram- 
mar schools, 361 ; religious move- 
ments, 362 ; diaiaoter and position 
of the reformed church, 362 ; Cal- 
vinists, 362; the English Bible, 
363 ; the Puritan character, 363; 
Elizabeth and the Puritans, 366 
— Accession of the Stuarts, 366; 
James I., 367 ; the king and the 
church, 368, 369 ; canons of 1604, 
369 ; Gunpowder plot, 369 ; levy of 
taxes by prerogative, 370 ; dissolu- 
tion of first parliament of James I., 
371 ; a second summoned and dis- 
solved, members committed to 
prison, 371 ; government without a 
parliament^ 372 ; third parliament 
meets, and is dissolved by the king, 
372 ; fourth meets, 373 ; increasing 


power of constituencies, 373 ; close 
of James's reign, 373 ; tirst parlia- 
ment of Charles L, 374; limited 
grant of tonnage and poundage; 
dissolution of parliament, 376 ; the 
king's relations with the new par- 
liament, 375 ; taxes levied without 
consent of parliament, 376 ; forced 
loans, 376 ; another parliament 
summoned, 376 ; the Petition of 
Right, 377; the king's bad faith, 
377 ; duties of tonnage and pound- 
age, 378 ; the king's detennination 
to govern without a parliament, 
379 ; committal of Sir John Eliot 
and other members, 379 ; taxes by 
prerogative, 379 ; ship-money, 380 ; 
tyranny and severity of the Star 
Chamber and High Commission 
Courts, 380; the king's policy 
directed by Laud and Strafford, 
381; persecution of the Puritans, 
381 ; their emigration, 382 ; grow- 
ing discontent, 382; rebellion in 
Scotland, 382 ; the king's embar- 
rassment, 382; the short parlia- 
ment of 1640, 383; character of 
the new House of Commons, 383 ; 
dissolution, 384 ; the Soots in re- 
bellion, invasion of England, 384 ; 
the long parliament, 385; remedial 
measures, 386, 386 ; impeachments, 
386, 387; rashness of the court, 
396; arrest of the five members, 
396 ; the militia bill, 397 
- The civil war, 400 ; fruitless nego- 
tiations for peace, 401 ; Oliver Crom- 
weU, 402; the self-denying ordi- 
nance, 403 ; new modelling of the 
army, 404 ; its religious enthusiasm, 
404 ; the battle of Naseby, 404 ; fall 
of the Church of England, 405 ; 
severities of the parliament, 406; 
'invasion by the Scota, 410 ; growth 
of republican opinions, 413 ; repub- 
licanism in the army, 413; the 
Levellers, 414 ; piety and regicide, 
414; execution of the king, 416; 
the Commonwealth, Council of 
State appointed, 419 ; abolition of 
the monarchy and the House of 
Lords, 419 ; republican theories, 
420 and n., 421 and n. ; Cromwell's 
supremacy, 422 ; the long parlia- 
ment dissolved, 423; Barebone's 
Parliament, 423, 424 ; the Pro- 
tectorate, 424; its constitution, 
424, 426 ; the new parliament. 




425; goveroment by the army, 
military districts formed under 
major-generals, 426; commanding 
position of tiie Commonwealth, 
427; death of Cromwell, 429; 
Richard Cromwell Protector, 431 ; 
his resignation, 432 ; < the Romp,* 
4^ ; a committee of safety, 432 ; 
anarchy, 433; intervention of 
General Monk, 433 ; a new parlia- 
ment, 434 ; the Restoration, 434 ; 
effects of the civil war upon the 
monarchy, 435 ; reaction under 
Charles II., 436 ; elements of future 
freedom, 437 ; James IL, 437, 438 ; 
the Revolution of 1688, 438; its 
principles, 439; securities taken 
for public liberties, 439 ; character- 
istics of the Revolution, 440 ; reign 
of WiUiam m., 440, 441; the 
political writings of the time, 441, 
442 ; the representation, 442 ; 
'management' of the Commons, 
443 ; power of the aristocracy, 443 ; 
influence of the press, 444 ; agita- 
tions against unpopular measures, 
444 ; ascendency of the crown, the 
church and the land-owners, 446 ; 
the nobles, 445, 446; the country 
gentlemen, 446 
- First years of George m., 448 ; 
effects of American War of Inde- 
pendence, 449 ; democratic move- 
ment, 450; effects of the French 
Revolution, 450 and 451 n. ; the 
Six Acts, 461 ; social changes, 
451; growth of towns, commerce 
and navigation, 452; the land in 
its relations to trade and manu- 
factures, 453; the Church and 
Dissent, 454; the policy of the 
church and the land threatened, 
455 ; political education, 455 ; free- 
dom of the press, 456 ; education, 
457; political associations, 467; 
dangers of vast assemblages, 459 ; 
the Catholic association, 460; 
Catholic meetings, 461; Catholic 
emancipation, 461; Reform Bill, 
1832, 462 ; Anti-slavery Society, 
464 ; the Chartists, 464, 465 ; Anti- 
Corn- Law League, 466; meetings 
in Hyde Park, 467, 468; the Match 
Tax, 468 ; minor agitations, 469 ; 
Trades Unions, 470 ; changes in the 
representation, 472; Ballot Act, 
473 ; increase of popular influence, 
473 ; continuity of reforms, 474 ; 


loyalty of the English, 476, 47T, 
478, 479 ; no professions of repub- 
licanism, 480; conservative ele- 
ments of society, 480,48 1 ; sound con- 
ditions of society, 481 [CbmnMi, 
IndependentMy Lordi^ Jku-Uamtnt, 
Pre$hyter%ani^ Puritatu, Rrfmm] 

Kphialtes, democratic leader st 
Athens, i. 75 ; effect of his scrutiny 
of magistrates, 78 

Ephors, council of the, L 62, 64 

Europe, its physical conditions favoni- 
able to freedom, Introd. xxxv. ; later 
developments of democracy, xlvi- 
xllx.; disoigaaisation of society in, 
after fall of Western empire, i. 221 ; 
barbarian conquests, 221 ; the dark 
ages, 222 ; t^e feudal system, 223; 
causes of social and political im- 
provement, 223 ; rude freedom of 
Teutonic invadeis, 224 ; their cos- 
toms introduced into Italy asd 
elsewhere, 225 ; relations of chiefs 
and vassals, 226 ; influence of tra- 
ditional institutions of Rome, 22€, 
227; feudalism ruinous to towns, 
227 ; great monarchies favoured bj 
traditions of Rome, 228 ; Roman 
laws, jurists, 228, 229 ; Christianity 
and the Catholic Church, 229; six 
centuries of darkness, 240; some 
schoolmen favourable to libertj, 
240, n. ; growing refinement of the 
barons, 242 ; minstrelsy, 242 ; chi- 
valry, 243 ; enthusiasm of the Cni- 
sades, 244 ; their influence upon 
European enlightenment, 244; upon 
feudalism, 245; upon the enfno- 
chisement of communes, 246; re- 
vival of towns, 247 ; decay of feu- 
dalism, 249; Imperial and free 
cities of (Germany, 250 ; growth of 
European constitutions, 253 ; revi- 
val of learning, 253; schools and 
universities, 253 ; influence of mo- 
nasteries, 264, 255 ; introduction of 
Saracen culture, 268 ; influence of 
Jewish culture, 259 ; of the school- 
men, 260; growth of modem Euro- 
pean languages, 261 ; recovery of 
classical learning, 261 ; the revival 
of learnings 262; scientific disco- 
veries, 264; churchmen supplant- 
ing nobles in the service of the 
State, 265; heresies and schisms, 
266; first struggles for civil and 




religions liberty, 267 ; the Inqnisi- 
tioD, 267 ; the Protestant Reforma- 
tion, 269 ; prerogative increased by 
liutheranism, 270 ; Calvinism, 271 ; 
Catholic reaction, 271 ; prevalence 
of the new philosophy in Borope in 
the 18th centnry, ii. 120 ; the chorch 
and public opinion, 120, et ieq.\ 
St ate of, at the period of the French 
Revolution, 1789, 153; effects of the 
Revolution, 221 ; altered position 
of kings, 222; political reaction in, 
223; influence of Revolution of 
July, 1830^ on States of, 245 ; state 
of, from 1830 to 1848, 272; social 
changes, 173; intellectual progress, 
273 ; sudden effects of the Revolu- 
tion of Febrnaiy 1848, 274 

FAIRFAX, Sir Thomas, appointed 
general of the parliamentary army^ 
ii. 403 ; takes part in repelling 
Scottish invasion, 411 

Favre, Jules, his circular to the 
foreign representatives of France, 
ii. 319 ; his sudden dismissal, 332 

Federalism; the Achaian League, i. 
129 ; the Lycian League, 131 ; Free 
cities of Germany, 250 ; the Hanse- 
atic and Rhenish Leagues, 252 ; in 
Switzerhuid, 343, 345, 347, 396; 
confederation of towns of Flanders 
and Brabant, iL 16 

Feudal system, the, i. 223; ruinous 
to towns, 227 ; refining influence of 
chivalry, 243 ; decline of, promoted 
by crusades, 245 ; its decay, 249 ; 
alliance of feudal lords in Itidy 
with t^e burghers, 275 ; in Switzer- 
land, 336, 350 ; in the Netherlands, 
ii. 4, 6; successfully resisted by 
the Frisians, 6 ; the baron and the 
burgomaster, 9; resolute hostility 
of the Dutch burghers, 11, 12 ard 
n. ; established in France by the 
Franks, 86 ; overthrown by Riche- 
lieu, 87 ; struggles against, in 14th 
century, 88, 89 ; feudal rights and 
privileges renounced by French 
Constituent Assembly, 143; Nor- 
man feudalism, 345; in England, 
weakened by measures of Henry II., 
346, 347 ; Wat Tyler's insurrection, 
a revolt against, 352 ; crushed by 
Wars of the Roses, 353 ; the kingly 
power rising upon its ruins, 354 


Feuillants' Club, the, at Paris, ii. 148, 

156, 157 
Fieschi, his attempt to assassinate 

Louis PhiUppe, ii. 256 
Fifth Monarchy Men IMUenarianA'] 

Five Hundred, Council of, at Athens, 
1. 71 ; its proceedings watched by 
assessors, 78 ; its functions and de- 
ficiencies, 79 

Florence, its favourable position, i. 
296 ; compared with Athens, 298 ; 
its constitution, 299; Guelph and 
Ohibelline, 299 ; a foreign jfodegtii 
chosen, 299, n. ; democratic move- 
ment in, election of the Sig^noria, 
304 ; its vigorous policy,the Guelphic 
nobles recalled, war against the 
Ghibelline cities, 304; taken pos- 
session of, by Ghibelline army, 304 ; 
new democratic constitution, 304 ; 
ascendency of the mercantile class, 
305 ; exclusion of nobles from the 
Signoria, 305; first appointment 
of the gatrfdlonier of justice, 305 ; 
an oligarchy established, 306 ; feuds 
and Actions, 307; jealous spirit 
of democracy, choice of rulers by 
lot, 307; constitution of 1328, 
307 ; the leader of free republics, 
308 ; aims at a balance of power in 
Italy, 308; resists John of Bohe- 
mia, 308; rule of the Duke of 
Athens, 308 ; drives him away, 309 ; 
growth of a new aristocracy, 309 ; 
rivalry of old and new families 
(fourteenth century), 309 ; the 
Medici, 310 ; revolt of the Ciompi, 
310 ; Michael de Lando proclaimed 
gonfalonier, and soon afterwards 
exiled, 311 ; overthrow of the Ciom- 
pi, and subjection of the democracy, 
311 ; democratic spirit of the re- 
public, 311 ; conspiracy of the 
Pazzi, assassination of Julian de' 
Medici, 323 ; condition of, in the 
fifteenth century, 323 ; popular rule 
of the Alblzzi, 324 ; their rivals and 
successors, the Medici, 324; the 
* parliaments ' ready instruments 
of revolution, 324 ; Cosmo de' Me- 
dici, 324, 325 ; prosperity under his 
rule, 325; Peter de* Medici, Lo- 
renzo de' Medici, 326 ; change in 
the constitution, 326 ; and in foreign 
relations, 327 ; Savonarola, his reli- 
gions and political reforms, 327, 
328; expulsion of the Medici, 327 ; 




election of a gonfalonier for life 
with dictatorial powera, 328 ; Peter 
Koderini first chosen, 328 ; the Me- 
dici recalled, and afrain expelled, 
328; fall of the republic, 328; 
Alexander de' Medici, 328, 329 
Forest Cantons, the ISrHtz^lantT] 

Four Hundred, Council of, at Athens, 
i. 69 : converted by Cleisthenes into 
Council of Five Hundred, 71 ; estab- 
lished by Peisander, 89 ; deposed, 89 

France, bif^ted policy of the League, 
ii. 60 ; Henry III. declines offer of 
sovereignty of the Netherlands, 
60 ; anarchy in, 62 ; conquest of, 
projected by Philip II., 62; late 
growth of democracy in, 85; the 
country and the people, 86, 86; 
conquest of the Ghkuls by the 
Franks, 86 ; establishment of feu- 
dalism, 86 ; growth of the monarchy, 
87 ; overthrow of the feudal chiefs, 
87 ; the church, 87 ; supreme power 
of the crown ; 87 ; misery and dis- 
contents of the people, 88; the 
Jacquerie, 88, 89 ; democratic ca- 
reer of Stephen Marcel, 89 ; rebel- 
lion in Paris, 90 ; municipal liber- 
ties, 90; the states-general, first 
convened by Philip the Fair, 92 ; 
provincial a8aemblies, 93 ; the par- 
liaments, 94; the monarchy abso- 
lute under Louis XIV., 95 ; central- 
isation, 96; functions of the in- 
tendants, 96, 97; the courts of 
justice, 97 ; concentration of power 
in Paris, 97, 98 ; evils of absolutism, 
98 ; court of Louis XIV., 99 ; evils 
of the court, 99, 100 ; high offices 
monopolised by the nobles, 100, 
101 ; sale of offices, 101 ; exemp- 
tions of nobles, 102 ; burdens upon 
the peasantry, 102, 103 ; effects of 
non-residence, 103, 104, n. ; resident 
proprietors, 104 ; peasant proprie- 
tors, 105, 106, n. ; the mftafen, 106 ; 
the game-laws, 106; weight of 
taxes, 107; the militia, 107; no 
agricultural middle-class, 108 ; 
famines and bread riots, 108 ; beg- 
gars, 109 ; impoverishment of 
the nobles, 109, 110; abdication 
of their duties as a governing 
class, 110 ; rise of other daases, 
official nobles, 110; 111 ; capitalists 
a power in the State, 111, 112 ; in- 
fluence of men of letters, 112; the 


himrgeMiie, a race of place- banters, 
112, 113 ; civic notmbles, their ]^ re- 
tensions and disputes, 113; th^e 
clergy, their sjrmpathies with \ht 
poor, 114; multitude of lawyers 
114; polxtioal and social oonditioD 
of the country, 116; the new phi- 
losophy, 116, 116; prohibition <f 
politioJ discussion, 116; Voltaire, 
nis aims and influence, 117 ; Roa>- 
seau, his philosophy, 118 ; I>ideii»T, 
and the Bi^elapidie^ 119 and e.; 
the church and public opinirii. 
121 ; the Huguenota, 121 ; tie 
lower classes unsettled hy the nev 
doctrines, 122, 123; absence iif 
healtby public opinion, 123 ; infi-:- 
ence of cliwiral learning, 1^4: 
political failures of Louis XIT^ 
124, 126 ; reign and policy of L&m< 
XV., 126, 126 

- Louis XVI., 127; reforms cf 
Turgot, 128, 129; recognition (f 
American independence mad wsr 
with England, 130, 449 ; expenses • f 
the war, 130 ; provincial assemblies 
revived, 131; Necker*s compie rend^ 
131 ; power of public opinion, 132 
and n. ; an assembly of notab]«% 
132; Calonne, 132; De Briesme, 
exile of parliament of Paris, 133: 
the states-general demanded, 133: 
convoked, 184 ; events of the rev.^ 
lution, 136-199; Fiance nnder r)e 
Directory, 200 ; the war, 200, 2(>1 : 
royalists in the oonncila, :d01 : 
measures of the Directory, 2i«if: 
eaup d'fUtt of 18 Fructidor, ^tixii 
ruled by the sword, 208 ; pxoffcrip- 
tion of the royalists, 202 ; the re- 
publican army, 208 ; expedition t*-" 
Egypt, 203; to Switierland, 203. 
204 ; propaganda of the BeTolutioiu 
204 ; renewal of the coaiitlcn, 204 : 
the coneeription introdnoed, 204; 
troubles of the Directory, 204 ; th^ 
new Directory, 206 ; return of Boca- 
parte from Egypt. 206? «•■/ 
d*ettU, 18 Brumaire, 206 ; the Coun- 
cil of Ancients, 207 ; the Oouncii j 
of Five Hundred dispersed, 20$, 
209 ; disregaid for liberty thi^ngi- 
out the revolution, 200 ; Bonaparte 
first consul, 209 ; conatitntion of 
8iey^ 210; the pl^biaeite intro- 
duced, 210 n. ; general reaction, 
210, 211 

- The rule of Bonaparte, 211; 




Peace of Amiens, 211 ; the 
Catholic church re-established, 
212; BoDaparte first consul for 
life, the empire, 213 ; the imperial 
court, the coronation of Napoleon, 
214; the revolution renounced, 
216 ; Napoleon and the reyolution, 
215 ; repudiation of republics, 215 ; 
hereditary nobility restored, 216; 
the invasion of Russia, battle' of 
Leipsic, 219; discontents in the 
country, 219; the legislative as- 
sembly, 220; abdication of Napo- 
leon, 220 ; results of the revolution, 
220, 221 ; Louis XVni. restored, 
224 ; conditions of the restoration, 
224 ; his charter of 1814, 225 ; re- 
turn of Napoleon from Elba, 225 ; 
second restoration, foreign occupa- 
tion, 226 ; weakness of the monarchy, 
226 ; decay of loyalty, 227 ; France 
transformed, 227 and n. ; political 
parties, 228; exercise of prero- 
gative, 229; violence of the 
royalists, 229; cofkp d'Staty 1816, 
230 ; defeat of the royalists, 230 ; 
electoral law of 1817, 231 ; liberal 
measures, 231 ; the king opposed to 
the royalists, 231 ; creation of new 
peers, 231 ; increasing strength of 
the democratic party, 232 ; royalist 
reaction, 232 ; the VillMe ministry, 
233 ; formation of secret societies, 
233; the Spanish war, 234; death 
of Louis XVin., 234 ; accession of 
Charles X, 235; the king sur- 
rounded by priests and Jesuits, 235 ; 
unpopular measures, discontents, 
236 ; dissolution of the Chamber of 
Deputies, 237 ; creation of new 
peers, 237 ; the De Martignac minis- 
try, 237; liberal measures of the 
new chambers, 238; the Polignac 
ministry, 238; want of confidence 
in it, 239 ; another dissolution, 239 ; 
coup iTHatf 239 ; the ordinances, 239, 
240 ; want of preparation, 240 ; in- 
surrection in Paris, July 1830, 241 ; 
the liberal leaders, 242 ; the king 
deposed, 242; his abdication and 
flight, 248 ; Louis Philippe, king of 
the French, 244; influence of the 
revolution on foreign States, 245 
- The king's difficulties, 246; state 
of parties, 247 ; reliance upon the 
middle classes, 248 and n. ; so- 
cialism, 248 ; contrast between 
1789 and 1830, 249; ministry of 



Lafitte, of Casimir P6rier, 249; 
abolition of hereditary peerage, 
250 ; discontents and insurrections, 
250, 251 ; insurrection in Paris, 
251 ; the king obliged to exceed 
the law, the * red republic,' 252 ; Mar- 
shal Soult's ministry, 253 ; creation 
of new peers, 263 ; relation of the 
king to parties, 253^ repressive 
measures resisted, 254 ; corruption, 
254; attempts to assassinate the 
king, 265 and n. ; ministry of 
Thiers, 255 ; attempt of Louis Na- 
poleon at Strasburg, 256 ; conflict of 
parties, creation of new peers, 256 ; 
Soult's second ministry, 256; insur- 
rection of Barb^, 256 ; its objects, 
257 ; parliamenta^ parties, 267, 268; 
agitation for reform, 268 ; conserva- 
tism of the king,258; second ministry 
of Thiers, 259 ; Louis Napoleon at 
Boulogne, 260 ; fall of Thiers, 260 ; 
third ministry of Soult, 261 ; dis- 
content of the working classes, 
261, 262; agitation for electdral 
reform, reform banquets, 262; 
Polish banquet prohibited, 262 ; 
electoral reform resisted by the 
government, 263; death of the 
Due d'Orl^ns, 264 ; continued op- 
position to reform, 264; escape of 
Louis Napoleon, 264 ; the Spanish 
marriages, 265; estrangement of 
England, 265 ; exposure of corrup- 
tion, 266; revived agitation fot 
reform, reform banquets, 266; 
socialist agitation, 267, n. ; reform 
banquet, Feb. 1848, 267 ; the pro- 
cession abandoned, 268 ; tumults. 
268; defection of the National 
Guard, 269; ministry of Thiert 
and Odilon Barrot, 269 ; insurreo- 
tion in Paris, 269 ; military occup»^ 
tion, the troops withdrawn, 270: 
abdication of the king, 270; tb« 
Duchess of Orleans and her sonsi 
270; the provisional government, 
271 ; a republic proclaimed, 271 ; 
failures of LouisPhilippe's reign,271 
- The republic of 1848, democracy 
in the ascendant, 280 ; watchwords 
of the revolution, precedents of 1792 
followed, 281 ; national workshops, 
282 ; the Garde Mobile, Red Repub- 
licans, 282 ; Socialists and Commu- 
nists, 283 ; organisation of labour, 
284 and n. ; new laxes, 285 ; na- 
tional assembly convoked, 286 ; in- 




vasion of the Hotel de Ville by 
Socialists and Red Republicans, 
287 ; an insurrection thwarted, 288 ; 
meeting of the Assembly, 288 ; 
storminf^ of the Assembly, 289 ; 8o- 
cialist insurrection of June 1848, 
290; General Gavalgnac dictator, 
the insurrection suppressed, 290; 
reaction against the revolution, 291 ; 
new constitution decreed, 291 ; Louis 
Napoleon elected president, 291 ; 
significance of his election, 292 ; re- 
sistance of parties to his aims, 293 
and n. ; difference and jealousy be- 
tween the president and the As- 
sembly, 294, 29ft and nn. ; change of 
ministry, 297 ; revision of the con- 
stitution, 297; a conflict imminent, 
299 and n. ; the eoHp d'Hat in pre- 
paration, 300; accomplished (Dec. 
2, 1851), 301 ; dissolution of the 
Assembly, 302 ; arrest and im- 
prisonment of members of the As- 
sembly, 302, 303; the high court 
of justice closed by force, 303 ; the 
massacre on the Boulevards, 304, 
305, n. ; measures of coercion, 305, 
306 ; the departments in a state of 
siege or under martial law, 306; 
the pUbitcite^ Louis Napoleon ab- 
solute master of France, 307 ; pre- 
parations for the second empire, 
308; the empire established by 
pUbiicitej 308 ; the emperor's mar- 
riage, 309 ; the nobles, 309 and n., 
310 ; the imperial court, 310 and 
nn. ; principles of government, 
311 ; wars of the empire, 312, 313 ; 
domestic policy, 313 ; corruption, 
314; employment of labour, 315; 
war with Prussia (1870), 316; a 
liberal ministry, 316 ; fat^ issue of 
the war, Sedan, 317; deposition 
of the emperor, the republic pro- 
claimed, the Government of Na- 
tional Defence appointed, 318 ; 
fate of the first and second em- 
pires compared, 318 ; resistance 
continued by the Government of 
National Defence, 319; fall of 
Paris, 320 ; the National Assembly 
at Bordeaux, 320; rigorous condi- 
tions of the peace, 321 ; deposition 
of the emperor confirmed, 321 ; the 
Commune, 321, 322, 323 and n. ; its 
principles, 326 and n. ; Communist 
outrages, 327; Paris in flames, 
328; overthrow of the Commune, 


828 ; executions of Commnnist, 
328; the republic under Thiers, 
329 ; the royalists and the Comte de 
Chambord, 329, 330; the conflicts 
of parties, 330; Marshal MacMabon 
president, 331 ; the Septennate 
decreed, 332 ; the new oonstitntion, 
332 ; the republican miniatjy dis- 
missed, the Chamben dissolved, 
332; political future of Fiance, 
332, 333 [French Jietfoluti^n^ Xa- 
poison Bonaparte^ Louii Napoleon, 
Statet' General] 
Franks, the, subjugate Switzerland, i. 
336 ; conquer the Gauls, ii. 86 

Frederick Barbarossa, emperor, at- 
tacks the cities of North Italy, i. 
300 ; deprives them of their liber- 
ties, 300; his rivalry with ite 
Pope, 300 ; resisted by the Lom- 
bard League, concludes a truce. 
301 ; concludes treaty of Constance, 

Freedom, its connection with civili- 
sation, Introd. xzi. xxii. ; naoraU 
social, and political causes of, xxii. 
tqq. ; its obligations to statesmen 
and thinkers, xxiii. ; doctrines of 
Aquinas, xxiii. n. ; of Marsilio of 
P&dua, xxiii. n. ; influence of su- 
perstition, xxiv. ; influence of a 
higher religion, xxiv. ; popular en- 
lightenment its foundation, xxv. ; 
social causes of, xxviL ; inflnence 
of physical laws, xxxi. ; inflnence 
of the grandeur and terrors of 
nature, xxxiv. ; physical conditions 
of Europe favourable to, xzxv. ; 
its elements wanting in a pastoral 
state, xxxvi. ; and partially want- 
ing in agricultural countries, 
xxxvi. ; influence of mountains, 
xxxix.; influence of the sea, xl.; 
of navigable rivers and lakes, xli. ; 
of minerals, xlii. ; of cities and 
towns, xlii. ; of race, xliii. ; Eng- 
land the historic home of, xlv. : 
influence of the Protestant Refor- 
mation, xlvi. ; the subsequent n^- 
volutions, xlvii. ; constitutional, 
acquired by revolutionary nK>Te- 
ments, xlix. ; influence of, apon 
enlightenment, 1. and notes ; upon 
science, li. ; advantages of union 
of old institutions with popular 
franchises, lii. liii. and n, ; a safe- 
guard against democracj» Ivii. 




Iriii. {JDemocracify England^ Stvit- 
zerlandy ^'c] 
'Freeholders, a class of, formed at 
Home, i. 166 ; many destroyed by 
wars, 171; in England, introd. 
zxxviii. ; ii. 349, 353, 360. IPeoMtnt 

Free-Trade, doctrines of, victorious 
in England, ii. 466, 467 

' French Fuiy,' the, ii. 67 

French Revolution (1789), its effects 
in Switzerland, i. 377 tqq. ; state of 
parties, ii. 135; concentration of 
troops at Versailles and Paris, 140 ; 
dismissal of Necker, taking of the 
Bastile, 140; the king at Paris, 
140; alarming disorders, 141 and 
n. ; the Constituent Assembly, its 
deliberations, 141, 142; unregu- 
lated proceedings, 142 ; leading 
men, 143 ; renunciation of privi- 
leges, 143; hopes of a moderate 
constitution, 144 ; parties in the 
Assembly, 144 ; the clubs, 148 ; re- 
action attempted by the court, 

148 ; banquets of the body guards, 
149 ; march of women on Versailles, 

149 ; the king at Paris, 149 ; other 
measures of the Assembly, 160; 
new constitution proclaimed, 160 ; 
foreign aid invoked by the nobles, 
161 ; emigration of the nobles, 

' 161, 162 and n. ; confederacy against 
France, 163 ; restraints upon the 
king, 163 ; flight and arrest of 
the king, 163, 164 ; relations 
of the king to the Revolution, 
164; Declaration of Pilnitz, 166; 
elections for the new Assembly, 
156 and n. ; National Legislative 
Assembly, 166 ; parties in it, 166 ; 
its relations with the king, 167 ; 
conflict between them, 168 ; a 
Girondist ministry, 168 ; war with 
Austria, its object^ 158, 169, n. ; 
disasters of the war, 169 ; riotous 
mob of petitioners, 169, 160 ; par- 
tial reaction, 160; the country de- 
clared in danger, 160; manifesto 
of the duke of Brunswick, 161 ; 
insurrection in Paris, attack on 
the Tuileries (August 10), 161 ; 
National Convention convoked, 
162 ; the Commune of Paris, 162 ; 
massacres of September 1792, 
the Reign of Terror begun, 163, 
164 ; military spirit of the nation. 


164; abolition of the monarchy, 
166; the Girondists, 166, 166; the 
Mountain, 166; the rival parties, 
167; revolutionary propaganda, 
168, 169; trial of the king pro- 
jected by the Mountain, 169; dis- 
cussions thereupon, 169 ; the trial, 
170, 171; the king condemned, 
171 ; his execution, 172 
— The coalition against France, 
173 ; measures of defence, 174 ; 
Committee of Public Safety estab- 
lished, 176 ; strife of parties, 175 ; 
the Convention invaded by the mob, 
176; arming of the mob, 176; 
arrest of the Girondists, 176 ; con- 
tact of the Convention with the 
people, 177 ; its debates, 177 and 
n. ; its useful measures, 178 and n. ; 
insurrections in the provinces, 178 ; 
invasion of France, 179 ; new con- 
stitution, 179; France in arms, 
179: revolutionary vigour, 180; 
men of the revolution, 181 ; law 
against suspected persons, 182; 
triumph of French arms, 183 ; ab- 
solutism of the republic, 183 ; 
cruelties of the Mountain, 183; 
severities against insurgents, 184, 
186; execution of Marie An- 
toinette, 186; of the Girondist h, 
186 ; absolute power of the Com- 
mittee of Public Safety, 186; 
heroism of the re\K)lution, 187 ; 
reformation of the calendar, 187 ; 
the Worship of Reason, 187; as- 
cendency of Robespierre, 188 ; the 
Committee of Public Safety, 189 ; 
a republic of the virtues pro- 
claimed, 190 ; Robespierre its high 
priest, 190; increased fury of the 
tribunal, 190; decline of Robes- 
pierre's power, 191; attack upon 
the Convention, 9 Thermidor, 192 ; 
fall of the Triumvirs, execution of 
Robespierre, 192, 193; reaction, 
193 ; the followers of Robespierre, 
194 ; jeunesse daris, 194 ; proceed- 
ings against the Terrorists, 196; 
sufferings of the people, 196; in- 
surrections, 196; invasion of the 
Convention, 1 Prairial, 196 ; the 
sections disarmed, 197; fVance 
victorious in the wars, 197; 
royalist reaction, 197; royalist 
excesses, 198; new constitution, 
I the Directory, 198 ; royalist insur- 
I rection, 199 ; defence of the Con- 




vent ion hr Bonaparte, 199 ; the 
two cooncils elect pd, end of the 
Convention, 199 [Pmnoe, Genti^a, 
Xapolton BomaparUf^State*' Generalt 
Striti CoM/edtratioH] 

Fribourg, i. 339 ; it« alliance with 
Berne and other towns, 343; its 
aristocratic const itnt ion, 352, 353 ; 
becomes an oligarchy, 373; insur- 
rection snpfpressed, 374; heavy 
contribution levied by the French, 
383, 387 ; revolution of 1830, 388 

GAMA, VasGo de, 1. 265 
Gambctta, M., continues the war 
at^ainsit PruMnia, ii. 319 ; leader of 
tJie republican party, 332 

(tame-lawsin France, ii. 106 

Games, public, in Greece, character 
and effects of, i. 46, 47, 123, 124 

(Jartie Mobile, the, organised in Paris, 
ii. 282 

Gemblonrs, battle of [Xetherlands] 

Geneva, its early constitution, i. 354 ; 
the reformation in, 367; attains 
self-government in civil affairs, 
867; rule of Calvin, 368; rise of 
an aristocracy, 374 ; struggle of 
classes, 376; intervention of Berne 
and Zurich, a new constitution, 
375 ; political clubs, 375 ; a demo- 
cratic constitution, 376; its liber- 
ties crushed by a foreign occupa- 
tion, 376; effects of the French 
revolution in, 378 ; annexed to 
France, 383 ; anti-Jesuit revolution, 
3ltl ; discords allayed, 395 ; general 
assemblies of citizens at, 398 

Genoa, gt)vemment of, i. 294 ; scheme 
of le^^islation by jurists, 294; the 
nobles 295 ; the Doge, 295 ; sub- 
mission to the lord of Milan, 296 

i 1 corge m. [Stiff land] 

G'rard, assassinates William, Prince 
of Orange, ii. 58 

(rermany, European birthplace of 
Teutonic races, Introd. xlvi. ; be- 
gins revolt against Church of Rome, 
xlvi. ; imperial and free cities of, 
i. 250 ; their representatives in the 
I) e , 251 : their c mte-its with the 
barons, 251 ; formation and extent 


of the Hanseatic I>a$nie,S5^: ^U 
Rhenish League, 252 ; stare «:. 
1830 to 1848, ii. 272; e<TecT- : 
French revolution of Fel^nairv 
1848, 276, 277 ; National AssemK;. 
at Frankfort, 277; revolttticH.arr 
movements, 277 

Ghent, rival of Bruges, ii. 15 : taVe- 
the lead in Flemish politics, M. 
the WTiite Hoods of, 18: re*ir? 
Phili(> the Good, and is conqurrvd 
22 ; rebels asrainst Charlesi T^ r^ 
its punishment, 29 ; congress of Pro- 
vincial Estates at, 49 ; pacitica*: '"! 
of, 49, 60 ; capitulates to Ptince • f 
Parma, 59 [Artevelde^ James v&i. 
and Philip van] 

Girondists, the, ii. 156, 158-162 : ib^ir 
ideal, 165,166. 167; endeavour * 
save the king from trial* 169, I'> 
their weakness, 172-174, 175: 
arrested, 176 ; executed, 186 

Gladiators at Rome, i. 1 68, n. 

Gonfalonier of Justice [^Fl^remf^] 

Gracchus, Caius, tribune, 1 77 ; intr> 
duces practice of distributing- com. 
178 ; alters method of voting of the 
comitia, 178; his democratic mea- 
sures, 178, 179; his policy, 17^: 
deference to the people, ll^: h':* 
overthrow and death, 180, I?'! : 
proscription of bis party, ISl : 
honours paid to him, 181 

Gracchus, Tiberius, tribune, hid mea- 
sures, i. 175 ; his agrarian law, 17ii: 
vengeance of the nobles, 176; hii 
death, 177; honours paid to him, 

Grammar Schools, foundation of, in 
England, ii» 361 

Granvelle, Cardinal, the real ruler of 
the Netherlands under Dacht^ss 
Margaret, ii. 36 ; his charscter and 
aim, 36 ; driven away, 38 

Greece, the Greeks the highest type 
of European races, i. 41 ; contrast 
between them and Eastern nations, 
42 ; influence of climate, 42, n. ; 
mutual confidence between the 
people and their rulers, 43 ; royal 
authority in the heroic ages, 43; 
relations of the people with the 
State, 44 ; public administration of 
justice, 45 ; public life characteristic 
of Greek society, 45; importance 




of oratory, 46 ; the rhapsodists, 46 ; 
spirit of freedom promoted by the 
public games, 46 ; evil consequences 
of the games, 47 ; respect for women, 
48 ; division into small states, 48 ; 
its effects, 48; distribution of 
Hellenic races favourable to their 
culture, 49 ; the Amphictyonic 
council, 49; decay *of monarchies, 
49 ; changes of government in the 
numerous States nearly contem- 
porary, and the result of general 
causes, 60; a constitution gained, 
61 ; political reaction, the Tyrants, 
61 ; advance of democracy, 62 ; aris- 
tocracy, 62; oligarchy, 62; timo- 
cracy, 63; polity, 63; varieties of 
democracy, 64 ; ochlocracy, 64 ; 
limitation of the ruling class in all 
democracies, 66 ; the State formed 
exclusively of citizens, 66 ; conflict 
between aristocracy and democracy, 
66, n. ; violence and injustice of 
the contest, 67 ; difference between 
agricultural and town popula- 
tions, 67 ; between Lacedsemonians 
and Athenians, 68 ; maritime and 
town populations in Attica, 68; 
Thessaly and other pastoral coun- 
tries, 68; growth of towns, 69; 
distribution of lands, 69 ; smallness 
of city communities, 69 ; general 
type of Greek republic found in 
the city community, 60, n. ; re- 
markable society of Greek cities, 
60 ; patriotism fostered into a pas- 
sion, 61 ; divisions in the assem- 
blies, 61, n. ; feuds and jealousies, 
61 ; Macedonian conquest of, 93 ; 
period of intellectual and literary 
decline, 93, n. ; the Greek religion, 
111 ; trivial superstitions. 111, 112 ; 
decline of paganism, 112 ; Greek 
philosophy, 113 ; Greek religion not 
repressive of a free spirit, 113; 
charity not fostered by it, 113; 
hurtfulness of slavery,! 14; Boeckh's 
view of Greek character, 116, n; 
Greece compared with modem 
states, 127 ; Achaian League, 129 ; 
representation unknown in, 130 ; 
Greek colonies, 131 ; Italian liber- 
ties promoted by Greek settlers, 
132; Greek civilizat