1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/France/History

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21266921911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 10 — - France HistoryJean Paul Hippolyte Emmanuel Adhémar Esmein



The identity of the earliest inhabitants of Gaul is veiled in obscurity, though philologists, anthropologists and archaeologists are using the glimmer of traditions collected by ancient historians to shed a faint twilight upon that remote past. The subjugation of those primitive tribes did Pre-historic Gaul. not mean their annihilation: their blood still flows in the veins of Frenchmen; and they survive also on those megalithic monuments (see Stone Monuments) with which the soil of France is dotted, in the drawings and sculptures of caves hollowed out along the sides of the valleys, and in the arms and ornaments yielded by sepulchral tumuli, while the names of the rivers and mountains of France probably perpetuate the first utterances of those nameless generations.

The first peoples of whom we have actual knowledge are the Iberians and Ligurians. The Basques who now inhabit both sides of the Pyrenean range are probably the last representatives of the Iberians, who came from Spain to settle between the Mediterranean and the Bay of Biscay. The Ligurians, who exhibited the hard cunning characteristic of the Genoese Riviera, must have been descendants of that Indo-European vanguard who occupied all northern Italy and the centre and south-east Iberians and Ligurians. of France, who in the 7th century B.C. received the Phocaean immigrants at Marseilles, and who at a much later period were encountered by Hannibal during his march to Rome, on the banks of the Rhône, the frontier of the Iberian and Ligurian territories. Upon these peoples it was that the conquering minority of Celts or Gauls imposed themselves, to be succeeded at a later date by the Roman aristocracy.

When Gaul first enters the field of history, Rome has already laid the foundation of her freedom, Athens dazzles the eastern Mediterranean with her literature and her art, while in the west Carthage and Marseilles are lining opposite shores with their great houses of commerce. Coming Empire of the Celts. from the valley of the Danube in the 6th century, the Celts or Gauls had little by little occupied central and southern Europe long before they penetrated into the plains of the Saône, the Seine, and the Loire as far as the Spanish border, driving out the former inhabitants of the country. A century later their political hegemony, extending from the Black Sea to the Strait of Gibraltar, began to disintegrate, and the Gauls then embarked on more distant migrations, from the Columns of Hercules to the plateaux of Asia Minor, taking Rome on their way. Their empire in Gaul, encroached upon in the north by the Belgae, a kindred race, and in the south by the Iberians, gradually contracted in area and eventually crumbled to pieces. This process served the turn of the Romans, who little by little had subjugated first the Cisalpine Gauls and afterwards those inhabiting The Roman Conquest. the south-east of France, which was turned into a Roman province in the 2nd century. Up to this time Hellenism and the mercantile spirit of the Jews had almost exclusively dominated the Mediterranean littoral, and at first the Latin spirit only won foothold for itself in various spots on the western coast—as at Aix in Provence (123 B.C.) and at Narbonne (118 B.C.). A refuge of Italian pauperism in the time of the Gracchi, after the triumph of the oligarchy the Narbonnaise became a field for shameless exploitation, besides providing, under the proconsulate of Caesar, an excellent point of observation whence to watch the intestine quarrels between the different nations of Gaul.

These are divided by Caesar in his Commentaries into three groups: the Aquitanians to the south of the Garonne; the Celts, properly so called, from the Garonne to the Seine and the Marne; and the Belgae, from the Seine to the Rhine. But these ethnological names cover a very Political divisions
of Gaul.
great variety of half-savage tribes, differing in speech and in institutions, each surrounded by frontiers of dense forests abounding in game. On the edges of these forests stood isolated dwellings like sentinel outposts; while the inhabitants of the scattered hamlets, caves hollowed in the ground, rude circular huts or lake-dwellings, were less occupied with domestic life than with war and the chase. On the heights, as at Bibracte, or on islands in the rivers, as at Lutetia, or protected by marshes, as at Avaricum, oppida—at once fortresses and places of refuge, like the Greek Acropolis—kept watch and ward over the beaten tracks and the rivers of Gaul.

These primitive societies of tall, fair-skinned warriors, blue-eyed and red-haired, were gradually organized into political bodies of various kinds—kingdoms, republics and federations—and divided into districts or pagi (pays) to which divisions the minds of the country folk have Political institutions of Gaul. remained faithfully attached ever since. The victorious aristocracy of the kingdom dominated the other classes, strengthened by the prestige of birth, the ownership of the soil and the practice of arms. Side by side with this martial nobility the Druids constituted a priesthood unique in ancient times; neither hereditary as in India, nor composed of isolated priests as in Greece, nor of independent colleges as at Rome, it was a true corporation, which at first possessed great moral authority, though by Caesar’s time it had lost both strength and prestige. Beneath these were the common people attached to the soil, who did not count for much, but who reacted against the insufficient protection of the regular institutions by a voluntary subordination to certain powerful chiefs.

This impotence of the state was a permanent cause of those discords and revolts, which in the 1st century B.C. were so singularly favourable to Caesar’s ambition. Thus after eight years of incoherent struggles, of scattered revolts, and then of more and more energetic efforts, Caesar in Gaul. Gaul, at last aroused by Vercingetorix, for once concentrated her strength, only to perish at Alesia, vanquished by Roman discipline and struck at from the rear by the conquest of Britain (58–50 B.C.).

This defeat completely altered the destiny of Gaul, and she became one of the principal centres of Roman civilization. Of the vast Celtic empire which had dominated Europe nothing now remained but scattered remnants in the farthest corners of the land, refuges for all Roman Gaul. the vanquished Gaels, Picts or Gauls; and of its civilization there lingered only idioms and dialects—Gaelic, Pict and Gallic—which gradually dropped out of use. During five centuries Gaul was unfalteringly loyal to her conquerors; for to conquer is nothing if the conquered be not assimilated by the conqueror, and Rome was a past-mistress of this art. The personal charm of Caesar and the prestige of Rome are not of themselves sufficient to explain this double conquest. The generous and enlightened policy of the imperial administration asked nothing of the people of Gaul but military service and the payment of the tax; in return it freed individuals from patronal domination, the people from oligarchic greed or Druidic excommunication, and every one in general from material anxiety. Petty tyrannies gave place to the great Pax Romana. The Julio-Claudian dynasty did much to attach the Gauls to the empire; they always occupied the first place in the mind of Augustus, and the revolt of the Aeduan Julius Sacrovir, provoked by the census of A.D. 21, was easily repressed by Tiberius. Caligula visited Gaul and founded literary competitions at Lyons, which had become the political and intellectual capital of the country. Claudius, who was a native of Lyons, extended the right of Roman citizenship to many of his fellow-townsmen, gave them access to the magistracy and to the senate, and supplemented the annexation of Gaul by that of Britain. The speech which he pronounced on this occasion was engraved on tables of bronze at Lyons, and is the first authentic record of Gaul’s admission to the citizenship of Rome. Though the crimes of Nero and the catastrophes which resulted from his downfall, provoked the troubles of the year A.D. 70, the revolt of Sabinus was in the main an attempt by the Germans to pillage Gaul and the prelude to military insurrections. The government of the Flavians and the Antonines completed a definite reconciliation. After the extinction of the family of Augustus in the 1st century Gaul had made many emperors—Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian and Domitian; and in the 2nd century she provided Gauls to rule the empire—Antoninus (138–161) came from Nîmes and Claudius from Lyons, as did also Caracalla later on (211–217).

The romanization of the Gauls, like that of the other subject nations, was effected by slow stages and by very diverse means, furnishing an example of the constant adaptability of Roman policy. It was begun by establishing a network of roads with Lyons as the central point, Material and political transformation of Roman Gaul. and by the development of a prosperous urban life in the increasingly wealthy Roman colonies; and it was continued by the disintegration into independent cities of nearly all the Gaulish states of the Narbonnaise, together with the substitution of the Roman collegial magistracy for the isolated magistracy of the Gauls. This alteration came about more quickly in the north-east in the Rhine-land than in the west and the centre, owing to the near neighbourhood of the legions on the frontiers. Rome was too tolerant to impose her own institutions by force; it was the conquered peoples who collectively and individually solicited as a favour the right of adopting the municipal system, the magistracy, the sacerdotal and aristocratic social system of their conquerors. The edict of Caracalla, at the beginning of the 3rd century, by conferring the right of citizenship on all the inhabitants of the empire, completed an assimilation for which commercial relations, schools, a taste for officialism, and the adaptability and quick intelligence of the race had already made preparation. The Gauls now called themselves Romans and their language Romance. There was neither oppression on the one hand nor servility on the other to explain this abandonment of their traditions. Thanks to the political and religious unity which a common worship of the emperor and of Rome gave them, thanks to administrative centralization tempered by a certain amount of municipal autonomy, Gaul prospered throughout three centuries.

But this stability of the Roman peace had barely been realized when events began to threaten it both from within and without. The Pax Romana having rendered any armed force unnecessary amid a formerly very bellicose people, only eight legions mounted guard over the Rhine to protect Decline of the imperial authority
in Gaul.
it from the barbarians who surrounded the empire. The raids made by the Germans on the eastern frontiers, the incessant competitions for the imperial power, and the repeated revolts of the Pretorian guard, gradually undermined the internal cohesion of Gaul; while the insurrections of the Bagaudae aggravated the destruction wrought by a grasping treasury and by barbarian incursions; so that the anarchy of the 3rd century soon aroused separatist ideas. Under Postumus Gaul had already attempted to restore an independent though short-lived empire (258–267); and twenty-eight years later the tetrarchy of Diocletian proved that the blood now circulated with difficulty from the heart to the extremities of an empire on the eve of disintegration. Rome was to see her universal dominion gradually menaced from all sides. It was in Gaul that the decisive revolutions of the time were first prepared; Constantine’s crusades to overthrow the altars of paganism, and Julian’s campaigns to set them up again. After Constantine the emperors of the East in the 4th century merely put in an occasional appearance at Rome; they resided at Milan or in the prefectorial capitals of Gaul—at Arles, at Treves (Trier), at Reims or in Paris. The ancient territorial divisions—Belgium, Gallia Lugdunensis (Lyonnaise), Gallia Narbonensis (Narbonnaise)—were split up into seventeen little provinces, which in their turn were divided into two dioceses. Thus the great historic division was made between southern and northern France. Roman nationality persisted, but the administrative system was tottering.

Upon ground that had been so well levelled by Roman legislation aristocratic institutions naturally flourished. From the 4th century onward the balance of classes was disturbed by the development of a landed aristocracy that grew more powerful day by day, and by the Social disorganization
of Gaul.
corresponding ruin of the small proprietors and industrial and commercial corporations. The members of the curia who assisted the magistrates in the cities, crushed by the burden of taxes, now evaded as far as possible public office or senatorial honours. The vacancies left in this middle class by this continual desertion were not compensated for by the progressive advance of a lower class destitute of personal property and constantly unsettled in their work. The peasants, no less than the industrial labourers, suffered from the absence of any capital laid by, which alone could have enabled them to improve their land or to face a time of bad harvests. Having no credit they found themselves at the mercy of their neighbours, the great landholders, and by degrees fell into the position of tenants, or into servitude. The curia was thus emptied both from above and from below. It was in vain that the emperors tried to rivet the chains of the curia in this hereditary bondage, by attaching the small proprietor to his glebe, like the artisan to his gild and the soldier to his legion. To such a miserable pretence of freedom they all preferred servitude, which at least ensured them a livelihood; and the middle class of freemen thus became gradually extinct.

The aristocracy, on the contrary, went on increasing in power,

and eventually became masters of the situation. It was through them that the emperor, theoretically absolute, practically carried on his administration; but he was no longer either strong or a divinity, and possessed Absorption of land and power by the aristocracy of Gaul. nothing but the semblance of omnipotence. His official despotism was opposed by the passive but invincible competition of an aristocracy, more powerful than himself because it derived its support from the revived relation of patron and dependants. But though the aristocracy administered, yet they did not govern. They suffered, as did the Empire, from a general state of lassitude. Like their private life, their public life, no longer stimulated by struggles and difficulties, had become sluggish; their power of initiative was enfeebled. Feeling their incapacity they no longer embarked on great political schemes; and the army, the instrument by which such schemes were carried on, was only held together by the force of habit. In this society, where there was no traffic in anything but wealth and ideas, the soldier was nothing more than an agitator or a parasite. The egoism of the upper classes held military duty in contempt, while their avarice depopulated the countryside, whence the legions had drawn their recruits. And now come the barbarians! A prey to perpetual alarm, the people entrenched themselves behind those high walls of the oppida which Roman security had razed to the ground, but imperial impotence had restored, and where life in the middle ages was destined to vegetate in unrestful isolation.

Amidst this general apathy, intellectual activity alone persisted. In the 4th century there was a veritable renaissance in Gaul, the last outburst of a dying flame, which yet bore witness also to the general decadence. The agreeable versification of an amateur like Ausonius, the refined Intellectual decadence of Gaul. panegyrics of a Eumenius, disguising nullity of thought beneath elegance of form, already foretold the perilous sterility of scholasticism. Art, so widespread in the wealthy villas of Gaul, contented itself with imitation, produced nothing original and remained mediocre. Human curiosity, no longer concerned with philosophy and science, seemed as though stifled, religious polemics alone continuing to hold public attention. Disinclination for the self-sacrifice of active life and weariness of the things of the earth lead naturally to absorption in the things of heaven. After bringing about the success of the Asiatic cults of Mithra and Cybele, these same factors now assured the triumph over exhausted paganism of yet another oriental religion—Christianity—after a duel which had lasted two centuries.

This new faith had appeared to Constantine likely to infuse young and healthy blood into the Empire. In reality Christianity, which had contributed not a little to stimulate the political unity of continental Gaul, now tended to dissolve it by destroying that religious unity which Christianity in Gaul. had heretofore been its complement. Before this there had been complete harmony between Church and State; but afterwards came indifference and then disagreement between political and religious institutions, between the City of God and that of Caesar. Christianity, introduced into Gaul during the 1st century of the Christian era by those foreign merchants who traded along the coasts of the Mediterranean, had by the middle of the 2nd century founded communities at Vienne, at Autun and at Lyons. Their propagandizing zeal soon exposed them to the wrath of an ignorant populace and the contempt of the educated; and thus it was that in A.D. 177, under Marcus Aurelius, the Church of Lyons, founded by St Pothinus, suffered those persecutions which were the effective cause of her ultimate victory. These Christian communities, disguised under the legally authorized name of burial societies, gradually formed a vast secret cosmopolitan association, superimposed upon Roman society but incompatible with the Empire. Christianity had to be either destroyed or absorbed. The persecutions under Aurelian and Diocletian almost succeeded in accomplishing the former; the Christian churches were saved by the instability of the existing authorities, by military anarchy and by the incursions of the barbarians. Despite tortures and martyrdoms, and thanks to the seven apostles sent from Rome in 250, during the 3rd century their branches extended all over Gaul.

The emperors had now to make terms with these churches, which served to group together all sorts of malcontents, and this was the object of the edict of Milan (313), by which the Church, at the outset simply a Jewish institution, was naturalized as Roman; while in 325 Triumph of Christianity in Gaul. the Council of Nicaea endowed her with unity. But for the security and the power thus attained she had to pay with her independence. On the other hand, pagan and Christian elements in society existed side by side without intermingling, and even openly antagonistic to each other—one aristocratic and the other democratic. In order to induce the masses of the people once more to become loyal to the imperial form of government the emperor Julian tried by founding a new religion to give its functionaries a religious prestige which should impress the popular mind. His plan failed; and the emperor Theodosius, aided by Ambrose, bishop of Milan, preferred to make the Christian clergy into a body of imperial and conservative officials; while in return for their adhesion he abolished the Arian heresy and paganism itself, which could not survive without his support. Thenceforward it was in the name of Christ that persecutions took place in an Empire now entirely won over to Christianity.

In Gaul the most famous leader of this first merciless, if still perilous crusade, was a soldier-monk, Saint Martin of Tours. Thanks to him and his disciples in the middle of the 4th century and the beginning of the 5th many of the towns possessed well-established churches; but the Organisation of
the Church.
militant ardour of monks and centuries of labour were needed to conquer the country districts, and in the meantime both dogma and internal organization were subjected to important modifications. As regards the former the Church adopted a course midway between metaphysical explanations and historical traditions, and reconciled the more extreme theories; while with the admission of pagans a great deal of paganism itself was introduced. On the other hand, the need for political and social order involved the necessity for a disciplined and homogeneous religious body; the exercise of power, moreover, soon transformed the democratic Christianity of the earlier churches into a federation of little conservative monarchies. The increasing number of her adherents, and her inexperience of government on such a vast and complicated scale, obliged her to comply with political necessity and to adopt the system of the state and its social customs. The Church was no longer a fraternity, on a footing of equality, with freedom of belief and tentative as to dogma, but an authoritative aristocratic hierarchy. The episcopate was now recruited from the great families in the same way as the imperial and the municipal public services. The Church called on the emperor to convoke and preside over her councils and to combat heresy; and in order more effectually to crush the latter she replaced primitive independence and local diversity by uniformity of doctrine and worship, and by the hierarchy of dioceses and ecclesiastical provinces. The heads of the Church, her bishops, her metropolitans, took the titles of their pagan predecessors as well as their places, and their jurisdiction was enforced by the laws of the state. Rich and powerful chiefs, they were administrators as much as priests: Germanus (Germain), bishop of Auxerre (d. 448), St Eucherius of Lyons (d. 450), Apollinaris Sidonius of Clermont (d. c. 490) assumed the leadership of society, fed the poor, levied tithes, administered justice, and in the towns where they resided, surrounded by priests and deacons, ruled both in temporal and spiritual matters.

But the humiliation of Theodosius before St Ambrose proved that the emperor could never claim to be a pontiff, and that the dogma of the Church remained independent of the sovereign as well as of the people; if she sacrificed her liberty it was but to claim it again and maintain The Church’s independence
of the Empire.
it more effectively amid the general languor. The Church thus escaped the unpopularity of this decadent empire, and during the 5th century she provided a refuge for all those who, wishing to preserve the Roman unity, were terrified by the blackness of the horizon. In fact, whilst in the Eastern Church the metaphysical ardour of the Greeks was spending itself in terrible combats in the oecumenical councils over the interpretation of the Nicene Creed, the clergy of Gaul, more simple and strict in their faith, abjured these theological logomachies; from the first they had preferred action to criticism and had taken no part in the great controversy on free-will raised by Pelagius. Another kind of warfare was about to absorb their whole attention; the barbarians were attacking the frontiers of the Empire on every side, and their advent once again modified Gallo-Roman civilization.

For centuries they had been silently massing themselves around ancient Europe, whether Iberian, Celtic or Roman. Many times already during that evening of a decadent civilization, their threatening presence had seemed like a dark cloud veiling the radiant sky of the peoples The barbarian invasion. established on the Mediterranean seaboard. The cruel lightning of the sword of Brennus had illumined the night, setting Rome or Delphi on fire. Sometimes the storm had burst over Gaul, and there had been need of a Marius to stem the torrent of Cimbri and Teutons, or of a Caesar to drive back the Helvetians into their mountains. On the morrow the western horizon would clear again, until some such disaster as that which befell Varus would come to mortify cruelly the pride of an Augustus. The Romans had soon abandoned hope of conquering Germany, with its fluctuating frontiers and nomadic inhabitants. For more than two centuries they had remained prudently entrenched behind the earthworks that extended from Cologne to Ratisbon (Regensburg); but the intestine feuds which prevailed among the barbarians and were fostered by Rome, the organization under bold and turbulent chiefs of the bands greedy for booty, the pressing forward on populations already settled of tribes in their rear; all this caused the Germanic invasion to filter by degrees across the frontier. It was the work of several generations and took various forms, by turns and simultaneously colonization and aggression; but from this time forward the pax romana was at an end. The emperors Probus, Constantine, Julian and Valentinian, themselves foreigners, were worn out with repulsing these repeated assaults, and the general enervation of society did the rest. The barbarians gradually became part of the Roman population; they permeated the army, until after Theodosius they recruited it exclusively; they permeated civilian society as colonists and agriculturists, till the command of the army and of important public duties was given over to a Stilicho or a Crocus. Thus Rome allowed the wolves to mingle with the dogs in watching over the flock, just at a time when the civil wars of the 4th century had denuded the Rhenish frontier of troops, whose numbers had already been diminished by Constantine. Then at the beginning of the 5th century, during a furious irruption of Germans fleeing before Huns, the limes was carried away (406–407); and for more than a hundred years the torrent of fugitives swept through the Empire, which retreated behind the Alps, there to breathe its last.

Whilst for ten years Alaric’s Goths and Stilicho’s Vandals were drenching Italy with blood, the Vandals and the Alani from the steppes of the Black Sea, dragging in their wake the reluctant German tribes who had been allies of Rome and who had already settled down to the cultivation of The Germans in Gaul. their lands, invaded the now abandoned Gaul, and having come as far as the Pyrenees, crossed over them. After the passing of this torrent the Visigoths, under their kings Ataulphus, Wallia and Theodoric, still dazzled by the splendours of this immense empire, established themselves like submissive vassals in Aquitaine, with Toulouse as their capital. About the same time the Burgundians settled even more peaceably in Rhenish Gaul, and, after 456, to the west of the Jura in the valleys of The Franks before Clovis. the Saône and the Rhône. The original Franks of Germany, already established in the Empire, and pressed upon by the same Huns who had already forced the Goths across the Danube, passed beyond the Rhine and occupied north-eastern Gaul; Ripuarians of the Rhine establishing themselves on the Sambre and the Meuse, and Salians in Belgium, as far as the great fortified highroad from Bavai to Cologne. Accepted as allies, and supported by Roman prestige and by the active authority of the general Aetius, all these barbarians rallied round him and the Romans of Gaul, and in 451 defeated the hordes of Attila, who had advanced as far as Orleans, at the great battle of the Catalaunian plains.

Thus at the end of the 5th century the Roman empire was nothing but a heap of ruins, and fidelity to the empire was now only maintained by the Catholic Church; she alone survived, as rich, as much honoured as ever, and more powerful, owing to the disappearance of the imperial The clergy and the barbarians. officials for whom she had found substitutes, and the decadence of the municipal bodies into whose inheritance she had entered. Owing to her the City of God gradually replaced the Roman imperial polity and preserved its civilization; while the Church allied herself more closely with the new kingdoms than she had ever done with the Empire. In the Gothic or Burgundian states of the period the bishops, after having for a time opposed the barbarian invaders, sought and obtained from their chief the support formerly received from the emperor. Apollinaris Sidonius paid court to Euric, since 476 the independent king of the Visigoths, against whom he had defended Auvergne; and Avitus, bishop of Vienne, was graciously received by Gundibald, king of the Burgundians. But these princes were Arians, i.e. foreigners among the Catholic population; the alliance sought for by the Church could not reach her from that source, and it was from the rude and pagan Franks that she gained the material support which she still lacked. The conversion of Clovis was a master-stroke; it was fortunate both for himself and for the Franks. Unity in faith brought about unity in law.

Clovis was king of the Sicambrians, one of the tribes of the Salian Franks. Having established themselves in the plains of Northern Gaul, but driven by the necessity of finding new land to cultivate, in the days of their king Childeric they had descended into the fertile valleys of the Clovis, the Frankish chief. Somme and the Oise. Clovis’s victory at Soissons over the last troops left in the service of Rome (486) extended their settlements as far as the Loire. By his conversion, which was due to his wife Clotilda and to Remigius, bishop of Reims, more than to the victory of Tolbiac over the Alamanni, Clovis made definitely sure of the Roman inhabitants and gave the Church an army (496). Thenceforward he devoted himself to the foundation of the Frankish monarchy by driving the exhausted and demoralized heretics out of Gaul, and by putting himself in the place of the now enfeebled emperor. In 500 he conquered Gundibald, king of the Burgundians, reduced him to a kind of vassalage, and forced him into reiterated promises of conversion to orthodoxy. In 507 he conquered and killed Alaric II., king of the Arian Visigoths, and drove the latter into Spain. Legend adorned his campaign in Aquitaine with miracles; the bishops were the declared allies of both him and his son Theuderich (Thierry) after his conquest of Auvergne. At Tours he received from the distant emperor at Constantinople the diploma and insignia of patricius and Roman consul, which legalized his military conquests by putting him in possession of civil powers. From this time forward a great historic transformation Clovis as a Roman officer. was effected in the eyes of the bishops and of the Gallo-Romans; the Frankish chief took the place of the ancient emperors. Instead of blaming him for the murder of the lesser kings of the Franks, his relatives, by which he had accomplished the union of the Frankish tribes, they saw in this the hand of God rewarding a faithful soldier and a converted pagan. He became their king, their new David, as the Christian emperors had formerly been; he built churches, endowed monasteries, protected St Vaast (Vedastus, d. 540), first bishop of Arras and Cambrai, who restored Christianity in northern Gaul. Like the emperors before him Clovis, too, reigned over the Church. Of his own authority he called together a council at Orleans in 511, the year of his death. He was already the grand distributor of ecclesiastical benefices, pending the time when his successors were to confirm the episcopal elections, and his power began to take on a more and more absolute character. But though he felt the ascendant influence of Christian teaching, he was not really penetrated by its spirit; a professing Christian, and a friend to the episcopate, Clovis remained a barbarian, crafty and ruthless. The bloody tragedies which disfigured the end of his reign bear sad witness to this; they were a fit prelude to that period during the course of which, as Gregory of Tours said, “barbarism was let loose.”

The conquest of Gaul, begun by Clovis, was finished by his sons: Theuderich, Chlodomer, Childebert and Clotaire. In three successive campaigns, from 523 to 532, they annihilated the Burgundian kingdom, which had maintained its independence, and had endured for The sons of Clovis. nearly a century. Favoured by the war between Justinian, the East Roman emperor, and Theodoric’s Ostrogoths, the Frankish kings divided Provence among them as they had done in the case of Burgundy. Thus the whole of Gaul was subjected to the sons of Clovis, except Septimania in the south-east, where the Visigoths still maintained their power. The Frankish armies then overflowed into the neighbouring countries and began to pillage them. Their disorderly cohorts made an attack upon Italy, which was repulsed by the Lombards, and another on Spain with the same want of success; but beyond the Rhine they embarked upon the conquest of Germany, where Clovis had already reduced to submission the country on the banks of the Maine, later known as Franconia. In 531 the Thuringians in the centre of Germany were brought into subjection by his eldest son, King Theuderich, and about the same time the Bavarians were united to the Franks, though preserving a certain autonomy. The Merovingian monarchy thus attained the utmost limits of its territorial expansion, bounded as it was by the Pyrenees, the Alps and the Rhine; it exercised influence over the whole of Germany, which it threw open to the Christian missionaries, and its conquests formed the first beginnings of German history.

But to these wars of aggrandizement and pillage succeeded those fratricidal struggles which disgraced the whole of the sixth century and arrested the expansion of the Merovingian power. When Clotaire, the last surviving son of Clovis, died in 561, the kingdom was divided between Civil wars. his four sons like some piece of private property, as in 511, and according to the German method. The capitals of these four kings—Charibert, who died in 567, Guntram, Sigebert and Chilperic—were Paris, Orleans, Reims and Soissons—all near one another and north of the Loire, where the Germanic inhabitants predominated; but their respective boundaries were so confused that disputes were inevitable. There was no trace of a political idea in these disputes; the mutual hatred of two women aggravated jealousy to the point of causing terrible civil wars from 561 to 613, and these finally created a national conflict which resulted in the dismemberment of the Frankish empire. Recognized, in fact, already as separate provinces were Austrasia, or the eastern kingdom, Neustria, or north-west Gaul and Burgundy; Aquitaine alone was as yet undifferentiated.

Sigebert had married Brunhilda, the daughter of a Visigoth king; she was beautiful and well educated, having been brought up in Spain, where Roman civilization still flourished. Chilperic had married Galswintha, one of Brunhilda’s sisters, for the sake of her wealth; but despite this Fredegond and Brunhilda. marriage he had continued his amours with a waiting-woman named Fredegond, who pushed ambition to the point of crime, and she induced him to get rid of Galswintha. In order to avenge her sister, Brunhilda incited Sigebert to begin a war which terminated in 575 with the assassination of Sigebert by Fredegond at the very moment when, thanks to the help of the Germans, he had gained the victory, and with the imprisonment of Brunhilda at Rouen. Fredegond subsequently caused the death of Merovech (Mérovée), the son of Chilperic, who had been secretly married to Brunhilda, and that of Bishop Praetextatus, who had solemnized their union. After this, Fredegond endeavoured to restore imperial finance to a state of solvency, and to set up a more regular form of government in her Neustria, which was less romanized and less wealthy than Burgundy, where Guntram was reigning, and less turbulent than the eastern kingdom, where most of the great warlike chiefs with their large landed estates were somewhat impatient of royal authority. But the accidental death of two of her children, the assassination of her husband in 584, and the advice of the Church, induced her to make overtures to her brother-in-law Guntram. A lover of peace through sheer cowardice and as depraved in his morals as Chilperic, Guntram had played a vacillating and purely self-interested part in the family tragedy. He declared himself the protector of Fredegond, but his death in 593 delivered up Burgundy and Neustria to Brunhilda’s son Childebert, king of Austrasia, in consequence of the treaty of Andelot, made in 587. An ephemeral triumph, however; for Childebert died in 596, followed a year later by Fredegond.

The whole of Gaul was now handed over to three children: Childebert’s two sons, Theudebert and Theuderich (Thierry), and the son of Fredegond, Clotaire II. The latter, having vanquished the two former at Latofao in 596, was in turn beaten by them at Dormelles in The fall of Brunhilda. 600, and a year later a fresh fratricidal struggle broke out between the two grandsons of the aged Brunhilda. Theuderich joined with Clotaire against Theodobert, and invaded his brother’s kingdom, conquering first an army of Austrasians and then one composed of Saxons and Thuringians. Strife began again in 613 in consequence of Theuderich’s desire to join Austrasia to Neustria, but his death delivered the kingdoms into the hands of Clotaire II. This weak king leant for support upon the nobles of Burgundy and Austrasia, impatient as they were of obedience to a woman and the representative of Rome. The ecclesiastical party also abandoned Brunhilda because of her persecution of their saints, after which Clotaire, having now got the upper hand, thanks to the defection of the Austrasian nobles, of Arnulf, bishop of Metz, with his brother Pippin, and of Warnachaire, mayor of the palace, made a terrible end of Brunhilda in 613. Her long reign had not lacked intelligence and even greatness; she alone, amid all these princes, warped by self-indulgence or weakened by discord, had behaved like a statesman, and she alone understood the obligations of the government she had inherited. She wished to abolish the fatal tradition of dividing up the kingdom, which so constantly prevented any possible unity; in opposition to the nobles she used her royal authority to maintain the Roman principles of order and regular administration. Towards the Church she held a courteous but firm policy, renewing relations between the Frankish kingdom and the pope; and she so far maintained the greatness of the Empire that tradition associated her name with the Roman roads in the north of France, entitling them “les chaussées de Brunehaut.”

Like his grandfather, Clotaire II. reigned over a once more united Gaul of Franks and Gallo-Romans, and like Clovis he was not too well obeyed by the nobles; moreover, his had been a victory more for the aristocracy than for the crown, since it limited the power of the latter. Clotaire II. Not that the permanent constitution of the 18th of October 614 was of the nature of an anti-monarchic revolution, for the royal power still remained very great, decking itself with the pompous titles of the Empire, and continuing to be the dominant institution; but the reservations which Clotaire II. had to make in conceding the demands of the bishops and great laymen show the extent and importance of the concessions these latter were already aiming at. The bishops, the real inheritors of the imperial idea of government, had become great landowners through enormous donations made to the Church, and allied as they were to the aristocracy, whence their ranks were continually recruited, they had gradually identified themselves with the interests of their class and had adopted its customs; while thanks to long minorities and civil wars the aristocracy of the high officials had taken an equally important social position. The treaty of Andelot in 587 had already decided that the benefices or lands granted to them by the kings should be held for life. In the 7th century the Merovingian kings adopted the custom of summoning them all, and not merely the officials of their Palatium, to discuss political affairs; they began, moreover, to choose their counts or administrators from among the great landholders. This necessity for approval and support points to yet another alteration in the nature of the royal power, absolute as it was in theory.

The Mayoralty of the Palace aimed a third and more serious blow at the royal authority. By degrees, the high officials of the Palatium, whether secular or ecclesiastical, and also the provincial counts, had rallied round the mayors of the palace as their real leaders. As The mayors of the palace. under the Empire, the Palatium was both royal court and centre of government, with the same bureaucratic hierarchy and the same forms of administration; and the mayor of the palace was premier official of this itinerant court and ambulatory government. Moreover, since the palace controlled the whole of each kingdom, the mayors gradually extended their official authority so as to include functionaries and agents of every kind, instead of merely those attached immediately to the king’s person. They suggested candidates for office for the royal selection, often appointed office-holders, and, by royal warrant, supported or condemned them. Mere subordinates while the royal power was strong, they had become, owing to the frequent minorities, and to civil wars which broke the tradition of obedience, the all-powerful ministers of kings nominally absolute but without any real authority. Before long they ceased to claim an even greater degree of independence than that of Warnachaire, who forced Clotaire II. to swear that he should never be deprived of his mayoralty of Burgundy; they wished to take the first place in the kingdoms they governed, and to be able to attack neighbouring kingdoms on their own account. A struggle, motived by self-interest, no doubt; but a struggle, too, of opposing principles. Since the Frankish monarchy was now in their power some of them tried to re-establish the unity of that monarchy in all its integrity, together with the superiority of the State over the Church; others, faithless to the idea of unity, saw in the disintegration of the state and the supremacy of the nobles a warrant for their own independence. These two tendencies were destined to strive against one another during an entire century (613–714), and to occasion two periods of violent conflict, which, divided by a kind of renascence of royalty, were to end at last in the triumphant substitution of the Austrasian mayors for royalty and aristocracy alike.

The first struggle began on the accession of Clotaire II., when Austrasia, having had a king of her own ever since 561, demanded one now. In 623 Clotaire was obliged to send her his son Dagobert and even to extend his territory. But in Dagobert’s name two men ruled, First struggle between monarchy and mayoralty. representing the union of the official aristocracy and the Church. One, Pippin of Landen, derived his power from his position as mayor of the palace, from great estates in Aquitaine and between the Meuse and the Rhine, and from the immense number of his supporters; the other, Arnulf, bishop of Metz, sprang from a great family, probably of Roman descent, and was besides immensely wealthy in worldly possessions. By the union of their forces Pippin and Arnulf were destined to shape the future. They had already, in 613, treated with Clotaire and betrayed the hopes of Brunhilda, being consequently rewarded with the guardianship of young Dagobert. Burgundy followed the example of Austrasia, demanded the abolition of the mayoralty, and in 627 succeeded in obtaining her independence of Neustria and Austrasia and direct relations with the king.

The death of Clotaire (629) was the signal for a revival of the royal power. Dagobert deprived Pippin of Landen of his authority and forced him to fly to Aquitaine; but still he had to give the Austrasians his son Sigebert III. for their king (634). He made administrative Renascence of monarchy under Dagobert, 629–639. progresses through Neustria and Burgundy to recall the nobles to their allegiance, but again he was forced to designate his second son Clovis as king of Neustria. He did subdue Aquitaine completely, thanks to his brother Charibert, with whom he had avoided dividing the kingdom, and he tried to restore his own demesne, which had been despoiled by the granting of benefices or by the pious frauds of the Church. In short, this reign was one of great conquests, impossible except under a strong government. Dagobert’s victories over Samo, king of the Slavs along the Elbe, and his subjugation of the Bretons and the Basques, maintained the prestige of the Frankish empire; while the luxury of his court, his taste for the fine arts (ministered to by his treasurer Eloi[1]), his numerous achievements in architecture—especially the abbey of St Denis, burial-place of the kings of France—the brilliance and the power of the churchmen who surrounded him and his revision of the Salic law, ensured for his reign, in spite of the failure of his plans for unity, a fame celebrated in folksong and ballad.

But for barbarous nations old-age comes early, and after Dagobert’s death (639), the monarchy went swiftly to its doom. The mayors of the palace again became supreme, and the kings not only ceased to appoint them, but might not even remove them from office. Such mayors The “Rois fainéants” (do-nothing kings). were Aega and Erchinoald, in Neustria, Pippin and Otto in Austrasia, and Flaochat in Burgundy. One of them, Grimoald, son of Pippin, actually dared to take the title of king in Austrasia (640). This was a premature attempt and barren of result, yet it was significant; and not less so is the fact that the palace in which these mayors bore rule was a huge association of great personages, laymen and ecclesiastics who seem to have had much more independence than in the 6th century. We find the dukes actually raising troops without the royal sanction, and even against the king. In 641 the mayor Flaochat was forced to swear that they should hold their offices for life; and though these offices were not yet hereditary, official dynasties, as it were, began to be established permanently within the palace. The crown lands, the governorships, the different offices, were looked upon as common property to be shared between themselves. Organized into a compact body they surrounded the king and were far more powerful than he. In the general assembly of its members this body of officials decided the selection of the mayor; it presented Flaochat to the choice of Queen Nanthilda, Dagobert’s widow; after long discussion it appointed Ebroïn as mayor; it submitted requests that were in reality commands to the Assembly of Bonneuil in 616 and later to Childeric in 670. Moreover, the countries formerly subdued by the Franks availed themselves of this opportunity to loosen the yoke; Thuringia was lost by Sigebert in 641, and the revolt of Alamannia in 643 set back the frontier of the kingdom from the Elbe to Austrasia. Aquitaine, hitherto the common prey of all the Frankish kings, having in vain tried to profit by the struggles between Fredegond and Brunhilda, and set up an independent king, Gondibald, now finally burst her bonds in 670. Then came a time when the kings were mere children, honoured with but the semblance of respect, under the tutelage of a single mayor, Erbroïn of Neustria.

This representative of royalty, chief minister for four-and-twenty years (656–681), attempted the impossible, endeavouring to re-establish unity in the midst of general dissolution and to maintain intact a royal authority usurped everywhere, by the hereditary power of the great Struggle between Ebroïn and Léger. palatine families. He soon stirred up against himself all the dissatisfied nobles, led by Léger (Leodegarius), bishop of Autun and his brother Gerinus. Clotaire III.’s death gave the signal for war. Ebroïn’s enemies set up Childeric II. in opposition to Theuderich, the king whom he had chosen without summoning the great provincial officials. Despite a temporary triumph, when Childeric was forced to recognize the principle of hereditary succession in public offices, and when the mayoralties of Neustria and Burgundy were alternated to the profit of both, Léger soon fell into disgrace and was exiled to that very monastery of Luxeuil to which Ebroïn had been relegated. Childeric having regained the mastery restored the mayor’s office, which was immediately disputed by the two rivals; Ebroïn was successful and established himself as mayor of the palace in the room of Leudesius, a partisan of Léger (675), following this up by a distribution of offices and dignities right and left among his adherents. Léger was put to death in 678, and the Austrasians, commanded by the Carolingian Pippin II., with whom many of the chief Neustrians had taken refuge, were dispersed near Laon (680). But Ebroïn was assassinated next year in the midst of his triumph, having like Fredegond been unable to do more than postpone for a quarter of a century the victory of the nobles and of Austrasia; for his successor, Berthar, was unfitted to carry on his work, having neither his gifts and energy nor the powerful personality of Pippin. Berthar met his death at the battle of Tertry (687), which Battle of Tertry. gave the king into the hands of Pippin, as also the royal treasure and the mayoralty, and by thus enabling him to reward his followers made him supreme over the Merovingian dynasty. Thenceforward the degenerate descendants of Clovis offered no further resistance to his claims, though it was not until 752 that their line became extinct.

In that year the Merovingian dynasty gave place to the rule of Pippin II. of Heristal, who founded a Carolingian empire fated to be as ephemeral as that of the Merovingians. This political victory of the aristocracy was merely the consummation of a slow subterranean revolution which by innumerable reiterated blows had sapped the structure of the body politic, and was about to transfer the people of Gaul from the Roman monarchical and administrative government to the sway of the feudal system.

The Merovingian kings, mere war-chiefs before the advent of Clovis, had after the conquest of Gaul become absolute hereditary monarchs, thanks to the disappearance of the popular assemblies and to the perpetual state of warfare. They concentrated in their own hands all the powers Causes of the fall of the Merovingians. of the empire, judicial, fiscal and military; and even the so-called “rois fainéants” enjoyed this unlimited power, in spite of the general disorder and the civil wars. To make their authority felt in the provinces they had an army of officials at their disposal—a legacy, this, from imperial Rome—who represented them in the eyes of their various peoples. They had therefore only to keep up this established government, but they could not manage even this much; they allowed the idea of the common interests of kings and their subjects gradually to die out, and forgetting that national taxes are a necessary impost, a charge for service rendered by the state, they had treated these as though they were illicit and unjustifiable spoils. The taxpayers, with the clergy at their head, adopted the same idea, and every day contrived fresh methods of evasion. Merovingian justice was on the same footing as Merovingian finance: it was arbitrary, violent and self-seeking. The Church, too, never failed to oppose it—at first not so much on account of her own ambitions as in a more Christian spirit—and proceeded to weaken the royal jurisdiction by repeated interventions on behalf of those under sentence, afterwards depriving it of authority over the clergy, and then setting up ecclesiastical tribunals in opposition to those held by the dukes and counts. At last, just as the kingdom had become the personal property of the king, so the officials—dukes, counts, royal vicars, tribunes, centenarii—who had for the most part bought their unpaid offices by means of presents to the monarch, came to look upon the public service rather as a mine of official wealth than as an administrative organization for furthering the interests, material or moral, of the whole nation. They became petty local tyrants, all the more despotic because they had nothing to fear save the distant authority of the king’s missi, and the more rapacious because they had no salary save the fines they inflicted and the fees that they contrived to multiply. Gregory of Tours tells us that they were robbers, not protectors of the people, and that justice and the whole administrative apparatus were merely engines of insatiable greed. It was the abuses thus committed by the kings and their agents, who did not understand the art of gloving the iron hand, aided by the absolutely unfettered licence of conduct and the absence of any popular liberty, that occasioned the gradual increase of charters of immunity.

Immunity was the direct and personal privilege which forbade any royal official or his agents to decide cases, to levy taxes, or to exercise any administrative control on the domains of a bishop, an abbot, or one of the great secular nobles. On thousands of estates the royal government Immunity. gradually allowed the law of the land to be superseded by local law, and public taxation to change into special contributions; so that the duties of the lower classes towards the state were transferred to the great landlords, who thus became loyal adherents of the king but absolute masters on their own territory. The Merovingians had no idea that they were abdicating the least part of their authority, nevertheless the deprivations acquiesced in by the feebler kings led of necessity to the diminution of their authority and their judicial powers, and to the abandonment of public taxation. They thought that by granting immunity they would strengthen their direct control; in reality they established the local independence of the great landowners, by allowing royal rights to pass into their hands. Then came confusion between the rights of the sovereign and the rights of property. The administrative machinery of the state still existed, but it worked in empty air: its taxpayers disappeared, those who were amenable to its legal jurisdiction slipped from its grasp, and the number of those whose affairs it should have directed dwindled away. Thus the Merovingians had shown themselves incapable of rising above the barbarous notion that royalty is a personal asset to the idea that royalty is of the state, a power belonging to the nation and instituted for the benefit of all. They represented in society nothing more than a force which grew feebler and feebler as other forces grew strong; they never stood for a national magistracy.

Society no less than the state was falling asunder by a gradual process of decay. Under the Merovingians it was a hierarchy wherein grades were marked by the varied scale of the wergild, a man being worth anything from thirty to six hundred gold pieces. The different degrees were those Disruption of the social framework. of slave, freedman, tenant-farmer and great landowner. As in every social scheme where the government is without real power, the weakest sought protection of the strongest; and the system of patron, client and journeyman, which had existed among the Romans, the Gauls and the Germans, spread rapidly in the 6th and 7th centuries, owing to public disorder and the inadequate protection afforded by the government. The Church’s patronage provided some with a refuge from violence; others ingratiated themselves with the rich for the sake of shelter and security; others again sought place and honour from men of power; while women, churchmen and warriors alike claimed the king’s direct and personal protection.

This hierarchy of persons, these private relations of man to man, were recognized by custom in default of the law, and were soon strengthened by another and territorial hierarchy. The large estate, especially if it belonged to the Church, very soon absorbed the few fields of the freeman. The beneficium. In order to farm these, the Church and the rich landowners granted back the holdings on the temporary and conditional terms of tenancy-at-will or of the beneficium, thus multiplying endlessly the land subject to their overlordship and the men who were dependent upon them as tenants. The kings, like private individuals and ecclesiastical establishments, made use of the beneficium to reward their servants; till finally their demesne was so reduced by these perpetual grants that they took to distributing among their champions land owning the overlordship of the Church, or granted their own lands for single lives only. These various “benefactions” were, as a rule, merely the indirect methods which the great landowners employed in order to absorb the small proprietor. And so well did they succeed, that in the 6th and 7th centuries the provincial hierarchy consisted of the cultivator, the holder of the beneficium and the owner; while this dependence of one man upon another affected the personal liberty of a large section of the community, as well as the condition of the land. The great landowner tended to become not only lord over his tenants, but also himself a vassal of the king.

Thus by means of immunities, of the beneficium and of patronage, society gradually organized itself independently of the state, since it required further security. Such extra security was first provided by the conqueror of Tertry; for Pippin II. represented the two great Pippin of Heristal. families of Pippin and of Arnulf, and consequently the two interests then paramount, i.e. land and religion, while he had at his back a great company of followers and vast landed estates. For forty years (615–655) the office of mayor of Austrasia had gone down in his family almost continuously in direct descent from father to son. The death of Grimoald had caused the loss of this post, yet Ansegisus (Ansegisel), Arnulf’s son and Pippin’s son-in-law, had continued to hold high office in the Austrasian palace; and about 680 his son, Pippin II., became master of Austrasia, although he had held no previous office in the palace. His dynasty was destined to supplant that of the Merovingian house.

Pippin of Heristal was a pioneer; he it was who began all that his descendants were afterwards to carry through. Thus he gathered the nobles about him not by virtue of his position, but because of his own personal prowess, and because he could assure them of justice and protection; instead of being merely the head of the royal palace he was the absolute lord of his own followers. Moreover, he no longer bore the title of mayor, but that of duke or prince of the Franks; and the mayoralty, like the royal power now reduced to a shadow, became an hereditary possession which Pippin could bestow upon his sons. The reigns of Theuderich III., Clovis III. or Childebert III. are of no significance except as serving to date charters and diplomas. Pippin it was who administered justice in Austrasia, appointed officials and distributed dukedoms; and it was Pippin, the military leader, who defended the frontiers threatened by Frisians, Alamanni and Bavarians. Descended as he was from Arnulf, bishop of Metz, he was before all things a churchman, and behind his armies marched the missionaries to whom the Carolingian dynasty, of which he was the founder, were to subject all Christendom. Pippin it was, in short, who governed, who set in order the social confusions of Neustria, who, after long wars, put a stop to the malpractices of the dukes and counts, and summoned councils of bishops to make good regulations. But at his death in 714 the child-king Dagobert III. found himself subordinated to Pippin’s two grandsons, who, being minors, were under the wardship of their grandmother Plectrude.

Pippin’s work was almost undone—a party among the Neustrians under Raginfrid, mayor of the palace, revolted against Pippin II.’s adherents, and Radbod, duke of the Frisians, joined them. But the Austrasians appealed to an illegitimate son of Pippin, Charles Charles Martel
Martel, who had escaped from the prison to which Plectrude, alarmed at his prowess, had consigned him, and took him for their leader. With Charles Martel begins the great period of Austrasian history. Faithful to the traditions of the Austrasian mayors, he chose kings for himself—Clotaire IV., then Chilperic II. and lastly Theuderich IV. After Theuderich’s death (737) he left the throne vacant until 742, but he himself was king in all but name; he presided over the royal tribunals, appointed the royal officers, issued edicts, disposed of the funds of the treasury and the churches, conferred immunities upon adherents, who were no longer the king’s nobles but his own, and even appointed the bishops, though there was nothing of the ecclesiastic about himself. He decided questions of war and peace, and re-established unity in Gaul by defeating the Neustrians and the Aquitanian followers of Duke Odo (Eudes) at Vincy in 717. When Odo, brought to bay, appealed for help to the Arab troops of Abd-ar-Rahman, who after conquering Spain had crossed the Pyrenees, Charles, like a second Clovis, saved Catholic Christendom in its peril by crushing the Arabs at Tours (732). The retreat of the Arabs, who were further weakened by religious disputes, enabled him to restore Frankish rule in Aquitaine in spite of Hunald, son of Odo. But Charles’s longest expeditions were made into Germany, and in these he sought the support of the Church, then the greatest of all powers since it was the depositary of the Roman imperial tradition.

No less unconscious of his mission than Clovis had been, Charles Martel also was a soldier of Christ. He protected the missionaries who paved the way for his militant invasions. Without him the apostle of Germany, the English monk Boniface, would never have succeeded in preserving the purity Charles Martel and the Church. of the faith and keeping the bishops submissive to the Holy See. The help given by Charles had two very far-reaching results. Boniface was the instrument of the union of Rome and Germany, of which union the Holy Roman Empire in Germany was in the 10th century to become the most perfect expression, continuing up to the time of Luther. And Boniface also helped on the alliance between the papacy and the Carolingian dynasty, which, more momentous even than that between Clovis and the bishops of Gaul, was to sanctify might by right.

This union was imperative for the bishops of Rome if they wished to establish their supremacy, and their care for orthodoxy by no means excluded all desire of domination. Mere religious authority did not secure to them the obedience of either the faithful or the clergy; moreover, they Charles Martel and Gregory III. had to consider the great secular powers, and in this respect their temporal position in Italy was growing unbearable. Their relations with the East Roman emperor (sole lord of the world after the Roman Senate had sent the imperial insignia to Constantinople in 476) were confined to receiving insults from him or suspecting him of heresy. Even in northern Italy there was no longer any opposition to the progress of the Lombards, the last great nation to be established towards the end of the 6th century within the ancient Roman empire—their king Liudprand clearly intended to seize Italy and even Rome itself. Meanwhile from the south attacks were being made by the rebel dukes of Spoleto and Beneventum. Pope Gregory III. cherished dreams of an alliance with the powerful duke of the Franks, as St Remigius before him had thought of uniting with Clovis against the Goths. Charles Martel had protected Boniface on his German missions: he would perhaps lend Gregory the support of his armies. But the warrior, like Clovis aforetime, hesitated to put himself at the disposal of the priest. When it was a question of winning followers or keeping them, he had not scrupled to lay hands on ecclesiastical property, nor to fill the Church with his friends and kinsfolk, and this alliance might embarrass him. So if he loaded the Roman ambassadors with gifts in 739, he none the less remembered that the Lombards had just helped him to drive the Saracens from Provence. However, he died soon after this, on the 22nd of October 741, and Gregory III. followed him almost immediately.

Feeling his end near, Charles, before an assembly of nobles, had divided his power between his two sons, Carloman and Pippin III. The royal line seemed to have been forgotten for six years, but in 742 Pippin brought a son of Chilperic II. out of a monastery and made him The Carolingian dynasty. king. This Childeric III. was but a shadow—and knew it. He made a phantom appearance once every spring at the opening of the great annual national convention known as the Campus Martius (Champ de Mars): a dumb idol, his chariot drawn in leisurely fashion by oxen, he disappeared again into his palace or monastery. An unexpected event re-established unity in the Carolingian family. Pippin’s brother, the pious Carloman, became a monk in 747, and Pippin, now sole ruler of the kingdom, ordered Childeric also to cut off his royal locks; after which, being king in all but name, he adopted that title in 752. Thus ended the revolution which had been going on for two centuries. The disappearance of Grippo, Pippin’s Pippin the Short, 752–768. illegitimate brother, who, with the help of all the enemies of the Franks—Alamanni, Aquitanians and Bavarians—had disputed his power, now completed the work of centralization, and Pippin had only to maintain it. For this the support of the Church was indispensable, and Pippin understood the advantages of such an alliance better than Charles Martel. A son of the Church, a protector of bishops, a president of councils, a collector of relics, devoted to Boniface (whom he invited, as papal legate, to reform the clergy of Austrasia), he astutely accepted the new claims of the vicar of St Peter to the headship of the Church, perceiving the value of an alliance with this rising power.

Prudent enough to fear resistance if he usurped the Merovingian crown, Pippin the Short made careful preparations for his accession, and discussed the question of the dynasty with Pope Zacharias. Receiving a favourable opinion, he had himself anointed and crowned by Boniface Sacred character of the new monarchy. in the name of the bishops, and was then proclaimed king in an assembly of nobles, counts and bishops at Soissons in November 751. Still, certain disturbances made him see that aristocratic approval of his kingship might be strengthened if it could claim a divine sanction which no Merovingian had ever received. Two years later, therefore, he demanded a consecration of his usurpation from the pope, and in St Denis on the 28th of July 754 Stephen II. crowned and anointed not only Pippin, but his wife and his two sons as well.

The political results of this custom of coronation were all-important for the Carolingians, and later for the first of the Capets. Pippin was hereby invested with new dignity, and when Boniface’s anointing had been confirmed by that of the pope, he became the head of the Frankish Pippin and the Papacy. Church, the equal of the pope. Moreover, he astutely contrived to extend his priestly prestige to his whole family; his royalty was no longer merely a military command or a civil office, but became a Christian priesthood. This sacred character was not, however, conferred gratuitously. On the very day of his coronation Pippin allowed himself to be proclaimed patrician of the Romans by the pope, just as Clovis had been made consul. This title of the imperial court was purely honorary, but it attached him still more closely to Rome, though without lessening his independence. He had besides given a written promise to defend the Church of Rome, and that not against the Lombards only. Qualified by letters of the papal chancery as “liberator and defender of the Church,” his armies twice (754–756) crossed the Alps, despite the opposition of the Frankish aristocracy, and forced Aistulf, king of the Lombards, to cede to him the exarchate of Ravenna and the Pentapolis. Pippin gave them back to Pope Stephen II., and by this famous donation founded that temporal power of the popes which was to endure until 1870. He also dragged the Western clergy into the pope’s quarrel with the emperor at Constantinople, by summoning the council of Gentilly, at which the iconoclastic heresy was condemned (767). Matters being thus settled with Rome, Pippin again took up his wars against the Saxons, against the Arabs (whom he drove from Narbonne in 758), and above all against Waïfer, duke of Aquitaine, and his ally, duke Tassilo of Bavaria. This last war was carried on systematically from 760 to 768, and ended in the death of Waïfer and the definite establishment of the Frankish hold on Aquitaine. When Pippin died, aged fifty-four, on the 24th of September 768, the whole of Gaul had submitted to his authority.

Pippin left two sons, and before he died he had, with the consent of the dignitaries of the realm, divided his kingdom between them, making the elder, Charles (Charlemagne), king of Austrasia, and giving the younger, Carloman, Burgundy, Provence, Septimania, Alsace and Charlemagne. Alamannia, and half of Aquitaine to each. On the 9th of October 768 Charles was enthroned at Noyon in solemn assembly, and Carloman at Soissons. The Carolingian sovereignty was thus neither hereditary nor elective, but was handed down by the will of the reigning king, and by a solemn acceptance of the future king on the part of the nobles. In 771 Carloman, with whom Charles had had disputes, died, leaving sons; but bishops, abbots and counts all declared for Charles, save a few who took refuge in Italy with Desiderius, king of the Lombards. Desiderius, whose daughter Bertha or Desiderata Charles, despite the pope, had married at the instance of his mother Bertrade, supported the rights of Carloman’s sons, and threatened Pope Adrian in Rome itself after he had despoiled him of Pippin’s territorial gift. At the pope’s appeal Charles crossed the Alps, took Verona and Pavia after a long siege, assumed the iron crown of the Lombard kings (June 774), and made a triumphal entry into Rome, which had not formed part of the pope’s desires. Pippin’s donation was restored, but the protectorate was no longer so distant, respectful and intermittent as the pope liked. After the departure of the imperious conqueror, a fresh revolt of the Lombards of Beneventum under Arichis, Desiderius’s son-in-law, supported by a Greek fleet, obliged Pope Adrian to write fresh entreaties to Charlemagne; and in two campaigns (776–777) the latter conquered the whole Lombard kingdom. But another of Desiderius’s daughters, married to the powerful duke Tassilo of Bavaria, urged her husband to avenge her father, now imprisoned in the monastery of Corbie. After endless intrigues, however, the duke, hemmed in by three different armies, had in his turn to submit (788), and all Italy was now subject to Charlemagne. These wars in Italy, even the fall of the Lombard kingdom and the recapture of the duchy of Bavaria, were merely episodes: Charlemagne’s great war was against the Saxons and lasted thirty years (772–804).

The work of organizing the three great Carolingian conquests—Aquitaine, Italy and Saxony—had yet to be done. Charlemagne approached it with a moderation equal to the vigour which he had shown in the war. But by multiplying its advance-posts, the Frankish kingdom came into Organization of the conquests. contact with new peoples, and each new neighbour meant a new enemy. Aquitaine, bordered upon Mussulman Spain; the Avars of Hungary threatened Bavaria with their tireless horsemen; beyond the Elbe and the Saal the Slavs were perpetually at war with the Saxons, and to the north of the Eider were the Danes. All were pagans; all enemies of Charlemagne, defender of Christ’s Church, and hence the appointed conqueror of the world.

Various causes—the weakening of the Arabs by the struggle between the Omayyads and the Abbasids just after the battle of Tours; the alliance of the petty Christian kings of the Spanish peninsula; an appeal from the northern amirs who had revolted against the new caliphate of Wars with the Arabs, Slavs and Danes. Cordova (755)—made Charlemagne resolve to cross the Pyrenees. He penetrated as far as the Ebro, but was defeated before Saragossa; and in their retreat the Franks were attacked by Vascons, losing many men as they came through the passes. This defeat of the rear-guard, famous for the death of the great Roland and the treachery of Ganelo, induced the Arabs to take the offensive once more and to conquer Septimania. Charlemagne had created the kingdom of Aquitaine especially to defend Septimania, and William, duke of Toulouse, from 790 to 806, succeeded in restoring Frankish authority down to the Ebro, thus founding the Spanish March with Barcelona as its capital. For two centuries and a half the Avars, a remnant of the Huns entrenched in the Hungarian Mesopotamia, had made descents alternately upon the Germans and upon the Greeks of the Eastern empire. They had overrun Bavaria in the very year of its subjugation by Charlemagne (788), and it took an eight-years’ struggle to destroy the robber stronghold. The empire thus pushed its frontier-line on from the Elbe to the Oder, ever as it grew menaced by increasing dangers. The sea came to the help of the depopulated land, and Danish pirates, Widukind’s old allies, came in their leathern boats to harry the coasts of the North Sea and the Channel. Permanent armies and walls across isthmuses were alike useless; Charlemagne had to build fleets to repulse his elusive foes (808–810), and even after forty years of war the danger was only postponed.

Meanwhile Pippin’s Frankish kingdom, vast and powerful as it had been, was doubled. All nations from the Oder to the Elbe and from the Danube to the Atlantic were subject or tributary, and Charlemagne’s power even crossed these frontiers. At his summons Christian princes Charlemagne’s empire. and Mussulman amirs flocked to his palaces. The kings of Northumbria and Sussex, the kings of the Basques and of Galicia, Arab amirs of Spain and Fez, and even the caliph of Bagdad came to visit him in person or sent gifts by the hands of ambassadors. A great warrior and an upright ruler, his conquests recalled those of the great Christian emperors, and the Church completed the parallel by training him in her lore. This still barely civilized German literally went to school to the English Alcuin and to Peter of Pisa, who, between two campaigns, taught him history, writing, grammar and astronomy, satisfying also his interest in sacred music, literature (religious literature especially), and the traditions of Rome and Constantinople. Why should he not be the heir of their Caesars? And so, little by little, this man of insatiable energy was possessed by the ambition of restoring the Empire of the West in his own favour.

There were, however, two serious obstacles in the way: first, the supremacy of the emperor of the East, which though nominal rather than real was upheld by peoples, princes, and even by popes; secondly, the rivalry of the bishops of Rome, who since the early years of Adrian’s Charlemagne emperor (800). pontificate had claimed the famous “Donation of Constantine” (q.v.). According to that apocryphal document, the emperor after his baptism had ceded to the sovereign pontiff his imperial power and honours, the purple chlamys, the golden crown, “the town of Rome, the districts and cities of Italy and of all the West.” But in 797 the empress of Constantinople had just deposed her son Constantine VI. after putting out his eyes, and the throne might be considered vacant; while on the other hand, Pope Leo III., who had been driven from Rome by a revolt in 799, and had only been restored by a Frankish army, counted for little beside the Frankish monarch, and could not but submit to the wishes of the Carolingian court. So when next year the king of the Franks went to Rome in person, on Christmas Eve of the year 800 and in the basilica of St Peter the pope placed on his head the imperial crown and did him reverence “after the established custom of the time of the ancient emperors.” The Roman ideal, handed down in tradition through the centuries, was here first revived.

This event, of capital importance for the middle ages, was fertile in results both beneficial and the reverse. It brought about the rupture between the West and Constantinople. Then Charlemagne raised the papacy on the ruins of Lombardy to the position of first political power in Italy; and the universal Church, headed by the pope, made common cause with the Empire, which all the thinkers of that day regarded as the ideal state. Confusion between these powers was inevitable, but at this time neither Charles, the pope, nor the people had a suspicion of the troubles latent in the ceremony that seemed so simple. Thirdly, Charlemagne’s title of emperor strengthened his other title of king of the Franks, as is proved by the fact that at the great assembly of Aix-la-Chapelle in 802 he demanded from all, whether lay or spiritual, a new oath of allegiance to himself as Caesar. His increased power came rather from moral value, from the prestige attaching to one who had given proof of it, than from actual authority over men or centralization; this is shown by the division between the Empire and feudalism. Universal sovereignty claimed as a heritage from Rome had a profound influence upon popular imagination, but in no way modified that tendency to separation of the various nations which was already manifest. Charles himself in his government preferred to restore the ancient Empire by vigorous personal action, rather than to follow old imperial traditions; he introduced cohesion into his “palace,” and perfect centralization into his official administration, inspiring his followers and servants, clerical and lay, with a common and determined zeal. The system was kept in full vigour by the missi dominici, who regularly reported or reformed any abuses of administration, and by the courts, military, judicial or political, which brought to Charlemagne the strength of the wealth of his subjects, carrying his commands and his ideas to the farthest limits of the Empire. Under him there was in fact a kind of early renaissance after centuries of barbarism and ignorance.

This emperor, who assumed so high a tone with his subjects, his bishops and his counts, who undertook to uphold public order in civil life, held himself no less responsible for the eternal salvation of men’s souls in the other world. Thanks to Charlemagne, and through the The Carolingian Renaissance. restoration of order and of the schools, a common civilization was prepared for the varied elements of the Empire. By his means the Church was able to concentrate in the palatine academy all the intellectual culture of the middle ages, having preserved some of the ancient traditions of organization and administration and guarded the imperial ideal. Charlemagne apparently wished, like Theodoric, to use German blood and Christian unity to bring back life to the great body of the Empire. Not the equal of Caesar or Augustus in genius or in the lastingness of his work, he yet recalls them in his capitularies, his periodic courts, his official hierarchy, his royal emissaries, his ministers, his sole right of coinage, his great public works, his campaigns against barbarism and heathenry, his zeal for learning and literature, and his divinity as emperor. Once more there existed a great public entity such as had not been seen for many years; but its duration was not to be a long one.

Charlemagne had for the moment succeeded in uniting western Europe under his sway, but he had not been able to arrest its evolution towards feudal dismemberment. He had, doubtless conscientiously, laboured for the reconstitution of the Empire; but it often happens that Dissolution of the Frankish Empire. individual wills produce results other than those at which they aimed, sometimes results even contrary to their wishes, and this was what happened in Charlemagne’s case. He had restored the superstructure of the imperial monarchy, but he had likewise strengthened and legalized methods and institutions till then private and insecure, and these, passing from custom into law, undermined the foundations of the structure he had thought himself to be repairing. A quarter of a century after his death his Empire was in ruins.

The practice of giving land as a beneficium to a grantee who swore personal allegiance to the grantor had persisted, and by his capitularies Charlemagne had made these personal engagements, these contracts of immunity—hitherto not transferable, nor even for life, but quite conditional—regular, legal, even obligatory and almost indissoluble. The beneficium was to be as practically irrevocable as the oath of fidelity. He submitted to the yoke of the social system and feudal institutions at the very moment when he was attempting to revive royal authority; he was ruler of the state, but ruler of vassals also. The monarchical principle no longer sufficed to ensure social discipline; the fear of forfeiting the grant became the only powerful guarantee of obedience, and as this only applied to his personal vassals, Charlemagne gave up his claim to direct obedience from the rest of the people, accepting the mediation of the counts, lords and bishops, who levied taxes, adjudicated and administered in virtue of the privileges of patronage, not of the right of the state. The very multiplication of offices, so noticeable at this time, furthered this triumph of feudalism by multiplying the links of personal dependence, and neutralizing more and more the direct action of the central authority. The frequent convocations of military assemblies, far from testifying to political liberty, was simply a means of communicating the emperor’s commands to the various feudal groups.

Thus Charlemagne, far from opposing, systematized feudalism, in order that obedience and discipline might pass from one man to another down to the lowest grades of society, and he succeeded for his own lifetime. No authority was more weighty or more respected than that of this feudal lord of Gaul, Italy and Germany; none was more transient, because it was so purely personal.

When the great emperor was buried at Aix-la-Chapelle in 814, his work was entombed with him. The fact was that his successors were incapable of maintaining it. Twenty-nine years after his death the Carolingian Empire had been divided into three kingdoms; forty years later Causes for the dissolution of
the Empire.
one alone of these kingdoms had split into seven; while when a century had passed France was a litter of tiny states each practically independent. This disintegration was caused neither by racial hate nor by linguistic patriotism. It was the weakness of princes, the discouragement of freemen and landholders confronted by an inexorable system of financial and military tyranny, and the incompatibility of a vast empire with a too primitive governmental system, that wrecked the work of Charlemagne.

The Empire fell to Louis the Pious, sole survivor of his three sons. At the Aix assembly in 813 his father had crowned him with his own hand, thus avoiding the papal sanction that had been almost forced upon himself in 800. Louis was a gentle and well-trained prince, but weak Louis the Pious (814–840). and prone to excessive devotion to the Church. He had only reigned a few years when dissensions broke out on all sides, as under the Merovingians. Charlemagne had assigned their portions to his three sons in 781 and again in 806; like Charles Martel and Pippin the Short before him, however, what he had divided was not the imperial authority, nor yet countries, but the whole system of fiefs, offices and adherents which had been his own patrimony. The division that Louis the Pious made at Aix in 817 among his three sons, Lothair, Pippin and Louis, was of like character, since he reserved the supreme authority for himself, only associating Lothair, the eldest, with him in the government of the empire. Following the advice of his ministers Walla and Agobard, supporters of the policy of unity, Louis the Pious put Bernard of Italy, Charlemagne’s grandson, to death for refusing to acknowledge Lothair as co-emperor; crushed a revolt in Brittany; and carried on among the Danes the work of evangelization begun among the Slavs. A fourth son, Charles, was born to him by his second wife, Judith of Bavaria. Jealousy arose between the children of the two marriages. Louis tried in vain to satisfy his sons and their followers by repeated divisions—at Worms (829) and at Aix (831)—in which there was no longer question of either unity or subordination. Yet his elder sons revolted against him in 831 and 832, and were supported by Walla and Agobard and by their followers, weary of all the contradictory oaths demanded of them. Louis was deposed at the assembly of Compiègne (833), the bishops forcing him to assume the garb of a penitent; but he was re-established on his throne in St Etienne at Metz, the 28th of February 835, from which time until his death in 840 he fell more and more under the influence of his ambitious wife, and thought only of securing an inheritance for Charles, his favourite son.

Hardly was Louis buried in the basilica of Metz before his sons flew to arms. The first dynastic war broke out between Lothair, who by the settlement of 817 claimed the whole monarchy with the imperial title, and his brothers Louis and Charles. Lothair wanted, with the Empire, The sons of Louis the Pious. the sole right of patronage over the adherents of his house, but each of these latter chose his own lord according to individual interests, obeying his fears or his preferences. The three brothers finished their discussion by fighting for a whole day (June 25th, 841) on the plain of Fontanet by Auxerre; but the battle decided nothing, so Charles and Louis, in order to get the better of Lothair, allied themselves and their vassals by an oath taken in the plain of Strassburg (Feb. 14th, 842). This, the first document in the vulgar tongue in the The Strassburg oath. history of France and Germany, was merely a mutual contract of protection for the two armies, which nevertheless did not risk another battle. An amicable division of the imperial succession was arranged, and after an assessment of the empire which took almost a year, an agreement was signed at Verdun in August 843.

This was one of the important events in history. Each brother received an equal share of the dismembered empire. Louis had the territory on the right bank of the Rhine, with Spires, Worms and Mainz “because of the abundance of wine.” Lothair took Italy, the valleys of the Partition of the Empire at Verdun (843). Rhône, the Saône and the Meuse, with the two capitals of the empire, Aix-la-Chapelle and Rome, and the title of emperor. Charles had all the country watered by the Scheldt, the Seine, the Loire and the Garonne, as far as the Atlantic and the Ebro. The partition of Verdun separated once more, and definitively, the lands of the eastern and western Franks. The former became modern Germany, the latter France, and each from this time forward had its own national existence. However, as the boundary between the possessions of Charles the Bald and those of Louis was not strictly defined, and as Lothair’s kingdom, having no national basis, soon disintegrated into the kingdoms of Italy, Burgundy and Arles, in Lotharingia, this great undefined territory was to serve as a tilting-ground for France and Germany on the very morrow of the treaty of Verdun and for ten centuries after.

Charles the Bald was the first king of western France. Anxious as he was to preserve Charlemagne’s traditions of government, he was not always strong enough to do so, and warfare within his own dominions was often forced on him. The Norse pirates who had troubled Charlemagne Charles the Bald (843–877). showed a preference for western France, justified by the easy access afforded by river estuaries with rich monasteries on their shores. They began in 841 with the sack of Rouen; and from then until 912, when they made a settlement in one part of the country, though few in numbers they never ceased attacking Charles’s kingdom, coming in their ships up the Loire as far as Auvergne, up the Garonne to Toulouse, and up the Seine and the Scheldt to Paris, where they made four descents in forty years, burning towns, pillaging treasure, destroying harvests and slaughtering the peasants or carrying them off into slavery. Charles the Bald thus spent his life sword in hand, fighting unsuccessfully against the Bretons, whose two kings, Nomenoé and Erispoé, he had to recognize in turn; and against the people of Aquitaine, who, in full revolt, appealed for help to his brother, Louis the German. He was beaten everywhere and always: by the Bretons at Ballon (845) and Juvardeil (851); by the people of Aquitaine near Angoulême (845); and by the Northmen, who several times extorted heavy ransoms from him. Before long, too, Louis the German actually allied himself with the people of Brittany and Aquitaine, and invaded France at the summons of Charles the Bald’s own vassals. Though the treaty of Coblenz (860) seemed to reconcile the two kings for the moment, no peace was ever possible in Charles the Bald’s kingdom. His own son Charles, king of Aquitaine, revolted, and Salomon proclaimed himself king of Brittany in succession to Erispoé, who had been assassinated. To check the Bretons and the Normans, who were attacking from the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, Charles the Bald found himself obliged to entrust the defence of the country to Robert the Strong, ancestor of the house of Capet and duke of the lands between Loire and Seine. Robert the Strong, however, though many times victorious over the incorrigible pirates, was killed by them in a fight at Brissarthe (866).

Despite all this, Charles spoke authoritatively in his capitularies, and though incapable of defending western France, coveted other crowns and looked obstinately eastwards. He managed to become king of Lorraine on the death of his nephew Lothair II., and emperor and king of Division of the kingdom into
large fiefs.
Germany on that of his other nephew Louis II. (875); though only by breaking the compact of the year 800. In 876, the year before his death, he took a third crown, that of Italy, though not without a fresh defeat at Andernach by Louis the German’s troops. His titles increased, indeed, but not his power; for while his kingdom was thus growing in area it was falling to pieces. The duchy with which he rewarded Robert the Strong was only a military command, but became a powerful fief. Baldwin I. (d. 879), count of Flanders, turned the country between the Scheldt, the Somme and the sea into another feudal principality. Aquitaine and Brittany were almost independent, Burgundy was in full revolt, and within thirty years Rollo, a Norman leader, was to be master of the whole of the lower Seine from the Cotentin to the Somme. The fact was that between the king’s inability to defend the kingdom, and the powerlessness of nobles and peasants to protect themselves from pillage, every man made it his business to seek new protectors, and the country, in spite of Charles the Bald’s efforts, began to be covered with strongholds, the peasant learning to live beneath the shelter of the donjon keeps. Such vassals gave themselves utterly to the lord who guarded them, working for him sword or pickaxe in hand. The king was far away, the lord close at hand. Hence the sixty years of terror and confusion which came between Charlemagne and the death of Charles the Bald suppressed the direct authority of the king in favour of the nobles, and prepared the way for a second destruction of the monarchy at the hands of a stronger power (see Feudalism).

Before long Charles the Bald’s followers were dictating to him; and in the disaffection caused by his feebleness and cowardice prelates and nobles allied themselves against him. If they acknowledged the king’s authority at the assemblies of Yütz (near Thionville) in 844, Establishment
of feudalism.
they forced from him a promise that they should keep their fiefs and their dignities; and while establishing a right of control over all his actions they deprived him of his right of jurisdiction over them. Despite Charles’s resistance his royal power dwindled steadily: an appeal to Hincmar, archbishop of Reims, entailed concessions to the Church. In 856 some of his vassals deserted him and went over to Louis the German. To win them back Charles had to sign a new charter, by the terms of which loyalty was no longer a one-sided engagement but a reciprocal contract between king and vassal. He gave up his personal right of distributing the fiefs and honours which were the price of adherence, and thus lost for the Carolingians the free disposal of the immense territories they had gradually usurped; they retained the over-lordship, it is true, but this over-lordship, without usufruct and without choice of tenant, was but a barren possession.

Like their territories public authority little by little slipped from the grasp of the Carolingians, largely because of their abuse of their too great power. They had concentrated the entire administration in their own hands. Like Charlemagne, Louis the Pious and Charles the Bald Decay of the Carolinglan power. were omnipotent. There were no provincial assemblies, no municipal bodies, no merchant-gilds, no autonomous churches; the people had no means of making themselves heard; they had no place in an administration which was completely in the hands of a central hierarchy of officials of all ranks, from dukes to scabini, with counts, viscounts and centenarii in between. However, these dukes and counts were not merely officials: they too had become lords of fideles, of their own advocati, centenarii and scabini, whom they nominated, and of all the free men of the county, who since Charlemagne’s time had been first allowed and then commanded to “commend” themselves to a lord, receiving feudal benefices in return. Any deprivation or supersession of the count might impoverish, dispossess or ruin the vassals of the entire county; so that all, vassals or officials, small and great, feeling their danger, united their efforts, and lent each other mutual assistance against the permanent menace of an overweening monarchy. Hence, at the end of the 9th century, the heredity of offices as well as of fiefs. In the disordered state of society official stability was a valuable warrant of peace, and the administrative hierarchy, lay or spiritual, thus formed a mould for the hierarchy of feudalism. There was no struggle with the king, simply a cessation of obedience; for without strength or support in the kingdom he was powerless to resist. In vain Charles the Bald affirmed his royal authority in the capitularies of Quierzy-sur-Oise (857), Reims (860), Pistes (864), Gondreville (872) and Quierzy-sur-Oise (877); each time in exchange for assent to the royal will and renewal of oaths he had to acquiesce in new safeguards against himself and by so much to diminish that power of protection against violence and injustice for which the weak had always looked to the throne. Far from forbidding the relation of lord and vassal, Charles the Bald imposed it upon every man in his kingdom, himself proclaiming the real incapacity and failure of that theoretic royal power to which he laid claim. Henceforward royalty had no servants, since it performed no service. There was no longer the least hesitation over the choice between liberty with danger and subjection with safety; men sought and found in vassalage the right to live, and willingly bartered away their liberty for it.

The degeneration of the monarchy was clearly apparent on the death of Charles the Bald, when his son, Louis the Stammerer, was only assured of the throne, which had passed by right of birth under the Merovingians and been hereditary under the earlier Carolingians, through his Louis the Stammerer (877–879). election by nobles and bishops under the direction of Hugh the Abbot, successor of Robert the Strong, each voter having been won over by gift of abbeys, counties or manors. When Louis died two years later (879), the same nobles met, some at Creil, the rest at Meaux, and the first party chose Louis of Germany, who preferred Lorraine to the crown; while the rest anointed Louis III. and Carloman, sons of the late king, themselves deciding how the kingdom was Louis III. and Carloman (879–884). to be divided between the two princes. Thus the king no longer chose his own vassals; but vassals and fief-holders actually elected their king according to the material advantages they expected from him. Louis III. and Carloman justified their election by their brilliant victories over the Normans at Saucourt (881) and near Epernay (883); but at their deaths (882–884), the nobles, instead of taking Louis’s boy-son, Charles the Simple, as king, chose Charles the Fat, king of Germany, because he was emperor and seemed Charles the Fat. (884–888.) powerful. He united once more the dominions of Charlemagne; but he disgraced the imperial throne by his feebleness, and was incapable of using his immense army to defend Paris when it was besieged by the Normans. Expelled from Italy, he only came to France to buy a shameful peace. When he died in January 888 he had not a single faithful vassal, and the feudal lords resolved never again to place the sceptre in a hand that could not wield the sword.

The death-struggle of the Carolingians lasted for a century of uncertainty and anarchy, during which time the bishops, counts and lords might well have suppressed the monarchy had they been hostile to it. Such, however, was not their policy; on the contrary, they needed a Death-struggle of the Carolingians (888–987). king to act as agent for their private interests, since he alone could invest their rank and dignities with an official and legitimate character. They did not at once agree on Charles’s successor; for some of them chose Eudes (Odo), son of Robert the Strong, for his brilliant defence of Paris against the Normans in 885; others Guy, duke of Spoleto in Italy, who had himself crowned at Langres; while many wished for Arnulf, illegitimate son of Carloman, king of Germany and emperor. Eudes was victor in the struggle, and was crowned and anointed at Compiègne on the 29th of February 888; but five years later, meeting with defeat after defeat at the hands of the Normans, his followers deserted from him to Charles the Simple, grandson of Charles the Bald, who was also supported by Fulk, archbishop of Reims.

This first Carolingian restoration took place on the 28th of January 893, and thenceforward throughout this warlike period from 888 to 936 the crown passed from one dynasty to the other according to the interests of the nobles. After desperate strife, an agreement between the two King Odo (888–893). rivals, Arnulf’s support, and the death of Odo, secured it for Charles III., surnamed the Simple. His subjects remained faithful to him for a good while, as he put an end to the Norman invasions which had desolated the kingdom for two centuries, and cowed those barbarians, much to the benefit of France. By the treaty of St Clair-sur-Epte (911) their leader Rolf (Rollo) obtained one of Charles’s daughters in marriage and the district of the Lower Seine which the Normans had long occupied, on condition that he and his men ceased their attacks and accepted Christianity. Having thus tranquillized the west, Charles the Simple (893–929). Charles took advantage of Louis the Child’s death, and conquered Lorraine, in spite of opposition from Conrad, king of Germany (921). But his preference for his new conquest, and for a Lorrainer of low birth named Hagano, aroused the jealousy and discontent of his nobles. They first elected Robert, count of Paris (923), and then after his death in a successful battle near Soissons against Charles the Simple, Rudolph of Burgundy, his son-in-law. But Herbert of Vermandois, one of the successful combatants at Rudolph of Burgundy (923–936). Soissons, coveted the countship of Laon, which Rudolph refused him; and he thereupon proclaimed Charles the Simple, who had confided his cause to him, as king once more. Seeing his danger Rudolph ceded the countship to Herbert, and Charles was relegated to his prison until his death in 929. After unsuccessful wars against the nobles of the South, against the Normans, who asserted that they were bound to no one except Charles the Simple, and against the Hungarians (who, now the Normans were pacified, were acting their part in the East), Rudolph had a return of good fortune in the years between 930 and 936, despite the intrigues of Herbert of Vermandois. Upon his death the nobles assembled to elect a king; and Hugh the Great, Rudolph’s brother-in-law, moved by irresolution as much as by prudence, instead of taking the crown, preferred to restore the Carolingians once more in the person of Charles the Simple’s son, Louis d’Outremer, himself claiming numerous privileges and enjoying the exercise of power unencumbered by a title which carried with it the jealousy of the nobles.

This restoration was no more peaceful than its predecessor. The Carolingians had as it were a fresh access of energy, and the struggle against the Robertinians went on relentlessly. Both sides employed similar methods: one was supported by Normandy, the other by Germany; the Louis IV. the Foreigner (936–954.) archbishop of Reims was for the Carolingians, the Robertinians had to be content with the less influential bishop of Sens. Louis soon proved to Hugh the Great, who was trying to play the part of a mayor of the palace, that he was by no means a roi fainéant; and the powerful duke of the Franks, growing uneasy, allied himself with Herbert of Vermandois, William of Normandy and his brother-in-law Otto I. king of Germany, who resented the loss of Lorraine. Louis defended himself with energy, aided chiefly by the nobles of the South, by his relative Edmund, king of the English, and then by Otto himself, whose brother-in-law he also had become. A peace advantageous to him was made in 942, and on the deaths of his two opponents, Herbert of Vermandois and William of Normandy, all seemed to be going well for him; but his guardianship of Richard, son of the duke of Normandy, aroused fresh strife, and on the 13th of July 945 he fell into an ambush and suffered a captivity similar to his father’s of twenty-two years before. No one had befriended Charles the Simple, but Louis had his wife Gerberga, who won over to his cause the kings of England and Germany and even Hugh. Hugh set him free, insisting, as payment for his aid, on the cession of Laon, the capital of the kingdom and the last fortified town remaining to the Carolingians (946). Louis was hardly free before he took vengeance, harried the lands of his rival, restored to the archiepiscopal throne of Reims Artald, his faithful adviser, in place of the son of Herbert of Vermandois, and managed to get Hugh excommunicated by the council of Ingelheim (948) and by the pope. A two years’ struggle wearied the rivals, and they made peace in 950. Louis once more held Laon, and in the following year further strengthened his position by a successful expedition into Burgundy. Still his last years were not peaceful; for besides civil wars there were two Hungarian invasions of France (951 and 954).

Louis’s sudden death in 954 once more placed the Carolingian line in peril, since he had not had time to have his son Lothair crowned. For a third time Hugh had the disposal of the crown, and he was no more tempted to take it himself in 954 than in 923 or 936: it was too profitless a Lothair (954–986). possession. Thanks to Hugh’s support and to the good offices of Otto and his brother Bruno, archbishop of Cologne and duke of Lorraine, Lothair was chosen king and crowned at Reims. Hugh exacted, as payment for his disinterestedness and fidelity, a renewal of his sovereignty over Burgundy with that of Aquitaine as well; he was in fact the viceroy of the kingdom, and others imitated him by demanding indemnities, privileges and confirmation of rights, as was customary at the beginning of a reign. Hugh strengthened his position in Burgundy, Lorraine and Normandy by means of marriages; but just as his power was at its height he died (956). His death and the minority of his sons, Hugh Capet and Eudes, gave the Carolingian dynasty thirty years more of life.

For nine years (956–965) Bruno, archbishop of Cologne, was regent of France, and thanks to him there was a kind of entente cordiale between the Carolingians and the Robertinians and Otto. Bruno made Lothair recognize Hugh as duke of France and Eudes as duke of Burgundy; but the sons preserved the father’s enmity towards king Louis, despite the archbishop’s repeated efforts. His death deprived Lothair of a wise and devoted guardian, even if it did set him free from German influence; and the death of Odalric, archbishop of Reims, in 969, was another fatal loss for the Carolingians, succeeded as he was by Adalbero, who, though learned, pious and highly intelligent, was none the less ambitious. On the death of Otto I. (973) Lothair wished to regain Lorraine; but his success was small, owing to his limited resources and the uncertain support of his vassals. In 980, regretting his fruitless quarrel with Otto II., who had ravaged the whole country as far as Paris, and fearing that even with the support of the house of Vermandois he would be crushed like his father Louis IV. between the duke of France and the emperor, who could count on the archbishop of Reims, Lothair made peace with Otto—a great mistake, which cost him the prestige he had gained among his nobles by his fairly successful struggle with the emperor, drawing down upon him, moreover, the swift wrath of Hugh, who thought himself tricked. Otto, meanwhile, whom he was unwise enough to trust, made peace secretly with Hugh, as it was his interest to play off his two old enemies one against the other. However, Otto died first (983), leaving a three-year-old son, Otto III., and Lothair, hoping for Lorraine, upheld the claims of Henry of Bavaria, who wished to oust Otto. This was a war-signal for Archbishop Adalbero and his adviser Gerbert, devoted to the idea of the Roman empire, and determined that it should still be vested in the race of Otto, which had always been beneficent to the Church.

They decided to set the Robertinians against the Carolingians, and on their advice Hugh Capet dispersed the assembly of Compiègne which Lothair had commissioned to examine Adalbero’s behaviour. On Lothair’s death in 986, Hugh surrounded his son and successor, Louis V., Louis V. (986–987). with intrigues. Louis was a weak-minded and violent young man with neither authority nor prestige, and Hugh tried to have him placed under tutelage. After Louis V.’s sudden death, aged twenty, in 987, Adalbero and Gerbert, with the support of the reformed Cluniac clergy, at the Assembly of Senlis eliminated from the succession the rightful heir, Charles of Lorraine, who, without influence or wealth, had become a stranger in his own country, and elected Hugh Capet, who, though rich and powerful, was superior neither in intellect nor character. Thus the triple alliance of Adalbero’s bold and adroit imperialism with the cautious and vacillating ambition of the duke of the Franks, and the impolitic hostility towards Germany of the ruined Carolingians, resulted in the unlooked-for advent of the new Capetian dynasty.

This event completed the evolution of the forces that had produced feudalism, the basis of the medieval social system. The idea of public authority had been replaced by one that was simpler and therefore better fitted for a half-civilized society—that of dependence of the weak on Dismemberment
of the kingdom.
the strong, voluntarily entered on by means of mutual contract. Feudalism had gained ground in the 8th century; feudalism it was which had raised the first Carolingian to the throne as being the richest and most powerful person in Austrasia; and Charlemagne with all his power had been as utterly unable as the Merovingians to revive the idea of an abstract and impersonal state. Charlemagne’s vassals, however, had needed him; while from Charles the Bald onward it was the king who needed the vassals—a change more marked with each successive prince. The feudal system had in fact turned against the throne, the vassals using it to secure a permanent hold upon offices and fiefs, and to get possession of estates and of power. After Charles the Bald’s death royalty had only, so to speak, a shell—administrative officialdom. No longer firmly rooted in the soil, the monarchy was helpless before local powers which confronted it, seized upon the land, and cut off connexion between throne and people. The king, the supreme lord, was the only lord without lands, a nomad in his own realms, merely lingering there until starved out. Feudalism claimed its new rights in the capitulary of Quierzy-sur-Oise in 857; the rights of the monarchy began to dwindle in 877.

But vassalage could only be a cause of disintegration, not of unity, and that this disintegration did not at once spread indefinitely was due to the dozen or so great military commands—Flanders, Burgundy, Aquitaine, &c.—which Charles the Bald had been obliged to establish on a strong territorial basis. One of these great vassals, the duke of France, was amply provided with estates and offices, in contrast to the landless Carolingian, and his power, like that of the future kings of Prussia and Austria, was based on military authority, for he had a frontier—that of Anjou. Then the inevitable crisis had come. For a hundred years the great feudal lords had disposed of the crown as they pleased, handing it back and forward from one dynasty to another. At the same time the contrast between the vast proportions of the Carolingian empire and its feeble administrative control over a still uncivilized community became more and more accentuated. The Empire crumbled away by degrees. Each country began to lead its own separate existence, stammering its own tongue; the different nations no longer understood one another, and no longer had any general ideas in common. The kingdoms of France and Germany, still too large, owed their existence to a series of dispossessions imposed on sovereigns too feeble to hold their own, and consisted of a great number of small states united by a very slight bond. At the end of the 10th century the duchy of France was the only central part of the kingdom which was still free and without organization. The end was bound to come, and the final struggle was between Laon, the royal capital, and Reims, the ecclesiastical capital, the former carrying with it the soil of France, and the latter the crown. The Capets captured the first in 985 and the other in 987. Thenceforth all was over for the Carolingians, who were left with no heritage save their great name.

Was the day won for the House of Capet? In the 11th century the kings of that line possessed meagre domains scattered about in the Île de France among the seigniorial possessions of Brie, Beauce, Beauvaisis and Valois. They were hemmed in by the powerful duchy of Normandy, the The House of Capet. counties of Blois, Flanders and Champagne, and the duchy of Burgundy. Beyond these again stretched provinces practically impenetrable to royal influence: Brittany, Gascony, Toulouse, Septimania and the Spanish March. The monarchy lay stifling in the midst of a luxuriant feudal forest which surrounded its only two towns of any importance: Paris, the city of the future, and Orleans, the city of learning. Its power, exercised with an energy tempered by prudence, ran to waste like its wealth in a suzerainty over turbulent vassals devoid of common government or administration, and was undermined by the same lack of social discipline among its vassals which had sapped the power of the Carolingians. The new dynasty was thus the poorest and weakest of the great civil and ecclesiastical lordships which occupied the country from the estuary of the Scheldt to that of the Llobregat, and bounded approximately by the Meuse, the Saône and the ridge of the Cévennes; yet it cherished a great ambition which it revealed at times during its first century (987–1108)—a determination not to repeat the Carolingian failure. It had to wait two centuries after the revolution of 987 before it was strong enough to take up the dormant tradition of an authority like that of Rome; and until then it cunningly avoided unequal strife in which, victory being impossible, reverses might have weakened those titles, higher than any due to feudal rights, conferred by the heritage of the Caesars and the coronation at Reims, and held in reserve for the future.

The new dynasty thus at first gave the impression rather of decrepitude than of youth, seeming more a continuation of the Carolingian monarchy than a new departure. Hugh Capet’s reign was one of disturbance and danger; behind his dim personality may be perceived the Hugh Capet
struggle of greater forces—royalty and feudalism, the French clergy and the papacy, the kingdom of France and the Empire. Hugh Capet needed more than three years and the betrayal of his enemy into his hands before he could parry the attack of a quite second-rate adversary, Charles of Lorraine (990), the last descendant of Charlemagne. The insubordination of several great vassals—the count of Vermandois, the duke of Burgundy, the count of Flanders—who treated him as he had treated the Carolingian king; the treachery of Arnulf, archbishop of Reims, who let himself be won over by the empress Theophano; the papal hostility inflamed by the emperor against the claim of feudal France to independence,—all made it seem for a time as though the unity of the Roman empire of the West would be secured at Hugh’s expense and in Otto’s favour; but as a matter of fact this papal and imperial hostility ended by making the Capet dynasty a national one. When Hugh died in 996, he had succeeded in maintaining his liberty mainly, it is true, by diplomacy, not force, despite opposing powers and his own weakness. Above all, he had secured the future by associating his son Robert with him on the throne; and although the nobles and the archbishop of Reims were disturbed by this suspension of the feudal right of election, and tried to oppose it, they were unsuccessful.

Robert the Pious, a crowned monk, resembled his father in eschewing great schemes, whether from timidity or prudence; yet from 996 to 1031 he preserved intact the authority he had inherited from Hugh, despite many domestic disturbances. He maintained a defiant attitude towards Robert the Pious (996–1031). Germany; increased his heritage; strengthened his royal title by the addition of that of duke of Burgundy after fourteen years of pillage; and augmented the royal domain by adding several countships on the south-east and north-west. Limited in capacity, he yet understood the art of acquisition.

Henry I., his son, had to struggle with a powerful vassal, Eudes, count of Chartres and Troyes, and was obliged for a time to abandon his father’s anti-German policy. Eudes, who was rash and adventurous, in alliance with the queen-mother, supported the second son, Robert, Henry I.
and captured the royal town of Sens. In order to retake it Henry ceded the beautiful valley of the Saône and the Rhône to the German emperor Conrad, and henceforth the kingdom of Burgundy was, like Lorraine, to follow the fortunes of Germany. Henry had besides to invest his brother with the duchy of Burgundy—a grave error which hampered French politics during three centuries. Like his father, he subsequently managed to retrieve some of the crown lands from William the Bastard, the too-powerful duke of Normandy; and he made a praiseworthy though fruitless attempt to regain possession of Lorraine for the French crown. Finally, by the coronation of his son Philip (1059) he confirmed the hereditary right of the Capets, soon to be superior to the elective rights of the bishops and great barons of the kingdom. The chief merit of these early Capets, indeed, was that they had sons, so that their dynasty lasted on without disastrous minorities or quarrels over the division of inheritance.

Philip I. achieved nothing during his long reign of forty-eight years except the necessary son, Louis the Fat. Unsuccessful even in small undertakings he was utterly incapable of great ones; and the two important events of his reign took place, the one against his will, the other Philip I.
without his help. The first, which lessened Norman aggression in his kingdom, was William the Bastard’s conquest of England (1066); the second was the First Crusade preached by the French pope Urban II. (1095). A few half-hearted campaigns against recalcitrant vassals and a long and obstinate quarrel with the papacy over his adulterous union with Bertrade de Montfort, countess of Anjou, represented the total activity of Philip’s reign; he was greedy and venal, by no means disdaining the petty profits of brigandage, and he never left his own domains.

After a century’s lethargy the house of Capet awoke once more with Louis VI. and began the destruction of the feudal polity. For thirty-four years of increasing warfare this active and energetic king, this brave and persevering soldier, never spared himself, energetically policing the royal Louis VI. the Fat (1108–1137). demesne against such pillagers as Hugh of Le Puiset or Thomas of Marle. There was, however, but little difference yet between a count of Flanders or of Chartres and Louis VI., the possessor of a but small and perpetually disturbed realm, who was praised by his minister, the monk Suger, for making his power felt as far as distant Berril. This was clearly shown when he attempted to force the great feudal lords to recognize his authority. His bold endeavour to establish William Clito in Flanders ended in failure; and his want of strength was particularly humiliating in his unfortunate struggle with Henry I., king of the English and duke of Normandy, who was powerful and well served, the real master of a comparatively weak baronage. Louis only escaped being crushed because he remembered, as did his successors for long after him, that his house owed its power to the Church.

The Church has never loved weakness; she has always had a secret sympathy for power, whatever its source, when she could hope to capture it and make it serve her ends. Louis VI. defended her against feudal robbers; and she supported him in his struggles against the nobles, making him, moreover, by his son’s marriage with the heiress of Aquitaine, the greatest and richest landholder of the kingdom. But Louis was not the obedient tool she wished for. With equal firmness and success he vindicated his rights, whether against the indirect attacks of the papacy on his independence, or the claims of the ecclesiastical courts which, in principle, he made subordinate to the jurisdiction of the crown; whether in episcopal elections, or in ecclesiastical reforms which might possibly imperil his power or his revenues. The prestige of this energetic king, protector of the Church, of the infant communes in the towns, and of the peasants as against the constant oppressions of feudalism, became still greater at the end of his reign, when an invasion of the German emperor Henry V. in alliance with Henry Beauclerk of Normandy (Henry I. of England), rallied his subjects round the oriflamme of St Denis, awakening throughout northern France the unanimous and novel sentiment of national danger.

Unfortunately his successor, Louis VII., almost destroyed his work by a colossal blunder, although circumstances seemed much in his favour. Germany and England, the two powers especially to be dreaded, were busy with internal troubles and quarrels of succession. On the Louis VII. the Young (1137–1180). other hand, thanks to his marriage with Eleanor of Aquitaine, Louis’s own domains had been increased by the greater part of the country between the Loire and the Pyrenees; while his father’s minister, the monk Suger, continued to assist him with his moderation and prudence. His first successes against Theobald of Champagne, who for thirty years had been the most dangerous of the great French barons and had refused a vassal’s services to Louis VI., as well as the adroit diplomacy with which he wrested from Geoffrey the Fair, count of Anjou, a part of the Norman Vexin long claimed by the French kings, in exchange for permitting him to conquer Normandy, augured well for his boldness and activity, had he but confined them to serving his own interests. The second crusade, undertaken to expiate his burning of the church of Vitry, inaugurated a series of magnificent but fruitless exploits; while his wife was the cause of domestic quarrels still more disastrous. Piety and a thirst for glory impelled Louis to take the lead in this The second crusade. fresh expedition to the Holy Land, despite the opposition of Suger, and the hesitation of the pope, Bernard of Clairvaux and the barons. The alliance with the German king Conrad III. only enhanced the difficulties of an enterprise already made hazardous by the misunderstandings between Greeks and Latins. The Crusade ended in the double disaster of military defeat and martial dishonour (1147–1149); and Suger’s death in 1151 deprived Louis of a counsellor who had exercised the regency skilfully and with success, just at the very moment when his divorce from Eleanor was to jeopardize the fortunes of the Capets.

For the proud and passionate Eleanor married, two months later (May 1152), the young Henry, count of Anjou and duke of Normandy, who held, besides these great fiefs, the whole of the south-west of France, and in two years’ time the crown of England as well. Henry and Rivalry of the Capets and Angevins. Louis at once engaged in the first Capet-Angevin duel, destined to last a hundred years (1152–1242). When France and England thus entered European history, their conditions were far from being equal. In England royal power was strong; the size of the Angevin empire was vast, and the succession assured. It was only abuse of their too-great powers that ruined the early Angevin kings. France in the 12th century was merely a federation of separate states, jealously independent, which the king had to negotiate with rather than rule; while his own possessions, shorn of the rich heritage of Aquitaine, were, so to speak, swamped by those of the English king. For some time it was feared that the French kingdom would be entirely absorbed in consequence of the marriage between Louis’s daughter and Henry II.’s eldest son. The two rivals were typical of their states, Henry II. being markedly superior to Louis in political resource, military talent and energy. He failed, however, to realize his ambition of shutting in the Capet king and isolating him from the rest of Europe by crafty alliances, notably that with the emperor Frederick Barbarossa—while watching an opportunity to supplant him upon the French throne. It is extraordinary that Louis should have escaped final destruction, considering that Henry had subdued Scotland, retaken Anjou from his brother Geoffrey, won a hold over Brittany, and schemed successfully for Languedoc. But the Church once more came to the rescue of her devoted son. The retreat to France of Pope Alexander III., after he had been driven from Rome by the emperor Frederick in favour of the anti-pope Victor, revived Louis’s moral prestige. Henry II.’s quarrel with Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, which ran its course in France (1164–1171) as a struggle for the independence and reform of the Church, both threatened by the Constitutions of Clarendon, and ended with the murder of Becket in 1172, gave Louis yet another advantage over his rival. Finally the birth of Philip Augustus (1165), after thirty years of childless wedlock, saved the kingdom from a war of succession just at the time when the powerful Angevin sway, based entirely upon force, was jeopardized by the rebellion of Henry II.’s sons against their father. Louis naturally joined the coalition of 1173, but showed no more vigour in this than in his other wars; and his fate would have been sealed had not the pope checked Henry by the threat of an interdict, and reconciled the combatants (1177). Louis had still time left to effect the coronation of his son Philip Augustus (1179), and to associate him with himself in the exercise of the royal power for which he had grown too old and infirm.

Philip Augustus, who was to be the bitterest enemy of Henry II. and the Angevins, was barely twenty before he revealed the full measure of his cold energy and unscrupulous ambition. In five years (1180–1186) he rid himself of the overshadowing power of Philip of Alsace, count Philip Augustus (1180–1223). of Flanders, and his own uncles, the counts of Champagne; while the treaty of May 20th, 1186, was his first rough lesson to the feudal leagues, which he had reduced to powerlessness, and to the subjugated duke of Burgundy and count of Flanders. Northern and eastern France recognized the suzerainty of the Capet, and Philip Augustus was now bold enough to attack Henry II., the master of the west, whose friendly neutrality (assured by the treaty of Gisors) had made possible the successive defeats of the great French barons. Like his father, Philip understood how to make capital out of the quarrels of the aged and ailing Henry II. with his sons, especially with Richard, who claimed his French heritage in his father’s lifetime, and raised up enemies for the disunited Angevins even in Germany. After two years of constant defeat, Henry’s capitulation at Azai proved once more that fortune is never with the old. The English king had to submit himself to “the advice and desire of the king of France,” doing him homage for all continental fiefs (1187–1189).

The defection of his favourite son John gave Henry his deathblow, and Philip Augustus found himself confronted by a new king of England, Richard Cœur de Lion, as powerful, besides being younger and more energetic. Philip’s ambition could not rest satisfied with the petty Philip Augustus and Richard Cœur de Lion. principalities of Amiens, Vermandois and Valois, which he had added to the royal demesne. The third crusade, undertaken, sorely against Philip’s will, in alliance with Richard, only increased the latent hostility between the two kings; and in 1191 Philip abandoned the enterprise in order to return to France and try to plunder his absent rival. Despite his solemn oath no scruples troubled him: witness the large sums of money he offered to the emperor Henry VI. if he would detain Richard, who had been made prisoner by the duke of Austria on his return from the crusade; and his negotiations with his brother John Lackland, whom he acknowledged king of England in exchange for the cession of Normandy. But Henry VI. suddenly liberated Richard, and in five years that “devil set free” took from Philip all the profit of his trickery, and shut him off from Normandy by the strong fortress of Château-Gaillard (1194–1199).

Happily an accident which caused Richard’s death at the siege of Chalus, and the evil imbecility of his brother and successor, John Lackland, brilliantly restored the fortunes of the Capets. The quarrel between John and his nephew Arthur of Brittany gave Philip Augustus Philip Augustus and John Lackland. one of those opportunities of profiting by family discord which, coinciding with discontent among the various peoples subject to the house of Anjou, had stood him in such good stead against Henry II. and Richard. He demanded renunciation on John’s part, not of Anjou only, but of Poitou and Normandy—of all his French-speaking possessions, in fact—in favour of Arthur, who was supported by William des Roches, the most powerful lord of the region of the Loire. Philip’s divorce from Ingeborg of Denmark, who appealed successfully to Pope Innocent III., merely delayed the inevitable conflict. John of England, moreover, was a past-master in the art of making enemies of his friends, and his conduct towards his vassals of Aquitaine furnished a judicial pretext for conquest. The royal judges at Paris condemned John, as a felon, to death and the forfeiture of his fiefs (1203), and the murder of Arthur completed his ruin. Philip Augustus made a vigorous onslaught on Normandy in right of justice and of superior force, took the formidable fortress of Château-Gaillard on the Seine after several months’ siege, and invested Rouen, which John abandoned, fleeing to England. In Anjou, Touraine, Maine and Poitou, lords, towns and abbeys made their submission, won over by Philip’s bribes despite Pope Innocent III.’s attempts at intervention. In 1208 John was obliged to own the Plantagenet continental power as lost. There were no longer two rival monarchies in France; the feudal equilibrium was destroyed, to the advantage of the duchy of France.

But Philip in his turn nearly allowed himself to be led into an attempt at annexing England, and so reversing for his own benefit the work of the Angevins (1213); but, happily for the future of the dynasty, Pope Innocent III. prevented this. Thanks to the ecclesiastical sanction of his royalty, Philip had successfully braved the pope for twenty years, in the matter of Ingeborg and again in that of the German schism, when he had supported Philip of Swabia against Otto of Brunswick, the pope’s candidate. In 1213, John Lackland, having been in conflict with Innocent regarding the archiepiscopal see of Canterbury, had made submission and done homage for his kingdom, and Philip wished to take vengeance for this at the expense of the rebellious vassals of the north-west, and of Renaud and Ferrand, counts of Boulogne and Flanders, thus combating English influence in those quarters.

This was a return to the old Capet policy; but it was also menacing to many interests, and sure to arouse energetic resistance. John seized the opportunity to consolidate against Philip a European coalition, which included most of the feudal lords in Flanders, Belgium and Coalition against Philip Augustus. (1214). Lorraine, and the emperor Otto IV. So dangerous did the French monarchy already seem! John began operations with an attack from Anjou, supported by the notably capricious nobles of Aquitaine, and was routed by Philip’s son at La Roche aux Moines, near Angers, on the 2nd of July 1214. Twenty-five days later the northern allies, intending to surprise the smaller French army on its passage over the bridge at Bouvines, themselves sustained a complete defeat. This first national victory had not only a profound effect on the whole kingdom, but produced consequences of far-reaching importance: in Germany it brought about Otto’s fall before Frederick II.; in England it introduced the great drama of 1215, the first act of which closed with Magna Carta—John Lackland being forced to acknowledge the control of his barons, and to share with them the power he had abused and disgraced. In France, on the contrary, the throne was exalted beyond rivalry, raised far above a feudalism which never again ventured on acts of independence or rebellion. Bouvines gave France the supremacy of the West. The feudalism of Languedoc was all that now remained to conquer.

The whole world, in fact, was unconsciously working for Philip Augustus. Anxious not to risk his gains, but to consolidate them by organization, Philip henceforth until his death in 1223 operated through diplomacy alone, leaving to others the toil and trouble of conquests, the advantages of which were not for them. When his son Louis wished to wrest the English crown from John, now crushed by his barons, Philip intervened without seeming to do so, first with the barons, then with Innocent III., supporting and disowning his son by turns; until the latter, held in check by Rome, was forced to sign the treaty of Lambeth (1217). When the Church and the needy and fanatical nobles of northern and central France destroyed the feudal dynasty of Toulouse and the rich civilization of the south in the Albigensian crusade, it was for Philip Augustus that their leader, Simon de Montfort, all unknowing, conquered Languedoc. At last, instead of the two Frances of the langue d’oc and the langue d’oïl, there was but one royal France comprising the whole kingdom.

Philip Augustus was not satisfied with the destruction of a turbulent feudalism; he wished to substitute for it such unity and peace as had obtained in the Roman Empire; and just as he had established his supremacy over the feudal lords, so now he managed to extend it over the Administration of Philip Augustus. clergy, and to bend them to his will. He took advantage of their weakness in the midst of an age of violence. By contracts of “pariage” the clergy claimed and obtained the king’s protection even in places beyond the king’s jurisdiction, to their common advantage. Philip thus set the feudal lords one against the other; and against them all, first the Church, then the communes. He exploited also the townspeople’s need for security and the instinct of independence which made them claim a definite place in the feudal hierarchy. He was the actual creator of the communes, although an interested creator, since they made a breach in the fortress of feudalism and extended the royal authority far beyond the king’s demesne. He did even more: he gave monarchy the instruments of which it still stood in need, gathering round him in Paris a council of men humble in origin, but wise and loyal; while in 1190 he instituted baillis and seneschals throughout his enlarged dominions, all-powerful over the nobles and subservient to himself. He filled his treasury with spoils harshly wrung from all classes; thus inaugurating the monarchy’s long and patient labours at enlarging the crown lands bit by bit through taxes on private property. Finally he created an army, no longer the temporary feudal ost, but a more or less permanent royal force. By virtue of all these organs of government the throne guaranteed peace, justice and a secure future, having routed feudalism with sword and diplomacy. Philip’s son was the first of the Capets who was not crowned during his father’s lifetime; a fact clearly showing that the principle of heredity had now been established beyond discussion.

Louis VIII.’s short reign was but a prolongation of Philip’s in its realization of his two great designs: the recovery from Henry III. of England of Poitou as far as the Garonne; and the crusade against the Albigenses, which with small pains procured him the succession of Amaury Louis VIII.
de Montfort, and the Languedoc of the counts of Toulouse, if not the whole of Gascony. Louis VIII. died on his return from this short campaign without having proved his full worth.

But the history of France during the 11th and 12th centuries does not entirely consist of these painful struggles of the Capet dynasty to shake off the fetters of feudalism. France, no longer split up into separate fragments, now began to exercise both intellectual and military influence Universal French activity. over Europe. Everywhere her sons gave proof of rejuvenated activity. The Christian missions which others were reviving in Prussia and beginning in Hungary were undertaken on a vaster scale by the Capets. These “elder sons of the Church” made themselves responsible for carrying out the “work of God,” and French pilgrims in the Holy Land prepared the great movement of the Crusades against the infidels. Religious faith, love of adventure, the hope of making advantageous conquests, anticipations of a promised paradise—all combined to force this advance upon the Orient, which though failing to rescue the sepulchre of Christ, the ephemeral kingdoms of Jerusalem and Cyprus, the dukedom of Athens, or the Latin empire of Constantinople, yet gained for France that prestige for military glory and religious piety which for centuries constituted her strength in the Levant (see Crusades). At the call of the pope other members of the French chivalry also made victorious expeditions against the Mussulmans, and founded the Christian kingdom of Portugal. Obeying that enterprising spirit which was to take them to England half a century later, Normans descended upon southern Italy and wrested rich lands from Greeks and Saracens.

In the domain of intellect the advance of the French showed a no less dazzling and a no less universal activity; they sang as well as they fought, and their epics were worthy of their swordsmanship, while their cathedrals were hymns in stone as ardent as their soaring flights of Intellectual development. devotion. In this period of intense religious life France was always in the vanguard. It was the ideas of Cluniac monks that freed the Church from feudal supremacy, and in the 11th century produced a Pope Gregory VII.; the spirit of free investigation shown by the heretics of Orleans inspired the rude Breton, Abelard, in the 12th century; and with Gerbert and Fulbert of Chartres the schools first kindled that brilliant light which the university of Paris, organized by Philip Augustus, was to shed over the world from the heights of Sainte-Geneviève. In the quarrels of the priesthood under the Empire it was St Bernard, the great abbot of Clairvaux, who tried to arrest the papacy on the slippery downward path of theocracy; finally, it was in Suger’s church of St Denis that French art began that struggle between light against darkness which, culminating in Notre-Dame and the Sainte-Chapelle, was to teach the architects of the world the delight of building with airiness of effect. The old basilica which contains the history of the monarchy sums up the whole of Gothic art to this day, and it was Suger who in the domain of art and politics brought forward once more the conception of unity. The courteous ideal of French chivalry, with its “delectable” language, was adopted by all seigniorial Europe, which thus became animated, as it were, by the life-blood of France. Similarly, in the universal movement of those forces which made for freedom, France began the age-long struggle to maintain the rights of civil society and continually to enlarge the social categories. The townsman enriched by commerce and the emancipated peasant tried more or less valiantly to shake off the yoke of the feudal system, which had been greatly weakened, if not entirely broken down, by the crusades. Grouped around their belfry-towers and organized within their gilds, they made merry in their free jocular language over their own hardships, and still more over the vices of their lords. They insinuated themselves into the counsels of their ignorant masters, and though still sitting humbly at the feet of the barons, these upright and well-educated servitors were already dreaming of the great deeds they would do when their tyrants should have vacated their high position, and when royalty should have summoned them to power.

By the beginning of the 13th century the Capet monarchy was so strong that the crisis occasioned by the sudden death of Louis VIII. was easily surmounted by the foreign woman and the child whom he left behind him. It is true that that woman was Blanche of Castile, and Louis IX.
that child the future Louis IX. A virtuous and very devout Spanish princess, Blanche assumed the regency of the kingdom and the tutelage of her child, and carried them on for nine years with so much force of character and capacity for rule that she soon impressed the clamorous and disorderly leaders of the opposition (1226–1235). By the treaty of Meaux (1229), her diplomacy combined with the influence of the Church to prepare effectually for the annexation Blanche of Castile. of Languedoc to the kingdom, supplementing this again by a portion of Champagne; and the marriage of her son to Margaret of Provence definitely broke the ties which held the country within the orbit of the German empire. She managed also to keep out of the great quarrel between Frederick II. and the papacy which was convulsing Germany. But her finest achievement was the education of her son; she taught him that lofty religious morality which in his case was not merely a rule for private conduct, but also a political programme to which he remained faithful even to the detriment of his apparent interests. With Louis IX. morality for the first time permeated and dominated politics; he had but one end: to do justice to every one and to reconcile all Christendom in view of a general crusade.

The oak of Vincennes, under which the king would sit to mete out justice, cast its shade over the whole political action of Louis IX. He was the arbiter of townspeople, of feudal lords and of kings. The interdiction of the judicial duel, the “quarantaine le roi,” i.e. “the king’s truce Louis IX.’s policy
of arbitration.
of forty days” during which no vengeance might be taken for private wrongs, and the assurement,[2] went far to diminish the abuses of warfare by allowing his mediation to make for a spirit of reconciliation throughout his kingdom. When Thibaud (Theobald), count of Champagne, attempted to marry the daughter of Pierre Mauclerc, duke of Brittany, without the king’s consent, Louis IX., who held the county of Champagne at his mercy, contented himself with exacting guarantees of peace. Beyond the borders of France, at the time of the emperor Frederick II.’s conflict with a papacy threatened in its temporal powers, though he made no response to Frederick’s appeal to the civil authorities urging them to present a solid front against the pretensions of the Church, and though he energetically supported the latter, yet he would not admit her right to place kingdoms under interdict, and refused the imperial crown which Gregory IX. offered him for one of his brothers. He always hoped to bring about an honourable agreement between the two adversaries, and in his estimation the advantages of peace outweighed personal interest. In matters concerning the succession in Flanders, Hainaut and Navarre; in the quarrels of the princes regarding the Empire, and in those of Henry III. of England with his barons; it was because of his justice and his disinterestedness that he was appealed to as a trusted mediator. His conduct towards Henry III. was certainly a most characteristic example of his behaviour.

The king of England had entered into the coalition formed by the nobility of Poitou and the count of Toulouse to prevent the execution of the treaty of 1229 and the enfeoffment of Poitou to the king’s brother Alphonse. Louis IX. defeated Henry III. twice within two days, at Taillebourg Louis IX. and
Henry III.
and at Saintes, and obliged him to demand a truce (1242). It was forbidden that any lord should be a vassal both of the king of France and of the king of England. After this Louis IX. had set off upon his first crusade in Egypt (1248–54), and on his return he wanted to make this truce into a definite treaty and to “set love” between his children and those of the English king. By a treaty signed at Paris (1259), Henry III. renounced all the conquests of Philip Augustus, and Louis IX. those of his father Louis VIII.—an example unique in history of a victorious king spontaneously giving up his spoil solely for the sake of peace and justice, yet proving by his act that honesty is the best policy; for monarchy gained much by that moral authority which made Louis IX. the universal arbitrator.

But his love of peace and concord was not always “sans grands despens” to the kingdom. In 1258, by renouncing his rights over Roussillon and the countship of Barcelona, conquered by Charlemagne, he made an advantageous bargain because he kept Montpellier; but he committed a The crusade of Tunis. grave fault in consenting to accept the offers regarding Sicily made by Pope Urban IV. to his brother the count of Anjou and Provence. That was the origin of the expeditions into Italy on which the house of Valois was two centuries later to squander the resources of France unavailingly, compromising beyond the Alps its interests in the Low Countries and upon the Rhine. But Louis IX.’s worst error was his obsession with regard to the crusades, to which he sacrificed everything. Despite the signal failure of the first crusade, when he had been taken prisoner; despite the protests of his mother, of his counsellors, and of the pope himself, he flung himself into the mad adventure of Tunis. Nowhere was his blind faith more plainly shown, combined as it was with total ignorance of the formidable migrations that were convulsing Asia, and of the complicated game of politics just then proceeding between the Christian nations and the Moslems of the Mediterranean. At Tunis he found his death, on the 25th of August 1270.

The death of Louis IX. and that of his brother Alphonse of Poitiers, heir of the count of Toulouse, made Philip III., the Bold, legitimate master of northern France and undisputed sovereign of southern France. From the latter he detached the comtat Venaissin in 1274 and gave it to Philip III., the Bold (1270–1285). the papacy, which held it until 1791. But he had not his father’s great soul nor disinterested spirit. Urged by Pope Martin IV. he began the fatal era of great international wars by his unlucky crusade against the king of Aragon, who, thanks to the massacre of the Sicilian Vespers, substituted his own predominance in Sicily for that of Charles of Anjou. Philip returned from Spain only to die at Perpignan, ending his insignificant reign as he had begun it, amid the sorrows of a disastrous retreat (1270–1285). His reign was but a halting-place of history between those of Louis IX. and Philip the Fair, just when the transition was taking place from the last days of the middle ages to the modern epoch.

The middle ages had been dominated by four great problems. The first of these had been to determine whether there should be a universal empire exercising tutelage over the nations; and if so, to whom this empire should belong, to pope or emperor. The second had been Philip IV. the Fair (1285–1314). the extension to the East of that Catholic unity which reigned in the West. Again, for more than a century, the question had also been debated whether the English kings were to preserve and increase their power over the soil of France. And, finally, two principles had been confronting one another in the internal life of all the European states: the feudal and the monarchical principles. France had not escaped any of these conflicts; but Philip the Fair was the initiator or the instrument (it is difficult to say which) who was to put an end to both imperial and theocratic dreams, and to the international crusades; who was to remove the political axis from the centre of Europe, much to the benefit of the western monarchies, now definitely emancipated from the feudal yoke and firmly organized against both the Church and the barons. The hour had come for Dante, the great Florentine poet, to curse the man who was to dismember the empire, precipitate the fall of the papacy and discipline feudalism.

Modern in his practical schemes and in his calculated purpose, Philip the Fair was still more so in his method, that of legal procedure, and in his agents, the lawyers. With him the French monarchy defined its ambitions, and little by little forsook its feudal and ecclesiastical character Litigious character of Philip the Fair’s reign. in order to clothe itself in juridical forms. His aggressive and litigious policy and his ruthless financial method were due to those lawyers of the south and of Normandy who had been nurtured on Roman law in the universities of Bologna or Montpellier, had practised chicanery in the provincial courts, had gradually thrust themselves into the great arena of politics, and were now leading the king and filling his parlement. It was no longer upon religion or morality, it was upon imperial and Roman rights that these chevaliers ès lois based the prince’s omnipotence; and nothing more clearly marks the new tradition which was being elaborated than the fact that all the great events of Philip the Fair’s reign were lawsuits.

The first of these was with the papacy. The famous quarrel between the priesthood and the Empire, which had culminated at Canossa under Gregory VII., in the apotheosis of the Lateran council under Innocent III., and again in the fall of the house of Hohenstaufen under Innocent Philip the Fair and the Papacy. IV., was reopened with the king of France by Boniface VIII. The quarrel began in 1294 about a question of money. In his bull Clericis laicos the pope protested against the taxes levied upon the French clergy by the king, whose expenses were increasing with his conquests. But he had not insisted; because Philip, between feudal vassals ruined by the crusades and lower classes fleeced by everybody, had threatened to forbid the exportation from France of any ecclesiastical gold and silver. In 1301 and 1302 the arrest of Bernard Saisset, bishop of Pamiers, by the officers of the king, and the citation of this cleric before the king’s tribunal for the crime of lèse-majesté, revived the conflict and led Boniface to send an order to free Saisset, and to put forward a claim to reform the kingdom under the threat of excommunication. In view of the gravity of the occasion Philip made an unusually extended appeal to public opinion by convoking the states-general at Notre-Dame in Paris (1302). Whatever were their views as to the relations between ecclesiastical and secular jurisdiction, the French clergy, ruined by the dues levied by the papal court, ranged themselves on the national side with the nobility and the bourgeoisie; whereupon the king, with a bold stroke far ahead of his time, gave tit for tat. His chancellor, Nogaret, went to Anagni to seize the pope and drag him before a council; but Boniface died without confessing himself vanquished. As a matter of fact the king and his lawyers triumphed, where the house of Swabia had failed. After the death of Boniface the splendid fabric of the medieval theocracy gave place to the rights of civil society, the humiliation of Avignon, the disruption of the great schism, the vain efforts of the councils for reform, and the radical and heretical solutions of Wycliffe and Huss.

The affair of the Templars was another legal process carried out by the same Nogaret. Of course this military religious order had lost utility and justification when the Holy Land had been evacuated and the crusades were over. Their great mistake had lain in becoming rich, and Philip the Fair and the Templars. rich to excess, through serving as bankers to princes, kings and popes; for great financial powers soon became unpopular. Philip took advantage of this hatred of the lower classes and the cowardice of his creature, Pope Clement V., to satisfy his desire for money. The trial of the order (1307–1313) was a remarkable example of the use of the religious tribunal of the Inquisition as a political instrument. There was a dramatic completeness about this unexpected result of the crusades. A general arbitrary arrest of the Templars, the sequestration of their property, examination under torture, the falsifying of procedure, extortion of money from the pope, the auto-da-fé of innocent victims, the dishonest pillaging of their goods by the joint action of the king and the pope: such was the outcome of this vast process of secularization, which foreshadowed the events of the 16th and 18th centuries.

External policy had the same litigious character. Philip the Fair instituted suits against his natural enemies, the king of England and the count of Flanders, foreign princes holding possessions within his kingdom; and against the emperor, whose ancient province of Lorraine and Philip the Fair and Edward I. kingdom of Arles constantly changed hands between Germany and France. Philip began by interfering in the affairs of Sicily and Aragon, his father’s inheritance; after which, on the pretext of a quarrel between French and English sailors, he set up his customary procedure: a citation of the king of England before the parlement of Paris, and in case of default a decree of forfeiture; the whole followed by execution—that is to say by the unimportant war of 1295. A truce arranged by Boniface VIII. restored Guienne to Edward I., gave him the hand of Philip’s sister for himself and that of the king’s daughter for his son (1298).

A still more lengthy and unfortunate suit was the attempt of Philip the Fair and his successors to incorporate the Flemish fief like the English one (1300–1326), thus coming into conflict with proud and turbulent republics composed of wool and cloth merchants, weavers, Philip the Fair and Flanders. fullers and powerful counts. Guy de Dampierre, count of Namur, who had become count of Flanders on the death of his mother Margaret II. in 1279—an ambitious, greedy and avaricious man—was arrested at the Louvre on account of his attempt to marry his daughter to Edward I.’s eldest son without the consent of his suzerain Philip. Released after two years, he sided definitely with the king of England when the latter was in arms against Philip; and being only weakly supported by Edward, he was betrayed by the nobles who favoured France, and forced to yield up not only his personal liberty but the whole of Flanders (1300). The Flemings, however, soon wearying of the oppressive administration of the French governor, Jacques de Châtillon, and the recrudescence of patrician domination, rose and overwhelmed the French chivalry at Courtrai (1302)—a prelude to the coming disasters of the Hundred Years’ War. Philip’s double revenge, on sea at Zierikzee and on land at Mons-en-Pévèle (1304), led to the signing of a treaty at Athis-sur-Orge (1305).

The efforts of Philip the Fair to expand the limits of his kingdom on the eastern border were more fortunate. His marriage had gained him Champagne; and he afterwards extended his influence over Franche Comté, Bar and the bishoprics of Lorraine, acquiring also Eastern policy of Philip the Fair. Viviers and the important town of Lyons—all this less by force of arms than by the expenditure of money. Disdaining the illusory dream of the imperial crown, still cherished by his legal advisers, he pushed forward towards that fluctuating eastern frontier, the line of least resistance, which would have yielded to him had it not been for the unfortunate interruption of the Hundred Years’ War.

His three sons, Louis X., Philip V. the Tall, and Charles IV., continued his work. They increased the power of the monarchy politically by destroying the feudal reaction excited in 1314 by the tyrannical conduct of the jurists, like Enguerrand de Marigny, and by the increasing financial The sons of Philip the Fair (1314–1328). extortions of their father; and they also—notably Philip V., one of the most hard-working of the Capets—increased it on the administrative side by specializing the services of justice and of finance, which were separated from the king’s council. Under these mute self-effacing kings the progress of royal power was only the more striking. With them the senior male line of the house of Capet became extinct.

During three centuries and a half they had effected great things: they had founded a kingdom, a royal family and civil institutions. The land subject to Hugh Capet in 987, barely representing two of the modern departments of France, in 1328 covered a space equal to fifty-nine The royal house
of Capet.
of them. The political unity of the kingdom was only fettered by the existence of four large isolated fiefs: Flanders on the north, Brittany on the west, Burgundy on the east and Guienne on the south. The capital, which for long had been movable, was now established in the Louvre at Paris, fortified by Philip Augustus. Like the fiefs, feudal institutions at large had been shattered. The Roman tradition which made the will of the sovereign law, gradually propagated by the teaching of Roman law—the law of servitude, not of liberty—and already proclaimed by the jurist Philippe de Beaumanoir as superior to the customs, had been of immense support to the interest of the state and the views of the monarchs; and finally the Capets, so humble of origin, had created organs of general administration common to all in order to effect an administrative centralization. In their grand council and their domains they would have none but silent, servile and well-disciplined agents. The royal exchequer, which was being painfully elaborated in the chambre des comptes, and the treasury of the crown lands at the Louvre, together barely sufficed to meet the expenses of this more complicated and costly machinery. The uniform justice exercised by the parlement spread gradually over the whole kingdom by means of cas royaux (royal suits), and at the same time the royal coinage became obligatory. Against this exaltation of their power two adversaries might have been formidable; but one, the Church, was a captive in Babylon, and the second, the people, was deprived of the communal liberties which it had abused, or humbly effaced itself in the states-general behind the declared will of the king. This well-established authority was also supported by the revered memory of “Monseigneur Saint Louis”; and it is this prestige, the strength of this ideal superior to all other, that explains how the royal prerogative came to survive the mistakes and misfortunes of the Hundred Years’ War.

On the extinction of the direct line of the Capets the crown passed to a younger branch, that of the Valois. Its seven representatives (1328–1498) were on the whole very inferior to the Capets, and, with the exception of Charles V. and Louis XI., possessed neither their Advent of the Valois. political sense nor even their good common sense; they cost France the loss of her great advantage over all other countries. During this century and a half France passed through two very severe crises; under the first five Valois the Hundred Years’ War imperilled the kingdom’s independence; and under Louis XI. the struggle against the house of Burgundy endangered the territorial unity of the monarchy that had been established with such pains upon the ruins of feudalism.

Charles the Fair having died and left only a daughter, the nation’s rights, so long in abeyance, were once more regained. An assembly of peers and barons, relying on two precedents under Philip V. and Charles IV., declared that “no woman, nor therefore her son, could in Philip VI.
accordance with custom succeed to the monarchy of France.” This definite decision, to which the name of the Salic law was given much later, set aside Edward III., king of England, grandson of Philip the Fair, nephew of the late kings and son of their sister Isabel. Instead it gave the crown to the feudal chief, the hard and coarse Philip VI. of Valois, nephew of Philip the Fair. This at once provoked war between the two monarchies, English and French, which, including periods of truce, lasted for a hundred and sixteen years. Of active warfare there were two periods, both disastrous to begin with, but ending favourably: one lasted from 1337 to 1378 and the other from 1413 to 1453, thirty-three years of distress and folly coming in between.

However, the Hundred Years’ War was not mainly caused by the pretensions of Edward III. to the throne of the Capets; since after having long hesitated to do homage to Philip VI. for his possessions in Guienne, Edward at last brought himself to it—though certainly only after The Hundred Years’ War. lengthy negotiations, and even threats of war in 1331. It is true that six years later he renounced his homage and again claimed the French inheritance; but this was on the ground of personal grievances, and for economic and political reasons. There was a natural rivalry between Edward III. and Philip VI., both of them young, fond of the life of chivalry, festal magnificence, and the “belles apertises d’armes.” This rivalry was aggravated by the enmity between Philip VI. and Robert of Artois, his brother-in-law, who, after having warmly supported the disinheriting of Edward III., had been convicted of deceit in a question of succession, had revenged himself on Philip by burning his waxen effigy, and had been welcomed with open arms at Edward’s court. Philip VI. had taken reprisals against him in 1336 by making his parlement declare the forfeiture of Edward’s lands and castles in Guienne; but the Hundred Years’ War, at first simply a feudal quarrel between vassal and suzerain, soon became a great national conflict, in consequence of what was occurring in Flanders.

The communes of Flanders, rich, hard-working, jealous of their liberties, had always been restive under the authority of their counts and the influence of their suzerain, the king of France. The affair at Cassel, where Philip VI. had avenged the injuries done by the people of Bruges in 1325 to their count, Louis of Nevers, had also compromised English interests. To attack the English through their colonies, Guienne and Flanders, was to injure them in their most vital interests—cloth and claret; for England sold her wool to Bruges in order to pay Bordeaux for her wine. Edward III. had replied by forbidding the exportation of English wool, and by threatening the great industrial cities of Flanders with the transference to England of the cloth manufacture—an excellent means of stirring them up against the French, as without wool they could do nothing. Workless, and in desperation, they threw themselves on Edward’s mercy, by the advice of a rich citizen of Ghent, Jacob van Artevelde (q.v.); and their last scruples of loyalty gave way when Edward decided to follow the counsels of Robert of Artois and of Artevelde, and to claim the crown of France.

The war began, like every feudal war of that day, with a solemn defiance, and it was soon characterized by terrible disasters. The destruction of the finest French fleet that had yet been seen, surprised in the port of Sluys, closed the sea to the king of France; the The defeat at Sluys. struggle was continued on land, but with little result. Flanders tired of it, but fortunately for Edward III. Brittany now took fire, through a quarrel of succession, analogous to that in France, between Charles of Blois (who had married the daughter of the late duke and was a nephew of Philip VI., by whom he was supported) and John of Montfort, brother of the old duke, who naturally asked assistance from the king of England. But here, too, nothing important was accomplished; the capture of John of Montfort at Nantes deprived Edward of Brittany at the very moment when he finally lost Flanders by the death of Artevelde, who was killed by the people of Ghent in 1345. Under the influence of Godefroi d’Harcourt, whom Philip VI. had wished to destroy on account of his ambitions with regard to the duchy of Normandy, Edward III. now invaded central France, ravaged Normandy, getting as near to Paris as Saint-Germain; and profiting by Philip VI.’s hesitation and delay, he reached the north with his spoils by dint of forced marches. Having been pursued and encountered at The defeat at Crécy and the taking of Calais. Crécy, Edward gained a complete victory there on the 26th of April 1346. The seizure of Calais in 1347, despite heroic resistance, gave the English a port where they could always find entry into France, just when the queen of England had beaten David of Scotland, the ally of France, at Neville’s Cross, and when Charles of Blois, made prisoner in his turn, was held captive in London. The Black Death put the finishing touch to the military disasters and financial upheavals of this unlucky reign; though before his death in 1350 Philip VI. was fortunate enough to augment his territorial acquisitions by the purchase of the rich port of Montpellier, as well as by that of Dauphiné, which extended to the Alpine frontier, and was to become the appanage of the eldest son of the king of France (see Dauphiné and Dauphin).

Philip VI.’s successor was his son John the Good—or rather, the stupid and the spendthrift. This noble monarch was unspeakably brutal (as witness the murders, simply on suspicion, of the constable Raoul de Brienne, count of Eu, and of the count of Harcourt) and incredibly John the Good (1350). extravagant. His need of money led him to debase the currency eighty-one times between 1350 and 1355. And this money, so necessary for the prosecution of the war with England, which had been interrupted for a year, thanks to the pope’s intervention, was lavished by him upon his favourite, Charles of La Cerda. The latter was murdered in 1354 by order of Charles of Navarre, the king’s son-in-law, who also prevented the levying of the taxes voted by the states in 1355 with the object of replenishing the treasury. The Black Prince took this opportunity to ravage the southern provinces, and then marched to join the duke of Lancaster and Charles of Defeat at Poitiers. Navarre in Normandy. John the Good managed to bring the English army to bay at Maupertuis, not far from Poitiers; but the battle was conducted with such a want of intelligence on his part that the French army was overwhelmed, though very superior in numbers, and King John was made prisoner, after a determined resistance, on the 19th of September 1356.

The disaster at Poitiers almost led to the establishment in France of institutions analogous to those which England owed to Bouvines. The king a prisoner, the dauphin discredited and deserted, and the nobility decimated, the people—that is to say, the states-general—could The states of
raise their voice. Philip the Fair had never regarded the states-general as a financial institution, but merely as a moral support. Now, however, in order to obtain substantial help from taxes instead of mere driblets, the Valois needed a stronger lever than cunning or force. War against the English assured them the support of the nation. Exactions, debasement of the currency and extortionate taxation were ruinous palliatives, and insufficient to supply a treasury which the revenue from crown lands and various rights taken from the nobles could not fill even in times of peace. By the 14th century the motto “N’impose qui ne veut” (i.e. no taxation without consent) was as firmly established in France as in England. After Crécy Philip VI. called the states together regularly, that he might obtain subsidies from them, as an assistance, an “aid” which subjects could not refuse their suzerain. In return for this favour, which the king could not claim as a right, the states, feeling their power, began to bargain, and at the session of November 1355 demanded the participation of all classes in the tax voted, and obtained guarantees both for its levy and the use to be made of it. A similar situation in England had given birth to political liberty; but in France the great crisis of the early 15th century stifled it. It was with this money that John the Good got himself beaten and taken prisoner at Poitiers. Once more the states-general had to be convoked. Confronted by a pale weakly boy like the dauphin Charles and the remnants of the discredited council, the situation of the states was stronger Robert le Coq and Étienne Marcel. than ever. Predominant in influence were the deputies from the towns, and above all the citizens of the capital, led by Robert le Coq, bishop of Laon, and Étienne Marcel, provost of the merchants of Paris. Having no cause for confidence in the royal administration, the states refused to treat with the dauphin’s councillors, and proposed to take him under their own tutelage. He himself hesitated whether to sacrifice the royal authority, or else, without resources or support, to resist an assembly backed by public opinion. He decided for resistance. Under pretext of grave news received from his father, and of an interview at Metz with his uncle, the emperor Charles IV., he begged the states to adjourn till the 3rd of November 1356. This was a political coup d’état, and when the time had expired he attempted a financial coup d’état by debasing the currency. An uprising obliged him to call the states-general together again in February 1357, when they transformed themselves into a deliberative, independent and permanent assembly by means of the Grande Ordonnance.

In order to make this great French charter really effective resistance to the royal authority should have been collective, national and even popular, as in the case of the charters of 1215 and 1258 in England. But the lay and ecclesiastical feudal lords continued to show themselves The Grande Ordonnance of 1357. in France, as everywhere else except across the Straits of Dover, a cause of division and oppression. Moreover, the states were never really general; those of the Langue d’oc and the Langue d’oil sometimes acted together; but there was never a common understanding between them and always two Frances within the kingdom. Besides, they only represented the three classes who alone had any social standing at that period: the nobles, the clergy, and the burgesses of important towns. Étienne Marcel himself protested against councillors “de petit état.” Again, the states, intermittently convoked according to the king’s good pleasure, exercised neither periodical rights nor effective control, but fulfilled a duty which was soon felt as onerous. Indifference and satiety spread speedily; the bourgeoisie forsook the reformers directly they had recourse to violence (February 1358), and the Parisians became hostile when Étienne Marcel complicated his revolutionary work by intrigues with Navarre, releasing from prison the grandson of Louis X., the Headstrong, an ambitious, fine-spoken courter of popularity, covetous of the royal crown. The dauphin’s flight from Paris excited a wild outburst of monarchist loyalty and anger against the capital among the nobility and in the states-general of Compiègne. Marcel, like the dauphin, was not a man to turn back. But neither the support of the peasant insurgents—the “Jacques”—who were annihilated in the market of Meaux, nor a last but unheeded appeal to the large towns, nor yet the uncertain support of Charles the Bad, to whom Marcel in despair proposed to deliver up Paris, saved him from being put to death by the royalist party of Paris on the 31st of July 1358.

Isolated as he was, Étienne Marcel had been unable either to seize the government or to create a fresh one. In the reaction which followed his downfall royalty inherited the financial administration which the states had set up to check extravagance. The “élus” and the superintendents, instead of being delegates of the states, became royal functionaries like the baillis and the provosts; imposts, hearth-money (fouage), salt-tax (gabelle), sale-dues (droits de vente), voted for the war, were levied during the whole of Charles V.’s reign and added to his personal revenue. The opportunity of founding political liberty upon the vote and the control of taxation, and of organizing the administration of the kingdom so as to ensure that the entire military and financial resources should be always available, was gone beyond recall.

Re-establishing the royal authority in Paris was not enough; an end had to be put to the war with England and Navarre, and this was effected by the treaty of Brétigny (1360). King John ceded Poitou, Saintonge, Agenais, Périgord and Limousin to Edward III., and was offered his The treaty of Brétigny. liberty for a ransom of three million gold crowns; but, unable to pay that enormous sum, he returned to his agreeable captivity in London, where he died in 1364.

Yet through the obstinacy and selfishness of John the Good, France, in stress of suffering, was gradually realizing herself. More strongly than her king she felt the shame of defeat. Local or municipal patriotism waxed among peasants and townsfolk, and combined with hatred Charles V.
of the English to develop national sentiment. Many of the conquered repeated that proud, sad answer of the men of Rochelle to the English: “We will acknowledge you with our lips; but with our hearts, never!”

The peace of Brétigny brought no repose to the kingdom. War having become a congenial and very lucrative industry, its cessation caused want of work, with all the evils that entails. For ten years the remnants of the armies of England, Navarre and Brittany—the “Grandes The “Grandes Compagnies.” Compagnies,” as they were called—ravaged the country; although Charles V., “durement subtil et sage,” succeeded in getting rid of them, thanks to du Guesclin, one of their chiefs, who led them to any place where fighting was going on—to Brittany, Alsace, Spain. Charles also had all towns and large villages fortified; and being a man of affairs he set about undoing the effect of the treaty of Brétigny by alliances with Flanders, whose heiress he married to his brother Philip, duke of Burgundy; with Henry, king of Castile, and Ferdinand of Portugal, who possessed fine navies; and, finally, with the emperor Charles IV. Financial and military preparations were made no less seriously when the harsh administration of the Black Prince, to whom Edward III. had given Guienne in fief, provoked the nobles of Gascony to complain to Charles V. Cited before the court of Paris, the Black Prince refused to attend, and war broke out in Gascony, Poitou and Normandy, but with fresh tactics (1369). Whilst the English adhered to the system of wide circuits, under Chandos or Robert Knolles, Charles V. limited himself to defending the towns and exhausting the enemy without taking dangerous risks. Thanks to the prudent constable du Guesclin, sitting quietly at home he reconquered bit by bit what his predecessors had lost upon the battlefield, helm on head and sword in hand; and when he died in 1380, after the decease of both Edward III. and the Black Prince, the only possessions of England in a liberated but ruined France were Bayonne, Bordeaux, Brest, Cherbourg and Calais.

The death of Charles V. and dynastic revolutions in England stopped the war for thirty-five years. Then began an era of internal disorder and misery. The men of that period, coarse, violent and simple-minded, with few political ideas, loved brutal and noisy pleasures—witness Charles VI.
the incredible festivities at the marriage of Charles VI., and the assassinations of the constable de Clisson, the duke of Orleans and John the Fearless. It would have needed an energetic hand to hold these passions in check; and Charles VI. was a gentle-natured child, twelve years of age, who attained his majority only to fall into a second childhood. Thence arose a question which remained without reply during the whole of his reign. Who should have possession of the royal person, and, consequently, of the royal power? The king’s uncles and the Marmousets. Should it be the uncles of the king, or his followers Clisson and Bureau de la Rivière, whom the nobles called in mockery the Marmousets? His uncles first seized the government, each with a view to his own particular interests, which were by no means those of the kingdom at large. The duke of Anjou emptied the treasury in conquering the kingdom of Naples, at the call of Queen Joanna of Sicily. The duke of Berry seized upon Languedoc and the wine-tax. The duke of Burgundy, heir through his wife to the countship of Flanders, wanted to crush the democratic risings among the Flemings. Each of them needed money, but Charles V., pricked by conscience on his death-bed, forbade the levying of the hearth-tax (1380). His brother’s attempt to re-establish it set The revolt of the Maillotins. Paris in revolt. The Maillotins of Paris found imitators in other great towns; and in Auvergne and Vivarais the Tuchins renewed the Jacquerie. Revolutionary attempts between 1380 and 1385 to abolish all taxes were echoed in England, Florence and Flanders. These isolated rebellions, however, were crushed by the ever-ready coalition of royal and feudal forces at Roosebeke (1382). Taxes and subsidies were maintained and the hearth-money re-established.

The death of the duke of Anjou at Bari (1384) gave preponderant influence to Philip the Bold, duke of Burgundy, who increased the large and fruitless expenses of his Burgundian policy to such a point that on the return of a last unfortunate expedition into Gelderland Charles VI., who had been made Madness of
Charles VI.
by him to marry Isabel of Bavaria, took the government from his uncles on the 3rd of May 1389, and recalled the Marmousets. But this young king, aged only twenty, very much in love with his young wife and excessively fond of pleasure, soon wrecked the delicate poise of his mental faculties in the festivities of the Hôtel Saint-Paul; and a violent attack of Pierre de Craon on the constable de Clisson having led to an expedition against his accomplice, the duke of Brittany, Charles was seized by insanity on the road. The Marmousets were deposed, the king’s brother, the duke of Orleans, set aside, and the old condition of affairs began again (1392).

The struggle was now between the two branches of the royal family, the Orleanist and the Burgundian, between the aristocratic south and the democratic north; while the deposition of Richard II. of England in favour of Henry of Lancaster permitted them to vary civil war Struggle between the Armagnacs and the Burgundians. by war against the foreigner. Philip the Bold, duke of Burgundy, the king’s uncle, had certain advantages over his rival Louis of Orleans, Charles VI.’s brother: superiority in age, relations with the Lancastrians and with Germany, and territorial wealth and power. The two adversaries had each the same scheme of government: each wanted to take charge of Charles VI., who was intermittently insane, and to exclude his rival from the pillage of the royal exchequer; but this rivalry of desires brought them into opposition on all the great questions of the day—the war with England, the Great Schism and the imperial election. The struggle became acute when John the Fearless of Burgundy succeeded his father in 1404. Up to this time the queen, Isabel of Bavaria, had been held in a kind of dependency upon Philip of Burgundy, who had brought about her marriage; but less eager for influence than for money, since political questions were unintelligible to her and her situation was a precarious one, she suddenly became favourable to the duke of Orleans. Whether due to passion or caprice this cost the duke his life, for John the Fearless had him assassinated in 1407, and thus let loose against one another the Burgundians and the Armagnacs, so-called because the son of the murdered duke was the son-in-law of the count of Armagnac (see Armagnac). Despite all attempts at reconciliation the country was divided into two parties. Paris, with her tradesmen—the butchers in particular—and her university, played an important part in this quarrel; for to be master of Paris was to be master of the king. In 1413 the duke of Burgundy gained the upper hand there, partly owing to the rising of the Cabochiens, i.e. the butchers led by the skinner Simon Caboche, partly to the hostility of the university to the Avignon pope and partly to the Parisian bourgeoisie.

Amid this reign of terror and of revolt the university, the only moral and intellectual force, taking the place of the impotent states-general and of a parlement carefully restricted to the judiciary sphere, vainly tried to re-establish a firm monarchical system by means of the Ordonnance Cabochienne; The Ordonnance Cabochienne, 1413. but this had no effect, the government being now at the mercy of the mob, themselves at the mercy of incapable hot-headed leaders. The struggle ended in becoming one between factions of the townsmen, led respectively by the hûchier Cirasse and by Jean Caboche. The former overwhelmed John the Fearless, who fled from Paris; and the Armagnacs, re-entering on his exit, substituted white terror for red terror, from the 12th of December 1413 to the 28th of July 1414. The butchers’ organization was suppressed and all hope of reform lost. Such disorders allowed Henry V. of England to take the offensive again.

The Armagnacs were in possession of Paris and the king when Henry V. crushed them at Agincourt on the 25th of October 1415. It was as at Crécy and Poitiers; the French chivalry, accustomed to mere playing at battle in the tourneys, no longer knew how to fight. Charles Agincourt. of Orleans being a captive and his father-in-law, the count of Armagnac, highly unpopular, John the Fearless, hitherto prudently neutral, re-entered Paris, amid scenes of carnage, on the invitation of the citizen Perrinet le Clerc.

Secure from interference, Henry V. had occupied the whole of Normandy and destroyed in two years the work of Philip Augustus. The duke of Burgundy, feeling as incapable of coming to an understanding with the masterful Englishman as of resisting him unaided, tried to The Treaty of Troyes, 1420. effect a reconciliation with the Armagnacs, who had with them the heir to the throne, the dauphin Charles; but his assassination at Montereau in 1419 nearly caused the destruction of the kingdom, the whole Burgundian party going over to the side of the English. By the treaty of Troyes (1420) the son of John the Fearless, Philip the Good, in order to avenge his father recognized Henry V. (now married to Catherine, Charles VI.’s daughter) as heir to the crown of France, to the detriment of the dauphin Charles, who was disavowed by his mother and called in derision “the soi-disant dauphin of Viennois.” When Henry V. and Charles VI. died in 1422, Henry VI.—son of Henry V. and Catherine—was proclaimed at Paris king of France and of England, with the concurrence of Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy. Thus in 1428 the English occupied all eastern and northern France, as far as the Loire; while the two most important civil powers of the time, the parlement and the university of Paris, had acknowledged the English king.

But the cause of greatest weakness to the French party was still Charles VII. himself, the king of Bourges. This youth of nineteen, the ill-omened son of a madman and of a Bavarian of loose morals, was a symbol of France, timorous and mistrustful. The châteaux of the Charles VII.
Loire, where he led a restless and enervating existence, held an atmosphere little favourable to enthusiasm and energy. After his victories at Cravant (1423) and Verneuil (1424), the duke of Bedford, appointed regent of the kingdom, had given Charles VII. four years’ respite, and these had been occupied in violent intrigues between the constable de Richemont[3] and the sire de la Trémoille, the young king’s favourites, and solely desirous of enriching themselves at his expense. The king, melancholy spectacle as he was, seemed indeed to suit that tragic hour when Orleans, the last bulwark of the south, was besieged by the earl of Salisbury, now roused from inactivity (1428). He had neither taste nor capacity like Philip VI. or John the Good for undertaking “belles apertises d’armes”; but then a lack of chivalry combined with a temporizing policy had not been particularly unsuccessful in the case of his grandfather Charles V.

Powerful aid now came from an unexpected quarter. The war had been long and cruel, and each successive year naturally increased feeling against the English. The damage done to Burgundian interests by the harsh yet impotent government of Bedford, disgust at the iniquitous Joan of Arc. treaty of Troyes, the monarchist loyalty of many of the warriors, the still deeper sentiment felt by men like Alain Chartier towards “Dame France,” and the “great misery that there was in the kingdom of France”; all these suddenly became incarnate in the person of Joan of Arc, a young peasant of Domrémy in Lorraine. Determined in her faith and proud in her meekness, in opposition to the timid counsels of the military leaders, to the interested delays of the courtiers, to the scruples of the experts and the quarrelling of the doctors, she quoted her “voices,” who had, she said, commissioned her to raise the siege of Orleans and to conduct the gentle dauphin to Reims, there to be crowned. Her sublime folly turned out to be wiser than their wisdom; in two months, from May to July 1429, she had freed Orleans, destroyed the prestige of the English army at Patay, and dragged the doubting and passive king against his will to be crowned at Reims. All this produced a marvellous revulsion of political feeling throughout France, Charles VII. now becoming incontestably “him to whom the kingdom of France ought to belong.” After Reims Joan’s first thought was for Paris, and to achieve the final overthrow of the English; while Charles VII. was already sighing for the easy life of Touraine, and recurring to that policy of truce which was so strongly urged by his counsellors, and so keenly irritating to the clear-sighted Joan of Arc. A check before Paris allowed the jealousy of La Trémoille to waste the heroine for eight months on operations of secondary importance, until the day when she was captured by the Burgundians under the walls of Compiègne, and sold by them to the English. The latter incontinently prosecuted her as a heretic; they had, indeed, a great interest in seeing her condemned by the Church, which would render her conquests sacrilegious. After a scandalous four months’ duel between this simple innocent girl and a tribunal of crafty malevolent ecclesiastics and doctors of the university of Paris, Joan was burned alive in the old market-place of Rouen, on the 30th of May 1431 (see Joan of Arc).

On Charles VII.’s part this meant oblivion and silence until the day when in 1450, more for his own sake than for hers, he caused her memory to be rehabilitated; but Joan had given the country new life and heart. From 1431 to 1454 the struggle against the English went on energetically; and the king, relieved in 1433 of his evil genius, La Trémoille, then became a man once more, playing a kingly part under the guidance of Dunois, Richemont, La Hire and Saintrailles, leaders of worth on the field of battle. Moreover, the English territory, a great triangle, with the Channel for base and Paris for apex, was not a really solid position. Yet the war seemed interminable; until at last Philip of Burgundy, for long embarrassed by his English alliance, decided in 1435 to become reconciled with Charles VII. This was in consequence of the death of his sister, who had been married to Bedford, and the return of his brother-in-law Richemont into the French king’s favour. The treaty of Arras, which made him a sovereign prince for life, though harsh, at all events gave a united France the opportunity of expelling the English from the east, and allowed the king to re-enter Paris in 1436. From 1436 to 1439 there was a terrible repetition of what happened after the Peace of Brétigny; famine, pestilence, extortions and, later, the aristocratic revolt of the Praguerie, completed the ruin of the country. But thanks to the permanent tax of the taille during this time of truce Charles VII. was able to effect the great military reform of the Compagnies d’Ordonnance, of the Francs-Archers, and of the artillery of the brothers Bureau. From this time forward the English, ruined, demoralized and weakened both by the death of the duke of Bedford and the beginnings of the Wars of the Roses, continued to lose territory on every recurrence of conflict. Normandy was lost to them at Formigny (1450), and Guienne, English since the 12th century, at Castillon (1453). They kept only Calais; and now it was their turn to have a madman, Henry VI., for king.

France issued from the Hundred Years’ War victorious, but terribly ruined and depopulated. It is true she had definitely freed her territory from the stranger, and through the sorrows of defeat and the menace of disruption had fortified her national solidarity, and Consequences of the Hundred Years’ War. defined her patriotism, still involved in and not yet dissociated from loyalty to the monarchy. A happy awakening, although it went too far in establishing royal absolutism; and a victory too complete, in that it enervated all the forces of resistance. The nation, worn out by the long disorders consequent on the captivity of King John and the insanity of Charles VI., abandoned itself to the joys of peace. Preferring the solid advantage of orderly life to an unstable liberty, it acquiesced in the abdication of 1439, when the States consented to taxation for the support of a permanent army without any periodical renewal of their authorization. No doubt by the prohibition to levy the smallest taille the feudal lords escaped direct taxation; but from the day when the privileged classes selfishly allowed the taxing of the third estate, provided that they themselves were exempt, they opened the door to monarchic absolutism. The principle of autocracy triumphed everywhere over the remnants of local or provincial authority, in the sphere of industry as in that of administration; while the gild system became much more rigid. A loyal bureaucracy, far more powerful than the phantom administration of Bourges or of Poitiers, gradually took the place of the court nobility; and thanks to this the institutions of control which the war had called into power—the provincial states-general—were nipped in the bud, withered by the people’s poverty of political idea and by the blind worship of royalty. Without the nation’s concurrence the king’s creatures were now to endow royalty with all the organs necessary for the exertion of authority; by which imprudent compliance, and above all thanks to Jacques Cœur (q.v.), the financial independence of the provinces disappeared little by little, and all the public revenues were left at the discretion of the king alone (1436–1440). By this means, too, and chiefly owing to the constable de Richemont and the brothers Bureau, the first permanent royal army was established (1445).

Henceforward royalty, strengthened by victory and organized for the struggle, was able to reduce the centrifugal social forces to impotence. The parlement of Paris saw its monopoly encroached upon by the court of Toulouse in 1443, and by the parlement of Grenoble in 1453. The Monarchical centralization. university of Paris, compromised with the English, like the parlement, witnessed the institution and growth of privileged provincial universities. The Church of France was isolated from the papacy by the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges (1438) only to be exploited and enslaved by royalty. Monarchic centralization, interrupted for the moment by the war, took up with fresh vigour its attacks upon urban liberties, especially in the always more independent south. It caused a slackening of that spirit of communal initiative which had awakened in the midst of unprecedented disasters. The decimated and impoverished nobility proved their impotence in the coalitions they attempted between 1437 and 1442, of which the most important, the Praguerie, fell to pieces almost directly, despite the support of the dauphin himself.

The life of society, now alarmingly unstable and ruthlessly cruel, was symbolized by the danse macabre painted on the walls of the cemeteries; the sombre and tragic art of the 15th century, having lost the fine balance shown by that of the 13th, gave expression in its Social life. mournful realism to the general state of exhaustion. The favourite subject of the mysteries and of other artistic manifestations was no longer the triumphant Christ of the middle ages, nor the smiling and teaching Christ of the 13th century, but the Man of sorrows and of death, the naked bleeding Jesus, lying on the knees of his mother or crowned with thorns. France, like the Christ, had known all the bitterness and weakness of a Passion.

The war of independence over, after a century of fatigue, regrets and doubts, royalty and the nation, now more united and more certain of each other, resumed the methodic and utilitarian war of widening boundaries. Leaving dreams about crusades to the poets, and to a papacy delivered from schism, Charles VII. turned his attention to the ancient appanage of Lothair, Alsace and Lorraine, those lands of the north and the east whose frontiers were constantly changing, and which seemed to invite aggression. But the chance of annexing them without great trouble was lost; by the fatal custom of appanages the Valois had set up again those feudal institutions which the Capets had found such difficulty in destroying, and Louis XI. was to make sad experience of this.

To the north and east of the kingdom extended a wide territory of uncertain limits; countries without a chief like Alsace; principalities like Lorraine, ecclesiastical lordships like the bishopric of Liége; and, most important of all, a royal appanage, that of the duchy of Burgundy, The House of Burgundy. which dated back to the time of John the Good. Through marriages, conquests and inheritance, the dukes of Burgundy had enormously increased their influence; while during the Hundred Years’ War they had benefited alternately by their criminal alliance with the English and by their self-interested reconciliation with their sovereign. They soon appeared the most formidable among the new feudal chiefs so imprudently called into being by Louis XI.’s predecessors. Fleeing from the paternal wrath which he had drawn down upon himself by his ambition and by his unauthorized marriage with Charlotte of Savoy, the future Louis XI. had passed five years of voluntary exile at the court of the chief of the House of Burgundy, Philip the Good; and he was able to appreciate the territorial power of a duchy which extended from the Zuyder Zee to the Somme, with all the country between the Saône and the Loire in addition, and its geographical position as a commercial intermediary between Germany, England and France. He had traversed the fertile country of Flanders; he had visited the rich commercial and industrial republics of Bruges and Ghent, which had escaped the disasters of the Hundred Years’ War; and, finally, he had enjoyed a hospitality as princely as it was self-interested at Brussels and at Dijon, the two capitals, where he had seen the brilliancy of a court unique in Europe for the ideal of chivalric life it offered.

But the dauphin Louis, although a bad son and impatient for the crown, was not dazzled by all this. With very simple tastes, an inquiring mind, and an imagination always at work, he combined a certain easy good-nature which inspired confidence, and though stingy in Louis XI.
spending money on himself, he could be lavish in buying men either dangerous or likely to be useful. More inclined to the subtleties of diplomacy than to the risks of battle, he had recognized and speedily grasped the disadvantages of warfare. The duke of Burgundy, however rich and powerful, was still the king’s vassal; his wide but insecure authority, of too rapid growth and unpopular, lacked sovereign rights. Hardly, therefore, had Louis XI. heard of his father’s death than he made his host aware of his perfectly independent spirit, and his very definite intention to be master in his own house.

But by a kind of poetic justice, Louis XI. had for seven years, from 1465 to 1472, to struggle against fresh Pragueries, called Leagues of the Public Weal (presumably from their disregard of it), composed of the most powerful French nobles, to whom he had set the example of The Leagues of
the Public Weal.
revolt. His first proceedings had indeed given no promise of the moderation and prudence afterwards to characterize him; he had succeeded in exasperating all parties; the officials of his father, “the well-served,” whom he dismissed in favour of inferiors like Jean Balue, Oliver le Daim and Tristan Lermite; the clergy, by abrogating the Pragmatic Sanction; the university of Paris, by his ill-treatment of it; and the nobles, whom he deprived of their hunting rights, among them being those whom Charles VII. had been most careful to conciliate in view of the inevitable conflict with the duke of Burgundy—in particular, Francis II., duke of Brittany. The repurchase in 1463 of the towns of the Somme (to which Philip the Good, now grown old and engaged in a quarrel with his son, the count of Charolais, had felt obliged to consent on consideration of receiving four hundred thousand gold crowns), and the intrigues of Louis XI. during the periodical revolts of the Liégois against their prince-bishop, set the powder alight. On three different occasions (in 1465, 1467 and 1472), Louis XI.’s own brother, the duke of Berry, urged by the duke of Brittany, the count of Charolais, the duke of Bourbon, and the other feudal lords, attempted to set up six kingdoms in France instead of one, and to impose upon Louis XI. a regency which should give them enormous pensions. This was their idea of Public Weal.

Louis XI. won by his favourite method, diplomacy rather than arms. At the time of the first league, the battle of Montlhéry (16th of July 1465) having remained undecided between the two equally badly organized armies, Louis XI. conceded everything in the treaties Charles the Bold. of Conflans and Saint-Maur—promises costing him little, since he had no intention of keeping them. But during the course of the second league, provoked by the recapture of Normandy, which he had promised to his brother in exchange for Berry, he was nearly caught in his own trap. On the 15th of June 1467 Philip the Good died, and the accession of the count of Charolais was received with popular risings. In order to embarrass him Louis XI., had secretly encouraged the people of Liége to revolt; but preoccupied with the marriage of Charles the Bold with Margaret of York, sister of Edward IV. of England, he wished to negotiate personally with him at Péronne, and hardly had he reached that place when news arrived there of the revolt of Liége amid cries of “Vive France.” Charles the Bold, proud, violent, pugnacious, as treacherous as his rival, a hardier The interview
at Péronne.
soldier, though without his political sagacity, imprisoned Louis in the tower where Charles the Simple had died as a prisoner of the count of Vermandois. He only let him depart when he had sworn in the treaty of Péronne to fulfil the engagements made at Conflans and Saint-Maur to assist in person at the subjugation of rebellious Liége, and to give Champagne as an appanage to his ally the duke of Berry.

Louis XI., supported by the assembly of notables at Tours (1470), had no intention of keeping this last promise, since the duchy of Champagne would have made a bridge between Burgundy and Flanders—the two isolated branches of the house of Burgundy. He gave the duke Ruin of the feudal coalitions. of Berry distant Guienne. But death eventually rid him of the duke in 1472, just when a third league was being organized, the object of which was to make the duke of Berry king with the help of Edward IV., king of England. The duke of Brittany, Francis II., was defeated; Charles the Bold, having failed at Beauvais in his attempt to recapture the towns of the Somme which had been promised him by the treaty of Conflans, was obliged to sign the peace of Senlis (1472). This was the end of the great feudal coalitions, for royal vengeance soon settled the account of the lesser vassals; the duke of Alençon was condemned to prison for life; the count of Armagnac was killed; and “the Germans” were soon to disembarrass Louis of Charles the Bold.

Charles had indeed only signed the peace so promptly because he was looking eastward towards that royal crown and territorial cohesion of which his father had also dreamed. The king, he said of Louis XI., is always ready. He wanted to provide his future sovereignty with organs analogous Charles the Bold’s imperial dreams. to those of France; a permanent army, and a judiciary and financial administration modelled on the French parlement and exchequer. Since he could not dismember the kingdom of France, his only course was to reconstitute the ancient kingdom of Lotharingia; while the conquest of the principality of Liége and of the duchy of Gelderland, and the temporary occupation of Alsace, pledged to him by Sigismund of Austria, made him greedy for Germany. To get himself elected king of the Romans he offered his daughter Mary, his eternal candidate for marriage, to the emperor Frederick III. for his son. Thus either he or his son-in-law Maximilian would have been emperor.

But the Tarpeian rock was a near neighbour of the Capitol. Frederick—distrustful, and in the pay of Louis XI.—evaded a meeting arranged at Trier, and Burgundian influence in Alsace was suddenly brought to a violent end by the putting to death of its tyrannical agent, Peter von Fall of Charles
the Bold.
Hagenbach. Charles thought to repair the rebuff of Trier at Cologne, and wasted his resources in an attempt to win over its elector by besieging the insignificant town of Neuss. But the “universal spider”—as he called Louis XI.—was weaving his web in the darkness, and was eventually to entangle him in it. First came the reconciliation, in his despite, of those irreconcilables, the Swiss and Sigismund of Austria; and then the union of both with the duke of Lorraine, who was also disturbed at the duke of Burgundy’s ambition. In vain Charles tried to kindle anew the embers of former feudal intrigues; the execution of the duke of Nemours and the count of Saint Pol cooled all enthusiasm. In vain did he get his dilatory friends, the English Yorkists, to cross the Channel; on the 29th of August 1475, at Picquigny, Louis XI. bribed them with a sum of seventy-five thousand crowns to forsake him, Edward further undertaking to guarantee the loyalty of the duke of Brittany. Exasperated, Charles attacked and took Nancy, wishing, as he said, “to skin the Bernese bear and wear its fur.” To the hanging of the brave garrison of Granson the Swiss responded by terrible reprisals at Granson and at Morat (March to June 1476); while the people of Lorraine finally routed Charles at Nancy on the 5th of January 1477, the duke himself falling in the battle.

The central administration of Burgundy soon disappeared, swamped by the resurgence of ancient local liberties; the army fell to pieces; and all hope of joining the two limbs of the great eastern duchy was definitely lost. As for the remnants that were left, French provinces and Ruin of the house
of Burgundy.
imperial territory, Louis XI. claimed the whole. He seized everything, alleging different rights in each place; but he displayed such violent haste and such trickery that he threw the heiress of Burgundy, in despair, into the arms of Maximilian of Austria. At the treaty of Arras (December 1482) Louis XI. received only Picardy, the Boulonnais and Burgundy; by the marriage of Charles the Bold’s daughter the rest was annexed to the Empire, and later to Spain. Thus by Louis XI.’s short-sighted error the house of Austria established itself in the Low Countries. An age-long rivalry between the houses of France and Austria was the result of this disastrous marriage; and as the son who was its issue espoused the heiress of a now unified Spain, France, hemmed in by the Spaniards and by the Empire, was thenceforward to encounter them everywhere in her course. The historical progress of France was once more endangered.

The reasons of state which governed all Louis XI.’s external policy also inspired his internal administration. If they justified him in employing lies and deception in international affairs, in his relations with his subjects they led him to regard as lawful everything which favoured his The administration of Louis XI. authority; no question of right could weigh against it. The army and taxation, as the two chief means of domination within and without the kingdom, constituted the main bulwarks of his policy. As for the nobility, his only thought was to diminish their power by multiplying their number, as his predecessors had done; while he reduced the rebels to submission by his iron cages or the axe of his gossip Tristan Lermite. The Church was treated with the same unconcerned cynicism; he held her in strict tutelage, accentuating her moral decadence still further by the manner in which he set aside or re-established the Pragmatic Sanction, according to the fluctuations of his financial necessities or his Italian ambitions. It has been said that on the other hand he was a king of the common people, and certainly he was one of them in his simple habits, in his taste for rough pleasantries, and above all in his religion, which was limited to superstitious practices and small devoutnesses. But in the states of Tours in 1468 he evinced the same mistrust for fiscal control by the people as for the privileges of the nobility. He inaugurated that autocratic rule which was to continue gaining strength until Louis XV.’s time. Louis XI. was the king of the bourgeoisie; he exacted much from them, but paid them back with interest by allowing them to reduce the power of all who were above them and to lord it over all who were below. As a matter of fact Louis XI.’s most faithful ally was death. Saint-Pol, Nemours, Charles the Bold, his brother the duke of Berry, old René of Anjou and his nephew the count of Maine, heir to the riches of Provence and to rights over Naples—the skeleton hand mowed down all his adversaries as though it too were in his pay; until the day when at Plessis-les-Tours it struck a final blow, claimed its just dues from Louis XI., and carried him off despite all his relics on the 30th of August 1483.

There was nothing noble about Louis XI. but his aims, and nothing great but the results he attained; yet however different he might have been he could not have done better, for what he achieved was the making of France. This was soon seen after his death in the reaction Charles VIII. and Brittany (1483–1498) which menaced his work and those who had served him; but thanks to himself and to his true successor, his eldest daughter Anne, married to the sire de Beaujeu, a younger member of the house of Bourbon, the set-back was only partial. Strife began immediately between the numerous malcontents and the Beaujeu party, who had charge of the little Charles VIII. These latter prudently made concessions: reducing the taille, sacrificing some of Louis XI.’s The Mad War, 1483. creatures to the rancour of the parlement, and restoring a certain number of offices or lands to the hostile princes (chief of whom was the duke of Orleans), and even consenting to a convocation of the states-general at Tours (1484). But the elections having been favourable to royalty, the Beaujeu family made the states reject the regency desired by the duke of Orleans, and organize the king’s council after their own views. When they subsequently eluded the conditions imposed by the states, the deputies—nobles, clergy and burgesses—showed their incapacity to oppose the progress of despotism. In vain did the malcontent princes attempt to set up a new League of Public Weal, the Guerre folle (Mad War), in which the duke of Brittany, Francis II., played the part of Charles the Bold, dragging in the people of Lorraine and the king of Navarre. In vain did Charles VIII., his majority attained, at once abandon in the treaty of Sablé the benefits gained by the victory of Saint-Aubin du Cormier (1488). In vain did Henry VII. of England, Ferdinand the Catholic, and Maximilian of Austria try to prevent the annexation of Brittany by France; its heiress Anne, deserted by every one, made peace and married Charles VIII. in 1491. There was no longer a single great fief in France to which the malcontents could fly for refuge.

It now remained to consolidate the later successes attained by the policy of the Valois—the acquisition of the duchies of Burgundy and Brittany; but instead there was a sudden change and that policy seemed about to be lost in dreams of recapturing the rights of the Angevins A policy of “magnificence.” over Naples, and conquering Constantinople. Charles VIII., a prince with neither intelligence nor resolution, his head stuffed with chivalric romance, was scarcely freed from his sister’s control when he sought in Italy a fatal distraction from the struggle with the house of Austria. By this “war of magnificence” he caused an interruption of half a century in the growth of national sentiment, which was only revived by Henry II.; and he was not alone in thus leaving the bone for the shadow: his contemporaries, Ferdinand the Catholic when delivered from the Moors, and Henry VII. from the power of the English nobles, followed the same superficial policy, not taking the trouble to work for that real strength which comes from the adhesion of willing subjects to their sovereign. They only cared to aggrandize themselves, without thought of national feeling or geographical conditions. The great theorist of these “conquistadores” was Machiavelli. The regent, Anne of Beaujeu, worked in her daughter’s interest to the detriment of the kingdom, by means of a special treaty destined to prevent the property of the Bourbons from reverting to the crown; while Anne of Brittany did the like for her daughter Claude. Louis XII., the next king of France, thought only of the Milanese; Ferdinand the Catholic all but destroyed the Spanish unity at the end of his life by his marriage with Germaine de Foix; while the house of Austria was for centuries to remain involved in this petty course of policy. Ministers followed the example of their self-seeking masters, thinking it no shame to accept pensions from foreign sovereigns. The preponderating consideration everywhere was direct material advantage; there was disproportion everywhere between the means employed and the poverty of the results, a contradiction between the interests of the sovereigns and those of their subjects, which were associated by force and not naturally blended. For the sake of a morsel of Italian territory every one forgot the permanent necessity of opposing the advance of the Turkish crescent, the two horns of which were impinging upon Europe on the Danube and on the Mediterranean.

Italy and Germany were two great tracts of land at the mercy of the highest bidder, rich and easy to dominate, where these coarse and alien kings, still reared on medieval traditions, were for fifty years to gratify their love of conquest. Italy was their first battlefield; Charles VIII. was summoned thither by Lodovico Il Moro, tyrant of Milan, involved in a quarrel with The wars in Italy. his rival, Ferdinand II. of Aragon. The Aragonese had snatched the kingdom of Naples from the French house of Anjou, whose claims Louis XI. had inherited in 1480. To safeguard himself in the rear Charles VIII. handed over Roussillon and Cerdagne (Cerdaña) to Ferdinand the Catholic (that is to say, all the profits of Louis XI.’s policy); gave enormous sums of money to Henry VII. of England; and finally, by the treaty of Senlis ceded Artois and Franche-Comté to Maximilian of Austria. After these fool’s bargains the paladin set out for Naples in 1494. His journey was long and triumphant, and his return precipitate; indeed it very nearly ended in a disaster at Fornovo, owing to the first of those Italian holy leagues which at the least sign of friction were ready to turn against France. At the age of twenty-eight, however, Charles VIII. died without issue (1498).

The accession of his cousin, Louis of Orleans, under the title of Louis XII., only involved the kingdom still further in this Italian imbroglio. Louis did indeed add the fief of Orleans to the royal domain and hastened to divorce Jeanne of France in order to marry Anne, the widow Louis XII.
of his predecessor, so that he might keep Brittany. But he complicated the Naples affair by claiming Milan in consideration of the marriage of his grandfather, Louis of Orleans, to Valentina, daughter of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, duke of Milan. In 1499, appealed to by Venice, and encouraged by his favourite, Cardinal d’Amboise (who was hoping to succeed Pope Alexander VI.), and also by Cesare Borgia, who had lofty ambitions in Italy, Louis XII. conquered Milan in seven months and held it for fourteen years; while Lodovico Sforza, betrayed by his Swiss mercenaries, died a prisoner in France. The kingdom of Naples was still left to recapture; and fearing to be thwarted by Ferdinand of Aragon, Louis XII. proposed to this master of roguery that they should divide the kingdom according to the treaty of Granada (1500). But no sooner had Louis XII. assumed the title of king of Naples than Ferdinand set about despoiling him of it, and despite the bravery of a Bayard and a Louis d’Ars, Louis XII., being also betrayed by the pope, lost Naples for good in 1504. The treaties of Blois occasioned a vast amount of diplomacy, and projects of marriage between Claude of France and Charles of Austria, which came to nothing but served as a prelude to the later quarrels between Bourbons and Habsburgs.

It was Pope Julius II. who opened the gates of Italy to the horrors of war. Profiting by Louis XII.’s weakness and the emperor Maximilian’s strange capricious character, this martial pope sacrificed Italian and religious interests alike in order to re-establish the temporal power of the papacy. Jealous of Venice, at that time the Italian state best provided with powers of expansion, and unable to subjugate it single-handed, Julius succeeded in obtaining help from France, Spain and the Empire. The league of Cambrai (1508) was his finest diplomatic achievement. But he wanted to be sole master of Italy, so in order to expel the French “barbarians” whom he had brought in, he appealed to other barbarians who were far more dangerous—Spaniards, Germans and Swiss—to help him against Louis XII., and stabbed him from behind with the Holy League of 1511.

Weakened by the death of Cardinal d’Amboise, his best counsellor, Louis XII. tried vainly in the assembly of Tours and in the unsuccessful council of Pisa to alienate the French clergy from a papacy which was now so little worthy of respect. But even the splendid victories Louis XII. and
Julius II.
of Gaston de Foix could not shake that formidable coalition; and despite the efforts of Bayard, La Palice and La Trémoille, it was the Church that triumphed. Julius II. died in the hour of victory; but Louis XII. was obliged to evacuate Milan, to which he had sacrificed everything, even France itself, with that political stupidity characteristic of the first Valois. He died almost immediately after this, on the 1st of January 1515, and his subjects, recognizing his thrift, his justice and the secure prosperity of the kingdom, forgot the seventeen years of war in which they had not been consulted, and rewarded him with the fine title of Father of his People.

As Louis XII. left no son, the crown devolved upon his cousin and son-in-law the count of Angoulême, Francis I. No sooner king, Francis, in alliance with Venice, renewed the chimerical attempts to conquer Milan and Naples; also cherishing dreams of his own election as emperor Francis I.
and of a partition of Europe. The heroic episode of Marignano, when he defeated Cardinal Schinner’s Swiss troops (13–15 of September 1515), made him master of the duchy of Milan and obliged his adversaries to make peace. Leo X., Julius II.’s successor, by an astute volte-face exchanged Parma and the Concordat for a guarantee of all the Church’s possessions, which meant the defeat of French plans (1515). The Swiss signed the permanent peace which they were to maintain until the Revolution of 1789; while the emperor and the king of Spain recognized Francis II.’s very precarious hold upon Milan. Once more the French monarchy was pulled up short by the indignation of all Italy (1518).

The question now was how to occupy the military activity of a young, handsome, chivalric and gallant prince, “ondoyant et divers,” intoxicated by his first victory and his tardy accession to fortune. This had been hailed with joy by all who had been his comrades in his days of Character of
Francis I.
difficulty; by his mother, Louise of Savoy, and his sister Marguerite; by all the rough young soldiery; by the nobles, tired of the bourgeois ways of Louis XI. and the patriarchal simplicity of Louis XII.; and finally by all the aristocracy who expected now to have the government in their own hands. So instead of heading the crusade against the Turks, Francis threw himself into the electoral contest at Frankfort, which resulted in the election of Charles V., heir of Ferdinand the Catholic, Spain and Germany thus becoming united. Pope Leo X., moreover, handed over three-quarters of Italy to the new emperor in exchange for Luther’s condemnation, thereby kindling that rivalry between Charles V. and the king of France which was to embroil the whole of Europe throughout half a century (1519–1559), from Pavia to St Quentin.

The territorial power of Charles V., heir to the houses of Burgundy, Austria, Castile and Aragon, which not only arrested the traditional policy of France but hemmed her in on every side; his pretensions to be the head of Christendom; his ambition to restore the house of Rivalry of Francis I. and Charles V. Burgundy and the Holy Roman Empire; his grave and forceful intellect all rendered rivalry both inevitable and formidable. But the scattered heterogeneity of his possessions, the frequent crippling of his authority by national privileges or by political discords and religious quarrels, his perpetual straits for money, and his cautious calculating character, almost outweighed the advantages which he possessed in the terrible Spanish infantry, the wealthy commerce of the Netherlands, and the inexhaustible mines of the New World. Moreover, Francis I. stirred up enmity everywhere against Charles V., and after each defeat he found fresh support in the patriotism of his subjects. Immediately after the treaty of Madrid (1526), which Francis I. was obliged to sign after the disaster at Pavia Defeat at Pavia and treaty of Madrid. and a period of captivity, he did not hesitate between his honour as a gentleman and the interests of his kingdom. Having been unable to win over Henry VIII. of England at their interview on the Field of the Cloth of Gold, he joined hands with Suleiman the Magnificent, the conqueror of Mohács; and the Turkish cavalry, crossing the Hungarian Puszta, made their way as far as Vienna, while the mercenaries of Charles V., under the constable de Bourbon, were reviving the saturnalia of Alaric in the sack of Rome (1527). In Germany, Francis I. assisted the Catholic princes to maintain their political independence, though he did not make the capital he might have made of the reform movement. Italy remained faithful to the vanquished in spite of all, while even Henry VIII. of England, who only needed bribing, and Wolsey, accessible to flattery, took part in the temporary coalition. Thus did France, menaced with disruption, embark upon a course of action imposed upon her by the harsh conditions of the treaty of Madrid—otherwise little respected—and later by those of Cambrai (1529); but it was not till later, too late indeed, that it was defined and became a national policy.

After having, despite so many reverses and mistakes, saved Burgundy, though not Artois nor Flanders, and joined to the crown lands the domains of the constable de Bourbon who had gone over to Charles V., Francis I. should have had enough of defending other people’s independence Further prosecution of romantic expeditions. as well as his own, and should have thought more of his interests in the north and east than of Milan. Yet between 1531 and 1547 he manifested the same regrets and the same invincible ambition for that land of Italy which Charles V., on his side, regarded as the basis of his strength. Their antagonism, therefore, remained unabated, as also the contradiction of an official agreement with Charles V., combined with secret intrigues with his enemies. Anne de Montmorency, now head of the government in place of the headstrong chancellor Duprat, for four years upheld a policy of reconciliation and of almost friendly agreement between the two monarchs (1531–1535). The death of Francis I.’s mother, Louise of Savoy (who had been partly instrumental in arranging the peace of Cambrai), the replacement of Montmorency by the bellicose Chabot, and the advent to power of a Burgundian, Granvella, as Charles V.’s prime minister, put an end to this double-faced policy, which attacked the Calvinists of France while supporting the Lutherans of Germany; made advances to Clement VII. while pretending to maintain the alliance with Henry VIII. (just then consummating the Anglican schism); and sought an alliance with Charles V. without renouncing the possession of Italy. The death of the duke of Milan provoked a third general war (1536–1538); The truce at Nice. but after the conquest of Savoy and Piedmont and a fruitless invasion of Provence by Charles V., it resulted in another truce, concluded at Nice, in the interview at Aigues-mortes, and in the old contradictory policy of the treaty of Cambrai. This was confirmed by Charles V.’s triumphal journey through France (1539).

Rivalry between Madame d’Etampes, the imperious mistress of the aged Francis I., and Diane de Poitiers, whose ascendancy over the dauphin was complete, now brought court intrigues and constant changes in those who held office, to complicate still further this wearisome Fourth outbreak of war. policy of ephemeral “combinazioni” with English, Germans, Italians and Turks, which urgent need of money always brought to naught. The disillusionment of Francis I., who had hitherto hoped that Charles V. would be generous enough to give Milan back to him, and then the assassination of Rincon, his ambassador at Constantinople, led to a fourth war (1544–1546), in the course of which the king of England went over to the side of Charles V.

Unable in the days of his youth to make Italy French, when age began to come upon him, Francis tried to make France Italian. In his château at Blois he drank greedily of the cup of Renaissance art; but he found the exciting draughts of diplomacy which he imbibed Royal absolutism under Francis I. from Machiavelli’s Prince even more intoxicating, and he headed the ship of state straight for the rock of absolutism. He had been the first king “du bon plaisir” (“of his own good pleasure”)—a “Caesar,” as his mother Louise of Savoy proudly hailed him in 1515—and to a man of his gallant and hot-headed temperament love and war were schools little calculated to teach moderation in government. Italy not only gave him a taste for art and letters, but furnished him with an arsenal of despotic maxims. Yet his true masters were the jurists of the southern universities, passionately addicted to centralization and autocracy, men like Duprat and Poyet, who revived the persistent tradition of Philip the Fair’s legists. Grouped together on the council of affairs, they managed to control the policy of the common council, with its too mixed and too independent membership. They successfully strove to separate “the grandeur and superexcellence of the king” from the rest of the nation; to isolate the nobility amid the seductions of a court lavish in promises of favour and high office; and to win over the bourgeoisie by the buying and selling and afterwards by the hereditary transmission of offices. Thanks to their action, feudalism was attacked in its landed interest in the person of the constable de Bourbon; feudalism in its financial aspect by the execution of superintendent Semblançay and the special privileges of towns and provinces by administrative centralization. The bureaucracy became a refuge for the nobles, and above all for the bourgeois, whose fixed incomes were lowered by the influx of precious metals from the New World, while the wages of artisans rose. All those time-worn medieval institutions which no longer allowed free scope to private or public life were demolished by the legists in favour of the monarchy.

Their master-stroke was the Concordat of 1516, which meant an immense stride in the path towards absolutism. While Germany and England, where ultramontane doctrines had been allowed to creep in, were seeking a remedy against the economic exactions of the papacy in a The concordat
of 1516.
reform of dogma or in schism, France had supposed herself to have found this in the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges. But to the royal jurists the right of the churches and abbeys to make appointments to all vacant benefices was a guarantee of liberties valuable to the clergy, but detestable to themselves because the clergy thus retained the great part of public wealth and authority. By giving the king the ecclesiastical patronage they not only made a docile instrument of him, but endowed him with a mine of wealth, even more productive than the sale of offices, and a power of favouring and rewarding that transformed a needy and ill-obeyed king into an absolute monarch. To the pope they offered a mess of pottage in the shape of annates and the right of canonical institution, in order to induce him to sell the Church of France to the king. By this royal reform they completely isolated the monarchy, in the presumptuous pride of omnipotence, upon the ruins of the Church and the aristocracy, despite both the university and the parlement of Paris.

Thus is explained Francis I.’s preoccupation with Italian adventures in the latter part of his reign, and also the inordinate squandering of money, the autos-da-fé in the provinces and in Paris, the harsh repression of reform and free thought, and the sale of justice; while the nation became impoverished and the state was at the mercy of the caprices of royal mistresses—all of which was to become more and more pronounced during the twelve years of Henry II.’s government.

Henry II. shone but with a reflected light—in his private life reflected from his old mistress, Diane de Poitiers, and in his political action reflected from the views of Montmorency or the Guises. He only showed his own personality in an egoism more narrow-minded, in Henry II.
hatred yet bitterer than his father’s; or in a haughty and jealous insistence upon an absolute authority which he never had the wit to maintain.

The struggle with Charles V. was at first delayed by differences with England. The treaty of Ardres had left two bones of contention: the cession of Boulogne to England and the exclusion of the Scotch from the terms of peace. At last the regent, the duke of Somerset, Henry II. and
Charles V.
endeavoured to arrange a marriage between Edward VI., then a minor, and Mary Stuart, who had been offered in marriage to the dauphin Francis by her mother, Marie of Lorraine, a Guise who had married the king of Scotland. The transference of Mary Stuart to France, and the treaty of 1550 which restored Boulogne to France for a sum of 400,000 crowns, suspended the state of war; and then Henry II.’s opposition to the imperial policy of Charles V. showed itself everywhere: in Savoy and Piedmont, occupied by the French and claimed by Philibert Emmanuel, Charles V.’s ally; in Navarre, unlawfully conquered by Ferdinand the Catholic and claimed by the family of Albret; in Italy, where, aided and abetted by Pope Paul III., Henry II. was trying to regain support; and, finally, in Germany, where after the victory of Charles V. at Mühlberg (1547) the Protestant princes called Henry II. to their aid, offering to subsidize him and cede to him the towns of Metz, Toul and Verdun. The Protestant alliance was substituted for the Turkish alliance, and Henry II. hastened to accept the offers made to him (1552); but this was rather late in the day, for the reform movement had produced civil war and evoked fresh forces. The Germans, in whom national feeling got the better of imperialistic ardour, as soon as they saw the French at Strassburg, made terms with the emperor at Passau and permitted Charles to use all his forces against Henry II. The Defence of Metz.

Truce of Vaucelles.
defence of Metz by Francis of Guise was admirable and successful; but in Picardy operations continued their course without much result, owing to the incapacity of the constable de Montmorency. Fortunately, despite the marriage of Charles V.’s son Philip to Mary Tudor, which gave him the support of England (1554), and despite the religious pacification of Germany through the peace of Augsburg (1555), Charles V., exhausted by illness and by thirty years of intense activity, in the truce of Vaucelles abandoned Henry II.’s conquests—Piedmont and the Three Bishoprics. He then abdicated the government of his kingdoms, which he divided between his son Philip II. and his brother Ferdinand (1556). A double victory, this, for France.

Henry II.’s resumption of war, without provocation and without allies, was a grave error; but more characterless than ever, the king was urged to it by the Guises, whose influence since the defence of Metz had been supreme at court and who were perhaps hoping to obtain Henry II. and
Philip II.

Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis.
Naples for themselves. On the other hand, Pope Paul IV. and his nephew Carlo Caraffa embarked upon the struggle, because as Neapolitans they detested the Spaniards, whom they considered as “barbarous” as the Germans or the French. The constable de Montmorency’s disaster at Saint Quentin (August 1557), by which Philip II. had not the wit to profit, was successfully avenged by Guise, who was appointed lieutenant-general of the kingdom. He took Calais by assault in January 1558, after the English had held it for two centuries, and occupied Luxemburg. The treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis (August 1559) finally put an end to the Italian follies, Naples, Milan and Piedmont; but it also lost Savoy, making a gap in the frontier for a century. The question of Burgundy was definitely settled, too; but the Netherlands had still to be conquered. By the possession of the three bishoprics and the recapture of Calais an effort towards a natural line of frontier and towards a national policy seemed indicated; but while the old soldiers could not forget Marignano, Ceresole, nor Italy perishing with the name of France on her lips, the secret alliance between the cardinal of Lorraine and Granvella against the Protestant heresy foretold the approaching subordination of national questions to religious differences, and a decisive attempt to purge the kingdom of the new doctrines.

The origin and general history of the religious reformation in the 16th century are dealt with elsewhere (see Church History and Reformation). In France it had originally no revolutionary character whatever; it proceeded from traditional Gallican theories and from The Reformation. the innovating principle of humanism, and it began as a protest against Roman decadence and medieval scholasticism. It found its first adherents and its first defenders among the clerics and learned men grouped around Faber (Lefèvre) of Étaples at Meaux; while Marguerite of Navarre, “des Roynes la non pareille,” was the indefatigable Maecenas of these innovators, and the incarnation of the Protestant spirit at its purest. The reformers shook off the yoke of systems in order boldly to renovate both knowledge and faith; and, instead of resting on the abstract a priori principles within which man and nature had been imprisoned, they returned to the ancient methods of observation and analysis. In so doing, they separated intellectual from popular life; and acting in this spirit, through the need of a moral renaissance, they reverted to primitive Christianity, substituting the inner and individual authority of conscience for the general and external authority of the Church. Their efforts would not, however, have sufficed if they had not been seconded by events; pure doctrine would not have given birth to a church, nor that church to a party; in France, as in Germany, the religious revolution was conditioned by an economic and social revolution.

The economic renaissance due to the great maritime discoveries had the consequence of concentrating wealth in the hands of the bourgeoisie. Owing to their mental qualities, their tendencies and their resources, the bourgeoisie had been, if not alone, at least most apt in profiting by the development of industry, by the extension of commerce, and by the formation of a new and mobile means of enriching themselves. But though the bourgeois had acquired through capitalism certain sources of influence, and gradually monopolized municipal and public functions, the king and the peasants had also benefited by this revolution. After a hundred and fifty years of foreign war and civil discord, at a period when order and unity were ardently desired, an absolute monarchy had appeared the only power capable of realizing such aspirations. The peasants, moreover, had profited by the reduction of the idle landed aristocracy; serfdom had decreased or had been modified; and the free peasants were more prosperous, had reconquered the soil, and were selling their produce at a higher rate while they everywhere paid less exorbitant rents. The victims of this process were the urban proletariat, whose treatment by their employers in trade became less and less protective and beneficent, and the nobility, straitened in their financial resources, uprooted from their ancient strongholds, and gradually despoiled of their power by a monarchy based on popular support. The unlimited sovereignty of the prince was established upon the ruins of the feudal system; and the capitalism of the merchants and bankers upon the closing of the trade-gilds to workmen, upon severe economic pressure and upon the exploitation of the artisans’ labour.

Though reform originated among the educated classes it speedily found an echo among the industrial classes of the 16th century, further assisted by the influence of German and Flemish journeymen. The popular reform-movement was essentially an urban movement; Transformation of religious reform
into party politics.
although under Francis I. and Henry II. it had already begun to spread into the country. The artisans, labourers and small shop-keepers who formed the first nucleus of the reformed church were numerous enough to provide an army of martyrs, though too few to form a party. Revering the monarchy and established institutions, they endured forty years of persecution before they took up arms. It was only during the second half of Henry II.’s reign that Protestantism, having achieved its religious evolution, became a political party. Weary of being trodden under foot, it now demanded much more radical reform, quitting the ranks of peaceable citizens to pass into the only militant class of the time and adopt its customs. Men like Coligny, d’Andelot and Condé took the place of the timid Lefèvre of Étaples and the harsh and bitter Calvin; and the reform party, in contradiction to its doctrines and its doctors, became a political and religious party of opposition, with all the compromises that presupposes. The struggle against it was no longer maintained by the university and the parlement alone, but also by the king, whose authority it menaced.

With his intrepid spirit, his disdain for ecclesiastical authority and his strongly personal religious feeling, Francis I. had for a moment seemed ready to be a reformer himself; but deprived by the Concordat of all interest in the confiscation of church property, aspiring to political Royal persecution under Francis I.
and Henry II.
alliance with the pope, and as mistrustful of popular forces as desirous of absolute power and devoted to Italy, he paused and then drew back. Hence came the revocation in 1540 of the edict of tolerance of Coucy (1535), and the massacre of the Vaudois (1545). Henry II., a fanatic, went still further in his edict of Châteaubriant (1551), a code of veritable persecution, and in the coup d’état carried out in the parlement against Antoine du Bourg and his colleagues (1559). At the same time the pastors of the reformed religion, met in synod at Paris, were setting down their confession of faith founded upon the Scriptures, and their ecclesiastical discipline founded upon the independence of the churches. Thenceforward Protestantism adopted a new attitude, and refused obedience to the orders of a persecuting monarchy when contrary to its faith and its interests. After the saints came men. Hence those wars of religion which were to hold the monarchy in check for forty years and even force it to come to terms.

In slaying Henry II. Montgomery’s lance saved the Protestants for the time being. His son and successor, Francis II., was but a nervous sickly boy, bandied between two women: his mother, Catherine de’ Medici, hitherto kept in the background, and his wife, Mary Stuart, queen of Francis II.
Scotland, who being a niece of the Guises brought her uncles, the constable Francis and the cardinal of Lorraine, into power. These ambitious and violent men took the government out of the hands of the constable de Montmorency and the princes of the blood: Antoine de Bourbon, king of Navarre, weak, credulous, always playing a double game on account of his preoccupation with Navarre; Condé, light-hearted and brave, but not fitted to direct a party; and the cardinal de Bourbon, a mere nonentity. The only plan which these princes could adopt in the struggle, once they had lost the king, was to make a following for themselves among the Calvinist malcontents and the gentlemen disbanded after the Italian wars. The Guises, strengthened by the failure of the conspiracy of Amboise, which had been aimed at them, abused the advantage due to their victory. Despite the edict of Romorantin, which by giving the bishops the right of cognizance of heresy prevented the introduction of the Inquisition on the Spanish model into France; despite the assembly of Fontainebleau, where an attempt was made at a compromise acceptable to both Catholics and moderate Calvinists; the reform party and its Bourbon leaders, arrested at the states-general of Orleans, were in danger of their lives. The death of Francis II. in December 1560 compromised the influence of the Guises and again saved Protestantism.

Charles IX. also was a minor, and the regent should legally have been the first prince of the blood, Antoine de Bourbon; but cleverly flattered by the queen-mother, Catherine de’ Medici, he let her take the reins of government. Hitherto Catherine had been merely the resigned Charles IX.
and neglected wife of Henry II., and though eloquent, insinuating and ambitious, she had been inactive. She had attained the age of forty-one when she at last came into power amidst the hopes and anxieties aroused by the fall of the Guises and the return of the Bourbons to fortune. Indifferent in religious matters, she had a passion for authority, a characteristically Italian adroitness in intrigue, a fine political sense, and the feeling that the royal authority might be endangered both by Calvinistic passions and Catholic violence. She decided for a system of tolerance; and Michel de l’Hôpital, the new chancellor, was her spokesman at the states of Orleans (1560). He was a good and honest man, moderate, conciliatory and temporizing, anxious to lift the monarchy above the strife of parties and to reconcile them; but he was so little practical that he could believe in a reformation of the laws in the midst of all the violent passions which were now to be let loose. These two, Catherine and her chancellor, attempted, like Charles V. at Augsburg, to bring about religious pacification as a necessary condition for the maintenance of order; but they were soon overwhelmed by the different factions.

On one side was the Catholic triumvirate of the constable de Montmorency, the duke of Guise, and the marshal de St André; and on the other the Huguenot party of Condé and Coligny, who, having obtained liberty of conscience in January 1561, now demanded liberty The parties. of worship. The colloquy at Poissy between the cardinal of Lorraine and Theodore Beza (September 1561), did not end in the agreement hoped for, and the duke of Guise so far abused its spirit as to embroil the French Calvinists with the German Lutherans. The rupture seemed irremediable when the assembly of Poissy recognized the order of the Jesuits, which the French church had held in suspicion since its foundation. However, yielding to the current which was carrying the greater part of the Edict of tolerance. nation towards reform, and despite the threats of Philip II. who dreaded Calvinistic propaganda in his Netherlands, Michel de l’Hôpital promulgated the edict of January 17, 1562—a true charter of enfranchisement for the Protestants. But the pressure of events and of parties was too strong; the policy of toleration which had miscarried at the council of Trent had no chance of success in France.

The triumvirate’s relations with Spain and Rome were very close; they had complete ascendancy over the king and over Catherine; and now the massacre of two hundred Protestants at Vassy on the 1st of March 1562 made the cup overflow. The duke of Guise had either Character of the religious wars. ordered this, or allowed it to take place, on his return from an interview with the duke of Württemberg at Zabern, where he had once more demanded the help of his Lutheran neighbours against the Calvinists; and the Catholics having celebrated this as a victory the signal was given for the commencement of religious wars. When these eight fratricidal wars first began, Protestants and Catholics rivalled one another in respect for royal authority; only they wished to become its masters so as to get the upper hand themselves. But in course of time, as the struggle became embittered, Catholicism itself grew revolutionary; and this twofold fanaticism, Catholic and Protestant, even more than the ambition of the leaders, made the war a ferocious one from the very first. Beginning with surprise attacks, if these failed, the struggle was continued by means of sieges and by terrible exploits like those of the Catholic Montluc and the Protestant des Adrets in the south of France. Neither of these two parties was strong enough to crush the other, owing to the apathy and continual desertions of the gentlemen-cavaliers who formed the élite of the Protestant army and the insufficient numbers of the Catholic forces. Allies from outside were therefore called in, and this it was that gave a European character to these wars of religion; the two parties were parties of foreigners, the Protestants being supported by German Landsknechts and Elizabeth of England’s cavalry, and the royal army by Italian, Swiss or Spanish auxiliaries. It was no longer patriotism but religion that distinguished the two camps. There were three principal theatres of war: in the north Normandy and the valley of the Loire, where Orleans, the general centre of reform, ensured communications between the south and Germany; in the south-west Gascony and Guienne; in the south-east Lyonnais and Vivarais.

In the first war, which lasted for a year (1562–1563), the triumvirs wished to secure Orleans, previously isolated. The threat of an English landing decided them to lay siege to Rouen, and it was taken by assault; but this cost the life of the versatile Antoine de Bourbon. On First religious war. the 19th of December 1562 the duke of Guise barred the way to Dreux against the German reinforcements of d’Andelot, who after having threatened Paris were marching to join forces with the English troops for whom Coligny and Condé had paid by the cession of Havre. The death of marshal de St André, and the capture of the constable de Montmorency and of Condé, which marked this indecisive battle, left Coligny and Guise face to face. The latter’s success was of brief duration; for on the 18th of February 1563 Poltrot de Méré assassinated him before Orleans, which he was trying to take once and for all. Catherine, relieved by the loss of an inconvenient preceptor, and by the disappearance of the other leaders, became mistress of the Catholic party, of whose strength and popularity she had now had proof, and her idea was to make peace at once on the best terms possible. The egoism of Condé, who got himself made lieutenant-general of the kingdom, and bargained for freedom of worship for the Protestant nobility only, compromised the future of both his church and his party, though rendering possible the peace of Amboise, concluded the 19th of March 1563. All now set off together to recapture Havre from the English.

The peace, however, satisfied no one; neither Catholics (because of the rupture of religious unity) nor the parlements; the pope, the emperor and king of Spain alike protested against it. Nor yet did it satisfy the Protestants, who considered its concessions insufficient, above all Peace of Amboise (1563). for the people. It was, however, the maximum of tolerance possible just then, and had to be reverted to; Catherine and Charles IX. soon saw that the times were not ripe for a third party, and that to enforce real toleration would require an absolute power which they did not possess. After three years the Guises reopened hostilities against Coligny, whom they accused of having plotted the murder of their chief; while the Catholics, egged on by the Spaniards, rose against the Protestants, who had been made uneasy by an interview between Catherine and her daughter Elizabeth, wife of Philip II. of Spain, at Bayonne, and by the duke of Alva’s persecutions of the reformed church of the Netherlands—a daughter-church of Geneva, like their own. The second civil war began like the Second civil war.

Peace of Longjumeau.
first with a frustrated attempt to kidnap the king, at the castle of Montceaux, near Meaux, in September 1567; and with a siege of Paris, the general centre of Catholicism, in the course of which the constable de Montmorency was killed at Saint-Denis. Condé, with the men-at-arms of John Casimir, son of the Count Palatine, tried to starve out the capital; but once more the defection of the nobles obliged him to sign a treaty of peace at Longjumeau on the 23rd of March 1568, by which the conditions of Amboise were re-established. After the attempt at Montceaux the Protestants had to be contented with Charles IX.’s word.

This peace was not of long duration. The fall of Michel de l’Hôpital, who had so often guaranteed the loyalty of the Huguenots, ruined the moderate party (May 1568). Catholic propaganda, revived by the monks and the Jesuits, and backed by the armed confraternities and Third war. by Catherine’s favourite son, the duke of Anjou, now entrusted with a prominent part by the cardinal of Lorraine; Catherine’s complicity in the duke of Alva’s terrible persecution in the Netherlands; and her attempt to capture Coligny and Condé at Noyers all combined to cause a fresh outbreak of hostilities in the west. Thanks to Tavannes, the duke of Anjou gained easy victories at Jarnac over the prince of Condé, who was killed, and at Moncontour over Coligny, who was wounded (March-October 1569); but these successes were rendered fruitless by the jealousy of Charles IX. Allowing the queen of Navarre to shut herself up in La Rochelle, the citadel of the reformers, and the king to loiter over the siege of Saint Jean d’Angély, Coligny pushed boldly forward towards Paris and, having reached Burgundy, defeated the royal army at Arnay-le-duc. Catherine had exhausted all her resources; and having failed in her project of remarrying Philip II. to one of her daughters, and of betrothing Charles IX. to the eldest of the Austrian archduchesses, exasperated also by the presumption of the Lorraine family, who aspired to the marriage of their nephew with Charles IX.’s Peace of St Germain (1570). sister, she signed the peace of St Germain on the 8th of August 1570. This was the culminating point of Protestant liberty; for Coligny exacted and obtained, first, liberty of conscience and of worship, and then, as a guarantee of the king’s word, four fortified places: La Rochelle, a key to the sea; La Charité, in the centre; Cognac and Montauban in the south.

The Guises set aside, Coligny, supported as he was by Jeanne d’Albret, queen of Navarre, now received all Charles IX.’s favour. Catherine de’ Medici, an inveterate matchmaker, and also uneasy at Philip II.’s increasing power, made advances to Jeanne, proposing to marry Coligny and the Netherlands. her own daughter, Marguerite de Valois, to Jeanne’s son, Henry of Navarre, now chief of the Huguenot party. Coligny was a Protestant, but he was a Frenchman before all; and wishing to reconcile all parties in a national struggle, he “trumpeted war” (cornait la guerre) against Spain in the Netherlands—despite the lukewarmness of Elizabeth of England and the Germans, and despite the counter-intrigues of the pope and of Venice. He succeeded in getting French troops sent to the Netherlands, but they suffered defeat. None the less Charles IX. still seemed to see only through the eyes of Coligny; till Catherine, fearing to be supplanted by the latter, dreading the results of the threatened war with Spain, and egged on by a crowd of Italian adventurers in the pay of Spain—men like Gondi and Birague, reared like herself in the political theories and customs of their native land—saw no hope but in the assassination of this rival in her son’s esteem. A murderous attack upon Coligny, who had opposed the candidature of Catherine’s favourite son, the duke of Anjou, for the throne of Poland, having only succeeded in wounding him and in exciting the Calvinist leaders, who were congregated in Paris for the occasion of Marguerite de Valois’ marriage with the king of Navarre, Catherine St Bartholomew, August 24, 1572. and the Guises resolved together to put them all to death. There followed the wholesale massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve, in Paris and in the provinces; a natural consequence of public and private hatreds which had poisoned the entire social organism. This massacre had the effect of preventing the expedition into Flanders, and destroying Francis I.’s policy of alliance with the Protestants against the house of Austria.

Catherine de’ Medici soon perceived that the massacre of St Bartholomew had settled nothing. It had, it is true, dealt a blow to Calvinism just when, owing to the reforms of the council of Trent, the religious ground had been crumbling beneath it. Moreover, within the party The party of the politiques. itself a gulf had been widening between the pastors, supported by the Protestant democracy and the political nobles. The reformers had now no leaders, and their situation seemed as perilous as that of their co-religionists in the Netherlands; while the sieges of La Rochelle and Leiden, the enforced exile of the prince of Orange, and the conversion under pain of death of Henry of Navarre and the prince of Condé, made the common danger more obvious. Salvation came from the very excess of the repressive measures. A third party was once more formed, composed of moderates from the two camps, and it was recruited quite as much by jealousy of the Guises and by ambition as by horror at the massacres. There were the friends of the Montmorency party—Damville at their head; Coligny’s relations; the king of Navarre; Condé; and a prince of the blood, Catherine de’ Medici’s third son, the duke of Alençon, tired of being kept Fourth War. Edict of Boulogne (1573). in the background. This party took shape at the end of the fourth war, followed by the edict of Boulogne (1573), forced from Charles IX. when the Catholics were deprived of their leader by the election of his brother, the duke of Anjou, as king of Poland. A year later the latter succeeded his brother on the throne of France as Henry III. This meant a new lease of power for the queen-mother.

The politiques, as the supporters of religious tolerance and an energetic repression of faction were called, offered their alliance to the Huguenots, but these, having formed themselves, by means of the Protestant Union, into a sort of republic within the kingdom, hesitated to Fifth War. accept. It is, however, easy to bring about an understanding between people in whom religious fury has been extinguished either by patriotism or by ambition, like that of the duke of Alençon, who had now escaped from the Louvre where he had been confined on account of his intrigues. The compact was concluded at Millau; Condé becoming a Protestant once more in order to treat with Damville, Montmorency’s brother. Henry of Navarre escaped from Paris. The new king, Henry III., Henry III.
vacillating and vicious, and Catherine herself, eager for war as she was, had no means of separating the Protestants and the politiques. Despite the victory of Guise at Dormans, the agreement between the duke of Alençon and John Casimir’s German army obliged the royal party to grant all that the allied forces demanded of them in the “peace of Monsieur,” signed at Beaulieu on the 6th of May Peace of Monsieur (1576). 1576, the duke of Alençon receiving the appanage of Anjou, Touraine and Berry, the king of Navarre Guienne, and Condé Picardy, while the Protestants were granted freedom of worship in all parts of the kingdom except Paris, the rehabilitation of Coligny and the other victims of St Bartholomew, their fortified towns, and an equal number of seats in the courts of the parlements.

This was going too fast; and in consequence of a reaction against this too liberal edict a fourth party made its appearance, that of the Catholic League, under the Guises—Henry le Balafré, duke of Guise, and his two brothers, Charles, duke of Mayenne, and Louis, archbishop of Reims The Catholic League. and cardinal. With the object of destroying Calvinism by effective opposition, they imitated the Protestant organization of provincial associations, drawing their chief supporters from the upper middle class and the lesser nobility. It was not at first a demagogy maddened by the preaching of the irreconcilable clergy of Paris, but a union of the more honest and prudent classes of the nation in order to combat heresy. Despite the immorality and impotence of Henry III. and the Protestantism of Henry of Navarre, this party talked of re-establishing the authority of the king; but in reality it inclined more to the Guises, martyrs in the good cause, who were supported by Philip II. of Spain and Pope Gregory XIII. A sort of popular government was thus established to counteract the incapacity of royalty, and it was in the name of the imperilled rights of the people that, from the States of Blois onward, this Holy League demanded the re-establishment of Catholic unity, and set the religious right of the nation in opposition to the divine right of incapable or evil-doing kings (1576).

In order to oust his rival Henry of Guise, Henry III. made a desperate effort to outbid him in the eyes of the more extreme Catholics, and by declaring himself head of the League degraded himself into a party leader. The League, furious at this stroke of policy, tried to impose a council The States of Blois (1576).
Sixth War and peace of Bergerac (1577). Seventh War and peace of Fleix (1580).
of thirty-six advisers upon the king. But the deputies of the third estate did not support the other two orders, and the latter in their turn refused the king money for making war on the heretics, desiring, they said, not war but the destruction of heresy. This would have reduced Henry III. to impotence; fortunately for him, however, the break of the Huguenots with the “Malcontents,” and the divisions in the court of Navarre and in the various parties at La Rochelle, allowed Henry III., after two little wars in the south west, during which fighting gradually degenerated into brigandage, to sign terms of peace at Bergerac (1577), which much diminished the concessions made in the edict of Beaulieu. This peace was confirmed three years after by that of Fleix. The suppression of both the leagues was stipulated for (1580). It remained, however, a question whether the Holy League would submit to this.

The death of the duke of Anjou after his mad endeavour to establish himself in the Netherlands (1584), and the accession of Henry of Navarre, heir to the effeminate Henry III., reversed the situations of the two parties: the Protestants again became supporters of the principle of Union between the Guises and Philip II. heredity and divine right; the Catholics appealed to right of election and the sovereignty of the people. Could the crown of the eldest daughter of the Church be allowed to devolve upon a relapsed heretic? Such was the doctrine officially preached in pulpit and pamphlet. But between Philip II. on the one hand—now master of Portugal and delivered from William of Orange, involved in strife with the English Protestants, and desirous of avenging the injuries inflicted upon him by the Valois in the Netherlands—and the Guises on the other hand, whose cousin Mary Stuart was a prisoner of Queen Elizabeth, there was a common interest in supporting one another and pressing things forward. A definite agreement was made between them at Joinville (December 31, 1584), the religious and popular pretext being the danger of leaving the kingdom to the king of Navarre, and the ostensible end to secure the succession to a Catholic prince, the old Cardinal de Bourbon, an ambitious and violent man of mean intelligence; while the secret aim was to secure the crown for the Guises, who had already attempted to fabricate for themselves a genealogy tracing their descent from Charlemagne. In the meantime Philip II., being rid of Don John of Austria, whose ambition he dreaded, was to crush the Protestants of England and the Netherlands; and the double result of the compact at Joinville was to allow French politics to be controlled by Spain, and to transform the wars of religion into a purely political quarrel.

The pretensions of the Guises were, in fact, soon manifested in the declaration of Péronne (March 30, 1585) against the foul court of the Valois; they were again manifested in a furious agitation, fomented by the secret council of the League at Paris, which favoured the Guises, The committee of Sixteen at Paris.

Eighth war of the three Henries.
and which now worked on the people through their terror of Protestant retaliations and the Church’s peril. Incited by Philip II., who wished to see him earning his pension of 600,000 golden crowns, Henry of Guise began the war in the end of April, and in a few days the whole kingdom was on fire. The situation was awkward for Henry III., who had not the courage to ask Queen Elizabeth for the soldiers and money that he lacked. The crafty king of Navarre being unwilling to alienate the Protestants save by an apostasy profitable to himself, Henry III., by the treaty of Nemours (July 7, 1585), granted everything to the head of the League in order to save his crown. By a stroke of the pen he suppressed Protestantism, while Pope Sixtus V., who had at first been unfavourable to the treaty of Joinville as a purely political act, though he eventually yielded to the solicitations of the League, excommunicated the two Bourbons, Henry and Condé. But the duke of Guise’s audacity did not make Henry III. forget his desire for vengeance. He hoped to ruin him by attaching him to his cause. His favourite Joyeuse was to defeat the king of Navarre, whose forces were very weak, while Guise was to deal with the strong reinforcement of Germans that Elizabeth was sending to Henry of Navarre. Exactly the contrary happened. By the defeat of Joyeuse at Coutras Henry III. found himself wounded on his strongest side; and by Henry of Guise’s successes at Vimory and Auneau the Germans, who should have been his best auxiliaries against the League, were crushed (October-November 1587).

The League now thought they had no longer anything to fear. Despite the king’s hostility the duke of Guise came to Paris, urged thereto by Philip II., who wanted to occupy Paris and be master of the Channel coasts whilst he launched his invincible Armada to avenge the death of Day of the Barricades. Mary Stuart in 1587. On the Day of the Barricades (May 12, 1588) Henry III. was besieged in the Louvre by the populace in revolt; but his rival dared not go so far as to depose the king, and appeased the tumult. The king, having succeeded in taking refuge at Chartres, ended, however, by granting him in the Act of Union all that he had refused in face of the barricades—the post of lieutenant-general of the kingdom and the proscription of Protestantism. At the second assembly of the states of Blois, called together on account of the need for money (1588), Assassination of the Guises at the second states-general of Blois. all of Henry III.’s enemies who were elected showed themselves even bolder than in 1576 in claiming the control of the financial administration of the kingdom; but the destruction of the Armada gave Henry III., already exasperated by the insults he had received, new vigour. He had the old Cardinal de Bourbon imprisoned, and Henry of Guise and his brother the cardinal assassinated (December 23, 1588). On the 5th of January, 1589, died his mother, Catherine de’Medici, the astute Florentine.

“Now I am king!” cried Henry III. But Paris being dominated by the duke of Mayenne, who had escaped assassination, and by the council of “Sixteen,” the chiefs of the League, most of the provinces replied by open revolt, and Henry III. had no alternative but an alliance with Henry of Navarre. Assassination of Henry III. Thanks to this he was on the point of seizing Paris, when in his turn he was assassinated on the 1st of August 1589 by a Jacobin monk, Jacques Clément; with his dying breath he designated the king of Navarre as his successor.

Between the popular League and the menace of the Protestants it was a question whether the new monarch was to be powerless in his turn. Henry IV. had almost the whole of his kingdom to conquer. The Cardinal de Bourbon, king according to the League and proclaimed under the title The Bourbons. of Charles X., could count upon the Holy League itself, upon the Spaniards of the Netherlands, and upon the pope. Henry IV. was only supported by a certain number of the Calvinists and by the Catholic minority of the Politiques, who, however, gradually induced the rest of the nation to rally round the only legitimate prince. The nation wished for the establishment of internal unity through religious tolerance and the extinction of private organizations; it looked for the extension of France’s external power through the abasement of the house of Spain, protection of the Protestants in the Netherlands and Germany, and independence of Rome. Henry IV., moreover, was forced to take an oath at the camp of Saint Cloud to associate the nation in the affairs of the kingdom by means of the states-general. These three conditions were interdependent; and Henry IV., with his persuasive manners, his frank and charming character, and his personal valour, seemed capable of keeping them all three.

The first thing for this soldier-king to do was to conquer his kingdom and maintain its unity. He did not waste time by withdrawing towards the south; he kept in the neighbourhood of Paris, on the banks of the Seine, within reach of help from Elizabeth; and twice—at Arques Henry IV.
and at Ivry (1589–1590)—he vanquished the duke of Mayenne, lieutenant-general of the League. But after having tried to seize Paris (as later Rouen) by a coup-de-main, he was obliged to raise the siege in view of reinforcements sent to Mayenne by the duke of Parma. Pope Gregory XIV., an enthusiastic supporter of the League and a strong adherent of Spain, having succeeded Sixtus V., who had been very lukewarm towards the League, made Henry IV.’s position still more serious just at the moment when, the old Cardinal de Bourbon having died, Philip II. wanted to be declared the protector of the kingdom in order that he might dismember it, and when Charles Emmanuel of Savoy, a grandson of Francis I., and Charles III., duke of Lorraine, a son-in-law of Henry II., were both of them claiming the crown. Fortunately, however, the Sixteen had disgusted the upper bourgeoisie by their demagogic airs; while their open alliance with Philip II., and their acceptance of a Spanish garrison in Paris had offended the patriotism of the Politiques or moderate members of the League. Mayenne, who oscillated between Philip II. and Henry IV., was himself obliged to break up and subdue this party of fanatics and theologians (December 1591). This game of see-saw between the Politiques and the League furthered his secret ambition, but also the dissolution of the kingdom; and the pressure of public opinion, which desired an effective monarchy, put an end to this temporizing policy and caused the convocation of the states-general States-general of 1592. in Paris (December 1592). Philip II., through the duke of Feria’s instrumentality, demanded the throne for his daughter Isabella, grand-daughter of Henry II. through her mother. But who was to be her husband? The archduke Ernest of Austria, Guise or Mayenne? The parlement cut short these bargainings by condemning all ultramontane pretensions and Spanish intrigues. The unpopularity of Spain, patriotism, the greater predominance of national questions in public opinion, and weariness of both religious disputation and indecisive warfare, all these sentiments were expressed in the wise and clever pamphlet entitled the Satire Ménippée. What had been a slow movement between 1585 and 1592 was quickened by Henry IV.’s abjuration of Protestantism at Saint-Denis on the 23rd of July 1593.

The coronation of the king at Chartres in February 1594 completed the rout of the League. The parlement of Paris declared against Mayenne, who was simply the mouthpiece of Spain, and Brissac, the governor, surrendered the capital to the king. The example of Paris and Abjuration of Henry IV., July 23, 1593. Henry IV.’s clemency rallied round him all prudent Catholics, like Villeroy and Jeannin, anxious for national unity; but he had to buy over the adherents of the League, who sold him his own kingdom for sixty million francs. The pontifical absolution of September 17, 1595, finally stultified the League, which had been again betrayed by the unsuccessful plot of Jean Chastel, the Jesuit’s pupil.

Nothing was now left but to expel the Spaniards, who under cover of religion had worked for their own interests alone. Despite the brilliant charge of Fontaine-Française in Burgundy (June 5, 1595), and the submission of the heads of the League, Guise, Mayenne, Joyeuse, and Peace of Vervins. Mercœur, the years 1595–1597 were not fortunate for Henry IV.’s armies. Indignant at his conversion, Elizabeth, the Germans, and the Swiss Protestants deserted him; while the taking of Amiens by the Spaniards compromised for the moment the future both of the king and the country. But exhaustion of each other, by which only England and Holland profited, brought about the Peace of Vervins. This confirmed the results of the treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis (May 2, 1598), that is to say, the decadence of Spanish power, and its inability either to conquer or to dismember France.

The League, having now no reason for existence, was dissolved; but the Protestant party remained very strong, with its political organization and the fortified places which the assemblies of Millau, Nîmes and La Rochelle (1573–1574) had established in the south and the west. Edict of Nantes, 1598. It was a republican state within the kingdom, and, being unwilling to break with it, Henry IV. came to terms by the edict of Nantes, on the 13th of April 1598. This was a compromise between the royal government and the Huguenot government, the latter giving up the question of public worship, which was only authorized where it had existed before 1597 and in two towns of each bailliage, with the exception of Paris; but it secured liberty of conscience throughout the kingdom, state payment for its ministers, admission to all employments, and courts composed equally of Catholics and Protestants in the parlements. An authorization to hold synods and political assemblies, to open schools, and to occupy a hundred strong places for eight years at the expense of the king, assured to the Protestants not only rights but privileges. In no other country did they enjoy so many guarantees against a return of persecution. This explains why the edict of Nantes was not registered without some difficulty.

Thus the blood-stained 16th century closed with a promise of religious toleration and a dream of international arbitration. This was the end of the long tragedy of civil strife and of wars of conquest, mingled with the sound of madrigals and psalms and pavanes. It had been the Results of the religious wars. golden age of the arquebus and the viol, of sculptors and musicians, of poets and humanists, of fratricidal conflicts and of love-songs, of mignons and martyrs. At the close of this troubled century peace descends upon exhausted passions; and amidst the choir of young and ardent voices celebrating the national reconciliation, the tocsin no longer sounds its sinister and persistent bass. Despite the leagues of either faith, religious liberty was now confirmed by the more free and generous spirit of Henry IV.

Why was this king at once so easygoing and so capricious? Why, again, had the effort and authority of feudal and popular resistance been squandered in the follies of the League and to further the ambitions of the rebellious Guises? Why had the monarchy been forced to purchase the obedience of the upper classes and the provinces with immunities which enfeebled it without limiting it? At all events, when the kingdom had been reconquered from the Spaniards and religious strife ended, in order to fulfil his engagements, Henry IV. need only have associated the nation with himself in the work of reconstructing the shattered monarchy. But during the atrocious holocausts formidable states had grown up around France, observing her and threatening her; and on the other hand, as on the morrow of the Hundred Years’ War, the lassitude of the country, the lack of political feeling on the part of the upper classes and their selfishness, led to a fresh abdication of the nation’s rights. The need of living caused the neglect of that necessity for control which had been maintained by the states-general from 1560 to 1593. And this time, moderation on the part of the monarchy no longer made for success. Of the two contrary currents which have continually mingled and conflicted throughout the course of French history, that of monarchic absolutism and that of aristocratic and democratic liberty, the former was now to carry all before it.

The kingdom was now issuing from thirty-eight years of civil war. Its inhabitants had grown unaccustomed to work; its finances were ruined by dishonesty, disorder, and a very heavy foreign debt. The most characteristic symptom of this distress was the brigandage carried The Bourbons. France in 1610. on incessantly from 1598 to 1610. Side by side with this temporary disorder there was a more serious administrative disorganization, a habit of no longer obeying the king. The harassed population, the municipalities which under cover of civil war had resumed the right of self-government, and the parlements elated with their social importance and their security of position, were not alone in abandoning duty and obedience. Two powers faced each other threateningly: the organized and malcontent Protestants; and the provincial governors, all great personages possessing an armed following, theoretically agents of the king, but practically independent. The Montmorencys, the D’Epernons, the Birons, the Guises, were accustomed to consider their offices as hereditary property. Not that these two powers entered into open revolt against the king; but they had adopted the custom of recriminating, of threatening, of coming to understandings with the foreign powers, which with some of them, like Marshal Biron, the D’Entragues and the duc de Bouillon, amounted to conspiracy (1602–1606).

As to the qualifications of the king: he had had the good fortune not to be educated for the throne. Without much learning and sceptical in religious matters, he had the lively intelligence of the Gascon, more subtle than profound, more brilliant than steady. Married to a Character
of Henry IV.
woman of loose morals, and afterwards to a devout Italian, he was gross and vulgar in his appetites and pleasures. He had retained all the habits of a country gentleman of his native Béarn, careless, familiar, boastful, thrifty, cunning, combined since his sojourn at the court of the Valois with a taint of corruption. He worked little but rapidly, with none of the bureaucratic pedantry of a Philip II. cloistered in the dark towers of the Escurial. Essentially a man of action and a soldier, he preserved his tone of command after he had reached the throne, the inflexibility of the military chief, the conviction of his absolute right to be master. Power quickly intoxicated him, and his monarchy was therefore anything but parliamentary. His personality was everything, institutions nothing. If, at the gathering of the notables at Rouen in 1596, Henry IV. spoke of putting himself in tutelage, that was but preliminary to a demand for money. The states-general, called together ten times in the 16th century, and at the death of Henry III. under promise of convocation, were never assembled. To put his absolute right beyond all control he based it upon religion, and to this sceptic disobedience became a heresy. He tried to make the clergy into an instrument of government by recalling the Jesuits, who had been driven away in 1594, partly from fear of their regicides, partly because they have always been the best teachers of servitude; and he gave the youth of the nation into the hands of this cosmopolitan and ultramontane clerical order. His government was personal, not through departments; he retained the old council though reducing its members; and his ministers, taken from every party, were never—not even Sully—anything more than mere clerks, without independent position, mere instruments of his good pleasure. Fortunately this was not always capricious.

Henry IV. soon realized that his most urgent duty was to resuscitate the corpse of France. Pilfering was suppressed, and the revolts of the malcontents—the Gauthiers of Normandy, the Croquants and Tard-avisés of Périgord later with a sterner hand. He then provided for the The achievements
of Henry IV.
security of the country districts, and reduced the taxes on the peasants, the most efficacious means of making them productive and able to pay. Inspired by Barthélemy de Laffémas (1545–1612), controller-general of commerce, and by Olivier de Serres (1539–1619),[4] Henry IV. encouraged the culture of silk, though without much result, had orchards planted and marshes drained; while though he permitted the free circulation of wine and corn, this depended on the harvests. But the twofold effect of civil war—the ruin of the farmers and the scarcity and high price of rural labour—was only reduced arbitrarily and by fits and starts.

Despite the influence of Sully, a convinced agrarian because of his horror of luxury and love of economy, Henry IV. likewise attempted amelioration in the towns, where the state of affairs was even worse than in the country. But the edict of 1597, far from inaugurating individual liberty, Industrial policy
of Henry IV.
was but a fresh edition of that of 1581, a second preface to the legislation of Colbert, and in other ways no better respected than the first. As for the new features, the syndical courts proposed by Laffémas, they were not even put into practice. Various industries, nevertheless, concurrent with those of England, Spain and Italy, were created or reorganized: silk-weaving, printing, tapestry, &c. Sully at least provided renascent manufacture with the roads necessary for communication and planted them with trees. In external commerce Laffémas and Henry IV. were equally the precursors of Colbert, freeing raw material and prohibiting the import of products similar to those manufactured within the kingdom. Without regaining that preponderance in the Levant which had been secured after the victory of Lepanto and before the civil wars, Marseilles still took an honourable place there, confirmed by the renewal in 1604 of the capitulations of Francis I. with the sultan. Finally, the system of commercial companies, antipathetic to the French bourgeoisie, was for the first time practised on a grand scale; but Sully never understood that movement of colonial expansion, begun by Henry II. in Brazil and continued in Canada by Champlain, which had so marvellously enlarged the European horizon. His point of view was altogether more limited than that of Henry IV.; and he did not foresee, like Elizabeth, that the future would belong to the peoples whose national energy took that line of action.

His sphere was essentially the superintendence of finance, to which he brought the same enthusiasm that he had shown in fighting the League. Vain and imaginative, his reputation was enormously enhanced by his “Économies royales”; he was no innovator, and The work of Sully. being a true representative of the nation at that period, like it he was but lukewarm towards reform, accepting it always against the grain. He was not a financier of genius; but he administered the public moneys with the same probity and exactitude which he used in managing his own, retrieving alienated property, straightening accounts, balancing expenditure and receipts, and amassing a reserve in the Bastille. He did not reform the system of aides and tailles established by Louis XI. in 1482; but by charging much upon indirect taxation, and slightly lessening the burden of direct taxation, he avoided an appeal to the states-general and gave an illusion of relief.

Nevertheless, economic disasters, political circumstances and the personal government of Henry IV. (precursor in this also of Louis XIV.) rendered his task impossible or fatal. The nobility remained in debt and disaffected; and the clergy, more remarkable for wealth and breeding than for virtues, Criticism of Henry IV.’s achievement. were won over to the ultramontane ideas of the triumphant Jesuits. The rich bourgeoisie began more and more to monopolize the magistracy; and though the country-people were somewhat relieved from the burden which had been crushing them, the working-classes remained impoverished, owing to the increase of prices which followed at a distance the rise of wages. Moreover, under insinuating and crafty pretexts, Henry IV. undermined as far as he could the right of control by the states-general, the right of remonstrance by the parlements, and the communal franchises, while ensuring the impoverishment of the municipalities by his fiscal methods. Arbitrary taxation, scandalous intervention in elections, forced candidatures, confusion in their financial administration, bankruptcy and revolt on the part of the tenants: all formed an anticipation of the personal rule of Richelieu and Louis XIV.

Thus Henry IV. evinced very great activity in restoring order and very great poverty of invention in his methods. His sole original creation, the edict of La Paulette in 1604, was disastrous. In consideration of an annual payment of one-sixtieth of the salary, it made hereditary Edict of La Paulette. offices which had hitherto been held only for life; and the millions which it daily poured into the royal exchequer removed the necessity for seeking more regular and better distributed resources. Political liberty and social justice were equally the losers by this extreme financial measure, which paved the way for a catastrophe.

In foreign affairs the abasement of the house of Austria remained for Henry IV., as it had been for Francis I. and Henry II., a political necessity, while under his successors it was to become a mechanical obsession. The peace of Vervins had concluded nothing. The difference Foreign policy of Henry IV. concerning the marquisate of Saluzzo, which the duke of Savoy had seized upon in 1588, profiting by Henry III.’s embarrassments, is only worth mentioning because the treaty of Lyons (1601) finally dissipated the Italian mirage, and because, in exchange for the last of France’s possessions beyond the Alps, it added to the royal domain the really French territory of La Bresse, Bugey, Valromey and the district of Gex. The great external affair of the reign was the projected war upon which Henry IV. was about to embark when he was assassinated. The “grand design” of Sully, the organization of a “Christian Republic” of the European nations for the preservation of peace, was but the invention of an irresponsible minister, soured by defeat and wishing to impress posterity. Henry IV., the least visionary of kings, was between 1598 and 1610 really hesitating between two great contradictory political schemes: the war clamoured for by the Protestants, politicians like Sully, and the nobility; and the Spanish alliance, to be cemented by marriages, and preached by the ultramontane Spanish camarilla formed by the queen, Père Coton, the king’s confessor, the minister Villeroy, and Ubaldini, the papal nuncio. Selfish and suspicious, Henry IV. consistently played this double game of policy in conjunction with president Jeannin. By his alliance with the Grisons (1603) he guaranteed the integrity of the Valtellina, the natural approach to Lombardy for the imperial forces; and by his intimate union with Geneva he controlled the routes by which the Spaniards could reach their hereditary possessions in Franche-Comté and the Low Countries from Italy. But having defeated the duke of Savoy he had no hesitation in making sure of him by a marriage; though the Swiss might have misunderstood the treaty of Brusol (1610) by which he gave one of his daughters to the grandson of Philip II. On the other hand he astonished the Protestant world by the imprudence of his mediation between Spain and the rebellious United Provinces (1609). When the succession of Cleves and of Jülich, so long expected and already discounted by the treaty of Halle (1610), was opened up in Germany, the great war was largely due to an access of senile passion for the charms of the princesse de Condé. The stroke of Ravaillac’s knife caused a timely descent of the curtain upon this new and tragi-comic Trojan War. Thus, here as elsewhere, we see a vacillating hand-to-mouth policy, at the mercy of a passion for power or for sensual gratification. The Cornette blanche of Arques, the Poule au pôt of the peasant, successes as a lover and a dashing spirit, have combined to surround Henry IV. with a halo of romance not justified by fact.

The extreme instability of monarchical government showed itself afresh after Henry IV.’s death. The reign of Louis XIII., a perpetual regency by women, priests, and favourites, was indeed a curious prelude to the grand age of the French monarchy. The eldest son of Henry IV. The regency of Marie de’Medici. being a minor, Marie de’ Medici induced the parlement to invest her with the regency, thanks to Villeroy and contrary to the last will of Henry IV. This second Florentine, at once jealous of power and incapable of exercising it, bore little resemblance to her predecessor. Light-minded, haughty, apathetic and cold-hearted, she took a sort of passionate delight in changing Henry IV.’s whole system of government. Who would support her in this? On one side were the former ministers, Sillery and president Jeannin, ex-leaguers but loyalists, no lovers of Spain and still less of Germany; on the other the princes of the blood and the great nobles, Condé, Guise, Mayenne and Nevers, apparently still much more faithful to French ideas, but in reality convinced that the days of kings were over and that their own had arrived. Instead of weakening this aristocratic agitation by the see-saw policy of Catherine de’ Medici, Marie could invent no other device than to despoil the royal treasure by distributing places and money to the chiefs of both parties. The savings all expended and Sully fallen into disgrace, she lost her influence and became the almost unconscious instrument of an ambitious man of low birth, the Florentine Concini, who was to drag her down with him in his fall; petty shifts became thenceforward the order of the day.

Thus Villeroy thought fit to add still further to the price already paid to triumphant Madrid and Vienna by disbanding the army, breaking the treaty of Brusol, and abandoning the Protestant princes beyond the Rhine and the trans-Pyrenean Moriscos. France joined hands with Louis XIII.
Spain in the marriages of Louis XIII. with Anne of Austria and Princess Elizabeth with the son of Philip III., and the Spanish ambassador was admitted to the secret council of the queen. To soothe the irritation of England the duc de Bouillon was sent to London to offer the hand of the king’s sister to the prince of Wales. Meanwhile, however, still more was ceded to the princes than to the kings; and after a pretence of drawing the sword against the prince of Condé, rebellious through jealousy of the Italian surroundings of the queen-mother, recourse was had to the purse. The peace of Sainte Menehould, four years after the death of Henry IV., was a virtual abdication of the monarchy (May 1614); it was time for a move in the other direction. Villeroy inspired the regent with the idea of an armed expedition, accompanied by the little king, into the West. The convocation of the states-general was about to take place, wrung, as in all minorities, from the royal weakness—this time by Condé; so the elections were influenced in the monarchist interest. The king’s majority, solemnly proclaimed on the 28th of October 1614, further strengthened the throne; while owing to the bungling of the third estate, who did not contrive to gain the support of the clergy and the nobility by some sort of concessions, the states-general, the last until 1789, proved like the others a mere historic episode, an impotent and inorganic expedient. In vain Condé tried to play with the parlement of Paris the same game as with the states-general, in a sort of anticipation of the Fronde. Villeroy demurred; and the parlement, having illegally assumed a political rôle, broke with Condé and effected a reconciliation with the court. After this double victory Marie de’ Medici could at last undertake the famous journey to Bordeaux and consummate the Spanish marriages. In order not to countenance by his presence an act which had been the pretext for his opposition, Condé rebelled once more in August 1615; but he was again pacified by the governorships and pensions of the peace of Loudun (May 1616).

But Villeroy and the other ministers knew not how to reap the full advantage of their victory. They had but one desire, to put themselves on a good footing again with Condé, instead of applying themselves honestly to the service of the king. The “marshals,” Concini and his wife Concini, Marshal d’Ancre. Leonora Galigai, more influential with the queen and more exacting than ever, by dint of clever intrigues forced the ministers to retire one after another; and with the last of Henry IV.’s “greybeards” vanished also all the pecuniary reserves left. Concini surrounded himself with new men, insignificant persons ready to do his bidding, such as Barbin or Mangot, while in the background was Richelieu, bishop of Luçon. Condé now began intrigues with the princes whom he had previously betrayed; but his pride dissolved in piteous entreaties when Thémines, captain of the guard, arrested him in September 1616. Six months later Concini had not even time to protest when another captain, Vitry, slew him at the Louvre, under orders from Louis XIII., on the 24th of April 1617.

Richelieu had appeared behind Marie de’ Medici; Albert de Luynes rose behind Louis XIII., the neglected child whom he had contrived to amuse. “The tavern remained the same, having changed nothing but the bush.” De Luynes was made a duke and marshal in Concini’s place, with no better title; while the duc d’Epernon, supported by the queen-mother (now in disgrace at Blois), took Condé’s place at the head of the opposition. The treaties of Angoulême and Angers (1619–1620), negotiated by Richelieu, recalled the “unwholesome” treaties of Sainte-Menehould and Loudun. The revolt of the Protestants was more serious. Goaded by the vigorous revival of militant Catholicism which marked the opening of the 17th century, de Luynes tried to put a finishing touch to the triumph of Catholicism in France, which he had assisted, by abandoning in the treaty of Ulm the defence of the small German states against the ambition of the ruling house of Austria, and by sacrificing the Protestant Grisons to Spain. The re-establishment of Catholic worship in Béarn was the pretext for a rising among the Protestants, who had remained loyal during these troublous years; and although the military organization of French Protestantism, arranged by the assembly of La Rochelle, had been checked in 1621, by the defection of most of the reformed nobles, like Bouillon and Lesdiguières, de Luynes had to raise the disastrous siege of Montauban. Death alone saved him from the disgrace suffered by his predecessors (December 15, 1621).

From 1621 to 1624 Marie de’ Medici, re-established in credit, prosecuted her intrigues; and in three years there were three different ministries: de Luynes was succeeded by the prince de Condé, whose Montauban was found at Montpellier; the Brûlarts succeeded Condé, and Return of Marie de Medici. having, like de Luynes, neglected France’s foreign interests, they had to give place to La Vieuville; while this latter was arrested in his turn for having sacrificed the interests of the English Catholics in the negotiations regarding the marriage of Henrietta of France with the prince of Wales. All these personages were undistinguished figures beyond whom might be discerned the cold clear-cut profile of Marie de’ Medici’s secretary, now a cardinal, who was to take the helm and act as viceroy during eighteen years.

Richelieu came into power at a lucky moment. Every one was sick of government by deputy; they desired a strong hand and an energetic foreign policy, after the defeat of the Czechs at the White Mountain by the house of Austria, the Spanish intrigues in the Valtellina, and Cardinal Richelieu 1624–1642. the resumption of war between Spain and Holland. Richelieu contrived to raise hope in the minds of all. As president of the clergy at the states-general of 1614 he had figured as an adherent of Spain and the ultramontane interest; he appeared to be a representative of that religious party which was identical with the Spanish party. But he had also been put into the ministry by the party of the Politiques, who had terminated the civil wars, acclaimed Henry IV., applauded the Protestant alliance, and by the mouth of Miron, president of the third estate, had in 1614 proclaimed its intention to take up the national tradition once more. Despite the concessions necessary at the outset to the partisans of a Catholic alliance, it was the programme of the Politiques that Richelieu adopted and laid down with a master’s hand in his Political Testament.

To realize it he had to maintain his position. This was very difficult with a king who “wished to be governed and yet was impatient at being governed.” Incapable of applying himself to great affairs, but of sane and even acute judgment, Louis XIII. excelled only in a passion for Louis XIII. and Richelieu. detail and for manual pastimes. He realized the superior qualities of his minister, though with a lively sense of his own dignity he often wished him more discreet and less imperious; he had confidence in him but did not love him. Cold-hearted and formal by nature, he had not even self-love, detested his wife Anne of Austria—too good a Spaniard—and only attached himself fitfully to his favourites, male or female, who were naturally jealously suspected by the cardinal. He was accustomed to listen to his mother, who detested Richelieu as her ungrateful protégé. Neither did he love his brother, Gaston of Orleans, and the feeling was mutual; for the latter, remaining for twenty years heir-presumptive to a crown which he could neither defend nor seize, posed as the beloved prince in all the conspiracies against Richelieu, and issued from them each time as a Judas. Add to this that Louis XIII., like Richelieu himself, had wretched health, aggravated by the extravagant medicines of the day; and it is easy to understand how this pliable disposition which offered itself to the yoke caused Richelieu always to fear that his king might change his master, and to declare that “the four square feet of the king’s cabinet had been more difficult for him to conquer than all the battlefields of Europe.”

Richelieu, therefore, passed his time in safeguarding himself from his rivals and in spying upon them; his suspicious nature, rendered still more irritable by his painful practice of a dissimulation repugnant to his headstrong character, making him fancy himself threatened more than was actually the case. He brutally suppressed six great plots, several of which were scandalous, and had more than fifty persons executed; and he identified himself with the king, sincerely believing that he was maintaining the royal authority and not merely his own. He had a preference for irregular measures rather than legal prosecutions, and a jealousy of all opinions save his own. He maintained his power through the fear of torture and of special commissions. It was Louis XIII. whose cold decree ordained most of the rigorous sentences, but the stain of blood rested on the cardinal’s robe and made his reasons of state pass for private vengeance. Chalais was beheaded at Nantes in 1626 for having upheld Gaston of Orleans in his refusal to wed Mademoiselle de Montpensier, and Marshal d’Ornano died at Vincennes for having given him bad advice in this matter; while the duellist de Boutteville was put to the torture for having braved the edict against duels. The royal family itself was not free from his attacks; after the Day of Dupes (1630) he allowed the queen-mother to die in exile, and publicly dishonoured the king’s brother Gaston of Orleans by the publication of his confessions; Marshal de Marillac was put to the torture for his ingratitude, and the constable de Montmorency for rebellion (1632). The birth of Louis XIV. in 1638 confirmed Richelieu in power. However, at the point of death he roused himself to order the execution of the king’s favourite, Cinq-Mars, and his friend de Thou, guilty of treason with Spain (1642).

Absolute authority was not in itself sufficient; much money was also needed. In his state-papers Richelieu has shown that at the outset he desired that the Huguenots should share no longer in public affairs, that the nobles should cease to behave as rebellious subjects, and the powerful Financial policy
of Richelieu.
provincial governors as suzerains over the lands committed to their charge. With his passion for the uniform and the useful on a grand scale, he hoped by means of the Code Michaud to put an end to the sale of offices, to lighten imposts, to suppress brigandage, to reduce the monasteries, &c. To do this it would have been necessary to make peace, for it was soon evident that war was incompatible with these reforms. He chose war, as did his Spanish rival and contemporary Olivares. War is expensive sport; but Richelieu maintained a lofty attitude towards finance, disdained figures, and abandoned all petty details to subordinate officials like D’Effiat or Bullion. He therefore soon reverted to the old and worse measures, including the debasement of coinage, and put an extreme tension on all the springs of the financial system. The land-tax was doubled and trebled by war, by the pensions of the nobles, by an extortion the profits of which Richelieu disdained neither for himself nor for his family; and just when the richer and more powerful classes had been freed from taxes, causing the wholesale oppression of the poorer, these few remaining were jointly and severally answerable. Perquisites, offices, forced loans were multiplied to such a point that a critic of the times, Guy Patin, facetiously declared that duties were to be exacted from the beggars basking in the sun. Richelieu went so far as to make poverty systematic and use famine as a means of government. This was the price paid for the national victories.

Thus he procured money at all costs, with an extremely crude fiscal judgment which ended by exasperating the people; hence numerous insurrections of the poverty-stricken; Dijon rose in revolt against the aides in 1630, Provence against the tax-officers (élus) in 1631, Paris and Lyons in 1632, and Bordeaux against the increase of customs in 1635. In 1636 the Croquants ravaged Limousin, Poitou, Angoumois, Gascony and Périgord; in 1639 it needed an army to subdue the Va-nu-pieds (bare-feet) in Normandy. Even the rentiers of the Hôtel-de-Ville, big and little, usually very peaceable folk, were excited by the curtailment of their incomes, and in 1639 and 1642 were roused to fury.

Every one had to bend before this harsh genius, who insisted on uniformity in obedience. After the feudal vassals, decimated by the wars of religion and the executioner’s hand, and after the recalcitrant taxpayers, the Protestants, in their turn, and by their own fault, experienced this. Struggle with the Protestants. While Richelieu was opposing the designs of the pope and of the Spaniards in the Valtellina, while he was arming the duke of Savoy and subsidizing Mansfeld in Germany, Henri, duc de Rohan, and his brother Benjamin de Rohan, duc de Soubise, the Protestant chiefs, took the initiative in a fresh revolt despite the majority of their party (1625). This Huguenot rising, in stirring up which Spanish diplomacy had its share, was a revolt of discontented and ambitious individuals who trusted for success to their compact organization and the ultimate assistance of England. Under pressure of this new danger and urged on by the Catholic dévôts, supported by the influence of Pope Urban VIII., Richelieu concluded with Spain the treaty of Monzon (March 5, 1626), by which the interests of his allies Venice, Savoy and the Grisons were sacrificed without their being consulted. The Catholic Valtellina, freed from the claims of the Protestant Grisons, became an independent state under the joint protection of France and Spain; the question of the right of passage was left open, to trouble France during the campaigns that followed; but the immediate gain, so far as Richelieu was concerned, was that his hands were freed to deal with the Huguenots.

Soubise had begun the revolt (January 1625) by seizing Port Blavet in Brittany, with the royal squadron that lay there, and in command of the ships thus acquired, combined with those of La Rochelle, he ranged the western coast, intercepting commerce. In September, however, Montmorency succeeded, with a fleet of English and Dutch ships manned by English seamen, in defeating Soubise, who took refuge in England. La Rochelle was now invested, the Huguenots were hard pressed also on land, and, but for the reluctance of the Dutch to allow their ships to be used for such a purpose, an end might have been made of the Protestant opposition in France; as it was, Richelieu was forced to accept the mediation of England and conclude a treaty with the Huguenots (February 1626).

He was far, however, from forgiving them for their attitude or being reconciled to their power. So long as they retained their compact organization in France he could undertake no successful action abroad, and the treaty was in effect no more than a truce that was badly observed. The oppression of the French Protestants was but one of the pretexts for the English expedition under James I.’s favourite, the duke of Buckingham, to La Rochelle in 1627; and, in the end, this intervention of a foreign power compromised their cause. When at last the citizens of the great Huguenot stronghold, caught between two dangers, chose what seemed to them the least and threw in their lot with the English, they definitely proclaimed their attitude as anti-national; and when, on the 29th of October 1628, after a heroic resistance, the city surrendered to the French king, Peace of Alais, 1629. this was hailed not as a victory for Catholicism only, but for France. The taking of La Rochelle was a crushing blow to the Huguenots, and the desperate alliance which Rohan, entrenched in the Cévennes, entered into with Philip IV. of Spain, could not prolong their resistance. The amnesty of Alais, prudent and moderate in religious matters, gave back to the Protestants their common rights within the body politic. Unfortunately what was an end for Richelieu was but a first step for the Catholic party.

The little Protestant group eliminated, Richelieu next wished to establish Catholic religious uniformity; for though in France the Catholic Church was the state church, unity did not exist in it. There were no fixed principles in the relations between king and church, hence incessant Richelieu and the Catholics. conflicts between Gallicans and Ultramontanes, in which Richelieu claimed to hold an even balance. Moreover, a Catholic movement for religious reform in the Church of France began during the 17th century, marked by the creation of seminaries, the foundation of new orthodox religious orders, and the organization of public relief by Saint Vincent de Paul. Jansenism was the most vigorous contemporary effort to renovate not only morals but Church doctrine (see Jansenism). But Richelieu had no love for innovators, and showed this very plainly to du Vergier de Hauranne, abbot of Saint Cyran, who was imprisoned at Vincennes for the good of Church and State. In affairs of intellect dragooning was equally the policy; and, as Corneille learnt to his cost, the French Academy was created in 1635 simply to secure in the republic of letters the same unity and conformity to rules that was enforced in the state.

Before Richelieu, there had been no effective monarchy and no institutions for controlling affairs; merely advisory institutions which collaborated somewhat vaguely in the administration of the kingdom. Had the king been willing these might have developed further; but Destruction of
public spirit.
Richelieu ruthlessly suppressed all such growth, and they remained embryonic. According to him, the king must decide in secret, and the king’s will must be law. No one might meddle in political affairs, neither parlements nor states-general; still less had the public any right to judge the actions of the government. Between 1631 and the edict of February 1641 Richelieu strove against the continually renewed opposition of the parlements to his system of special commissions and judgments; in 1641 he refused them any right of interference in state affairs; at most would he consent occasionally to take counsel with assemblies of notables. Provincial and municipal liberties were no better treated when through them the king’s subjects attempted to break loose from the iron ring of the royal commissaries and intendants. In Burgundy, Dijon saw her municipal liberties restricted in 1631; the provincial assembly of Dauphiné was suppressed from 1628 onward, and that of Languedoc in 1629; that of Provence was in 1639 replaced by communal assemblies, and that of Normandy was prorogued from 1639 to 1642. Not that Richelieu was hostile to them in principle; but he was obliged at all hazards to find money for the upkeep of the army, and the provincial states were a slow and heavy machine to put in motion. Through an excessive reaction against the disintegration that had menaced the kingdom after the dissolution of the League, he fell into the abuse of over-centralization; and depriving the people of the habit of criticizing governmental action, he taught them a fatal acquiescence in uncontrolled and undisputed authority. Like one of those physical forces which tend to reduce everything to a dead level, he battered down alike characters and fortresses; and in his endeavours to abolish faction, he killed that public spirit which, formed in the 16th century, had already produced the République of Bodin, de Thou’s History of his Times, La Boetie’s Contre un, the Satire Ménippée, and Sully’s Économies royales.

In order to establish this absolute despotism Richelieu created no new instruments, but made use of a revolutionary institution of the 16th century, namely “intendants” (q.v.), agents who were forerunners of the commissaries of the Convention, gentlemen of the long robe of inferior Methods employed by Richelieu. condition, hated by every one, and for that reason the more trustworthy. He also drew most of the members of his special commissions from the grand council, a supreme administrative tribunal which owed all its influence to him.

However, having accomplished all these great things, the treasury was left empty and the reforms were but ill-established; for Richelieu’s policy increased poverty, neglected the toiling and suffering peasants, deserted the cause of the workers in order to favour the privileged classes, The results. and left idle and useless that bourgeoisie whose intellectual activity, spirit of discipline, and civil and political culture would have yielded solid support to a monarchy all the stronger for being limited. Richelieu completed the work of Francis I.; he endowed France with the fatal tradition of autocracy. This priest by education and by turn of mind was indifferent to material interests, which were secondary in his eyes; he could organize neither finance, nor justice, nor an army, nor the colonies, but at the most a system of police. His method was not to reform, but to crush. He was great chiefly in negotiation, the art par excellence of ecclesiastics. His work was entirely abroad; there it had more continuity, more future, perhaps because only in his foreign policy was he unhampered in his designs. He sacrificed everything to it; but he ennobled it by the genius and audacity of his conceptions, by the energetic tension of all the muscles of the body politic.

The Thirty Years’ War in fact dominated all Richelieu’s foreign policy; by it he made France and unmade Germany. It was the support of Germany which Philip II. had lacked in order to realize his Catholic empire; and the election of the archduke Ferdinand II. of Styria as External policy
of Richelieu.
emperor gave that support to his Spanish cousins (1619). Thenceforward all the forces of the Habsburg monarchy would be united, provided that communication could be maintained in the north with the Netherlands and in the south with the duchy of Milan, so that there should be no flaw in the iron vice which locked France in on either side. It was therefore Of the highest importance to France that she should dominate the valleys of the Alps and Rhine. As soon as Richelieu became minister in 1624 there was an end to cordial relations with Spain. He resumed the policy of Henry IV., confining his military operations to the region of the Alps, and contenting himself at first with opposing the coalition of the Habsburgs with a coalition of Venice, the Turks, Bethlen Gabor, king of Hungary, and the Protestants of Germany and Denmark. But the revolts of the French Protestants, the resentment of the nobles at his dictatorial power, and the perpetual ferment of intrigues and treason in the court, obliged him almost immediately to draw back. During these eight years, however, Richelieu had pressed on matters as fast as possible.

While James I. of England was trying to get a general on the cheap in Denmark to defend his son-in-law, the elector palatine, Richelieu was bargaining with the Spaniards in the treaty of Monzon (March 1626); but as the strained relations between France and England forced him Temporizing policy, except in Italy,
to conciliate Spain still further by the treaty of April 1627, the Spaniards profited by this to carry on an intrigue with Rohan, and in concert with the duke of Savoy, to occupy Montferrat when the death of Vicenzo II. (December 26, 1627) left the succession of Mantua, under the will of the late duke, to Charles Gonzaga, duke of Nevers, a Frenchman by education and sympathy. But the taking of La Rochelle allowed Louis to force the pass of Susa, to induce the duke of Savoy to treat with him, and to isolate the Spaniards in Italy by a great Italian league between Genoa, Venice and the dukes of Savoy and Mantua (April 1629). Unlike the Valois, Richelieu only desired to free Italy from Spain in order to restore her independence.

The fact that the French Protestants in the Cévennes were again in arms enabled the Habsburgs and the Spaniards to make a fresh attack upon the Alpine passes; but after the peace of Alais Richelieu placed himself at the head of forty thousand men, and stirred up enemies everywhere against the emperor, victorious now over the king of Denmark as in 1621 over the elector palatine. He united Sweden, now reconciled with Poland, and the Catholic and Protestant electors, disquieted by the edict of Restitution and the omnipotence of Wallenstein; and he aroused the United Provinces. But the disaffection of the court and the more extreme Catholics made it impossible for him as yet to enter upon a struggle against both Austria and Spain; he was only able to regulate the affairs of Italy with much prudence. The intervention of Mazarin, despatched by the pope, who saw no other means of detaching Italy from Spain than by introducing France into the affair, brought about the signature of the armistice of Rivalte on the 4th of September 1630, soon developed into the peace of Cherasco, which re-established the agreement with the still fugitive duke of Savoy (June 1631). Under the harsh tyranny of Spain, Italy was now nothing but a lifeless corpse; young vigorous Germany was better worth saving. So Richelieu’s envoys, Brulart de Léon and Father Joseph, disarmed[5] the emperor at the diet of Regensburg, while at the same time Louis XIII. kept Casale and Pinerolo, the gates of the Alps. Lastly, by the treaty of Fontainebleau (May 30th, 1631), Maximilian of Bavaria, the head of the Catholic League, engaged to defend the king of France against all his enemies, even Spain, with the exception of the emperor. Thus by the hand of Richelieu a union against Austrian imperialism was effected between the Bavarian Catholics and the Protestants who dominated in central and northern Germany.

Twice had Richelieu, by means of the purse and not by force of arms, succeeded in reopening the passes of the Alps and of the Rhine. The kingdom at peace and the Huguenot party ruined, he was now able to engage upon his policy of prudent acquisitions and apparently disinterested Richelieu and Gustavus Adolphus. alliances. But Gustavus Adolphus, king of Sweden, called in by Richelieu and Venice to take the place of the played-out king of Denmark, brought danger to all parties. He would not be content merely to serve French interests in Germany, according to the terms of the secret treaty of Bärwalde (June 1631); but, once master of Germany and the rich valley of the Rhine, considered chiefly the interests of Protestantism and Sweden. Neither the prayers nor the threats of Richelieu, who wished indeed to destroy Spain but not Catholicism, nor the death of Gustavus Adolphus at Lützen (1632), could repair the evils caused by this immoderate ambition. A violent Catholic reaction against the Protestants ensued; and the union of Spain and the Empire was consolidated just when that of the Protestants was dissolved at Nördlingen, despite the efforts of Oxenstierna (September 1634). Moreover, Wallenstein, who had been urged by Richelieu to set up an independent kingdom in Bohemia, had been killed on the 23rd of February 1634. In the course of a year Württemberg and Franconia were reconquered from the Swedes; and the duke of Lorraine, who had taken the side of the Empire, called in the Spanish and the imperial forces to open the road to the Netherlands through Franche-Comté.

His allies no longer able to stand alone, Richelieu was obliged to intervene directly (May 19th, 1635). By the treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye he purchased the army of Bernard of Saxe-Weimar; by that of Rivoli he united against Spain the dukes of Modena, Parma and Mantua; he signed an open alliance with The French Thirty Years’ War. the league of Heilbronn, the United Provinces and Sweden; and after these alliances military operations began, Marshal de la Force occupying the duchy of Lorraine. Richelieu attempted to operate simultaneously in the Netherlands by joining hands with the Dutch, and on the Rhine by uniting with the Swedes; but the bad organization of the French armies, the double invasion of the Spaniards as far as Corbie and the imperial forces as far as the gates of Saint-Jean-de-Losne (1636), and the death of his allies, the dukes of Hesse-Cassel, Savoy and Mantua at first frustrated his efforts. A decided success was, however, achieved between 1638 and 1640, thanks to Bernard of Saxe-Weimar and afterwards to Guébriant, and to the parallel action of the Swedish generals, Banér, Wrangel and Torstensson. Richelieu obtained Alsace, Breisach and the forest-towns on the Rhine; while in the north, thanks to the Dutch and owing to the conquest of Artois, marshals de la Meilleraye, de Châtillon and de Brézé forced the barrier of the Netherlands. Turin, the capital of Piedmont, was taken by Henri de Lorraine, comte d’Harcourt; the alliance with rebellious Portugal facilitated the occupation of Roussillon and almost the whole of Catalonia, and Spain was reduced to defending herself; while the embarrassments of the Habsburgs at Madrid made those of Vienna more tractable. The diet of Regensburg, under the mediation of Maximilian of Bavaria, decided in favour of peace with France, and on the 25th of December 1641 the preliminary settlement at Hamburg fixed the opening of negotiations to take place at Münster and Osnabrück. Richelieu’s death (December 4, 1642) prevented him from seeing the triumph of his policy, but it can be judged by its results; in 1624 the kingdom had in the east only the frontier of the Meuse to defend it from invasion; in 1642 the whole of Alsace, except Strassburg, was occupied and the Rhine guarded by the army of Guébriant. Six months later, on the 14th of May 1643, Louis XIII. rejoined his minister in his true kingdom, the land of shades.

But thanks to Mazarin, who completed his work, France gathered in the harvest sown by Richelieu. At the outset no one believed that the new cardinal would have any success. Every one expected from Anne of Austria a change in the government which appeared to be Mazarin, 1643–1661. justified by the persecutions of Richelieu and the disdainful unscrupulousness of Louis XIII. On the 16th of May the queen took the little four-year-old Louis XIV. to the parlement of Paris which, proud of playing a part in politics, hastened, contrary to Louis XIII.’s last will, to acknowledge the command of the little king, and to give his mother “free, absolute and entire authority.” The great nobles were already looking upon themselves as established in power, when they learnt with amazement that the regent had appointed as her chief adviser, not Gaston of Orleans, but Mazarin. The political revenge which in their eyes was owing to them as a body, the queen claimed for herself alone, and she made it a romantic one. This Spaniard of waning charms, who had been neglected by her husband and insulted by Richelieu, now gave her indolent and full-blown person, together with absolute power, into the hands of the Sicilian. Whilst others were triumphing openly, Mazarin, in the shadow and silence of the interregnum, had kept watch upon the heart of the queen; and when the old party of Marie de’ Medici and Anne of Austria wished to come back into power, to impose a general peace, and to substitute for the Protestant alliances an understanding with Spain, the arrest of François de Vendôme, duke of Beaufort, and the exile of other important nobles proved to the great families that their hour had gone by (September 1643).

Mazarin justified Richelieu’s confidence and the favour of Anne of Austria. It was upon his foreign policy that he relied to maintain his authority within the kingdom. Thanks to him, the duke of Enghien (Louis de Bourbon, afterwards prince of Condé), appointed commander-in-chief at the age of twenty-two, Treaties of Westphalia. caused the downfall of the renowned Spanish infantry at Rocroi; and he discovered Turenne, whose prudence tempered Condé’s overbold ideas. It was he too who by renewing the traditional alliances and resuming against Bavaria, Ferdinand III.’s most powerful ally, the plan of common action with Sweden which Richelieu had sketched out, pursued it year after year: in 1644 at Freiburg im Breisgau, despite the death of Guébriant at Rottweil; in 1645 at Nördlingen, despite the defeat of Marienthal; and in 1646 in Bavaria, despite the rebellion of the Weimar cavalry; to see it finally triumph at Zusmarshausen in May 1648. With Turenne dominating the Eiser and the Inn, Condé victorious at Lens, and the Swedes before the gates of Prague, the emperor, left without a single ally, finally authorized his plenipotentiaries to sign on the 24th of October 1648 the peace about which negotiations had been going on for seven years. Mazarin had stood his ground notwithstanding the treachery of the duke of Bavaria, the defection of the United Provinces, the resistance of the Germans, and the general confusion which was already pervading the internal affairs of the kingdom.

The dream of the Habsburgs was shattered. They had wished to set up a centralized empire, Catholic and German; but the treaties of Westphalia kept Germany in its passive and fragmentary condition; while the Catholic and Protestant princes obtained formal recognition of their territorial independence and their religious equality. Thus disappeared the two principles which justified the Empire’s existence; the universal sovereignty to which it laid claim was limited simply to a German monarchy much crippled in its powers; and the enfranchisement of the Lutherans and Calvinists from papal jurisdiction cut the last tie which bound the Empire to Rome. The victors’ material benefits were no less substantial: the congress of Münster ratified the final cession of the Three Bishoprics and the conquest of Alsace, and Breisach and Philippsburg completed these acquisitions. The Spaniards had no longer any hope of adding Luxemburg to their Franche-Comté; while the Holy Roman Empire in Germany, taken in the rear by Sweden (now mistress of the Baltic and the North Sea), cut off for good from the United Provinces and the Swiss cantons, and enfeebled by the recognized right of intervention in German affairs on the part of Sweden and France, was now nothing but a meaningless name.

Mazarin had not been so fortunate in Italy, where in 1642 the Spanish remained masters. Venice, the duchy of Milan and the duke of Modena were on his side; the pope and the grand-duke of Tuscany were trembling, but the romantic expedition of the duke of Guise to Naples, and the outbreak of the Fronde, saved Spain, who had refused to take part in the treaties of Westphalia and whose ruin Mazarin wished to compass.

It was, however, easier for Mazarin to remodel the map of Europe than to govern France. There he found himself face to face with all the difficulties that Richelieu had neglected to solve, and that were now once more giving trouble. The Lit de Justice of the 18th of May 1643 had proved State of the kingdom. authority to remain still so personal an affair that the person of the king, insignificant though that was, continued to be regarded as its absolute depositary. Thus regular obedience to an abstract principle was under Mazarin as incomprehensible to the idle and selfish nobility as it had been under Richelieu. The parlement still kept up the same extra-judicial pretensions; but beyond its judicial functions it acted merely as a kind of town-crier to the monarchy, charged with making known the king’s edicts. Yet through its right of remonstrance it was the only body that could legally and publicly intervene in politics; a large and independent body, moreover, which had its own demands to make upon the monarchy and its ministers. Richelieu, by setting his special agents above the legal but complicated machinery of financial administration, had so corrupted it as to necessitate radical reform; all the more so because financial charges had been increased to a point far beyond what the nation could bear. With four armies to keep up, the insurrection in Portugal to maintain, and pensions to serve the needs of the allies, the burden had become a crushing one.

Richelieu had been able to surmount these difficulties because he governed in the name of a king of full age, and against isolated adversaries; while Mazarin had the latter against him in a coalition which had lasted ten years, with the further disadvantages of his foreign origin and a Richelieu and Mazarin. royal minority at a time when every one was sick of government by ministers. He was the very opposite of Richelieu, as wheedling in his ways as the other had been haughty and scornful, as devoid of vanity and rancour as Richelieu had been full of jealous care for his authority; he was gentle where the other had been passionate and irritable, with an intelligence as great and more supple, and a far more grasping nature.

It was the fiscal question that arrayed against Mazarin a coalition of all petty interests and frustrated ambitions; this was always the Achilles’ heel of the French monarchy, which in 1648 was at the last extremity for money. All imposts were forestalled, and every expedient for Financial difficulties. obtaining either direct or indirect taxes had been exhausted by the methods of the financiers. As the country districts could yield nothing more, it became necessary to demand money from the Parisians and from the citizens of the various towns, and to search out and furbish up old disused edicts—edicts as to measures and scales of prices—at the very moment when the luxury and corruption of the parvenus was insulting the poverty and suffering of the people, and exasperating all those officials who took their functions seriously.

A storm burst forth in the parlement against Mazarin as the patron of these expedients, the occasion for this being the edict of redemption by which the government renewed for nine years the “Paulette” which had now expired, by withholding four years’ salary from all officers of Rebellion of the parlement. the Great Council, of the Chambres des comptes, and of the Cour des aides. The parlement, although expressly exempted, associated itself with their protest by the decree of union of May 13, 1648, and deliberations in a body upon the reform of the state. Despite the queen’s express prohibition, the insurrectionary assembly of the Chambre Saint Louis criticized the whole financial system, founded as it was upon usury, claimed the right of voting taxes, respect for individual liberty, and the suppression of the intendants, who were a menace to the new bureaucratic feudalism. The queen, haughty and exasperated though she was, yielded for the time being, because the invasion of the Spaniards in the north, the arrest of Charles I. of England, and the insurrection of Masaniello at Naples made the moment a critical one for monarchies; but immediately after the victory at Lens she attempted a coup d’état, arresting the leaders, and among them Broussel, a popular member of the parlement (August 26, 1648). Paris at once rose in revolt—a Paris of swarming and unpoliced streets, that had been making French history ever since the reign of Henry IV., and that had not forgotten the barricades of the League. Once more a pretence of yielding had to be made, until Condé’s arrival enabled the court to take refuge at Saint-Germain (January 15, 1649).

Civil war now began against the rebellious coalition of great nobles, lawyers of the parlement, populace, and mercenaries just set free from the Thirty Years’ War. It lasted four years, for motives often as futile as the Grande Mademoiselle’s ambition to wed little Louis XIV., The Fronde
Cardinal de Retz’s red hat, or Madame de Longueville’s stool at the queen’s side; it was, as its name of Fronde indicates, a hateful farce, played by grown-up children, in several acts.

Its first and shortest phase was the Fronde of the Parlement. At a period when all the world was a little mad, the parlement had imagined a loyalist revolt, and, though it raised an armed protest, this was not against the king but against Mazarin and the persons to whom he had The Fronde of
the Parlement.
delegated power. But the parlement soon became disgusted with its allies—the princes and nobles, who had only drawn their swords in order to beg more effectively with arms in their hands; and the Parisian mob, whose fanaticism had been aroused by Paul de Gondi, a warlike ecclesiastic, a Catiline in a cassock, who preached the gospel at the dagger’s point. When a suggestion was made to the parlement to receive an envoy from Spain, the members had no hesitation in making terms with the court by the peace of Rueil (March 11, 1649), which ended the first Fronde.

As an entr’acte, from April 1649 to January 1650, came the affair of the Petits Maîtres: Condé, proud and violent; Gaston of Orleans, pliable and contemptible; Conti, the simpleton; and Longueville, the betrayed husband. The victor of Lens and Charenton imagined that every The Fronde of
the Princes.
one was under an obligation to him, and laid claim to a dictatorship so insupportable that Anne of Austria and Mazarin—assured by Gondi of the concurrence of the parlement and people—had him arrested. To defend Condé the great conspiracy of women was formed: Madame de Chevreuse, the subtle and impassioned princess palatine, and the princess of Condé vainly attempted to arouse Normandy, Burgundy and the mob of Bordeaux; while Turenne, bewitched by Madame de Longueville, allowed himself to become involved with Spain and was defeated at Rethel (December 15, 1650). Unfortunately, after his custom when victor, Mazarin forgot his promises—above all, Gondi’s cardinal’s hat. A union was effected between the two Frondes, that of the Petits Maîtres and that of the parlements, and Mazarin was obliged to flee for safety to the electorate of Cologne (February 1651), whence he continued to govern the queen and the kingdom by means of secret letters. But the heads of the two Frondes—Condé, now set free from prison at Havre, and Gondi who detested him—were not long in quarrelling fatally. Owing to Mazarin’s exile and to the king’s attainment of his majority (September 5, 1651) quiet was being restored, when the return of Mazarin, jealous of Anne of Austria, nearly brought about another reconciliation of all his opponents (January 1652). Condé resumed civil war with the support of Spain, because he was not given Mazarin’s place; but though he defeated the royal army at Bléneau, he was surprised at Étampes, and nearly crushed by Turenne at the gate of Saint-Antoine. Saved, however, by the Grande Mademoiselle, daughter of Gaston of Orleans, he lost Paris by the disaster of the Hôtel de Ville (July 4, 1652), where he had installed an insurrectionary government. A general weariness of civil war gave plenty of opportunity after this to the agents of Mazarin, who in order to facilitate peace made a pretence of exiling himself for a second time to Bouillon. Then came the final collapse: Condé having taken refuge in Spain for seven years, Gaston of Orleans being in exile, Retz in prison, and the parlement reduced to its judiciary functions only, the field was left open for Mazarin, who, four months after the king, re-entered in triumph that Paris which had driven him forth with jeers and mockery (February 1653).

The task was now to repair these four years of madness and folly. The nobles who had hoped to set up the League again, half counting upon the king of Spain, were held in check by Mazarin with the golden dowries of his numerous nieces, and were now employed by him in The administration of Mazarin. warfare and in decorative court functions; while others, De Retz and La Rochefoucauld, sought consolation in their Memoirs or their Maxims, one for his mortifications and the other for his rancour as a statesman out of employment. The parlement, which had confused political power with judiciary administration, was given to understand, in the session of April 13, 1655, at Vincennes, that the era of political manifestations was over; and the money expended by Gourville, Mazarin’s agent, restored the members of the parlement to docility. The power of the state was confided to middle-class men, faithful servants during the evil days: Abel Servien, Michel le Tellier, Hugues de Lionne. Like Henry IV. after the League, Mazarin, after having conquered the Fronde, had to buy back bit by bit the kingdom he had lost, and, like Richelieu, he spread out a network of agents, thenceforward regular and permanent, who assured him of that security without which he could never have carried on his vast plunderings in peace and quiet. His imitator and superintendent, Fouquet, the Maecenas of the future Augustus, concealed this gambling policy beneath the lustre of the arts and the glamour of a literature remarkable for elevation of thought and vigour of style, and further characterized by the proud though somewhat restricted freedom conceded to men like Corneille, Descartes and Pascal, but soon to disappear.

It was also necessary to win back from Spain the territory which the Frondeurs had delivered up to her. Both countries, exhausted by twenty years of war, were incapable of bringing it to a successful termination, yet neither would be first to give in; Mazarin, therefore, disquieted War with Spain. by Condé’s victory at Valenciennes (1656), reknit the bond of Protestant alliances, and, having nothing to expect from Holland, he deprived Spain of her alliance with Oliver Cromwell (March 23, 1657). A victory in the Dunes by Turenne, now reinstalled in honour, and above all the conquest of the Flemish seaboard, were the results (June 1658); but when, in order to prevent the emperor’s intervention in the Netherlands, Mazarin attempted, on the death of Ferdinand III., to wrest the Empire from the Habsburgs, he was foiled by the gold of the Spanish envoy Peñaranda (1657). When the abdication of Christina of Sweden caused a quarrel between Charles Gustavus of Sweden and John Casimir of Poland, by which the emperor and the elector of Brandenburg hoped to profit, Mazarin (August 15, 1658) leagued the Rhine princes against them; while at the same time the substitution of Pope Alexander VII. for Innocent X., and the marriage of Mazarin’s two nieces with the duke of Modena and a prince of the house of Savoy, made Spain anxious about her Italian possessions. The suggestion of a marriage between Louis XIV. and a princess of Savoy Peace of the Pyrenees. decided Spain, now brought to bay, to accord him the hand of Maria Theresa as a chief condition of the peace of the Pyrenees (November 1659). Roussillon and Artois, with a line of strongholds constituting a formidable northern frontier, were ceded to France; and the acquisition of Alsace and Lorraine under certain conditions was ratified. Thus from this long duel between the two countries Spain issued much enfeebled, while France obtained the preponderance in Italy, Germany, and throughout northern Europe, as is proved by Mazarin’s successful arbitration at Copenhagen and at Oliva (May-June 1660). That dream of Henry IV. and Richelieu, the ruin of Philip II.’s Catholic empire, was made a realized fact by Mazarin; but the clever engineer, dazzled by success, took the wrong road in national policy when he hoped to crown his work by the Spanish marriage.

The development of events had gradually enlarged the royal prerogative, and it now came to its full flower in the administrative monarchy of the 17th century. Of this system Louis XIV. was to be the chief exponent. His reign may be divided into two very distinct periods. Louis XIV.
The death of Colbert and the revocation of the edict of Nantes brought the first to a close (1661–1683–1685); coinciding with the date when the Revolution in England definitely reversed the traditional system of alliances, and when the administration began to disorganize. In the second period (1685–1715) all the germs of decadence were developed until the moment of final dissolution.

In a monarchy so essentially personal the preparation of the heir to the throne for his position should have been the chief task. Anne of Austria, a devoted but unintelligent mother, knew no method of dealing with her son, save devotion combined with the rod. His first Education of
Louis XIV.
preceptors were nothing but courtiers; and the most intelligent, his valet Laporte, developed in the royal child’s mind his natural instinct of command, a very lively sense of his rank, and that nobly majestic air of master of the world which he preserved even in the commonest actions of his life. The continual agitations of the Fronde prevented him from persevering in any consistent application during those years which are the most valuable for study, and only instilled in him a horror of revolution, parliamentary remonstrance, and disorder of all kinds; so that this recollection determined the direction of his government. Mazarin, in his later years, at last taught him his trade as king by admitting him to the council, and by instructing him in the details of politics and of administration. In 1661 Louis XIV. was a handsome youth of twenty-two, of splendid health and gentle serious mien; eager for pleasure, but discreet and even dissimulating; his rather mediocre intellectual qualities relieved by solid common sense; fully alive to his rights and his duties.

The duties he conscientiously fulfilled, but he considered he need render no account of them to any one but his Maker, the last humiliation for God’s vicegerent being “to take the law from his people.” In the solemn language of the “Memoirs for the Instruction of the Dauphin” His political ideas. he did but affirm the arbitrary and capricious character of his predecessors’ action. As for his rights, Louis XIV. looked upon these as plenary and unlimited. Representative of God upon earth, heir to the sovereignty of the Roman emperors, a universal suzerain and master over the goods and the lives of his vassals, he could conceive no other bounds to his authority than his own interests or his obligations towards God, and in this he was a willing believer of Bossuet. He therefore had but two aims: to increase his power at home and to enlarge his kingdom abroad. The army and taxation were the chief instruments of his policy. Had not Bodin, Hobbes and Bossuet taught that the force which gives birth to kingdoms serves best also to feed and sustain them? His theory of the state, despite Grotius and Jurieu, rejected as odious and even impious the notion of any popular rights, anterior and superior to his own. A realist in principle, Louis XIV. was terribly utilitarian and egotistical in practice; and he exacted from his subjects an absolute, continual and obligatory self-abnegation before his public authority, even when improperly exercised.

This deified monarch needed a new temple, and Versailles, where everything was his creation, both men and things, adored its maker. The highest nobility of France, beginning with the princes of the blood, competed for posts in the royal household, where an army of ten thousand The forms of Louis XIV.’s monarchy. soldiers, four thousand servants, and five thousand horses played its costly and luxurious part in the ordered and almost religious pageant of the king’s existence. The “anciennes cohues de France,” gay, familiar and military, gave place to a stilted court life, a perpetual adoration, a very ceremonious and very complicated ritual, in which the demigod “pontificated” even “in his dressing-gown.” To pay court to himself was the first and only duty in the eyes of a proud and haughty prince who saw and noted everything, especially any one’s absence. Versailles, where the delicate refinements of Italy and the grave politeness of Spain were fused and mingled with French vivacity, became the centre of national life and a model for foreign royalties; hence if Versailles has played a considerable part in the history of civilization, it also seriously modified the life of France. Etiquette and self-seeking became the chief rules of a courtier’s life, and this explains the division of the nobility into two sections: the provincial squires, embittered by neglect; and the courtiers, who were ruined materially and intellectually by their way of living. Versailles sterilized all the idle upper classes, exploited the industrious classes by its extravagance, and more and more broke relations between king and kingdom.

But however divine, the king could not wield his power unaided. Louis XIV. called to his assistance a hierarchy of humbly submissive functionaries, and councils over which he regularly presided. Holding the very name of roi fainéant in abhorrence, he abolished the office Louis XIV.’s ministers. of mayor of the palace—that is to say, the prime minister—thus imposing upon himself work which he always regularly performed. In choosing his collaborators his principle was never to select nobles or ecclesiastics, but persons of inferior birth. Neither the immense fortunes amassed by these men, nor the venality and robust vitality which made their families veritable races of ministers, altered the fact that De Lionne, Le Tellier, Louvois and Colbert were in themselves of no account, even though the parts they played were much more important than Louis XIV. imagined. This was the age of plebeians, to the great indignation of the duke and peer Saint Simon. Mere reflected lights, these satellites professed to share their master’s Royal despotism. honor of all individual and collective rights of such a nature as to impose any check upon his public authority. Louis XIV. detested the states-general and never convoked them, and the parlements were definitely reduced to silence in 1673; he completed the destruction of municipal liberties, under pretext of bad financial administration; suffered no public, still less private criticism; was ruthless when his exasperated subjects had recourse to force; and made the police the chief bulwark of his government. Prayers and resignation were the only solace left for the hardships endured by his subjects. All the ties of caste, class, corporation and family were severed; the jealous despotism of Louis XIV. destroyed every opportunity of taking common action; he isolated every man in private life, in individual interests, just as he isolated himself more and more from the body social. Freedom he tolerated for himself alone.

His passion for absolutism made him consider himself master of souls as well as bodies, and Bossuet did nothing to contravene an opinion which was, indeed, common to every sovereign of his day. Louis XIV., like Philip II., pretending to not only political but religious authority, Louis XIV. and the Church. would not allow the pope to share it, still less would he abide any religious dissent; and this gave rise to many conflicts, especially with the pope, at that time a temporal sovereign both at Rome and at Avignon, and as the head of Christendom bound to interfere in the affairs of France. Louis XIV.’s pride caused the first struggle, which turned exclusively upon questions of form, as in the affair of the Corsican Guard in 1662. The question of the right of regale (right of the Crown to the revenues of vacant abbeys and bishoprics), which touched the essential rights of sovereignty, further inflamed the hostility between Innocent XI. and Louis XIV. Conformably with the traditions of the administrative monarchy in 1673, the king wanted to extend to the new additions to the kingdom his rights of receiving the revenues of vacant bishoprics and making appointments to their benefices, including taking oaths of fidelity from the new incumbents. A protest raised by the bishops of Pamiers and Aleth, followed by the seizure of their revenues, provoked the intervention of Innocent XI. in 1678; but the king was supported by the general assembly of the clergy, which declared that, with certain exceptions, the regale extended over the whole kingdom (1681). The pope ignored the decisions of the assembly; so, dropping the regale, the king demanded that, to obviate further conflict, the assembly should define the limits of the authority due respectively to the king, the Church and the pope. This was the object of the Declaration of the Four Declaration of the Four Articles. Articles: the pope has no power in temporal matters; general councils are superior to the pope in spiritual affairs; the rules of the Church of France are inviolable; decisions of the pope in matters of faith are only irrevocable by consent of the Church. The French laity transferred to the king this quasi-divine authority, which became the political theory of the ancien régime; and since the pope refused to submit, or to institute the new bishops, the Sorbonne was obliged to interfere. The affair of the “diplomatic prerogatives,” when Louis XIV. was decidedly in the wrong, made relations even more strained (1687), and the idea of a schism was mooted with greater insistence than in 1681. The death of Innocent XI. in 1689 allowed Louis XIV. to engage upon negotiations rendered imperative by his check in the affair of the Cologne bishopric, where his candidate was ousted by the pope’s. In 1693, under the pontificate of Innocent XII., he went, like so many others, to Canossa.

Recipient now of immense ecclesiastical revenues, which, owing to the number of vacant benefices, constituted a powerful engine of government, Louis XIV. had immense power over the French Church. Religion began to be identified with the state; and the king combated heresy and dissent, not only as a religious duty, but as a matter of political expediency, unity of faith being obviously conducive to unity of law.

Richelieu having deprived the Protestants of all political guarantees for their liberty of conscience, an anti-Protestant party (directed by a cabal of religious devotees, the Compagnie du Saint Sacrement) determined to suppress it completely by conversions and by a jesuitical interpretation of the Louis XIV. and the Protestants. terms of the edict of Nantes. Louis XIV. made this impolitic policy his own. His passion for absolutism, a religious zeal that was the more active because it had to compensate for many affronts to public and private morals, the financial necessity of augmenting the free donations of the clergy, and the political necessity of relying upon that body in his conflicts with the pope, led the king between 1661 and 1685 to embark upon a double campaign of arbitrary proceedings with the object of nullifying the edict, conversions being procured either by force or by bribery. The promulgation and application of systematic measures from above had a response from below, from the corporation, the urban workshop, and the village street, which supported ecclesiastical and royal authority in its suppression of heresy, and frequently even went further: individual and local fanaticism co-operating with the head of the state, the intendants, and the military and judiciary authorities. Protestants were successively removed from the states-general, the consulates, the town councils, and even from the humblest municipal offices; they were deprived of the charge of their hospitals, their academies, their colleges and their schools, and were left to ignorance and poverty; while the intolerance of the clergy united with chicanery of procedure to invade their places of worship, insult their adherents, and put a stop to the practice of their ritual. Pellisson’s methods of conversion, Suppression of the edict of Nantes (1685). considered too slow, were accelerated by the violent persecution of Louvois and by the king’s galleys, until the day came when Louis XIV., deceived by the clergy, crowned his record of complaisant legal methods by revoking the edict of Nantes. This was the signal for a Huguenot renaissance, and the Camisards of the Cévennes held the royal armies in check from 1703 to 1711. Notwithstanding this, however, Louis XIV. succeeded only too well, since Protestantism was reduced both numerically and intellectually. He never perceived how its loss threw France back a full century, to the great profit of foreign nations; while neither did the Church perceive that she had been firing on her own troops.

The same order of ideas produced the persecution of the Jansenists, as much a political as a religious sect. Founded by a bishop of Ypres on the doctrine of predestination, and growing by persecution, it had speedily recruited adherents among the disillusioned followers of the Louis XIV. and the Jansenists. Fronde, the Gallican clergy, the higher nobility, even at court, and more important still, among learned men and thinkers, such as the great Arnauld, Pascal and Racine. Pure and austere, it enjoined the strictest morals in the midst of corruption, and the most dignified self-respect in face of idolatrous servility. Amid general silence it was a formidable and much dreaded body of opinion; and in order to stifle it Louis XIV., the tool of his confessor, the Jesuit Le Tellier, made use of his usual means. The nuns of Port Royal were in their turn subjected to persecution, which, after a truce between 1666 and 1679, became aggravated by the affair of the regale, the bishops of Aleth and Pamiers being Jansenists. Port Royal was destroyed, the nuns dispersed, and the ashes of the dead scattered to the four winds. The bull Unigenitus launched by Pope Clement XI. in 1713 against a Jansenist book by Father Quesnel rekindled a quarrel, the end of which Louis XIV. did not live to see, and which raged throughout the 18th century.

Bossuet, Louis XIV.’s mouthpiece, triumphed in his turn over the quietism of Madame Guyon, a mystic who recognized neither definite dogmas nor formal prayers, but abandoned herself “to the torrent of the forces of God.” Fénelon, who in his Maximes des Saints had Louis XIV. and the Libertins. given his adherence to her doctrine, was obliged to submit in 1699; but Bossuet could not make the spirit of authority prevail against the religious criticism of a Richard Simon or the philosophical polemics of a Bayle. He might exile their persons; but their doctrines, supported by the scientific and philosophic work of Newton and Leibnitz, were to triumph over Church and religion in the 18th century.

The chaos of the administrative system caused difficulties no less great than those produced by opinions and creeds. Traditional rights, differences of language, provincial autonomy, ecclesiastical assemblies, parlements, governors, intendants—vestiges of the past, or promises for the future—all jostled against and thwarted each other. The central authority had not yet acquired a vigorous constitution, nor destroyed all the intermediary authorities. Colbert now offered his aid in making Louis XIV. the sole pivot of public life, as he had already become the source of religious authority, thanks to the Jesuits and to Bossuet.

Colbert, an agent of Le Tellier, the honest steward of Mazarin’s dishonest fortunes, had a future opened to him by the fall of Fouquet (1661). Harsh and rough, he compelled admiration for his delight in work, his aptitude in disentangling affairs, his desire of continually augmenting Colbert. the wealth of the state, and his regard for the public welfare without forgetting his own. Born in a draper’s shop, this great administrator always preserved its narrow horizon, its short-sighted imagination, its taste for detail, and the conceit of the parvenu; while with his insinuating ways, and knowing better than Fouquet how to keep his distance, he made himself indispensable by his savoir-faire and his readiness for every emergency. He gradually got everything into his control: finance, industry, commerce, the fine arts, the navy and colonies, the administration, even the fortifications, and—through his uncle Pussort—the law, with all the profits attaching to its offices.

His first care was to restore the exhausted resources of the country and to re-establish order in finance. He began by measures of liquidation: the Chambre ardente of 1661 to 1665 to deal with the farmers of the revenue, the condemnation of Fouquet, and a revision of the Colbert and
funds. Next, like a good man of business, Colbert determined that the state accounts should be kept as accurately as those of a shop; but though in this respect a great minister, he was less so in his manner of levying contributions. He kept to the old system of revenues from the demesne and from imposts that were reactionary in their effect, such as the taille, aids, salt-tax (gabelle) and customs; only he managed them better. His forest laws have remained a model. He demanded less of the taille, a direct impost, and more from indirect aids, of which he created the code—not, however, out of sympathy for the common people, towards whom he was very harsh, but because these aids covered a greater area and brought in larger returns. He tried to import more method into the very unequal distribution of taxation, less brutality in collection, less confusion in the fiscal machine, and more uniformity in the matter of rights; while he diminished the debts of the much-involved towns by putting them through the bankruptcy court. With revolutionary intentions as to reform, this only ended, after several years of normal budgets, in ultimate frustration. He could never make the rights over the drink traffic uniform and equal, nor restrict privileges in the matter of the taille; while he was soon much embarrassed, not only by the coalition of particular interests and local immunities, which made despotism acceptable by tempering it, but also by Louis XIV.’s two master-passions for conquest and for building. To his great chagrin he was obliged to begin borrowing again in 1672, and to have recourse to “affaires extraordinaires”; and this brought him at last to his grave.

Order was for Colbert the prime condition of work. He desired all France to set to work as he did “with a contented air and rubbing his hands for joy”; but neither general theories nor individual happiness preoccupied his attention. He made economy truly political: Colbert and industry. that is to say, the prosperity of industry and commerce afforded him no other interest than that of making the country wealthy and the state powerful. Louis XIV.’s aspirations towards glory chimed in very well with the extremely positive views of his minister; but here too Colbert was an innovator and an unsuccessful one. He wanted to give 17th-century France the modern and industrial character which the New World had imprinted on the maritime states; and he created industry on a grand scale with an energy of labour, a prodigious genius for initiative and for organization; while, in order to attract a foreign clientèle, he imposed upon it the habits of meticulous probity common to a middle-class draper. But he maintained the legislation of the Valois, who placed industry in a state of strict dependency on finance, and he instituted a servitude of labour harder even than that of individuals; his great factories of soap, glass, lace, carpets and cloth had the same artificial life as that of contemporary Russian industry, created and nourished by the state. It was therefore necessary, in order to compensate for the fatal influence of servitude, that administrative protection should be lavished without end upon the royal manufactures; moreover, in the course of its development, industry on a grand scale encroached in many ways upon the resources of smaller industries. After Colbert’s day, when the crutches lent by privilege were removed, his achievements lost vigour; industries that ministered to luxury alone escaped decay; the others became exhausted in struggling against the persistent and teasing opposition of the municipal bodies and the bourgeoisie—conceited, ignorant and terrified at any innovation—and against the blind and intolerant policy of Louis XIV.

Colbert, in common with all his century, believed that the true secret of commerce and the indisputable proof of a country’s prosperity was to sell as many of the products of national industry to the foreigner as possible, while purchasing as little as possible. In order to do this, Colbert and commerce. he sometimes figured as a free-trader and sometimes as a protectionist, but always in a practical sense; if he imposed prohibitive tariffs, in 1664 and 1667, he also opened the free ports of Marseilles and Dunkirk, and engineered the Canal du midi. But commerce, like industry, was made to rely only on the instigation of the state, by the intervention of officials; here, as throughout the national life, private initiative was kept in subjection and under suspicion. Once more Colbert failed; with regard to internal affairs, he was unable to unify weights and measures, or to suppress the many custom-houses which made France into a miniature Europe; nor could he in external affairs reform the consulates of the Levant. He did not understand that, in order to purge the body of the nation from its traditions of routine, it would be necessary to reawaken individual energy in France. He believed that the state, or rather the bureaucracy, might be the motive power of national activity.

His colonial and maritime policy was the newest and most fruitful part of his work. He wished to turn the eyes of contemporary adventurous France towards her distant interests, the wars of religion having diverted her attention from them to the great profit of English Colbert and the colonies. and Dutch merchants. Here too he had no preconceived ideas; the royal and monopolist companies were never for him an end but a means; and after much experimenting he at length attained success. In the course of twenty years he created many dependencies of France beyond sea. To her colonial empire in America he added the greater part of Santo Domingo, Tobago and Dominica; he restored Guiana; prepared for the acquisition of Louisiana by supporting Cavelier de la Salle; extended the suzerainty of the king on the coast of Africa from the Bay of Arguin to the shores of Sierra Leone, and instituted the first commercial relations with India. The population of the Antilles doubled; that of Canada quintupled; while if in 1672 at the time of the war with Holland Louis XIV. had listened to him, Colbert would have sacrificed his pride to the acquisition of the rich colonies of the Netherlands. In order to attach and defend these colonies Colbert created a navy which became his passion; he took convicts to man the galleys in the Mediterranean, and for the fleet in the Atlantic he established the system of naval reserve which still obtains. But, in the 18th century, the monarchy, hypnotized by the classical battlefields of Flanders and Italy, madly squandered the fruits of Colbert’s work as so much material for barter and exchange.

In the administration, the police and the law, Colbert preserved all the old machinery, including the inheritance of office. In the great codification of laws, made under the direction of his uncle Pussort, he set aside the parlement of Paris, and justice continued to be ill-administered Colbert and the administration. and cruel. The police, instituted in 1667 by La Reynie, became a public force independent of magistrates and under the direct orders of the ministers, making the arbitrary royal and ministerial authority absolute by means of lettres de cachet (q.v.), which were very convenient for the government and very terrible for the individuals concerned.

Provincial administration was no longer modified; it was regularized. The intendant became the king’s factotum, not purchasing his office but liable to dismissal, the government’s confidential agent and the real repository of royal authority, the governor being only for show (see Intendant).

Colbert’s system went on working regularly up to the year 1675; from that time forward he was cruelly embarrassed for money, and, seeking new sources of revenue, begged for subsidies from the assembly of the clergy. He did not succeed either in stemming the tide of Ruin of Colbert’s work. expense, nor in his administration, being in no way in advance of his age, and not perceiving that decisive reform could not be achieved by a government dealing with the nation as though it were inert and passive material, made to obey and to pay. Like a good Cartesian he conceived of the state as an immense machine, every portion of which should receive its impulse from outside—that is from him, Colbert. Leibnitz had not yet taught that external movement is nothing, and inward spirit everything. As the minister of an ambitious and magnificent king, Colbert was under the hard necessity of sacrificing everything to the wars in Flanders and the pomp of Versailles—a gulf which swallowed up all the country’s wealth;—and, amid a society which might be supposed submissively docile to the wishes of Louis XIV., he had to retain the most absurd financial laws, making the burden of taxation weigh heaviest on those who had no other resources than their labour, whilst landed property escaped free of charge. Habitual privation during one year in every three drove the peasants to revolt: in Boulonnais, the Pyrenees, Vivarais, in Guyenne from 1670 onwards and in Brittany in 1675. Cruel means of repression assisted natural hardships and the carelessness of the administration in depopulating and laying waste the countryside; while Louis XIV.’s martial and ostentatious policy was even more disastrous than pestilence and famine, when Louvois’ advice prevailed in council over that of Colbert, now embittered and desperate. The revocation of the edict of Nantes vitiated through a fatal contradiction all the efforts of the latter to create new manufactures; the country was impoverished for the benefit of the foreigner to such a point that economic conditions began to alarm those private persons most noted for their talents, their character, or their regard for the public welfare; such as La Bruyère and Fénelon in 1692, Bois-Guillebert in 1697 and Vauban in 1707. The movement attracted even the ministers, Boulainvilliers at their head, who caused the intendants to make inquiry into the causes of this general ruin. There was a volume of attack upon Colbert; but as the fundamental system remained unchanged, because reform would have necessitated an attack upon privilege and even upon the constitution of the monarchy, the evil only went on increasing. The social condition of the time recalls that of present-day Morocco, in the high price of necessaries and the extortions of the financial authorities; every man was either soldier, beggar or smuggler.

Under Pontchartrain, Chamillard and Desmarets, the expenses of the two wars of 1688 and 1701 attained to nearly five milliards. In order to cover this recourse was had as usual, not to remedies, but to palliatives worse than the evil: heavy usurious loans, debasement of the coinage, creation of stocks that were perpetually Recourse to revolutionary measures. being converted, and ridiculous charges which the bourgeois, sickened with officialdom, would endure no longer. Richelieu himself had hesitated to tax labour; Louis XIV. trod the trade organizations under foot. It was necessary to have recourse to revolutionary measures, to direct taxation, ignoring all class distinction. In 1695 the graduated poll-tax was a veritable coup d’état against privileged persons, who were equally brought under the tax; in 1710 was added the tithe (dixième), a tax upon income from all landed property. Money scarce, men too were lacking; the institution of the militia, the first germ of obligatory enlistment, was a no less important innovation. But these were only provisionary and desperate expedients, superposed upon the old routine, a further charge in addition to those already existing; and this entirely mechanical system, destructive of private initiative and the very sources of public life, worked with difficulty even in time of peace. As Louis XIV. made war continually the result was the same as in Spain under Philip II.: depopulation and bankruptcy within the kingdom and the coalitions of Europe without.

In 1660 France was predominant in Europe; but she aroused no jealousy except in the house of Habsburg, enfeebled and divided against itself. It was sufficient to remain faithful to the practical policy of Henry IV., of Richelieu and of Mazarin: that of moderation in Foreign policy
of Louis XIV.
strength. This Louis XIV. very soon altered, while yet claiming to continue it; he superseded it by one principle: that of replacing the proud tyranny of the Habsburgs of Spain by another. He claimed to lay down the law everywhere, in the preliminary negotiations between his ambassador and the Spanish ambassador in London, in the affair of the salute exacted from French vessels by the English, and in that of the Corsican guard in Rome; while he proposed to become the head of the crusade against the Turks in the Mediterranean as in Hungary.

The eclipse of the great idea of the balance of power in Europe was no sudden affair; the most flourishing years of the reign were still enlightened by it: witness the repurchase of Dunkirk from Charles II. in 1662, the cession of the duchies of Bar and of Lorraine and the war against Portugal. But soon the partial or total conquest of the Spanish inheritance proved “the grandeur of his beginnings and the meanness of his end.” Like Philip the Fair and like Richelieu, Louis XIV. sought support for his external policy in that public opinion which in internal matters he held so cheap; and he found equally devoted auxiliaries in the jurists of his parlements.

It was thus that the first of his wars for the extension of frontiers began, the War of Devolution. On the death of his father-in-law, Philip IV. of Spain, he transferred into the realm of politics a civil custom of inheritance prevailing in Brabant, and laid claim to Flanders in War of Devolution, 1667. the name of his wife Maria Theresa. The Anglo-Dutch War (1665–1667), in which he was by way of supporting the United Provinces without engaging his fleet, retarded this enterprise by a year. But after his mediation in the treaty of Breda (July 1667), when Hugues de Lionne, secretary of state for foreign affairs, had isolated Spain, he substituted soldiers for the jurists and cannon for diplomacy in the matter of the queen’s rights.

The secretary of state for war, Michel le Tellier, had organized his army; and thanks to his great activity in reform, especially after the Fronde, Louis XIV. found himself in possession of an army that was well equipped, well clothed, well provisioned, and very different from the rabble of the Thirty Years’ War, fitted out by dishonest jobbing contractors. Severe discipline, suppression of fraudulent interference, furnishing of clothes and equipment by the king, regulation of rank among the officers, systematic revictualling of the army, settled means of manufacturing and furnishing arms and ammunition, placing of the army under the direct authority of the king, abolition of great military charges, subordination of the governors of strongholds, control by the civil authority over the soldiers effected by means of paymasters and commissaries of stores; all this organization of the royal army was the work of le Tellier.

His son, François Michel le Tellier, marquis de Louvois, had one sole merit, that of being his father’s pupil. A parvenu of the middle classes, he was brutal in his treatment of the lower orders and a sycophant in his behaviour towards the powerful; prodigiously active, ill-obeyed—as was the custom—but much dreaded. From 1677 onwards he did but finish perfecting Louis XIV.’s army in accordance with the suggestions left by his father, and made no fundamental changes: neither the definite abandonment of the feudal arrière-ban and of recruiting—sources of disorder and insubordination—nor the creation of the militia, which allowed the nation to penetrate into all the ranks of the army, nor the adoption of the gun with the bayonet,—which was to become the ultima ratio of peoples as the cannon was that of sovereigns—nor yet the uniform, intended to strengthen esprit de corps, were due to him. He maintained the institutions of the day, though seeking to diminish their abuse, and he perfected material details; but misfortune would have it that instead of remaining a great military administrator he flattered Louis XIV.’s megalomania, and thus caused his perdition.

Under his orders Turenne conquered Flanders (June-August 1667); and as the queen-mother of Spain would not give in, Condé occupied Franche Comté in fourteen days (February 1668). But Europe rose up in wrath; the United Provinces and England, jealous and disquieted The triple alliance
of the Hague.
by this near neighbourhood, formed with Sweden the triple alliance
of the Hague (January 1668), ostensibly to offer their mediation, though in reality to prevent the occupation of the Netherlands. Following the advice of Colbert and de Lionne, Louis XIV. appeared to accede, and by the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle he preserved his conquests in Flanders (May 1668).

This peace was neither sufficient nor definite enough for Louis XIV.; and during four years he employed all his diplomacy to isolate the republic of the United Provinces in Europe, as he had done for Spain. He wanted to ruin this nation both in a military and an economic sense, Peace of

War with Holland.
in order to annex to French Flanders the rest of the Catholic Netherlands allotted to him by a secret treaty for partitioning the Spanish possessions, signed with his brother-in-law the emperor Leopold on the 19th of January 1668. Colbert—very envious of Holland’s wealth—prepared the finances, le Tellier the army and de Lionne the alliances. In vain did the grand-pensionary of the province of Holland, Jan de Witt, offer concessions of all kinds; both England, bound by the secret treaty of Dover (January 1670), and France had need of this war. Avoiding the Spanish Netherlands, Louis XIV. effected the passage of the Rhine in June 1672; and the disarmed United Provinces, which had on their side only Brandenburg and Spain, were occupied in a few days. The brothers de Witt, in consequence of their fresh offer to treat at any price, were assassinated; the broken dykes of Muiden arrested the victorious march of Condé and Turenne; while the popular and military party, directed by the stadtholder William of Orange, took the upper hand and preached resistance to the death. “The war is over,” said the new secretary of state for foreign affairs, Arnauld de Pomponne; but Louvois and Louis XIV. said no. The latter wished not only to take possession of the Netherlands, which were to be given up to him with half of the United Provinces and their colonial empire; he wanted “to play the Charlemagne,” to re-establish Catholicism in that country as Philip II. had formerly attempted to do, to occupy all the territory as far as the Lech, and to exact an annual oath of fealty. But the patriotism and the religious fanaticism of the Dutch revolted against this insupportable tyranny. Power had passed from the hands of the burghers of Amsterdam into those of William of Orange, who on the 30th Peace of Nijmwegen, 1678. of August 1673, profiting by the arrest of the army brought about by the inundation and by the fears of Europe, joined in a coalition with the emperor, the king of Spain, the duke of Lorraine, many of the princes of the Empire, and with England, now at last enlightened as to the projects of Catholic restoration which Louis XIV. was planning with Charles II. It was necessary to evacuate and then to settle with the United Provinces, and to turn against Spain. After fighting for five years against the whole of Europe by land and by sea, the efforts of Turenne, Condé and Duquesne culminated at Nijmwegen in fresh acquisitions (1678). Spain had to cede to Louis XIV., Franche Comté, Dunkirk and half of Flanders. This was another natural and glorious result of the treaty of the Pyrenees. The Spanish monarchy was disarmed.

But Louis XIV. had already manifested that unmeasured and restless passion for glory, that claim to be the exclusive arbiter of western Europe, that blind and narrow insistence, which were to bear out his motto “Seul contre tous.” Whilst all Europe was disarming he Truce of Ratisbon. kept his troops, and used peace as a means of conquest. Under orders from Colbert de Croissy the jurists came upon the scene once more, and their unjust decrees were sustained by force of arms. The Chambres de Réunion sought for and joined to the kingdom those lands which were not actually dependent upon his new conquests, but which had formerly been so: such as Saarbrücken, Deux Ponts (Zweibrücken) and Montbéliard in 1680, Strassburg and Casale in 1681. The power of the house of Habsburg was paralysed by an invasion of the Turks, and Louis XIV. sent 35,000 men into Belgium; while Luxemburg was occupied by Créqui and Vauban. The truce of Ratisbon (Regensburg) imposed upon Spain completed the work of the peace of Nijmwegen (1684); and thenceforward Louis XIV.’s terrified allies avoided his clutches while making ready to fight him.

This was the moment chosen by Louis XIV.’s implacable enemy, William of Orange, to resume the war. His surprise of Marshal Luxembourg near Mons, after the signature of the peace of Nijmwegen, had proved that in his eyes William of Orange. war was the basis, of his authority in Holland and in Europe. His sole arm of support amidst all his allies was not the English monarchy, sold to Louis XIV., but Protestant England, jealous of France and uneasy about her independence. Being the husband of the duke of York’s daughter, he had an understanding in this country with Sunderland, Godolphin and Temple—a party whose success was retarded for several years by the intrigues of Shaftesbury. But Louis XIV. added mistake to mistake; and the revocation of the edict of Nantes added religious hatreds to political jealousies. At the same time the League of Augsburg. Catholic powers responded by the league of Augsburg (July 1686) to his policy of unlimited aggrandisement. The unsuccessful attempts of Louis XIV. to force his partisan Cardinal Wilhelm Egon von Fürstenberg (see Fürstenberg: House) into the electoral see of Cologne; the bombardment of Genoa; the humiliation of the pope in Rome itself by the marquis de Lavardin; the seizure of the Huguenot emigrants at Mannheim, and their imprisonment at Vincennes under pretext of a plot, precipitated the conflict. The question of the succession in the Palatinate, where Louis XIV. supported the claims of his sister-in-law the duchess of Orleans, gave the signal for a general war. The French armies devastated the Palatinate instead of attacking William of Orange in the Netherlands, leaving him free to disembark at Torbay, usurp the throne of England, and construct the Grand Alliance of 1689.

Far from reserving all his forces for an important struggle elsewhere, foreshadowed by the approaching death of Charles II. of Spain, Louis XIV., isolated in his turn, committed the error of wasting it for a space of ten years in a war of conquest, by which he alienated all that remained War of the
Grand Alliance.
to him of European sympathy. The French armies, notwithstanding the disappearance of Condé and Turenne, had still glorious days before them with Luxembourg at Fleurus, at Steenkirk and at Neerwinden (1690–1693), and with Catinat in Piedmont, at Staffarda, and at Marsaglia; but these successes alternated with reverses. Tourville’s fleet, victorious at Beachy Head, came to grief at La Hogue (1692); and though the expeditions to Ireland in favour of James II. were unsuccessful, thanks to the Huguenot Schomberg, Jean Bart and Duguay-Trouin ruined Anglo-Dutch maritime commerce. Louis XIV. assisted in person at the sieges of Mons and Namur, operations for which he had a liking, because, like Louvois, who died in 1691, he thought little of the French soldiery in the open field. After three years of strife, ruinous to both sides, he made the first overtures of peace, thus marking an epoch in his foreign policy; though William took no unfair advantage of this, remaining content with the restitution of places taken by the Chambres de Réunion, except Strassburg, with a frontier-line of fortified Peace of Ryswick. places for the Dutch, and with the official deposition of the Stuarts. But the treaty of Ryswick (1697) marked the condemnation of the policy pursued since that of Nijmwegen. While signing this peace Louis XIV. was only thinking of the succession in Spain. By partitioning her in advance with the other strong powers, England and Holland, by means of the treaties of the Hague and of London (1698–1699),—as he had formerly done with the emperor in 1668,—he seemed at first to wish for a pacific solution of the eternal conflict between the Habsburgs and the Bourbons, and to restrict himself to the perfecting of his natural frontiers; but on the death of Charles II. of Spain (1700) he claimed everything in favour of his grandson, the duke of Anjou, now appointed universal heir, though risking the loss of all by once more letting himself fall into imprudent and provocative action in the dynastic interest.

English public opinion, desirous of peace, had forced William III. to recognize Philip V. of Spain; but Louis XIV.’s maintenance of the eventual right of his grandson to the crown of France, and the expulsion of the Dutch, who had not recognized Philip V., from the Barrier towns, War of the Spanish Succession. brought about the Grand Alliance of 1701 between the maritime Powers and the court of Vienna, desirous of partitioning the inheritance of Charles II. The recognition of the Old Pretender as James III., king of England, was only a response to the Grand Alliance, but it drew the English Tories into an inevitable war. Despite the death of William III. (March 19, 1702) his policy triumphed, and in this war, the longest in the reign, it was the names of the enemy’s generals, Prince Eugène of Savoy, Mazarin’s grand-nephew, and the duke of Marlborough, which sounded in the ear, instead of Condé, Turenne and Luxembourg. Although during the first campaigns (1701–1703) in Italy, in Germany and in the Netherlands success was equally balanced, the successors of Villars—thanks to the treason of the duke of Savoy—were defeated at Höchstädt and Landau, and were reduced to the defensive (1704). In 1706 the defeats at Ramillies and Turin led to the evacuation of the Netherlands and Italy, and endangered the safety of Dauphiné. In 1708 Louis XIV. by a supreme effort was still able to maintain his armies; but the rout at Oudenarde, due to the misunderstanding between the duke of Burgundy and Vendôme, left the northern frontier exposed, and the cannons of the Dutch were heard at Marly. Louis XIV. had to humble himself to the extent of asking the Dutch for peace; but they forgot the lesson of 1673, and revolted by their demands at the Hague, he made a last appeal to arms and to the patriotism of his subjects at Malplaquet (September 1709). After this came invasion. Nature herself conspired with the enemy in the disastrous winter of 1709.

What saved Louis XIV. was not merely his noble constancy of resolve, the firmness of the marquis de Torcy, secretary of state for foreign affairs, the victory of Vendôme at Villaviciosa, nor the loyalty of his people. The interruption of the conferences at Gertruydenberg having obliged the Whigs and Marlborough to resign their power into the hands of the Tories, now sick of war, the death of the emperor Joseph I. (April 1711), which risked the reconstruction of Charles V.’s colossal and unwieldy monarchy upon the shoulders of the archduke Charles, and Marshal Villars’ famous victory of Denain (July 1712) combined to render possible Peace of Utrecht, 1713. the treaties of Utrecht, Rastatt and Baden (1713–1714). These gave Italy and the Netherlands to the Habsburgs, Spain and her colonies to the Bourbons, the places on the coast and the colonial commerce to England (who had the lion’s share), and a royal crown to the duke of Savoy and the elector of Brandenburg. The peace of Utrecht was to France what the peace of Westphalia had been to Austria, and curtailed the former acquisitions of Louis XIV.

The ageing of the great king was betrayed not only by the fortune of war in the hands of Villeroy, la Feuillade, or Marsin; disgrace and misery at home were worse than defeat. By the strange and successive deaths of the Grand Dauphin (1711), the duke and duchess of Burgundy End of Louis XIV.’s reign. (1712)—who had been the only joy of the old monarch—and of his two grandsons (1712–1714), it seemed as though his whole family were involved under the same curse. The court, whose sentimental history has been related by Madame de la Fayette, its official splendours by Loret, and its intrigues by the duc de Saint-Simon, now resembled an infirmary of morose invalids, presided over by Louis XIV.’s elderly wife, Madame de Maintenon, under the domination of the Jesuit le Tellier. Neither was it merely the clamours of the people that arose against the monarch. All the more remarkable spirits of the time, like prophets in Israel, denounced a tyranny which put Chamillart at the head of the finances because he played billiards well, and Villeroy in command of the armies although he was utterly untrustworthy; which sent the “patriot” Vauban into disgrace, banished from the court Catinat, the Père la Pensée, “exiled” to Cambrai the too clear sighted Fénelon, and suspected Racine of Jansenism and La Fontaine of independence.

Disease and famine; crushing imposts and extortions; official debasement of the currency; bankruptcy; state prisons; religious and political inquisition; suppression of all institutions for the safe-guarding of rights; tyranny by the intendants; royal, feudal and clerical oppression burdening every faculty and every necessary of life; “monstrous and incurable luxury”; the horrible drama of poison; the twofold adultery of Madame de Montespan; and the narrow bigotry of Madame de Maintenon—all concurred to make the end of the reign a sad contrast with the splendour of its beginning. When reading Molière and Racine, Bossuet and Fénelon, the campaigns of Turenne, or Colbert’s ordinances; when enumerating the countless literary and scientific institutions of the great century; when considering the port of Brest, the Canal du Midi, Perrault’s colonnade of the Louvre, Mansart’s Invalides and the palace of Versailles, and Vauban’s fine fortifications—admiration is kindled for the radiant splendour of Louis XIV.’s period. But the art and literature expressed by the genius of the masters, reflected in the tastes of society, and to be taken by Europe as a model throughout a whole century, are no criterion of the social and political order of the day. They were but a magnificent drapery of pomp and glory thrown across a background of poverty, ignorance, superstition, hypocrisy and cruelty; remove it, and reality appears in all its brutal and sinister nudity. The corpse of Louis XIV., left to servants for disposal, and saluted all along the road to Saint Denis by the curses of a noisy crowd sitting in the cabarets, celebrating his death by drinking more than their fill as a compensation for having suffered too much from hunger during his lifetime—such was the coarse but sincere epitaph which popular opinion placed on the tomb of the “Grand Monarque.” The nation, restive under his now broken yoke, received with a joyous anticipation, which the future was to discount, the royal infant whom they called Louis the Well-beloved, and whose funeral sixty years later was to be greeted with the same proofs of disillusionment.

The death of Louis XIV. closed a great era of French history; the 18th century opens upon a crisis for the monarchy. From 1715 to 1723 came the reaction of the Regency, with its marvellous effrontery, innovating spirit and frivolous immorality. From 1723 to 1743 came the mealy-mouthed Character of the eighteenth century. despotism of Cardinal Fleury, and his apathetic policy within and without the kingdom. From 1743 to 1774 came the personal rule of Louis XV., when all the different powers were in conflicts—the bishops and parlement quarrelling, the government fighting against the clergy and the magistracy, and public opinion in declared opposition to the state. Till at last, from 1774 to 1789, came Louis XVI. with his honest illusions. his moral pusillanimity and his intellectual impotence, to aggravate still further the accumulated errors of ages and to prepare for the inevitable Revolution.

The 18th century, like the 17th, opened with a political coup d’état. Louis XV. was five years old, and the duke of Orleans held the regency. But Louis XIV. had in his will delegated all the power of the government to a council on which the duke of Maine, his legitimated The Regency
son, had the first, but Madame de Maintenon and the Jesuits the predominant place. This collective administration, designed to cripple the action of the regent, encountered a twofold opposition from the nobles and the parlement; but on the 2nd of September 1715 the emancipated parlement set aside the will in favour of the duke of Orleans, who thus together with the title of regent had all the real power. He therefore reinstituted the parlement in its ancient right of remonstrance (suspended since the declarations of 1667 and 1673), and handed over ministerial power to the nobility, replacing the secretaries of state by six councils composed in part of great nobles, on the advice of the famous duc de Saint-Simon. The duc de Noailles, president of the council of finance, had the direction of this “Polysynodie.”

The duke of Orleans, son of the princess palatine and Louis XIV.’s brother, possessed many gifts—courage, intelligence and agility of mind—but he lacked the one gift of using these to good advantage. The political crisis that had placed him in power had not put an end to Philip of Orleans. the financial crisis, and this, it was hoped, might be effected by substituting partial and petty bankruptcies for the general bankruptcy cynically advocated by Saint-Simon. The reduction of the royal revenues did not suffice to fill the treasury; while the establishment of a chamber of justice (March 1716) had no other result than that of demoralizing the great lords and ladies already mad for pleasure, by bringing them into contact with the farmers of the revenue who purchased impunity from them. A very clever Scotch adventurer named John Law (q.v.) now offered his assistance in dealing with the enormous debt of more than three milliards, and in providing the treasury. Being well acquainted with the mechanism of banking, he had adopted views as to cash, credit and the circulation of values which contained an admixture of truth and falsehood. Authorized after many difficulties to organize a private bank of deposit and account, which being well conceived prospered and revived commerce, Law proposed to lighten the treasury by the profits accruing to a great maritime and colonial company. Payment for the shares in this new Company of the West, with a capital of a hundred millions, was to be made in credit notes upon the government, converted into 4% stock. These aggregated funds, needed to supply the immense and fertile valley of the Mississippi, and the annuities of the treasury destined to pay for the shares, were non-transferable. Law’s idea was to ask the bank for the floating capital necessary, so that the bank and the Company of the West were to be supplementary to each other; this is what was called Law’s system. After the chancellor D’Aguesseau and the duc de Noailles had been replaced by D’Argenson alone, and after the lit de justice of the 26th of August 1718 had deprived the parlement, hostile to Law, of the authority left to it, the bank became royal and the Company of the West universal. But the royal bank, as a state establishment, asked for compulsory privilege to increase the emission of its credit notes, and that they should receive a premium upon all metallic specie. The Company of the Indies became the grantee for the farming of tobacco, the coinage of metals, and farming in general; and in order to procure funds it multiplied the output of shares, which were adroitly launched and became more and more sought for on the exchange in the rue Quincampoix. This soon caused a frenzy of stock-jobbing, which disturbed the stability of private fortunes and social positions, and depraved customs and manners with the seductive notion of easily obtained riches. The nomination of Law to the controller-generalship, re-established for his benefit on the resignation of D’Argenson (January 5, 1720), let loose still wilder speculation; till the day came when he could no longer face the terrible difficulty of meeting both private irredeemable shares with a variable return, and the credit notes redeemable at sight and guaranteed by the state. Gold and silver were proscribed; the bank and the company were joined in one; the credit notes and the shares were assimilated. But credit cannot be commanded either by violence or by expedients; between July and September 1720 came the suspension of payments, the flight of Law, and the disastrous liquidation which proved once again that respect for the state’s obligations had not yet entered into the law of public finance.

Reaction on a no less extensive scale characterized foreign policy during the Regency. A close alliance between France and her ancient enemies, England and Holland, was concluded and maintained from 1717 to 1739: France, after thirty years of fighting, between two periods of The Anglo-Dutch Alliance. bankruptcy; Holland reinstalled in her commercial position; and England, seeing before her the beginning of her empire over the seas—all three had an interest in peace. On the other hand, peace was imperilled by Philip V. of Spain and by the emperor (who had accepted the portion assigned to them by the treaty of Utrecht, while claiming the whole), by Savoy and Brandenburg (who had profited too much by European conflicts not to desire their perpetuation), by the crisis from which the maritime powers of the Baltic were suffering, and by the Turks on the Danube. The dream of Cardinal Alberoni, Philip V.’s minister, was to set fire to all this inflammable material in order to snatch therefrom a crown of some sort to satisfy the maternal greed of Elizabeth Farnese; and this he might have attained by the occupation of Sardinia and the expedition to Sicily (1717–1718), if Dubois, a priest without a religion, a greedy parvenu and a diplomatist of second rank, though tenacious and full of resources as a minister, had not placed his common sense at the disposal of the regent’s interests and those of European peace. He signed the triple alliance at the Hague, succeeding with the assistance of Stanhope, the English minister, in engaging the emperor therein, after attempting this for a year and a half. Whilst the Spanish fleet was destroyed before Syracuse by Admiral Byng, the intrigue of the Spanish ambassador Cellamare with the duke of Maine to exclude the family of Orleans from the succession on Louis XV.’s death was discovered and repressed; and Marshal Berwick burned the dockyards at Pasajes in Spain. Alberoni’s dream was shattered by the treaty of London in 1720.

Seized in his turn with a longing for the cardinal’s hat, Dubois paid for it by the registering of the bull Unigenitus and by the persecution of the Jansenists which the regent had stopped. After the majority of Louis XV. had been proclaimed on the 16th of February 1723, Dubois was the first to depart; and four months after his disappearance the duke of Orleans, exhausted by his excesses, carried with him into the grave that spirit of reform which he had compromised by his frivolous voluptuousness (December 2, 1723).

The Regency had been the making of the house of Orleans; thenceforward the question was how to humble it, and the duc de Bourbon, now prime minister—a great-grandson of the great Condé, but a narrow-minded man of limited intelligence, led by a worthless woman—set Ministry of the
duc de Bourbon.
himself to do so. The marquise de Prie was the first of a series of publicly recognized mistresses; from 1723 to 1726 she directed foreign policy and internal affairs despite the king’s majority, moved always more by a spirit of vengeance than by ambition. This sad pair were dominated by the self-interested and continual fear of becoming subject to the son of the Regent, whom they detested; but danger came upon them from elsewhere. They found standing in their way the very man who had been the author of their fortunes, Louis XV.’s tutor, uneasy in the exercise of a veiled authority; for the churchman Fleury knew how to wait, on condition of ultimately attaining his end. Neither the festivities given at Chantilly in honour of the king, nor the dismissal (despite the most solemn promises) of the Spanish infanta, who had been betrothed to Louis XV., nor yet the young king’s marriage to Maria Leszczynska (1725)—a marriage negotiated by the marquise de Prie in order to bar the throne from the Orleans family—could alienate the sovereign from his old master. The irritation kept up by the agents of Philip V., incensed by this affront, and the discontent aroused by the institutions of the cinquantième and the militia, by the re-establishment of the feudal tax on Louis XV.’s joyful accession, and by the resumption of a persecution of the Protestants and the Jansenists which had apparently died out, were cleverly exploited by Fleury; and a last ill-timed attempt by the queen to separate the king from him brought about the fall of the duc de Bourbon, very opportunely for France, in June 1726.

From the hands of his unthinking pupil Fleury eventually received the supreme direction of affairs, which he retained for seventeen years. He was aged seventy-two when he thus obtained the power which had been his unmeasured though not ill-calculated ambition. Soft-spoken Cardinal Fleury, 1726–1743. and polite, crafty and suspicious, he was pacific by temperament and therefore allowed politics to slumber. His turn for economics made Orry,[6] the controller-general of finance, for long his essential partner. The latter laboured at re-establishing order in fiscal affairs; and various measures like the impost of the dixième upon all property save that of the clergy, together with the end of the corn famine, sufficed to restore a certain amount of well-being. Religious peace was more difficult to secure; in fact politico-religious quarrels dominated all the internal policy of the kingdom during forty years, and gradually compromised the royal authority. The Jesuits, returned to power in 1723 with the duc de Bourbon and in 1726 with Fleury, rekindled the old strife regarding the bull Unigenitus in opposition to the Gallicans and the Jansenists. The retractation imposed upon Cardinal de Noailles, and his replacement in the archbishopric of Paris by Vintimille, an unequivocal Molinist, excited among the populace a very violent agitation against the court of Rome and the Jesuits, the prelude to a united Fronde of the Sorbonne and the parlement. Fleury found no other remedy for this agitation—in which appeal was made even to miracles—than lits de justice and lettres de cachet; Jansenism remained a potent source of trouble within the heart of Catholicism.

This worn-out septuagenarian, who prized rest above everything, imported into foreign policy the same mania for economy and the same sloth in action. He naturally adopted the idea of reconciling Louis XIV.’s descendants, who had all been embroiled ever since the Polish Fleury’s foreign policy. marriage. He succeeded in this by playing very adroitly on the ambition of Elizabeth Farnese and her husband Philip V., who was to reign in France notwithstanding any renunciation that might have taken place. Despite the birth of a dauphin (September 1729), which cut short the Spanish intrigues, the reconciliation was a lasting one (treaty of Seville); it led to common action in Italy, and to the installation of Spanish royalties at Parma, Piacenza, and soon after at Naples. Fleury, supported by the English Hanoverian alliance, to which he sacrificed the French navy, obliged the emperor Charles VI. to sacrifice the trade of the Austrian Netherlands to the maritime powers and Central Italy to the Bourbons, in order to gain recognition for his Pragmatic Sanction. The question of the succession in France lay dormant until the end of the century, and Fleury thought he had definitely obtained peace in the treaty of Vienna (1731).

The war of the Polish succession proved him to have been deceived. On the death of Augustus II. of Saxony, king of Poland, Louis XV.’s father-in-law had been proclaimed king by the Polish diet. This was an ephemeral success, ill-prepared and obtained by taking a sudden advantage of national sentiment; War of the Polish Succession
it was soon followed by a check, owing to a Russian and German coalition and the baseness of Cardinal Fleury, who, in order to avoid intervening, pretended to tremble before an imaginary threat of reprisals on the part of England. But Chauvelin, the keeper of the seals, supported by public opinion, avenged on the Rhine and the Po the unlucky heroism of the comte de Plélo at Dànzig,[7] the vanished dream of the queen, the broken word of Louis XV., and the treacherous abandonment of Poland. Fleury never forgave him for this: Chauvelin had checkmated him with war; he checkmated Chauvelin with peace, and hastened to replace Marshals Berwick and Villars by diplomatists. The third treaty of Vienna (1738), the reward of so much effort, would only have claimed for France the little duchy of Bar, had not Chauvelin forced Louis XV. to obtain Lorraine for his father-in-law—still hoping for the reversion of the crown; but Fleury thus rendered impossible any influence of the queen, and held Stanislaus at his mercy. In order to avenge himself upon Chauvelin he sacrificed him to the cabinets of Vienna and London, alarmed at seeing him revive the national tradition in Italy.

Fleury hardly had time to breathe before a new conflagration broke out in the east. The Russian empress Anne and the emperor Charles VI. had planned to begin dismembering the Turkish empire. More fortunate than Plélo, Villeneuve, the French ambassador at Constantinople, The Eastern question. endeavoured to postpone this event, and was well supported; he revived the courage of the Turks and provided them with arms, thanks to the comte de Bonneval (q.v.), one of those adventurers of high renown whose influence in Europe during the first half of the eighteenth century is one of the most piquant features of that period. The peace of Belgrade (September 1739) was, by its renewal of the capitulations, a great material success for France, and a great moral victory by the rebuff to Austria and Russia.

France had become once more the arbiter of Europe, when the death of the emperor Charles VI. in 1740 opened up a new period of wars and misfortunes for Europe and for the pacific Fleury. Everyone had signed Charles VI.’s Pragmatic Sanction, proclaiming the succession-rights War of the Austrian Succession. of his daughter, the archduchess Maria Theresa; but on his death there was a general renunciation of signatures and an attempt to divide the heritage. The safety of the house of Austria depended on the attitude of France; for Austria could no longer harm her. Fleury’s inclination was not to misuse France’s traditional policy by exaggerating it, but to respect his sworn word; he dared not press his opinion, however, and yielded to the fiery impatience of young hot-heads like the two Belle-Isles, and of all those who, infatuated by Frederick II., felt sick of doing nothing at Versailles and were backed up by Louis XV.’s bellicose mistresses. He had to experience the repeated defections of Frederick II. in his own interests, and the precipitate retreat from Bohemia. He had to humble himself before Austria and the whole of Europe; and it was high time for Fleury, now fallen into second childhood, to vanish from the scene (January 1743).

Louis XV. was at last to become his own prime minister and to reign alone; but in reality he was more embarrassed than pleased by the responsibility incumbent upon him. He therefore retained the persons who had composed Fleury’s staff; though instead of being led by a single Personal rule of Louis XV. one of them, he fell into the hands of several, who disputed among themselves for the ascendancy: Maurepas, incomparable in little things, but neglectful of political affairs; D’Argenson, bold, and strongly attached to his work as minister of war; and the cardinal de Tencin, a frivolous and worldly priest. Old Marshal de Noailles tried to incite Louis XV. to take his kingship in earnest, thinking to cure him by war of his effeminate passions; and, in the spring of 1744, the king’s grave illness at Metz gave a momentary hope of reconciliation between him and the deserted queen. But the duc de Richelieu, a roué who had joined hands with the sisters of the house of Nesle and was jealous of Marshal de Noailles, soon regained his lost ground; and, under the influence of this panderer to his pleasures, Louis XV. settled down into a life of vice. Holding aloof from active affairs, he tried to relieve the incurable boredom of satiety in the violent exercise of hunting, in supper-parties with his intimates, and in spicy indiscretions. Brought up religiously and to shun the society of women, his first experiences in adultery had been made with many scruples and intermittently. Little by little, however, jealous of power, yet incapable of exercising it to any purpose, he sank into a sensuality which became utterly shameless under the influence of his chief mistress the duchesse de Châteauroux.

Hardly had a catastrophe snatched her away in the zenith of her power when complete corruption and the flagrant triumph of egoism supervened with the accession to power of the marquise de Pompadour, and for nearly twenty years (1745–1764) the whims and caprices of this Madame de Pompadour. little bourgeoise ruled the realm. A prime minister in petticoats, she had her political system: reversed the time-honoured alliances of France, appointed or disgraced ministers, directed fleets and armies, concluded treaties, and failed in all her enterprises! She was the queen of fashion in a society where corruption blossomed luxuriantly and exquisitely, and in a century of wit hers was second to none. Amidst this extraordinary instability, when everything was at the mercy of a secret thought of the master, the mistress alone held lasting sway; in a reign of all-pervading satiety and tedium, she managed to remain indispensable and bewitching to the day of her death.

Meanwhile the War of the Austrian Succession broke out again, and never had secretary of state more intricate questions to solve than had D’Argenson. In the attempt to make a stage-emperor of Charles Albert of Bavaria, defeat was incurred at Dettingen, and the French Peace of
were driven back on the Rhine (1743). The Bavarian dream dissipated, victories gained in Flanders by Marshal Saxe, another adventurer of genius, at Fontenoy, Raucoux and Lawfeld (1745–1747), were hailed with joy as continuing those of Louis XIV.; even though they resulted in the loss of Germany and the doubling of English armaments. The “disinterested” peace of Aix-la-Chapelle (October 1748) had no effectual result other than that of destroying in Germany, and for the benefit of Prussia, a balance of power that had yet to be secured in Italy, despite the establishment of the Spanish prince Philip at Parma. France, meanwhile, was beaten at sea by England, Maria Theresa’s sole ally. While founding her colonial empire England had come into collision with France; and the rivalry of the Hundred Years’ War had immediately sprung up again between the two countries. Engaged already in both Canada and in India (where Dupleix was founding an empire with a mere handful of men), it was to France’s interest not to become involved in war upon the Rhine, thus falling into England’s continental trap. She did fall into it, however: for the sake of conquering Silesia for the king of Prussia, Canada was left exposed by the capture of Cape Breton; while in order to restore this same Silesia to Maria Theresa, Canada was lost and with it India.

France had worked for the king of Prussia from 1740 to 1748; now it was Maria Theresa’s game that was played in the Seven Years’ War. In 1755, the English having made a sudden attack upon the French at sea, and Frederick II. having by a fresh volte-face passed into The Seven Years’ War, 1756–1763. alliance with Great Britain, Louis XV.’s government accepted an alliance with Maria Theresa in the treaty of the 1st of May 1756. Instead of remaining upon the defensive in this continental war—merely accessory as it was—he made it his chief affair, and placed himself under the petticoat government of three women, Maria Theresa, Elizabeth of Russia and the marquise de Pompadour. This error—the worst of all—laid the foundations of the Prussian and British empires. By three battles, victories for the enemies of France—Rossbach in Germany, 1757, Plassey in India, 1757, and Quebec in Canada, 1759 (owing to the recall of Dupleix, who was not bringing in large enough dividends to the Company of the Indies, and to the abandonment of Montcalm, who could not interest any one in “a few acres of snow”), the expansion of Prussia was assured, and the British relieved of French rivalry in the expansion of their empire in India and on the North American continent.

Owing to the blindness of Louis XV. and the vanity of the favourite, the treaties of Paris and Hubertusburg (1763) once more proved the French splendid in their conceptions, but deficient in action. Moreover, Choiseul, secretary of state for foreign affairs since 1758, made out of this Treaties of Paris
and Hubertusburg.
deceptive Austrian alliance a system which put the finishing touch to disaster, and after having thrown away everything to satisfy Maria Theresa’s hatred of Frederick II., the reconciliation between these two irreconcilable Germans at Neisse and at Neustadt (1769–1770) was witnessed by France, to the prejudice of Poland, one of her most ancient adherents. The expedient of the Family Compact, concluded with Spain in 1761—with a view to taking vengeance upon England, whose fleets were a continual thorn in the side to France—served only to involve Spain herself in misfortune. Choiseul, who at least had a policy that was sometimes in the right, and who was very anxious to carry it out, then realized that the real quarrel had to be settled with England. Amid the anguish of defeat and of approaching ruin, he had an acute sense of the actualities of the case, and from 1763 to 1766 devoted himself passionately to the reconstruction of the navy. To compensate for the loss of the colonies he annexed Lorraine (1766), and by the acquisition of Corsica in 1768 he gave France an intermediary position in the Mediterranean, between friendly Spain and Italy, looking forward to the time when it should become a stepping-stone to Africa.

But Louis XV. had two policies. The incoherent efforts which he made to repair by the secret diplomacy of the comte de Broglie the evils caused by his official policy only aggravated his shortcomings and betrayed his weakness. The contradictory intrigues of the king’s First partition
of Poland.
secret proceedings in the candidature of Prince Xavier, the dauphine’s brother, and the patriotic efforts of the confederation of Bar, contributed to bring about the Polish crisis which the partition of 1772 resolved in favour of Frederick II.; and the Turks were in their turn dragged into the same disastrous affair. Of the old allies of France, Choiseul preserved at least Sweden by the coup d’état of Gustavus III.; but instead of being as formerly the centre of great affairs, the cabinet of Versailles lost all its credit, and only exhibited before the eyes of contemptuous Europe France’s extreme state of decay.

The nation felt this humiliation, and showed all the greater irritation as the want of cohesion in the government and the anarchy in the central authority became more and more intolerable in home affairs. Though the administration still possessed a fund of tradition and a Internal policy
of Louis XV.
personnel which, including many men of note, protected it from the enfeebling influence of the court, it looked as though chance regulated everything so far as the government was concerned. These fluctuations were owing partly to the character of Louis XV., and partly also to the fact that society in the 18th century was too advanced in its ideas to submit without resistance to the caprice of such a man. His mistresses were not the only cause of this; for ever since Fleury’s advent political parties had come to the fore. From 1749 to 1757 the party of religious devotees grouped round the queen and the king’s daughters, with the dauphin as chief and the comte D’Argenson, and Machault d’Arnouville, keeper of the seals, as lieutenants, had worked against Madame de Pompadour (who leant for support upon the parlements, the Jansenists and the philosophers) and had gained the upper hand. Thenceforward poverty, disorders, and consequently murmurs increased. The financial reform attempted by Machault d’Arnouville between 1745 and 1749—a reduction of the debt through the impost of the twentieth and the edict of 1749 against the extensive property held in mortmain by the Church—after his disgrace only resulted in failure. The army, which D’Argenson (likewise dismissed by Madame de Pompadour) had been from 1743 to 1747 trying to restore by useful reforms, was riddled by cabals. Half the people in the kingdom were dying of hunger, while the court was insulting poverty by its luxury and waste; and from 1750 onwards political ferment was everywhere manifest. It found all the more favourable foothold in that the Church, the State’s best ally, had made herself more and more unpopular. Her refusal of the sacraments to those who would not accept the bull Unigenitus (1746) was exploited in the eyes of the masses, as in those of more enlightened people was her selfish and short-sighted resistance to the financial plans of Machault. The general discontent was expressed by the parlements in their attempt to establish a political supremacy amid universal confusion, and by the popular voice in pamphlets recalling by their violence those of the League. Every one expected and desired a speedy revolution that should put an end to a policy which alternated between overheated effervescence, abnormal activity and lethargy. Nothing can better show the point to which things had descended than the attempted assassination of Louis the Well-beloved by Damiens in 1757.

Choiseul was the means of accelerating this revolution, not only by his abandonment of diplomatic traditions, but still more by his improvidence and violence. He reversed the policy of his predecessors in regard to the parlement. Supported by public opinion, which clamoured for guarantees Choiseul. against arbitrary power, the parlements had dared not only to insist on being consulted as to the budget of the state in 1763, but to enter upon a confederation throughout the whole of France, and on repeated occasions to ordain a general strike of the judicial authorities. Choiseul did not hesitate to attack through lits de justice or by exile a judiciary oligarchy which doubtless rested its pretensions merely on wealth, high birth, or that encroaching spirit that was the only counteracting agency to the monarchy. Louis XV., wearied with their clamour, called them to order. Choiseul’s religious policy was no less venturesome; after the condemnation in 1759 of the Jesuits who were involved in the bankruptcy of Father de la Valette, their general, in the Antilles, he had the order dissolved for refusing to modify its constitution (1761–1764). Thus, not content with encouraging writers with innovating ideas to the prejudice of traditional institutions, he attacked, in the order of the Jesuits, the strongest defender of these latter, and delivered over the new generation to revolutionary doctrines.

A woman had elevated him into power; a woman brought him to the ground. He succumbed to a coalition of the chancellor Maupeou, the duc d’Aiguillon and the Abbé Terray, which depended on the favour of the king’s latest mistress, Madame du Barry (December 1770); and The Triumvirate, 1770–1774. the Jesuits were avenged by a stroke of authority similar to that by which they themselves had suffered. Following on an edict registered by the lit de justice, which forbade any remonstrance in political matters, the parlement had resigned, and had been imitated by the provincial parlements; whereupon Maupeou, an energetic chancellor, suppressed the parlements and substituted superior councils of magistrates appointed by the king (1771). This reform was justified by the religious intolerance of the parlements; by their scandalous trials of Calas, Pierre Paul Sirven (1709–1777), the chevalier de la Barre and the comte de Lally; by the retrograde spirit that had made them suppress the Encyclopaedia in 1759 and condemn Émile in 1762; and by their selfishness in perpetuating abuses by which they profited. But this reform, being made by the minister of a hated sovereign, only aided in exasperating public opinion, which was grateful to the parlements in that their remonstrances had not always been fruitless.

Thus all the buttresses of the monarchical institution began to fall to pieces: the Church, undermined by the heresy of Jansenism, weakened by the inroads of philosophy, discredited by evil-livers among the priesthood, and divided against itself, like all losing parties; the Ancient influences and institutions. nobility of the court, still brave at heart, though incapable of exertion and reduced to beggary, having lost all respect for discipline and authority, not only in the camp, but in civilian society; and the upper-class officials, narrow-minded and egotistical, unsettling by their opposition the royal authority which they pretended to safeguard. Even the “liberties,” among the few representative institutions which the ancien régime had left intact in some provinces, turned against the people. The estates opposed most of the intelligent and humane measures proposed by such intendants as Tourny and Turgot to relieve the peasants, whose distress was very great; they did their utmost to render the selfishness of the privileged classes more oppressive and vexatious.

Thus the terrible prevalence of poverty and want; the successive famines; the mistakes of the government; the scandals of the Parc aux Cerfs; and the parlements playing the Roman senate: all these causes, added together and multiplied, assisted in setting a general The new ideas. fermentation to work. The philosophers only helped to precipitate a movement which they had not created; without pointing to absolute power as the cause of the trouble, and without pretending to upset the traditional system, they attempted to instil into princes the feeling of new and more precise obligations towards their subjects. Voltaire, Montesquieu, the Encyclopaedists and the Physiocrats (recurring to the tradition of Bayle and Fontenelle), by dissolving in their analytical crucible all consecrated beliefs and all fixed institutions, brought back into the human society of the 18th century that humanity which had been so rudely eliminated. They demanded freedom of thought and belief with passionate insistence; they ardently discussed institutions and conduct; and they imported into polemics the idea of natural rights superior to all political arrangements. Whilst some, like Voltaire and the Physiocrats, representatives of the privileged classes and careless of political rights, wished to make use of the omnipotence of the prince to accomplish desirable reforms, or, like Montesquieu, adversely criticized despotism and extolled moderate governments, other, plebeians like Rousseau, proclaimed the theory of the social contract and the sovereignty of the people. So that during this reign of frivolity and passion, so bold in conception and so poor in execution, the thinkers contributed still further to mark the contrast between grandeur of plan and mediocrity of result.

The preaching of all this generous philosophy, not only in France, but throughout the whole of Europe, would have been in vain had there not existed at the time a social class interested in these great changes, and capable of compassing them. Neither the witty and lucid form in which the philosophers clothed their ideas in their satires, romances, stage-plays and treatises, nor the salons of Madame du Deffand, Madame Geoffrin and Mademoiselle de Lespinasse, could possibly have been sufficiently far-reaching or active centres of political propaganda. The former touched only the more highly educated classes; while to the latter, where privileged individuals alone had entry, novelties were but an undiluted stimulant for the jaded appetites of persons whose ideas of good-breeding, moreover, would have drawn the line at martyrdom.

The class which gave the Revolution its chiefs, its outward and visible forms, and the irresistible energy of its hopes, was the bourgeoisie, intelligent, ambitious and rich; in the forefront the capitalists and financiers of the haute bourgeoisie, farmers-general and army contractors, The bourgeoisie—the incarnation of new ideas. who had supplanted or swamped the old landed and military aristocracy, had insensibly reconstructed the interior of the ancient social edifice with the gilded and incongruous materials of wealth, and in order to consolidate or increase their monopolies, needed to secure themselves against the arbitrary action of royalty and the bureaucracy. Next came the crowd of stockholders and creditors of the state, who, in face of the government’s “extravagant anarchy,” no longer felt safe from partial or total bankruptcy. More powerful still, and more masterful, was the commercial, industrial and colonial bourgeoisie; because under the Regency and under Louis XV. they had been more productive and more creative. Having gradually revolutionized the whole economic system, in Paris, in Lyons, in Nantes, in Bordeaux, in Marseilles, they could not tamely put up with being excluded from public affairs, which had so much bearing upon their private or collective enterprises. Finally, behind this bourgeoisie, and afar off, came the crowd of serfs, rustics whom the acquisition of land had gradually enfranchised, and who were the more eager to enjoy their definitive liberation because it was close at hand.

The habits and sentiments of French society showed similar changes. From having been almost exclusively national during Louis XIV.’s reign, owing to the perpetual state of war and to a sort of proud isolation, it had gradually become cosmopolitan. After the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, Transformation
of manners and customs.
France had been flooded from all quarters of the civilized world, but especially from England, by a concourse of refined and cultured men well acquainted with her usages and her universal language, whom she had received sympathetically. Paris became the brain of Europe. This revolution in manners and customs, coinciding with the revolution in ideas, led in its turn to a transformation in feeling, and to new aesthetic needs. Gradually people became sick of openly avowed gallantry, of shameless libertinism, of moral obliquity and of the flattering artifices of vice; a long shudder ran through the selfish torpor of the social body. After reading the Nouvelle-Héloïse, Clarissa and Sir Charles Grandison, fatigued and wearied society revived as though beneath the fresh breezes of dawn. The principle of examination, the reasoned analysis of human conditions and the discussion of causes, far from culminating in disillusioned nihilism, everywhere aroused the democratic spirit, the life of sentiment and of human feeling: in the drama, with Marivaux, Diderot and La Chaussée; in art, with Chardin and Greuze; and in the salons, in view of the suppression of privilege. So that to Louis XV.’s cynical and hopeless declaration: “Apres moi le déluge,” the setting 18th century responded by a belief in progress and an appeal to the future. A long-drawn echo from all classes hailed a revolution that was possible because it was necessary.

If this revolution did not burst forth sooner, in the actual lifetime of Louis XV., if in Louis XVI.’s reign there was a renewal of loyalty to the king, before the appeal to liberty was made, that is to be explained by this hope of recovery. But Louis XVI.’s reign (1774–1792) was only to be a temporary halting-place, an artifice of history for passing through the transition period whilst elaborating the transformation which was to revolutionize, together with France, the whole world.

Louis XVI. was twenty years of age. Physically he was stout, and a slave to the Bourbon fondness for good living; intellectually a poor creature and but ill-educated, he loved nothing so much as hunting and locksmith’s work. He had a taste for puerile amusements, a Louis XVI. mania for useless little domestic economies in a court where millions vanished like smoke, and a natural idleness which achieved as its masterpiece the keeping a diary from 1766 to 1792 of a life so tragic, which was yet but a foolish chronicle of trifles. Add to this that he was a virtuous husband, a kind father, a fervent Christian and a good-natured man full of excellent intentions, yet a spectacle of moral pusillanimity and ineptitude.

From 1770 onwards lived side by side with this king, rather than at his side, the archduchess Marie Antoinette of Austria—one of the very graceful and very frivolous women who were to be found at Versailles, opening to life like the flowers she so much loved, enamoured of Marie Antoinette. pleasure and luxury, delighting to free herself from the formalities of court life, and mingling in the amusements of society; lovable and loving, without ceasing to be virtuous. Flattered and adored at the outset, she very soon furnished a sinister illustration to Beaumarchais’ Basile; for evil tongues began to calumniate the queen: those of her brothers-in-law, the duc d’Aiguillon (protector of Madame du Barry and dismissed from the ministry), and the Cardinal de Rohan, recalled from his embassy in Vienna. She was blamed for her friendship with the comtesse de Polignac, who loved her only as the dispenser of titles and positions; and when weary of this persistent begging for rewards, she was taxed with her preference for foreigners who asked nothing. People brought up against her the debts and expenditure due to her belief in the inexhaustible resources of France; and hatred became definite when she was suspected of trying to imitate her mother Maria Theresa and play the part of ruler, since her husband neglected his duty. They then became persuaded that it was she who caused the weight of taxation; in the most infamous libels comparison was made between her freedom of behaviour and that of Louis XV.’s former mistresses. Private envy and public misconceptions very soon summed up her excessive unpopularity in the menacing nickname, “L’Autrichienne.” (See Marie Antoinette.)

All this shows that Louis XVI. was not a monarch capable of directing or suppressing the inevitable revolution. His reign was but a tissue of contradictions. External affairs seemed in even a more dangerous position than those at home. Louis XVI. confided to Vergennes Foreign policy
of Louis XVI.
the charge of reverting to the traditions of the crown and raising France from the humiliation suffered by the treaty of Paris and the partition of Poland. His first act was to release French policy from the Austrian alliance of 1756; in this he was aided both by public opinion and by the confidence of the king—the latter managing to set aside the desires of the queen, whom the ambition of Maria Theresa and Joseph II. hoped to use as an auxiliary. Vergennes’ object was a double one: to free the kingdom from English supremacy and to shake off the yoke of Austria. Opportunities offered themselves simultaneously. In 1775 the English colonies in America rebelled, and Louis XVI., after giving them secret aid and encouragement almost from the first, finally in February 1778, despite Marie Antoinette, formed an open alliance with them; while when Joseph II., after having partitioned Poland, wanted in addition to balance the loss of Silesia with that of Bavaria, Vergennes prevented him from doing so. In vain was he offered a share in the partition of the Netherlands by way of an inducement. France’s disinterested action in the peace of Teschen (1779) restored to her the lost adherence of the secondary states. Europe began to respect her again when she signed a Franco-Dutch-Spanish alliance (1779–1780), and when, after the capitulation of the English at Yorktown, the peace of Versailles (1783) crowned her efforts with at least formal success. Thenceforward, partly from prudence and partly from penury, Vergennes cared only for the maintenance of peace—a not too easy task, in opposition to the greed of Catherine II. and Joseph II., who now wished to divide the Ottoman empire. Joseph II., recognizing that Louis XVI. would not sacrifice the “sick man” to him, raised the question of the opening of the Scheldt, against the Dutch. Vainly did Joseph II. accuse his sister of ingratitude and complain of her resistance; the treaty of Fontainebleau in 1785 maintained the rights of Holland. Later on, Joseph II., sticking to his point, wanted to settle the house of Bavaria in the Netherlands; but Louis XVI. supported the confederation of princes (Fürstenbund) which Frederick II. called together in order to keep his turbulent neighbour within bounds. Vergennes completed his work by signing a commercial treaty in 1786 with England, whose commerce and industry were favoured above others, and a second in 1787 with Russia. He died in 1787, at an opportune moment for himself; though he had temporarily raised France’s position in Europe, his work was soon ruined by the very means taken to secure its successes: warfare and armaments had hastened the “hideous bankruptcy.”

From the very beginning of his reign Louis XVI. fell into contradictions and hesitation in internal affairs, which could not but bring him to grief. He tried first of all to govern in accordance with public opinion, and was induced to flatter it beyond measure; in an extreme Internal policy
of Louis XVI.
of inconsistency he re-established the parlements, the worst enemies of reform, at the very moment when he was calling in the reformers to his councils.

Turgot, the most notable of these latter, was well fitted to play his great part as an enlightened minister, as much from the principle of hard work and domestic economy traditional in his family, as from a maturity of mind developed by extensive study at the Sorbonne and Turgot 1774–1776. by frequenting the salons of the Encyclopaedists. He had proved this by his capable administration in the paymaster’s office at Limoges, from 1761 to 1774. A disciple of Quesnay and of Gournay, he tried to repeat in great affairs the experience of liberty which he had found successful in small, and to fortify the unity of the nation and the government by social, political and economic reforms. He ordained the free circulation of grain within the kingdom, and was supported by Louis XVI. in the course of the flour-war (guerre des farines) (April-May 1775); he substituted a territorial subsidy for the royal corvée—so burdensome upon the peasants—and thus tended to abolish privilege in the matter of imposts; and he established the freedom of industry by the dissolution of privileged trade corporations (1776). Finance was in a deplorable state, and as controller-general he formulated a new fiscal policy, consisting of neither fresh taxation nor loans, but of retrenchment. At one fell stroke the two auxiliaries on which he had a right to count failed him: public opinion, clamouring for reform on condition of not paying the cost; and the king, too timid to dominate public opinion, and not knowing how to refuse the demands of privilege. Economy in the matter of public finance implies a grain of severity in the collection of taxes as well as, in expenditure. By the former Turgot hampered the great interests; by the second he thwarted the desires of courtiers not only of the second rank but of the first. Therefore, after he had aroused the complaints of the commercial world and the bourgeoisie, the court, headed by Marie Antoinette, profited by the general excitement to overthrow him. The Choiseul party, which had gradually been reconstituted, under the influence of the queen, the princes, parlement, the prebendaries, and the trade corporations, worked adroitly to eliminate this reformer of lucrative abuses. The old courtier Maurepas, jealous of Turgot and desirous of remaining a minister himself, refrained from defending his colleague; and when Turgot, who never knew how to give in, spoke of establishing assemblies of freeholders in the communes and the provinces, in order to relax the tension of over-centralization, Louis XVI., who never dared to pass from sentiment to action, sacrificed his minister to the rancour of the queen, as he had already sacrificed Malesherbes (1776). Thus the first governmental act of the queen was an error, and dissipated the hope of replacing special privileges by a general guarantee given to the nation, which alone could have postponed a revolution. It was still too early for a Fourth of August; but the queen’s victory was none the less vain, since Turgot’s ideas were taken up by his successors.

The first of these was Necker, a Genevese financier. More able than Turgot, though a man of smaller ideas, he abrogated the edicts registered by the lits de justice; and unable or not daring to attack the evil at its root, he thought he could suppress its symptoms by a curative process Necker, 1776–1781. of borrowing and economy. Like Turgot he failed, and for the same reasons. The American war had finally exhausted the exchequer, and, in order to replenish it, he would have needed to inspire confidence in the minds of capitalists; but the resumption in 1778 of the plan of provincial assemblies charged with remodelling the various imposts, and his compte-rendu in which he exhibited the monarchy paying its pensioners for their inactivity as it had never paid its agents for their zeal, aroused a fresh outburst of anger. Necker was carried away in his turn by the reaction he had helped to bring about (1781).

Having fought the oligarchy of privilege, the monarchy next tried to rally it to its side, and all the springs of the old régime were strained to the breaking-point. The military rule of the marquis de Ségur eliminated the plebeians from the army; while the great lords, drones in the The return of feudalism to
the offensive.
hive, worked with a kind of fever at the enforcement of their seigniorial rights; the feudal system was making a last struggle before dying. The Church claimed her right of ordering the civil estate of all Frenchmen as an absolute mistress more strictly than ever. Joly de Fleury and D’Ormesson, Necker’s successors, pushed their narrow spirit of reaction and the temerity of their inexperience to the furthest limit; but the reaction which reinforced the privileged classes was not sufficient to fill the coffers of the treasury, and Marie Antoinette, who seemed gifted with a fatal perversity of instinct, confided the finances of the kingdom to Calonne, an upper-class official and a veritable Cagliostro of finance.

From 1783 to 1787, this man organized his astounding system of falsification all along the line. His unbridled prodigality, by spreading a belief in unlimited resources, augmented the confidence necessary for the success of perpetual loans; until the day came when, having exhausted the Calonne,
system, he tried to suppress privilege and fall back upon the social reforms of Turgot, and the financial schemes of Necker, by suggesting once more to the assembly of notables a territorial subsidy from all landed property. He failed, owing to the same reaction that was causing the feudal system to make inroads upon the army, the magistracy and industry; but in his fall he put on the guise of a reformer, and by a last wild plunge he left the monarchy, already compromised by the affair of the Diamond Necklace (q.v.), hopelessly exposed (April 1787).

The volatile and brilliant archbishop Loménie de Brienne was charged with the task of laying the affairs of the ancien régime before the assembly of notables, and with asking the nation for resources, since the monarchy could no longer provide for itself; but the notables refused, and Loménie de Brienne. referred the minister to the states-general, the representative of the nation. Before resorting to this extremity, Brienne preferred to lay before the parlement his two edicts regarding a stamp duty and the territorial subsidy; to be met by the same refusal, and the same reference to the states-general. The exile of the parlement to Troyes, the arrest of various members, and the curt declaration of the king’s absolute authority (November 9, 1787) were unsuccessful in breaking down its resistance. The threat of Chrétien François de Lamoignon, keeper of the seals, to imitate Maupeou, aroused public opinion and caused a fresh confederation of the parlements of the kingdom. The royal government was too much exhausted to overthrow even a decaying power like that of the parlements, and being still more afraid of the future representatives of the French people than of the supreme courts, capitulated to the insurgent parlements. The recalled parlement seemed at the pinnacle of power.

Its next action ruined its ephemeral popularity, by claiming the convocation of the states-general “according to the formula observed in 1614,” as already demanded by the estates of Dauphiné at Vizille on the 21st of July 1788. The exchequer was empty; it was necessary to comply. Recall of Necker. The royal declaration of the 23rd of September 1788 convoked the states-general for the 1st of May 1789, and the fall of Brienne and Lamoignon followed the recall of Necker. Thenceforward public opinion, which was looking for something quite different from the superannuated formula of 1614, abandoned the parlements, which in their turn disappeared from view; for the struggle beginning between the privileged classes and the government, now at bay, had given the public, through the states-general, that means of expression which they had always lacked.

The conflict immediately changed ground, and an engagement began between privilege and the people over the twofold question of the number of deputies and the mode of voting. Voting by head, and the double representation of the third estate (tiers état); this was the great revolution; voting by order meant the continued domination of privilege, and the lesser revolution. The monarchy, standing apart, held the balance, but needed a decisive Prelude to the states-general. policy. Necker, with little backing at court, could not act energetically, and Louis XVI., wavering between Necker and the queen, chose the attitude most convenient to his indolence and least to his interest: he remained neutral, and his timidity showed clearly in the council of the 27th of December 1788. Separating the two questions which were so closely connected, and despite the sensational brochure of the abbé Sieyès, “What is the Third Estate?” he pronounced for the doubling of the third estate without deciding as to the vote by head, yet leaving it to be divined that he preferred the vote by order. As to the programme there was no more decisive resolution; but the edict of convocation gave it to be understood that a reform was under consideration; “the establishment of lasting and permanent order in all branches of the administration.” The point as to the place of convocation gave rise to a compromise between the too-distant centre of France and too-tumultuous Paris. Versailles was chosen The electorate. “because of the hunting!” In the procedure of the elections the traditional system of the states-general of 1614 was preserved, and the suffrage was almost universal, but in two kinds: for the third estate nearly all citizens over twenty-five years of age, paying a direct contribution, voted—peasants as well as bourgeois; the country clergy were included among the ecclesiastics; the smaller nobility among the nobles; and finally, Protestants were electors and eligible.

According to custom, documents (cahiers) were drawn up, containing a list of grievances and proposals for reform. All the orders were agreed in demanding prudently modified reform: the vote on the budget, order in finance, regular convocation of the states-general, and a written The addresses. constitution in order to get rid of arbitrary rule. The address of the clergy, inspired by the great prelates, sought to make inaccurate lamentations over the progress of impiety a means of safeguarding their enormous spiritual and temporal powers, their privileges and exemptions, and their vast wealth. The nobility demanded voting by order, the maintenance of their privileges, and, above all, laws to protect them against the arbitrary proceedings of royalty. The third estate insisted on the vote by head, the graduated abolition of privilege in all governmental affairs, a written constitution and union. The programme went on broadening as it descended in the social scale.

The elections sufficed finally to show that the ancien régime, characterized from the social point of view by inequality, from the political point of view by arbitrariness, and from the religious point of view by intolerance, was completed from the administrative point of view by inextricable The elections. disorder. As even the extent of the jurisdiction of the bailliages was unknown, convocations were made at haphazard, according to the good pleasure of influential persons, and in these assemblies decisions were arrived at by a process that confused every variety of rights and powers, and was governed by no logical principle; and in this extreme confusion terms and affairs were alike involved.

Whilst the bureaucracy of the ancien régime sought for desperate expedients to prolong its domination, the whole social body gave signs of a yet distant but ever nearing disintegration. The revolution was already complete before it was declared to the world. Two distinct The counter-currents of the Revolution. currents of disaffection, one economic, the other philosophic, had for long been pervading the nation. There had been much suffering throughout the 17th and 18th centuries; but no one had hitherto thought of a politico-social rising. But the other, the philosophic current, had been set going in the 18th century; and the policy of despotism tempered by privilege had been criticized in the name of liberty as no longer justifying itself by its services to the state. The ultramontane and oppressively burdensome church had been taunted with its lack of Christian charity, apostolic poverty and primitive virtue. All vitality had been sapped from the old order of nobles, reduced in prestige by the savonnette à vilains (office purchased to ennoble the holder), enervated by court life, and so robbed of its roots in the soil, from which it had once drawn its strength, that it could no longer live save as a ruinous parasite on the central monarchy. Lastly, to come to the bottom of the social scale, there were the common people, taxable at will, subject to the arbitrary and burdensome forced labour of the corvée, cut off by an impassable barrier from the privileged classes whom they hated. For them the right to work had been asserted, among others by Turgot, as a natural right opposed to the caprices of the arbitrary and selfish aristocracy of the corporations, and a breach had been made in the tyranny of the masters which had endeavoured to set a barrier to the astonishing outburst of industrial force which was destined to characterize the coming age.

The outward and visible progress of the Revolution, due primarily to profound economic disturbance, was thus accelerated and rendered irresistible. Economic reformers found a moral justification for their dissatisfaction in philosophical theories; the chance conjunction of a philosopho-political idea with a national deficit led to the preponderance of the third estate at the elections, and to the predominance of the democratic spirit in the states-general. The third estate wanted civil liberty above all; political liberty came second only, as a means and guarantee for the former. They wanted the abolition of the feudal system, the establishment of equality and a share in power. Neither the family nor property was violently attacked; the church and the monarchy still appeared to most people two respectable and respected institutions. The king and the privileged classes had but so to desire it, and the revolution would be easy and peaceful.

Louis XVI. was reluctant to abandon a tittle of his absolute power, nor would the privileged classes sacrifice their time-honoured traditions; they were inexorable. The king, more ponderous and irresolute every day, vacillated between Necker the liberal on one side and Marie Meeting of the states-general. Antoinette, whose feminine pride was opposed to any concessions, with the comte d’Artois, a mischievous nobody who could neither choose a side nor stick to one, on the other. When the states-general opened on the 5th of May 1789 Louis XVI. had decided nothing. The conflict between him and the Assembly immediately broke out, and became acute over the verification of the mandates; the third estate desiring this to be made in common by the deputies of the three orders, which would involve voting by head, the suppression of classes and the preponderance of the third estate. On the refusal of the privileged classes and after an interval of six weeks, the third estate, considering that they represented 96% of the nation, and in accordance with the proposal of Sieyès, declared that they represented the nation and therefore were authorized to take resolutions unaided, the first being that in future no arrangement for taxation could take place without their consent.

The king, urged by the privileged classes, responded to this first revolutionary act, as in 1614, by closing the Salle des Menus Plaisirs where the third estate were sitting; whereupon, gathered in one of the tennis-courts under the presidency of Bailly, they swore on the 20th of June Oath of the
not to separate before having established the constitution of the kingdom.

Louis XVI. then decided, on the 23rd, to make known his policy in a royal lit de justice. He declared for the lesser reform, the fiscal, not the social; were this rejected, he declared that “he alone would arrange for the welfare of his people.” Meanwhile he annulled the sitting of the The Lit de Justice
of June 23, 1789.
17th, and demanded the immediate dispersal of the Assembly. The third estate refused to obey, and by the mouth of Bailly and Mirabeau asserted the legitimacy of the Revolution. The refusal of the soldiers to coerce the Assembly showed that the monarchy could no longer rely on the army; and a few days later, when the lesser nobility and the lower ranks of the clergy had united with the third estate whose cause was their own, the king yielded, and on the 27th of June commanded both orders to join in the National Assembly, which was thereby recognized and the political revolution sanctioned. But at the same time, urged by the “infernal cabal” of the queen and the comte d’Artois, Louis XVI. called in the foreign regiments—the only ones of which he could be certain—and dismissed Necker. The Assembly, dreading a sudden attack, demanded the withdrawal of the troops. Meeting with a refusal, Paris Taking of the Bastille. opposed the king’s army with her citizen-soldiers; and by the taking of the Bastille, that mysterious dark fortress which personified the ancien régime, secured the triumph of the Revolution (July 14). The king was obliged to recall Necker, to mount the tricolor cockade at the Hôtel de Ville, and to recognize Bailly as mayor of Paris and La Fayette as commander of the National Guard, which remained in arms after the victory. The National Assembly had right on its side after the 20th of June and might after the 14th of July. Thus was accomplished the Revolution which was to throw into the melting-pot all that had for centuries appeared fixed and stable.

As Paris had taken her Bastille, it remained for the towns and country districts to take theirs—all the Bastilles of feudalism. Want, terror and the contagion of examples precipitated the disruption of governmental authority and of the old political status; and sudden anarchy dislocated Spontaneous anarchy. all the organs of authority. Upon the ruins of the central administration temporary authorities were founded in various isolated localities, limited in area but none the less defiant of the government. The provincial assemblies of Dauphiné and elsewhere gave the signal; and numerous towns, following the example of Paris, instituted municipalities which substituted their authority for that of the intendants and their subordinates. Clubs were openly organized, pamphlets and journals appeared, regardless of administrative orders; workmen’s unions multiplied in Paris, Bordeaux and Lyons, in face of drastic prohibition; and anarchy finally set in with the defection of the army in Paris on the 23rd of June, at Nancy, at Metz and at Brest. The crying abuses of the old régime, an insignificant factor at the outset, soon combined with the widespread agrarian distress, due to the unjust distribution of land, the disastrous exploitation of the soil, the actions of the government, and the severe winter of 1788. Discontent showed itself in pillage and incendiarism on country estates; between March and July 1789 more than three hundred agrarian riots took place, uprooting the feudal idea of property, already compromised by its own excesses. Not only did pillaging take place; the boundaries of property were also ignored, and people no longer held themselves bound to pay taxes. These jacqueries hastened the movement of the regular revolution.

The decrees of the 4th of August, proposed by those noble “patriots” the duc d’Aiguillon and the vicomte de Noailles, who had already on the 23rd of June made armed resistance to the evacuation of the Hall of Assembly, The night of
August 4.
put the final touch to the revolution begun by the provincial assemblies, by liberating land and labour, and proclaiming equality among all Frenchmen. Instead of exasperating the demands of the peasants and workmen by repression and raising civil war between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, they drew a distinction between personal servitude, which was suppressed, and the rights of contract, which were to be redeemed—a laudable but impossible distinction. The whole feudal system crumbled before the revolutionary insistence of the peasants; for their masters, bourgeois or nobles, terrified by prolonged riots, capitulated and gradually had to consent to make the resolutions of the 4th of August a reality.

Overjoyed by this social liberation, the Assembly awarded Louis XVI. the title of “renewer of French liberty”; but remaining faithful to his hesitating policy of the 23rd of June, he ratified the decrees of the 4th of August, only with a very ill grace. On the other hand, Elaboration of the constitution. the privileged classes, and notably the clergy, who saw the whole traditional structure of their power threatened, now rallied to him, and when after the 28th of August the Assembly set to work on the new constitution, they combined in the effort to recover some of the position they had lost. But whatever their theoretical agreement on social questions, politically they were hopelessly at odds. The bourgeoisie, conscious of their opportunity, decided for a single chamber against the will of the noblesse; against that of the king they declared it permanent, and, if they accorded him a suspensory veto, this was only in order to guard them against the extreme assertion of popular rights. Thus the progress of the Revolution, so far, had left the mass of the people still excluded from any constitutional influence on the government, which was in the hands of the well-to-do classes, which also controlled the National Guard and the municipalities. The irritation of the disfranchised proletariat was moreover increased by the appalling dearness of bread and food generally, which the suspicious temper of the times—fomented by the tirades of Marat in the Ami du peuple—ascribed to English intrigues in revenge for the aid given by France to the American colonies, and to the treachery in high places that made these intrigues successful. The climax came with the rumour that the court was preparing a new military coup d’état, a rumour that seemed to be confirmed by indiscreet toasts proposed at a banquet by the officers of the guard at Versailles; and on the night of the 5th to the 6th of October a Parisian mob forced the king and royal family to return with them to Paris amid cries of “We are bringing the baker, the baker’s wife and the little baker’s boy!” The Assembly followed; and henceforth king and Assembly were more or less under the influence of the whims and passions of a populace maddened by want and suspicion, by the fanatical or unscrupulous incitements of an unfettered press, and by the unrestrained oratory of obscure demagogues in the streets, the cafés and the political clubs.

Convened for the purpose of elaborating a system that should conciliate all interests, the Assembly thus found itself forced into a conflict between the views of the people, who feared betrayal, and the court, which dreaded being overwhelmed. This schism was reflected in the parties of the Assembly; the absolutists of the extreme Right; the moderate monarchists of the Right and Centre; the constitutionalists of the Left Centre and Left; and, finally, on the extreme Left the democratic revolutionists, among whom Robespierre sat as yet all but unnoticed. Of talent there was enough and to spare in the Assembly; what was conspicuously lacking was common sense and a practical knowledge of affairs. Of all the orators who declaimed from the tribune, Mirabeau alone realized the perils of the situation and possessed the power of mind and will to have mastered them. Unfortunately, however, he was discredited by a disreputable past, and yet more by the equivocal attitude he had to assume in order to maintain his authority in the Assembly while working in what he believed to be the true interests of the court. His political ideal for France was that of the monarchy, rescued from all association with the abuses of the old régime and “broad-based upon the people’s will”; his practical counsel was that the king should frankly proclaim this ideal to the people as his own, should compete with the Assembly for popular favour, while at the same time using every means to win over those by whom his authority was flouted. For a time Mirabeau influenced the counsels of the court through the comte de Montmorin; but the king neither trusted him nor could be brought to see his point of view, and Marie Antoinette, though she resigned herself to negotiating with him, was very far from sympathizing with his ideals. Finally, all hope of the conduct of affairs being entrusted to him was shattered when the Assembly passed a law forbidding its members to become ministers.

The attempted reconciliation with the king having failed, the Assembly ended by working alone, and made the control that it should have exerted an instrument, not of co-operation but of strife. It inaugurated its legislative labours by a metaphysical declaration of the Rights Declaration of the rights of man. of Man and of the Citizen (October 2, 1789). This enunciation of universal verities, the bulk of which have, sooner or later, been accepted by all civilized nations as “the gospel of modern times,” was inspired by all the philosophy of the 18th century in France and by the Contrat Social. It comprised various rational and humane ideas, no longer theological, but profoundly and deliberately thought out: ideas as to the sovereign-right of the nation, law by general consent, man superior to the pretensions of caste and the fetters of dogma, the vindication of the ideal and of human dignity. Unable to rest on historic precedent like England, the Constituent Assembly took as the basis for its labours the tradition of the thinkers.

Upon the principles proclaimed in this Declaration the constitution of 1791 was founded. Its provisions are discussed elsewhere (see the section below on Law and Institutions); here it will suffice to say that it established under the sovereign people, for the king was to survive merely The constitution. as the supreme executive official, a wholly new model of government in France, both in Church and State. The historic divisions of the realm were wiped out; for the old provinces were substituted eighty-three departments; and with the provinces vanished the whole organization, territorial, administrative and ecclesiastical, of the ancien régime. In one respect, indeed, the system of the old monarchy remained intact; the tradition of centralization established by Louis XIV. was too strong to be overthrown, and the destruction of the historic privileges and immunities with which this had been ever in conflict only served to strengthen this tendency. In 1791 France was pulverized into innumerable administrative atoms incapable of cohesion; and the result was that Paris became more than ever the brain and nerve-centre of France. This fact was soon to be fatal to the new constitution, though the administrative system established by it still survives. Paris was in effect dominated by the armed and organized proletariat, and this proletariat could never be satisfied with a settlement which, while proclaiming the sovereignty of the people, had, by means of the property qualification for the franchise, established the political ascendancy of the middle classes. The settlement had, in fact, settled nothing; it had, indeed, merely intensified the profound cleavage between the opposing tendencies; for if the democrats were alienated by the narrow franchise, the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, which cut at the very roots of the Catholic system, drove into opposition to the Revolution not only the clergy themselves but a vast number of their flocks.

The policy of the Assembly, moreover, hopelessly aggravated its misunderstanding with the king. Louis, indeed, accepted the constitution and attended the great Feast of Federation (July 14, 1790), when representatives from all the new departments assembled in the Champ de Mars to ratify the work of the Assembly; but the king either could not or would not say the expected word that would have dissipated mistrust. The Civil Constitution of the Clergy, too, seemed to him not only to violate his rights as a king, but his faith as a Christian also; and when the emigration of the nobility and the death of Mirabeau (April 2, 1791) had deprived him of his natural supporters and his only adviser, resuming the old plan of withdrawing to the army of the marquis de Bouillé at Metz, he made his ill-fated attempt to escape from Paris (June 20, 1791). The flight to Varennes was an irreparable error; for during the king’s absence and until his return the insignificance of the royal power became apparent. La Fayette’s fusillade of the republicans, who demanded the deposition of the king (July 17, 1791), led to a definite split between the democratic party and the bourgeois party. Vainly did Louis, brought back a captive to Paris, swear on the 14th of September 1791 solemnly mere lip-service to the constitution; the mistrustful party of revolution abandoned the constitution they had only just obtained, and to guard against the sovereign’s mental reservations and the selfish policy of the middle classes, appealed to the main force of the people. The conflict between the ancien régime and the National Assembly ended in the defeat of the royalists.

Through lassitude or disinterestedness the men of 1791, on Robespierre’s suggestion, had committed one last mistake, by leaving the task of putting the constitution into practice to new men even more inexperienced than themselves. Thus the new Assembly’s time was The Legislative Assembly (Oct. 1, 1791–Sept 20, 1792). occupied in a conflict between the Legislative Assembly and the king, who plotted against it; and, as a result, the monarchy, insulted by the proceedings of the 20th of June, was eliminated altogether by those of the 10th of August 1792.

The new Assembly which had met on the 1st of October 1791 had a majority favourable to the constitutional monarchy and to the bourgeois franchise. But, among these bourgeois those who were called Feuillants, from the name of their club (see Feuillants, Club of the), desired the The parties. strict and loyal application of the constitution without encroaching upon the authority of the king; the triumvirate, Duport, Barnave and Lameth, were at the head of this party. The Jacobins, on the contrary, considered that the king should merely be hereditary president of the Republic, to be deposed if he attempted to violate the constitution, and that universal suffrage should be established. The dominant group among these was that of the Girondins or Girondists, so called because its most brilliant members had been elected in the Gironde (see Girondists). But the republican party was more powerful without than within. Their chief was not so much Robespierre, president of the parliamentary and bourgeois club of the Jacobins (q.v.), which had acquired by means of its two thousand affiliated branches great power in the provinces, as the advocate Danton, president of the popular and Parisian club of the Cordeliers (q.v.). Between the Feuillants and the Jacobins, the independents, incapable of keeping to any fixed programme, vacillated sometimes to the right, sometimes to the left.

But the best allies of the republicans against the Feuillants were the royalists pure and simple, who cared nothing about the constitution, and claimed to “extract good from the excess of evil.” The election of a Jacobin, Pétion, instead of Bailly, the resigning mayor, and La Fayette, Royalist intrigues.

The émigrés.
the candidate for office, was their first achievement. The court, on its side, showed little sign of a conciliatory spirit, though, realizing its danger, it attempted to restrain the foolish violence of the émigrés, i.e. the nobles who after the suppression of titles of nobility in 1790 and the arrest of the king at Varennes, had fled in a body to Coblenz and joined Louis XVI.’s brothers, the counts of Provence and Artois. They it was who set in motion the national and European conflict. Under the prince of Condé they had collected a little army round Trier; and in concert with the “Austrian Committee” of Paris they solicited the armed intervention of monarchical Europe. The declaration of Pilnitz, which was but an excuse Declaration of Pilnitz. for non-interference on the part of the emperor and the king of Prussia, interested in the prolongation of these internal troubles, was put forward by them as an assurance of forthcoming support (August 27, 1791). At the same time the application of the Civil Constitution of the Clergy roused the whole of western La Vendée; and in face of the danger threatened by the refractory clergy and by the army of the émigrés, the Girondins set about confounding the court with the Feuillants in the minds of the public, and compromising Louis XVI. by a national agitation, denouncing him as an accomplice of the foreigner. Owing to the decrees against The decrees.

The war.
the comte de Provence, the emigrants, and the refractory priests, voted by the Legislative Assembly in November 1791, they forced Louis XVI. to show his hand by using his veto, so that his complicity should be plainly declared, to replace his Feuillant ministry—disparate in birth, opinions and ambitions—by the Girondin ministry of Dumouriez-Roland (March 10), no more united than the other, but believers in a republican crusade for the overthrow of thrones, that of Louis XVI. first of all; and finally to declare war against the king of Bohemia and Hungary, a step also desired by the court in the hope of ridding itself of the Assembly at the first note of victory (April 20, 1792).

But when, owing to the disorganization of the army through emigration and desertion, the ill-prepared Belgian war was followed by invasion and the trouble in La Vendée increased, all France suspected a betrayal. The Assembly, in order to reduce the number of hostile Proceedings of
June 20.
forces, voted for the exile of all priests who had refused to swear to the Civil Constitution and the substitution of a body of twenty thousand volunteer national guards, under the authority of Paris, for the king’s constitutional guard (May 27-June 8, 1792). Louis XVI.’s veto and the dismissal of the Girondin ministry—thanks to an intrigue of Dumouriez, analogous to that of Mirabeau and as ineffectual—dismayed the Feuillants and maddened the Girondins; the latter, to avert popular fury, turned it upon the king. The émeute of the 20th of June, a burlesque which, but for the persistent good-humour of Louis XVI., might have become a tragedy, alarmed but did not overthrow the monarchy.

The bourgeoisie, the Assembly, the country and La Fayette, one of the leaders of the army, now embarked upon a royalist reaction, which would perhaps have been efficacious, had it not been for the entry into the affair of the Prussians as allies of the Austrians, and for the insolent Manifesto of Brunswick. manifesto of the duke of Brunswick. The Assembly’s cry of “the country in danger” (July 11) proved to the nation that the king was incapable of defending France against the foreigner; and the appeal of the federal volunteers in Paris gave to the opposition, together with the war-song of the Marseillaise, the army which had been refused by Louis XVI., now disarmed. The vain attempts of the Gironde to reconcile the king and the Revolution, the ill-advised decree of the Assembly on the 8th of August, freeing La Fayette from his guilt in forsaking his army; his refusal to vote for the deposition of the king, and the suspected treachery of the court, led to the success of the republican forces when, on the 10th of August, the mob of Paris organized by the revolutionary Commune rose against the monarchy.

The suspension and imprisonment of the king left the supreme authority nominally in the hands of the Assembly, but actually in those of the Commune, consisting of delegates from the administrative sections of Paris. Installed at the Hôtel de Ville this attempted to influence the The insurrectional commune of Paris.

The September massacres.
discredited government, entered into conflict with the Legislative Assembly, which considered its mission at an end, and paralyzed the action of the executive council, particularly during the bloody days of September, provoked by the discovery of the court’s intrigues with the foreigner, by the treachery of La Fayette, the capture of Longwy, the investiture of Verdun by the Prussians (August 19–30), and finally by the incendiary placards of Marat. Danton, a master of diplomatic and military operations, had to avoid any rupture with the Commune. Fortunately, on the very day of the dispersal of the Legislative Assembly, Dumouriez saved France from a Prussian invasion by the victory of Valmy, and by unauthorized negotiations which prefigured those of Bonaparte at Léoben (September 22, 1792).

The popular insurrection against Louis XVI. determined the simultaneous fall of the bourgeois régime and the establishment of the democracy in power. The Legislative Assembly, without a mandate for modifying a constitution that had become inapplicable with the suspension of the monarch, had before disappearing convoked a National Convention, and as the reward of the struggle for liberty had replaced the limited franchise by universal suffrage. Public opinion became republican from an excess of patriotism, and owing to the propaganda of the Jacobin club; while the decree of the 25th of August 1792, which marked the destruction of feudalism, now abolished in principle, caused the peasants to rally definitely to the Republic.

This had hardly been established before it became distracted by the fratricidal strife of its adherents, from September 22, 1792, to the 18th Fructidor (September 4, 1797). The electoral assemblies, in very great majority, had desired this Republic to be democratic and equalizing in spirit, but on the face The Convention, Sept. 21. 1792–Oct. 26, 1795. of it, liberal, uniform and propagandist; in consequence, the 782 deputies of the Convention were not divided on principles, but only by personal rivalries and ambition. They all wished for a unanimity and harmony impossible to obtain; and being unable to convince they destroyed one another.

The Girondins in the Convention played the part of the Feuillants in the Legislative Assembly. Their party was not well disciplined, they purposely refrained from making it so, and hence their ruin. Oratorically they represented the spirit of the South; politically, the ideas The parties. of the bourgeoisie in opposition to the democracy—which they despised although making use of it—and the federalist system, from an objection to the preponderance of Paris. Paris, on the other hand, had elected only deputies of the Mountain, as the more advanced of the Jacobins were called, that party being no more settled and united than the others. They drew support from the Parisian democracy, and considered the decentralization of the Girondins as endangering France’s unity, circumstances demanding a strong and highly concentrated government; they opposed a republic on the model of that of Rome to the Polish republic of the Gironde. Between the two came the Plaine, the Marais, the troop of trembling bourgeois, sincerely attached to the Revolution, but very moderate in the defence of their ideas; some seeking a refuge from their timidity in hard-working committees, others partaking in the violence of the Jacobins out of weakness or for reasons of state.

The Girondins were the first to take the lead; in order to retain it they should have turned the Revolution into a government. They remained an exclusive party, relying on the mob but with no influence over it. Without a leader or popular power, they might have found both The Girondins. in Danton; for, occupied chiefly with the external danger, he made advances towards them, which they repulsed, partly in horror at the proceedings of September, but chiefly because they saw in him the most formidable rival in the path of the government. They waged war against him as relentlessly as did the Constitutionalists against Mirabeau, whom he resembled in his extreme ugliness and his volcanic eloquence. They drove him into the arms of Robespierre, Marat and the Commune of Paris. On the other hand, after the 23rd of September they declared Paris dangerous for the Convention, and wanted to reduce it to “eighty-three influential members.” Danton and the Mountain responded by decreeing the unity and indivisibility of the Republic, in order to emphasize the suspicions of federalism which weighed upon the Girondins.

The trial of Louis XVI. still further enhanced the contrasts of ideas and characters. The discovery of fresh proofs of treachery in the iron chest (November 20, 1792) gave the Mountain a pretext for forcing on the clash of parties and raising the question not of legality but of public safety. Trial and death of Louis XVI. By the execution of the king (January 21, 1793) they “cast down a king’s head as a challenge to the kings of Europe.” In order to preserve popular favour and their direction of the Republic, the Girondins had not dared to pronounce against the sentence of death, but had demanded an appeal to the people which was rejected; morally weakened by this equivocal attitude they were still more so by foreign events.

The king’s death did not result in the unanimity so much desired by all parties; it only caused the reaction on themselves of the hatred which had been hitherto concentrated upon the king, and also an augmentation in the armies of the foreigner, which obliged the revolutionists to First European coalition. face all Europe. There was a coalition of monarchs, and the people of La Vendée rose in defence of their faith. Dumouriez, the conqueror of Jemappes (November 6, 1792), who invaded Holland, was beaten by the Austrians (March 1793). A levy of 300,000 men was ordered; a Committee of General Security was charged with the search for suspects; and thenceforward military occurrences called forth parliamentary crises and popular upheavals. Girondins and Jacobins unjustly accused one another of leaving the traitors, the conspirators, the “stipendiaries of Coblenz” unpunished. To avert the danger threatened by popular dissatisfaction, the Gironde was persuaded to vote for the creation of a revolutionary tribunal to judge suspects, while out of spite against Danton who demanded it, they refused the strong government which might have made a stand against the enemy (March 10, 1793). This was the first of the exceptional measures which were to call down ruin upon them. Whilst the insurrection in La Vendée was spreading, and Dumouriez falling back upon Neerwinden, sentence of death was laid upon émigrés and refractory priests; the treachery of First committee of pubic safety. Dumouriez, disappointed in his Belgian projects, gave grounds for all kinds of suspicion, as that of Mirabeau had formerly done, and led the Gironde to propose the new government which they had refused to Danton. The transformation of the provisional executive council into the Committee of Public Safety—omnipotent save in financial matters—was voted because the Girondins meant to control it; but Danton got the upper hand (April 6).

The Girondins, discredited in Paris, multiplied their attacks upon Danton, now the master: they attributed the civil war and the disasters of the foreign campaign to the despotism of the Paris Commune and the clubs; they accused Marat of instigating the September massacres; Struggle between the commune and the Gironde. and they began the supreme struggle by demanding the election of a committee of twelve deputies, charged with breaking up the anarchic authorities in Paris (May 18). The complete success of the Girondin proposals; the arrest of Hébert—the violent editor of the Père Duchêne; the insurrection of the Girondins of Lyons against the Montagnard Commune; the bad news from La Vendée—the military reverses; and the economic situation which had compelled the fixing of a maximum price of corn (May 4) excited the “moral insurrections” of May 31 and June 2. Marat himself sounded the tocsin, and Hanriot, at the head of the Parisian army, surrounded the Convention. Despite the efforts of Danton and the Committee of Public Safety, the arrest of the Girondins sealed the victory of the Mountain.

The threat of the Girondin Isnard was fulfilled. The federalist insurrection, to avenge the violation of national representation, responded to the Parisian insurrection. Sixty-nine departmental governments protested against the violence done to the Convention; but the ultra-democratic Fall of the Gironde. constitution of 1793 deprived the Girondins, who were arming in the west, the south and the centre, of all legal force. To the departments that were hostile to the dictatorship of Paris, and the tyranny of Danton or Robespierre, it promised the referendum, an executive of twenty-four citizens, universal suffrage, and the free exercise of religion. The populace, who could not understand this parliamentary quarrel, and were in a hurry to set up a national defence, abandoned the Girondins, and the latter excited the enthusiasm of only one person, Charlotte Corday, who by the murder of Marat ruined them irretrievably. The battle of Brécourt was a defeat without a fight for their party without stamina and their general without troops (July 13); while on the 31st of October their leaders perished on the guillotine, where they had been preceded by the queen, Marie Antoinette. The Girondins and their adversaries were differentiated by neither religious dissensions nor political divergency, but merely by a question of time. The Girondins, when in power, had had scruples which had not troubled them while scaling the ladder; idols of Paris, they had flattered her in turn, and when Paris scorned them they sought support in the provinces. A great responsibility for this defeat of the liberal and republican bourgeoisie, whom they represented, is to be laid upon Madame Roland, the Egeria of the party. An ardent patriot and republican, her relations with Danton resembled those of Marie Antoinette with Mirabeau, in each case a woman spoilt by flattery, enraged at indifference. She was the ruin of the Gironde, but taught it how to die.

The fall of the Gironde left the country disturbed by civil war, and the frontiers more seriously threatened than before Valmy. Bouchotte, a totally inefficient minister for war, the Commune’s man of straw, left the army without food or ammunition, while the suspected officers remained inactive. In the Angevin Vendée the incapable leaders let themselves be beaten at Aubiers, Beaupréau and Thouars, at a time when Cathelineau was taking possession of Saumur and threatening Nantes, the capture of which would have permitted the insurgents in La Vendée to join those of Brittany and receive provisions from England. Meanwhile, the remnants of the Girondin federalists were overcome by the disguised royalists, who had aroused the whole of the Rhône valley from Lyons to Marseilles, had called in the Sardinians, and handed over the fleet and the arsenal at Toulon to the English, whilst Paoli left Corsica at their disposal. The scarcity of money due to the discrediting of the assignats, the cessation of commerce, abroad and on the sea, and the bad harvest of 1793, were added to all these dangers, and formed a serious menace to France and the Convention.

This meant a hard task for the first Committee of Public Safety and its chief Danton. He was the only one to understand the conditions necessary to a firm government; he caused the adjournment of the decentralizing constitution of 1793, and set up a revolutionary government. The The dictatorship of the first committee of public safety. Committee of Public Safety, now a permanency, annulled the Convention and was itself the central authority, its organization in Paris being the twelve committees substituted for the provisional executive committee and the six ministers, the Committee of General Security for the maintenance of the police, and the arbitrary Revolutionary Tribunal. The execution of its orders in the departments was carried out by omnipotent representatives “on mission” in the armies, by popular societies—veritable missionaries of the Revolution—and by the revolutionary committees which were its backbone.

Despite this Reign of Terror Danton failed; he could neither dominate foes within nor divide those without. Representing the sane and vigorous democracy, and like Jefferson a friend to liberty and self-government, he had been obliged to set up the most despotic of governments Danton’s failure. in face of internal anarchy and foreign invasion. Being of a temperament that expressed itself only in action, and neither a theorist nor a cabinet-minister, he held the views of a statesman without having a following sufficient to realize them. Moreover, the proceedings of the 2nd of June, when the Commune of Paris had triumphed, had dealt him a mortal blow. He in his turn tried to stem the tumultuous current which had borne him along, and to prevent discord; but the check to his policy of an understanding with Prussia and with Sardinia, to whom, like Richelieu and D’Argenson, he offered the realization of her transalpine ambition in exchange for Nice and Savoy, was added to the failure of his temporizing methods in regard to the federalist insurgents, and of his military operations against La Vendée. A man of action and not of cunning shifts, he succumbed on the 10th of July to the blows of his own government, which had passed from his hands into those of Robespierre, his ambitious and crafty rival.

The second Committee of Public Safety lasted until the 27th of July 1794. Composed of twelve members, re-eligible every month, and dominated by the triumvirate, Robespierre, Saint-Just and Couthon, it was stronger than ever, since it obtained the right of appointing Second committee of public safety. leaders, disposed of money, and muzzled the press. Many of its members were sons of the bourgeoisie, men who having been educated at college, thanks to some charitable agency, in the pride of learning, and raised above their original station, were ready for anything but had achieved nothing. They had plenty of talent at command, were full of classical tirades against tyranny, and, though sensitive enough in their private life, were bloodthirsty butchers in their public relations. Such were Robespierre, Saint-Just, Couthon, Billaud-Varenne, Cambon, Thuriot, Collot d’Herbois, Barrère and Prieur de la Mârne. Working hand in hand with these politicians, not always in accordance with them, but preserving a solid front, were the specialists, Carnot, Robert Lindet, Jean Bon Saint-André and Prieur de la Côte d’Or, honourable men, anxious above all to safeguard their country. At the head of the former type Robespierre, without special knowledge or exceptional talent, devoured by jealous ambition and gifted with cold grave eloquence, enjoyed a great moral ascendancy, due to his incorruptible purity of life and the invariably correct behaviour that had been wanting in Mirabeau, and by the persevering will which Danton had lacked. His marching orders were: no more temporizing with the federalists or with generals who are afraid of conquering; war to the death with all Europe in the name of revolutionary propaganda and the monarchical tradition of natural frontiers; and fear, as a means of government. The specialists answered foreign foes by their organization of victory; as for foes at home, the triumvirate crushed them beneath the Terror.

France was saved by them and by that admirable outburst of patriotism which provided 750,000 patriots for the army through the general levy of the 16th of August 1793, aided, moreover, by the mistakes of her enemies. Instead of profiting by Dumouriez’s treachery and Defeat of the coalition. the successes in La Vendée, the Coalition, divided over the resuscitated Polish question, lost time on the frontiers of this new Poland of the west which was sacrificing itself for the sake of a Universal Republic. Thus in January 1794 the territory of France was cleared of the Prussians and Austrians by the victories at Hondschoote, Wattignies and Wissembourg; the army of La Vendée was repulsed from Granville, overwhelmed by Hoche’s army at Le Mans and Savenay, and its leaders shot; royalist sedition was suppressed at Lyons, Bordeaux, Marseilles and Toulon; federalist insurrections were wiped out by the terrible massacres of Carrier at Nantes, the atrocities of Lebon at Arras, and the wholesale executions of Fouché and Collot d’Herbois at Lyons; Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette guillotined, the émigrés dispersed, denied or forsaken by all Europe.

But the triumphant Mountain was not as united as it boasted. The second Committee of Public Safety had now to struggle against two oppositions: one of the left, represented by Hébert, the Commune of Paris and the Cordeliers; another of the right, Danton and his followers. The The new parties. former would not admit that the Terror was only a temporary method of defence; for them it was a permanent system which was even to be strengthened in order to crush all who were hostile to the Revolution. Their sanguinary violence was combined with an anti-religious policy, not atheistical, but inspired by mistrust of the clergy, and by a civic and deistic creed that was a direct outcome of the federations. To these latter were due the substitution of the Republican for the Gregorian calendar, and the secular Feasts of Reason (November 19, 1793). The followers of Hébert wanted to push forward the movement of May 31, 1793, in order to become masters in their turn; while those of Danton were by way of arresting it. They considered it The party of tolerance. time to re-establish the reign of ordinary laws and justice; sick of bloodshed, with Camille Desmoulins they demanded a “Committee of Clemency.” A deist and therefore hostile to “anti-religious masquerades,” while uneasy at the absolute authority of the Paris Commune, which aimed at suppressing the State, and at its armed propaganda abroad, Robespierre resumed the struggle against its illegal power, so fatal to the Gironde. His boldness succeeded (March 24, 1794), and then, jealous of Danton’s activity and statesmanship, and exasperated by the jeers of his friends, he rid himself of the party of tolerance by a parody of justice (April 5).

Robespierre now stood alone. During five months, while affecting to be the representative of “a reign of justice and virtue,” he laboured at strengthening his politico-religious dictatorship—already so formidably armed—with new powers. “The incorruptible wanted to Robespierre’s dictatorship. become the invulnerable” and the scaffold of the guillotine was crowded. By his dogma of the supreme state Robespierre founded a theocratic government with the police as an Inquisition. The festival of the new doctrine, which turned the head of the new pontiff (June 8), the loi de Prairial, or “code of legal murder” (June 10), which gave the deputies themselves into his hand; and the multiplication of executions at a time when the victory of Fleurus (June 25) showed the uselessness and barbarity of this aggravation of the Reign of Terror provoked against him the victorious coalition of revenge, 9th Thermidor. lassitude and fear. Vanquished and imprisoned, he refused to take part in the illegal action proposed by the Commune against the Convention. Robespierre was no man of action. On the 9th Thermidor (July 27, 1794) he fell into the gulf that had opened on the 31st of May, and through which the 18th Brumaire was visible.

Although brought about by the Terrorists, the tragic fall of Robespierre put an end to the Reign of Terror; for their chiefs having disappeared, the subordinates were too much divided to keep up the dictatorship of the third Committee of Public Safety, and reaction soon set in. Third committee of public safety. After a change in personnel in favour of the surviving Dantonists, came a limitation to the powers of the Committee of Public Safety, now placed in dependence upon the Convention; and next followed the destruction of the revolutionary system, the Girondin decentralization and the resuscitation of departmental governments; the reform of the Revolutionary Tribunal on the 10th of August; the suppression of the Commune of Paris on the 1st of September, and of the salary of forty sous given to members of the sections; the abolition of the maximum, the suppression of the Guillotine, the opening of the prisons, the closing of the Jacobin club (November 11), and the henceforward insignificant existence of the popular societies.

Power reverted to the Girondins and Dantonists, who re-entered the Convention on the 18th of December; but with them re-entered likewise the royalists of Lyons, Marseilles and Toulon, and further, after the peace of Basel, many young men set free from the army, hostile Resuscitation of the royalist party. to the Jacobins and defenders of the now moderate and peace-making Convention. These muscadins and incroyables, led by Fréron, Tallien and Barras—former revolutionists who had become aristocrats—profited by the restored liberty of the press to prepare for days of battle in the salons of the merveilleuses Madame Tallien, Madame de Staël and Madame Récamier, as the sans-culottes had formerly done in the clubs. The remnants of Robespierre’s faction became alarmed at this Thermidor reaction, in which they scented royalism. Aided by famine, by the suppression of the maximum, and by the imminent bankruptcy of the assignats, they endeavoured to arouse the working classes and the former Hanriot companies against a government which was trying to destroy the republic, and had broken the busts of Marat and guillotined Carrier and Fouquier-Tinville, the former public prosecutor. Popular risings of Germinal and Prairial. Thus the risings of the 12th Germinal (April 1, 1795) and of the 1st Prairial (May 20) were economic revolts rather than insurrections excited by the deputies of the Mountain; in order to suppress them the reactionaries called in the army. Owing to this first intervention of the troops in politics, the Committee of Public Safety, which aimed not so much at a moderate policy as at steering a middle course between the Thermidorians of the Right and of the Left, was able to dispense with the latter.

The royalists now supposed that their hour had come. In the south, the companions of Jehu and of the Sun inaugurated a “White Terror,” which had not even the apparent excuse of the public safety or of exasperated patriotism. At the same time they prepared for a twofold insurrection The white terror. against the republic—in the west with the help of England, and in the east with that of Austria—by an attempt to bribe General Pichegru. But though the heads of the government wanted to put an end to the Revolution they had no thought of restoring the monarchy in favour of the Comte de Provence, who had taken the title of Louis XVIII. on hearing of the death of the dauphin in the Temple, and still less of bringing back the ancien régime. Hoche crushed the insurrection of the Chouans and the Bretons at Quiberon on the 2nd of July 1795, and Pichegru, scared, refused to entangle himself any further.

To cut off all danger from royalists or terrorists the Convention now voted the Constitution of the year III.; suppressing that of 1793, in order to counteract the terrorists, and re-establishing the bourgeois limited franchise with election in two degrees—a less liberal arrangement than The constitution
of the year III.

The 13th Vendémiaire.
that granted from 1789 to 1792. The chambers of the Five Hundred and of the Ancients were elected by the moneyed and intellectual aristocracy, and were to be re-elected by thirds annually. The executive authority, entrusted to five Directors, was no more than a definite and very strong Committee of Public Safety; but Sieyès, the author of the new constitution, in opposition to the royalists, had secured places of refuge for his party by reserving posts as directors for the regicides, and two-thirds of the deputies’ seats for members of the Convention. In self-defence against this continuance of the policy and the personnel of the Convention—a modern “Long Parliament”—the royalists, persistent street-fighters and masters in the “sections” after the suppression of the daily indemnification of forty sous, attempted the insurrection of the 13th Vendémiaire (October 5, 1795), which was easily put down by General Bonaparte.

Thus the bourgeois republic reaped the fruits of its predecessor’s external policy. After the freeing of the land in January 1794 an impulse had been given to the spirit of conquest which had gradually succeeded to the disinterested fever of propaganda and overheated patriotism. This it was Military achievements of
the convention.

Treaty of Basel.
which had sustained Robespierre’s dictatorship; and, owing to the “amalgam” and the re-establishment of discipline, Belgium and the left bank of the Rhine had been conquered and Holland occupied, simultaneously with Kosciusko’s rising in Poland, Prussia’s necessity of keeping and extending her Polish acquisitions, Robespierre’s death, the prevalent desires of the majority, and the continued victories of Pichegru, Jourdan and Moreau, enfeebled the coalition. At Basel (April-July 1795) republican France, having rejoined the concert of Europe, signed the long-awaited peace with Prussia, Spain, Holland and the grand-duke of Tuscany. But thanks to the past influence of the Girondin party, who had caused the war, and of the regicides of the Mountain, this peace not only ratified the conquest of Belgium, the left bank of the Rhine and Santo Domingo, but paved the way for fresh conquests; for the old spirit of domination and persistent hostility to Austria attracted the destinies of the Revolution definitely towards war.

The work of internal construction amidst this continued battle against the whole world had been no less remarkable. The Constituent Assembly had been more destructive than constructive; but the Convention preserved intact those fundamental principles of civil liberty which Internal achievements. had been the main results of the Revolution: the equality so dear to the French, and the sovereignty of the people—the foundation of democracy. It also managed to engage private interests in state reform by creating the Grand Livre de la Dette Publique (September 13–26, 1793), and enlisted peasant and bourgeois savings in social reforms by the distribution and sale of national property. But with views reaching beyond equality of rights to a certain equality of property, the committees, as regards legislation, poor relief and instruction, laid down principles which have never been realized, save in the matter of the metric system; so that the Convention which was dispersed on the 16th of October 1795 made a greater impression on political history and social ideas than on institutions. Its disappearance left a great blank.

During four years the Directory attempted to fill this blank. Being the outcome of the Constitution of the year III., it should have been the organizing and pacifying government of the Republic; in reality it sought not to create, but to preserve its own existence. Its internal weakness, The Directory. between the danger of anarchy and the opposition of the monarchists, was extreme; and it soon became discredited by its own coups d’état and by financial impotence in the eyes of a nation sick of revolution, aspiring towards peace and the resumption of economic undertakings. As to foreign affairs, its aggressive policy imperilled the conquests that had been the glory of the Convention, and caused the frontiers of France, the defence of which had been a point of honour with the Republic, to be called in question. Finally, there was no real government on the part of the five directors: La Révellière-Lépeaux, an honest man but weak; Reubell, the negotiator of the Hague; Letourneur, an officer of talent; Barras, a man of intrigue, corrupt and without real convictions; and Carnot, the only really worthy member. They never understood one another, and never consulted together in hours of danger, save to embroil matters in politics as in war. Leaning on the bourgeois, conservative, liberal and anti-clerical republicans, they were no more able than was the Thermidor party to re-establish the freedom that had been suspended by revolutionary despotism; they created a ministry of police, interdicted the clubs and popular societies, distracted the press, and with partiality undertook the separation of Church and State voted on the 18th of September 1794. Their real defence against counter revolution was the army; but, by a further contradiction, they reinforced the army attached to the Revolution while seeking an alliance with the peacemaking bourgeoisie. Their party had therefore no more homogeneity than had their policy.

Moreover the Directory could not govern alone; it had to rely upon two other parties, according to circumstances: the republican-democrats and the disguised royalists. The former, purely anti-royalist, thought only of remedying the sufferings of the people. Roused by The parties. the collapse of the assignats, following upon the ruin of industry and the arrest of commerce, they were still further exasperated by the speculations of the financiers, by the jobbery which prevailed throughout the administration, and by the sale of national property which had profited hardly any but the bourgeoisie. After the 13th Vendémiaire the royalists too, deceived in their hopes, were expecting to return gradually to the councils, thanks to the high property qualification for the franchise. Under the name of “moderates” they demanded an end to this war which England continued and Austria threatened to recommence, and that the Directory from self-interested motives refused to conclude; they desired the abandonment of revolutionary proceedings, order in finance and religious peace.

The Directory, then, was in a minority in the country, and had to be ever on the alert against faction; all possible methods seemed legitimate, and during two years appeared successful. Order was maintained in France, even the royalist west being pacified, thanks to Hoche, who Struggle against the royalists.

Struggle against the republican democrats and the socialists.

finished his victorious campaign of 1796 against Stofflet, Charette and Cadoudal, by using mild and just measures to complete the subjection of the country. The greatest danger lay in the republican-democrats and their socialist ally, François Noel (“Gracchus”) Babeuf (q.v.). The former had united the Jacobins and the more violent members of the Convention in their club, the Société du Panthéon; and their fusion, after the closing of the club, with the secret society of the Babouvists lent formidable strength to this party, with which Barras was secretly in league. The terrorist party, deprived of its head, had found a new leader, who, by developing the consequences of the Revolution’s acts to their logical conclusion, gave first expression to the levelling principle of communism. He proclaimed the right of property as appertaining to the state, that is, to the whole community; the doctrine of equality as absolutely opposed to social inequality of any kind—that of property as well as that of rank; and finally the inadequacy of the solution of the agrarian question, which had profited scarcely any one, save a new class of privileged individuals. But these socialist demands were premature; the attack of the camp of Grenelle upon constitutional order ended merely in the arrest and guillotining of Babeuf (September 9, 1796–May 25, 1797).

The liquidation of the financial inheritance of the Convention was no less difficult. The successive issues of assignats, and the multiplication of counterfeits made abroad, had so depreciated this paper money that an assignat of 100 francs was in February 1796 worth only 30 centimes; Financial policy
of the Directory.
while the government, obliged to accept them at their nominal value, no longer collected any taxes and could not pay salaries. The destruction of the plate for printing assignats, on the 18th of February 1796, did not prevent the drop in the forty milliards still in circulation. Territorial mandates were now tried, which inspired no greater confidence, but served to liquidate two-thirds of the debt, the remaining third being consolidated by its dependence on the Grand Livre (September 30, 1797). This widespread bankruptcy, falling chiefly on the bourgeoisie, inaugurated a reaction which lasted until 1830 against the chief principle of the Constituent Assembly, which had favoured indirect taxation as producing a large sum without imposing any very obvious burden. The bureaucrats of the old system—having returned to their offices and being used to these indirect taxes—lent their assistance, and thus the Directory was enabled to maintain its struggle against the Coalition.

All system in finance having disappeared, war provided the Directory, now in extremis, with a treasury, and was its only source for supplying constitutional needs; while it opened a path to the military commanders who were to be the support and the glory of the state. England External policy. remaining invulnerable in her insular position despite Hoche’s attempt to land in Ireland in 1796, the Directory resumed the traditional policy against Austria of conquering the natural frontiers, Carnot furnishing the plans; hence the war in southern Germany, in which Jourdan and Moreau were repulsed by an inferior force under the archduke Charles, and Bonaparte’s triumphant Italian campaign. Chief of an army that he had made irresistible, not by honour but by glory, and master of wealth by rapine, Bonaparte imposed his will upon the Directory, which he provided with funds. After having separated the Piedmontese from the Austrians, whom he drove back into Tyrol, and repulsed offensive reprisals of Wurmser and Alvinzi on four occasions, he stopped short at the preliminary negotiations of Léoben just at the moment when the Directory, discouraged by the problem of Italian reconstitution, was preparing the army of the Rhine to re-enter the field under the command of Hoche. Bonaparte thus gained the good opinion of peace-loving Frenchmen; he partitioned Venetian territory with Austria, contrary to French interests but conformably with his own in Italy, and henceforward was the decisive factor in French and European policy, like Caesar or Pompey of old. England, in consternation, offered in her turn to negotiate at Lille.

These military successes did not prevent the Directory, like the Thermidorians, from losing ground in the country. Every strategic truce since 1795 had been marked by a political crisis; peace reawakened opposition. The constitutional party, royalist in reality, had made alarming Struggle against
the royalists.
progress, chiefly owing to the Babouvist conspiracy; they now tried to corrupt the republican generals, and Condé procured the treachery of Pichegru, Kellermann and General Ferrand at Besançon. Moreover, their Clichy club, directed by the abbé Brottier, manipulated Parisian opinion; while many of the refractory priests, having returned after the liberal Public Worship Act of September 1795, made active propaganda against the principles of the Revolution, and plotted the fall of the Directory as maintaining the State’s independence of the Church. Thus the partial elections of the year V. (May 20, 1797) had brought back into the two councils a counter-revolutionary majority of royalists, constitutionalists of 1791, Catholics and moderates. The Director Letourneur had been replaced by Barthélemy, who had negotiated the treaty of Basel and was a constitutional monarchist. So that the executive not only found it impossible to govern, owing to the opposition of the councils and a vehement press-campaign, but was distracted by ceaseless internal conflict. Carnot and Barthélemy wished to meet ecclesiastical opposition by legal measures only, and demanded peace; while Barras, La Révellière and Reubell saw no other remedy save military force. The attempt of the counter-revolutionaries to make an army for themselves out of the guard of the Legislative Assembly, and the success of the Catholics, who had managed at the end of August 1797 to repeal the laws against refractory priests, determined the Directory to appeal from the rebellious parliament to the ready swords of Augereau and Bernadotte. On the 18th Fructidor (September 18th Fructidor. 4, 1797) Bonaparte’s lieutenants, backed up by the whole army, stopped the elections in forty-nine departments, and deported to Guiana many deputies of both councils, journalists and non-juring priests, as well as the director Barthélemy, though Carnot escaped into Switzerland. The royalist party was once more overthrown, but with it the republican constitution itself. Thus every act of violence still further confirmed the new empire of the army and the defeat of principles, preparing the way for military despotism.

Political and financial coups d’état were not enough for the directors. In order to win back public opinion, tired of internecine quarrels and sickened by the scandalous immorality of the generals and of those in power, and to remove from Paris an army which after having Aggressive policy
of the Directory.
given them a fresh lease of life was now a menace to them, war appeared their only hopeful course. They attempted to renew the designs of Louis XIV. and anticipate those of Napoleon. But Bonaparte saw what they were planning; and to the rupture of the negotiations at Lille and an order for the resumption of hostilities he responded by a fresh act of disobedience and the infliction on the Directory of the peace of Campo-Formio, on October 17, 1797. The directors were consoled for this enforced peace by acquiring the left bank of the Rhine and Belgium, and for the forfeiture of republican principles by attaining what had for so long been the ambition of the monarchy. But the army continued a menace. To avoid disbanding it, which might, as after the peace of Basel, have given the counter-revolution further auxiliaries, the Directory appointed Bonaparte chief of the Army of England, and employed Jourdan to revise the conscription laws so as to make military service a permanent duty of the citizen, since war was now to be the permanent object of policy. The Directory finally conceived the gigantic project of bolstering up the French Republic—the triumph of which was celebrated by the peace of Campo-Formio—by forming the neighbouring weak states into tributary vassal republics. This system had already been applied to the Batavian republic in 1795, to the Ligurian and Cisalpine republics in June 1797; it was extended to that of Mülhausen on the 28th of January 1798, to the Roman republic in February, to the Helvetian in April, while the Parthenopaean republic (Naples) was to be established in 1799. This was an international coup de force, which presupposed that all these nations in whose eyes independence was flaunted would make no claim to enjoy it; that though they had been beaten and pillaged they would not learn to conquer in their turn; and that the king of Sardinia, dispossessed of Milan, the grand-duke of Tuscany who had given refuge to the pope when driven from Rome, and the king of Naples, who had opened his ports to Nelson’s fleet, would not find allies to make a stand against this hypocritical system.

What happened was exactly the contrary. Meanwhile, the armies were kept in perpetual motion, procuring money for the impecunious Directory, making a diversion for internal discontent, and also permitting of a “reversed Fructidor,” against the anarchists, who had got the Coup d’état of the 22nd Floréal. upper hand in the partial elections of May 1798. The social danger was averted in its turn after the clerical danger had been dissipated. The next task was to relieve Paris of Bonaparte, who had already refused to repeat Hoche’s unhappy expedition to Ireland and to attack England at home without either money or a navy. The pecuniary resources of Berne and the wealth of Rome fortunately tided over the financial difficulty and provided for the expedition to Egypt, which permitted Bonaparte to wait “for the fruit to ripen”—i.e. till the Directory should be ruined in the eyes of France and of all Bonaparte in Egypt.

The second coalition.
Europe. The disaster of Aboukir (August 1, 1798) speedily decided the coalition pending between England, Austria, the Empire, Portugal, Naples, Russia and Turkey. The Directory had to make a stand or perish, and with it the Republic. The directors had thought France might retain a monopoly in numbers and in initiative. They soon perceived that enthusiasm is not as great for a war of policy and conquest as for a war of national defence; and the army dwindled, since a country cannot bleed itself to death. The law of conscription was voted on the 5th of September 1798; and the tragedy of Rastadt, where the French commissioners were assassinated, was the opening of a war, desired but ill-prepared for, in which the Directory showed hesitation in strategy and incoherence in tactics, over a disproportionate area in Germany, Switzerland and Italy. Military reverses were inevitable, and responsibility for them could not be shirked. As though shattered by a reverberant echo from the cannon of the Trebbia, the Directory crumbled to pieces, succumbing on the 18th of June 1799 beneath the reprobation showered on Treilhard, Merlin de Douai, and La Révellière-Lépeaux. A few more military disasters, royalist insurrections in the south, Chouan disturbances in Normandy, Orleanist intrigues and the end came. To soothe the populace and protect the frontier more was required than the resumption, as in all grave crises of the Revolution, of terrorist measures such as forced taxation or the law of hostages; the new Directory, Sieyès presiding, saw that for the indispensable revision of the constitution “a head and a sword” were needed. Moreau being unattainable, Joubert was to be the sword of Sieyès; but, when he was killed at the battle of Novi, the sword of the Revolution fell into the hands of Bonaparte.

Although Brune and Masséna retrieved the fight at Bergen and Zürich, and although the Allies lingered on the frontier as they had done after Valmy, still the fortunes of the Directory were not restored. Success was reserved for Bonaparte, suddenly landing at Fréjus with the Coup d’état of the 18th Brumaire. prestige of his victories in the East, and now, after Hoche’s death, appearing as sole master of the armies. He manœuvred among the parties as on the 13th Vendémiaire. On the 18th Brumaire of the year VIII. France and the army fell together at his feet. By a twofold coup d’état, parliamentary and military, he culled the fruits of the Directory’s systematic aggression and unpopularity, and realized the universal desires of the rich bourgeoisie, tired of warfare; of the wretched populace; of landholders, afraid of a return to the old order of things; of royalists, who looked upon Bonaparte as a future Monk; of priests and their people, who hoped for an indulgent treatment of Catholicism; and finally of the immense majority of the French, who love to be ruled and for long had had no efficient government. There was hardly any one to defend a liberty which they had never known. France had, indeed, remained monarchist at heart for all her revolutionary appearance; and Bonaparte added but a name, though an illustrious one, to the series of national or local dictatorships, which, after the departure of the weak Louis XVI., had maintained a sort of informal republican royalty.

On the night of the 19th Brumaire a mere ghost of an Assembly abolished the constitution of the year III., ordained the provisionary Consulate, and legalized the coup d’état in favour of Bonaparte. A striking and singular event; for the history of France and a great part The Consulate, Sept. 11, 1799–May 18, 1804. of Europe was now for fifteen years to be summed up in the person of a single man (see Napoleon).

This night of Brumaire, however, seemed to be a victory for Sieyès rather than for Bonaparte. He it was who originated the project which the legislative commissions, charged with elaborating the new constitution, had to discuss. Bonaparte’s cleverness lay in opposing Daunou’s plan to that of Sieyès, and The constitution of the year VIII. in retaining only those portions of both which could serve his ambition. Parliamentary institutions annulled by the complication of three assemblies—the Council of State which drafted bills, the Tribunate which discussed them without voting them, and the Legislative Assembly which voted them without discussing them; popular suffrage, mutilated by the lists of notables (on which the members of the Assemblies were to be chosen by the conservative senate); and the triple executive authority of the consuls, elected for ten years: all these semblances of constitutional authority were adopted by Bonaparte. But he abolished the post of Grand Elector, which Sieyès had reserved for himself, in order to reinforce the real authority of the First Consul himself—by leaving the two other consuls, Cambacérès and Lebrun, as well as the Assemblies, equally weak. Thus the aristocratic constitution of Sieyès was transformed into an unavowed dictatorship, a public ratification of which the First Consul obtained by a third coup d’état from the intimidated and yet reassured electors-reassured by his dazzling but unconvincing offers of peace to the victorious Coalition (which repulsed them), by the rapid disarmament of La Vendée, and by the proclamations in which he filled the ears of the infatuated people with the new talk of stability of government, order, justice and moderation. He gave every one a feeling that France was governed once more by a real statesman, that a pilot was at the helm.

Bonaparte had now to rid himself of Sieyès and those republicans who had no desire to hand over the republic to one man, particularly of Moreau and Masséna, his military rivals. The victory of Marengo (June 14, 1800) momentarily in the balance, but secured by Desaix and Kellermann, offered a further opportunity to his jealous ambition by increasing his popularity. The royalist plot of the Rue Saint-Nicaise (December 24, 1800) allowed him to make a clean sweep of the democratic republicans, who despite their innocence were deported to Guiana, and to annul Assemblies that were a mere show by making the senate omnipotent in constitutional matters; but it was necessary for him to transform this deceptive truce into the general pacification so ardently desired for the last eight years. The treaty of Lunéville, signed in February 1801 with Austria who had been disarmed by Moreau’s victory at Hohenlinden, restored peace to the continent, gave nearly the whole of Italy to France, and permitted Bonaparte to eliminate from the Assemblies all the leaders of the opposition in the discussion of the Civil Code. The Concordat (July 1801), drawn up not in the Church’s interest but in that of his own policy, by giving satisfaction to the religious feeling of the country, allowed him to put down the constitutional democratic Church, to rally round him the consciences of the peasants, and above all to deprive the royalists of their best weapon. The “Articles Organiques” hid from the eyes of his companions in arms and councillors a reaction which, in fact if not in law, restored to a submissive Church, despoiled of her revenues, her position as the religion of the state. The Consulate. The peace of Amiens with England (March 1802), of which France’s allies, Spain and Holland, paid all the costs, finally gave the peacemaker a pretext for endowing himself with a Consulate, not for ten years but for life, as a recompense from the nation. The Rubicon was crossed on that day: Bonaparte’s march to empire began with the constitution of the year X. (August 1802).

Before all things it was now necessary to reorganize France, ravaged as she was by the Revolution, and with her institutions in a state of utter corruption. The touch of the master was at once revealed to all the foreigners who rushed to gaze at the man about whom, after so many catastrophes Internal reorganization. and strange adventures, Paris, “la ville lumière,” and all Europe were talking. First of all, Louis XV.’s system of roads was improved and that of Louis XVI.’s canals developed; then industry put its shoulder to the wheel; order and discipline were re-established everywhere, from the frontiers to the capital, and brigandage suppressed; and finally there was Paris, the city of cities! Everything was in process of transformation: a second Rome was arising, with its forum, its triumphal arches, its shows and parades; and in this new Rome of a new Caesar fancy, elegance and luxury, a radiance of art and learning from the age of Pericles, and masterpieces rifled from the Netherlands, Italy and Egypt illustrated the consular peace. The Man of Destiny renewed the course of time. He borrowed from the ancien régime its plenipotentiaries; its over-centralized, strictly utilitarian administrative and bureaucratic methods; and afterwards, in order to bring them into line, the subservient pedantic scholasticism of its university. On the basis laid down by the Constituent Assembly and the Convention he constructed or consolidated the funds necessary for national institutions, local governments, a judiciary system, organs of finance, banking, codes, traditions of conscientious well-disciplined labour, and in short all the organization which for three-quarters of a century was to maintain and regulate the concentrated activity of the French nation (see the section Law and Institutions). Peace and order helped to raise the standard of comfort. Provisions, in this Paris which had so often suffered from hunger and thirst, and lacked fire and light, had become cheap and abundant; while trade prospered and wages ran high. The pomp and luxury of the nouveaux riches were displayed in the salons of the good Joséphine, the beautiful Madame Tallien, and the “divine” Juliette Récamier.

But the republicans, and above all the military, saw in all this little but the fetters of system; the wily despotism, the bullying police, the prostration before authority, the sympathy lavished on royalists, the recall of the émigrés, the contempt for the Assemblies, the purification of the The republican opposition. Tribunate, the platitudes of the servile Senate, the silence of the press. In the formidable machinery of state, above all in the creation of the Legion of Honour, the Concordat, and the restoration of indirect taxes, they saw the rout of the Revolution. But the expulsion of persons like Benjamin Constant and Madame de Staël sufficed to quell this Fronde of the salons. The expedition to San Domingo reduced the republican army to a nullity; war demoralized or scattered the leaders, who were jealous of their “comrade” Bonaparte; and Moreau, the last of his rivals, cleverly compromised in a royalist plot, as Danton had formerly been by Robespierre, disappeared into exile. In contradistinction to this opposition of senators and republican generals, the immense mass of the people received the ineffaceable impression of Bonaparte’s superiority. No suggestion of the possibility of his death was tolerated, of a crime which might cut short his career. The conspiracy of Cadoudal and Pichegru, after Bonaparte’s refusal to give place to Louis XVIII., and the political execution of the duc d’Enghien, provoked an outburst of adulation, of which Bonaparte took advantage to put the crowning touch to his ambitious dream.

The decision of the senate on the 18th of May 1804, giving him the title of emperor, was the counterblast to the dread he had excited. Thenceforward “the brow of the emperor broke through the thin mask of the First Consul.” Never did a harder master ordain more Napoleon emperor May 18, 1804–April 6, 1814. imperiously, nor understand better how to command obedience. “This was because,” as Goethe said, “under his orders men were sure of accomplishing their ends. That is why they rallied round him, as one to inspire them with that kind of certainty.” Indeed no man ever concentrated authority to such a point, nor showed mental abilities at all comparable to his: an extraordinary power of work, prodigious memory for details and fine judgment in their selection; together with a luminous decision and a simple and rapid conception, all placed at the disposal of a sovereign will. No head of the state gave expression more imperiously than this Italian to the popular passions of the French of that day: abhorrence for the emigrant nobility, fear of the ancien régime, dislike of foreigners, hatred of England, an appetite for conquest evoked by revolutionary propaganda, and the love of glory. In this Napoleon was a soldier of the people: because of this he judged and ruled his contemporaries. Having seen their actions in the stormy hours of the Revolution, he despised them and looked upon them as incapable of disinterested conduct, conceited, and obsessed by the notion of equality. Hence his colossal egoism, his habitual disregard of others, his jealous passion for power, his impatience of all contradiction, his vain untruthful boasting, his unbridled self-sufficiency and lack of moderation—passions which were gradually to cloud his clear faculty of reasoning. His genius, assisted by the impoverishment of two generations, was like the oak which admits beneath its shade none but the smallest of saplings. With the exception of Talleyrand, after 1808 he would have about him only mediocre people, without initiative, prostrate at the feet of the giant: his tribe of paltry, rapacious and embarrassing Corsicans; his admirably subservient generals; his selfish ministers, docile agents, apprehensive of the future, who for fourteen long years felt a prognostication of defeat and discounted the inevitable catastrophe.

So France had no internal history outside the plans and transformations to which Napoleon subjected the institutions of the Consulate, and the after-effects of his wars. Well knowing that his fortunes rested on the delighted acquiescence of France, Napoleon expected to continue indefinitely fashioning public opinion according to his pleasure. To his contempt for men he added that of all ideas which might put a bridle on his ambition; and to guard against them, he inaugurated the Golden Age of the police that he might tame every moral force to his hand. Being essentially a man of order, he loathed, as he said, all demagogic action, Jacobinism and visions of liberty, which he desired only for himself. To make his will predominant, he stifled or did violence to that of others, through his bishops, his gendarmes, his university, his press, his catechism. Nourished like Frederick II. and Catherine the Great in 18th-century maxims, neither he nor they would allow any of that ideology to filter through into their rough but regular ordering of mankind. Thus the whole political system, being summed up in the emperor, was bound to share his fall.

Although an enemy of idealogues, in his foreign policy Napoleon was haunted by grandiose visions. A condottiere of the Renaissance living in the 19th century, he used France, and all those nations annexed or attracted by the Revolution, to resuscitate the Roman conception of the Napoleon’s political idea. Empire for his own benefit. On the other hand, he was enslaved by the history and aggressive idealism of the Convention, and of the republican propaganda under the Directory; he was guided by them quite as much as he guided them. Hence the immoderate extension given to French activity by his classical Latin spirit; hence also his conquests, leading on from one to another, and instead of being mutually helpful interfering with each other; hence, finally, his not entirely coherent policy, interrupted by hesitation and counter-attractions. This explains the retention of Italy, imposed on the Directory from 1796 onward, followed by his criminal treatment of Venice, the foundation of the Cisalpine republic—a foretaste of future annexations—the restoration of that republic after his return from Egypt, and in view of his as yet inchoate designs, the postponed solution of the Italian problem which the treaty of Lunéville had raised.

Marengo inaugurated the political idea which was to continue its development until his Moscow campaign. Napoleon dreamed as yet only of keeping the duchy of Milan, setting aside Austria, and preparing some new enterprise in the East or in Egypt. The peace of Amiens, which cost him Egypt, could only seem to him a temporary truce; whilst he was gradually extending his authority in Italy, the cradle of his race, by the union of Piedmont, and by his tentative plans regarding Genoa, Parma, Tuscany and Naples. He wanted to make this his Cisalpine Gaul, laying siege to the Roman state on every hand, and preparing in the Concordat for the moral and material servitude of the pope. When he recognized his error in having raised the papacy from decadence by restoring its power over all the churches, he tried in vain to correct it by the Articles Organiques—wanting, like Charlemagne, to be the legal protector of the pope, and eventually master of the Church. To conceal his plan he aroused French colonial aspirations against England, and also the memory of the spoliations of 1763, exasperating English jealousy of France, whose borders now extended to the Rhine, and laying hands on Hanover, Hamburg and Cuxhaven. By the “Recess” of 1803, which brought to his side Bavaria, Württemberg and Baden, he followed up the overwhelming tide of revolutionary ideas in Germany, to stem which Pitt, back in power, appealed once more to an Anglo-Austro-Russian coalition against this new Charlemagne, who was trying to renew the old Empire, who was mastering France, Italy and Germany; who finally on the 2nd of December 1804 placed the imperial crown upon his head, after receiving the iron crown of the Lombard kings, and made Pius VII. consecrate him in Notre-Dame.

After this, in four campaigns from 1805 to 1809, Napoleon transformed his Carolingian feudal and federal empire into one modelled on the Roman empire. The memories of imperial Rome were for a third time, after Caesar and Charlemagne, to modify the historical evolution of France. Though the vague plan for an invasion of England fell to the ground Ulm and Austerlitz obliterated Trafalgar, and the camp at Boulogne put the best military resources he had ever commanded at Napoleon’s disposal.

In the first of these campaigns he swept away the remnants of the old Roman-Germanic empire, and out of its shattered fragments created in southern Germany the vassal states of Bavaria, Baden, Württemberg, Hesse-Darmstadt and Saxony, which he attached to France Treaty of Presburg, 1805. under the name of the Confederation of the Rhine; but the treaty of Presburg gave France nothing but the danger of a more centralized and less docile Germany. On the other hand, Napoleon’s creation of the kingdom of Italy, his annexation of Venetia and her ancient Adriatic empire—wiping out the humiliation of 1797—and the occupation of Ancona, marked a new stage in his progress towards his Roman Empire. His good fortune soon led him from conquest to spoliation, and he complicated his master-idea of the grand empire by his Family Compact; the clan of the Bonapartes invaded European monarchies, wedding with princesses of blood-royal, and adding kingdom to kingdom. Joseph replaced the dispossessed Bourbons at Naples; Louis was installed on the throne of Holland; Murat became grand-duke of Berg, Jerome son-in-law to the king of Württemberg, and Eugène de Beauharnais to the king of Bavaria; while Stéphanie de Beauhamais married the son of the grand-duke of Baden.

Meeting with less and less resistance, Napoleon went still further and would tolerate no neutral power. On the 6th of August 1806 he forced the Habsburgs, left with only the crown of Austria, to abdicate their Roman-Germanic title of emperor. Prussia alone remained outside the Confederation of Jena.
Eylau and Friedland.
Peace of Tilsit, July 8, 1807.
Continental blockade.
the Rhine, of which Napoleon was Protector, and to further her decision he offered her English Hanover. In a second campaign he destroyed at Jena both the army and the state of Frederick William III., who could not make up his mind between the Napoleonic treaty of Schönbrunn and Russia’s counter-proposal at Potsdam (October 14, 1806). The butchery at Eylau and the vengeance taken at Friedland finally ruined Frederick the Great’s work, and obliged Russia, the ally of England and Prussia, to allow the latter to be despoiled, and to join Napoleon against the maritime tyranny of the former. After Tilsit, however (July 1807), instead of trying to reconcile Europe to his grandeur, Napoleon had but one thought: to make use of his success to destroy England and complete his Italian dominion. It was from Berlin, on the 21st of November 1806, that he had dated the first decree of a continental blockade, a monstrous conception intended to paralyze his inveterate rival, but which on the contrary caused his own fall by its immoderate extension of the empire. To the coalition of the northern powers he added the league of the Baltic and Mediterranean ports, and to the bombardment of Copenhagen by an English fleet he responded by a second decree of blockade, dated from Milan on the 17th of December 1807.

But the application of the Concordat and the taking of Naples led to the first of those struggles with the pope, in which were formulated two antagonistic doctrines: Napoleon declaring himself Roman emperor, and Pius VII. renewing the theocratic affirmations of Gregory VII. The former’s Roman ambition was made more and more plainly visible by the occupation of the kingdom of Naples and of the Marches, and the entry of Miollis into Rome; while Junot invaded Portugal, Radet laid hands on the pope himself, and Murat took possession of formerly Roman Spain, whither Joseph was afterwards to be transferred. But Napoleon little knew the flame he was kindling. No more far-seeing than the Directory or the men of the year III., he thought that, with energy and execution, he might succeed in the Peninsula as he had succeeded in Italy in 1796 and 1797, in Egypt, and in Hesse, and that he might cut into Spanish granite as into Italian mosaic or “that big cake, Germany.” He stumbled unawares upon the revolt of a proud national spirit, evolved through ten historic centuries; and the trap of Bayonne, together with the enthroning of Joseph Bonaparte, made the contemptible prince of the Asturias the elect of popular sentiment, the representative of religion and country.

Napoleon thought he had Spain within his grasp, and now suddenly everything was slipping from him. The Peninsula became the grave of whole armies and a battlefield for England. Dupont capitulated at Bailen into the hands of Castaños, and Junot at Cintra to Wellesley; while Bailen. Europe trembled at this first check to the hitherto invincible imperial armies. To reduce Spanish resistance Napoleon had in his turn to come to terms with the tsar Alexander at Erfurt; so that abandoning his designs in the East, he could make the Grand Army evacuate Prussia and return in force to Madrid.

Thus Spain swallowed up the soldiers who were wanted for Napoleon’s other fields of battle, and they had to be replaced by forced levies. Europe had only to wait, and he would eventually be found disarmed in face of a last coalition; but Spanish heroism infected Austria, and showed Wagram. the force of national resistance. The provocations of Talleyrand and England strengthened the illusion: Why should not the Austrians emulate the Spaniards? The campaign of 1809, however, was but a pale copy of the Spanish insurrection. After a short and decisive action in Bavaria, Napoleon opened up the road to Vienna for a second time; and after the two days’ battle at Essling, the stubborn fight at Wagram, the failure of a patriotic insurrection in northern Germany and of the English expedition against Antwerp, the treaty of Vienna (December 14, 1809), with Peace of Vienna. the annexation of the Illyrian provinces, completed the colossal empire. Napoleon profited, in fact, by this campaign which had been planned for his overthrow. The pope was deported to Savona beneath the eyes of indifferent Europe, and his domains were incorporated in the Empire; the senate’s decision on the 17th of February 1810 created the title of king of Rome, and made Rome the capital of Italy. The pope banished, it was now desirable to send away those to whom Italy had been more or less promised. Eugène de Beauharnais, Napoleon’s stepson, was transferred to Frankfort, and Murat carefully watched until the time should come to take him to Russia and instal him as king of Poland. Between 1810 and 1812 Napoleon’s divorce of Joséphine, and his marriage with Marie Louise of Austria, followed by the birth of the king of Rome, shed a brilliant light upon his future policy. He renounced a federation in which his brothers were not sufficiently docile; he gradually withdrew power from them; he concentrated all his affection and ambition on the son who was the guarantee of the continuance of his dynasty. This was the apogee of his reign.

But undermining forces were already at work: the faults inherent in his unwieldy achievement. England, his chief enemy, was persistently active; and rebellion both of the governing and the governed broke out everywhere. Napoleon felt his impotence in coping with the Spanish Beginning of the end. Uprising of nationalism. insurrection, which he underrated, while yet unable to suppress it altogether. Men like Stein, Hardenberg and Scharnhorst were secretly preparing Prussia’s retaliation. Napoleon’s material omnipotence could not stand against the moral force of the pope, a prisoner at Fontainebleau; and this he did not realize. The alliance arranged at Tilsit was seriously shaken by the Austrian marriage, the threat of a Polish restoration, and the unfriendly policy of Napoleon at Constantinople. The very persons whom he had placed in power were counteracting his plans: after four years’ experience Napoleon found himself obliged to treat his Corsican dynasties like those of the ancien régime, and all his relations were betraying him. Caroline conspired against her brother and against her husband; the hypochondriacal Louis, now Dutch in his sympathies, found the supervision of the blockade taken from him, and also the defence of the Scheldt, which he had refused to ensure; Jerome, idling in his harem, lost that of the North Sea shores; and Joseph, who was attempting the moral conquest of Spain, was continually insulted at Madrid. The very nature of things was against the new dynasties, as it had been against the old.

After national insurrections and family recriminations came treachery from Napoleon’s ministers. Talleyrand betrayed his designs to Metternich, and had to be dismissed; Fouché corresponded with Austria in 1809 and 1810, entered into an understanding with Louis, and also with England; Treachery. while Bourrienne was convicted of peculation. By a natural consequence of the spirit of conquest he had aroused, all these parvenus, having tasted victory, dreamed of sovereign power: Bernadotte, who had helped him to the Consulate, played Napoleon false to win the crown of Sweden; Soult, like Murat, coveted the Spanish throne after that of Portugal, thus anticipating the treason of 1813 and the defection of 1814; many persons hoped for “an accident” which might resemble the tragic end of Alexander and of Caesar. The country itself, besides, though flattered by conquests, was tired of self-sacrifice. It had become satiated; “the cry of the mothers rose threateningly” against “the Ogre” and his intolerable imposition of wholesale conscription. The soldiers themselves, discontented after Austerlitz, cried out for peace after Eylau. Finally, amidst profound silence from the press and the Assemblies, a protest was raised against imperial despotism by the literary world, against the excommunicated sovereign by Catholicism, and against the author of the continental blockade by the discontented bourgeoisie, ruined by the crisis of 1811.

Napoleon himself was no longer the General Bonaparte of his campaign in Italy. He was already showing signs of physical decay; the Roman medallion profile had coarsened, the obese body was often lymphatic. Mental degeneration, too, betrayed itself in an unwonted irresolution. Degeneration
of Napoleon.
At Eylau, at Wagram, and later at Waterloo, his method of acting by enormous masses of infantry and cavalry, in a mad passion for conquest, and his misuse of his military resources, were all signs of his moral and technical decadence; and this at the precise moment when, instead of the armies and governments of the old system, which had hitherto reigned supreme, the nations themselves were rising against France, and the events of 1792 were being avenged upon her. The three campaigns of two years brought the final catastrophe.

Napoleon had hardly succeeded in putting down the revolt in Germany when the tsar himself headed a European insurrection against the ruinous tyranny of the continental blockade. To put a stop to this, to ensure his own access to the Mediterranean and exclude his chief Russian campaign. rival, Napoleon made a desperate effort in 1812 against a country as invincible as Spain. Despite his victorious advance, the taking of Smolensk, the victory on the Moskwa, and the entry into Moscow, he was vanquished by Russian patriotism and religious fervour, by the country and the climate, and by Alexander’s refusal to make terms. After this came the lamentable retreat, while all Europe was concentrating against him. Pushed back, as he had been in Spain, from bastion to bastion, after the action on the Beresina, Napoleon had to fall back upon the frontiers of 1809, and then—having refused the peace offered him by Austria at the congress of Prague, from a dread of losing Italy, where each of his victories had marked a stage in the accomplishment of his dream—on those of 1805, despite Lützen and Bautzen, and on those of 1802 after his defeat at Leipzig, where Bernadotte turned upon him, Moreau figured Campaigns of
among the Allies, and the Saxons and Bavarians forsook him. Following his retreat from Russia came his retreat from Germany. After the loss of Spain, reconquered by Wellington, the rising in Holland preliminary to the invasion and the manifesto of Frankfort which proclaimed it, he had to fall back upon the frontiers of 1795; and then later was driven yet farther back upon those of 1792, despite the wonderful campaign of 1814 against the invaders, in which the old Bonaparte of 1796 seemed to have returned. Paris capitulated on the 30th of March, and the “Delenda Carthago,” pronounced against England, was spoken of Napoleon. The great empire of East and West fell in ruins with the emperor’s abdication at Fontainebleau.

The military struggle ended, the political struggle began. How was France to be governed? The Allies had decided on the eviction of Napoleon at the Congress of Châtillon; and the precarious nature of the Bonapartist monarchy in France itself was made manifest by the exploit of Downfall of
the Empire.
General Malet, which had almost succeeded during the Russian campaign, and by Lainé’s demand for free exercise of political rights, when Napoleon made a last appeal to the Legislative Assembly for support. The defection of the military and civil aristocracy, which brought about Napoleon’s abdication, the refusal of a regency, and the failure of Bernadotte, who wished to resuscitate the Consulate, enabled Talleyrand, vice-president of the senate and desirous of power, to persuade the Allies to accept the Bourbon solution of the difficulty. The declaration of St Ouen (May 2, 1814) indicated that the new monarchy was only accepted upon conditions. After Napoleon’s abdication, and exile to the island of Elba, came the Revolution’s abdication of her conquests: the first treaty of Paris (May 30th) confirmed France’s renunciation of Belgium and the left bank of the Rhine, and her return within her pre-revolutionary frontiers, save for some slight rectifications.

After the scourge of war, the horrors of conscription, and the despotism which had discounted glory, every one seemed to rejoice in the return of the Bourbons, which atoned for humiliations by restoring liberty. But questions of form, which aroused questions of sentiment, speedily Faults of the Bourbons. led to grave dissensions. The hurried armistice of the 23rd of April, by which the comte d’Artois delivered over disarmed France to her conquerors; Louis XVIII.’s excessive gratitude to the prince regent of England; the return of the émigrés; the declaration of St Ouen, dated from the nineteenth year of the new reign; the charter of June 4th, “concédée et octroyée,” maintaining the effete doctrine of legitimacy in a country permeated with the idea of national sovereignty; the slights put upon the army; the obligatory processions ordered by Comte Beugnot, prefect of police; all this provoked a conflict not only between two theories of government but between two groups of men and of interests. An avowedly imperialist party was soon again formed, a centre of heated opposition to the royalist party; and neither Baron Louis’ excellent finance, nor the peace, nor the charter of June 4th—which despite the irritation of the émigrés preserved the civil gains of the Revolution—prevented the man who was its incarnation from seizing an opportunity to bring about another military coup d’état. Having landed in the Bay of Jouan on the 1st of March, on the 20th Napoleon re-entered the Tuileries in triumph, while Louis XVIII. fled to Ghent. By the Acte additionnel of the 22nd of April he induced Carnot and Fouché—the The Hundred Days. March–June 1815. last of the Jacobins—and the heads of the Liberal opposition, Benjamin Constant and La Fayette, to side with him against the hostile Powers of Europe, occupied in dividing the spoils at Vienna. He proclaimed his intention of founding a new democratic empire; and French policy was thus given another illusion, which was to be exploited with fatal success by Napoleon’s namesake. But the cannon of Waterloo ended this adventure (June 18, 1815), and, thanks to Fouché’s treachery, the triumphal progress of Milan, Rome, Naples, Vienna, Berlin, and even of Moscow, was to end at St Helena.

The consequences of the Hundred Days were very serious; France was embroiled with all Europe, though Talleyrand’s clever diplomacy had succeeded in causing division over Saxony and Poland by the secret Austro-Anglo-French alliance of the 3rd of January 1815, and the Louis XVIII. Coalition destroyed both France’s political independence and national integrity by the treaty of peace of November 20th: she found herself far weaker than before the Revolution, and in the power of the European Alliance. The Hundred Days divided the nation itself into two irreconcilable parties: one ultra-royalist, eager for vengeance and retaliation, refusing to accept the Charter; the other imperialist, composed of Bonapartists and Republicans, incensed by their defeat—of whom Béranger was the Tyrtaeus—both parties equally revolutionary and equally obstinate. Louis XVIII., urged by his more fervent supporters towards the ancien régime, gave his policy an exactly contrary direction; he had common-sense enough to maintain the Empire’s legal and administrative tradition, accepting its institutions of the Legion of Honour, the Bank, the University, and the imperial nobility—modifying only formally certain rights and the conscription, since these had aroused the nation against Napoleon. He even went so far as to accept advice from the imperial ministers Talleyrand and Fouché. Finally, as the chief political organization had become thoroughly demoralized, he imported into France the entire constitutional system of England, with its three powers, king, upper hereditary chamber, and lower elected chamber; with its plutocratic electorate, and even with details like the speech from the throne, the debate on the address, &c. This meant importing also difficulties such as ministerial responsibility, as well as electoral and press legislation.

Louis XVIII., taught by time and misfortune, wished not to reign over two parties exasperated by contrary passions and desires; but his dynasty was from the outset implicated in the struggle, which was to be fatal to it, between old France and revolutionary France. Anti-monarchical, liberal and anti-clerical France at once recommenced its revolutionary work; the whole 19th century was to be filled with great spasmodic upheavals, and Louis XVIII. was soon overwhelmed by the White Terrorists of 1815.

Vindictive sentences against men like Ney and Labédoyère were followed by violent and unpunished action by the White Terror, which in the south renewed the horrors of St Bartholomew and the September massacres. The elections of August 14, 1815, made under the influence of these royalist and religious passions, sent the “Chambre introuvable” to Paris, an unforeseen revival of the ancien régime. Neither the substitution of the duc de Richelieu’s ministry for that of Talleyrand and Fouché, nor a whole series of repressive laws in violation of the charter, were successful in satisfying its tyrannical loyalism, and Louis XVIII. needed something like a coup d’état, in September 1816, to rid himself of the “ultras.”

He succeeded fairly well in quieting the opposition between the dynasty and the constitution, until a reaction took place between 1820 and 1822. State departments worked regularly and well, under the direction of Decazes, Lainé, De Serre and Pasquier, power alternating The Constitutional party’s rule. between two great well-disciplined parties almost in the English fashion, and many useful measures were passed: the reconstruction of finance stipulated for as a condition of evacuation of territory occupied by foreign troops; the electoral law of February 5, 1817, which, by means of direct election and a qualification of three hundred francs, renewed the preponderance of the bourgeoisie; the Gouvion St-Cyr law of 1818, which for half a century based the recruiting of the French army on the national principle of conscription; and in 1819, after Richelieu’s dismissal, liberal regulations for the press under control of a commission. But the advance of the Liberal movement, and the election of the generals—Foy, Lamarque, Lafayette and of Manuel, excited the “ultras” and caused the dismissal of Richelieu; while that of the constitutional bishop Grégoire led to the modification in a reactionary direction of the electoral law of 1817. The assassination of the duc de Berry, second son of the comte d’Artois (attributed to the influence of Liberal ideas), caused the downfall of Decazes, and caused the king—more weak and selfish than ever—to override the charter and embark upon a reactionary path. After 1820, Madame du The reaction of 1820. Cayla, a trusted agent of the ultra-royalist party, gained great influence over the king; and M. de Villèle, its leader, supported by the king’s brother, soon eliminated the Right Centre by the dismissal of the duc de Richelieu, who had been recalled to tide over the crisis—just as the fall of M. Decazes had signalized the defeat of the Left Centre (December 15, 1821)—and moderate policy thus received an irreparable blow.

Thenceforward the government of M. de Villèle—a clever statesman, but tied to his party—did nothing for six years but promulgate a long series of measures against Liberalism and the social work of the Revolution; to retain power it had to yield to the impatience of the comte d’Artois and the majority. The suspension of individual liberty, the re-establishment of the censorship; the electoral right of the “double vote,” favouring taxation of the most oppressive kind; and the handing over of education to the clergy: these were the first achievements of this anti-revolutionary ministry. The Spanish expedition, in which M. de Villèle’s hand was forced by Montmorency and Chateaubriand, was the united work of the association of Catholic zealots known as the Congregation and of the autocratic powers of the Grand Alliance; it was responded to—as at Naples and in Spain—by secret Carbonari societies, and by severely repressed military conspiracies. Politics now bore the double imprint of two rival powers: the Congregation and Carbonarism. By 1824, nevertheless, the dynasty seemed firm—the Spanish War had reconciled the army, by giving back military prestige; the Liberal opposition had been decimated; revolutionary conspiracies discouraged; and the increase of public credit and material prosperity pleased the whole nation, as was proved by the “Chambre retrouvée” of 1824. The law of septennial elections tranquillized public life by suspending any legal or regular manifestation by the nation for seven years.

It was the monarchy which next became revolutionary, on the accession of Charles X. (September 16, 1824). This inconsistent prince soon exhausted his popularity, and remained the fanatical head of those émigrés who had learnt nothing and forgotten nothing. While the opposition Charles X. became conservative as regards the Charter and French liberties, the king and the clerical party surrounding him challenged the spirit of modern France by a law against sacrilege, by a bill for re-establishing the right of primogeniture, by an indemnity of a milliard francs, which looked like compensation given to the émigrés, and finally by the “loi de liberté et d’amour” against the press. The challenge was so definite that in 1826 the Chamber of Peers and the Academy had to give the Villèle ministry a lesson in Liberalism, for having lent itself to this ancien régime reaction by its weakness and its party-promises. The elections Victory of the constitutional parties, 1827.de colère et de vengeance” of January 1827 gave the Left a majority, and the resultant short-lived Martignac ministry tried to revive the Right Centre which had supported Richelieu and Decazes (January 1828). Martignac’s accession to power, however, had only meant personal concessions from Charles X., not any concession of principle: he supported his ministry but was no real stand-by. The Liberals, on the other hand, made bargains for supporting the moderate royalists, and Charles X. profited by this to form a fighting ministry in conjunction with the prince de Polignac, one of the émigrés, an ignorant and visionary person, and the comte de Bourmont, the traitor of Waterloo. Despite all kinds of warnings, the former tried by a coup d’état to put into practice his theories of the supremacy of the royal prerogative; and the battle of Navarino, the French occupation of the Morea, and the Algerian expedition could not make the nation forget this conflict at home. The united opposition of monarchist Liberals and imperialist republicans responded by legal resistance, The Revolution
of 1830.
then by a popular coup d’état, to the ordinances of July 1830, which dissolved the intractable Chamber, eliminated licensed dealers from the electoral list, and muzzled the press. After fighting for three days against the troops feebly led by the Marmont of 1814, the workmen, driven to the barricades by the deliberate closing of Liberal workshops, gained the victory, and sent the white flag of the Bourbons on the road to exile.

The rapid success of the “Three Glorious Days” (“les Trois Glorieuses”), as the July Days were called, put the leaders of the parliamentary opposition into an embarrassing position. While they had contented themselves with words, the small Republican-Imperialist party, aided by the Republican and Orleanist parties. almost entire absence of the army and police, and by the convenience which the narrow, winding, paved streets of those times offered for fighting, had determined upon the revolution and brought it to pass. But the Republican party, which desired to re-establish the Republic of 1793, recruited chiefly from among the students and workmen, and led by Godefroy Cavaignac, the son of a Conventionalist, and by the chemist Raspail, had no hold on the departments nor on the dominating opinion in Paris. Consequently this premature attempt was promptly seized upon by the Liberal bourgeoisie and turned to the advantage of the Orleanist party, which had been secretly organized since 1829 under the leadership of Thiers, with the National as its organ. Before the struggle was yet over, Benjamin Constant, Casimir Périer, Lafitte, and Odilon Barrot had gone to fetch the duke of Orleans from Neuilly, and on receiving his promise to defend the Charter and the tricolour flag, installed him at the Palais Bourbon as lieutenant-general of the realm, while La Fayette and the Republicans established themselves at the Hôtel de Ville. Louis Philippe. An armed conflict between the two governments was imminent, when Lafayette, by giving his support to Louis Philippe, decided matters in his favour. In order to avoid a recurrence of the difficulties which had arisen with the Bourbons, the following preliminary conditions were imposed upon the king: the recognition of the supremacy of the people by the title of “king of the French by the grace of God and the will of the people,” the responsibility of ministers, the suppression of hereditary succession to the Chamber of Peers, now reduced to the rank of a council of officials, the suppression of article 14 of the charter which had enabled Charles X. to supersede the laws by means of the ordinances, and the liberty of the press. The qualification for electors was lowered from 300 to 200 francs, and that for eligibility from 1000 to 500 francs, and the age to 25 and 30 instead of 30 and 40; finally, Catholicism lost its privileged position as the state religion. The bourgeois National Guard was made the guardian of the charter. The liberal ideas of the son of Philippe Égalité, the part he had played at Valmy and Jemappes, his gracious manner and his domestic virtues, all united in winning Louis Philippe the good opinion of the public.

He now believed, as did indeed the great majority of the electors, that the revolution of 1830 had changed nothing but the head of the state. But in reality the July monarchy was affected by a fundamental weakness. It sought to model itself upon the English monarchy, which The bourgeois monarchy. rested upon one long tradition. But the tradition of France was both twofold and contradictory, i.e. the Catholic-legitimist and the revolutionary. Louis Philippe had them both against him. His monarchy had but one element in common with the English, namely, a parliament elected by a limited electorate. There was at this time a cause of violent outcry against the English monarchy, which, on the other hand, met with firm support among the aristocracy and the clergy. The July monarchy had no such support. The aristocracy of the ancien régime and of the Empire were alike without social influence; the clergy, which had paid for its too close alliance with Charles X. by a dangerous unpopularity, and foresaw the rise of democracy, was turning more and more towards the people, the future source of all power. Even the monarchical principle itself had suffered from the shock, having proved by its easy defeat how far it could be brought to capitulate. Moreover, the victory of the people, who had shown themselves in the late struggle to be brave and disinterested, had won for the idea of national supremacy a power which was bound to increase. The difficulty of the situation lay in the doubt as to whether this expansion would take place gradually and by a progressive evolution, as in England, or not.

Now Louis Philippe, beneath the genial exterior of a bourgeois and peace-loving king, was entirely bent upon recovering an authority which was menaced from the very first on the one hand by the anger of the royalists at their failures, and on the other hand by the impatience of the republicans to follow up their victory. He wanted the insurrection to stop at a change in the reigning family, whereas it had in fact revived the revolutionary tradition, and restored to France the sympathies of the nationalities and democratic parties oppressed by Metternich’s “system.” The republican party, which had retired from power but not from activity, at once faced the new king with the serious problem of the acquisition of political power by the people, and continued to remind him of it. He put himself at the head of the party of progress (“parti du mouvement”) as opposed to the (“parti de la cour”) court party, and of the “resistance,” which considered that it was now necessary “to check the revolution in order to make it fruitful, and in order to save it.” But none of these parties were homogeneous; The parties. in the chamber they split up into a republican or radical Extreme Left, led by Garnier-Pagès and Arago; a dynastic Left, led by the honourable and sincere Odilon Barrot; a constitutional Right Centre and Left Centre, differing in certain slight respects, and presided over respectively by Thiers, a wonderful political orator, and Guizot, whose ideas were those of a strict doctrinaire; not to mention a small party which clung to the old legitimist creed, and was dominated by the famous avocat Berryer, whose eloquence was the chief ornament of the cause of Charles X.’s grandson, the comte de Chambord. The result was a ministerial majority which was always uncertain; and the only occasion on which Guizot succeeded in consolidating it during seven years resulted in the overthrow of the monarchy.

Louis Philippe first summoned to power the leaders of the party of “movement,” Dupont de l’Eure, and afterwards Lafitte, in order to keep control of the progressive forces for his own ends. They wished to introduce democratic reforms and to uphold throughout Europe the revolution, which had spread from France into Belgium, Germany, Italy and Poland, while Paris was still in a state of unrest. But Louis Philippe took fright at the attack on the Chamber of Peers after the trial of the ministers of Charles X., at the sack of the church of Saint Germain l’Auxerrois and the archbishop’s palace (February, 1831), and at the terrible strike of the silk weavers at Lyons. Casimir Périer, who was both a Liberal and a believer in a strong government, was then charged with the task of heading the resistance to advanced ideas, and applying the principle of non-intervention in foreign affairs (March 13, 1831). After his death by cholera in May 1832, the agitation which he had succeeded by his energy in checking at Lyons, at Grenoble and in the Vendée, where it had been stirred up by the romantic duchess of Berry, began to gain ground. The struggle against the republicans was still longer; for having lost all their chance of attaining power by means of the Chamber, they proceeded to reorganize themselves into armed secret societies. The press, which was gaining that influence over public opinion which had been lost by the parliamentary debates, openly attacked the government and the king, especially by means of caricature. Between 1832 and 1836 the Soult ministry, of which The Republicans crushed. Guizot, Thiers and the duc de Broglie were members, had to combat the terrible insurrections in Lyons and Paris (1834). The measures of repression were threefold: military repression, carried out by the National Guard and the regulars, both under the command of Bugeaud; judicial repression, effected by the great trial of April 1835; and legislative repression, consisting in the laws of September, which, when to mere ridicule had succeeded acts of violence, such as that of Fieschi (July 28th, 1835), aimed at facilitating the condemnation of political offenders and at intimidating the press. The party of “movement” was vanquished.

But the July Government, born as it was of a popular movement, had to make concessions to popular demands. Casimir Périer had carried a law dealing with municipal organization, which made the municipal councils elective, as they had been before the year VIII.; and The bourgeois policy. in 1833 Guizot had completed it by making the conseils généraux also elective. In the same year the law dealing with primary instruction had also shown the mark of new ideas. But now that the bourgeoisie was raised to power it did not prove itself any more liberal than the aristocracy of birth and fortune in dealing with educational, fiscal and industrial questions. In spite of the increase of riches, the bourgeois régime maintained a fiscal and social legislation which, while it assured to the middle class certainty and permanence of benefits, left the labouring masses poor, ignorant, and in a state of incessant agitation.

The Orleanists, who had been unanimous in supporting the king, disagreed, after their victory, as to what powers he was to be given. The Left Centre, led by Thiers, held that he should reign but not govern; the Right Centre, led by Guizot, would admit him to an active The socialist party. part in the government; and the third party (tiers-parti) wavered between these two. And so between 1836 and 1840, as the struggle against the king’s claim to govern passed from the sphere of outside discussion into parliament, we see the rise of a bourgeois socialist party, side by side with the now dwindling republican party. It no longer confined its demands to universal suffrage, on the principle of the legitimate representation of all interests, or in the name of justice. Led by Saint-Simon, Fourier, P. Leroux and Lamennais, it aimed at realizing a better social organization for and by means of the state. But the question was by what means this was to be accomplished. The secret societies, under the influence of Blanqui and Barbès, two revolutionaries who had revived the traditions of Babeuf, were not willing to wait for the complete education of the masses, necessarily a long process. On the 12th of May 1839 the Société des Saisons made an attempt to overthrow the bourgeoisie by force, but was defeated. Democrats like Louis Blanc, Ledru-Rollin and Lamennais continued to repeat in support of the wisdom of universal suffrage the old profession of faith: vox populi, vox Dei. And finally this republican doctrine, already confused, was still further complicated by a kind of mysticism which aimed at reconciling the most extreme differences of belief, the Catholicism of Buchez, the Bonapartism of Cormenin, and the humanitarianism of the cosmopolitans. It was in vain that Auguste Comte, Michelet and Quinet denounced this vague humanitarian mysticism and the pseudo-liberalism of the Church. The movement had now begun.

At first these moderate republicans, radical or communist, formed only imperceptible groups. Among the peasant classes, and even in the industrial centres, warlike passions were still rife. Louis Philippe tried to find an outlet for them in the Algerian war, and later by the revival The Bonapartist revival. of the Napoleonic legend, which was held to be no longer dangerous, since the death of the duke of Reichstadt in 1832. It was imprudently recalled by Thiers’ History of the Consulate and Empire, by artists and poets, in spite of the prophecies of Lamartine, and by the solemn translation of Napoleon I.’s ashes in 1840 to the Invalides at Paris.

All theories require to be based on practice, especially those which involve force. Now Louis Philippe, though as active as his predecessors had been slothful, was the least warlike of men. His only wish was to govern personally, as George III. and George IV. of England had done, Parliamentary opposition to the royal power. especially in foreign affairs, while at home was being waged the great duel between Thiers and Guizot, with Molé as intermediary. Thiers, head of the cabinet of the 22nd of February 1836, an astute man but not pliant enough to please the king, fell after a few months, in consequence of his attempt to stop the Carlist civil war in Spain, and to support the constitutional government of Queen Isabella. Louis Philippe hoped that, by calling upon Molé to form a ministry, he would be better able to make his personal authority felt. From 1837 to 1839 Molé aroused opposition on all hands; this was emphasized by the refusal of the Chambers to vote one of those endowments which the king was continually asking them to grant for his children, by two dissolutions of the Chambers, and finally by the Strasburg affair and the stormy trial of Louis Napoleon, son of the former king of Holland (1836–1837). At the elections of 1839 Molé was defeated by Thiers, Guizot and Barrot, who had combined to oppose the tyranny of the “Château,” and after a long ministerial crisis was replaced by Thiers (March 1, 1840). But the latter was too much in favour of war to please the king, who was strongly disposed towards peace and an alliance with Great Britain, and consequently fell at the time of the Egyptian question, when, in answer to the treaty of London concluded behind his back by Nicholas I. and Palmerston on the 15th of July 1840, he fortified Paris and proclaimed his intention to give armed support to Mehemet Ali, the ally of France (see Mehemet Ali). But the violence of popular Chauvinism and the renewed attempt of Louis Napoleon at Boulogne proved to the holders of the doctrine of peace at any price that in the long-run their policy tends to turn a peaceful attitude into a warlike one, and to strengthen the absolutist idea.

In spite of all, from 1840 to 1848 Louis Philippe still further extended his activity in foreign affairs, thus bringing himself into still greater prominence, though he was already frequently held responsible for failures in foreign politics and unpopular measures in home affairs. The Guizot’s ministry. catchword of Guizot, who was now his minister, was: Peace and no reforms. With the exception of the law of 1842 concerning the railways, not a single measure of importance was proposed by the ministry. France lived under a régime of general corruption: parliamentary corruption, due to the illegal conduct of the deputies, consisting of slavish or venal officials; electoral corruption, effected by the purchase of the 200,000 electors constituting the “pays légal,” who were bribed by the advantages of power; and moral corruption, due to the reign of the plutocracy, the bourgeoisie, a hard-working, educated and honourable class, it is true, but insolent, like all newly enriched parvenus in the presence of other aristocracies, and with unyielding selfishness maintaining an attitude of suspicion towards the people, whose aspirations they did not share and with whom they did not feel themselves to have anything in common. This led to a slackening in political life, a sort of exhaustion of interest throughout the country, an excessive devotion to material prosperity. Under a superficial appearance of calm a tempest was brewing, of which the industrial writings of Balzac, Eugène Sue, Lamartine, H. Heine, Vigny, Montalembert and Tocqueville were the premonitions. But it was in vain that they denounced this supremacy of the bourgeoisie, relying on its two main supports, the suffrage based on a property qualification and the National Guard, for its rallying-cry was the “Enrichissez-vous” of Guizot, and its excessive materialism gained a sinister distinction from scandals connected with the ministers Teste and Cubières, and such mysterious crimes as that of Choiseul-Praslin.[8] In vain also did they point out that mere riches are not so much a protection to the ministry who are in power as a temptation to the majority excluded from power by this barrier of wealth. It was in vain that beneath the inflated haute bourgeoisie which speculated in railways and solidly supported the Church, behind the shopkeeper clique who still remained Voltairian, who enviously applauded the pamphlets of Cormenin on the luxury of the court, and who were bitterly satirized by the pencil of Daumier and Gavarni, did the thinkers give voice to the mutterings of an immense industrial proletariat, which were re-echoing throughout the whole of western Europe.

In face of this tragic contrast Guizot remained unmoved, blinded by the superficial brilliance of apparent success and prosperity. He adorned by flights of eloquence his invariable theme: no new laws, no reforms, no foreign complications, the policy of material interests. He Guizot’s Foreign Policy. preserved his yielding attitude towards Great Britain in the affair of the right of search in 1841, and in the affair of the missionary Pritchard at Tahiti (1843–1845). And when the marriage of the duc de Montpensier with a Spanish infanta in 1846 had broken this entente cordiale to which he clung, it was only to yield in turn to Metternich, when he took possession of Cracow, the last remnant of Poland, to protect the Sonderbund in Switzerland, to discourage the Liberal ardour of Pius IX., and to hand over the education of France to the Ultramontane clergy. Still further strengthened by the elections of 1846, he refused the demands of the Opposition formed by a coalition of the Left Centre and the Radical party for parliamentary and electoral reform, which would have excluded the officials from the Chambers, reduced the electoral qualification to 100 francs, and added to the number of the electors the capacitaires whose competence was guaranteed by their education. For Guizot the whole country was represented by the “pays légal,” consisting of the king, the ministers, the deputies and the Campaign of the banquets. electors. When the Opposition appealed to the country, he flung down a disdainful challenge to what “les brouillons et les badauds appellent le peuple.” The challenge was taken up by all the parties of the Opposition in the campaign of the banquets got up somewhat artificially in 1847 in favour of the extension of the franchise. The monarchy had arrived at such a state of weakness and corruption that a determined minority was sufficient to overthrow it. The prohibition of a last banquet in Paris precipitated the catastrophe. The monarchy which for fifteen years had overcome its adversaries collapsed on the 24th of February 1848 to the astonishment of all.

The industrial population of the faubourgs on its way towards the centre of the town was welcomed by the National Guard, among cries of “Vive la réforme.” Barricades were raised after the unfortunate incident of the firing on the crowd in the Boulevard des Capucines. On the The Revolution of Feb. 24, 1848. 23rd Guizot’s cabinet resigned, abandoned by the petite bourgeoisie, on whose support they thought they could depend. The heads of the Left Centre and the dynastic Left, Molé and Thiers, declined the offered leadership. Odilon Barrot accepted it, and Bugeaud, commander-in-chief of the first military division, who had begun to attack the barricades, was recalled. But it was too late. In face of the insurrection which had now taken possession of the whole capital, Louis Philippe decided to abdicate in favour of his grandson, the comte de Paris. But it was too late also to be content with the regency of the duchess of Orleans. It was now the turn of the Republic, and it was proclaimed by Lamartine in the name of the provisional government elected by the Chamber under the pressure of the mob.

This provisional government with Dupont de l’Eure as its president, consisted of Lamartine for foreign affairs, Crémieux for justice, Ledru-Rollin for the interior, Carnot for public instruction, Gondchaux for finance, Arago for the navy, and Bedeau for war. Garnier-Pagès was The Provisional Government. mayor of Paris. But, as in 1830, the republican-socialist party had set up a rival government at the Hôtel de Ville, including L. Blanc, A. Marrast, Flocon, and the workman Albert, which bid fair to involve discord and civil war. But this time the Palais Bourbon was not victorious over the Hôtel de Ville. It had to consent to a fusion of the two bodies, in which, however, the predominating elements were the moderate republicans. It was doubtful what would eventually be the policy of the new government. One party, seeing that in spite of the changes in the last sixty years of all political institutions, the position of the people had not been improved, demanded a reform of society itself, the abolition of the privileged position of property, the only obstacle to equality, and as an emblem hoisted the red flag. The other party wished to maintain society on the basis of its ancient institutions, and rallied round the tricolour.

The first collision took place as to the form which the revolution of 1848 was to take. Were they to remain faithful to their original principles, as Lamartine wished, and accept the decision of the country as supreme, or were they, as the revolutionaries under Ledru-Rollin claimed, to Universal suffrage. declare the republic of Paris superior to the universal suffrage of an insufficiently educated people? On the 5th of March the government, under the pressure of the Parisian clubs, decided in favour of an immediate reference to the people, and direct universal suffrage, and adjourned it till the 26th of April. In this fateful and unexpected decision, which instead of adding to the electorate the educated classes, refused by Guizot, admitted to it the unqualified masses, originated the Constituent Assembly of the 4th of May 1848. The provisional government having resigned, the republican and anti-socialist majority on the 9th The Executive Commission. of May entrusted the supreme power to an executive commission consisting of five members: Arago, Marie, Garnier-Pagès, Lamartine and Ledru-Rollin. But the spell was already broken. This revolution which had been peacefully effected with the most generous aspirations, in the hope of abolishing poverty by organizing industry on other bases than those of competition and capitalism, and which had at once aroused the fraternal sympathy of the nations, was doomed to be abortive.

The result of the general election, the return of a constituent assembly predominantly moderate if not monarchical, dashed the hopes of those who had looked for the establishment, by a peaceful revolution, of their ideal socialist state; but they were not prepared to yield without a struggle, and in Paris itself they commanded a formidable force. In spite of the preponderance of the “tricolour” party in the provisional government, so long as the voice of France had not spoken, the socialists, supported by the Parisian proletariat, had exercised an influence on policy out of all proportion to their relative numbers or personal weight. By the decree of the 24th of February the provisional government had solemnly accepted the principle of the “right to work,” and decided to establish “national workshops” for the unemployed; at the same time a sort of industrial parliament was established at the Luxembourg, under the presidency of Louis Blanc, with the object of preparing a scheme for the organization of labour; and, lastly, by the decree of the 8th of March the property qualification for enrolment in the National Guard had been abolished and the workmen were supplied with arms. The socialists thus formed, in some sort, a state within the state, with a government, an organization and an armed force.

In the circumstances a conflict was inevitable; and on the 15th of May an armed mob, headed by Raspail, Blanqui and Barbès, and assisted by the proletariat Guard, attempted to overwhelm the Assembly. They were defeated by the bourgeois battalions of the National Guard; but the situation none the less remained highly critical. The national workshops were producing the results that might have been foreseen. It was impossible to provide remunerative work even for the genuine unemployed, and of the thousands who applied the greater number were employed in perfectly useless digging and refilling; soon even this expedient failed, and those for whom work could not be invented were given a half wage of 1 franc a day. Even this pitiful dole, with no obligation to work, proved attractive, and all over France workmen threw up their jobs and streamed to Paris, where they swelled the ranks of the army under the red flag. It was soon clear that the continuance of this experiment would mean financial ruin; it had been proved by the émeute of the 15th of May that it constituted a perpetual menace to the state; and the government decided to end it. The method chosen was scarcely a happy one. On the 21st of June M. de Falloux decided in the name of the parliamentary commission on labour that the workmen should be discharged within three days and such as were able-bodied should be forced to enlist. The June Days. A furious insurrection at once broke out. Throughout the whole of the 24th, 25th and 26th of June, the eastern industrial quarter of Paris, led by Pujol, carried on a furious struggle against the western quarter, led by Cavaignac, who had been appointed dictator. Vanquished and decimated, first by fighting and afterwards by deportation, the socialist party was crushed. But they dragged down the Republic in their ruin. This had already become unpopular with the peasants, exasperated by the new land tax of 45 centimes imposed in order to fill the empty treasury, and with the bourgeois, in terror of the power of the revolutionary clubs and hard hit by the stagnation of business. By the “massacres” of the June Days the working classes were also alienated from it; and abiding fear of the “Reds” did the rest. “France,” wrote the duke of Wellington at this time, “needs a Napoleon! I cannot yet see him . . . Where is he?”[9]

France indeed needed, or thought she needed, a Napoleon; and the demand was soon to be supplied. The granting of universal suffrage to a society with Imperialist sympathies, and unfitted to reconcile the principles of order with the consequences of liberty, was indeed The Constitution
of 1848.
bound, now that the political balance in France was so radically changed, to prove a formidable instrument of reaction; and this was proved by the election of the president of the Republic. On the 4th of November 1848 was promulgated the new constitution, obviously the work of inexperienced hands, proclaiming a democratic republic, direct universal suffrage and the separation of powers; there was to be a single permanent assembly of 750 members elected for a term of three years by the scrutin de liste, which was to vote on the laws prepared by a council of state elected by the Assembly for six years; the executive power was delegated to a president elected for four years by direct universal suffrage, i.e. on a broader basis than that of the chamber, and not eligible for re-election; he was to choose his ministers, who, like him, would be responsible. Finally, all revision was made impossible since it involved obtaining three times in succession a majority of three-quarters of the deputies in a special assembly. It was in vain that M. Grévy, in the name of those who perceived the obvious and inevitable risk of creating, under the name of a president, a monarch and more than a king, proposed that the head of the state should be no more than a removable president of the ministerial council. Lamartine, thinking that he was sure to be the choice of the electors under universal suffrage, won over the support of the Chamber, which did not even take the precaution of rendering ineligible the members of families which had reigned over France. It made the presidency an office dependent upon popular acclamation.

The election was keenly contested; the socialists adopted as their candidate Ledru-Rollin, the republicans Cavaignac; and the recently reorganized Imperialist party Prince Bonaparte. Louis Napoleon, unknown in 1835, and forgotten or despised since 1840, had in the last eight Louis Napoleon. years advanced sufficiently in the public estimation to be elected to the Constituent Assembly in 1848 by five departments. He owed this rapid increase of popularity partly to blunders of the government of July, which had unwisely aroused the memory of the country, filled as it was with recollections of the Empire, and partly to Louis Napoleon’s campaign carried on from his prison at Ham by means of pamphlets of socialistic tendencies. Moreover, the monarchists, led by Thiers and the committee of the Rue de Poitiers, were no longer content even with the safe dictatorship of the upright Cavaignac, and joined forces with the Bonapartists. On the 10th of December the peasants gave over 5,000,000 votes to a name: Napoleon, which stood for order at all costs, against 1,400,000 for Cavaignac.

For three years there went on an indecisive struggle between the heterogeneous Assembly and the prince who was silently awaiting his opportunity. He chose as his ministers men but little inclined towards republicanism, for preference Orleanists, the chief of whom was Odilon Expedition to Rome. Barrot. In order to strengthen his position, he endeavoured to conciliate the reactionary parties, without committing himself to any of them. The chief instance of this was the expedition to Rome, voted by the Catholics with the object of restoring the papacy, which had been driven out by Garibaldi and Mazzini. The prince-president was also in favour of it, as beginning the work of European renovation and reconstruction which he already looked upon as his mission. General Oudinot’s entry into Rome provoked in Paris a foolish insurrection in favour of the Roman republic, that of the Château d’Eau, which was crushed on the 13th of June 1849. On the other hand, when Pius IX., though only just restored, began to yield to the general movement of reaction, the president demanded that he should set up a Liberal government. The pope’s dilatory reply having been accepted by his ministry, the president replaced it on the 1st of November by the Fould-Rouher cabinet.

This looked like a declaration of war against the Catholic and monarchist majority in the Legislative Assembly which had been elected on the 28th of May in a moment of panic. But the prince-president again pretended to be playing the game of the Orleanists, as he had done The Legislative Assembly. in the case of the Constituent-Assembly. The complementary elections of March and April 1850 having resulted in an unexpected victory for the advanced republicans, which struck terror into the reactionary leaders, Thiers, Berryer and Montalembert, the president gave his countenance to a clerical campaign against the republicans at home. The Church, which had failed in its attempts to gain control of the university under Louis XVIII. and Charles X., aimed at setting up a rival establishment “Loi Falloux.”

Electoral law
of May 31.
of its own. The Loi Falloux of the 15th of March 1850, under the pretext of establishing the liberty of instruction promised by the charter, again placed the teaching of the university under the direction of the Catholic Church, as a measure of social safety, and, by the facilities which it granted to the Church for propagating teaching in harmony with its own dogmas, succeeded in obstructing for half a century the work of intellectual enfranchisement effected by the men of the 18th century and of the Revolution. The electoral law of the 31st of May was another class law directed against subversive ideas. It required as a proof of three years’ domicile the entries in the record of direct taxes, thus cutting down universal suffrage by taking away the vote from the industrial population, which was not as a rule stationary. The law of the 16th of July aggravated the severity of the press restrictions by re-establishing the “caution money” (cautionnement) deposited by proprietors and editors of papers with the government as a guarantee of good behaviour. Finally, a skilful interpretation of the law on clubs and political societies suppressed about this time all the Republican societies. It was now their turn to be crushed like the socialists.

But the president had only joined in Montalembert’s cry of “Down with the Republicans!” in the hope of effecting a revision of the constitution without having recourse to a coup d’état. His concessions only increased the boldness of the monarchists; while they had only Struggle between the President and the Assembly. accepted Louis Napoleon as president in opposition to the Republic and as a step in the direction of the monarchy. A conflict was now inevitable between his personal policy and the majority of the Chamber, who were, moreover, divided into legitimists and Orleanists, in spite of the death of Louis Philippe in August 1850. Louis Napoleon skilfully exploited their projects for a restoration of the monarchy, which he knew to be unpopular in the country, and which gave him the opportunity of furthering his own personal ambitions. From the 8th of August to the 12th of November 1850 he went about France stating the case for a revision of the constitution in speeches which he varied according to each place; he held reviews, at which cries of “Vive Napoléon” showed that the army was with him; he superseded General Changarnier, on whose arms the parliament relied for the projected monarchical coup d’état; he replaced his Orleanist ministry by obscure men devoted to his own cause, such as Morny, Fleury and Persigny, and gathered round him officers of the African army, broken men like General Saint-Arnaud; in fact he practically declared open war.

His reply to the votes of censure passed by the Assembly, and their refusal to increase his civil list, was to hint at a vast communistic plot in order to scare the bourgeoisie, and to denounce the electoral law of the 31st of May in order to gain the support of the mass of the people. The Assembly retaliated Coup d’État of
Dec. 2, 1851.
by throwing out the proposal for a partial reform of that article of the constitution which prohibited the re-election of the president and the re-establishment of universal suffrage (July). All hope of a peaceful issue was at an end. When the questors called upon the Chamber to have posted up in all barracks the decree of the 6th of May 1848 concerning the right of the Assembly to demand the support of the troops if attacked, the Mountain, dreading a restoration of the monarchy, voted with the Bonapartists against the measure, thus disarming the legislative power. Louis Napoleon saw his opportunity. On the night between the 1st and 2nd of December 1851, the anniversary of Austerlitz, he dissolved the Chamber, re-established universal suffrage, had all the party leaders arrested, and summoned a new assembly to prolong his term of office for ten years. The deputies who had met under Berryer at the Mairie of the tenth arrondissement to defend the constitution and proclaim the deposition of Louis Napoleon were scattered by the troops at Mazas and Mont Valérian. The resistance organized by the republicans within Paris under Victor Hugo was soon subdued by the intoxicated soldiers. The more serious resistance in the departments was crushed by declaring a state of siege and by the “mixed commissions.” The plebiscite of the 20th of December ratified by a huge majority the coup d’état in favour of the prince-president, who alone reaped the benefit of the excesses of the Republicans and the reactionary passions of the monarchists.

The second attempt to revive the principle of 1789 only served as a preface to the restoration of the Empire. The new anti-parliamentary constitution of the 14th of January 1852 was to a large extent merely a repetition of that of the year VIII. All executive power was entrusted The Second Empire. to the head of the state, who was solely responsible to the people, now powerless to exercise any of their rights. He was to nominate the members of the council of state, whose duty it was to prepare the laws, and of the senate, a body permanently established as a constituent part of the empire. One innovation was made, namely, that the Legislative Body was elected by universal suffrage, but it had no right of initiative, all laws being proposed by the executive power. This new and violent political change was rapidly followed by the same consequence as had attended that of Brumaire. On the 2nd of December 1852, France, still under the effect of the Napoleonic virus, and the fear of anarchy, conferred almost unanimously by a plebiscite the supreme power, with the title of emperor, upon Napoleon III.

But though the machinery of government was almost the same under the Second Empire as it had been under the First, the principles upon which its founder based it were different. The function of the Empire, as he loved to repeat, was to guide the people internally towards justice and externally towards perpetual peace. Holding his power by universal suffrage, and having frequently, from his prison or in exile, reproached former oligarchical governments with neglecting social questions, he set out to solve them by organizing a system of government based on the principles of the “Napoleonic Idea,” i.e. of the emperor, the elect of the people as the representative of the democracy, and as such supreme; and of himself, the representative of the great Napoleon, “who had sprung armed from the Revolution like Minerva from the head of Jove,” as the guardian of the social gains of the revolutionary epoch. But he soon proved that social justice did not mean liberty; for he acted in such a way that those of the principles of 1848 which he had preserved became a mere sham. He proceeded to paralyze all those active national forces which tend to create the public spirit of a people, such as parliament, universal suffrage, the press, education and associations. The Legislative Body was not allowed either to elect its own president or to regulate its own procedure, or to propose a law or an amendment, or to vote on the budget in detail, or to make its deliberations public. It was a dumb parliament. Similarly, universal suffrage was supervised and controlled by means of official candidature, by forbidding free speech and action in electoral matters to the Opposition, and by a skilful adjustment of the electoral districts in such a way as to overwhelm the Liberal vote in the mass of the rural population. The press was subjected to a system of cautionnements, i.e. “caution money,” deposited as a guarantee of good behaviour, and avertissements, i.e. requests by the authorities to cease publication of certain articles, under pain of suspension or suppression; while books were subject to a censorship. France was like a sickroom, where nobody might speak aloud. In order to counteract the opposition of individuals, a surveillance of suspects was instituted. Orsini’s attack on the emperor in 1858, though purely Italian in its motive, served as a pretext for increasing the severity of this régime by the law of general security (sûreté générale) which authorized the internment, exile or deportation of any suspect without trial. In the same way public instruction was strictly supervised, the teaching of philosophy was suppressed in the Lycées, and the disciplinary powers of the administration were increased. In fact for seven years France had no political life. The Empire was carried on by a series of plebiscites. Up to 1857 the Opposition did not exist; from then till 1860 it was reduced to five members: Darimon, Émile Ollivier, Hénon, J. Favre and E. Picard. The royalists waited inactive after the new and unsuccessful attempt made at Frohsdorf in 1853, by a combination of the legitimists and Orleanists, to re-create a living monarchy out of the ruin of two royal families. Thus the events of that ominous night in December were closing the future to the new generations as well as to those who had grown up during forty years of liberty.

But it was not enough to abolish liberty by conjuring up the spectre of demagogy. It had to be forgotten, the great silence had to be covered by the noise of festivities and material enjoyment, the imagination of the French people had to be distracted from public affairs by the taste for Material prosperity
a condition of despotism.
work, the love of gain, the passion for good living. The success of the imperial despotism, as of any other, was bound up with that material prosperity which would make all interests dread the thought of revolution. Napoleon III., therefore, looked for support to the clergy, the great financiers, industrial magnates and landed proprietors. He revived on his own account the “Let us grow rich” of 1840. Under the influence of the Saint-Simonians and men of business great credit establishments were instituted and vast public works entered upon: the Crédit foncier de France, the Crédit mobilier, the conversion of the railways into six great companies between 1852 and 1857. The rage for speculation was increased by the inflow of Californian and Australian gold, and consumption was facilitated by a general fall in prices between 1856 and 1860, due to an economic revolution which was soon to overthrow the tariff wall, as it had done already in England. Thus French activity flourished exceedingly between 1852 and 1857, and was merely temporarily checked by the crisis of 1857. The universal Exhibition of 1855 was its culminating point. Art felt the effects of this increase of comfort and luxury. The great enthusiasms of the romantic period were over; philosophy became sceptical and literature merely amusing. The festivities of the court at Compiègne set the fashion for the bourgeoisie, satisfied with this energetic government which kept such good guard over their bank balances.

If the Empire was strong, the emperor was weak. At once headstrong and a dreamer, he was full of rash plans, but irresolute in carrying them out. An absolute despot, he remained what his life had made him, a conspirator through the very mysticism of his mental habit, and a revolutionary by reason of his demagogic Napoleon III.’s ideas. imperialism and his democratic chauvinism. In his opinion the artificial work of the congress of Vienna, involving the downfall of his own family and of France, ought to be destroyed, and Europe organized as a collection of great industrial states, united by community. of interests and bound together by commercial treaties, and expressing this unity by periodical congresses presided over by himself, and by universal exhibitions. In this way he would reconcile the revolutionary principle of the supremacy of the people with historical tradition, a thing which neither the Restoration nor the July monarchy nor the Republic of 1848 had been able to achieve. Universal suffrage, the organization of Rumanian, Italian and German nationality, and commercial liberty; this was to be the work of the Revolution. But the creation of great states side by side with France brought with it the necessity for looking for territorial compensation elsewhere, and consequently for violating the principle of nationality and abjuring his system of economic peace. Napoleon III.’s foreign policy was as contradictory as his policy in home affairs, “L’Empire, c’est la paix,” was his cry; and he proceeded to make war.

So long as his power was not yet established, Napoleon III. made especial efforts to reassure European opinion, which had been made uneasy by his previous protestations against the treaties of 1815. The Crimean War, in which, supported by England and the king of Sardinia, The Crimean War. he upheld against Russia the policy of the integrity of the Turkish empire, a policy traditional in France since Francis I., won him the adherence both of the old parties and and the Liberals. And this war was the prototype of all the rest. It was entered upon with no clearly defined military purpose, and continued in a hesitating way. This was the cause, after the victory of the allies at the Alma (September 14, 1854), of the long and costly siege of Sevastopol (September 8, 1855). Napoleon III., whose joy was at its height owing to the signature of a peace which excluded Russia from the Black Sea, and to the birth of the prince imperial, which ensured the continuation of his dynasty, thought that the time had arrived to make a beginning in applying his system. Count Walewski, his minister for foreign affairs, gave a sudden and unexpected extension of scope to the deliberations of the congress which met at Paris in 1856 by inviting the plenipotentiaries to consider the questions of Greece, Rome, Naples, &c. This motion contained the principle of all the upheavals which were to effect such changes in Europe between 1859 and 1871. It was Cavour and Piedmont who immediately benefited by it, for thanks to Napoleon III. they were able to lay the Italian question before an assembly of diplomatic Europe.

It was not Orsini’s attack on the 14th of January 1858 which brought this question before Napoleon. It had never ceased to occupy him since he had taken part in the patriotic conspiracies in Italy in his youth. The triumph of his armies in the East now gave him the power necessary The War in Italy. to accomplish this mission upon which he had set his heart. The suppression of public opinion made it impossible for him to be enlightened as to the conflict between the interests of the country and his own generous visions. The sympathy of all Europe was with Italy, torn for centuries past between so many masters; under Alexander II. Russia, won over since the interview of Stuttgart by the emperor’s generosity rather than conquered by armed force, offered no opposition to this act of justice; while England applauded it from the first. The emperor, divided between the empress Eugénie, who as a Spaniard and a devout Catholic was hostile to anything which might threaten the papacy, and Prince Napoleon, who as brother-in-law of Victor Emmanuel favoured the cause of Piedmont, hoped to conciliate both sides by setting up an Italian federation, intending to reserve the presidency of it to Pope Pius IX., as a mark of respect to the moral authority of the Church. Moreover, the very difficulty of the undertaking appealed to the emperor, elated by his recent success in the Crimea. At the secret meeting between Napoleon and Count Cavour (July 20, 1858) the eventual armed intervention of France, demanded by Orsini before he mounted the scaffold, was definitely promised.

The ill-advised Austrian ultimatum demanding the immediate cessation of Piedmont’s preparations for war precipitated the Italian expedition. On the 3rd of May 1859 Napoleon declared his intention of making Italy “free from the Alps to the Adriatic.” As he had done four years ago, The peace of Villafranca. he plunged into the war with no settled scheme and without preparation; he held out great hopes, but without reckoning what efforts would be necessary to realize them. Two months later, in spite of the victories of Montebello, Magenta and Solferino, he suddenly broke off, and signed the patched-up peace of Villafranca with Francis Joseph (July 9). Austria ceded Lombardy to Napoleon III., who in turn ceded it to Victor Emmanuel; Modena and Tuscany were restored to their respective dukes, the Romagna to the pope, now president of an Italian federation. The mountain had brought forth a mouse.

The reasons for this breakdown on the part of the emperor in the midst of his apparent triumph were many. Neither Magenta nor Solferino had been decisive battles. Further, his idea of a federation was menaced by the revolutionary movement which seemed likely to drive The Italian problem. out all the princes of central Italy, and to involve him in an unwelcome dispute with the French clerical party. Moreover, he had forgotten to reckon with the Germanic Confederation, which was bound to come to the assistance of Austria. The mobilization of Prussia on the Rhine, combined with military difficulties and the risk of a defeat in Venetian territory, rather damped his enthusiasm, and decided him to put an end to the war. The armistice fell upon the Italians as a bolt from the blue, convincing them that they had been betrayed; on all sides despair drove them to sacrifice their jealously guarded independence to national unity. On the one hand the Catholics were agitating throughout all Europe to obtain the independence of the papal territory; and the French republicans were protesting, on the other hand, against the abandonment of those revolutionary traditions, the revival of which they had hailed so enthusiastically. The emperor, unprepared for the turn which events had taken, attempted to disentangle this confusion by suggesting a fresh congress of the Powers, which should reconcile dynastic interests with those of the people. After a while he gave up the attempt and resigned himself to the position, his actions having had more wide-reaching results than he had wished. The treaty of Zürich proclaimed the fallacious principle of non-intervention (November 10, 1859); and then, by the treaty of Turin of the 24th of May 1860, Napoleon threw over his ill-timed confederation. He conciliated the mistrust of Great Britain by replacing Walewski, who was hostile to his policy, by Thouvenel, an anti-clerical and a supporter of the English alliance, and he counterbalanced the increase of the new Italian kingdom by the acquisition of Nice and Savoy. Napoleon, like all French governments, only succeeded in finding a provisional solution for the Italian problem.

But this solution would only hold good so long as the emperor was in a powerful position. Now this Italian war, in which he had given his support to revolution beyond the Alps, and, though unintentionally, compromised the temporal power of the popes, had given great offence to the Catholic and protectionist opposition. Catholics, to whose support the establishment of the Empire was largely due. A keen Catholic opposition sprang up, voiced in L. Veuillot’s paper the Univers, and was not silenced even by the Syrian expedition (1860) in favour of the Catholic Maronites, who were being persecuted by the Druses. On the other hand, the commercial treaty with Great Britain which was signed in January 1860, and which ratified the free-trade policy of Richard Cobden and Michael Chevalier, had brought upon French industry the sudden shock of foreign competition. Thus both Catholics and protectionists made the discovery that absolutism may be an excellent thing when it serves their ambitions or interests, but a bad thing when it is exercised at their expense. But Napoleon, in order to restore the prestige of the Empire before the newly-awakened hostility of public opinion, tried to gain from the Left the support which he had lost from the Right. After the return from Italy the general amnesty of the 16th of August 1859 had marked the evolution of the absolutist empire towards the liberal, and later parliamentary empire, which was to last for ten years.

Napoleon began by removing the gag which was keeping the country in silence. On the 24th of November 1860, “by a coup d’état matured during his solitary meditations,” like a conspirator in his love of hiding his mysterious thoughts even from his ministers, he granted to the The Liberal Empire. Chambers the right to vote an address annually in answer to the speech from the throne, and to the press the right of reporting parliamentary debates. He counted on the latter concession to hold in check the growing Catholic opposition, which was becoming more and more alarmed by the policy of laissez-faire practised by the emperor in Italy. But the government majority already showed some signs of independence. The right of voting on the budget by sections, granted by the emperor in 1861, was a new weapon given to his adversaries. Everything conspired in their favour: the anxiety of those candid friends who were calling attention to the defective budget; the commercial crisis, aggravated by the American Civil War; and above all, the restless spirit of the emperor, who had annoyed his opponents in 1860 by insisting on an alliance with Great Britain in order forcibly to open the Chinese ports for trade, in 1863 by his ill-fated attempt to put down a republic and set up a Latin empire in Mexico in favour of the archduke Maximilian of Austria, and from 1861 to 1863 by embarking on colonizing experiments in Cochin China and Annam.

The same inconsistencies occurred in the emperor’s European politics. The support which he had given to the Italian cause had aroused the eager hopes of other nations. The proclamation of the kingdom of Italy on the 18th of February 1861 after the rapid annexation of Tuscany The policy of nationalism. and the kingdom of Naples had proved the danger of half-measures. But when a concession, however narrow, had been made to the liberty of one nation, it could hardly be refused to the no less legitimate aspirations of the rest. In 1863 these “new rights” again clamoured loudly for recognition, in Poland, in Schleswig and Holstein, in Italy, now indeed united, but with neither frontiers nor capital, and in the Danubian principalities. In order to extricate himself from the Polish impasse, the emperor again had recourse to his expedient—always fruitless because always inopportune—of a congress. He was again unsuccessful: England refused even to admit the principle of a congress, while Austria, Prussia and Russia gave their adhesion only on conditions which rendered it futile, i.e. they reserved the vital questions of Venetia and Poland.

Thus Napoleon had yet again to disappoint the hopes of Italy, let Poland be crushed, and Germany triumph over Denmark in the Schleswig-Holstein question. These inconsistencies resulted in a combination of the opposition parties, Catholic, Liberal and Republican, in the Union libérale. The elections of May-June 1863 gained the Opposition forty seats and a leader, Thiers, who at once urgently gave voice to its demand for “the necessary liberties.”

It would have been difficult for the emperor to mistake the importance of this manifestation of French opinion, and in view of his international failures, impossible to repress it. The sacrifice of Persigny, minister of the interior, who was responsible for the elections, the substitution The régime of concessions. for the ministers without portfolio of a sort of presidency of the council filled by Rouher, the “Vice-Emperor,” and the nomination of V. Duruy, an anti-clerical, as minister of public instruction, in reply to those attacks of the Church which were to culminate in the Syllabus of 1864, all indicated a distinct rapprochement between the emperor and the Left. But though the opposition represented by Thiers was rather constitutional than dynastic, there was another and irreconcilable opposition, that of the amnestied or voluntarily exiled republicans, of whom Victor Hugo was the eloquent mouthpiece. Thus those who had formerly constituted the governing classes were again showing signs of their ambition to govern. There appeared to be some risk that this movement among the bourgeoisie might spread to the people. As Antaeus recruited his strength by touching the earth Napoleon believed that he would consolidate his menaced power by again turning to the labouring masses, by whom that power had been established.

This industrial policy he embarked upon as much from motives of interest as from sympathy, out of opposition to the bourgeoisie, which was ambitious of governing or desirous of his overthrow. His course was all the easier, since he had only to exploit the prejudices of the working classes. Industrial policy
of the Empire.
They had never forgotten the loi Chapelle of 1791, which by forbidding all combinations among the workmen had placed them at the mercy of their employers, nor had they forgotten how the limited suffrage had conferred upon capital a political monopoly which had put it out of reach of the law, nor how each time they had left their position of rigid isolation in order to save the Charter or universal suffrage, the triumphant bourgeoisie had repaid them at the last with neglect. The silence of public opinion under the Empire and the prosperous state of business had completed the separation of the labour party from the political parties. The visit of an elected and paid labour delegation to the Universal Exhibition of 1862 in London gave the emperor an opportunity for re-establishing relations with that party, and these relations were to his mind all the more profitable, since the labour party, by refusing to associate their social and industrial claims with the political ambitions of the bourgeoisie, maintained a neutral attitude between the parties, and could, if necessary, divide them, while by its keen criticism of society it aroused the conservative instincts of the bourgeoisie and consequently checked their enthusiasm for liberty. A law of the 23rd of May 1863 gave the workmen the right, as in England, to save money by creating co-operative societies. Another law, of the 25th of May 1864, gave them the right to enforce better conditions of labour by organizing strikes. Still further, the emperor permitted the workmen to imitate their employers by establishing unions for the permanent protection of their interests. And finally, when the ouvriers, with the characteristic French tendency to insist on the universal application of a theory, wished to substitute for the narrow utilitarianism of the English trade-unions the ideas common to the wage-earning classes of the whole world, he put no obstacles in the way of their leader M. Tolain’s plan for founding an International Association of Workers (Société Internationale des Travailleurs). At the same time he encouraged the provision made by employers for thrift and relief and for improving the condition of the working-classes.

Thus assured of support, the emperor, through the mouthpiece of M. Rouher, who was a supporter of the absolutist régime, was able to refuse all fresh claims on the part of the Liberals. He was aided by the cessation of the industrial crisis as the American civil war came to an Sadowa (1866). end, by the apparent closing of the Roman question by the convention of the 15th of September, which guaranteed to the papal states the protection of Italy, and finally by the treaty of the 30th of October 1864, which temporarily put an end to the crisis of the Schleswig-Holstein question. But after 1865 the momentary agreement which had united Austria and Prussia for the purpose of administering the conquered duchies gave place to a silent antipathy which foreboded a rupture. Yet, though the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 was not unexpected, its rapid termination and fateful outcome came as a severe and sudden shock to France. Napoleon had hoped to gain fresh prestige for his throne and new influence for France by an intervention at the proper moment between combatants equally matched and mutually exhausted. His calculations were upset and his hopes dashed by the battle of Sadowa (Königgrätz) on the 4th of July. The treaty of Prague put an end to the secular rivalry of Habsburg and Hohenzollern for the hegemony of Germany, which had been France’s opportunity; and Prussia could afford to humour the just claims of Napoleon by establishing between her North German Confederation and the South German states the illusory frontier of the Main. The belated efforts of the French emperor to obtain “compensation” on the left bank of the Rhine, at the expense of the South German states, made matters worse. France realized with an angry surprise that on her eastern frontier had arisen a military power by which her influence, if not her existence, was threatened; that in the name of the principle of nationality unwilling populations had been brought under the sway of a dynasty by tradition militant and aggressive, by tradition the enemy of France; that this new and threatening power had destroyed French influence in Italy, which owed the acquisition of Venetia to a Prussian alliance and to Prussian arms; and that all this had been due to Napoleon, outwitted and outmanœuvred at every turn, since his first interview with Bismarck at Biarritz in October 1865.

All confidence in the excellence of imperial régime vanished at once. Thiers and Jules Favre as representatives of the Opposition denounced in the Legislative Body the blunders of 1866. Émile Ollivier split up the official majority by the amendment of the 45, and gave it to Further concessions of Napoleon III.

Struggle between Ollivier and Rouher.
be understood that a reconciliation with the Empire would be impossible until the emperor would grant entire liberty. The recall of the French troops from Rome, in accordance with the convention of 1864, also led to further attacks by the Ultramontane party, who were alarmed for the papacy. Napoleon III. felt the necessity for developing “the great act of 1860” by the decree of the 19th of January 1867. In spite of Rouher, by a secret agreement with Ollivier the right of interpellation was restored to the Chambers. Reforms in press supervision and the right of holding meetings were promised. It was in vain that M. Rouher tried to meet the Liberal opposition by organizing a party for the defence of the Empire, the “Union dynastique.” But the rapid succession of international reverses prevented him from effecting anything.

The year 1867 was particularly disastrous for the Empire. In Mexico “the greatest idea of the reign” ended in a humiliating withdrawal before the ultimatum of the United States, while Italy, relying on her new alliance with Prussia and already forgetful of her promises, was mobilizing The year 1867. the revolutionary forces to complete her unity by conquering Rome. The chassepots of Mentana were needed to check the Garibaldians. And when the imperial diplomacy made a belated attempt to obtain from the victorious Bismarck those territorial compensations on the Rhine, in Belgium and in Luxemburg, which it ought to have been possible to exact from him earlier at Biarritz, Benedetti added to the mistake of asking at the wrong time the humiliation of obtaining nothing (see Luxemburg). Napoleon did not dare to take courage and confess his weakness. And finally was seen the strange contrast of France, though reduced to such a state of real weakness, courting the mockery of Europe by a display of the external magnificence which concealed her decline. In the Paris transformed by Baron Haussmann and now become almost exclusively a city of pleasure and frivolity, the opening of the Universal Exhibition was marked by Berezowski’s attack on the tsar Alexander II., and its success was clouded by the tragic fate of the unhappy emperor Maximilian of Mexico. Well might Thiers exclaim, “There are no blunders left for us to make.”

But the emperor managed to commit still more, of which the consequences both for his dynasty and for France were irreparable. Old, infirm and embittered, continually keeping his ministers in suspense by the uncertainty and secrecy of his plans, surrounded by a people now bent Peace or war. almost entirely on pleasure, and urged on by a growing opposition, there now remained but two courses open to Napoleon III.: either to arrange a peace which should last, or to prepare for a decisive war. He allowed himself to drift in the direction of war, but without bringing things to a necessary state of preparation. It was in vain that Count Beust revived on behalf of the Austrian government the project abandoned by Napoleon since 1866 of a settlement on the basis of the status quo with reciprocal disarmament. Napoleon refused, on hearing from Colonel Stoffel, his military attaché at Berlin, that Prussia would not agree to disarmament. But he was more anxious than he was willing to show. A reconstitution of the military organization seemed to him to be necessary. This Marshal Niel was unable to obtain either from the Bonapartist Opposition, who feared the electors, in whom the old patriotism had given place to the commercial or cosmopolitan spirit, or from the Republican opposition, who were unwilling to strengthen the despotism. Both of them were blinded by party interest to the danger from outside.

The emperor’s good fortune had departed; he was abandoned by men and disappointed by events. He had vainly hoped that, though by the laws of May-June 1868, granting the freedom of the press and authorizing meetings, he had conceded the right of speech, he would retain the right of Action of the revolutionaries. action; but he had played into the hands of his enemies. Victor Hugo’s Châtiments, the insults of Rochefort’s Lanterne, the subscription for the monument to Baudin, the deputy killed at the barricades in 1851, followed by Gambetta’s terrible speech against the Empire on the occasion of the trial of Delescluze, soon showed that the republican party was irreconcilable, and bent on the Republic. On the other hand, the Ultramontane party were becoming more and more discontented, while the industries formerly protected were equally dissatisfied with the free-trade reform. Worse still, the working classes had abandoned their political neutrality, which had brought them nothing but unpopularity, and gone over to the enemy. Despising Proudhon’s impassioned attacks on the slavery of communism, they had gradually been won over by the collectivist theories of Karl Marx or the revolutionary theories of Bakounine, as set forth at the congresses of the International. At these Labour congresses, the fame of which was only increased by the fact that they were forbidden, it had been affirmed that the social emancipation of the worker was inseparable from his political emancipation. Henceforth the union between the internationalists and the republican bourgeois was an accomplished fact. The Empire, taken by surprise, sought to curb both the middle classes and the labouring classes, and forced them both into revolutionary actions. On every side took place strikes, forming as it were a review of the effective forces of the Revolution.

The elections of May 1869, made during these disturbances, inflicted upon the Empire a serious moral defeat. In spite of the revival by the government of the cry of the red terror, Ollivier, the advocate of conciliation, was rejected by Paris, while 40 irreconcilables and 116 The parliamentary Empire. members of the Third Party were elected. Concessions had to be made to these, so by the senatus-consulte of the 8th of September 1869 a parliamentary monarchy was substituted for personal government. On the 2nd of January 1870 Ollivier was placed at the head of the first homogeneous, united and responsible ministry. But the republican party, unlike the country, which hailed this reconciliation of liberty and order, refused to be content with the liberties they had won; they refused all compromise, declaring themselves more than ever decided upon the overthrow of the Empire. The murder of the journalist Victor Noir by Pierre Bonaparte, a member of the imperial family, gave the revolutionaries their long desired opportunity (January 10). But the émeute ended in a failure, and the emperor was able to answer the personal threats against him by the overwhelming victory of the plebiscite of the 8th of May 1870.

But this success, which should have consolidated the Empire, determined its downfall. It was thought that a diplomatic success should complete it, and make the country forget liberty for glory. It was in vain that after the parliamentary revolution of the 2nd of January that The Franco-
German War.
prudent statesman Comte Daru revived, through Lord Clarendon, Count Beust’s plan of disarmament after Sadowa. He met with a refusal from Prussia and from the imperial entourage. The Empress Eugénie was credited with the remark, “If there is no war, my son will never be emperor.” The desired pretext was offered on the 3rd of July 1870 by the candidature of a Hohenzollern prince for the throne of Spain. To the French people it seemed that Prussia, The Hohenzollern candidature. barely mistress of Germany, was reviving against France the traditional policy of the Habsburgs. France, having rejected for dynastic reasons the candidature of a Frenchman, the duc de Montpensier, saw herself threatened with a German prince. Never had the emperor, now both physically and morally ill, greater need of the counsels of a clear-headed statesman and the support of an enlightened public opinion if he was to defeat the statecraft of Bismarck. But he could find neither.

Ollivier’s Liberal ministry, wishing to show itself as jealous for national interests as any absolutist ministry, bent upon doing something great, and swept away by the force of that opinion which it had itself set free, at once accepted the war as inevitable, and prepared for it The declaration
of war.
with a light heart.[10] In face of the decided declaration of the duc de Gramont, the minister for foreign affairs, before the Legislative Body of the 6th of July, Europe, in alarm, supported the efforts of French diplomacy and obtained the withdrawal of the Hohenzollern candidature. This did not suit the views either of the war party in Paris or of Bismarck, who wanted the other side to declare war. The ill-advised action of Gramont in demanding from King William one of those promises for the future which are humiliating but never binding, gave Bismarck his opportunity, and the king’s refusal was transformed by him into an insult by the “editing” of the Ems telegram. The chamber, in spite of the desperate efforts of Thiers and Gambetta, now voted by 246 votes to 10 in favour of the war.

France found herself isolated, as much through the duplicity of Napoleon as through that of Bismarck. The disclosure to the diets of Munich and Stuttgart of the written text of the claims laid by Napoleon on the territories of Hesse and Bavaria had since the 22nd of August 1866 France isolated. estranged southern Germany from France, and disposed the southern states to sign the military convention with Prussia. Owing to a similar series of blunders, the rest of Europe had become hostile. Russia, which it had been Bismarck’s study both during and after the Polish insurrection of 1863 to draw closer to Prussia, learnt with annoyance, by the same indiscretion, how Napoleon was keeping his promises made at Stuttgart. The hope of gaining a revenge in the East for her defeat of 1856 while France was in difficulties made her decide on a benevolent neutrality. The disclosure of Benedetti’s designs of 1867 on Belgium and Luxemburg equally ensured an unfriendly neutrality on the part of Great Britain. The emperor counted at least on the alliance of Austria and Italy, for which he had been negotiating since the Salzburg interview (August 1867). But Austria, having suffered at his hands in 1859 and 1866, was not ready and asked for a delay before joining in the war; while the hesitating friendships of Italy could only be won by the evacuation of Rome. The chassepots of Mentana, Rouher’s “Never,” and the hostility of the Catholic empress to any secret article which should open to Italy the gates of the capital, deprived France of her last friend.

Marshal Leboeuf’s armies were no more effective than Gramont’s alliances. The incapacity of the higher officers of the French army, the lack of preparation for war at headquarters, the selfishness and shirking of responsibility on the part of the field officers, the absence of any Sedan.
Fall of the Empire.
fixed plan when failure to mobilize had destroyed all chance of the strong offensive which had been counted on, and the folly of depending on chance, as the emperor had so often done successfully, instead of scientific warfare, were all plainly to be seen as early as the insignificant engagement of Saarbrücken. Thus the French army proceeded by disastrous stages from Weissenburg, Forbach, Froeschweiler, Borny, Gravelotte, Noisseville and Saint-Privat to the siege of Metz and the slaughter at Illy. By the capitulation of Sedan the Empire lost its only support, the army, and fell. Paris was left unprotected and emptied of troops, with only a woman at the Tuileries, a terrified Assembly at the Palais-Bourbon, a ministry, that of Palikao, without authority, and leaders of the Opposition who fled as the catastrophe approached.  (P. W.) 

The Third Republic 1870–1909

The Third Republic may be said to date from the revolution of the 4th of September 1870, when the republican deputies of Paris at the hôtel de ville constituted a provisional government under the presidency of General Trochu, military governor of the capital. The Empire had Government of National Defence, 1870. fallen, and the emperor was a prisoner in Germany. As, however, since the great Revolution régimes in France have been only passing expedients, not inextricably associated with the destinies of the people, but bound to disappear when accounted responsible for national disaster, the surrender of Louis Napoleon’s sword to William of Prussia did not disarm the country. Hostilities were therefore continued. The provisional government had to assume the part of a Committee of National Defence, and while insurrection was threatening in Paris, it had, in the face of the invading Germans, to send a delegation to Tours to maintain the relations of France with the outside world. Paris was invested, and for five months endured siege, bombardment and famine. Before the end of October the capitulation of Metz, by the treason of Marshal Bazaine, deprived France of the last relic of its regular army. With indomitable courage the garrison of Paris made useless sorties, while an army of irregular troops vainly essayed to resist the invader, who had reached the valley of the Loire. The acting Government of National Defence, thus driven from Tours, took refuge at Bordeaux, where it awaited the capitulation of Paris, which took place on the 29th of January 1871. The same day the preliminaries of peace were signed at Versailles, which, confirmed by the treaty of Frankfort of the 10th of May, transferred from France to Germany the whole of Alsace, excepting Belfort, and a large portion of Lorraine, including Metz, with a money indemnity of two hundred millions sterling.

On the 13th of February 1871 the National Assembly, elected after the capitulation of Paris, met at Bordeaux and assumed the powers hitherto exercised by the Government of National Defence. Since the meeting of the states-general Foundation of the Third Republic, 1871. in 1789 no representative body in France had ever contained so many men of distinction. Elected to conclude a peace, the great majority of its members were monarchists, Gambetta, the rising hope of the republicans, having discredited his party in the eyes of the weary population by his efforts to carry on the war. The Assembly might thus have there and then restored the monarchy had not the monarchists been divided among themselves as royalist supporters of the comte de Chambord, grandson of Charles X., and as Orleanists favouring the claims of the comte de Paris, grandson of Louis Philippe. The majority being unable to unite on the essential point of the choice of a sovereign, decided to allow the Republic, declared on the morrow of Sedan, to liquidate the disastrous situation. Consequently, on the 17th of February the National Assembly elected Thiers as “Chief of the Executive Power of the French Republic,” the abolition of the Empire being formally voted a fortnight later. The old minister of Louis Philippe, who had led the opposition to the Empire, and had been the chief opponent of the war, was further marked out for the position conferred on him by his election to the Assembly in twenty-six departments in recognition of his tour through Europe after the first defeats, undertaken in the patriotic hope of obtaining the intervention of the Powers on behalf of France. Thiers composed a ministry, and announced that the first duty of the government before examining constitutional questions, would be to reorganize the forces of the nation in order to provide for the enormous war indemnity which had to be paid to Germany before the territory could be liberated from the presence of the invader. The tacit acceptance of this arrangement by all parties was known as the “pacte de Bordeaux.” Apart from the pressure of patriotic considerations, it pleased the republican minority to have the government of France officially proclaimed a Republic, while the monarchists thought that pending their choice Of a monarch it might popularize their cause not to have it associated with the imposition of the burden of war taxation. From this fortuitous and informal transaction, accepted by a monarchical Assembly, sprang the Third Republic, the most durable régime established in France since the ancient monarchy disappeared in 1792.

The Germans marched down the Champs Elysées on the 1st of March 1871, and occupied Paris for forty-eight hours. The National Assembly then decided to remove its sittings to Versailles; but two days before its arrival at the palace, where the king of Prussia had just been The Commune. proclaimed German emperor, an insurrection broke out in Paris. The revolutionary element, which had been foremost in proclaiming the Republic on the 4th of September, had shown signs of disaffection during the siege. On the conclusion of the peace the triumphal entry of the German troops, the threatened disbanding of the national guard by an Assembly known to be anti-republican, and the resumption of orderly civic existence after the agitated life of a suffering population isolated by siege, had excited the nerves of the Parisians, always prone to revolution. The Commune was proclaimed on the 18th of March, and Paris was declared to be a free town, which recognized no government but that chosen by the people within its walls, the communard theory being that the state should consist of a federation of self-governing communes subject to no central power. Administrative autonomy was not, however, the real aim of the insurgent leaders. The name of the Commune had always been a rallying sign for violent revolutionaries ever since the Terrorists had found their last support in the municipality of Paris in 1794. In 1871 among the communard chiefs were revolutionaries of every sect, who, disagreeing on governmental and economic principles, were united in their vague but perpetual hostility to the existing order of things. The regular troops of the garrison of Paris followed the National Assembly to Versailles, where they were joined by the soldiers of the armies of Sedan and Metz, liberated from captivity in Germany. With this force the government of the Republic commenced the second siege of Paris, in order to capture the city from the Commune, which had established the parody of a government there, having taken possession of the administrative departments and set a minister at the head of each office. The second siege lasted six weeks under the eyes of the victorious Germans encamped on the heights overlooking the capital. The presence of the enemy, far from restraining the humiliating spectacle of Frenchmen waging war on Frenchmen in the hour of national disaster, seemed to encourage the fury of the combatants. The communards, who had begun their reign by the murder of two generals, concluded it, when the Versailles troops were taking the city, with the massacre of a number of eminent citizens, including the archbishop of Paris, and with the destruction by fire of many of the finest historical buildings, including the palace of the Tuileries and the hôtel de ville. History has rarely known a more unpatriotic crime than that of the insurrection of the Commune; but the punishment inflicted on the insurgents by the Versailles troops was so ruthless that it seemed to be a counter-manifestation of French hatred for Frenchmen in civil disturbance rather than a judicial penalty applied to a heinous offence. The number of Parisians killed by French soldiers in the last week of May 1871 was probably 20,000, though the partisans of the Commune declared that 36,000 men and women were shot in the streets or after summary court-martial.

It is from this point that the history of the Third Republic commences. In spite of the doubly tragic ending of the war the vitality of the country seemed unimpaired. With ease and without murmur it supported the new burden of taxation called for by the war indemnity and by the reorganization Republicans and Monarchists after the war. of the shattered forces of France. Thiers was thus aided in his task of liberating the territory from the presence of the enemy. His proposal at Bordeaux to make the “essai loyal” of the Republic, as the form of government which caused the least division among Frenchmen, was discouraged by the excesses of the Commune which associated republicanism with revolutionary disorder. Nevertheless, the monarchists of the National Assembly received a note of warning that the country might dispense with their services unless they displayed governmental capacity, when in July 1871 the republican minority was largely increased at the bye-elections. The next month, within a year of Sedan, a provisional constitution was voted, the title of president of the French Republic being then conferred on Thiers. The monarchists consented to this against their will; but they had their own way when they conferred constituent powers on the Assembly in opposition to the republicans, who argued that it was a usurpation of the sovereignty of the people for a body elected for another purpose to assume the power of giving a constitution to the land without a special mandate from the nation. The debate gave Gambetta his first opportunity of appearing as a serious politician. The “fou furieux” of Tours, whom Thiers had denounced for his efforts to prolong the hopeless war, was about to become the chief support of the aged Orleanist statesman whose supreme achievement was to be the foundation of the Republic.

It was in 1872 that Thiers practically ranged himself with Gambetta and the republicans. The divisions in the monarchical party made an immediate restoration impossible. This situation induced some of the moderate deputies, whose tendencies were Orleanist, to support the 1872: Thiers and Gambetta. organization of a Republic which now no longer found its chief support in the revolutionary section of the nation, and it suited the ideas of Thiers, whose personal ambition was not less than his undoubted patriotism. Having become unexpectedly chief of the state at seventy-four he had no wish to descend again to the position of a minister of the Orleans dynasty which he had held at thirty-five. So, while the royalists refused to admit the claims of the comte de Paris, the old minister of Louis Philippe did his best to undermine the popularity of the Orleans tradition, which had been great among the Liberals under the Second Empire. He moved the Assembly to restore to the Orleans princes the value of their property confiscated under Louis Napoleon. This he did in the well-founded belief that the family would discredit itself in the eyes of the nation by accepting two millions sterling of public money at a moment when the country was burdened with the war indemnity. The incident was characteristic of his wary policy, as in the face of the anti-republican majority in the Assembly he could not openly break with the Right; and when it was suggested that he was too favourable to the maintenance of the Republic he offered his resignation, the refusal of which he took as indicating the indispensable nature of his services. Meanwhile Gambetta, by his popular eloquence, had won for himself in the autumn a triumphal progress, in the course of which he declared at Grenoble that political power had passed into the hands of “une couche sociale nouvelle,” and he appealed to the new social strata to put an end to the comedy of a Republic without republicans. When the Assembly resumed its sittings, order having been restored in the land disturbed by war and revolution, the financial system being reconstituted and the reorganization of the army planned, Thiers read to the house a presidential message which marked such a distinct movement towards the Left that Gambetta led the applause. “The Republic exists,” said the president, “it is the lawful government of the country, and to devise anything else is to devise the most terrible of revolutions.”

The year 1873 was full of events fateful for the history of France. It opened with the death of Napoleon III. at Chislehurst; but the disasters amid which the Second Empire had ended were too recent for the youthful promise of his heir to be regarded as having any connexion with the future fortunes of France, except by the small group of Bonapartists. Thiers remained the centre of interest. Much as the monarchists disliked him, they at first shrank from upsetting him before they were ready with a scheme of monarchical restoration, and while Gambetta’s authority was growing in the land. But when the Left Centre took alarm at the return of radical deputies at numerous by-elections the reactionaries utilized the divisions in the republican party, and for the only time in the history of the Third Republic they gave proof of parliamentary adroitness. The date for the evacuation of France by the German troops had been advanced, largely owing to Thiers’ successful efforts to raise the war indemnity. The monarchical Resignation
of Thiers.
majority, therefore, thought the moment had arrived when his services might safely be dispensed with, and the campaign against him was ably conducted by a coalition of Legitimists, Orleanists and Bonapartists. The attack on Thiers was led by the duc de Broglie, the son of another minister of Louis Philippe and grandson of Madame de Staël. Operations began with the removal from the chair of the Assembly of Jules Grévy, a moderate republican, who was chosen president at Bordeaux, and the substitution of Buffet, an old minister of the Second Republic who had rallied to the Empire. A debate on the political tendency of the government brought Thiers himself to the tribune to defend his policy. He maintained that a conservative Republic was the only régime possible, seeing that the monarchists in the Assembly could not make a choice between their three pretenders to the throne. A resolution, however, was carried which provoked the old statesman into tendering his resignation. This time it was not declined, and the majority with unseemly Marshal MacMahon president of the Republic. haste elected as president of the Republic Marshal MacMahon, duc de Magenta, an honest soldier of royalist sympathies, who had won renown and a ducal title on the battlefields of the Second Empire. In the eyes of Europe the curt dismissal of the aged liberator of the territory was an act of ingratitude. Its justification would have been the success of the majority in forming a stable monarchical government; but the sole result of the 24th of May 1873 was to provide a definite date to mark the opening of the era of anti-republican incompetency in France which has lasted for more than a generation, and has been perhaps the most effective guardian of the Third Republic.

The political incompetency of the reactionaries was fated never to be corrected by the intelligence of its princes or of its chiefs, and the year which saw Thiers dismissed to make way for a restoration saw also that restoration indefinitely postponed by the fatal action of the legitimist pretender. The comte de Paris went to Frohsdorf to abandon to the comte de Chambord his claims to the crown as the heir of the July Monarchy, and to accept the position of dauphin, thus implying that his grandfather Louis Philippe was a usurper. With the “Government of Moral Order” in command the restoration of the monarchy seemed imminent, when the royalists had their hopes dashed by the announcement that “Henri V.” would accept the throne only on the condition that the nation adopted as the standard of France the white flag—at the very sight of which Marshal MacMahon said the rifles in the army would go off by themselves. The comte de Chambord’s refusal to accept the tricolour was The comte de Chambord. probably only the pretext of a childless man who had no wish to disturb his secluded life for the ultimate benefit of the Orleans family which had usurped his crown, had sent him as a child into exile, and outraged his mother the duchesse de Berry. Whatever his motive, his decision could have no other effect than that of establishing the Republic, as he was likely to live for years, during which the comte de Paris’ claims had to remain suspended. It was not possible to leave the land for ever under the government improvised at Bordeaux when the Germans were masters of France; so the majority in the Assembly decided to organize another provisional government on more regular lines, which might possibly last till the comte de Chambord had taken the white flag to the grave, leaving the way to the throne clear for the comte de Paris. On the 19th of November 1873 a Bill was passed The Septennate. which instituted the Septennate, whereby the executive power was confided to Marshal MacMahon for seven years. It also provided for the nomination of a commission of the National Assembly to take in hand the enactment of a constitutional law. Before this an important constitutional innovation had been adopted. Under Thiers there were no changes of ministry. The president of the Republic was perpetual prime minister, constantly dismissing individual holders of portfolios, but never changing at one moment the whole council of ministers. Marshal MacMahon, the day after his appointment, nominated a cabinet with a vice-president of the council as premier, and thus inaugurated the system of ministerial instability which has been the most conspicuous feature of the government of the Third Republic. Under the Septennate the ministers, monarchist or moderate republican, were socially and perhaps intellectually of a higher class than those who governed France during the last twenty years of the 19th century. But the duration of the cabinets was just as brief, thus displaying the fact, already similarly demonstrated under the Restoration and the July Monarchy, that in France parliamentary government is an importation not suited to the national temperament.

The duc de Broglie was the prime minister in MacMahon’s first two cabinets which carried on the government of the country up to the first anniversary of Thiers’ resignation. The duc de Broglie’s defeat by a coalition of Legitimists and Bonapartists with the Republicans displayed the mutual attitude of parties. The Royalists, chagrined that the fusion of the two branches of the Bourbons had not brought the comte de Chambord to the throne, vented their rage on the Orleanists, who had the chief share in the government without being able to utilize it for their dynasty. The Bonapartists, now that the memory of the war was receding, were winning elections in the provinces, and were further encouraged by the youthful promise of the Prince Imperial. The republicans had so improved their position that the duc d’Audiffret-Pasquier, great-nephew of the chancellor Pasquier, tried to form a coalition ministry with M. Waddington, afterwards ambassador of the Republic in London, and other members of the Left Centre. Out of this uncertain state of affairs was evolved the constitution which has lasted the longest of all those that France has tried since the abolition of the old monarchy in 1792. Its birth was due to chance. Not being able to restore a monarchy, the National Assembly was unwilling definitively to establish a republic, and as no limit was set by the law on the duration of its powers, it might have continued the provisional state of things had it not been for the Bonapartists. That party displayed so much activity in agitating for a plebiscite, that when the rural voters at by-elections began to rally to the Napoleonic idea, alarm seized the constitutionalists of the Right Centre who had never been persuaded by Thiers’ exhortations to accept the Republic. Consequently in January 1875 the Assembly, having voted the general principle that the Constitution
voted, 1875.
legislative power should be exercised by a Senate and a Chamber of Deputies, without any mention of the executive régime, accepted by a majority of one a momentous resolution proposed by M. Wallon, a member of the Right Centre. It provided that the president of the Republic should be elected by the absolute majority of the Senate and the Chamber united as a National Assembly, that he should be elected for seven years, and be eligible for re-election. Thus by one vote the Republic was formally established, “the Father of the Constitution” being M. Wallon, who began his political experiences in the Legislative Assembly of 1849, and survived to take an active part in the Senate until the twentieth century.

The Republic being thus established, General de Cissey, who had become prime minister, made way for M. Buffet, but retained his portfolio of war in the new coalition cabinet, which contained some distinguished members of the two central groups, including M. Léon Say. A fortnight previously, at the end of February 1875, were passed two statutes defining the legislative and executive powers in the Republic, and organizing the Senate. Provisions of the Constitution of 1875. These joined to a third enactment, voted in July, form the body of laws known as the “Constitution of 1875,” which though twice revised, lasted without essential alteration to the twentieth century. The legislative power was conferred on a Senate and a Chamber of Deputies, which might unite in congress to revise the constitution, if they both agreed that revision was necessary, and which were bound so to meet for the election of the president of the Republic when a vacancy occurred. It was enacted that the president so elected should retain office for seven years, and be eligible for re-election at the end of his term. He was also held to be irresponsible, except in the case of high treason. The other principal prerogatives bestowed on the presidential office by the constitution of 1875 were the right of initiating laws concurrently with the members of the two chambers; the promulgation of the laws; the right of dissolving the Chamber of Deputies before its legal term on the advice of the Senate, and that of adjourning the sittings of both houses for a month; the right of pardon; the disposal of the armed forces of the country; the reception of diplomatic envoys, and, under certain limitations, the power to ratify treaties. The constitution relieved the president of the responsibility of private patronage, by providing that every act of his should be countersigned by a minister. The constitutional law provided that the Senate should consist of 300 members, 75 being nominated for life by the National Assembly, and the remaining 225 elected for nine years by the departments and the colonies. Vacancies among the life members, after the dissolution of the National Assembly, were filled by the Senate until 1884, when the nominative system was abolished, though the survivors of it were not disturbed. The law of 1875 enacted that the elected senators, who were distributed among the departments on a rough basis of population, should be elected for nine years, a third of them retiring triennially. It was provided that the senatorial electors in each department should be the deputies, the members of the conseil général and of the conseils d’arrondissement, and delegates nominated by the municipal councils of each commune. As the municipal delegates composed the majority in each electoral college, Gambetta called the Senate the Grand Council of the Communes; but in practice the senators elected have always been the nominees of the local deputies and of the departmental councillors (conseillers généraux).

The Constitutional Law further provided that the deputies should be elected to the Chamber for four years by direct manhood suffrage, which had been enjoyed in France ever since 1848. The laws relating to registration, which is of admirable simplicity in France, were left practically Scrutin d’arrondissement and scrutin de liste. the same as under the Second Empire. From 1875 to 1885 the elections were held on the basis of scrutin d’arrondissement, each department being divided into single-member districts. In 1885 scrutin de liste was tried, the department being the electoral unit, and each elector having as many votes as there were seats ascribed to the department without the power to cumulate—like the voting in the city of London when it returned four members. In 1889 scrutin d’arrondissement was resumed. The payment of members continued as under the Second Empire, the salary now being fixed at 9000 francs a year in both houses, or about a pound sterling a day. The Senate and the Chamber were endowed with almost identical powers. The only important advantage given to the popular house in the paper constitution was its initiative in matters of finance, but the right of rejecting or of modifying the financial proposals of the Chamber was successfully upheld by the Senate. In reality the Chamber of Deputies has overshadowed the upper house. The constitution did not prescribe that ministers should be selected from either house of parliament, but in practice the deputies have been in cabinets in the proportion of five to one in excess of the senators. Similarly the very numerous ministerial crises which have taken place under the Third Republic have with the rarest exceptions been caused by votes in the lower chamber. Among minor differences between the two houses ordained by the constitution was the legal minimum age of their members, that of senators being forty and of deputies twenty-five. It was enacted, moreover, that the Senate, by presidential decree, could be constituted into a high court for the trial of certain offences against the security of the state.

The constitution thus produced, the fourteenth since the Revolution of 1789, was the issue of a monarchical Assembly forced by circumstances to establish a republic. It was therefore distinguished from others which preceded it in that it contained no declaration of principle and 1876: Political parties under the new Constitution. no doctrinal theory. The comparative excellence of the work must be recognized, seeing that it has lasted. But it owed its duration, as it owed its origin and its character, to the weakness of purpose and to the dissensions of the monarchical parties. The first legal act under the new constitution was the selection by the expiring National Assembly of seventy-five nominated senators, and here the reactionaries gave a crowning example of that folly which has ever marked their conduct each time they have had the chance of scoring an advantage against the Republic. The principle of nomination had been carried in the National Assembly by the Right and opposed by the Republicans. But the quarrels of the Legitimists with the duc de Broglie and his party were so bitter that the former made a present of the nominated element in the Senate to the Republicans in order to spite the Orleanists; so out of seventy-five senators nominated by the monarchical Assembly, fifty-seven Republicans were chosen. Without this suicidal act the Republicans would have been in a woeful minority in the Senate when parliament met in 1876 after the first elections under the new system of parliamentary government. The slight advantage which, in spite of their self-destruction, the reactionaries maintained in the upper house was outbalanced by the republican success at the elections to the Chamber. In a house of over 500 members only about 150 monarchical deputies were returned, of whom half were Bonapartists. The first cabinet under the new constitution was formed by Dufaure, an old minister of Louis Philippe like Thiers, and like him born in the 18th century. The premier now took the title of president of the council, the chief of the state no longer presiding at the meetings of ministers, though he continued to be present at their deliberations. Although the republican victories at the elections were greatly due to the influence of Gambetta, none of his partisans was included in the ministry, which was composed of members of the two central groups. At the end of 1876 Dufaure retired, but nearly all his ministers retained their portfolios under the presidency of Jules Simon, a pupil of Victor Cousin, who first entered political life in the Constituent Assembly of 1848, and was later a leading member of the opposition in the last seven years of the Second Empire.

The premiership of Jules Simon came to an end with the abortive coup d’état of 1877, commonly called from its date the Seize Mai. After the election of Marshal MacMahon to the presidency, the clerical party, irritated at the failure to restore the comte de Chambord, commenced The Seize Mai 1877. a campaign in favour of the restitution of the temporal power to the Pope. It provoked the Italian government to make common cause with Germany, as Prince Bismarck was likewise attacked by the French clericals for his ecclesiastical policy. At last Jules Simon, who was a liberal most friendly to Catholicism, had to accept a resolution of the Chamber, inviting the ministry to adopt the same disciplinary policy towards the Church which had been followed by the Second Empire and the Monarchy of July. It was on this occasion that Gambetta used his famous expression, “Le cléricalisme, voilà l’ennemi.” Some days later a letter appeared in the Journal officiel, dated 16th May 1877, signed by President MacMahon, informing Jules Simon that he had no longer his confidence, as it was clear that he had lost that influence over the Chamber which a president of the Council ought to exercise. The dismissal of the prime minister and the presidential acts which followed did not infringe the letter of the new constitution; yet the proceeding was regarded as a coup d’état in favour of the clerical reactionaries. The duc de Broglie formed an anti-republican ministry, and Marshal MacMahon, in virtue of the presidential prerogative conferred by the law of 1875, adjourned parliament for a month. When the Chamber reassembled the republican majority of 363 denounced the coalition of parties hostile to the Republic. The president, again using his constitutional prerogative, obtained the authorization of the Senate to dissolve the Chamber. Meanwhile the Broglie ministry had put in practice the policy, favoured by all parties in France, of replacing the functionaries hostile to it with its own partisans. But in spite of the administrative electoral machinery being thus in the hands of the reactionaries, a republican majority was sent back to the Chamber, the sudden death of Thiers on the eve of his expected return to power, and the demonstration at his funeral, which was described as a silent insurrection, aiding the rout of the monarchists. The duc de Broglie resigned, and Marshal MacMahon sent for General de Rochebouet, who formed a cabinet of unknown reactionaries, but it lasted only a few days, as the Chamber refused to vote supply. Dufaure was then called back to office, and his moderate republican ministry lasted for the remainder of the MacMahon presidency.

Thus ended the episode of the Seize Mai, condemned by the whole of Europe from its inception. Its chief effects were to prove again to the country the incompetency of the monarchists, and by associating in the public mind the Church with this ill-conceived venture, to provoke reprisals from the anti-clericals when they came into power. After the storm, the year 1878 was one of political repose. The first international exhibition held at Paris after the war displayed to Europe how the secret of France’s recuperative power lay in the industry and artistic instinct of the nation. Marshal MacMahon presided with 1879: Jules Grévy president of the Republic. dignity over the fêtes held in honour of the exhibition, and had he pleased he might have tranquilly fulfilled the term of his Septennate. But in January 1879 he made a difference of opinion on a military question an excuse for resignation, and Jules Grévy, the president of the Chamber, was elected to succeed him by the National Assembly, which thus met for the first time under the Constitutional Law of 1875.

Henceforth the executive as well as the legislative power was in the hands of the republicans. The new president was a leader of the bar, who had first become known in the Constituent Assembly of 1848 as the advocate of the principle that a republic would do better without a president. M. Waddington was his first prime minister, and Gambetta was elected president of the Chamber. The latter, encouraged by his rivals in the idea that the time was not ripe for him openly to direct the affairs of the country, thus put himself, in spite of his occult dictatorship, in a position of official self-effacement from which he did not emerge until the jealousies of his own party-colleagues had undermined the prestige he had gained as chief founder of the Republic. The most active among them was Jules Ferry, minister of Jules Ferry. Education, who having been a republican deputy for Paris at the end of the Empire, was one of the members of the provisional government proclaimed on 4th September 1870. Borrowing Gambetta’s cry that clericalism was the enemy, he commenced the work of reprisal for the Seize Mai. His educational projects of 1879 were thus anti-clerical in tendency, the most famous being article 7 of his education bill, which prohibited members of any “unauthorized” religious orders exercising the profession of teaching in any school in France, the disability being applied to all ecclesiastical communities, excepting four or five which had been privileged by special legislation. This enactment, aimed chiefly at the Jesuits, was advocated with a sectarian bitterness which will be associated with the name of Jules Ferry long after his more statesmanlike qualities are forgotten. The law was rejected by the Senate, Jules Simon being the eloquent champion of the clericals, whose intrigues had ousted him from office. The unauthorized orders were then dissolved by decree; but though the forcible expulsion of aged priests and nuns gave rise to painful scenes, it cannot be said that popular feeling was excited in their favour, so grievously had the Church blundered in identifying itself with the conspiracy of the Seize Mai.

Meanwhile the death of the Prince Imperial in Zululand had shattered the hopes of the Bonapartists, and M. de Freycinet, a former functionary of the Empire, had become prime minister at the end of 1879. He had retained Jules Ferry at the ministry of Education, but unwilling to adopt all his anti-clerical policy, he resigned the premiership in September 1880. The constitution of the first Ferry cabinet secured the further exclusion from office of Gambetta, to which, however, he preferred his “occult dictatorship.” In August he had, as president of the Chamber, accompanied M. Grévy on an official visit to Cherbourg, and the acclamations called forth all over France by his speech, which was a hopeful defiance to Germany, encouraged the wily chief of the state to aid the republican conspiracy against the hero of the Republic. In 1881 the only political question before the country was the destiny of Gambetta. His influence in the Chamber was such that in spite of the opposition of the prime minister he carried his electoral scheme of scrutin de liste, descending from the presidential chair to defend it. Its rejection by the Senate caused no conflict between the houses. The check was inflicted not on the Chamber, but on Gambetta, who counted on his popularity to carry the lists of his candidates in all the republican departments in France as a quasi-plebiscitary demonstration in his favour. His rivals dared not openly quarrel with him. There was the semblance of a reconciliation between him and Ferry, and his name was the rallying-cry of the Republic at the general election, which was conducted on the old system of scrutin d’arrondissement.

The triumph for the Republic was great, the combined force of reactionary members returned being less than one-fifth of the new Chamber. M. Grévy could no longer abstain from asking Gambetta to form a ministry, but he had bided his time till jealousy of the “occult power” Gambetta prime minister. of the president of the Chamber had undermined his position in parliament. Consequently, when on the 14th of November 1881 Gambetta announced the composition of his cabinet, ironically called the “grand ministère,” which was to consolidate the Republic and to be the apotheosis of its chief, a great feeling of disillusion fell on the country, for his colleagues were untried politicians. The best known was Paul Bert, a man of science, who as the “reporter” in the Chamber of the Ferry Education Bill had distinguished himself as an aggressive freethinker, and he inappropriately was named minister of public worship. All the conspicuous republicans who had held office refused to serve under Gambetta. His cabinet was condemned in advance. His enemies having succeeded in ruining its composition, declared that the construction of a one-man machine was ominous of dictatorship, and the “grand ministère” lived for only ten weeks.

Gambetta was succeeded in January 1882 by M. de Freycinet, who having first taken office in the Dufaure cabinet of 1877, and having continued to hold office at intervals until 1899, was the most successful specimen of a “ministrable”—as recurrent portfolio-holders have been called under Death of Gambetta. the Third Republic. His second ministry lasted only six months. The failure of Gambetta, though pleasing to his rivals, discouraged the republican party and disorganized its majority in the Chamber. M. Duclerc, an old minister of the Second Republic, then became president of the council, and before his short term of office was run Gambetta died on the last day of 1882, without having had the opportunity of displaying his capacity as a minister or an administrator. He was only forty-four at his death, and his fame rests on the unfulfilled promise of a brief career. The men who had driven him out of public life and had shortened his existence were the most ostentatious of the mourners at the great pageant with which he was buried, and to have been of his party was in future the popular trade-mark of his republican enemies.

Gambetta’s death was followed by a period of anarchy, during which Prince Napoleon, the son of Jerome, king of Westphalia, placarded the walls of Paris with a manifesto. The Chamber thereupon voted the exile of the members of the families which had reigned in France. The Senate rejected the measure, and a conflict arose between the two houses. M. Duclerc resigned the Opportunism. premiership in January 1883 to his minister of the Interior, M. Fallières, a Gascon lawyer, who became president of the Senate in 1899 and president of the Republic in 1906. He held office for three weeks, when Jules Ferry became president of the council for the second time. Several of the closest of Gambetta’s friends accepted office under the old enemy of their chief, and the new combination adopted the epithet “opportunist,” which had been invented by Gambetta in 1875 to justify the expediency of his alliance with Thiers. The Opportunists thenceforth formed an important group standing between the Left Centre, which was now excluded from office, and the Radicals. It claimed the tradition of Gambetta, but the guiding principle manifested by its members was that of securing the spoils of place. To this end it often allied itself with the Radicals, and the Ferry cabinet practised this policy in 1883 when it removed the Orleans princes from the active list in the army as the illogical result of the demonstration of a Bonaparte. How needless was this proceeding was shown a few months later when the comte de Chambord died, as his death, which finally fused the Royalists with the Orleanists, caused no commotion in France.

The year 1884 was unprecedented seeing that it passed without a change of ministry. Jules Ferry displayed real administrative ability, and as an era of steady government seemed to be commencing, the opportunity was taken to revise the Constitution. The two Chambers therefore Revision of the Constitution, 1884. met in congress, and enacted that the republican form of government could never be the subject of revision, and that all members of families which had reigned in France were ineligible for the presidency of the Republic—a repetition of the adventure of Louis Bonaparte in the middle of the century being thus made impossible. It also decided that the clauses of the law of 1875 relating to the organization of the Senate should no longer have a constitutional character. This permitted the reform of the Upper House by ordinary parliamentary procedure. So an organic law was passed to abolish the system of nominating senators, and to increase the number of municipal delegates in the electoral colleges in proportion to the population of the communes. The French nation, for the first time since it had enjoyed political life, had revised a constitution by pacific means without a revolution. Gambetta being out of the way, his favourite electoral system of scrutin de liste had no longer any terror for his rivals, so it was voted by the Chamber early in 1885. Before the Senate had passed it into law the Ferry ministry had fallen at the end of March, after holding office for twenty-five months, a term rarely exceeded in the annals of the Third Republic. This long tenure of power had excited the dissatisfaction of jealous politicians, and the news of a slight disaster to the French troops in Tongking called forth all the pent-up rancour which Jules Ferry had inspired in various groups. By the exaggerated news of defeat Paris was excited Tongking. to the brink of a revolution. The approaches of the Chamber were invaded by an angry mob, and Jules Ferry was the object of public hate more bitter than any man had called forth in France since Napoleon III. on the days after Sedan. Within the Chamber he was attacked in all quarters. The Radicals took the lead, supported by the Monarchists, who remembered the anti-clerical rigour of the Ferry laws, by the Left Centre, not sorry for the tribulation of the group which had supplanted it, and by place-hunting republicans of all shades. The attack was led by a politician who disdained office. M. Georges Clémenceau, who had originally come to Paris from the Vendée as a doctor, had as a radical leader in the Chamber used his remarkable talent as an overthrower of ministries, and nearly every one of the eight ministerial crises which had already occurred during the presidency of Grévy had been hastened by his mordant eloquence.

The next prime minister was M. Brisson, a radical lawyer and journalist, who in April 1885 formed a cabinet of “concentration”—that is to say, it was recruited from various groups with the idea of concentrating all republican forces in opposition to the reactionaries. MM. de Freycinet and Carnot, afterwards president of the Republic, represented the moderate element in this ministry, which superintended the general elections under scrutin de liste. That system was recommended by its advocates as a remedy for the rapid decadence in the composition of the Chamber. Manhood suffrage, which had returned to the National Assembly a distinguished body of men to conclude peace with Germany, had chosen a very different type of representative to sit in the Chamber created by the constitution of 1875. At each succeeding election the standard of deputies returned grew lower, till Gambetta described them contemptuously as “sous-vétérinaires,” indicating that they were chiefly chosen from the petty professional class, which represented neither the real democracy nor the material interests of the country. His view was that the election of members by departmental lists would ensure the candidature of the best men in each region, who under the system of single-member districts were apt to be neglected in favour of local politicians representing narrow interests. When his death had removed the fear of his using scrutin de liste as a plebiscitary organization, parliament sanctioned its trial. The result was Elections of 1885. not what its promoters anticipated. The composition of the Chamber was indeed transformed, but only by the substitution of reactionary deputies for republicans. Of the votes polled, 45% were given to the Monarchists, and if they had obtained one-half of the abstentions the Republic would have come to an end. At the same time the character of the republican deputies returned was not improved; so the sole effect of scrutin de liste was to show that the electorate, weary of republican dissensions, was ready to make a trial of monarchical government, if only the reactionary party proved that it contained statesmen capable of leading the nation. So menacing was the situation that the republicans thought it wise not further to expose their divisions in the presidential election which was due to take place at the end of the year. Consequently, on the 28th of December 1885, M. Grévy, in spite of his growing unpopularity, was elected president of the Republic for a second term of seven years.

The Brisson cabinet at once resigned, and on the 7th of January 1886 its most important member, M. de Freycinet, formed his third ministry, which had momentous influence on the history of the Republic. The new minister of war was General Boulanger, a smart soldier of no remarkable General Boulanger. military record; but being the nominee of M. Clémenceau, he began his official career by taking radical measures against commanding officers of reactionary tendencies. He thus aided the government in its campaign against the families which had reigned in France, whose situation had been improved by the result of the elections. The fêtes given by the comte de Paris to celebrate his daughter’s marriage with the heir-apparent of Portugal moved the republican majority in the Chambers to expel from France the heads of the houses of Orleans and of Bonaparte, with their eldest sons. The names of all the princes on the army list were erased from it, the decree being executed with unseemly ostentation by General Boulanger, who had owed early promotion to the protection of the duc d’Aumale, and on that prince protesting he was exiled too. Meanwhile General Boulanger took advantage of Grévy’s unpopularity to make himself a popular hero, and at the review, held yearly on the 14th of July, the anniversary of the fall of the Bastille, his acclamation by the Parisian mob showed that he was taking an unexpected place in the imagination of the people. He continued to work with the Radicals, so when they turned out M. de Freycinet in December 1886, one of their group, M. Goblet, a lawyer from Amiens, formed a ministry, and retained Boulanger as minister of war. M. Clémenceau, however, withdrew his support from the general, who was nevertheless loudly patronized by the violent radical press. His bold attitude towards Germany in connexion with the arrest on the German frontier of a French official named Schnaebele so roused the enthusiasm of the public, that M. Goblet was not sorry to resign in May 1887 in order to get rid of his too popular colleague.

To form the twelfth of his ministries, Grévy called upon M. Rouvier, an Opportunist from Marseilles, who had first held office in Gambetta’s short-lived cabinet. General Boulanger was sent to command a corps d’armée at Clermont-Ferrand; but the popular press and the people The Wilson scandal. clamoured for the hero who was said to have terrorized Prince Bismarck, and they encouraged him to play the part of a plebiscitary candidate. There were grave reasons for public discontent. Parliament in 1887 was more than usually sterile in legislation, and in the autumn session it had to attend to a scandal which had long been rumoured. The son-in-law of Grévy, Daniel Wilson, a prominent deputy who had been an under secretary of state, was accused of trafficking the decoration of the Legion of Honour, and of using the Elysée, the president’s official residence, where he lived, as an agency for his corrupt practices. The evidence against him was so clear that his colleagues in the Chamber put the government into a minority in order to precipitate a presidential crisis, and on Grévy refusing to accept this hint, a long array of politicians, representing all the republican groups, declined his invitation to aid him in forming a new ministry, all being bent on forcing his resignation. Had General Boulanger been a man of resolute courage he might at this crisis have made a coup d’état, for his popularity in the street and in the army increased as the Republic sank deeper into scandal and anarchy. At last, when Paris was on the brink of revolution, Grévy was prevailed on to resign. The candidates for his succession to the presidency were two ex-prime ministers, MM. Ferry and de Freycinet, and Floquet, a barrister, who had been conspicuous in the National Assembly for his sympathy with the Commune. The Monarchists had no candidate ready, and resolved to vote for Ferry, because they believed that if he were elected his unpopularity with the democracy would cause an insurrection in Paris and the downfall of the Republic. MM. de Freycinet and Floquet each looked for the support of the Radicals, and each had made a secret compact, in the event of his election, to restore General Boulanger to the war office. But M. Clémenceau, fearing the election of Jules Ferry, advised his followers to vote for an “outsider,” and after some manœuvring the congress elected by a large majority Sadi Carnot.

The new president, though the nominee of chance, was an excellent choice. The grandson of Lazare Carnot, the “organizer of victory” of the Convention, he was also a man of unsullied probity. The tradition of his family name, only less glorious than that of Bonaparte in the annals M. Carnot president of the Republic, 1887. of the Revolution, was welcome to France, almost ready to throw herself into the arms of a soldier of fortune, while his blameless repute reconciled some of those whose opposition to the Republic had been quickened by the mean vices of Grévy. But the name and character of Carnot would have been powerless to check the Boulangist movement without the incompetency of its leader, who was getting the democracy at his back without knowing how to utilize it. The new president’s first prime minister was M. Tirard, a senator who had held office in six of Grévy’s ministries, and he formed a cabinet of politicians as colourless as himself. The early months of 1888 were occupied with the trial of Wilson, who was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for fraud, and with the conflicts of the government with General Boulanger, who was deprived of his command for coming to Paris without leave. Wilson appealed against his sentence, and General Boulanger was elected deputy for the department of the Aisne by an enormous majority. It so happened that the day after his election a presidential decree was signed on the advice of the minister of war removing General Boulanger from the army, and the court of appeal quashed Wilson’s conviction. Public feeling was profoundly moved by the coincidence of the release of the relative of the ex-president by the judges of the Republic on the same day that its ministers expelled from the army the popular hero of universal suffrage.

As General Boulanger had been invented by the Radicals it was thought that a Radical cabinet might be a remedy to cope with him, so M. Floquet became president of the council in April 1888, M. de Freycinet taking the portfolio of war, which he retained through many ministries. M. Floquet’s chief Boulangism. achievement was a duel with General Boulanger, in which, though an elderly civilian, he wounded him. Nothing, however, checked the popularity of the military politician, and though he was a failure as a speaker in the Chamber, several departments returned him as their deputy by great majorities. The Bonapartists had joined him, and while in his manifestos he described himself as the defender of the Republic, the mass of the Monarchists, with the consent of the comte de Paris, entered the Boulangist camp, to the dismay both of old-fashioned Royalists and of many Orleanists, who resented his recent treatment of the duc d’Aumale. The centenary of the taking of the Bastille was to be celebrated in Paris by an international exhibition, and it appeared likely that it would be inaugurated by General Boulanger, so irresistible seemed his popularity. In January 1889 he was elected member for the metropolitan department of the Seine with a quarter of a million votes, and by a majority of eighty thousand over the candidate of the government. Had he marched on the Elysée the night of his election, nothing could have saved the parliamentary Republic; but again he let his chance go by. The government in alarm proposed the restoration of scrutin d’arrondissement as the electoral system for scrutin de liste. The change was rapidly enacted by the two Chambers, and was a significant commentary on the respective advantages of the two systems. M. Tirard was again called to form a ministry, and he selected as minister of the interior M. Constans, originally a professor at Toulouse, who had already proved himself a skilful manipulator of elections when he held the same office in 1881. He was therefore given the supervision of the machinery of centralization with which it was supposed that General Boulanger would have to be fought Boulanger’s flight. at the general election. That incomplete hero, however, saved all further trouble by flying the country when he heard that his arrest was imminent. The government, in order to prevent any plebiscitary manifestation in his favour, passed a law forbidding a candidate to present himself for a parliamentary election in more than one constituency; it also arraigned the general on the charge of treason before the Senate sitting as a high court, and he was sentenced in his absence to perpetual imprisonment. Such measures were needless. The flight of General Boulanger was the death of Boulangism. He alone had saved the Republic which had done nothing to save itself. Its government had, on the contrary, displayed throughout the crisis an anarchic feebleness and incoherency which would have speeded its end had the leader of the plebiscitary movement possessed sagacity or even common courage.

The elections of 1889 showed how completely the reactionaries had compromised their cause in the Boulangist failure. Instead of 45% of the votes polled as in 1885, they obtained only 21%, and the comte de Paris, the pretender of constitutional monarchy, was irretrievably prejudiced by his alliance with the military adventurer who had outraged the princes of his house. A period of calm succeeded the storm of Boulangism, and for the first time under the Third Republic parliament set to work to produce legislation useful for the state, without rousing party passion, as in its other period of activity when the Ferry education laws were passed. Before the elections of 1889 the reform of the army was undertaken, the general term of active compulsory service was made three years, while certain classes hitherto dispensed from serving, including ecclesiastical seminarists and lay professors, had henceforth to undergo a year’s military training. The new parliament turned its attention to social and labour questions, as the only clouds on the political horizon were the serious strikes in the manufacturing districts, which displayed the growing political organization of the socialist party. Otherwise nothing disturbed the calm of the country. The young duc d’Orléans vainly tried to ruffle it by breaking his exile in order to claim his citizen’s right to perform his military service. The cabinet was rearranged in March 1890, M. de Freycinet becoming prime minister for the fourth time, and retaining the portfolio of war. All seemed to point to the consolidation of the Republic, and even the Church made signals of reconciliation. Cardinal Lavigerie, a patriotic missionary and statesman, entertained the officers of the fleet at Algiers, and proposed the toast of the Republic to the tune of the “Marseillaise” played by his pères blancs. The royalist Catholics protested, but it was soon intimated that the archbishop of Algiers’ demonstration was approved at Rome. The year 1891 was one of the few in the annals of the Republic which passed without a change of ministry, but the agitations of 1892 were to counterbalance the repose of the two preceding years.

The first crisis arose out of the peacemaking policy of the Pope. Following up his intimation to the archbishop of Algiers, Leo XIII. published in February 1892 an encyclical, bidding French Catholics accept the Republic as the firmly established form of government. The papal The papal encyclical, 1892. injunction produced a new political group called the “Ralliés,” the majority of its members being Monarchists who rallied to the Republic in obedience to the Vatican. The most conspicuous among them was Comte Albert de Mun, an eloquent exponent in the Chamber of legitimism and Christian socialism. The extreme Left mistrusted the adhesion of the new converts to the Republic, and ecclesiastical questions were the constant subjects of acrimonious debates in parliament. In the course of one of them M. de Freycinet found himself in a minority. He ceased to be prime minister, being succeeded by M. Loubet, a lawyer from Montélimar, who had previously held office for three months in the first Tirard cabinet; but M. de Freycinet continued to hold his portfolio of war. The confusion of the republican groups kept pace with the disarray of the reactionaries, and outside parliament the frequency of anarchist outrages did not increase public confidence. The only figure in the Republic which grew in prestige was that of M. Carnot, who in his frequent presidential tours dignified his office, though his modesty made him unduly efface his own personality.

When the autumn session of 1892 began all other questions were overwhelmed by the bursting of the Panama scandal. The company associated for the piercing of the Isthmus of Panama, undertaken by M. de Lesseps, the maker of the Suez Canal, had become insolvent some years The Panama scandal. before. Fifty millions sterling subscribed by the thrift of France had disappeared, but the rumours involving political personages in the disaster were so confidently asserted to be reactionary libels, that a minister of the Republic, afterwards sent to penal servitude for corruption, obtained damages for the publication of one of them. It was known that M. de Lesseps was to be tried for misappropriating the money subscribed; but considering the vast sums lost by the public, little interest was taken in the matter till it was suddenly stirred by the dramatic suicide of a well-known Jewish financier closely connected with republican politicians, driven to death, it was said, by menaces of blackmail. Then succeeded a period of terror in political circles. Every one who had a grudge against an enemy found vent for it in the press, and the people of Paris lived in an atmosphere of delation. Unhappily it was true that ministers and members of parliament had been subsidized by the Panama company. Floquet, the president of the Chamber, avowed that when prime minister he had laid hands on £12,000 of the company’s funds for party purposes, and his justification of the act threw a light on the code of public morality of the parliamentary Republic. Other politicians were more seriously implicated on the charge of having accepted subsidies for their private purposes, and emotion reached its height when the cabinet ordered the prosecution of two of its members for corrupt traffic of their offices. These two ministers were afterwards discharged, and they seem to have been accused with recklessness; but their prosecution by their own colleagues proved that the statesmen of the Republic believed that their high political circles were sapped with corruption. Finally, only twelve senators and deputies were committed for trial, and the only one convicted was a minister of M. de Freycinet’s third cabinet, who pleaded guilty to receiving large bribes from the Panama company. The public regarded the convicted politician as a scapegoat, believing that there were numerous delinquents in parliament, more guilty than he, who had not even been prosecuted. This feeling was aggravated by the sentence passed, but afterwards remitted, on the aged M. de Lesseps, who had involved French people in misfortune only because he too sanguinely desired to repeat the triumph he had achieved for France by his great work in Egypt.

Within the nation the moral result of the Panama affair was a general feeling that politics had become under the Republic a profession unworthy of honest citizens. The sentiment evoked by the scandal was one of sceptical lassitude rather than of indignation. The reactionaries had crowned their record of political incompetence. At a crisis which gave legitimate opportunity to a respectable and patriotic Opposition they showed that the country had nothing to expect from them but incoherent and exaggerated invective. If the scandal had come to light in the time of General Boulanger the parliamentary Republic would not have survived it. As it was, the sordid story did little more than produce several changes of ministry. M. Loubet resigned the premiership in December 1892 to M. Ribot, a former functionary of the Empire, whose ministry lived for three stormy weeks. On the first day of 1893 M. Ribot formed his second cabinet, which survived till the end of March, when he was succeeded by his minister of education, M. Charles Dupuy, an ex-professor who had never held office till four months previously. M. Dupuy, having taken the portfolio of the interior, supervised the general election of 1893, which took place amid the profound indifference of the population, except in certain localities where personal antagonisms excited violence. An intelligent Opposition would have roused the country at the polls against the régime compromised by the Panama affair. Nothing of the sort occurred, and the electorate preferred the doubtful probity of their republican representatives to the certain incompetence of the reactionaries. The adversaries of the Republic polled only 16% of the votes recorded, and the chief feature of the election was the increased return of socialist and radical-socialist deputies. When parliament met it turned out the Dupuy ministry, and M. Casimir-Périer quitted the presidency of the Chamber to take his place. The new prime minister was the bearer of an eminent name, being the grandson of the statesman of 1831, and the great-grandson of the owner of Vizille, where the estates of Dauphiné met in 1788, as a prelude to the assembling of the states-general the next year. His acceptance of office aroused additional interest because he was a minister possessed of independent wealth, and therefore a rare example of a French politician free from the imputation of making a living out of politics. Neither his repute nor his qualities gave long life to his ministry, which fell in four months, and M. Dupuy was sent for again to form a cabinet in May 1894.

Before the second Dupuy ministry had been in office a month President Carnot died by the knife of an anarchist at Lyons. He was perhaps the most estimable politician of the Third Republic. Although the standard of political life was not elevated under his presidency, he at all Assassination of president Carnot.

Casimir-Périer president, 1894.
events set a good personal example, and to have filled unscathed the most conspicuous position in the land during a period unprecedented for the scurrility of libels on public men was a testimony to his blameless character. As the term of his septennate was near, parliament was not unprepared for a presidential election, and M. Casimir-Périer, who had been spoken of as his possible successor, was elected by the Congress which met at Versailles on the 27th of June 1894, three days after Carnot’s assassination. The election of one who bore respectably a name not less distinguished in history than that of Carnot seemed to ensure that the Republic would reach the end of the century under the headship of a president of exceptional prestige. But instead of remaining chief of the state for seven years, in less than seven months M. Casimir-Périer astonished France and Europe by his resignation. Scurrilously defamed by the socialist press, the new president found that the Republicans in the Chamber were not disposed to defend him in his high office; so, on the 15th of January 1895, he seized the occasion of the retirement of the Dupuy ministry to address a message to the two houses intimating his resignation of the presidency, which, he said, was endowed with too many responsibilities and not sufficient powers.

This time the Chambers were unprepared for a presidential vacancy, and to fill it in forty-eight hours was necessarily a matter of haphazard. The choice of the congress fell on Félix Faure, a merchant of Havre, who, though minister of marine in the retiring cabinet, was one of Félix Faure president, 1895. the least-known politicians who had held office. The selection was a good one, and introduced to the presidency a type of politician unfortunately rare under the Third Republic—a successful man of business. Félix Faure had a fine presence and polished manners, and having risen from a humble origin he displayed in his person the fact that civilization descends to a lower social level in France than elsewhere. Although he was in a sense a man of the people the Radicals and Socialists in the Chambers had voted against him. Their candidate, like almost all democratic leaders in France, had never worked with his hands—M. Brisson, the son of an attorney at Bourges, a member of the Parisian bar, and perpetual candidate for the presidency. Nevertheless the Left tried to take possession of President Faure. His first ministry, composed of moderate republicans, and presided over by M. Ribot, lasted until the autumn session of 1895, when it was turned out and a radical cabinet was formed by M. Léon Bourgeois, an ex-functionary, who when a prefect had been suspected of reactionary tendencies.

The Bourgeois cabinet of 1895 was remarkable as the first ministry formed since 1877 which did not contain a single member of the outgoing cabinet. It was said to be exclusively radical in its composition, and thus to indicate that the days of “republican concentration” were over, and that the Republic, being firmly established, an era of party government on the English model had arrived. The new ministry, however, on analysis did not differ in character from any of its predecessors. Seven of its members were old office-holders of the ordinary “ministrable” type. The most conspicuous was M. Cavaignac, the son of the general who had opposed Louis Bonaparte in 1848, and the grandson of J. B. Cavaignac, the regicide member of the Convention. Like Carnot and Casimir-Périer, he was, therefore, one of those rare politicians of the Republic who possessed some hereditary tradition. An ambitious man, he was now classed as a Radical on the strength of his advocacy of the income-tax, the principle of which has never been popular in France, as being adverse to the secretive habits of thrift cultivated by the people, which are a great source of the national wealth. The radicalism of the rest of the ministry was not more alarming in character, and its tenure of office was without legislative result. Its fall, however, occasioned the only constitutionally interesting ministerial crisis of the twenty-four which had taken place since Grévy’s election to the presidency sixteen years before. The Senate, disliking the fiscal policy of the government, refused to vote supply in spite of the support which the Chamber gave to the ministry. The collision between the two houses did not produce the revolutionary rising which the Radicals predicted, and the Senate actually forced the Bourgeois cabinet to resign amid profound popular indifference.

The new prime minister was M. Méline, who began his long political career as a member of the Commune in 1871, but was so little compromised in the insurrection that Jules Simon gave him an under-secretaryship in his ministry of 1876. After that he was once a cabinet minister, and was for a year president of the Chamber. He was chiefly known as a protectionist; but it was as leader of the Progressists, as the Opportunists now called themselves, that he formed his cabinet in April 1896, which was announced as a moderate ministry opposed to the policy of the Radicals. It is true that it made no attempt to tax incomes, but otherwise its achievements did not differ from those of other ministries, radical or concentration, except in its long survival. It lasted for over two years, and lived as long as the second Ferry cabinet. Its existence was prolonged by certain incidents of the Franco-Russian alliance. The visit of the Tsar to Paris in October 1896, being the first official visit paid by a European sovereign to the Republic, helped the government over the Franco-Russian alliance. critical period at which ministries usually succumbed, and it was further strengthened in parliament by the invitation to the president of the Republic to return the imperial visit at St Petersburg in 1897. The Chamber came to its normal term that autumn; but a law had been passed fixing May as the month for general elections, and the ministry was allowed to retain office till the dissolution at Easter 1898.

The long duration of the Méline government was said to be a further sign of the arrival of an era of party government with its essential accompaniment, ministerial stability. But in the country there was no corresponding sign that the electorate was being organized into two parties of Progressists and Radicals; while in the Chamber it was ominously observed that persistent opposition to the moderate ministry came from nominal supporters of its views, who were dismayed at one small band of fellow-politicians monopolizing office for two years. The last election of the century was therefore fought on a confused issue, the most tangible results being the further reduction of the Monarchists, who secured only 12% of the total poll, and the advance of the Socialists, who obtained nearly 20% of the votes recorded. The Radicals returned were less numerous than the Moderates, but with the aid of the Socialists they nearly balanced them. A new group entitled Nationalist made its appearance, supported by a miscellaneous electorate representing the malcontent element in the nation of all political shades from monarchist to revolutionary socialist. The Chamber, so composed, was as incoherent as either of its predecessors. It refused to re-elect the radical leader M. Brisson as its president, and then refused its confidence to the moderate leader M. Méline. M. Brisson, the rejected of the Chamber, was sent for to form a ministry, on the 28th of June 1898, which survived till the adjournment, only to be turned out when the autumn session began. M. Charles Dupuy thus became prime minister for the third time with a cabinet of the old concentration pattern, and for the third time in less than five years under his premiership the Presidency of the Republic became vacant. Félix Faure had increased in 1899: death of President Faure. pomposity rather than in popularity. His contact with European sovereigns seems to have made him over-conscious of his superior rank, and he cultivated habits which austere republicans make believe to be the monopoly of frivolous courts. The regular domesticity of middle-class life may not be disturbed with impunity when age is advancing, and Félix Faure died with tragic unexpectedness on the 16th of February 1899. The joys of his high office were so dear to him that nothing but death would have induced him to lay it down before the term of his septennate. There was therefore no candidate in waiting for the vacancy; and as Paris was in an agitated mood the majority in the Congress elected M. Loubet president of the Republic, because he happened to hold M. Loubet president. the second place of dignity in the state, the presidency of the Senate, and was, moreover, a politician who had the confidence of the republican groups as an adversary of plebiscitary pretensions. His only competitor was M. Méline, whose ambitions were not realized, in spite of the alliance of his Progressist supporters with the Monarchists and Nationalists. The Dupuy ministry lasted till June 1899, when a new cabinet was formed by M. Waldeck-Rousseau, who, having held office under Gambetta and Jules Ferry, had relinquished politics for the bar, of which he had become a distinguished leader. Though a moderate republican, he was the first prime minister to give portfolios to socialist politicians. This was the distinguishing feature of the last cabinet of the century—the thirty-seventh which had taken office in the twenty-six years which had elapsed since the resignation of Thiers in 1873.

It is now necessary to go back a few years in order to refer to a matter which, though not political in its origin, in its development filled the whole political atmosphere of France in the closing period of the 19th century. Soon after the failure of the Boulangist movement a journal was founded at Paris called the Libre Parole. Its editor, M. Drumont, was known as the author of La France juive, a violent anti-Semitic work, written to denounce Anti-Semitic movement. the influence exercised by Jewish financiers in the politics of the Third Republic. It may be said to have started the anti-Semitic movement in France, where hostility to the Jews had not the pretext existing in those lands which contain a large Jewish population exercising local rivalry with the natives of the soil, or spoiling them with usury. That state of things existed in Algeria, where the indigenous Jews were made French citizens during the Franco-Prussian War to secure their support against the Arabs in rebellion. But political anti-Semitism was introduced into Algeria only as an offshoot of the movement in continental France, where the great majority of the Jewish community were of the same social class as the politicians of the Republic. Primarily directed against the Jewish financiers, the movement was originally looked upon as a branch of the anti-capitalist propaganda of the Socialists. Thus the Libre Parole joined with the revolutionary press in attacking the repressive legislation provoked by the dynamite outrages of the anarchists, clerical reactionaries who supported it being as scurrilously abused by the anti-Semitic organ as its republican authors. The Panama affair, in the exposure of which the Libre Parole took a prominent part soon after its foundation, was also a bond between anti-Semites and Socialists, to whom, however, the Monarchists, always incapable of acting alone, united their forces. The implication of certain Jewish financiers with republican politicians in the Panama scandal aided the anti-Semites in their special propaganda, of which a main thesis was that the government of the Third Republic had been organized by its venal politicians for the benefit of Jewish immigrants from Germany, who had thus enriched themselves at the expense of the laborious and unsuspecting French population. The Libre Parole, which had become a popular organ with reactionaries and with malcontents of all classes, enlisted the support of the Catholics by attributing the anti-religious policy of the Republic to the influence of the Jews, skilfully reviving bitter memories of the enaction of the Ferry decrees, when sometimes the laicization of schools or the expulsion of monks and nuns had been carried out by a Jewish functionary. Thus religious sentiment and race prejudice were introduced into a movement which was at first directed against capital; and the campaign was conducted with the weapons of scurrility and defamation which had made an unlicensed press under the Third Republic a demoralizing national evil.

An adroit feature of the anti-Semitic campaign was an appeal to national patriotism to rid the army of Jewish influence. The Jews, it was said, not content with directing the financial, and thereby the general policy of the Republic, had designs on the French army, in which they Condemnation of Captain Dreyfus. wished to act as secret agents of their German kindred. In October 1894 the Libre Parole announced that a Jewish officer of artillery attached to the general staff, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, had been arrested on the charge of supplying a government of the Triple Alliance with French military secrets. Tried by court-martial, he was sentenced to military degradation and to detention for life in a fortress. He was publicly degraded at Paris in January 1895, a few days before Casimir-Périer resigned the presidency of the Republic, and was transported to the Île du Diable on the coast of French Guiana. His conviction, on the charge of having betrayed to a foreign power documents relating to the national defence, was based on the alleged identity of his handwriting with that of an intercepted covering-letter, which contained a list of the papers treasonably communicated. The possibility of his innocence was not raised outside the circle of his friends; the Socialists, who subsequently defended him, even complained that common soldiers were shot for offences less than that for which this richly connected officer had been only transported. The secrecy of his trial did not shock public sentiment in France, where at that time all civilians charged with crime were interrogated by a judge in private, and where all accused persons are presumed guilty until proved innocent. In a land subject to invasion there was less disposition to criticize the decision of a military tribunal acting in the defence of the nation even than there would have been in the case of a doubtful judgment passed in a civil court. The country was practically unanimous that Captain Dreyfus had got his deserts. A few, indeed, suggested that had he not been a Jew he would never have been accused; but the greater number replied that an ordinary French traitor of Gentile birth would have been forgotten from the moment of his condemnation. The pertinacity with which some of his co-religionists set to work to show that he had been irregularly condemned seemed to justify the latter proposition. But it was not a Jew who brought about the revival of the affair. Colonel Picquart, an officer of great promise, became head of the intelligence department at the war office, and in 1896 informed the minister of his suspicion that the letter on which Dreyfus had been condemned was written by a certain Major Esterhazy. The military authorities, not wishing to have the case reopened, sent Colonel Picquart on foreign service, and put in his place Colonel Henry. The all-seeing press published various versions of the incident, and the anti-Semitic journals denounced them as proofs of a Jewish conspiracy against the French army.

At the end of 1897 M. Scheurer-Kestner, an Alsatian devoted to France and a republican senator, tried to persuade his political friends to reopen the case; but M. Méline, the prime minister, declared in the name of the Republic that the Dreyfus affair no longer existed. The fact that the Dreyfusards and anti-Dreyfusards. senator who championed Dreyfus was a Protestant encouraged the clerical press in its already marked tendency to utilize anti-Semitism as a weapon of ecclesiastical warfare. But the religious side-issues of the question would have had little importance had not the army been involved in the controversy, which had become so keen that all the population, outside that large section of it indifferent to all public questions, was divided into “Dreyfusards” and “anti-Dreyfusards.” The strong position of the latter was due to their assuming the position of defenders of the army, which, at an epoch when neither the legislature nor the government inspired respect, and the Church was the object of polemic, was the only institution in France to unite the nation by appealing to its martial and patriotic instincts. That is the explanation of the enthusiasm of the public for generals and other officers by whom the trial of Dreyfus and subsequent proceedings had been conducted in a manner repugnant to those who do not favour the arbitrary ways of military dictatorship, which, however, are not unpopular in France. The acquittal of Major Esterhazy by a court-martial, the conviction of Zola by a civil tribunal for a violent criticism of the military authorities, and the imprisonment without trial of Colonel Picquart for his efforts to exonerate Dreyfus, were practically approved by the nation. This was shown by the result of the general elections in May 1898. The clerical reactionaries were almost swept out of the Chamber, but the overwhelming republican majority was practically united in its hostility to the defenders of Dreyfus, whose only outspoken representatives were found in the socialist groups. The moderate Méline ministry was succeeded in June 1898 by the radical Brisson ministry. But while the new prime minister was said to be personally disposed to revise the sentence on Dreyfus, his civilian minister of war, M. Cavaignac, was as hostile to revision as any of his military predecessors—General Mercier, under whom the trial took place, General Zurlinden, and General Billot, a republican soldier devoted to the parliamentary régime.

The radical minister of war in July 1898 laid before the Chamber certain new proofs of the guilt of Dreyfus, in a speech so convincing that the house ordered it to be placarded in all the communes of France. The next month Colonel Henry, the chief of the intelligence department, Political results of Dreyfus agitation. confessed to having forged those new proofs, and then committed suicide. M. Cavaignac thereupon resigned office, but declared that the crime of Henry did not prove the innocence of Dreyfus. Many, however, who had hitherto accepted the judgment of 1894, reflected that the offence of a guilty man did not need new crime for its proof. It was further remarked that the forgery had been committed by the intimate colleague of the officers of the general staff, who had zealously protected Esterhazy, the suspected author of the document on which Dreyfus had been convicted. An uneasy misgiving became widespread; but partisan spirit was too excited for it to cause a general revulsion of feeling. Some journalists and politicians of the extreme Left had adopted the defence of Dreyfus as an anti-clerical movement in response to the intemperate partisanship of the Catholic press on the other side. Other members of the socialist groups, not content with criticizing the conduct of the military authorities in the Dreyfus affair, opened a general attack on the French army,—an unpopular policy which allowed the anti-Dreyfusards to utilize the old revolutionary device of making the word “patriotism” a party cry. The defamation and rancour with which the press on both sides flooded the land obscured the point at issue. However, the Brisson ministry just before its fall remitted the Dreyfus judgment to the criminal division of the cour de cassation—the supreme court of revision in France. M. Dupuy formed a new cabinet in November 1898, and made M. de Freycinet minister of war, but that adroit office-holder, though a civilian and a Protestant, did not favour the anti-military and anti-clerical defenders of Dreyfus. The refusal of the Senate, the stronghold of the Republic, to re-elect M. Scheurer-Kestner as its vice-president, showed that the opportunist minister of war understood the feeling of parliament, which was soon displayed by an extraordinary proceeding. The divisional judges, to whom the case was remitted, showed signs that their decision would be in favour of a new trial of Dreyfus. The republican legislature, therefore, disregarding the principle of the separation of the powers, which is the basis of constitutional government, took the arbitrary step of interfering with the judicial authority. It actually passed a law withdrawing the partly-heard cause from the criminal chamber of the cour de cassation, and transferring it to the full court of three divisions, in the hope that a majority of judges would thus be found to decide against the revision of the sentence on Dreyfus.

This flagrant confusion of the legislative with the judicial power displayed once more the incompetence of the French rightly to use parliamentary institutions; but it left the nation indifferent. It was during the passage of the bill that the president of the Republic suddenly died. Félix Faure was said to be hostile to the defenders of Dreyfus and disposed to utilise the popular enthusiasm for the army as a means of making the presidential office independent of parliament. The Chambers, therefore, in spite of their anti-Dreyfusard bias, were determined not to relinquish any of their constitutional prerogative. The military and plebiscitary parties were now fomenting the public discontent by noisy demonstrations. The president of the Senate, M. Loubet, as has been mentioned, was known to have no sympathy with this agitation, so he was elected president of the Republic by a large majority at the congress held at Versailles on 18th February 1899. The new president, who was unknown to the public, though he had once been prime minister for nine months, was respected in political circles; but his elevation to the first office of the State made him the object of that defamation which had become the chief characteristic of the partisan press under the Third Republic. He was recklessly accused of having been an accomplice of the Panama frauds, by screening certain guilty politicians when he was prime minister in 1892, and because he was not opposed to the revision of the Dreyfus sentence he was wantonly charged with being bought with Jewish money. Meanwhile the united divisions of the cour de cassation were, in spite of the intimidation of the legislature, reviewing the case with an independence worthy of praise in an ill-paid magistracy which owed its promotion to political influence. Instead of justifying the suggestive interference of parliament it revised the judgment of the court-martial, and ordered Dreyfus to be re-tried by a military tribunal at Rennes. The Dupuy ministry, which had wished to prevent this decision, resigned, and M. Waldeck-Rousseau formed a heterogeneous cabinet in which Socialists, who for the first time took office, had for their colleague as minister of war General de Galliffet, whose chief political fame had been won as the executioner of the Communards after the insurrection of 1871. Dreyfus was brought back Second trial of Dreyfus. from the Devil’s Island, and in August 1899 was put upon his trial a second time. His old accusers, led by General Mercier, the minister of war of 1894, redoubled their efforts to prove his guilt, and were permitted by the officers composing the court a wide license according to English ideas of criminal jurisprudence. The published evidence did not, however, seem to connect Dreyfus with the charges brought against him. Nevertheless the court, by a majority of five to two, found him guilty, and with illogical inconsequence added that there were in his treason extenuating circumstances. He was sentenced to ten years’ detention, and while it was being discussed whether the term he had already served would count as part of his penalty, the ministry completed the inconsequency of the situation by advising the president of the Republic to pardon the prisoner. The result of the second trial satisfied neither the partisans of the accused, who desired his rehabilitation, some of them reproaching him for accepting a pardon, nor his adversaries, whose vindictiveness was unsated by the penalty he had already suffered. But the great mass of the French people, who are always ready to treat a public question with indifference, were glad to be rid of a controversy which had for years infected the national life.

The Dreyfus affair was severely judged by foreign critics as a miscarriage of justice resulting from race-prejudice. If that simple appreciation rightly describes its origin, it became in its development one of those scandals symptomatic of the unhealthy political condition of Real character of the Dreyfus agitation. France, which on a smaller scale had often recurred under the Third Republic, and which were made the pretext by the malcontents of all parties for gratifying their animosities. That in its later stages it was not a question of race-persecution was seen in the curious phenomenon of journals owned or edited by Jews leading the outcry against the Jewish officer and his defenders. That it was not a mere episode of the rivalry between Republicans and Monarchists, or between the advocates of parliamentarism and of military autocracy, was evident from the fact that the most formidable opponents of Dreyfus, without whose hostility that of the clericals and reactionaries would have been ineffective, were republican politicians. That it was not a phase of the anti-capitalist movement was shown by the zealous adherence of the socialist leaders and journalists to the cause of Dreyfus; indeed, one remarkable result of the affair was its diversion of the socialist party and press for several years from their normal campaign against property. The Dreyfus affair was utilized by the reactionaries against the Republic, by the clericals against the non-Catholics, by the anti-clericals against the Church, by the military party against the parliamentarians, and by the revolutionary socialists against the army. It was also conspicuously utilized by rival republican politicians against one another, and the chaos of political groups was further confused by it.

An epilogue to the Dreyfus affair was the trial for treason before the Senate, at the end of 1899, of a number of persons, mostly obscure followers either of M. Déroulède the poet, who advocated a plebiscitary republic, or of the duc d’Orléans, the pretender of the constitutional monarchy. The State trial of 1899. On the day of President Faure’s funeral M. Déroulède had vainly tried to entice General Roget, a zealous adversary of Dreyfus, who was on duty with his troops, to march on the Elysée in order to evict the newly-elected president of the Republic. Other demonstrations against M. Loubet ensued, the most offensive being a concerted assault upon him on the racecourse at Auteuil in June 1899. The subsequent resistance to the police of a band of anti-Semites threatened with arrest, who barricaded themselves in a house in the rue Chabrol, in the centre of Paris, and, with the marked approval of the populace, sustained a siege for several weeks, indicated that the capital was in a condition not far removed from anarchy. M. Déroulède, indicted at the assizes of the Seine for his misdemeanour on the day of President Faure’s funeral, had been triumphantly acquitted. It was evident that no jury would convict citizens prosecuted for political offences and the government therefore decided to make use of the article of the Law of 1875, which allowed the Senate to be constituted a high court for the trial of offences endangering the state. A respectable minority of the Senate, including M. Wallon, the venerable “Father of the Constitution” of 1875, vainly protested that the framers of the law intended to invest the upper legislative chamber with judicial power only for the trial of grave crimes of high treason, and not of petty political disorders which a well-organized government ought to be able to repress with the ordinary machinery of police and justice. The outvoted protest was justified by the proceedings before the High Court, which, undignified and disorderly, displayed both the fatuity of the so-called conspirators and the feebleness of the government which had to cope with them. The trial proved that the plebiscitary faction was destitute of its essential factor, a chief to put forward for the headship of the state, and that it was resolved, if it overturned the parliamentary system, not to accept under any conditions the duc d’Orléans, the only pretender before the public. It was shown that royalists and plebiscitary republicans alike had utilized as an organization of disorder the anti-Semitic propaganda which had won favour among the masses as a nationalist movement to protect the French from foreign competition. The evidence adduced before the high court revealed, moreover, the curious fact that certain Jewish royalists had given to the duc d’Orléans large sums of money to found anti-Semitic journals as the surest means of popularizing his cause.

The last year of the 19th century, though uneventful for France, was one of political unrest. This, however, did not take the form of ministerial crises, as, for the fourth time since responsible cabinets were introduced in 1873, a whole year, from the 1st of January to the 31st of French parties at the close of the 19th century. December, elapsed without a change of ministry. The prime minister, M. Waldeck-Rousseau, though his domestic policy exasperated a large section of the political world, including one half of the Progressive group which he had helped to found, displayed qualities of statesmanship always respected in France, but rarely exhibited under the Third Republic. He had proved himself to be what the French call un homme de gouvernement—that is to say, an authoritative administrator of unimpassioned temperament capable of governing with the arbitrary machinery of Napoleonic centralization. His alliance with the extreme Left and the admission into his cabinet of socialist deputies, showed that he understood which wing of the Chamber it was best to conciliate in order to keep the government in his hands for an abnormal term. The advent to office of Socialists disquieted the respectable and prosperous commercial classes, which in France take little part in politics, though they had small sympathy with the nationalists, who were the most violent opponents of the Waldeck-Rousseau ministry. The alarm caused by the handing over of important departments of the state to socialist politicians arose upon a danger which is not always understood beyond the borders of France. Socialism in France is a movement appealing to the revolutionary instincts of the French democracy, advocated in vague terms by the members of rival groups or sects. Thus the increasing number of socialist deputies in parliament had produced no legislative results, and their presence in the cabinet was not feared on that account. The fear which their office-holding inspired was due to the immense administrative patronage which the centralized system confides to each member of the government. French ministers are wont to bestow the places at their disposal on their political friends, so the prospect of administrative posts being filled all over the land by revolutionaries caused some uneasiness. Otherwise the presence of Socialists on the ministerial bench seemed to have no other effect than that of partially muzzling the socialist groups in the Chamber. The opposition to the government was heterogeneous. It included the few Monarchists left in the Chamber, the Nationalists, who resembled the Boulangists of twelve years before, and who had added anti-Semitism to the articles of the revisionist creed, and a number of republicans, chiefly of the old Opportunist group, which had renewed itself under the name of Progressist at the time when M. Waldeck-Rousseau was its most important member in the Senate.

The ablest leaders of this Opposition were all malcontent Republicans; and this fact seemed to show that if ever any form of monarchy were restored in France, political office would probably remain in the hands of men who were former ministers of the Third Republic. Thus the most conspicuous opponents of the cabinet were three ex-prime ministers, MM. Méline, Charles Dupuy and Ribot. Less distinguished republican “ministrables” had their normal appetite for office whetted in 1900 by the international exhibition at Paris. It brought the ministers of the day into unusual prominence, and endowed them with large subsidies voted by parliament for official entertainments. The exhibition was planned on too ambitious a scale to be a financial success. It also called forth the just regrets of those who deplored the tendency of Parisians under the Third Republic to turn their once brilliant city into an international casino. Its most satisfactory feature was the proof it displayed of the industrial inventiveness and the artistic instinct of the French. The political importance of the exhibition lay in the fact that it determined the majority in the Chamber not to permit the foreigners attracted by it to the capital to witness a ministerial crisis. Few strangers of distinction, however, came to it, and not one sovereign of the great powers visited Paris; but the ministry remained in office, and M. Waldeck-Rousseau had uninterrupted opportunity of showing his governmental ability. The only change in his cabinet took place when General de Galliffet resigned the portfolio of war to General André. The army, as represented by its officers, had shown symptoms of hostility to the ministry in consequence of the pardon of Dreyfus. The new minister of war repressed such demonstrations with proceedings of the same arbitrary character as those which had called forth criticism in England when used in the Dreyfus affair. In both cases the high-handed policy was regarded either with approval or with indifference by the great majority of the French nation, which ever since the Revolution has shown that its instincts are in favour of authoritative government. The emphatic support given by the radical groups to the autocratic policy of M. Waldeck-Rousseau and his ministers was not surprising to those who have studied the history of the French democracy. It has always had a taste for despotism since it first became a political power in the days of the Jacobins, to whose early protection General Bonaparte owed his career. On the other hand liberalism has always been repugnant to the masses, and the only period in which the Liberals governed the country was under the régime of limited suffrage—during the Restoration and the Monarchy of July.

The most important event in France during the last year of the century, not from its political result, but from the lessons it taught, was perhaps the Paris municipal election. The quadrennial renewal of all the municipal councils of France took place in May 1900. The municipality of the capital had been for many years in the hands of the extreme Radicals and the revolutionary Socialists. The Parisian electors now sent to the Hôtel de Ville a council in which the majority were Nationalists, in general sympathy with the anti-Semitic and plebiscitary movements. The nationalist councillors did not, however, form one solid party, but were divided into five or six groups, representing every shade of political discontent, from monarchism to revisionist-socialism. While the electorate of Paris thus pronounced for the revision of the Constitution, the provincial elections, as far as they had a political bearing, were favourable to the ministry and to the Republic. M. Waldeck-Rousseau accepted the challenge of the capital, and dealt with its representatives with the arbitrary weapons of centralization which the Republic had inherited from the Napoleonic settlement of the Revolution. Municipal autonomy is unknown in France, and the town council of Paris has to submit to special restrictions on its liberty of action. The prefect of the Seine is always present at its meetings as agent of the government and the minister of the interior can veto any of its resolutions. The Socialists, when their party ruled the municipality, clamoured in parliament for Paris and the provinces. the removal of this administrative control. But now being in a minority they supported the government in its anti-autonomic rigours. The majority of the municipal council authorized its president to invite to a banquet, in honour of the international exhibition, the provincial mayors and a number of foreign municipal magnates, including the lord mayor of London. The ministers were not invited, and the prefect of the Seine thereupon informed the president of the municipality that he had no right, without consulting the agent of the government, to offer a banquet to the provincial mayors; and they, with the deference which French officials instinctively show to the central authority, almost all refused the invitation to the Hôtel de Ville. The municipal banquet was therefore abandoned, but the government gave one in the Tuileries gardens, at which no fewer than 22,000 mayors paid their respects to the chief of the state. These events showed that, as in the Terror, as at the coup d’état of 1851, and as in the insurrection of the Commune, the French provinces were never disposed to follow the political lead of the capital, whether the opinions prevailing there were Jacobin or reactionary. These incidents displayed the tendency of the French democracy, in Paris and in the country alike, to submit to and even to encourage the arbitrary working of administrative centralization. The elected mayors of the provincial communes, urban and rural, quitted themselves like well-drilled functionaries of the state, respectful of their hierarchical superiors, just as in the days when they were the nominees of the government; while the population of Paris, in spite of its perennial proneness to revolution, accepted the rebuff inflicted on its chosen representatives without any hostile demonstration. The municipal elections in Paris afforded fresh proof of the unchanging political ineptitude of the reactionaries. The dissatisfaction of the great capital with the government of the Republic might, in spite of the reluctance of the provinces to follow the lead of Paris, have had grave results if skilfully organized. But the anti-republican groups, instead of putting forward men of high ability or reputation to take possession of the Hôtel de Ville, chose their candidates among the same inferior class of professional politicians as the Radicals and the Socialists whom they replaced on the municipal council.

The beginning of a century of the common era is a purely artificial division of time. Yet it has often marked a turning-point in the history of nations. This was notably the case in France in 1800. The violent and anarchical phases of the Revolution of 1789 came to an end with France at the opening of the
20th century.
the 18th century; and the dawn of the 19th was coincident with the administrative reconstruction of France by Napoleon, on lines which endured with little modification till the end of that century, surviving seven revolutions of the executive power. The opening years of the 20th century saw no similar changes in the government of the country. The Third Republic, which was about to attain an age double that reached by any other regime since the Revolution, continued to live on the basis of the Constitution enacted in 1875, before it was five years old. Yet it seems not unlikely that historians of the future may take the date 1900 as a landmark between two distinct periods in the evolution of the French nation.

With the close of the 19th century the Dreyfus affair came practically to an end. Whatever the political and moral causes of the agitation which attended it, its practical result was to strengthen the Radical and Socialist parties in the Republic, and to reduce to unprecedented impotence Results of the Dreyfus affair. the forces of reaction. This was due more to the maladroitness of the Reactionaries than to the virtues or the prescience of the extreme Left, as the imprisonment of the Jewish captain, which agitated and divided the nation, could not have been inflicted without the ardent approval of Republicans of all shades of opinion. But when the majority at last realized that a mistake had been committed, the Reactionaries, in great measure through their own unwise policy, got the chief credit for it. Consequently, as the clericals formed the militant section of the anti-Republican parties, and as the Radical-Socialists were at that time keener in their hostility to the Church than in their zeal for social or economic reform, the issue of the Dreyfus affair brought about an anti-clerical movement, which, though initiated and organized by a small minority, met with nothing to resist it in the country, the reactionary forces being effete and the vast majority of the population indifferent. The main and absorbing feature therefore of political life in France in the first years of the 20th century was a campaign against the Roman Catholic Church, unparalleled in energy since the Revolution. Its most striking result was the rupture of the Concordat between France and the Vatican. This act was additionally important as being the first considerable breach made in the administrative structure reared by Napoleon, which had hitherto survived all the vicissitudes of the 19th century. Concurrently with this the influence of the Socialist party in French policy largely increased. A primary principle professed by the Socialists throughout Europe is pacificism, and its dissemination in France acted in two very different ways. It encouraged in the French people a growth of anti-military spirit, which showed some sign of infecting the national army, and it impelled the government of the Republic to be zealous in cultivating friendly relations with other powers. The result of the latter phase of pacificism was that France, under the Radical-Socialist administrations of the early years of the 20th century, enjoyed a measure of international prestige of that superficial kind which is expressed by the state visits of crowned heads to the chief of the executive power, greater than at any period since the Second Empire.

The voting of the law which separated the Church from the state will probably mark a capital date in French history; so, as the ecclesiastical policy of successive ministries filled almost entirely the interior chronicles of France for the first five years of the new century, it will be Church policy. convenient to set forth in order the events which during that period led up to the passing of the Separation Act.

The French legislature during the first session of the 20th century was chiefly occupied with the passing of the Associations Law. That measure, though it entirely changed the legal position of all associations in France, was primarily directed against the religious associations of the Roman Catholic Church. Their influence in the land, according to the anti-clericals, had been proved by the Dreyfus affair to be excessive. The Jesuits were alleged, on their own showing, to exercise considerable power over the officers of the army, and in this way to have been largely responsible for the blunders of the Dreyfus case. Another less celebrated order, which took an active part against Dreyfus, the Assumptionists, had achieved notoriety by its journalistic enterprise, its cheap newspapers of wide circulation being remarkable for the violence of their attacks on the institutions and men of the Republic. The mutual antagonism between the French government and religious congregations is a tradition which dates from the ancient monarchy and was continued by Napoleon I. long before the Third Republic adopted it in the legislation associated with the names of Jules Ferry and Paul Bert. The prime minister, under whose administration the 20th century succeeded the 19th, was M. Waldeck-Rousseau, who had been the colleague of Paul Bert in Gambetta’s grand ministère, and in 1883 had served under Jules Ferry in his second ministry. He had retired from political life, though he remained a member of the Senate, and was making a large fortune at the bar, when in June 1899, at pecuniary sacrifice, he consented to form a ministry for the purpose of “liquidating” the Dreyfus affair. In 1900, the year after the second condemnation of Dreyfus and his immediate pardon by the government, M. Waldeck-Rousseau in a speech at Toulouse announced that legislation was about to be undertaken on the subject of associations.

At that period the hostility of the Revolution to the principle of associations of all kinds, civil as well as religious, was still enforced by the law. With the exception of certain commercial societies subject to special legislation, no association composed of more than twenty persons could be formed without governmental authorization which was always revocable, the restriction applying equally to political and social clubs and to religious communities. The law was the same for all, but was differently applied. Authorization was rarely refused to political or social societies, though any club was liable to have its authorization withdrawn and to be shut up or dissolved. But to religious orders new authorization was practically never granted. Only four of them, the orders of Saint Lazare, of the Saint Esprit, of the Missions Étrangères and of Saint Sulpice, were authorized under the Third Republic—their authorization dating from the First Empire and the Restoration. The Frères de la Doctrine Chrétienne were also recognized, not, however, as a religious congregation under the jurisdiction of the minister of public worship, but as a teaching body under that of the minister of education. All the great historical orders, preaching, teaching or contemplative, were “unauthorized”; they led a precarious life on sufferance, having as corporations no civil existence, and being subject to dissolution at a moment’s notice by the administrative authority. In spite of this disability and of the decrees of 1880 directed against unauthorized monastic orders they had so increased under the anti-clerical Republic, that the religious of both sexes were more numerous in France at the beginning of the 20th century than at the end of the ancient monarchy. Moreover, in the twenty years during which unauthorized Orders had been supposed to be suppressed under the Ferry Decrees, their numbers had become six times more numerous than before, while it was the authorized Congregations which had diminished. The bare catalogue of the religious houses in the land, with the value of their properties (estimated by M. Waldeck-Rousseau at a milliard—£40,000,000) filled two White Books of two thousand pages, presented to parliament on the 4th of December 1900. The hostility to the Congregations was not confined to the anti-clericals. The secular clergy were suffering materially from the enterprising competition of their old rivals the regulars. Had the legislation for defining the legal situation of the religious orders been undertaken with the sole intention of limiting their excessive growth, such a measure would have been welcome to the parochial clergy. But they saw that the attack upon the congregations was only preliminary to a general attack upon the Church, in spite of the sincere assurances of the prime minister, a statesman of conservative temperament, that no harm would accrue to the secular clergy from the passing of the Associations Law.

In January 1901, on the eve of the first debate in the Chamber of Deputies on the Associations bill, a discussion took place which showed that the rupture of the Concordat might be nearing the range of practical politics, though parliament was as yet unwilling to take it into consideration. Associations Bill. The archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Richard, had published a letter addressed to him by Leo XIII. deploring the projected legislation as being a breach of the Concordat under which the free exercise of the Catholic religion in France was assured. The Socialists argued that this letter was an intolerable intervention on the part of the Vatican in the domestic politics of the Republic, and proposed that parliament should after voting the Associations Law proceed to separate Church and State. M. Waldeck-Rousseau, the prime minister, calm and moderate, declined to take this view of the pope’s letter, and the resolution was defeated by a majority of more than two to one. But another motion, proposed by a Nationalist, that the Chamber should declare its resolve to maintain the Concordat, was rejected by a small majority. The discussion of the Associations bill was then commenced by the Chamber and went on until the Easter recess. Its main features when finally voted were that the right to associate for purposes not illicit should be henceforth free of all restrictions, though “juridical capacity” would be accorded only to such associations as were formally notified to the administrative authority. The law did not, however, accord liberty of association to religious “Congregations,” none of which could be formed without a special statute, and any constituted without such authorization would be deemed illicit. The policy of the measure, as applying to religious orders, was attacked by the extreme Right and the extreme Left from their several standpoints. The clericals proposed that under the new law all associations, religious as well as civil, should be free. The Socialists proposed that all religious communities, authorized or unauthorized, should be suppressed. The prime minister took a middle course. But he went farther than the moderate Republicans, with whom he was generally classed. While he protected the authorized religious orders against the attacks of the extreme anti-clericals, he accepted from the latter a new clause which disqualified any member of an unauthorized order from teaching in any school. This was a blow at the principle of liberty of instruction, which had always been supported by Liberals of the old school, who had no sympathy with the pretensions of clericalism. Consequently this provision, though voted by a large majority, was opposed by the Liberals of the Republican party, notably by M. Ribot, who had been twice prime minister, and M. Aynard, almost the sole survivor of the Left Centre. It was remarked that in these, as in all subsequent debates on ecclesiastical questions, the ablest defenders of the Church were not found among the clericals, but among the Liberals, whose primary doctrine was that of tolerance, which they believed ought to be applied to the exercise of the religion nominally professed by a large majority of the nation. Few of the ardent professors of that religion gave effective aid to the Church during that period of crisis. M. de Mun still used his eloquence in its defence, but the brilliant Catholic orator had entered his sixtieth year with health impaired, and among the young reactionary members there was not one who displayed any talent. At the other end of the Chamber M. Viviani, a Socialist member for Paris, made an eloquent speech. As was anticipated the bill received no serious opposition in the Senate. Though not in sympathy with the attacks of the Socialists in the Chamber on property, the Upper House had as a whole no objection to their attacks on the Church, and had become a more persistently anti-clerical body than the Chamber of Deputies. The bill was therefore passed without any serious amendments, even those which were moved for the purpose of affirming the principle of liberty of education being supported by very few Republican senators. In the debates some of the utterances of the prime minister were important. On the proposal of M. Rambaud, a professor who was minister of education in the Méline cabinet of 1896, that religious associations should be authorized by decree and not by law, M. Waldeck-Rousseau said that inasmuch as vows of poverty and celibacy were illegal, nothing but a law would suffice to give legality to any association in which such vows were imposed on the members. It was thus laid down by the responsible author of the law that the third clause, providing that any association founded for an illicit cause was null, applied to religious communities. On the other hand the prime minister in another speech repudiated the suggestion that the proposed law was aimed against any form of religion. He argued that the religious orders, far from being essential to the existence of the Church, were a hindrance to the work of the parochial clergy, and that inasmuch as the religious orders were organizations independent of the State they were by their nature and influence a danger to the State. Consequently their regulation had become necessary in the interests both of Church and State. The general suppression of religious congregations, the prime minister said, was not contemplated; the case of each one would be decided on its merits, and he had no doubt that parliament would favourably consider the authorization of those whose aim was to alleviate misery at home or to extend French influence abroad. The tenor of M. Waldeck-Rousseau’s speech was eminently Concordatory. One of his chief arguments against the religious orders was that they were not mentioned in the Concordat, and that their unregulated existence prejudiced the interests of the Concordatory clergy. The speech was therefore an official declaration in favour of the maintenance of the relations between Church and State. That being so, it is important to notice that by a majority of nearly two to one the Senate voted the placarding of the prime minister’s speech in all the communes of France, and that the mover of the resolution was M. Combes, senator of the Charente-Inférieure, a politician of advanced views who up to that date had held office only once, when he was minister of education and public worship for about six months, in the Bourgeois administration in 1895–1896.

The “Law relating to the contract of Association” was promulgated on the 2nd of July 1901, and its enactment was the only political event of high importance that year. The Socialists, except in their anti-clerical capacity, were more active outside parliament than within. Early in the Socialism. year some formidable strikes took place. At Montceau-les-Mines in Burgundy, where labour demonstrations had often been violent, a new feature of a strike was the formation of a trade-union by the non-strikers, who called their organization “the yellow trade-union” (le syndicat jaune) in opposition to the red trade-union of the strikers, who adopted the revolutionary flag and were supported by the Socialist press. At the same time the dock-labourers at Marseilles went out on strike, by the orders of an international trade-union in that port, as a protest against the dismissal of a certain number of foreigners. The number of strikes in France had increased considerably under the Waldeck-Rousseau government. Its opponents attributed this to the presence in the cabinet of M. Millerand, who had been ranked as a Socialist. On the other hand, the revolutionary Socialists excommunicated the minister of commerce for having joined a “bourgeois government” and retired from the general congress of the Socialist party at Lyons, where MM. Briand and Viviani, themselves future ministers, persuaded the majority not to go so far. The federal committee of miners projected a general strike in all the French coal-fields, and to that end organized a referendum. But of 125,000 miners inscribed on their lists nearly 70,000 abstained from voting, and although the general strike was voted in October by a majority of 34,000, it was not put into effect. Another movement favoured by the Socialists was that of anti-militarism. M. Hervé, a professor at the lycée of Sens, had written, in a local journal, the Pioupiou de l’Yonne, on the occasion of the departure of the conscripts for their regiments, some articles outraging the French flag. He was prosecuted and acquitted at the assizes at Auxerre in November, a number of his colleagues in the teaching profession coming forward to testify that they shared his views. The local educational authority, the academic council of Dijon, however, dismissed M. Hervé from his official functions, and its sentence was confirmed by the superior council of public education to which he had appealed. Thereupon the Socialists in the Chamber, under the lead of M. Viviani, violently attacked the Government—shortly before the prorogation at the end of the year. M. Leygues, the minister of education, defended the policy of his department with equal vigour, declaring that if a professor in the “university” claimed the right of publishing unpatriotic and anti-military opinions he could exercise it only on the condition of giving up his employment under government—a thesis which was supported by the entire Chamber with the exception of the Socialists. This manifestation of anti-military spirit, though not widespread, was the more striking as it followed close upon a second visit of the emperor and empress of Russia to France, which took place in September 1901 and was of a military rather than of a popular character. The Russian sovereigns did not come to Paris. After a naval display at Dunkirk, where they landed, they were the guests of President Loubet at Compiègne, and concluded their visit by attending a review near Reims of the troops which had taken part in the Eastern manœuvres. Compared with the welcome given by the French population to the emperor and empress in 1896 their reception on this occasion was not enthusiastic. By not visiting Paris they seemed to wish to avoid contact with the people, who were persuaded by a section of the press that the motive of the imperial journey to France was financial. The Socialists openly repudiated the Russian alliance, and one of them, the mayor of Lille, who refused to decorate his municipal buildings when the sovereigns visited the department of the Nord, was neither revoked nor suspended, although he publicly based his refusal on grounds insulting to the tsar.

It may be mentioned that the census returns of 1901 showed that the total increase of the population of France since the previous census in 1896 amounted only to 412,364, of which 289,662 was accounted for by the capital, while on the other hand the population of sixty out of eighty-seven departments had diminished.

As the quadrennial election of the Chamber of Deputies was due to take place in the spring of 1902, the first months of that year were chiefly occupied by politicians in preparing for it, though none of them gave any sign of being aware that the legislation to be effected by the new Chamber would be the most important which any parliament had undertaken under the constitution of 1875. At the end of the recess the prime minister in a speech at Saint Etienne, the capital of the Loire, of which department he was senator, passed in review the work of his ministry. With regard to the future, on the eve of the election which was to return the Chamber destined to disestablish the Church, he assured the secular clergy that they must not consider the legislation of the last session as menacing them: far from that, the recent law, directed primarily against those monastic orders which were anti-Republican associations, owning political journals and organizing electioneering funds (whose members he described as “moines ligueurs et moines d’affaires”), would be a guarantee of the Republic’s protection of the parochial clergy. The presence of his colleague, M. Millerand, on this occasion showed that M. Waldeck-Rousseau did not intend to separate himself from the Radical-Socialist group which had supported his government; and the next day the Socialist minister of commerce, at Firminy, a mining centre in the same department, made a speech deprecating the pursuit of unpractical social ideals, which might have been a version of Gambetta’s famous discourse on opportunism edited by an economist of the school of Léon Say. The Waldeck-Rousseau programme for the elections seemed therefore to be an implied promise of a moderate opportunist policy which would strengthen and unite the Republic by conciliating all sections of its supporters. When parliament met, M. Delcassé, minister for foreign affairs, on a proposal to suppress the Embassy to the Vatican, declared that even if the Concordat were ever revoked it would still be necessary for France to maintain diplomatic relations with the Holy See. On the other hand, the ministry voted, against the moderate Republicans, for an abstract resolution, proposed by M. Brisson, in favour of the abrogation of the Loi Falloux of 1850, which law, by abolishing the monopoly of the “university,” had established the principle of liberty of education. Another abstract resolution, supported by the government, which subsequently become law, was voted in favour of the reduction of the terms of compulsory military service from three years to two.

The general elections took place on the 27th of April 1902; with the second ballots on the 11th of May, and were favourable to the ministry, 321 of its avowed supporters being returned and 268 members of the Opposition, including 140 “Progressist” Republicans, many of whom were Resignation of Waldeck-Rousseau. deputies whose opinions differed little from those of M. Waldeck-Rousseau. In Paris the government lost a few seats which were won by the Nationalist group of reactionaries. The chief surprise of the elections was the announcement made by M. Waldeck-Rousseau on the 20th of May, while the president of the Republic was in Russia on a visit to the tsar, of his intention to resign office. No one but the prime minister’s intimates knew that his shattered health was the true cause of his resignation, which was attributed to the unwillingness of an essentially moderate man to be the leader of an advanced party and the instrument of an immoderate policy. His retirement from public life at this crisis was the most important event of its kind since the death of his old master Gambetta. He had learned opportunist statesmanship in the short-lived grand ministère and in the long-lived Ferry administration of 1883–1885, after which he had become an inactive politician in the Senate, while making a large fortune at the bar. In spite of having eschewed politics he had been ranked in the public mind with Gambetta and Jules Ferry as one of the small number of politicians of the Republic who had risen high above mediocrity. While he had none of the magnetic exuberance which furthered the popularity of Gambetta, his cold inexpansiveness had not made him unpopular as was his other chief, Jules Ferry. Indeed, his unemotional coldness was one of the elements of the power with which he dominated parliament; and being regarded by the nation as the strong man whom France is always looking for, he was the first prime minister of the Republic whose name was made a rallying cry at a general election. Yet the country gave him a majority only for it to be handed over to other politicians to use in a manner which he had not contemplated. On the 3rd of June 1902 he formally resigned office, his ministry having lasted for three years, all but a few days, a longer duration than that of any other under the Third Republic.

M. Loubet called upon M. Léon Bourgeois, who had already been prime minister under M. Félix Faure, to form a ministry, but he had been nominated president of the new Chamber. The president of the Republic then offered the post to M. Brisson, who had been twice prime M. Combes
prime minister.
minister in 1885 and 1898, but he also refused. A third member of the Radical party was then sent for, M. Emile Combes, and he accepted. The senator of the Charente Inférieure, in his one short term of office in the Bourgeois ministry, had made no mark. But he had attained a minor prominence in the debates of the Senate by his ardent anti-clericalism. He had been educated as a seminarist and had taken minor orders, without proceeding to the priesthood, and had subsequently practised as a country doctor before entering parliament. M. Combes retained two of the most important members of the Waldeck-Rousseau cabinet, M. Delcassé, who had been at the foreign office for four years, and General André, who had become war minister in 1900 on the resignation of General de Galliffet. General André was an ardent Dreyfusard, strongly opposed to clerical and reactionary influences in the army. Among the new ministers was M. Rouvier, a colleague of Gambetta in the grand ministère and prime minister in 1887, whose participation in the Panama affair had caused his retirement from official life. Being a moderate opportunist and reputed the ablest financier among French politicians, his return to the ministry of finance reassured those who feared the fiscal experiments of an administration supported by the Socialists. The nomination as minister of marine of M. Camille Pelletan (the son of Eugène Pelletan, a notable adversary of the Second Empire), who had been a Radical-Socialist deputy since 1881, though new to office, was less reassuring. M. Combes reserved for himself the departments of the interior and public worship, meaning that the centralized administration of France should be in his own hands while he was keeping watch over the Church. But in spite of the prime minister’s extreme anti-clericalism there was no hint made in his ministerial declaration, on the 10th of June 1902, on taking office that there would be any question of the new Chamber dealing with the Concordat or with the relations of Church and state. M. Combes, however, warned the secular clergy not to make common cause with the religious orders, against which he soon began vigorous action. Before the end of June he directed the Préfets of the departments to bring political pressure to bear on all branches of the public service, and he obtained a presidential decree closing a hundred and twenty-five schools, which had been recently opened in buildings belonging to private individuals, on the ground that they were conducted by members of religious associations and that this brought the schools under the law of 1901. Such action seemed to be opposed to M. Waldeck-Rousseau’s interpretation of the law; but the Chamber having supported M. Combes he ordered in July the closing of 2500 schools, conducted by members of religious orders, for which authorization had not been requested. This again seemed contrary to the assurances of M. Waldeck-Rousseau, and it called forth vain protests in the name of liberty from Radicals of the old school, such as M. Goblet, prime minister in 1886, and from Liberal Protestants, such as M. Gabriel Monod. The execution of the decrees closing the schools of the religious orders caused some violent agitation in the provinces during the parliamentary recess. But the majority of the departmental councils, at their meetings in August, passed resolutions in favour of the governmental policy, and a movement led by certain Nationalists, including M. Drumont, editor of the anti-semitic Libre Parole, and M. François Coppée, the Academician, to found a league having similar aims to those of the “passive resisters” in our country, was a complete failure. On the reassembling of parliament, both houses passed votes of confidence in the ministry and also an act supplementary to the Associations Law penalizing the opening of schools by members of religious orders.

In spite of the ardour of parliamentary discussions the French public was less moved in 1902 by the anti-clerical action of the government than by a vulgar case of swindling known as the “Humbert affair.” The wife of a former deputy for Seine-et-Marne, who was the son of M. Gustave Humbert affair. Humbert, minister of justice in 1882, had for many years maintained a luxurious establishment, which included a political salon, on the strength of her assertion that she and her family had inherited several millions sterling from one Crawford, an Englishman. Her story being believed by certain bankers she had been enabled to borrow colossal sums on the legend, and had almost married her daughter as a great heiress to a Moderate Republican deputy who held a conspicuous position in the Chamber. The flight of the Humberts, the exposure of the fraud and their arrest in Spain excited the French nation more deeply than the relative qualities of M. Waldeck-Rousseau and M. Combes or the woes of the religious orders. A by-election to the Senate in the spring of 1902 merits notice as it brought back to parliament M. Clémenceau, who had lived in comparative retirement since 1893 when he lost his seat as deputy for Draguignan, owing to a series of unusually bitter attacks made against him by his political enemies. He had devoted his years of retirement to journalism, taking a leading part in the Dreyfus affair on the side of the accused. His election as senator for the Var, where he had formerly been deputy, was an event of importance unanticipated at the time.

The year 1903 saw in progress a momentous development of the anti-clerical movement in France, though little trace of this is found in the statute-book. The chief act of parliament of that year was one which interested the population much more than any law affecting the Anti-clerical movement. Church. This was an act regulating the privileges of the bouilleurs de cru, the peasant proprietors who, permitted to distil from their produce an annual quantity of alcohol supposed to be sufficient for their domestic needs, in practice fabricated and sold so large an amount as to prejudice gravely the inland revenue. As there were a million of these illicit distillers in the land they formed a powerful element in the electorate. The crowded and excited debates affecting their interests, in which Radicals and Royalists of the rural districts made common cause against Socialists and Clericals of the towns, were in striking contrast with the less animated discussions concerning the Church. The prime minister, an anti-clerical zealot, bitterly hostile to the Church of which he had been a minister, took advantage of the relative indifference of parliament and of the nation in matters ecclesiastical. The success of M. Combes in his campaign against the Church was an example of what energy and pertinacity can do. There was no great wave of popular feeling on the question, no mandate given to the deputies at the general election or asked for by them. Neither was M. Combes a popular leader or a man of genius. He was rather a trained politician, with a fixed idea, who knew how to utilize to his ends the ability and organization of the extreme anti-clerical element in the Chamber, and the weakness of the extreme clerical party. The majority of the Chamber did not share the prime minister’s animosity towards the Church, for which at the same time it had not the least enthusiasm, and under the concordatory lead of M. Waldeck-Rousseau it would have been content to curb clerical pretensions without having recourse to extreme measures of repression. It was, however, equally content to follow the less tolerant guidance of M. Combes. Thus, early in the session of 1903 it approved of his circular forbidding the priests of Brittany to make use of the Breton language in their religious instruction under pain of losing their salaries. It likewise followed him on the 26th of January when he declined to accept, as being premature and unpractical, a Socialist resolution in favour of suppressing the budget of public worship, though the majority was indeed differently composed on those two occasions. In the Senate on the 29th of January M. Waldeck-Rousseau indicated what his policy would have been had he retained office, by severely criticizing his successor’s method of applying the Associations Law. Instead of asking parliament to judge on its merits each several demand for authorization made by a congregation, the government had divided the religious orders into two chief categories, teaching orders and preaching orders, and had recommended that all should be suppressed by a general refusal of authorization. The Grande Chartreuse was put into a category by itself as a trading association and was dissolved; but Lourdes, which with its crowds of pilgrims enriched the Pyrenean region and the railway companies serving it, was spared for electioneering reasons. A dispute arose between the government and the Vatican on the nomination of bishops to vacant sees. The Vatican insisted on the words “nobis nominavit” in the papal bulls instituting the bishops nominated by the chief of the executive in France under the Concordat. M. Combes objected to the pronoun, and maintained that the complete nomination belonged to the French government, the Holy See having no choice in the matter, but only the power of canonical institution. This produced a deadlock, with the consequence that no more bishops were ever again appointed under the Concordat, which both before and after the Easter recess M. Combes now threatened to repudiate. These menaces derived an increased importance from the failing health of the pope. Leo XIII. had attained the great age of ninety-three, and on the choice of his successor grave issues depended. He died on the 20th of July 1903. The conclave indicated as his successor his secretary of state, Cardinal Rampolla, an able exponent of the late pope’s diplomatic methods and also a warm friend of France. It was said to be the latter quality which induced Austria to exercise its ancient power of veto on the choice of a conclave, and finally Cardinal Sarto, patriarch of Venice, a pious prelate inexperienced in diplomacy, was elected and took the title of Pius X. In September the inauguration of a statue of Renan at Tréguier, his birthplace, was made the occasion of an anti-clerical demonstration in Catholic and reactionary Brittany, at which the prime minister made a militant speech in the name of the freethinkers of France, though Renan was a Voltairian aristocrat who disliked the aims and methods of modern Radical-Socialists. In the course of his speech M. Combes pointed out that the anti-clerical policy of the government had not caused the Republic to lose prestige in the eyes of the monarchies of Europe, which were then showing it unprecedented attentions. This assertion was true, and had reference to the visit of the king of England to the president of the Republic in May and the projected visit of the king of Italy. That of Edward VII., which was the first state visit of a British sovereign to France for nearly fifty years, was returned by President Loubet in July, and was welcomed by all parties, excepting some of the reactionaries. M. Millevoye, a Nationalist deputy for Paris, in the Patrie counselled the Parisians to remember Fashoda, the Transvaal War, and the attitude of the English in the Dreyfus affair, and to greet the British monarch with cries of “Vivent les Boers.” M. Déroulède, the most interesting member of the Nationalist party, wrote from his exile at Saint-Sébastien protesting against the folly of this proceeding, which merits to be put on record as an example of the incorrigible ineptitude of the reactionaries in France. The incident served only to prove their complete lack of influence on popular feeling, while it damaged the cause of the Church at a most critical moment by showing that the only persons in France willing to insult a friendly monarch who was the guest of the nation, belonged to the clerical party. Of the royal visits that of the king of Italy was the more important in its immediate effects on the history of France, as will be seen in the narration of the events of 1904.

The session of 1904 began with the election of a new president of the Chamber, on the retirement of M. Bourgeois. The choice fell on M. Henri Brisson, an old Radical, but not a Socialist, who had held that post in 1881 and had subsequently filled it on ten occasions, the election to the office being annual. The narrow majority he obtained over M. Paul Bertrand, a little-known moderate Republican, by secret ballot, followed by the defeat of M. Jaurès, the Socialist leader, for one of the vice-presidential chairs, showed that one half of the Chamber was of moderate tendency. But, as events proved, the Moderates lacked energy and leadership, so the influence of the Radical prime minister prevailed. In a debate on the 22nd of January on the expulsion of an Alsatian priest of French birth from a French frontier department by the French police, M. Ribot, who set an example of activity to younger men of the moderate groups, reproached M. Combes with reducing all questions in which the French nation was interested to the single one of anti-clericalism, and the prime minister retorted that it was solely for that purpose that he took office. In pursuance of this policy a bill was introduced, and was passed by the Chamber before Easter, interdicting from teaching all members of religious orders, authorized or not authorized. Among other results this law, which the Senate passed in the summer, swept out of existence the schools of the Frères de la Doctrine Chrétienne (Christian Brothers) and closed in all 2400 schools before the end of the year.

This drastic act of anti-clerical policy, which was a total repudiation by parliament of the principle of liberty of education, should have warned the authorities of the Church of the relentless attitude of the government. The most superficial observation ought to have shown them that the indifference of the nation would permit the prime minister to go to any length, and common prudence should have prevented them from affording him any pretext for more damaging measures. The President of the Republic accepted an invitation to return the visit of the king of Italy. When it was submitted to the Chamber on March 25th, 1904, a reactionary deputy moved the rejection of the vote for the expenses of the journey on the ground that the chief of the French executive ought not to visit the representative of the dynasty which had plundered the papacy. The amendment was rejected by a majority of 502 votes to 12, which showed that at a time of bitter controversy on ecclesiastical questions French opinion was unanimous in approving the visit of the president of the Republic to Rome as the guest of the king of Italy. Nothing could be more gratifying to the entire French nation, both on racial and on traditional grounds, than such a testimony of a complete revival of friendship with Italy, of late years obscured by the Triple Alliance. Yet the Holy See saw fit to advance pretensions inevitably certain to serve the ends of the extreme anti-clericals, whose most intolerant acts at that moment, such as the removal of the crucifixes from the law-courts, were followed by new electoral successes. Thus the reactionary majority on the Paris municipal council was displaced by the Radical-Socialists on the 1st of May, the day that M. Loubet returned from his visit to Rome. On the 16th of May M. Jaurès’ Socialist organ, L’Humanité, published the text of a protest, addressed by the pope to the powers having diplomatic relations with the Vatican, against the visit of the president of the Republic to the King of Italy. This document, dated the 28th of April, was offensive in tone both to France and to Italy. It intimated that while Catholic sovereigns refrained from visiting the person who, contrary to right, exercised civil sovereignty in Rome, that “duty” was even more “imperious” for the ruler of France by reason of the “privileges” enjoyed by that country from the Concordat; that the journey of M. Loubet to “pay homage” within the pontifical see to that person was an insult to the sovereign pontiff; and that only for reasons of special gravity was the nuncio permitted to remain in Paris. The publication of this document caused some joy among the extreme clericals, but this was nothing to the exultation of the extreme anti-clericals, who saw that the prudent diplomacy of Leo XIII., which had risen superior to many a provocation of the French government, was succeeded by a papal policy which would facilitate their designs in a manner Diplomatic crisis with Rome. unhoped for. Moderate men were dismayed, seeing that the Concordat was now in instant danger; but the majority of the French nation remained entirely indifferent to its fate. Within a week France took the initiative by recalling the ambassador to the Vatican, M. Nisard, leaving a third-secretary in charge. In the debate in the Chamber upon the incident, the foreign minister, M. Delcassé, said that the ambassador was recalled, not because the Vatican had protested against the visit of the president to the king of Italy, but because it had communicated this protest, in terms offensive to France, to foreign powers. The Chamber on the 27th of May approved the recall of the ambassador by the large majority of 420 to 90. By a much smaller majority it rejected a Socialist motion that the Nuncio should be given his passports. The action of the Holy See was not actually an infringement of the Concordat; so the government, satisfied with the effect produced on public opinion, which was now quite prepared for a rupture with the Vatican, was willing to wait for a new pretext, which was not long in coming. Two bishops, Mgr. Geay of Laval and Mgr. Le Nordez of Dijon, were on bad terms with the clerical reactionaries in their dioceses. The friends of the prelates, including some of their episcopal brethren, thought that their chief offence was their loyalty to the Republic, and it was an unfortunate coincidence that these bishops, subjected to proceedings which had been unknown under the long pontificate of Leo XIII., should have been two who had incurred the animosity of anti-republicans. Their enemies accused Mgr. Geay of immorality and Mgr. Le Nordez of being in league with the freemasons. The bishop of Laval was summoned by the Holy Office, without any communication with the French government, to resign his see, and he submitted the citation forthwith to the minister of public worship. The French chargé d’affaires at the Vatican was instructed to protest against this grave infringement of an article of the Concordat, and, soon after, against another violation of the Concordat committed by the Nuncio, who had written to the bishop of Dijon ordering him to suspend his ordinations, the Nuncio being limited, like all other ambassadors, to communicating the instructions of his government through the intermediary of the minister for foreign affairs. The Vatican declined to give any satisfaction to the French government and summoned the two bishops to Rome under pain of suspension. So the French chargé d’affaires was directed to leave Rome, after having informed the Holy See that the government of the Republic considered that the mission of the apostolic Nuncio in Paris was terminated. Thus came to an end on the 30th of July 1904 the diplomatic relations which under the Concordat had subsisted between France and the Vatican for more than a hundred years.

Twelve days later M. Waldeck-Rousseau died, having lived just long enough to see this unanticipated result of his policy. It was said that his resolve to regulate the religious associations arose from his feeling that whatever injustice had been committed in the Dreyfus case had been aggravated by the action of certain unauthorized orders. However that may be, his own utterances showed that he believed that his policy was one of finality. But he had not reckoned that his legislation, which needed hands as calm and impartial as his own to apply it, would be used in a manner he had not contemplated by sectarian politicians who would be further aided by the self-destructive policy of the highest authorities of the Church. When parliament assembled for the autumn session a general feeling was expressed, by moderate politicians as well as by supporters of the Combes ministry, that disestablishment was inevitable. The prime minister said that he had been long in favour of it, though the previous year he had intimated to M. Nisard, ambassador to the Vatican, that he had not a majority in parliament to vote it. But the papacy and the clergy had since done everything to change that situation. The Chamber did not move in the matter beyond appointing a committee to consider the general question, to which M. Combes submitted in his own name a bill for the separation of the churches from the State.

During the last three months of 1904 public opinion was diverted to the cognate question of the existence of masonic delation in the army. M. Guyot de Villeneuve, Nationalist deputy for Saint Denis, who had been dismissed from the army by General de Galliffet in War Office difficulties. connexion with the Dreyfus affair, brought before the Chamber a collection of documents which, it seemed, had been abstracted from the Grand Orient of France, the headquarters of French freemasonry, by an official of that order. These papers showed that an elaborate system of espionage and delation had been organized by the freemasons throughout France for the purpose of obtaining information as to the political opinions and religious practices of the officers of the army, and that this system was worked with the connivance of certain officials of the ministry of war. Its aim appeared to be to ascertain if officers went to mass or sent their children to convent schools or in any way were in sympathy with the Roman Catholic religion, the names of officers so secretly denounced being placed on a black-list at the War Office, whereby they were disqualified for promotion. There was no doubt about the authenticity of the documents or of the facts which they revealed. Radical ex-ministers joined with moderate Republicans and reactionaries in denouncing the system. Anti-clerical deputies declared that it was no use to cleanse the war office of the influence of the Jesuits, which was alleged to have prevailed there, if it were to be replaced by another occult power, more demoralizing because more widespread. Only the Socialists and a few of the Radical-Socialists in the Chamber supported the action of the freemasons. General André, minister of war, was so clearly implicated, with the evident approval of the prime minister, that a revulsion of feeling against the policy of the anti-clerical cabinet began to operate in the Chamber. Had the opposition been wisely guided there can be little doubt that a moderate ministry would have been called to office and the history of the Church in France might have been changed. But the reactionaries, with their accustomed folly, played into the hands of their adversaries. The minister of war had made a speech which produced a bad impression. As he stepped down from the tribune he was struck in the face by a Nationalist deputy for Paris, a much younger man than he. The cowardly assault did not save the minister, who was too deeply compromised in the delation scandal. But it saved the anti-clerical party, by rallying a number of waverers who, until this exhibition of reactionary policy, were prepared to go over to the Moderates, from the “bloc,” as the ministerial majority was called. The Nationalist deputy was committed to the assizes on the technical charge of assaulting a functionary while performing his official duties. Towards the end of the year, on the eve of his trial, he met with a violent death, and the circumstances which led to it, when made public, showed that this champion of the Church was a man of low morality. General André had previously resigned and was succeeded as minister of war by M. Berteaux, a wealthy stock-broker and a Socialist.

The Combes cabinet could not survive the delation scandal, in spite of the resignation of the minister of war and the ineptitude of the opposition. On the 8th of January 1905, two days before parliament met, an election took place in Paris to fill the vacancy caused by the death Fall of the Combes ministry. of the Nationalist deputy who had assaulted General André. The circumstances of his death, at that time partially revealed, did not deter the electors from choosing by a large majority a representative of the same party, Admiral Bienaimé, who the previous year had been removed for political reasons from the post of maritime prefect at Toulon, by M. Camille Pelletan, minister of marine. A more serious check to the Combes ministry was given by the refusal of the Chamber to re-elect as president M. Brisson, who was defeated by a majority of twenty-five by M. Doumer, ex-Governor-General of Indo-China, who, though he had entered politics as a Radical, was now supported by the anti-republican reactionaries as well as by the moderate Republicans. A violent debate arose on the question of expelling from the Legion of Honour certain members of that order, including a general officer, who had been involved in the delation scandal. M. Jaurès, the eloquent Socialist deputy for Albi, who played the part of Éminence grise to M. Combes in his anti-clerical campaign, observed that the party which was now demanding the purification of the order had been in no hurry to expel from it Esterhazy long after his crimes had been proved in connexion with the Dreyfus case. The debate was inconclusive, and the government on the 14th of January obtained a vote of confidence by a majority of six. But M. Combes, whose animosity towards the church was keener than his love of office, saw that his ministry would be constantly liable to be put in a minority, and that thus the consideration of separation might be postponed until after the general elections of 1906. So he announced his resignation in an unprecedented manifesto addressed to the president of the Republic on the 18th January.

M. Rouvier, minister of finance in the outgoing government, was called upon for the second time in his career to form a ministry. A moderate opportunist himself, he intended to form a coalition cabinet in which all groups of Republicans, from the Centre to the extreme Left, would be represented. Second Rouvier ministry. But he failed, and the ministry of the 24th of January 1905 contained no members of the Republican opposition which had combated M. Combes. The prime minister retained the portfolio of finance; M. Delcassé remained at the foreign office, which he had directed since 1898, and M. Berteaux at the war office; M. Etienne, member for Oran, went to the ministry of the interior; another Algerian deputy, M. Thomson, succeeded M. Camille Pelletan at the ministry of marine, which department was said to have fallen into inefficiency; public worship was separated from the department of the interior and joined with that of education under M. Bienvenu-Martin, Radical-Socialist deputy for Auxerre, who was new to official life. Although M. Rouvier, as befitted a politician of the school of Waldeck-Rousseau, disliked the separation of the churches from the state, he accepted that policy as inevitable. After the action of the Vatican in 1904, which had produced the rupture of diplomatic relations with France, many moderates who had been persistent in their opposition to the Combes ministry, and even certain Nationalists, accepted the principle of separation, but urged that it should be effected on liberal terms. So on the 27th of January, after the minister of education and public worship had announced that the government intended to introduce a separation bill, a vote of confidence was obtained by a majority of 373 to 99, half of the majority being opponents of the Combes ministry of various Republican and reactionary groups, while the minority was composed of 84 Radicals and Socialists and only 15 reactionaries.

On the 21st of March the debates on the separation of the churches from the state began. A commission had been appointed in 1904 to examine the subject. Its reporter was M. Aristide Briand, Socialist member for Saint Etienne. According to French parliamentary procedure, the The Separation Law. reporter of a commission, directed to draw up a great scheme of legislation, can make himself a more important person in conducting it through a house of legislature than the minister in charge of the bill. This is what M. Briand succeeded in doing. He produced with rapidity a “report” on the whole question, in which he traced with superficial haste the history of the Church in France from the baptism of Clovis, and upon this drafted a bill which was accepted by the government. He thus at one bound came from obscurity into the front rank of politicians, and in devising a revolutionary measure learned a lesson of moderate statesmanship. In conducting the debates he took the line of throwing the responsibility for the rupture of the Concordat on the pope. The leadership of the Opposition fell on M. Ribot, who had been twice prime minister of the Republic and was not a practising Catholic. He recognized that separation had become inevitable, but argued that it could be accomplished as a permanent act only in concert with the Holy See. The clerical party in the Chamber did little in defence of the Church. The abbés Lemire and Gayraud, the only ecclesiastics in parliament, spoke with moderation, and M. Groussau, a Catholic jurist, attacked the measure with less temperate zeal; but the best serious defence of the interests of the Church came from the Republican centre. Few amendments from the extreme Left were accepted by M. Briand, whose general tone was moderate and not illiberal. One feature of the debates was the reluctance of the prime minister to take part in them, even when financial clauses were discussed in which his own office was particularly concerned. The bill finally passed the Chamber on the 3rd of July by 341 votes against 233, the majority containing a certain number of conservative Republicans and Nationalists. At the end the Radical-Socialists manifested considerable discontent at the liberal tendencies of M. Briand, and declared that the measure as it left the Chamber could be considered only provisional. In the Senate it underwent no amendment whatever, not a single word being altered. The prime minister, M. Rouvier, never once opened his lips during the lengthy debates, in the course of which M. Clémenceau, as a philosophical Radical who voted for the bill, criticized it as too concordatory, while M. Méline, as a moderate Republican, who voted against it, predicted that it would create such a state of things as would necessitate new negotiations with Rome a few years later. It was finally passed by a majority of 181 to 102, the complete number of senators being 300, and three days later, on the 9th of December 1905, it was promulgated as law by the president of the Republic.

The main features of the act were as follows. The first clauses guaranteed liberty of conscience and the free practice of public worship, and declared that henceforth the Republic neither recognized nor remunerated any form of religion, except in the case of chaplains to public schools, hospitals and prisons. It provided that after inventories had been taken of the real and personal property in the hands of religious bodies, hitherto remunerated by the state, to ascertain whether such property belonged to the state, the department, or the commune, all such property should be transferred to associations of public worship (associations cultuelles) established in each commune in accordance with the rules of the religion which they represented, for the purpose of carrying on the practices of that religion. As the Vatican subsequently refused to permit Catholics to take part in these associations, the important clauses relating to their organization and powers became a dead letter, except in the case of the Protestant and Jewish associations, which affected only a minute proportion of the religious establishments under the act. Nothing, therefore, need be said about them except that the chief discussions in the Chamber took place with regard to their constitution, which was so amended, contrary to the wishes of the extreme anti-clericals, that many moderate critics of the original bill thought that thereby the regular practice of the Catholic religion, under episcopal control, had been safeguarded. A system of pensions for ministers of religion hitherto paid by the state was provided, according to the age and the length of service of the ecclesiastics interested, while in small communes of under a thousand inhabitants the clergy were to receive in any case their full pay for eight years. The bishops’ palaces were to be left gratuitously at the disposal of the occupiers for two years, and the presbyteries and seminaries for five years. This provision too became a dead letter, owing to the orders given by the Holy See to the clergy. Other provisions enacted that the churches should not be used for political meetings, while the services held in them were protected by the law from the acts of disturbers. As the plenary operation of the law depended on the associations cultuelles, the subsequent failure to create those bodies makes it useless to give a complete exposition of a statute of which they were an essential feature.

The passing of the Separation Law was the chief act of the last year of the presidency of M. Loubet. One other important measure has to be noted, the law reducing compulsory military service to two years. The law of 1889 had provided a general service of three years, with an extensive system of dispensations accorded to persons for domestic reasons, or because they belonged to certain categories of students, such citizens being let off with one year’s service with the colours or being entirely exempted. The new law exacted two years’ service from every Frenchman, no one being exempted save for physical incapacity. Under the act of 1905 even the cadets of the military college of Saint Cyr and of the Polytechnic had to serve in the ranks before entering those schools. Anti-military doctrines continued to be encouraged by the Socialist party, M. Hervé, the professor who had been revoked in 1901 for his suggestion of a military strike in case of war and for other unpatriotic utterances, being elected a member of the administrative committee of the Unified Socialist party, of which M. Jaurès was one of the chiefs. At a congress of elementary schoolmasters at Lille in August, anti-military resolutions were passed and a general adherence was given to the doctrines of M. Hervé. At Longwy, in the Eastern coal-field, a strike took place in September, during which the military was called out to keep order and a workman was killed in a cavalry charge. The minister of war, M. Berteaux, visited the scene of the disturbance, and was reported to have saluted the red revolutionary flag which was borne by a procession of strikers singing the “Internationale.”

During the autumn session in November M. Berteaux suddenly resigned the portfolio of war during a sitting of the Chamber, and was succeeded by M. Etienne, minister of the interior, a moderate politician who inspired greater confidence. Earlier in the year other industrial strikes of great gravity had taken place, notably at Limoges, among the potters, where several deaths took place in a conflict with the troops and a factory was burnt. Even more serious were the strikes in the government arsenals in November. At Cherbourg and Brest only a small proportion of the workmen went out, but at Lorient, Rochefort and especially at Toulon the strikes were on a much larger scale. In 1905 solemn warnings were given in the Chamber of the coming crisis in the wine-growing regions of the South. Radical-Socialists such as M. Doumergue, the deputy for Nîmes and a member of the Combes ministry, joined with monarchists such as M. Lasies, deputy of the Gers, in calling attention to the distress of the populations dependent on the vine. They argued that the wines of the South found no market, not because of the alleged over-production, but because of the competition of artificial wines; that formerly only twenty departments of France were classed in the atlas as wine-producing, but that thanks to the progress of chemistry seventy departments were now so described. The deputies of the north of France and of Paris, irrespective of party, opposed these arguments, and the government, while promising to punish fraud, did not seem to take very seriously the legitimate warnings of the representatives of the South.

The Republic continued to extend its friendly relations with foreign powers, and the end of M. Loubet’s term of office was signalized by a procession of royal visits to Paris, some of which the president returned. At the end of May the king of Spain came and narrowly escaped assassination from a bomb which was thrown at him by a Spaniard as he was returning with the president from the opera. In October M. Loubet returned this visit at Madrid and went on to Lisbon to see the king of Portugal, being received by the queen, who was the daughter of the comte de Paris and the sister of the duc d’Orléans, both exiled by the Republic. In November the king of Portugal came to Paris, and the president of the Republic also received during the year less formal visits from the kings of England and of Greece.

One untoward international event affecting the French ministry occurred in June 1905. M. Delcassé (see section on Exterior Policy), who had been foreign minister longer than any holder of that office under the Republic, resigned, and it was believed that he had been sacrificed Resignation of
M. Delcassé.
by the prime minister to the exigencies of Germany, which power was said to be disquieted at his having, in connexion with the Morocco question, isolated Germany by promoting the friendly relations of France with England, Spain and Italy. Whether it be true or not that the French government was really in alarm at the possibility of a declaration of war by Germany, the impression given was unfavourable, nor was it removed when M. Rouvier himself took the portfolio of foreign affairs.

The year 1906 is remarkable in the history of the Third Republic in that it witnessed the renewal of all the public powers in the state. A new president of the Republic was elected on the 17th of January ten days after the triennial election of one third of the senate, and the M. Fallières president of
the Republic.
general election of the chamber of deputies followed in May—the ninth which had taken place under the constitution of 1875. The senatorial elections of the 7th of January showed that the delegates of the people who chose the members of the upper house and represented the average opinion of the country approved of the anti-clerical legislation of parliament. The election of M. Fallières, president of the senate, to the presidency of the Republic was therefore anticipated, he being the candidate of the parliamentary majorities which had disestablished the church. At the congress of the two chambers held at Versailles on the 17th of January he received the absolute majority of 449 votes out of 849 recorded. The candidate of the Opposition was M. Paul Doumer, whose anti-clericalism in the past was so extreme that when married he had dispensed with a religious ceremony and his children were unbaptized. So the curious spectacle was presented of the Moderate Opportunist M. Fallières being elected by Radicals and Socialists, while the Radical candidate was supported by Moderates and Reactionaries. For the second time a president of the senate, the second official personage in the Republic, was advanced to the chief magistracy, M. Loubet having been similarly promoted. As in his case, M. Fallières owed his election to M. Clémenceau. When M. Loubet was elected M. Clémenceau had not come to the end of his retirement from parliamentary life; but in political circles, with his powerful pen and otherwise, he was resuming his former influence as a “king-maker.” He knew of the precariousness Of Félix Faure’s health and of the indiscretions of the elderly president. So when the presidency suddenly became vacant in January 1899 he had already fixed his choice on M. Loubet, as a candidate whose unobtrusive name excited no jealousy among the republicans. At that moment, owing to the crisis caused by the Dreyfus affair, the Republic needed a safe man to protect it against the attacks of the plebiscitary party which had been latterly favoured by President Faure. M. Constans, it was said, had in 1899 desired the presidency of the senate, vacant by M. Loubet’s promotion, in preference to the post of ambassador at Constantinople. But M. Clémenceau, deeming that his name had been too much associated with polemics in the past, contrived the election of M. Fallières to the second place of dignity in the Republic, so as to have another safe candidate in readiness for the Elysée in case President Loubet suddenly disappeared. M. Loubet, however, completed his septennate, and to the end of it M. Fallières was regarded as his probable successor. As he fulfilled his high duties in the senate inoffensively without making enemies among his political friends, he escaped the fate which had awaited other presidents-designate of the Republic. Previously to presiding over the senate this Gascon advocate, who had represented his native Lot-et-Garonne, in either chamber, since 1876, had once been prime minister for three weeks in 1883. He had also held office in six other ministries, so no politician in France had a larger experience in administration and in public affairs.

On New Year’s Day 1906, the absence of the Nuncio from the presidential reception of the diplomatic body marked conspicuously the rupture of the Concordat; for hitherto the representative of the Holy See had ranked as doyen of the ambassadors to the Republic, whatever the relative seniority of his colleagues, and in the name of all the foreign powers had officially saluted the chief of the state. On the 20th of January the inventories of the churches were commenced, under the 3rd clause of the Separation Act, for the purpose of assessing the value of the furniture and other objects which they contained. In Paris they occasioned some disturbance; but as the protesting rioters were led by persons whose hostility to the Republic was more notorious than their love for religion, the demonstrations were regarded as political rather than religious. In certain rural districts, where the church had retained its influence and where its separation from the state was unpopular, the taking of the inventories was impeded by the inhabitants, and in some places, where the troops were called out to protect the civil authorities, further feeling was aroused by the refusal of officers to act. But, as a rule, this first manifest operation of the Separation Law was received with indifference by the population. One region where popular feeling was displayed in favour of the church was The Sarrien ministry. Flanders, where, in March, at Boeschepe on the Belgian frontier, a man was killed during the taking of an inventory. This accident caused the fall of the ministry. The moderate Republicans in the Chamber, who had helped to keep M. Rouvier in office, withheld their support in a debate arising out of the incident, and the government was defeated by thirty-three votes. M. Rouvier resigned, and the new president of the Republic sent for M. Sarrien, a Radical of the old school from Burgundy, who had been deputy for his native Saône-et-Loire from the foundation of the Chamber in 1876 and had previously held office in four cabinets. In M. Sarrien’s ministry of the 14th of March 1906 the president of the council was only a minor personage, its real conductor being M. Clémenceau, who accepted the portfolio of the interior. Upon him, therefore devolved the function of “making the elections” M. Clèmenceau minister of the interior. of 1906, as it is the minister at the Place Beauvau, where all the wires of administrative government are centralized, who gives the orders to the prefectures at each general election. As in France ministers sit and speak in both houses of parliament, M. Clémenceau, though a senator, now returned, after an absence of thirteen years, to the Chamber of Deputies, in which he had played a mighty part in the first seventeen years of its existence. His political experience was unique. From an early period after entering the Chamber in 1876 he had exercised there an influence not exceeded by any deputy. Yet it was not until 1906, thirty years after his first election to parliament, that he held office—though in 1888 he just missed the presidency of the Chamber, receiving the same number of votes as M. Méline, to whom the post was allotted by right of seniority. He now returned to the tribune of the Palais Bourbon, on which he had been a most formidable orator. During his career as deputy his eloquence was chiefly destructive, and of the nineteen ministries which fell between the election of M. Grévy to the presidency of the Republic in 1879 and his own departure from parliamentary life in 1893 there were few of which the fall had not been expedited by his mordant criticism or denunciation. He now came back to the scene of his former achievements not to attack but to defend a ministry. Though his old occupation was gone, his re-entry excited the keenest interest, for at sixty-five he remained the biggest political figure in France. After M. Clémenceau the most interesting of the new ministers was M. Briand, who was not nine years old when M. Clémenceau had become conspicuous in political life as the mayor of Montmartre on the eve of the Commune. M. Briand had entered the Chamber, as Socialist deputy for Saint Etienne, only in 1902. The mark he had made as “reporter” of the Separation Bill has been noted, and on that account he became minister of education and public worship—the terms of the Separation Law necessitating the continuation of a department for ecclesiastical affairs. As he had been a militant Socialist of the “unified” group of which M. Jaurès was the chief, and also a member of the superior council of labour, his appointment indicated that the new ministry courted the support of the extreme Left. It, however, contained some moderate men, notably M. Poincaré, who had the repute of making the largest income at the French bar after M. Waldeck-Rousseau gave up his practice, and who became for the second time minister of finance. The portfolios of the colonies and of public works were also given to old ministers of moderate tendencies, M. Georges Leygues and M. Barthou. A former prime minister, M. Léon Bourgeois, went to the foreign office, over which he had already presided, besides having represented France at the peace conference at the Hague; while MM. Étienne and Thomson retained their portfolios of war and marine. The cabinet contained so many men of tried ability that it was called the ministry of all the talents. But the few who understood the origin of the name knew that it would be even more ephemeral than was the British ministry of 1806; for the fine show of names belonged to a transient combination which could not survive the approaching elections long enough to leave any mark in politics.

Before the elections took place grave labour troubles showed that social and economical questions were more likely to give anxiety to the government than any public movement resulting from the disestablishment of the church. Almost the first ministerial act of M. Clémenceau was Progress of socialism. to visit the coal basin of the Pas de Calais, where an accident causing great loss of life was followed by an uprising of the working population of the region, which spread into the adjacent department of the Nord and caused the minister of the interior to take unusual precautions to prevent violent demonstrations in Paris on Labour Day, the 1st of May. The activity of the Socialist leaders in encouraging anti-capitalist agitation did not seem to alarm the electorate. Nor did it show any sympathy with the appeal of the pope, who in his encyclical letter, Vehementer nos, addressed to the French cardinals on the 11th of February, denounced the Separation Law. So the result of the elections of May 1906 was a decisive victory for the anti-clericals and Socialists.

A brief analysis of the composition of the Chamber of Deputies is always impossible, the limits of the numerous groups being ill-defined. But in general terms the majority supporting the radical policy of the bloc in the last parliament, which had usually mustered about 340 votes, now numbered more than 400, including 230 Radical-Socialists and Socialists. The gains of the extreme Left were chiefly at the expense of the moderate or progressist republicans, who, about 120 strong in the old Chamber, now came back little more than half that number. The anti-republican Right, comprising Royalists, Bonapartists and Nationalists, had maintained their former position and were about 130 all told. The general result of the polls of the 6th and 20th of May was thus an electoral vindication of the advanced policy adopted by the old Chamber and a repudiation of moderate Republicanism; while the stationary condition of the reactionary groups showed that the tribulations inflicted by the last parliament on the church had not provoked the electorate to increase its support of clerical politicians.

The Vatican, however, declined to recognize this unmistakable demonstration. The bishops, taking advantage of their release from the concordatory restrictions which had withheld from them the faculty of meeting in assembly, had met at a preliminary conference to consider their plan of action under the Separation Law. They had adjourned for further instructions from the Holy See, which were published on the 10th of August 1906, in a new encyclical Gravissimo officii, wherein, to the consternation of many members of the episcopate, the pope interdicted the associations cultuelles, the bodies which, under the Separation Law, were to be established in each parish, to hold and to organize the church property and finances, and were essential to the working of the act. On the 4th of September the bishops met again and passed a resolution of submission to the Holy See. In spite of their loyalty they could not but deplore an injunction which inevitably would cause distress to the large majority of the clergy after the act came into operation on the 12th of December 1906. They knew only too well how hopeless was the idea that the distress of the clergy would call forth any revulsion of popular feeling in France. The excitement of the public that summer over a painful clerical scandal in the diocese of Chartres showed that the interest taken by the mass of the population in church matters was not of a kind which would aid the clergy in their difficult situation.

At the close of the parliamentary recess M. Sarrien resigned the premiership on the pretext of ill-health, and by a presidential decree of the 25th of October 1906 M. Clémenceau, who had been called to fill the vacancy, took office. MM. Bourgeois, Poincaré, Etienne and Leygues The Clémenceau ministry. retired with M. Sarrien. The new prime minister placed at the foreign office M. Pichon, who had learned politics on the staff of the Justice, the organ of M. Clémenceau, by whose influence he had entered the diplomatic service in 1893, after eight years in the chamber of deputies. He had been minister at Pekin during the Boxer rebellion and resident at Tunis, and he was now radical senator for the Jura. M. Caillaux, a more adventurous financier than M. Rouvier or M. Poincaré, who had been Waldeck-Rousseau’s minister of finance, resumed that office. The most significant appointment was that of General Picquart to the war office. The new minister when a colonel had been willing to sacrifice his career, although he was an anti-Semite, to redressing the injustice which he believed had been inflicted on a Jewish officer—whose second condemnation, it may be noted, had been quashed earlier in 1906. M. Viviani became the first minister of labour (Travail et Prévoyance sociale). The creation of the office and the appointment of a socialist lawyer and journalist to fill it showed that M. Clémenceau recognized the increasing prominence of social and industrial questions and the growing power of the trade-unions.

The acts and policy of the Clémenceau ministry and the events which took place during the years that it held office are too near the present time to be appraised historically. It seems not unlikely that the first advent to power, after thirty-five years of strenuous political life, of one who must be ranked among the ablest of the twenty-seven prime ministers of the Third Republic will be seen to have been coincident with an important evolution in the history of the French nation. The separation of the Roman Catholic Church from the state, by the law of December 1905, had deprived the Socialists, the now most powerful party of the extreme Left, of the chief outlet for their activity, which hitherto had chiefly found its scope in anti-clericalism. Having no longer the church to attack they turned their attention to economical questions, the solution of which had always been their theoretical aim. At the same period the law relating to the Contract of Association of 1901, by removing the restrictions (save in the case of religious communities) which previously had prevented French citizens from forming association without the authorization of the government, had formally abrogated the individualistic doctrine of the Revolution, which in all its phases was intolerant of associations. The law of June 1791 declared the destruction of all corporations of persons engaged in the same trade or profession to be a fundamental article of the French constitution, and it was only in the last six years of the Second Empire that some tolerance was granted to trade-unions, which was extended by the Third Republic only in 1884. In that year the prohibition of 1791 was repealed. Not quite 70 unions existed at the end of 1884. In 1890 they had increased to about 1000, in 1894 to 2000, and in 1901, when the law relating to the Contract of Association was passed, they numbered 3287 with 588,832 members. The law of 1901 did not specially affect them; but this general act, completely emancipating all associations formed for secular purposes, was a definitive break with the individualism of the Revolution which had formed the basis of all legislation in France for nearly a century after the fall of the ancient monarchy. It was an encouragement and at the same time a symptom of the spread of anti-individualistic doctrine. This was seen in the accelerated increase of syndicated workmen during the years succeeding the passing of the Associations Law, who in 1909 were over a million strong. The power exercised by the trade-unions moved the functionaries of the government, a vast army under the centralized system of administration, numbering not less than 800,000 persons, to demand equal freedom of association for the purpose of regulating their salaries paid by the state and their conditions of labour. This movement brought into new relief the long-recognized incompatibility of parliamentary government with administrative centralization as organized by Napoleon.

In another direction the increased activity in the rural districts of the Socialists, who hitherto had chiefly worked in the industrial centres, indicated that they looked for support from the peasant proprietors, whose ownership in the soil had hitherto opposed them to the practice of collectivist doctrine. In the summer of 1907 an economic crisis in the wine-growing districts of the South created a general discontent which spread to other rural regions. The Clémenceau ministry, while opposing the excesses of revolutionary socialism and while incurring the strenuous hostility of M. Jaurès, the Socialist leader, adopted a programme which was more socialistic than that of any previous government of the republic. Under its direction a bill for the imposition of a graduated income tax was passed by the lower house, involving a scheme of direct taxation which would transform the interior fiscal system of France. But the income tax was still only a project of law when M. Clémenceau unexpectedly fell in July 1909, being succeeded as prime minister by his colleague M. Briand. His ministry had, however, passed one important measure which individualists regarded as an act of state-socialism. It took a long step towards the nationalization of railways by purchasing the important Western line and adding it to the relatively small system of state railways. Previously a more generally criticized act of the representatives of the people was not of a nature to augment the popularity of parliamentary institutions at a period of economic crisis, when senators and deputies increased their own annual salary, or indemnity as it is officially called, to 15,000 francs.  (J. E. C. B.) 

Exterior Policy 1870–1909

The Franco-German War marks a turning-point in the history of the exterior policy of France as distinct as does the fall of the ancient monarchy or the end of the Napoleonic epoch. With the disappearance of the Second Empire, by its own fault, on the field of Sedan in September 1870, The new epoch. followed in the early months of 1871 by the proclamation of the German empire at Versailles and the annexation of Alsace and Lorraine under the treaty of peace of Frankfort, France descended from its primacy among the nations of continental Europe, which it had gradually acquired in the half-century subsequent to Waterloo. It was the design of Bismarck that united Germany, which had been finally established under his direction by the war of 1870, should take the place hitherto occupied by France in Europe. The situation of France in 1871 in no wise resembled that after the French defeat of 1815, when the First Empire, issue of the Revolution, had been upset by a coalition of the European monarchies which brought back and supported on his restored throne the legitimate heir to the French crown. In 1871 the Republic was founded in isolation. France was without allies, and outside its frontiers the form of its executive government was a matter of interest only to its German conquerors. Bismarck desired that France should remain isolated in Europe and divided at home. He thought that the Republican form of government would best serve these ends. The revolutionary tradition of France would, under a Republic, keep aloof the monarchies of Europe, whereas, in the words of the German ambassador at Paris, Prince Hohenlohe, a “monarchy would strengthen France and place her in a better position to make alliances and would threaten our alliances.” At the same time Bismarck counted on governmental instability under a Republic to bring about domestic disorganization which would so disintegrate the French nation as to render it unformidable as a foe and ineffective as an ally. The Franco-German War thus produced a situation unprecedented in the mutual relations of two great European powers. From that situation resulted all the exterior policy of France, for a whole generation, colonial as well as foreign.

In 1875 Germany saw France in possession of a constitution which gave promise of durability if not of permanence. German opinion had already been perturbed by the facility and speed with which France had paid off the colossal war indemnity exacted by the conqueror, thus giving proof of the inexhaustible resources of the country and of its powers of recuperation. The successful reorganization of the French army under the military law of 1872 caused further alarm when there appeared to be some possibility of the withdrawal of Russia from the Dreikaiserbund, which had set the seal on Germany’s triumph and France’s abasement in Europe. It seemed, therefore, as though it might be expedient for Germany to make a sudden aggression upon France before that country was adequately prepared for war, in order to crush the nation irreparably and to remove it from among the great powers of Europe.

The constitution of the Third Republic was voted by the National Assembly on the 25th of February 1875. The new constitution had to be completed by electoral laws and other complementary provisions, so it could not become effective until the following year, after the first elections of the newly founded Senate and Chamber of Deputies. M. Buffet was then charged by the president of the republic, Marshal MacMahon, to form a provisional ministry in which the duc Decazes, who had been foreign minister since 1873, was retained at the Quai d’Orsay. The cabinet met for the first time on the 11th of March, and ten days later the National Assembly adjourned for a long recess.

It was during that interval that occurred the incident known as “The Scare of 1875.” The Kulturkampf had left Prince Bismarck in a state of nervous irritation. In all directions he was on the look out for traces of Ultramontane intrigue. The clericals in France after the The crisis of 1875. fall of Thiers had behaved with great indiscretion in their desire to see the temporal power of the pope revived. But when the reactionaries had placed MacMahon at the head of the state, their divisions and their political ineptitude had shown that the government of France would soon pass from their hands, and of this the voting of the Republican constitution by a monarchical assembly was the visible proof. Nevertheless Bismarck, influenced by the presence at Berlin of a French ambassador, M. de Gontaut-Biron, whom he regarded as an Ultramontane agent, seems to have thought otherwise. A military party at Berlin affected alarm at a law passed by the French Assembly on the 12th of March, which continued a provision increasing from three to four the battalions of each infantry regiment, and certain journals, supposed to be inspired by Bismarck, argued that as the French were preparing, it might be well to anticipate their designs before they were ready. Europe was scared by an article on the 6th of May in The Times, professing to reveal the designs of Bismarck, from its Paris correspondent, Blowitz, who was in relations with the French foreign minister, the duc Decazes, and with Prince Hohenlohe, German ambassador to France, both being prudent diplomatists, and, though Catholics, opposed to Ultramontane pretensions. Europe was astounded at the revelation and alarmed at the alleged imminence of war. In England the Disraeli ministry addressed the governments of Russia, Austria and Italy, with a view to restraining Germany from its aggressive designs, and Queen Victoria wrote to the German emperor to plead the cause of peace. It is probable that there was no need either for this intervention or for the panic which had produced it. We know now that the old emperor William was steadfastly opposed to a fresh war, while his son, the crown prince Frederick, who then seemed likely soon to succeed him for a long reign, was also determined that peace should be maintained. The scare had, however, a most important result, in sowing the seeds of the subsequent Franco-Russian alliance. Notwithstanding that the tsar Alexander II. was on terms of affectionate intimacy with his uncle, the emperor William, he gave a personal assurance to General Le Flô, French ambassador at St Petersburg, that France should have the “moral support” of Russia in the case of an aggression on the part of Germany. It is possible that the danger of war was exaggerated by the French foreign minister and his ambassador at Berlin, as is the opinion of certain French historians, who think that M. de Gontaut-Biron, as an old royalist, was only too glad to see the Republic under the protection, as it were, of the most reactionary monarchy of Europe. At the same time Bismarck’s denials of having acted with terrorizing intent cannot be accepted. He was more sincere when he criticized the ostentation with which the Russian Chancellor, Prince Gortchakoff, had claimed for his master the character of the defender of France and the obstacle to German ambitions. It was in memory of this that, in 1878 at the congress of Berlin, Bismarck did his best to impair the advantages which Russia had obtained under the treaty of San Stefano.

The events which led to that congress put into abeyance the prospect of a serious understanding between France and Russia. The insurrection in Herzegovina in July 1875 reopened the Eastern question, and in the Orient the interests of France and Russia had been for many years conflicting, Congress of Berlin. as witness the controversy concerning the Holy Places, which was one of the causes of the Crimean War. France had from the reign of Louis XIV. claimed the exclusive right of protecting Roman Catholic interests in the East. This claim was supported not only by the monarchists, for the most part friendly to Russia in other respects, who directed the foreign policy of the Third Republic until the Russo-Turkish War of 1877, but by the Republicans, who were coming into perpetual power at the time of the congress of Berlin—the ablest of the anti-clericals, Gambetta, declaring in this connexion that “anti-clericalism was not an article of exportation.” The defeat of the monarchists at the elections of 1877, after the “Seize Mai,” and the departure from office of the duc Decazes, whose policy had tended to prepare the way for an alliance with the tsar, changed the attitude of French diplomacy towards Russia. M. Waddington, the first Republican minister for foreign affairs, was not a Russophil, while Gambetta was ardently anti-Russian, and he, though not a minister, was exercising that preponderant influence in French politics which he retained until 1882, the last year of his life. Many Republicans considered that the monarchists, whom they had turned out, favoured the support of Russia not only as a defence against Germany, which was not likely to be effective so long as a friendly uncle and nephew were reigning at Berlin and at St Petersburg respectively, but also as a possible means of facilitating a monarchical restoration in France. Consequently at the congress of Berlin M. Waddington and the other French delegates maintained a very independent attitude towards Russia. They supported the resolutions which aimed at diminishing the advantages obtained by Russia in the war, they affirmed the rights of France over the Holy Places, and they opposed the anti-Semitic views of the Russian representatives. The result of the congress of Berlin seemed therefore to draw France and Russia farther apart, especially as Gambetta and the Republicans now in power were more disposed towards an understanding with England. The contrary, however, happened. The treaty of Berlin, which took the place of the treaty of San Stefano, was the ruin of Russian hopes. It was attributed to the support given by Bismarck to the anti-Russian policy of England and Austria at the congress, the German chancellor having previously discouraged the project of an alliance between Russia and Germany. The consequence was that the tsar withdrew from the Dreikaiserbund, and Germany, finding the support of Austria inadequate for its purposes, sought an understanding with Italy. Hence arose the Triple Alliance of 1882, which was the work of Bismarck, who thus became eventually the author of the Franco-Russian alliance, which was rather a sedative for the nervous temperament of the French than a remedy necessary for their protection. The twofold aim of the Triplice was the development of the Bismarckian policy of the continued isolation of France and of the maintenance of the situation in Europe acquired by the German empire in 1871. The most obvious alliance for Germany was that with Russia, but it was clear that it could be obtained only at the price of Russia having a free hand to satisfy its ambitions in the East. This not only would have irritated England against Germany, but also Austria, and so might have brought about a Franco-Austrian alliance, and a day of reckoning for Germany for the combined rancours of two nations, left by 1866 and 1871. It was thus that Germany allied itself first with Austria and then with Italy, leaving Russia eventually to unite with France.

As the congress of Berlin took in review the general situation of the Turkish empire, it was natural that the French delegates should formulate the position of France in Egypt. Thus the powers of Europe accepted the maintenance of the condominium in Egypt, financial and administrative, Egyptian question. of England and France. Egypt, nominally a province of the Turkish empire, had been invested with a large degree of autonomy, guaranteed by an agreement made in 1840 and 1841 between the Porte and the then five great powers, though some opposition was made to France being a party to this compact. By degrees Austria, Prussia and Russia (as well as Italy when it attained the rank of a great power) had left the international control of Egypt to France and England by reason of the preponderance of the interests of those two powers on the Nile.

In 1875 the interests of England in Egypt, which had hitherto been considered inferior to those of France, gained a superiority owing to the purchase by the British government of the shares of the khedive Ismail in the Suez Canal. Whatever rivalry there may have been between England and France, they had to present a united front to the pretensions of Ismail, whose prodigalities made him impatient of the control which they exercised over his finances. This led to his deposition and exile. The control was re-established by his successor Tewfik on the 4th of September 1879. The revival ensued of a so-called national party, which Ismail for his own purposes had encouraged in its movement hostile to foreign domination. In September 1881 took place the rising led by Arabi, by whose action an assembly of notables was convoked for the purpose of deposing the government authorized by the European powers. The fear lest the sultan should intervene gave an appearance of harmony to the policy of England and France, whose interests were too great to permit of any such interference. At the end of 1879 the first Freycinet cabinet had succeeded that of M. Waddington and had in turn been succeeded in September 1880 by the first Ferry cabinet. In the latter the foreign minister was M. Barthélemy Saint-Hilaire, an aged philosopher who had first taken part in politics when he helped to dethrone Charles X. in 1830. In September 1881 he categorically invited the British government to join France in a military intervention to oppose any interference which the Porte might attempt, and the two powers each sent a war-ship to Alexandria. On the 14th of November Gambetta formed his grand ministère, in which he was foreign minister. Though it lasted less than eleven weeks, important measures were taken by it, as Arabi had become under-secretary for war at Cairo, and was receiving secret encouragement from the sultan. On the 7th of January 1882, at the instance of Gambetta, a joint note was presented by the British and French consuls to the khedive, to the effect that their governments were resolved to maintain the status quo, Gambetta having designed this as a consecration of the Anglo-French alliance in the East. Thereupon the Porte protested, by a circular addressed to the powers, against this infringement of its suzerainty in Egypt. Meanwhile, the assembly of notables claimed the right of voting the taxes and administering the finances of the country, and Gambetta, considering this as an attempt to emancipate Egypt from the financial control of Europe, moved the British government to join with France in protesting against any interference on the part of the notables in the budget. But when Lord Granville accepted this proposal Gambetta had fallen, on the 26th of January, being succeeded by M. de Freycinet, who for the second time became president of the council and foreign minister. Gambetta fell nominally on a scheme of partial revision of the constitution. It included the re-establishment of scrutin de liste, a method of voting to which many Republicans were hostile, so this gave his enemies in his own party their opportunity. He thus fell the victim of republican jealousy, nearly half the Republicans in the chamber voting against him in the fatal division. The subsequent debates of 1882 show that many of Gambetta’s adversaries were also opposed to his policy of uniting with England on the Egyptian question. Henceforth the interior affairs of Egypt have little to do with the subject we are treating; but some of the incidents in France which led to the English occupation of Egypt ought to be mentioned. M. de Freycinet was opposed to any armed intervention by France; but in the face of the feeling in the country in favour of maintaining the traditional influence of France in Egypt, his declarations of policy were vague. On the 23rd of February 1882 he said that he would assure the non-exclusive preponderance in Egypt of France and England by means of an understanding with Europe, and on the 11th of May that he wished to retain for France its peculiar position of privileged influence. England and France sent to Alexandria a combined squadron, which did not prevent a massacre of Europeans there on the 11th of June, the khedive being now in the hands of the military party under Arabi. On the 11th of July the English fleet bombarded Alexandria, the French ships in anticipation of that action having departed the previous day. On the 18th of July the Chamber debated the supplementary vote for the fleet in the Mediterranean, M. de Freycinet declaring that France would take no active part in Egypt except as the mandatory of the European powers. This was the occasion for the last great speech of Gambetta in parliament. In it he earnestly urged close co-operation with England, which he predicted would otherwise become the mistress of Egypt, and in his concluding sentences he uttered the famous “Ne rompez jamais l’alliance anglaise.” A further vote, proposed in consequence of Arabi’s open rebellion, was abandoned, as M. de Freycinet announced that the European powers declined to give France and England a collective mandate to intervene in their name. In the Senate on the 25th of July M. Scherer, better known as a philosopher than as a politician, who had Gambetta’s confidence, read a report on the supplementary votes which severely criticized the timidity and vacillation of the government in Egyptian policy. Four days later in the Chamber M. de Freycinet proposed an understanding with England limited to the protection of the Suez Canal. Attacked by M. Clémenceau on the impossibility of separating the question of the canal from the general Egyptian question, the ministry was defeated by a huge majority, and M. de Freycinet fell, having achieved the distinction of being the chief instrument in removing Egypt from the sphere of French interest.

Some of the Republicans whose votes turned out M. de Freycinet wanted Jules Ferry to take his place, as he was considered to be a strong man in foreign policy, and Gambetta, for this reason, was willing to see his personal enemy at the head of public affairs. But this was prevented by M. Clémenceau and the extreme Left, and the new ministry was formed by M. Duclerc, an old senator whose previous official experience had been under the Second Republic. On its taking office on the 7th of August, the ministerial declaration announced that its policy would be in conformity with the vote which, by refusing supplies for the occupation of the Suez Canal, had overthrown M. de Freycinet. The declaration characterized this vote as “a measure of reserve and of prudence but not as an abdication.” Nevertheless the action of the Chamber—which was due to the hostility to Gambetta of rival leaders, who had little mutual affection, including MM. de Freycinet, Jules Ferry, Clémenceau and the president of the Republic, M. Grévy, rather than to a desire to abandon Egypt—did result in the abdication of France. After England single-handed had subdued the rebellion and restored the authority of the khedive, the latter signed a decree on the 11th of January 1883 abolishing the joint control of England and France. Henceforth Egypt continued to be a frequent topic of debate in the Chambers; the interests of France in respect of the Egyptian finances, the judicial system and other institutions formed the subject of diplomatic correspondence, as did the irritating question of the eventual evacuation of Egypt by England. But though it caused constant friction between the two countries up to the Anglo-French convention of the 8th of April 1904, there was no longer a French active policy with regard to Egypt. The lost predominance of France in that country did, however, quicken French activity in other regions of northern Africa.

The idea that the Mediterranean might become a French lake has, in different senses, been a preoccupation for France and for its rivals in Europe ever since Algeria became a French province by a series of fortuitous incidents—an insult offered by the dey to a French consul, his refusal to Algerian policy. make reparation, and the occasion it afforded of diverting public attention in France from interior affairs after the Revolution of 1830. The French policy of preponderance in Egypt had only for a secondary aim the domination of the Mediterranean. The French tradition in Egypt was a relic of Napoleon’s vain scheme to become emperor of the Orient even before he had made himself emperor of the West. It was because Egypt was the highway to India that under Napoleon III. the French had constructed the Suez Canal, and for the same reason England could never permit them to become masters of the Nile delta. But the possessors of Algeria could extend their coast-line of North Africa without seriously menacing the power which held Gibraltar and Malta. It was Italy which objected to a French occupation of Tunis. Algeria has never been officially a French “colony.” It is in many respects administered as an integral portion of French territory, the governor-general, as agent of the central power, exercising wide jurisdiction. Although the Europeans in Algeria are less than a seventh of the population, and although the French are actually a minority of the European inhabitants—Spaniards prevailing in the west, Italians and Maltese in the east—the three departments of Constantine, Algiers and Oran are administered like three French departments. Consequently, when disturbances occurred on the borderland separating Constantine from Tunis, the French were able to say to Europe that the integrity of their national frontier was threatened by the proximity of a turbulent neighbour. The history of the relations between Tunis and France were set forth, from the French standpoint, in a circular, of which Jules Ferry was said to be the author, addressed by the foreign minister, M. Barthélemy Saint-Hilaire on the 9th of May 1881, to the diplomatic agents of France abroad. The most important point emphasized by Tunis. the French minister was the independence of Tunis from the Porte, a situation which would obviate difficulties with Turkey such as had always hampered the European powers in Egypt. In support of this contention a protest made by the British government in 1830, against the French conquest of Algiers, was quoted, as in it Lord Aberdeen had declared that Europe had always treated the Barbary states as independent powers. On the other hand, there was the incident of the bey of Tunis having furnished to Turkey a contingent during the Crimean War, which suggested a recognition of its vassalage to the Sublime Porte. But in 1864, when the sultan had sent a fleet to La Goulette to affirm his “rights” in Tunis, the French ambassador at Constantinople intimated that France declined to have Turkey for a neighbour in Algeria. France also in 1868 essayed to obtain control over the finances of the regency; but England and Italy had also large interests in the country, so an international financial commission was appointed. In 1871, when France was disabled after the war, the bey obtained from Constantinople a firman of investiture, thus recognizing the suzerainty of the Porte. Certain English writers have reproached the Foreign Office for its lack of foresight in not taking advantage of France’s disablement by establishing England as the preponderant power in Tunis. The fact that five-sixths of the commerce of Tunis is now with France and Algeria may seem to justify such regrets. Yet by the light of subsequent events it seems probable that England would have been diverted from more profitable undertakings had she been saddled with the virtual administration and military occupation of a vast territory which such preponderance would have entailed. The wonder is that this opportunity was not seized by Italy; for Mazzini and other workers in the cause of Italian unity, before the Bourbons had been driven from Naples, had cast eyes on Tunis, lying over against the coasts of Sicily at a distance of barely 100 m., as a favourable field for colonization and as the key of the African Mediterranean. But when Rome became once more the capital of Italy, Carthage was not fated to fall again under its domination and the occasion offered by France’s temporary impotence was neglected. In 1875 when France was rapidly recovering, there went to Tunis as consul an able Frenchman, M. Roustan, who became virtual ruler of the regency in spite of the resistance of the representative of Italy. French action was facilitated by the attitude of England. On the 26th of July 1878 M. Waddington wrote to the marquis d’Harcourt, French ambassador in London, that at the congress of Berlin Lord Salisbury had said to him—the two delegates being the foreign ministers of their respective governments—in reply to his protest, on behalf of France, against the proposed English occupation of Cyprus, “Do what you think proper in Tunis: England will offer no opposition.” This was confirmed by Lord Salisbury in a despatch to Lord Lyons, British ambassador in Paris, on the 8th of August, and it was followed in October by an intimation made by the French ambassador at Rome that France intended to exercise a preponderant influence in Tunis. Italy was not willing to accept this situation. In January 1881 a tour made by King Humbert in Sicily, where he received a Tunisian mission, was taken to signify that Italy had not done with Tunis, and it was answered in April by a French expedition in the regency sent from Algeria, on the pretext of punishing the Kroumirs who had been marauding on the frontier of Constantine. It was on this occasion that M. Barthélemy Saint-Hilaire issued the circular quoted above. France nominally was never at war with Tunis; yet the result of the invasion was that that country became virtually a French possession, although officially it is only under the protection of France. The treaty of El Bardo of the 12th of May 1881, confirmed by the decree of the 22nd of April 1882, placed Tunis under the protectorate of France. The country is administered under the direction of the French Foreign Office, in which there is a department of Tunisian affairs. The governor is called minister resident-general of France, and he also acts as foreign minister, being assisted by seven French and two native ministers.

The annexation of Tunis was important for many reasons. It was the first successful achievement of France after the disasters of the Franco-German War, and it was the first enterprise of serious utility to France undertaken beyond its frontiers since the early period of the Second Extension of African Territory. Empire. It was also important as establishing the hegemony of France on the southern shores of the Mediterranean. When M. Jules Cambon became governor-general of Algeria, his brother M. Paul Cambon having been previously French resident in Tunis and remaining the vigilant ambassador to a Mediterranean power, a Parisian wit said that just as Switzerland had its Lac des quatre Cantons, so France had made of the midland sea its Lac des deux Cambons. The jeu d’esprit indicated what was the primary significance to the French of their becoming masters of the Barbary coast from the boundary of Morocco to that of Tripoli. Apart from the Mediterranean question, when the scramble for Africa began and the Hinterland doctrine was asserted by European powers, the possession of this extended coast-line resulted in France laying claim to the Sahara and the western Sudan. Consequently, on the maps, the whole of northwest Africa, from Tunis to the Congo, is claimed by France with the exception of the relatively small areas on the coast belonging to Morocco, Spain, Portugal, Liberia, Germany and England. On this basis, in point of area, France is the greatest African power, in spite of British annexations in south and equatorial Africa, its area being estimated at 3,866,950 sq. m. (including 227,950 in Madagascar) as against 2,101,411 more effectively possessed by Great Britain. The immensity of its domain on paper is no doubt a satisfaction to a people which prefers to pursue its policy of colonial expansion without the aid of emigration. The acquisition of Tunis by France is also important as an example of the system of protectorate as applied to colonization. Open annexation might have more gravely irritated the powers having interests in the country. England, in spite of Lord Salisbury’s suggestions to the French foreign minister, was none too pleased with France’s policy; while Italy, with its subjects outnumbering all other European settlers in the regency, was in a mood to accept a pretext for a quarrel for the reasons already mentioned. Apart from these considerations The protectorate system. the French government favoured a protectorate because it did not wish to make of Tunis a second Algeria. While the annexation of the latter had excellent commercial results for France, it had not been followed by successful colonization, though it had cost France 160 millions sterling in the first sixty years after it became French territory. The French cannot govern at home or abroad without a centralized system of administration. The organization of Algeria, as departments of France with their administrative divisions, was not an example to imitate. In the beylical government France found, ready-made, a sufficiently centralized system, such as did not exist in Algeria under native rule, which could form a basis of administration by French functionaries under the direction of the Quai d’Orsay. The result has not been unpleasing to the numerous advocates in France of protectorates as a means of colonization. According to M. Paul Leroy-Beaulieu, the most eminent French authority on colonization, who knows Tunis well, a protectorate is the most pacific, the most supple, and the least costly method of colonization in countries where an organized form of native government exists; it is the system in which the French can most nearly approach that of English crown colonies. One evil which it avoids is the so-called representative system, under which senators and deputies are sent to the French parliament not only from Algeria as an integral part of France, but from the colonies of Martinique, Guadeloupe and French India, while Cochin-China, Guiana and Senegal send deputies alone. These sixteen deputies and seven senators attach themselves to the various Moderate, Radical and Socialist groups in parliament, which have no connexion with the interests of the colonies; and the consequent introduction of French political controversies into colonial elections has not been of advantage to the oversea possessions of France. From this the protectorate system has spared Tunis, and the paucity of French immigration will continue to safeguard that country from parliamentary representation. After twenty years of French rule, of 120,000 European residents in Tunis, not counting the army, only 22,000 were French, while nearly 70,000 were Italian. If under a so-called representative system the Italians had demanded nationalization, for the purpose of obtaining the franchise, complications might have arisen which are not to be feared under a protectorate.

But of all the results of the French annexation of Tunis, the most important was undoubtedly the Triple Alliance, into which Italy entered in resentment at having been deprived of the African territory which seemed marked out as its natural field for colonial expansion. The The Triple Alliance. most manifest cause of Italian hostility towards France had passed away four years before the annexation of Tunis, when the reactionaries, who had favoured the restitution of the temporal power of the pope, fell for ever from power. The clericalism of the anti-republicans, who favoured a revival of the fatal policy of the Second Empire whereby France, after Magenta and Solferino, had by leaving its garrison at St Angelo, been the last obstacle to Italian unity, was one of the chief causes of their downfall. For after the war with Germany, the mutilated land and the vanquished nation had need to avoid wanton provocations of foreign powers. Henceforth the French Republic, governed by Republicans, was to be an anti-clerical force in Europe, sympathizing with the Italian occupation of Rome. But to make Italy realize that France was no longer the enemy of complete Italian unity it would have been necessary that all causes of irritation between the two Latin sister nations were removed. Such causes of dissension did, however, remain, arising from economic questions. The maritime relations of the two chief Mediterranean powers were based on a treaty of navigation of 1862—when Venice was no party to it being an Austrian port—which Crispi denounced as a relic of Italian servility towards Napoleon III. Commercial rivalry was induced by the industrial development of northern Italy, when freed from Austrian rule. Moreover, the emigrant propensity of the Italians flooded certain regions of France with Italian cheap labour, with the natural result of bitter animosity between the intruders and the inhabitants of the districts thus invaded. The annexation of Tunis, coming on the top of these causes of irritation, exasperated Italy. A new treaty of commerce was nevertheless signed between the two countries on the 3rd of November 1881. Unfortunately for its stability, King Humbert the previous week had gone to Vienna to see the emperor of Austria. In visiting in his capital the former arch-enemy of Italian unity, who could never return the courtesy, Rome being interdicted for Catholic sovereigns by the “prisoner of the Vatican,” Humbert had only followed the example of his father Victor Emmanuel, who went both to Berlin and to Vienna in 1873. But that was when in France the duc de Broglie was prime minister of a clerical government of which many of the supporters were clamouring for the restitution of the temporal power. King Humbert’s visit to Vienna at the moment when Gambetta, the great anti-clerical champion, was at the height of his influence was significant for other reasons. Since the 7th of October 1879 Germany and Austria had been united by a defensive treaty, and though its provisions were not published until 1888, the two central empires were known to be in the closest alliance. The king of Italy’s visit to Vienna, where he was accompanied by his ministers Depretis and Mancini, had therefore the same significance as though he had gone to Berlin also. On the 20th of May 1882 was signed the treaty of the Triple Alliance, which for many years bound Italy to Germany in its relations with the continental powers. The alliance was first publicly announced on the 13th of March 1883, in the Italian Chamber, by Signor Mancini, minister for foreign affairs. The aim of Italy in joining the combination was alliance with Germany, the enemy of France. The connexion with Austria was only tolerated because it secured a union with the powerful government of Berlin. It effected the complete isolation of France in Europe. An understanding between the French Republic and Russia, which alone could alter that situation, was impracticable, as its only basis seemed to be the possibility of having a common enemy in Germany or even in England. But that double eventuality was anticipated by a secret convention concluded at Skiernewice in September 1884 by the tsar and the German emperor, in which they guaranteed to one another a benevolent neutrality in case of hostilities between England and Russia arising out of the Afghan question.

It will be convenient here to refer to the relations of France with Germany and Italy respectively in the years succeeding the signature of the Triple Alliance. With Germany both Gambetta, who died ten weeks before the treaty was announced and who was a strong Russophobe, and his adversary Jules Ferry were inclined to come to an understanding. But in this they had not the support of French opinion. In September 1883 the king of Spain had visited the sovereigns of Austria and Germany. Alphonso XII., to prove that this journey was not a sign of hostility to France, came to Paris on his way home on Michaelmas Day on an official visit to President Grévy. Unfortunately it was announced that the German emperor had made the king colonel of a regiment of Uhlans garrisoned at Strassburg, the anniversary of the taking of which city was being celebrated by the emperor by the inauguration of a monument made out of cannon taken from the French, on the very eve of King Alphonso’s arrival. Violent protests were made in Paris in the monarchical and in not a few republican journals, with the result that the king of Spain was hooted by the crowd as he drove with the president from the station to his embassy, and again on his way to dine the same night at the Elysée. The incident was closed by M. Grévy’s apologies and by the retirement of the minister of war, General Thibaudin, who under pressure from the extreme Left had declined to meet le roi uhlan. Though it displayed the bitter hostility of the population towards Germany, the incident did not aggravate Franco-German relations. This was due to the policy of the prime minister, Jules Ferry, who to carry it out made himself foreign minister in November, in the place of Challemel-Lacour, who resigned.

Jules Ferry’s idea was that colonial expansion was the surest means for France to recover its prestige, and that this could be obtained only by maintaining peaceful relations with all the powers of Europe. His consequent unpopularity caused his fall in April 1885, and the next Franco-German relations. year a violent change of military policy was marked by the arrival of General Boulanger at the ministry of war, where he remained, in the Freycinet and Goblet cabinets, from January 1886 to the 17th of May 1887. His growing popularity in France was answered by Bismarck, who asked for an increased vote for the German army, indicating that he considered Boulanger the coming dictator for the war of revenge; so when the Reichstag, on the 14th of January 1887, voted the supplies for three years, instead of for the seven demanded by the chancellor, it was dissolved. Bismarck redoubled his efforts in the press and in diplomacy, vainly attempting to come to an understanding with Russia and with more success moving the Vatican to order the German Catholics to support him. He obtained his vote for seven years in March, and the same month renewed the Triple Alliance. In April the Schnaebelé incident seemed nearly to cause war between France and Germany. The commissary-special, an agent of the ministry of the interior, at Pagny-sur-Moselle, the last French station on the frontier of the annexed territory of Lorraine, having stepped across the boundary to regulate some official matter with the corresponding functionary on the German side, was arrested. It was said that Schnaebelé was arrested actually on French soil, and on whichever side of the line he was standing he had gone to meet the German official at the request of the latter. Bismarck justified the outrage in a speech in the Prussian Landtag which suggested that it was impossible to live at peace with a nation so bellicose as the French. In France the incident was regarded as a trap laid by the chancellor to excite French opinion under the aggressive guidance of Boulanger, and to produce events which would precipitate a war. The French remained calm, in spite of the growing popularity of Boulanger. The Goblet ministry resigned on the 17th of May 1887 after a hostile division on the budget, and the opportunity was taken to get rid of the minister of war, who posed as the coming restorer of Alsace and Lorraine to France. The Boulangist movement soon became anti-Republican, and the opposition to it of successive ministries improved the official relations of the French and German governments. The circumstances attending the fall of President Grévy the same year strengthened the Boulangist agitation, and Jules Ferry, who seemed indicated as his successor, was discarded by the Republican majority in the electoral congress, as a revolution was threatened in Paris if the choice fell on “the German Ferry.” Sadi Carnot was consequently elected president of the Republic on the 3rd of December 1887. Three months later, on the 9th of March 1888, died the old emperor William who had personified the conquest of France by Germany. His son, the pacific emperor Frederick, died too, on the 15th of June, so the accession of William II., the pupil of Bismarck, at a moment when Boulanger threatened to become plebiscitary dictator of France, was ominous for the peace of Europe. But in April 1889 Boulanger ignominiously fled the country, and in March 1890 Bismarck fell. France none the less rejected all friendly overtures made by the young emperor. In February 1891 his mother came to Paris and was unluckily induced to visit the scenes of German triumph near the capital—the ruins of St Cloud and the Château of Versailles where the German empire was proclaimed. The incident called forth such an explosion of wrath from the French press that it was clear that France had not forgotten 1871. By this time, however, France was no longer isolated and at the mercy of Germany, which by reason of the increase of its population while that of France had remained almost stationary, was, under the system of compulsory military service in the two countries, more than a match for its neighbour in a single-handed conflict. Even the Triple Alliance ceased to be a terror for France. An understanding arose between France and Russia preliminary to the Franco-Russian alliance, which became the pivot of French exterior relations until the defeat of Russia in the Japanese war of 1904. So the second renewal of the Triplice was forthwith answered by a visit of the French squadron to Kronstadt in July 1891.

While such were the relations between France and the principal party to the Triple Alliance, the same period was marked by bitter dissension between France and Italy. Tunis had made Italy Gallophobe, but the diplomatic relations between the two countries had been courteous France and Italy. until the death of Depretis in 1887. When Crispi succeeded him as prime minister, and till 1891 was the director of the exterior policy of Italy, a change took place. Crispi, though not the author of the Triple Alliance, entered with enthusiasm into its spirit of hostility to France. The old Sicilian revolutionary hastened to pay his respects to Bismarck at Friedrichsruh in October 1887, the visit being highly approved in Italy. Before that the French Chamber had, in July 1886, by a small majority, rejected a new treaty of navigation between France and Italy, this being followed by the failure to renew the commercial treaty of 1881. Irritating incidents were of constant occurrence. In 1888 a conflict between the French consul at Massowah and the Italians who occupied that Abyssinian port induced Bismarck to instruct the German ambassador in Paris to tell M. Goblet, minister for foreign affairs in the Floquet cabinet, in case he should refer to the matter, that if Italy were involved thereby in complications it would not stand alone—this menace being communicated to Crispi by the Italian ambassador at Berlin and officially printed in a green-book. But after Bismarck’s fall relations improved a little, and in April 1890 the Italian fleet was sent to Toulon to salute President Carnot in the name of King Humbert, though this did not prevent the French government being suspected of having designs on Tripoli. Italian opinion was again incensed against France by the action of the French clericals, represented by a band of Catholic “pilgrims” who went to Rome to offer their sympathy to the pope in the autumn of 1891, and outraged the burial-place of Victor Emmanuel by writing in the visitors’ register kept at the Pantheon the words “Vive le pape.” In August 1893 a fight took place at Aigues Mortes, the medieval walled city on the salt marshes of the Gulf of Lyons, between French and Italian workmen, in which seven Italians were killed. But Crispi had gone out of office early in 1891, and the ministers who succeeded him were more disposed to prevent a rupture between Italy and France. Crispi became prime minister again in December 1893, but this time without the portfolio of foreign affairs. He placed at the Consulta Baron Blanc, who though a strong partisan of the Triple Alliance was closely attached to France, being a native of Savoy, where he spent his yearly vacations on French soil. That the relations between the two nations were better was shown by what occurred after the murder of President Carnot in June 1894. The fact that the assassin was an Italian might have caused trouble a little earlier; but the grief of the Italians was so sincere, as shown by popular demonstrations at Rome, that no anti-Italian violence took place in France, and in the words of the French ambassador, M. Billot, Caserio’s crime seemed likely to further an understanding between the two peoples. The movement was very slight and made no progress during the short presidency of M. Casimir-Périer. On the 1st of November 1894 Alexander III. died, when the Italian press gave proof of the importance attributed by the Triplice to the Franco-Russian understanding by expressing a hope that the new tsar would put an end to it. But on the 10th of June 1895, the foreign minister, M. Hanotaux, intimated to the French Chamber that the understanding had become an alliance, and on the 17th the Russian ambassador in Paris conveyed to M. Félix Faure, who was now president of the Republic, the collar of St Andrew, while the same day the French and Russian men-of-war, invited to the opening of the Kiel Canal, entered German waters together. The union of France with Russia was no doubt one cause of the cessation of Italian hostility to France; but others were at work. The inauguration of the statue of MacMahon at Magenta the same week as the announcement of the Franco-Russian alliance showed that there was a disposition to revive the old sentiment of fraternity which had once united France with Italy. More important was the necessity felt by the Italians of improved commercial relations with the French. Crispi fell on the 4th of March 1896, after the news of the disaster to the Italian troops at Adowa, the war with Abyssinia being a disastrous legacy left by him. The previous year he had caused the withdrawal from Paris of the Italian ambassador Signor Ressmann, a friend of France, transferring thither Count Tornielli, who during his mission in London had made a speech, after the visit of the Italian fleet to Toulon, which qualified him to rank as a misogallo. But with the final disappearance of Crispi the relations of the two Latin neighbours became more natural. Commerce between them had diminished, and the business men of both countries, excepting certain protectionists, felt that the commercial rupture was mutually prejudicial. Friendly negotiations were initiated on both sides, and almost the last act of President Félix Faure before his sudden death—M. Delcassé being then foreign minister—was to promulgate, on the 2nd of February 1899, a new commercial arrangement between France and Italy which the French parliament had adopted. By that time M. Barrère was ambassador at the Quirinal and was engaged in promoting cordial relations between Italy and France, of which Count Tornielli in Paris had already become an ardent advocate. Italy remained a party to the Triple Alliance, which was renewed for a third period in 1902. But so changed had its significance become that in October 1903 the French Republic received for the first time an official visit from the sovereigns of Italy. This reconciliation of France and Italy was destined to have most important results outside the sphere of the Triple Alliance. The return visit which President Loubet paid to Victor Emmanuel III. in April 1904, it being the first time that a French chief of the state had gone to Rome since the pope had lost the temporal sovereignty, provoked a protest from the Vatican which caused the rupture of diplomatic relations between France and the Holy See, followed by the repudiation of the Concordat by an act passed in France, in 1905, separating the church from the state.

While the decadence of the Triple Alliance had this important effect on the domestic affairs of France, its inception had produced the Franco-Russian alliance, which took France out of its isolation in Europe, and became the pivot of its exterior policy. It has been noted that in the Russian alliance. years succeeding the Franco-Prussian War the tsar Alexander II. had shown a disposition to support France against German aggression, as though to make up for his neutrality during the war, which was so benevolent for Germany that his uncle William I. had ascribed to it a large share of the German victory. The assassination of Alexander II. by revolutionaries in 1881 made it difficult for the new autocrat to cultivate closer relations with a Republican government, although the Third Republic, under the influence of Gambetta, to whom its consolidation was chiefly due, had repudiated that proselytizing spirit, inherited from the great Revolution, which had disquieted the monarchies of Europe in 1848 and had provoked their hostility to the Second Republic. But the Triple Alliance which was concluded the year after the murder of the tsar indicated the possible expediency of an understanding between the two great powers of the West and the East, in response to the combination of the three central powers of Europe,—though Bismarck after his fall revealed that in 1884 a secret treaty was concluded between Germany and Russia, which was, however, said to have in view a war between England and Russia. Internal dissension on the subject of colonial policy in the far East, followed by the fall of Jules Ferry and the Boulangist agitation were some of the causes which prevented France from strengthening its position in Europe by seeking a formal understanding with Russia in the first part of the reign of Alexander III. But when the Boulangist movement came to an end, entirely from the incompetency of its leader, it behoved the government of the Republic to find a means of satisfying the strong patriotic sentiment revealed in the nation, which, directed by a capable and daring soldier, would have swept away the parliamentary republic and established a military dictatorship in its place. The Franco-Russian understanding provided that means, and Russia was ready for it, having become, by the termination in 1890 of the secret treaty with Germany, not less isolated in Europe than France. In July 1891, when the French fleet visited Kronstadt the incident caused such enthusiasm throughout the French nation that the exiled General Boulanger’s existence would have been forgotten, except among his dwindling personal followers, had he not put an end to it by suicide two months later at Brussels. The Franco-Russian understanding united all parties, not in love for one another but in the idea that France was thereby about to resume its place in Europe. The Catholic Royalists ceased to talk of the restitution of the temporal power of the pope in their joy at the deference of the government of the republic for the most autocratic monarchy of Christendom; the Boulangists, now called Nationalists, hoped that it would lead to the war of revenge with Germany, and that it might also be the means of humiliating England, as shown by their resentment at the visit of the French squadron to Portsmouth on its way home from Kronstadt. It is, however, extremely improbable that the understanding and subsequent alliance would have been effected had the Boulangist movement succeeded. For the last thing that the Russian government desired was war with Germany. What it needed and obtained was security against German aggression on its frontier and financial aid from France; so a French plebiscitary government, having for its aim the restitution of Alsace and Lorraine, would have found no support in Russia. As the German chancellor, Count von Caprivi, said in the Reichstag on the 27th of November 1891, a few weeks after a Russian loan had been subscribed in France nearly eight times over, the naval visit to Kronstadt had not brought war nearer by one single inch. Nevertheless when in 1893 the Russian fleet paid a somewhat tardy return visit to Toulon, where it was reviewed by President Carnot, a party of Russian officers who came to Paris was received by the population of the capital, which less than five years before had acclaimed General Boulanger, with raptures which could not have been exceeded had they brought back to France the territory lost in 1871. In November 1894, Alexander III. died, and in January 1895, M. Casimir-Périer resigned the presidency of the Republic, to which he had succeeded only six months before on the assassination of M. Carnot. So it was left to Nicholas II. and President Félix Faure to proclaim the existence of a formal alliance between France and Russia. It appears that in 1891 and 1892, at the time of the first public manifestations of friendship between France and Russia, in the words of M. Ribot, secret conventions were signed by him, being foreign minister, and M. de Freycinet, president of the council, which secured for France “the support of Russia for the maintenance of the equilibrium in Europe”; and on a later occasion the same statesman said that it was after the visit of the empress Frederick to Paris in 1891 that Alexander III. made to France certain offers which were accepted. The word “alliance” was not publicly used by any minister to connote the relations of France with Russia until the 10th of June 1895, when M. Hanotaux used the term with cautious vagueness amid the applause of the Chamber of Deputies. Yet not even when Nicholas II. came to France in October 1896 was the word “alliance” formally pronounced in any of the official speeches. But the reception given to the tsar and tsaritsa in Paris, where no European sovereign had come officially since William of Germany passed down the Champs Elysées as a conqueror, was of such a character that none could doubt that this was the consecration of the alliance. It was at last formally proclaimed by Nicholas II., on board a French man-of-war, on the occasion of the visit of the president of the Republic to Russia in August 1897. From that date until the formation of M. Briand’s cabinet in 1909, nine different ministries succeeded one another and five ministers of foreign affairs; but they all loyally supported the Franco-Russian alliance, although its popularity diminished in France long before the war between Russia and Japan, which deprived it of its efficacy in Europe. In 1901 Nicholas II. came again to France and was the guest of President Loubet at Compiègne. His visit excited little enthusiasm in the nation, which was disposed to attribute it to Russia’s financial need of France; while the Socialists, now a strong party which provided the Waldeck-Rousseau ministry with an important part of its majority in the Chamber, violently attacked the alliance of the Republic with a reactionary autocracy. However anomalous that may have been it did not prevent the whole French nation from welcoming the friendship between the governments of Russia and of France in its early stages. Nor can there be any doubt that the popular instinct was right in according it that welcome. France in its international relations was strengthened morally by the understanding and by the alliance, which also served as a check to Germany. But its association with Russia had not the results hoped for by the French reactionaries. It encouraged them in their opposition to the parliamentary Republic during the Dreyfus agitation, the more so because the Russian autocracy is anti-Semitic. It also made a Nationalist of one president of the Republic, Félix Faure, whose head was so turned by his imperial frequentations that he adopted some of the less admirable practices of princes, and also seemed ready to assume the bearing of an autocrat. His sudden death was as great a relief to the parliamentary Republicans as it was a disappointment to the plebiscitary party, which anti-Dreyfusism, with its patriotic pretensions, had again made a formidable force in the land. But the election of the pacific and constitutional M. Loubet as president of the Republic at this critical moment in its history counteracted any reactionary influence which the Russian alliance might have had in France; so the general effect of the alliance was to strengthen the Republic and to add to its prestige. The visit of the tsar to Paris, the first paid by a friendly sovereign since the Second Empire, impressed a population, proud of its capital, by an outward sign which seemed to show that the Republic was not an obstacle to the recognition by the monarchies of Europe of the place still held by France among the great powers. Before M. Loubet laid down office the nation, grown more republican, saw the visit of the tsar followed by those of the kings of England and of Italy, who might never have been moved to present their respects to the French Republic had not Russia shown them the way.

While the French rejoiced at the Russian alliance chiefly as a check to the aggressive designs of Germany, they also liked the association of France with a power regarded as hostile to England. This traditional feeling was not discouraged by one of the chief artificers of the alliance, Relations with England. Baron Mohrenheim, Russian ambassador in Paris, who until 1884 had filled the same position in London, where he had not learned to love England, and who enjoyed in France a popularity rarely accorded to the diplomatic agent of a foreign power. An entente cordiale has since been initiated between England and France. But it is necessary to refer to the less agreeable relations which existed between the two countries, as they had some influence on the exterior policy of the Third Republic. England and France had no causes of friction within Europe. But in its policy of colonial expansion, during the last twenty years of the 19th century, France constantly encountered England all over the globe. The first important enterprise beyond the seas seriously undertaken by France after the Franco-German War, was, as we have seen, in Tunis. But even before that question had been mentioned at the congress of Berlin, in 1878, France had become involved in an adventure in the Far East, which in its developments attracted more public attention at home than the extension of French territory in northern Africa. Had these pages been written before the end of the 19th century it would have seemed necessary to trace the operations of France in Indo-China with not less detail than has been given to the establishment of the protectorate in Tunis. But French hopes of founding a great empire in the Far East came to an end with the partial resuscitation of China and the rise to power of Japan. As we have seen, Jules Ferry’s idea was that in colonial expansion France would find the best means of recovering prestige after the defeat of 1870–71 in the years of recuperation when it was essential to be diverted from European complications. Jules Ferry was not a friend of Gambetta, in spite of later republican legends. But the policy of colonial expansion in Tunis and in Indo-China, associated with Ferry’s name, was projected by Gambetta to give satisfaction to France for the necessity, imposed, in his opinion, on the French government, of taking its lead in foreign affairs from Berlin. How Jules Ferry developed that system we know now from Bismarck’s subsequent expressions of regret at Ferry’s fall. He believed that, had Ferry remained in power, an amicable arrangement would have been made between France and Germany, a formal agreement having been almost concluded to the effect that France should maintain peaceable and friendly relations with Germany, while Bismarck supported France in Tunis, in Indo-China and generally in its schemes of oversea colonization. Even though the friendly attitude of Germany towards those schemes was not official the contrast was manifest between the benevolent tone of the German press and that of the English, which was generally hostile. Jules Ferry took his stand on the position that his policy was one not of colonial conquest, but of colonial conservation, that without Tunis, Algeria was insecure, that without Tongking and Annam, there was danger of losing Cochin-China, where the French had been in possession since 1861. It was on the Tongking question that Ferry fell. On the 30th of March 1885, on the news of the defeat of the French troops at Lang-Son, the Chamber refused to vote the money for carrying on the campaign by a majority of 306 to 149. Since that day public opinion in France has made amends to the memory of Jules Ferry. His patriotic foresight has been extolled. Criticism has not been spared for the opponents of his policy in parliament of whom the most conspicuous, M. Clémenceau and M. Ribot, have survived to take a leading part in public affairs in the 20th century. The attitude of the Parisian press, which compared Lang-Son with Sedan and Jules Ferry with Émile Ollivier, has been generally deplored, as has that of the public which was ready to offer violence to the fallen minister, and which was still so hostile to him in 1887 that the congress at Versailles was persuaded that there would be a revolution in Paris if it elected “the German Ferry” president of the Republic. Nevertheless his adversaries in parliament, in the press and in the street have been justified—not owing to their superior sagacity, but owing to a series of unexpected events which the most foreseeing statesmen of the world never anticipated. The Indo-China dream of Jules Ferry might have led to a magnificent empire in the East to compensate for that which Dupleix lost and Napoleon failed to reconquer.

The Russian alliance, which came at the time when Ferry’s policy was justified in the eyes of the public, too late for him to enjoy any credit, gave a new impetus to the French idea of establishing an empire in the Far East. In the opinion of all the prophets of Europe the great international struggle in the near future was to be that of England with Russia for the possession of India. If Russia won, France might have a share in the dismembered Indian empire, of which part of the frontier now marched with that of French Indo-China, since Burma had become British and Tongking French. Such aspirations were not formulated in white-books or in parliamentary speeches. Indeed, the apprehension of difficulty with England limited French ambition on the Siamese frontier. That did not prevent dangerous friction arising between England and France on the question of the Mekong, the river which flows from China almost due south into the China Sea traversing the whole length of French Indo-China, and forming part of the eastern boundary of Upper Burma and Siam. The aim of France was to secure the whole of the left bank of the Mekong, the highway of commerce from southern China. The opposition of Siam to this delimitation was believed by the French to be inspired by England, the supremacy of France on the Mekong river being prejudicial to British commerce with China. The inevitable rivalry between the two powers reached an acute crisis in 1893, the British ambassador in Paris being Lord Dufferin, who well understood the question, upper Burma having been annexed to India under his viceroyalty in 1885. The matter was not settled until 1894, when not only was the French claim to the left bank of the Mekong allowed, but the neutrality of a 25-kilometre zone on the Siamese bank was conceded as open to French trade. It is said that at one moment in July 1893 England and France were more nearly at war than at any other international crisis under the Third Republic, not excluding that of Fashoda, though the acute tension between the governments was unknown to the public.

The Panama affair had left French public opinion in a nervous condition. Fantastic charges were brought not only in the press, but in the chamber of deputies, against newspapers and politicians of having accepted bribes from the British government. At the general election in August and September 1893 M. Clémenceau was pursued into his distant constituency in the Var by a crowd of Parisian politicians, who brought about his defeat less by alleging his connexion with the Panama scandal than by propagating the legend that he was the paid agent of England. The official republic, which changed its prime minister three times and its foreign minister twice in 1893, M. Develle filling that post in the Ribot and Dupuy ministries and M. Casimir-Périer in his own, repudiated with energy the calumnies as to the attempted interference of England in French domestic affairs. But the successive governments were not in a mood to make concessions in foreign questions, as all France was under the glamour of the preliminary manifestations of the Russian alliance. This was seen, a few weeks after the elections, in the wild enthusiasm with which Paris received Admiral Avelane and his officers, who had brought the Russian fleet to Toulon to return the visit of the French fleet to Kronstadt in 1891. The death of Marshal MacMahon, who had won his first renown in the Crimea, and his funeral at the Invalides while the Russians were in Paris, were used to emphasize the fact that the allies before Sebastopol were no longer friends. The projector of the French empire in the Far East did not live to see this phase of the seeming justification of the policy which had cost him place and popularity. Jules Ferry had died on the 17th of March 1893, only three weeks after his triumphant rehabilitation in the political world by his election to the presidency of the Senate, the second post in the state. The year he died it seemed as though with the active aid of Russia and the sympathy of Germany the possessions of France in south-eastern Asia might have indefinitely expanded into southern China. A few years later the defeat of Russia by Japan and the rise of the sea-power of the Japanese practically ended the French empire in Indo-China. What the French already had at the end of the last century is virtually guaranteed to them only by the Anglo-Japanese alliance. It is in the irony of things that these possessions which were a sign of French rivalry with England should now be secured to France by England’s friendliness. For it is now recognized by the French that the defence of Indo-China is impossible.

Had the French dream been realized of a large expansion of territory into southern China, the success of the new empire would have been based on free Chinese labour. This might have counterbalanced an initial obstacle to all French colonial schemes, more important than those which African policy. arise from international difficulties—the reluctance of the French to establish themselves as serious colonists in their oversea possessions. We have noted how Algeria, which is nearer to Toulon and Marseilles than are Paris and Havre, has been comparatively neglected by the French, after eighty years of occupation, in spite of the amenity of its climate and its soil for European settlers. The new French colonial school advocates the withdrawal of France from adventures in distant tropical countries which can be reached only by long sea voyages, and the concentration of French activity in the northern half of the African continent. Madagascar is, as we have seen, counted as Africa in computing the area of French colonial territory. But it lies entirely outside the scheme of African colonization, and in spite of the loss of life and money incurred in its conquest, its retention is not popular with the new school, although the first claim of France to it was as long ago as the reign of Louis XIII., when in 1642 a company was founded under the protection of Richelieu for the colonization of the island. The French of the 19th and 20th centuries may well be considered less enterprising in both hemispheres than were their ancestors of the 17th, and Madagascar, after having been the cause of much ill-feeling between England and France under the Third Republic down to the time of its formal annexation, by the law of the 9th of August 1896, is not now the object of much interest among French politicians. On the African continent it is different. When the Republic succeeded to the Second Empire the French African possessions outside Algiers were inconsiderable in area. The chief was Senegal, which though founded as a French station under Louis XIII., was virtually the creation of Faidherbe under the Second Empire, even in a greater degree than were Tunis and Tongking of Jules Ferry under the Third Republic. There was also Gabun, which is now included in French Congo. Those outposts in the tropics became the starting-points for the expansion of a French sphere of influence in north Africa, which by the beginning of the 20th century made France the nominal possessor of a vast territory stretching from the equatorial region on the gulf of Guinea to the Mediterranean. A large portion of it is of no importance, including the once mysterious Timbuktu and the wilds of the waterless Sahara desert. But the steps whereby these wide French and English rivalry. tracts of wilderness and of valuable territory came to be marked on the maps in French colours, by international agreement, are important, as they were associated with the last serious official dispute between England and France before the period of entente. M. Hanotaux, who was foreign minister for the then unprecedented term of four years, from 1894 to 1898, with one short interval of a few months, has thrown an instructive light on the feeling with which French politicians up to the end of the 19th century regarded England. He declared in 1909, with the high authority of one who was during years of Anglo-French tension the mouthpiece of the Republic in its relations with other powers, that every move in the direction of colonial expansion made by France disquieted and irritated England. He complained that when France, under the stimulating guidance of Jules Ferry, undertook the reconstitution of an oversea domain, England barred the way—in Egypt, in Tunis, in Madagascar, in Indo-China, in the Congo, in Oceania. Writing with the knowledge of an ex-foreign minister, who had enjoyed many years of retirement to enable him to weigh his words, M. Hanotaux asserted without any qualification that when he took office England “had conceived a triple design, to assume the position of heir to the Portuguese possessions in Africa, to destroy the independence of the South African republics, and to remain in perpetuity in Egypt.” We have not to discuss the truth of those propositions, we have only to note the tendency of French policy; and in so doing it is useful to remark that the official belief of the Third Republic in the last period of the 19th century was that England was the enemy of French colonial expansion all over the globe, and that in the so-called scramble for Africa English ambition was the chief obstacle to the schemes of France. M. Hanotaux, with the authority of official knowledge, indicated that the English project of a railway from the Cape of Good Hope to Cairo was the provocation which stimulated the French to essay a similar adventure; though he denied that the Marchand mission and other similar expeditions about to be mentioned were conceived with the specific object of preventing the accomplishment of the British plan. The explorations of Stanley had demonstrated that access to the Great Lakes and the Upper Nile could be effected as easily from the west coast of Africa as from other directions. The French, from their ancient possession of Gabun, had extended their operations far to the east, and had by treaties with European powers obtained the right bank of the Ubanghi, a great affluent of the Congo, as a frontier between their territory and that of the Congo Independent State. They thus found themselves, with respect to Europe, in possession of a region which approached the valley of the Upper Nile. Between the fall of Jules Ferry in 1885 and the beginning of the Russian alliance came a period of decreased activity in French colonial expansion. The unpopularity of the Tongking expedition was one of the causes of the popularity of General Boulanger, who diverted the French public from distant enterprises to a contemplation of the German frontier, and when Boulangism came to an end the Panama affair took its place in the interest it excited. But the colonial party in France did not lose sight of the possibility of establishing Upper Nile exploration. a position on the Upper Nile. The partition of Africa seemed to offer an occasion for France to take compensation for the English occupation of Egypt. In 1892 the Budget Commission, on the proposal of M. Étienne, deputy for Oran, who had three times been colonial under secretary, voted 300,000 francs for the despatch of a mission to explore and report on those regions, which had not had much attention since the days of Emin. But the project was not then carried out. Later, parliament voted a sum six times larger for strengthening the French positions on the Upper Ubanghi and their means of communication with the coast. But Colonel Monteil’s expedition, which was the consequence of this vote, was diverted, and the 1,800,000 francs were spent at Loango, the southern port of French Congo, and on the Ivory Coast, the French territory which lies between Liberia and the British Gold Coast Colony, where a prolonged war ensued with Samory, a Nigerian chieftain. In September 1894, M. Delcassé being colonial minister, M. Liotard was appointed commissioner of the Upper Ubanghi with instructions to extend French influence in the Bahr-el-Ghazal up to the Nile. In addition to official missions, numerous expeditions of French explorers took place in Central Africa during this period, and negotiations were continually going on between the British and French governments. Towards the end of 1895 Lord Salisbury, who had succeeded Lord Kimberley at the foreign office, informed Baron de Courcel, the French ambassador, that an expedition to the Upper Nile was projected for the purpose of putting an end to Mahdism. M. Hanotaux was not at this moment minister of foreign affairs. He had been succeeded by M. Berthelot, the eminent chemist, who resigned that office on the 26th of March 1896, a month before the fall of the Bourgeois cabinet of which he was a member, in consequence of a question raised in the chamber on this subject of the English expedition to the Soudan. According to M. Hanotaux, who returned to the Quai d’Orsay, in the Méline ministry, on the 29th of April 1896, Lord Salisbury at the end of the previous year, in announcing the expedition confidentially to M. de Courcel, had assured him that it would not go beyond Dongola without a preliminary understanding with France. There must have been a misunderstanding on this point, as after reaching Dongola in September 1896 the Anglo-Egyptian army proceeded up the Nile in the direction of Khartoum. Before M. Hanotaux Marchand mission. resumed office the Marchand mission had been formally planned. On the 24th of February 1896 M. Guieysse, colonial minister in the Bourgeois ministry, had signed Captain Marchand’s instructions to the effect that he must march through the Upper Ubanghi, in order to extend French influence as far as the Nile, and try to reach that river before Colonel Colvile, who was leading an expedition from the East. He was also advised to conciliate the Mahdi if the aim of the mission could be benefited thereby. M. Liotard was raised to the rank of governor of the Upper Ubanghi, and in a despatch to him the new colonial minister, M. André Lebon, wrote that the Marchand mission was not to be considered a military enterprise, it being sent out with the intention of maintaining the political line which for two years M. Liotard had persistently been following, and of which the establishment of France in the basin of the Nile ought to be the crowning reward. Two days later, on the 25th of June 1896, Captain Marchand embarked for Africa. This is not the place for a description of his adventures in crossing the continent or when Fashoda. he encountered General Kitchener at Fashoda, two months after his arrival there in July 1898 and a fortnight after the battle of Omdurman and the capture of Khartoum. The news was made known to Europe by the sirdar’s telegrams to the British government in September announcing the presence of the French mission at Fashoda. Then ensued a period of acute tension between the French and English governments, which gave the impression to the public that war between the two countries was inevitable. But those who were watching the situation in France on the spot knew that there was no question of fighting. France was unprepared, and was also involved in the toils of the Dreyfus affair. Had the situation been that of a year later, when the French domestic controversy was ending and the Transvaal War beginning, England might have been in a very difficult position. General Kitchener declined to recognize a French occupation of any part of the Nile valley. A long discussion ensued between the British and French governments, which was ended by the latter deciding on the 6th of November 1898 not to maintain the Marchand mission at Fashoda. Captain Marchand refused to return to Europe by way of the Nile and Lower Egypt, marching across Abyssinia to Jibuti in French Somaliland, where he embarked for France. He was received with well-merited enthusiasm in Paris. But the most remarkable feature of his reception was that the ministry became so alarmed lest the popularity of the hero of Fashoda should be at the expense of that of the parliamentary republic, that it put an end to the public acclamations by despatching him secretly from the capital—a somewhat similar treatment having been accorded to General Dodds in 1893 on his return to France after conquering Dahomey. The Marchand mission had little effect on African questions at issue between France and Great Britain, as a great Convention of 1898. settlement had been effected while it was on its way across the continent. On the 14th of June 1898, the day before the fall of the Méline ministry, when M. Hanotaux finally quitted the Quai d’Orsay, a convention of general delimitation was signed at Paris by that minister and by the British ambassador, Sir Edmund Monson, which as regards the respective claims of England and France covered in its scope the whole of the northern half of Africa from Senegambia and the Congo to the valley of the Nile. Comparatively little attention was paid to it amid the exciting events which followed, so little that M. de Courcel has officially recorded that three months later, on the eve of the Fashoda incident, Lord Salisbury declared to him that he was not sufficiently acquainted with the geography of Africa to express an opinion on certain questions of delimitation arising out of the success of the British expedition on the Upper Nile. The convention of June 1898 was, however, of the highest importance, as it affirmed the junction into one vast territory of the three chief African domains of France, Algeria and Tunis, Senegal and the Niger, Chad and the Congo, thus conceding to France the whole of the north-western continent with the exception of Morocco, Liberia and the European colonies on the Atlantic. This arrangement, which was completed by an additional convention on the 21st of March 1899, made Morocco a legitimate object of French ambition.

The other questions which caused mutual animosity between England and France in the decline of the 19th century had nothing whatever to do with their conflicting international interests. The offensive attitude of the English press towards France on account of the The entente with England. Dreyfus affair was repaid by the French in their criticism of the Boer War. When those sentimental causes of mutual irritation had become less acute, the press of the two countries was moved by certain influences to recognize that it was in their interest to be on good terms with one another. The importance of their commercial relations was brought into relief as though it were a new fact. At last in 1903 state visits between the rulers of England and of France took place in their respective capitals, for the first time since the early days of the Second Empire, followed by an Anglo-French convention signed on the 8th of April 1904. By this an arrangement was come to on outstanding questions of controversy between England and France in various parts of the world. France undertook not to interfere with the action of England in Egypt, while England made a like undertaking as to French influence in Morocco. France conceded certain of its fishing rights in Newfoundland which had been a perpetual source of irritation between the two countries for nearly two hundred years since the treaty of Utrecht of 1713. In return England made several concessions to France in Africa, including that of the Los Islands off Sierra Leone and some rectifications of frontier on the Gambia and between the Niger and Lake Chad. Other points of difference were arranged as to Siam, the New Hebrides and Madagascar. The convention of 1904 was on the whole more advantageous for England than for France. The free hand which England conceded to France in dealing with Morocco was a somewhat burdensome gift owing to German interference; but the incidents which arose from the Franco-German conflict in that country are as yet too recent for any estimate of their possible consequences.

One result was the retirement of M. Delcassé from the foreign office on the 6th of June 1905. He had been foreign minister for seven years, a consecutive period of rare length, only once exceeded in England since the creation of the office, when Castlereagh held it for ten years, The work of
M. Delcassé.
and one of prodigious duration in the history of the Third Republic. He first went to the Quai d’Orsay in the Brisson ministry of June 1898, remained there during the Dupuy ministry of the same year, was reappointed by M. Waldeck-Rousseau in his cabinet which lasted from June 1899 to June 1902, was retained in the post by M. Combes till his ministry fell in January 1905, and again by his successor M. Rouvier till his own resignation in June of that year. M. Delcassé had thus an uninterrupted reign at the foreign office during a long critical period of transition both in the interior politics of France and in its exterior relations. He went to the Quai d’Orsay when the Dreyfus agitation was most acute, and left it when parliament was absorbed in discussing the separation of church and state. He saw the Franco-Russian alliance lose its popularity in the country even before the Russian defeat by the Japanese in the last days of his ministry. Although in the course of his official duties at the colonial office he had been partly responsible for some of the expeditions sent to Africa for the purpose of checking British influence, he was fully disposed to pursue a policy which might lead to a friendly understanding with England. In this he differed from M. Hanotaux, who was essentially the man of the Franco-Russian alliance, owing to it much of his prestige, including his election to the French Academy, and Russia, to which he gave exclusive allegiance, was then deemed to be primarily the enemy of England. M. Delcassé on the contrary, from the first, desired to assist a rapprochement between England and Russia as preliminary to the arrangement he proposed between England and France. He was foreign minister when the tsar paid his second visit to France, but there was no longer the national unanimity which welcomed him in 1896, M. Delcassé also accompanied President Loubet to Russia when he returned the tsar’s second visit in 1902. But exchange of compliment