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the Hôtel de Ville. As all Paris was in the hands of the insurgents, that of England which should reserve a large executive power the king saw the necessity of submission. On the morning of the to the king, while entrusting the taxing and legislative powers to a 15th he entered the hall of the Assembly to announce that the modern parliament. The Left or Constitutionals, known astertroops would be withdrawn. Immediately afterwards be dis- wards as the Feuillants, among whom Barnave and Charles and missed his new ministers and recalled Necker. Thereupon the Alexander Lameth were conspicuous, also wished to preserve princes and courtiers most hostile to the National Assembly, monarchy but disdained English precedent. They were possessed the count of Artois, the prince of Condé, the duke of Bourbon with feelings then widespread, weariness of arbitrary governand many others, feeling themselves no longer safe, quitted ment, hatred of ministers and courtiers, and distrust not so much France. Their departure is known as the first emigration. of Louis as of those who surrounded him and influenced his
The capture of the Bastille was hailed throughout Europe as judgment. Republicans without knowing it, they grudged every symbolizing the fall of absolute monarchy, and the victory of the remnant of power to the Crown. The Extreme Left, still more
insurgents had momentous consequences. Recognizing republican in spirit, of whom Robespierre was the most note
the 300 electors as a temporary municipal government, worthy, were few and had little power. Mirabeau's independence cipality of the Assembly sent a deputation to confer with them at of judgment forbids us to place him in any party. Paris and the Hôtel de Ville, and on a sudden impulse one of these The first Constitutional Committee, elected on the 14th of July,
deputies, Bailly, lately president of the Assembly, was had Mounier for its reporter. It was instructed to begin with
chosen to be mayor of Paris. The marquis Lafayette, drafting a Declaration of the Rights of Man. Six doubly popular as a veteran of the American War and as one of weeks were spent by the Assembly in discussing this tion of the the nobles who heartily upheld the cause of the Assembly, was document. The Committee then presented a report Rights of chosen commandant of the new civic force, thenceforwards which embodied the principle of two Chambers. This Man, known as the National Guard. On the 17th Louis himself visited principle contradicted the extreme democratic theories so much Paris and gave his sanction to the new authorities. In the course in fashion. It also offended the self-love of most of the nobles of the following weeks the example of Paris was copied throughout and the clergy who were loath that a few of their number should France. All the cities and towns set up new elective authorities be erected into a House of Lords. The Assembly rejected the and organized a National Guard. At the same time the revolution principle of two Chambers by nearly 10 to 1. The question
spread to the country districts. In most of the pro- whether the king should have a veto on legislation was next Revolution vinces the peasants rose and stormed and burnt the raised. Mounier contended that he should have an
The roya provinces, houses of the seigneurs, taking peculiar care to destroy absolute veto, and was supported by Mirabeau, who
their title-deeds. Some of the seigneurs were murdered had already described the unlimited power of a single and the rest were driven into the towns or across the frontier. Chamber as worse than the tyranny of Constantinople. The Left Amid the universal confusion the old administrative system maintained that the king, as depositary of the executive, should vanished. The intendants and sub-delegates quitted or were be wholly excluded from the legislative power. Lafayette, who driven from their posts. The old courts of justice, whether imagined himself to be copying the American constitution, royal or feudal, ceased to act. In many districts there was no proposed that the king should have a suspensive veto. Thinking more police, public works were suspended and the collection of that it would be politic to claim no more, Necker persuaded taxes became almost impossible. The insurrection of July really the king to intimate that he was satisfied with Lafayette's ended the ancien régime.
proposal. The suspensive veto was therefore adopted. As the Disorder in the provinces led directly to the proceedings on king had no power of dissolution, it was an idle form. Mounier the famous night of the 4th of August. While the Assembly was and his friends having resigned their places in the Constitutional
considering a declaration which might calm revolt, the Committee, it came to an end and the Assembly elected a new The 4th of vicomte de Noailles and the duc d'Aiguillon moved Committee which represented the opinions of the Left. August.
that it should proclaim equality of taxation and the Soon afterwards a fresh revolt in Paris caused the king and the suppression of feudal burdens. Other deputies rose to demand Assembly to migrate thither. The old causes of disorder were the repeal of the game laws, the enfranchisement of such serfs still working in that city. The scarcity of bread was set down as were still to be found in France, and the abolition of tithes and to conspirators against the Revolution. Riots were frequent of feudal courts and to renounce all privileges, whether of classes, and persons supposed hostile to the Assembly and the nation of cities, or of provinces. Amid indescribable enthusiasm the were murdered with impunity. The king still had counsellors Assembly passed resolution after resolution embodying these who wished for his departure as a means to regaining freedom changes. The resolutions were followed by decrecs sometimes of action. At the end of September the Flanders regiment came hastily and unskilfully drawn. In vain Sieyès remarked that in to Versailles to reinforce the Gardes du Corps. The officers of extinguishing tithes the Assembly was making a present to every the Gardes du Corps entertained the officers of the Flanders landed proprietor. In vain the king, while approving most of regiment and of the Versailles National Guard at dinner in the the decrees, tendered some cautious criticisms of the rest. The palace. The king, queen and dauphin visited the company. majority did not, indeed, design to confiscate property wholesale. There followed a vehement outbreak of loyalty. Rumour They drew a distinction between feudal claims which did and enlarged the incident into a military plot against freedom. did not carry a moral claim to compensation. But they were Those who wanted a more thorough revolution wrought up the embarrassed by the wording of their own decrees and forestalled crowd and even respectable citizens wished to have the by the violence of the people
. The proceedings of the 4th of king among them and amenable to their opinion. On August issued in a wholesale transfer of property from one class the sth of October a mob which had gathered to royal to another without any indemnity for the losers.
assault the Hôtel de Ville was diverted into a march on family and The work of drafting a constitution for France had already Versailles. Lasayelte was slow to follow it and, when to Paris. been begun. Parties in the Assembly were numerous and ill- he arrived, took insufficient precautions. At daybreak
defined. The Extreme Right, who desired to keep on the 6th some of the rioters made their way into the palace
the government as it stood, were a mere handful and stormed the apartment of the queen wło escaped with Assembly, The Right who wanted to revive, as they said, the difficulty. At length the National Guards arrived and the mob
ancient constitution, in other words, to limit the king's was quieted by the announcement that the king had resolved power by periodic States-General of the old-fashioned sort, were to go to Paris. The Assembly declared itself inseparable from more numerous and had able chiefs in Cazalès and Maury, but the king's person. Louis and his family reached Paris on the strove in vain against the spirit of the time. The Right Centre, same evening and took up their abode in the Tuileries. A sometimes called the Monarchiens, were a large body and included little later the Assembly established itself in the riding school several men of talent, notably Mounier and Malouet, as well as of the palace. Thenceforward the king and queen were to all many men of rank and wealth. They desired a constitution like I intents prisoners. The Assembly itself was subject to constant
Removal of the
Partles lo the
were deprived of legal force and a pension was granted to the fly to the army of the East, which the marquis de Bouillé had in religious who were cast upon the world. These measures aroused some measure kept under discipline. Sheltered by him they could no serious discontent; but the so-called civil constitution of await foreign succour or a reaction at home. On the evening the clergy went much further. Old ecclesiastical divisions were of the 20th of June they escaped from the Tuileries. Louis left set aside. Henceforth the diocese was to be conterminous with behind him a declaration complaining of the treatment which he the department, and the parish with the commune. The electors had received and revoking his assent to all measures which had of the commune were to choose the curé, the electors of the depart- been laid before him while under restraint. On the following ment the bishop. Every curé was to receive at least 1200 livres day the royal party was captured at Varennes and sent back to (about £50) a year. Relatively modest stipends were assigned Paris. The king's eldest brother, the count of Provence, who had to bishops and archbishops. French citizens were forbidden to laid his plans much better, made his escape to Brussels and joined acknowledge any ecclesiastical jurisdiction outside the kingdom. the émigrés. The Assembly not only adopted this constitution but decreed It was no longer possible to pretend that the Revolution had that all beneficed ecclesiastics should swear to its observance: been made with the free consent of the king. Some Republicans As the constitution implicitly abrogated the papal authority and called for his deposition. Afraid to take a course which involved entrusted the choice of bishops and curés to electors who often danger both at home and abroad, the Assembly decreed that were not Catholics, most of the clergy declined to swear and lost Louis should be suspended from his office. The club of the their preferments. Their places were filled by election. Thence- Cordeliers (9.0.), led by Danton, demanded not only his deposition forwards the clergy were divided into hostile factions, the Consti- but his trial. A petition to that effect having been exposed for tutionals and the Nonjurors, As the generality of Frenchmen signature on the altar in the Champ de Mars, a disturbance ensued at that time were orthodox although not zealous Catholics, and the National Guard fired on the crowd, killing a few and the Nonjurors carried with them a large part of the laity. The wounding many. This incident afterwards became known as Assembly was misled by its Jansenist, Protestant and Free- the massacre of the Champ de Mars. On the other hand, the thinking members, natural enemies of an established church leaders of the Left, Barnkave and the Lameths, felt that they had which had persecuted them to the best of its power.
weakened the executive power too much. They would gladly In colonial affairs the Assembl acted with the same im- have come to an understanding with the king and revised the prudence. Eager to set an example of suppressing slavery, it constitution so as to strengthen his prerogative. They failed in
took measures which prepared a terrible negro insurrec- both objects. Louis and still more Marie Antoinette regarded sembly, the tion in St Domingo. With regard to foreign relations them with incurable distrust. The Constitutional Act with coloales, the Assembly showed itself well-meaning but indiscreet. out any material change was voted on the 3rd of September,
It protested in good faith that it desired no conquests On the 14th Louis swore to the Constitution, thus regaining his foreiga
and aimed only at peace. Yet it laid down maxims nominal sovereignty. The National Assembly was dissolved
which involved the utmost danger of war. It held on the 30th. Upon Robespierre's motion it had decreed that that no treaty could be binding without the national consent. none of its members should be capable of sitting in the next As this consent had not been given to any existing treaty, they legislature. were all liable to be revised by the French government without If we view the work of the National Assembly as a whole, we consulting the other parties. Thus the Assembly treated the are struck by the immense demolition which it effected. No Family Compact as null and void. Similarly, when it abolished other legislature has ever destroyed so much in the
Review of feudal tenures in France, it ignored the fact that the rights of same time. The old form of government, the old the work certain German princes over lands in Alsace were guaranteed by territorial divisions, the old fiscal system, the old of the the treaties of Westphalia. It offered them compensation in judicature, the old army and navy, the old relations National
Assembly. money, and when this was declined, took no heed of their pro- of Church and State, the old law relating to property tests. Again, in the papal territory of Avignon a large number of in land, all were shattered. Such a destruction could not have the inhabitants declared for union with France. The Assembly been effected without the support of popular opinion. Most of could hardly be restrained by Mirabeau from acting upon their what the Assembly did had been suggested in the cahiers, and vote and annexing Avignon. Some time after his death it was many of its decrees were anticipated by actual revolt. In its annexed. The other states of Europe did not admit the doctrines constructive work many sound maxims were embodied. It of the Assembly, but peace was not broken. Foreign statesmen asserted the principles of civil equality and freedom of conscience, who flattered themselves that France was sinking into anarchy it reformed the criminal law, and laid down a just scheme of and therefore into decay were content to follow their respective taxation. Not intelligence and public spirit but political wisdom ambitions without the dread of French interference.
was lacking to the National Assembly. Its members did not Deprived of authority and in fact a prisoner, Louis had for suspect how limited is the usefulness of general propositions in many months acquiesced in the decrees of the Assembly however practical life. Nor did they perceive that new ideas can be Attempt of distasteful. But the civil constitution of the clergy applied only by degrees in an old world. The Constitution of Louis XVI. wounded him in his conscience as well as in his pride. 1791 was impracticable and did not last a year. The civil conto escape
From the autumn of 1790 onwards he began to scheme stitution of the clergy was wholly mischievous. In the attempt Paris,
for his liberation. Himself incapable of strenuous to govern, the Assembly failed altogether. It left behind an
effort, he was spurred on by Marie Antoinette, who empty treasury, an undisciplined army and navy, a people keenly felt her own degradation and the curtailment of that debauched by safe and successful riot. royal prerogative which her son would one day inherit. The king At the elections of 1791 the party which desired to carry the and queen failed to measure the forces which had caused the Revolution further had a success out of all kceping with its Revolution. They ascribed all their misfortunes to the work of numbers. This was due partly to a weariness of politics a malignant faction, and believed that, if they could escape from which had come over the majority of French citizens,
The Paris, a display of force by friendly powers would enable them partly to downright intimidation exercised by the Assembly. to restore the supremacy of the crown. But no foreign ruler, Jacobin Club and by its affiliated societies throughout not even the emperor Leopold II., gave the king or queen any the kingdom. The Legislative Assembly met on the ist of encouragement. Whatever secrecy they might observe, the October. It consisted of 745 members. Few were nobles, very few adherents of the Revolution divined their wish to escape. When were clergymen, and the great body was drawn from the middle Louis tried to leave the Tuileries for St Cloud at Easter 1791, class. The members were generally young, and, since none had in order to enjoy the ministrations of a nonjuring priest, the sat in the previous Assembly, they were wholly without exNational Guards of Paris would not let him budge. Mirabeau, perience. The Right consisted of the Feuillants (9.v.). They who had always dissuaded the king from seeking foreign help, numbered about 160, and among them were some able men, such died on the end of April. Finally the king and queen resolved to l as Matthieu Dumas and Bigot de Préamenau, but they were
Declara. tion of
guided chiefly by persons outside the House, because incapable the most intelligent. He had skilfully extricated himself from of re-election, Barnave, Duport and the Lameths. The Left con- the embarrassments at home and abroad left by his predecessor sisted of the Jacobins, a term which still included the party Joseph. He was bound by family ties to Louis, and he was afterwards known as the Girondins or Girondists (9.8.)-50 obliged, as chief of the Holy Roman Empire, to protect the border termed because several of their leaders came from the region of princes. On the other hand, he understood the weakness of the the Gironde in southern France. They numbered about 330. Habsburg monarchy. He knew that the Austrian Netherlands, Among the extreme Left sat Cambon, Couthon, Merlin de where he had with difficulty restored his authority, were full of Thionville. The Girondins could claim the most brilliant orators, friends of the Revolution and that a French army would be welVergniaud, Guadet, Isnard. Inferior to these men in talent, comed by many Belgians. He despised the weakness and the Brissot de Warville, a restlesspamphletcer, exerted more influence folly of the emigrés and excluded them from his councils. He over the party which has sometimes gone by his name. The Left earnestly desired to avoid a war which might endanger his sister as a whole was republican, although it did not care to say so. or her husband. In August 1791 he had met Frederick William Strong in numbers, it was reinforced by the disorderly elements II. of Prussia at Pillnitz near Dresden, and the two in Paris and throughout France. The remainder of the House, monarchs had joined in a declaration that they conabout 250 deputies, scarcely belonged to any definite party, sidered the restoration of order and of monarchy in Pillaitz. but voted oftenest with the Left, as the Left was the most France an object of interest to all sovereigns. They powerful.
further declared that they would be ready to act for this purpose The Left had three objects of enmity: first, the king, the queen in concert with the other powers. This declaration appears to and the royal family; secondly, the emigrés; and thirdly, the have been drawn from Leopold by pressure of circumstances.
clergy. The king could not like the new constitution, He well knew that concerted action of the powers was impossible, The court although, if left to himself
, indolence and good nature as the English government had firmly resolved not to meddle with emigrés might have rendered him passive. The queen through- French affairs. After Louis had accepted the constitution,
out had only one thought, to shake off the impotence Leopold virtually withdrew his declaration. Nevertheless it and humiliation of the crown; and for this end she still clung was a grave error of judgment and contributed to the approachto the hope of foreign succour and corresponded with Vienna. ing war. Those émigrés who had assembled in arms on the territories of In France many persons desired war for various reasor.s. the electors of Mainz and Treves (Trier) and in the Austrian Narbonne trusted to find in it the means of restoring a certain Netherlands had put themselves in the position of public enemies. authority to the crown and limiting the Revolution. He conTheir chiefs were the king's brothers, who affected to consider templated a war with Austria only. The Girondins desired war Louis as a captive and his acts as therefore invalid. The count in the hope that it would enable them to abolish monarchy of Provence gave himself the airs of a regent and surrounded altogether. They desired a general war because they believed himself with a ministry. The émigrés were not, however, that it would carry the Revolution into other countries and make dangerous. They were only a few thousand strong; they had no it secure in France by making it universal. The extreme Left competent leader and no money; they were unwelcome to the had the same objects, but it held that a war for those objects could rulers whose hospitality they abused. The nonjuring clergy, not safely be entrusted to the king and his ministers. Victory although harassed by the local authorities, kept the respect and would revive the power of the crown; defeat would be the un. confidence of most Catholics. No acts of disloyalty were proved doing of the Revolution. Hence Robespierre and those who against them, and commissioners of the National Assembly thought with him desired peace. The French nation generally reported to its successor that their flocks only desired to be let had never approved of the Austrian alliance, and regarded the alone. But the anti-clerical bias of the Legislative Assembly Habsburgs as traditional enemies. The king and queen, however, was too strong for such a policy.
who looked for help from abroad and especially from Leopold, The king's ministers, named by him and excluded from the dreaded a war with Austria and had no faith in the schemes of Assembly, were mostly persons of little mark. Montmorin gave Narbonne. Nor was France in a condition to wage a serious war. up the portfolio of foreign affairs on the 31st of October and was The constitution was unworkable and the governing authorities succeeded by De Lessart. Cahier de Gerville was minister of were mutually hostile. The finances remained in disorder, and the interior; Tarbé, minister of finance; and Bertrand de Molle- assignats of the face value of 900,000,000 livres were issued by ville, minister of marine. But the only minister who influenced the Legislative Assembly in less than a year. The army had been the course of affairs was the comte de Narbonne, minister of thinned by desertion and was enervated by long indiscipline.
The fortresses were in bad condition and short of supplies. On the oth of November the Assembly decreed that the émigrés In October Leopold ordered the dispersion of the émigrés who assembled on the frontiers should be liable to the penalties of had mustered in arms in the Austrian Netherlands. His example
death and confiscation unless they returned to France was followed by the electors of Treves and Mainz. At the same The king
by the ist of January following. Louis did not love time they implored the emperor's protection, and the Austrian conjurors, his brothers, and he detested their policy, which chancellor Kaunitz informed Noailles the French ambassador
without rendering him any service made his liberty that this protection would be given if necessary. Narbonne and even his life precarious; yet, loath to condemn them to death, demanded a credit of 20,000,000 livres, which the Assembly he vetoed the decree. On the 29th of November the Assembly granted. He made a tour of inspection in the north of France decreed that every nonjuring clergyman must take within eight and reported untruly to the Assembly that all was in readiness days the civic oath, substantially the same as the oath previously for war. On the 14th of January 1792 the diplomatic committee administered, on pain of losing his pension and, if any troubles reported to the Assembly that the emperor should be required to broke out, of being deported. This decree Louis vetoed as a give satisfactory assurances before the roth of February. The matter of conscience. In either case his resistance only served Assembly put off the term to the ist of March. In February to give a weapon to his enemies in the Assembly. But foreign Leopold concluded a defensive treaty with Frederick William. affairs were at this time the most critical. The armed bodies of But there was no mutual confidence between the sovereigns, who émigrés on the territory of the Empire afforded matter of com were at that very time pursuing opposite policies with regard to plaint to France. The persistence of the French in refusing more Poland. Leopold still hesitated and still hoped to avoid war. He than a money compensation to the German princes who had died on the ist of March, and the imperial dignity became vacant. claims in Alsace afforded matter of complaint to the Empire. The hereditary dominions of Austria passed to his son Francis, Foreign statesmen noticed with alarm the effect of the French afterwards the emperor Francis II., a youth of small abilities and Revolution upon opinion in their own countries, and they no experience. The real conduct of affairs sell, therefore, to the resented the endeavours of French revolutionists to make aged Kaunitz. In France Narbonne failed to carry the king or converts there. Of these statesmen, the emperor Leopold was his colleagues along with him. The king took courage to dismiss