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most active in bringing about, as his comrades said, and Cluseret, managed to elude search, though every effort was made to discover their hiding-places.
The fires burnt on for some days, but the efforts of the soldiers and a change of the wind finally subdued them. When an estimate could be taken of the damage done, it was found that the greater part of the Tuileries, the Library of the Louvre, and a portion of the Palais Royal, had been consumed ; also the Hôtel de Ville, the Ministry of Finance, the Théâtres Lyrique and Du Châtelet, great part of the Rue Royale, and many buildings and portions of streets besides. Nôtre Dame and the Sainte Chapelle had happily escaped the destruction intended for them. The Luxembourg was partially blown up. When stillness fell upon the awful strife of those few days, the appearance of Paris was ghastly in the extreme. Corpses lay heaped together amid the blackened ruins in every variety of contortion and mutilation. Wherever the contest had been fiercest, as at Belleville for instance, and in the cemetery of Père la Chaise, the air was poisoned with their numbers, and the steps of the passers-by were impeded. It was estimated that 10,000 of the insurgents had been killed during the fighting of that week. The killed and wounded of the Versaillists amounted to 2500.
On the 30th, Marshal M-Mahon proclaimed that the capital was to be divided among four commands, comprising all civil as well as military authority; that of the East, under General Vinoy; of the North-West, under L’Admirault; of the South, under Cissey; and of the Centre, under Douay. Soon afterwards the summary executions ceased, and it was given out that all future trials of Communist prisoners should take place at Versailles, before a regularly constituted tribunal. All the inhabitants of the city were to be disarmed, and the National Guard disbanded.
After this manner ended, in blood and flame, that memorable episode in the political history of the civilized world, the two months' Reign of the Commune at Paris.
FRANCE.—Conclusion of Peace - Political Character of the Assembly-Abrogation of
Laws against the Bourbon Houses- Manifesto of the Comte de ChambordFrench Finance-Supplementary Elections to the Assembly-Debate on Bishops' Petition-Resignation of M. Jules Favre-Paris Municipal Elections-Decentralization Bill—Indemnity to Invaded Provinces—Army Reconstruction BillPosition of M. Thiers-Proposition Rivet-Vitet-Thiers President of the Republic, Evacuation of Conquered Provinces-Convention for Alsace-LorraineAdjournment of the Assembly-Communist Trials—Execution of Rossel, Ferré, and Bourgeois-Conseils-Généraux-Commercial Treaty with England reconsidered-Re-opening of the Assembly-President's Message-Bismarck's Remon. strance-Orleanist Princes take their Seats—“Incident Ordinaire "_"Incident Ranc "-Financial Statement-Thiers' speech on the Income Tax.
The National Assembly and its chosen chief of the Executive, M. Louis Adolphe Thiers, were thus left the only constituted power in France. Strictly speaking their authority should have expired with the ratification of that Peace upon which they were expressly called together to pronounce; but it was impossible for them to dissolve while the Commune was waging war against them, and it was equally impossible to appeal to the confused voice of the country now when the one pressing need was to restore order and give the country time to think over the situation. Therefore the so-called Pacte de Bordeaux, the tacit understanding on which the Assembly had been authorized to act, was conveniently forgotten, and Thiers and the deputies continued to transact business on the basis of a moderate Parliamentary Republic.
It was at the sitting of the 13th of May, a week before the entry of the Versaillist troops into Paris, that M. Jules Favre had laid before the Assembly the definitive Treaty of Peace, which he and the Finance Minister, M. Pouyer-Quertier, had just signed at Frankfort, in conjunction with Prince Bismarck. He admitted, with sorrow, that the efforts which had been made to obtain a modification of the terms, had failed ; that the forts on the north and east of Paris, and the neighbouring departments, were to be occupied by the invaders till such time as the German government should deem order to be sufficiently restored in France to guarantee the fulfilment of the engagements contracted; that the indemnity, five milliards of francs, was to be paid as thus : the first half-milliard within a month after the re-establishment of order in Paris; a milliard during the course of the year; another half-milliard on May 1, 1872; the remainder of the indemnity on March 2, 1874. A deduction, how- . ever, was to be made of 325 millions of francs in consideration of the railway lines in Alsace and Lorraine, to be taken over by the Germans. The only territorial change from the preliminaries regarded
a strip of land round Belfort, which the French negotiators had demanded for strategic reasons, and which Bismarck had consented to grant, but not without an indemnification on the Luxemburg frontier. On the 18th, after a somewhat needless debate, the ratification of the treaty was duly voted.
There was no doubt that in the Assembly now sitting at Versailles the reactionary element greatly preponderated. A large majority of the so-called Ruraux were desirous that a throne of some kind should eventually be established. Some were for reviving the claims of the elder branch of the Bourbons, represented by the Comte de Chambord; some were for a constitutional monarchy under the House of Orleans; some few, even now, would have been content to see the lately-deposed Emperor resume the reins of power. The bond-fide Republican party was indeed represented in the various modifications of the "Left” notably by the deputies of the large cities; but the late events at Paris had increased the antagonism of the Assembly, as a whole, to the political views held by Gambetta and the men of September. Now Thiers was known, by his antecedents, to be doctrinally favourable to a limited monarchy on the plan of that of England, and personally attached to the family of his old master, Louis Philippe. But he had accepted office as leader of a Republic, the only form of government possible at the moment of his elevation, and had promised to maintain it as long as he should remain at the head of affairs. He saw in moderate Republicanism the only means of balancing the numerous parties into which the nation as a whole was divided, and the fittest "platform” on which it might be enabled to recruit its shattered resources and make up its mind for the future. On one thing before all others he was intent, to clear the country of the German Army of occupation with the least possible delay. To bring forward the Orleans claims now he was convinced would be premature, and would only make the caldron of public confusion boil up with renewed heat. Therefore when the Duc d'Aumale and the Prince de Joinville had gained their elections to the Assembly in February, he had persuaded them to absent themselves from Bordeaux, and not to press for the reversal of the disqualifying laws against their family. But now that the Paris insurrection was suppressed, some ardent Orleanists thought that the time for a move had come; and on the 2nd of June, M. Brunet suddenly proposed in the Chamber that the existing laws of proscription and banishment against the House of Bourbon should be repealed. Thiers endeavoured to temporize, and to postpone the discussion of the measure. When, however, the debate took place, on the 8th, he withdrew his opposition. “At first,” he said, “I opposed the abolition of the law exiling the Princes of the House of Bourbon from France, because I believed (and I still believe that such a course would be dangerous, and might bring about disturbances in a country where, though civil war is at an end, popular passions have not disappeared. I have since assented to the ideas put forth by the Committee on an engagement being entered into by the princes that they will not sit in the National Assembly, and will do nothing to justify the apprehensions which their presence in France is capable of exciting." He proceeded to point out that in the interests of order and the public credit it was necessary to postpone the discussion of all irritating questions, and added, “The safety of the Republic has been placed as a sacred deposit in my hands, and I will not betray the trust."
The Bill abrogating the laws of proscription was adopted by 484 votes against 103 : and the elections of the Duc d'Aumale and the Prince de Joinville were subsequently declared valid by 448 votes against 113. Having obtained this definitive recognition of their status as citizens, the Orleans princes, in accordance with their promise to Thiers, with whom they had a personal interview, retired for the present from the scene of action. The repeal of the law of proscription applied also to the heir of the elder branch of the Bourbons, living in exile at Fröhsdorf, the Comte de Chambord, the "Henri Cinq” of the Legitimists. The partisans of this prince, so long out of date as an appreciable political element in the country, now began, some to revive the old dreams of divine right, some to speculate on a "fusion” between the two cognate families, in virtue of which Henri V. was to have the first option of reigning as a constitutionally-limited monarch, and if he objected to the terms, then to let the crown devolve on his cousin the Comte de Paris. But while these ideas were in contemplation, the hopes of the Legitimists were shaken by a sudden proclamation issued on the 5th of July from the Castle of Chambord by the royal claimant himself, who had hastened to revisit the banks of the Loire after his forty years of expatriation. “ Frenchmen !” he said, “I am in the midst of you.” Then, after explaining that he had come for a moment only, and would not remain in France at present to cause embarrassing complications, he averred that he was ready, if called to the throne, to govern "on the broad basis of administrative decentralization” and of local franchises, and to “resume the national movement of the latter end of the 18th century, restoring to it its true character. But,” he continued, “people had sought to impose on him conditions to which he could not submit. If France called him, he would come to her with his devotion,' his ' principles,' and his 'flag,' that White Flag which had been the standard of Henry IV., of Francis I., and of Joan of Arc," and which he had received as a sacred deposit from the old king his grandfather, who had died in exile. So uncompromising a manifesto seemed to the strongest Legitimists premature, while to the Fusionists it was a dire discouragement. By all the rules of direct inheritance the next claimánt to the throne after Henri V. was the Duke of Madrid, son of Don Carlos of Spain ; and the white flag, in the hands of its present holder, seemed unlikely to admit of any pact of expediency with the tricolor.
Meanwhile in the Assembly, the financial condition of the country had come on for discussion. On June 12 M. Pouyer-Quertier proposed in the Committee of the Budget the imposition of new taxes to the amount of 460 millions of francs, or 18,500,0001. sterling, to be raised, 60 million by stamp-duties, 90 millions on intoxicating liquors, 50 millions on sugar and coffee, 200 millions by raising a duty on the raw material of textile fabrics, and 50 millions on various other imports. It was a declaration of Protectionist principles in the matter of taxation, of which M. Thiers and his finance Ministers were well known to be advocates; and it foreshadowed a reversal of the free-trade policy which under Napoleon III. had led to the commercial treaty with England, and which in the present Assembly was powerfully represented. Pending the consideration of this measure in the Committee, M. Thiers brought before the House in the following week an elaborate statement as to the resources and liabilities of the public exchequer. He estimated the deficit for the two years, 1870 and 1871, at 1631 millions of francs, of which the bank had advanced 1330 millions on loan; and would be able to lend 200 millions more. He stated that the floating debt was 650 millions, the sum now available for unforeseen expenses. To meet the Prussian claims of indemnity and other war expenses he proposed a National Loan, at five per cent. interest, to be issued at 82 or 83, and for the other requirements of the country he declared that the taxes just proposed by the Minister of Finance would be sufficient. He observed that one of those taxes indeed had been objected to, that on raw materials; but he assured the Assembly that such an impost did not involve the re-establishment of a prohibitory system in general. To the establishment of an income tax, suggested by some in the Assembly, he was decidedly opposed. On the whole he declared the situation to be not discouraging. His speech was loudly cheered, and after some discussion the whole Bill was adopted. The subscription list for the new loan was issued on the 27th, and its success was rapid and astonishing. In the session of the very next day, M. Pouyer-Quertier was able to announce to the Assembly that 4 milliard 5 hundred million francs had already been collected, of which 2500 million had been subscribed by Paris alone. “This state of things,” he added, “ will enable us to fulfil our engagements towards Germany and hasten the deliverance of the country. We shall not wait for the dates fixed for paying the instalments of the indemnity.”
A pressing question of the moment was that regarding the supplementary elections to the National Assembly. There were 113 vacancies now to be filled up, some outstanding since February, when the popular members had often been elected for several departments at once-Thiers, for instance, had been chosen for twenty-five-some caused by the death or defection of the insurrectionary deputies. It was evident that the complexion of the Assembly might be considerably modified, in one way or another, by the addition of one-seventh, or more, to its numbers. In the general apathy or timidity of the people the political cliques put forth their engines. Eighteen of the chief Paris newspapers calling