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Title: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 10, Slice 7 - "Fox, George" to "France"
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 10, Slice 7 - "Fox, George" to "France"" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

Transcriber's notes:

(1) Numbers following letters (without space) like C2 were originally
      printed in subscript. Letter subscripts are preceded by an
      underscore, like C_n.

(2) Characters following a carat (^) were printed in superscript.

(3) Side-notes were relocated to function as titles of their respective

(4) Macrons and breves above letters and dots below letters were not

(5) The following typographical errors have been corrected:

    ARTICLE FOX, RICHARD: "He also appears to have studied at
      Cambridge, but nothing definite is known of the first thirty-five
      years of his career." 'thirty-five' amended from 'thiry-five'.

    ARTICLE France: "After desperate strife, an agreement between the
      two rivals, Arnulf's support, and the death of Odo, secured it for
      Charles III., surnamed the Simple." 'agreement' amended from

    ARTICLE France: "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 ..." 'in' amended from 'is'.

    ARTICLE France: "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 install him as king of Poland." 'install' amended from



              ELEVENTH EDITION

            VOLUME X, SLICE VII

           Fox, George to France


  FOX, RORERT WERE              FRAME
  FOX                           FRANC
  FOXE, JOHN                    FRANÇAIS, ANTOINE
  FRAAS, KARL NIKOLAS           FRANCE (part)

FOX, GEORGE (1624-1691), the founder of the "Society of Friends" or
"Quakers," was born at Drayton, Leicestershire, in July 1624. His
father, Christopher Fox, called by the neighbours "Righteous Christer,"
was a weaver by occupation; and his mother, Mary Lago, "an upright woman
and accomplished above most of her degree," was "of the stock of the
martyrs." George from his childhood "appeared of another frame than the
rest of his brethren, being more religious, inward, still, solid and
observing beyond his years"; and he himself declares: "When I came to
eleven years of age I knew pureness and righteousness; for while a child
I was taught how to walk to be kept pure." Some of his relations wished
that he should be educated for the ministry; but his father apprenticed
him to a shoemaker, who also dealt in wool and cattle. In this service
he remained till his nineteenth year. According to Penn, "he took most
delight in sheep," but he himself simply says: "A good deal went through
my hands.... People had generally a love to me for my innocency and
honesty." In 1643, being upon business at a fair, and having accompanied
some friends to the village public-house, he was troubled by a proposal
to "drink healths," and withdrew in grief of spirit. "When I had done
what business I had to do I returned home, but did not go to bed that
night, nor could I sleep, but sometimes walked up and down, and
sometimes prayed and cried to the Lord, who said unto me, 'Thou seest
how young people go together into vanity and old people into the earth;
thou must forsake all, both young and old, and keep out of all, and be a
stranger unto all.' Then, at the command of God, on the ninth day of the
seventh month, 1643, I left my relations and broke off all familiarity
or fellowship with old or young."

Thus briefly he describes what appears to have been the greatest moral
crisis in his life. The four years which followed were a time of great
perplexity and distress, though sometimes "I had intermissions, and was
sometimes brought into such a heavenly joy that I thought I had been in
Abraham's bosom." He would go from town to town, "travelling up and down
as a stranger in the earth, which way the Lord inclined my heart; taking
a chamber to myself in the town where I came, and tarrying sometimes a
month, more or less, in a place"; and the reason he gives for this
migratory habit is that he was "afraid both of professor and profane,
lest, being a tender young man, he should be hurt by conversing much
with either." The same fear often led him to shun all society for days
at a time; but frequently he would apply to "professors" for spiritual
direction and consolation. These applications, however, never proved
successful; he invariably found that his advisers "possessed not what
they professed." Some recommended marriage, others enlistment as a
soldier in the civil wars; one "ancient priest" bade him take tobacco
and sing psalms; another of the same fraternity, "in high account,"
advised physic and blood-letting.

About the beginning of 1646 his thoughts began to take more definite
shape. One day, approaching Coventry, "the Lord opened to him" that none
were true believers but such as were born of God and had passed from
death unto life; and this was soon followed by other "openings" to the
effect that "being bred at Oxford or Cambridge was not enough to fit and
qualify men to be ministers of Christ," and that "God who made the world
did not dwell in temples made with hands." He also experienced deeper
manifestations of Christ within his own soul. "When I myself was in the
deep, shut up under all [the burden of corruptions], I could not believe
that I should ever overcome; my troubles, my sorrows and my temptations
were so great that I thought many times I should have despaired, I was
so tempted. But when Christ opened to me how He was tempted by the same
devil, and overcame him and bruised his head, and that through Him, and
His power, light, grace and spirit, I should overcome also, I had
confidence in Him; so He it was that opened to me, when I was shut up
and had no hope nor faith. Christ, who had enlightened me, gave me His
light to believe in; He gave me hope which He himself revealed in me;
and He gave me His spirit and grace, which I found sufficient in the
deeps and in weakness." In 1647 he records that at a time when all
outward help had failed "I heard a voice which said, 'There is one, even
Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition.' And when I heard it my
heart did leap for joy." In the same year he first openly declared his
message in the neighbourhood of Dukinfield and Manchester (see FRIENDS,

In 1649, as he was walking towards Nottingham, he heard the bell of the
"steeple house" of the city, and was admonished by an inward voice to go
forward and cry against the great idol and the worshippers in it.
Entering the church he found the preacher engaged in expounding the
words, "We have also a more sure word of prophecy," from which the
ordinary Protestant doctrine of the supreme authority of Scripture was
being enforced in a manner which appeared to Fox so defective or
erroneous as to call for his immediate and most energetic protest.
Lifting up his voice against the preacher's doctrine, he declared that
it is not by the Scripture alone, but by the divine light by which the
Scriptures were given, that doctrines ought to be judged. He was carried
off to prison, where he was detained for some time, and from which he
was released only by the favour of the sheriff, whose sympathies he had
succeeded in enlisting. In 1650 he was imprisoned for about a year at
Derby on a charge of blasphemy. On his release, overwrought and weakened
by six months spent "in the common gaol and dungeon," he performed what
was almost the only and certainly the most pronounced act of his life
which had the appearance of wild fanaticism. Through the streets of
Lichfield, on market day, he walked barefoot, crying, "Woe to the bloody
city of Lichfield." His own explanation of the act, connecting it with
the martyrdom of a thousand Christians in the time of Diocletian, is not
convincing. His proceeding was probably due to a horror of the city
arising from a subconscious memory of what he must have heard in
childhood from his mother ("of the stock of the martyrs") concerning a
martyr, a woman, burnt in the reign of Mary at Lichfield, who had been
taken thither from Mancetter, a village two miles from his home in which
he had worked as a journeyman shoemaker (see _The Martyrs Glover and
Lewis of Mancetter_, by the Rev. B. Richings). He must also have heard
of the burning of Edward Wightman in the same city in 1612, the last
person burned for heresy in England.

It would be here out of place to follow with any minuteness the details
of his subsequent imprisonments, such as that at Carlisle in 1653;
London 1654; Launceston 1656; Lancaster 1660, and again in 1663, whence
he was taken to Scarborough in 1665; and Worcester 1673. During these
terms of imprisonment his pen was not idle, as is amply shown by the
very numerous letters, pastorals and exhortations which have been
preserved; while during his intervals of liberty he was unwearied in the
work of "declaring truth" in all parts of the country. In 1669 he
married Margaret, widow of Judge Fell, of Swarthmoor, near Ulverston,
who, with her family, had been among his earliest converts. In 1671 he
visited Barbados, Jamaica, and the American continent, and shortly after
his return in 1673 he was, as has been already noted, apprehended in
Worcestershire for attending meetings that were forbidden by the law. At
Worcester he suffered a captivity of nearly fourteen months. In 1677 he
visited Holland along with Barclay, Penn and seven others; and this
visit he repeated (with five others) in 1684. The later years of his
life were spent mostly in London, where he continued to speak in public,
comparatively unmolested, until within a few days of his death, which
took place on the 13th of January 1691 (1690 O.S.).

William Penn has left on record an account of Fox from personal
knowledge--a _Brief Account of the Rise and Progress of the People
called Quakers_, written as a preface to Fox's _Journal_. Although a man
of large size and great bodily strength, he was "very temperate, eating
little and sleeping less." He was a man of strong personality, of
measured utterance, "civil" (says Penn) "beyond all forms of breeding."
From his _Journal_ we gather that he had piercing eyes and a very loud
voice, and wore good clothes. Unlike the Roundheads, he wore his hair
long. Even before his marriage with Margaret Fell he seems to have been
fairly well off; he does not appear to have worked for a living after he
was nineteen, and yet he had a horse, and speaks of having money to give
to those who were in need. He had much practical common-sense, and keen
sympathy for all who were in distress and for animals. The mere fact
that he was able to attract to himself so considerable a body of
respectable followers, including such men as Ellwood, Barclay, Penington
and Penn, is sufficient to prove that he possessed in a very eminent
degree the power of conviction, persuasion, and moral ascendancy; while
of his personal uprightness, single-mindedness and sincerity there can
be no question.

  The writings of Fox are enumerated in Joseph Smith's _Catalogue of
  Friends' Books_. The _Journal_ is especially interesting; of it Sir
  James Mackintosh has said that "it is one of the most extraordinary
  and instructive narratives in the world, which no reader of competent
  judgment can peruse without revering the virtue of the writer." The
  _Journal_ was originally published in London in 1694; the edition
  known as the Bicentenary Edition, with notes biographical and
  historical (reprint of 1901 or later), will be found the most useful
  in practice. An exact transcript of the _Journal_ has been issued by
  the Cambridge University Press. A _Life of George Fox_, by Dr Thomas
  Hodgkin; _The Fells of Swarthmoor Hall_, by Maria Webb; and _The Life
  and Character of George Fox_, by John Stephenson Rowntree, are
  valuable. For a mention of other works, and for details of the
  principles and history of the Society of Friends, together with some
  further information about Fox, see the article FRIENDS, SOCIETY OF.
       (A. N. B.)

FOX, RICHARD (c. 1448-1528), successively bishop of Exeter, Bath and
Wells, Durham, and Winchester, lord privy seal, and founder of Corpus
Christi College, Oxford, was born about 1448 at Ropesley near Grantham,
Lincolnshire. His parents belonged to the yeoman class, and there is
some obscurity about Fox's early career. It is not known at what school
he was educated, nor at what college, though the presumption is in
favour of Magdalen, Oxford, whence he drew so many members of his
subsequent foundation, Corpus Christi. He also appears to have studied
at Cambridge, but nothing definite is known of the first thirty-five
years of his career. In 1484 he was in Paris, whether merely for the
sake of learning or because he had rendered himself obnoxious to Richard
III. is a matter of speculation. At any rate he was brought into contact
with the earl of Richmond, who was then beginning his quest for the
English throne, and was taken into his service. In January 1485 Richard
intervened to prevent Fox's appointment to the vicarage of Stepney on
the ground that he was keeping company with the "great rebel, Henry ap

The important offices conferred on Fox immediately after the battle of
Bosworth imply that he had already seen more extensive political service
than can be traced in records. Doubtless Henry VII. had every reason to
reward his companions in exile, and to rule like Ferdinand of Aragon by
means of lawyers and churchmen rather than trust nobles like those who
had made the Wars of the Roses. But without an intimate knowledge of
Fox's political experience and capacity he would hardly have made him
his principal secretary, and soon afterwards lord privy seal and bishop
of Exeter (1487). The ecclesiastical preferment was merely intended to
provide a salary not at Henry's expense; for Fox never saw either Exeter
or the diocese of Bath and Wells to which he was translated in 1492. His
activity was confined to political and especially diplomatic channels;
so long as Morton lived, Fox was his subordinate, but after the
archbishop's death he was second to none in Henry's confidence, and he
had an important share in all the diplomatic work of the reign. In 1487
he negotiated a treaty with James III. of Scotland, in 1491 he baptized
the future Henry VIII., in 1492 he helped to conclude the treaty of
Etaples, and in 1497 he was chief commissioner in the negotiations for
the famous commercial agreement with the Netherlands which Bacon seems
to have been the first to call the _Magnus Intercursus_.

Meanwhile in 1494 Fox had been translated to Durham, not merely because
it was a richer see than Bath and Wells but because of its political
importance as a palatine earldom and its position with regard to the
Borders and relations with Scotland. For these reasons rather than from
any ecclesiastical scruples Fox visited and resided in his new diocese;
and he occupied Norham Castle, which he fortified and defended against a
Scottish raid in Perkin Warbeck's interests (1497). But his energies
were principally devoted to pacific purposes. In that same year he
negotiated Perkin's retirement from the court of James IV., and in
1498-1499 he completed the negotiations for that treaty of marriage
between the Scottish king and Henry's daughter Margaret which led
ultimately to the union of the two crowns in 1603 and of the two
kingdoms in 1707. The marriage itself did not take place until 1503,
just a century before the accession of James I.

This consummated Fox's work in the north, and in 1501 he was once more
translated to Winchester, then reputed the richest bishopric in England.
In that year he brought to a conclusion marriage negotiations not less
momentous in their ultimate results, when Prince Arthur was betrothed to
Catherine of Aragon. His last diplomatic achievement in the reign of
Henry VII. was the betrothal of the king's younger daughter Mary to the
future emperor Charles V. In 1500 he was elected chancellor of Cambridge
University, an office not confined to noble lords until a much more
democratic age, and in 1507 master of Pembroke Hall in the same
university. The Lady Margaret Beaufort made him one of her executors,
and in this capacity as well as in that of chancellor, he had the chief
share with Fisher in regulating the foundation of St John's College and
the Lady Margaret professorships and readerships. His financial work
brought him a less enviable notoriety, though a curious freak of history
has deprived him of the credit which is his due for "Morton's fork." The
invention of that ingenious dilemma for extorting contributions from
poor and rich alike is ascribed as a tradition to Morton by Bacon; but
the story is told in greater detail of Fox by Erasmus, who says he had
it from Sir Thomas More, a well-informed contemporary authority. It is
in keeping with the somewhat malicious saying about Fox reported by
Tyndale that he would sacrifice his father to save his king, which after
all is not so damning as Wolsey's dying words.

The accession of Henry VIII. made no immediate difference to Fox's
position. If anything, the substitution of the careless pleasure-loving
youth for Henry VII. increased the power of his ministry, the personnel
of which remained unaltered. The Venetian ambassador calls Fox "alter
rex" and the Spanish ambassador Carroz says that Henry VIII. trusted him
more than any other adviser, although he also reports Henry's warning
that the bishop of Winchester was, as his name implied, "a fox indeed."
He was the chief of the ecclesiastical statesmen who belonged to the
school of Morton, believed in frequent parliaments, and opposed the
spirited foreign policy which laymen like Surrey are supposed to have
advocated. His colleagues were Warham and Ruthal, but Warham and Fox
differed on the question of Henry's marriage. Fox advising the
completion of the match with Catherine while Warham expressed doubts as
to its canonical validity. They also differed over the prerogatives of
Canterbury with regard to probate and other questions of ecclesiastical

Wolsey's rapid rise in 1511 put an end to Fox's influence. The pacific
policy of the first two years of Henry VIII.'s reign was succeeded by an
adventurous foreign policy directed mainly against France; and Fox
complained that no one durst do anything in opposition to Wolsey's
wishes. Gradually Warham and Fox retired from the government; the
occasion of Fox's resignation of the privy seal was Wolsey's
ill-advised attempt to drive Francis I. out of Milan by financing an
expedition led by the emperor Maximilian in 1516. Tunstall protested,
Wolsey took Warham's place as chancellor, and Fox was succeeded by
Ruthal, who, said the Venetian ambassador, "sang treble to Wolsey's
bass." He bore Wolsey no ill-will, and warmly congratulated him two
years later when warlike adventures were abandoned at the peace of
London. But in 1522 when war was again declared he emphatically refused
to bear any part of the responsibility, and in 1523 he opposed in
convocation the financial demands which met with a more strenuous
resistance in the House of Commons.

He now devoted himself assiduously to his long-neglected episcopal
duties. He expressed himself as being as anxious for the reformation of
the clergy as Simeon for the coming of the Messiah; but while he
welcomed Wolsey's never-realized promises, he was too old to accomplish
much himself in the way of remedying the clerical and especially the
monastic depravity, licence and corruption he deplored. His sight failed
during the last ten years of his life, and there is no reason to doubt
Matthew Parker's story that Wolsey suggested his retirement from his
bishopric on a pension. Fox replied with some warmth, and Wolsey had to
wait until Fox's death before he could add Winchester to his
archbishopric of York and his abbey of St Albans, and thus leave Durham
vacant as he hoped for the illegitimate son on whom (aged 18) he had
already conferred a deanery, four archdeaconries, five prebends and a

The crown of Fox's career was his foundation of Corpus Christi College,
which he established in 1515-1516. Originally he intended it as an
Oxford house for the monks of St Swithin's, Winchester; but he is said
to have been dissuaded by Bishop Oldham, who denounced the monks and
foretold their fall. The scheme adopted breathed the spirit of the
Renaissance; provision was made for the teaching of Greek, Erasmus
lauded the institution and Pole was one of its earliest fellows. The
humanist Vives was brought from Italy to teach Latin, and the reader in
theology was instructed to follow the Greek and Latin Fathers rather
than the scholastic commentaries. Fox also built and endowed schools at
Taunton and Grantham, and was a benefactor to numerous other
institutions. He died at Wolvesey on the 5th of October 1528; Corpus
possesses several portraits and other relics of its founder.

  See _Letters and Papers of Henry VII. and Henry VIII._, vols. i.-iv.;
  _Spanish and Venetian Calendars of State Papers_; Gairdner's _Lollardy
  and the Reformation and Church History 1485-1558_; Pollard's _Henry
  VIII._; Longman's Political History, vol. v.; other authorities cited
  in the article by Dr T. Fowler (formerly president of Corpus) in the
  _Dict. Nat. Biog._     (A. F. P.)

FOX, RORERT WERE (1789-1877), English geologist and natural philosopher,
was born at Falmouth on the 26th of April 1789. He was a member of the
Society of Friends, and was descended from members who had long settled
in Cornwall, although he was not related to George Fox who had
introduced the community into the county. He was distinguished for his
researches on the internal temperature of the earth, being the first to
prove that the heat increased definitely with the depth; his
observations being conducted in Cornish mines from 1815 for a period of
forty years. In 1829 he commenced a series of experiments on the
artificial production of miniature metalliferous veins by means of the
long-continued influence of electric currents, and his main results were
published in _Observations on Mineral Veins_ (_Rep. Royal Cornwall
Polytech. Soc._, 1836). He was one of the founders in 1833 of the Royal
Cornwall Polytechnic Society. He constructed in 1834 an improved form of
deflector dipping needle. In 1848 he was elected F.R.S. His garden at
Penjerrick near Falmouth became noted for the number of exotic plants
which he had naturalized. He died on the 25th of July 1877. (See _A
Catalogue of the Works of Robert Were Fox, F.R.S., with a Sketch of his
Life_, by J.H. Collins, 1878.)

His daughter, CAROLINE FOX (1819-1871), born at Falmouth on the 24th of
May 1819, is well known as the authoress of a diary, recording memories
of many distinguished people, such as John Stuart Mill, John Sterling
and Carlyle. Selections from her diary and correspondence (1835-1871)
were published under the title of _Memories of Old Friends_ (ed. by H.N.
Pym, 1881; 2nd ed., 1882). She died on the 12th of January 1871.

FOX, SIR STEPHEN (1627-1716), English statesman, born on the 27th of
March 1627, was the son of William Fox, of Farley, in Wiltshire, a
yeoman farmer. At the age of fifteen he first obtained a situation in
the household of the earl of Northumberland; then he entered the service
of Lord Percy, the earl's brother, and was present with the royalist
army at the battle of Worcester as Lord Percy's deputy at the ordnance
board. Accompanying Charles II. in his flight to the continent, he was
appointed manager of the royal household, on Clarendon's recommendation
as "a young man bred under the severe discipline of Lord Percy ... very
well qualified with languages, and all other parts of clerkship, honesty
and discretion." The skill with which he managed the exiguous finances
of the exiled court earned him further confidence and promotion. He was
employed on several important missions, and acted eventually as
intermediary between the king and General Monk. Honours and emolument
were his reward after the Restoration; he was appointed to the lucrative
offices of first clerk of the board of green cloth and paymaster-general
of the forces. In November 1661 he became member of parliament for
Salisbury. In 1665 he was knighted, was returned as M. P. for
Westminster on the 27th of February 1679, and succeeded the earl of
Rochester as a commissioner of the treasury, filling that office for
twenty-three years and during three reigns. In 1680 he resigned the
paymastership and was made first commissioner of horse. In 1684 he
became sole commissioner of horse. He was offered a peerage by James
II., on condition of turning Roman Catholic, but refused, in spite of
which he was allowed to retain his commissionerships. In 1685 he was
again M. P. for Salisbury, and opposed the bill for a standing army
supported by the king. During the Revolution he maintained an attitude
of decent reserve, but on James's flight, submitted to William III., who
confirmed him in his offices. He was again elected for Westminster in
1691 and 1695, for Cricklade in 1698, and finally in 1713 once more for
Salisbury. He died on the 28th of October 1716. It is his distinction to
have founded Chelsea hospital, and to have contributed £13,000 in aid of
this laudable public work. Though his place as a statesman is in the
second or even the third rank, yet he was a useful man in his
generation, and a public servant who creditably discharged all the
duties with which he was entrusted. Unlike other statesmen of his day,
he grew rich in the service of the nation without being suspected of
corruption, and without forfeiting the esteem of his contemporaries.

He was twice married (1651 and 1703); by his first wife, Elizabeth
Whittle, he had seven sons, who predeceased him, and three daughters; by
his second, Christian Hopes, he had two sons and two daughters. The
elder son by the second marriage, Stephen (1704-1776), was created Lord
Ilchester and Stavordale in 1747 and earl of Ilchester in 1756; in 1758
he took the additional name of Strangways, and his descendants, the
family of Fox-Strangways, still hold the earldom of Ilchester. The
younger son, Henry, became the 1st Lord Holland (q.v.).

FOX, SIR WILLIAM (1812-1893), New Zealand statesman, third son of George
Townshend Fox, deputy-lieutenant for Durham county, was born in England
on the 9th of June 1812, and educated at Wadham College, Oxford, where
he took his degree in 1832. Called to the bar in 1842, he emigrated
immediately thereafter to New Zealand, where, on the death of Captain
Arthur Wakefield, killed in 1843 in the Wairau massacre, he became the
New Zealand Company's agent for the South Island. While holding this
position he made a memorable exploring march on foot from Nelson to
Canterbury, through Cannibal Gorge, in the course of which he discovered
the fertile pastoral country of Amuri. In 1848 Governor Grey made Fox
attorney-general, but he gave up the post almost at once in order to
join the agitation, then at its height, for a free constitution. As the
political agent of the Wellington settlers he sailed to London in 1850
to urge their demands in Downing Street. The colonial office, however,
refused to recognize him, and, after publishing a sketch of the New
Zealand settlements, _The Six Colonies of New Zealand_, and travelling
in the United States, he returned to New Zealand and again threw himself
with energy into public affairs. When government by responsible
ministers was at last initiated, in 1856, Fox ousted the first ministry
and formed a cabinet, only to be himself beaten in turn after holding
office but thirteen days. In 1861 he regained office, and was somewhat
more fortunate, for he remained premier for nearly thirteen months.
Again, in the latter part of 1863 he took office: this time with Sir
Frederick Whitaker as premier, an arrangement which endured for another
thirteen months. Fox's third premiership began in 1869 and lasted until
1872. His fourth, which was a matter of temporary convenience to his
party, lasted only five weeks in March and April 1873. Soon afterwards
he left politics, and, though he reappeared after some years and led the
attack which overthrew Sir George Grey's ministry in 1879, he lost his
seat in the dissolution which followed in that year and did not again
enter parliament. He was made K.C.M.G. in 1880.

For the thirty years between 1850 and 1880 Sir William Fox was one of
the half-dozen most notable public men in the colony. Impulsive and
controversial, a fluent and rousing speaker, and a ready writer, his
warm and sympathetic nature made him a good friend and a troublesome
foe. He was considered for many years to be the most dangerous leader of
the Opposition in the colony's parliament, though as premier he was at a
disadvantage when measured against more patient and more astute party
managers. His activities were first devoted to secure self-government
for the New Zealand colonists. Afterwards his sympathies made him
prominent among the champions of the Maori race, and he laboured
indefatigably for their rights and to secure permanent peace with the
tribes and a just settlement of their claims. It was during his third
premiership that this peace, so long deferred, was at last gained,
mainly through the influence and skill of Sir Donald M'Lean, native
minister in the Fox cabinet. Finally, after Fox had left parliament he
devoted himself, as joint-commissioner with Sir Francis Dillon Bell, to
the adjustment of the native land-claims on the west coast of the North
Island. The able reports of the commissioners were his last public
service, and the carrying out of their recommendations gradually removed
the last serious native trouble in New Zealand. When, however, in the
course of the native wars from 1860 to 1870 the colonists of New Zealand
were exposed to cruel and unjust imputations in England, Fox zealously
defended them in a book, _The War in New Zealand_ (1866), which was not
only a spirited vindication of his fellow-settlers, but a scathing
criticism of the generalship of the officers commanding the imperial
troops in New Zealand. Throughout his life Fox was a consistent advocate
of total abstinence. It was he who founded the New Zealand Alliance, and
he undoubtedly aided the growth of the prohibition movement afterwards
so strong in the colony. He died on the 23rd of June 1893, exactly
twelve months after his wife, Sarah, daughter of William Halcombe.
     (W. P. R.)

FOX, a name (female, "vixen"[1]) properly applicable to the single wild
British representative of the family _Canidae_ (see CARNIVORA), but in a
wider sense used to denote fox-like species from all parts of the world,
inclusive of many from South America which do not really belong to the
same group. The fox was included by Linnaeus in the same genus with the
dog and the wolf, under the name of _Canis vulpes_, but at the present
day is regarded by most naturalists as the type of a separate genus, and
should then be known as _Vulpes alopex_ or _Vulpes vulpes_. From dogs,
wolves, jackals, &c., which constitute the genus _Canis_ in its more
restricted sense, foxes are best distinguished by the circumstance that
in the skull the (postorbital) projection immediately behind the socket
for the eye has its upper surface concave, with a raised ridge in front,
in place of regularly convex. Another character is the absence of a
hollow chamber, or sinus, within the frontal bone of the forehead. Foxes
are likewise distinguished by their slighter build, longer and bushy
tail, which always exceeds half the length of the head and body, sharper
muzzle, and relatively longer body and shorter limbs. Then again, the
ears are large in proportion to the head, the pupil of the eye is
elliptical and vertical when in a strong light, and the female has six
pairs of teats, in place of the three to five pairs found in dogs,
wolves and jackals. From the North American grey foxes, constituting the
genus or subgenus _Urocyon_, the true foxes are distinguished by the
absence of a crest of erectile long hairs along the middle line of the
upper surface of the tail, and also of a projection (subangular process)
to the postero-inferior angle of the lower jaw. With the exception of
certain South African species, foxes differ from wolves and jackals in
that they do not associate in packs, but go about in pairs or are

From the Scandinavian peninsula and the British Islands the range of the
fox extends eastwards across Europe and central and northern Asia to
Japan, while to the south it embraces northern Africa and Arabia,
Persia, Baluchistan, and the north-western districts of India and the
Himalaya. On the North American side of the Atlantic the fox reappears.
With such an enormous geographical range the species must of necessity
present itself under a considerable number of local phases, differing
from one another to a greater or less degree in the matters of size and
colouring. By some naturalists many of these local forms are regarded as
specifically distinct, but it seems better and simpler to class them all
as local phases or races of a single species primarily characterized by
the white tip to the tail and the black or dark-brown hind surface of
the ear. The "foxy red" colouring of the typical race of north-western
Europe is too well known to require description. From this there is a
more or less nearly complete gradation on the one hand to pale-coloured
forms like the white-footed fox (_V. alopex leucopus_) of Persia, N.W.
India and Arabia, and on the other to the silver or black fox (_V. a.
argentatus_) of North America which yields the valuable silver-tipped
black fur. Silver foxes apparently also occur in northern Asia.

To mention all the other local races would be superfluous, and it will
suffice to note that the North African fox is known as _V. a.
niloticus_, the Himalayan as _V. a. montanus_, the Tibetan as _V. a.
wadelli_, the North American red or cross fox as _V. a. pennsylvanicus_,
and the Alaskan as _V. a. harrimani_; the last named, like several other
animals from Alaska, being the largest of its kind.

The cunning and stratagem of the fox have been proverbial for many ages,
and he has figured as a central character in fables from the earliest
times, as in Aesop, down to "Uncle Remus," most notably as Reynard
(_Raginohardus_, strong in counsel) in the great medieval beast-epic
"Reynard the Fox" (q.v.). It is not unlikely that, owing to the
conditions under which it now lives, these traits are even more
developed in England than elsewhere. In habits the fox is to a great
extent solitary, and its home is usually a burrow, which may be
excavated by its own labour, but is more often the usurped or deserted
tenement of a badger or a rabbit. Foxes will, however, often take up
their residence in woods, or even in water-meadows with large tussocks
of grass, remaining concealed during the day and issuing forth on
marauding expeditions at night. Rabbits, hares, domesticated poultry,
game-birds, and, when these run short, rats, mice and even insects, form
the chief diet of the fox. When living near the coast foxes will,
however, visit the shore at low water in search of crabs and whelks; and
the old story of the fox and the grapes seems to be founded upon a
partiality on the part of the creature for that fruit. Flesh that has
become tainted appears to be specially acceptable; but it is a curious
fact that on no account will a fox eat any kind of bird of prey.

After a gestation of from 60 to 65 days, the vixen during the month of
April gives birth to cubs, of which from five to eight usually go to
form a litter. When first born these are clothed with a uniform
slaty-grey fur, which in due course gives place to a coat of more tawny
hue than the adult livery. In a year and a half the cubs attain their
full development; and from observations on captive specimens it appears
that the duration of life ought to extend to some thirteen or fourteen
years. In the care and defence of her young the vixen displays
extraordinary solicitude and boldness, altogether losing on such
occasions her accustomed timidity and caution. Like most other young
animals, fox-cubs are exceedingly playful, and may be seen chasing one
another in front of the mouth of the burrow, or even running after their
own tails.

Young foxes can be tamed to a certain extent, and do not then emit the
well-known odour to any great degree unless excited. The species cannot,
however, be completely domesticated, and never displays the affectionate
traits of the dog. It was long believed that foxes and dogs would never
interbreed; but several instances of such unions have been recorded,
although they are undoubtedly rare. When suddenly confronted in a
situation where immediate escape is impossible, the fox, like the wolf,
will not hesitate to resort to the death-feigning instinct. Smartness in
avoiding traps is one of the most distinctive traits in the character of
the species; but when a trap has once claimed its victim, and is
consequently no longer dangerous, the fox is always ready to take
advantage of the gratuitous meal.

Red fox-skins are largely imported into Europe for various purposes, the
American imports alone formerly reaching as many as 60,000 skins
annually. Silver fox is one of the most valuable of all furs, as much as
£480 having been given for an unusually fine pair of skins in 1902.

Of foxes certainly distinct specifically from the typical representative
of the group, one of the best known is the Indian _Vulpes bengalensis_,
a species much inferior in point of size to its European relative, and
lacking the strong odour of the latter, from which it is also
distinguished by the black tip to the tail and the pale-coloured backs
of the ears. The corsac fox (_V. corsac_), ranging from southern Russia
and the Caspian provinces across Asia to Amurland, may be regarded as a
northern representative of the Indian species; while the pale fox (_V.
pallidus_), of the Suakin and Dongola deserts, may be regarded as the
African representative of the group. Possibly the kit-fox (_V. velox_),
which has likewise a black tail-tip and pale ears, may be the North
American form of the same group. The northern fennec (_V. famelicus_),
whose range extends apparently from Egypt and Somaliland through
Palestine and Persia into Afghanistan, seems to form a connecting link
between the more typical foxes and the small African species properly
known as fennecs. The long and bushy tail in the northern species has a
white tip and a dark gland-patch near the root, but the backs of the
ears are fawn-coloured. The enormous length of the ears and the small
bodily size (inferior to that of any other member of the family) suffice
to distinguish the true fennec (_V. zerda_) of Algeria and Egypt, in
which the general colour is pale and the tip of the relatively short
tail black. South of the Zambezi the group reappears in the shape of the
asse-fox or fennec, (_V. cama_), a dark-coloured species, with a black
tip to the long, bushy tail and reddish-brown ears.

Passing from South Africa to the north polar regions of both the Old and
the New World, inclusive of Iceland, we enter the domain of the Arctic
fox (_V. lagopus_), a very distinct species characterized by the hairy
soles of its feet, the short, blunt ears, the long, bushy tail, and the
great length of the fur in winter. The upper parts in summer are usually
brownish and the under parts white; but in winter the whole coat, in
this phase of the species, turns white. In a second phase of the
species, the colour, which often displays a slaty hue (whence the name
of blue fox), remains more or less the same throughout the year, the
winter coat being, however, recognizable by the great length of the fur.
Many at least of the "blue fox" skins of the fur-trade are white skins
dyed. About 2000 blue fox-skins were annually imported into London from
Alaska some five-and-twenty years ago. Arctic foxes feed largely on
sea-birds and lemmings, laying up hidden stores of the last-named
rodents for winter use.

The American grey fox, or Virginian fox, is now generally ranged as a
distinct genus (or a subgenus of _Canis_) under the name of _Urocyon
cinereo-argentatus_, on account of being distinguished, as already
mentioned, by the presence of a ridge of long erectile hairs along the
upper surface of the tail and of a projection to the postero-inferior
angle of the lower jaw. The prevailing colour of the fur of the upper
parts is iron-grey.

The so-called foxes of South America, such as the crab-eating fox (_C.
thous_), Azara's fox (_C. azarae_), and the colpeo (_C. magellanicus_),
are aberrant members of the typical genus _Canis_. On the other hand,
the long-eared fox or Delalande's fox (_Otocyon megalotis_) of south and
east Africa represents a totally distinct genus.

  See St George Mivart, _Dogs, Jackals, Wolves and Foxes_ (London,
  1890); R.I. Pocock, "Ancestors and Relatives of the Dog," in _The
  Kennel Encyclopaedia_ (London, 1907). For fox-hunting, see HUNTING.
       (R. L.*)


  [1] The word is common to the Teutonic languages, cf. Dutch _vos_,
    Ger. _Fuchs_; the ultimate origin is unknown, but a connexion has
    been suggested with Sanskrit _puccha_, tail. The feminine "vixen"
    represents the O. Eng. _fyxen_, due to the change from _o_ to _y_,
    and addition of the feminine termination _-en_, cf. O. Eng. _gyden_,
    goddess, and Ger. _Füchsin_, vixen. The _v_, for _f_, is common in
    southern English pronunciation; vox, for fox, is found in the _Ancren
    Riwle_, c. 1230.

FOXE, JOHN (1516-1587), the author of the famous _Book of Martyrs_, was
born at Boston, in Lincolnshire, in 1516. At the age of sixteen he is
said to have entered Brasenose College, Oxford, where he was the pupil
of John Harding or Hawarden, and had for room-mate Alexander Nowell,
afterwards dean of St. Paul's. His authenticated connexion at the
university is, however, with Magdalen College. He took his B.A. degree
in 1537 and his M.A. in 1543. He was lecturer on logic in 1540-1541. He
wrote several Latin plays on Scriptural subjects, of which the best, _De
Christo triumphante_, was repeatedly printed, (London, 1551; Basel,
1556, &c.), and was translated into English by Richard Day, son of the
printer. He became a fellow of Magdalen College in 1539, resigning in
1545. It is said that he refused to conform to the rules for regular
attendance at chapel, and that he protested both against the enforced
celibacy of fellows and the obligation to take holy orders within seven
years of their election. The customary statement that he was expelled
from his fellowship is based on the untrustworthy biography attributed
to his son Samuel Foxe, but the college records state that he resigned
of his own accord and _ex honesta causa_. The letter in which he
protests to President Oglethorpe against the charges of irreverence,
&c., brought against him is printed in Pratt's edition (vol. i.
Appendix, pp. 58-61).

On leaving Oxford he acted as tutor for a short time in the house of the
Lucys of Charlecote, near Stratford-on-Avon, where he married Agnes
Randall. Late in 1547 or early in the next year he went to London. He
found a patron in Mary Fitzroy, duchess of Richmond, and having been
ordained deacon by Ridley in 1550, he settled at Reigate Castle, where
he acted as tutor to the duchess's nephews, the orphan children of Henry
Howard, earl of Surrey. On the accession of Queen Mary, Foxe was
deprived of his tutorship by the boys' grandfather, the duke of Norfolk,
who was now released from prison. He retired to Strassburg, and occupied
himself with a Latin history of the Christian persecutions which he had
begun at the suggestion of Lady Jane Grey. He had assistance from two
clerics of widely differing opinions--from Edmund Grindal, who was
later, as archbishop of Canterbury, to maintain his Puritan convictions
in opposition to Elizabeth; and from John Aylmer, afterwards one of the
bitterest opponents of the Puritan party. This book, dealing chiefly
with Wycliffe and Huss, and coming down to 1500, formed the first
outline of the _Actes and Monuments_. It was printed by Wendelin
Richelius with the title of _Commentarii rerum in ecclesia gestarum_
(Strasburg, 1554). In the year of its publication Foxe removed to
Frankfort, where he found the English colony of Protestant refugees
divided into two camps. He made a vain attempt to frame a compromise
which should be accepted by the extreme Calvinists and by the partisans
of the Anglican doctrine. He removed (1555) to Basel, where he worked as
printer's reader to Johann Herbst or Oporinus. He made steady progress
with his great book as he received reports from England of the
religious persecutions there, and he issued from the press of Oporinus
his pamphlet _Ad inclytos ac praepotentes Angliae proceres ...
supplicatio_ (1557), a plea for toleration addressed to the English
nobility. In 1559 he completed the Latin edition[1] of his martyrology
and returned to England. He lived for some time at Aldgate, London, in
the house of his former pupil, Thomas Howard, now duke of Norfolk, who
retained a sincere regard for his tutor and left him a small pension in
his will. He became associated with John Day the printer, himself once a
Protestant exile. Foxe was ordained priest by Edmund Grindal, bishop of
London, in 1560, and besides much literary work he occasionally preached
at Paul's Cross and other places. His work had rendered great service to
the government, and he might have had high preferment in the Church but
for the Puritan views which he consistently maintained. He held,
however, the prebend of Shipton in Salisbury cathedral, and is said to
have been for a short time rector of Cripplegate.

In 1563 was issued from the press of John Day the first English edition
of the _Actes and Monuments of these latter and perillous Dayes,
touching matters of the Church, wherein are comprehended and described
the great Persecution and horrible Troubles that have been wrought and
practised by the Romishe Prelates, speciallye in this Realme of England
and Scotland, from the yeare of our Lorde a thousande to the time now
present. Gathered and collected according to the true Copies and
Wrytinges certificatorie as well of the Parties themselves that
Suffered, as also out of the Bishop's Registers, which were the Doers
thereof, by John Foxe_, commonly known as the _Book of Martyrs_. Several
gross errors which had appeared in the Latin version, and had been since
exposed, were corrected in this edition. Its popularity was immense and
signal. The Marian persecution was still fresh in men's minds, and the
graphic narrative intensified in its numerous readers the fierce hatred
of Spain and of the Inquisition which was one of the master passions of
the reign. Nor was its influence transient. For generations the popular
conception of Roman Catholicism was derived from its bitter pages. Its
accuracy was immediately attacked by Catholic writers, notably in the
_Dialogi sex_ (1566), nominally from the pen of Alan Cope, but in
reality by Nicholas Harpsfield and by Robert Parsons in _Three
Conversions of England_ (1570). These criticisms induced Foxe to produce
a second corrected edition, _Ecclesiastical History, contayning the
Actes and Monuments of things passed in every kynges tyme_... in 1570, a
copy of which was ordered by Convocation to be placed in every
collegiate church. Foxe based his accounts of the martyrs partly on
authentic documents and reports of the trials, and on statements
received direct from the friends of the sufferers, but he was too hasty
a worker and too violent a partisan to produce anything like a correct
or impartial account of the mass of facts with which he had to deal.
Anthony à Wood says that Foxe "believed and reported all that was told
him, and there is every reason to suppose that he was purposely misled,
and continually deceived by those whose interest it was to bring
discredit on his work," but he admits that the book is a monument of his
industry, his laborious research and his sincere piety. The gross
blunders due to carelessness have often been exposed, and there is no
doubt that Foxe was only too ready to believe evil of the Catholics, and
he cannot always be exonerated from the charge of wilful falsification
of evidence. It should, however, be remembered in his honour that his
advocacy of religious toleration was far in advance of his day. He
pleaded for the despised Dutch Anabaptists, and remonstrated with John
Knox on the rancour of his _First Blast of the Trumpet_. Foxe was one of
the earliest students of Anglo-Saxon, and he and Day published an
edition of the Saxon gospels under the patronage of Archbishop Parker.
He died on the 18th of April 1587 and was buried at St Giles's,

  A list of his Latin tracts and sermons is given by Wood, and others,
  some of which were never printed, appear in Bale. Four editions of the
  _Actes and Monuments_ appeared in Foxe's lifetime. The eighth edition
  (1641) contains a memoir of Foxe purporting to be by his son Samuel,
  the MS. of which is in the British Museum (Lansdowne MS. 388). Samuel
  Foxe's authorship is disputed, with much show of reason, by Dr S.R.
  Maitland in _On the Memoirs of Foxe ascribed to his Son_ (1841). The
  best-known modern edition of the Martyrology is that (1837-1841) by
  the Rev. Stephen R. Cattley, with an introductory life by Canon George
  Townsend. The numerous inaccuracies of this life and the frequent
  errors of Foxe's narrative were exposed by Dr Maitland in a series of
  tracts (1837-1842), collected (1841-1842) as _Notes on the
  Contributions of the Rev. George Townsend, M.A. ... to the New Edition
  of Fox's Martyrology_. The criticism lavished on Cattley and
  Townsend's edition led to a new one (1846-1849) under the same
  editorship. A new text prepared by the Rev. Josiah Pratt was issued
  (1870) in the "Reformation Series" of the _Church Historians of
  England_, with a revised version of Townsend's _Life_ and appendices
  giving copies of original documents. Later edition by W. Grinton Berry

  Foxe's papers are preserved in the Harleian and Lansdowne collections
  in the British Museum. Extracts from these were edited by J.G. Nichols
  for the Camden Society (1859). See also W. Winters, _Biographical
  Notes on John Foxe_ (1876); James Gairdner, _History of the English
  Church in the Sixteenth Century_.


  [1] Printed by Oporinus and Nicolaus Brylinger. The title is _Rerum
    in ecclesia gestarum ... pars prima, in qua primum de rebus per
    Angliam et Scotiam gestis atque in primis de horrenda sub Maria nuper
    regina persecutione narratio continetur_.

FOXGLOVE, a genus of biennial and perennial plants of the natural order
Scrophulariaceae. The common or purple foxglove, _D. purpurea_, is
common in dry hilly pastures and rocky places and by road-sides in
various parts of Europe; it ranges in Great Britain from Cornwall and
Kent to Orkney, but it does not occur in Shetland or in some of the
eastern counties of England. It flourishes best in siliceous soils, and
is not found in the Jura and Swiss Alps. The characters of the plant are
as follows: stem erect, roundish, downy, leafy below, and from 18 in. to
5 ft. or more in height; leaves alternate, crenate, rugose, ovate or
elliptic oblong, and of a dull green, with the under surface downy and
paler than the upper; radical leaves together with their stalks often a
foot in length; root of numerous, slender, whitish fibres; flowers 1¾-2½
in. long, pendulous, on one side of the stem, purplish crimson, and
hairy and marked with eye-like spots within; segments of calyx ovate,
acute, cleft to the base; corolla bell-shaped with a broadly two-lipped
obtuse mouth, the upper lip entire or obscurely divided; stamens four,
two longer than the other two (_didynamous_); anthers yellow and
bilobed; capsule bivalved, ovate and pointed; and seeds numerous, small,
oblong, pitted and of a pale brown. As Parkinson remarks of the plant,
"It flowreth seldome before July, and the seed is ripe in August"; but
it may occasionally be found in blossom as late as September. Many
varieties of the common foxglove have been raised by cultivation, with
flowers varying in colour from white to deep rose and purple; in the
variety _gloxinioides_ the flowers are almost regular, suggesting those
of the cultivated gloxinia. Other species of foxglove with variously
coloured flowers have been introduced into Britain from the continent of
Europe. The plants may be propagated by unflowered off-sets from the
roots, but being biennials are best raised from seed.

[Illustration: Foxglove (_Digitalis purpurea_), one-third nat. size.

  1. Corolla cut open showing the four stamens; rather more than half
  nat. size.

  2. Unripe fruit cut lengthwise, showing the thick axial placenta
  bearing numerous small seeds.

  3. Ripe capsule split open.]

The foxglove, probably from folks'-glove, that is fairies' glove, is
known by a great variety of popular names in Britain. In the south of
Scotland it is called bloody fingers; farther north, dead-men's-bells;
and on the eastern borders, ladies' thimbles, wild mercury and Scotch
mercury. In Ireland it is generally known under the name of fairy
thimble. Among its Welsh synonyms are _menyg-ellyllon_ (elves' gloves),
_menyg y llwynog_ (fox's gloves), _bysedd cochion_ (redfingers) and
_bysedd y cwn_ (dog's fingers). In France its designations are _gants de
notre dame_ and _doigts de la Vierge_. The German name _Fingerhut_
(thimble) suggested to Fuchs, in 1542, the employment of the Latin
adjective _digitalis_ as a designation for the plant. Other species of
foxglove or _Digitalis_ although found in botanical collections are not
generally grown. For medicinal uses see DIGITALIS.

FOX INDIANS, the name, from one of their clans, of an Algonquian tribe,
whose former range was central Wisconsin. They call themselves
Muskwakiuk, "red earth people." Owing to heavy losses in their wars with
the Ojibways and the French, they allied themselves with the Sauk tribe
about 1780, the two tribes being now practically one.

FOX MORCILLO, SEBASTIAN (1526?-1559?), Spanish scholar and philosopher,
was born at Seville between 1526 and 1528. About 1548 he studied at
Louvain, and, following the example of the Spanish Jew, Judas Abarbanel,
published commentaries on Plato and Aristotle in which he endeavoured to
reconcile their teaching. In 1559 he was appointed tutor to Don Carlos,
son of Philip II., but did not live to take up the duties of the post,
as he was lost at sea on his way to Spain. His most original work is the
_De imitatione, seu de informandi styli ratione libri II_. (1554), a
dialogue in which the author and his brother take part under the
pseudonyms of Gaspar and Francisco Enuesia. Among Fox Morcillo's other
publications are: (1) _In Topica Ciceronis paraphrasis et scholia_
(1550); (2) _In Platonis Timaeum commentarii_ (1554); (3) _Compendium
ethices philosophiae ex Platone, Aristotele, aliisque philosophis
collectum_; (4) _De historiae institutione dialogus_ (1557), and (5) _De
naturae philosophia_.

  He is the subject of an excellent monograph by Urbano Gonzalez de
  Calle, _Sebastián Fox Morcillo: estudio histórico-crítico de sus
  doctrinas_ (Madrid, 1903).

FOY, MAXIMILIEN SÉBASTIEN (1775-1825), French general and statesman, was
born at Ham in Picardy on the 3rd of February 1775. He was the son of an
old soldier who had fought at Fontenoy and had become post-master of the
town in which he lived. His father died in 1780, and his early
instruction was given by his mother, a woman of English origin and of
superior ability. He continued his education at the college of
Soissons, and thence passed at the age of fifteen to the artillery
school of La Fère. After eighteen months' successful study he entered
the army, served his first campaign in Flanders (1791-92), and was
present at the battle of Jemmapes. He soon attained the rank of captain,
and served successively under Dampierre, Jourdan, Pichegru and Houchard.
In 1794, in consequence of having spoken freely against the violence of
the extreme party at Paris, he was imprisoned by order of the
commissioner of the Convention, Joseph Lebon, at Cambray, but regained
his liberty soon after the fall of Robespierre. He served under Moreau
in the campaigns of 1796 and 1797, distinguishing himself in many
engagements. The leisure which the treaty of Campo Formio gave him he
devoted to the study of public law and modern history, attending the
lectures of Christoph Wilhelm von Koch (1737-1813), the famous professor
of public law at Strassburg. He was recommended by Desaix to the notice
of General Bonaparte, but declined to serve on the staff of the Egyptian
expedition. In the campaign of Switzerland (1798) he distinguished
himself afresh, though he served only with the greatest reluctance
against a people which possessed republican institutions. In Masséna's
brilliant campaign of 1799 Foy won the rank of _chef de brigade_. In the
following year he served under Moncey in the Marengo campaign and
afterwards in Tirol.

Foy's republican principles caused him to oppose the gradual rise of
Napoleon to the supreme power and at the time of Moreau's trial he
escaped arrest only by joining the army in Holland. Foy voted against
the establishment of the empire, but the only penalty for his
independence was a long delay before attaining the rank of general. In
1806 he married a daughter of General Baraguay d'Hilliers. In the
following year he was sent to Constantinople, and there took part in the
defence of the Dardanelles against the English fleet. He was next sent
to Portugal, and thenceforward he served in the Peninsular War from
first to last. Under Junot he won at last his rank of general of
brigade, under Soult he held a command in the pursuit of Sir John
Moore's army, and under Masséna he fought in the third invasion of
Portugal (1810). Masséna reposed the greatest confidence in Foy, and
employed him after Busaco in a mission to the emperor. Napoleon now made
Foy's acquaintance for the first time, and was so far impressed with his
merits as to make him a general of division at once. The part played by
General Foy at the battle of Salamanca won him new laurels, but above
all he distinguished himself when the disaster of Vittoria had broken
the spirit of the army. Foy rose to the occasion; his resistance in the
Pyrenees was steady and successful, and only a wound (at first thought
mortal) which he received at Orthez prevented him from keeping the field
to the last. At the first restoration of the Bourbons he received the
grand cross of the Legion of Honour and a command, and on the return of
Napoleon from Elba he declined to join him until the king had fled from
the country. He held a divisional command in the Waterloo campaign, and
at Waterloo was again severely wounded at the head of his division (see
WATERLOO CAMPAIGN). After the second restoration he returned to civil
life, devoting his energies for a time to his projected history of the
Peninsular War, and in 1819 was elected to the chamber of deputies. For
this position his experience and his studies had especially fitted him,
and by his first speech he gained a commanding place in the chamber,
which he never lost, his clear, manly eloquence being always employed on
the side of the liberal principles of 1789. In 1823 he made a powerful
protest against French intervention in Spain, and after the dissolution
of 1824 he was re-elected for three constituencies. He died at Paris on
the 28th of November 1825, and his funeral was attended, it is said, by
100,000 persons. His early death was regarded by all as a national
calamity. His family was provided for by a general subscription.

  The _Histoire de la guerre de la Péninsula sous Napoléon_ was
  published from his notes in 1827, and a collection of his speeches
  (with memoir by Tissot) appeared in 1826 soon after his death. See
  Cuisin, _Vie militaire, politique, &c., du général Foy_; Vidal, _Vie
  militaire et politique du général Foy_.

FRAAS, KARL NIKOLAS (1810-1875), German botanist and agriculturist, was
born at Rattelsdorf, near Bamberg, on the 8th of September 1810. After
receiving his preliminary education at the gymnasium of Bamberg, he in
1830 entered the university of Munich, where he took his doctor's degree
in 1834. Having devoted great attention to the study of botany, he went
to Athens in 1835 as inspector of the court garden; and in April 1836 he
became professor of botany at the university. In 1842 he returned to
Germany and became teacher at the central agricultural school at
Schleissheim. In 1847 he was appointed professor of agriculture at
Munich, and in 1851 director of the central veterinary college. For many
years he was secretary of the Agricultural Society of Bavaria, but
resigned in 1861. He died at his estate of Neufreimann, near Munich, on
the 9th of November 1875.

  His principal works are: [Greek: Stoicheia tês Botanikês] (Athens,
  1835); _Synopsis florae classicae_ (Munich, 1845); _Klima und
  Pflanzenwelt in der Zeit_ (Landsh., 1847); _Histor.-encyklopäd.
  Grundriss der Landwirthschaftslehre_ (Stuttgart, 1848); _Geschichte
  der Landwirthschaft_ (Prague, 1851); _Die Schule des Landbaues_
  (Munich, 1852); _Baierns Rinderrassen_ (Munich, 1853); _Die künstliche
  Fischerzeugung_ (Munich, 1854); _Die Natur der Landwirthschaft_
  (Munich, 1857); _Buch der Natur für Landwirthe_ (Munich, 1860); _Die
  Ackerbaukrisen und ihre Heilmittel_ (Munich, 1866); _Das Wurzelleben
  der Culturpflanzen_ (Berlin, 1872); and _Geschichte der Landbau und
  Forstwissenschaft seit dem 16^ten Jahrh._ (Munich, 1865). He also
  founded and edited a weekly agricultural paper, the _Schranne_.

physician and poet, was born at Verona in 1483. It is related of him
that at his birth his lips adhered so closely that a surgeon was obliged
to divide them with his incision knife, and that during his infancy his
mother was killed by lightning, while he, though in her arms at the
moment, escaped unhurt. Fracastoro became eminently skilled, not only in
medicine and belles-lettres, but in most arts and sciences. He studied
at Padua, and became professor of philosophy there in 1502, afterwards
practising as a physician in Verona. It was by his advice that Pope Paul
III., on account of the prevalence of a contagious distemper, removed
the council of Trent to Bologna. He was the author of many works, both
poetical and medical, and was intimately acquainted with Cardinal Bembo,
Julius Scaliger, Gianbattista Ramusio (q.v.), and most of the great men
of his time. In 1517, when the builders of the citadel of San Felice
(Verona) found fossil mussels in the rocks, Fracastoro was consulted
about the marvel, and he took the same view--following Leonardo da
Vinci, but very advanced for those days--that they were the remains of
animals once capable of living in the locality. He died of apoplexy at
Casi, near Verona, on the 8th of August 1553; and in 1559 the town of
Verona erected a statue in his honour.

  The principal work of Fracastoro is a kind of medical poem entitled
  _Syphilidis, sive Morbi Gallici, libri tres_ (Verona, 1530), which has
  been often reprinted and also translated into French and Italian.
  Among his other works (all published at Venice) are _De vini
  temperatura_ (1534); _Homocentricorum_ (1535); _De sympatha et
  antipathia rerum_ (1546); and _De contagionibus_ (1546). His complete
  works were published at Venice in 1555, and his poetical productions
  were collected and printed at Padua in 1728.

FRAGONARD, JEAN-HONORÉ (1732-1806), French painter, was born at Grasse,
the son of a glover. He was articled to a Paris notary when his father's
circumstances became straitened through unsuccessful speculations, but
he showed such talent and inclination for art that he was taken at the
age of eighteen to Boucher, who, recognizing the youth's rare gifts but
disinclined to waste his time with one so inexperienced, sent him to
Chardin's _atelier_. Fragonard studied for six months under the great
luminist, and then returned more fully equipped to Boucher, whose style
he soon acquired so completely that the master entrusted him with the
execution of replicas of his paintings. Though not a pupil of the
Academy, Fragonard gained the Prix de Rome in 1752 with a painting of
"Jeroboam sacrificing to the Idols," but before proceeding to Rome he
continued to study for three years under Van Loo. In the year preceding
his departure he painted the "Christ washing the Feet of the Apostles"
now at Grasse cathedral. In 1755 he took up his abode at the French
Academy in Rome, then presided over by Natoire. There he benefited from
the study of the old masters whom he was set to copy--always remembering
Boucher's parting advice not to take Raphael and Michelangelo too
seriously. He successively passed through the studios of masters as
widely different in their aims and technique as Chardin, Boucher, Van
Loo and Natoire, and a summer sojourn at the Villa d'Este in the company
of the abbé de Saint-Non, who engraved many of Fragonard's studies of
these entrancing gardens, did more towards forming his personal style
than all the training at the various schools. It was in these romantic
gardens, with their fountains, grottos, temples and terraces, that he
conceived the dreams which he was subsequently to embody in his art.
Added to this influence was the deep impression made upon his mind by
the florid sumptuousness of Tiepolo, whose works he had an opportunity
of studying in Venice before he returned to Paris in 1761. In 1765 his
"Corésus et Callirhoé" secured his admission to the Academy. It was made
the subject of a pompous eulogy by Diderot, and was bought by the king,
who had it reproduced at the Gobelins factory. Hitherto Fragonard had
hesitated between religious, classic and other subjects; but now the
demand of the wealthy art patrons of Louis XV.'s pleasure-loving and
licentious court turned him definitely towards those scenes of love and
voluptuousness with which his name will ever be associated, and which
are only made acceptable by the tender beauty of his colour and the
virtuosity of his facile brushwork--such works as the "Serment d'amour"
(Love Vow), "Le Verrou" (The Bolt), "La Culbute" (The Tumble), "La
Chemise enlevée" (The Shift Withdrawn), and "The Swing" (Wallace
collection), and his decorations for the apartments of Mme du Barry and
the dancer Marie Guimard.

The Revolution made an end to the _ancien régime_, and Fragonard, who
was so closely allied to its representatives, left Paris in 1793 and
found shelter in the house of his friend Maubert at Grasse, which he
decorated with the series of decorative panels known as the "Roman
d'amour de la jeunesse," originally painted for Mme du Barry's pavilion
at Louvreciennes. The panels in recent years came into the possession of
Mr Pierpont Morgan. Fragonard returned to Paris early in the 19th
century, where he died in 1806, neglected and almost forgotten. For half
a century or more he was so completely ignored that Lübke, in his
history of art (1873), omits the very mention of his name. But within
the last thirty years he has regained the position among the masters of
painting to which he is entitled by his genius. If the appreciation of
his art by the modern collector can be expressed in figures, it is
significant that the small and sketchy "Billet Doux," which appeared at
the Cronier sale in Paris in 1905 and was subsequently exhibited by
Messrs Duveen in London (1906), realized close on £19,000 at the Hôtel

Besides the works already mentioned, there are four important pictures
by Fragonard in the Wallace collection: "The Fountain of Love," "The
Schoolmistress," "A Lady carving her Name on a Tree" (usually known as
"Le Chiffre d'amour") and "The Fair-haired Child." The Louvre contains
thirteen examples of his art, among them the "Corésus," "The Sleeping
Bacchante," "The Shift Withdrawn," "The Bathers," "The Shepherd's Hour"
("L'Heure du berger"), and "Inspiration." Other works are in the museums
of Lille, Besançon, Rouen, Tours, Nantes, Avignon, Amiens, Grenoble,
Nancy, Orleans, Marseilles, &c., as well as at Chantilly. Some of
Fragonard's finest work is in the private collections of the Rothschild
family in London and Paris.

  See R. Portalis, _Fragonard_ (Paris, 1899), fully illustrated; Felix
  Naquet, _Fragonard_ (Paris, 1890); Virgile Josz, _Fragonard--moeurs du
  XVIII^e siècle_ (Paris, 1901); E. and J. de Goncourt, _L'Art du
  dix-huitième siècle--Fragonard_ (Paris, 1883).     (P. G. K.)

FRAHN, CHRISTIAN MARTIN (1782-1851), German numismatist and historian,
was born at Rostock. He began his Oriental studies under Tychsen at the
university of Rostock, and afterwards prosecuted them at Göttingen and
Tübingen. He became a Latin master in Pestalozzi's famous institute in
1804, returned home in 1806, and in the following year was chosen to
fill the chair of Oriental languages in the Russian university of Kazan.
Though in 1815 he was invited to succeed Tychsen at Rostock, he
preferred to go to St Petersburg, where he became director of the
Asiatic museum and councillor of state. He died at St Petersburg.

  Frahn wrote over 150 works. Among the more important are:
  _Numophylacium orientale Pototianum_ (1813); _De numorum Bulgharicorum
  fonte antiquissimo_ (1816); _Das muhammedanische Münzkabinet des
  asiatischen Museum der kaiserl. Akademie der Wissenschaften zu St
  Petersburg_ (1821); _Numi cufici ex variis museis selecti_ (1823);
  _Notice d'une centaine d'ouvrages arabes, &c., qui manquent en grande
  partie aux bibliothèques de l'Europe_ (1834); and _Nova supplementa ad
  recensionem Num. Muham. Acad. Imp. Sci. Petropolitanae_ (1855). His
  description of some medals struck by the Samanid and Bouid princes
  (1804) was composed in Arabic because he had no Latin types.

FRAME, a word employed in many different senses, signifying something
joined together or shaped. It is derived ultimately from O.E. _fram_,
from, in its primary meaning "forward." In constructional work it
connotes the union of pieces of wood, metal or other material for
purposes of enclosure as in the case of a picture or mirror frame.
Frames intended for these uses are of great artistic interest but
comparatively modern origin. There is no record of their existence
earlier than the 16th century, but the decorative opportunities which
they afforded caused speedy popularity in an artistic age, and the
Renaissance found in the picture frame a rich and attractive means of
expression. The impulses which made frames beautiful have long been
extinct or dormant, but fine work was produced in such profusion that
great numbers of examples are still extant. Frames for pictures or
mirrors are usually square, oblong, round or oval, and, although they
have usually been made of wood or composition overlaid upon wood, the
richest and most costly materials have often been used. Ebony, ivory and
tortoiseshell; crystal, amber and mother-of-pearl; lacquer, gold and
silver, and almost every other metal have been employed for this
purpose. The domestic frame has in fact varied from the simplest and
cheapest form of a plain wooden moulding to the most richly carved
examples. The introduction in the 17th century of larger sheets of glass
gave the art of frame-making a great _essor_, and in the 18th century
the increased demand for frames, caused chiefly by the introduction of
cheaper forms of mirrors, led to the invention of a composition which
could be readily moulded into stereotyped patterns and gilded. This was
eventually the deathblow of the artistic frame, and since the use of
composition moulding became normal, no important school of wood-carving
has turned its attention to frames. The carvers of the Renaissance, and
down to the middle of the 18th century, produced work which was often of
the greatest beauty and elegance. In England nothing comparable to that
of Grinling Gibbons and his school has since been produced. Chippendale
was a great frame maker, but he not only had recourse to composition,
but his designs were often extravagantly rococo. Even in France there
has been no return of the great days when Oeben enclosed the
looking-glasses which mirrored the Pompadour in frames that were among
the choicest work of a gorgeous and artificial age. In the decoration of
frames as in so many other respects France largely followed the fashions
of Italy, which throughout the 16th and 17th centuries produced the most
elaborate and grandiose, the richest and most palatial, of the mirror
frames that have come down to us. English art in this respect was less
exotic and more restrained, and many of the mirrors of the 18th century
received frames the grace and simplicity of which have ensured their
constant reproduction even to our own day.

FRAMINGHAM, a township of Middlesex county, Massachusetts, U.S.A.,
having an area of 27 sq. m. of hilly surface, dotted with lakes and
ponds. Pop. (1890) 9239; (1900) 11,302, of whom 2391 were foreign-born;
(1910 census) 12,948. It is served by the Boston & Albany, and the New
York, New Haven & Hartford railways. Included within the township are
three villages, Framingham Center, Saxonville and South Framingham, the
last being much the most important. Framingham Academy was established
in 1792, and in 1851 became a part of the public school system. A state
normal school (the first normal school in the United States, established
at Lexington in 1839, removed to Newton in 1844 and to Framingham in
1853) is situated here; and near South Framingham, in the township of
Sherborn, is the state reformatory prison for women. South Framingham
has large manufactories of paper tags, shoes, boilers, carriage wheels
and leather board; formerly straw braid and bonnets were the principal
manufactures. Saxonville manufactures worsted cloth. The value of the
township's factory products increased from $3,007,301 in 1900 to
$4,173,579 in 1905, or 38.8%. Framingham was first settled about 1640,
and was named in honour of the English home (Framlingham) of Governor
Thomas Danforth (1622-1699), to whom the land once belonged. In 1700 it
was incorporated as a township. The "old Connecticut path," the
Boston-to-Worcester turnpike, was important to the early fortunes of
Framingham Center, while the Boston & Worcester railway (1834) made the
greater fortune of South Framingham.

  See J.H. Temple, _History of Framingham ... 1640-1880_ (Framingham,

FRAMLINGHAM, a market town in the Eye parliamentary division of Suffolk,
91 m. N.E. from London by a branch of the Great Eastern railway. Pop.
(1901) 2526. The church of St Michael is a fine Perpendicular and
Decorated building of black flint, surmounted by a tower 96 ft. high. In
the interior there are a number of interesting monuments, among which
the most noticeable are those of Thomas Howard, 3rd duke of Norfolk, and
of Henry Howard, the famous earl of Surrey, who was beheaded by Henry
VIII. The castle forms a picturesque ruin, consisting of the outer walls
44 ft. high and 8 ft. thick, 13 towers about 58 ft. high, a gateway and
some outworks. About half a mile from the town is the Albert Memorial
Middle Class College, opened in 1865, and capable of accommodating 300
boys. A bronze statue of the Prince Consort by Joseph Durham adorns the
front terrace.

Framlingham (Frendlingham, Framalingaham) in early Saxon times was
probably the site of a fortified earthwork to which St Edmund the Martyr
is said to have fled from the Danes in 870. The Danes captured the
stronghold after the escape of the king, but it was won back in 921, and
remained in the hands of the crown, passing to William I. at the
Conquest. Henry I. in 1100 granted it to Roger Bigod, who in all
probability raised the first masonry castle. Hugh, son of Roger, created
earl of Norfolk in 1141, succeeded his father, and the manor and castle
remained in the Bigod family until 1306, when in default of heirs it
reverted to the crown, and was granted by Edward II. to his half-brother
Thomas de Brotherton, created earl of Norfolk in 1312. On an account
roll of Framlingham Castle of 1324 there is an entry of "rent received
from the borough," also of "rent from those living outside the borough,"
and in all probability burghal rights had existed at a much earlier
date, when the town had grown into some importance under the shelter of
the castle. Town and castle followed the vicissitudes of the dukedom of
Norfolk, passing to the crown in 1405, and being alternately restored
and forfeited by Henry V., Richard III., Henry VII., Edward VI., Mary,
Elizabeth and James I., and finally sold in 1635 to Sir Robert Hitcham,
who left it in 1636 to the master and fellows of Pembroke Hall,

In the account roll above mentioned reference is made to a fair and a
market, but no early grant of either is to be found. In 1792 two annual
fairs were held, one on Whit Monday, the other on the 10th of October;
and a market was held every Saturday. The market day is still Saturday,
but the fairs are discontinued.

  See Robert Hawes, _History of Framlingham in the County of Suffolk_,
  edited by R. Loder (Woodbridge, 1798).

FRANC, a French coin current at different periods and of varying values.
The first coin so called was one struck in gold by John II. of France in
1360. On it was the legend _Johannes Dei gracia Francorum rex_; hence,
it is said, the name. It also bore an effigy of King John on horseback,
from which it was called a _franc à cheval_, to distinguish it from
another coin of the same value, issued by Charles V., on which the king
was represented standing upright under a Gothic dais; this coin was
termed a _franc à pied_. As a coin it disappeared after the reign of
Charles VI., but the name continued to be used as an equivalent for the
_livre tournois_, which was worth twenty sols. French writers would
speak without distinction of so many livres or so many francs, so long
as the sum mentioned was an even sum; otherwise livre was the correct
term, thus "_trois livres_" or "_trois francs_," but "_trois livres cinq
sols_." In 1795 the livre was legally converted into the franc, at the
rate of 81 livres to 80 francs, the silver franc being made to weigh
exactly five grammes. The franc is now the unit of the monetary system
and also the money of account in France, as well as in Belgium and
Switzerland. In Italy the equivalent is the lira, and in Greece the
drachma. The franc is divided into 100 centimes, the lira into 100
centesimi and the drachma into 100 lepta. Gold is now the standard, the
coins in common use being ten and twenty franc pieces. The twenty franc
gold piece weighs 6.4516 grammes, .900 fine. The silver coins are five,
two, one, and half franc pieces. The five franc silver piece weighs 25
grammes, .900 fine, while the franc piece weighs 5 grammes, .835 fine.
See also MONEY.

FRANÇAIS, ANTOINE, COUNT (1756-1836), better known as FRANÇAIS OF
NANTES, French politician and author, was born at Beaurepaire, in the
department of Isère. In 1791 he was elected to the legislative assembly
by the department of Loire Inférieure, and was noted for his violent
attacks upon the farmers general, the pope and the priests; but he was
not re-elected to the Convention. During the Terror, as he had belonged
to the Girondin party, he was obliged to seek safety in the mountains.
In 1798 he was elected to the council of Five Hundred by the department
of Isère, and became one of its secretaries; and in the following year
he voted against the Directory. He took office under the consulate as
prefect of Charente Inférieure, rose to be a member of the council of
state, and in 1804 obtained the important post of director-general of
the indirect taxes (_droits réunis_). The value of his services was
recognized by the titles of count of the empire and grand officer of the
Legion of Honour. On the second restoration he retired into private
life; but from 1819 to 1822 he was representative of the department of
Isère, and after the July revolution he was made a peer of France. He
died at Paris on the 7th of March 1836.

  Français wrote a number of works, but his name is more likely to be
  preserved by the eulogies of the literary men to whom he afforded
  protection and assistance. It is sufficient to mention _Le Manuscrit
  de feu M. Jérôme_ (1825); _Recueil de fadaises composé sur la montagne
  à l'usage des habitants de la plaine_ (1826); _Voyage dans la vallée
  des originaux_ (1828); _Tableau de la vie rurale, ou l'agriculture
  enseignée d'une manière dramatique_ (1829).

FRANÇAIS, FRANÇOIS LOUIS (1814-1897), French painter, was born at
Plombières (Vosges), and, on attaining the age of fifteen, was placed as
office-boy with a bookseller. After a few years of hard struggle, during
which he made a precarious living by drawing on stone and designing
woodcut vignettes for book illustration, he studied painting under
Gigoux, and subsequently under Corot, whose influence remained decisive
upon Français's style of landscape painting. He generally found his
subjects in the neighbourhood of Paris, and though he never rivalled his
master in lightness of touch and in the lyric poetry which is the
principal charm of Corot's work, he is still counted among the leading
landscape painters of his country and period. He exhibited first at the
Salon in 1837 and was elected to the Académie des Beaux-Arts in 1890.
Comparatively few of his pictures are to be found in public galleries,
but his painting of "An Italian Sunset" is at the Luxembourg Museum in
Paris. Other works of importance are "Daphnis et Chloé" (1872), "Bas
Meudon" (1861), "Orpheus" (1863), "Le Bois sacré" (1864), "Le Lac de
Némi" (1868).

FRANCATELLI, CHARLES ELMÉ (1805-1876), Anglo-Italian cook, was born in
London, of Italian extraction, in 1805, and was educated in France,
where he studied the art of cookery. Coming to England, he was employed
successively by various noblemen, subsequently becoming manager of
Crockford's club. He left Crockford's to become chief cook to Queen
Victoria, and afterwards he was chef at the Reform Club. He was the
author of _The Modern Cook_ (1845), which has since been frequently
republished; of a _Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes_ (1861),
and of _The Royal English and Foreign Confectionery Book_ (1862).
Francatelli died at Eastbourne on the 10th of August 1876.

FRANCAVILLA FONTANA, a town and episcopal see of Apulia, Italy, in the
province of Lecce, 22 m. by rail E. by N. of Taranto, 460 ft. above
sea-level. Pop. (1901) 17,759 (town); 20,510 (commune). It is in a fine
situation, and has a massive square castle of the Umperiali family, to
whom, with Oria, it was sold by S. Carlo Borromeo in the 16th century
for 40,000 ounces of gold, which he distributed in one day to the poor.

FRANCE, ANATOLE (1844- ), French critic, essayist and novelist (whose
real name was Jacques Anatole Thibault), was born in Paris on the 16th
of April 1844. His father was a bookseller, one of the last of the
booksellers, if we are to believe the Goncourts, into whose
establishment men came, not merely to order and buy, but to dip, and
turn over pages and discuss. As a child he used to listen to the nightly
talks on literary subjects which took place in his father's shop.
Nurtured in an atmosphere so essentially bookish, he turned naturally to
literature. In 1868 his first work appeared, a study of Alfred de Vigny,
followed in 1873 by a volume of verse, _Les Poëmes dorés_, dedicated to
Leconte de Lisle, and, as such a dedication suggests, an outcome of the
"Parnassian" movement; and yet another volume of verse appeared in 1876,
_Les Noces corinthiennes_. But the poems in these volumes, though
unmistakably the work of a man of great literary skill and cultured
taste, are scarcely the poems of a man with whom verse is the highest
form of expression.

He was to find his richest vein in prose. He himself, avowing his
preference for a simple, or seemingly simple, style as compared with the
_artistic_ style, vaunted by the Goncourts--a style compounded of
neologisms and "rare" epithets, and startling forms of
expression--observes: "A simple style is like white light. It is
complex, but not to outward seeming. In language, a beautiful and
desirable simplicity is but an appearance, and results only from the
good order and sovereign economy of the various parts of speech." And
thus one may say of his own style that its beautiful translucency is the
result of many qualities--felicity, grace, the harmonious grouping of
words, a perfect measure. Anatole France is a sceptic. The essence of
his philosophy, if a spirit so light; evanescent, elusive, can be said
to have a philosophy, is doubt. He is a doubter in religion,
metaphysics, morals, politics, aesthetics, science--a most genial and
kindly doubter, and not at all without doubts even as to his own
negative conclusions. Sometimes his doubts are expressed in his own
person--as in the _Jardin d'épicure_ (1894) from which the above
extracts are taken, or _Le Livre de mon ami_ (1885), which may be
accepted, perhaps, as partly autobiographical; sometimes, as in _La
Rôtisserie de la reine Pédauque_ (1893) and _Les Opinions de M. Jérôme
Coignard_ (1893), or _L'Orme du mail_ (1897), Le Mannequin d'osier
(1897), _L'Anneau d'améthyste_ (1899), and _M. Bergeret à Paris_ (1901),
he entrusts the expression of his opinions, dramatically, to some
fictitious character--the abbé Coignard, for instance, projecting, as it
were, from the 18th century some very effective criticisms on the
popular political theories of contemporary France--or the M. Bergeret of
the four last-named novels, which were published with the collective
title of _Histoire contemporaine_. This series deals with some modern
problems, and particularly, in _L'Anneau d'améthyste_ and _M. Bergeret à
Paris_, with the humours and follies of the anti-Dreyfusards. All this
makes a piquant combination. Neither should reference be omitted to his
_Crime de Sylvestre Bonnard_ (1881), crowned by the Institute, nor to
works more distinctly of fancy, such as _Balthasar_ (1889), the story of
one of the Magi or _Thaïs_ (1890), the story of an actress and courtesan
of Alexandria, whom a hermit converts, but with the loss of his own
soul. His ironic comedy, _Crainquebille_ (Renaissance theatre, 1903),
was founded on his novel (1902) of the same year. His more recent work
includes his anti-clerical _Vie de Jeanne d'Arc_ (1908); his pungent
satire the _Île des penguins_ (1908); and a volume of stories, _Les Sept
Femmes de la Barbe-Bleue_ (1909). Lightly as he bears his erudition, it
is very real and extensive, and is notably shown in his utilization of
modern archaeological and historical research in his fiction (as in the
stories in _Sur une pierre blanche_). As a critic--see the _Vie
littéraire_ (1888-1892), reprinted mainly from _Le Temps_--he is
graceful and appreciative. Academic in the best sense, he found a place
in the French Academy, taking the seat vacated by Lesseps, and was
received into that body on the 24th of December 1896. In the _affaire
Dreyfus_ he sided with M. Zola.

  For studies of M. Anatole France's talent see Maurice Bàrrès, _Anatole
  France_ (1885); Jules Lemaître, _Les Contemporains_ (2nd series,
  1886); and G. Brandes, _Anatole France_ (1908). In 1908 Frederic
  Chapman began an edition of _The works of Anatole France in an English
  translation_ (John Lane).

FRANCE, a country of western Europe, situated between 51° 5' and 42° 20'
N., and 4° 42' W. and 7° 39' E. It is hexagonal in form, being bounded
N.W. by the North Sea, the Strait of Dover (_Pas de Calais_) and the
English Channel (_La Manche_), W. by the Atlantic Ocean, S.W. by Spain,
S.E. by the Mediterranean Sea, E. by Italy, Switzerland and Germany,
N.E. by Germany, Luxemburg and Belgium. From north to south its length
is about 600 m., measured from Dunkirk to the Col de Falguères; its
breadth from east to west is 528 m., from the Vosges to Cape Saint
Mathieu at the extremity of Brittany. The total area is estimated[1] at
207,170 sq. m., including the island of Corsica, which comprises 3367
sq. m. The coast-line of France extends for 384 m. on the Mediterranean,
700 on the North Sea, the Strait of Dover and the Channel, and 865 on
the Atlantic. The country has the advantage of being separated from its
neighbours over the greater part of its frontier by natural barriers of
great strength, the Pyrenees forming a powerful bulwark on the
south-west, the Alps on the south-east, and the Jura and the greater
portion of the Vosges Mountains on the east. The frontier generally
follows the crest line of these ranges. Germany possesses both slopes of
the Vosges north of Mont Donon, from which point the north-east boundary
is conventional and unprotected by nature.

France is geographically remarkable for its possession of great natural
and historical highways between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic
Ocean. The one, following the depression between the central plateau and
the eastern mountains by way of the valleys of the Rhône and Saône,
traverses the Côte d'Or hills and so gains the valley of the Seine; the
other, skirting the southern base of the Cévennes, reaches the ocean by
way of the Garonne valley. Another natural highway, traversing the
lowlands to the west of the central plateau, unites the Seine basin with
that of the Garonne.

  _Physiography._--A line drawn from Bayonne through Agen, Poitiers,
  Troyes, Reims and Valenciennes divides the country roughly into two
  dissimilar physical regions--to the west and north-west a country of
  plains and low plateaus; in the centre, east and south-east a country
  of mountains and high plateaus with a minimum elevation of 650 ft. To
  the west of this line the only highlands of importance are the
  granitic plateaus of Brittany and the hills of Normandy and Perche,
  which, uniting with the plateau of Beauce, separate the basins of the
  Seine and Loire. The highest elevations of these ranges do not exceed
  1400 ft. The configuration of the region east of the dividing line is
  widely different. Its most striking feature is the mountainous and
  eruptive area known as the Massif Central, which covers south-central
  France. The central point of this huge tract is formed by the
  mountains of Auvergne comprising the group of Cantal, where the Plomb
  du Cantal attains 6096 ft., and that of Mont Dore, containing the Puy
  de Sancy (6188 ft.), the culminating point of the Massif, and to the
  north the lesser elevations of the Monts Dôme. On the west the
  downward slope is gradual by way of lofty plateaus to the heights of
  Limousin and Marche and the table-land of Quercy, thence to the plains
  of Poitou, Angoumois and Guienne. On the east only river valleys
  divide the Auvergne mountains from those of Forez and Margeride,
  western spurs of the Cévennes. On the south the Aubrac mountains and
  the barren plateaus known as the Causses intervene between them and
  the Cévennes. The main range of the Cévennes (highest point Mont
  Lozère, 5584 ft.) sweeps in a wide curve from the granitic table-land
  of Morvan in the north along the right banks of the Saône and Rhône to
  the Montagne Noire in the south, where it is separated from the
  Pyrenean system by the river Aude. On the south-western border of
  France the Pyrenees include several peaks over 10,000 ft. within
  French territory; the highest elevation therein, the Vignemale, in the
  centre of the range, reaches 10,820 ft. On the north their most
  noteworthy offshoots are, in the centre, the plateau of Lannemezan
  from which rivers radiate fanwise to join the Adour and Garonne; and
  in the east the Corbière. On the south-eastern frontier the French
  Alps, which include Mont Blanc (15,800 ft.), and, more to the south,
  other summits over 11,000 ft. in height, cover Savoy and most of
  Dauphiné and Provence, that is to say, nearly the whole of France to
  the south and east of the Rhône. North of that river the parallel
  chains of the Jura form an arc of a circle with its convexity towards
  the north-west. In the southern and most elevated portion of the range
  there are several summits exceeding 5500 ft. Separated from the Jura
  by the defile of Belfort (Trouée de Belfort) the Vosges extend
  northward parallel to the course of the Rhine. Their culminating
  points in French territory, the Ballon d'Alsace and the Höhneck in the
  southern portion of the chain, reach 4100 ft. and 4480 ft. The Vosges
  are buttressed on the west by the Faucilles, which curve southwards to
  meet the plateau of Langres, and by the plateaus of Haute-Marne,
  united to the Ardennes on the north-eastern frontier by the wooded
  highlands of Argonne.

  [Illustration: Map of France (Physical Devisions).]

  _Seaboard._--The shore of the Mediterranean encircling the Gulf of the
  Lion (Golfe du Lion)[2] from Cape Cerbera to Martigues is low-lying
  and unbroken, and characterized chiefly by lagoons separated from the
  sea by sand-dunes. The coast, constantly encroaching on the sea by
  reason of the alluvium washed down by the rivers of the Pyrenees and
  Cévennes, is without important harbours saving that of Cette, itself
  continually invaded by the sand. East of Martigues the coast is rocky
  and of greater altitude, and is broken by projecting capes (Couronne,
  Croisette, Sicié, the peninsula of Giens and Cape Antibes), and by
  deep gulfs forming secure roadsteads such as those of Marseilles,
  which has the chief port in France, Toulon, with its great naval
  harbour, and Hyères, to which may be added the Gulf of St Tropez.

  Along the Atlantic coast from the mouth of the Adour to the estuary
  of the Gironde there stretches a monotonous line of sand-dunes
  bordered by lagoons on the land side, but towards the sea harbourless
  and unbroken save for the Bay of Arcachon. To the north as far as the
  rocky point of St Gildas, sheltering the mouth of the Loire, the
  shore, often occupied by salt marshes (marshes of Poitou and
  Brittany), is low-lying and hollowed by deep bays sheltered by large
  islands, those of Oléron and Ré lying opposite the ports of Rochefort
  and La Rochelle, while Noirmoutier closes the Bay of Bourgneuf.

  Beyond the Loire estuary, on the north shore of which is the port of
  St Nazaire, the peninsula of Brittany projects into the ocean and here
  begins the most rugged, wild and broken portion of the French
  seaboard; the chief of innumerable indentations are, on the south the
  Gulf of Morbihan, which opens into a bay protected to the west by the
  narrow peninsula of Quiberon, the Bay of Lorient with the port of
  Lorient, and the Bay of Concarneau; on the west the dangerous Bay of
  Audierne and the Bay of Douarnenez separated from the spacious
  roadstead of Brest, with its important naval port, by the peninsula of
  Crozon, and forming with it a great indentation sheltered by Cape St
  Mathieu on the north and by Cape Raz on the south; on the north,
  opening into the English Channel, the Morlaix roads, the Bay of St
  Brieuc, the estuary of the Rance, with the port of St Malo and the Bay
  of St Michel. Numerous small archipelagoes and islands, of which the
  chief are Belle Île, Groix and Ushant, fringe the Breton coast. North
  of the Bay of St Michel the peninsula of Cotentin, terminating in the
  promontories of Hague and Barfleur, juts north into the English
  Channel and closes the bay of the Seine on the west. Cherbourg, its
  chief harbour, lies on the northern shore between the two
  promontories. The great port of Le Havre stands at the mouth of the
  Seine estuary, which opens into the bay of the Seine on the east.
  North of that point a line of high cliffs, in which occur the ports of
  Fécamp and Dieppe, stretches nearly to the sandy estuary of the Somme.
  North of that river the coast is low-lying and bordered by sand-dunes,
  to which succeed on the Strait of Dover the cliffs in the
  neighbourhood of the port of Boulogne and the marshes and sand-dunes
  of Flanders, with the ports of Calais and Dunkirk, the latter the
  principal French port on the North Sea.

  To the maritime ports mentioned above must be added the river ports of
  Bayonne (on the Adour), Bordeaux (on the Garonne), Nantes (on the
  Loire), Rouen (on the Seine). On the whole, however, France is
  inadequately provided with natural harbours; her long tract of coast
  washed by the Atlantic and the Bay of Biscay has scarcely three or
  four good seaports, and those on the southern shore of the Channel
  form a striking contrast to the spacious maritime inlets on the
  English side.

  _Rivers._--The greater part of the surface of France is divided
  between four principal and several secondary basins.

  The basin of the Rhône, with an area (in France) of about 35,000 sq.
  m., covers eastern France from the Mediterranean to the Vosges, from
  the Cévennes and the Plateau de Langres to the crests of the Jura and
  the Alps. Alone among French rivers, the Rhône, itself Alpine in
  character in its upper course, is partly fed by Alpine rivers (the
  Arve, the Isère and the Durance) which have their floods in spring at
  the melting of the snow, and are maintained by glacier-water in
  summer. The Rhône, the source of which is in Mont St Gothard, in
  Switzerland, enters France by the narrow defile of L'Écluse, and has a
  somewhat meandering course, first flowing south, then north-west, and
  then west as far as Lyons, whence it runs straight south till it
  reaches the Mediterranean, into which it discharges itself by two
  principal branches, which form the delta or island of the Camargue.
  The Ain, the Saône (which rises in the Faucilles and in the lower part
  of its course skirting the regions of Bresse and Dombes, receives the
  Doubs and joins the Rhône at Lyons), the Ardèche and the Gard are the
  affluents on the right; on the left it is joined by the Arve, the
  Isère, the Drôme and the Durance. The small independent river, the
  Var, drains that portion of the Alps which fringes the Mediterranean.

  The basin of the Garonne occupies south-western France with the
  exception of the tracts covered by the secondary basins of the Adour,
  the Aude, the Hérault, the Orb and other smaller rivers, and the
  low-lying plain of the Landes, which is watered by numerous coast
  rivers, notably by the Leyre. Its area is nearly 33,000 sq. m., and
  extends from the Pyrenees to the uplands of Saintonge, Périgord and
  Limousin. The Garonne rises in the valley of Aran (Spanish Pyrenees),
  enters France near Bagnères-de-Luchon, has first a north-west course,
  then bends to the north-east, and soon resumes its first direction.
  Joining the Atlantic between Royan and the Pointe de Grave, opposite
  the tower of Cordouan. In the lower part of its course, from the
  Bec-d'Ambez, where it receives the Dordogne, it becomes considerably
  wider, and takes the name of Gironde. The principal affluents are the
  Ariège, the Tarn with the Aveyron and the Agout, the Lot and the
  Dordogne, which descends from Mont Dore-les-Bains, and joins the
  Garonne at Bec-d'Ambez, to form the Gironde. All these affluents are
  on the right, and with the exception of the Ariège, which descends
  from the eastern Pyrenees, rise in the mountains of Auvergne and the
  southern Cévennes, their sources often lying close to those of the
  rivers of the Loire and Rhône basins. The Neste, a Pyrenean torrent,
  and the Save, the Gers and the Baïse, rising on the plateau of
  Lannemezan, are the principal left-hand tributaries of the Garonne.
  North of the basin of the Garonne an area of over 3800 sq. m. is
  watered by the secondary system of the Charente, which descends from
  Chéronnac (Haute-Vienne), traverses Angoulême and falls into the
  Atlantic near Rochefort. Farther to the north a number of small
  rivers, the chief of which is the Sèvre Niortaise, drain the coast
  region to the south of the plateau of Gâtine.

  The basin of the Loire, with an area of about 47,000 sq. m., includes
  a great part of central and western France or nearly a quarter of the
  whole country. The Loire rises in Mont Gerbier de Jonc, in the range
  of the Vivarais mountains, flows due north to Nevers, then turns to
  the north-west as far as Orléans, in the neighbourhood of which it
  separates the marshy region of the Sologne (q.v.) on the south from
  the wheat-growing region of Beauce and the Gâtinais on the north.
  Below Orléans it takes its course towards the south-west, and lastly
  from Saumur runs west, till it reaches the Atlantic between Paimboeuf
  and St Nazaire. On the right the Loire receives the waters of the
  Furens, the Arroux, the Nièvre, the Maine (formed by the Mayenne and
  the Sarthe with its affluent the Loir), and the Erdre, which joins the
  Loire at Nantes; on the left, the Allier (which receives the Dore and
  the Sioule), the Loiret, the Cher, the Indre, the Vienne with its
  affluent the Creuse, the Thouet, and the Sèvre-Nantaise. The peninsula
  of Brittany and the coasts of Normandy on both sides of the Seine
  estuary are watered by numerous independent streams. Amongst these the
  Vilaine, which passes Rennes and Redon, waters, with its tributaries,
  an area of 4200 sq. m. The Orne, which rises in the hills of Normandy
  and falls into the Channel below Caen, is of considerably less

  The basin of the Seine, though its area of a little over 30,000 sq. m.
  is smaller than that of any of the other main systems, comprises the
  finest network of navigable rivers in the country. It is by far the
  most important basin of northern France, those of the Somme and
  Scheldt in the north-west together covering less than 5000 sq. m.,
  those of the Meuse and the Rhine in the north-east less than 7000 sq.
  m. The Seine descends from the Langres plateau, flows north-west down
  to Méry, turns to the west, resumes its north-westerly direction at
  Montereau, passes through Paris and Rouen and discharges itself into
  the Channel between Le Havre and Honfleur. Its affluents are, on the
  right, the Aube; the Marne, which joins the Seine at Charenton near
  Paris; the Oise, which has its source in Belgium and is enlarged by
  the Aisne; and the Epte; on the left the Yonne, the Loing, the
  Essonne, the Eure and the Rille.

  _Lakes._--France has very few lakes. The Lake of Geneva, which forms
  32 m. of the frontier, belongs to Switzerland. The most important
  French lake is that of Grand-Lieu, between Nantes and Paimboeuf
  (Loire-Inférieure), which presents a surface of 17,300 acres. There
  may also be mentioned the lakes of Bourget and Annecy (both in Savoy),
  St Point (Jura), Paladru (Isère) and Nantua (Ain). The marshy
  districts of Sologne, Brenne, Landes and Dombes still contain large
  undrained tracts. The coasts present a number of maritime inlets,
  forming inland bays, which communicate with the sea by channels of
  greater or less width. Some of these are on the south-west coast, in
  the Landes, as Carcans, Lacanau, Biscarosse, Cazau, Sanguinet; but
  more are to be found in the south and south-east, in Languedoc and
  Provence, as Leucate, Sigean, Thau, Vaccarès, Berre, &c. Their want of
  depth prevents them from serving as roadsteads for shipping, and they
  are useful chiefly for fishing or for the manufacture of bay-salt.

  _Climate._--The north and north-west of France bear a great
  resemblance, both in temperature and produce, to the south of England,
  rain occurring frequently, and the country being consequently suited
  for pasture. In the interior the rains are less frequent, but when
  they occur are far more heavy, so that there is much less difference
  in the annual rainfall there as compared with the rest of the country
  than in the number of rainy days. The annual rainfall for the whole of
  France averages about 32 in. The precipitation is greatest on the
  Atlantic seaboard and in the elevated regions of the interior. It
  attains over 60 in. in the basin of the Adour (71 in. at the western
  extremity of the Pyrenees), and nearly as much in the Vosges, Morvan,
  Cévennes and parts of the central plateau. The zone of level country
  extending from Reims and Troyes to Angers and Poitiers, with the
  exception of the Loire valley and the Brie, receives less than 24 in.
  of rain annually (Paris about 23 in.), as also does the Mediterranean
  coast west of Marseilles. The prevailing winds, mild and humid, are
  west winds from the Atlantic; continental climatic influence makes
  itself felt in the east wind, which is frequent in winter and in the
  east of France, while the _mistral_, a violent wind from the
  north-west, is characteristic of the Mediterranean region. The local
  climates of France may be grouped under the following seven
  designations: (1) Sequan climate, characterizing the Seine basin and
  northern France, with a mean temperature of 50° F., the winters being
  cold, the summers mild; (2) Breton climate, with a mean temperature of
  51.8° F., the winters being mild, the summers temperate, it is
  characterized by west and south-west winds and frequent fine rains;
  (3) Girondin climate (characterizing Bordeaux, Agen, Pau, &c.), having
  a mean of 53.6° F., with mild winters and hot summers, the prevailing
  wind is from the north-west, the average rainfall about 28 in.; (4)
  Auvergne climate, comprising the Cévennes, central plateau, Clermont,
  Limoges and Rodez, mean temperature 51.8° F., with cold winters and
  hot summers; (5) Vosges climate (comprehending Epinal, Mézières and
  Nancy), having a mean of 48.2° F., with long and severe winters and
  hot and rainy summers; (6) Rhône climate (experienced by Lyons,
  Chalon, Mâcon, Grenoble) mean temperature 51.8° F., with cold and wet
  winters and hot summers, the prevailing winds are north and south; (7)
  Mediterranean climate, ruling at Valence, Nîmes, Nice and Marseilles,
  mean temperature, 57.5° F., with mild winters and hot and almost
  rainless summers.

  _Flora and Fauna._--The flora of southern France and the Mediterranean
  is distinct from that of the rest of the country, which does not
  differ in vegetation from western Europe generally. Evergreens
  predominate in the south, where grow subtropical plants such as the
  myrtle, arbutus, laurel, holm-oak, olive and fig; varieties of the
  same kind are also found on the Atlantic coast (as far north as the
  Cotentin), where the humidity and mildness of the climate favour their
  growth. The orange, date-palm and eucalyptus have been acclimatized on
  the coast of Provence and the Riviera. Other trees of southern France
  are the cork-oak and the Aleppo and maritime pines. In north and
  central France the chief trees are the oak, the beech, rare south of
  the Loire, and the hornbeam; less important varieties are the birch,
  poplar, ash, elm and walnut. The chestnut covers considerable areas in
  Périgord, Limousin and Béarn; resinous trees (firs, pines, larches,
  &c.) form fine forests in the Vosges and Jura.

  The indigenous fauna include the bear, now very rare but still found
  in the Alps and Pyrenees, the wolf, harbouring chiefly in the Cévennes
  and Vosges, but in continually decreasing areas; the fox, marten,
  badger, weasel, otter, the beaver in the extreme south of the Rhône
  valley, and in the Alps the marmot; the red deer and roe deer are
  preserved in many of the forests, and the wild boar is found in
  several districts; the chamois and wild goat survive in the Pyrenees
  and Alps. Hares, rabbits and squirrels are common. Among birds of prey
  may be mentioned the eagle and various species of hawk, and among
  game-birds the partridge and pheasant. The reptiles include the
  ringed-snake, slow-worm, viper and lizard.     (R. Tr.)

  _Geology._--Many years ago it was pointed out by Élíe de Beaumont and
  Dufrénoy that the Jurassic rocks of France form upon the map an
  incomplete figure of 8. Within the northern circle of the 8 lie the
  Mesozoic and Tertiary beds of the Paris basin, dipping inwards; within
  the southern circle lie the ancient rocks of the Central Plateau, from
  which the later beds dip outwards. Outside the northern circle lie on
  the west the folded Palaeozoic rocks of Brittany, and on the north the
  Palaeozoic _massif_ of the Ardennes. Outside the southern circle lie
  on the west the Mesozoic and Tertiary beds of the basin of the
  Garonne, with the Pyrenees beyond, and on the east the Mesozoic and
  Tertiary beds of the valley of the Rhône, with the Alps beyond.

  In the geological history of France there have been two great periods
  of folding since Archean times. The first of these occurred towards
  the close of the Palaeozoic era, when a great mountain system was
  raised in the north running approximately from E. to W., and another
  chain arose in the south, running from S.W. to N.E. Of the former the
  remnants are now seen in Brittany and the Ardennes; of the latter the
  Cévennes and the Montagne Noire are the last traces visible on the
  surface. The second great folding took place in Tertiary times, and to
  it was due the final elevation of the Jura and the Western Alps and of
  the Pyrenees. No great mountain chain was ever raised by a single
  effort, and folding went on to some extent in other periods besides
  those mentioned. There were, moreover, other and broader oscillations
  which raised or lowered extensive areas without much crumpling of the
  strata, and to these are due some of the most important breaks in the
  geological series.

  The oldest rocks, the gneisses and schists of the Archean period, form
  nearly the whole of the Central Plateau, and are also exposed in the
  axes of the folds in Brittany. The Central Plateau has probably been a
  land mass ever since this period, but the rest of the country was
  flooded by the Palaeozoic sea. The earlier deposits of that sea now
  rise to the surface in Brittany, the Ardennes, the Montagne Noire and
  the Cévennes, and in all these regions they are intensely folded.
  Towards the close of the Palaeozoic era France had become a part of a
  great continent; in the north the Coal Measures of the Boulonnais and
  the Nord were laid down in direct connexion with those of Belgium and
  England, while in the Central Plateau the Coal Measures were deposited
  in isolated and scattered basins. The Permian and Triassic deposits
  were also, for the most part, of continental origin; but with the
  formation of the Rhaetic beds the sea again began to spread, and
  throughout the greater part of the Jurassic period it covered nearly
  the whole of the country except the Central Plateau, Brittany and the
  Ardennes. Towards the end of the period, however, during the
  deposition of the Portlandian beds, the sea again retreated, and in
  the early part of the Cretaceous period was limited (in France) to the
  catchment basins of the Saône and Rhône--in the Paris basin the
  contemporaneous deposits were chiefly estuarine and were confined to
  the northern and eastern rim. Beginning with the Aptian and Albian the
  sea again gradually spread over the country and attained its maximum
  in the early part of the Senonian epoch, when once more the ancient
  massifs of the Central Plateau, Brittany and the Ardennes, alone rose
  above the waves. There was still, however, a well-marked difference
  between the deposits of the northern and the southern parts of France,
  the former consisting of chalk, as in England, and the latter of
  sandstones and limestones with Hippurites. During the later part of
  the Cretaceous period the sea gradually retreated and left the whole
  country dry.

  During the Tertiary period arms of the sea spread into France--in the
  Paris basin from the north, in the basins of the Loire and the Garonne
  from the west, and in the Rhône area from the south. The changes,
  however, were too numerous and complex to be dealt with here.

  [Illustration: Geologic Map.]

  In France, as in Great Britain, volcanic eruptions occurred during
  several of the Palaeozoic periods, but during the Mesozoic era the
  country was free from outbursts, except in the regions of the Alps and
  Pyrenees. In Tertiary times the Central Plateau was the theatre of
  great volcanic activity from the Miocene to the Pleistocene periods,
  and many of the volcanoes remain as nearly perfect cones to the
  present day. The rocks are mainly basalts and andesites, together with
  trachytes and phonolites, and some of the basaltic flows are of
  enormous extent.

  On the geology of France see the classic _Explication de la carte
  géologique de la France_ (Paris, vol. i. 1841, vol. ii. 1848), by
  Dufrénoy and Élie de Beaumont; a more modern account, with full
  references, is given by A. de Lapparent, _Traité de géologie_ (Paris,
  1906).     (J. A. H.)


The French nation is formed of many different elements. Iberian
influence in the south-west, Ligurian on the shores of the
Mediterranean, Germanic immigrations from east of the Rhine and
Scandinavian immigrations in the north-west have tended to produce
ethnographical diversities which ease of intercommunication and other
modern conditions have failed to obliterate. The so-called Celtic type,
exemplified by individuals of rather less than average height,
brown-haired and brachycephalic, is the fundamental element in the
nation and peoples the region between the Seine and the Garonne; in
southern France a different type, dolichocephalic, short and with black
hair and eyes, predominates. The tall, fair and blue-eyed individuals
who are found to the north-east of the Seine and in Normandy appear to
be nearer in race to the Scandinavian and Germanic invaders; a tall and
darker type with long faces and aquiline noses occurs in some parts of
Franche-Comté and Champagne, the Vosges and the Perche. From the Celts
has been derived the gay, brilliant and adventurous temperament easily
moved to extremes of enthusiasm and depression, which combined with
logical and organizing faculties of a high order, the heritage from the
Latin domination, and with the industry, frugality and love of the soil
natural in an agricultural people go to make up the national character.
The Bretons, who most nearly represent the Celts, and the Basques, who
inhabit parts of the western versant of the Pyrenees, have preserved
their distinctive languages and customs, and are ethnically the most
interesting sections of the nation; the Flemings of French Flanders
where Flemish is still spoken are also racially distinct. The
immigration of Belgians into the northern departments and of Italians
into those of the south-east exercise a constant modifying influence on
the local populations.

[Illustration: Map of France.]

During the 19th century the population of France increased to a less
extent than that of any other country (except Ireland) for which
definite data exist, and during the last twenty years of that period it
was little more than stationary. The following table exhibits the rate
of increase as indicated by the censuses from 1876 to 1906.


  1876      36,905,788
  1881      37,672,048
  1886      38,218,903
  1891      38,342,948
  1896      38,517,975
  1901      38,961,945
  1906      39,252,245

Thus the rate of increase during the decade 1891-1901 was .16%, whereas
during the same period the population of England increased 1.08%. The
birth-rate markedly decreased during the 19th century; despite an
increase of population between 1801 and 1901 amounting to 40%, the
number of births in the former was 904,000, as against 857,000 in the
latter year, the diminution being accompanied by a decrease in the
annual number of deaths.[3] In the following table the decrease in
births and deaths for the decennial periods during the thirty years
ending 1900 are compared.


  1871-1880     935,000 or 25.4 per 1000
  1881-1890     909,000 "  23.9     "
  1891-1900     853,000 "  22.2     "


  1871-1880     870,900 or 23.7 per 1000
  1881-1890     841,700 "  22.1     "
  1891-1900     829,000 "  21.5     "

About two-thirds of the French departments, comprising a large
proportion of those situated in mountainous districts and in the basin
of the Garonne, where the birth-rate is especially feeble, show a
decrease in population. Those which show an increase usually possess
large centres of industry and are already thickly populated, e.g. Seine
and Pas-de-Calais. In most departments the principal cause of decrease
of population is the attraction of great centres. The average density of
population in France is about 190 to the square mile, the tendency being
for the large towns to increase at the expense of the small towns as
well as the rural communities. In 1901 37% of the population lived in
centres containing more than 2000 inhabitants, whereas in 1861 the
proportion was 28%. Besides the industrial districts the most thickly
populated regions include the coast of the department of
Seine-Inférieure and Brittany, the wine-growing region of the Bordelais
and the Riviera.[4]

In the quinquennial period 1901-1905, out of the total number of births
the number of illegitimate births to every 1000 inhabitants was 2.0, as
compared with 2.1 in the four preceding periods of like duration.

In 1906 the number of foreigners in France was 1,009,415 as compared
with 1,027,491 in 1896 and 1,115,214 in 1886. The departments with the
largest population of foreigners were Nord (191,678), in which there is
a large proportion of Belgians; Bouches-du-Rhône (123,497),
Alpes-Maritimes (93,554), Var (47,475), Italians being numerous in these
three departments; Seine (153,647), Meurthe-et-Moselle (44,595),
Pas-de-Calais (21,436) and Ardennes (21,401).

The following table gives the area in square miles of each of the
eighty-seven departments with its population according to the census
returns of 1886, 1896 and 1906:

  |                       |  Area  |           |      Population.      |
  |     Departments.      | sq. m. +-----------+-----------+-----------+
  |                       |        |   1886.   |   1896.   |   1906.   |
  | Ain                   |  2,249 |   364,408 |   351,569 |   345,856 |
  | Aisne                 |  2,867 |   555,925 |   541,613 |   534,495 |
  | Allier                |  2,849 |   424,582 |   424,378 |   417,961 |
  | Alpes-Maritimes       |  1,442 |   238,057 |   265,155 |   334,007 |
  | Ardèche               |  2,145 |   375,472 |   363,501 |   347,140 |
  | Ardennes              |  2,028 |   332,759 |   318,865 |   317,505 |
  | Ariège                |  1,893 |   237,619 |   219,641 |   205,684 |
  | Aube                  |  2,326 |   257,374 |   251,435 |   243,670 |
  | Aude                  |  2,448 |   332,080 |   310,513 |   308,327 |
  | Aveyron               |  3,386 |   415,826 |   389,464 |   377,299 |
  | Basses-Alpes          |  2,698 |   129,494 |   118,142 |   113,126 |
  | Basses-Pyrénées       |  2,977 |   432,999 |   423,572 |   426,817 |
  | Belfort, Territoire de|    235 |    79,758 |    88,047 |    95,421 |
  | Bouches-du-Rhône      |  2,026 |   604,857 |   673,820 |   765,918 |
  | Calvados              |  2,197 |   437,267 |   417,176 |   403,431 |
  | Cantal                |  2,231 |   241,742 |   234,382 |   228,690 |
  | Charente              |  2,305 |   366,408 |   356,236 |   351,733 |
  | Charente-Inférieure   |  2,791 |   462,803 |   453,455 |   453,793 |
  | Cher                  |  2,819 |   355,349 |   347,725 |   343,484 |
  | Corrèze               |  2,273 |   326,494 |   322,393 |   317,430 |
  | Corse (Corsica)       |  3,367 |   278,501 |   290,168 |   291,160 |
  | Côte-d'Or             |  3,392 |   381,574 |   368,168 |   357,959 |
  | Côtes-du-Nord         |  2,786 |   628,256 |   616,074 |   611,506 |
  | Creuse                |  2,164 |   284,942 |   279,366 |   274,094 |
  | Deux-Sèvres           |  2,337 |   353,766 |   346,694 |   339,466 |
  | Dordogne              |  3,561 |   492,205 |   464,822 |   447,052 |
  | Doubs                 |  2,030 |   310,963 |   302,046 |   298,438 |
  | Drôme                 |  2,533 |   314,615 |   303,491 |   297,270 |
  | Eure                  |  2,330 |   358,829 |   340,652 |   330,140 |
  | Eure-et-Loir          |  2,293 |   283,719 |   280,469 |   273,823 |
  | Finistère             |  2,713 |   707,820 |   739,648 |   795,103 |
  | Gard                  |  2,270 |   417,099 |   416,036 |   421,166 |
  | Gers                  |  2,428 |   274,391 |   250,472 |   231,088 |
  | Gironde               |  4,140 |   775,845 |   809,902 |   823,925 |
  | Haute-Garonne         |  2,458 |   481,169 |   459,377 |   442,065 |
  | Haute-Loire           |  1,931 |   320,063 |   316,699 |   314,770 |
  | Haute-Marne           |  2,415 |   247,781 |   232,057 |   221,724 |
  | Hautes-Alpes          |  2,178 |   122,924 |   113,229 |   107,498 |
  | Haute-Saône           |  2,075 |   290,954 |   272,891 |   263,890 |
  | Haute-Savoie          |  1,775 |   275,018 |   265,872 |   260,617 |
  | Hautes-Pyrénées       |  1,750 |   234,825 |   218,973 |   209,397 |
  | Haute-Vienne          |  2,144 |   363,182 |   375,724 |   385,732 |
  | Hérault               |  2,403 |   439,044 |   469,684 |   482,799 |
  | Ille-et-Vilaine       |  2,699 |   621,384 |   622,039 |   611,805 |
  | Indre                 |  2,666 |   296,147 |   289,206 |   290,216 |
  | Indre-et-Loire        |  2,377 |   340,921 |   337,064 |   337,916 |
  | Isère                 |  3,179 |   581,680 |   568,933 |   562,315 |
  | Jura                  |  1,951 |   281,292 |   266,143 |   257,725 |
  | Landes                |  3,615 |   302,266 |   292,884 |   293,397 |
  | Loir-et-Cher          |  2,479 |   279,214 |   278,153 |   276,019 |
  | Loire                 |  1,853 |   603,384 |   625,336 |   643,943 |
  | Loire-Inférieure      |  2,694 |   643,884 |   646,172 |   666,748 |
  | Loiret                |  2,629 |   374,875 |   371,019 |   364,999 |
  | Lot                   |  2,017 |   271,514 |   240,403 |   216,611 |
  | Lot-et-Garonne        |  2,079 |   307,437 |   286,377 |   274,610 |
  | Lozère                |  1,999 |   141,264 |   132,151 |   128,016 |
  | Maine-et-Loire        |  2,706 |   527,680 |   514,870 |   513,490 |
  | Manche                |  2,475 |   520,865 |   500,052 |   487,443 |
  | Marne                 |  3,167 |   429,494 |   439,577 |   434,157 |
  | Mayenne               |  2,012 |   340,063 |   321,187 |   305,457 |
  | Meurthe-et-Moselle    |  2,038 |   431,693 |   466,417 |   517,508 |
  | Meuse                 |  2,409 |   291,971 |   290,384 |   280,220 |
  | Morbihan              |  2,738 |   535,256 |   552,028 |   573,152 |
  | Nièvre                |  2,659 |   347,645 |   333,899 |   313,972 |
  | Nord                  |  2,229 | 1,670,184 | 1,811,868 | 1,895,861 |
  | Oise                  |  2,272 |   403,146 |   404,511 |   410,049 |
  | Orne                  |  2,372 |   367,248 |   339,162 |   315,993 |
  | Pas-de-Calais         |  2,606 |   853,526 |   906,249 | 1,012,466 |
  | Puy-de-Dôme           |  3,094 |   570,964 |   555,078 |   535,419 |
  | Pyrénées-Orientales   |  1,599 |   211,187 |   208,387 |   213,171 |
  | Rhône                 |  1,104 |  772,912  |   839,329 |   858,907 |
  | Saône-et-Loire        |  3,330 |  625,885  |   621,237 |   613,377 |
  | Sarthe                |  2,410 |  436,111  |   425,077 |   421,470 |
  | Savoie                |  2,389 |  267,428  |   259,790 |   253,297 |
  | Seine                 |    185 | 2,961,089 | 3,340,514 | 3,848,618 |
  | Seine-Inférieure      |  2,448 |   833,386 |   837,824 |   863,879 |
  | Seine-et-Marne        |  2,289 |   355,136 |   359,044 |   361,939 |
  | Seine-et-Oise         |  2,184 |   618,089 |   669,098 |   749,753 |
  | Somme                 |  2,423 |   548,982 |   543,279 |   532,567 |
  | Tarn                  |  2,231 |   358,757 |   339,827 |   330,533 |
  | Tarn-et-Garonne       |  1,440 |   214,046 |   200,390 |   188,553 |
  | Var                   |  2,325 |   283,689 |   309,191 |   324,638 |
  | Vaucluse              |  1,381 |   241,787 |   236,313 |   239,178 |
  | Vendée                |  2,708 |   434,808 |   441,735 |   442,777 |
  | Vienne                |  2,719 |   342,785 |   338,114 |   333,621 |
  | Vosges                |  2,279 |   413,707 |   421,412 |   429,812 |
  | Yonne                 |  2,880 |   355,364 |   332,656 |   315,199 |
  |           Total       |207,076 |38,218,903 |38,517,975 |39,252,245 |

The French census uses the commune as the basis of its returns, and
employs the following classifications in respect to communal population:
(1) Total communal population. (2) _Population comptée à part_, which
includes soldiers and sailors, inmates of prisons, asylums, schools,
members of religious communities, and workmen temporarily engaged in
public works. (3) Total _municipal_ population, i.e. communal population
minus the _population comptée à part_. (4) _Population municipale
agglomérée au chef-lieu de la commune_, which embraces the urban
population as opposed to the rural population. The following tables,
showing the growth of the largest towns in France, are drawn up on the
basis of the fourth classification, which is used throughout this work
in the articles on French towns, except where otherwise stated.

  In 1906 there were in France twelve towns with a population of over
  100,000 inhabitants. Their growth or decrease from 1886 to 1906 is
  shown in the following table:

    |            |   1886.  |   1896.  |   1906.  |
    | Paris      |2,294,108 |2,481,223 |2,711,931 |
    | Lyons      |  344,124 |  398,867 |  430,186 |
    | Marseilles |  249,938 |  332,515 |  421,116 |
    | Bordeaux   |  225,281 |  239,806 |  237,707 |
    | Lille      |  143,135 |  160,723 |  196,624 |
    | St Etienne |  103,229 |  120,300 |  130,940 |
    | Le Havre   |  109,199 |  117,009 |  129,403 |
    | Toulouse   |  123,040 |  124,187 |  125,856 |
    | Roubaix    |   89,781 |  113,899 |  119,955 |
    | Nantes     |  110,638 |  107,137 |  118,244 |
    | Rouen      |  100,043 |  106,825 |  111,402 |
    | Reims      |   91,130 |   99,001 |  102,800 |

  In the same years the following eighteen towns, now numbering from
  50,000 to 100,000 inhabitants, each had:

    |            |  1886. |  1896. |  1906. |
    | Nice       | 61,464 | 69,140 | 99,556 |
    | Nancy      | 69,463 | 83,668 | 98,302 |
    | Toulon     | 53,941 | 70,843 | 87,997 |
    | Amiens     | 68,177 | 74,808 | 78,407 |
    | Limoges    | 56,699 | 64,718 | 75,906 |
    | Angers     | 65,152 | 69,484 | 73,585 |
    | Brest      | 59,352 | 64,144 | 71,163 |
    | Nîmes      | 62,198 | 66,905 | 70,708 |
    | Montpellier| 45,930 | 62,717 | 65,983 |
    | Dijon      | 50,684 | 58,355 | 65,516 |
    | Tourcoing  | 41,183 | 55,705 | 62,694 |
    | Rennes     | 52,614 | 57,249 | 62,024 |
    | Tours      | 51,467 | 56,706 | 61,507 |
    | Calais     | 52,839 | 50,818 | 59,623 |
    | Grenoble   | 43,260 | 50,084 | 58,641 |
    | Orléans    | 51,208 | 56,915 | 57,544 |
    | Le Mans    | 46,991 | 49,665 | 54,907 |
    | Troyes     | 44,864 | 50,676 | 51,228 |

  Of the population in 1901, 18,916,889 were males and 19,533,899
  females, an excess of females over males of 617,010, i.e. 1.6% or
  about 508 females to every 492 males. In 1881 the proportion was 501
  females to every 499 males, since when the disparity has been slightly
  more marked at every census. Below is a list of the departments in
  which the number of women to every thousand men was (1) greatest and
  (2) least.

              (1)          |           (2)
    Creuse           1131  |  Belfort            886
    Côtes-du-Nord    1117  |  Basses-Alpes       893
    Seine            1103  |  Var                894
    Calvados         1100  |  Meuse              905
    Cantal           1098  |  Hautes-Alpes       908
    Seine-Inférieure 1084  |  Meurthe-et-Moselle 918
    Basses-Pyrénées  1080  |  Haute-Savoie       947

  Departments from which the adult males emigrate regularly either to
  sea or to seek employment in towns tend to fall under the first head,
  those in which large bodies of troops are stationed under the second.

  The annual number of emigrants from France is small. The Basques of
  Basses-Pyrénées go in considerable numbers to the Argentine Republic,
  the inhabitants of Basses Alpes to Mexico and the United States, and
  there are important French colonies in Algeria and Tunisia.

  The following table shows the distribution of the active population of
  France according to their occupations in 1901.

    |        Occupation        |   Males.  |  Females. |   Total.  |
    | Forestry and agriculture | 5,517,617 | 2,658,952 | 8,176,569 |
    | Manufacturing industries | 3,695,213 | 2,124,642 | 5,819,855 |
    | Trade                    | 1,132,621 |   689,999 | 1,822,620 |
    | Domestic service         |   223,861 |   791,176 | 1,015,037 |
    | Transport                |   617,849 |   212,794 |   830,643 |
    | Public service           | 1,157,835 |   139,734 | 1,297,569 |
    | Liberal professions      |   226,561 |   173,278 |   399,839 |
    | Mining, quarries         |   261,320 |     5,031 |   266,351 |
    | Fishing                  |    63,372 |     4,400 |    67,772 |
    | Unclassed                |    14,316 |     4,504 |    18,820 |
    |       Grand Total        |12,910,565 | 6,804,510 |19,715,075 |


Great alterations were made with regard to religious matters in France
by a law of December 1905, supplemented by a law of January 1907 (see
below, _Law and Institutions_). Before that time three religions
(_cultes_) were recognized and supported by the state--the Roman
Catholic, the Protestant (subdivided into the Reformed and Lutheran) and
the Hebrew. In Algeria the Mahommedan religion received similar
recognition. By the law of 1905 all the churches ceased to be recognized
or supported by the state and became entirely separated therefrom, while
the adherents of all creeds were permitted to form associations for
public worship (_associations cultuelles_), upon which the expenses of
maintenance were from that time to devolve. The state, the departments,
and the communes were thus relieved from the payment of salaries and
grants to religious bodies, an item of expenditure which amounted in the
last year of the old system to £1,101,000 paid by the state and £302,200
contributed by the departments and communes. Before these alterations
the relations between the state and the Roman Catholic communion, by far
the largest and most important in France, were chiefly regulated by the
provisions of the Concordat of 1801, concluded between the first consul,
Bonaparte, and Pope Pius VII. and by other measures passed in 1802.

  France is divided into provinces and dioceses as follows:

   Archbishoprics.              Bishoprics.

    PARIS       Chartres, Meaux, Orléans, Blois, Versailles.
    AIX         Marseilles, Fréjus, Digne, Gap, Nice, Ajaccio.
    ALBI        Rodez, Cahors, Mende, Perpignan.
    AUCH        Aire, Tarbes, Bayonne.
    AVIGNON     Nîmes, Valence, Viviers, Montpellier.
    BESANÇON    Verdun, Bellay, St Dié, Nancy.
    BORDEAUX    Agen, Angoulême, Poitiers, Périgueux, La Rochelle, Luçon.
    BOURGES     Clermont, Limoges, Le Puy, Tulle, St Flour.
    CAMBRAI     Arras.
    CHAMBÉRY    Annecy, Tarentaise, St Jean-de-Maurienne.
    LYONS       Autun, Langres, Dijon, St Claude, Grenoble.
    REIMS       Soissons, Châlons-sur-Marne, Beauvais, Amiens.
    RENNES      Quimper, Vannes, St Brieuc.
    ROUEN       Bayeux, Evreux, Sées, Coutances.
    SENS        Troyes, Nevers, Moulins.
    TOULOUSE    Montauban, Pamiers, Carcassonne.
    TOURS       Le Mans, Angers, Nantes, Laval.

  The dioceses are divided into parishes each under a parish priest
  known as a _curé_ or _desservant_ (incumbent). The bishops and
  archbishops, formerly nominated by the government and canonically
  confirmed by the pope, are now chosen by the latter. The appointment
  of curés rested with the bishops and had to be confirmed by the
  government, but this confirmation is now dispensed with. The
  archbishops used to receive an annual salary of £600 each and the
  bishops £400.

  The archbishops and bishops are assisted by vicars-general (at
  salaries previously ranging from £100 to £180), and to each cathedral
  is attached a chapter of canons. A cure, in addition to his regular
  salary, received fees for baptisms, marriages, funerals and special
  masses, and had the benefit of a free house called a _presbytère_. The
  total personnel of state-paid Roman Catholic clergy amounted in 1903
  to 36,169. The Roman priests are drawn from the seminaries,
  established by the church for the education of young men intending to
  join its ranks, and divided into lower and higher seminaries (_grands
  et petits séminaires_), the latter giving the same class of
  instruction as the _lycées_.

  The number of Protestants may be estimated at about 600,000 and the
  Jews at about 70,000. The greatest number of Jews is to be found at
  Paris, Lyons and Bordeaux, while the departments of the centre and of
  the south along the range of the Cévennes, where Calvinism flourishes,
  are the principal Protestant localities, Nîmes being the most
  important centre. Considerable sprinklings of Protestants are also to
  be found in the two Charentes, in Dauphiné, in Paris and in
  Franche-Comté. The two Protestant bodies used to cost the state about
  £60,000 a year and the Jewish Church about £6000.

  Both Protestant churches have a parochial organization and a
  presbyterian form of church government. In the Reformed Church (far
  the more numerous of the two bodies) each parish has a council of
  presbyters, consisting of the pastor and lay-members elected by the
  congregation. Several parishes form a consistorial circumscription,
  which has a consistorial council consisting of the council of
  presbyters of the chief town of the circumscription, the pastor and
  one delegate of the council of presbyters from each parish and other
  elected members. There are 103 circumscriptions (including Algeria),
  which are grouped into 21 provincial synods composed of a pastor and
  lay delegate from each consistory. All the more important questions of
  church discipline and all decisions regulating the doctrine and
  practice of the church are dealt with by the synods. At the head of
  the whole organization is a General Synod, sitting at Paris. The
  organization of the Lutheran Church (_Église de la confession
  d'Augsburg_) is broadly similar. Its consistories are grouped into two
  special synods, one at Paris and one at Montbéliard (for the
  department of Doubs and Haute-Saône and the territory of Belfort,
  where the churches of this denomination are principally situated). It
  also has a general synod--composed of 2 inspectors,[5] 5 pastors
  elected by the synod of Paris, and 6 by that of Montbéliard, 22 laymen
  and a delegate of the theological faculty at Paris--which holds
  periodical meetings and is represented in its relations with the
  government by a permanent executive commission.

  The Jewish parishes, called synagogues, are grouped into departmental
  consistories (Paris, Bordeaux, Nancy, Marseilles, Bayonne, Lille,
  Vesoul, Besançon and three in Algeria). Each synagogue is served by a
  rabbi assisted by an officiating minister, and in each consistory is a
  grand rabbi. At Paris is the central consistory, controlled by the
  government and presided over by the supreme grand rabbi.


Of the population of France some 17,000,000 depend upon agriculture for
their livelihood, though only about 6,500,000 are engaged in work on the
land. The cultivable land of the country occupies some 195,000 sq. m. or
about 94% of the total area; of this 171,000 sq. m. are cultivated.
There are besides 12,300 sq. m. of uncultivable area covered by lakes,
rivers, towns, &c. Only the roughest estimate is possible as to the
sizes of holdings, but in general terms it may be said that about 3
million persons are proprietors of holdings under 25 acres in extent
amounting to between 15 and 20% of the cultivated area, the rest being
owned by some 750,000 proprietors, of whom 150,000 possess half the area
in holdings averaging 400 acres in extent. About 80% of holdings
(amounting to about 60% of the cultivated area) are cultivated by the
proprietor; of the rest approximately 13% are let on lease and 7% are
worked on the system known as _métayage_ (q.v.).

The capital value of land, which greatly decreased during the last
twenty years of the 19th century, is estimated at £3,120,000,000, and
that of stock, buildings, implements, &c., at £340,000,000. The value
per acre of land, which exceeds £48 in the departments of Seine, Rhône
and those fringing the north-west coast from Nord to Manche inclusive,
is on the average about £29, though it drops to £16 and less in
Morbihan, Landes, Basses-Pyrénées, and parts of the Alps and the central

  While wheat and wine constitute the staples of French agriculture, its
  distinguishing characteristic is the variety of its products.
  _Cereals_ occupy about one-third of the cultivated area. For the
  production of _wheat_, in respect of which France is self-supporting,
  French Flanders, the Seine basin, notably the Beauce and the Brie, and
  the regions bordering on the lower course of the Loire and the upper
  course of the Garonne, are the chief areas. Rye, on the other hand,
  one of the least valuable of the cereals, is grown chiefly in the poor
  agricultural territories of the central plateau and western Brittany.
  Buckwheat is cultivated mainly in Brittany. Oats and barley are
  generally cultivated, the former more especially in the Parisian
  region, the latter in Mayenne and one or two of the neighbouring
  departments. Meslin, a mixture of wheat and rye, is produced in the
  great majority of French departments, but to a marked extent in the
  basin of the Sarthe. Maize covers considerable areas in Landes,
  Basses-Pyrénées and other south-western departments.

    |          |   Average Acreage   |  Average Production   |    Average Yield    |
    |          |(Thousands of Acres).|(Thousands of Bushels).| per Acre (Bushels). |
    |          +----------+----------+-----------+-----------+----------+----------+
    |          |1886-1895.|1896-1905.| 1886-1895.| 1896-1905.|1886-1895.|1896-1905.|
    | Wheat    |  17,004  |  16,580  |  294,564  |  317,707  |   17.3   |   19.1   |
    | Meslin   |     720  |     491  |   12,193  |    8,826  |   16.9   |   17.0   |
    | Rye      |   3,888  |   3,439  |   64,651  |   56,612  |   16.6   |   16.4   |
    | Barley   |   2,303  |   1,887  |   47,197  |   41,066  |   20.4   |   21.0   |
    | Oats     |   9,507  |   9,601  |  240,082  |  253,799  |   25.2   |   26.4   |
    | Buckwheat|   1,484  |   1,392  |   26,345  |   23,136  |   17.7   |   16.6   |
    | Maize    |   1,391  |   1,330  |   25,723  |   24,459  |   18.4   |   18.4   |

  _Forage Crops._--The mangold-wurzel, occupying four times the acreage
  of swedes and turnips, is by far the chief root-crop in France. It is
  grown largely in the departments of Nord and Pas-de-Calais and in
  those of the Seine basin, the southern limit of its cultivation being
  roughly a line drawn from Bordeaux to Lyons. The average area occupied
  by it in the years from 1896 to 1905 was 1,043,000 acres, the total
  average production being 262,364,000 cwt. and the average production
  per acre 10½ tons. Clover, lucerne and sainfoin make up the bulk of
  artificial pasturage, while vetches, crimson clover and cabbage are
  the other chief forage crops.

  _Vegetables.--Potatoes_ are not a special product of any region,
  though grown in great quantities in the Bresse and the Vosges. Early
  potatoes and other vegetables (_primeurs_) are largely cultivated in
  the districts bordering the English Channel. Market-gardening is an
  important industry in the regions round Paris, Amiens and Angers, as
  it is round Toulouse, Montauban, Avignon and in southern France
  generally. The market-gardeners of Paris and its vicinity have a high
  reputation for skill in the forcing of early vegetables under glass.

    _Potatoes: Decennial Averages._

    |           |           |            |Average Yield|
    |           |  Acreage. | Total Yield|  per Acre   |
    |           |           |  (Tons).   |   (Tons).   |
    | 1886-1895 | 3,690,000 | 11,150,000 |    3.02     |
    | 1896-1905 | 3,735,000 | 11,594,000 |    3.1      |

  _Industrial Plants._[6]--The manufacture of sugar from beetroot, owing
  to the increased use of sugar, became highly important during the
  latter half of the 19th century, the industry both of cultivation and
  manufacture being concentrated in the northern departments of Aisne,
  Nord, Pas-de-Calais, Somme and Oise, the first named supplying nearly
  a quarter of the whole amount produced in France.

  _Flax and hemp_ showed a decreasing acreage from 1881 onwards. Flax is
  cultivated chiefly in the northern departments of Nord,
  Seine-Inférieure, Pas-de-Calais, Côtes-du-Nord, hemp in Sarthe,
  Morbihan and Maine-et-Loire.

  _Colza_, grown chiefly in the lower basin of the Seine
  (Seine-Inférieure and Eure), is the most important of the
  oil-producing plants, all of which show a diminishing acreage. The
  three principal regions for the production of tobacco are the basin of
  the Garonne (Lot-et-Garonne, Dordogne, Lot and Gironde), the basin of
  the Isère (Isère and Savoie) and the department of Pas-de-Calais. The
  state controls its cultivation, which is allowed only in a limited
  number of departments. Hops cover only about 7000 acres, being almost
  confined to the departments of Nord, Côte d'Or and Meurthe-et-Moselle.

    _Decennial Averages 1896-1905._

    |            |          |              | Average Yield |
    |            | Acreage. |  Production  |   per Acre    |
    |            |          |    (Tons).   |    (Tons).    |
    | Sugar beet | 672,000  | 6,868,000    |     10.2      |
    | Hemp       |  64,856  |    18,451[7] |       .28[7]  |
    | Flax       |  57,893  |    17,857[7] |       .30[7]  |
    | Colza      | 102,454  |    47,697    |       .46     |
    | Tobacco    |  41,564  |    22,453    |       .54     |

  _Vineyards_ (see WINE).--The vine grows generally in France, except in
  the extreme north and in Normandy and Brittany. The great
  wine-producing regions are:

  1. The country fringing the Mediterranean coast and including Hérault
  (240,822,000 gals. in 1905), and Aude (117,483,000 gals. in 1905), the
  most productive departments in France in this respect.

  2. The department of Gironde (95,559,000 gals. in 1905), whence come
  Médoc and the other wines for which Bordeaux is the market.

  3. The lower valley of the Loire, including Touraine and Anjou, and
  the district of Saumur.

  4. The valley of the Rhône.

  5. The Burgundian region, including Côte d'Or and the valley of the
  Saône (Beaujolais, Mâconnais).

  6. The Champagne.

  7. The Charente region, the grapes of which furnish brandy, as do
  those of Armagnac (department of Gers).

  The decennial averages for the years 1896-1905 were as follows:

    Acreage of productive vines                 4,056,725
    Total production in gallons             1,072,622,000
    Average production in gallons per acre            260

  _Fruit._--Fruit-growing is general all over France, which, apart from
  bananas and pine-apples, produces in the open air all the ordinary
  species of fruit which its inhabitants consume. Some of these may be
  specially mentioned. The cider apple, which ranks first in importance,
  is produced in those districts where cider is the habitual drink, that
  is to say, chiefly in the region north-west of a line drawn from Paris
  to the mouth of the Loire. The average annual production of cider
  during the years 1896 to 1905 was 304,884,000 gallons. Dessert apples
  and pears are grown there and in the country on both banks of the
  lower Loire, the valley of which abounds in orchards wherein many
  varieties of fruit flourish and in nursery-gardens. The hilly regions
  of Limousin, Périgord and the Cévennes are the home of the chestnut,
  which in some places is still a staple food; walnuts grow on the lower
  levels of the central plateau and in lower Dauphiné and Provence, figs
  and almonds in Provence, oranges and citrons on the Mediterranean
  coast, apricots in central France, the olive in Provence and the lower
  valleys of the Rhône and Durance. Truffles are found under the oaks of
  Périgord, Comtat-Venaissin and lower Dauphiné. The mulberry grows in
  the valleys of the Rhône and its tributaries, the Isère, the Drôme,
  the Ardèche, the Gard and the Durance, and also along the coast of
  the Mediterranean. Silk-worm rearing, which is encouraged by state
  grants, is carried on in the valleys mentioned and on the
  Mediterranean coast east of Marseilles. The numbers of growers
  decreased from 139,000 in 1891 to 124,000 in 1905. The decrease in the
  annual average production of cocoons is shown in the preceding table.

    |        Silk Cocoons.        | 1891-1895. | 1896-1900. | 1901-1905. |
    +-----------------------------+------------+------------+------- ----+
    | Annual average production   |            |            |            |
    |   over quinquennial periods | 19,587,000 | 17,696,000 | 16,566,000 |
    |   in lb.                    |            |            |            |

  Snails are reared in some parts of the country as an article of food,
  those of Burgundy being specially esteemed.

  _Stock-raising._--From this point of view the soil of France may be
  divided into four categories:

  1. The rich pastoral regions where dairy-farming and the fattening of
  cattle are carried on with most success, viz. (a) Normandy, Perche,
  Cotentin and maritime Flanders, where horses are bred in great
  numbers; (b) the strip of coast between the Gironde and the mouth of
  the Loire; (c) the Morvan including the Nivernais and the Charolais,
  from which the famous Charolais breed of oxen takes its name; (d) the
  central region of the central plateau including the districts of
  Cantal and Aubrac, the home of the famous beef-breeds of Salers and
  Aubrac.[8] The famous _pré-salé_ sheep are also reared in the Vendée
  and Cotentin.

  2. The poorer grazing lands on the upper levels of the Alps, Pyrenees,
  Jura and Vosges, the Landes, the more outlying regions of the central
  plateau, southern Brittany, Sologne, Berry, Champagne-Pouilleuse, the
  Crau and the Camargue, these districts being given over for the most
  part to sheep-raising.

  3. The plain of Toulouse, which with the rest of south-western France
  produces good draught oxen, the Parisian basin, the plains of the
  north to the east of the maritime region, the lower valley of the
  Rhône and the Bresse, where there is little or no natural pasturage,
  and forage is grown from seed.

  4. West, west-central and eastern France outside these areas, where
  meadows are predominant and both dairying and fattening are general.
  Included therein are the dairying and horse-raising district of
  northern Brittany and the dairying regions of Jura and Savoy.

  In the industrial regions of northern France cattle are stall-fed with
  the waste products of the beet-sugar factories, oil-works and
  distilleries. _Swine_, bred all over France, are more numerous in
  Brittany, Anjou (whence comes the well-known breed of Craon), Poitou,
  Burgundy, the west and north of the central plateau and Béarn. Upper
  Poitou and the zone of south-western France to the north of the
  Pyrenees are the chief regions for the breeding of mules. Asses are
  reared in Béarn, Corsica, Upper Poitou, the Limousin, Berry and other
  central regions. Goats are kept in the mountainous regions (Auvergne,
  Provence, Corsica). The best poultry come from the Bresse, the
  district of Houdan (Seine-et-Oise), the district of Le Mans and
  Crèvecoeur (Calvados).

  The _prés naturels_ (meadows) and _herbages_ (unmown pastures) of
  France, i.e. the grass-land of superior quality as distinguished from
  _paturages et pacages_, which signifies pasture of poorer quality,
  increased in area between 1895 and 1905 as is shown below:

                   1895 (Acres).  1905 (Acres).
    Prés naturels   10,852,000     11,715,000
    Herbages         2,822,000      3,022,000

  The following table shows the number of live stock in the country at
  intervals of ten years since 1885.

    |                   Cattle.                 |            |           |           |         |         |
    +------+-----------+-----------+------------+ Sheep and  |   Pigs.   |  Horses.  |  Mules. |  Asses. |
    |      |   Cows.   |   Other   |   Total.   |   Lambs.   |           |           |         |         |
    |      |           |   Kinds.  |            |            |           |           |         |         |
    | 1885 | 6,414,487 | 6,690,483 | 13,104,970 | 22,616,547 | 5,881,088 | 2,911,392 | 238,620 | 387,227 |
    | 1895 | 6,359,795 | 6,874,033 | 13,233,828 | 21,163,767 | 6,306,019 | 2,812,447 | 211,479 | 357,778 |
    | 1905 | 7,515,564 | 6,799,988 | 14,315,552 | 17,783,209 | 7,558,779 | 3,169,224 | 198,865 | 365,181 |

  _Agricultural Organization._--In France the interests of agriculture
  are entrusted to a special ministry, comprising the following
  divisions: (1) forests, (2) breeding-studs (_haras_); (3) agriculture,
  a department which supervises agricultural instruction and the
  distribution of grants and premiums; (4) agricultural improvements,
  draining, irrigation, &c.; (5) an intelligence department which
  prepares statistics, issues information as to prices and markets, &c.
  The minister is assisted by a superior council of agriculture, the
  members of which, numbering a hundred, include senators, deputies and
  prominent agriculturists. The ministry employs inspectors, whose duty
  it is to visit the different parts of the country and to report on
  their respective position and wants. The reports which they furnish
  help to determine the distribution of the moneys dispensed by the
  state in the form of subventions to agricultural societies and in
  many other ways. The chief type of agricultural society is the _comice
  agricole_, an association for the discussion of agricultural problems
  and the organization of provincial shows. There are besides several
  thousands of local syndicates, engaged in the purchase of materials
  and sale of produce on the most advantageous terms for their members,
  credit banks and mutual insurance societies (see CO-OPERATION). Three
  societies demand special mention: the _Union centrale des agriculteurs
  de France_, to which the above syndicates are affiliated; the _Société
  nationale d'agriculture_, whose mission is to further agricultural
  progress and to supply the government with information on everything
  appertaining thereto and the _Société des agriculteurs de France_.

  Among a variety of premiums awarded by the state are those for the
  best cultivated estates and for irrigation works, and to the owners of
  the best stallions and brood-mares. _Haras_ or stallion stables
  containing in all over 3000 horses are established in twenty-two
  central towns, and annually send stallions, which are at the disposal
  of private individuals in return for a small fee, to various stations
  throughout the country. Other institutions belonging to the state are
  the national sheep-fold of Rambouillet (Seine-et-Oise) and the
  cow-house of Vieux-Pin (Orne) for the breeding of Durham cows. Four
  different grades of institution for agricultural instruction are under
  state direction: (1) farm-schools and schools of apprenticeship in
  dairying, &c., to which the age of admission is from 14 to 16 years;
  (2) practical schools, to which boys of from 13 to 18 years of age are
  admitted. These number forty-eight, and are intended for sons of
  farmers of good position; (3) national schools, which are established
  at Grignon (Seine-et-Oise), Rennes and Montpellier, candidates for
  which must be 17 years of age; (4) the National Agronomic Institute at
  Paris, which is intended for the training of estate agents,
  professors, &c. There are also departmental chairs of agriculture, the
  holders of which give instruction in training-colleges and elsewhere
  and advise farmers.

  _Forests._--In relation to its total extent, France presents but a
  very limited area of forest land, amounting to only 36,700 sq. m. or
  about 18% of the entire surface of the country. Included under the
  denomination of "forest" are lands--_surfaces boisées_--which are
  _bush_ rather than _forest_. The most wooded parts of France are the
  mountains and plateaus of the east and of the north-east, comprising
  the pine-forests of the Vosges and Jura (including the beautiful
  Forest of Chaux), the Forest of Haye, the Forest of Ardennes, the
  Forest of Argonne, &c.; the Landes, where replanting with maritime
  pines has transformed large areas of marsh into forest; and the
  departments of Var and Ariège. The Central Mountains and the Morvan
  also have considerable belts of wood. In the Parisian region there are
  the Forests of Fontainebleau (66 sq. m.), of Compiègne (56 sq. m.), of
  Rambouillet, of Villers-Cotterets, &c. The Forest of Orléans, the
  largest in France, covers about 145 sq. m. The Alps and Pyrenees are
  in large part deforested, but reafforestation with a view to
  minimizing the effects of avalanches and sudden floods is continually
  in progress.

  Of the forests of the country approximately one-third belongs to the
  state, communes and public institutions. The rest belongs to private
  owners who are, however, subject to certain restrictions. The
  Department of Waters[9] and Forests (Administration des Eaux et
  Forêts) forms a branch of the ministry of agriculture. It is
  administered by a director-general, who has his headquarters at Paris,
  assisted by three administrators who are charged with the working of
  the forests, questions of rights and law, finance and plantation
  works. The establishment consists of 32 conservators, each at the head
  of a district comprising one or more departments, 200 inspectors, 215
  sub-inspectors and about 300 _gardes généraux_. These officials form
  the higher grade of the service (_agents_). There are besides several
  thousand forest-rangers and other employés (_préposés_). The
  department is supplied with officials of the higher class from the
  National School of Waters and Forests at Nancy, founded in 1824.


In France, as in other countries, the development of machinery, whether
run by steam, water-power or other motive forces, has played a great
part in the promotion of industry; the increase in the amount of steam
horse-power employed in industrial establishments is, to a certain
degree, an index to the activity of the country as regards manufactures.

The appended table shows the progress made since 1850 with regard to
steam power. Railway and marine locomotives are not included.

  |Years.|    No. of      |     No. of    |     Total    |
  |      | Establishments.| Steam-Engines.| Horse-Power. |
  | 1852 |      6,543     |      6,080    |     76,000   |
  | 1861 |     14,153     |     15,805    |    191,000   |
  | 1871 |     22,192     |     26,146    |    316,000   |
  | 1881 |     35,712     |     44,010    |    576,000   |
  | 1891 |     46,828     |     58,967    |    916,000   |
  | 1901 |     58,151     |     75,866    |  1,907,730   |
  | 1905 |     61,112     |     79,203    |  2,232,263   |

With the exception of Loire, Bouches-du-Rhône and Rhône, the chief
industrial departments of France are to be found in the north and
north-east of the country. In 1901 and 1896 those in which the working
inhabitants of both sexes were engaged in industry as opposed to
agriculture to the extent of 50% (approximately) or over, numbered
eleven, viz.:--

  |                       |              |            | Percentage engaged |
  |                       | Total Working| Industrial |    in Industry.    |
  |     Departments.      |  Population  | Population +---------+----------+
  |                       |    (1901).   |   (1901).  |  1901.  |   1896.  |
  | Nord                  |    848,306   |   544,177  |  64.15  |   63.45  |
  | Territoire de Belfort |     40,703   |    24,470  |  60.10  |   58.77  |
  | Loire                 |    292,808   |   167,693  |  57.27  |   54.73  |
  | Seine                 |  2,071,344   | 1,143,809  |  55.22  |   53.54  |
  | Bouches-du-Rhône      |    341,823   |   187,801  |  54.94  |   51.00  |
  | Rhône                 |    449,121   |   243,571  |  54.23  |   54.78  |
  | Meurthe-et-Moselle    |    215,501   |   115,214  |  53.46  |   50.19  |
  | Ardennes              |    139,270   |    73,250  |  52.60  |   52.42  |
  | Vosges                |    208,142   |   107,547  |  51.67  |   51.05  |
  | Pas-de-Calais         |    404,153   |   200,402  |  49.58  |   46.55  |
  | Seine-Inférieure      |    428,591   |   206,612  |  48.21  |   49.85  |

  |                 |                            |                     | Average Production|
  |     Groups.     |          Basins.           |     Departments.    |   (Thousands of   |
  |                 |                            |                     |    Metric Tons)   |
  |                 |                            |                     |     1901-1905.    |
  | Nord and      / | Valenciennes               | Nord, Pas-de-Calais | \     20,965      |
  | Pas-de-Calais \ | Le Boulonnais              | Pas-de-Calais       | /                 |
  |               / | St Étienne and Rive-de-Gier| Loire               | \                 |
  | Loire        <  | Communay                   | Isère               |  >     3,601      |
  |               | | Ste Foy l'Argentière       | Rhône               | |                 |
  |               \ | Roannais                   | Loire               | /                 |
  |               / | Alais                      | Gard, Ardèche       | \                 |
  | Gard         <  | Aubenas                    | Ardèche             |  >     1,954      |
  |               \ | Le Vigan                   | Gard                | /                 |
  |               / | Decize                     | Nièvre              | \                 |
  | Bourgogne    <  | La Chapelle-sous-Dun       | Saône-et-Loire      |  >     1,881      |
  | and Nivernais | | Bert                       | Allier              | |                 |
  |               \ | Sincey                     | Côte-d'Or           | /                 |
  |               / | Aubin                      | Aveyron             | \                 |
  | Tarn and     <  | Carmaux and Albi           | Tarn                |  >     1,770      |
  | Aveyron       | | Rodez                      | Aveyron             | |                 |
  |               \ | St Perdoux                 | Lot                 | /                 |
  |               / | Commentry and Doyet        | Allier              | \                 |
  | Bourbonnais  <  | St Eloi                    | Puy-de-Dôme         |  >       994      |
  |               | | L'Aumance                  | Allier              | |                 |
  |               \ | La Queune                  | Allier              | /                 |

The department of Seine, comprising Paris and its suburbs, which has the
largest manufacturing population, is largely occupied with the
manufacture of dress, millinery and articles of luxury (perfumery, &c.),
but it plays the leading part in almost every great branch of industry
with the exception of spinning and weaving. The typically industrial
region of France is the department of Nord, the seat of the woollen
industry, but also prominently concerned in other textile industries, in
metal working, and in a variety of other manufactures, fuel for which is
supplied by its coal-fields. The following sketch of the manufacturing
industry of France takes account chiefly of those of its branches which
are capable in some degree of localization. Many of the great industries
of the country, e.g. tanning, brick-making, the manufacture of garments,
&c., are evenly distributed throughout it, and are to be found in or
near all larger centres of population.

  _Coal._--The principal mines of France are coal and iron mines. The
  production of coal and lignite averaging 33,465,000 metric tons[10] in
  the years 1901-1905 represents about 73% of the total consumption of
  the country; the surplus is supplied from Great Britain, Belgium and
  Germany. The preceding table shows the average output of the chief
  coal-groups for the years 1901-1905 inclusive. The Flemish coal-basin,
  employing over 100,000 hands, produces 60% of the coal mined in

  French lignite comes for the most part from the department of
  Bouches-du-Rhône (near Fuveau).

  The development of French coal and lignite mining in the 19th century,
  together with records of prices, which rose considerably at the end of
  the period, is set forth in the table below:

    |           | Average Yearly | Average Price |
    |   Years.  |   Production   |  per Ton at   |
    |           | (Thousands of  |  Pit Mouth    |
    |           | Metric Tons).  |  (Francs).    |
    | 1821-1830 |      1,495     |     10.23     |
    | 1831-1840 |      2,571     |      9.83     |
    | 1841-1850 |      4,078.5   |      9.69     |
    | 1851-1860 |      6,857     |     11.45     |
    | 1861-1870 |     11,831     |     11.61     |
    | 1871-1880 |     16,774     |     14.34     |
    | 1881-1890 |     21,542     |     11.55     |
    | 1891-1900 |     29,190     |     11.96     |
    | 1901-1905 |     33,465     |     14.18     |

  _Iron._--The iron-mines of France are more numerous than its
  coal-mines, but they do not yield a sufficient quantity of ore for the
  needs of the metallurgical industries of the country; as will be seen
  in the table below the production of iron in France gradually
  increased during the 19th century; on the other hand, a decline in
  prices operated against a correspondingly marked increase in its
  annual value.

    |           | Average Annual |              |
    |   Years.  |   Production   |  Price per   |
    |           | (Thousands of  |  Metric Ton  |
    |           |  Metric Tons). |   (Francs).  |
    | 1841-1850 |      1247      |     6.76     |
    | 1851-1860 |      2414.5    |     5.51     |
    | 1861-1870 |      3035      |     4.87     |
    | 1871-1880 |      2514      |     5.39     |
    | 1881-1890 |      2934      |     3.99     |
    | 1891-1900 |      4206      |     3.37     |
    | 1901-1905 |      6072      |     3.72     |

  The department of Meurthe-et-Moselle (basins of Nancy and
  Longwy-Briey) furnished 84% of the total output during the
  quinquennial period 1901-1905, may be reckoned as one of the principal
  iron-producing regions of the world. The other chief producers were
  Pyrénées-Orientales, Calvados, Haute-Marne (Vassy) and Saône-et-Loire
  (Mazenay and Change).

  _Other Ores._--The mining of zinc, the chief deposits of which are at
  Malines (Gard), Les Bormettes (Var) and Planioles (Lot), and of lead,
  produced especially at Chaliac (Ardèche), ranks next in importance to
  that of iron. Iron-pyrites come almost entirely from Sain-Bel
  (Rhône), manganese chiefly from Ariège and Saône-et-Loire, antimony
  from the departments of Mayenne, Haute-Loire and Cantal. Copper and
  mispickel are mined only in small quantities. The table below gives
  the average production of zinc, argentiferous lead, iron-pyrites and
  other ores during the quinquennial period 1901-1905.

    |              |  Production  |         |
    |              |(Thousands of | Value £.|
    |              | Metric Tons).|         |
    | Zinc         |     60.3     | 206,912 |
    | Lead         |     18.5     | 100,424 |
    | Iron-pyrites |    297.2     | 170,312 |
    | Other ores   |     36.0     |  68,376 |

  _Salt, &c._--Rock-salt is worked chiefly in the department of
  Meurthe-et-Moselle, which produces more than half the average annual
  product of salt. For the years 1896-1905, this was 1,010,000 tons,
  including both rock- and sea-salt. The salt-marshes of the
  Mediterranean coast, especially the Étang de Berre and those of
  Loire-Inférieure, are the principal sources of sea-salt. Sulphur is
  obtained near Apt (Vaucluse) and in a few other localities of
  south-eastern France; bituminous schist near Autun (Saône-et-Loire)
  and Buxières (Allier). The most extensive peat-workings are in the
  valleys of the Somme; asphalt comes from Seyssel (Ain) and

  The mineral springs of France are numerous, of varied character and
  much frequented. Leading resorts are: in the Pyrenean region,
  Amélie-les-Bains, Bagnères-de-Luchon, Bagnères-de-Bigorre, Barèges,
  Cauterets, Eaux-Bonnes, Eaux-Chaudes and Dax; in the Central Plateau,
  Mont-Dore, La Bourboule, Bourbon l'Archambault, Vichy, Royat,
  Chaudes-Aigues, Vais, Lamalon; in the Alps, Aix-les-Bains and Evian;
  in the Vosges and Faucilles, Plombières, Luxeuil, Contrexéville,
  Vittel, Martigny and Bourbonne-les-Bains. Outside these main groups St
  Amand-les-Eaux and Foyes-les-Eaux may be mentioned.

  _Quarry-Products._--Quarries of various descriptions are numerous all
  over France. Slate is obtained in large quantities from the
  departments of Maine-et-Loire (Angers), Ardennes (Fumay) and Mayenne
  (Renazé). Stone-quarrying is specially active in the departments round
  Paris, Seine-et-Oise employing more persons in this occupation than
  any other department. The environs of Creil (Oise) and Château-Landon
  (Seine-et-Marne) are noted for their freestone (_pierre de taille_),
  which is also abundant at Euville and Lérouville in Meuse; the
  production of plaster is particularly important in the environs of
  Paris, of kaolin of fine quality at Yrieix (Haute-Vienne), of
  hydraulic lime in Ardèche (Le Teil), of lime phosphates in the
  department of Somme, of marble in the departments of Haute-Garonne (St
  Béat), Hautes-Pyrénées (Campan, Sarrancolin), Isère and Pas-de-Calais,
  and of cement in Pas-de-Calais (vicinity of Boulogne) and Isère
  (Grenoble). Paving-stone is supplied in large quantities by
  Seine-et-Oise, and brick-clay is worked chiefly in Nord, Seine and
  Pas-de-Calais. The products of the quarries of France for the five
  years 1901-1905 averaged £9,311,000 per annum in value, of which
  building material brought in over two-thirds.

  _Metallurgy._--The average production and value of iron and steel
  manufactured in France in the last four decades of the 19th century is
  shown below:

    |          |      Cast Iron.      | Wrought Iron and Steel.|
    |          +-----------+----------+-----------+------------+
    |          |  Product  |          |  Product  |            |
    |  Years.  |(Thousands |  Value   |(Thousands |   Value    |
    |          | of Metric |(Thousands| of Metric | (Thousands |
    |          |   Tons).  |   of £). |   Tons).  |   of £).   |
    |1861-1870 |   1191.5  |   5012   |    844    |    8,654   |
    |1871-1880 |   1391    |   5783   |   1058.5  |   11,776   |
    |1881-1890 |   1796    |   5119   |   1376    |   11,488   |
    |1891-1900 |   2267    |   5762   |   1686    |   14,540   |
    |   1903   |   2841    |   7334   |   1896    |   15,389   |

  Taking the number of hands engaged in the industry as a basis of
  comparison, the most important departments as regards iron and steel
  working in 1901 were:

    |                  |                                               |                   | Hands engaged |
    |                  |                                               |                   | in Production |
    |                  |                                               | Hands engaged in  | of Engineering|
    |   Department.    |               Chief Centres.                  |   Production of   |  Material and |
    |                  |                                               |Pig-Iron and Steel.|  Manufactured |
    |                  |                                               |                   |     Goods.    |
    |Seine             |  . .      . .       . .        . .      . .   |         600       |    102,500    |
    |Nord              |Lille, Anzin, Denain, Douai, Hautmont, Maubeuge|      14,000       |     45,000    |
    |Loire             |Rive-de-Gier, Firminy, St Étienne, St Chamond  |       9,500       |     17,500    |
    |Meurthe-et-Moselle|Pont-à-Mousson, Frouard, Longwy, Nancy         |      16,500       |      6,500    |
    |Ardennes          |Charleville, Nouzon                            |         800       |     23,000    |

  Rhône (Lyons), Saône-et-Loire (Le Creusot, Chalon-sur-Saône) and
  Loire-Inférieure (Basse-Indre, Indret, Couëron, Trignac) also play a
  considerable part in this industry.

  The chief centres for the manufacture of cutlery are Châttelerault
  (Vienne), Langres (Haute-Marne) and Thiers (Puy-de-Dôme); for that of
  arms St Etienne, Tulle and Châttelerault; for that of watches and
  clocks, Besançon (Doubs) and Montbéliard (Doubs); for that of optical
  and mathematical instruments Paris, Morez (Jura) and St Claude (Jura);
  for that of locksmiths' ware the region of Vimeu (Pas-de-Calais).

  There are important zinc works at Auby and St Amand (Nord) and Viviez
  (Aveyron) and Noyelles-Godault (Pas-de-Calais); there are lead works
  at the latter place, and others of greater importance at Couëron
  (Loire-Inférieure). Copper is smelted in Ardennes and Pas-de-Calais.
  The production of these metals, which are by far the most important
  after iron and steel, increased steadily during the period 1890-1905,
  and reached its highest point in 1905, details for which year are
  given below:

    |                            |    Zinc.   |   Lead.  |  Copper. |
    | Production (in metric tons)|     43,200 |   24,100 |    7,600 |
    | Value                      | £1,083,000 | £386,000 | £526,000 |

  _Wool._--In 1901, 161,000 persons were engaged in the spinning and
  other preparatory processes and in the weaving of wool. The woollen
  industry is carried on most extensively in the department of Nord
  (Roubaix, Tourcoing, Fourmies). Of second rank are Reims and Sedan in
  the Champagne group; Elbeuf, Louviers and Rouen in Normandy; and
  Mazamet (Tarn).

  _Cotton._--In 1901, 166,000 persons were employed in the spinning and
  weaving of cotton, French cotton goods being distinguished chiefly for
  the originality of their design. The cotton industry is distributed in
  three principal groups. The longest established is that of Normandy,
  having its centres at Rouen, Havre, Evreux, Falaise and Flers. Another
  group in the north of France has its centres at Lille, Tourcoing,
  Roubaix, St Quentin and Amiens. That of the Vosges, which has
  experienced a great extension since the loss of Alsace-Lorraine,
  comprises Epinal, St Dié, Remiremont and Belfort. Other groups of less
  importance are situated in the Lyonnais (Roanne and Tarare) and
  Mayenne (Laval and Mayenne).

  _Silk._--The silk industry occupied 134,000 hands in 1901. The silk
  fabrics of France hold the first place, particularly the more
  expensive kinds. The industry is concentrated in the departments
  bordering the river Rhône, the chief centres being Lyons (Rhône),
  Voiron (Isère), St Étienne and St Chamond (Loire) (the two latter
  being especially noted for their ribbons and trimmings) and Annonay
  (Ardèche) and other places in the departments of Ain, Gard and Drôme.

  _Flax, Hemp, Jute, &c._--The preparation and spinning of these
  materials and the manufacture of nets and rope, together with the
  weaving of linen and other fabrics, give occupation to 112,000 persons
  chiefly in the departments of Nord (Lille, Armentières, Dunkirk),
  Somme (Amiens) and Maine-et-Loire (Angers, Cholet).

  _Hosiery_, the manufacture of which employs 55,000 hands, has its
  chief centre in Aube (Troyes). The production of lace and guipure,
  occupying 112,000 persons, is carried on mainly in the towns and
  villages of Haute-Loire and in Vosges (Mirecourt), Rhône (Lyons),
  Pas-de-Calais (Calais) and Paris.

  _Leather._--Tanning and leather-dressing are widely spread industries,
  and the same may be said of the manufacture of boots and shoes, though
  these trades employ more hands in the department of Seine than
  elsewhere; in the manufacture of gloves Isère (Grenoble) and Aveyron
  (Millau) hold the first place amongst French departments.

  _Sugar._--The manufacture of sugar is carried on in the departments of
  the north, in which the cultivation of beetroot is general--Aisne,
  Nord, Somme, Pas-de-Calais, Oise and Seine-et-Marne, the three first
  being by far the largest producers. The increase in production in the
  last twenty years of the 19th century is indicated in the following

    |           |                   |  Average Annual |
    |   Years.  | Annual Average of |  Production in  |
    |           |   Men employed    |   Metric Tons.  |
    | 1881-1891 |      43,108       |     415,786     |
    | 1891-1901 |      42,841       |     696,038     |
    | 1901-1906 |      43,061       |     820,553     |

  _Alcohol._--The distillation of alcohol is in the hands of three
  classes of persons. (1) Professional distillers (_bouilleurs et
  distillateurs de profession_); (2) private distillers (_bouilleurs de
  cru_) under state control; (3) small private distillers, not under
  state control, but giving notice to the state that they distil. The
  two last classes number over 400,000 (1903), but the quantity of
  alcohol distilled by them is small. Beetroot, molasses and grain are
  the chief sources of spirit. The department of Nord produces by far
  the greatest quantity, its average annual output in the decade
  1895-1904 being 13,117,000 gallons, or about 26% of the average
  annual production of France during the same period (49,945,000
  gallons). Aisne, Pas-de-Calais and Somme rank next to Nord.

  _Glass_ is manufactured in the departments of Nord (Aniche, &c.),
  Seine, Loire (Rive-de-Gier) and Meurthe-et-Moselle, Baccarat in the
  latter department being famous for its table-glass. Limoges is the
  chief centre for the manufacture of porcelain, and the artistic
  products of the national porcelain factory of Sèvres have a world-wide

  The manufacture of paper and cardboard is largely carried on in Isère
  (Voiron), Seine-et-Oise (Essonnes), Vosges (Epinal) and of the finer
  sorts of paper in Charente (Angoulême). That of oil, candles and soap
  has its chief centre at Marseilles. Brewing and malting are localized
  chiefly in Nord. There are well-known chemical works at Dombasle
  (close to Nancy) and Chauny (Aisne) and in Rhône.

  _Occupations._--The following table, which shows the approximate
  numbers of persons engaged in the various manufacturing industries of
  France, who number in all about 5,820,000, indicates their relative
  importance from the point of view of employment:

    |              Occupation.             |   1901.  |   1866.  |
    | Baking                               |  163,500 |    ..    |
    | Milling                              |   99,400 |    ..    |
    | _Charcuterie_                        |   39,600 |    ..    |
    | Other alimentary industries          |  161,500 |    ..    |
    |   Alimentary industries: total       |  464,000 |  308,000 |
    | Gas-works                            |   26,000 |    ..    |
    | Tobacco factories                    |   16,000 |    ..    |
    | Oil-works                            |   10,000 |    ..    |
    | Other "chemical"[11] industries      |   58,000 |    ..    |
    |   Chemical industries: total         |  110,000 |   49,000 |
    | Rubber factories                     |    9,000 |\         |
    | Paper factories                      |   61,000 |/  25,000 |
    | Typographic and lithographic printing|   76,000 |    ..    |
    | Other branches of book production    |   23,000 |    ..    |
    |   Book production: total             |   99,000 |   38,000 |
    | Spinning and weaving                 |  892,000 | 1,072,000|
    | Clothing, millinery and making up of |1,484,000 |\         |
    |   fabrics generally.                 |          | >761,000 |
    +--------------------------------------+----------+ |        |
    | Basket work, straw goods, feathers   |   39,000 |/         |
    | Leather and skin                     |  338,000 |  286,000 |
    | Joinery                              |  153,000 |    ..    |
    | Builder's carpentering               |   94,900 |    ..    |
    | Wheelwright's work                   |   82,700 |    ..    |
    | Cooperage                            |   46,600 |    ..    |
    | Wooden shoes                         |   52,400 |    ..    |
    | Other wood industries                |  280,400 |    ..    |
    |   Wood industries: total             |  710,000 |  671,000 |
    | Metallurgy and metal working         |  783,000 |  345,000 |
    | Goldsmiths' and jewellers' work      |   35,000 |   55,000 |
    | Stone-working                        |   56,000 |   12,000 |
    | Construction, building, decorating   |  572,000 |  443,000 |
    | Glass manufacture                    |   43,000 |    ..    |
    | Tiles                                |   29,000 |    ..    |
    | Porcelain and faïence                |   27,000 |    ..    |
    | Bricks                               |   17,000 |    ..    |
    | Other kiln industries                |   45,000 |    ..    |
    |   Kiln industries: total             |  161,000 |  110,000 |
    |   Some 9000 individuals were engaged in unclassified       |
    |     industries.                                            |

  _Fisheries._--The fishing population of France is most numerous in the
  Breton departments of Finistère, Côtes-du-Nord and Morbihan and in
  Pas-de-Calais. Dunkirk, Gravelines, Boulogne and Paimpol send
  considerable fleets to the Icelandic cod-fisheries, and St Malo,
  Fécamp, Granville and Cancale to those of Newfoundland. The Dogger
  Bank is frequented by numbers of French fishing-boats. Besides the
  above, Boulogne, the most important fishing port in the country,
  Calais, Dieppe, Concarneau, Douarnenez, Les Sables d'Olonne, La
  Rochelle, Marennes and Arcachon are leading ports for the herring,
  sardine, mackerel and other coast-fisheries of the ocean, while Cette,
  Agde and other Mediterranean ports are engaged in the tunny and
  anchovy fisheries. Sardine preserving is an important industry at
  Nantes and other places on the west coast. Oysters are reared chiefly
  at Marennes, which is the chief French market for them, and at
  Arcachon, Vannes, Oléron, Auray, Cancale and Courseulles. The total
  value of the produce of fisheries increased from £4,537,000 in 1892 to
  £5,259,000 in 1902. In 1902 the number of men employed in the home
  fisheries was 144,000 and the number of vessels 25,481 (tonnage
  127,000); in the deep-sea fisheries 10,500 men and 450 vessels
  (tonnage 51,000) were employed.


_Roads._--Admirable highways known as _routes nationales_ and kept up at
the expense of the state radiate from Paris to the great towns of
France. Averaging 52½ ft. in breadth, they covered in 1905 a distance of
nearly 24,000 m. The École des Ponts et Chaussées at Paris is maintained
by the government for the training of the engineers for the construction
and upkeep of roads and bridges. Each department controls and maintains
the _routes départementales_, usually good macadamized roads connecting
the chief places within its limits and extending in 1903 over 9700 m.
The routes nationales and the routes départementales come under the
category of _la grande voirie_ and are under the supervision of the
Ministry of Public Works. The urban and rural district roads, covering a
much greater mileage and classed as _la petite voirie_, are maintained
chiefly by the communes under the supervision of the Minister of the

_Waterways._[12]--The waterways of France, 7543 m. in length, of which
canals cover 3031 m., are also classed under _la grande voirie_; they
are the property of the state, and for the most part are free of tolls.
They are divided into two classes. Those of the first class, which
comprise rather less than half the entire system, have a minimum depth
of 6½ ft., with locks 126 ft. long and 17 ft. wide; those of the second
class are of smaller dimensions. Water traffic, which is chiefly in
heavy merchandise, as coal, building materials, and agriculture and food
produce, more than doubled in volume between 1881 and 1905. The canal
and river system attains its greatest utility in the north, north-east
and north-centre of the country; traffic is thickest along the Seine
below Paris; along the rivers and small canals of the rich departments
of Nord and Pas-de-Calais and along the Oise and the canal of St Quentin
whereby they communicate with Paris; along the canal from the Marne to
the Rhine and the succession of waterways which unite it with the Oise;
along the Canal de l'Est (departments of Meuse and Ardennes); and along
the waterways uniting Paris with the Saône at Chalon (Seine, Canal du
Loing, Canal de Briare, Lateral canal of the Loire and Canal du Centre)
and along the Saône between Chalon and Lyons.

  In point of length the following are the principal canals:


  Est (uniting Meuse with Moselle and Saône)          270
  From Nates to Brest                                 225
  Berry (uniting Montluçon with the canalized Cher
    and the Loire canal)                              163
  Midi (Toulouse to Mediterranean via Béziers); see
    CANAL                                             175
  Burgundy (uniting the Yonne and Saône)              151
  Lateral canal of Loire                              137
  From Marne to Rhine (on French territory)           131
  Lateral canal of Garonne                            133
  Rhône to Rhine (on French territory)                119
  Nivernais (uniting Loire and Yonne)                 111
  Canal de la Somme                                    97
  Centre (uniting Saône and Loire)                     81
  Canal de l'Ourcq                                     67
  Ardennes (uniting Aisne and Canal de l'Est)          62
  From Rhône to Cette                                  77
  Canal de la Haute Marne                              60
  St Quentin (uniting Scheldt with Somme and Oise)     58

  The chief navigable rivers are:

  |                   |   Total   |             |
  |                   | navigated | First Class |
  |                   |  Length.  |Navigability.|
  |                   |   Miles.  |   Miles.    |
  |                   |           |             |
  | Seine             |   339     |    293      |
  | Aisne             |    37     |     37      |
  | Marne             |   114     |    114      |
  | Oise              |    99     |     65      |
  | Yonne             |    67     |     53      |
  | Rhône             |   309     |     30      |
  | Saône             |   234     |    234      |
  | Adour             |    72     |     21      |
  | Garonne           |   289     |     96      |
  | Dordogne          |   167     |     26      |
  | Loire             |   452     |     35      |
  | Charente          |   106     |     16      |
  | Vilaine           |    91     |     31      |
  | Escaut (in France)|    39     |     39      |
  | Scarpe            |    41     |     41      |
  | Lys               |    45     |     45      |
  | Aa                |    18     |     18      |

_Railways._--The first important line in France, from Paris to Rouen,
was constructed through the instrumentality of Sir Edward Blount
(1809-1905), an English banker in Paris, who was afterwards for thirty
years chairman of the Ouest railway. After the rejection in 1838 of the
government's proposals for the construction of seven trunk lines to be
worked by the state, he obtained a concession for that piece of line on
the terms that the French treasury would advance one-third of the
capital at 3% if he would raise the remaining two-thirds, half in France
and half in England. The contract for building the railway was put in
the hands of Thomas Brassey; English navvies were largely employed on
the work, and a number of English engine-drivers were employed when
traffic was begun in 1843. A law passed in 1842 laid the foundation of
the plan under which the railways have since been developed, and mapped
out nine main lines, running from Paris to the frontiers and from the
Mediterranean to the Rhine and to the Atlantic coast. Under it the cost
of the necessary land was to be found as to one-third by the state and
as to the residue locally, but this arrangement proved unworkable and
was abandoned in 1845, when it was settled that the state should provide
the land and construct the earthworks and stations, the various
companies which obtained concessions being left to make the permanent
way, provide rolling stock and work the lines for certain periods.
Construction proceeded under this law, but not with very satisfactory
results, and new arrangements had to be made between 1852 and 1857, when
the railways were concentrated in the hands of six great companies, the
Nord, the Est, the Ouest, the Paris-Lyon-Méditerranée, the Orléans and
the Midi. Each of these companies was allotted a definite sphere of
influence, and was granted a concession for ninety-nine years from its
date of formation, the concessions thus terminating at various dates
between 1950 and 1960. In return for the privileges granted them the
companies undertook the construction out of their own unaided resources
of 1500 m. of subsidiary lines, but the railway expenditure of the
country at this period was so large that in a few years they found it
impossible to raise the capital they required. In these circumstances
the state agreed to guarantee the interest on the capital, the sums it
paid in this way being regarded as advances to be reimbursed in the
future with interest at 4%. This measure proved successful and the
projected lines were completed. But demands for more lines were
constantly arising, and the existing companies, in view of their
financial position, were disinclined to undertake their construction.
The government therefore found itself obliged to inaugurate a system of
direct subventions, not only to the old large companies, but also to new
small ones, to encourage the development of branch and local lines, and
local authorities were also empowered to contribute a portion of the
required capital. The result came to be that many small lines were begun
by companies that had not the means to complete them, and again the
state had to come to the rescue. In 1878 it agreed to spend £20,000,000
in purchasing and completing a number of these lines, some of which
were handed over to the great companies, while others were retained in
the hands of the government, forming the system known as the Chemins de
Fer de l'État. Next year a large programme of railway expansion was
adopted, at an estimated cost to the state of £140,000,000, and from
1880 to 1882 nearly £40,000,000 was expended and some 1800 m. of line
constructed. Then there was a change in the financial situation, and it
became difficult to find the money required. In these circumstances the
conventions of 1883 were concluded, and the great companies partially
relieved the government of its obligations by agreeing to contribute a
certain proportion of the cost of the new lines and to provide the
rolling stock for working them. In former cases when the railways had
had recourse to state aid, it was the state whose contributions were
fixed, while the railways were left to find the residue; but on this
occasion the position was reversed. The state further guaranteed a
minimum rate of interest on the capital invested, and this guarantee,
which by the convention of 1859 had applied to "new" lines only, was now
extended to cover both "old" and "new" lines, the receipts and
expenditure from both kinds being lumped together. As before, the sums
paid out in respect of guaranteed dividend were to be regarded as
advances which were to be paid back to the state out of the profits
made, when these permitted, and when the advances were wiped out, the
profits, after payment of a certain dividend, were to be divided between
the state and the railway, two-thirds going to the former and one-third
to the latter. All the companies, except the Nord, have at one time or
another had to take advantage of the guarantee, and the fact that the
Ouest had been one of the most persistent and heavy borrowers in this
respect was one of the reasons that induced the government to take it
over as from the 1st of January 1909. By the 1859 conventions the state
railway system obtained an entry into Paris by means of running powers
over the Ouest from Chartres, and its position was further improved by
the exchange of certain lines with the Orléans company.

  The great railway systems of France are as follows:

  1. The Nord, which serves the rich mining, industrial and farming
  districts of Nord, Pas-de-Calais, Aisne and Somme, connecting with the
  Belgian railways at several points. Its main lines run from Paris to
  Calais, via Creil, Amiens and Boulogne, from Paris to Lille, via Creil
  and Arras, and from Paris to Maubeuge via Creil, Tergnier and St

  2. The Ouest-État, a combination of the West and state systems. The
  former traversed Normandy in every direction and connected Paris with
  the towns of Brittany. Its chief lines ran from Paris to Le Havre via
  Mantes and Rouen, to Dieppe via Rouen, to Cherbourg, to Granville and
  to Brest. The state railways served a large portion of western France,
  their chief lines being from Nantes via La Rochelle to Bordeaux, and
  from Bordeaux via Saintes, Niort and Saumur to Chartres.

  3. The Est, running from Paris via Châlons and Nancy to Avricourt (for
  Strassburg), via Troyes and Langres to Belfort and on via Basel to the
  Saint Gotthard, and via Reims and Mezières to Longwy.

  4. The Orléans, running from Paris to Orléans, and thence serving
  Bordeaux via Tours, Poitiers and Angoulême, Nantes via Tours and
  Angers, and Montauban and Toulouse via Vierzon and Limoges.

  5. The Paris-Lyon-Méditerranée, connecting Paris with Marseilles via
  Moret, Laroche, Dijon, Mâcon and Lyons, and with Nîmes via Moret,
  Nevers and Clermont-Ferrand. It establishes communication between
  France and Switzerland and Italy via Mâcon and Culoz (for the Mt.
  Cenis Tunnel) and via Dijon and Pontarlier (for the Simplon), and also
  has a direct line along the Mediterranean coast from Marseilles to
  Genoa via Toulon and Nice.

  6. The Midi (Southern) has lines radiating from Toulouse to Bordeaux
  via Agen, to Bayonne via Tarbes and Pau, and to Cette via Carcassonne,
  Narbonne and Béziers. From Bordeaux there is also a direct line to
  Bayonne and Irun (for Madrid), and at the other end of the Pyrenees a
  line leads from Narbonne to Perpignan and Barcelona.

  The following table, referring to lines "of general interest,"
  indicates the development of railways after 1885:

    |      |        | Receipts in| Expenses | Passengers| Goods carried|
    | Year.|Mileage.|  Thousands | Thousands|  carried  | (1000 Metric |
    |      |        |    of £.   |   of £.  | (1000's). |    Tons).    |
    | 1885 | 18,650 |   42,324   |  23,508  |  214,451  |    75,192    |
    | 1890 | 20,800 |   46,145   |  24,239  |   41,119  |    92,506    |
    | 1895 | 22,650 |   50,542   |  27,363  |  348,852  |   100,834    |
    | 1900 | 23,818 |   60,674   |  32,966  |  453,193  |   126,830    |
    | 1904 | 24,755 |   60,589   |  31,477  |  433,913  |   130,144    |

  Narrow gauge and normal gauge railways "of local interest" covered
  3905 m. in 1904.


After entering on a régime of free trade in 1860 France gradually
reverted towards protection; this system triumphed in the Customs Law of
1892, which imposed more or less considerable duties on imports--a law
associated with the name of M. Méline. While raising the taxes both on
agricultural products and manufactured goods, this law introduced,
between France and all the powers trading with her, relations different
from those in the past. It left the government free either to apply to
foreign countries the general tariff or to enter into negotiations with
them for the application, under certain conditions, of a minimum tariff.
The policy of protection was further accentuated by raising the impost
on corn from 5 to 7 francs per hectolitre (2¾ bushels). This system,
however, which is opposed by a powerful party, has at various times
undergone modifications. On the one hand it became necessary, in face of
an inadequate harvest, to suspend in 1898 the application of the law on
the import of corn. On the other hand, in order to check the decline of
exports and neutralize the harmful effects of a prolonged customs war, a
commercial treaty was in 1896 concluded with Switzerland, carrying with
it a reduction, in respect of certain articles, of the imposts which had
been fixed by the law of 1892. An accord was likewise in 1898 effected
with Italy, which since 1886 had been in a state of economic rupture
with France, and in July 1899 an accord was concluded with the United
States of America. Almost all other countries, moreover, share in the
benefit of the minimum tariff, and profit by the modifications it may
successively undergo.

  _Commerce, in Millions of Pounds Sterling._

  |           |         General          |         Special          |
  |           +--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
  |           |Imports.|Exports.| Total. |Imports.|Exports.| Total. |
  | 1876-1880 |  210.1 |  175.3 |  385.4 |  171.7 |  135.1 |  306.8 |
  | 1881-1885 |  224.1 |  177.8 |  401.9 |  183.4 |  135.3 |  318.7 |
  | 1886-1890 |  208.2 |  179.4 |  387.6 |  168.8 |  137.6 |  306.4 |
  | 1891-1895 |  205.9 |  178.6 |  384.5 |  163.0 |  133.8 |  296.8 |
  | 1896-1900 |  237.8 |  201.0 |  438.8 |  171.9 |  150.8 |  322.7 |
  | 1901-1905 |  233.3 |  227.5 |  460.8 |  182.8 |  174.7 |  357.5 |

  |                  |       Imports.       |       Exports.       |
  |                  +-----------+----------+-----------+----------+
  |                  |   Value   | Per cent |   Value   | Per cent |
  |                  |(Thousands | of Total |(Thousands | of Total |
  |                  |   of £).  |  Value.  |   of £).  |  Value.  |
  |Articles of Food--|           |          |           |          |
  |   1886-1890      |   58,856  |   34.9   |  30,830   |   22.4   |
  |   1891-1895      |   50,774  |   30.9   |  28,287   |   21.1   |
  |   1896-1900      |   42,488  |   24.9   |  27,838   |   18.6   |
  |   1901-1905      |   33,631  |   18.4   |  28,716   |   16.5   |
  |                  +-----------+----------+-----------+----------+
  |Raw Materials[13] |           |          |           |          |
  |   1886-1890      |   85,778  |   50.8   |  33,848   |   24.6   |
  |   1891-1895      |   88,211  |   54.3   |  32,557   |   24.4   |
  |   1896-1900      |  101,727  |   59.2   |  40,060   |   26.6   |
  |   1901-1905      |  116,580  |   63.8   |  47,385   |   27.1   |
  |                  +-----------+----------+-----------+----------+
  |Manufactured      |           |          |           |          |
  |     Articles[14] |           |          |           |          |
  |   1886-1890      |   24,125  |   14.3   |  72,917   |   53.0   |
  |   1891-1895      |   24,054  |   14.8   |  72,906   |   54.5   |
  |   1896-1900      |   27,330  |   15.9   |  82,270   |   54.8   |
  |   1901-1905      |   32,554  |   17.8   |  98,582   |   56.4   |

Being in the main a self-supporting country France carries on most of
her trade within her own borders, and ranks below Great Britain, Germany
and the United States in volume of exterior trade. The latter is
subdivided into _general_ commerce, which includes all goods entering or
leaving the country, and _special_ commerce which includes imports for
home use and exports of home produce. The above table shows the
developments of French trade during the years from 1876 to 1905 by means
of quinquennial averages. A permanent body (the _commission permanente
des valeurs_) fixes the average prices of the articles in the customs
list; this value is estimated at the end of the year in accordance with
the variations that have taken place and is applied provisionally to the
following year.

  Amongst imports raw materials (wool, cotton and silk, coal, oil-seeds,
  timber, &c.) hold the first place, articles of food (cereals, wine,
  coffee, &c.) and manufactured goods (especially machinery) ranking
  next. Amongst exports manufactured goods (silk, cotton and woollen
  goods, fancy wares, apparel, &c.) come before raw materials and
  articles of food (wine and dairy products bought chiefly by England).

  Divided into these classes the imports and exports (special trade) for
  quinquennial periods from 1886 to 1905 averaged as shown in the
  preceding table.

  The decline both in imports and in exports of articles of food, which
  is the most noteworthy fact exhibited in the preceding table, was due
  to the almost prohibitive tax in the Customs Law of 1892, upon
  agricultural products.

  The average value of the principal articles of import and export
  (special trade) over quinquennial periods following 1890 is shown in
  the two tables below.

    _Principal Imports (Thousands of £)._

    |                             |1891-1895.|1896-1900.|1901-1905.|
    | Coal, coke, &c              |   7,018  |   9,883  |  10,539  |
    | Coffee                      |   6,106  |   4,553  |   3,717  |
    | Cotton, raw                 |   7,446  |   7,722  |  11,987  |
    | Flax                        |   2,346  |   2,435  |   3,173  |
    | Fruit and seeds (oleaginous)|   7,175  |   6,207  |   8,464  |
    | Hides and skins, raw        |   6,141  |   5,261  |   6,369  |
    | Machinery                   |   2,181  |   3,632  |   4,614  |
    | Silk, raw                   |   9,488  |  10,391  |  11,765  |
    | Timber                      |   6,054  |   6,284  |   6,760  |
    | Wheat                       |  10,352  |   5,276  |   1,995  |
    | Wine                        |   9,972  |  10,454  |   5,167  |
    | Wool, raw                   |  13,372  |  16,750  |  16,395  |

    _Principal Exports (Thousands of £)._

    |                                |1891-1895.|1896-1900.|1901-1905.|
    | Apparel                        |   4,726  |   4,513  |   5,079  |
    | Brandy and other spirits       |   2,402  |   1,931  |   1,678  |
    | Butter                         |   2,789  |   2,783  |   2,618  |
    | Cotton manufactures            |   4,233  |   5,874  |   7,965  |
    | Haberdashery[15]               |   5,830  |   6,039  |   6,599  |
    | Hides, raw                     |   2,839  |   3,494  |   4,813  |
    | Hides, tanned or curried       |   4,037  |   4,321  |   4,753  |
    | Iron and steel, manufactures of|     ..   |   2,849  |   4,201  |
    | Millinery                      |   1,957  |   3,308  |   4,951  |
    | Motor cars and vehicles        |     ..   |     160  |   2,147  |
    | Paper and manufactures of      |   2,095  |   2,145  |   2,551  |
    | Silk, raw, thrown, waste and   |          |          |          |
    |   cocoons                      |   4,738  |   4,807  |   6,090  |
    | Silk and waste silk,           |          |          |          |
    |   manufactured of              |   9,769  |  10,443  |  11,463  |
    | Wine                           |   8,824  |   9,050  |   9,139  |
    | Wool, raw                      |   5,003  |   7,813  |   9,159  |
    | Wool, manufactures of          |  11,998  |  10,190  |   8,459  |

  The following were the countries sending the largest quantities of
  goods (special trade) to France (during the same periods as in
  previous table).

    Trade with Principal Countries. Imports (Thousands of £).

    |                                |1891-1895.|1896-1900.|1901-1905.|
    | Germany                        |  13,178  |  13,904  |  17,363  |
    | Belgium                        |  15,438  |  13,113  |  13,057  |
    | United Kingdom                 |  20,697  |  22,132  |  22,725  |
    | Spain                          |  10,294  |  10,560  | 6,525[16]|
    | United States                  |  15,577  |  18,491  |  19,334  |
    | Argentine Republic             |   7,119  |  10,009  |  10,094  |

  Other countries importing largely into France are Russia, Algeria and
  British India, whose imports in each case averaged over £9,000,000 in
  value in the period 1901-1905; China (average value £7,000,000); and
  Italy (average value £6,000,000).

  The following are the principal countries receiving the exports of
  France (special trade), with values for the same periods.

    _Trade with Principal Countries. Exports (Thousands of £)._

    |                |1891-1895.|1896-1900.|1901-1905.|
    | Germany        |  13,712  |  16,285  |  21,021  |
    | Belgium|       |  19,857  |  22,135  |  24,542  |
    | United Kingdom |  39,310  |  45,203  |  49,156  |
    | United States  |   9,337  |   9,497  |  10,411  |
    | Algeria        |   7,872  |   9,434  |  11,652  |

  The other chief customers of France were Switzerland and Italy, whose
  imports from France averaged in 1901-1905 nearly £10,000,000 and over
  £7,200,000 respectively in value. In the same period Spain received
  exports from France averaging £4,700,000.

  The trade of France was divided between foreign countries and her
  colonies in the following proportions (imports and exports combined).

    |           |     General Trade.    |  Special Trade.      |
    |           +------------+----------+-----------+----------+
    |           |  Foreign   | Colonies.|  Foreign  | Colonies.|
    |           | Countries. |          | Countries.|          |
    | 1891-1895 |   92.00    |   8.00   |   90.89   |   9.11   |
    | 1896-1900 |   91.18    |   8.82   |   89.86   |  10.14   |
    | 1901-1905 |   90.41    |   9.59   |   88.78   |  11.22   |

  The respective shares of the leading customs in the trade of the
  country is approximately shown in the following table, which gives the
  value of their exports and imports (general trade) in 1905 in millions

                     £    |                       £
    Marseilles      88.8  |  Boulogne.           17.5
    Le Havre        79.5  |  Calais              14.1
    Paris           42.8  |  Dieppe              13.5
    Dunkirk         34.8  |  Rouen               11.3
    Bordeaux        27.4  |  Belfort-Petit-Croix 10.7

  In the same year the other chief customs in order of importance were
  Tourcoing, Jeumont, Cette, St Nazaire and Avricourt.

  The chief local bodies concerned with commerce and industry are the
  _chambres de commerce_ and the _chambres consultatives d'arts et
  manufactures_, the members of which are elected from their own number
  by the traders and industrialists of a certain standing. They are
  established in the chief towns, and their principal function is to
  advise the government on measures for improving and facilitating
  commerce and industry within their circumscription. See also BANKS AND

  _Shipping._--The following table shows the increase in tonnage of
  sailing and steam shipping engaged in foreign trade entered and
  cleared at the ports of France over quinquennial periods from 1890.

    |           |        Entered.        |        Cleared.        |
    |           +-----------+------------+-----------+------------+
    |           |  French.  |  Foreign.  |  French.  |  Foreign.  |
    | 1891-1895 | 4,277,967 |  9,947,893 | 4,521,928 | 10,091,000 |
    | 1896-1900 | 4,665,268 | 12,037,571 | 5,005,563 | 12,103,358 |
    | 1901-1905 | 4,782,101 | 14,744,626 | 5,503,463 | 14,823,217 |

  The increase of the French mercantile marine (which is fifth in
  importance in the world) over the same period is traced in the
  following table. Vessels of 2 net tons and upwards are enumerated.

    |           |     Sailing.     |      Steam.      |       Total.      |
    |           +------------------+------------------+--------+----------+
    |           | Number |         | Number |         | Number |          |
    |           |   of   | Tonnage.|   of   | Tonnage.|   of   | Tonnage. |
    |           |Vessels.|         |Vessels.|         |Vessels.|          |
    | 1891-1895 | 14,183 | 402,982 |  1182  | 502,363 | 15,365 |  905,345 |
    | 1896-1900 | 14,327 | 437,468 |  1231  | 504,674 | 15,558 |  942,142 |
    | 1901-1905 | 14,867 | 642,562 |  1388  | 617,536 | 16,255 |1,260,098 |

  At the beginning of 1908 the total was 17,193 (tonnage, 1,402,647); of
  these 13,601 (tonnage, 81,833) were vessels of less than 20 tons,
  while 502 (tonnage, 1,014,506) were over 800 tons.

  The increase in the tonnage of sailing vessels, which in other
  countries tends to decline, was due to the bounties voted by
  parliament to its merchant sailing fleet with the view of increasing
  the number of skilled seamen. The prosperity of the French shipping
  trade is hampered by the costliness of shipbuilding and by the
  scarcity of outward-bound cargo. Shipping has been fostered by paying
  bounties for vessels constructed in France and sailing under the
  French flag, and by reserving the coasting trade, traffic between
  France and Algeria, &c., to French vessels. Despite these monopolies,
  three-fourths of the shipping in French ports is foreign, and France
  is without shipping companies comparable in importance to those of
  other great maritime nations. The three chief companies are the
  _Messageries Maritimes_ (Marseilles and Bordeaux), the _Compagnie
  Générale Transatlantique_ (Le Havre, St Nazaire and Marseilles) and
  the _Chargeurs Réunis_ (Le Havre).

_Government and Administration._

_Central Government._--The principles upon which the French constitution
is based are representative government (by two chambers), manhood
suffrage, responsibility of ministers and irresponsibility of the head
of the state. Alterations or modifications of the constitution can only
be effected by the National Assembly, consisting of both chambers
sitting together _ad hoc_. The legislative power resides in these two
chambers--the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies; the executive is
vested in the president of the republic and the ministers. The members
of both chambers owe their election to universal suffrage; but the
Senate is not elected directly by the people and the Chamber of Deputies

The Chamber of Deputies, consisting of 584 members, is elected by the
_scrutin d'arrondissement_ (each elector voting for one deputy) for a
term of four years, the conditions of election being as follows: Each
arrondissement sends one deputy if its population does not exceed
100,000, and an additional deputy for every additional 100,000
inhabitants or fraction of that number. Every citizen of twenty-one
years of age, unless subject to some legal disability, such as actual
engagement in military service, bankruptcy or condemnation to certain
punishments, has a vote, provided that he can prove a residence of six
months' duration in any one town or commune. A deputy must be a French
citizen, not under twenty-five years old. Each candidate must make, at
least five days before the elections, a declaration setting forth in
what constituency he intends to stand. He may only stand for one, and
all votes given for him in any other than that specified in the
declaration are void. To secure election a candidate must at the first
voting poll an absolute majority and a number of votes equal to
one-fourth of the number of electors. If a second poll is necessary a
relative majority is sufficient.

The Senate (see below, _Law and Institutions_) is composed of 300
members who must be French citizens at least forty years of age. They
are elected by the "_scrutin de liste_" for a period of nine years, and
one-third of the body retires every three years. The department which is
to elect a senator when a vacancy occurs is settled by lot.

Both senators and deputies receive a salary of £600 per annum. No member
of a family that has reigned in France is eligible for either chamber.

Bills may be proposed either by ministers (in the name of the president
of the republic), or by private members, and may be initiated in either
chamber, but money-bills must be submitted in the first place to the
Chamber of Deputies. Every bill is first examined by a committee, a
member of which is chosen to "report" on it to the chamber, after which
it must go through two readings (_délibérations_), before it is
presented to the other chamber. Either house may pass a vote of no
confidence in the government, and in practice the government resigns in
face of the passing of such a vote by the deputies, but not if it is
passed by the Senate only. The chambers usually assemble in January each
year, and the ordinary session lasts not less than five months; usually
it continues till July. There is an extraordinary session from October
till Christmas.

The president (see below, _Law and Institutions_) is elected for seven
years, by a majority of votes, by the Senate and Chamber of Deputies
sitting together as the National Assembly. Any French citizen may be
chosen president, no fixed age being required. The only exception to
this rule is that no member of a royal family which has once reigned in
France can be elected. The president receives 1,200,000 francs (£48,000)
a year, half as salary, half for travelling expenses and the charges
incumbent upon the official representative of the country. Both the
chambers are summoned by the president, who has the power of dissolving
the Chamber of Deputies with the assent of the Senate. When a change of
Government occurs the president chooses a prominent parliamentarian as
premier and president of the council. This personage, who himself holds
a portfolio, nominates the other ministers, his choice being subject to
the ratification of the chief of the state. The ministerial council
(_conseil des ministres_) is presided over by the president of the
republic; less formal meetings (_conseils de cabinet_) under the
presidency of the premier, or even of some other minister, are also

The ministers, whether members of parliament or not, have the right to
sit in both chambers and can address the house whenever they choose,
though a minister may only vote in the chamber of which he happens to be
a member. There are twelve ministries[17] comprising those of justice;
finance; war; the interior; marine; colonies; public instruction and
fine arts; foreign affairs; commerce and industry; agriculture; public
works; and labour and public thrift. Individual ministers are
responsible for all acts done in connexion with their own departments,
and the body of ministers collectively is responsible for the general
policy of the government.

The council of state (_conseil d'état_) is the principal council of the
head of the state and his ministers, who consult it on various
legislative problems, more particularly on questions of administration.
It is divided for despatch of business into four sections, each of which
corresponds to a group of two or three ministerial departments, and is
composed of (1) 32 councillors "_en service ordinaire_" (comprising a
vice-president and sectional presidents), and 19 councillors "_en
service extraordinaire_," i.e. government officials who are deputed to
watch the interests of the ministerial departments to which they belong,
and in matters not concerned with those departments have a merely
consultative position; (2) 32 _maîtres des requêtes_; (3) 40 auditors.

The presidency of the council of state belongs _ex officio_ to the
minister of justice.

The theory of "_droit administratif_" lays down the principle that an
agent of the government cannot be prosecuted or sued for acts relating
to his administrative functions before the ordinary tribunals.
Consequently there is a special system of administrative jurisdiction
for the trial of "_le contentieux administratif_" or disputes in which
the administration is concerned. The council of state is the highest
administrative tribunal, and includes a special "_Section du
contentieux_" to deal with judicial work of this nature.

_Local Government._--France is divided into 86 administrative
departments (including Corsica) or 87 if the Territory of Belfort, a
remnant of the Haut Rhin department, be included. These departments are
subdivided into 362 arrondissements, 2911 cantons and 36,222 communes.

  |      Departments.      |   Capital Towns.  |              Ancient Provinces.[18]               |
  | AIN                    | Bourg             | Bourgogne (Bresse, Bugey, Valromey, Dombes).      |
  | AISNE                  | Laon              | Île-de-France; Picardie.                          |
  | ALLIER                 | Moulins           | Bourbonnais.                                      |
  | ALPES-MARITIMES        | Nice              |                                                   |
  | ARDÈCHE                | Privas            | Languedoc (Vivarais).                             |
  | ARDENNES               | Mézières          | Champagne.                                        |
  | ARIÈGE                 | Foix              | Foix; Gascogne (Cousérans).                       |
  | AUBE                   | Troyes            | Champagne; Bourgogne.                             |
  | AUDE                   | Carcassonne       | Languedoc.                                        |
  | AVEYRON                | Rodez             | Guienne (Rouergue).                               |
  | BASSES-ALPES           | Digne             | Provence.                                         |
  | BASSES-PYRÉNÉES        | Pau               | Béarn; Gascogne (Basse-Navarre, Soule, Labourd).  |
  | BELFORT, TERRITOIRE DE | Belfort           | Alsace.                                           |
  | BOUCHES-DU-RHÔNE       | Marseilles        | Provence.                                         |
  | CALVADOS               | Caen              | Normandie (Bessin, Bocage).                       |
  | CANTAL                 | Aurillac          | Auvergne.                                         |
  | CHARENTE               | Angoulême         | Angoumois; Saintonge.                             |
  | CHARENTE-INFÉRIEURE    | La Rochelle       | Aunis; Saintonge.                                 |
  | CHER                   | Bourges           | Berry; Bourbonnais.                               |
  | CORRÈZE                | Tulle             | Limousin.                                         |
  | CÔTE-D'OR              | Dijon             | Bourgogne (Dijonnais, Auxois).                    |
  | CÔTES-DU-NORD          | St Brieuc         | Bretagne.                                         |
  | CREUSE                 | Guéret            | Marche.                                           |
  | DEUX-SÈVRES            | Niort             | Poitou.                                           |
  | DORDOGNE               | Périgueux         | Guienne (Périgord).                               |
  | DOUBS                  | Besançon          | Franche-Comté; Montbéliard.                       |
  | DRÔME                  | Valence           | Dauphiné.                                         |
  | EURE                   | Évreux            | Normandie; Perche.                                |
  | EURE-ET-LOIR           | Chartres          | Orléanais; Normandie.                             |
  | FINISTÈRE              | Quimper           | Bretagne.                                         |
  | GARD                   | Nîmes             | Languedoc.                                        |
  | GERS                   | Auch              | Gascogne (Astarac, Armagnac).                     |
  | GIRONDE                | Bordeaux          | Guienne (Bordelais, Bazadais).                    |
  | HAUTE-GARONNE          | Toulouse          | Languedoc; Gascogne (Comminges).                  |
  | HAUTE-LOIRE            | Le Puy            | Languedoc (Velay); Auvergne; Lyonnais.            |
  | HAUTE-MARNE            | Chaumont          | Champagne (Bassigny, Vallage).                    |
  | HAUTES-ALPES           | Gap               | Dauphiné.                                         |
  | HAUTE-SAÔNE            | Vesoul            | Franche-Comté.                                    |
  | HAUTE-SAVOIE           | Annecy            |                                                   |
  | HAUTES-PYRÉNÉES        | Tarbes            | Gascogne.                                         |
  | HAUTE-VIENNE           | Limoges           | Limousin; Marche.                                 |
  | HÉRAULT                | Montpellier       | Languedoc.                                        |
  | ILLE-ET-VILAINE        | Rennes            | Bretagne.                                         |
  | INDRE                  | Châteauroux       | Berry.                                            |
  | INDRE-ET-LOIRE         | Tours             | Touraine.                                         |
  | ISÈRE                  | Grenoble          | Dauphiné.                                         |
  | JURA                   | Lons-le-Saunier   | Franche-Comté.                                    |
  | LANDES                 | Mont-de-Marsan    | Gascogne (Landes, Chalosse).                      |
  | LOIRE                  | St-Étienne        | Lyonnais.                                         |
  | LOIRE-INFÉRIEURE       | Nantes            | Bretagne.                                         |
  | LOIRET                 | Orléans           | Orléanais (Orléanais proper, Gâtinais, Dunois).   |
  | LOIR-ET-CHER           | Blois             | Orléanais.                                        |
  | LOT                    | Cahors            | Guienne (Quercy).                                 |
  | LOT-ET-GARONNE         | Agen              | Guienne; Gascogne.                                |
  | LOZÈRE                 | Mende             | Languedoc (Gévaudan).                             |
  | MAINE-ET-LOIRE         | Angers            | Anjou.                                            |
  | MANCHE                 | St-Lô             | Normandie (Cotentin).                             |
  | MARNE                  | Châlons-sur-Marne | Champagne.                                        |
  | MAYENNE                | Laval             | Maine; Anjou.                                     |
  | MEURTHE-ET-MOSELLE     | Nancy             | Lorraine; Trois-Évêchés.                          |
  | MEUSE                  | Bar-le-Duc        | Lorraine (Barrois, Verdunois).                    |
  | MORBIHAN               | Vannes            | Bretagne.                                         |
  | NIÈVRE                 | Nevers            | Nivernais; Orléanais.                             |
  | NORD                   | Lille             | Flandre; Hainaut.                                 |
  | OISE                   | Beauvais          | Île-de-France.                                    |
  | ORNE                   | Alençon           | Normandie; Perche.                                |
  | PAS-DE-CALAIS          | Arras             | Artois; Picardie.                                 |
  | PUY-DE-DÔME            | Clermont-Ferrand  | Auvergne.                                         |
  | PYRÉNÉES-ORIENTALES    | Perpignan         | Roussillon; Languedoc.                            |
  | RHÔNE                  | Lyon              | Lyonnais; Beaujolais.                             |
  | SAÔNE-ET-LOIRE         | Mâcon             | Bourgogne.                                        |
  | SARTHE                 | Le Mans           | Maine; Anjou.                                     |
  | SAVOIE                 | Chambéry          |                                                   |
  | SEINE                  | Paris             | Île-de-France.                                    |
  | SEINE-ET-MARNE         | Melun             | Île-de-France; Champagne.                         |
  | SEINE-ET-OISE          | Versailles        | Île-de-France.                                    |
  | SEINE-INFÉRIEURE       | Rouen             | Normandie.                                        |
  | SOMME                  | Amiens            | Picardie.                                         |
  | TARN                   | Albi              | Languedoc (Albigeois).                            |
  | TARN-ET-GARONNE        | Montauban         | Guienne; Gascogne; Languedoc.                     |                      |
  | VAR                    | Draguignan        | Provence.                                         |
  | VAUCLUSE               | Avignon           | Comtat; Venaissin; Provence; Principauté d'Orange.|
  | VENDÉE                 | La Roche-sur-Yon  | Poitou.                                           |
  | VIENNE                 | Poitiers          | Poitou; Touraine.                                 |
  | VOSGES                 | Épinal            | Lorraine.                                         |
  | YONNE                  | Auxerre           | Bourgogne; Champagne.                             |
  | CORSE (CORSICA)        | Ajaccio           | Corse.                                            |

  Before 1790 France was divided into thirty-three great and seven small
  military governments, often called provinces, which are, however, to
  be distinguished from the provinces formed under the feudal system.
  The great governments were: Alsace, Saintonge and Angournois, Anjou,
  Artois, Aunis, Auvergne, Béarn and Navarre, Berry, Bourbonnais;
  Bourgogne (Burgundy), Bretagne (Brittany), Champagne, Dauphiné,
  Flandre, Foix, Franche-Comté, Guienne and Gascogne (Gascony),
  Île-de-France, Languedoc, Limousin, Lorraine, Lyonnais, Maine, Marche,
  Nivernais, Normandie, Orléanais, Picardie, Poitou, Provence,
  Roussillon, Touraine and Corse. The eight small governments were:
  Paris, Boulogne and Boulonnais, Le Havre, Sedan, Toulois, Pays Messin
  and Verdunois and Saumurois.

At the head of each department is a prefect, a political official
nominated by the minister of the interior and appointed by the
president, who acts as general agent of the government and
representative of the central authority. To aid him the prefect has a
general secretary and an advisory body (_conseil de préfecture_), the
members of which are appointed by the president, which has jurisdiction
in certain classes of disputes arising out of administration and must,
in certain cases, be consulted, though the prefect is not compelled to
follow its advice. The prefect supervises the execution of the laws; has
wide authority in regard to policing, public hygiene and relief of
pauper children; has the nomination of various subordinate officials;
and is in correspondence with the subordinate functionaries in his
department, to whom he transmits the orders and instructions of the
government. Although the management of local affairs is in the hands of
the prefect his power with regard to these is checked by a deliberative
body known as the general council (_conseil général_). This council,
which consists for the most part of business and professional men, is
elected by universal suffrage, each canton in the department
contributing one member. The general council controls the departmental
administration of the prefect, and its decisions on points of local
government are usually final. It assigns its quota of taxes
(_contingent_) to each arrondissement, authorizes the sale, purchase or
exchange of departmental property, superintends the management thereof,
authorizes the construction of new roads, railways or canals, and
advises on matters of local interest. Political questions are rigorously
excluded from its deliberations. The general council, when not sitting,
is represented by a permanent delegation (_commission départementale_).

As the prefect in the department, so the sub-prefect in the
arrondissement, though with a more limited power, is the representative
of the central authority. He is assisted, and in some degree controlled,
in his work by the district council (_conseil d'arrondissement_), to
which each canton sends a member, chosen by universal suffrage. As the
arrondissement has neither property nor budget, the principal business
of the council is to allot to each commune its share of the direct taxes
imposed on the arrondissement by the general council.

The canton is purely an administrative division, containing, on an
average, about twelve communes, though some exceptional communes are big
enough to contain more than one canton. It is the seat of a justice of
the peace, and is the electoral unit for the general council and the
district council.

The communes, varying greatly in area and population, are the
administrative units in France. The chief magistrate of the commune is
the mayor (_maire_), who is (1) the agent of the central government and
charged as such with the local promulgation and execution of the general
laws and decrees of the country; (2) the executive head of the
municipality, in which capacity he supervises the police, the revenue
and public works of the commune, and acts as the representative of the
corporation in general. He also acts as registrar of births, deaths and
marriages, and officiates at civil marriages. Mayors are usually
assisted by deputies (_adjoints_). In a commune of 2500 inhabitants or
less there is one deputy; in more populous communes there may be more,
but in no case must the number exceed twelve, except at Lyons, where as
many as seventeen are allowed. Both mayors and deputy mayors are elected
by and from among members of the municipal council for four years. This
body consists, according to the population of the commune, of from 10 to
36 members, elected for four years on the principle of the _scrutin de
liste_ by Frenchmen who have reached the age of twenty-one years and
have a six months' residence qualification.

The local affairs of the commune are decided by the municipal council,
and its decisions become operative after the expiration of a month, save
in matters which involve interests transcending those of the commune. In
such cases the prefect must approve them, and in some cases the sanction
of the general council or even ratification by the president is
necessary. The council also chooses communal delegates to elect
senators; and draws up the list of _répartiteurs_, whose function is to
settle how the commune's share of direct taxes shall be allotted among
the taxpayers. The sub-prefect then selects from this list ten of whom
he approves for the post. The meetings of the council are open to the


The ordinary judicial system of France comprises two classes of courts:
(1) civil and criminal, (2) special, including courts dealing only with
purely commercial cases; in addition there are the administrative
courts, including bodies, the Conseil d'État and the Conseils de
Préfecture, which deal, in their judicial capacity, with cases coming
under the _droit administratif_. Mention may also be made of the
Tribunal des Conflits, a special court whose function it is to decide
which is the competent tribunal when an administration and a judicial
court both claim or refuse to deal with a given case.

Taking the first class of courts, which have both civil and criminal
jurisdiction, the lowest tribunal in the system is that of the _juge de

In each canton is a _juge de paix_, who in his capacity as a civil judge
takes cognizance, without appeal, of disputes where the amount sought to
be recovered does not exceed £12 in value. Where the amount exceeds £12
but not £24 an appeal lies from his decision to the court of first
instance. In some particular cases where special promptitude or local
knowledge is necessary, as disputes between hotelkeepers and travellers,
and the like, he has jurisdiction (subject to appeal to the court of
first instance) up to £60. He has also a criminal jurisdiction in
_contraventions_, i.e. breaches of law punishable by a fine not
exceeding 12s. or by imprisonment not exceeding five days. If the
sentence be one of imprisonment or the fine exceeds 4s., appeal lies to
the court of first instance. It is an important function of the _juge de
paix_ to endeavour to reconcile disputants who come before him, and no
suit can be brought before the court of first instance until he has
endeavoured without success to bring the parties to an agreement.

_Tribunaux de première instance_, also called _tribunaux
d'arrondissement_, of which there is one in every arrondissement (with
few exceptions), besides serving as courts of appeal from the _juges de
paix_ have an original jurisdiction in matters civil and criminal. The
court consists of a president, one or more vice-presidents and a
variable number of judges. A _procureur_, or public prosecutor, is also
attached to each court. In civil matters the tribunal takes cognizance
of actions relating to personal property to the value of £60, and
actions relating to land to the value of 60 fr. (£2: 8s.) per annum.
When it deals with matters involving larger sums an appeal lies to the
courts of appeal. In penal cases its jurisdiction extends to all
offences of the class known as _délits_--offences punishable by a more
serious penalty than the "contraventions" dealt with by the _juge de
paix_, but not entailing such heavy penalties as the code applies to
_crimes_, with which the assize courts (see below) deal. When sitting in
its capacity as a criminal court it is known as the _tribunal
correctionnel_. Its judgments are invariably subject in these matters to
appeal before the court of appeal.

There are twenty-six courts of appeal (_cours d'appel_), to each of
which are attached from one to five departments.

  Cours d'Appel.        Departments depending on them.

  PARIS        Seine, Aube, Eure-et-Loir, Marne, Seine-et-Marne,
                          Seine-et-Oise, Yonne.
  AGEN . . . . Gers, Lot, Lot-et-Garonne.
  AIX  . . . . Basses-Alpes, Alpes-Maritimes, Bouches-du-Rhône, Var.
  AMIENS . . . Aisne, Oise, Somme.
  ANGERS . . . Maine-et-Loire, Mayenne, Sarthe.
  BASTIA . . . Corse.
  BESANÇON . . Doubs, Jura, Haute-Saône, Territoire de Belfort.
  BORDEAUX . . Charente, Dordogne, Gironde.
  BOURGES  . . Cher, Indre, Nièvre.
  CAEN   . . . Calvados, Manche, Orne.
  CHAMBÉRY . . Savoie, Haute-Savoie.
  DIJON  . . . Côte-d'Or, Haute-Marne, Saône-et-Loire.
  DOUAI  . . . Nord, Pas-de-Calais.
  GRENOBLE . . Hautes-Alpes, Drôme, Isère.
  LIMOGES  . . Corrèze, Creuse, Haute-Vienne.
  LYONS  . . . Ain, Loire, Rhône.
  MONTPELLIER  Aude, Aveyron, Hérault, Pyrénées-Orientales.
  NANCY  . . . Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Vosges, Ardennes.
  NÎMES  . . . Ardèche, Gard, Lozère, Vaucluse.
  ORLÉANS  . . Indre-et-Loire, Loir-et-Cher, Loiret.
  PAU  . . . . Landes, Basses-Pyrénées, Hautes-Pyrénées.
  POITIERS . . Charente-Inférieure, Deux-Sèvres, Vendée, Vienne.
  RENNES . . . Côtes-du-Nord, Finistère, Ille-et-Vilaine,
                 Loire-Inférieure, Morbihan.
  RIOM . . . . Allier, Cantal, Haute-Loire, Puy-de-Dôme.
  ROUEN  . . . Eure, Seine-Inférieure.
  TOULOUSE . . Ariège, Haute-Garonne, Tarn, Tarn-et-Garonne.

At the head of each court, which is divided into sections (_chambres_),
is a _premier président_. Each section (_chambre_) consists of a
_président de chambre_ and four judges (_conseillers_).
_Procureurs-généraux_ and _avocats-généraux_ are also attached to the
_parquet_, or permanent official staff, of the courts of appeal. The
principal function of these courts is the hearing of appeals both civil
and criminal from the courts of first instance; only in some few cases
(e.g. discharge of bankrupts) do they exercise an original jurisdiction.
One of the sections is termed the _chambre des mises en accusation_. Its
function is to examine criminal cases and to decide whether they shall
be referred for trial to the lower courts or the _cours d'assises_. It
may also dismiss a case on grounds of insufficient evidence.

The _cours d'assises_ are not separate and permanent tribunals. Every
three months an assize is held in each department, usually at the chief
town, by a _conseiller_, appointed _ad hoc_, of the court of appeal upon
which the department depends. The _cour d'assises_ occupies itself
entirely with offences of the most serious type, classified under the
penal code as _crimes_, in accordance with the severity of the penalties
attached. The president is assisted in his duties by two other
magistrates, who may be chosen either from among the _conseillers_ of
the court of appeal or the presidents or judges of the local court of
first instance. In this court and in this court alone there is always a
jury of twelve. They decide, as in England, on facts only, leaving the
application of the law to the judges. The verdict is given by a simple

In all criminal prosecutions, other than those coming before the _juge
de paix_, a secret preliminary investigation is made by an official
called a _juge d'instruction_. He may either dismiss the case at once by
an order of "non-lieu," or order it to be tried, when the prosecution is
undertaken by the _procureur_ or _procureur-général_. This process in
some degree corresponds to the manner in which English magistrates
dismiss a case or commit the prisoner to quarter sessions or assizes,
but the powers of the _juge d'instruction_ are more arbitrary and

The highest tribunal in France is the _cour de cassation_, sitting at
Paris, and consisting of a first president, three sectional presidents
and forty-five _conseillers_, with a ministerial staff (_parquet_)
consisting of a _procureur-général_ and six advocates-general. It is
divided into three sections: the Chambre des Requêtes, or court of
petitions, the civil court and the criminal court. The _cour de
cassation_ can review the decision of any other tribunal, except
administrative courts. Criminal appeals usually go straight to the
criminal section, while civil appeals are generally taken before the
Chambre des Requêtes, where they undergo a preliminary examination. If
the demand for rehearing is refused such refusal is final; but if it is
granted the case is then heard by the civil chamber, and after argument
_cassation_ (annulment) is granted or refused. The Court of Cassation
does not give the ultimate decision on a case; it pronounces, not on the
question of fact, but on the legal principle at issue, or the competence
of the court giving the original decision. Any decision, even one of a
_cour d'assises_, may be brought before it in the last resort, and may
be _cassé_--annulled. If it pronounces _cassation_ it remits the case to
the hearing of a court of the same order.

Commercial courts (_tribunaux de commerce_) are established in all the
more important commercial towns to decide as expeditiously as possible
disputed points arising out of business transactions. They consist of
judges, chosen, from among the leading merchants, and elected by
_commerçants patentés depuis cinq ans_, i.e. persons who have held the
licence to trade (see FINANCE) for five years and upwards. In the
absence of a _tribunal de commerce_ commercial cases come before the
ordinary _tribunal d'arrondissement_.

In important industrial towns tribunals called _conseils de prud'hommes_
are instituted to deal with disputes between employers and employees,
actions arising out of contracts of apprenticeship and the like. They
are composed of employers and workmen in equal numbers and are
established by decree of the council of state, advised by the minister
of justice. The minister of justice is notified of the necessity for a
_conseil de prud'hommes_ by the prefect, acting on the advice of the
municipal council and the Chamber of Commerce or the Chamber of Arts and
Manufactures. The judges are elected by employers and workmen of a
certain standing. When the amount claimed exceeds £12 appeal lies to the
_tribunaux d'arrondissement_.

_Police._--Broadly, the police of France may be divided into two great
branches--administrative police (_la police administrative_) and
judicial police (_la police judiciaire_), the former having for its
object the maintenance of order, and the latter charged with tracing out
offenders, collecting the proofs, and delivering the presumed offenders
to the tribunals charged by law with their trial and punishment.
Subdivisions may be, and often are, named according to the particular
duties to which they are assigned, as _la police politique_, _police des
moeurs_, _police sanitaire_, &c. The officers of the judicial police
comprise the _juge de paix_ (equivalent to the English police
magistrate), the _maire_, the _commissaire de police_, the _gendarmerie_
and, in rural districts, the _gardes champêtres_ and the _gardes
forestiers_. _Gardiens de la paix_ (sometimes called _sergents de
ville_, _gardes de ville_ or _agents de police_) are not to be
confounded with the gendarmerie, being a branch of the administrative
police and corresponding more or less nearly with the English equivalent
"police constables," which the gendarmerie do not, although both perform
police duty. The gendarmerie, however, differ from the agents or gardes
both in uniform and in the fact that they are for the most part country
patrols. The organization of the Paris police, which is typical of that
in other large towns, may be outlined briefly. The central
administration (_administration centrale_) comprises three classes of
functions which together constitute _la police_. First there is the
office or _cabinet_ of the prefect for the general police (_la police
générale_), with bureaus for various objects, such as the safety of the
president of the republic, the regulation and order of public
ceremonies, theatres, amusements and entertainments, &c.; secondly, the
judicial police (_la police judiciaire_), with numerous bureaus also, in
constant communication with the courts of judicature; thirdly, the
administrative police (_la police administrative_) including bureaus,
which superintend navigation, public carriages, animals, public health,
&c. Concurrently with these divisions there is the municipal police,
which comprises all the agents in enforcing police regulations in the
streets or public thoroughfares, acting under the orders of a chief
(_chef de la police municipale_) with a central bureau. The municipal
police is divided into two principal branches--the service in uniform of
the _agents de police_ and the service out of uniform of _inspecteurs de
police_. In Paris the municipal police are divided among the twenty
arrondissements, which the uniform police patrol (see further PARIS and

_Prisons._--The prisons of France, some of them attached to the ministry
of the interior, are complex in their classification. It is only from
the middle of the 19th century that close attention has been given to
the principle of individual separation. Cellular imprisonment was,
however, partially adopted for persons awaiting trial. Central prisons,
in which prisoners lived and worked in association, had been in
existence from the commencement of the 19th century. These prisons
received all sentenced to short terms of imprisonment, the long-term
convicts going to the _bagnes_ (the great convict prisons at the
arsenals of Rochefort, Brest and Toulon), while in 1851 transportation
to penal colonies was adopted. In 1869 and 1871 commissions were
appointed to inquire into prison discipline, and as a consequence of the
report of the last commission, issued in 1874, the principle of cellular
confinement was put in operation the following year. There were,
however, but few prisons in France adapted for the cellular system, and
the process of reconstruction has been slow. In 1898 the old Paris
prisons of Grande-Roquette, Saint-Pélagie and Mazas were demolished, and
to replace them a large prison with 1500 cells was erected at
Fresnes-lès-Rungis. There are (1) the _maison d'arrêt_, temporary places
of durance in every arrondissement for persons charged with offences,
and those sentenced to more than a year's imprisonment who are awaiting
transfer to a _maison centrale_; (2) the _maison de justice_, often part
and parcel of the former, but only existing in the assize court towns
for the safe custody of those tried or condemned at the assizes; (3)
departmental prisons, or _maisons de correction_, for summary
convictions, or those sentenced to less than a year, or, if provided
with sufficient cells, those amenable to separate confinement; (4)
_maisons centrales_ and _pénitenciers agricoles_, for all sentenced to
imprisonment for more than a year, or to hard labour, or to those
condemned to _travaux forcés_ for offences committed in prison. There
are eleven _maisons centrales_, nine for men (Loos, Clairvaux, Beaulieu,
Poissy, Melun, Fontevrault, Thouars, Riom and Nîmes); two for women
(Rennes and Montpellier). The _pénitenciers agricoles_ only differ from
the _maisons centrales_ in the matter of régime; there are two--at
Castelluccio and at Chiavari (Corsica). There are also reformatory
establishments for juvenile offenders, and _dépôts de sûreté_ for
prisoners who are travelling, at places where there are no other
prisons. For the penal settlements at a distance from France see


At the head of the financial organization of France, and exercising a
general jurisdiction, is the minister of finance, who co-ordinates in
one general budget the separate budgets prepared by his colleagues and
assigns to each ministerial department the sums necessary for its


The financial year in France begins on the 1st of January, and the
budget of each financial year must be laid on the table of the Chamber
of Deputies in the course of the ordinary session of the preceding year
in time for the discussion upon it to begin in October and be concluded
before the 31st of December. It is then submitted to a special
commission of the Chamber of Deputies, elected for one year, who appoint
a general reporter and one or more special reporters for each of the
ministries. When the Chamber of Deputies has voted the budget it is
submitted to a similar course of procedure in the Senate. When the
budget has passed both chambers it is promulgated by the president under
the title of _Loi des finances_. In the event of its not being voted
before the 31st of December, recourse is had to the system of
"provisional twelfths" (_douzièmes provisoires_), whereby the government
is authorized by parliament to incur expenses for one, two or three
months on the scale of the previous year. The expenditure of the
government has several times been regulated for as long as six months
upon this system.


  In each department an official collector (_Trésorier payeur général_)
  receives the taxes and public revenue collected therein and accounts
  for them to the central authority in Paris. In view of his
  responsibilities he has, before appointment, to pay a large deposit to
  the treasury. Besides receiving taxes, they pay the creditors of the
  state in their departments, conduct all operations affecting
  departmental loans, buy and sell government stock (_rentes_) on behalf
  of individuals, and conduct certain banking operations. The
  _trésorier_ nearly always lives at the chief town of the department,
  and is assisted by a _receveur particulier des finances_ in each
  arrondissement (except that in which the _trésorier_ himself resides).
  From the _receveur_ is demanded a security equal to five times his
  total income. The direct taxes are actually collected by
  _percepteurs_. In the commune an official known as the _receveur
  municipal_ receives all moneys due to it, and, subject to the
  authorization of the mayor, makes all payments due from it. In
  communes with a revenue of less than £2400 the _percepteur_ fulfils
  the functions of _receveur municipal_, but a special official may be
  appointed in communes with large incomes.

  The direct taxes fall into two classes. (1) _Impôts de répartition_
  (apportionment), the amount to be raised being fixed in advance
  annually and then apportioned among the departments. They include the
  land tax,[19] the personal and habitation tax (_contribution
  personnelle-mobilière_), and door and window tax. (2) _Impôts de
  quotité_, which are levied directly on the individual, who pays his
  quota according to a fixed tariff. These comprise the tax on
  buildings[19] and the trade-licence tax (_impôt des patentes_).
  Besides these, certain other taxes (_taxes assimilées aux
  contributions directes_) are included under the heading of direct
  taxation, e.g. the tax on property in mortmain, dues for the
  verification of weights and measures, the tax on royalties from mines,
  on horses, mules and carriages, on cycles, &c.

  _The land tax_ falls upon land not built upon in proportion to its net
  yearly revenue. It is collected in accordance with a register of
  property (_cadastre_) drawn up for the most part in the first half of
  the 19th century, dealing with every piece of property in France, and
  giving its extent and value and the name of the owner. The
  responsibility of keeping this register accurate and up to date is
  divided between the state, the departments and the communes, and
  involves a special service and staff of experts. _The building tax_
  consists of a levy of 3.20% of the rental value of the property, and
  is charged upon the owner.

  _The personal and habitation tax_ consists in fact of two different
  taxes, one imposing a fixed capitation charge on all citizens alike of
  every department, the charge, however, varying according to the
  department from 1 fc. 50 c. (1s. 3d.) to 4 fcs. 50 c. (3s. 9d.), the
  other levied on every occupier of a furnished house or of apartments
  in proportion to its rental value.

  _The tax on doors and windows_ is levied in each case according to the
  number of apertures, and is fixed with reference to population, the
  inhabitants of the more populous paying more than those of the less
  populous communes.

  _The trade-licence tax_ (_impôt des patentes_) is imposed on every
  person carrying on any business whatever; it affects professional men,
  bankers and manufacturers, as well as wholesale and retail traders,
  and consists of (1) a fixed duty levied not on actual profits but with
  reference to the extent of a business or calling as indicated by
  number of employés, population of the locality and other
  considerations. (2) An assessment on the letting value of the premises
  in which a business or profession is carried on.

  The administrative staff includes, for the purpose of computing the
  individual quotas of the direct taxes, a director assisted by
  _contrôleurs_ in each department and subordinate to a central
  authority in Paris, the _direction générale des contributions

  The indirect taxes comprise the charges on registration; stamps;
  customs; and a group of taxes specially described as "indirect taxes."

  _Registration_ (_enregistrement_) _duties_ are charged on the transfer
  of property in the way of business (_à titre onéreux_); on changes in
  ownership effected in the way of donation or succession (_à titre
  gratuit_), and on a variety of other transactions which must be
  registered according to law. The revenue from _stamps_ includes as its
  chief items the returns from stamped paper, stamps on goods traffic,
  securities and share certificates and receipts and cheques.

  The _Direction générale de l'enregistrement, des domaines et du
  timbre_, comprising a central department and a director and staff of
  agents in each department, combines the administration of state
  property (not including forests) with the exaction of registration and
  stamp duties.

  The Customs (_douane_), at one time only a branch of the
  administration of the _contributions indirectes_, were organized in
  1869 as a special service. The central office at Paris consists of a
  _directeur général_ and two _administrateurs_, nominated by the
  president of the republic. These officials form a council of
  administration presided over by the minister of finance. The service
  in the departments comprises _brigades_, which are actually engaged in
  guarding the frontiers, and a clerical staff (_service de bureau_)
  entrusted with the collection of the duties. There are twenty-four
  districts, each under the control of a _directeur_, assisted by
  inspectors, sub-inspectors and other officials. The chief towns of
  these districts are Algiers, Bayonne, Besançon, Bordeaux, Boulogne,
  Brest, Chambéry, Charleville, Dunkirk, Épinal, La Rochelle, Le Havre,
  Lille, Lyons, Marseilles, Montpellier, Nancy, Nantes, Nice, Paris,
  Perpignan, Rouen, St-Malo, Valenciennes. There is also an official
  performing the functions of a director at Bastia, in Corsica.

  The group specially described as indirect taxes includes those on
  alcohol, wine, beer, cider and other alcoholic drinks, on passenger
  and goods traffic by railway, on licences to distillers,
  spirit-sellers, &c., on salt and on sugar of home manufacture. The
  collection of these excise duties as well as the sale of matches,
  tobacco and gunpowder to retailers, is assigned to a special service
  in each department subordinated to a central administration. To the
  above taxes must be added the _tax on Stock Exchange transactions_ and
  the _tax of 4% on dividends from stocks and shares_ (_other than state

  Other main sources of revenue are: the _domains and forests_ managed
  by the state; _government monopolies_, comprising tobacco, matches,
  gunpowder; _posts_, _telegraphs_, _telephones_; and _state_
  _railways_. An administrative tribunal called the _cour des comptes_
  subjects the accounts of the state's financial agents
  (_trésoriers-payeurs_, _receveurs_ of registration fees, of customs,
  of indirect taxes, &c.) and of the communes[20] to a close
  investigation, and a vote of definitive settlement is finally passed
  by parliament. The Cour des Comptes, an ancient tribunal, was
  abolished in 1791, and reorganized by Napoleon I. in 1807. It consists
  of a president and 110 other officials, assisted by 25 auditors. All
  these are nominated for life by the president of the republic. Besides
  the accounts of the state and of the communes, those of charitable
  institutions[20] and training colleges[20] and a great variety of
  other public establishments are scrutinized by the Cour des Comptes.

  The following table shows the rapid growth of the state revenue of
  France during the period 1875-1905, the figures for the specified
  years representing millions of pounds.

    | 1875. | 1880. | 1885. | 1890. | 1895. |  Average  |  Average  |
    |       |       |       |       |       | 1896-1900.| 1901-1905.|
    |  108  |  118  |  122  |  129  |  137  |    144    |    147    |

  Of the revenue in 1905 (150½ million pounds) the four direct taxes
  produced approximately 20 millions. Other principal items of revenue
  were: Registration 25 millions, stamps 7½ millions, customs 18
  millions, inland revenue on liquors 16½ millions, receipts from the
  tobacco monopoly 18 millions, receipts from post office 10½ millions.


  Since 1875 the expenditure of the state has passed through
  considerable fluctuations. It reached its maximum in 1883, descended
  in 1888 and 1889, and since then has continuously increased. It was
  formerly the custom to divide the credits voted for the discharge of
  the public services into two heads--the ordinary and extraordinary
  budget. The ordinary budget of expenditure was that met entirely by
  the produce of the taxes, while the extraordinary budget of
  expenditure was that which had to be incurred either in the way of an
  immediate loan or in aid of the funds of the floating debt. The policy
  adopted after 1890 of incorporating in the ordinary budget the
  expenditure on war, marine and public works, each under its own head,
  rendered the "extraordinary budget" obsolete, but there are still,
  besides the ordinary budget, _budgets annexes_, comprising the credits
  voted to certain establishments under state supervision, e.g. the
  National Savings Bank, state railways, &c. The growth of the
  expenditure of France is shown in the following summary figures, which
  represent millions of pounds.

    | 1875. | 1880. | 1885. | 1890. | 1895. |  Average  |  Average  |
    |       |       |       |       |       | 1896-1900.| 1901-1905.|
    |  117  |  135  |  139  |  132  |  137  |    143    |    147    |

  The chief item of expenditure (which totalled 148 million pounds in
  1905) is the service of the public debt, which in 1905 cost 48¼
  million pounds sterling. Of the rest of the sum assigned to the
  ministry of finance (59¾ millions in all) 8½ millions went in the
  expense of collection of revenue. The other ministries with the
  largest outgoings were the ministry of war (the expenditure of which
  rose from 25½ millions in 1895 to over 30 millions in 1905), the
  ministry of marine (10¾ millions in 1895, over 12½ millions in 1905),
  the ministry of public works (with an expenditure in 1905 of over 20
  millions, 10 millions of which was assigned to posts, telegraphs and
  telephones) and the ministry of public instruction, fine arts and
  public worship, the expenditure on education having risen from 7½
  millions in 1895 to 9½ millions in 1905.

  _Public Debt._--The national debt of France is the heaviest of any
  country in the world. Its foundation was laid early in the 15th
  century, and the continuous wars of succeeding centuries, combined
  with the extravagance of the monarchs, as well as deliberate disregard
  of financial and economic conditions, increased it at an alarming
  rate. The duke of Sully carried out a revision in 1604, and other
  attempts were made by Mazarin and Colbert, but the extravagances of
  Louis XV. swelled it again heavily. In 1764 the national debt amounted
  to 2,360,000,000 livres, and the annual change to 93,000,000 livres. A
  consolidation was effected in 1793, but the lavish issue of assignats
  (q.v.) destroyed whatever advantage might have accrued, and the debt
  was again dealt with by a law of the 9th of Vendémiaire year VI. (27th
  of September 1797), the annual interest paid yearly to creditors then
  amounting to 40,216,000 francs (£1,600,000). During the Directory a
  sum of £250,000 was added to the interest charge, and by 1814 this
  annual charge had risen to £2,530,000. This large increase is to be
  accounted for by the fact that during the Napoleonic régime the
  government steadily refused to issue inconvertible paper currency or
  to meet war expenditure by borrowing. The following table shows the
  increase of the funded debt since 1814.[21]

    |       Date.      | Nominal Capital  |    Interest     |
    |                  | (Millions of £). | (Millions of £).|
    | April 1,    1814 |        50¾       |        2½       |
    | April 1,    1830 |       177        |        8        |
    | March 1,    1848 |       238¼       |        9¾       |
    | January 1,  1852 |       220¾       |        9½       |
    |    "        1871 |       498¼       |       15½       |
    |    "        1876 |       796¼       |       30        |
    |    "        1887 |       986½       |       34¼       |
    |    "        1895 |      1038¾[22]   |       32½       |
    |    "        1905 |      1037¼       |       31        |

  The French debt as constituted in 1905 was made up of funded debt and
  floating debt as follows:

                        _Funded Debt._

    Perpetual 3% _rentes_                       £888,870,400
    Terminable 3% _rentes_                       148,490,400
        Total of funded debt                  £1,037,360,800
    Guarantees to railway companies, &c. (in
      capital)                                   £89,724,080
    Other debt in capital                         46,800,840
                        _Floating Debt._

    Exchequer bills                               £9,923,480
    Liabilities on behalf of communes and public
      establishments, including departmental
      services                                    17,366,520
    Deposit and current accounts of Caisse des
      dépôts, &c., including savings banks        15,328,840
    Caution money of Trésoriers payeurs-généraux   1,431,680
    Other liabilities                              6,456,200
        Total of floating debt                   £50,506,720

  _Departmental Finances._--Every department has a budget of its own,
  which is prepared and presented by the prefect, voted by the
  departmental council and approved by decree of the president of the
  republic. The ordinary receipts include the revenues from the property
  of the department, the produce of _additional centimes_, which are
  levied in conjunction with the direct taxes for the maintenance of
  both departmental and communal finances, state subventions and
  contributions of the communes towards certain branches of poor relief
  and to maintenance of roads. The chief expenses of the departments are
  the care of pauper children and lunatics, the maintenance of
  high-roads and the service of the departmental debt.

  _Communal Finances._--The budget of the commune is prepared by the
  mayor, voted by the municipal council and approved by the prefect. But
  in communes the revenues of which exceed £120,000, the budget is
  always submitted to the president of the republic. The ordinary
  revenues include the produce of "additional centimes" allocated to
  communal purposes, the rents and profits of communal property, sums
  produced by municipal taxes and dues, concessions to gas, water and
  other companies, and by the _octroi_ (q.v.) or duty on a variety of
  articles imported into the commune for local consumption. The
  repairing of highways, the upkeep of public buildings, the support of
  public education, the remuneration of numerous officials connected
  with the collection of state taxes, the keeping of the _cadastre_,
  &c., constitute the principal objects of communal expenditure.

  Both the departments and the communes have considerable public debts.
  The departmental debt in 1904 stood at 24 million pounds, and the
  communal debt at 153 million pounds.     (R. Tr.)


_Recruiting and Strength._--Universal compulsory service was adopted
after the disasters of 1870-1871, though in principle it had been
established by Marshal Niel's reforms a few years before that date. The
most important of the recruiting laws passed since 1870 are those of
1872, 1889 and 1905, the last the "loi de deux ans" which embodies the
last efforts of the French war department to keep pace with the
ever-growing numbers of the German empire. Compulsory service with the
colours is in Germany no longer universal, as there are twice as many
able-bodied men presented by the recruiting commissions as the active
army can absorb. France, with a greatly inferior population, now trains
every man who is physically capable. This law naturally made a deep
impression on military Europe, not merely because the period of colour
service was reduced--Germany had taken this step years before--but
because of the almost entire absence of the usual exemptions. Even
bread-winners are required to serve, the state pensioning their
dependants (75 centimes per diem, up to 10% of the strength) during
their period of service. Dispensations, and also the one-year
voluntariat, which had become a short cut for the so-called
"intellectual class" to employment in the civil service rather than a
means of training reserve officers, were abolished. Every Frenchman
therefore is a member of the army practically or potentially from the
age of twenty to the age of forty-five. Each year there is drawn up in
every commune a list of the young men who attained the age of twenty
during the previous year. These young men are then examined by a
revising body (_Conseil de révision cantonal_) composed of civil and
military officials. Men physically unfit are wholly exempted, and men
who have not, at the time of the examination, attained the required
physical standard are put back for re-examination after an interval. Men
who, otherwise suitable, have some slight infirmity are drafted into the
non-combatant branches. The minimum height for the infantry soldier is
1.54 m., or 5 ft. ½ in., but men of special physique are taken below
this height. In 1904, under the old system of three-years' service with
numerous total and partial exemptions, 324,253 men became liable to
incorporation, of whom 25,432 were rejected as unfit, 55,265 were
admitted as one-year volunteers, 62,160 were put back, 27,825 had
already enlisted with a view to making the army a career, 5257 were
taken for the navy, and thus, with a few extra details and casualties,
the contingent for full service dwindled to 147,549 recruits. In 1906,
326,793 men had to present themselves, 25,348 had already enlisted, 4923
went to the navy, 68,526 were put back, 33,777 found unfit, which,
deducting 3128 details, gives an actual incorporated contingent of
191,091 young men of twenty-one to serve for two full years (in each
case, for the sake of comparison, men put back from former years who
were enrolled are omitted). In theory a two-years' contingent of course
should be half as large again as a three-years' one, but in practice,
France has not men enough for so great an increase. Still the law of
1905 provides a system whereby there is room with the colours for every
available man, and moreover ensures his services. The net gain in the
1906 class is not far short of 50,000, and the proportion of the new
contingent to the old is practically 5:4. The _loi des cadres_ of 1907
introduced many important changes of detail supplementary to the _loi de
deux ans_. Important changes were also made in the provisions and
administration of military law. The active army, then, at a given
moment, say November 1, 1908, is composed of all the young men, not
legally exempted, who have reached the age of twenty in the years 1906
and 1907. It is at the disposal of the minister of war, who can decree
the recall of all men discharged to the reserve the previous year and
all those whose time of service has for any reason been shortened. The
reserves of the active army are composed of those who have served the
legal period in the active army. These are recalled twice, in the eleven
years during which they are members of the reserve, for refresher
courses. The active army and its reserve are not localized, but drawn
from and distributed over the whole of France. The advantages of a
purely territorial system have tempted various War Ministers to apply
it, but the results were not good, owing to the want of uniformity in
the military qualities and the political subordination of the different
districts. One result of this is that mobilization and concentration are
much slower processes than they are in Germany.

The Territorial Army and its reserve (members of which undergo two short
periods of training) are, however, allocated to local service. The
soldier spends six years in the Territorial Army, and six in the reserve
of the Territorial Army. The reserves of the active army and the
Territorial Army and its reserve can only be recalled to active service
in case of emergency and by decree of the head of the state.

The total service rendered by the individual soldier is thus twenty-five
years. He is registered at the age of twenty, is called to the colours
on the 1st of October of the next year, discharged to the active army
reserve on the 30th of September of the second year thereafter, to the
Territorial Army at the same date thirteen complete years after his
incorporation, and finally discharged from the reserve of the
Territorial Army on the twenty-fifth anniversary of his entry into the
active army. On November 1, 1908, then the active army was composed of
the classes registered 1906 and 1907, the reserve of the classes
1895-1905, the Territorial Army of those of 1889-1894 and the
Territorial Army reserve of those of 1883-1888.

In 1906 the peace strength of the army in France was estimated at
532,593 officers and men; in Algeria 54,580; in Tunis 20,320; total
607,493. Deducting vacancies, sick and absent, the effective strength of
the active army in 1906 was 540,563; of the gendarmerie and Garde
Républicaine 24,512; of colonial troops in the colonies 58,568. The full
number of persons liable to be called upon for military service and
engaged in such service is calculated (1908) as 4,800,000, of whom
1,350,000 of the active army and the younger classes of army reserve
would constitute the field armies set on foot at the outbreak of war.
150,000 horses and mules are maintained on a peace footing and 600,000
on a war footing.

_Organization._--The general organization of the French army at home is
based on the system of permanent army corps, the headquarters of which
are as follows: I. Lille, II. Amiens, III. Rouen, IV. Le Mans, V.
Orléans, VI. Châlons-sur-Marne, VII. Besançon, VIII. Bourges, IX. Tours,
X. Rennes, XI. Nantes, XII. Limoges, XIII. Clermont-Ferrand, XIV. Lyons,
XV. Marseilles, XVI. Montpellier, XVII. Toulouse, XVIII. Bordeaux, XIX.
Algiers and XX. Nancy. Each army corps consists in principle of two
infantry divisions, one cavalry brigade, one brigade of horse and field
artillery, one engineer battalion and one squadron of train. But certain
army corps have a special organization. The VI. corps (Châlons) and the
VII. (Besançon) consist of three divisions each, and the XIX. (Algiers)
has three divisions of its own as well as the division occupying Tunis.
In addition to these corps there are eight permanent cavalry divisions
with headquarters at Paris, Lunéville, Meaux, Sedan, Reims, Lyons, Melun
and Dôle. The military government of Paris is independent of the army
corps system and comprises, besides a division of the colonial army
corps (see below), 3½ others detached from the II., III., IV. and V.
corps, as well as the 1st and 3rd cavalry divisions and many smaller
bodies of troops. The military government of Lyons is another
independent and special command; it comprises practically the XIV. army
corps and the 6th cavalry division. The infantry division consists of 2
brigades, each of 2 regiments of 3 or 4 battalions (the 4 battalion
regiments have recently been reduced for the most part to 3), with 1
squadron cavalry and 12 batteries, attached from the corps troops, in
war a proportion of the artillery would, however, be taken back to form
the corps artillery (see ARTILLERY and TACTICS). The cavalry division
consists of 2 or 3 brigades, each of 2 regiments or 8 squadrons, with 2
horse artillery batteries attached. The army corps consists of
headquarters, 2 (or 3) infantry divisions, 1 cavalry brigade, 1
artillery brigade (2 regiments, comprising 21 field and 2 horse
batteries), 1 engineer battalion, &c. In war a group of "Rimailho" heavy
howitzers (see ORDNANCE: _Heavy Field and Light Siege Units_) would be
attached. It is proposed, and accepted in principle, to increase the
number of guns in the army corps by converting the horse batteries in 18
army corps to field batteries, which, with other measures, enables the
number of the latter to be increased to 36 (144 guns).

The organization of the "metropolitan troops" by regiments is (a) 163
regiments of line infantry, some of which are affected to "regional"
duties and do not enter into the composition of their army corps for
war, 31 battalions of _chasseurs à pied_, mostly stationed in the Alps
and the Vosges, 4 regiments of Zouaves, 4 regiments of Algerian
tirailleurs (natives, often called Turcos[23]), 2 foreign legion
regiments, 5 battalions of African light infantry (disciplinary
regiments), &c; (b) 12 regiments of cuirassiers, 32 of dragoons, 21 of
_chasseurs à cheval_, 14 of hussars, 6 of _chasseurs d'Afrique_ and 4 of
Spahis (Algerian natives); (c) 40 regiments of artillery, comprising 445
field batteries, 14 mountain batteries and 52 horse batteries (see,
however, above), 18 battalions of garrison artillery, with in addition
13 companies of artificers, &c.; (d) 6 regiments of engineers forming 22
battalions, and 1 railway regiment; (e) 20 squadrons of train, 27
legions of gendarmerie and the Paris Garde Républicaine, administrative
and medical units.

_Colonial Troops._--These form an expeditionary army corps in France to
which are attached the actual corps of occupation to the various
colonies, part white, part natives. The colonial army corps,
headquarters at Paris, has three divisions, at Paris, Toulon and Brest.

The French colonial (formerly marine) infantry, recruited by voluntary
enlistment, comprises 18 regiments and 5 independent battalions (of
which 12 regiments are at home), 74 batteries of field, fortress and
mountain artillery (of which 32 are at home), with a few cavalry and
engineers, &c., and other services in proportion. The native troops
include 13 regiments and 8 independent battalions. The strength of this
army corps is 28,700 in France and 61,300 in the colonies.

_Command._--The commander-in-chief of all the armed forces is the
president of the Republic, but the practical direction of affairs lies
in the hand of the minister of war, who is assisted by the _Conseil
supérieur de la guerre_, a body of senior generals who have been
selected to be appointed to the higher commands in war. The
vice-president is the destined commander-in-chief of the field armies
and is styled the generalissimo. The chief of staff of the army is also
a member of the council. In war the latter would probably remain at the
ministry of war in Paris, and the generalissimo would have his own chief
of staff. The ministry of war is divided into branches for infantry,
cavalry, &c.--and services for special subjects such as military law,
explosives, health, &c. The general staff (_état major de l'armée_) has
its functions classed as follows: personnel; material and finance; 1st
bureau (organization and mobilization), 2nd (intelligence), 3rd
(military operations and training) and 4th (communications and
transport); and the famous historical section. The president of the
Republic has a military household, and the minister a cabinet, both of
which are occupied chiefly with questions of promotion, patronage and

The general staff and also the staff of the corps and divisions are
composed of certificated (_brevetés_) officers who have passed all
through the École de Guerre. In time of peace an officer is attached to
the staff for not more than four years. He must then return to
regimental duty for at least two years.

The officers of the army are obtained partly from the old-established
military schools, partly from the ranks of the non-commissioned
officers, the proportion of the latter being about one-third of the
total number of officers. Artillery and engineer officers come from the
École Polytechnique, infantry and cavalry from the École spéciale
militaire de St-Cyr. Other important training institutions are the staff
college (École supérieure de Guerre) which trains annually 70 to 90
selected captains and lieutenants; the musketry school of Châlons, the
gymnastic school at Joinville-le-Pont and the schools of St Maixent,
Saumur and Versailles for the preparation of non-commissioned officers
for commissions in the infantry, cavalry, artillery and engineers
respectively. The non-commissioned officers are, as usual in universal
service armies, drawn partly from men who voluntarily enlist at a
relatively early age, and partly from men who at the end of their
compulsory period of service are re-engaged. Voluntary enlistments in
the French army are permissible, within certain limits, at the age of
eighteen, and the _engagés_ serve for at least three years. The law
further provides for the re-engagement of men of all ranks, under
conditions varying according to their rank. Such re-engagements are for
one to three years' effective service but may be extended to fifteen.
They date from the time of the legal expiry of each man's compulsory
active service. _Rengagés_ receive a bounty, a higher rate of pay and a
pension at the conclusion of their service. The total number of men who
had re-enlisted stood in 1903 at 8594.

_Armament._--The field artillery is armed with the 75 mm. gun, a
shielded quick-firer (see ORDNANCE: _Field Equipments_, for illustration
and details); this weapon was the forerunner of all modern models of
field gun, and is handled on tactical principles specially adapted for
it, which gives the French field artillery a unique position amongst the
military nations. The infantry, which was the first in Europe to be
armed with the magazine rifle, still carries this, the Lebel, rifle
which dates from 1886. It is believed, however, that a satisfactory type
of automatic rifle (see RIFLE) has been evolved and is now (1908) in
process of manufacture. Details are kept strictly secret. The cavalry
weapons are a straight sword (that of the heavy cavalry is illustrated
in the article SWORD), a bamboo lance and the Lebel carbine.

It is convenient to mention in this place certain institutions attached
to the war department and completing the French military organization.
The Hôtel des Invalides founded by Louis XIV. and Louvois is a house of
refuge for old and infirm soldiers of all grades. The number of the
inmates is decreasing; but the institution is an expensive one. In 1875
the "Invalides" numbered 642, and the hôtel cost the state 1,123,053
francs. The order of the Legion of Honour is treated under KNIGHTHOOD
AND CHIVALRY. The _médaille militaire_ is awarded to private soldiers
and non-commissioned officers who have distinguished themselves or
rendered long and meritorious services. This was introduced in 1852,
carries a yearly pension of 100 frs. and has been granted occasionally
to officers.

_Fortifications._--After 1870 France embarked upon a policy of elaborate
frontier and inner defences, with the object of ensuring, as against an
unexpected German invasion, the time necessary for the effective
development of her military forces, which were then in process of
reorganization. Some information as to the types of fortification
adopted in 1870-1875 will be found in FORTIFICATION AND SIEGECRAFT. The
general lines of the scheme adopted were as follows: On the Meuse, which
forms the principal natural barrier on the side of Lorraine, Verdun
(q.v.) was fortified as a large entrenched camp, and along the river
above this were constructed a series of _forts d'arrêt_ (see MEUSE LINE)
ending in another entrenched camp at Toul (q.v.). From this point a gap
(the _trouée d'Épinal_) was left, so as "in some sort to canalize the
flow of invasion" (General Bonnal), until the upper Moselle was reached
at Épinal (q.v.). Here another entrenched camp was made and from it the
"Moselle line" (q.v.) of _forts d'arrêt_ continues the barrier to
Belfort (q.v.), another large entrenched camp, beyond which a series of
fortifications at Montbéliard and the Lomont range carries the line of
defence to the Swiss border, which in turn is protected by works at
Pontarlier and elsewhere. In rear of these lines Verdun-Toul and
Épinal-Belfort, respectively, lie two large defended areas in which
under certain circumstances the main armies would assemble preparatory
to offensive movements. One of these areas is defined by the three
fortresses, La Fère, Laon and Reims, the other by the triangle,
Langres--Dijon--Besançon. On the side of Belgium the danger of irruption
through neutral territory, which has for many years been foreseen, is
provided against by the fortresses of Lille, Valenciennes and Maubeuge,
but (with a view to tempting the Germans to attack through Luxemburg, as
is stated by German authorities) the frontier between Maubeuge and
Verdun is left practically undefended. The real defence of this region
lies in the field army which would, if the case arose, assemble in the
area La Fère-Reims-Laon. On the Italian frontier the numerous _forts
d'arrêt_ in the mountains are strongly supported by the entrenched camps
of Besançon, Grenoble and Nice. Behind all this huge development of
fixed defences lie the central fortresses of Paris and Lyons. The
defences, of the Spanish frontier consist of the entrenched camps of
Bayonne and Perpignan and the various small _forts d'arrêt_ of the
Pyrenees. Of the coast defences the principal are Toulon, Antibes,
Rochefort, Lorient, Brest, Oléron, La Rochelle, Belle-Isle, Cherbourg,
St-Malo, Havre, Calais, Gravelines and Dunkirk. A number of the older
fortresses, dating for the most part from Louis XIV.'s time, are still
in existence, but are no longer of military importance. Such are Arras,
Longwy, Mézières and Montmédy.


_Central Administration._--The head of the French navy is the Minister
of Marine, who like the other ministers is appointed by decree of the
head of the state, and is usually a civilian. He selects for himself a
staff of civilians (the _cabinet du ministre_), which is divided into
bureaux for the despatch of business. The head of the cabinet prepares
for the consideration of the minister all the business of the navy,
especially questions of general importance. His chief professional
assistant is the _chef d'état-major général_ (chief of the general
staff), a vice-admiral, who is responsible for the organization of the
naval forces, the mobilization and movements of the fleet, &c.

The central organization also comprises a number of departments
(_services_) entrusted with the various branches of naval
administration, such as administration of the active fleet, construction
of ships, arsenals, recruiting, finance, &c. The minister has the
assistance of the _Conseil supérieur de la Marine_, over which he
presides, consisting of three vice-admirals, the chief of staff and some
other members. The _Conseil supérieur_ devotes its attention to all
questions touching the fighting efficiency of the fleet, naval bases and
arsenals and coast defence. Besides the _Conseil supérieur_ the minister
is advised on a very wide range of naval topics (including pay, quarters
and recruiting) by the _Comité consultatif de la Marine_. Advisory
committees are also appointed to deal with special subjects, e.g. the
_commissions de classement_ which attend to questions of promotion in
the various branches of the navy, the naval works council and others.

The French coast is divided into five naval arrondissements, which have
their headquarters at the five naval ports, of which Cherbourg, Brest,
and Toulon are the most important, Lorient and Rochefort being of lesser
degree. All are building and fitting-out yards. Each arrondissement is
divided into sous-arrondissements, having their centres in the great
commercial ports, but this arrangement is purely for the embodiment of
the men of the Inscription Maritime, and has nothing to do with the
dockyards as naval arsenals. In each arrondissement the vice-admiral,
who is naval prefect, is the immediate representative of the minister of
marine, and has full direction and command of the arsenal, which is his
headquarters. He is thus commander-in-chief, as also governor-designate
for time of war, but his authority does not extend to ships belonging to
organized squadrons or divisions. The naval prefect is assisted by a
rear-admiral as chief of the staff (except at Lorient and Rochefort,
where the office is filled by a captain), and a certain number of other
officers, the special functions of the chief of the staff having
relation principally to the efficiency and _personnel_ of the fleet,
while the "major-general," who is usually a rear-admiral, is concerned
chiefly with the _matériel_. There are also directors of stores, of
naval construction, of the medical service, and of the submarine
defences (which are concerned with torpedoes, mines and torpedo-boats),
as well as of naval ordnance and works, The prefect directs the
operations of the arsenal, and is responsible for its efficiency and for
that of the ships which are there in reserve. In regard to the
constitution and maintenance of the naval forces, the administration of
the arsenals is divided into three principal departments, the first
concerned with naval construction, the second with ordnance, including
gun-mountings and small-arms, and the third with the so-called submarine
defences, dealing with all torpedo _matériel_.

The French navy is manned partly by voluntary enlistment, partly by the
transference to the navy of a certain proportion of each year's recruits
for the army, but mainly by a system known as _inscription maritime_.
This system, devised and introduced by Colbert in 1681, has continued,
with various modifications, ever since. All French sailors between the
ages of eighteen and fifty must be enrolled as members of the _armée de
mer_. The term sailor is used in a very wide sense and includes all
persons earning their living by navigation on the sea, or in the
harbours or roadsteads, or on salt lakes or canals within the maritime
domain of the state, or on rivers and canals as far as the tide goes up
or sea-going ships can pass. The inscript usually begins his service at
the age of twenty and passes through a period of obligatory service
lasting seven years, and generally comprising five years of active
service and two years furlough.

Besides the important harbours already referred to, the French fleet has
naval bases at Oran in Algeria, Bizerta in Tunisia, Saigon in Cochin
China and Hongaj in Tongking, Diégo-Suarez in Madagascar, Dakar in
Senegal, Fort de France in Martinique, Nouméa in New Caledonia.

The ordnance department of the navy is carried on by a large detachment
of artillery officers and artificers provided by the war office for this
special duty.

The fleet is divided into the Mediterranean squadron, the Northern
squadron, the Atlantic division, the Far Eastern division, the Pacific
division, the Indian Ocean division, the Cochin China division.

The chief naval school is the _École navale_ at Brest, which is devoted
to the training of officers; the age of admission is from fifteen to
eighteen years, and pupils after completing their course pass a year on
a frigate school. At Paris there is a more advanced school (_École
supérieure de la Marine_) for the supplementary training of officers.
Other schools are the school of naval medicine at Bordeaux with annexes
at Toulon, Brest and Rochefort; schools of torpedoes and mines and of
gunnery at Toulon, &c., &c. The _écoles d'hydrographie_ established at
various ports are for theoretical training for the higher grades of the
merchant service. (See also NAVY.)

The total personnel of the _armée de mer_ in 1909 is given as 56,800
officers and men. As to the number of vessels, which fluctuates from
month to month, little can be said that is wholly accurate at any given
moment, but, very roughly, the French navy in 1909 included 25
battleships, 7 coast defence ironclads, 19 armoured cruisers, 36
protected cruisers, 22 sloops, gunboats, &c., 45 destroyers, 319 torpedo
boats, 71 submersibles and submarines and 8 auxiliary cruisers. It was
stated that, according to proposed arrangements, the principal fighting
elements of the fleet would be, in 1919, 34 battleships, 36 armoured
cruisers, 6 smaller cruisers of modern type, 109 destroyers, 170 torpedo
boats and 171 submersibles and submarines. The budgetary cost of the
navy in 1908 was stated as 312,000,000 fr. (£12,480,000).     (C. F. A.)


The burden of public instruction in France is shared by the communes,
departments and state, while side by side with the public schools of all
grades are private schools subjected to a state supervision and certain
restrictions. At the head of the whole organization is the minister of
public instruction. He is assisted and advised by the superior council
of public instruction, over which he presides.

France is divided into sixteen _académies_ or educational districts,
having their centres at the seats of the universities. The capitals of
these _académies_, together with the departments included in them, are
tabulated below:

     Académies.             Departments included in them.

  PARIS  . . . . . Seine, Cher, Eure-et-Loir, Loir-et-Cher, Loiret,
                     Marne, Oise, Seine-et-Marne, Seine-et-Oise.
  AIX  . . . . . . Bouches-du-Rhône, Basses-Alpes, Alpes-Maritimes,
                     Corse, Var, Vaucluse.
  BESANÇON . . . . Doubs, Jura, Haute-Saône, Territoire de
  BORDEAUX . . . . Gironde, Dordogne, Landes, Lot-et-Garonne,
  CAEN . . . . . . Calvados, Eure, Manche, Orne, Sarthe,
  CHAMBÉRY  .  . . Savoie, Haute-Savoie.
  CLERMONT-FERRAND Puy-de-Dôme, Allier, Cantal, Corrèze, Creuse,
  DIJON  . . . . . Côte-d'Or, Aube, Haute-Marne, Nièvre, Yonne.
  GRENOBLE . . . . Isère, Hautes-Alpes, Ardèche, Drôme.
  LILLE  . . . . . Nord, Aisne, Ardennes, Pas-de-Calais, Somme.
  LYONS  . . . . . Rhône, Ain, Loire, Saône-et-Loire.
  MONTPELLIER  . . Hérault, Aude, Gard, Lozère, Pyrénées-Orientales.
  NANCY  . . . . . Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Vosges.
  POITIERS . . . . Vienne, Charente, Charente-Inférieure, Indre,
                     Indre-et-Loire, Deux-Sèvres, Vendée, Haute-Vienne.
  RENNES . . . . . Ille-et-Vilaine, Côtes-du-Nord, Finistère,
                     Maine-et-Loire, Mayenne, Morbihan.
  TOULOUSE . . . . Haute-Garonne, Ariège, Aveyron, Gers, Lot,
                     Hautes-Pyrénées, Tarn, Tarn-et-Garonne.

    There is also an _académie_ comprising Algeria.

For the administrative organization of education in France see

Any person fulfilling certain legal requirements with regard to
capacity, age and character may set up privately an educational
establishment of any grade, but by the law of 1904 all religious
congregations are prohibited from keeping schools of any kind whatever.

  _Primary Instruction._--All primary public instruction is free and
  compulsory for children of both sexes between the ages of six and
  thirteen, but if a child can gain a certificate of primary studies at
  the age of eleven or after, he may be excused the rest of the period
  demanded by law. A child may receive instruction in a public or
  private school or at home. But if the parents wish him to be taught in
  a private school they must give notice to the mayor of the commune of
  their intention and the school chosen. If educated at home, the child
  (after two years of the compulsory period has expired) must undergo a
  yearly examination, and if it is unsatisfactory the parents will be
  compelled to send him to a public or private school.

  Each commune is in theory obliged to maintain at least one public
  primary school, but with the approval of the minister, the
  departmental council may authorize a commune to combine with other
  communes in the upkeep of a school. If the number of inhabitants
  exceed 500, the commune must also provide a special school for girls,
  unless the Departmental Council authorizes it to substitute a mixed
  school. Each department is bound to maintain two primary training
  colleges, one for masters, the other for mistresses of primary
  schools. There are two higher training colleges of primary instruction
  at Fontenay-aux-Roses and St Cloud for the training of mistresses and
  masters of training colleges and higher primary schools.

  The Laws of 1882 and 1886 "laicized" the schools of this class, the
  former suppressing religious instruction, the latter providing that
  only laymen should be eligible for masterships. There were also a
  great many schools in the control of various religious congregations,
  but a law of 1904 required that they should all be suppressed within
  ten years from the date of its enactment.

  Public primary schools include (1) _écoles maternelles_--infant
  schools for children from two to six years old; (2) elementary primary
  schools--these are the ordinary schools for children from six to
  thirteen; (3) higher primary schools (_écoles primaires supérieures_)
  and "supplementary courses"; these admit pupils who have gained the
  certificate of primary elementary studies (_certificat d'études
  primaires_), offer a more advanced course and prepare for technical
  instruction; (4) primary technical schools (_écoles manuelles
  d'apprentissage_, _écoles primaires supérieures professionnelles_)
  kept by the communes or departments. Primary courses for adults are
  instituted by the prefect on the recommendation of the municipal
  council and academy inspector.

  Persons keeping private primary schools are free with regard to their
  methods, programmes and books employed, except that they may not use
  books expressly prohibited by the superior council of public
  instruction. Before opening a private school the person proposing to
  do so must give notice to the mayor, prefect and academy inspector,
  and forward his diplomas and other particulars to the latter official.

  _Secondary Education._--Secondary education is given by the state in
  _lycées_, by the communes in _collèges_ and by private individuals and
  associations in private secondary schools. It is not compulsory, nor
  is it entirely gratuitous, but the fees are small and the state offers
  a great many scholarships, by means of which a clever child can pay
  for its own instruction. Cost of tuition (simply) ranges from £2 to
  £16 a year. The lycées also take boarders--the cost of boarding
  ranging from £22 to £52 a year. A lycée is founded in a town by decree
  of the president of the republic, with the advice of the superior
  council of public instruction. The municipality has to pay the cost of
  building, furnishing and upkeep. At the head of the lycée is the
  principal (_proviseur_), an official nominated by the minister, and
  assisted by a teaching staff of professors and _chargés de cours_ or
  teachers of somewhat lower standing. To become professor in a lycée it
  is necessary to pass an examination known as the "_agrégation_,"
  candidates for which must be licentiates of a faculty (or have passed
  through the _École normale supérieure_).

  The system of studies--reorganized in 1902--embraces a full
  curriculum of seven years, which is divided into two periods. The
  first lasts four years, and at the end of this the pupil may obtain
  (after examination) the "certificate of secondary studies." During the
  second period the pupil has a choice of four courses: (1) Latin and
  Greek; (2) Latin and sciences; (3) Latin and modern languages; (4)
  sciences and modern languages. At the end of this period he presents
  himself for a degree called the _Baccalauréat de l'enseignement
  secondaire_. This is granted (after two examinations) by the faculties
  of letters and sciences jointly (see below), and in most cases it is
  necessary for a student to hold this general degree before he may be
  enrolled in a particular faculty of a university and proceed to a
  Baccalauréat in a particular subject, such as law, theology or

  The collèges, though of a lower grade, are in most respects similar to
  the lycées, but they are financed by the communes: the professors may
  have certain less important qualifications in lieu of the
  "_agrégation_." Private secondary schools are subjected to state
  inspection. The teachers must not belong to any congregation, and must
  have a diploma of aptitude for teaching and the degree of
  "_licencié_." The establishment of lycées for girls was first
  attempted in 1880. They give an education similar to that offered in
  the lycées for boys--with certain modifications--in a curriculum of
  five or six years. There is a training-college for teachers in
  secondary schools for girls at Sèvres.

  _Higher education_ is given by the state in the universities, and in
  special higher schools; and, since the law of 1875 established the
  freedom of higher education, by private individuals and bodies in
  private schools and "faculties" (_facultés libres_). The law of 1880
  reserved to the state "faculties" the right to confer degrees, and the
  law of 1896 established various universities each containing one or
  more faculties. There are five kinds of faculties: medicine, letters,
  science, law and Protestant theology. The faculties of letters and
  sciences, besides granting the _Baccalauréat de l'enseignement
  secondaire_, confer the degrees of licentiate and doctor (_la Licence,
  le Doctorat_). The faculties of medicine confer the degree of doctor
  of medicine. The faculties of theology confer the degrees of bachelor,
  licentiate and doctor of theology. The faculties of law confer the
  same degrees in law and also grant "certificates of capacity," which
  enable the holder to practise as an _avoué_; a _licence_ is necessary
  for the profession of barrister. Students of the private faculties
  have to be examined by and take their degrees from the state
  faculties. There are 2 faculties of Protestant theology (Paris and
  Montauban); 12 faculties of law (Paris, Aix, Bordeaux, Caen, Grenoble,
  Lille, Lyons, Montpellier, Nancy, Poitiers, Rennes, Toulouse); 3
  faculties of medicine (Paris, Montpellier and Nancy), and 4 joint
  faculties of medicine and pharmacy (Bordeaux, Lille, Lyons, Toulouse);
  15 faculties of sciences (Paris, Besançon, Bordeaux, Caen, Clermont,
  Dijon, Grenoble, Lille, Lyons, Marseilles, Montpellier, Nancy,
  Poitiers, Rennes, Toulouse); 15 faculties of letters (at the same
  towns, substituting Aix for Marseilles). The private faculties are at
  Paris (the Catholic Institute with a faculty of law); Angers (law,
  science and letters); Lille (law, medicine and pharmacy, science,
  letters); Lyons (law, science, letters); Marseilles (law); Toulouse
  (Catholic Institute with faculties of theology and letters). The work
  of the faculties of medicine and pharmacy is in some measure shared by
  the _écoles supérieures de pharmacie_ (Paris, Montpellier, Nancy),
  which grant the highest degrees in pharmacy, and by the _écoles de
  plein exercice de médecine et de pharmacie_ (Marseilles, Rennes and
  Nantes) and the more numerous _écoles préparatoires de médecine et de
  pharmacie_; there are also _écoles préparatoires à l'enseignement
  supérieur des sciences et des lettres_ at Chambéry, Rouen and Nantes.

  Besides the faculties there are a number of institutions, both
  state-supported and private, giving higher instruction of various
  special kinds. In the first class must be mentioned the Collège de
  France, founded 1530, giving courses of highest study of all sorts,
  the Museum of Natural History, the École des Chartes (palaeography and
  archives), the School of Modern Oriental Languages, the École Pratique
  des Hautes Études (scientific research), &c. All these institutions
  are in Paris. The most important free institution in this class is the
  École des Sciences Politiques, which prepares pupils for the civil
  services and teaches a great number of political subjects, connected
  with France and foreign countries, not included in the state

  Commercial and technical instruction is given in various institutions
  comprising national establishments such as the _écoles nationales
  professionnelles_ of Armentières, Vierzon, Voiron and Nantes for the
  education of working men; the more advanced _écoles d'arts et métiers_
  of Châlons, Angers, Aix, Lille and Cluny; and the Central School of
  Arts and Manufactures at Paris; schools depending on the communes and
  state in combination, e.g. the _écoles pratiques de commerce et
  d'industrie_ for the training of clerks and workmen; private schools
  controlled by the state, such as the _écoles supérieures de commerce_;
  certain municipal schools, such as the Industrial Institute of Lille;
  and private establishments, e.g. the school of watch-making at Paris.
  At Paris the École Supérieure des Mines and the École des Ponts et
  Chaussées are controlled by the minister of public works, the École
  des Beaux-Arts, the École des Arts Décoratifs and the Conservatoire
  National de Musique et de Déclamation by the under-secretary for fine
  arts, and other schools mentioned elsewhere are attached to several
  of the ministries. In the provinces there are national schools of fine
  art and of music and other establishments and free subventioned

  In addition to the educational work done by the state, communes and
  private individuals, there exist in France a good many societies which
  disseminate instruction by giving courses of lectures and holding
  classes both for children and adults. Examples of such bodies are the
  Society for Elementary Instruction, the Polytechnic Association, the
  Philotechnic Association and the French Union of the Young at Paris;
  the Philomathic Society of Bordeaux; the Popular Education Society at
  Havre; the Rhône Society of Professional Instruction at Lyons; the
  Industrial Society of Amiens and others.

  The highest institution of learning is the _Institut de France_,
  founded and kept up by the French government on behalf of science and
  literature, and composed of five academies: the _Académie française_,
  the _Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres_, the _Académie des
  Sciences_, the _Académie des Beaux-Arts_ and the _Académie des
  Sciences Morales et Politiques_ (see ACADEMIES). The _Académie de
  Médecine_ is a separate body.

_Poor Relief_ (_Assistance publique_).--In France the pauper, _as such_,
has no legal claim to help from the community, which however, is bound
to provide for destitute children (see FOUNDLING HOSPITALS) and pauper
lunatics (both these being under the care of the department), aged and
infirm people without resources and victims of incurable illness, and to
furnish medical assistance gratuitously to those without resources who
are afflicted with curable illness. The funds for these purposes are
provided by the department, the commune and the central authority.

  There are four main types of public benevolent institutions, all of
  which are communal in character: (1) The _hôpital_, for maternity
  cases and cases of curable illness; (2) the _hospice_, where the aged
  poor, cases of incurable malady, orphans, foundlings and other
  children without means of support, and in some cases lunatics, are
  received; (3) the _bureau de bienfaisance_, charged with the provision
  of out-door relief (_secours à domicile_) in money or in kind, to the
  aged poor or those who, though capable of working, are prevented from
  doing so by illness or strikes; (4) the _bureau d'assistance_, which
  dispenses free medical treatment to the destitute.

  These institutions are under the supervision of a branch of the
  ministry of the interior. The hospices and hôpitaux and the bureaux de
  bienfaisance, the foundation of which is optional for the commune, are
  managed by committees consisting of the mayor of the municipality and
  six members, two elected by the municipal council and four nominated
  by the prefect. The members of these committees are unpaid, and have
  no concern with ways and means which are in the hands of a paid
  treasurer (_receveur_). The bureaux de bienfaisance in the larger
  centres are aided by unpaid workers (_commissaires_ or _dames de
  charité_), and in the big towns by paid inquiry officers. _Bureaux
  d'assistance_ exist in every commune, and are managed by the combined
  committees of the hospices and the bureaux de bienfaisance or by one
  of these in municipalities, where only one of those institutions

  No poor-rate is levied in France. Funds for hôpitals, hospices and
  bureaux de bienfaisance comprise:

  1. A 10% surtax on the fees of admission to places of public

  2. A proportion of the sums payable in return for concessions of
  land in municipal cemeteries.

  3. Profits of the communal Monts de Piété (pawn-shops).

  4. Donations, bequests and the product of collections in

  5. The product of certain fines.

  6. Subventions from the departments and communes.

  7. Income from endowments.     (R. Tr.)


In the extent and importance of her colonial dominion France is second
only to Great Britain. The following table gives the name, area and
population of each colony and protectorate as well as the date of
acquisition or establishment of a protectorate. It should be noted that
the figures for area and population are, as a rule, only estimates, but
in most instances they probably approximate closely to accuracy.
Detailed notices of the separate countries will be found under their
several heads:

  |              Colony.              |  Date of   |Area in sq. m.|Population.|
  |                                   |Acquisition.|              |           |
  | In Asia--                         |            |              |           |
  |  Establishments in India          | 1683-1750  |        200   |   273,000 |
  |  In Indo-China--                  |            |              |           |
  |   Annarn                          |    1883    |     60,000   | 6,000,000 |
  |   Cambodia                        |    1863    |     65,000   | 1,500,000 |
  |   Cochin-China                    |    1862    |     22,000   | 3,000,000 |
  |   Tongking                        |    1883    |     46,000   | 6,000,000 |
  |   Laos                            |    1893    |    100,000   |   600,000 |
  |   Kwang-Chow-Wan                  |    1898    |        325   |   189,000 |
  |                                   |            +--------------+-----------+
  |       Total in Asia               |            |    293,525   |17,562,000 |
  |                                   |            +--------------+-----------+
  | In Africa and the Indian Ocean--  |            |              |           |
  |  Algeria                          | 1830-1847  |    185,000   | 5,231,850 |
  |  Algerian Sahara                  | 1872-1890  |    760,000   |           |
  |  Tunisia                          |    1881    |     51,000   | 2,000,000 |
  | West Africa--                     |            |              |           |
  |  Senegal                          |    1626    |     74,000   | 1,800,000 |
  |  Upper Senegal and Niger          |            |              |           |
  |    (including part of Sahara)     |    1880    |  1,580,000   | 4,000,000 |
  |  Guinea                           |    1848    |    107,000   | 2,500,000 |
  |  Ivory Coast                      |    1842    |    129,000   | 2,000,000 |
  |  Dahomey                          | 1863-1894 |     40,000   | 1,000,000 |
  | Congo (French Equatorial Africa)--|            |              |           |
  |  Gabun                            |   1839   \ |              |   376,000 |
  |  Mid. Congo                       |   1882    >|    700,000   |   259,000 |
  |  Ubangi-Chad                      | 1885-1899/ |              | 3,015,000 |
  | Madagascar                        | 1885-1896\ |              |           |
  |  Nossi-be Island                  |   1840    >|    228,000   | 2,664,000 |
  |  Ste Marie Island                 |   1750   / |              |           |
  |  Comoro Islands                   | 1843-1886  |        760   |    82,000 |
  | Somali Coast                      | 1862-1884  |     12,000   |    50,000 |
  | Réunion                           |    1643    |        965   |   173,315 |
  | St Paul   \                       |    1892    |          3 \ |           |
  | Amsterdam /                       |            |         19  >|uninhabited|
  | Kerguelen[24]                     |    1893    |      1,400 / |           |
  |                                   +------------+--------------+-----------+
  |  Total in Africa and Indian Ocean.|            |  3,869,147   |25,151,165 |
  |                                   |            +--------------+-----------+
  | In America--                      |            |              |           |
  |  Guiana                           |    1626    |     51,000   |    30,000 |
  |  Guadeloupe                       |    1634    |        619   |   182,112 |
  |  Martinique                       |    1635    |        380   |   182,024 |
  |  St Pierre and Miquelon           |    1635    |         92   |     6,500 |
  |                                   |            +--------------+-----------+
  |          Total in America         |            |     52,092   |   400,636 |
  |                                   |            +--------------+-----------+
  | In Oceania--                      |            |              |           |
  |   New Caledonia and Dependencies  | 1854-1887  |      7,500   |    72,000 |
  |  Establishments in Oceania        | 1841-1881  |      1,641   |    34,300 |
  |                                   |            +--------------+-----------+
  |          Total in Oceania         |            |      9,141   |   106,300 |
  |                                   |            +--------------+-----------+
  |                     Grand Total   |            |  4,223,905   |43,220,101 |

  It will be seen that nearly all the colonies and protectorates lie
  within the tropics. The only countries in which there is a
  considerable white population are Algeria, Tunisia and New Caledonia.
  The "year of acquisition" in the table, when one date only is given,
  indicates the period when the country or some part of it first fell
  under French influence, and does not imply continuous possession

_Government._--The principle underlying the administration of the French
possessions overseas, from the earliest days until the close of the 19th
century, was that of "domination" and "assimilation," notwithstanding
that after the loss of Canada and the sale of Louisiana France ceased to
hold any considerable colony in which Europeans could settle in large
numbers. With the vast extension of the colonial empire in tropical
countries in the last quarter of the 19th century the evils of the
system of assimilation, involving also intense centralization, became
obvious. This, coupled with the realization of the fact that the value
to France of her colonies was mainly commercial, led at length to the
abandonment of the attempt to impose on a great number of diverse
peoples, some possessing (as in Indo-China and parts of West Africa)
ancient and highly complex civilizations, French laws, habits of mind,
tastes and manners. For the policy of assimilation there was substituted
the policy of "association," which had for aim the development of the
colonies and protectorates upon natural, i.e. national, lines. Existing
civilizations were respected, a considerable degree of autonomy was
granted, and every effort made to raise the moral and economic status of
the natives. The first step taken in this direction was in 1900 when a
law was passed which laid down that the colonies were to provide for
their own civil expenditure. This law was followed by further measures
tending to decentralization and the protection of the native races.

The system of administration bears nevertheless many marks of the
"assimilation" era. None of the French possessions is self-governing in
the manner of the chief British colonies. Several colonies, however,
elect members of the French legislature, in which body is the power of
fixing the form of government and the laws of each colony or
protectorate. In default of legislation the necessary measures are taken
by decree of the head of the state; these decrees having the force of
law. A partial exception to this rule is found in Algeria, where all
laws in force in France before the conquest of the country are also (in
theory, not in practice) in force in Algeria. In all colonies Europeans
preserve the political rights they held in France, and these rights have
been extended, in whole or in part, to various classes of natives. Where
these rights have not been conferred, native races are _subjects_ and
not _citizens_. To this rule Tunisia presents an exception, Tunisians
retaining their nationality and laws.

In addition to Algeria, which sends three senators and six deputies to
Paris and is treated in many respects not as a colony but as part of
France, the colonies represented in the legislature are: Martinique,
Guadeloupe and Réunion (each electing one senator and two deputies),
French India (one senator and one deputy), Guiana, Senegal and
Cochin-China (one deputy each). The franchise in the three first-named
colonies is enjoyed by all classes of inhabitants, white, negro and
mulatto, who are all French citizens. In India the franchise is
exercised without distinction of colour or nationality; in Senegal the
electors are the inhabitants (black and white) of the communes which
have been given full powers. In Guiana and Cochin-China the franchise is
restricted to citizens, in which category the natives (in those
colonies) are not included.[25] The inhabitants of Tahiti though
accorded French citizenship have not been allotted a representative in
parliament. The colonial representatives enjoy equal rights with those
elected for constituencies in France.

The oversight of all the colonies and protectorates save Algeria and
Tunisia is confided to a minister of the colonies (law of March 20,
1894)[26] whose powers correspond to those exercised in France by the
minister of the interior. The colonial army is nevertheless attached (law
of 1900) to the ministry of war. The colonial minister is assisted by a
number of organizations of which the most important is the superior
council of the colonies (created by decree in 1883), an advisory body
which includes the senators and deputies elected by the colonies, and
delegates elected by the universal suffrage of all citizens in the
colonies and protectorates which do not return members to parliament. To
the ministry appertains the duty of fixing the duties on foreign produce
in those colonies which have not been, by law, subjected to the same
tariff as in France. (Nearly all the colonies save those of West Africa
and the Congo have been, with certain modifications, placed under the
French tariff.) The budget of all colonies not possessing a council
general (see below) must also be approved by the minister. Each colony and
protectorate, including Algeria, has a separate budget. As provided by the
law of 1900 all local charges are borne by the colonies--supplemented at
need by grants in aid--but the military expenses are borne by the state.
In all the colonies the judicature has been rendered independent of the

The colonies are divisible into two classes, (1) those possessing
considerable powers of local self-government, (2) those in which the
local government is autocratic. To this second class may be added the
protectorates (and some colonies) where the native form of government is
maintained under the supervision of French officials.

Class (1) includes the American colonies, Réunion, French India,
Senegal, Cochin-China and New Caledonia. In these colonies the system of
assimilation was carried to great lengths. At the head of the
administration is a governor under whom is a secretary-general, who
replaces him at need. The governor is aided by a privy council, an
advisory body to which the governor nominates a minority of unofficial
members, and a council general, to which is confided the control of
local affairs, including the voting of the budget. The councils general
are elected by universal suffrage of all citizens and those who, though
not citizens, have been granted the political franchise. In
Cochin-China, in place of a council general, there is a colonial council
which fulfils the functions of a council general.

In the second class of colonies the governor, sometimes assisted by a
privy council, on which non-official members find seats, sometimes
simply by a council of administration, is responsible only to the
minister of the colonies. In Indo-China, West Africa, French Congo and
Madagascar, the colonies and protectorates are grouped under
governors-general, and to these high officials extensive powers have
been granted by presidential decree. The colonies under the
governor-general of West Africa are ruled by lieutenant-governors with
restricted powers, the budget of each colony being fixed by the
governor-general, who is assisted by an advisory government council
comprising representatives of all the colonies under his control. In
Indo-China the governor-general has under his authority the
lieutenant-governor of the colony of Cochin-China, and the residents
superior at the courts of the kings of Cambodia and Annam and in
Tongking (nominally a viceroyalty of Annam). There is a superior council
for the whole of Indo-China on which the natives and the European
commercial community are represented, while in Cochin-China a privy
council, and in the protectorates a council of the protectorate, assists
in the work of administration. In each of the governments general there
is a financial controller with extensive powers who corresponds directly
with the metropolitan authorities (decree of March 22, 1907). Details
and local differences in form of government will be found under the
headings of the various colonies and protectorates.

  _Colonial Finance._--The cost of the extra-European possessions, other
  than Algeria and Tunisia, to the state is shown in the expenses of the
  colonial ministry. In the budget of 1885 these expenses were put at
  £1,380,000; in 1895 they had increased to £3,200,000 and in 1900 to
  £5,100,000. In 1905 they were placed at £4,431,000. Fully
  three-fourths of the state contributions is expenditure on military
  necessities; in addition there are subventions to various colonies and
  to colonial railways and cables, and the expenditure on the
  penitentiary establishments; an item not properly chargeable to the
  colonies. In return the state receives the produce of convict labour
  in Guiana and New Caledonia. Save for the small item of military
  expenditure Tunisia is no charge to the French exchequer. The similar
  expenses of Algeria borne by the state are not separately shown, but
  are estimated at £2,000,000.

  The colonial budgets totalled in 1907 some £16,760,000, being
  divisible into six categories: Algeria £4,120,000; Tunisia £3,640,000;
  Indo-China[27] about £5,000,000; West Africa £1,600,000; Madagascar
  £960,000; all other colonies combined £1,440,000. The authorized
  colonial loans, omitting Algeria and Tunisia, during the period
  1884-1904 amounted to £19,200,000, the sums paid for interest and
  sinking funds on loans varying from £600,000 to £800,000 a year. The
  amount of French capital invested in French colonies and
  protectorates, including Algeria and Tunisia, was estimated in 1905 at
  £120,000,000, French capital invested in foreign countries at the same
  date being estimated at ten times that amount (see _Ques. Dip. et
  Col._, February 16, 1905).

  _Commerce._--The value of the external trade of the French
  possessions, exclusive of Algeria and Tunisia, increased in the ten
  years 1896-1905 from £18,784,060 to £34,957,479. In the last-named
  year the commerce of Algeria amounted to £24,506,020 and that of
  Tunisia to £5,969,248, making a grand total for French colonial trade
  in 1905 of £65,432,746. The figures were made up as follows:

    |                    |   Imports.  |  Exports.  |    Total.   |
    | Algeria            | £15,355,500 | £9,150,520 | £24,506,020 |
    | Tunisia            |   3,638,185 |  2,331,063 |   5,969,248 |
    | Indo-China         |  10,182,411 |  6,750,306 |  16,932,717 |
    | West Africa        |   3,874,698 |  2,248,317 |   6,123,015 |
    | Madagascar         |   1,247,936 |    914,024 |   2,161,960 |
    | All other colonies.|   4,258,134 |  5,481,652 |   9,739,786 |
    |           Total    | £38,556,864 |£26,875,882 | £65,432,746 |

  Over three-fourths of the trade of Algeria and Tunisia is with France
  and other French possessions. In the other colonies and protectorates
  more than half the trade is with foreign countries. The foreign
  countries trading most largely with the French colonies are, in the
  order named, British colonies and Great Britain, China and Japan, the
  United States and Germany. The value of the trade with British
  colonies and Great Britain in 1905 was over £7,200,000.     (F. R. C.)

  BIBLIOGRAPHY.--P. Joanne, _Dictionnaire géographique et administrative
  de la France_ (8 vols., Paris, 1890-1905); C. Brossard, _La France et
  ses colonies_ (6 vols., Paris, 1900-1906); O. Reclus, _Le Plus Beau
  Royaume sous le ciel_ (Paris, 1899); Vidal de La Blache, _La France.
  Tableau géographique_ (Paris, 1908); V.E. Ardouin-Dumazet, _Voyage en
  France_ (Paris, 1894); H. Havard, _La France artistique et
  monumentale_ (6 vols., Paris, 1892-1895); A. Lebon and P. Pelet,
  _France as it is_, tr. Mrs W. Arnold (London, 1888); articles on
  "Local Government in France" in the _Stock Exchange Official
  Intelligence Annuals_ (London, 1908 and 1909); M. Block, _Dictionnaire
  de l'administration française_, the articles in which contain full
  bibliographies (2 vols., Paris, 1905); E. Levasseur, _La France et ses
  colonies_ (3 vols., Paris, 1890); M. Fallex and A. Mairey, _La France
  et sis colonies au début du XX^e siècle_, which has numerous
  bibliographies (Paris, 1909); J. du Plessis de Grenédan, _Géographie
  agricole de la France et du monde_ (Paris, 1903); F. de St Genis, _La
  Propriété rurale en France_ (Paris, 1902); H. Baudrillart, _Les
  Populations agricoles de la France_ (3 vols., Paris, 1885-1893);
  J.E.C. Bodley, _France_ (London, 1899); A. Girault, _Principes de
  colonisation et de législation coloniale_ (3 vols., Paris, 1907-1908);
  _Les Colonies françaises_, an encyclopaedia edited by M. Petit (2
  vols., Paris, 1902). Official statistical works: _Annuaire statistique
  de la France_ (a summary of the statistical publications of the
  government), _Statistique agricole annuelle, Statistique de
  l'industrie minérale et des appareils de vapeur, Tableau général du
  commerce et de la navigation_, Reports on the various colonies issued
  annually by the British Foreign Office, &c. Guide Books: Karl
  Baedeker, _Northern France, Southern France_; P. Joanne, _Nord,
  Champagne et Ardenne; Normandie_; and other volumes dealing with every
  region of the country.


  Pre-historic Gaul.

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 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 cf 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.

  Iberians and Ligurians.

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 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.

  Empire of the Celts.

  The Roman Conquest.

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
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 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.

  Political divisions 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 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.

  Political institutions 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
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.

  Caesar in Gaul.

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, 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.).

  Roman Gaul.

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 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).

  Material and political transformation of Roman Gaul.

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, 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.

  Decline of the imperial authority in Gaul.

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 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.

  Social disorganization of Gaul.

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
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


  FRANCE at the end of the 10th. Century.

  FRANCE in the 13th. Century.

  FRANCE in the 14th. Century.

  FRANCE The Eastern Frontier, 1598-1789.]

  Absorption of land and power by the aristocracy of Gaul.

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 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.

  Intellectual decadence of Gaul.

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 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.

  Christianity in Gaul.

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
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.

  Triumph of Christianity in 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 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

  Organisation of the Church.

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 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.

  The Church's independence of the Empire.

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
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.

  The barbarian invasion.

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
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.

  The Germans in Gaul.

  The Franks before Clovis.

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 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 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

  The clergy and the barbarians.

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 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, the Frankish chief.

  Clovis as a Roman officer.

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 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 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 sons of Clovis.

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 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.

  Civil wars.

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
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.

  Fredegond and Brunhilda.

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
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 fall of Brunhilda.

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 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."

  Clotaire II.

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. 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 mayors of the palace.

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 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.

  First struggle between monarchy and mayoralty.

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,
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

  Renascence of monarchy under Dagobert, 629-639.

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
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[28]), 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.

  The "Rois fainéants" (do-nothing kings).

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 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.

  Struggle between Ebroïn and Léger.

  Battle of Tertry.

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
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 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.

  Causes of the fall of the Merovingians.

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 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 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

  Disruption of the social framework.

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
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.

  The beneficium.

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. 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.

  Pippin of Heristal.

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 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.

  Charles Martel (715-741).

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 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.

  Charles Martel and the Church.

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 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.

  Charles Martel and Gregory III.

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 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

  The Carolingian dynasty.

  Pippin the Short, 752-768.

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 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
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.

  Sacred character of the new monarchy.

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 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.

  Pippin and the Papacy.

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
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 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).

  Organization of the conquests.

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 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.

  Wars with the Arabs, Slavs and Danes.

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 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.

  Charlemagne's empire.

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 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

  Charlemagne emperor (800).

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
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

  The Carolingian Renaissance.

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 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.

  Dissolution of the Frankish Empire.

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 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.

  Causes for the dissolution of the Empire.

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 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.

  Louis the Pious (814-840).

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 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.

  The sons of Louis the Pious.

  The Strassburg oath.

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
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 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.

  Partition of the Empire at Verdun (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 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 (843-877).

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 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).

  Division of the kingdom into large fiefs.

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 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).

  Establishment of 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, 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.

  Decay of the Carolinglan power.

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
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.

  Louis the Stammerer (877-879).

  Louis III. and Carloman (879-884).

  Charles the Fat. (884-888.)

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 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 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 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.

  Death-struggle of the Carolingians (888-987).

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 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.

  King Odo (888-893).

  Charles the Simple (893-929).

  Rudolph of Burgundy (923-936).

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 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 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 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.

  Louis IV. the Foreigner (936-954.)

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 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).

  Lothair (954-986).

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 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

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.

  Louis V. (986-987).

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., 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.

  Dismemberment of the kingdom.

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
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

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.

  The House of Capet.

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
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

  Hugh Capet (987-996).

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 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

  Robert the Pious (996-1031).

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
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. (1031-1060).

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, 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. (1060-1108).

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 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

  Louis VI. the Fat (1108-1137).

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 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.

  Louis VII. the Young (1137-1180).

  The second crusade.

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 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 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.

  Rivalry of the Capets and Angevins.

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 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 (1180-1223).

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 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

  Philip Augustus and Richard Coeur de Lion.

The defection of his favourite son John gave Henry his deathblow, and
Philip Augustus found himself confronted by a new king of England,
Richard Coeur de Lion, as powerful, besides being younger and more
energetic. Philip's ambition could not rest satisfied with the petty
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).

  Philip Augustus and John Lackland.

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 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.

  Coalition against Philip Augustus. (1214).

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 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

  Administration of Philip Augustus.

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
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. (1223-1226).

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
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.

  Universal French activity.

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 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.

  Intellectual development.

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
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

  Louis IX. (1226-1270).

  Blanche of Castile.

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 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 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.

  Louis IX.'s policy of arbitration.

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 of forty days" during which no vengeance might be taken for
private wrongs, and the assurement,[29] 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.

  Louis IX. and Henry III.

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 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.

  The crusade of Tunis.

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
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.

  Philip III., the Bold (1270-1285).

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 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

  Philip IV. the Fair (1285-1314).

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 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

  Litigious character of Philip the Fair's reign.

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 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.

  Philip the Fair and the Papacy.

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 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.

  Philip the Fair and the Templars.

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 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

  Philip the Fair and Edward I.

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
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).

  Philip the Fair and Flanders.

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, 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

  Eastern policy of Philip the Fair.

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 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.

  The sons of Philip the Fair (1314-1328).

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 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

  The royal house of Capet.

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 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.

  Advent of the Valois.

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 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.

  Philip VI. (1328-1350).

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 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.

  The Hundred Years' War.

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
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 defeat at Sluys.

  The defeat at Crécy and the taking of Calais.

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 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 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).

  John the Good (1350).

  Defeat at Poitiers.

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
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 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 states of 1355-1356.

  Robert le Coq and Étienne Marcel.

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 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 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_.

  The Grande Ordonnance of 1357.

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 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.

  The treaty of Brétigny.

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
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.

  Charles V. (1364-1380).

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 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 "Grandes Compagnies."

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
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.

  Charles VI. (1380-1422).

  The king's uncles and the Marmousets.

  The revolt of the Maillotins.

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 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? 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 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.

  Madness of Charles VI.

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 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).

  Struggle between the Armagnacs and the Burgundians.

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 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.

  The Ordonnance Cabochienne, 1413.

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_; 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 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.

  The Treaty of Troyes, 1420.

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 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.

  Charles VII. (1422-1461).

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 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[30] 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.

  Joan of Arc.

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 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.

  Consequences of the Hundred Years' War.

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 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 Coeur (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).

  Monarchical centralization.

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
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.

  Social life.

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
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.

  The House of Burgundy.

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, 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.

  Louis XI. (1461-1483)

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 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.

  The Leagues of the Public Weal.

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 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.

  Charles the Bold.

  The interview at Péronne.

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 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
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.

  Ruin of the feudal coalitions.

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 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 the Bold's imperial dreams.

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 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.

  Fall of Charles the Bold.

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 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.

  Ruin of the house of Burgundy.

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 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 administration of Louis XI.

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
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.

  Charles VIII. and Brittany (1483-1498)

  The Mad War, 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 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 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.

  A policy of "magnificence."

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
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.

  The wars in Italy.

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 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).

  Louis XII. (1498-1515).

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
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.

  Louis XII. and Julius II.

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 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.

  Francis I. (1515-1547).

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
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).

  Character of Francis I.

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 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

  Rivalry of Francis I. and Charles V.

  Defeat at Pavia and treaty of Madrid.

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 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 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.

  Further prosecution of romantic expeditions.

  The truce at Nice.

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 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); 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).

  Fourth outbreak of war.

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 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

  Royal absolutism under Francis I.

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 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.

  The concordat of 1516.

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 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. (1547-1559).

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 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.

  Henry II. and Charles V.

  Defence of Metz.

  Truce of Vaucelles.

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, 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 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. and Philip II.

  Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis.

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 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 Reformation.

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 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

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.

  Transformation of religious reform into party politics.

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; 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.

  Royal persecution under Francis I. and Henry II.

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 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.

  Francis II. (1559-1560).

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
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

  Charles IX. (1560-1574).

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 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.

  The parties.

  Edict of tolerance.

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 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
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.

  Character of the religious wars.

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 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.

  First religious war.

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 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.

  Peace of Amboise (1563).

  Second civil war.

  Peace of Longjumeau.

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 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 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

  Third war.

  Peace of St Germain (1570).

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 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 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.

  Coligny and the Netherlands.

  St Bartholomew, August 24, 1572.

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 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 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.

  The party of the politiques.

  Fourth War. Edict of Boulogne (1573).

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 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 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.

  Fifth War.

  Henry III. (1574-1589).

  Peace of Monsieur (1576).

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 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., 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 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.

  The Catholic League.

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 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).

  The States of Blois (1576).

[Sidenote: Sixth War and peace of Bergerac (1577). Seventh War and peace
of Fleix (1580).]

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 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

  Union between the Guises and Philip II.

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 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 committee of Sixteen at Paris.

  Eighth war of the three Henries.

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,
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).

  Day of the Barricades.

  Assassination of the Guises at the second states-general of Blois.

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
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), 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.

  Assassination of Henry III.

"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. 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.

  The Bourbons.

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 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.

  Henry IV. (1589-1610).

  States-general of 1592.

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 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 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.

  Abjuration of Henry IV., July 23, 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 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.

  Peace of Vervins.

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
Mercoeur, 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.

  Edict of Nantes, 1598.

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. 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.

  Results of the religious wars.

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 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 Bourbons. France in 1610.

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 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).

  Character of Henry IV.

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 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.

  The achievements of Henry IV.

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 and Limousin--were quelled, adroitly at first,
and later with a sterner hand. He then provided for the 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),[31] 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.

  Industrial policy of Henry IV.

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, 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.

  The work of Sully.

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 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.

  Criticism of Henry IV.'s achievement.

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, 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.

  Edict of La Paulette.

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 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.

  Foreign policy of Henry IV.

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
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

  The regency of Marie de'Medici.

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. 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.

  Louis XIII.(1610-1643).

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 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).

  Concini, Marshal d'Ancre.

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 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).

  Return of Marie de Medici

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 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.

  Cardinal Richelieu 1624-1642.

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 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.

  Louis XIII. and Richelieu.

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
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).

  Financial policy of Richelieu.

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 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.

  Struggle with the Protestants.

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. 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).

  Peace of Alais, 1629.

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, 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.

  Richelieu and the Catholics.

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 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.

  Destruction of public spirit.

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 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_.

  Methods employed by Richelieu.

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
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.

  The results.

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, 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

  External policy of Richelieu.

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 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.

  Temporizing policy, except in Italy, 1624-1630.

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 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[32] 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.

  Richelieu and Gustavus Adolphus.

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 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.

  The French Thirty Years' War.

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 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.

  Mazarin, 1643-1661.

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 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).

  Treaties of Westphalia.

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, 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.

  State of the kingdom.

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 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 and Mazarin.

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 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.

  Financial difficulties.

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 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.

  Rebellion of the parlement.

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 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).

  The Fronde (1648-1652).

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., 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.

  The Fronde of the Parlement.

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
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

  The Fronde of the Princes.

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
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 administration of Mazarin.

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 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.

  War with Spain.

  Peace of the Pyrenees.

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 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 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.

  Louis XIV. (1661-1715).

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. 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.

  Education of Louis XIV.

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 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.

  His political ideas.

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" 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.

  The forms of Louis XIV.'s monarchy.

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
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

  Louis XIV.'s ministers.

  Royal despotism.

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
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 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.

  Louis XIV. and the Church.

  Declaration of the Four Articles.

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,
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 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.

  Louis XIV. and the Protestants.

  Suppression of the edict of Nantes (1685).

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 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, 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.

  Louis XIV. and the Jansenists.

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
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.

  Louis XIV. and the Libertins.

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 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 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.

  Colbert and finance.

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 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.

  Colbert and industry.

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: 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 and commerce.

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,
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.

  Colbert and the colonies.

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 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.

  Colbert and the administration.

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 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

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

  Ruin of Colbert's work.

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 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.

  Recourse to revolutionary measures.

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 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.

  Foreign policy of Louis XIV.

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 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.

  War of Devolution, 1667.

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 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

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.

  The triple alliance of the Hague.

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 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).

  Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle.

  War with Holland.

  Peace of Nijmwegen, 1678.

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, 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
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.

  Truce of Ratisbon.

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 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.

  William of Orange.

  League of Augsburg.

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 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 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.

  War of the Grand Alliance.

  Peace of Ryswick.

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 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 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.

  War of the Spanish Succession.

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,
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.

  Peace of Utrecht, 1713.

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 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.

  End of Louis XIV.'s reign.

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 (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.

  Character of the eighteenth century.

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 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 Regency (1715-1723).

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 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."

  Philip of Orleans.

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 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.

  The Anglo-Dutch Alliance.

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
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).

  Ministry of the duc de Bourbon.

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 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.

  Cardinal Fleury, 1726-1743.

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 and polite,
crafty and suspicious, he was pacific by temperament and therefore
allowed politics to slumber. His turn for economics made Orry,[33] 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.

  Fleury's foreign policy.

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 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).

  War of the Polish Succession (1733-1738).

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; 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,[34] 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.

  The Eastern question.

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, 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

  War of the Austrian Succession.

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 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).

  Personal rule of Louis XV.

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 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.

  Madame de Pompadour.

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 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.

  Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle.

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 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.

  The Seven Years' War, 1756-1763.

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 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.

  Treaties of Paris and Hubertusburg.

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 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.

  First partition of Poland.

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 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.

  Internal policy of Louis XV.

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 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 against abitrary 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.

  The Triumvirate, 1770-1774.

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 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.

  Ancient influences and institutions.

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
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.

  The new ideas.

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
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 bourgeoisie--the incarnation of new ideas.

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, 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

  Transformation of manners and customs.

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,
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

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.

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 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

  Marie Antoinette.

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
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.)

  Foreign policy of Louis XVI.

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 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."

  Internal policy of Louis XVI.

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 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 1774-1776.

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 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.

  Necker, 1776-1781.

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 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

  The return of feudalism to the offensive.

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 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.

  Calonne, 1783-1787.

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 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).

  Loménie de Brienne.

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 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.

  Recall of Necker.

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.
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

  Prelude to the states-general.

  The electorate.

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 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 "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.

  The addresses.

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
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.

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 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.

  The counter-currents of the Revolution.

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
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.

  Meeting of the states-general.

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 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.

  Oath of the tennis-court.

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 not to separate before having established the constitution of the

  The Lit de Justice of June 23, 1789.

  Taking of the Bastille.

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 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 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.

  Spontaneous anarchy.

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 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

  The night of August 4.

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,
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.

  Elaboration of the constitution.

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, 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.

  Declaration of the rights of man.

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 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.

  The constitution.

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 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.

  The Legislative Assembly (Oct. 1, 1791-Sept 20, 1792).

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 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 parties.

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
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.

  Royalist intrigues.

  The émigrés.

  Declaration of Pilnitz.

  The decrees.

  The war.

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,
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 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 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,

  Proceedings of June 20.

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 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.

  Manifesto of Brunswick.

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 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 insurrectional commune of Paris.

  The September massacres.

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
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.

  The Convention, Sept. 21. 1792-Oct. 26, 1795.

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 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 parties.

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 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.

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 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.

  Trial and death of Louis XVI.

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. 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

  First European coalition.

  First committee of pubic safety.

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 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 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).

  Struggle between the commune and the Gironde.

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; 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.

  Fall of the Gironde.

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 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.

  The dictatorship of the first committee of public safety.

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
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.

  Danton's failure.

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 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.

  Second committee of public safety.

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 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.

  Defeat of the coalition.

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 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.

  The new parties.

  The party of tolerance.

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 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 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's dictatorship.

  9th Thermidor.

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 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, 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

  Third committee of public safety.

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. 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.

  Resuscitation of the royalist party.

  Popular risings of Germinal and Prairial.

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 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. 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 white terror.

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
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.

  The constitution of the year III.

  The 13th Vendémiaire.

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 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.

  Military achievements of the convention.

  Treaty of Basel.

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 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.

  Internal achievements.

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 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.

  The Directory.

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, 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.

  The parties.

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 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.

  Struggle against the royalists.

  Struggle against the republican democrats and the socialists.


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 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).

  Financial policy of the Directory.

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; 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

  External policy.

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 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.

  Struggle against the royalists.

  18th Fructidor.

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 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 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.

  Aggressive policy of the Directory.

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
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.

  Coup d'état of the 22nd Floréal.

  Bonaparte in Egypt.

  The second coalition.

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 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 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.

  Coup d'état of the 18th Brumaire.

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 prestige
of his victories in the East, and now, after Hoche's death, appearing as
sole master of the armies. He manoeuvred 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.

  The Consulate, Sept. 11, 1799-May 18, 1804.

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 of Europe was
now for fifteen years to be summed up in the person of a single man (see

  The constitution of the year VIII.

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 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.

  The Consulate.

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 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).

  Internal reorganization.

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 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.

  The republican opposition.

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 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.

  Napoleon emperor May 18, 1804-April 6, 1814.

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 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.

  Napoleon's political idea.

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
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.

  Treaty of Presburg, 1805.

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 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.


  Eylau and Friedland.

  Peace of Tilsit, July 8, 1807.

  Continental blockade.

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 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

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
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.


  Peace of Vienna.

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 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 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 install 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.

  Beginning of the end. Uprising of nationalism.

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
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; 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.

  Degeneration of Napoleon.

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.
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.

  Russian campaign.

  Campaigns of 1813-14.

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 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
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

  Downfall of the Empire.

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 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

  Faults of the Bourbons.

  The Hundred Days. March-June 1815.

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 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 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.

  Louis XVIII.

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
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."

  The Constitutional party's rule.

  The reaction of 1820.

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 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 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.

  Charles X.

  Victory of the constitutional parties, 1827.

  The Revolution of 1830.

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 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 "_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, 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.

  Republican and Orleanist parties.

  Louis Philippe.

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 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. 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.

  The bourgeois monarchy.

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 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.

  The parties.

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; 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.

  The Republicans crushed.

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 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.

  The bourgeois policy.

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 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 socialist party.

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
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.

  The Bonapartist revival.

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 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.

  Parliamentary opposition to the royal power.

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,
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.

  Guizot's ministry.

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 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.[35] 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.

  Guizot's Foreign Policy.

  Campaign of the banquets.

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 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
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 Revolution of Feb. 24, 1848.

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 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.

  The Provisional Government.

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
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.

  Universal suffrage.

  The Executive Commission.

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 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 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.

  The June Days.

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. 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?"[36]

  The Constitution of 1848.

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 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

  Louis Napoleon.

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
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.

  Expedition to Rome.

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
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.

  The Legislative Assembly.

  "Loi Falloux."

  Electoral law of May 31.

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 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 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.

  Struggle between the President and the Assembly.

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
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.

  Coup d'État of Dec. 2, 1851.

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 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 Empire.

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
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.

  Material prosperity a condition of despotism.

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
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.

  Napoleon III.'s ideas.

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 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.

  The Crimean 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, 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.

  The War in Italy.

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
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 peace of Villafranca.

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, 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 Italian problem.

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 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

  Catholic and protectionist opposition.

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 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.

  The Liberal Empire.

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 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 policy of nationalism.

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 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."

  The régime of concessions.

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 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.

  Industrial policy of the Empire.

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. 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.

  Sadowa (1866).

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
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 outmanoeuvred
at every turn, since his first interview with Bismarck at Biarritz in
October 1865.

  Further concessions of Napoleon III.

  Struggle between Ollivier and Rouher.

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 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.

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
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

  Peace or war.

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
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.

  Action of the revolutionaries.

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; 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 parliamentary Empire.

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
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.

  The Franco-German War.

  The Hohenzollern candidature.

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 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, 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.

  The declaration of war.

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
with a light heart.[37] 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 isolated.

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
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.

  Sedan. Fall of the Empire.

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 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.)


  Government of National Defence, 1870.

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 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.

  Foundation of the Third Republic, 1871.

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 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 Commune.

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
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.

  Republicans and Monarchists after the war.

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 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.

  1872: Thiers and Gambetta.

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
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."

  Resignation of Thiers.

  Marshal MacMahon president of the Republic.

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 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 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 comte de Chambord.

  The Septennate.

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 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 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.

  Constitution voted, 1875.

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 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.

  Provisions of the Constitution of 1875.

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. 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_).

  Scrutin d'arrondissement and scrutin de liste.

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 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.

  1876: Political parties under the new Constitution.

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 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 Seize Mai 1877.

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 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.

  1879: Jules Grévy president of the Republic.

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 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.

  Jules Ferry.

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 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_.

  Gambetta prime minister.

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"
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.

  Death of Gambetta.

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 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 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.

  Revision of the Constitution, 1884.


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 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 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.

  Elections of 1885.

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 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.

  General Boulanger.

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 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.

  The Wilson scandal.

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
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 manoeuvring the congress
elected by a large majority Sadi Carnot.

  M. Carnot president of the Republic, 1887.

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 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.


  Boulanger's flight.

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 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 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 papal encyclical, 1892.

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 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.

  The Panama scandal.

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
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