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state, which they refused. Then the unhappy monarch ad. dressed himself to all France, and convened the States General. je treated with bodies before treating with the nation: and it was only on the refusal of the fir:t that he appealed to a power of which he dreaded the interposition and we support. Up to this great epoch each year saw the necessities of govern. ment increase, and resistance extend itself. The opposition passed from the parliament to the noblesse, and from the noblesse to the clergy, and from them all to the people. In proportion as each of them participated in power, it commenced its opposition, until these particular oppositions were confounded in one great national opposition, or dwindled into nothing before it. The States General only decreed a revolution which was already accomplished; and Mignet says with truth the revolution became inevitable.
The history of the first revolution has never yet been writ. ten. We have had “Memoirs” and “Notes,” “Biographies” and "Accounts,” but I can find no where a philosophical listoгу
of the first acts of the French Revolution. Defective, howa ever, as are all small exparte histories, we have the facts in a thousand different forms, and all those facts demonstrate that the revolution of 1789 to 1830 was inevitable.
The first acts of the French revolution destroyed the ancient system of government and entirely overturned the ancient state of society. It had two distinct aims a free Constitution and an increased civilization, We had afterwards the Executive directory, the Consulate and the Empire; and then came the Restoration !
Up to the period of the Directory all proceeded in order, & the revolution was in a state of progression. But the Directory became divided. There was the moderate party of Sieyes, Roger Ducos, and the Council of Ancients, and the Ultra Republicans under Moulins Gohier, the Council of Five Hundred and the Society of Manege. Najol on profited by these divipions. He constituted the Clergy anew by the Concordat of 1802; he created an order of military chivalry by means of the Legion of Honor; and he completed these encroachments on the revolution, by being named, or naming himself, Consul for life.
As Napoleon was a soldier, and not a Revolutionist-a tyrant at heart, and not a republican, he sought at once to turn the current of public thought and feeling, and renewed hostilities with England. He endeavored to leau the French people from the consideration of themselves, their own interests, rights, and wants to the desire of military glory and conquests.
The war with Great Britain and the conspiracy of Georges and Pichegru served as a ladder for Bonaparte to mount from the Consulate to the Empire. Napoleon heard with delight the President of the Senate say to him on the 27th of March 1804. “Citizen First Consul, you are founding a new era; but you ought to make it eternal: splendor which does not endure is but a shadow. Citizen First Consul, be well assured the Senate speaks here in the name of all the citizens."
Napoleon was a great genius, and he, therefore, pretended to reflect on such a startling proposition. He took a month for consideration, and at the end of that period, he “invited the senate to make known to him all its thoughts.” The Senate well instructed beforehand in the part it was to play, took a week's time to reply, and on May 3rd it gave the following answer.“The Senate thinks it is of the first importance to the French people to confide the Government of the Republic to Napoleon Bonaparte, hereditary Emperor!"
The “Hereditary Emperor” of the “French Republic!” afterwards annointed by the Pope, who pronounced the following blasphemous prayer to the God of Heaven: “ Almighty God, who didst establish Hazael for the government of Syria, and Jehu King of Israel, in manifesting to them thy will, by means of the Prophet Elijah; thou who also didst spread the bolyunction of Kings upon the heads of Saul and David, by the Ministry of the Prophet Samuel, spread also by my hands, the
grace and benediction upon thy servant Napoleon, whom, notwithstanding our personal unworthiness, we this day consecrate Emperor in thy name !"
But the French were not really deceived ! For the moment they were blinded; but when they reflected, one and all asked,
was it for this that we made the revolution på The following historical account of what was done throughout is by no means devoid of interest and importance:
“The Pope led Napoleon back with great solomnity to the throne; and after he had taken upon the Gospel the oatla prescribed by the constitution, the principal Herald of Ara cried in a loud voice, the most glorious and most august Emperor of the French is crowned and enthroned! Long live the Emperor! The church rang with the same cry; there was a discharge of artillery; and the Pope chaunted To Down! For many days the festivals were multiplied; but these forced festivals, those festivals of absolute power, breathed nothing of the joy, vivid, frank, popular, unanimous joy of the first Faderation of the 14th of July; and however the nation might be pressed down, it did not welcome the advent of despotism, as it had welcomed that of liberty.”
This is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. France was cajoled into submission to an Emperor. There was no one of sufficient daring and talent to head an opposition or Napoleop might have been dethroned as rapidly as Charles X.
Once made Emperor, Napoleon had talent enough to know he must maintain his position by flattering the love of the French for glory and military conquests. The republica created by the Directory were changed into kingdoms. Vienna was taken. The fame of the victory of Austerlitz was resounded from shore to shore. Bavaria and Wurtemburgh were erected into kingdoms against Austria. Then came the Confederation of the Rhine. Joseph Buonaparte was named King of Naples, and Louis Buonaparte King of Holland. The French had enough to do to wonder and admire, and many
thought of converting Europe into France, and rendering that country a continent instead of an Empire. Then came the battle of Jena-the taking of Berlin-the victories of Eylau and Friedland--the peace of Tilsit--the reduction of the Prussian Monarchy to one half its original possessions—and the kingdom of Saxony and Wesphalia established against it.The Revolution was now nearly forgotten, and Frenchmen said, "Let us first fix the boundaries of France, and then give her a Constitution." This just suited the views of Napoleon, and liis untired ambition sought for fresh laurels, though dyed in the blood of the innocent and helpless. Westphalia was Dow given to Jerome Buonaparte. The Grand Empire rose, and secondary kingdoms--its confederation of the Rhine its Swiss mediation, or rather Swiss 'robbery, and its giard Fies--and it became modelled upon that of Charlemagne. Some now said "let us have peace"-but Napoleon could not bear that sound, for well he knew that peace must be succeeded by a calm, and that there would be reflection and legislative assemblies--and that men would talk about the Revolution--and would ask for a charter and liberties; so he answered the cries for peace by endeavoring to reduce England as he had subdued the continent. Then came the continental blockade!-Defeated in his attempts to subdue England, he inraded Portugal and Spain, named Joseph Bonaparte King of the latter country, who was replaced on the throne of Naples by Murat. Then came a new order of events; a religious struggle with the Pope, and the commercial opposition of Hol. land to the tyrant. There were wups and downs," "certainties, and uncertainties," "conquests and defeats;" and France had become a nation of soldiers, each house a barrack, and each field a camp. The Revolution was now forgotten, and Napoleon was advised, in an ill fated hour to seek a divorce from the faithful and true-hearted Josephine, that he might have is. sue to succeed him on the throne. The victory of Wagram, the peace of Vienna, and the marriage of Napoleon with the
Archduchess Maria Louisa, were events which succeeded each other so rapidly, that Frenchmen had scarcely time for astonishment, and could only stare and ask where will this end?” Napoleon answered this. inquiry by new. enterprises and new conquests. The Pope was dethroned !-Holland united to the empire; and war in Spain prosecuted with vigor! --But the day of reckoning was at hand, and the year 1812 arrived. The tide had turned. Frenchmen predicted the downfall of their idol, from the moment he was divorced from Josephine: and Frenchmen wondered what next would be attempted by this emperor of Europe, and dictator of the world. Russia resolved the question: she denounced the Continental system. Napoleon marched against Russia with 500,000 men. He passed the Niemen on the 24th of June, and the 14th of September he made his entry into Moscow! Now the French were in ecstacies. Now the French would have deified their Emperor; now England appeared alone to combat the Gov. ernor of the world! But the elements effected what Russian swords could not. The army was compelled to retreat, and from that moment commenced the downfall of “Napoleon le Grand !" In March 1813, Prussia united with Russia and Eng. land; and the French said, "Let us crush this sixth coalition." Napoleon had now 280,000 men; but his opponents had 520, 000. He beat the allies at Dresden, but Macdonald was vanquished in Silesia-Ney near Berlin,-and Vandamme at Kulm. The battle of Leipsic decided the affair, and the wreck of the army returned to France in the end of 1813. France was now menaced within its own frontiers as it had been before in 1799; but there was no longer the same enthusiasm of independence, and he who had despoiled it of its rights, now found it incapable of supporting him, or of defending itself. Napoleon had stayed the progress of the revolution-be had arrested the march of Liberty; he had substituted the tyranny of one man for the divided tyranny of many republican or democratic despots. He had destroyed some evil, but had created a million