The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte
Karl Marx

Part 2 out of 2

excursions, which the large official "Moniteur" and the small private
"Moniteurs" of Bonaparte were, of course, bound to celebrate as
triumphal marches, he was constantly accompanied by affiliated members
of the "Society of December 10" This society dated from the year 1849.
Under the pretext of founding a benevolent association, the
slum-proletariat of Paris was organized into secret sections, each
section led by Bonapartist agents, with a Bonapartist General at the
head of all. Along with ruined roues of questionable means of support
and questionable antecedents, along with the foul and adventures-seeking
dregs of the bourgeoisie, there were vagabonds, dismissed soldiers,
discharged convicts, runaway galley slaves, sharpers, jugglers,
lazzaroni, pickpockets, sleight-of-hand performers, gamblers, procurers,
keepers of disorderly houses, porters, literati, organ grinders, rag
pickers, scissors grinders, tinkers, beggars--in short, that whole
undefined, dissolute, kicked-about mass that the Frenchmen style "la
Boheme" With this kindred element, Bonaparte formed the stock of the
"Society of December 10," a "benevolent association" in so far as, like
Bonaparte himself, all its members felt the need of being benevolent to
themselves at the expense of the toiling nation. The Bonaparte, who
here constitutes himself Chief of the Slum-Proletariat; who only here
finds again in plenteous form the interests which he personally pursues;
who, in this refuse, offal and wreck of all classes, recognizes the only
class upon which he can depend unconditionally;--this is the real
Bonaparte, the Bonaparte without qualification. An old and crafty roue,
he looks upon the historic life of nations, upon their great and public
acts, as comedies in the ordinary sense, as a carnival, where the great
costumes, words and postures serve only as masks for the pettiest
chicaneries. So, on the occasion of his expedition against Strassburg
when a trained Swiss vulture impersonated the Napoleonic eagle; so,
again, on the occasion of his raid upon Boulogne, when he struck a few
London lackeys into French uniform: they impersonated the army; [#1
Under the reign of Louis Philippe, Bonaparte made two attempts to
restore the throne of Napoleon: one in October, 1836, in an expedition
from Switzerland upon Strassburg and one in August, 1840, in an
expedition from England upon Boulogne.] and so now, in his "Society of
December 10," he collects 10,000 loafers who are to impersonate the
people as Snug the Joiner does the lion. At a period when the
bourgeoisie itself is playing the sheerest comedy, but in the most
solemn manner in the world, without doing violence to any of the
pedantic requirements of French dramatic etiquette, and is itself partly
deceived by, partly convinced of, the solemnity of its own public acts,
the adventurer, who took the comedy for simple comedy, was bound to win.
Only after he has removed his solemn opponent, when he himself takes
seriously his own role of emperor, and, with the Napoleonic mask on,
imagines he impersonates the real Napoleon, only then does he become the
victim of his own peculiar conception of history--the serious clown, who
no longer takes history for a comedy, but a comedy for history. What
the national work-shops were to the socialist workingmen, what the
"Gardes mobiles" were to the bourgeois republicans, that was to
Bonaparte the "Society of December 10,"--a force for partisan warfare
peculiar to himself. On his journeys, the divisions of the Society,
packed away on the railroads, improvised an audience for him, performed
public enthusiasm, shouted "vive l'Empereur," insulted and clubbed the
republicans,--all, of course, under the protection of the police. On
his return stages to Paris, this rabble constituted his vanguard, it
forestalled or dispersed counter-demonstrations. The "Society of
December 10" belonged to him, it was his own handiwork, his own thought.
Whatever else he appropriates, the power of circumstances places in his
hands; whatever else he does, either circumstances do for him, or he is
content to copy from the deeds of others, but he posing before the
citizens with the official phrases about "Order," "Religion," "Family,"
"Property," and, behind him, the secret society of skipjacks and
picaroons, the society of disorder, of prostitution, and of theft,--that
is Bonaparte himself as the original author; and the history of the
"Society of December 10" is his own history. Now, then, it happened
that Representatives belonging to the party of order occasionally got
under the clubs of the Decembrists. Nay, more. Police Commissioner
Yon, who bad been assigned to the National Assembly, and was charged
with the guardianship of its safety, reported to the Permanent Committee
upon the testimony of one Alais, that a Section of the Decembrists had
decided on the murder of General Changarnier and of Dupin, the President
of the National Assembly, and had already settled upon the men to
execute the decree. One can imagine the fright of Mr. Dupin. A
parliamentary inquest over the "Society of December 10," i. e., the
profanation of the Bonapartist secret world now seemed inevitable. Just
before the reconvening of the National Assembly, Bonaparte circumspectly
dissolved his Society, of course, on paper only. As late as the end of
1851, Police Prefect Carlier vainly sought, in an exhaustive memorial,
to move him to the real dissolution of the Decembrists.

The "Society of December 10" was to remain the private army of Bonaparte
until he should have succeeded in converting the public Army into a
"Society of December 10." Bonaparte made the first attempt in this
direction shortly after the adjournment of the National Assembly, and he
did so with the money which he had just wrung from it. As a fatalist,
he lives devoted to the conviction that there are certain Higher Powers,
whom man, particularly the soldier, cannot resist. First among these
Powers he numbers cigars and champagne, cold poultry and garlic-sausage.
Accordingly, in the apartments of the Elysee, he treated first the
officers and under-officers to cigars and champagne, to cold poultry and
garlic-sausage. On October 3, he repeats this manoeuvre with the rank
and file of the troops by the review of St. Maur; and, on October 10,
the same manoeuvre again, upon a larger scale, at the army parade of
Satory. The Uncle bore in remembrance the campaigns of Alexander in
Asia: the Nephew bore in remembrance the triumphal marches of Bacchus in
the same country. Alexander was, indeed, a demigod; but Bacchus was a
full-fledged god, and the patron deity, at that, of the "Society of
December 10."

After the review of October 3, the Permanent Committee summoned the
Minister of War, d'Hautpoul, before it. He promised that such breaches
of discipline should not recur. We have seen how, on October 10th,
Bonaparte kept d'Hautpoul's word. At both reviews Changarnier had
commanded as Commander-in-chief of the Army of Paris. He, at once
member of the Permanent Committee, Chief of the National Guard, the
"Savior" of January 29, and June 13, the "Bulwark of Society," candidate
of the Party of Order for the office of President, the suspected Monk of
two monarchies,--he had never acknowledged his subordination to the
Minister of War, had ever openly scoffed at the republican Constitution,
and had pursued Bonaparte with a protection that was ambiguously
distinguished. Now he became zealous for the discipline in opposition
to Bonaparte. While, on October 10, a part of the cavalry cried: "Vive
Napoleon! Vivent les saucissons;" [#2 Long live Napoleon! Long live the
sausages!] Changarnier saw to it that at least the infantry, which filed
by under the command of his friend Neumeyer, should observe an icy
silence. In punishment, the Minister of War, at the instigation of
Bonaparte, deposed General Neumeyer from his post in Paris, under the
pretext of providing for him as Commander-in-chief of the Fourteenth and
Fifteenth Military Divisions. Neumeyer declined the exchange, and had,
in consequence, to give his resignation. On his part, Changarnier
published on November 2, an order, wherein he forbade the troops to
indulge, while under arms, in any sort of political cries or
demonstrations. The papers devoted to the Elysee interests attacked
Changarnier; the papers of the party of Order attacked Bonaparte; the
Permanent Committee held frequent secret sessions, at which it was
repeatedly proposed to declare the fatherland in danger; the Army seemed
divided into two hostile camps, with two hostile staffs; one at the
Elysee, where Bonaparte, the other at the Tuileries, where Changarnier
resided. All that seemed wanting for the signal of battle to sound was
the convening of the National Assembly. The French public looked upon
the friction between Bonaparte and Changarnier in the light of the
English journalist, who characterized it in these words: "The political
servant girls of France are mopping away the glowing lava of the
revolution with old mops, and they scold each other while doing their

Meanwhile, Bonaparte hastened to depose the Minister of War, d'Hautpoul;
to expedite him heels over head to Algiers; and to appoint in his place
General Schramm as Minister of War. On November 12, he sent to the
National Assembly a message of American excursiveness, overloaded with
details, redolent of order, athirst for conciliation, resignful to the
Constitution, dealing with all and everything, only not with the burning
questions of the moment. As if in passing he dropped the words that
according to the express provisions of the Constitution, the President
alone disposes over the Army. The message closed with the following
high-sounding protestations:

"France demands, above all things, peace . . . Alone bound by an oath, I
shall keep myself within the narrow bounds marked out by it to me
. . . As to me, elected by the people, and owing my power to it alone, I
shall always submit to its lawfully expressed will. Should you at this
session decide upon the revision of the Constitution, a Constitutional
Convention will regulate the position of the Executive power. If you do
not, then, the people will, in 1852, solemnly announce its decision.
But, whatever the solution may be that the future has in store, let us
arrive at an understanding to the end that never may passion, surprise
or violence decide over the fate of a great nation. . . . That which,
above all, bespeaks my attention is, not who will, in 1852, rule over
France, but to so devote the time at my disposal that the interval may
pass by with-out agitation and disturbance. I have straightforwardly
opened my heart to you, you will answer my frankness with your
confidence, my good efforts with your co-operation. God will do the

The honnete, hypocritically temperate, commonplace-virtuous language of
the bourgeoisie reveals its deep meaning in the mouth of the
self-appointed ruler of the "Society of December 10," and of the
picnic-hero of St. Maur and Satory.

The burgraves of the party of Order did not for a moment deceive
themselves on the confidence that this unbosoming deserved. They were
long blase on oaths; they numbered among themselves veterans and
virtuosi of perjury. The passage about the army did not, however,
escape them. They observed with annoyance that the message, despite its
prolix enumeration of the lately enacted laws, passed, with affected
silence, over the most important of all, the election law, and,
moreover, in case no revision of the Constitution was held, left the
choice of the President, in 1852, with the people. The election law was
the ball-and-chain to the feet of the party of Order, that hindered them
from walking, and now assuredly from storming. Furthermore, by the
official disbandment of the "Society of December 10," and the dismissal
of the Minister of War, d'Hautpoul, Bonaparte had, with his own hands,
sacrificed the scapegoats on the altar of the fatherland. He had turned
off the expected collision. Finally, the party of Order itself
anxiously sought to avoid every decisive conflict with the Executive, to
weaken and to blur it over. Fearing to lose its conquests over the
revolution, it let its rival gather the fruits thereof. "France
demands, above all things, peace," with this language had the party of
Order been apostrophizing the revolution, since February; with this
language did Bonaparte's message now apostrophize the party of Order:
"France demands, above all things, peace." Bonaparte committed acts
that aimed at usurpation, but the party of Order committed a
"disturbance of the peace," if it raised the hue and cry, and explained
them hypochrondriacally. The sausages of Satory were mouse-still when
nobody talked about them;--France demands, above all things, peace."
Accordingly, Bonaparte demanded that he be let alone; and the
parliamentary party was lamed with a double fear: the fear of
re-conjuring up the revolutionary disturbance of the peace, and the fear
of itself appearing as the disturber of the peace in the eyes of its own
class, of the bourgeosie. Seeing that, above all things, France
demanded peace, the party of Order did not dare, after Bonaparte had
said "peace" in his message, to answer "war." The public, who had
promised to itself the pleasure of seeing great scenes of scandal at the
opening of the National Assembly, was cheated out of its expectations.
The opposition deputies, who demanded the submission of the minutes of
the Permanent Committee over the October occurrences, were outvoted.
All debate that might excite was fled from on principle. The labors of
the National Assembly during November and December, 1850, were without

Finally, toward the end of December, began a guerilla warfare about
certain prerogatives of the parliament. The movement sank into the mire
of petty chicaneries on the prerogative of the two powers, since, with
the abolition of universal suffrage, the bourgeoisie had done away with
the class struggle.

A judgment for debt had been secured against Mauguin, one of the
Representatives. Upon inquiry by the President of the Court, the
Minister of Justice, Rouher, declared that an order of arrest should be
made out without delay. Manguin was, accordingly, cast into the
debtors' prison. The National Assembly bristled up when it heard of the
"attentat." It not only ordered his immediate release, but had him
forcibly taken out of Clichy the same evening by its own greffier. In
order, nevertheless, to shield its belief in the "sacredness of private
property," and also with the ulterior thought of opening, in case of
need, an asylum for troublesome Mountainers, it declared the
imprisonment of a Representative for debt to be permissible upon its
previous consent. It forgot to decree that the President also could be
locked up for debt. By its act, it wiped out the last semblance of
inviolability that surrounded the members of its own body.

It will be remembered that, upon the testimony of one Allais, Police
Commissioner Yon had charged a Section of Decembrists with a plan to
murder Dupin and Changarnier. With an eye upon that, the questors
proposed at the very first session, that the parliament organize a
police force of its own, paid for out of the private budget of the
National Assembly itself, and wholly independent of the Police Prefects.
The Minister of the Interior, Baroche, protested against this trespass
on his preserves. A miserable compromise followed, according to which
the Police Commissioner of the Assembly was to be paid out of its own
private budget and was to be subject to the appointment and dismissal of
its own questors, but only upon previous agreement with the Minister of
the Interior. In the meantime Allais had been prosecuted by the
Government. It was an easy thing in Court, to present his testimony in
the light of a mystification, and, through the mouth of the Public
Prosecutor, to throw Dupin, Changarnier, Yon, together with the whole
National Assembly, into a ridiculous light. Thereupon, on December 29,
Minister Baroche writes a letter to Dupin, in which he demands the
dismissal of Yon. The Committee of the National Assembly decides to
keep Yon in office; nevertheless, the National Assembly, frightened by
its own violence in the affair of Mauguin, and accustomed, every time it
has shied a blow at the Executive, to receive back from it two in
exchange, does not sanction this decision. It dismisses Yon in reward
for his zeal in office, and robs itself of a parliamentary prerogative,
indispensable against a person who does not decide by night to execute
by day, but decides by day and executes by night.

We have seen how, during the months of November and December, under
great and severe provocations, the National Assembly evaded and refused
the combat with the Executive power. Now we see it compelled to accept
it on the smallest occasions. In the affair of Mauguin, it confirms in
principle the liability of a Representative to imprisonment for debt,
but to itself reserves the power of allowing the principle to be applied
only to the Representatives whom it dislikes,-and for this infamous
privilege we see it wrangling with the Minister of Justice. Instead of
utilizing the alleged murder plan to the end of fastening an inquest
upon the "Society of December 10," and of exposing Bonaparte beyond
redemption before France and his true figure, as the head of the
slum-proletariat of Paris, it allows the collision to sink to a point
where the only issue between itself and the Minister of the Interior is.
Who has jurisdiction over the appointment and dismissal of a Police
Commissioner? Thus we see the party of Order, during this whole period,
compelled by its ambiguous position to wear out and fritter away its
conflict with the Executive power in small quarrels about jurisdiction,
in chicaneries, in pettifogging, in boundary disputes, and to turn the
stalest questions of form into the very substance of its activity. It
dares not accept the collision at the moment when it involves a
principle, when the Executive power has really given itself a blank, and
when the cause of the National Assembly would be the cause of the
nation. It would thereby have issued to the nation an order of march;
and it feared nothing so much as that the nation should move. Hence, on
these occasions, it rejects the motions of the Mountain, and proceeds to
the order of the day. After the issue has in this way lost all
magnitude, the Executive power quietly awaits the moment when it can
take it up again upon small and insignificant occasions; when, so to
say, the issue offers only a parliamentary local interest. Then does
the repressed valor of the party of Order break forth, then it tears
away the curtain from the scene, then it denounces the President, then
it declares the republic to be in danger,--but then all its pathos
appears stale, and the occasion for the quarrel a hypocritical pretext,
or not at all worth the effort. The parliamentary tempest becomes a
tempest in a tea-pot, the struggle an intrigue, the collision a scandal.
While the revolutionary classes gloat with sardonic laughter over the
humiliation of the National Assembly--they, of course, being as
enthusiastic for the prerogatives of the parliament as that body is for
public freedom--the bourgeoisie, outside of the parliament, does not
understand how the bourgeoisie, inside of the parliament, can squander
its time with such petty bickerings, and can endanger peace by such
wretched rivalries with the President. It is puzzled at a strategy that
makes peace the very moment when everybody expects battles, and that
attacks the very moment everybody believes peace has been concluded.

On December 20, Pascal Duprat interpellated the Minister of the Interior
on the "Goldbar Lottery." This lottery was a "Daughter from Elysium";
Bonaparte, together with his faithful, had given her birth; and Police
Prefect Carlier had placed her under his official protection, although
the French law forbade all lotteries, with the exception of games for
benevolent purposes. Seven million tickets, a franc a piece, and the
profit ostensibly destined to the shipping of Parisian vagabonds to
California. Golden dreams were to displace the Socialist dreams of the
Parisian proletariat; the tempting prospect of a prize was to displace
the doctrinal right to labor. Of course, the workingmen of Paris did
not recognize in the lustre of the California gold bars the lack-lustre
francs that had been wheedled out of their pockets. In the main,
however, the scheme was an unmitigated swindle. The vagabonds, who
meant to open California gold mines without taking the pains to leave
Paris, were Bonaparte himself and his Round Table of desperate
insolvents. The three millions granted by the National Assembly were
rioted away; the Treasury had to be refilled somehow or another. In
vain did Bonaparte open a national subscription, at the head of which he
himself figured with a large sum, for the establishment of so-called
"cites ouvrieres." [#3 Work cities.] The hard-hearted bourgeois waited,
distrustful, for the payment of his own shares; and, as this, of course,
never took place, the speculation in Socialist castles in the air fell
flat. The gold bars drew better. Bonaparte and his associates did not
content themselves with putting into their own pockets part of the
surplus of the seven millions over and above the bars that were to be
drawn; they manufactured false tickets; they sold, of Number 10 alone,
fifteen to twenty lots--a financial operation fully in the spirit of the
"Society of December 10"! The National Assembly did not here have before
it the fictitious President of the Republic, but Bonaparte himself in
flesh and blood. Here it could catch him in the act, not in conflict
with the Constitution, but with the penal code. When, upon Duprat's
interpellation, the National Assembly went over to the order of the day,
this did not happen simply because Girardin's motion to declare itself
"satisfied" reminded the party of Order of its own systematic
corruption: the bourgeois, above all the bourgeois who has been inflated
into a statesman, supplements his practical meanness with theoretical
pompousness. As statesman, he becomes, like the Government facing him,
a superior being, who can be fought only in a higher, more exalted

Bonaparte-who, for the very reason of his being a "bohemian," a princely
slum-proletarian, had over the scampish bourgeois the advantage that he
could carry on the fight after the Assembly itself had carried him with
its own hands over the slippery ground of the military banquets, of the
reviews, of the "Society of December 10," and, finally, of the penal
code-now saw that the moment had arrived when he could move from the
seemingly defensive to the offensive. He was but little troubled by the
intermediate and trifling defeats of the Minister of Justice, of the
Minister of War, of the Minister of the Navy, of the Minister of
Finance, whereby the National Assembly indicated its growling
displeasure. Not only did he prevent the Ministers from resigning, and
thus recognizing the subordination of the executive power to the
Parliament; he could now accomplish what during the vacation of the
National Assembly be had commenced, the separation of the military power
from the Assembly--the deposition of Changarnier.

An Elysee paper published an order, issued during the month of May,
ostensibly to the First Military Division, and, hence, proceeding from
Changarnier, wherein the officers were recommended, in case of an
uprising, to give no quarter to the traitors in their own ranks, to
shoot them down on the spot, and to refuse troops to the National
Assembly, should it make a requisition for such. On January 3, 1851,
the Cabinet was interpellated on this order. The Cabinet demands for
the examination of the affair at first three months, then one week,
finally only twenty-four hours' time. The Assembly orders an immediate
explanation Changarnier rises and declares that this order never
existed; he adds that he would ever hasten to respond to the calls of
the National Assembly, and that, in case of a collision, they could
count upon him. The Assembly receives his utterances with inexpressible
applause, and decrees a vote of confidence to him. It thereby resign
its own powers; it decrees its own impotence and the omnipotence of the
Army by committing itself to the private protection of a general. But
the general, in turn, deceives himself when he places at the Assembly's
disposal and against Bonaparte a power that he holds only as a fief from
that same Bonaparte, and when, on his part, he expects protection from
this Parliament, from his protege', itself needful of protection. But
Changarnier has faith in the mysterious power with which since January,
1849, he had been clad by the bourgeoisie. He takes himself for the
Third Power, standing beside the other Powers of Government. He shares
the faith of all the other heroes, or rather saints, of this epoch,
whose greatness consists but in the interested good opinion that their
own party holds of them, and who shrink into every-day figures so soon
as circumstances invite them to perform miracles. Infidelity is,
indeed, the deadly enemy of these supposed heroes and real saints.
Hence their virtuously proud indignation at the unenthusiastic wits and

That same evening the Ministers were summoned to the Elysee; Bonaparte
presses the removal of Changarnier; five Ministers refuse to sign the
order; the "Moniteur" announces a Ministerial crisis; and the party of
Order threatens the formation of a Parliamentary army under the command
of Changarnier. The party of Order had the constitutional power hereto.
It needed only to elect Changarnier President of the National Assembly
in order to make a requisition for whatever military forces it needed
for its own safety. It could do this all the more safely, seeing that
Changarnier still stood at the head of the Army and of the Parisian
National Guard, and only lay in wait to be summoned, together with the
Army. The Bonaprtist press did not even dare to question the right of
the National Assembly to issue a direct requisition for troops;--a legal
scruple, that, under the given circumstances, did not promise success.
That the Army would have obeyed the orders of the National Assembly is
probable, when it is considered that Bonaparte had to look eight days
all over Paris to find two generals--Baraguay d'Hilliers and St. Jean
d'Angley--who declared themselves ready to countersign the order
cashiering Changamier. That, however, the party of Order would have
found in its own ranks and in the parliament the requisite vote for such
a decision is more than doubtful, when it is considered that, eight days
later, 286 votes pulled away from it, and that, as late as December,
1851, at the last decisive hour, the Mountain rejected a similar
proposition. Nevertheless, the burgraves might still have succeeded in
driving the mass of their party to an act of heroism, consisting in
feeling safe behind a forest of bayonets, and in accepting the services
of the Army, which found itself deserted in its camp. Instead of this,
the Messieurs Burgraves betook themselves to the Elysee on the evening
of January 6, with the view of inducing Bonaparte, by means of politic
words and considerations, to drop the removal of Changarnier. Him whom
we must convince we recognize as the master of the situation.
Bonaparte, made to feel secure by this step, appoints on January 12 a
new Ministry, in which the leaders of the old, Fould and Baroche, are
retained. St Jean d'Angley becomes Minister of War; the "Moniteur"
announces the decree cashiering Changarnier; his command is divided up
between Baraguay d'Hilliers, who receives the First Division, and
Perrot, who is placed over the National Guard. The "Bulwark of Society"
is turned down; and, although no dog barks over the event, in the
Bourses the stock quotations rise.

By repelling the Army, that, in Changarnier's person, put itself at its
disposal, and thus irrevocably stood up against the President, the party
of Order declares that the bourgeoisie has lost its vocation to reign.
Already there was no parliamentary Ministry. By losing, furthermore,
the handle to the Army and to the National Guard, what instrument of
force was there left to the National Assembly in order to maintain both
the usurped power of the parliament over the people, and its
constitutional power over the President? None. All that was left to it
was the appeal to peaceful principles, that itself had always explained
as "general rules" merely, to be prescribed to third parties, and only
in order to enable itself to move all the more freely. With the removal
of Changarnier, with the transfer of the military power to Bonaparte,
closes the first part of the period that we are considering, the period
of the struggle between the party of Order and the Executive power. The
war between the two powers is now openly declared; it is conducted
openly; but only after the party of Order has lost both arms and
soldier. With-out a Ministry, without any army, without a people,
without the support of public opinion; since its election law of May 31,
no longer the representative of the sovereign nation sans eyes, sans
ears, sans teeth, sans everything, the National Assembly had gradually
converted itself into a French Parliament of olden days, that must leave
all action to the Government, and content itself with growling
remonstrances "post festum." [#4 After the act is done; after the

The party of Order receives the new Ministry with a storm of
indignation. General Bedeau calls to mind the mildness of the Permanent
Committee during the vacation, and the excessive prudence with which it
had renounced the privilege of disclosing its minutes. Now, the
Minister of the Interior himself insists upon the disclosure of these
minutes, that have now, of course, become dull as stagnant waters,
reveal no new facts, and fall without making the slightest effect upon
the blase public. Upon Remusat's proposition, the National Assembly
retreats into its Committees, and appoints a "Committee on Extraordinary
Measures." Paris steps all the less out of the ruts of its daily
routine, seeing that business is prosperous at the time, the
manufactories busy, the prices of cereals low, provisions abundant, the
savings banks receiving daily new deposits. The "extraordinary
measures," that the parliament so noisily announced fizzle out on
January 18 in a vote of lack of confidence against the Ministry, without
General Changarnier's name being even mentioned. The party of Order was
forced to frame its motion in that way so as to secure the votes of the
republicans, because, of all the acts of the Ministry, Changarnier's
dismissal only was the very one they approved, while the party of Order
cannot in fact, condemn the other Ministerial acts which it had itself
dictated. The January 18 vote of lack of confidence was decided by 415
ayes against 286 nays. It was, accordingly put through by a coalition
of the uncompromising Legitimists and Orleanists with the pure
republicans and the Mountain. Thus it revealed the fact that, in its
conflicts with Bonaparte, not only the Ministry, not only the Army, but
also its independent parliamentary majority; that a troop of
Representatives had deserted its camp out of a fanatic zeal for harmony,
out of fear of fight, out of lassitude, out of family considerations for
the salaries of relatives in office, out of speculations on vacancies in
the Ministry (Odillon Barrot), or out of that unmitigated selfishness
that causes the average bourgeois to be ever inclined to sacrifice the
interests of his class to this or that private motive. The Bonapartist
Representatives belonged from the start to the party of Order only in
the struggle against the revolution. The leader of the Catholic party,
Montalembert, already then threw his influence in the scale of
Bonaparte, since he despaired of the vitality of the parliamentary
party. Finally, the leaders of this party itself, Thiers and
Berryer--the Orleanist and the Legitimist--were compelled to proclaim
themselves openly as republicans ; to admit that their heart favored
royalty, but their head the republic; that their parliamentary republic
was the only possible form for the rule of the bourgeoisie Thus were
they compelled to brand, before the eyes of the bourgeois class itself,
as an intrigue--as dangerous as it was senseless--the restoration plans,
which they continued to pursue indefatigably behind the back of the

The January 18 vote of lack of confidence struck the Ministers, not the
President. But it was not the Ministry, it was the President who had
deposed Changarnier. Should the party of Order place Bonaparte himself
under charges? On account of his restoration hankerings? These only
supplemented their own. On account of his conspiracy at the military
reviews and of the "Society of December 10"? They had long since buried
these subjects under simple orders of business. On account of the
discharge of the hero of January 29 and June 13, of the man who, in May,
1850, threatened, in case of riot, to set Paris on fire at all its four
corners? Their allies of the Mountain and Cavaignac did not even allow
them to console the fallen "Bulwark of Society" with an official
testimony of their sympathy. They themselves could not deny the
constitutional right of the President to remove a General. They stormed
only because he made an unparliamentary use of his constitutional right.
Had they not themselves constantly made an unconstitutional use of their
parliamentary prerogative, notably by the abolition of universal
suffrage? Consequently they were reminded to move exclusively within
parliamentary bounds. Indeed, it required that peculiar disease, a
disease that, since 1848, has raged over the whole continent,
"Parliamentary Idiocy,"--that fetters those whom it infects to an
imaginary world, and robs them of all sense, all remembrance, all
understanding of the rude outside world;--it required this
"Parliamentary Idiocy" in order that the party of Order, which had, with
its own hands, destroyed all the conditions for parliamentary power,
and, in its struggle with the other classes, was obliged to destroy
them, still should consider its parliamentary victories as victories,
and imagine it hit the President by striking his Ministers. They only
afforded him an opportunity to humble the National Assembly anew in the
eyes of the nation. On January 20, the "Moniteur" announced that the
whole the dismissal of the whole Ministry was accepted. Under the
pretext that none of the parliamentary parties had any longer the
majority--as proved by the January 18 vote, that fruit of the coalition
between mountain and royalists--, and, in order to await the
re-formation of a majority, Bonaparte appointed a so-called transition
Ministry, of whom no member belonged to the parliament-altogether wholly
unknown and insignificant individuals; a Ministry of mere clerks and
secretaries. The party of Order could now wear itself out in the game
with these puppets; the Executive power no longer considered it worth
the while to be seriously represented in the National Assembly. By this
act Bonaparte concentrated the whole executive power all the more
securely in his own person; he had all the freer elbow-room to exploit
the same to his own ends, the more his Ministers became mere

The party of Order, now allied with the Mountain, revenged itself by
rejecting the Presidential endowment project of 1,800.000 francs, which
the chief of the "Society of December 10" had compelled his Ministerial
clerks to present to the Assembly. This time a majority of only 102
votes carried the day accordingly since January 18, 27 more votes had
fallen off: the dissolution of the party of Order was making progress.
Lest any one might for a moment be deceived touching the meaning of its
coalition with the Mountain, the party of Order simultaneously scorned
even to consider a motion, signed by 189 members of the Mountain, for a
general amnesty to political criminals. It was enough that the Minister
of the Interior, one Baisse, declared that the national tranquility was
only in appearance, in secret there reigned deep agitation, in secret,
ubiquitous societies were organized, the democratic papers were
preparing to reappear, the reports from the Departments were
unfavorable, the fugitives of Geneva conducted a conspiracy via Lyons
through the whole of southern France, France stood on the verge of an
industrial and commercial crisis, the manufacturers of Roubaix were
working shorter hours, the prisoners of Belle Isle had mutinied;--it was
enough that even a mere Baisse should conjure up the "Red Spectre" for
the party of Order to reject without discussion a motion that would have
gained for the National Assembly a tremendous popularity, and thrown
Bonaparte back into its arms. Instead of allowing itself to be
intimidated by the Executive power with the perspective of fresh
disturbances, the party of Order should rather have allowed a little
elbow-room to the class struggle, in order to secure the dependence of
the Executive upon itself. But it did not feel itself equal to the task
of playing with fire.

Meanwhile, the so-called transition Ministry vegetated along until the
middle of April. Bonaparte tired out and fooled the National Assembly
with constantly new Ministerial combinations. Now he seemed to intend
constructing a republican Ministry with Lamartine and Billault; then, a
parliamentary one with the inevitable Odillon Barrot, whose name must
never be absent when a dupe is needed; then again, a Legitimist, with
Batismenil and Lenoist d'Azy; and yet again, an Orleansist, with
Malleville. While thus throwing the several factions of the party of
Order into strained relations with one another, and alarming them all
with the prospect of a republican Ministry, together with the there-upon
inevitable restoration of universal suffrage, Bonaparte simultaneously
raises in the bourgeoisie the conviction that his sincere efforts for a
parliamentary Ministry are wrecked upon the irreconcilable antagonism of
the royalist factions. All the while the bourgeoisie was clamoring
louder and louder for a "strong Government," and was finding it less and
less pardonable to leave France "without an administration," in
proportion as a general commercial crisis seemed to be under way and
making recruits for Socialism in the cities, as did the ruinously low
price of grain in the rural districts. Trade became daily duller; the
unemployed hands increased perceptibly; in Paris, at least 10,000
workingmen were without bread ; in Rouen, Muehlhausen, Lyons, Roubaix,
Tourcoign, St. Etienue, Elbeuf, etc., numerous factories stood idle.
Under these circumstances Bonaparte could venture to restore, on April
11, the Ministry of January 18; Messieurs Rouher, Fould, Baroche, etc.,
reinforced by Mr. Leon Faucher, whom the constitutive assembly had,
during its last days, unanimously, with the exception of five
Ministerial votes, branded with a vote of censure for circulating false
telegraphic dispatches. Accordingly, the National Assembly had won a
victory on January 18 over the Ministry, it had, for the period of three
months, been battling with Bonaparte, and all this merely to the end
that, on April 11, Fould and Baroche should be able to take up the
Puritan Faucher as third in their ministerial league.

In November, 1849, Bonaparte had satisfied himself with an
Unparliamentary, in January, 1851, with an Extra-Parliamentary, on April
11, he felt strong enough to form an Anti-Parliamentary Ministry, that
harmoniously combined within itself the votes of lack of confidence of
both assemblies-the constitutive and the legislative, the republican and
the royalist. This ministerial progression was a thermometer by which
the parliament could measure the ebbing temperature of its own life.
This had sunk so low by the end of April that, at a personal interview,
Persigny could invite Changarnier to go over to the camp of the
President. Bonaparte, he assured Changarnier, considered the influence
of the National Assembly to be wholly annihilated, and already the
proclamation was ready, that was to be published after the steadily
contemplated, but again accidentally postponed "coup d'etat."
Changarnier communicated this announcement of its death to the leaders
of the party of Order; but who was there to believe a bed-bug bite could
kill? The parliament, however beaten, however dissolved, however
death-tainted it was, could not persuade itself to see, in the duel with
the grotesque chief of the "Society of December 10," anything but a duel
with a bed-bug. But Bonaparte answered the party of Order as Agesilaus
did King Agis: "I seem to you an ant; but shall one day be a lion."


The coalition with the Mountain and the pure republicans, to which the
party of Order found itself condemned in its fruitless efforts to keep
possession of the military and to reconquer supreme control over the
Executive power, proved conclusively that it had forfeited its
independent parliamentary majority. The calendar and clock merely gave,
on May 29, the signal for its complete dissolution. With May 29
commenced the last year of the life of the National Assembly. It now
had to decide for the unchanged continuance or the revision of the
Constitution. But a revision of the Constitution meant not only the
definitive supremacy of either the bourgeoisie of the small traders'
democracy, of either democracy or proletarian anarchy, of either a
parliamentary republic or Bonaparte, it meant also either Orleans or
Bourbon! Thus fell into the very midst of the parliament the apple of
discord, around which the conflict of interests, that cut up the party
of Order into hostile factions, was to kindle into an open
conflagration. The party of Order was a combination of heterogeneous
social substances. The question of revision raised a political
temperature, in which the product was reduced to its original

The interest of the Bonapartists in the revision was simple: they were
above all concerned in the abolition of Article 45, which forbade
Bonaparte's reelection and the prolongation of his term. Not less
simple seemed to be the position of the republicans; they rejected all
revision, seeing in that only a general conspiracy against the republic;
as they disposed over more than one-fourth of the votes in the National
Assembly, and, according to the Constitution, a three-fourths majority
was requisite to revise and to call a revisory convention, they needed
only to count their own votes to be certain of victory. Indeed, they
were certain of it.

Over and against these clear-cut positions, the party of Order found
itself tangled in inextricable contradictions. If it voted against the
revision, it endangered the "status quo," by leaving to Bonaparte only
one expedient--that of violence and handing France over, on May 2, 1852,
at the very time of election, a prey to revolutionary anarchy, with a
President whose authority was at an end; with a parliament that the
party had long ceased to own, and with a people that it meant to
re-conquer. If it voted constitutionally for a revision, it knew that
it voted in vain and would constitutionally have to go under before the
veto of the republicans. If, unconstitutionally, it pronounced a simple
majority binding, it could hope to control the revolution only in case
it surrendered unconditionally to the domination of the Executive power:
it then made Bonaparte master of the Constitution, of the revision and
of itself. A merely partial revision, prolonging the term of the
President, opened the way to imperial usurpation; a general revision,
shortening the existence of the republic, threw the dynastic claims into
an inevitable conflict: the conditions for a Bourbon and those for an
Orleanist restoration were not only different, they mutually excluded
each other.

The parliamentary republic was more than a neutral ground on which the
two factions of the French bourgeoisie--Legitimists and Orleanists,
large landed property and manufacture--could lodge together with equal
rights. It was the indispensable condition for their common reign, the
only form of government in which their common class interest could
dominate both the claims of their separate factions and all the other
classes of society. As royalists, they relapsed into their old
antagonism into the struggle for the overlordship of either landed
property or of money; and the highest expression of this antagonism, its
personification, were the two kings themselves, their dynasties. Hence
the resistance of the party of Order to the recall of the Bourbons.

The Orleanist Representative Creton moved periodically in 1849, 1850 and
1851 the repeal of the decree of banishment against the royal families;
as periodically did the parliament present the spectacle of an Assembly
of royalists who stubbornly shut to their banished kings the door
through which they could return home. Richard III murdered Henry VI,
with the remark that he was too good for this world, and belonged in
heaven. They declared France too bad to have her kings back again.
Forced by the power of circumstances, they had become republicans, and
repeatedly sanctioned the popular mandate that exiled their kings from

The revision of the Constitution, and circumstances compelled its
consideration, at once made uncertain not only the republic itself, but
also the joint reign of the two bourgeois factions; and it revived, with
the possibility of the monarchy, both the rivalry of interests which
these two factions had alternately allowed to preponderate, and the
struggle for the supremacy of the one over the other. The diplomats of
the party of Order believed they could allay the struggle by a
combination of the two dynasties through a so-called fusion of the
royalist parties and their respective royal houses. The true fusion of
the restoration and the July monarchy was, however, the parliamentary
republic, in which the Orleanist and Legitimist colors were dissolved,
and the bourgeois species vanished in the plain bourgeois, in the
bourgeois genus. Now however, the plan was to turn the Orleanist
Legitimist and the Legitimist Orleanist. The kingship, in which their
antagonism was personified, was to incarnate their unity, the expression
of their exclusive faction interests was to become the expression of
their common class interest; the monarchy was to accomplish what only
the abolition of two monarchies--the republic could and did accomplish.
This was the philosopher's stone, for the finding of which the doctors
of the party of Order were breaking their heads. As though the
Legitimate monarchy ever could be the monarchy of the industrial
bourgeoisie, or the bourgeois monarchy the monarchy of the hereditary
landed aristocracy! As though landed property and industry could
fraternize under one crown, where the crown could fall only upon one
head, the head of the older or the younger brother! As though industry
could at all deal upon a footing of equality with landed property, so
long as landed property did not decide itself to become industrial. If
Henry V were to die tomorrow, the Count of Paris would not, therefore,
become the king of the Legitimists, unless he ceased to be the King of
the Orleanists. Nevertheless, the fusion philosophers, who became
louder in the measure that the question of revision stepped to the fore,
who had provided themselves with a daily organ in the "Assemblee
Nationale," who, even at this very moment (February, 1852) are again at
work, explained the whole difficulty by the opposition and rivalries of
the two dynasties. The attempts to reconcile the family of Orleans with
Henry V., begun since the death of Louis Philippe, but, as all these
dynastic intrigues carried on only during the vacation of the National
Assembly, between acts, behind the scenes, more as a sentimental
coquetry with the old superstition than as a serious affair, were now
raised by the party of Order to the dignity of a great State question,
and were conducted upon the public stage, instead of, as heretofore in
the amateurs' theater. Couriers flew from Paris to Venice, from Venice
to Claremont, from Claremont to Paris. The Duke of Chambord issues a
manifesto in which he announces not his own, but the "national"
restoration, "with the aid of all the members of his family." The
Oleanist Salvandy throws himself at the feet of Henry V. The Legitimist
leaders Berryer, Benoit d'Azy, St. Priest travel to Claremont, to
persuade the Orleans; but in vain. The fusionists learn too late that
the interests of the two bourgeois factions neither lose in
exclusiveness nor gain in pliancy where they sharpen to a point in the
form of family interests, of the interests of the two royal houses.
When Henry V. recognized the Count of Paris as his successor--the only
success that the fusion could at best score--the house of Orleans
acquired no claim that the childlessness of Henry V. had not already
secured to it; but, on the other hand, it lost all the claims that it
had conquered by the July revolution. It renounced its original claims,
all the title, that, during a struggle nearly one hundred years long, it
had wrested from the older branch of the Bourbons; it bartered away its
historic prerogative, the prerogative of its family-tree. Fusion,
accordingly, amounted to nothing else than the resignation of the house
of Orleans, its Legitimist resignation, a repentful return from the
Protestant State Church into the Catholic;--a return, at that, that did
not even place it on the throne that it had lost, but on the steps of
the throne on which it was born. The old Orleanist Ministers Guizot,
Duchatel, etc., who likewise hastened to Claremont, to advocate the
fusion, represented in fact only the nervous reaction of the July
monarchy; despair, both in the citizen kingdom and the kingdom of
citizens; the superstitious belief in legitimacy as the last amulet
against anarchy. Mediators, in their imagination, between Orleans and
Bourbon, they were in reality but apostate Orleanists, and as such were
they received by the Prince of Joinville. The virile, bellicose part of
the Orleanists, on the contrary--Thiers, Baze, etc.--, persuaded the
family of Louis Philippe all the easier that, seeing every plan for the
immediate restoration of the monarchy presupposed the fusion of the two
dynasties, and every plan for fusion the resignation of the house of
Orleans, it corresponded, on the contrary, wholly with the tradition of
its ancestors to recognize the republic for the time being, and to wait
until circumstances permitted I the conversion of the Presidential chair
into a throne. Joinville's candidacy was set afloat as a rumor, public
curiosity was held in suspense, and a few months later, after the
revision was rejected, openly proclaimed in September.

Accordingly, the essay of a royalist fusion between Orleanists and
Legitimists did not miscarry only, it broke up their parliamentary
fusion, the republican form that they had adopted in common, and it
decomposed the party of Order into its original components. But the
wider the breach became between Venice and Claremont, the further they
drifted away from each I other, and the greater the progress made by the
Joinville agitation, all the more active and earnest became the
negotiations between Faucher, the Minister of Bonaparte, and the

The dissolution of the party of Order went beyond its original elements.
Each of the two large factions fell in turn into new fragments. It was
as if all the old political shades, that formerly fought and crowded one
another within each of the two circles--be it that of the Legitimists or
that of the Orleanists--, had been thawed out like dried infusoria by
contact with water; as if they had recovered enough vitality to build
their own groups and assert their own antagonisms. The Legitimists
dreamed they were back amidst the quarrels between the Tuileries and the
pavilion Marsan, between Villele and Polignac; the Orleanists lived anew
through the golden period of the tourneys between Guizot, Mole, Broglie,
Thiers, and Odillon Barrot.

That portion of the party of Order--eager for a revision of the
Constitution but disagreed upon the extent of revision--made up of the
Legitimists under Berryer and Falloux and of those under Laroche
Jacquelein, together with the tired-out Orleanists under Mole, Broglie,
Montalembert and Odillon Barrot, united with the Bonapartist
Representatives in the following indefinite and loosely drawn motion:

"The undersigned Representatives, with the end in view of restoring to
the nation the full exercise of her sovereignty, move that the
Constitution be revised."

At the same time, however, they unanimously declared through their
spokesman, Tocqueville, that the National Assembly had not the right to
move the abolition of the republic, that right being vested only in a
Constitutional Convention. For the rest, the Constitution could be
revised only in a "legal" way, that is to say, only in case a
three-fourths majority decided in favor of revision, as prescribed by
the Constitution. After a six days' stormy debate, the revision was
rejected on July 19, as was to be foreseen. In its favor 446 votes were
cast, against it 278. The resolute Oleanists, Thiers, Changarnier,
etc., voted with the republicans and the Mountain.

Thus the majority of the parliament pronounced itself against the
Constitution, while the Constitution itself pronounced itself for the
minority, and its decision binding. But had not the party of Order on
May 31, 1850, had it not on June 13, 1849, subordinated the Constitution
to the parliamentary majority? Did not the whole republic they had been
hitherto having rest upon the subordination of the Constitutional
clauses to the majority decisions of the parliament? Had they not left
to the democrats the Old Testament superstitious belief in the letter of
the law, and had they not chastised the democrats therefor? At this
moment, however, revision meant nothing else than the continuance of the
Presidential power, as the continuance of the Constitution meant nothing
else than the deposition of Bonaparte. The parliament had pronounced
itself for him, but the Constitution pronounced itself against the
parliament. Accordingly, he acted both in the sense of the parliament
when he tore up the Constitution, and in the sense of the Constitution
when he chased away the parliament.

The parliament pronounced the Constitution, and, thereby, also, its own
reign, "outside of the pale of the majority"; by its decision, it
repealed the Constitution, and continued the Presidential power, and it
at once declared that neither could the one live nor the other die so
long as itself existed. The feet of those who were to bury it stood at
the door. While it was debating the subject of revision, Bonaparte
removed General Baraguay d'Hilliers, who showed himself irresolute, from
the command of the First Military Division, and appointed in his place
General Magnan, the conqueror of Lyon; the hero of the December days,
one of his own creatures, who already under Louis Philippe, on the
occasion of the Boulogne expedition, had somewhat compromised himself in
his favor.

By its decision on the revision, the party of Order proved that it knew
neither how to rule nor how to obey; neither how to live nor how to die;
neither how to bear with the republic nor how to overthrow it; neither
how to maintain the Constitution nor how to throw it overboard; neither
how to co-operate with the President nor how to break with him. From
what quarter did it then, look to for the solution of all the existing
perplexities? From the calendar, from the course of events. It ceased
to assume the control of events. It, accordingly, invited events to don
its authority and also the power to which in its struggle with the
people, it had yielded one attribute after another until it finally
stood powerless before the same. To the end that the Executive be able
all the more freely to formulate his plan of campaign against it,
strengthen his means of attack, choose his tools, fortify his positions,
the party of Order decided, in the very midst of this critical moment,
to step off the stage, and adjourn for three months, from August 10 to
November 4.

Not only was the parliamentary party dissolved into its two great
factions, not only was each of these dissolved within itself, but the
party of Order, inside of the parliament, was at odds with the party of
Order, outside of the parliament. The learned speakers and writers of
the bourgeoisie, their tribunes and their press, in short, the
ideologists of the bourgeoisie and the bourgeoisie itself, the
representatives and the represented, stood estranged from, and no longer
understood one another.

The Legitimists in the provinces, with their cramped horizon and their
boundless enthusiasm, charged their parliamentary leaders Berryer and
Falloux with desertion to the Bonapartist camp, and with apostacy from
Henry V. Their lilymind [#1 An allusion to the lilies of the Bourbon
coat-of-arms] believed in the fall of man, but not in diplomacy.

More fatal and completer, though different, was the breach between the
commercial bourgeoisie and its politicians. It twitted them, not as the
Legitimists did theirs, with having apostatized from their principle,
but, on the contrary, with adhering to principles that had become

I have already indicated that, since the entry of Fould in the Ministry,
that portion of the commercial bourgeoisie that had enjoyed the lion's
share in Louis Philippe's reign, to-wit, the aristocracy of finance, had
become Bonapartist. Fould not only represented Bonaparte's interests at
the Bourse, he represented also the interests of the Bourse with
Bonaparte. A passage from the London "Economist," the European organ of
the aristocracy of finance, described most strikingly the attitude of
this class. In its issue of February 1, 1851, its Paris correspondent
writes: "Now we have it stated from numerous quarters that France wishes
above all things for repose. The President declares it in his message
to the Legislative Assembly; it is echoed from the tribune; it is
asserted in the journals; it is announced from the pulpit; it is
demonstrated by the sensitiveness of the public funds at the least
prospect of disturbance, and their firmness the instant it is made
manifest that the Executive is far superior in wisdom and power to the
factious ex-officials of all former governments."

In its issue of November 29, 1851, the "Economist" declares editorially:
"The President is now recognized as the guardian of order on every Stock
Exchange of Europe." Accordingly, the Aristocracy of Finance condemned
the parliamentary strife of the party of Order with the Executive as a
"disturbance of order," and hailed every victory of the President over
its reputed representatives as a "victory of order." Under "aristocracy
of finance" must not, however, be understood merely the large bond
negotiators and speculators in government securities, of whom it may be
readily understood that their interests and the interests of the
Government coincide. The whole modern money trade, the whole banking
industry, is most intimately interwoven with the public credit. Part of
their business capital requires to be invested in interest-bearing
government securities that are promptly convertible into money; their
deposits, i. e., the capital placed at their disposal and by them
distributed among merchants and industrial establishments, flow partly
out of the dividends on government securities. The whole money market,
together with the priests of this market, is part and parcel of this
"aristocracy of finance" at every epoch when the stability of the
government is to them synonymous with "Moses and his prophets." This is
so even before things have reached the present stage when every deluge
threatens to carry away the old governments themselves.

But the industrial Bourgeoisie also, in its fanaticism for order, was
annoyed at the quarrels of the Parliamentary party of Order with the
Executive. Thiers, Anglas, Sainte Beuve, etc., received, after their
vote of January 18, on the occasion of the discharge of Changarnier,
public reprimands from their constituencies, located in the industrial
districts, branding their coalition with the Mountain as an act of high
treason to the cause of order. Although, true enough, the boastful,
vexatious and petty intrigues, through which the struggle of the party
of Order with the President manifested itself, deserved no better
reception, yet notwithstanding, this bourgeois party, that expects of
its representatives to allow the military power to pass without
resistance out of the hands of their own Parliament into those of an
adventurous Pretender, is not worth even the intrigues that were wasted
in its behalf. It showed that the struggle for the maintenance of their
public interests, of their class interests, of their political power
only incommoded and displeased them, as a disturbance of their private

The bourgeois dignitaries of the provincial towns, the magistrates,
commercial judges, etc., with hardly any exception, received Bonaparte
everywhere on his excursions in the most servile manner, even when, as
in Dijon, he attacked the National Assembly and especially the party of
Order without reserve.

Business being brisk, as still at the beginning of 1851, the commercial
bourgeoisie stormed against every Parliamentary strife, lest business be
put out of temper. Business being dull, as from the end of February,
1851, on, the bourgeoisie accused the Parliamentary strifes as the cause
of the stand-still, and clamored for quiet in order that business may
revive. The debates on revision fell just in the bad times. Seeing the
question now was the to be or not to be of the existing form of
government, the bourgeoisie felt itself all the more justified in
demanding of its Representatives that they put an end to this tormenting
provisional status, and preserve the "status quo." This was no
contradiction. By putting an end to the provisional status, it
understood its continuance, the indefinite putting off of the moment
when a final decision had to be arrived at. The "status quo" could be
preserved in only one of two ways: either by the prolongation of
Bonaparte's term of office or by his constitutional withdrawal and the
election of Cavaignac. A part of the bourgeoisie preferred the latter
solution, and knew no better advice to give their Representatives than
to be silent, to avoid the burning point. If their Representatives did
not speak, so argued they, Bonaparte would not act. They desired an
ostrich Parliament that would hide its head, in order not to be seen.
Another part of the bourgeoisie preferred that Bonaparte, being once in
the Presidential chair, be left in the Presidential chair, in order that
everything might continue to run in the old ruts. They felt indignant
that their Parliament did not openly break the Constitution and resign
without further ado. The General Councils of the Departments, these
provisional representative bodies of the large bourgeoisie, who had
adjourned during the vacation of the National Assembly since August 25,
pronounced almost unanimously for revision, that is to say, against the
Parliament and for Bonaparte.

Still more unequivocally than in its falling out with its Parliamentary
Representatives, did the bourgeoisie exhibit its wrath at its literary
Representatives, its own press. The verdicts of the bourgeois juries,
inflicting excessive fines and shameless sentences of imprisonment for
every attack of the bourgeois press upon the usurping aspirations of
Bonaparte, for every attempt of the press to defend the political rights
of the bourgeoisie against the Executive power, threw, not France alone,
but all Europe into amazement.

While on the one hand, as I have indicated, the Parliamentary party of
Order ordered itself to keep the peace by screaming for peace; and while
it pronounced the political rule of the bourgeoisie irreconcilable with
the safety and the existence of the bourgeoisie, by destroying with its
own hands in its struggle with the other classes of society all the
conditions for its own, the Parliamentary regime; on the other hand, the
mass of the bourgeoisie, outside of the Parliament, urged Bonaparte--by
its servility towards the President, by its insults to the Parliament,
by the brutal treatment of its own press--to suppress and annihilate its
speaking and writing organs, its politicians and its literati, its
orators' tribune and its press, to the end that, under the protection of
a strong and unhampered Government, it might ply its own private
pursuits in safety. It declared unmistakably that it longed to be rid
of its own political rule, in order to escape the troubles and dangers
of ruling.

And this bourgeoisie, that had rebelled against even the Parliamentary
and literary contest for the supremacy of its own class, that had
betrayed its leaders in this contest, it now has the effrontery to blame
the proletariat for not having risen in its defence in a bloody
struggle, in a struggle for life! Those bourgeois, who at every turn
sacrificed their, common class interests to narrow and dirty private
interests, and who demanded a similar sacrifice from their own
Representatives, now whine that the proletariat has sacrificed their
idea-political to its own material interests! This bourgeois class now
strikes the attitude of a pure soul, misunderstood and abandoned, at a
critical moment, by the proletariat, that has been misled by the
Socialists. And its cry finds a general echo in the bourgeois world.
Of course, I do not refer to German crossroad politicians and kindred
blockheads. I refer, for instance, to the "Economist," which, as late
as November 29, 1851, that is to say, four days before the "coup d'etat"
pronounced Bonaparte the "Guardian of Order" and Thiers and Berryer
"Anarchists," and as early as December 27, 1851, after Bonaparte had
silenced those very Anarchists, cries out about the treason committed by
"the ignorant, untrained and stupid proletaires against the skill,
knowledge, discipline, mental influence, intellectual resources an moral
weight of the middle and upper ranks." The stupid, ignorant and
contemptible mass was none other than the bourgeoisie itself.

France had, indeed; experienced a sort of commercial crisis in 1851. At
the end of February, there was a falling off of exports as compared with
1850; in March, business languished and factories shut down; in April,
the condition of the industrial departments seemed as desperate as after
the February days; in May, business did not yet pick up; as late as June
28, the reports of the Bank of France revealed through a tremendous
increase of deposits and an equal decrease of loans on exchange notes,
the standstill of production; not until the middle of October did a
steady improvement of business set in. The French bourgeoisie accounted
for this stagnation of business with purely political reasons; it
imputed the dull times to the strife between the Parliament and the
Executive power, to the uncertainty of a provisional form of government,
to the alarming prospects of May 2, 1852. I shall not deny that all
these causes did depress some branches of industry in Paris and in the
Departments. At any rate, this effect of political circumstances was
only local and trifling. Is there any other proof needed than that the
improvement in business set in at the very time when the political
situation was growing worse, when the political horizon was growing
darker, and when at every moment a stroke of lightning was expected out
of the Elysee--in the middle of October? The French bourgeois, whose
"skill, knowledge, mental influence and intellectual resources," reach
no further than his nose, could, moreover, during the whole period of
the Industrial Exposition in London, have struck with his nose the cause
of his own business misery. At the same time that, in France, the
factories were being closed, commercial failures broke out in England.
While the industrial panic reached its height during April and May in
France, in England the commercial panic reached its height in April and
May. The same as the French, the English woolen industries suffered,
and, as the French, so did the English silk manufacture. Though the
English cotton factories went on working, it, nevertheless, was not with
the same old profit of 1849 and 1850. The only difference was this:
that in France, the crisis was an industrial, in England it was a
commercial one; that while in France the factories stood still, they
spread themselves in England, but under less favorable circumstances
than they had done the years just previous; that, in France, the export,
in England, the import trade suffered the heaviest blows. The common
cause, which, as a matter of fact, is not to be looked for with-in the
bounds of the French political horizon, was obvious. The years 1849 and
1850 were years of the greatest material prosperity, and of an
overproduction that did not manifest itself until 1851. This was
especially promoted at the beginning of 1851 by the prospect of the
Industrial Exposition; and, as special causes, there were added, first,
the failure of the cotton crop of 1850 and 1851; second, the certainty
of a larger cotton crop than was expected: first, the rise, then the
sudden drop; in short, the oscillations of the cotton market. The crop
of raw silk in France had been below the average. Finally, the
manufacture of woolen goods had received such an increment since 1849,
that the production of wool could not keep step with it, and the price
of the raw material rose greatly out of proportion to the price of the
manufactured goods. Accordingly, we have here in the raw material of
three staple articles a threefold material for a commercial crisis.
Apart from these special circumstances, the seeming crisis of the year
1851 was, after all, nothing but the halt that overproduction and
overspeculation make regularly in the course of the industrial cycle,
before pulling all their forces together in order to rush feverishly
over the last stretch, and arrive again at their point of departure--the
General Commercial Crisis. At such intervals in the history of trade,
commercial failures break out in England, while, in France, industry
itself is stopped, partly because it is compelled to retreat through the
competition of the English, that, at such times becomes resistless in
all markets, and partly because, as an industry of luxuries, it is
affected with preference by every stoppage of trade. Thus, besides the
general crisis, France experiences her own national crises, which,
how-ever, are determined by and conditioned upon the general state of
the world's market much more than by local French influences. It will
not be devoid of interest to contrast the prejudgment of the French
bourgeois with the judgment of the English bourgeois. One of the
largest Liverpool firms writes in its yearly report of trade for 1851:
"Few years have more completely disappointed the expectations
entertained at their beginning than the year that has just passed;
instead of the great prosperity, that was unanimously looked forward to,
it proved itself one of the most discouraging years during the last
quarter of a century. This applies, of course, only to the mercantile,
not to the industrial classes. And yet, surely there were grounds at
the beginning of the year from which to draw a contrary conclusion; the
stock of products was scanty, capital was abundant, provisions cheap, a
rich autumn was assured, there was uninterrupted peace on the continent
and no political and financial disturbances at home; indeed, never were
the wings of trade more unshackled. . . . What is this unfavorable
result to be ascribed to? We believe to excessive trade in imports as
well as exports. If our merchants do not themselves rein in their
activity, nothing can keep us going, except a panic every three years."

Imagine now the French bourgeois, in the midst of this business panic,
having his trade-sick brain tortured, buzzed at and deafened with rumors
of a "coup d'etat" and the restoration of universal suffrage; with the
struggle between the Legislature and the Executive; with the Fronde
warfare between Orleanists and Legitimists; with communistic
conspiracies in southern France; with alleged Jacqueries [#2 Peasant
revolts] in the Departments of Nievre and Cher; with the advertisements
of the several candidates for President; with "social solutions"
huckstered about by the journals; with the threats of the republicans to
uphold, arms in hand, the Constitution and universal suffrage; with the
gospels, according to the emigrant heroes "in partibus," who announced
the destruction of the world for May 2,--imagine that, and one can
understand how the bourgeois, in this unspeakable and noisy confusion of
fusion, revision, prorogation, constitution, conspiracy, coalition,
emigration, usurpation and revolution, blurts out at his parliamentary
republic: "Rather an End With Fright, Than a Fright Without End."

Bonaparte understood this cry. His perspicacity was sharpened by the
growing anxiety of the creditors' class, who, with every sunset, that
brought nearer the day of payment, the 2d of May, 1852, saw in the
motion of the stars a protest against their earthly drafts. They had
become regular astrologers The National Assembly had cut off Bonaparte's
hope of a constitutional prolongation of his term; the candidature of
the Prince of Joinville tolerated no further vacillation.

If ever an event cast its shadow before it long before its occurrence,
it was Bonaparte's "coup d'etat." Already on January 29, 1849, barely a
month after his election, he had made to Changarnier a proposition to
that effect. His own Prime Minister. Odillon Barrot, had covertly, in
1849, and Thiers openly in the winter of 1850, revealed the scheme of
the "coup d'etat." In May, 1851, Persigny had again sought to win
Changarnier over to the "coup," and the "Miessager de l'Assemblee"
newspaper had published this conversation. At every parliamentary
storm, the Bonapartist papers threatened a "coup," and the nearer the
crisis approached, all the louder grew their tone. At the orgies, that
Bonaparte celebrated every night with a swell mob of males and females,
every time the hour of midnight drew nigh and plenteous libations had
loosened the tongues and heated the minds of the revelers, the "coup"
was resolved upon for the next morning. Swords were then drawn, glasses
clinked, the Representatives were thrown out at the windows, the
imperial mantle fell upon the shoulders of Bonaparte, until the next
morning again drove away the spook, and astonished Paris learned, from
not very reserved Vestals and indiscreet Paladins, the danger it had
once more escaped. During the months of September and October, the
rumors of a "coup d'etat" tumbled close upon one another's heels. At
the same time the shadow gathered color, like a confused daguerreotype.
Follow the issues of the European daily press for the months of
September and October, and items like this will be found literally:

"Rumors of a 'coup' fill Paris. The capital, it is said, is to be
filled with troops by night and the next morning decrees are to be
issued dissolving the National Assembly, placing the Department of the
Seine in state of siege restoring universal suffrage, and appealing to
the people. Bonaparte is rumored to be looking for Ministers to execute
these illegal decrees."

The newspaper correspondence that brought this news always close
ominously with "postponed." The "coup" was ever the fixed idea of
Bonaparte. With this idea he had stepped again upon French soil. It
had such full possession of him that he was constantly betraying and
blabbing it out. He was so weak that he was as constantly giving it up
again. The shadow of the "coup" had become so familiar a spectre to the
Parisians, that they refused to believe it when it finally did appear in
flesh and blood. Consequently, it was neither the reticent backwardness
of the chief of the "Society of December 10," nor an unthought of
surprise of the National Assembly that caused the success of the "coup."
When it succeeded, it did so despite his indiscretion and with its
anticipation--a necessary, unavoidable result of the development that
had preceded.

On October 10, Bonaparte announced to his Ministers his decision to
restore universal suffrage; on the 16th day they handed in their
resignations; on the 26th Paris learned of the formation of the Thorigny
Ministry. The Prefect of Police, Carlier, was simultaneously replaced
by Maupas; and the chief of the First Military Division Magnan,
concentrated the most reliable regiments in the capital. On November 4,
the National Assembly re-opened its sessions. There was nothing left
for it to do but to repeat, in short recapitulation, the course it had
traversed, and to prove that it had been buried only after it had
expired. The first post that it had forfeited in the struggle with the
Executive was the Ministry. It had solemnly to admit this loss by
accepting as genuine the Thorigny Ministry, which was but a pretence.
The permanent Committee had received Mr. Giraud with laughter when he
introduced himself in the name of the new Ministers. So weak a Ministry
for so strong a measure as the restoration of universal suffrage! The
question, however, then was to do nothing in, everything against the

On the very day of its re-opening, the National Assembly received the
message from Bonaparte demanding the restoration of universal suffrage
and the repeal of the law of May 31, 1850. On the same day, his
Ministers introduced a decree to that effect. The Assembly promptly
rejected the motion of urgency made by the Ministers, but repealed the
law itself, on November 13, by a vote of 355 against 348. Thus it once
more tore to pieces its own mandate, once more certified to the fact
that it had transformed itself from a freely chosen representative body
of the nation into the usurpatory parliament of a class; it once more
admitted that it had itself severed the muscles that connected the
parliamentary head with the body of the nation.

While the Executive power appealed from the National Assembly to the
people by its motion for the restoration of universal suffrage, the
Legislative power appealed from the people to the Army by its "Questors'
Bill." This bill was to establish its right to immediate requisitions
for troops, to build up a parliamentary army. By thus appointing the
Army umpire between itself and the people, between itself and Bonaparte;
by thus recognizing the Army as the decisive power in the State, the
National Assembly was constrained to admit that it had long given up all
claim to supremacy. By debating the right to make requisitions for
troops, instead of forthwith collecting them, it betrayed its own doubts
touching its own power. By thus subsequently rejecting the "Questors'
Bill," it publicly confessed it impotence. The bill fell through with a
minority of 108 votes; the Mountain had, accordingly, thrown the casting
vote It now found itself in the predicament of Buridan's donkey, not,
indeed, between two sacks of hay, forced to decide which of the two was
the more attractive, but between two showers of blows, forced to decide
which of the two was the harder; fear of Changarnier, on one side, fear
of Bonaparte, on the other. It must be admitted the position was not a
heroic one.

On November 18, an amendment was moved to the Act, passed by the party
of Order, on municipal elections to the effect that, instead of three
years, a domicile of one year should suffice. The amendment was lost by
a single vote--but this vote, it soon transpired, was a mistake. Owing
to the divisions within its own hostile factions, the party of Order had
long since forfeited its independent parliamentary majority. It was now
plain that there was no longer any majority in the parliament. The
National Assembly had become impotent even to decide. Its atomic parts
were no longer held together by any cohesive power; it had expended its
last breath, it was dead.

Finally, the mass of the bourgeoisie outside of the parliament was once
more solemnly to confirm its rupture with the bourgeoisie inside of the
parliament a few days before the catastrophe. Thiers, as a
parliamentary hero conspicuously smitten by that incurable
disease--Parliamentary Idiocy--, had hatched out jointly with the
Council of State, after the death of the parliament, a new parliamentary
intrigue in the shape of a "Responsibility Law," that was intended to
lock up the President within the walls of the Constitution. The same
as, on September 15, Bonaparte bewitched the fishwives, like a second
Massaniello, on the occasion of laying the corner-stone for the Market
of Paris,--though, it must be admitted, one fishwife was equal to
seventeen Burgraves in real power--; the same as, after the introduction
of the "Questors' Bill," he enthused the lieutenants, who were being
treated at the Elysee;--so, likewise, did he now, on November 25, carry
away with him the industrial bourgeoisie, assembled at the Circus, to
receive from his hands the prize-medals that had been awarded at the
London Industrial Exposition. I here reproduce the typical part of his
speech, from the "Journal des Debats":

"With such unhoped for successes, I am justified to repeat how great the
French republic would be if she were only allowed to pursue her real
interests, and reform her institutions, instead of being constantly
disturbed in this by demagogues, on one side, and, on the other, by
monarchic hallucinations. (Loud, stormy and continued applause from all
parts of the amphitheater). The monarchic hallucinations hamper all
progress and all serious departments of industry. Instead of progress,
we have struggle only. Men, formerly the most zealous supporters of
royal authority and prerogative, become the partisans of a convention
that has no purpose other than to weaken an authority that is born of
universal suffrage. (Loud and prolonged applause). We see men, who
have suffered most from the revolution and complained bitterest of it,
provoking a new one for the sole purpose of putting fetters on the will
of the nation. . . . I promise you peace for the future." (Bravo!
Bravo! Stormy bravos.)

Thus the industrial bourgeoisie shouts its servile "Bravo!" to the "coup
d'etat" of December 2, to the destruction of the parliament, to the
downfall of their own reign, to the dictatorship of Bonaparte. The rear
of the applause of November 25 was responded to by the roar of cannon on
December 4, and the house of Mr. Sallandrouze, who had been loudest in
applauding, was the one demolished by most of the bombs.

Cromwell, when he dissolved the Long Parliament, walked alone into its
midst, pulled out his watch in order that the body should not continue
to exist one minute beyond the term fixed for it by him, and drove out
each individual member with gay and humorous invectives. Napoleon,
smaller than his prototype, at least went on the 18th Brumaire into the
legislative body, and, though in a tremulous voice, read to it its
sentence of death. The second Bonaparte, who, moreover, found himself
in possession of an executive power very different from that of either
Cromwell or Napoleon, did not look for his model in the annals of
universal history, but in the annals of the "Society of December 10," in
the annals of criminal jurisprudence. He robs the Bank of France of
twenty-five million francs; buys General Magnan with one million and the
soldiers with fifteen francs and a drink to each; comes secretly
together with his accomplices like a thief by night; has the houses of
the most dangerous leaders in the parliament broken into; Cavalignac,
Lamorciere, Leflo, Changarnier, Charras, Thiers, Baze, etc., taken out
of their beds; the principal places of Paris, the building of the
parliament included, occupied with troops; and, early the next morning,
loud-sounding placards posted on all the walls proclaiming the
dissolution of the National Assembly and of the Council of State, the
restoration of universal suffrage, and the placing of the Department of
the Seine under the state of siege. In the same way he shortly after
sneaked into the "Moniateur" a false document, according to which
influential parliamentary names had grouped themselves round him in a
Committee of the Nation.

Amidst cries of "Long live the Republic!", the rump-parliament,
assembled at the Mayor's building of the Tenth Arrondissement, and
composed mainly of Legitimists and Orleanists, resolves to depose
Bonaparte; it harangues in vain the gaping mass gathered before the
building, and is finally dragged first, under the escort of African
sharpshooters, to the barracks of Orsay, and then bundled into convicts'
wagons and transported to the prisons of Mazas, Ham and Vincennes. Thus
ended the party of Order, the Legislative Assembly and the February

Before hastening to the end, let us sum up shortly the plan of its

I.--First Period. From February 24 to May 4, 1848. February period.
Prologue. Universal fraternity swindle.

II.--Second Period. Period in which the republic is constituted, and of
the Constitutive National Assembly.

1. May 4 to June 25, 1848. Struggle of all the classes against the house
of Mr. proletariat. Defeat of the proletariat in the June days.

2. June 25 to December 10, 1848. Dictatorship of the pure bourgeois
republicans. Drafting of the Constitution. The state of siege hangs
over Paris. The Bourgeois dictatorship set aside on December 10 by the
election of Bonaparte as President.

3. December 20, 1848, to May 20, 1849. Struggle of the Constitutive
Assembly with Bonaparte and with the united party of Order. Death of
the Constitutive Assembly. Downfall of the republican bourgeoisie.

III.--Third Period. Period of the constitutional republic and of the
Legislative National Assembly.

1. May 29 to June 13, 1849. Struggle of the small traders', middle
class with the bourgeoisie and with Bonaparte. Defeat of the small
traders' democracy.

2. June 13, 1849, to May, 1850. Parliamentary dictatorship of the party
of Order. Completes its reign by the abolition of universal suffrage,
but loses the parliamentary Ministry.

3. May 31, 1850, to December 2, 1851. Struggle between the
parliamentary bourgeoisie and Bonaparte.

a. May 31, 1850, to January 12, 1851. The parliament loses the supreme
command over the Army.

b. January 12 to April 11, 1851. The parliament succumbs in the
attempts to regain possession of the administrative power. The party of
Order loses its independent parliamentary majority. Its coalition with
the republicans and the Mountain.

c. April 11 to October 9, 1851. Attempts at revision, fusion and
prorogation. The party of Order dissolves into its component parts. The
breach between the bourgeois parliament and the bourgeois press, on the
one hand, and the bourgeois mass, on the other, becomes permanent.

d. October 9 to December 2, 1851. Open breach between the parliament and
the executive power. It draws up its own decree of death, and goes
under, left in the lurch by its own class, by the Army, and by all the
other classes. Downfall of the parliamentary regime and of the reign of
the bourgeoisie. Bonaparte's triumph. Parody of the imperialist


The Social Republic appeared as a mere phrase, as a prophecy on the
threshold of the February Revolution; it was smothered in the blood of
the Parisian proletariat during the days of 1848 but it stalks about as
a spectre throughout the following acts of the drama. The Democratic
Republic next makes its bow; it goes out in a fizzle on June 13, 1849,
with its runaway small traders; but, on fleeing, it scatters behind it
all the more bragging announcements of what it means do to. The
Parliamentary Republic, together with the bourgeoisie, then appropriates
the whole stage; it lives its life to the full extent of its being; but
the 2d of December, 1851, buries it under the terror-stricken cry of the
allied royalists: "Long live the Republic!"

The French bourgeoisie reared up against the reign of the working
proletariat;--it brought to power the slum-proletariat, with the chief
of the "Society of December 10" at its head. It kept France in
breathless fear over the prospective terror of "red anarchy;"--Bonaparte
discounted the prospect when, on December 4, he had the leading citizens
of the Boulevard Montmartre and the Boulevard des Italiens shot down
from their windows by the grog-inspired "Army of Order." It made the
apotheosis of the sabre; now the sabre rules it. It destroyed the
revolutionary press;--now its own press is annihilated. It placed
public meetings under police surveillance;--now its own salons are
subject to police inspection. It disbanded the democratic National
Guards;--now its own National Guard is disbanded. It instituted the
state of siege;--now itself is made subject thereto. It supplanted the
jury by military commissions;--now military commissions supplant its own
juries. It subjected the education of the people to the parsons'
interests;--the parsons' interests now subject it to their own systems.
It ordered transportations without trial;--now itself is transported
without trial. It suppressed every movement of society with physical
force;--now every movement of its own class is suppressed by physical
force. Out of enthusiasm for the gold bag, it rebelled against its own
political leaders and writers;--now, its political leaders and writers
are set aside, but the gold hag is plundered, after the mouth of the
bourgeoisie has been gagged and its pen broken. The bourgeoisie
tirelessly shouted to the revolution, in the language of St. Orsenius to
the Christians: "Fuge, Tace, Quiesce!"--flee, be silent, submit!--;
Bonaparte shouts to the bourgeoisie: "Fuge, Tace, Oniesce!"--flee, be
silent, submit!

The French bourgeoisie had long since solved Napoleon's dilemma: "Dans
cinquante ans l'Europe sera republicaine ou cosaque." [#1 Within fifty
years Europe will be either republican or Cossack.] It found the
solution in the "republique cosaque." [#2 Cossack republic.] No Circe
distorted with wicked charms the work of art of the bourgeois republic
into a monstrosity. That republic lost nothing but the appearance of
decency. The France of to-day was ready-made within the womb of the
Parliamentary republic. All that was wanted was a bayonet thrust, in
order that the bubble burst, and the monster leap forth to sight.

Why did not the Parisian proletariat rise after the 2d of December?

The downfall of the bourgeoisie was as yet merely decreed; the decree
was not yet executed. Any earnest uprising of the proletariat would
have forthwith revived this bourgeoisie, would have brought on its
reconciliation with the army, and would have insured a second June rout
to the workingmen.

On December 4, the proletariat was incited to fight by Messrs. Bourgeois
& Small-Trader. On the evening of that day, several legions of the
National Guard promised to appear armed and uniformed on the place of
battle. This arose from the circumstance that Messrs. Bourgeois &
Small-Trader had got wind that, in one of his decrees of December 2,
Bonaparte abolished the secret ballot, and ordered them to enter the
words "Yes" and "No" after their names in the official register.
Bonaparte took alarm at the stand taken on December 4. During the night
he caused placards to be posted on all the street corners of Paris,
announcing the restoration of the secret ballot. Messrs. Bourgeois &
Small-Trader believed they had gained their point. The absentees, the
next morning, were Messieurs. Bourgeois & Small-Trader.

During the night of December 1 and 2, the Parisian proletariat was
robbed of its leaders and chiefs of barricades by a raid of Bonaparte's.
An army without officers, disinclined by the recollections of June, 1848
and 1849, and May, 1850, to fight under the banner of the Montagnards,
it left to its vanguard, the secret societies, the work of saving the
insurrectionary honor of Paris, which the bourgeoisie had yielded to the
soldiery so submissively that Bonaparte was later justified in disarming
the National Guard upon the scornful ground that he feared their arms
would be used against themselves by the Anarchists!

"C'est Ic triomphe complet et definitif du Socialism!"' Thus did Guizot
characterize the 2d of December. But, although the downfall of the
parliamentary republic carries with it the germ of the triumph of the
proletarian revolution, its immediate and tangible result was the
triumph of Bonaparte over parliament, of the Executive over the
Legislative power, of force without phrases over the force of phrases.
In the parliament, the nation raised its collective will to the dignity
of law, i.e., it raised the law of the ruling class to the dignity of
its collective will. Before the Executive power, the nation abdicates
all will of its own, and submits to the orders of an outsider of
Authority. In contrast with the Legislative, the Executive power
expresses the heteronomy of the nation in contrast with its autonomy.
Accordingly, France seems to have escaped the despotism of a class only
in order to fall under the despotism of an individual, under the
authority, at that of an individual without authority The struggle seems
to settle down to the point where all classes drop down on their knees,
equally impotent and equally dumb

All the same, the revolution is thoroughgoing. It still is on its
passage through purgatory. It does its work methodically: Down to
December 2, 1851, it had fulfilled one-half of its programme, it now
fulfils the other half. It first ripens the power of the Legislature
into fullest maturity in order to be able to overthrow it. Now that it
has accomplished that, the revolution proceeds to ripen the power of the
Executive into equal maturity; it reduces this power to its purest
expression; isolates it; places it before itself as the sole subject for
reproof in order to concentrate against it all the revolutionary forces
of destruction. When the revolution shall have accomplished this second
part of its preliminary programme, Europe will jump up from her seat to
exclaim: "Well hast thou grubbed, old mole!"

The Executive power, with its tremendous bureaucratic and military
organization; with its wide-spreading and artificial machinery of
government--an army of office-holders, half a million strong, together
with a military force of another million men--; this fearful body of
parasites, that coils itself like a snake around French society,
stopping all its pores, originated at the time of the absolute monarchy,
along with the decline of feudalism, which it helped to hasten. The
princely privileges of the landed proprietors and cities were
transformed into so many at-tributes of the Executive power; the feudal
dignitaries into paid office-holders; and the confusing design of
conflicting medieval seigniories, into the well regulated plan of a
government, work is subdivided and centralized as in the factory. The
first French revolution, having as a mission to sweep away all local,
territorial, urban and provincial special privileges, with the object of
establishing the civic unity of the nation, was hound to develop what
the absolute monarchy had begun--the work of centralization, together
with the range, the attributes and the menials of government. Napoleon
completed this governmental machinery. The Legitimist and the July
Monarchy contribute nothing thereto, except a greater subdivision of
labor, that grew in the same measure as the division and subdivision of
labor within bourgeois society raised new groups and interests, i.e.,
new material for the administration of government. Each Common interest
was in turn forthwith removed from society, set up against it as a
higher Collective interest, wrested from the individual activity of the
members of society, and turned into a subject for governmental
administration, from the bridges, the school house and the communal
property of a village community, up to the railroads, the national
wealth and the national University of France. Finally, the
parliamentary republic found itself, in its struggle against the
revolution, compelled, with its repressive measures, to strengthen the
means and the centralization of the government. Each overturn, instead
of breaking up, carried this machine to higher perfection. The parties,
that alternately wrestled for supremacy, looked upon the possession of
this tremendous governmental structure as the principal spoils of their

Nevertheless, under the absolute monarchy, was only the means whereby
the first revolution, and under Napoleon, to prepare the class rule of
the bourgeoisie; under the restoration, under Louis Philippe, and under
the parliamentary republic, it was the instrument of the ruling class,
however eagerly this class strained after autocracy. Not before the
advent of the second Bonaparte does the government seem to have made
itself fully independent. The machinery of government has by this time
so thoroughly fortified itself against society, that the chief of the
"Society of December 10" is thought good enough to be at its head; a
fortune-hunter, run in from abroad, is raised on its shield by a drunken
soldiery, bought by himself with liquor and sausages, and whom he is
forced ever again to throw sops to. Hence the timid despair, the sense
of crushing humiliation and degradation that oppresses the breast of
France and makes her to choke. She feels dishonored.

And yet the French Government does not float in the air. Bonaparte
represents an economic class, and that the most numerous in the
commonweal of France--the Allotment Farmer. [#4 The first French
Revolution distributed the bulk of the territory of France, held at the
time by the feudal lords, in small patches among the cultivators of the
soil. This allotment of lands created the French farmer class.]

As the Bourbons are the dynasty of large landed property, as the Orleans
are the dynasty of money, so are the Bonapartes the dynasty of the
farmer, i.e. of the French masses. Not the Bonaparte, who threw himself
at the feet of the bourgeois parliament, but the Bonaparte, who swept
away the bourgeois parliament, is the elect of this farmer class. For
three years the cities had succeeded in falsifying the meaning of the
election of December 10, and in cheating the farmer out of the
restoration of the Empire. The election of December 10, 1848, is not
carried out until the "coup d'etat" of December 2, 1851.

The allotment farmers are an immense mass, whose individual members live
in identical conditions, without, however, entering into manifold
relations with one another. Their method of production isolates them
from one another, instead of drawing them into mutual intercourse. This
isolation is promoted by the poor means of communication in France,
together with the poverty of the farmers themselves. Their field of
production, the small allotment of land that each cultivates, allows no
room for a division of labor, and no opportunity for the application of
science; in other words, it shuts out manifoldness of development,
diversity of talent, and the luxury of social relations. Every single
farmer family is almost self-sufficient; itself produces directly the
greater part of what it consumes; and it earns its livelihood more by
means of an interchange with nature than by intercourse with society.
We have the allotted patch of land, the farmer and his family; alongside
of that another allotted patch of land, another farmer and another
family. A bunch of these makes up a village; a bunch of villages makes
up a Department. Thus the large mass of the French nation is
constituted by the simple addition of equal magnitudes--much as a bag
with potatoes constitutes a potato-bag. In so far as millions of
families live under economic conditions that separate their mode of
life, their interests and their culture from those of the other classes,
and that place them in an attitude hostile toward the latter, they
constitute a class ; in so far as there exists only a local connection
among these farmers, a connection which the individuality and
exclusiveness of their interests prevent from generating among them any
unity of interest, national connections, and political organization,
they do not constitute a class. Consequently, they are unable to assert
their class interests in their own name, be it by a parliament or by
convention. They can not represent one another, they must themselves be
represented. Their representative must at the same time appear as their
master, as an authority over them, as an unlimited governmental power,
that protects them from above, bestows rain and sunshine upon them.
Accordingly, the political influence of the allotment farmer finds its
ultimate expression in an Executive power that subjugates the commonweal
to its own autocratic will.

Historic tradition has given birth to the superstition among the French
farmers that a man named Napoleon would restore to them all manner of
glory. Now, then, an individual turns I up, who gives himself out as
that man because, obedient to the "Code Napoleon," which provides that
"La recherche de la paternite est interdite," [#5 The inquiry into
paternity is forbidden.] he carries the name of Napoleon. [#6
L. N. Bonaparte is said to have been an illegitimate son.] After a
vagabondage of twenty years, and a series of grotesque adventures, the
myth is verified, and that man becomes the Emperor of the French. The
rooted thought of the Nephew becomes a reality because it coincided with
the rooted thought of the most numerous class among the French.

"But," I shall be objected to, "what about the farmers' uprisings over
half France, the raids of the Army upon the farmers, the wholesale
imprisonment and transportation of farmers?"

Indeed, since Louis XIV., France has not experienced such persecutions
of the farmer on the ground of his demagogic machinations.

But this should be well understood: The Bonaparte dynasty does not
represent the revolutionary, it represents the conservative farmer; it
does not represent the farmer, who presses beyond his own economic
conditions, his little allotment of land it represents him rather who
would confirm these conditions; it does not represent the rural
population, that, thanks to its own inherent energy, wishes, jointly
with the cities to overthrow the old order, it represents, on the
contrary, the rural population that, hide-bound in the old order, seeks
to see itself, together with its allotments, saved and favored by the
ghost of the Empire; it represents, not the intelligence, but the
superstition of the farmer; not his judgment, but his bias; not his
future, but his past; not his modern Cevennes; [#7 The Cevennes were the
theater of the most numerous revolutionary uprisings of the farmer
class.] but his modern Vendee. [#8 La Vendee was the theater of
protracted reactionary uprisings of the farmer class under the first

The three years' severe rule of the parliamentary republic had freed a
part of the French farmers from the Napoleonic illusion, and, though
even only superficially; had revolutionized them The bourgeoisie threw
them, however, violently back every time that they set themselves in
motion. Under the parliamentary republic, the modern wrestled with the
traditional consciousness of the French farmer. The process went on in
the form of a continuous struggle between the school teachers and the
parsons;--the bourgeoisie knocked the school teachers down. For the
first time, the farmer made an effort to take an independent stand in
the government of the country; this manifested itself in the prolonged
conflicts of the Mayors with the Prefects;--the bourgeoisie deposed the
Mayors. Finally, during period of the parliamentary republic, the
farmers of several localities rose against their own product, the
Army;--the bourgeoisie punished them with states of siege and
executions. And this is the identical bourgeoisie, that now howls over
the "stupidity of the masses," over the "vile multitude," which, it
claims, betrayed it to Bonaparte. Itself has violently fortified the
imperialism of the farmer class; it firmly maintained the conditions
that Constitute the birth-place of this farmer-religion. Indeed, the
bourgeoisie has every reason to fear the stupidity of the masses--so
long as they remain conservative; and their intelligence--so soon as
they become revolutionary.

In the revolts that took place after the "coup d'etat" a part of the
French farmers protested, arms in hand, against their own vote of
December 10, 1848. The school house had, since 1848, sharpened their
wits. But they had bound themselves over to the nether world of
history, and history kept them to their word. Moreover, the majority of
this population was still so full of prejudices that, just in the
"reddest" Departments, it voted openly for Bonaparte. The National
Assembly prevented, as it thought, this population from walking; the
farmers now snapped the fetters which the cities had struck upon the
will of the country districts. In some places they even indulged the
grotesque hallucination of a "Convention together with a Napoleon."

After the first revolution had converted the serf farmers into
freeholders, Napoleon fixed and regulated the conditions under which,
unmolested, they could exploit the soil of France, that had just fallen
into their hands, and expiate the youthful passion for property. But
that which now bears the French farmer down is that very allotment of
land, it is the partition of the soil, the form of ownership, which
Napoleon had consolidated. These are the material condition that turned
French feudal peasant into a small or allotment farmer, and Napoleon
into an Emperor. Two generations have sufficed to produce the
inevitable result the progressive deterioration of agriculture, and the
progressive encumbering of the agriculturist The "Napoleonic" form of
ownership, which, at the beginning of the nineteenth century was the
condition for the emancipation and enrichment of the French rural
population, has, in the course of the century, developed into the law of
their enslavement and pauperism. Now, then, this very law is the first
of the "idees Napoleoniennes," which the second Bonaparte must uphold.
If he still shares with the farmers the illusion of seeking, not in the
system of the small allotment itself, but outside of that system, in the
influence of secondary conditions, the cause of their ruin, his
experiments are bound to burst like soap-bubbles against the modern
system of production.

The economic development of the allotment system has turned bottom
upward the relation of the farmer to the other classes of society.
Under Napoleon, the parceling out of the agricultural lands into small
allotments supplemented in the country the free competition and the
incipient large production of the cities. The farmer class was the
ubiquitous protest against the aristocracy of land, just then
overthrown. The roots that the system of small allotments cast into the
soil of France, deprived feudalism of all nutriment. Its boundary-posts
constituted the natural buttress of the bourgeoisie against every stroke
of the old overlords. But in the course of the nineteenth century, the
City Usurer stepped into the shoes of the Feudal Lord, the Mortgage
substituted the Feudal Duties formerly yielded by the soil, bourgeois
Capital took the place of the aristocracy of Landed Property. The
former allotments are now only a pretext that allows the capitalist
class to draw profit, interest and rent from agricultural lands, and to
leave to the farmer himself the task of seeing to it that he knock out
his wages. The mortgage indebtedness that burdens the soil of France
imposes upon the French farmer class they payment of an interest as
great as the annual interest on the whole British national debt. In
this slavery of capital, whither its development drives it irresistibly,
the allotment system has transformed the mass of the French nation into
troglodytes. Sixteen million farmers (women and children included),
house in hovels most of which have only one opening, some two, and the
few most favored ones three. Windows are to a house what the five
senses are to the head. The bourgeois social order, which, at the
beginning of the century, placed the State as a sentinel before the
newly instituted allotment, and that manured this with laurels, has
become a vampire that sucks out its heart-blood and its very brain, and
throws it into the alchemist's pot of capital. The "Code Napoleon" is
now but the codex of execution, of sheriff's sales and of intensified
taxation. To the four million (children, etc., included) official
paupers, vagabonds, criminals and prostitutes, that France numbers, must
be added five million souls who hover over the precipice of life, and
either sojourn in the country itself, or float with their rags and their
children from the country to the cities, and from the cities back to the
country. Accordingly, the interests of the farmers are no longer, as
under Napoleon, in harmony but in conflict with the interests of the
bourgeoisie, i.e., with capital; they find their natural allies and
leaders among the urban proletariat, whose mission is the overthrow of
the bourgeois social order. But the "strong and unlimited
government"--and this is the second of the "idees Napoleoniennes," which
the second Napoleon has to carried out--, has for its mission the
forcible defence of this very "material" social order, a "material
order" that furnishes the slogan in Bonaparte's proclamations against
the farmers in revolt.

Along with the mortgage, imposed by capital upon the farmer's allotment,
this is burdened by taxation. Taxation is the fountain of life to the
bureaucracy, the Army, the parsons and the court, in short to the whole
apparatus of the Executive power. A strong government, and heavy taxes
are identical. The system of ownership, involved in the system of
allotments lends itself by nature for the groundwork of a powerful and
numerous bureaucracy: it produces an even level of conditions and of
persons over the whole surface of the country; it, therefore, allows the
exercise of an even influence upon all parts of this even mass from a
high central point downwards: it annihilates the aristocratic gradations
between the popular masses and the Government; it, consequently, calls
from all sides for the direct intervention of the Government and for the
intervention of the latter's immediate organs; and, finally, it produces
an unemployed excess of population, that finds no room either in the
country or in the cities, that, consequently, snatches after public
office as a sort of dignified alms, and provokes the creation of further
offices. With the new markets, which he opened at the point of the
bayonet, and with the plunder of the continent, Napoleon returned to the
farmer class with interest the taxes wrung from them. These taxes were
then a goad to the industry of the farmer, while now, on the contrary,
they rob his industry of its last source of support, and completely sap
his power to resist poverty. Indeed, an enormous bureaucracy, richly
gallooned and well fed is that "idee Napoleonienne" that above all
others suits the requirements of the second Bonaparte. How else should
it be, seeing he is forced to raise alongside of the actual classes of
society, an artificial class, to which the maintenance of his own regime
must be a knife-and-fork question? One of his first financial
operations was, accordingly, the raising of the salaries of the
government employees to their former standard and the creation of new

Another "idee Napoleonienne" is the rule of the parsons as an instrument
of government. But while the new-born allotment, in harmony with
society, in its dependence upon the powers of nature, and in its
subordination to the authority that protected it from above, was
naturally religious, the debt-broken allotment, on the contrary, at odds
with society and authority, and driven beyond its own narrow bounds,
becomes as naturally irreligious. Heaven was quite a pretty gift thrown
in with the narrow strip of land that had just been won, all the more as
it makes the weather; it, however, becomes an insult from the moment it
is forced upon the farmer as a substitute for his allotment. Then the
parson appears merely as the anointed blood-hound of the earthly
police,--yet another "idee Napoleonienne." The expedition against Rome
will next time take place in France, but in a reverse sense from that of
M. de Montalembert.

Finally, the culminating point of the "idees Napoleoniennes" is the
preponderance of the Army. The Army was the "point of honor" with the
allotment farmers: it was themselves turned into masters, defending
abroad their newly established property, glorifying their recently
conquered nationality, plundering and revolutionizing the world. The
uniform was their State costume; war was their poetry; the allotment,
expanded and rounded up in their phantasy, was the fatherland; and
patriotism became the ideal form of property. But the foe, against whom
the French farmer must now defend his property, are not the Cossacks,
they are the sheriffs and the tax collectors. The allotment no longer
lies in the so-called fatherland, but in the register of mortgages. The
Army itself no longer is the flower of the youth of the farmers, it is
the swamp-blossom of the slum-proletariat of the farmer class. It
consists of "remplacants," substitutes, just as the second Bonaparte
himself is but a remplacant," a substitute, for Napoleon. Its feats of
heroism are now performed in raids instituted against farmers and in the
service of the police;--and when the internal contradictions of his own
system shall drive the chief of the "Society of December 10" across the
French frontier, that Army will, after a few bandit-raids, gather no
laurels but only hard knocks.

It is evident that all the "idees Napoleoniennes" are the ideas of the
undeveloped and youthfully fresh allotment; they are an absurdity for
the allotment that now survives. They are only the hallucinations of
its death struggle; words turned to hollow phrases, spirits turned to
spooks. But this parody of the Empire was requisite in order to free
the mass of the French nation from the weight of tradition, and to
elaborate sharply the contrast between Government and Society. Along
with the progressive decay of the allotment, the governmental structure,
reared upon it, breaks down. The centralization of Government, required
by modern society, rises only upon the ruins of the military and
bureaucratic governmental machinery that was forged in contrast to

The conditions of the French farmers' class solve to us the riddle of
the general elections of December 20 and 21, that led the second
Bonaparte to the top of Sinai, not to receive, but to decree laws.

The bourgeoisie had now, manifestly, no choice but to elect Bonaparte.
When at the Council of Constance, the puritans complained of the sinful
life of the Popes, and moaned about the need of a reform in morals,
Cardinal d'Ailly thundered into their faces: "Only the devil in his Own
person can now save the Catholic Church, and you demand angels." So,
likewise, did the French bourgeoisie cry out after the "coup d'etat":
"Only the chief of the 'Society of December 10' can now save bourgeois
society, only theft can save property, only perjury religion, only
bastardy the family, only disorder order!"

Bonaparte, as autocratic Executive power, fulfills his mission to secure
"bourgeois order." But the strength of this bourgeois order lies in the
middle class. He feels himself the representative of the middle class,
and issues his decrees in that sense. Nevertheless, he is something
only because he has broken the political power of this class, and daily
breaks it anew. Hence he feels himself the adversary of the political
and the literary power of the middle class. But, by protecting their
material, he nourishes anew their political power. Consequently, the
cause must be kept alive, but the result, wherever it manifests itself,
swept out of existence. But this procedure is impossible without slight
mistakings of causes and effects, seeing that both, in their mutual
action and reaction, lose their distinctive marks. Thereupon, new
decrees, that blur the line of distinction. Bonaparte, furthermore,
feels himself, as against the bourgeoisie, the representative of the
farmer and the people in general, who, within bourgeois society, is to
render the lower classes of society happy. To this end, new decrees,
intended to exploit the "true Socialists," together with their
governmental wisdom. But, above all, Bonaparte feels himself the chief
of the "Society of December 10," the representative of the
slum-proletariat, to which he himself, his immediate surroundings, his
Government, and his army alike belong, the main object with all of whom
is to be good to themselves, and draw Californian tickets out of the
national treasury. An he affirms his chieftainship of the "Society of
December 10" with decrees, without decrees, and despite decrees.

This contradictory mission of the man explains the contradictions of his
own Government, and that confused groping about, that now seeks to win,
then to humiliate now this class and then that, and finishes by arraying
against itself all the classes; whose actual insecurity constitutes a
highly comical contrast with the imperious, categoric style of the
Government acts, copied closely from the Uncle.

Industry and commerce, i.e., the business of the middle class, are to be
made to blossom in hot-house style under the "strong Government." Loans
for a number of railroad grants. But the Bonapartist slum-proletariat
is to enrich itself. Peculation is carried on with railroad concessions
on the Bourse by the initiated; but no capital is forthcoming for the
railroads. The bank then pledges itself to make advances upon railroad
stock; but the bank is itself to be exploited; hence, it must be
cajoled; it is released of the obligation to publish its reports weekly.
Then follows a leonine treaty between the bank and the Government. The
people are to be occupied: public works are ordered; but the public
works raise the tax rates upon the people; thereupon the taxes are
reduced by an attack upon the national bond-holders through the
conversion of the five per cent "rentes" [#9 The name of the French
national bonds.] into four-and-halves. Yet the middle class must again
be tipped: to this end, the tax on wine is doubled for the people, who
buy it at retail, and is reduced to one-half for the middle class, that
drink it at wholesale. Genuine labor organizations are dissolved, but
promises are made of future wonders to accrue from organization. The
farmers are to be helped: mortgage-banks are set up that must promote
the indebtedness; of the farmer and the concentration of property but
again, these banks are to be utilized especially to the end of squeezing
money out of the confiscated estates of the House of Orleans; no
capitalist will listen to this scheme, which, moreover, is not mentioned
in the decree; the mortgage bank remains a mere decree, etc., etc.

Bonaparte would like to appear as the patriarchal benefactor of all
classes; but he can give to none without taking from the others. As was
said of the Duke of Guise, at the time of the Fronde, that he was the
most obliging man in France because he had converted all his estates
into bonds upon himself for his Parisians, so would Napoleon like to be
the most obliging man in France and convert all property and all labor
of France into a personal bond upon himself. He would like to steal the
whole of France to make a present thereof to France, or rather to be
able to purchase France back again with French money;--as chief of the
"Society of December 10," he must purchase that which is to be his. All
the State institutions, the Senate, the Council of State, the
Legislature, the Legion of Honor, the Soldiers' decorations, the public
baths, the public buildings, the railroads, the General Staff of the
National Guard, exclusive of the rank and file, the confiscated estates
of the House of Orleans,--all are converted into institutions for
purchase and sale. Every place in the Army and the machinery of
Government becomes a purchasing power. The most important thing,
however, in this process, whereby France is taken to be given back to
herself, are the percentages that, in the transfer, drop into the hands
of the chief and the members of the "Society of December 10." The
witticisms with which the Countess of L., the mistress of de Morny,
characterized the confiscations of the Orleanist estates: "C'est le
premier vol de l'aigle," [#10 "It is the first flight of the eagle" The
French word "vol" means theft as well as flight.] fits every fight of
the eagle that is rather a crow. He himself and his followers daily
call out to themselves, like the Italian Carthusian monk in the legend
does to the miser, who displayfully counted the goods on which he could
live for many years to come: "Tu fai conto sopra i beni, bisogna prima
far il conto sopra gli anni." [#11 "You count your property you should
rather count the years left to you."] In order not to make a mistake in
the years, they count by minutes. A crowd of fellows, of the best among
whom all that can be said is that one knows not whence he comes--a
noisy, restless "Boheme," greedy after plunder, that crawls about in
gallooned frocks with the same grotesque dignity as Soulonque's [#12
Soulonque was the negro Emperor of the short-lived negro Empire of
Hayti.] Imperial dignitaries--, thronged the court crowded the
ministries, and pressed upon the head of the Government and of the Army.
One can picture to himself this upper crust of the "Society of December
10" by considering that Veron Crevel [#13 Crevel is a character of
Balzac, drawn after Dr. Veron, the proprietor of the "Constitutional"
newspaper, as a type of the dissolute Parisian Philistine.] is their
preacher of morality, and Granier de Cassagnac their thinker. When
Guizot, at the time he was Minister, employed this Granier on an obscure
sheet against the dynastic opposition, he used to praise him with the
term: "C'est le roi des droles." [#14 "He Is the king of the clowns."]
It were a mistake to recall the days of the Regency or of Louis XV. by
the court and the kit of Louis Bonaparte's: "Often did France have a
mistress-administration, but never yet an administration of kept men."
[#15 Madame de Girardin.]

Harassed by the contradictory demands of his situation, and compelled,
like a sleight-of-hands performer, to keep, by means of constant
surprises, the eyes of the public riveted upon himself as the substitute
of Napoleon, compelled, consequently, everyday to accomplish a sort of
"coup" on a small scale, Bonaparte throws the whole bourgeois social
system into disorder; he broaches everything that seemed unbroachable by
the revolution of 1848; he makes one set people patient under the
revolution and another anxious for it; he produces anarchy itself in the
name of order by rubbing off from the whole machinery of Government the
veneer of sanctity, by profanting it, by rendering it at once nauseating
and laughable. He rehearses in Paris the cult of the sacred coat of
Trier with the cult of the Napoleonic Imperial mantle. But when the
Imperial Mantle shall have finally fallen upon the shoulders of Louis
Bonaparte, then will also the iron statue of Napoleon drop down from the
top of the Vendome column. [#16 A prophecy that a few years later,
after Bonaparte's coronation as Emperor, was literally fulfilled. By
order of Emperor Louis Napoleon, the military statue of the Napoleon
that originally surmounted the Vendome was taken down and replaced by
one of first Napoleon in imperial robes.]


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