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A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year

Having grown suspicious of Marmont


[Sidenote: Thiers]

[Sidenote: Marmont]

[Sidenote: The July revolution]

The Orders in Council appeared in the "Moniteur" the next day. It was said that Sauvo, the editor of the "Moniteur," as he gave the order to go to press, exclaimed: "God protect the King." The publication of the edict caused an instant extraordinary fall in stocks. Thiers thundered against it in the "Journal des Debats." Government troops seized the printing presses of the leading journals. Murmuring crowds gathered on the streets. The King appointed Marshal Marmont commandant of Paris. It was the last stroke, for Marmont was popularly execrated as the betrayer of Napoleon. The National Guards brought forth their old tricolor cockades of the Revolution and the Empire. Though military patrols tramped the streets, the night passed quietly. Next morning all work stopped, and the people fell to building barricades. Whole streets were torn up. The pupils of the Polytechnic School broke open the gates and the tricolor flag floated on the towers of Notre Dame. Marshal Marmont reported to the King: "Sire, it is no longer a riot, but a revolution. There is urgent need for your Majesty to take means of pacification. Thus the honor of the Crown may yet be saved. To-morrow it will be too late." The King's answer was to declare Paris under a state of siege. The so-called "Great Week," or "three days' revolution," had begun. The bourgeoisie or middle class and all the students joined the revolt. Before nightfall 600 barricades blocked the streets of Paris. Every house became a fortress. "Where do the rebels get their powder?" asked the King in astonishment. "From the soldiers," was the curt reply of the Procureur-General.

[Sidenote: Charles X. obstinate]

[Sidenote: Fall of Ministry]

[Sidenote: An interim republic]

[Sidenote: Duke of Orleans summoned]

In the evening the Hotel de Ville was captured. That evening the Ministers tried to enlighten the King, but he only replied: "Let the insurgents lay down their arms." While the discharges of artillery shook the windows of the palace the King played whist. Next day two line regiments openly joined the revolt. The Louvre was stormed. Still the King at St. Cloud would not yield. "They exaggerate the danger," said he. "I know what concessions would lead to. I have no wish to ride like my brother on a cart." Instead of concessions he vested the command in the Dauphin, having grown suspicious of Marmont. The mob sacked the Tuileries and hoisted the tricolor flag on the clock tower. At the Hotel de Ville a municipal commission was installed, composed of Lafayette, Casimir Perier, General Lobau and Audry de Puyraveau. At last, when it was too late, the King countermanded his obnoxious orders and dismissed Polignac with his Ministry. The people no longer paid attention to the King's acts. He was declared deposed. A republic was proclaimed and its presidency offered to Lafayette. But the old hero declined the honor. With Thiers he threw his influence in favor of the Duke of Orleans. The Duke of Orleans, the son of Philip Egalite, of Revolutionary fame, was invited to Paris to exercise the functions of lieutenant-general of the kingdom. The deposed King at St. Cloud hastened to confirm the appointment. The Duke of Orleans respectfully declined the royal appointment. "You cannot receive things from everybody," said Dupont. General Lafayette soon came to pay his respects. "You know," said he, "that I am a republican, and consider the Constitution of the United States as the most perfect that has been devised." "So do I," replied the Duke; "but do you think that in the present condition of France it would be advisable for us to adopt it?" "No," answered Lafayette; "what the French people must now have is a popular throne, surrounded by republican institutions." "That is just my opinion," said Prince Louis Philippe.


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