History of the French Revolution from 1789 to 1814 by F. A. M. Mignet

By F. A. M. Mignet

Bonaparte, who had destroyed the freedom of the clicking, created remarkable tribunals, and who had departed a growing number of from the foundations of the revolution, felt that sooner than he went extra it was once essential to holiday totally with the liberal social gathering of the 18th Brumaire. In Ventose, yr X. (March, 1802), the main vigorous of the tribunes have been pushed aside by means of an easy operation of the senate. The tribunate used to be diminished to 80 participants, and the legislative physique underwent an analogous purgation.

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Sample text

The court was to have another antagonist, for it must always have one, power never being without a candidate. The third estate, which increased daily in strength, wealth, intelligence, and union, was destined to combat and to displace it. The parliament did not constitute a class, but a body; and in this new contest, while able to aid in the displacement of authority, it could not secure it for itself. The court had favoured the progress of the third estate, and had contributed to the development of one of its chief means of advancement, its intelligence.

This great minister, of whom Malesherbes said, “he has the head of Bacon and the heart of l’Hopital,” wished by means of provincial assemblies to accustom the nation to public life, and prepare it for the restoration of the states-general. He would have effected the revolution by ordinances, had he been able to stand. 37 But under the system of special privileges and general servitude, all projects for the public good were impraticable. Turgot dissatisfied the courtiers by his ameliorations, displeased the parliament by the abolition of statute labour, wardenships, and internal duties, and alarmed the old minister by the ascendancy which his virtue gave him over Louis XVI.

It had at former periods attempted to effect this, but in vain, because its efforts were premature. It was then but just emancipated, and possessed not that which establishes superiority, and leads to the acquisition of power; for right is only obtained 34 by might. Accordingly, in insurrections as in the states-general, it had held but the third rank; everything was done with its aid, but nothing for it. In times of feudal tyranny, it had served the kings against the nobles; when ministerial and fiscal despotism prevailed, it assisted the nobles against the kings; but, in the first instance, it was nothing more than the servant of the crown; in the second, than that of the aristocracy.

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