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From the Westminster Review.

THE FRENCH REPUBLIC.

1. Le National.

2. Le Journal des Economistes. Gilliaumin.

3. Le Rapport de la Commission d'Enquête sur les événements de Mai et de Juillet. 4. Three Months in Power. By M. de Lamartine. H. Bohn.

THE shifting scenes and convulsive strug-in the alienation of the people from their gles of the new French Republic, as yet rulers, and the withdrawal of that moral scarcely assured of its existence, form a sanction which is the only true basis of series of important political lessons, by power, and without which no administration which, if understood, this country might can be long sustained.

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greatly benefit; but we find them so misin- According to certain writers, whose office terpreted by the press, that we fear little it is to discredit as much as possible the benefit will be derived from them by either French Republic with the middle classes of the rulers or the people of Great Britain England, the principal author of the revoand Ireland. It appears to be with nations lution of February was Adolphe Chénu, a as with individuals-easily led to draw false shoemaker, connected with the party of conclusions from the experience of others, The Reforme " newspaper, who boasts and who profit only by their own. (and it is but vain boasting) of having The report of the committee of the taken a leading part in the nomination of National Assembly appointed to inquire Ledru Rollin, Louis Blanc, Flocon, Albert, into the causes of the insurrections of May and François Arago, as members of the and June, has enabled the English ministe-provisional government. According to Odirial and conservative press to read many lon Barrot, and the Committee of Inquiry, homilies to the public on the kind of men all the disorders that have happened since, by whom violent revolutions are made; have been the work of individual conspiradescribed as reckless desperadoes, actuated tors, like Chénu; and in denouncing Louis by sordid and selfish objects, and with no- Blanc and Caussidière as insurrectionary thing about them common to humanity but chiefs, the committee doubtless imagine its outward forms. that they have struck at the root of the Admitted-if only from the evidence of evil. Returning again to this side the criminal returns-that a criminal popula- Channel, we find Smith O'Brien, Dillon, tion exists, and that men of blood are Meagher of the Sword, and half-a-dozen certain to find employment where blood has turbulent physical-force chartists, enemies to be shed, it is yet not true (and it is im- sufficiently formidable, if we are to believe portant the error should be exposed) that revolutions are the work of this pariah caste. If it were so, there would never be a week without revolutions; for it cannot be doubted, that at all times multitudes are to be found willing enough to resort to All these conclusions are founded in erviolence for sordid and selfish objects, when ror, and they belong to the most serious a safe opportunity presents itself. If it political mistakes that can be committed were so, the rebellion in Ireland would not by statesmen. Conspirators may certainly have proved abortive; for that it failed always be mischievous, and a street riot was certainly not for want of daring adven-may occasion much public anxiety, but they turers, or unscrupulousness in the use of are only really dangerous upon a large weapons of destruction. scale, when the mass of the nation is with

the ministerial journals, to insure the entire ruin of the empire, were the slightest reduction attempted in our army and navy expenditure,-now amounting to seventeen millions sterling per annum !

Rebellions are not to be got up by public them. Louis Philippe, alone, was the auadvertisements, nor are governments to be thor of the revolution of February. From overthrown by mobs. Before a handful of the period of his accession to his flight, he rioters can proclaim a revolution, the revo- had busied himself in the erection of an lution must have been already accomplish-edifice upon a rotten foundation, and when ed; silently and imperceptibly, perhaps, the first shocks came, by which all foresaw but not the less effectually accomplished, it would have to be assailed, it crumbled

into dust. The insurgents of February | forward under the sanction of the present were merely the accidental expounders of a Secretary of the Board of Control:nation's will. It was given to them to say, of the system of government pursued by Louis Philippe, "Let this end." It ended, and would have ended, sooner or later, if neither Adolphe Chénu, Louis Blanc, nor any other of the heroes of the barricades had existed.

"It is time the truth should be spoken boldly out (and it will come better from devoted lovers the Tory press), that the idea of equal laws for and servants of constitutional liberty than from England and for Ireland is a delusion, a mockery, and a mischief; that Ireland is not ripe for constitutional, still less for self-government; that to give freedom to the rebellious and the lawless is to in

And let us take the warning to ourselves while there is yet time. There is much inflict tyranny and injustice on the well-disposed; the policy pursued by our own government that must end, and end soon. That it has happily not yet ended rudely, by an outburst of violence, we owe to the good sense of the English public, and to a very wide-spread conviction that it is

better to bear the ills we have, Than rush to others that we know not of."

and that not till Ireland has been trained and inured to respect and obey the law by years of learned those lessons of justice, honesty, truth, rigid and severe enforcement, will she have and subordination which can alone entitle her, by sharing English virtues, to share English liberties and English institutions."-Economist, Sept. 2,

1848.

It has been proved this last session before a Committee of the House of Commons

But how long will the impatience of the that the number of legally qualified elecpeople be kept within the bounds of pru- millions, is only 60,000. The solicitortors in Ireland, with its population of eight dence? How long will public indignation at the slow progress of the organic and ad- general has explained that the number of ministrative reforms most needed, be re-soil landed proprietors among whom the whole strained within the limits of order by the soil of Ireland is divided, is but 8,000, and middle-class dread of revolution ? Not that a large proportion of their estates is a moment longer than when the financial so locked up by entails and mortgages that embarrassments of a spendthrift adminis- the land can only be occupied by a pauper These 8,000 proprietors, for tration, and the continued depression of tenantry.* trade from a sense of general insecurity, the most part Protestants and absentees, shall reach the point at which public and command the entire patronage of governprivate credit shall fail to be upheld. Let ment as affecting the civil interests of the the period but arrive when a Chancellor of Catholic millions; and have, through sucthe Exchequer shall fail to secure, by taxes cessive centuries, enforced the power thus or loans, the half yearly dividends, and the placed in their hands by a penal code worgovernment falls,-and with it the whole thy of the most barbarous despotism, which system of aristocratical domination, to has only been relaxed in our own times, which we owe the creation of that unpreceand not yet altogether abandoned. dented load of public debt, of which the rection became a duty (provided insurrecdividends, and the taxes which pay them, tion could be proved to be the best remedy are a standing memorial. The British gov- for national grievances), it is this; and yet ernment is now sustained, not by national confidence in the wisdom of its councils, or men, in the position of the member for in the progressive adaptation of our insti- Westbury, can affect to deny that the peotutions to the wants of the community, but ple of Ireland have any cause for disaffecby a dread of further disturbance of the tion, and, blind to the experience of all interests of property. The time may be time, have the hardihood to revive the near at hand when any change in our insti- sophisms of the old apologists for tyranny; tutions may be deemed better for property telling us that the institutiens of slavery than a continued stagnation of all living that respect for justice is to be taught by are the best preparations for liberty, and functions in the body politic, or a retrograde policy towards the maxims of the violating its most fundamental axiom,— that all men should be equal in the eye of the law.

Stuarts.

We write earnestly, and we have reason for some anxiety when we find, at a time of grave emergency, the following sentiments with reference to the sister kingdom put

If ever there were a case in which insur

* For which "the Encumbered Estates Bill" of this session is but a very inadequate remedy, although a step in the direction of improvement.

clear up some misapprehension of the facts, bearing most directly upon our own future prospects.

Nothing can well be more saddening to a political philosopher, than the obscure notions of liberty which are held by many who call themselves advocates of human rights; and in this respect we must admit We resume the thread of our former narthat there is but little distinction to be rative with one further prefatory reflection, made between the two extreme sections of which seems to have escaped the ministerial the French republicans and whig reformers. and conservative press when they declaim The practical comment of the actions of upon the horrors of the insurrection of June both resolves the struggle for liberty into as an argument against republicanisma miserable question of which shall be up-that all the troubles that have arisen from permost. The whig aristocracy and their the ignorance of the people, as well as the worshippers have always been the first to financial embarrassments of the Governdenounce arbitrary power in the hands of ment, are the heritage of the monarchy of a tory cabinet; but, placed in their own, July. However sad the spectacle of the behold, the same arbitrary power becomes populace of Paris as it displayed itself in the palladium of the state! The defini- June, such as it is it was left by the ministion of constitutional liberty given by "The ters of public instruction of Louis Philippe. Economist," is that of the American slave- Whether the promise of the new Repubholder, who could not conceive of a land of lie, that the people at large shall at last enliberty in which he was not at liberty to joy the benefit of a sound and comprehenpunish a negro as he pleased. Would you sive education will be realized, the future fit the negro for self-improvement? Flog alone will disclose; but their present neghim, imprison him, or put him in chains at lected moral and intellectual condition is at your own caprice. Begin by depriving him least not the result of republican training. of every vestige of civil right. Let his It is the result of that system of state-craft, every thought be in subservienee to the which, to uphold the monarchy of July, will of a master. This is not the short sacrificed education to the clergy for the and easy mode of dealing with popular dis- sake of their support out of doors, or barcontent, to which large masses of men, not tered the patronage of education for parliaaltogether destitute of the arts of reading mentary support within. This is perhaps and writing, can be brought to submit in the heaviest charge that now weighs in the the nineteenth century. The tide of opin-mind of thinking men against the adminision rolls on in the direction of self-government; and those who will not guide it but seek to stay its progress, will only be themselves buried, while resisting it, beneath the advancing and irresistible ocean wave of democracy. Louis Philippe wrought his own overthrow by the very policy which is now proclaimed as the whig talisman-a charm, not of safety but destruction.

The rock upon which, the reputation of modern statesmen suffers shipwreck is that of over-rating the personal influence of individual agitators, and under-rating the moral influence of opinion. Popular ideas of political or social policy, whether right or wrong, are not to be prudently defied; when wrong, they may be got rid of by public discussion, but not by prosecutions; when founded in truth, they should be at once accepted, as the only means of securing the stability of public institutions.

tration of M. Guizot; and the time may come when, if ever our own cabinet ministers shall be compelled, under a new order of things, to take their trial before a national tribunal for high treason against the State, committed in the exercise of their present functions, it will be for the same betrayal of the most important of all national trusts the interests of the rising generation.

Let the reader, if he would appreciate the gravity and justice of this charge, and compare the populace of London and Paris, spend an hour towards dusk in the purlieus of Westminster Abbey, and speculate upon the wolfish physiognomies he will meet in Strutten's Ground or Snow's Rents. Let him imagine London fairly in the hands, for three days, of such sections of our working population; and then call to mind that this district is the centre of the operations A brief outline of the principal events of that ecclesiastical institution called the which have followed in France the Revolu-National School Society, without exception of February, in continuation of the tion the worst conducted establishment of paper on that subject in our April number, the kind in Europe, but to which a gigantic will illustrate this position, and, we hope, share of public education has been deliber

ately given; and given only as the bargain for a qualified parliamentary support, concluded between the present government and the party represented by Sir Robert Inglis and the Bishop of London.*

In the moral, as in the physical world, all violent convulsions are to be dreaded. Every one would prefer a pleasant alternation of showers and sunshine to the storms that rend the oak; but the air is the purer for occasional tempests, when they are past: and so with revolutions. There are, in all o'd societies, a mass of worn-out forms, false precedents, class privileges and abuses, too inveterate for any power less terrible than a moral earthquake to sweep away-so, at least, the present resistance to progress of the privileged classes in this country would teach us; and revolutions, attended with violence, must therefore be accepted, with other calamities, as the law of Providence.

The immediate disasters to which such convulsions lead, are not occasioned by the mere change of persons or forms in the executive, but arise out of its unsettlement. A revolution is the signal for party struggle; and for a length of time it remains doubtful with whom political power will rest, Where it rests finally is ever determined by the will of the nation, with or without universal suffrage; but this is rarely understood by revolutionary leaders. They do not allow for the difference of their position when the nation is passive, leaving them to act at their own discretion, and perhaps applauding their summary justice, and the time when suspicion has been excited of their own ulterior objects, and a spirit of national resistance has been aroused to defeat them. It was the natural error of the mob of rioters that broke into the Chamber of Deputies on the 24th February, that what a mob had done once it could do again. The mistake was in not perceiving that the mob had really done nothing but what the nation had permitted;-the disgust of all classes with the government of that day having been at the time greater than their apprehensions of a popular émeute. Circumstances had changed before the 15th of May, and before the 23d of

The principal condition of which is, that no inspector of schools in connexion with the National School Society shall be appointed without the consent of the Archbishop of Canterbury; and a consequence of which is, that the whole of the twelve inspectors so appointed are clergymen.

June society had pronounced its fiat, as in the days of Napoleon, of "military rule rather than mob law." Fortunately, General Cavaignac appears to understand his own position, and to recognize a truth of which Napoleon was ignorant, that mob law, and military rule, are both alike states of transition, and that the world is too far advanced to allow of either as the basis of permanent national institutions.

The most hopeful circumstance of the occurences of February, was the formal announcement of this truth by M. de Lamartine. On the very day of the triumph of the revolution, in the midst of the street combatants, who had burst into the Chamber of Deputies on the 24th of February, he stated his conviction, that the right of forming a new government did not rest with them, but with the 35,000,000 of the French nation, to whom it would be necessary to appeal; and that in the meantime, an organization purely provisional could alone replace the government that had fallen. Such was also the spirit of the first proclamation of the Provisional Government. It said,

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Neither the people of Paris, nor the Provisional Government, desire to substitute their opinion for the opinions of the citizens at large, upon the definite form of government which the national sovereignty shall proclaim."

The people of Paris, however, or rather the men of the barricades, would not adopt the liberal sentiments preferred in their

name.

The proclamation, instead of gratifying them by its respect for true liberty, alarmed them by the possibility it implied, that a Republic might not, after all, be accepted by the nation at large. To prevent this danger, they insisted that the nation should have no option in the matter;-besieged the chambers of the Hotel de Ville with threatening importunities, and refused to disperse until the Provisional Government had assented to a decree, formally proclaiming a Republic, and abolishing royalty for ever.

This was done on the following day;—a false step, but one for which there seems to have been no help. The members of the Provisional Government were, at the time, but straws in a whirlwind, then at the height of its fury. Their names even were scarcely as yet known to the public, and

the resignation of Lamartine and the more moderate portion of his colleagues, would not have hindered a proclamation of the same tenor, with different signatures.

It is of some importance, however, to note that this announcement of a Republic, without any previous consultation of the nation, was really a violation of the very principle of national sovereignty which a Republic is supposed to establish; and we remark this, the rather because the views of even such a man as General Cavaignae do not appear to be quite clear upon the subject. The sovereignty of the people" means, that the will of the majority shall prevail. But this involves the right of the people to combine monarchical forms with representative institutions, if they should deem it expedient to do so. To suppose, then, the case of the majority of a nation being in favor of an hereditary president, -from old associations, or from a desire to avoid the periodical excitement of elections, the minority that should decide for an elective president, and enforce its decision by the aid of the military, although it might call the government it established a Republic, if it thought proper, or by any other name, such a government would really be an oligarchical usurpation.

of arbitrary legislation,-thrust upon them, it is true, and exercised with much honesty of purpose, but not the less a dangerous trust. Every decree issued from the Hotel de Ville, was a mischievous precedent. No matter what the wisdom of the decree, considered apart from its origin, the fact of its having been issued without any formal concurrence on the part of the nation, was naturally calculated to weaken the respect of the people for the representative institutions which the Provisional Government sought to establish. It led the populace of Paris to the conclusion that France, under a republic, could be as well governed without a National Assembly as with it The secret of governing was supposed to lie in the fabrication of decrees; and by whom they were fabricated seemed to be of no moment, provided the authors of the decrees were in possession of the Hotel de Ville.

Here, then, was the first serious and fatal mistake of the leading men of the Revolution. Had they understood each other on this point, and remained true to the original purpose of Lamartine, to refer all legislation to a convocation of the nation by its representatives, they would not have been embarrassed by a demand for decrees The Republic proclaimed in February to effect impossibilities; they would not was a fiction. It had to be created. The have issued the decrees affecting labor and government established, and perhaps the civil contracts which brought all industry only one that was possible under the cir- to a stand, and have since had to be revokcumstances, was that of a temporary dicta-ed; and the populace of Paris would not torship. Society, not of its own free will, have been tempted to rebel against the but from necessity, and to save itself from National Assembly, to set themselves up as anarchy, rallied round a few men, and in- decree-makers. vested them with the powers of a Russian

autocrat.

The temptation, while at the height of public favour, to exercise these powers beyond the warrant of their position, was great; but should have been resisted. The true policy of a government thus formed was purely administrative. Beyond the arrangements necessary for convening the national representatives, the Provisional Government should have confined itself to the same ministerial functions which would have been exercised by the ministers of Louis Philippe, had they remained in of fice. It was for a National Assembly, and not a Provisional Government to decree the abolition of royalty, slavery, title, oaths, &c., and to alter fundamental laws, where change was required. All the difficulties by which the Provisional Government were finally overwhelmed arose out of these acts

The second great mistake of the Provisional Government was their general distribution of arms and accoutrements, to enable the whole body of the working classes to enrol themselves in the ranks of the National Guards. Happily, the effects of this mistake were partly counterbalanced by the creation of the Garde Mobile. The subjecting to the rules of military subordination the young vagrants of the streets, who, with the arms in their hands which they had obtained from the gunsmiths' shops, would have been a most dangerous class to have left to their own discretion, was an inspiration of wisdom. The populace, hostile to the regular troops, who had been compelled to leave Paris, admitted without jealousy the presence of a paid soldiery recruited from their own ranks, although differing only from regular troops in the name.

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