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CAUSES OF THE COALITIONS AGAINST FRANCE.
declared, that their only object was their own security, and the repose of Europe, which required that, the overgrown power of France should be reduced, so as no long. er to be dangerous to its neighbours ; it was for the security of all, they said, that France should be powerful, and Bonaparte was calculated to keep it so. No intimation had been given that the restoration of the Bourbons, was the object of the war; or any objection to the authority of Napoleon as sovereign of France, remotely suggested; but on the contrary, the negotiation was kept up at Chatillon, until the 18th of March, three days only previously to the capture of Paris. Notwithstanding their solemn declarations, the moment Bonaparte was in their power, the sovereigns who made war only for their own security, and who had expressly disclaimed interfering in the internal concerns of France,—the sove. reigns, most of whom had repeatedly been indebted to the clemency of Bonaparte for their own crowns, determined to deprive him of his. They will no longer treat with him, but insist upon the restoration of the Bourbons, whether the nation desires it or not. Even at this period, however, nothing is said about the rights of legitimate kings, and Bonaparte is not avowedly set aside for any defect of this kind; but on the contrary he is acknowledged to be legitimately one of the sovereigns of Europe, and to retain the title of Emperor.
But on his return from Elba, a new principle is assumed, upon which the war against France is to be renewed; the long exploded notion of the “ divine right” of kings is revived. The last coalition was formed for the purpose of supporting the rights of legitimacy, or of legitimate kings, against ali usurpers, or governments which had no better title to their authority than the will of the people. Bonaparte was denounced as a usurper, as an illegitimate sovereign, as an outlaw, as a disturber of the repose of the world, as having violated his troth, and having " placed himself out of all civil and social relations,” and was livered up, to a vindictive public.” These “ christian kings." did not propose to kill Bonaparte themselves, nor did they expressly offer a reward for his head, dead or alive; they seemed disposed to follow the example of the
NEW TREATY OF THE ALLIES.
quaker, who would not kill bis dog, but only give him a bad name; he accordingly cried mad dog! so that the first man he met slew him. Louis had also issued a decree declaring Bonaparte a rebel and a traitor, and the city of Marseilles had offered a reward of two millions of franks for his head.
The allies conclude a treaty for renewing the war against the congmon enemy.... They issue a proclamation to the people of France
The re-establishment of the imperial throne occasions great joy throughout France....Conciliatory and popular policy of Napoleon ... Suppresses the insurrection in the south of France....He offers peace to the several allied powers.... The allies make great exertions for renewing the war....reduced condition of the French army .... astonishing efforts made to organize a military force, to furnish arms, clothing, &c....Great activity throughout France....immense expenditures, promptly met....military force of France....Plans of conducting the war.... The Camp de Mai.... The ceremony announced to the army....Napoleon joins the army....His address to the troops....Commencement of operations.... Situation of the armies of the hostile parties.
On the 25th of March, Russia, Austria, Prussia and Great Britain concluded a treaty, wherein they agreed to unite their resources for the maintenance of the treaty of Paris, of the 30th of May 1814, and that of the congress at Vienna ; and to defend the dispositions contained in these treaties, against the projects and attacks of Napoleon Bonaparte. And if the king of France desired it, they engaged to bring to justice all that had, or might, afterwards, join the party of Napoleon, and to render him incapable of further disturbing the repose of Europe. To effect these objects, each of the contracting parties stipulated to constantly have in the field 150,000 men, of whom one tenth were to be cavalry, and an equal proportion of artillery, to be employed in active and united exertions against the common enemy. They engaged not to make a separate peace, nor to lay down their arms un
NEW TREATY OF THE ALLIES.
til the object of the war should be attained, and the power of Bonaparte entirely overthrown. Louis was invited to accede to this treaty.
This treaty, certainly affords something new in the world. It exhibits all the great powers of Europe uniting, agreeing to employ all their resources, and making a solemn declaration of war against one man.
They did not declare war against France; and Louis, whom they regard as the legitimate sovereign of France, was in amity with them, and afterwards become a party to this treaty. What a ridiculous farce! all the great powers of Europe uniting, and declaring war against one man--who they had proclaimed an outlaw, a fugitive, a disturber of Europe, a tyrant, an enemy to France, and as being hated by all Frenchmen. About this period the allies issued a proclamation to the people of France, declaring that they made war only against Bonaparte, the disgrace of usur pers, and scourge of nations; that they had no designs hostile to France, and should halt as soon as Bonaparte was delivered into their hands. While they thus invited Frenchmen to acts of treason on the one hand, they at. tempted to deter them from their duty by threats on the other. They declared that if Bonaparte was not deliver: ed up, and any officers who had taken an oath of fidelity to the king, should be found with arms in their hands, in support of the existing government, they should be instantly shot; and those towns in which the inhabitants should take a part in support of the government of their choice, a part of the citizens should be put to the sword.
Such was the savage and ferocious temper with which this war was undertaken ; such was the meek and humane spirit of “ Christian kings," and the “ deliverers” of Europe, as they were called by certain politicians in this country. From the allies, we return to France.
The general and almost universal joy displayed by the people at the return of Bonaparte was truly astonishing, when contrasted with the apparent indifference and coldness manifested during the two last campaigns, particularly the last, when the national independence was threatened.
The nation appears to have been worn out with wars;
POPULAR MEASURES OF NAPOLEON.
and those oppressions and burdens which they had occasioned, and which were the results of Bonaparte's won. derful military system, seem to have depressed the spirit and overcome the ardour of the people; and occasioned an apparent indifference to the great struggle that was going on in the midst of them. It appears too, that the conduct of many of the prefects and civil officers tended to damp the ardour of the people. But however indiffer. ent the people may have felt towards the maintainance of Bonaparte's power, in 1814, there can be no doubt as to the joy which its re-establishment occasioned. 2. The severity of Bonaparte's military system was undoubtedly great; but he had great objects in view; he exalted the power and glory of France; promoted great works, and internal improvements, opened canals, encouraged the arts, favoured internal trade, manufactures and agriculture. These great objects and achievements threw a brilliant shade over the gloom and horrors of despotic power:
But the short reign of Louis presented but the dreary and desolating prospect of despotism, unmitigated by a feeling of national pride ; unrelieved by a single ray
of glory. During the short period that Louis bad been on the throne, the public mind underwent an astonishing change. The people perceived that they were oppressed by a more rapacious tyranny; and that the power, the glory, the greatness of the nation were lost : that France was not only oppressed, but humbled and degraded.
Whatever deceitfulness there may have been in appearances, it is certain, we think, that in the return of Bonaparte, the people saw a restoration of their freedom.
The measures of Bonaparte, from motives of policy, if not from principle, were dictated by a spirit of moderation, justice and popularity. He proclaimed a general amnesty of all political acts, since he had left France ; ordered the count d'Artois, the king's brother, who had been taken prisoner, discharged, without seeing him; restored the freedom of the press, which Louis, copying his example when in the height of his power and tyranny, had restrained ; dissolved the nobility, and suppressed the feudal titles which the king had established, and abo
298 POPULAR MEASURESHIG LETTER TO THE ALLIES.
lished the slave trade. He formed a ministry, comprising several distinguished supporters of republican principles, and known friends of a popular government; declared his intention of forming a new constitution, which should secure political liberty, and establish a representative government, and promised to respect private property, to abandon those schemes of ambition and conquest, which had so deeply afilicted France, and alarmed all the pow ers of Europe.
The Emperor adopted active measures to suppress insurrection in the south of France; and on the 9th of April, the duke d'Angouleme capitulated, being previously abandoned by all his troops but 1500 men. This event put an end to the insurrection, and the tri-coloured flag wave? ed throughout all France except Marseilles. Bonaparte, on being acquainted with the capture of the duke, wrote to general Grouchy, stating that although the ordinance of the king and the declaration of the allies respecting himself, would justify him in treating the duke as they would have treated himself if he had fallen into their hands; yet in pursuance of the intention previously expressed, he directed that he be conducted to Cette and embarked, and that he be protected from all ill treatment. On the following day the Emperor reviewed the troops, and communicated to them the intelligence that the national flag waved throughout all the south of France.
Although probably, possessing little confidence in the success of the attempt; but as it was important as it resa pected its influence at home, on the 4th of April, Bonaparte addressed to each of the allied sovereigns the follow
Sir, MY BROTHER—You must have learned in the course of last month, my return to the shores of France, my entrance into France, and the departure of the family of Bourbons. The true nature of these events must now! be known to your majesty. They are the work of an irresistible power, the work of the unanimous will of a great nation, which knows its duties and its rights. The dy. nasty, which force had restored to the French people was no longer made for it. The Bourbons would not associ. ate themselves with either its sentiments or its manners.