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with the spirit of the age. I will add' that, far from rejecting the cooperation of the hon. M. de Falloux and of his friends, we call for it with our wishes and our efforts. The Government proposes, before all things, the union of the two great powers of the State. Far from wishing to divide the majority, it labours to strengthen and to extend it. It believes that the fascia formed by the friends of order is not too compact, and that society requires all its force against anarchy; it knows that the great shades of opinion of which the majority is composed differ in some tendencies, but it also believes that these opinions have still more common tendencies, and it would reproach itself if it said a word or did an act which might compromise that accord on which the safety of all depends."

On the question of the revision of the Constitution, the general sentiments of the nation were pretty clearly manifested during the autumn by the Cornells Generaux. These are not political bodies, but correspond more nearly to our own Courts of Quarter Sessions, meeting

for the purpose of settling matters of local finance; but of late years they have been accustomed to take a part in politics by expressions of opinion on public questions. With respect to the revision, forty-eight simply expressed a wish that the Constitution should be revised, conformably to Article 111 — which required a majority of four-fifths of the Assembly in favour of the revision. Seventeen wished for the pure and simple revision. ,Six demanded the revision as promptly as possible. Three refused to express any opinion. Six demanded the abolition of Article 45—making the existing President ineligible. One demanded that the Constitution be revised so as to strengthen Republican institutions; and one demanded the same thing, that France might return to traditional and hereditary monarchy. In a number of instances the decision was that of a bare majority over a large minority; and in many instances the mass of the Council abstained from the question, as beyond the legal competency of their body.

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CHAPTER IX.

France continuedSpeeches of MM. de Broglie and de Tocqueville in the Committee on the Revision of the ConstitutionReport of the CommitteeResult of the Debate thereon in the AssemblyMotion by M. Baze, censuring the Ministry, carriedThe Ministry tender their Resignations, which are not acceptedProrogation of the AssemblyQuestion of the Repeal of the Electoral Law of May, 1850—Resignation of the Leon Faucher MinistryNew Cabinet formed under M. de ThorignyCommencement of New SessionMessageof the President M. de Thorigny submits a projet de loi for repealing the Electoral Law of May, 1850, anddemands " Urgency"Urgency rejected by the Assembly-Report of Committee on the Electoral LawA majority are against the proposed RepealProposition by the Questors respecting the authority of the Assembly over the ArmySpeeches by Generals St. Arnaud and Lef.6, and MM. Cremieux and ThiersProposition of the Questors rejectedProposed Law on the Responsibility of the President of the Republic and Ministers — Coup d'Etat of Prince Louis NapoleonDissolution of the AssemblyAppeal to the People, and Proclamation to the ArmyArrest of Members of the AssemblyNarrative of the Proceedings of the Assembly and High Court of JusticeNew MinistryVotes of the Army. Plebiscite of the PresidentAppointment of a Consultative CommissionLetters written by M. Leon Faucher and Count MoleRelease of 230 DeputiesDecree declaring Universal Suffrage and Vote by BallotInsurrectionary Movements in ParisCombat in the Streets and Suppression of ResistanceNarrative by an English OfficerRestoration of the Pantheon to Roman Catholic WorshipProclamation by Louis Napoleon to the French People—Disturbances in the ProvincesLetter of M. de MontalembertResult of the Voting for the Presidential Election Speech by Louis NapoleonTrees of Liberty cut downReflections on the Coup d'Etat.

THE Committee appointed to dent of the Committee, M. Moulin

consider and report on the pro- Secretary, and M. de Tocqueville

positions for the revision of the Reporter.

Constitution, consisted of fifteen In the Committee, M. de

members, of whom nine were fa- Broglie said—The Republic and

vourable to some kind of revision,'

while six opposed it altogether*. 1st of July had been signed by 1,123,625

„ , T, f.1 , Ti • persons; thus classified:—

M. de Broglie was chosen Presi- {ror the revision 741,011

For the revision and prolonga

* The petitions with respect to the tion of powers 370,511

question of revision presented up to the For the prolongation of powers 12,103

the Constitution exist. He did not help to make them; and he refused to accept the office of Mayor in 1849, because it would have obliged him to read the Constitution aloud; so long, however, as the Republic lasted, he would do his duty like a good citizen. A revision of the Constitution was indispensable for escaping the dangers of 1852. But the Committee should not prescribe any course: a Constituent Assembly would not regard the wishes of the mere Legislative Assembly; and, moreover, to desire the amelioration of Republican institutions would be implying the perpetuity of the Republie, and be a sort of creed, or oath of fidelity.

"The evils of the present state of things are attributed to men, but they are due only to the Constitution. In point of fact, but one man stands accused, the President of the Republic, who is made a scapegoat." He had no mission to defend the President of the Republic; he was neither his minister, his counsellor, nor his friend; he had never known him until called upon to act as his judge, when he voted for his imprisonment at Ham. Nevertheless, he would be just, and would declare that he did not believe in any intention to attempt an 18th Brumaire. But admit the danger —who made the President? The Constitution. Would not any other President become exposed to the same suspicion? They had established a republic in a country which pushed centralization to the verge of extravagance, and to that Republic they gave an uncontrolled President. Had the object been to create a President with limited powers, he should have been elected in quite a different

manner. They had now a man to whose name great prestige was attached, not only on account of his name, but of the romantic circumstances of his own life; and this man they had placed between userpation and insignificance. Could they feel astonished that he felt indisposed to fall into insignificance —he whom they had raised to a height sufficient to turn any man's head? Well, this President, so placed, would be obliged in 1852 to take up his hat and go into furnished lodgings. Whom would they find to be President afterwards? If they had Washingtons, John Adamses, and Munroes to present, they might be sure that the country would not have one of them. It would seek some other extraordinary candidate. He would not speak of the Prince de Joinville, because the Prince would not stand; but between princes and a democrat in a smockfrock he saw no alternative. A man in a blouse, who would flatter the people with extravagant promises, would become their choice, and would be chosen President of the Republic. No enlightened and moderate Republican would have a chance of being chosen by the present mode of election. He did not believe that there was any such thing as a Bonapartist movement at present. What he believed was, that the country ardently desired the preservation of the status quo; and that from its excessive apprehension of revolutions. Admitting, however, that there was a Bonapartist movement, the Assembly would not be able to resist it. Should the party of order do so, it would lose popularity, and would not be re-elected. Nay, they might incur the very perils against which they were so anxious to take precautions. They might provoke the country to return an unconstitutional candidate; in which case, without giving himself the airs of a Brutus, he would certainly refuse to declare valid his election. But what then? Why, their testament would have no more force than had that of the old dying Louis Quatorze; and in the next month of May, the words of Sieyes on the eve of the 18th Brumaire might ring in their ears, "Messieurs, you have found your master." It was for the sake of preventing such a result that he desired to see a regular revision of the Constitution. It was really singular to witness the fear that existed to appeal to the electoral colleges, lest they should cause agitation, when they had before them 100,000 electors. There was the election for the National Guards, then the election for 37,000 Municipal Conventions, 3600 Cantonal Councillors, 86 General Councillors, all independent of the election for the Legislative Assembly and the election for the President, and all in one year. And yet, because they wished for an Assembly more powerful, they were called agitators! He repeated, that the great agitator, the O'Connell of France, was the Constitution.

M. de Tocqueville believed the Constitution to be faulty, and for many of the reasons advanced by the Due de Broglie; and for those reasons he desired a revision, as the only means of safety. But he proposed to report that the revision be demanded in a Republican spirit; to tell the nation that it was impossible now to think of re-establishing Monarchy; to declare publicly what everybody has been repeating at the tribune for the last three years, and what

the Due de Broglie himself had just declared.

The report was presented and read to the Assembly by M. de Tocqueville on the 8th of July. It was a long document, in substance as follows:—

"Is itr true that the Constitution is defective? and if so, are its vices of such a nature as to call loudly for revision? A minority of the Committee had maintained that the painful situation of the country is due, not to the Constitution, but to those who for the last two years have been putting it in practice, and who are unceasingly aiming at its overthrow. But the majority of the Committee thought that, independently of all the private causes which may be alleged, a great part of the evil must be attributed to the Constitution itself. Ambition, political rancour, and the passions of parties, are the ordinary concomitants of history. Good Constitutions repress easily, or keep within bounds, these vices inherent in human nature. It is bad Constitutions which favour and excite them. The Constitution of 1848 is marked by the latter characteristic. It renders the Government unstable and stormy; it requires from those who govern a moderation, a disinterestedness, and a sort of utter abnegation of themselves, which it is dangerous to ask from men, and which it is perhaps puerile to look for.

"The two principal reasons alleged against the Constitution relate to the manner in which the sovereignty of the people is exercised in the election of the Assembly; and to the origin, nature, and relations existing between the two powers which make the laws and execute them. To cause ten representatives to be elected by the same scrutin de liste is to decide that the minority of the 1 00,000 electors shall triumph, or that the majority shall act by blind chance. It is impossible that the entire population of a department can have any sure means of appreciating properly the merit of all the persons who present themselves as candidates for its suffrages. What, then, is the result? That in districts where agitation prevails, or in times of public excitement, the violent parties impose on the people, without consulting it, their choice; that in districts which are tranquil, and at calm moments, the list of the representatives is drawn up beforehand by some agitators, with a view to particular interests, and to satisfy personal hatred or friendship; and this list is afterwards followed by the electors as the only thread which can lead them out of the midst of the darkness which encompasses them. The election, which has the appearance of emanating from the totality of the citizens, is in reality the work of a very insignificant coterie.

"Then, such relations between the two powers as the following are not the conditions of a strong and regular Government: a chamber charged alone to make the law, a man charged alone to preside over the execution of all the laws, and over the direction of all affairs; both of them elected alike directly by the universality of the citizens; the Assembly all-powerful within the circle of the Constitution; the President obliged to obey it within the same limit, but possessed, in virtue of his election, of a moral force which permits him to think of resistance, and renders submission difficult; en

joying besides all the prerogatives which fall to the lot of the head of the Executive power in a country where the public administration, disseminated everywhere and mixed up with everything, was instituted by and for Monarchy; these two great powers, equal in their origin, unequal by right, condemned by the law to an uneasy position with respect to each other, invited by it in a certain measure to suspicions, jealousies, and conflict; obliged, however, to live, already connected together, in an eternal tete-a-tete, without meeting with any intermediate object or arbitrator to conciliate or restrain them.

"The Constitution is, then, defective. But if so, can calmer times and more favourable circumstances be awaited for its amendment?" Recapitulating the reasons for shunning the task, the report declared that the dangers of the moment did not permit the postponement of ameliorations. "The Committee do not deny that the revision may be dangerous, but they consider it exceedingly necessary. It is wrong, no doubt, to yield too easily to the current of public opinion; but it is not always prudent or patriotic to resist it. The rules of conduct of statesmen in such a matter vary according to the spirit of the times and the form of the institutions. In free countries, and above all in democratical ones, where good or evil can be accomplished only by the aid of the masses, above all, their affection and confidence must be preserved. When they are uneasy, troubled, and suffering, and ask for a remedy, to refuse it to them because it is believed to be less efficacious than they suppose it to be, is to drive

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