The French Revolution and Napoleon: A Sourcebook

By Philip G. Dwyer; Peter McPhee | Go to book overview

23

THE HUNDRED DAYS

Louis XVIII's entry into Paris, 3 May 1814

Louis entered the capital he had left twenty-five years earlier on 3 May 1814. Although few could remember the royal family, the city was nevertheless bathed in white flags and cockades to welcome the man they hoped would be the guarantor of peace and the restorer of liberty. In the carnage at the king's side sat the morose Duchess of Angoulême, Marie-Thérèse, daughter of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, who had been imprisoned in the Temple during the Revolution and who had never forgotten or forgiven the people of Paris for the treatment handed out to her family. She did not make a good impression. Even the Countess of Boigne, an ardent royalist, was disappointed in the day's proceedings.

We went to see the king's entry from a house in the rue Saint-Denis. There was a large crowd. Most windows were decorated with white garlands, slogans, white lilies and white flags.

The foreigners had the good grace…to consign their troops to the barracks. The town was given over to the National Guard…. Everybody noticed the absence of foreign uniforms. General Sacken, the Russian governor of Paris, was the only person to appear in the town. He was liked well enough, and people felt that he was keeping a look-out for the maintenance of order given to his own troops.

The procession was escorted by the old Imperial Guard. Others will tell of the tactlessness committed against them both before and after this moment; all I will say is that they were imposing but icy. They advanced in great strides, silent and gloomy, full of past memories. They stopped with one look the enthusiasm towards those who were arriving. Cries of 'Long live the king!' fell silent when they marched past; now and then cries of 'Long live the guard, the old guard!' were heard, but they were no better received and they

-193-

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The French Revolution and Napoleon: A Sourcebook
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations xi
  • Preface xiii
  • A Note on the Revolutionary Calendar xv
  • Chronology xvi
  • 1 - The Ancien Régime Challenged 1
  • 2 - Revolutionary Action 16
  • 3 - Creating a Regenerated France 24
  • 4 - Exclusions and Inclusions 35
  • 5 - The Church and the Revolutionary State 43
  • 6 - Monarchy and Revolution 51
  • 7 - The Revolution at War 60
  • 8 - The End of the Monarchy 68
  • 9 - The Peasantry and the Rural Environment 80
  • 10 - A New Civic Culture 84
  • 11 - The Republic at War 90
  • 12 - Revolt in the Vendée 97
  • 13 - The Terror at Work 103
  • 14 - The Thermidorian Reaction 115
  • 15 - The Directory 121
  • 16 - Bonaparte 128
  • 17 - Law and Order 140
  • 18 - Rule by Plebiscite 149
  • 19 - Governing the Empire 155
  • 20 - Resistance and Repression 169
  • 21 - The Russian Catastrophe 175
  • 22 - Collapse 187
  • 23 - The Hundred Days 193
  • 24 - French Men and Women Reflect 202
  • Index 209
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