AMONG the writers I have discussed, only a small minority are professional historians, products of the University and teachers under its auspices. Apart from Bourgeois, Driault is the most important of that description. The work by which he first made his name was a history of the Eastern Question, covering several centuries. He followed this with a school textbook. In 1903 he wrote the section dealing with 1789-1815, Rèvolution et Empire, in the Cours complet d'histoire edited by Gabriel Monod. He was then 'professeur agrègè d'histoire . . . au Lycèe de Versailles'. It is worth while glancing at this book which, as far as Napoleon is concerned, belongs unmistakably to the democratic, hostile school.
There is, for example, the emphasis placed on the loss of freedom which the coup d'ètat of Brumaire implied for the French people. After a description of the constitution of the year VIII, there follows the statement that ' France of the ancien règime had possessed more liberties'. Nor is a reminder lacking of how little the plebiscite to which the constitution was submitted had in common with a genuine consultation of the people. The constitution had already been put into operation. Voting was by writing and public . . . The writer has no more respect for the 'organic' laws which the First Consul introduced. Bonaparte, it is true, respected the great social achievements of the Revolution, but in every way he did away with liberty 'under the pretext of saving France from anarchy and "of ending the Revolution"'; his administrative law killed practically all local freedom; the municipalities became 'minors', the State exercised administrative guardianship over them.
Towards the end Driault writes that the Emperor's renown cost France more than it brought her, and that in a certain sense she was the victim of the great role he made her play. 'Caesarism only displayed its power and its glory by exhausting the country's resources.' That is what the scholars of republican high schools