assembly; later it was turned against the king and even against the national legislature.

I. The new assembly met July 25 and superseded the electors five days later. Early in August, to provide members for service on the committees, sixty more deputies were chosen, raising the total number to one hundred and eighty. Nearly half had served in the assembly of electors. In the committees, which were now reconstituted, still other electors were retained on account of their experience. Although the assembly had been called together by Mayor Bailly to prepare a plan of government for Paris, it became, by virtue of the powers given to the deputies in their credentials and by the force of circumstances, primarily an administrative body. Bailly had little faith in salvation by speechmaking, and he thought that nearly all the work could be done in committees. Whether the assembly was authorized to legislate for the city was later a bitterly disputed question. Its claim to a representative character was made at once in the formal style adopted—Assembly of the Representatives of the Commune of Paris.

Bailly had called the assembly into being, but from the beginning it ceased to remember its creator. As an administrative body it should, so thought the Mayor, advise with him and with Lafayette, but, he bitterly recalled, it “ accustomed itself readily and at once to administer alone, to forget him completely, and to act as if he had asked its formation in order to lay down his office”. For example, he was not informed of the plan of military organization until public discussion in the districts brought it to his attention. If there was anything the deputies were expected to do in accordance with the letter of summons, it was to consult with him about a plan of municipal government; but their committee ignored him, and when he wished to learn the main features of the scheme, he was obliged to make inquiries. An incident, small in itself, revealed clearly the assembly's attitude. Bailly was in constant attendance at the com

1 The names of the committees were as follows: The comité permanent or provisoire of the electors had been divided into four sections or bureaus: 1, Distribution (of business) ; 2, Police; 3, Subsistence; 4, Military Affairs. The name comité provisoire was dropped August 2 apropos of a complaint against this committee because of its decree making printers responsible for anonymous publications, and the name bureau was substituted. Later in August four other committees were added : comité d'administration des revenues et charges de la Ville ; comité de rédaction ; bureau de la répartition et de la perception des impôts; bureau des secours. The bureau des secours was withdrawn September 10 because the treasury was empty, and all demands were referred to the comité d'administration des revenues. Lacriox, Actes de la Commune de Paris, I. 81, 333 note 1, 345, 535.

mittee of subsistence, for upon its efforts depended the food supply of Paris and, for this reason, the peace of the city. He informed the assembly that he could not always preside and asked that two vicepresidents be appointed to take his place. This was done, but the men who were chosen forgot the prefix when they signed the records and soon transformed themselves into his rivals. Their names, not his, appeared at the bottom of acts. To such a degree was the practice carried that it excited protests from some of the districts. One of these sent a delegation to the assembly expressing in vigorous terms its disapproval. Its speaker told the members of the assembly that the commune had named Bailly “its mayor, that is, its chief, consequently the chief of this assembly.” “Your districts ", he added, “have deputed you to become his co-operators in the great work of municipal organization and not to exclude him from it.”? Bailly was partly responsible for these rebuffs. His functions as mayor had never been precisely described, and in a measure it belonged to him to define their limits. Unhappily for the influence of his office, in cases where the exercise of authority was dangerous he often contrived to throw the necessity of decision upon the assembly and in this way increased its power to the detriment of his own. 3

Such conflicts of authority are not surprising considering the utter ruin of the older institutions of local government and the distrust commonly born of revolutionary excitement. Moreover, government was something like a novel and dangerous toy, and these children in politics jostled one another in their eagerness to try their hand at it. The times were indeed difficult. Not a day passed but a new question was forced upon the attention of the deputies. Often an immediate answer seemed necessary under penalty of an uprising. Early in its career the assembly saw the Hôtel de Ville invaded, as under its predecessors, by a mob crying for blood, this time of one of the highest officers of the new government, the Marquis de la Salle, who had so patriotically effaced himself when Lafayette was named commander of the National Guard. The stock of powder at the arsenal had been depleted and the storageroom was partly filled by a quantity of powder useless for Paris but valuable in the trade with the coast of Guinea. The managers of the arsenal decided to send this powder to Essonnes, where was one of the principal powder factories, and to bring back a new supply for Paris. Lafayette was not at hand, and La Salle signed the order. Rumors spread through the city that it was simply another attempt to render Paris defenseless, and the crowd rushed to the Hôtel de Ville, demanding a victim. Fortunately, La Salle could not be found and the mob was finally dispersed by the National Guard.

1 Bailly, Mémoires, II. 147, 195-197, 243-244; Lacroix, Actes, I. 24, 27, 28

note 3

2 Procès-verbal du transport du Comité civil, de police, ... des Enfans Rouges (Bibl. Nat., pièce), August 6. On August 12 the Prémontrés sent in a similar protest, declaring " qu'il ne peut concevoir comment Monsieur Bailli, élu Maire, c'est-à-dire, Chef de la Commune, ne para cependant pas l'être de l'assemblée des représentants de cette Commune, puisque tous les actes qui emanent de cette Assemblée portent les noms de différens Présidens lorsque lui seul a été porté à cette place éminente, par le væu unanime et le suffrage universel de ces Concitoyens.” District des Prémontrés, 11 août, 1789 (Bibl. Nat., pièce). Cf. Lacroix, I. 179.

3 For example, August 20, when a deputation of actors from the Théâtrefrançais came to ask permission to give Chénier's Charles IX., he would have refused had he dared to do so, for he thought such a play might compromise the good feeling toward the monarchy. He adds, “ Je pris mon parti de renvoyer la décision à l'assemblée. Les assemblées ont cela de commode, leur responsabilité est si partagée, qu'elle est nulle.” Mémoires, II. 287. It was equally characteristic of the man that, although he had retained the secretary of Flesselles, he dismissed him as soon as the Palais Royal began to murmur. Ibid., 198–199.

The efforts of the assembly to preserve order were compromised by the increasing number of deserters from the royal army who hurried to Paris, hearing of the good fortune of the gardes françaises, the heroes of the July insurrection and the pets of the districts. These deserters not only swelled the size of each mob, but also quarreled with one another, threatening to turn the city streets into a battle-field. The only remedy was to order the soldiers at the city gates to turn back all deserters and to request the minister of war and the towns to arrest them on the roads leading to Paris.1 An equally serious danger was the multitude of destitute men gathered at the government works on Montmartre. These had been established in the spring to relieve distress caused by the exceptional severity of the past winter. The trouble had been rendered more acute by the paralysis of industry and trade since July, so that by the second week of August this army of unemployed numbered between thirteen and twenty-one thousand. Necker threw the responsibility for its control upon the city, because the royal government was without force. These dangers were increased by the constant menace of famine. Although the crops had been abundant, the farmers held back the grain for fear of being plundered on the

* Lacroix, Actes, I. 217, 223-224, 245, 273-274; Révolutions de Paris, no. VI., p. 13.

2 These works were finally closed August 23. The provincials were sent home, while Parisians were promised employment in the municipal works. Later in the fall many of the provincials were back in Paris. Lacroix, I. 168, 177, 192–193, 260-261; Patriote français, no. XX.; Bailly, Mémoires, II. 257; Godard, Exposé des Travaux, 20.

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road or at the markets. Sometimes agents despatched to other towns to buy for the city were arrested as suspected monopolists. Early in August Paris was obliged to send a force of four hundred men to Provins to secure the release of two such agents.

Occasionally it was legislation of the National Assembly which multiplied the difficulties of the Commune. As soon as the decrees of August 4 abolishing feudal privileges were known, there was a general massacre of game in the neighborhood of Paris. The preserves at Vincennes, belonging to the Duke of Orleans, still a popular leader, were alone respected. Even the guards at the city gates deserted their posts to join in the sport, until the assembly sent special detachments of soldiers to stop this disorder. The discussions of the question of granting the king a veto also caused trouble. The agitators at the Palais Royal attempted to organize a march upon Versailles, which, but for the promptitude and energy of the Commune, might have forestalled the events of October 5 and 6.3 Under the circumstances, it is not surprising if the deputies repeatedly deferred the specific task which they had been asked to perform and if they did not altogether succeed in pleasing either the mayor who had called them or the districts that had sent them.

II. The government of the city remained provisional, resting for its authority upon the consent of the Parisians, and treated with deference by the National Assembly and by the whole country because of the triumphant part it had taken in the events of July. The royal government was not strong enough to dispute the powers of the victorious city, and the National Assembly was too busy during the summer to undertake the problem of municipal reorganization. From time to time and for specific purposes Paris received from Assembly or king grants of power. Early in August, when disorder had become general throughout the kingdom, the Assembly declared it to be the duty of the municipalities as well as of the National Guard to oppose attacks upon property and particularly upon convoys of grain. A few days later, after the Assembly had, by its decrees abolishing feudalism together with inequalities in taxation and many special privileges, promised to remove the most serious grievances, it was ready to use force to suppress disorder. This force it dared not intrust to the royal government. Accordingly, the municipalities were authorized to use their own militia or to call upon the royal troops. For the quelling of riot the sword was definitely taken from the hands of the king by the provision that the officers of the army should swear never to employ their soldiers except on a requisition from the civil authorities."

i Lacroix, Actes, I. 91-92, 94.
3 Ibid., I. 148, 258; Révolutions de Paris, no. V., p. 17.

3 Ibid., no. VIII., pp. 7 et seqq.; Lacroix, Actes, I. 423-425, 435-437; Bibl. Nat. MSS. fr. nouv. acq. 2671, fols. 10, 11.

The powers which Paris obtained over the means of securing a supply of food were, at least in spirit, contrary to the policy of the National Assembly, which, August 29, freed the grain-trade throughout the interior of the country from all the obstacles created by a paternal and arbitrary government. According to a project drawn up a few days later by the communal assembly, the Paris buyers were to have the preference at all grain-markets within twenty-five leagues, after the local needs had been supplied. The farmers were to carry every week a certain portion of their crop to these markets. To insure the success of the plan the municipality asked for the powers which had belonged to the lieutenant-general of police and to the royal commissioners. The National Assembly was evidently unwilling to revive one of the features of the old régime and referred the deputation of Paris to the king, who granted the request by a decree in council, September 7, although he provided that these powers should be valid only for the remainder of the year.

Procès-verbal de l'Assemblée nationale for August 5 and 10; Duvergier, Lois, I. 36–37. The oath read, “ Nous jurons de rester fidèles à la nation, au roi, et à la loi, et de jamais employer ceux qui seront à nos ordres contre les citoyens, si nous n'en sommes requis par les officiers civils ou les officiers municipaux.”

2 The first form of the request, decided upon September 2, appears in the procès-verbal for that day, Lacroix, Actes, I. 454-455. The subject came up again September 4, ibid., I. 473-474. On September 6 the assembly, after finding out that the National Assembly was disposed to do nothing further, referred the matter to the committee of subsistence, pour être ensuite statué ce qu'il appartiendrait". The decree of the council is merely an approval of the request put in its final form, apparently by the committee of subsistence, for it does not appear in the procès-verbal. It is given, however, as from the procèsverbal in the Mercure de France of September 19. The original is preserved at the Arch. Nat., R. A. D. XI. 68. The assembly made prompt use of its powers, appointing twelve commissioners to compel the farmers to thresh their wheat and market the part provided for in the decree. Lacroix, I. 536–538; Révolutions de Paris, September 17. Loustalot regarded the scheme as vicious, and notes that the king in his decree had seemed more solicitous than the Paris authorities for the rights of other municipalities. He also notes the anomaly that the assembly had put below the decree “ordonne l'exécution”. No. IX. 32–33. Bailly asked the communal assembly at this time to authorize him to solicit letters patent which should attribute to him the judicial powers formerly possessed by the lieutenantgeneral of police. The assembly was then on bad terms with the mayor and refused. Before this, late in August, he and four assessors were given the powers which had belonged to the Hôtel de Ville in its jurisdiction over merchants trading by the Seine and over offenses committed on the river or its bridges. Lacroix, I. 225-226, 232, 318,319 ; Bailly, Mémoires, II. 271.

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