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National Guard

paris, french, revolution and time

NATIONAL GUARD ( Fr. Garde Nationale). Trout 178!) to 1871 the name of the French militia under inunieipal control, recruited from the burgher class. The French Revolution really brought about the creation of the Guard. though guards of a like nature had existed in some towns previous to 1789. In that year, how ever. they were instituted in Paris, on the sug gestion of Mirabeau, by the Revolulionary Com mittee, as a cheek on the Royalists. The National Guard thus constituted numbered 48.000 men, and Lafayette received the command. Other battalions were organized in the provinces, and very soon, on paper, the total strength of the National Guard of France was 4.000,000—though the actual available force was not more than 300.000. In 1795, after the National Guard had gone through many of the most. eventful scenes of the Revolution. it was reorganized on a less democratic basis. The result seas that it showed Royalist leanings. It rose against the Convention shortly before the dissolution of that body, hut the movement was promptly suppressed by Bona parte with grape-shot. This was the insurrection of the 13th Vendiiniaire (October 501). For a time the National Guard ceased practically to exist. In 1805, however, the Emperor Napoleon reorganized it and it rendered hint good and efficient service, particularly in the disastrous wears 1813-14. After 1813 the National Guard

was still maintained, but in 1827 it was dis solved by Charles X. Its memlwrs were al lowed, however, to retain their arms, anti many of them participated in the .1111y 1:evolu tion of 1830, at whieh time the National Guard, as an institution, was revived. During the reign of Louis Philippe it. was prominent. In 1818 it helped do away with the monarchy and establish the Republic. After undergoing va rious reorganizations in 1818, 1852, and 1855 it again became firmly estaldislwd. The National Guard fought in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, and at. the capitulation of Paris its members were allowed to retain their arms. The result was that during the Commune of 1871 numbers of National Guardsmen went over to the Communists. (See After the estab lishment of the third French Republic the Na tional Guard was abolished—its 1)1:ice being taken by the system of universal military con scription. : Poisson, L'arm& et la garde nationale (Paris, 1858-62) ; Thomnas, Les an ciennes armees francaises des oriyincs d 1870 (Paris, 1890). For the National Guard of the United States, see MILITIA.