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FRANCE - John Joseph Lalor, Cyclopaedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the United States, vol. 2 East India Co. - Nullification 
Cyclopaedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the United States by the best American and European Authors, ed. John J. Lalor (New York: Maynard, Merrill, & Co., 1899). Vol 2 East India Co. - Nullification
Part of: Cyclopaedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the United States, 3 vols.
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FRANCE is the most westerly portion of central Europe, and is bounded on the northeast by Belgium and the grand duchy of Luxemburg; on the east by Alsace-Lorraine, Switzerland and Italy; on the south by the Mediterranean and Spain; on the west by the Atlantic ocean; and on the northwest by the English channel and the straits of Dover. The islands in the immediate neighborhood of the coast of France measure only 419 square kilometres, but adding to them the more distant island of Corsica, with its 8,747.41 square kilometres, the area of the European portion of the French republic is increased to 528,573.04 square kilometres. Excluding Corsica and the smaller neighboring islands, continental France is situated between 42° 2' and 51° 5' north latitude and 7° 7' west longitude and 5° 51' east longitude, reckoning, of course, from the meridian of Paris. The geometrical form of the boundaries resembles a hexagon, of which the western and eastern sides are somewhat indented, and the outlines of which are clearly indicated by the following measurements Brest to Antibes, 1,098 kilometres; Bayonne to Cirey, 868 kilometres; Brest to Cirey, 940 kilometres; Dunkirk to Céret, 965 kilometres: La Rochelle to Geneva, 542 kilometres. The 5,230 kilometres perimeter of the boundaries, inclusive of sinuosities, are subdivided in the following proportion 1,333 kilometres on the channel, 862 kilometres on the Atlantic, 570 kilometres on the Pyrenees, 625 kilometres on the Mediterranean, 720 kilometres on the Alps, 290 kilometres on the Jura, and 790 kilometres on the northeastern boundaries; the continental boundaries, therefore, comprise 2,520 kilometres, and the maritime coast line 2,710 kilometres. The centre of the country is at St. Amand, south of Bourges, at a distance of 450-520 kilometres from the most extreme points of the boundaries. Of the entire 5,230 kilometres perimeter only 790 kilometres on the northeast are unprotected by natural boundaries. Altogether the natural circumstances of location are very favorable for the defense of the boundaries and for the self-sustenance of the state. Notwithstanding all this, France is not insulated; it is in close contact with the German centre of Europe; it commands the mountain passes which lead to Italy and Spain; it keeps a vigilant eye on the fortified coast of England; its western coast line is open to free communication with all parts of the globe, while the south shares in the domination of the Mediterranean. France has her continental and her maritime phases, and the union of both elements gives her a commanding position among the powers of the earth.
—Formation of French Unity.8 When the Carlovingian dynasty descended from the throne, the kingdom of France covered from north to south an area at least equal to that of the present territory of France, but all the land lying to the east of the Meuse, the Saone and the Rhine was dependent on the German empire. The duke of France bore the title of king, but he had no authority, so to speak, over other lands than his own. Six great fiefs, the duchy of Normandy, the duchy of Burgundy, the earldom of Flanders, the earldom of Champagne, the duchy of Aquitatine and the earldom of Toulouse, formed about his duchy so many independent realms, owing nothing to the crown except homage. Within each of these states the great feudary held by feudal tenure a number of fiefs of the second order, the possessors of which in their turn were suzerain lords of rere-fiefs, divided into baronies, castellanies, and the fiefs of viscounts of cities. Under these latter lords were all the cities and villages. The system of military clientage descended thus step by step from the king of France to the lowest baron. No other tie bound these fiefs together, and for more than a century a state of warfare was the life itself of the nation, divided into some thousands of gross tyrannies. All that the first kings could pretend to do was to remain kings, and to transmit the crown to their heirs. While they had themselves crowned in the hereditary order each during the lifetime of the other, a sort of order was established within the great fiefs, and the dukes and counts of the first rank established for themselves a real authority over their vassals. Finally, under Louis the Fat, royalty began the same work of organization for itself, by making war against the lords and barons, who lived by brigandage upon the territory of its ducal fief. Feudal obedience once established in the duchy of France, the king set to work to regulate the hierarchy and the laws of the feudalism of which he was the chief, and by vigorous measures he caused his great vassals to respect his authority as military commander and sovereign dispenser of justice. As soon as there was some order and tranquillity in the different duchies and earldoms of France, agriculture and commerce received a slight impetus, and communes were formed, some through successful insurrection, others through the purchase of municipal liberty. The king encouraged, wherever he could, the organization of the city bourgeoisie, and at the end of the twelfth century, by thus weakening the power of his vassals, he had everywhere established and caused to be respected his right of actual suzerainty. Having then at his command the forces of the nascent state, he was able to fix its boundaries by conquest. Marriages, treaties, confiscations, battles, equally promoted this new policy. It was necessary first to weaken the Norman monarchy, which, being a part of France, had taken possession of England, but which, by its right of proprietorship and by its family alliances, had remained or become mistress of all the French coast on the ocean. Philip Augustus dismembered its domain, after his policy had divided it. But the English kings, in order to defend themselves, commenced to excite coalitions of its former vassals against French royalty. Philip Augustus triumphed at the victory of Bouvines over the barons of the north, and this was the first great battle gained in France in favor of national unity.
—The great feudaries soon tried to break this nascent unity, but St. Louis, whose minority was the cause of such great perils to the state, regained in 1242, upon the battle field of Taillebourg, the power and prestige of his grandfather, Philip Augustus. Advantageous treaties and temporary concessions gave the sanction of right to the violent conquests, the heritage of which the pious king accepted; but the appanage system again dismembered this kingdom, which each day was becoming more solidified; no longer, it is true, without hope of reversion to the crown, and perhaps even for the good of France; for before restoring it to royalty, made permanent by the disappearance of transient races, each of the appanaged dynasties increased its domain and made power more thoroughly respected there than it would have been possible for the central chief to attempt. They were branches of the same trunk, which grew larger every day.
—At the same time St. Louis reformed the laws, and prepared the early union of the three classes of the nation into the states general. He made himself, by his pragmatic sanction, temporal head of the French clergy; he connected, by means of the right of appeal, the seignioral courts with his own tribunals, and placed the municipalities of the south as well as the communes of the north under the judicial and military authority of his officers. He did more: by suppressing the feudal right of hostility in the political order, and judicial combat in the civil order, he desired justice to be the only rule, the only sanction of social relations; and the new judges, in becoming the arbiters of society, formed a body which, for the purpose of instructing itself, sought out and awakened the memories of antiquity, and gave to all the science of the universities an impulse unknown till that time.
—A new division of the kingdom was begun while these reforms were going on. The institutions of royal justice, by establishing a hierarchy among the tribunals, gave rise to four great bailiwicks, upon which all the seignioral courts depended, and which themselves, as well as the courts of the great fiefs, were subject to the royal court, which afterward became the French parliament. This court, composed only of great vassals and officers of the crown, had followed royalty everywhere and had not yet had a fixed seat; but when procedure by writing and the multiplication of laws rendered it necessary to admit therein clerks or educated laymen, it changed its character, and soon jurists alone composed it.
—From justice, as St. Louis established it with so much authority, sprang all the political structure of the state. The functions of the seneschals, bailiffs, provosts, representatives of the royal law, and bearers of the royal sword, were made more definite; their power was increased, and, dependent on the crown which no longer invested them with hereditary offices as the Carlovingian monarchy had done, they worked zealously to destroy everywhere the authorities of feudalism, from this time divided and incapable of successful revolt.
—Royalty then at last represented the nation and disposed of its forces. Up to that time it could only alternately conquer or administer; henceforth it advanced more confidently, and increased or regulated the kingdom, as favorable occasions for action offered themselves. Philip the Fair attempted to drive the English from Guyenne and to seize Flanders, and he deprived the empire of Lyons, thus penetrating into the valley of the Rhone, which was not yet French territory. At the same time he applied to the whole of the kingdom his grandfather's (Louis IX.'s) system of bailiffs; that is to say, he made the lords every where subject to the king, and he fixed the seat of the itinerant parliament, which was divided from this reign, into a chamber of accounts, chamber of inquiry and grand chamber. During a century and a half, this parliament was the only supreme court of the kingdom; some of its members were then delegated to decide appeals in the countries where customary law was prevalent; those of Champagne in the Grands Jours at Troyes; those of Normandy in the Exchequers at Rouen, and those of countries where statute law was prevalent in the Chambre de Langue d'oc established at Paris itself.
—The bourgeoisie, by this enlargement of the functions of justice, obtained positions which they alone were capable of filling. They still more quickly became of importance in the state, when it was necessary to ask them to open their purses to provide for public expenditure. Royalty of the house of Capet, so long as it was simply feudal, found in its own treasury, that is, in the revenue of its domains, the money necessary for its seignioral duties; but when it reigned, governed, made laws, embraced a policy, it needed an army, it needed subsidies. Philip the Fair neglected no means of becoming rich, not even the most iniquitous and most dangerous. He suspended the right which the feudaries had of coining money, and speculated upon the melting and recoinage of the royal moneys. Whether they were guilty of usury or not, he made the Jewish and Lombard bankers, who were enriching themselves by developing national commerce, periodically disgorge; he seized the property of templars condemned to death; he sold their freedom to serfs and slaves; he established the first custom houses known in France; he imposed a tax on salt; and, growing ever more eager to amass gold, which he needed for the promotion of his plans, he finally assembled in a common session the three classes, the three orders of the kingdom: the clergy, the nobility and the third estate.
—An attempt to re-establish feudalism, encouraged by the depressed state of the whole country, broke out shortly after his death, and a great number of nobles were again reinstated by royal charters in the privileges and prerogatives of their fathers; but the judiciary of St. Louis was too well established, and too much in accordance with the spirit of the times, not to resist these attacks, and by resisting, it assured the existence of the political and financial system which has since been established upon its foundations.
—A supreme crisis even now threatened royalty and the kingdom; the hundred years war began, and in this duel to the death, which must either destroy the future of France to the profit of English monarchy, or drive away forever English monarchy from continental soil, a thousand startling events, a thousand misfortunes occurred, but also miracles, which cast the whole French nation, king and people into a sea of blood and tears, but which finally saved it; and the destiny of France triumphed.
—Already the single question of the inheritance of fiefs had nearly compromised the state. Philip the Fair, in order to keep the appanages within reach of the crown, had decided that males alone could inherit them; but as to the crown itself, it was uncertain if, the case occurring, the daughters could not lay claim to the seignioral manor and title of their father. The legists declared that France should exclude women from the throne, and supported their argument by the custom of the Salic Franks, which, in fact, under the first race, had been applied to the inheritance of the royal power, and which, under the name of Salic law, has been famous in French history. But if males alone thus had the right to reign over France, it was because one of the English kings once found himself nearer the throne of France than the legal heir, that the hundred years war had broken out and the massacre of the two nations had begun.
—New taxes, new confiscations were the first resources of the kings of France; but, since England furnished more regular support to her forces and had better disciplined troops, the French at first appeared on the field of battle only to be vanquished. When John the Good was made prisoner at Poitiers and dragged as a captive to London, a general insurrection assailed on all sides the establishment of the monarchy. In those times of misfortune and ignorance the light of patriotism did not illumine the minds of men, and the bourgeoisie, which later showed more experience and wisdom in its devotion, was at that time the most terrible enemy of the tutelary authority, which was shaping the kingdom for the battles of the future. In 1356, the republican spirit of the municipalities of Italy and Flanders inspired the states general, in which the deputies of the cities wanted to grasp the power, and not only to fix the taxes, but to collect and distribute them, and in financial matters to entirely reform the administration. The attempt was premature, and Etienne Marcel, who was the promoter of it, soon found himself compelled, in order to maintain it, to undertake to change the dynasty and to have recourse to foreign assistance. Then, abandoned by some of his own party, he succumbed, while the revolutionary agitation, having spread into the rural districts, took the form of a war of extermination, directed by the peasants against the seignioral nobility. These very excesses proved the cause of the safety of royalty, which, sustained by the threatened nobility, and represented by the dauphin, who afterward became Charles the Wise, little by little gathered together the scattered elements of national unity.
—The revolution had given to the kingdom a financial organization, by charging the delegates and general commissaries with the levying of money for the "aid" voted by it. From that time dates the commencement of élections and généralités (French districts), which, later, became the civil divisions of France. This was not the only trace of its passage which the revolution was destined to leave behind it. The principal character of its acts was the attestation of the already inchoate homogeneity of the nation; if it exposed the cause of French unity to dangers, it served it by revealing it.
—Charles V. established the administration upon its bases, and, profiting by the lessons of the revolution itself, he above all perfected the management of the finances. More successful than his father in the war with England, he repaired some of the disasters the state had undergone during his regency, and, by the creation of companies of ordnance, he formed the first nucleus of a permanent army, which up to that time had been unknown in France.
—The minority and then the folly of his successor endangered the progress already accomplished, and again plunged France into an abyss of misfortune. The foreign enemy this time found a new auxiliary in the appanagist princes, descended from King John, who did not wish to destroy royalty, in abeyance through the imbecility of the monarch, but to exploit it themselves. Never did France see worse days; her capital, the heart of the country, had fallen into the hands of the kings of England, and the legitimate heir to the throne was wandering beyond the Loire, almost without an army. Finally, the patriotism of some of the nobility and the sublime devotion of Joan of Arc delivered the country from its incomparable misery. Strengthened by the struggle, which had almost destroyed it, royalty rose above so many perils never to sink again. The soil of the fatherland was free for the first time in five centuries, and on this land which had drunk so much generous blood before becoming independent, the institutions of the state could be organized as parts of one great whole.
—Charles VII. had created a parliament at Poitiers, when he was living in exile at Chinon. Victorious, he wanted the judicial organization of his predecessors to answer the needs of France, liberated and enlarged. A second parliament was granted to Languedoc, and a third promised to Guyenne. The crown inherited Dauphiny, in the person of the eldest sons of future kings; this new province had also its parliament, and at the end of the century there were parliaments at Dijon, at Rouen and at Aix, when Burgundy and Provence became integral parts of French territory. Brittany did not obtain hers till 1553.
—One after another, taxes had been levied, at first provisional, afterward regular: the customs of Philip the Fair, the gabelles of Philip of Valois, and the taxes levied upon liquors and various articles of consumption by the republican states general of 1356. Abolished for a time on the accession of Charles VI., these taxes were re-established, and their collection subjected to fixed laws. From the establishment of two courts of taxation dates the separation of ordinary justice from the administration of justice in matters of finance. The oldest of the taxes, the taille, grew in importance in proportion as the object for which it had been established, the support of the army, became more considerable.
—For a century, the division of old France into généralités and financial élections, had been an accomplished fact; but as old. France extended its frontiers, the countries which were added to it claimed the right of retaining, as regarded taxes, the privilege of consent and distribution which they possessed. They did retain this right, and as it was in the several states general that this privilege was exercised, the name of pays d'états was given to them in administrative language.
—By obtaining from the states general of 1439 the establishment of a personal taille, the king everywhere suppressed the feudal tailles. The royal taille was voted for the levy of a permanent army of 2,500 men at arms and 4,000 archers. Up to this time royalty had not had at its service a standing army, and had carried on wars only by appealing to its vassals and the people of the communes. But now it was at the head of the first of modern troops, and although cavalry occupied the chief position, artillery soon appeared; it made war a science, and the infantry increased in number as the nation became more securely organized. The ban and arriére-ban became from this time only languishing remains of the military customs of feudalism, which did not disappear till the time of Louis XIV., as the exercise of seignioral justice existed, continually losing strength, till the states general of 1789.
—Thus we come to the light. Through justice commenced the formation and regular division of France, the castellanies and provostships of the king were the seats for justice and the police in the first instance; the bailiwicks in the north and the seneschals' courts in the south, ruled the castellanies and provostships, and were at once seats of justice and military offices. Supreme jurisdiction was vested in the parliaments. Through the organization of the finances the kingdom was enabled to increase in strength. Financially, France was divided into pays d'états, which voted and distributed their taxes, and pays d'élections, in which were established receivers general, delegates, receivers of domains, collectors of gabelles, and soon a whole army of collectors, treasurers and comptrollers, whose hierarchy and functions foreshadowed the administration and regulation of accounts of the coming centuries. Finally, France had an army, and for military purposes the country was divided into twelve great governments given to officers of the crown.
—We have only just mentioned the rôle and the situation of the church under the monarchy of the house of Capet. St. Louis began the loosening of the bonds which attached the church in matters temporal to Rome, and supported it in its right of election. Rome soon regained all its empire; but Charles VII., following in the footsteps of St. Louis, ordered the French clergy to pay no more tributes to the holy see, and to preserve its republican constitution. It is true that, in the following century, Francis I. put an end to the existence of a democratic clergy, and by a concordat concluded with the holy see, constituted himself the only elector of the members of the royal clergy.
—The time had come when France must be entirely united under the sceptre of her kings. Louis XI. completed the work of the feudal monarchy. It only remained to do away with the appanagists, with the very blood of the dynasty itself. It is known with what skill, what decision, what constancy, his cruel genius was applied to this work, and how he contributed more than any other king, except Philip Augustus, to the material formation of the kingdom.
—The construction of the new national edifice occupied five centuries; but what centuries of violence; the imagination can hardly light up with a ray of chivalric poetry those sombre years of ignorance, of famine, of pestilence and of intestine strife.
—The sixteenth century inaugurated a new policy. France was prepared for it, when the west of Europe was refreshed by the breath of the Greek and Latin renaissance. Antique art mingled its brilliancy and elegance with the naïveté, rudeness and gayety of the Gallic spirit, and French genius began its glorious career. But it was not until the seventeenth century that its supremacy dethroned the old fame of the German empire and the holy see. Francis I. was the first to commence the foundation of this future fortune, and it was by his struggle with the house of Austria that he forced the nations to think of the balance of power. His son increased the national inheritance; his grandsons came near losing it; but through the struggles of religious reform, the human mind kept its onward progress. The civil laws were purified through the injunctions of the representatives of France, and under the inspiration of her magistrates and in the political debaucheries of the league, the instincts of liberty rose up constantly, and hid the shortcomings of patriotism.
—Under Henry IV an order of things was inaugurated which approaches that of the present day. Sully accustomed the nation to desire to have men of integrity in power, he made the practices of economy popular, and elevated the whole nation by proclaiming the excellence of agriculture. Colbert completed his work by giving new life to industry and commerce.
—Till the middle of the sixteenth century the crown had its councilors, when it was pleased to take them, an abbé, Suger; a soldier, Joinville; a legist, Juvénal des Ursins; a barber, Olivier le Daim.
—With secretaries of state came the creation of ministries. The action of the governmental machinery was thus continually rectified, but suddenly, powerful shocks stopped and disorganized it. Every minority of a king was the signal for the old feudal and communal régime to raise its head, and make an effort at revolt. The iron hand of Richelieu was necessary to lower the most powerful rebel heads, and the glittering sceptre of Louis XIV, to make them all bow down before him.
—Still, the balance of power in Europe was fixed by France in the treaties of Westphalia, and she herself, under her king, the last of her conqueror kings, extended her frontiers on all sides. The literature and art of the century made France the arbiter of Europe, even at the time of her misfortunes; and although they only adorned general and often servile ideas, they prepared the way for the unexpected reign of philosophy in the next century. Louis XIV himself unwittingly contributed toward giving to the bourgeoisie an importance which writers of the eighteenth century carried to the highest point. When he humiliated the remnants of the nobility in his pompous antechambers, and would employ in important matters only the common people, he was the first, by the caprice of despotism, to instill into his people that idea of equality which the revolution employed in the name of justice. But we now come to the time when old France ceased to exist, and new France appeared.
—The author of this article will be perhaps permitted to recall that, in a work entitled "Etat de la France en 1789," he drew up, for that memorable date, the inventory of the system which the states general overthrew and transformed. Even the slightest sketch of this can not be given in a few lines. The extent of territory was about the same as at present, the population numbered about 26,500,000, of which about 6,000,000 were in the cities and towns, and about 680,000 in the capital. The average length of life was estimated at twenty-eight years and nine months.
—The institutions of feudalism had fallen one by one under the blows of monarchy; but it was only their vigor and their vitality which had disappeared, their forms, their names, their connections existed. Till 1789, all France was only an assemblage of fiefs, arriére fiefs and plebeian estates, placed under the tenure of the king, who, according to the law of the middle ages, was the supreme lord of the land, as well as the irresponsible head of the state. Without doubt, it had for a long time been impossible to realize rigorously such a principle in actual transactions; but the principle existed none the less. It was the corner stone of the old régime. The revolution was needed to uproot it from the soil, in order that France should be really free.
—It is doubtful if there were many more than 80,000 nobles in 1789; but how few were actually descended from the companions at arms of Clovis, or even from the officers who, under the Carlovingians, became hereditary proprietors of their offices. The great majority were only recently of noble rank, obtained in the offices of the magistracy. The clergy embraced about 200,000 individuals, and enjoyed a considerable revenue, the amount of which has been variously estimated. Together with the king, who still enjoyed a large domain, these 80,000 nobles and 200,000 members of the clergy possessed three-fourths of the soil. One-fourth remained for 26,000,000 of men, but at the most there were but 450,000 landholders in France.
—As the desire to manage its own affairs had become the ruling passion of France, the experiment was tried of giving to the pays d'élections provincial assemblies, which with some liberty, should play the same part which the states general were supposed to play in the pays d'état, the list of which is as follows. Artois, Cambrésis, Brittany, Walloon Flanders, Burgundy, Languedoc, earldom of Foix, Marsan, Nébouzan, Quatre Vallées, Bigorre, Béarn, Soule, Lower Navarre, Labourd, Dauphiny. These institutions only made the nation more impatient to effect the union of the provinces and the regulation of the laws, and this impatience was legitimate, for royalty, after having materially established the kingdom, was capable only of tyrannizing over it, and, of a feudal nature after all, it was not willing to melt down the iron system of feudalism to forge the body of a new nation.
—Parliaments had in the course of time arrogated the right of remonstrance, because they enjoyed the privilege of the registration of the ordinances and edicts. This right, which, substantially, always yielded to force, appeared to them to be the fundamental law of the country, and to be worth a constitution by itself; but after the thinkers and politicians of the eighteenth century had spoken, it was impossible for these chimeras to exist. The revolution effected what kings could not, what the parliaments would have wished to prevent them from doing. Those declarations of the constitutions of 1791 and 1793 were not vain words. "The kingdom is one and indivisible." "The French republic is one and indivisible." Even the misfortunes of France have not been able to destroy this unity and this indivisibility, which nations admire and envy.
—The Third Republic. The Franco-German war of 1870-71 early revealed the weakness of the second empire. Immediately after the first defeats and in consequence of a vote of distrust of the legislature, the Olivier ministry resigned; one of the deputies even demanding the abdication of the emperor (Aug. 10). The new cabinet, presided over by Palikao, made every effort to increase the means of defense and to supply Paris with provisions. Meanwhile the French army had been annihilated in a succession of great battles; the whole of Alsace and Lorraine was occupied by German troops, and only Strasburg and Metz still held out. Napoleon III. himself surrendered at Sedan and went into captivity in Germany; the prince imperial, who had accompanied his father, had previously gone to England. On receipt of the news of this catastrophe, Paris rose in rebellion; during the night of Sept. 3, Jules Favre proposed in the legislature to depose the imperial dynasty. Palikao did not dare to vigorously resist this agitation, as the army and national guards could not be depended on. On the afternoon of Sept. 4 a mob stormed the hall of the legislature, the senate dissolved, and while Gambetta proclaimed a republic amid tumultuous excitement, the empress, together with the heads of the imperial party, were fugitives on their way to find shelter in England. On the very evening of Sept. 4, 1870, a "provisional government of national defense" constituted itself in the Hôtel de Ville, composed of deputies of the left only (Arago, Crémieux, Favre, Ferry, Gambetta, Garnier-Pagès, Glais-Bizoin, Pelletan, Picard, Rochefort, Simon). Under their auspices all Germans were expelled from France. Gen. Trochu presided, and was entrusted with the office of commander-in-chief of Paris. Jules Favre became vice-president and minister of foreign affairs; he entered upon his functions with a diplomatic circular of Sept. 6, in which he declared that the government desired peace, but would not cede one inch of the national territory, nor a stone of a French fortress. He made the same claim in a personal conversation with Bismarck at Ferrières on Sept. 19-20; he thought of contenting victorious Germany with money only. Thiers undertook a diplomatic mission to London, Vienna, St. Petersburg and Florence to ask the intercession of the neutral powers, but without success. His negotiations with Bismarck on Nov. 1, at Versailles, resulted in nothing. When the German army advanced toward Paris, the French government resolved to share the fate of the capital, but appointed a delegation for the administration of the provinces at Tours, where Gambetta as minister of war and of the interior virtually assumed the dictatorship. On Sept. 19 the surrounding of Paris had been completed, and the Prussian king, William I, had taken up his headquarters at Versailles, the old residence of the French kings. Strasburg and Metz capitulated. In vain Gambetta continued to levy new troops to relieve Paris; the French recruits and the militia (garde mobile) were unable to offer successful resistance to the experienced German soldiers, and in the beginning of December the government delegations even had to remove further south to Bordeaux. The government at Paris, too, was in a difficult position. All efforts of Gen. Trochu to break through the iron belt of the besieging army were unsuccessful, and want soon made itself felt. In addition to this, an extreme party existed in the city itself, which had its connection with the international society of workingmen and relied upon the armed population of the workingmen's quarters, Belleville, Montmartre, etc. Aside from minor revolts, this party attempted, on Oct. 31, 1870, and Jan. 22, 1871, (unsuccessfully, however,) to usurp the government and to establish the so-called commune.
—Under these circumstances the "provisional government of defense" was compelled to sue for peace. On Jan. 28, 1871, Favre and Bismarck signed an agreement for a three weeks armistice on land and water, in accordance with which the German troops occupied, the following day, all forts around Paris. During this armistice, which was afterward extended to March 3, a national assembly was to be chosen by general election in order to negotiate peace. When Gambetta attempted to limit the freedom of election to those of pronounced republican tendencies, his decree was not recognized by either Bismarck or the Paris government; this, with the general desire of the French people for peace, compelled him to resign. On Feb. 8 the elections took place, and on Feb. 12 the national assembly held its first session at Bordeaux. The following day the government of national defense resigned the powers confided to it to the national assembly, and the latter appointed Thiers, on Feb. 17, chief executive officer; retaining Favre as minister of foreign affairs. On Feb. 26 the preliminaries of peace were decided upon at Versailles, between Thiers and Favre on one side and the chancellor, Bismarck, and the representatives of Bavaria, Würtemberg and Baden on the other side, in accordance with which France ceded the provinces of Alsace, except Belfort, and German Lorraine, including Metz, to the German empire, and bound herself to pay a war indemnity of 5,000,000,000 francs; part of the French territory to remain occupied by German troops until the indemnity should be paid. These preliminaries were ratified on March 1 by the national assembly at Bordeaux and March 2 by Emperor William I. The German troops, who had occupied several quarters of Paris, withdrew from the city March 3. Shortly afterward the Germans also left Versailles, and the national assembly, together with the executive, removed from Bordeaux to the former place March 20. On March 18 a fresh and successful insurrection broke out in Paris, and the so-called commune usurped control of the government. This outbreak, however, was confined to the city of Paris; the French army remained true to the government, and after great bloodshed the insurrection was quelled, and by May 28 order was restored in Paris. Previous to this, the treaty of peace with Germany had already been definitively ratified. In accordance with the preliminaries, French and German representatives had, on March 28, convened at Brussels in order to deliberate over the details of the treaty; the negotiations, however, progressed slowly, as no agreement could be arrived at concerning the financial questions. This created distrust in Germany as to whether the government at Versailles would and could honestly carry out the provisions of the preliminary treaty. In consequence, Bismarck used his personal influence; and in a meeting with Favre, the French minister, at Frankfort on the Main (May 6-10) all conflicting points were speedily decided. The treaty of Frankfort, of May 10, 1871, generally confirmed the preliminaries, but contained amendments regulating the future border more in accordance with the nationality of the inhabitants, and containing an additional article in relation to the possession of the French railways of the east in Alsace-Lorraine.
—The elections of Feb. 8 had, under clerical influences and under the pressure of the situation, resulted in a preponderating majority of the "legitimist Orleanist" party, so that every one looked with either fear or hope for an early restoration of the monarchy. The princes of the house of Orleans returned to take up their residence in France; Count Chambord (Henry V.) appeared for a long visit at his country seat. Chambord and the followers of both sides entered into negotiations in order to effect a fusion. This, however, was made impossible by Chambord's manifesto of July 5, wherein he declared that he could not sacrifice the white flag of Henry IV. Thiers tried first to secure for himself the good will of the monarchist majority by appointing an increasing number of Orleanists as members of his cabinet. The republican Jules Favre resigned, and on Aug. 3 Charles Remusat entered the foreign office; later, Casimir Périer (the son) was appointed minister of the interior. On Aug. 12 the left centre of the national assembly brought in a bill proposing the prolongation of the power of Thiers for three years, under the title of president of the republic, and the establishment of a responsible ministry. After a hot debate, Aug. 30 and 31, the bill was passed by a vote of 491 against 93. The bill provided that Thiers should exercise the executive power as president of the republic under the authority of the national assembly, until the work of the latter was ended; he should reside at the seat of the assembly and be heard by the latter at any time at his request. The president as well as the ministers (who are appointed and dismissed by the former), should be under responsibility to the national assembly. Soon after the passage of this bill the assembly adjourned from Sept. 17 to Dec. 4, after appointing a permanent commission of forty-five members to act during the interval of the adjournment.
—The next object of the French government and national assembly was the earliest possible liberation of the country from the occupation of the German troops, and the improvement of the army after the Prussian model. For the paying of the first two milliards of war indemnity, Thiers contracted, in June, 1871, a loan of 2,500,000,000 francs, and for the liquidation of the balance a second loan of over three milliard francs in July, 1872. That for the latter loan a sum of more than forty-four milliards was subscribed, was evidence of the very favorable condition of French credit. Thus France was enabled by more speedy payments to bring about the end of the occupation at an earlier period than had been expected at the time of the treaty. In the last convention of March 15, 1873, it was decided that the last quarter milliard should be paid off on Sept. 5, thereby securing the complete evacuation of the French territory. The reorganization of the army was also vigorously pressed. The national assembly granted for that purpose any sum requested, and even offered to the government more money than the latter required. The law of July 28, 1872, concerning military service, established universal liability to arms, in such a manner that one part of the troops should be under obligation of five years active service, and the other part of six months exercise only. Besides this, a term of four years service in the reserve and eleven years in the territorial army was decided upon. This law was made complete by the organization law of July 24, 1873, and the cadres law of March 13, 1875. The former determined the number of regiments (144 of infantry, 70 of cavalry and 28 of artillery), and assigned them to eighteen corps d'armée for which the commanding generals were at once appointed; a nineteenth corps d'armée was established in Algeria and placed under the command of Chanzy, the governor general of Algeria. By the cadres law, the cadres of the battalions were increased in such a way that while formerly a regiment consisted of three battalions with a maximum of 3,000 men, a regiment of four battalions could now be formed, increasing the strength of the regiment to 4,000 men. This bill passed, the French infantry comprised 641 battalions. Such a law appeared of so much importance and so favorable for the early outbreak of the meditated war of vengeance, that in April, 1875, the question was raised at Berlin, whether "war was in view." All parties in France labored for the war of vengeance; even the plans of the Jesuits tended in the same direction. Under the guidance of the latter, humbled France should be raised up again, and the people stirred up for the national-clerical crusade against Germany. Miraculous fountains and apparitions, numerous processions, chanting of religious songs with refrain of vengeance, were intended to keep up the fanaticism of the populace. The clericals most favored by the government increased their demands more and more until the law of July 12, 1875, concerning public instruction, awarded them the privilege of establishing "free universities" and the participation in conferring academical degrees, whereby they hoped to secure a controlling influence in the higher grades of instruction, in addition to the management of the institutions for female instruction and education which they already conducted. The proceedings instituted by the military commission against Marshal Bazaine were intended to relieve the "Grande Nation" from all responsibility for the disgrace of the last war, and to lay all the blame therefor to insubordination and treason. Bazaine was, by court martial, on Dec. 10, 1873, condemned to death, but the sentence was commuted to twenty years' imprisonment. Removed to the fortress on the island of St. Marguerite, he escaped on Aug. 10, 1874.
—Less harmony existed between the parties in question concerning the framing of the constitution. The monarchists divided into legitimists. Orleanists and Bonapartists, and each of the three parties had its own pretendant; the republicans, too, formed three groups: moderate, decided and radical republicans. Not only the monarchists and republicans opposed each other, but even the several factions in the parties themselves often disagreed. Thus it happened that the "commission of thirty" which was to frame the constitutional laws, found much difficulty in arriving at a conclusion, and could not gain a majority in the assembly for its decrees. On account of these difficulties several ministers were politically wrecked, and the constitution made no progress toward completion. It took four years before the republic became a fact and constitutional. Meritorious as had been the course of Thiers as president of the republic, he had gained the ill will of the monarchists because he would not support their plans and because of his preference for the republic. And as the supplementary elections mostly resulted in favor of the republicans, it could be foreseen with mathematical certainty that the monarchists would eventually lose the majority in the assembly. As Thiers, in forming his new cabinet on May 18, 1873, chose its members from the ranks of the republicans only, without regard to the majority of the monarchists, the latter proposed a resolution of censure against him. This was accepted on May 24, by a vote of 360 against 344. Thereupon Thiers and his ministry tendered their resignation and Marshal MacMahon was at the same session elected president of the republic. The latter formed a new ministry composed of legitimists, Orleanists and Bonapartists, presided over by the duke de Broglie as minister of foreign affairs. The new presidency promised to be of but short duration; for the legitimists labored more strenuously than ever to bring about a fusion; they had already secured the good will of many Orleanists, and proposed to recall Count Chambord and offer him the throne. The count de Paris, as head of the house of Orleans, visited Count Chambord on Aug. 5, 1873, at Frohsdorf, and recognized him as the chief of the united houses of Bourbon and Orleans, and as the chief representative of the monarchical principle in France. But since Count Chambord, in his letter of Oct 27, demanded an unconditional recall, and refused to make any binding declaration in regard to the flag (whether tricolor or white), or as to the constitution, the Orleanists withdrew, and the attempt at fusion again proved a failure. MacMahon, however, demanded then the establishment of a strong executive power, and the assembly accordingly decided to fix the term of office of the president at seven years (septennate). Under the ministry of Broglie ultramontanism and Bonapartism made rapid progress. The pastorals of the French bishops outdid each other in their attacks upon the German emperor and his government, so that the minister of public worship, in a circular of Dec. 26, 1873, cautioned the bishops, and Bismarck called the French government to account. The Bonapartists gained several favorable results at the later elections, and found themselves in possession of most of the higher offices. Since legitimists and Orleanists had lost all ground with the people, the only question remained whether the third empire or the republic would come out victorious from the struggle of parties. After the death of the ex-emperor, Napoleon, on Jan. 9, 1873, the Bonapartists gathered around his son, who, on March 16, 1874, became of age. This latter event was celebrated at Chiselhurst, many followers of the empire doing homage to the prince imperial. Since the Bonapartists could hardly count upon aid from any of the other parties, they carried on their agitation all the more vigorously among the lower classes and awaited a favorable opportunity for a coup d'état. But this was what legitimists and Orleanists feared most, and as the agitation of the Bonapartists became too strong, the former declared in 1875 for the establishment of the republic.
—After Broglie had succeeded in passing the law of Jan. 20, 1874, by which the appointing of the mayors was given entirely into the hands of the government, he proposed still another most reactionary law, limiting the general right of voting at elections for deputies. When the question was put whether the electoral law should have an immediate hearing, the assembly decided against Broglie. In consequence, he resigned on May 16, 1874, and the minister of war, Cissey, on May 22, formed a new cabinet, whose members were also chosen from the monarchical parties. Clericals and Bonapartists continued to be preferred. At the consideration in the assembly of the laws concerning the transfer of power, the elections and the authority of the senate, a decision was reached. The right and left centre united in their position in reference to the amendment to the first law proposed by Wallon, a deputy, and also to the new senate law drafted by the same, and in this way both laws were passed on Feb. 23 and 24 by the national assembly. One of the laws determined the position of the president of the republic in relation to the senate and chamber of deputies; the other one fixed the number of senators at 300, of which 75 were to be elected by the national assembly for life, while 225 were to be elected for a term of nine years by the departments and colonies, or the representatives of the latter, members of the general councils of the arrondissements and the communes. In consequence of these decisions the ministry under Cissey resigned, and on March 11, Buffet, who, since April 4, 1873, had been president of the national assembly, formed a new cabinet, which, however, did not fully agree with the majority which had passed these laws. These changes were followed, on July 16, by the adoption of the laws determining the relations of the public authorities to each other, and regulating the election of the 225 senators; on Nov. 30 by the adoption of the law concerning the election of deputies by voting in the arrondissements; and on Dec. 29 by the adoption of a stricter press law, and of a law concerning the state of siege, (which should only remain in force in Paris, Lyons, Marseilles and Versailles). The election of the seventy-five senators by the national assembly was accomplished in eleven ballots, and resulted in the complete defeat of the Buffet ministry. At last the assembly determined that the elections for the senate should be held on Jan. 30, 1876, those for the chamber of deputies on Feb. 20, and that the opening of both chambers should take place on March 8; then the national assembly dissolved, to return no more, as originally constituted.
—In spite of all efforts of the government which controlled the press law, the state of siege, the voting in the arrondissements, the prefects and the mayors, and tried to use them in its own favor, the elections for senate and chamber of deputies resulted very generally in favor of the new constitutional law. Of the 300 senators, about one-third were said to be republicans (mostly moderate) and 40 Bonapartists; of the 532 deputies, about 360 were said to be republicans and 80 Bonapartists. These elections proved a complete defeat of the reactionists, and especially of the clericals, who had made such rapid progress under the former government. Buffet himself was not elected for either chamber (later, on June 16, he was elected as senator for life); he resigned on Feb. 21, 1876, and on March 9 a new ministry was formed from members of the left centre, presided over by Dufaure. On March 7 the new session was opened; the senate and the chamber of deputies proceeded to elect their temporary officers. On March 8 the functions of the former national assembly were transferred by its president, Andiffret-Pasquier, and the permanent committee to the newly constituted chambers, and on March 13 both chambers elected their permanent presiding officers, Andiffret-Pasquier in the senate and Grévy in the chamber of deputies. The republicans now demanded from the government the immediate dismissal of all legitimist or Bonapartist prefects and the abolition of the maire law and state of siege. The fulfillment of the two first-named points was delayed; the state of siege, however, together with some restrictions of the press law which Buffet had arbitrarily introduced, were abolished, in consequence of a motion made and accepted in both chambers. A motion, offered on March 21 in the senate by Victor Hugo, and in the chamber of deputies by Raspail, to decree a general amnesty for political offenses and press transgressions, (consequently also for communists), was lost by a large majority, the government, however, promising to exercise all possible indulgence and consideration. The law proposed by Waddington, minister of public instruction, to alter the law concerning higher instruction adopted in 1875, to make the state alone competent to grant academical degrees, was, on June 7, confirmed by the chamber of deputies; in the senate, however, on Aug. 11, it was rejected by a vote of 144 against 139. The reactionary maire law, created by Broglie in 1874, was abrogated on July 11 by the chamber of deputies, and on July 12 a new bill was passed, whereby the election of maires was left with the municipalities, with the exception of the principal towns of the arrondissements and cantons in which the election was decided by the government. At the same time a bill was passed making it obligatory to elect a new common council before the election of a new maire.
—On Aug. 11 the senate passed the maire law proposed by the chamber of deputies, but rejected the amendment; to which decision the latter finally agreed. The new election for maires took place on Oct. 8 in 33,000 municipalities, and resulted mostly in favor of the republicans; in 3,000 municipalities the election depended on the government. By refusing in several instances the customary military honors at funerals of knights of the legion of honor, the government came into conflict not only with the chamber of deputies but also with the entire non-clerical public opinion. To disembarrass itself in this dilemma, the government, on Nov. 23, proposed a law providing that in future military honors should be conferred on active soldiers only, and not on any other members of the legion of honor. This evident inclination of the government to clerical tendencies created such a storm that the cabinet under Dufaure could not maintain itself. The government was compelled to withdraw its motion on Dec. 2, and to consent to an order of the day providing that in the future application of the funeral regulation the two principles of liberty of conscience and equality of citizens before the law should be maintained. Since the cabinet had no majority either in the senate (for which it was too liberal) or in the chamber of deputies (for which it was too clerical), it tendered its resignation. After long deliberation a new ministry was formed on Dec. 12, in which Jules Simon, member of the moderate left, assumed the presidency and the department of the interior, and Martel the departments of justice and worship, while all other offices remained in the possession of their former holders. After the overthrow of MacMahon, Jules Grévy (Jan. 30, 1879) became president of the republic.
—Constitution. The form of government in France is republican, based upon the constitution adopted by the national assembly on Feb. 28, 1875, and several amendments. The president of the republic is the chief officer, and is assisted in the government by the ministry, the senate and the chamber of deputies. He is under responsibility to the French people, with the privilege of appeal to the same. His power is executive. According to decree of the national assembly, of Nov. 11, 1875, the members of the chamber of deputies are elected by universal suffrage. Each arrondissement elects one deputy for every 100,000 inhabitants or fraction thereof. A voter must be a citizen and twenty-one years of age; a deputy, a citizen and twenty-five years of age. The chamber of deputies consists of 532 members, and the senate of 300 members, of whom 225 are elected by the departments and colonies, and 75 by the national assembly. The senators for the departments are elected by electoral boards for a term of nine years, (one-third of their number going out of office every third year), while the senators nominated by the assembly remain during their lifetime. A senator must be a Frenchman by birth and forty years of age. The senate and chamber assemble annually on the second Tuesday in January, provided the president of the republic does not convoke them sooner; their sessions must last at least five months. Both open and close their sessions at the same time. The president proclaims the close of the session, and has the privilege of convoking the chambers at any time; it becomes his duty to do so if one-half of the members of both chambers desire it. The president can adjourn the chambers, but for no longer than a month and not oftener than twice during the same session. The senate, in conjunction with the chamber of deputies, has the right of proposing and making new laws. Bills for the levying of taxes, or relating to the revenue, however, must first be presented to and accepted by the chamber of deputies. The president of the republic is elected by a majority of votes of the national assembly consisting of both chambers. His term of office is seven years, at the expiration of which he is again eligible. He, as well as the senate, has the initiative in legislation. He promulgates all laws adopted by both chambers, and insures their proper execution. He has the right of pardon, commands the forces, and appoints all civil and military officers, including the heads of the ministerial departments. The envoys and ambassadors of foreign powers are accredited to him. Every decree of the president must be countersigned by one of the ministers. The president may, with the consent of the senate, dissolve the chamber of deputies, but must in that case convoke the electoral boards for new elections within three months. The ministry is responsible to the national assembly for the general policy of the government, and each minister is personally responsible for his individual acts. The president is responsible only in case of high treason. In case of his death the united chambers must at once proceed to elect a new president. The seat of the executive and of both chambers is at Versailles.
—Administration. The administration, as the emanation of the executive power in France, is rigorously separated from the legislative authority and from the administration of justice. It constitutes a system of the strictest centralization. Since June, 1875, nine ministries have been established: 1, the ministry of the interior; 2, the ministry of foreign affairs; 3, the ministry of finance; 4, the ministry of justice (keeper of the great seal); 5, the ministry of commerce and agriculture; 6, the ministry of worship and public instruction; 7, the ministry of public works; 8, the ministry of war; 9, the ministry of the navy. The chamber of accounts is independent. There is a council of state, presided over by the minister of justice, the functions of which are the giving of advice on bills and decrees as well as on all administrative and other affairs presented by the president of the republic and by the ministry, and the deciding of appeals in conflicting administrative affairs and annulments on account of errors on the part of the various administrative departments. Its ordinary members are elected by the national assembly for a term of three years; the extraordinary ones are appointed by the president of the republic. A special tribunal decides in cases of concurrence of jurisdiction between the courts of administration and of justice. In close connection with the central administration of the ministry is the departmental or provincial administration. Each department is presided over by a prefect, who executes all decrees, decisions, directions, etc., issued by the ministry to the lower courts. Aside from his position as a government officer, he is also the representative of the interests of the department, which is at the same time a part of the state and an individual sovereignty, with power to buy and sell. The prefect is assisted by the general council. The latter has as many members as the department has cantons, who are elected in the same manner as the members of the general assembly. The members of the general council, whose term is six years, must be residents of the department. Every three years one-third of the members retire, but may be reelected. The general council levies the taxes in the districts, directs the financial affairs of the department, though its decrees are partly subject to confirmation by the higher authorities, and gives its opinion in all matters wherein its advice is required. Each general council appoints annually a departmental commission to assist the prefect. The subdivisions of the department, the arrondissements, are presided over by a sub-prefect, who is, in fact, merely the agent of the prefect. He is assisted by an elected council (conseil d'arrondissement) whose annual sessions are limited to fifteen days. The cantons of which an arrondissement is composed are administratively insignificant; they merely serve as a basis for the elections and for the levy of recruits. Every canton is the seat of a justice of the peace. Next to the administration of the police comes that of the commune. The commune being at the same time a part of the state and an independent corporation, the mayor has, in the same manner as the prefect, the double character of a governmental agent and municipal representative. As agent of the government his functions are to promulgate and secure the proper execution of all laws and ordinances, and to maintain the general and municipal police (except in towns of over 40,000 inhabitants). His decrees must in part be sanctioned by the prefect or sub-prefect. He has no judicial power, which rests alone with the police courts. As representative of the municipality he manages the parish property, regulates the receipts and expenditures, prepares the budget, represents the community in the courts, etc. He is also civil magistrate, keeps the civil list, officiates at civil marriages, though under the control of the courts of justice (procureur d'état). The mayor (maire) appoints most of the municipal officers. His assistant and substitute is the "adjunct," of which there are several in communes of over 2,500 inhabitants. The maire, as well as his assistant (whose functions are not specified), has no salary. The former is assisted by the municipal council elected by the parishioners. All Frenchmen twenty-one years of age, residing at least six months in a parish, are eligible. The municipal council consists of at least ten members; their number increases, according to the population, to the limit of thirty six. The municipal council passes ordinances concerning the administration of the common property, which must be submitted to the citizens as well as to the authorities, and which the prefect may veto, but which he can not alter. It deliberates on the budget, the purchase and sale of public property, the erection of buildings and repairs, the acceptance of donations, and matters of dispute, though its decrees must be submitted to the prefect or the minister of the interior for sanction; it furthermore gives its advice in all matters submitted to it, as church taxation, matters of public benevolence, etc. The sessions of the municipal council are not public. The ordinary annual session lasts ten days; extraordinary sessions may be convoked at the request of one-third of the members, with the consent of the prefect.
—Political Division. European France is divided into eighty-six departments and one territory (Belfort), comprising 363 arrondissements, 2,865 cantons, and 35,989 communes. This division was made by decree of the national assembly, of Jan. 15, 1790, and proved very beneficial, as the difference in size of the historically defined provinces, with their frequently adverse interests, rendered their administration very difficult. Notwithstanding this, the old division into provinces has remained a favorite historical remembrance of the population, the more so as it corresponds more nearly to their physical, industrial and social relations. The correspondence of the provincial division with the present division into departments may best be shown, with a few exceptions, by the following summary:
In the north—1. Lorraine (Departments—Vosges, Meurthe-Moselle, Meuse); 2. Champagne (Departments—Haute-Marne, Aube, Marne, Ardennes); 3. Isle de France (Departments—Seine-et-Marne, Seine, Seine-et-Oise, Aisne, Oise); 4. Flanders, Artois and Picardy (Departments—Nord, Pas-de-Calais, Somme).
—Administration of Justice. The administration of justice is presided over by a special minister of state; it is divided into civil and criminal jurisdiction. The former is exercised by justice courts, circuit courts and courts of appeal. The justice court consists of a judge who need not be a jurist, and two substitutes who have no pay. The justice of the peace is really judge as well as mediator. No lawsuit can be commenced in the circuit court that has not first been tried before a justice of the peace, in order, if possible, to effect an agreement between the contending parties. The circuit courts (tribunal d'arrondissement) consist, according to the size of the arrondissement, of seven to ten or twelve salaried judges, and several substitutes without pay who are selected from among the lawyers. They take cognizance of all cases which can not be brought before any other court, and have summary jurisdiction in cases involving amounts not exceeding 1,500 francs. The appellate court consists of from twenty-four to thirty or forty members, which constitute three chambers; for civil proceedings, for appeals in error, and for indictments. The assizes have only jurisdiction in matters submitted to them by the court of appeals. The appellate court is generally of second resort. The commercial jurisdiction is exercised: 1, by tribunals of commerce, whose members are elected from among merchants and manufacturers for a term of two years, and are confirmed by the government; 2, by the prud'hommes, (experienced men) arbitrators composed of manufacturers, master workmen, journeymen and workmen who settle disputes by arbitration. The commercial jurisdiction requires no attorneys not lawyers. The French judicial code distinguishes three degrees of infractions of the law: offenses against the police regulations, transgressions and crimes. The first come under the jurisdiction of the police courts, with fines limited to fifteen francs, or five days' imprisonment. If judgment amounts to more than a fine of five francs, the case may be appealed to the tribunal of appeals in error or to the court of cassation. The latter consists of three judges who pass sentence in the case of all transgressions that are not crimes, but which are subject to higher penalty than can be inflicted by the police courts. Appeal from its judgment may be taken to another tribunal of cassation or to any of the twenty-six courts of appeal. Crimes come under the jurisdiction of the assizes, which are held every three months in the principal town of each department, and consist of judges and a jury. Besides crimes, offenses of all kinds against the press laws, as well as political offenses (with the exception of high treason), are submitted to the court of assizes. In each of the 363 arrondissements is established a court of first resort, and in each of the 2,865 cantons a justice of the peace. The judges merely pronounce the legal punishment for a crime after an absolute majority of a jury of twelve men has rendered a verdict. A supreme court (haute cour de justice), the jury of which is composed of members of the general councils and whose judges are taken from the courts of cassation, decides in cases of high treason and crimes of the ministers, high dignitaries, senators and members of the council of state. Although special courts are against the constitution, there are several special tribunals provided by law, as probate courts, military courts, marine courts, disciplinary chambers of notaries and attorneys, and disciplinary magistrates, for matters concerning public instruction. The court of cassation never decides matters in dispute, but merely the proper application of the laws and proceedings. It has forty-nine members, and is divided into three chambers: civil chambers, criminal chambers and the chambres de requête. In some cases judgment is passed by the three chambers jointly. The judges of the circuit courts, courts of appeal and courts of cassation can not be deposed, but must be retired at a certain age (since 1852). In fact, there are but two resorts in the French administration of justice. With the exception of the justice and commercial courts, councils of prefecture and prud'hommes, all courts have the services of the ministère public, which in the circuit and superior courts is represented by the state's attorney (procureur de la république). The state's attorney conducts prosecutions in criminal cases, gives advice in civil suits, or (in matters concerning the state or minors) appears himself as a party to the suit. With the exception of the probate courts, all legal proceedings in France are public and verbal.
—Education. The progress of science, art and public instruction has corresponded with the high state of culture in the nation, although the middle schools have not attained a very high degree of excellence, and the public schools, properly speaking, are essentially affected by political and clerical influences. Public instruction, with the exception of a few special professional schools, is presided over by a special ministry assisted by a high board of education and eighteen inspectors general. The whole state is divided into sixteen government groups, or so-called academies. Each of these is presided over by a rector, who is responsible for all branches of instruction, though the primary schools in the single departments are under the superintendence of the prefect. The prefect appoints and dismisses the teachers and exercises immediate authority. The instruction in the higher schools comprises the five faculties of theology, law, medicine, science and literature, the latter two corresponding with the philosophical faculty of the German universities. Only in Paris are all five departments united in full universities, while in eighteen other places but single departments are represented. For instance: theology at Aix, Bordeaux, Caen, Lyons, Montauban, Paris and Toulouse; law at Aix, Bordeaux, Caen, Dijon, Douai, Nancy, Paris, Poitiers, Rennes and Toulouse; medicine at Montpellier, Nancy, Paris; science at Besançon, Bordeaux, Caen, Clermont, Dijon, Grenoble, Lille, Lyons, Marseilles, Montpellier, Nancy, Paris, Poitiers, Rennes and Toulouse; literature at Aix, Besançon, Bordeaux, Caen, Clermont, Dijon, Grenoble, Douai, Lyons, Montpellier, Nancy, Paris, Poitiers, Rennes and Toulouse. Besides these there are high schools for pharmacy at Lyons, Montpellier and Paris. Lately the government has given more particular attention to the higher grades of instruction in the lyceums (formerly colléges royaux) and in the communal colleges, and also to public instruction in the elementary schools, (for which male teachers are trained in eighty-one and female teachers in eleven normal schools). In 1872 but 51.75 per cent. of the total population was able to read and write, and but 10.45 per cent. was able to read only, leaving, therefore, 37.80 per cent. altogether illiterate. This percentage is of course subject to many local variations, as the different departments share very unequally in the diffusion of education. The proportion of the educated is highest in the northeast, and lowest in Brittany and on the western and northern terraces of Auvergne, Limousin, Berri, Nivernais and Bourbonnais. Of the schools for instruction in special branches of knowledge, the following deserve special mention: the school of fine arts at Paris, founded in 1648 by Louis XIV., with free tuition and three grand annual prizes, the academy of design at Paris, founded in 1766 by Louis XV., also with free tuition; the conservatory of music and declamatory art at Paris, established 1794, a celebrated preparatory school for the opera and the drama; the academy for instruction in oriental languages; the schools of Rome and of Athens; and the Ecole des Chartes. The polytechnic school at Paris was established in 1794. It is maintained under the supervision of the minister of war and the special management of a general of the army, and serves as a preparatory school for the artillery and engineer corps, as also for the schools of navigation, civil engineering, mining, etc. The schools for instruction of engineers of public works and the schools for miners at Paris, therefore, presuppose a course in the polytechnic school. A conservatory for the application of science to the arts and trades, a central school for arts and trades, and a superior commercial college, are established at Paris, and schools for arts and trades at Chalons-sur-Marne, Angers and Aix. Nancy has a school of forestry. Besides three superior agricultural schools at Grignou near Versailles, at Granjouan (lower Loire) and at Montpellier (1871), there are forty-seven estates with 995 pupils serving as minor farming schools. Of the military colleges the most important are: the school for the training of officers of the staff at Paris (Ecole d'état major), that of St. Cyr for the education of officers of the infantry, the cavalry school at Saumur, the prytonée militaire de la flèche for sons of officers, the artillery and engineer school (at Fontainebleau), and a school for the practice of firearms at Vineennes. While there are hydrographical schools in nearly all of the larger seaports, the naval academy at Brest is of special importance for the navy.
—Population. The population of France after the cessions to Germany in virtue of the treaty of Frankfort, May 10, 1871, according to the census of 1866, was 36,469,836; according to the census of 1872 it was only 36,102,921; showing, aside from the territorial losses, a decrease of 366,915 souls, or 1.2 per cent. This decline of population was partly due to losses in the war, but principally to the ravages of small-pox during 1870-71, the decrease in marriages and the increase of the death rate over the birth rate. It affected almost the entire country. Only fourteen departments showed an increase of population. Chief among these were the departments of Allier, Loire, Nord, Pas-de-Calais, Seine and Seine-et-Oise, none of which belong to southern France. France has at present nine cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants. Their population, with the exception of Lyons, Bordeaux and Toulouse, increased in the six years between the census of 1866 and that of 1872, although not in the same proportion as the larger cities of the German empire. The largest cities of France are, according to the census of 1876: Paris, 1,988,806 inhabitants (in 1866, 1,825,274), Lyons, 342,815 inhabitants (in 1866, 323,954): Marseilles, 318,868 inhabitants (in 1866, 300,431); Bordeaux, 215,146 inhabitants (in 1866, 194,241); Lille, 162,775 inhabitants (in 1866, 154,749); Toulouse, 131,642 inhabitants (in 1866, 126,936); Nantes, 122,247 inhabitants (in 1866, 111,956); Rouen, 104,902 inhabitants (in 1866, 100,671); St. Etienne, 126,019 inhabitants (in 1866, 96,620). Of the rest of the larger cities, some, especially affected by the Franco-German war and the consequent occupation, show a considerable increase, principally Rheims, 81,328 inhabitants (in 1866, 60,734); Versailles, 49,847 inhabitants (in 1866, 44,021); Nancy, 66,303 inhabitants (in 1866, 49,993). The average population is 70.6 to the square kilometre. But the great variations in numerical distribution will best be shown from the following: To one square kilometre the department of the Seine had, in 1872, 4,667 inhabitants, Rhône 240, Nord 255, Lower Seine 131, Loire 116, Pas-de-Calais 115, etc., while the department of the Lower Alps had 20, the Upper Alps 21, Lozère 26, Landes 32, Savoy 47, Corsica 30, etc. Leaving out of consideration the city of Paris, the most densely populated are the departments of the north and of the coast, and the most sparsely populated those of the mountains and of the interior, with the exception of the larger cities and manufacturing districts, as Lyons and St. Etienne. The number of populous cities in France is small. The city element of the whole population is about 25 per cent.9
—Although historical researches into the descent of the population point to a diversity of races, there is not another country in Europe in which the different nationalities are so harmoniously blended as in France. It is only on the Belgian frontier, toward the Pyrenees and in the interior of Brittany, that a marked difference is perceptible, and this rather in the idiom than in national customs. The proportion of foreign elements is estimated as follows: the Walloons in the north, 5 per cent.; the Bretons, 3 per cent.; the Italians in the southeast, 1.1 per cent.; the Basques and Catalonians in the Pyrenees, 0.5 per cent.; the Israelites, 0.14 per cent.; the Gypsies and Cagots, 0 05 per cent. This leaves 90.21 per cent. to the French race, i.e., the mixture of subjugated Gauls, colonized Romans and Gallic tribes. According to nationality the population consisted, in 1872, of 35,362,253, or 97.97 per cent. Frenchmen, and 730,844, or 2.03 per cent. foreigners; and according to religious faith, of 35,387,703, or 98 per cent. Catholics; 580,757, or 1.6 per cent. Protestants; 49,439, or 0.14 per cent. Israelites: and 85,022, or 0.26 per cent of anti-Christian or unknown creed. From 1872 to 1876 there was an increase of 802,867 in the population of France, the total population at the latter date being 36,905,788.
—Army. The army of the second French empire had almost completely gone to wreck during the campaign of 1870; a predominant part of it was, after the surrender of Sedan, Strasburg, Metz and the other fortresses on war territory, in German captivity. With numerous new organizations France had offered resistance to the enemy during the last period of the war, so that after the victory over the "commune" at Paris, a new French army had to be created. This has been done by a course of legislation, which has abandoned the previously prevailing principles, and which corresponds in almost every respect with the Prussian system. This has made it possible to create an army, whose strength, notwithstanding the loss of Alsace and Lorraine, materially exceeds that of the army of the empire. By the conscription law of 1872 the principle of universal liability to arms is laid down, in accordance with which every Frenchman is liable to military service: substitution or enlistment for money are prohibited, and every French man, who has not been declared entirely unfit for service, must, from his twentieth to his fortieth year, be in the active army and its reserve; and only Frenchmen are admitted to the French army. This law further stipulates that members of the active forces shall not take part in political elections, and that every armed active troop is subject to the military laws, belongs to the army, and is subordinate to the ministry of war or marine. Thereby political agitation in the army is prevented, and the national guard abolished. The time of service in the active army is five years, in the reserve of the same four years, in the territorial army five years and six years in the reserve of the latter; making, in all, twenty years. Besides this, the system of volunteer service for one year only (volontaires conditionels d'un an) has been established. By the law of July 24, 1873, regulating the army organization, the permanent division of the army into corps d'armée, divisions, etc., has been decreed, corresponding to the Prussian provincial system, by which France, with respect to organization of the active army and its reserve, as well as that of the territorial army and reserve, is divided into eighteen districts, which again are subdivided according to the productiveness of conscription and the demands of mobilization. In each of the eighteen districts a corps d'armée is garrisoned; a nineteenth corps is maintained in Algeria. Each corps d'armée consists of two divisions of infantry with two brigades each, a cavalry brigade, an artillery brigade, a battalion of engineers, a squadron of the train, together with the staff and the necessary commissary department. Unlike the German system the active army does not recruit itself from the respective districts, but from the whole territory of France; but in case of mobilization the different troops are re-enforced by reserves from their own districts. One ordinance is peculiar: that in times of peace no commanding general of a corps d'armée shall occupy that office for more than three years, unless he has been expressly confirmed in it at the expiration of that time by decree of the president of the republic. The territorial army, similar to the German "landwehr" (militia) is formed of persons living in the district and not belonging to the active army; the reserve of the territorial army is only called upon if the present forces are not sufficient. The law of March 13, 1875, completes the reorganization of the French army, determines the number and formation of all classes of troops, regulates the grades of the military departments in peace and in war, and fixes the annual average peace footing of privates for every part of the army. Accord-to this, the strength of the French army is as follows: Infantry, 144 regiments of the line, each consisting of four battalions of four companies each, and two dépót companies for each regiment, altogether 576 battalions with 2,304 field and 288 dépót companies (236,301 men), thirty battalions of chasseurs, of four active and one dépót company each, altogether thirty battalions with 120 field and thirty dépét companies (18,240 men); four regiments of zouaves, with four battalions of four companies each, and one dépót company for each regiment, altogether sixteen battalions, with sixty-four field and four dépót companies (10,320 men), three regiments of Algerian sharpshooters (tirailleurs) with four battalions of four companies each, and one dépót company for each regiment, altogether twelve battalions, forty-eight field and three dépót companies (8,505 men); one foreign legion of four battalions, having each four companies, altogether four battalions, sixteen active companies (2,529 men); three battalions of African light infantry, of six companies each, altogether three battalions, eighteen field companies (4,143 men); four companies of fusileers, and one pioneer penal company (1,560 men). This makes the total footing of the infantry: 641 battalions, with 2,575 field and 325 dépót companies (281,601 men). Napoleon's army of 1870 had only 372 field battalions. The cavalry consisted of twelve regiments of cuirassiers, twenty-six regiments of dragoons, twenty regiments of chasseurs, and twelve regiments of hussars, each composed of four field and one dépót squadron, making a total, therefore, of seventy regiments, with 280 field and seventy dépót squad rons (58,100 men and 51,800 horses). To this must be added the African cavalry, with four regiments of chasseurs d'Afrique and three regiments of Spahis, with four field and two dépót squadrous each. This makes the total sum of French cavalry seventy-seven regiments, with 308 field and eighty-four dépót squadrons (65,725 men and 58,948 horses). In case of war and for the manœuvres nineteen squadrons of éclaireurs volontaires (one for each corps d'armée) are to be formed. Besides the foregoing there are eight companies of remonte riders, with 2,892 men. The artillery consisted, exclusive of the staff, of nineteen regiments of division, with three foot, eight field and two dépót batteries each; nineteen regiments corps of artillery, with eight field, three mounted and two dépót batteries each, comprising altogether fifty-seven foot, fiftyseven mounted and seventy-six depót batteries, with 55,242 men and 29,944 horses. Instead of the 984 guns with which Napoleon III. should, have nominally entered the campaign, France will in future go to war with 2,166 guns. Besides the above there belong to the artillery two regiments of pontoniers, of fourteen companies each, ten companies of artisans, three companies of pyrotechnists, and fifty-seven companies of the train, making a total of 10,000 men and 2,700 horses. The engineer corps comprises, besides the staff, four regiments of sappers and miners, of five battalions each, composed of four companies; to this must be added one dépót company for each regiment, one company of railroad workers and one company of drivers, making a total of 10,960 men and 733 horses, in ninety-two companies. The train is composed of twenty squadrons of carriage train, with three companies each, and twelve companies in Algeria, making altogether 9,392 men and 7,380 horses, in seventy-two companies. Adding to this the commissary department and branches, with 20,833 men and 1,664 horses, and the gens d'armes with 27,014 men and 13,567 horses, we arrive at a total peace footing of the army of 490,322 men and 120,894 horses.
—The strength of the army on a war footing would amount to nineteen corps d'armée and six independent divisions of cavalry, with 880,000 men, leaving about 50,000 men still disposable for Algeria, etc. The dépót troops of the field army would number 220,000 men, making a total war footing of the active army, inclusive of its dépóts, of 1,150,000 men. The territorial army would consist of 145 regiments of infantry, with three battalions each, eighteen regiments of artillery, eighteen battalions of engineers, and eighteen squadrons of train; also a number of squadrons of cavalry, which are estimated at 560,000 men. The war footing of the French army will therefore amount to 1,710,000 men, and when the conscription law of 1872 has been in operation for twenty years, France will have 3,400,000 trained soldiers at her command. Besides the numerical strength, the tendency is to increase the moral value of the army; the new regulations give a degree of independence and responsibility to the subaltern officers, formerly unknown in France; the camp at Chalons, where formerly sham battles were fought, has lost its importance, for at present the French corps d'armée manœuvre after the Prussian manner, at various locations in their districts, and call in part of their reserves for the exercises.
—The system of fortification also has been materially changed. Before 1870 the fortresses of France comprised twenty-three of the first class, thirty-six of the second, twenty-nine of the third and forty-seven of the fourth class. A number of unimportant places have been abandoned, while the more important places have been enlarged and strengthened in accordance with the exigencies of the day, and a large number of fortifications have been built. The latter are to establish an entirely new system of defenses against an invasion from the east, while Paris is to be protected against bombardment, and, if possible, against blockade, by a second line of detached forts built in a wider circle around the city. A law of March, 1875, appropriated 60,000,000 francs for the fortification of the capital, and another law of July 17, 1874, made a further appropriation of 88,500,000 francs for the rebuilding of the defenses on the eastern border. The works around Paris have been pushed forward actively; the rest, however, are not so far advanced. The ordinary budget of the war department for 1876 amounted to 500,038,115 francs; it was a temporary budget, calculated for an extraordinary emergency. It was intended to facilitate the accomplishment of the organization law of 1873 and the cadres law of 1875, and to limit expenses as much as possible, in view of the financial situation.
—Navy. The French fleet consisted, in 1876, of nineteen armor-plated frigates and nine armor-plated corvettes for battle on the high seas; six ironclads of the second class, seven floating batteries, ten gunboats of the first class and nine gunboats of the second class for coast defense; also eight screw steam frigates, twelve screw steam corvettes, nineteen first class aviso ships, eighteen second class avisos, (all principally for cruising service), twenty-seven transports, twenty-five third class avisos, thirty-nine gunboats, twenty sailing vessels, three schoolships, eleven sailing schooners, and one floating workshop. To these 243 vessels must be added thirty-nine in course of construction. Deducting from the total sum of 282 vessels those not available for active service, and supposing those in course of construction (in 1877) completed and equipped, a French fleet of twentytwo ironclads of the first and eleven of the second class, nine armor-plated sailing vessels, seven armor-plated floating batteries, twenty-one gunboats, forty-four cruisers and twenty-three avisos, therefore a total of 137 vessels, with 1,040 guns, would be ready for action. Besides this mobile fleet the republic would still have eighty-six cruisers, avisos, transports for port service, for administrative, exercise and training purposes, at her disposal. The fleet is generally divided as follows: The squadron in the Mediterranean comprises six ironclads, one cruiser, one aviso or dispatch boat, which also occupy the maritime stations at Algeria and Constantinople. The artillery squadron numbers two cruisers and one aviso; under the commander of this squadron are also the maritime stations at Newfoundland with one cruiser and two gunboats, at Martinique with one cruiser, at Guadaloupe with one aviso, at Guiana with two avisos and two schooners, and at Iceland with one aviso and one transport. The South Atlantic squadron is composed of six vessels, of which two are cruisers, three avisos and one transport; this squadron occupies the station of the Senegal with three avisos. The squadron in the Pacific ocean is composed of three cruisers, one aviso and one transport. In the eastern Asiatic waters, one ironclad, two cruisers, one aviso and one gunboat are permanently stationed. The Indo-Chinese squadron comprises one ironclad, seven gunboats, two cruisers, two avisos and one transport. In New Caledonia are one aviso, two transports, two gunboats, one schooner. Thirteen vessels are designed for port service in the five maritime arrondissements, and about the same number for foreign service. One vessel is engaged in hydrographical work along the coasts, ten are on experimental trips, eight are kept as reserves for extraordinary emergencies and to replace losses, and five are used as training ships. In the summer of 1876 there were seventy-eight vessels in reserve, of which seventeen were armor-plated vessels of the first and one of the second class, six ironclads, eight transports, six floating batteries, two gunboats, eighteen cruisers and eleven avisos. The administration of the whole navy and coast defense of France is divided into five maritime arrondissements, corresponding with the five principal ports of war, Cherbourg, Brest, Lorient, Rochefort and Toulon. They are presided over by five sea prefects (vice-admirals). The marine budget for 1875 amounted to 136,387,481 francs. The war navy of France was composed, at the end of 1881, of 59 ironclads, 264 unarmored screw steamers, 62 paddle steamers and 113 sailing vessels.
—Railways and Telegraphs. The first attempts in the direction of railway building promised little in France. Though railways had been opened very early, the line from St. Etienne to Andrézieux as early as 1828, the line St. Etienne to Lyons in 1832, Andrézieux to Roanne in 1833, Montrond to Montbrison in 1836, and the Paris to St. Germain line in 1835, there were in 1841 no more than 200 kilometres of railroad in operation. They were then an object of speculation, and their management was not the best; they were not remunerative, and while a few profited by them, many met with heavy losses by investing in them. Not until the state itself took hold of them and placed them under its superintendence, did public distrust of them cease; thereafter the French railway system began to improve, and soon surpassed that of many other countries. On Feb. 7, 1842, De Teste, then secretary for public works, brought a bill before the assembly, based on the co-operation of the state, the communities and private enterprise, and proposing the building of several railroads from Paris to important points on the border. Although this was not carried out as proposed, it nevertheless remained the foundation for the future network of railways, of which 2,220 kilometres were in operation as early as 1848. The financial crisis of 1847 and the political crisis of 1848 again impeded the progress of the railway system, and it was 1852 before its full development was secured through the fusion of single companies into six larger groups which made it their object to harmonize the interests of the state with those of the companies and of the general public. At the end of 1875 the railway lines of France had increased to 21,587 kilometres (19,784 kilometres main lines and 1,803 kilometres local lines). It comprised the following principal lines 1 Railways of the north (1,762 kilometres) direct connection of Paris with Creil and Beauvais, with Amiens and Boulogne, and by way of Amiens, and Arras with Calais, Dunkirk, Lille or Valenciennes; also with Maubeuge and Valenciennes via Cambray with Laon and directly with Soissons. Courtray, Mons and Charleroi are the principal points of connection with the Belgian railway system, and between Valenciennes, Lille, Hazebrouck and Dunkirk run branch lines along the northern border. 2. Railways of the east (2,255 kilometres): Trunk line Paris and Belfort, with northern branches Epernay and Rheims to Soissons, Laon or Mézières and Givet; intermediate lines from Blesme (Vitry) to Chaumont, from Blainville (Luneville) via Epinal to Port d'Atelier (near Vesoul); southern branches from Chalmaison (Provins) to Montereau, Buchères (Troyes), to Bar-sur-Seine, Chalindrey (Langres) and also Vesoul to Gray. This system connects at Soissons and Laon with the railways of the north and at Givet and Longwy with the German-Belgian frontier. 3. The Paris, Lyons and Mediterranean railway (5,102 kilometres); its main line is the railroad from Paris via Dijon, Lyons and Avignon to Marseilles. The most important branches run in an easterly direction: from Nuits (near Ancy) to Châtillon-sur-Seine, from Dijon via Auxonne to Gray, from Dijon via Auxonne and Dôle to Besançon and Belfort or Dôle to Pontarlier (Neuchâtel), from Macon via Bourg and from Lyons to Ambérieux and jointly to Geneva, three branches—from Lyons, St. Rambert or Valence to Grenoble, from Rognac to Aix and from Marseilles via Toulon to Fréjus and Nice. Connections with the eastern railways are at Montereau, Gray and Belfort. An important connecting link is the Juraline, Besançon and Bourg railway running parallel with the border. At Culoz-sur-Rhöne this road connects with the Savoy railway over Chambéry to Modane and the Mont-Cenis tunnel. The most important branch lines run from Villeneuve, St. Georges via Corbeil to Alais on the Essonne, from Moret (on the mouth of the Loire) via Nevers and Moulins to St. Germain-des-Fossés, thence via Clermont to Brionde sur-Allier, and again via Roanne and St. Etienne to Le Puy; thence via La Roche and Auxerre, Chagny and Montceau, Lyons and St. Etienne, Livron and Prives, Tarascon and Nimes, and further via Alais to Portes or via Montpellier to Cette. 4. The Orléans railways (4,186 kilometres) with the old trunk line: the Paris, Orleans, Tours, Poitiers, Angoulême and Bordeaux railway, and the eastern opposition and partly parallel line from Orléans via Vierzon, Châteauroux, Limoges and Périgueux to Coutras and to Agen. Eastern lines are: from Vierzon via Bourges to Le Guetm (near Nevers) and from Bourges to Montluçon, from La Laurière via Guéret and Montluçon to Moulins, and a main branch from Périgneux via Figeac to Rodez. From this run in a northerly direction the line Brives, and Tulle and Figeac, and Aurillac, connecting with a "Cantal" line to the Allier near Brionde, and southwardly the line Capdenac and Lexos, forking into Montauban, Toulouse or Albi. Western branches are, Paris, Seeaux, Orsay and Limours, Tours and Le Mans, the Tours, Angers, Nantes, Redon, Vannes, Lorient, Quimper and Châteaulin, with the branch line, Savenay and St. Nazaire, and in addition Poitiers, Niort and La Rochelle, forking into Aigrefeuille and Rochefort. 5. The railways of the south (2,031 kilometres), with the trunk line from Bordeaux via Montauban and Toulouse to Cette, thence connecting with the Orléans and Mediterranean railways respectively. Northern branches: Vias and Lodève, and Béziers and Graissessac. Southern branches: Bordeaux via Bayonne to the Spanish frontier at Irun, with side branches from La Mothe to La Teste de Buch, from Bayonne and Dax to Pan, and from Morceus to Tarbes and Bagnères de Bigorre; also from Toulouse to Montrejean and Foix, and from Narbonne to Perspignan. This chain of railways from Bordeaux via Toulouse, Narboune, Cette, Nimes, Marseilles and Toulon to Nice, is in itself of great value, but has gained much greater importance since the completion of the Italian coast line railway. 6. Railways of the west (2,549 kilometres), radiating in three main lines from Paris to Brest, Cherbourg and Le Havre. From the longest of these lines, that of Paris to Brest, branch off Le Mans and Angers, Rennes and Redon, and Rennes and St. Malo, in a southerly direction; and northward St Cyr and Dreux, Le Mans and Alençon-Mezidon, Laval and Caen, and Rennes and St. Malo. From the second line branch—Paris and Versailles, and Paris and Germain, Lisieux and Honfleur, forking into Pont l'Evéque and Trouville, and Airel and St. Lô From the third line branch—Tourville and Serquigny, Malaunay and Dieppe, and Beuzeville and Fécamp. Between the second and third of these lines, the Argentan and Granville railway has been projected as the future link of a direct line from Paris to the gulf of St. Malo. The rest is subdivided into twenty-four smaller companies. The Paris belt line, of 20 kilometres length, centrally connects all the principal railways. In the aggregate France has to every 100 square kilometres of area 4.09 kilometres of railways and 5.98 kilometres to every 10,000 inhabitants.
—The network of telegraphic wires which spreads over France comprised, in 1875, 51,700 kilometres of line and 143,234 kilometres of wire, with 2,817 government offices, and 1,198 railroad and private offices. The number of telegraphic messages sent in 1873 was 6,550,623, of which 877,264 were international; the receipts were 13,850,048 francs, the expenditure 12,990,000 francs.
—The total length of all the railways open for traffic Jan. 1, 1881, was 23,584 kilometres (exclusive of 2,190 kilometres of local lines), and the total gross receipts in 1880 amounted to 1,048,672,957 francs. By a law which passed the chamber of deputies, in the session of 1878, there will be added 16,000 kilometres of railways before the end of the year 1888. To provide for the cost of the new network of railways, the chamber granted a credit of 3,000,000,000 francs.
—Jan. 1, 1881, there were 65,949 kilometres of lines of telegraphs and 196,533 kilometres of wire. The number of telegraphic despatches sent during the year 1880 was 16,492,897, of which 1,578,957 were international messages. The total revenue from telegraphs in the year 1879 amounted to 28,029,835 francs.
—Finances. By the war of 1870-71 extraordinary drafts have been made upon the financial resources of France, and the taxes have been largely increased, but at the same time the productiveness of the nation and the national wealth have been augmented. The taxes in France are promptly paid, and the government loan of 1854-9, amounting to 2,050 million francs, was subscribed for in the country itself without difficulty. The taxes amount, on an average, to fifty-six francs per head. The increase in France of public expenses may be illustrated by the following statement: The extraordinary requirements of the government at the outbreak of the revolution in 1789 amounted to 600 million livres. The national assembly of 1791 fixed the budget at 582 2/8; million livres. Under the first empire the requirements amounted to 700-800 million francs per year. In 1818 the greatest exertions were necessary, the budget being estimated at 1,150 millions, of which 752 millions were for the army and navy. During the restoration (1816-19) the public expenses amounted to 960 million francs. The first decade (1830—39) of the "July king"'s reign required annually 1,170 million francs, the last nine years (1840-48) an average of 1,432 million francs. The republic of 1848-9 required for the year 1,708 million francs (according to actual account). With the restoration of the Napoleonic dynasty a course of lavish expenditure was inaugurated, which could only be gradually equalized by the increased revenues. The actual budget of 1875 showed a total expenditure of 2,587,670,813 francs. The revenues amounted to the sum of 2,568,460,624 francs, leaving a deficit of 19,210,189 francs. The expenses of the war of 1870-71 amounted to 4,820,643,000 francs, not including the five milliards indemnity to Germany. The "voted" budget of 1876 fixed the expenses at 2,570,505,513 francs, and the revenues at 2,575,028,582 francs. The surplus, therefore, amounted to 4,523,069 francs.
—The national debt of France is divided into the consolidated and the floating debts, which were also considerably increased during the second empire. The consolidated debt amounted, for 1876, in rentes, at 5, 4½, 4 and 3 per cent., together with the sinking fund, to 747,998,866 francs, representing a national capital of twenty millards. The capital of the sinking fund amounted to 277,599,838 francs, and for the annual payment of interest to 124,776,346 francs; in all, therefore, 1,150,375,050 francs, equal almost to a capital of twenty-three and one-half milliards. The public revenues of France are principally derived from indirect taxation. Among these, the budget for 1876 estimated the following: on liquor, a tax of 364,190,000 francs; result of the tobacco monopoly, 299,570,000 francs: the revenues from the customs and the salt monopoly, 236,933,250 francs; the tax on sugars, 110,972,000 francs. The direct taxation for the year 1876 amounted in the voted budget to 384,339,700 francs. Not only the state itself, but also the departments and communities have been during the second empire loaded with debts.
—The principal sources of revenue and branches of expenditure were set down as follows in the budget estimates for the year 1881.
In the preliminary budget for the year 1881, drawn up by the minister of finance, the revenue for the year was estimated at 2,752,794,830 francs, and the expenditure at 2,754,432,600 francs, leaving a deficit of 1,637,770 francs.
—The following is a statement of the deficits of former periods, from 1814 till the last completed year of the reign of Napoleon III.:
The average annual revenue and annual expenditure during each of the four periods here given were as follows:
The total public debt of Francs amounted, on Jan. 1, 1879, to a nominal capital of 19,862,035,983 francs, the interest on which, or "rente," was 748,404,952 francs. The number of "inscriptions" of "rente," that is, of individual holders, was 4,380,393. The following table shows the nominal capital of each of the four descriptions of "rente," the interest, or amount of "rente," and the number of holders on Jan. 1, 1879:
At the commencement of 1879 the total burden of the capital of the public debt of France was 515 francs per head of population; while the burden of the interest or rente was nineteen francs per head of population. The interest and other expenses connected with the public debt of France were distributed as follows for 1882: Consolidated debt, 743,026,239 francs; redeemable capital, 340,432,278 francs; annuities and life interests, 151,881,060 francs; total charges, 1,235,339,577 francs.
—All the departments of France, as well as many of the large towns, have their own budgets and debts, which latter were largely increased by the war. The budget estimates of the city of Paris for each of the years 1879 and 1880 were as follows:
The principal source of revenue in the budget of the city of Paris is from tolls upon articles of general consumption, called droits d'octroi, estimated to produce 125,398,041 francs in 1879 and 128,713,600 francs in 1880. The principal branch of expenditure is for interest and sinking fund of the municipal debt, which, at the end of September, 1880, amounted to 2,295,000,000 francs.
—Resources: Agricultural, Industrial and Commercial. At all times wealth has been an essential element of power. In international relations influence is generally measured by the number of bayonets, and bayonets are supported only with gold. Victory then belongs to heavy money bags rather than to large battalions. Hence each nation tends to increase its budget resources and to ask of the tax payer increasing sacrifices. It is fortunate that the revenue of the citizens increases in an equal proportion, and (with a few exceptions) it would not be right absolutely to affirm that taxes have increased more rapidly than production. At bottom, it is impossible to have any certain knowledge of the relation which exists between what the public treasury demands and what the tax payer can give; this information however, would be of the highest importance. A few attempts have been made, more or less skill fully, to obtain this information, but always without success. There, without doubt, exists no means of obtaining the exact amount of the income of each individual, but we can reach an approximate valuation of the whole of the products of a country. For want of a complete inventory, we must content ourselves with indications which will give a general idea near enough to the actual state of facts. Before measuring the altitude of Mont Blanc, it was known that its impressive magnitude surpassed the other peaks of the Alps; in the same way, if we can set down only a few precise figures, it will be none the less easy for us to show that the resources of France are immense, although perhaps not inexhaustible.
—Agriculture. One often hears it said that France is eminently an agricultural country. We think that the significance of this declaration has not always been well considered. It is generally used as an argument to ask favors for agriculture, to place it above manufacturing industry and commerce. It seems to us that those who do so are mistaken friends of France; they have forgotten the fable of the stomach and the other members of the body, which made so great an impression upon the Roman people encamped on Mt. Aventine. All the branches of national labor, whether they produce the raw material, or manufacture it into goods, or transport it and distribute it among consumers—all these branches, we say, are equally necessary, that the tree of national labor may extend its benefits over all the country. The more steady is the equilibrium between agriculture, industry and commerce, the more fruitful is labor, the more also does wealth increase, and the more comfortable are the masses. The exclusive preponderance of commerce would be a house built upon the sands; the preponderance of manufactures would expose the country to sudden commotions, perhaps catastrophes; the preponderance of agriculture would retard the progress of well-being. Everybody knows that capital employed in an agricultural business generally brings in less profit than when used in commerce or manufacturing industry. Consequently to say that France is eminently an agricultural country is to say that she is a poor country. Let us affirm rather that she is a country perfectly well balanced, where agriculture in an advanced state goes hand in hand with a powerful manufacturing industry, both nourishing a flourishing commerce. And we do not exaggerate. The agriculture of France is in an advanced state. Everywhere the best methods are known, and there is hardly a canton where they are not used, or where some one could not be found worthy of the agricultural prize of honor, and if all cultivators have not adopted these methods, it is because progress itself is subject to conditions of time. A man must first have saved money by economy before thinking of employing it in improvements. Already there are large, thickly sown tracts of lands in French Flanders, Limagne, Languedoc, La Beauce and Lorraine, whose inhabitants are second both in knowledge and success to no other country in Europe. We will cite here a few statistics.
—We begin with cereals. It is not with the product of these that the cultivator is the best satisfied; at least, if it is wrong to claim that there is always a loss attendant on their cultivation, the profits are moderate. Nevertheless we will begin with cereals, because they are the chief food of France, and because their total value is considerable. Now, what have statistics to say of the cultivation of cereals? That at the beginning of this century about four and a half million hectares were devoted to wheat, while its cultivation in 1872 was spread over six and a half millions; this increase of two millions was gained partially from lands formerly devoted to rye and partially from waste lands. The same area which formerly yielded ten hectolitres now yields more than sixteen, and this too is only the amount acknowledged by the cultivator, who is on his guard against taxes and landlords. Hence, when the official tables show a total production of 55 millions of hectolitres about 1820, of 75 millions about 1840, of 85 millions in 1851, of 110 millions in 1861, of 107 millions in 1869 (in 1862, 116 millions, the maximum reached), we have a right to suspect that at each of these times the real amount produced far surpassed these figures. We believe, indeed, that we may consider these figures as the net product destined for consumption, and as not including the quantity reserved for seed.
—Has production kept pace with the population? The answer is difficult, for we must not wish to solve so delicate a question solely according to the results of certain mathematical operations. It seems, doubtless, that sixty years ago the soil of France produced only two hectolitres of wheat for each of the inhabitants, while in 1872 it produced almost three; but what was the quantity of inferior cereals, which, one generation and above all two generations ago, was mixed with the wheat? Accustomed as the French of to-day are to better flour, can they depend on reaping, the average year, enough to satisfy their actual needs? If we examine the records of the custom houses, we shall find between the years 1832 and 1872 about as many harvests which have furnished a surplus for exportation as insufficient harvests. But when the balance of quantity is struck, there results a definite deficit of more than 35 millions of hectolitres, about a million a year, that is, enough to furnish bread for all France for three or four days.
—This deficit would not be very alarming. But what can we think of the constant increase in prices? A hectolitre of wheat cost from 1820 to 1829, 18 francs, 6 centimes; from 1830 to 1839, 19 francs, 9 centimes; from 1840 to 1849, 20 francs, 49 centimes; from 1850 to 1859, 21 francs, 72 centimes; from 1860 to 1869, 21 francs, 44 centimes. (During this last mentioned period there were several years of exceptionally good harvests.) Has not this ascending tendency of prices lasted too long to attribute it alone to the influx of gold? It is not rather, and in a much greater measure, the result of the rapid increase in consumption? If this conjecture is well founded, we may conclude from it that prices will become more and more remunerative, and that agriculture, realizing increasing profits, will consent more willingly to the expense of necessary improvements. That would be very fortunate, for wealth would multiply in geometrical progression. On the other hand, one would think that the insufficiency of harvests in France would make her, in a certain measure, dependent on other countries; but that would be a mistake, for, despite the scarcity. France made war on Russia in 1855 and 1856, and came very near bombarding Odessa, one of its granaries.
—Wheat is the principal cereal, but to complete her supply France has 606,000 hectares, which produce at least nine million hectolitres of meslin; 2,100,000 hectares of rye, giving twenty-three to twenty-four million hectolitres; 1,100,000 hectares of barley, with a production of more than twenty million hectolitres; three million hectares of oats, with seventy million hectolitres; besides ten million hectolitres of maize, eight million hectolitres of buckwheat, and more than one hundred million hectolitres of potatoes.
—To sum up, there remains much still to be done in order that the cultivation of agricultural commodities may meet the wants of the people; and what is disagreeable, but inevitable, is that the exports are effected at a much lower price than the imports; it has been calculated that the difference, in forty years, has amounted to about 850 millions of francs.
—The cultivation of the vine furnishes, however, a certain compensation. It is one of the most valuable of the agricultural products of France; the vineyards cover about 2,200,000 hectares. The quantity of wine produced varies considerably from year to year; but when the vine mildew, which, however, may be destroyed with sulphur, causes no ravages, it may be estimated at 60,000,000 hectolitres. From 1827 to 1836, the exports amounted to an average of 1,181,000 hectolitres, valued at 42,500,000 francs; from 1837 to 1846, 1,848,000 hectolitres at 50,000,000 francs; from 1847 to 1856, 1,731,000 hectolitres at 109,000,000 francs; from 1857 to 1866, 2,159,000 hectolitres at 218,000,000 francs.
—The raising of live stock is doubtless a great industry in France. We think that the relative slowness of multiplication is the fault more of the climate than of man. When it is necessary to produce fodder at great expense, the raising of live stock is no longer profitable. Have we not read, under the signature of very distinguished agriculturists, that live stock is a necessary evil? They have abandoned this unfavorable judgment, by a chain of circumstances which it is not our province to recount; however, it is certain that the raising of live stock on a large scale is only advantageous in countries where there are many and fertile natural meadows. Live stock may be fattened also in the neighborhood of sugar refineries and of certain distilleries, and in fact, advantage is taken of this source of fodder. Now, France is not distinguished by the extent of her meadow land: in 1842 there were only 4,200,000 hectares; since then, a million of hectares has been added; the official documents do not say how, probably by improving the commons (unmowable meadows). It does not seem to us that much of the arable land has been changed into meadows: besides, it would have been of more advantage to have multiplied the lucern fields, the fields of sainfoin and clover, which, one and a half million hectares in 1842, reached only two and a half million hectares in 1872. We think that all these figures are under the truth. It is not necessary to add that besides the product of the meadows, oats, a part of the barley, roots, vetches, cabbages, the refuse of sugar refineries, etc., are also used for feeding live stock. With all these resources, there are fed but (returns of 1866) 3,312,637 horses (in 1812, 2,122,617; in 1850, 2,983,966); 518,000 asses; 350,000 mules; 12,733,000 horned cattle (in 1866), of which 6,700,000 were cows (6,682,000 horned cattle in 1812; 9,131,000 in 1829; 9,937,000 in 1839); 30,386,000 wool-bearing animals (32,000,000 in 1829; 29,000,000 in 1839; 35,000,000 in 1852); finally, 59,000,000 hogs and 1,680,000 goats. The above numbers, and which are probably under the truth, indicate only a part of the progress realized, for almost everywhere greater care, intelligent cross-breeding and improvement in the feeding have sensibly increased the size and the weight of the animals.
—To appreciate the extent to which each country raises live stock, the number of animals is generally estimated at so many for every 100 hectares and every 1,000 inhabitants. Is there not some injustice in comparing such averages taken over the whole of the territory of France, with those of England or of Holland? To make these comparisons more instructive, we should limit ourselves, it seems to us, to the departments situated to the north of the Loire, a territory whose conditions of climate more nearly approach those of the countries inhabited by the rivals of France, once her models. If the south of France is poor enough in live stock, to its account must be carried its wines and oils, its silks, its oranges, its madder and various other products, which taken together may be considered a full compensation.
—While endeavoring to do justice to all, we must acknowledge that there is still room for progress, as much in the improvement of the methods used as in the clearing of land. The territory of France is thus divided: arable land, 48.3 per cent.; vineyards, 3.7; natural meadows, 9.7; commons and waste lands, 17.8; forests, 16.8; highways, rivers, etc., 3.7 per cent. But all the commons are not suitable for cultivation; no utopia must be built upon this foundation. The largest amount of capital could accomplish nothing. There remain still many useful things for the institutions of credit to accomplish; for example, to liquidate a mortgage debt of 6,000 millions of francs (with apparent debts, 11½ thousand millions), a sum which only constitutes a small fraction of the market value of the real estate (lands, houses, manufactories) fixed officially, in 1851 at 83,744 millions (in 1821 at 39,514 millions), and tax payers are never guilty of exaggeration in their statements. The actual value of property is not less than 150,000 millions.
—Landed property is very much divided; there were estimated to be about 10 millions of distinct pieces of land in 1815, 11 millions in 1840, more than 12 millions in 1856, 13 millions in 1858, 14 millions in 1865, so that the division of the land shows a tendency to increase. However, as one person often possesses lands in more than one commune, many pieces of property figure at the same time upon the registers of several tax collectors. The exact number of proprietors is unknown, but a statement, commenced in 1812, stated that there were 5,257,073 farms, of which 3,799,759 were cultivated by their owners. Another statement showed that among 10,000 agriculturists, there were 3,518 proprietors, 1,272 farmers, 694 metayers, the rest being day laborers or servants. The soil is very unequally divided. It is near enough the truth to estimate at 5 per cent the part comprising large properties, at 19½ per cent, that comprising medium properties, and at 74½ per cent, that comprising small properties.
—Industry. After England, France is the most industrial country. She has, upon the continent, rivals only in Switzerland, Belgium, and some parts of Germany. In many important products her superiority is beyond question; but her mines are not so numerous nor so abundant as those of some of her neighbors. Still the extraction of coal goes on increasing; in 1787, the production from mines situated in France was only 2,150,000 metric quintals; fifteen years later it amounted to 8,441,000 quintals, which was scarcely increased till 1815. In 1825 it reached 14,913,000 quintals; in 1835, 25,064,000 quintals; in 1844, 37,827,000 quintals; in 1847, 51,532,000 quintals. From 1848 to 1852 the production, which the revolution had reduced to 40 millions, rose to 49 millions; it took then a rapid upward movement, and attained, in 1857, 79 millions of quintals; it fell back, in 1858, to 66 millions, to rise to 80 millions of quintals in 1860, and to exceed 90 millions in 1862, and even 132 millions in 1868. The importation is 77 million quintals, and the consumption more than 200 millions (209 in 1868.) 85,000 workmen are employed in the coal mines.
—Although the domestic use of coal is spreading, it is above all in industry that it is employed. For a long time past the forests have proved insufficient to supply the factories of France, and it has been necessary to use increasing quantities of coal in the manufacture of iron. In 1789 the 202 blast furnaces produced 655,495 quintals of pig iron and 75,792 quintals of cast iron, without any other combustible than charcoal. It was about 1819 that the use of coal commenced (20,000 for 1,125,000 quintals of castings); but it was only in 1852 that the two methods of production were about equally used; 2,633,400 quintals of wood, 2,593,000 quintals of coal or coke. Of the total production of the foundries at present, 12,353,000 quintals (in 1868), about one and a half millions of quintals are cast, and the rest refined or transformed into iron. More than four-fifths of these operations are now effected by means of coal. The French factories subject iron to all the elaborations necessary for consumption; they draw it out into bars (6,385,000 quintals) and into wire; they flatten it into sheet iron, of which a part is tinned; they manufacture all the instruments, tools and machinery which a great country uses; they deliver to the railroads considerable quantities of rails (1,882,000 quintals)—but not enough; they produce different kinds of steel (991,721 quintals in 1868); but they have not yet arrived at satisfying all the wants of the home market, since large quantities of castings, of iron and of rails are still imported. It is no exaggeration to estimate the number of workmen employed in the manufacture of iron at 180,000.
—The other metals play only a secondary part among French productions. There is produced 224,000 quintals of copper, 42,500 kilogrammes of pure silver, 274,000 quintals of lead and of other less important minerals, almost insignificant quantities of zine (29,000 quintals), and of tin. But the manufacture of chemical products is flourishing and continues to increase. This applies both to chemical products properly so called, to salts and acids of every description, and to merchandise in more general use, such as sugar, the products of distilleries, soap, and some others. The dye works and even the paper mills, the tanneries and other factories profit by this.
—But among the great industries, that is to say, among those which employ numerous workmen and turn into the market large quantities of merchandise, the manufacture of textile fabrics holds in France the first rank. In 1851 it was officially stated that there were 64,420 proprietors, 431,380 workmen and 477,063 working women, and this number was even then below the truth, or at least an inexact idea was given, in this sense, that there was not included in textile industry a number of secondary callings, which depend on and complement it.10 As for instance, when the census officer inscribed among mécaniciens (workers in metals) the workman who ran the steam engine of a cotton mill, he followed the letter rather than the spirit of his instructions, and the letter here destroyed exactness, for if a cotton crisis should happen, this mécanicien would be deprived of his wages as well as the spinner.
—What are the quantities produced? There are in France only incomplete data on this point; but we can, by using a certain number of indications, estimate the value of the products of the manufacture of flax at 250 million francs, of cotton at 650 millions, of wool at 950 millions, of silk at 1,000 millions, of mixed textures at 330 millions, when, of course, the manufactories are running at full power. The raw materials then employed are from 70 to 75 million kilogrammes of hemp, 60 millions of flax, 80 millions of cotton,11 90 millions of wool (of which 60 millions come from French animals); finally, from five to six million kilogrammes of raw silk, of which two and one-half to three millions are produced in France. The textures are too varied for it to be possible to make a complete enumeration, and, above all, to indicate the quantities produced.
—It would not be just to pass over in silence the manufacture of jewelry and articles of gold and silver (32 to 35 millions of francs), gilt jewelry (12,000,000 francs), knick-knacks, millinery, flowers, and so many other branches of industry, which if they work only to satisfy luxury, maintain the traditions of taste, whose purity is acknowledged by all civilized nations.
—We have just specified the distinctive characteristic of French industry, taste. It would be a mistake, however, to think that French manufactures have in view only luxury; their products must be divided into two parts; the one, which is destined for home consumption, must satisfy the wants of the poor as well as the rich; the other, which is destined for exportation, has in view more particularly, but not exclusively, the well-to-do classes. The result of this is, that the foreign commerce of France is very easily affected by international crises, which are only felt in domestic transactions, if they occur at the same time with a bad harvest.
—Commerce. In most countries when the statistics of commerce are spoken of, only foreign commerce is meant. It is the only one on which we possess definite figures. Still domestic commerce is much more important and considerable. It is by its numberless channels that commodities and products reach the consumer, and the total amount of the transactions which make up this movement reaches thousands of millions of francs. But no one has yet been able to give the exact figures. Perhaps, for want of a better way, the movement of bank funds may give an idea of them. We should not know what foreign commerce amounted to, if there were no customs duties. Meanwhile, here are what the official documents tell us of French commerce.12 After having oscillated for more than twenty years between six and seven millions of francs, the value of the exports and imports together amounted, in 1827, to 921 millions, the figures of 1787. It did not reach a thousand millions till 1832. In 1841 it was more than 1,560 millions; in 1851 it exceeded 2,000 millions; in 1856 it was 3,148 millions; in 1860 it was more than 4,000 millions; in 1869, the year before the war with Germany, it reached 6,228 millions. With the exception of the years 1828, 1830, 1837, 1840 to 1848, 1861, 1862, 1867, 1868 and 1869, the exports have always exceeded the imports (up to 1869). But if it is true that nothing is more brutal than figures, which seem to declare that when they speak, all the world must listen, we may say also that nothing is less clear; we must know how to interpret figures to understand them; and it is precisely the difference of the interpretations which allows arguments for or against all opinions to be found in statistics: Now, the fluctuations of the relations between imports and exports give occasion to different interpretations; let it be sufficient for us to say that the French tables include cereals, merchandise of an extremely irregular movement, and that, on the other hand, they do not include precious metals nor money, which are indicated separately and not at all in totality; that they do not indicate the circulation of letters of exchange, nor the operations of the clearings of accounts; finally, that the values are not exactly conformable with the reality of things, but still near enough so.
—If now we join together the statements concerning merchandise with those relative to precious metals, we obtain the following table for periods of five years (we give the annual average in millions of francs):
With the exception of the years 1861 and 1863 the imports of precious metals have always surpassed the exports. The total sum of the imports for the fifteen years 1853 to 1869 was 10,141 millions, the exports amounted to 6,872 millions, so that there remained in the country 3,269 millions in the above mentioned period alone. While only considering these figures as approximate, they are remarkable enough to cause reflection; they explain in part how France was able to pay an indemnity of 5,000 millions of francs. The imports of France consist chiefly of raw materials; if we take up, indeed, a table of the foreign commerce, in 1872, we shall find that out of the sixty-three kinds of merchandise enumerated, only a dozen were manufactured products, and their total value was only 1/2 per cent. of the whole of the imports.
—Among imported materials or commodities we mention the following, using the annual average taken from the period 1857 to 1866: cereals, 91 millions of francs; raw cotton, 238 millions; raw silk, 255 millions; uncombed wool, 178 millions; sugar, 118 millions; common wood, 125 millions; oil seeds, 44 millions; coal, 107 millions; raw hides, 88 millions; copper, 39 millions; dust and refuse of gold and silversmiths, 29 millions; coffee, 64 millions; cattle, 65 millions, and horses, 10 millions; indigo, 21 millions; flax, 46 millions; hemp, 8 millions; besides metals and various other materials.
—Let us now look at the table of exports. We can not count here the number of articles indicating raw materials, because the list of re-exports, often in small quantities, is long, and we see at the first glance that, for instance, indigo, cochineal, cotton, etc., are articles of re-export. It would be easy, nevertheless, to show that manufactured products predominate among the exports. Out of a total value of 2,430 millions, may be distinguished five or six kinds of manufactured merchandise, with a value of 1,000 millions; they will be found among the following: silk textures, 414 millions; woolen textures, 241 millions; toys, 138 millions; cotton textures, 75 millions; linen textures, 19 millions; clothing, 95 millions; tanned and dressed hides, 128 millions; refined sugar, 58 millions; pottery, glass and crystal, 35 millions; paper, 36 millions; articles of metal, 42 millions; perfumery, 14 millions; gold and silver work, 18 millions. Brandy is likewise a manufactured product, 62 millions. Finally, we must mention millinery and artificial flowers, 14 millions, and the soaps of Marseilles, which have only amounted to six or seven millions. We say nothing of a host of different kinds of merchandise, many of which are quite important. Still, France exports more agricultural commodities than she imports manufactured products. Her principal exports in this category were, in 1857 to 1866: wines, 219 millions; raw silks, 69 millions; cereals, 89 millions; wool, 27 millions; butter and cheese, 38 millions (in 1866, 72 millions); eggs, 12 millions; madder, 12 millions; olive oil, 7 millions, etc. Still, many of these products have been subjected to an elaboration, like oil, cereals, (exported in part in the form of flour), silks, (raw or thrown).
—We will now mention the countries with which France has the most active commerce (annual average of the period 1857 to 1866, special commerce). They are the following: Great Britain, 1,153 millions; Belgium, 406 millions; Italy, 390 millions; Germany, Zollverein (and Hanseatic cities), 361 millions; United States (time of the civil war), 332 millions; Switzerland, 202 millions; Spain, 194 millions; Russia, 104 millions; Turkey, 171 millions; Brazil, 138 millions; East Indies, 85 millions; Argentine confederation, 111 millions; Egypt, 70 millions; Netherlands, 56 millions. We must mention also Cuba and Porto Rico, 60 millions; Peru, 50 millions; Chili, 33 millions; Mexico, 30 millions; Norway, 37 millions; Portugal, 22 millions; Austria, 28 millions; Sweden, 24 millions; Greece, 13 millions; Denmark, 3 millions. In the foregoing numbers the exports and imports are united. A whole series of tables would be necessary, if we wished to indicate for each country its relations separately as regards imports and exports, which necessarily vary more or less from year to year.
—It only remains now to remark, and we thus arrive at the character of French commerce, that out of the 6,280 millions, the amount of the general13 commerce of France, 4,429 belong to maritime commerce, and 1,851 to land commerce. And if we distinguish the exports from the imports, we find among the imports 1,984 millions by sea and 1,003 millions by land, and among the exports 2,445 by sea and 848 by land—figures which indicate that more raw materials are imported than are exported. It is this character of French commerce, it is, in a word, the nature of the productions of France, which explains the relative inferiority of her merchant marine. If she had the coal and iron of England, the cotton of the United States, the coffee and sugar of Brazil, she would have a much more powerful incentive to navigation than all the premiums and customs favors. This is the true cause why her maritime trade was in 1872 represented by only 4,500,000 tons entry and 3,100,000 tons departure, of which 2,700,000 entry and 1,650,000 departure were under foreign flags.
—Let us add, before concluding, that the coasting trade of France in 1872 was represented by three millions of tons, and that the effective force of the fleet was composed of more than 15,000 sailing vessels and steamers, with a tonnage of more than a million.
—Progress. If we should simply propose to show that France has made progress, we should fear to be interrupted by the cry, the case is decided. That civilization has advanced during the last fifty or sixty years, and above all, that well-being has become widespread, comfort more general, and consequently manners more polished, are things that no one denies. But it would be useful, from a political point of view, to be able to measure at least the material progress realized during a series of years. Researches of this nature would allow us to state in what measure the increase of wealth has compensated, as regards the power of France, for the more rapid increase in population in many other countries; they would allow us also to risk certain conjectures in regard to the revenue of the nation, information which would be of the utmost importance, if it were possible to determine it exactly.
—We will commence with landed property. It has been the object of two returns, in 1821 and in 1851, and these are the results: The market value of the land, including houses and factories, was, in 1821, 39,514,000,000 francs, and, in 1851, 83,744,000.000 francs. This would show an increase of 112 per cent. in thirty years. But in reality the progress has been greater, we are not ignorant of the depreciation which property was subjected to after the revolution of 1848, and if the value of real property had been estimated at 100,000 millions in 1847, it would have been below the truth. In 1873 the figures were much higher. After 1852, when the fear of the revolution had been dispelled, the price of real estate began to approach its former figures, so that in placing the amount at 120,000 millions in 1873, we are below the truth, for many persons estimated it at 150,000 millions.
—Why has the value of real estate increased? Throwing aside the argument based on the influx of gold, there remains to us still to point out two principal causes. They are these: The first is, the increase in the revenue from the soil and the advance in rents. The revenues from the soil have increased through the simultaneous effect of the increase in products and prices. Thus, to cite but one example, from 1820 to 1829 the average product oscillated between 11 and 12 hectolitres of wheat per hectare and the price was 18 francs, 6 centimes; from 1850 to 1859 the product was 15 to 16 hectolitres and the price 21 francs, 71 centimes. Whether it is because the population has advanced more rapidly than production, or because each individual has increased the amount he consumes, or because other circumstances have exercised their influence, it is certainly the case that in the first period each hectare yielded a gross product of 11½ x 18.06, or 207 francs, 69 centimes, and in the second period 15½ x 21.71, or 336 francs, 50 centimes. The second cause of the increase in the value of the soil is the multiplication of personal property. Many persons, who have acquired a fortune in business, like to enjoy the security which placing it in real property offers, so that the demand increases in a rapid progression. Now, the competition of buyers influences much more strongly the price of property than the slow but certain advance in the increase of production.
—The demand is increasing or has increased up to the present time, in a rapid progression. It would almost seem that the private fortunes of a nation taken all together follow another law than each one of these fortunes taken by itself. A small manufacturer draws from his capital of 1,000 francs, 200 or 30014 per cent. and more, while the great capitalist is content with 3 or 4 per cent. But if the individual is subjected to the consequences of supply and demand, and sees the rate of interest diminish in proportion as his capital is multiplied, a nation has an industrial power so much the stronger in proportion as the rate of interest is lower. This fact is enough in itself to justify the proposition, that the industrial power of a nation increases more quickly than its capital, but it may be added that leaving the rate of interest out of consideration, the amount of capital has a virtue all its own. Hence, if in a manufacture employing 500,000 francs, a profit, without machinery, of 50,000 francs is realized, if the capital is doubled, instead of a double profit, a quadruple profit is often obtained. The profits of a nation increase by sure steps in more rapid progression than the amount of its capital.
—Now, what has been the amount of personal property at different times? This is a question which it should be possible to solve. It is more complicated than one thinks. For example, according to what principle must the capital of an establishment be determined? 1st, according to the sums employed in starting it, or, 2d, according to its actual value, based upon its products. Some very imperfect attempts have been made to estimate the amount of existing capital; the official statements published on this point, up to the present time, have no value, because it is necessary to multiply the amount by five, perhaps even by ten. We can not supply this defect, because it is not possible for one man alone to draw up in an exact manner such an inventory; all that we can do, is to venture certain estimates, based on a certain number of indications, which are only the shadow of the truth, but which show well enough its outlines. The following are some of the indications which have served us as a guide, and which are interesting in themselves. (The figures are given in millions of francs.)15
VARIOUS COMPANIES (SEINK)..
CITY OF PARIS..
COMPANIES OF THE DEPARTMENTS.
To these figures we might add the number of steam engines (11,620 in 1855, and 31,094 in 1868), the tonnage of the ships, the progress realized by the coasting trade despite the competition of the railroads, and a certain number of other things which we have no space to mention. From the combination of all this information that we have compared, it seems to us that the following estimate may be made. The value of personal property was, in 1820, 15,500,000,000 francs; in 1840, 40,700,000,000 francs: in 1850, 45,400,000,000 francs; in 1860, 113,776,000,000 francs; and in 1869, 150,000,000,000 francs. We must remark that it is not without hesitation or without verification that we have written down the last amount, which has no other value than that it has been calculated after the same principles as the preceding ones, and with which it may then be compared. We must only remark that in the seventeen and a half thousand millions, at which the built property has been estimated, are included many hundreds of millions, the value of mills, factories and other structures, which we have not been able to separate from the figures above. Finally, the entire value of the railways has been included among the personal property. We have also taken into account the foreign property owned by Frenchmen.
—Individual Resources and Incomes. If it is very difficult to determine the value of the national capital, it would be almost impossible, at least for one man alone, to arrive at a sufficiently approximate estimate of the revenue. For real property, which consists of objects exposed to the full light of day, and whose prices vary little from year to year, a satisfactory valuation may be obtained. It is the same case with a great part of personal property, which consists of effects whose value is known. The same is not the case with income. A bad harvest, vacant apartments, houses built and not let, an industrial crisis, and a thousand other circumstances influence considerably the income of individuals. The rate of interest does not increase with the amount of capital; it follows often, but not always, an opposite course. If the productive forces always preserved the same co-efficient, or the same degree of power, if the profits were always maintained at the same rate, if the prices of merchandise did not change, the interest would invariably decrease in proportion to the increase of capital. But things are not thus situated. New machines are continually invented, and new processes, which re-enforce productive power; the extension of markets and multiplication of the population serve to increase the prices, and render possible new enterprises; and the manufacturer, who foresees a higher profit, can offer a greater interest. All these considerations prevent us from making any calculations; their foundation would be too unstable.
—Some economists have thought they could overcome this difficulty, by taking one of the existing valuations of the products of agriculture, five, six or seven thousands of millions, and adding to it three or four thousands of millions for the products of manufacturing industry, and have contented themselves with this total. It is in this way that the conclusion has been arrived at, that the average income of a Frenchman was seventy-five centimes a day. By this proceeding, only the production of a part of the French population is found, and yet it is divided by the total number of inhabitants. It is clearly seen that the quotient must be false. But, besides, in these calculations there has been omitted a considerable quantity of products, and the prices of the gross sales realized by the producer have been used. It is the price of bread and not the value of wheat, the price of the stew or the chop, and not the value of the live cattle or sheep, which must finally be considered. We believe that the average of one franc fifty centimes would be nearer the truth, and in this case the aggregate income of all Frenchmen would amount to 30,000,000,000.16 To sum up, despite the high price of bread, of meat and wine, and some other products, the remuneration of labor having been raised, the lowering of the price of manufactured products has been so great, that to-day, with a given income a greater amount of comfort can be obtained than could be enjoyed a generation ago. It is true that men are more exacting to-day, and that the progress attained only acts as a stimulant toward still greater progress.17
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[8.]The development of France to its present dimensions was very slow, and extended over many centuries. At the end of the ninth century France was divided, like Germany, among a large number of independent princes and lords. But the territorial development of the French empire took an altogether different course from that of Germany, for, while in Germany the princely power gradually superseded the empire, until nothing was left of the latter but the mere name, in France royalty gradually absorbed the power of the princes. Under the last of the Carlovingian rulers the possessions of the crown extended no farther than the districts of Sossionais, Laonais, Beauvoisis and Amiénais. Hugues Capet added to them the duchy of Francien with the cities of Paris and Orleans, making the former the capital of the new kingdom. At that time the feudal system had been established in France. The larger feudal lords acknowledged no other authority than that of the king. These immediate vassals of the crown had themselves a large number of lesser vassals, and these in turn lorded it over the still lesser tenantry. Among the immediate vassals were the dukes of Aquitaine, Burgundy and Normandy, the counts of Toulouse, Flanders, Vermandois and Champagne, the lords (sires) of Concy and Beaujeu, etc. In the course of time all these territories became possessions of the crown, partly by donation and by marriage and inheritance, and partly by the right of conquest, and were embodied into the duchy of Francien. Out of the union of these crown lands and the territories acquired by conquest from neighboring states, grew the political division of France which was maintained from the time of Louis XIV. until the year 1790.
[9.]The population of France, according to the census report just issued, is 37,672,048, an increase of 766,260 in five years. The population of the four largest cities is as follows: Paris, 2,269,023; Lyons, 376,613; Marseilles, 360 099; Bordeaux, 221,305. 53 departments, chiefly manufacturing and commercial, show an increase; 34 departments, mostly agricultural, show a decrease. ("Times," Sept. 8, 1882.)
[10.]The city of Paris and some others (like Elbeuf) were omitted.
[11.]12 million kilogrammes in 1816; 13 millions in 1817; 20 millions in 1820; 29 millions in 1830; 53 millions in 1840; 59 millions in 1830; 84 millions in 1836; 73 millions in 1857; 79 millions in 1858; 123 millions in 1860, and the same in 1861; 30 millions in 1862 (crisis); 182 millions in 1869.
[12.]We give the special commerce, that which indicates French consumption and production. General commerce besides includes the figures for the transportation and warehouse charges. The amount of merchandise which enters free is the same for general and for special commerce.
[13.]There are no such statements as the following for special commerce.
[14.]We know that in the 2,000 or 3,000 francs which the small manufacturer gains, wages, profit and interest are included; but we do not know at what interest he borrows often his little capital, and there remains to him something, moreover, after he has satisfied the usurer.
[15.]This amount is based in part upon the table which follows, and which is taken from the figures of the budget of 1873. This table indicates the basis of the tax of 3 per cent. upon the revenue from personal property.
[16.]If this estimate is well founded, and certain calculations have given us a higher figure, the budget of 2,000,000,000 would form a fifteenth part, or 6½ per cent. of the revenue of the nation, and a budget of 2,500,000,000 would be the twelfth part, or 8½ per cent.
[17.]According to the latest official returns the distribution of the soil of France was as follows:
The cultivated land of France is divided into 5,550,000 distinct properties. Of this total the properties averaging 600 acres numbered 50,000, and those averaging 60 acres 500,000, while there were five millions of properties under six acres.