Saturday 8th of March 1800 – 2014





(Napoleon the Great, Saturday 8th of March 1800)


Paris, 17 ventôse an VIII  (Saturday 8th March 1800)


The wish and the hope of the Government, Citizens, was that your beginning work in our administrations would be marked by peace. Its endeavours to obtain peace are known to Europe ; it asked for it frankly, it will always wish for it whenever it is worthy of the nation.

And, in effect, after the success admitted by his enemies, what ambition can remain in the First Consul but to restore to France her former prosperity, to bring to her the arts and virtues of peace, to heal the wounds made by a revolution too prolongued, and to tear at last all of humanity away from the plague that has devoured them for so many years ? Such were his sentiments and his wishes on signing the peace of Campo-Formio ; they can only have grown and been fortified since an honourable trust has carried him to the highest office and imposed upon him a still greater duty to work for the happiness of the French.

And yet his desires are not at all accomplished. England still breathes war and the humiliation of France. The other powers, in order to decide which side to follow, await to see what will be our attitude and to know what will be our resources.

If we are still the nation that has stunned Europe with her boldness and successes, if a justified confidence rekindles our forces and our means, we have only to show ourselves and the continent will have peace. That is what we must make clear to all Frenchmen, that it is to a last generous effort that we must call all those who have a country and national honour to defend. Deploy, to rekindle this sacred fire,  all the energy you have, all that your reputation and your talents must give you in power and influence on minds and hearts. Bear to all families this justified trust that the Government wants only the happiness of the public, that the sacrifices it asks for will be the last sacrifices and the source of common prosperity. Reawaken in the young citizens that enthusiasm which has always characterised the French ; that they may hear the voice of honour and the more powerful voice of our country ; that they may show what they were in the first days of the Revolution, what they only ceased to be when they believed that they were fighting for factions. At the sound of your fatherly voice, let all be set in motion. It is no longer the language of terror that the French should hear [from their authorities]. They love Honour, they love the homeland : they will love a Government that wishes only to exist for the one and for the other. You will find, in the enclosed proclamation and the decision that accompanies it, all that the Consuls await of your zeal and the courage of the French people.


 Paris, 17 ventôse an VIII (Saturday 8th March 1800)


Frenchmen, you desire peace. Your Government desires it more ardently still. Its foremost wishes, its constant endeavours, have been to this end. The English ministry has betrayed the secret of its horrible policy. To tear France apart, destroy her navy and her ports, to erase her from the map of Europe or reduce her to the rank of a second-rate power ; to hold all the nations of the continent divided, so as to seize the commerce of all and batten on their corpses ; it is to achieve this awful goal that England distributes gold, promises and multiplies conspiracies.

But neither the gold, promises nor conspirations of England can enslave to their ends the powers of the continent. They have heard the voice of France ; they know the moderation of the principles which direct her ; they will hear the voice of humanity and the powerful voice of their interests. If they hesitate, the Government, which has not feared to sue for peace, will remember that it depends upon you to command it.

To command peace, we need money, iron and soldiers. Let all hasten to pay the tribute that they owe to our common defence. Let the young citizens arise. It is no longer for factions, it is no longer for the whims of tyrants that they will take up arms ; it is for the guarantee of all that they hold most dear, it is for the Honour of France, for the sacred interests of Humanity.

Already the armies have taken up that posture which presages victory ; on seeing them, at the sight of the whole nation reunited by the same interests and the same wishes, do not doubt, Frenchmen, that you will no longer have enemies on the continent. That if some power should still want to tempt fate in combat, the First Consul has promised peace ; he will go to conquer it at the head of those warriors whom he has more than once led to victory. With them, he will know how to find again those fields still full of the memories of their exploits ; but in the midst of battles, he will invoke peace, and he swears to fight only for the happiness of France and the repose of the world.


Paris, 17 ventôse an VIII (Saturday 8th March 1800)


The Consuls have decided :

ARTICLE 1. – The département which, at the end of Germinal, will have paid the greater part of its taxes, will be proclaimed as having deserved the recognition of the homeland. Its name will be given to the foremost square of Paris.

ART. 2. – All former soldiers who have retired from service, all those, even if they are members of the companies of war veterans, who are still apt for service, all the young men requisitioned or conscripted, are called on, in the name of honour, by a proclamation of the prefects and generals of division, to rejoin their flag befor the 15th of Germinal. Those who are not attached to a unit will present themselves at the headquarters of the Reserve Army at Dijon, where they will be armed and clothed. The First Consul will review them during the month of Germinal. 

ART. 3. – French citizens, other than those named in the second article, who, in these extraordinary circumstances, wish to accompany the First Consul and take part in the perils and the glory of the next campaign, will enrol via the prefects and under-prefects. The ministry of war will give the necessary orders for them to be formed into volunteer battalions. Those who have the means to obtain horses will be formed into volunteer squadrons. The details of their organisation will be finalised in Dijon, and the officers named by the First Consul.

ART. 4. – On the next 20th of Germinal, the prefects of each département will send to the ministry of the interior the list of all the young men they have enrolled, and the report will be presented to the Consuls of the Republic, who will have proclaimed throughout the Republic and at the head of the armies the names of the six départements which will have furnished the most men, as the most sensitive to the honour and glory of the homeland. 

A propos Mouvement Bonapartiste

JOURNAL OFFICIEL DE LA RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE 6 février 2010 1016 - * Déclaration à la préfecture de Meurthe-et-Moselle. MOUVEMENT BONAPARTISTE Objet : défendre, faire connaître et étendre les principes et valeurs du Bonapartisme. Il s’appuie sur l’adhésion populaire à une politique de redressement conjuguant les efforts des particuliers, associations et services de l’État. Le mouvement défend les principes bonapartistes sur lesquels il est fondé, et qui régissent son fonctionnement intérieur. Il défend également la mémoire de Napoléon le Grand, ainsi que celle de Napoléon III et de leurs fils, Napoléon II et Napoléon IV. Il reconnait Napoléon IV comme ayant régné sans avoir gouverné, en vertu du plébiscite de mai 1870. Le mouvement ne reconnait pas d’empereur après 1879, en vertu de l’absence de plébiscite. Républicain, il privilégie le bonheur, les intérêts et la gloire des peuples, et n’envisage de rétablissement de l’Empire que si les fondements en sont républicains et le régime approuvé par voie référendaire.
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6 commentaires pour Saturday 8th of March 1800 – 2014

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