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1 In the early morning hours of June 5, 1832, crowds of workers, students, militants, and a scattering of political refugees began to gather in the streets of Paris.1 The intent of most participants was to express displeasure with the Orléanist July monarchy, which had been installed just two years earlier, though the occasion for their protest was provided by the death of General Jean Maximilien Lamarque. Once a stalwart of the First Empire, this military hero had undergone a political rebirth as an opposition leader in the Chamber of Deputies during the last years of the Bourbon Restoration and the first years of the July Monarchy. Parisians critical of the new government sought to honor this service by accompanying the general’s mortal remains on a last tour of their city before the hearse departed for Lamarque’s native province in the southwest of France. There was nothing novel in thus taking advantage of the death of a public figure to make a political statement. The earliest precedents, associated with the state funerals of kings and princes, went back centuries into the Old Regime, but the revolutionaries of the 1790s had been quick to devise republican variants on this venerable practice for the processions honoring Mirabeau, Voltaire, and Marat before their induction into the Panthéon. More recently, funerary rites had been used by the political opposition to galvanize support in 1825 (for General Foy), 1827 (for Jacques Manuel), and late in 1830 (for Benjamin Constant). Thus, by 1832, events of this kind followed a pattern that was both long established and freshly imprinted in people’s minds.2 In the spring of 1832, France was struck by a deadly cholera epidemic, which compounded an economic crisis so severe that it had precipitated the previous fall’s insurrection by Lyon silk workers. This combination raised the level of 1 The Insurgent Barricade Barricade: Type of entrenchment that is usually made with barrels filled with earth for the purpose of defending oneself or finding cover from the enemy. Dictionnaire de l’Académie française (1694) 2 The Insurgent Barricade tensions within the Parisian working class to fever pitch. By June 2, when the popular Lamarque was struck down by the disease, fear and resentment over the threats to the population’s physical and economic well-being had reached a critical stage. They built upon simmering political discontents, especially strong among republicans, who felt that they had spilled their blood on the 1830 barricades only to have their revolution “stolen” by a coterie of opportunists, who managed to get Louis-Philippe crowned king. Leftists were struggling to form their own alliance of convenience. Their partners included both Bonapartists, who claimed Lamarque as one of their own, and Legitimists, who were willing to lend their financial and logistical support to any initiative that, by overthrowing the upstart junior branch of the House of Bourbon, might rekindle hope for the restoration of the senior line of descent.3 This convergence of political forces explains why the cortège that accompanied Lamarque’s casket attracted a crowd numbering in the tens of thousands. ANATOMY OF A BARRICADE EVENT The coffin’s route across Paris on Tuesday, June 5, has been traced on map 1. The procession departed at 10 a.m. from the general’s house in the rue SaintHonor é, not far from the place de la Concorde. Its intended trajectory would have followed the grands boulevards across the northern periphery of Paris to the obligatory stop in the place de la Bastille. Soon after setting out, however, militants diverted the hearse to make a symbolic tour of the column in the place Vendôme, in homage to Lamarque’s close ties to Napoléon. This was followed by a second unplanned stop, this time in the boulevard Montmartre, where the horses were cut from the traces and replaced by students, military veterans, and decorated heroes of the July revolution, who vied for the honor of pulling the hearse. Clearly, the crowd—which, by some accounts, had swelled to more than 100,000—was not allowing its enthusiasm to be dampened by the heavy rains that fell intermittently on this and the following day. Once arrived at the place de la Bastille, militants tried to convince the column of marchers that Lamarque’s body should find its final resting place, not in his ancestral home in the Landes near Mont-de-Marsan, but instead in the Panthéon, in the heart...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780520947733
Related ISBN
9780520266322
MARC Record
OCLC
808600979
Pages
454
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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