Legion of Honour
The Legion of Honour is the highest French order of merit for military and civil merits, established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte and retained by all French governments and régimes. The order's motto is Honneur et Patrie, its seat is the Palais de la Légion d'Honneur next to the Musée d'Orsay, on the left bank of the Seine in Paris; the order is divided into five degrees of increasing distinction: Chevalier, Commandeur, Grand officier, Grand-croix. During the French Revolution, all of the French orders of chivalry were abolished, replaced with Weapons of Honour, it was the wish of Napoleon Bonaparte, the First Consul, to create a reward to commend civilians and soldiers. From this wish was instituted a Légion d'honneur, a body of men, not an order of chivalry, for Napoleon believed that France wanted a recognition of merit rather than a new system of nobility. However, the Légion d'honneur did use the organization of the old French orders of chivalry, for example the Ordre de Saint-Louis; the insignia of the Légion d'honneur bear a resemblance to those of the Ordre de Saint-Louis, which used a red ribbon.
Napoleon created this award to ensure political loyalty. The organization would be used as a façade to give political favours and concessions; the Légion d'honneur was loosely patterned after a Roman legion, with legionaries, commanders, regional "cohorts" and a grand council. The highest rank was not a Grand Cross but a Grand aigle, a rank that wore the insignia common to a Grand Cross; the members were paid, the highest of them generously: 5,000 francs to a grand officier, 2,000 francs to a commandeur, 1,000 francs to an officier, 250 francs to a légionnaire. Napoleon famously declared, "You call these baubles, well, it is with baubles that men are led... Do you think that you would be able to make men fight by reasoning? Never; that is good only for the scholar in his study. The soldier needs glory, rewards." This has been quoted as "It is with such baubles that men are led." The order was the first modern order of merit. Under the monarchy, such orders were limited to Roman Catholics, all knights had to be noblemen.
The military decorations were the perks of the officers. The Légion d'honneur, was open to men of all ranks and professions—only merit or bravery counted; the new legionnaire had to be sworn into the Légion d'honneur. It is noteworthy that all previous orders were crosses or shared a clear Christian background, whereas the Légion d'honneur is a secular institution; the badge of the Légion d'honneur has five arms. In a decree issued on the 10 Pluviôse XIII, a grand decoration was instituted; this decoration, a cross on a large sash and a silver star with an eagle, symbol of the Napoleonic Empire, became known as the Grand aigle, in 1814 as the Grand cordon. After Napoleon crowned himself Emperor of the French in 1804 and established the Napoleonic nobility in 1808, award of the Légion d'honneur gave right to the title of "Knight of the Empire"; the title was made hereditary after three generations of grantees. Napoleon had dispensed 15 golden collars of the Légion d'honneur among his family and his senior ministers.
This collar was abolished in 1815. Although research is made difficult by the loss of the archives, it is known that three women who fought with the army were decorated with the order: Virginie Ghesquière, Marie-Jeanne Schelling and a nun, Sister Anne Biget; the Légion d'honneur was visible in the French Empire. The Emperor always wore it and the fashion of the time allowed for decorations to be worn most of the time; the king of Sweden therefore declined the order. Napoleon's own decorations were captured by the Prussians and were displayed in the Zeughaus in Berlin until 1945. Today, they are in Moscow. Louis XVIII changed the appearance of the order. To have done so would have angered the 35,000 to 38,000 members; the images of Napoleon and his eagle were removed and replaced by the image of King Henry IV, the popular first king of the Bourbon line. Three Bourbon fleurs-de-lys replaced the eagle on the reverse of the order. A king's crown replaced the imperial crown. In 1816, the grand cordons were renamed grand crosses and the legionnaires became knights.
The king decreed. The Légion d'honneur became the second-ranking order of knighthood of the French monarchy, after the Order of the Holy Spirit. Following the overthrow of the Bourbons in favour of King Louis Philippe I of the House of Orléans, the Bourbon monarchy's orders were once again abolished and the Légion d'honneur was restored in 1830 as the paramount decoration of the French nation; the insignia were drastically altered. In 1847, there were 47,000 members, yet another revolution in Paris brought a new design to the Légion d'honneur. A nephew of the founder, Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, was elected president and he restored the image of his uncle on the crosses of the order. In 1852, the first recorded woman, Angélique Duchemin, an old revolutionary of the 1789 uprising against the absolute monarchy, was admitted into the order. On 2 December 1851, President Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte staged a coup d'état with the help of the armed forces, he made himself Emperor of the French one year on 2 December 1852, after a successful plebiscite.
An Imperial crown was added. During Napoleon III's reign, the first American was admitted
"La Marseillaise" is the national anthem of France. The song was written in 1792 by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle in Strasbourg after the declaration of war by France against Austria, was titled "Chant de guerre pour l'Armée du Rhin"; the French National Convention adopted it as the Republic's anthem in 1795. The song acquired its nickname after being sung in Paris by volunteers from Marseille marching to the capital; the song is the first example of the "European march" anthemic style. The anthem's evocative melody and lyrics have led to its widespread use as a song of revolution and its incorporation into many pieces of classical and popular music; as the French Revolution continued, the monarchies of Europe became concerned that revolutionary fervor would spread to their countries. The War of the First Coalition was an effort to stop the revolution, or at least contain it to France; the French army did not distinguish itself, Coalition armies invaded France. On 25 April 1792, baron Philippe-Frédéric de Dietrich, the mayor of Strasbourg, requested his guest Rouget de Lisle compose a song "that will rally our soldiers from all over to defend their homeland, under threat".
That evening, Rouget de Lisle wrote "Chant de guerre pour l'Armée du Rhin", dedicated the song to Marshal Nicolas Luckner, a Bavarian in French service from Cham. A plaque on the building on Place Broglie where De Dietrich's house once stood commemorates the event. De Dietrich was executed the next year during the Reign of Terror; the melody soon became the rallying call to the French Revolution and was adopted as "La Marseillaise" after the melody was first sung on the streets by volunteers from Marseille by the end of May. These fédérés were making their entrance into the city of Paris on 30 July 1792 after a young volunteer from Montpellier called François Mireur had sung it at a patriotic gathering in Marseille, the troops adopted it as the marching song of the National Guard of Marseille. A newly graduated medical doctor, Mireur became a general under Napoléon Bonaparte and died in Egypt at age 28; the song's lyric reflects the invasion of France by foreign armies that were under way when it was written.
Strasbourg itself was attacked just a few days later. The invading forces were repulsed from France following their defeat in the Battle of Valmy; as the vast majority of Alsatians did not speak French, a German version was published in October 1792 in Colmar. The Convention accepted it as the French national anthem in a decree passed on 14 July 1795, making it France's first anthem, it lost this status under Napoleon I, the song was banned outright by Louis XVIII and Charles X, only being re-instated after the July Revolution of 1830. During Napoleon I's reign, "Veillons au salut de l'Empire" was the unofficial anthem of the regime, in Napoleon III's reign, it was "Partant pour la Syrie". During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, "La Marseillaise" was recognised as the anthem of the international revolutionary movement. Eight years in 1879, it was restored as France's national anthem, has remained so since. Several musical antecedents have been cited for the melody: Mozart's Allegro maestoso of Piano Concerto No. 25 the credo of the fourth mass of Holtzmann of Mursberg, but this has been refuted by Edgar Istel in 1922.
The oratorio Esther by Jean Baptiste Lucien Grison For Guido Rimonda it is based on "Tema e variazioni in Do maggiore", a spurious work attributed to the Italian violinist Giovanni Battista Viotti. Rouget de Lisle. Only the first verse and the first chorus are sung today in France. There are some slight historical variations in the lyrics of the song; these verses were omitted from the national anthem. "La Marseillaise" was arranged for soprano and orchestra by Hector Berlioz in about 1830. Franz Liszt wrote a piano transcription of the anthem. During World War I, bandleader James Reese Europe played a jazz version of "La Marseillaise", which can be heard on part 2 of the Ken Burns TV documentary Jazz. Serge Gainsbourg recorded a reggae version in 1978, titled "Aux armes et cætera". Jacky Terrasson recorded a jazz version of "La Marseillaise", included in his 2001 album A Paris. During the French Revolution, Giuseppe Cambini published Patriotic Airs for Two Violins, in which the song is quoted and as a variation theme, with other patriotic songs.
Ludwig van Beethoven quotes "La Marseillaise" in his Wellington's Victory overture, Op. 91, composed in 1813. Gioachino Rossini quotes "La Marseillaise" in his 1813 opera, L'italiana in Algeri, during the choral introduction to Isabella's 2nd act aria "Pensa alla patria" and in the second act of his opera Semiramide. Robert Schumann used part of "La Marseillaise" for "Die beiden Grenadiere", his 1840 setting of Heinrich Heine's poem "Die Grenadiere"; the quotation appears at the end of the song. Schumann incorporated "La Marseillaise" as a major motif in his overture Hermann und Dorothea, inspired by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quotes it, in waltz rhythm, in the first movement of Faschingsschwank aus Wien, for solo piano. Richard Wagner quotes from "La Marseillaise" in his 1839–40 setting of a French translation of Heine's poem. In Orphée aux enfers, Jac
Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII was head of the Catholic Church from 20 February 1878 to his death. He was the oldest pope, had the third-longest confirmed pontificate, behind that of Pius IX and John Paul II, he is well known for his intellectualism and his attempts to define the position of the Catholic Church with regard to modern thinking. In his famous 1891 encyclical Rerum novarum, Pope Leo outlined the rights of workers to a fair wage, safe working conditions, the formation of labor unions, while affirming the rights of property and free enterprise, opposing both Marxism and laissez-faire capitalism, he promoted both the rosary and the scapular. Leo XIII issued a record of eleven Papal encyclicals on the rosary earning him the title as the "Rosary Pope". In addition, he approved two new Marian scapulars and was the first pope to embrace the concept of Mary as Mediatrix, he was the first pope to never have held any control over the Papal States, after they had been dissolved by 1870. He was buried in the grottos of Saint Peter's Basilica before his remains were transferred to the Basilica of Saint John Lateran.
Born in Carpineto Romano, near Rome, he was the sixth of the seven sons of Count Ludovico Pecci and his wife Anna Prosperi Buzzi. His brothers included Giovanni Battista Pecci; until 1818 he lived at home with his family, "in which religion counted as the highest grace on earth, as through her, salvation can be earned for all eternity". Together with his brother Giuseppe, he studied in the Jesuit College in Viterbo, where he stayed until 1824, he was known to write his own Latin poems at the age of eleven. In 1824 he and his older brother Giuseppe were called to Rome. Count Pecci wanted his children near him after the loss of his wife, so they stayed with him in Rome, attending the Jesuit Collegium Romanum. In 1828, 18-year-old Vincenzo decided in favour of secular clergy, while his brother Giuseppe entered the Jesuit order, he studied at the Academia dei Nobili diplomacy and law. In 1834, he gave a student presentation, attended by several cardinals, on papal judgements. For his presentation he received awards for academic excellence, gained the attention of Vatican officials.
Cardinal Secretary of State Luigi Lambruschini introduced him to Vatican congregations. During a cholera epidemic in Rome he assisted Cardinal Sala in his duties as overseer of all the city hospitals. In 1836 he received his doctorate in theology and doctorates of Canon Law in Rome. On 14 February 1837, Pope Gregory XVI appointed the 27 year old Pecci as personal prelate before he was ordained priest on 31 December 1837, by the Vicar of Rome, Cardinal Carlo Odescalchi, he celebrated his first mass together with his priest brother Giuseppe. Shortly thereafter, Gregory XVI appointed Pecci as legate to Benevento, the smallest of papal provinces, including about 20,000 people; the main problems facing Pecci were a decaying local economy, insecurity because of widespread bandits, pervasive Mafia or Camorra structures, which were allied with aristocratic families. Pecci arrested the most powerful aristocrat in Benevento, his troops captured others, who were either killed or imprisoned by him. With the public order restored, he turned to the economy and a reform of the tax system to stimulate trade with neighboring provinces.
Pecci was first destined for Spoleto, a province of 100,000. On 17 July 1841, he was sent to Perugia with 200,000 inhabitants, his immediate concern was to prepare the province for a papal visitation in the same year. Pope Gregory XVI visited hospitals and educational institutions for several days, asking for advice and listing questions; the fight against corruption continued in Perugia. When it was claimed that a bakery was selling bread below the prescribed pound weight, he went there, had all bread weighed, confiscated it if below legal weight; the confiscated bread was distributed to the poor. In 1843, only thirty-three years old, was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Belgium, a position which guaranteed the Cardinal's hat after completion of the tour. On 27 April 1843, Pope Gregory XVI appointed Pecci Archbishop and asked his Cardinal Secretary of State Lambruschini to consecrate him. Pecci developed excellent relations with the royal family and used the location to visit neighbouring Germany, where he was interested in the resumed construction of the Cologne Cathedral.
In 1844, upon his initiative, a Belgian College in Rome was opened, where 102 years in 1946, the future Pope John Paul II would begin his Roman studies. He spent several weeks in England with Bishop Nicholas Wiseman reviewing the condition of the Catholic Church in that country. In Belgium, the school question was debated between the Catholic majority and the Liberal minority. Pecci encouraged the struggle for Catholic schools, yet he was able to win the good will of the Court, not only of the pious Queen Louise, but of King Leopold I Liberal in his views; the new nuncio succeeded in uniting the Catholics. At the end of his mission, the King granted him the Grand Cordon in the Order of Leopold. In 1843, Pecci had been named papal assistant. From 1846 to 1877 he was considered a successful Archbishop-Bishop of Perugia. In 1847, after Pope Pius IX granted unlimited freedom for the press in the Papal States, popular in the first years of his episcopate, beca
The Missionaries of Africa known as the White Fathers or the Society of the Missionaries of Africa are a Roman Catholic society of apostolic life. Founded in 1868 by Archbishop of Algiers Cardinal Charles Lavigerie, the society focuses on evangelism and education in Africa. In 2009, the White Fathers numbered 1,769 perpetually vowed members and 354 students preparing to enter the society; the cholera epidemic 1867 left a large number of Algerian orphans, the education and Christian instruction of these children was the occasion of the founding of the society in Maison-Carrée near Algiers. Missionary posts were established in the Sahara. In 1876. In 1881 two caravans from South Algeria and R'dames, intending to open missions in Sudan, were massacred by their guides. In 1878 ten missionaries left Algiers to establish posts at Lakes Victoria and Tanganyika; these now form the present Lakes Archdioceses of Kampala, Gitega and the dioceses of Kigoma and Kalemie-Kirungu. In 1894 the mission of French Sudan was founded, now the Archdiocese of Bamako.
The missions of the Sahara are grouped in a prefecture Apostolic. In 1880, at the request of the Holy See, the White Fathers established at Jerusalem a Greek-Melkite seminary for the formation of clergy of the Melkite Catholic Church; the society is composed of missionary priests and coadjutor brothers. The members are bound by an oath engaging them to labour for the conversion of Africa according to the constitutions of their society; the missionaries are not speaking, a religious institute, whether "order" or "congregation". Instead, they are a society of apostolic life, they may retain their own property. One of the chief points in the rule is in regard to community life in the missions, each house being obliged to contain at least three members. At the head of the society is a General-Superior, elected every six years by the chapter, he resides in Rome at the Generalate house on Via Aurelia. Those desiring to become priests or brothers are admitted to the novitiate after their philosophical studies.
After the novitiate they spent two years of missionary training on the field and four years of theology. This training can be different for brother candidates; the theological studies are spent in scholasticate presently located in Abidjan, Merrivale, South Africa and Jerusalem. The society admits persons of all nationalities; the habit of the missionaries resembles the white robes of the Algerian Arabs and consists of a cassock or gandoura, a mantle or burnous. A rosary and cross are worn around the neck in imitation of the mesbaha of the marabouts; the society depends directly on the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. The White Fathers succeeded in establishing small missions among the Kabyle Berbers, there being at present nine hundred and sixty-two Christians; the number of neophytes in all the vicariates was 135,000. A test of four years is imposed on those desiring to be baptized. To religious instruction the missionaries add lessons in reading and writing, teach in special classes, the tongue of the European nation governing the country, French in these areas.
The brothers train the young people for trades and agriculture. The number of boys in the schools was 22,281. In January 2006, the society numbered. There were 354 students preparing to enter the society. Under the leadership of Archbishop Charles-Martial Allemand-Lavigerie, General Superiors were: Later Superiors General were: The White Fathers created mission stations in what was Northern Rhodesia in the Luwingu District. From a letter home written on 10th August 1930 by a 23-year-old fresh recruit to the Northern Rhodesian Government:- "My senior at Luwingu is a man called Wickins, whose wife is there with him, & they are the only white people on the station; the district is 6620 square miles in area, with only 12 whites all told. And again, 13 September 1930:- "On Thursday we went over to the Santa Maria mission on the island & had lunch there & saw round the place, they have just built a wonderful Church - by native labor & making their own bricks. There were 2 White Fathers - one French & the other German - but they were keen to air their indifferent English & wouldn't talk French!"
Christian mission Bishop Burkhard Huwiler Bishop Joseph Dupont Melkite Greek Catholic Church Mua Mission, Malawi Catholic youth sports associations of French Algeria Herbermann, Charles, ed.. "White Fathers". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Missionaries of Africa Missionaries of Africa in West Africa Missionaries of Africa UK Register to the Photograph Collection of the White Fathers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Algiers is the capital and largest city of Algeria. In 2011, the city's population was estimated to be around 3,500,000. An estimate puts the population of the larger metropolitan city to be around 5,000,000. Algiers is located in the north-central portion of Algeria. Algiers is situated on the west side of a bay of the Mediterranean Sea; the modern part of the city is built on the level ground by the seashore. The casbah and the two quays form a triangle; the city's name is derived via French and Catalan Alger from the Arabic name Al-Jazā’ir, "The Islands". This name refers to the four former islands which lay off the city's coast before becoming part of the mainland in 1525. Al-Jazā’ir is itself a truncated form of the city's older name Jaza'ir Bani Mazghana, "The Islands of the Sons of Mazghana", used by early medieval geographers such as al-Idrisi and Yaqut al-Hamawi. In antiquity, the Greeks knew the town as Ikosion, Latinized as Icosium under Roman rule; the Greeks explained the name as coming from their word for "twenty" because it had been founded by 20 companions of Hercules when he visited the Atlas Mountains during his labors.
In fact, the name transcribed the Punic name ʿWYKSM, "Seagull Island", again named after the site's former islands. Algiers is known as El-Behdja or "Algiers the White" for its whitewashed buildings, seen rising from the sea. A small Phoenician colony on Algiers's former islands was established and taken over by the Carthaginians sometime before the 3rd century BC. After the Punic Wars, the Romans took over administration of the town, which they called Icosium, its ruins now form part of the modern city's marine quarter, with the Rue de la Marine following a former Roman road. Roman cemeteries existed near Bab Azoun; the city was given Latin rights by the emperor Vespasian. The bishops of Icosium are mentioned as late as the 5th century, but the ancient town fell into obscurity during the Muslim conquest of North Africa; the present city was founded in 944 by Bologhine ibn Ziri, the founder of the Berber Zirid–Sanhaja dynasty. He had earlier built a Sanhaja center at Ashir, just south of Algiers.
Although his Zirid dynasty was overthrown by Roger II of Sicily in 1148, the Zirids had lost control of Algiers to their cousins the Hammadids in 1014. The city was wrested from the Hammadids by the Almohads in 1159, in the 13th century came under the dominion of the Ziyanid sultans of Tlemcen. Nominally part of the sultanate of Tlemcen, Algiers had a large measure of independence under amirs of its own due to Oran being the chief seaport of the Ziyanids; the Peñón of Algiers, an islet in front of Algiers harbour had been occupied by the Spaniards as early as 1302. Thereafter, a considerable amount of trade began to flow between Spain. However, Algiers continued to be of comparatively little importance until after the expulsion of the Moors from Spain, many of whom sought asylum in the city. In 1510, following their occupation of Oran and other towns on the coast of Africa, the Spaniards fortified the islet of Peñon and imposed a levy intended to suppress corsair activity. In 1516, the amir of Algiers, Selim b.
Teumi, invited the corsair brothers Aruj and Hayreddin Barbarossa to expel the Spaniards. Aruj came to Algiers, ordered the assassination of Selim, seized the town and ousted the Spanish in the Capture of Algiers. Hayreddin, succeeding Aruj after the latter was killed in battle against the Spaniards in the Fall of Tlemcen, was the founder of the pashaluk, which subsequently became the beylik, of Algeria. Barbarossa lost Algiers in 1524 but regained it with the Capture of Algiers, formally invited the Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent to accept sovereignty over the territory and to annex Algiers to the Ottoman Empire. Algiers from this time became the chief seat of the Barbary pirates. In October 1541 in the Algiers expedition, the King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V sought to capture the city, but a storm destroyed a great number of his ships, his army of some 30,000, chiefly made up of Spaniards, was defeated by the Algerians under their Pasha, Hassan. Formally part of the Ottoman Empire but free from Ottoman control, starting in the 16th century Algiers turned to piracy and ransoming.
Due to its location on the periphery of both the Ottoman and European economic spheres, depending for its existence on a Mediterranean, controlled by European shipping, backed by European navies, piracy became the primary economic activity. Repeated attempts were made by various nations to subdue the pirates that disturbed shipping in the western Mediterranean and engaged in slave raids as far north as Iceland; the United States fought two wars over Algiers' attacks on shipping. Among the notable people held for ransom was the future Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes, captive in Algiers five years, who wrote two plays set in Algiers of the period; the primary source for knowledge of Algiers of this period, since there are no contemporary local sources, is the Topografía e historia general de Argel, published by Diego de Haedo, but whose authorship is disputed. This work describes in detail the city, the behavior of its inhabitants, its military defenses, with the unsuccessful hope of facilitating an attack by Spain so as to end the piracy.
Léon Gambetta was a French statesman, prominent during and after the Franco-Prussian War. Born at Cahors, Gambetta is said to have inherited his vigour and eloquence from his father, a Genoese grocer who had married a Frenchwoman named Massabie. At the age of fifteen, Gambetta lost the sight of his right eye in an accident, it had to be removed. Despite this handicap, he distinguished himself at school in Cahors, in 1857 went to Paris to study law, his temperament gave him great influence among the students of the Quartier latin, he was soon known as an inveterate enemy of the imperial government. Gambetta was called to the bar in 1859, he was admitted to the Conférence Molé in 1861 and wrote to his father, "It is no mere lawyers club, but a veritable political assembly with a left, a right, a center. It is there. Gambetta, like many other French orators, learned the art of public speaking at the Molé. However, although he contributed to a Liberal review edited by Challemel-Lacour, Gambetta did not make much of an impression until, on 17 November 1868, he was selected to defend the journalist Delescluze.
Delescluze was being prosecuted for having promoted a monument to the representative Baudin, killed while resisting the coup d'état of 1851, Gambetta seized his opportunity to attack both the coup d'état and the government with a vigour which made him famous. In May 1869, he was elected to the Assembly, both by a district in Paris and another in Marseille, defeating Hippolyte Carnot for the former constituency and Adolphe Thiers and Ferdinand de Lesseps for the latter, he chose to sit for Marseille, lost no opportunity of attacking the Empire in the Assembly. Early in his political career, Gambetta was influenced by Le Programme de Belleville, the seventeen statutes that defined the radical program in French politics throughout the Third Republic; this made him the leading defender of the lower classes in the Corps Législatif. On 17 January 1870, he spoke out against naming a new Imperial Lord Privy Seal, putting him into direct conflict with the regime's de facto prime minister, Emile Ollivier.
His powerful oratory caused a complete breakdown of order in the Corps. The Monarchist Right continually tried to interrupt his speech, only to have Gambetta's supporters on the Left attack them; the disagreement reached a high point when M. le Président Schneider asked him to bring his supporters back into order. Gambetta responded, thundering, "l'indignation exclut le calme!" At first Gambetta was opposed to the war with Prussia. He did not, like some of his colleagues, refuse to vote for funds for the army, but took a patriotic line and accepted that the war had been forced on France; when the news of the disaster at Sedan reached Paris, Gambetta called for strong measures. He proclaimed the deposition of the emperor at the corps législatif, the establishment of a republic at the Hôtel de Ville, he was one of the first members of the new Government of National Defense, becoming Minister of the Interior. He advised his colleagues to run the government from some provincial city; this advice was rejected because of fear of another revolution in Paris, a delegation to organize resistance in the provinces was dispatched to Tours, but when this was seen to be ineffective, Gambetta himself left Paris 7 October in a hydrogen-filled gas balloon—the "Armand-Barbès"—and upon arriving at Tours took control as minister of the interior and of war.
Aided by Freycinet, a young officer of engineers, as his assistant secretary of war, he displayed prodigious energy and intelligence. He organized an army, which might have relieved Paris if Metz had held out, but Bazaine's surrender brought the army of the Prussian crown prince into the field, success was impossible. After the French defeat near Orléans early in December the seat of government was transferred to Bordeaux. Gambetta had hoped for a republican majority in the general elections on 8 February 1871; these hopes vanished when the conservatives and Monarchists won nearly 2/3 of the six hundred Assembly seats. He had won elections in eight different départements, but the ultimate victor was the Orléanist Adolphe Thiers, winner of twenty-three elections. Thiers's conservative and bourgeois intentions clashed with the growing expectations of political power by the lower classes. Hoping to continue his policy of "guerre à outrance" against the Prussian invaders, he tried in vain to rally the Assembly to the war cause.
However, Thiers' peace treaty on 1 March 1871 ended the conflict. Gambetta, disgusted with the Assembly's unwillingness to fight resigned and quit France for San Sebastián in Spain. While in San Sebastián, Gambetta walked the beaches daily, the warm sea winds of early spring doing little to refresh his mind. Meanwhile, the Paris Commune had taken control of the city. Despite his earlier career, Gambetta voiced his opposition to the Commune in a letter to Antonin Proust, his former secretary while Minister of the Interior, in which he referred to the Commune as "les horribles aventures dans lesquelles s’engage ce qui reste de cette malheureuse France - the ghastly madness blighting what remains of our poor France "Gambetta's stance has been explained by reference to his status as a republican lawyer, who fought from the bar instead of the barricade and to his father having been a grocer in Marseille; as a small-scale producer during the decades of the Second Ind