Brunswick Manifesto

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Anonymous caricature depicting the treatment given to the Brunswick Manifesto by the French population Manifeste de Brunswick caricature 1792.jpg
Anonymous caricature depicting the treatment given to the Brunswick Manifesto by the French population

The Brunswick Manifesto was a proclamation issued by Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick, commander of the Allied Army (principally Austrian and Prussian), on 25 July 1792 to the population of Paris, France during the War of the First Coalition. [1] The Brunswick Manifesto threatened that if the French royal family were harmed, then French civilians would be harmed. [2] It was said to have been a measure intended to intimidate Paris, but rather helped further spur the increasingly radical French Revolution and finally led to the war between revolutionary France and counter-revolutionary monarchies. [3]

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.

War of the First Coalition effort to contain Revolutionary France

The War of the First Coalition is the traditional name of the wars that several European powers fought between 1792 and 1797 against the French First Republic. Despite the collective strength of these nations compared with France, they were not really allied and fought without much apparent coordination or agreement. Each power had its eye on a different part of France it wanted to appropriate after a French defeat, which never occurred.

House of Bourbon European royal house of French origin

The House of Bourbon is a European royal house of French origin, a branch of the Capetian dynasty. Bourbon kings first ruled France and Navarre in the 16th century. By the 18th century, members of the Spanish Bourbon dynasty held thrones in Spain, Naples, Sicily, and Parma. Spain and Luxembourg currently have monarchs of the House of Bourbon.

Contents

Background

On 20 April 1792, Revolutionary France declared war on Austria. [4]

Habsburg Monarchy former Central European empire (1526–1804)

The Habsburg Monarchy – also Habsburg Empire, Austrian Monarchy or Danube Monarchy – is an unofficial umbrella term among historians for the countries and provinces that were ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg between 1526 and 1780 and then by the successor branch of Habsburg-Lorraine until 1918. The Monarchy was a typical composite state composed of territories within and outside the Holy Roman Empire, united only in the person of the monarch. The dynastic capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague. From 1804 to 1867 the Habsburg Monarchy was formally unified as the Austrian Empire, and from 1867 to 1918 as the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

On 28 April, France invaded the Austrian Netherlands (present-day Belgium). Prussia joined the war against France

Southern Netherlands historical region in Belgium

The Southern Netherlands, also called the Catholic Netherlands, was the part of the Low Countries largely controlled by Spain (1556–1714), later Austria (1714–1794), and occupied then annexed by France (1794–1815). The region also included a number of smaller states that were never ruled by Spain or Austria: the Prince-Bishopric of Liège, the Imperial Abbey of Stavelot-Malmedy, the County of Bouillon, the County of Horne and the Princely Abbey of Thorn. The Southern Netherlands were part of the Holy Roman Empire until the whole area was annexed by Revolutionary France.

Kingdom of Prussia Former German state (1701–1918)

The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom that constituted the state of Prussia between 1701 and 1918. It was the driving force behind the unification of Germany in 1871 and was the leading state of the German Empire until its dissolution in 1918. Although it took its name from the region called Prussia, it was based in the Margraviate of Brandenburg, where its capital was Berlin.

On 30 July, Austria and Prussia began an invasion of France, hoping to occupy Paris.

Brunswick Manifesto

On 25 July, the Duke of Brunswick issued the Brunswick Manifesto. The manifesto promised that if the French Royal family was not harmed, then the Allies would not harm French civilians or loot. However, if acts of violence or acts to humiliate the French Royal family were committed, the Allies threatened to burn Paris to the ground. The manifesto was written primarily by Louis Joseph de Bourbon, Prince de Condé, the leader of a large corps of French émigrés in Brunswick's army, and intended to intimidate Paris into submission. Brunswick maintained a secret correspondence with Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, and two days before making the Manifesto public, he sent a copy to the Tuileries Palace, and both the king and the queen approved it.

Army of Condé

The Army of Condé was a French field army during the French Revolutionary Wars. One of several émigré field armies, it was the only one to survive the War of the First Coalition; others had been formed by the Comte d'Artois and Mirabeau-Tonneau. The émigré armies were formed by aristocrats and nobles who had fled from the violence in France after the August Decrees. The army was commanded by Louis Joseph de Bourbon, Prince de Condé, the cousin of Louis XVI of France. Among its members were Condé's grandson, the Duc d'Enghien and the two sons of Louis XVI's younger brother, the Comte d'Artois, and so the army was sometimes also called the Princes' Army.

On August 1, news of the manifesto began sweeping through Paris. Many believed the Brunswick Manifesto was final proof that Louis XVI was collaborating with the Allies.

Louis XVI of France King of France and Navarre

Louis XVI, born Louis-Auguste, was the last King of France before the fall of the monarchy during the French Revolution. He was referred to as Citizen Louis Capet during the four months before he was guillotined. In 1765, at the death of his father, Louis, son and heir apparent of Louis XV, Louis-Auguste became the new Dauphin of France. Upon his grandfather's death on 10 May 1774, he assumed the title "King of France and Navarre", which he used until 4 September 1791, when he received the title of "King of the French" until the monarchy was abolished on 21 September 1792.

Also on 1 August, Prussian forces crossed the Rhine near Coblenz; consequently, the French National Assembly ordered that citizens prepare for war.

Rhine river in Western Europe

The Rhine is a European river that begins in the Swiss canton of Graubünden in the southeastern Swiss Alps, forms part of the Swiss-Liechtenstein, Swiss-Austrian, Swiss-German and then the Franco-German border, then flows through the German Rhineland and the Netherlands and eventually empties into the North Sea.

National Assembly (French Revolution) assembly during the French Revolution

During the French Revolution, the National Assembly, which existed from 14 June 1789 to 9 July 1789, was a revolutionary assembly formed by the representatives of the Third Estate of the Estates-General; thereafter it was known as the National Constituent Assembly, though popularly the shorter form persisted.

Impact

The prevailing historiographical tradition suggests that the Brunswick Manifesto, rather than intimidate the populace into submission, sent it into furious action and created fear and anger towards the Allies. It also spurred revolutionaries to take further action, organizing an uprising – on 10 August, the Tuileries Palace was stormed in a bloody battle with Swiss Guards protecting it, the surviving of which were massacred by the mob. In late August and early September, the French were defeated in skirmishes with the Allied army, but on 20 September, the French triumphed in the Battle of Valmy. Following its defeat, the Prussian army withdrew from France.

Recent research, however, argues that the Brunswick Manifesto did not have nearly the impact upon the revolutionaries suggested in earlier source material. Firstly, the opinion of what amounted to an external foe among the French radical left was altogether trivial, both before and after the issuance of the manifesto; their attention remained firmly focused on the internal threat: the French monarchy. [5] Secondly, the literary and artistic record from the summer of 1792 suggests that Brunswick created not fear or anger, but rather humor; French cartoonists in particular took to satirizing Brunswick and his manifesto with great vigor. [6] Lastly, the French refused to take the Brunswick Manifesto seriously in any respect, believing it to be unauthentic. This determination stemmed from what they believed to be its illegality, disrespect for the law of war, and denial of national sovereignty. [7]

See also

Notes

  1. Doyle, William (1989). The Oxford History of the French Revolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 188. ISBN   0-19-822781-7.
  2. "The Proclamation of the Duke of Brunswick". history.hanover.edu. Retrieved 2017-02-10.
  3. Lyon, Janet (1999). Manifestoes: Provocations of the Modern. Corbell: Cornell University Press. p. 231. ISBN   9780801485916.
  4. Doyle, William (1989). The Oxford History of the French Revolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 436. ISBN   0-19-822781-7
  5. Cross, Elizabeth. "The Myth of the Foreign Enemy? The Brunswick Manifesto and the Radicalization of the French Revolution." French History 25, no. 2 (2011): 132-197..
  6. Cross, p. 197-202.
  7. Cross, p. 210.

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