I don't believe this overall question has been addressed on the forums, but how did the European hereditary monarchs get to be kings, princes, dukes, grand dukes, etc?
Napoleon is usually criticized for becoming Emperor of the French from somewhat humble beginnings as a Corsican minor noble and beginning to rule as a monarch.
He was a self-made man who began as a soldier, a sword, and became the head of state of France in 1799 beginning as First Consul and then becoming Emperor of the French as well as King of Italy and Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine.
How did the Hohenzollerns, Hapsburgs, and Romanofs begin and then become kings, king/emperors, and Tsars?
Did they not have to begin somewhere?
It would be interesting to know what Andrew Roberts' intended purpose might have been in referring to the Gordon Riots of 1780 when discussing 'XIII Vendémiaire' of 1795 (in old money). As a quick scan of the linked material makes clear there was no comparison between the peaceful meeting at St Peter's Field in 1819, set upon by the troops supposedly acting in support of the civil power, and the rampaging mobs of 1780 shot down by troops when martial law was introduced after a five-day rampage of looting and burning the length and breadth of the capital. The two events are linked only by each being unprecedented in its own way and by the incompetence of the authorities in each case. They were also both political events however and it is true that the events of June 1780 instilled in the British establishment a deepening fear of 'mob' violence, only accentuated by the events of 1789 in France. Violent protest was seen as merely a demonstration of the base instincts of the common people which required control with force, rather than as a reaction against inequality and incompetent, repressive government, demanding reform. That self-serving complacency led inevitably to the criminal mismanagement of the meeting in Manchester, although these were both extreme events. There were for instance outbreaks of rioting between 1793-95 in London and the provinces which did not have such bloody results.
@Kevin F. Kiley Not at all a one off, pert of a tradition all the way back to Wat Tyler and The Peasant’s Revolt and some could argue continued through to the Poll Tax riots to the statue removers of today. The French didn’t stop either of course, there were many more revolts and coups to come. Britain had it’s regicide and Napoleon 150 years earlier, you just need to replace Emperor of the French with Lord Protector of the Commonwealth. Probably a better analogy for Vendèmaire would be the storming of the Capitol. Wonder how engaging with artillery would have gone down there? I speculate how much value there is in making these comparisons though? There might be merit in revisiting aspects of civil disobedience through the ages. However, as we seem to have established that despite the subsequent legend Napoleon had a very minor role I wonder how interested people would be?
In Napoleon the Great by Andrew Roberts he has a footnote on page 66 where he compares the casualties of the insurgents to the rioters of the Gordon Riots in London in 1780. The casualties for the anti-Catholic rioters was 285 killed, 100 wounded, and 20 executed. Troops had to be called in to stop the riots.
I guess the 'Peterloo Massacre' wasnt' a one-off.' 🤦♂️
Gordon Riots 1780 | Encyclopedia.com
Gordon Riots 1780 (intriguing-history.com)
The Gordon Riots of 1780: London in Flames, a Nation in Ruins (gresham.ac.uk)
One sees the pitfalls to rely on Anglophone literature alone, best information so far - H.Zivy (a secondary source which is however well discussing and citing primary sources - what a difference to the usual Ango Saxon and German blurb I read so far, Cronin included) - but in French and ignored, thanks John Fortune for the link.
Buonaparte was one among several generals, he was neither in command nor second in command. Most likely he was responsible for placing the artillery, not even mentioned in after action reports and newspaper.
The rioters - terrorist - or whatever you will call them, were armed people of the sections - they had no artillery - it wasn't a civilian mob, their military value most likely not very homogeneous.
Zivy doubts that the majority of those were royalists, only a few sections were.
The number of attackers and defenders vary quite a lot - certainly no 40,000 nor 30,000 - for attackers 8000 - 25,000 (one has to read again Zivy on this) - defenders 5000 - 8000 (Zivy gives strength reports for the defenders and what units were involved)
Général vendémiaire - a nickname constructed well after the incident and due to creating pro Boney propaganda - to make him appear to be the savior of the universe, pardon, Convention, pardon French Republic. So no uproar at all justified for Napoleon fan boys to see this as denigration.
Nabulieone indeed doesn't see this as insult but as distinction, and why shouldn't he by becoming a national hero by post action propaganda
A whiff of grapeshot - British creation - those journalist should have written whiff of canister instead, but even if this is suggested to be anti Boney propaganda - it isn't - wrongly enhancing the importance of Boney in the action.
H. Zivy, Le Treize vendémiaire, an IV (Paris, 1898)
pp. 66-101 https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k695520.image
A 1972 reprint of George Rude's The Crowd in the Revolution' (1959) can be found online with relevant pages from p 171. It is fully sourcesd with footnotes. here https://archive.org/details/crowdinfrenchrev0000rude/page/171/mode/1up?q=honore
He states that although 25,000 sectionnaires were waiting under arms only 7-8000 took part in the attack on the Tuileries. against upwards of 5,000 defenders. Of particular interest, he states that "Contrary to legend Bonaparte was only one of half a dozen generals appointed to serve under Barras in the affair." Only after the fighting was over did Barras request that Bonaparte should be officially recognised as his second in command. Apparently Bonaparte, not unreasonably, was in charge of the artillery. Total casualties on each side were about equal at about 2-300 He cites H. Zivy, Le Treize vendémiaire, an IV (Paris, 1898) as his principal source for this section
The source for the Sections is 'Les sections de Paris pendant la Révolution française, (21 mai 1790-19 vendémiaire an IV) : organisation, fonctionnement' Ernest Mellié (1898) https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k62155556 Linked here is a map showing the 48 sections. http://www.emersonkent.com/images/paris_1789_1799.jpg
In answer to my own question, for a concise and, on the face of it, reasonably dispassionate account of the events leading up to and leading into the confrontation of XIII Vendémiaire see A dolphe Thiers' 'History of the French Revolution', Vol 3-4 (1842-43) The insurgents who gathered to challenge the Convention were evidently a very motley group, hardly the "Forty thousand national guards, well armed and trained" described by Napoleon in conversation on St Helena (quoted in a footnote p 326). Thiers goes as far as to say "if all the sections were actuated by the same zeal, they could assemble forty thousand men, well armed, and well organized" (p322) but he later states "Of the forty thousand men of the national guard, twenty or twenty-seven thousand at most were present under arms." (p324). He allows Napoleon about 8000 men to defend the convention, backed by 40 cannon (to the insurgents' zero). There follows a clear brief account of the repulse of attacks on Rue St Honoré and from the south across the bridges over the Seine. The conflict lasts from 4.30 to 6pm followed by mopping up and sending patrols to secure the approaches to the government quarter.
No, an error I would suggest, although '48' certainly does sound better. The number in sections armées varied according to number of citoyens actifs (18-40) listed (between c 1,200-2,500 depending). By 1793 numbers were considerably lower than prescribed, with reported shortage of arms (muskets or pikes). After the failed rising of I Prairial in May 1795, companies from 17 sections had been sent to the field army and sections had been ordered to hand in any artillery pieces. (These may have been the guns recovered from Sablons by Murat).
It seems that the good general, or his struggling translator, was confused. Forty-eight was the total number of 'sections' into which the population of Paris was divided at the time of 13 Vendémiaire.
@tomholmberg 1% and 1.67% casualties? With the higher percentage of losses for the one with all the artillery? This makes the 30,000 figure very suspect, it would be more like 18,000 to even make the casualties proportionally equal. So, some simple questions might illuminate: 1. How big is a section of the National Guard? 2. How many muskets were issued to each section? 3. How many areas of Paris had royalist sympathies and therefore sections of National Guard participating? A more empirical approach would be if we knew the proportion of the hundred who gunshot wounds. Another would be if we knew the gender and age of the three hundred, In the absence of answers I’m still liable to be sceptical about the figure and the composition.
So @tomholmberg the nub of that argument appears to be: “organized militias three times the size of the regular army, ready for war.” ? Cronin puts that at 30,000 ? Franceschi’s article is light on sources other than Thiébault (but with no specific footnote)? Franceschi gives a casualty figure of 300, but doesn’t say whether that was government forces or as a whole. So essentially a battle between Royalist sympathising sections of the National Guard and a small regular force with 40 pieces of canon? Have I got this right?
Having had a nose round the old internet and finding myself none the wiser, is there a map any where that explains the geography of the fighting on 13 Vendémiaire, showing the defence lines and corresponding avenues of attack? In trying to work out how the Èglise St Roch on Rue St Honoré became a killing ground. I found this from a historical marker in front of the church "Le 5 octobre 1795(13 Vendémiaire an IV), le général Bonaparte installe une pièce d'artillerie dan le cul-de-sac Dauphin (prolongement de la sud) et mitraille les insurgés royalistes massés sur le marches de l'église." That seems dashed obliging of the insurgés royalistes, to gather on the church steps in oblique line of fire from a field piece placed on the corner of Rue St Roch (which in 1795 was known as Rue du Dauphin) leading from the Salle de Manège, the former palace riding school converted to house the Convention. There must be more to it. Certainly not room for 30,000 unless they had formed an orderly queue.
Thank you @Hans - Karl Weiß , I think that Susan was being a little more generous than I would have been! Cronin’s ‘rosy views’ may have been acceptable in 1971 when most readers had limited access to primary sources and there was a greater willingness to take things on trust. Half a century later, with the rise of the Internet, the fall of the Iron Curtain and projects like Googlebooks and Gallica simply unsustainable. What it shares with ‘Swords’ is a cavalier and selective approach to footnotes and references. Whether that is a generational style thing, or common around the Napoleonic legend I don’t feel qualified to say. Pertinent to @Kevin F. Kiley’s original post though, I don’t see many such ‘rosy viewed’ works around George III or the Prince Regent in English. If anything they tend to focus on their fairly obvious character flaws. Are there many hagiographic studies in German of Frederick William III or Francis II? Or do we know of a body of work in Russian protecting the reputation of Alexander? Could the reason @Kevin F. Kiley is encountering a dearth of Don Quixotes for the European monarchs be explained by the absence of windmills to tilt at?
It’s also worth noting that at Peterloo they were trying to use horses for crowd control, a police tactic that is used today, The use of the flat of the sword as a non-lethal enforcement is well documented by many officers on their own troops. Something went seriously wrong at Peterloo and the edge got used. Whether that was a training failure, a lack of discipline that allowed it to get out hand or a cynical and criminal deliberate act. Or all of the above. Artillery has never been a recognised form of crowd control. No one at Peterloo thought to bring up a battery of nine pounders and give the mob a few case-shot did they? Artillery, particularly at the close quarters of a built up area has only one effect. There is just too much retrospective myth-making around Napoleon for me to blindly accept secondary sources about how armed and dangerous that mob was. I wonder what the same commentators would have said if artillery had thwarted the storming of the Bastille?
“I don't see how Napoleon had 'betrayed' the Revolution.” @Kevin F. Kiley I agree with you wholeheartedly, but probably for different reasons. Betrayal is just too strong, I don’t think his heart was ever in it. Frankly, I don’t see that Napoleon had much room in his heart for much, bar perhaps Napoleon. He was too much of a narcissist for it to have truly touched him. You can’t truly betray something you never believed in or was really part of. Napoleon used the revolution, just like he used armies. Or people. Or nations. It merely presented him with an opportunity, a state of flux that a manipulator excels in. He got close to the Robespierre for what he could get. Power attracted him like moth to a flame. You asked what is the difference between the other monarchies and Napoleon? They ascended to power over generations and wore it lightly. Napoleon thirsted for it, hungered for it, seized it and grew drunk on it. It is that which was his undoing, and condemned him to death on a rock in the Atlantic. Like all good narcissists though, it was everybody else’s fault but his own. Les Mensonges de Waterloo indeed.
A short list of rulers who came to my mind, because of their state of mind, their spouse, or eagerness to reform.
Gustav III. Sweden
Paul I. Russia
Marie I. Portugal
Ferdinand I. Two Sicilies
George III. Great Britain
Charles IV. Spain
Louis XVI. France
Christian VII. Danmark
Frederick William III. Prussia
Selim III. Ottoman Imp.
William V. Holland
Joseph II. HRE
Stanislaw Poniatowski Poland
To return though to the original question: The Hapsburgs by supporting the Pope and diplomacy. Originating in Swabia, the Hapsburg Counts supported the various crusades. Rudolf I is elected King of Germany, and defeats usurper Otakar II. In 1272. The German princes then granted to sons Albert and Rudolf lands in Austria and Styria, establishing the Hapsburg power base. @Kevin F. Kiley
"The French were comfortable with Napoleon as First Consul and later Emperor. It was more their 'choice' than Napoleon's when he was named First Consul for life and then Emperor of the French. And it should be also noted that Napoleon placed the crown on his head, instead of the pope, to demonstrate to the French people that he gained the crown from the people, and not the Church." I'm afraid that reads simply as casuistry to me. Is there any essential difference between "of the French" or "of France"? The key word there being 'Emperor,' by which a hereditary monarchy was reinstated. And if Napoleon claimed that the theatre of his crowning himself was a demonstration of popular acclaim, does that mean it was incontrovertibly so? The key word there, surely, would be 'coronation.'