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by Napoleon, was to pass as many as possible of the population through the drill of the regular army. From 1806 till 1813, each conscript had to serve only six months with the colours, at the end of which he was enrolled in the militia of his district. Thus in little more than six years there was produced a nation of trained soldiers, who, at Leipsic and Waterloo, were the main instruments of overthrowing the power of Napoleon. At the close of the war in 1815, the military force of Prussia was permanently constituted on the basis-ist, of a standing army; 2d, a Landwehr, or militia of the first call ; 3d, a Landwehr of the second call; and 4th, the Landsturin. In 1860, the system was modified, the term of service in the standing army was increased, and the Landwehr reduced to a secondary though still important position. So modified, the Prussian military system has been extended to the whole North German Confederation; and the South German states have in a great measure conformed to it. As thus arranged, the force that can be brought into the field is enormous, while the annual cost on a peace footing is comparatively small.
At present every native of North Germany is at his birth viewed as an incipient soldier; only those who become clergymen or are physically unfit being excepted. When he has completed his twentieth year, the youth is liable to be called to serve. No substitutes are allowed. On the peace footing a certain number of recruitsabout one for every three hundred of the whole population-are drafted every year from the young men who have just reached the military age. Those who escape being drafted, and who are considerably more than those on whom the lot falls, are put on the list of the Ersatz, or Supplementary, Reserve, and are not called out or even drilled, except in the case of a very serious war like that with France. The recruit serves three years with the colours of his regiment (with an exception to be after mentioned), and is then placed on the Regimental Reserve, where he continues four years. He then passes from the standing army into the Landwehr of the district to which he belongs. After five years in the Landwehr, he is enrolled in the Landsturm, which is called out only for home detence, in case of invasion. On the breaking out of war, the strength of the regiments is doubled, by calling up the requisite numbers from the Regimental Reserve, in which case the limits as to time of service are disregarded. If necessary, the Landwehr is also mobilised; and every man within the military age may be called out. An exception as to length of service with the colours is made in favour of those who volunteer to serve at their own cost; one year of such service stands for the usual three. These one-year volunteers are an important element in the Prussian system. They must produce certificates from school or college of a certain grade of attainments and of good conduct, as well as proof that they can provide their own outfit and maintenance; they are then allowed to join a regiment of the line. The volunteer must strictly attend drills, parades, &c.; but when not actually on duty he can live where and how he pleases. This saves the delicately nurtured and well educated from mixing in the barrack-room with the humbler class of recruits; besides that the one year's service interferes less in time of peace with the civil pursuits of the middle classes. The volunteer may even serve his year before the regular age, but not under seventeen. It has long been considered a regular part of the education of the sons of a landed proprietor, professional man, or even well-to-do shopkeeper, to pass through such a course. There is always an immense mass of the wealthy and eduicated youth thus present in the regiments of the standing army; and as, when their service is over, they pass into the reserve, and then into the Landwehr, they contribute largely to that character of intelligence and high-minded patriotism for which these branches of the service are distinguished. It is from these one-year's men that the officers of the Landwehr are mainly drawn ; during their year of service, every facility is afforded to such as shew special aptitude and aspirations to qualify themselves for promotion. It is only in the Landwehr that commissions are accessible to the middle classes. The constitution of the Prussian regular army is exceedingly aristocratic. The officers, besides being professionally qualified, must be of high standing as to social position and means—a cir. cumstance which has at times given some dissatisfaction, but with no actual disadvantage to the service.
Few countries have increased in extent and power so remarkably as Prussia. In the early part of the eighteenth century, its population was only two and a quarter millions, and its army only 84,000 strong. At the death of Frederick the Great in 1786, its territory was doubled, and the population was five and a half millions. In the reign of his successor, another addition was made ; but the army that met Napoleon was not over 120,000. Since that time, so great has been the extension that, shortly previous to 1866, Prussia had a population of nineteen and a half millions. The Prussia of to-day has twenty-four millions ; including the North German Confederation, of which it is the head, the population is thirty millions. The North German army now numbers 319,000 in peace, and 977,000 in war. Even on the war footing, it is calculated that there are still 116,000 trained men uncalled out, who are not beyond their period of service. This is not all. The South German States, with which there are treaties of alliance, can add a war-force of 255,000. The total war-force of north and south, in a high degree of efficiency, is 1,233,000. No nation in the world can bring such a mass of soldiers into the field ; and from what we have said as to the method of Reserve and Landwehr, no nation maintains an army ready for active service so cheaply. Standing armies on the old plan, while of ruinous cost, fall immeasurably short in the case of national exigency.
When we remember that, with this marvellously comprehensive military system, there prevails a universal and compulsory education in Prussia, an idea is obtained of the potency of any army which takes the field, comparing it especially with any military force raised by conscription or enlistment from a generally ignorant population. The whole mécanique, in short, of the North German armies, with their Uhlans, or light hussars, who act as scouts, or feelers to prevent surprise ; their system of telegraphic communication, to keep different corps acquainted with each other's movements; and, above all, their good order and discipline, give an immensely preponderating power against the undisciplined, badly-conducted forces of France. In point of mere numbers, the Germans were more than two to one of the enemy. A defiance to war on terms so unequal was little short of an act of national insanity.
It was expected by the emperor that, on his approaching Germany, the Southern States would join him with their respective forces. This was another delusion. North and south, there was a prompt and universal union of armies to repel the invasion of Fatherland.' The history of the war recounts a continued series of victories for Germany, and inglorious defeats for France. Fighting with their accustomed bravery, the French suffered from the most deplorable generalship. There was a prevailing want of discipline and foresight, which rendered the personal courage of the soldiers unavailing. The results are well known. The French suffered severe reverses at Woerth, Forbach, and Gravelotte. At length M‘Mahon, September 2, was obliged to capitulate at Sédan, and the whole of his army, amounting to 90,000 men, rendered themselves prisoners. Napoleon at the same time offered his sword to the king of Prussiathe interview between the two monarchs being the most remarkable scene in this concluding act of a sad historical tragedy. The emperor, depressed by misfortune, vas allowed to proceed as a prisoner on parole to Wilhelmshohe, near Cassel. On the capitulation of Sédan becoming known in Paris, an enraged mob rushed into the hall of the Legislative Body, and, as is not unusual in such commotions, the National Guards fraternised with and permitted them to work out their insurrectionary plans. The bulk of the members fled, and the remainder, to meet the views of the insurgents, set aside the Regency, and, with no legal warrant whatever, proclaimed a Republic and a provisional government. This act of usurpation was received by Paris with a transport of enthusiasm, and the imperial insignia were torn down. The Empress and Prince Imperial found a refuge in England. Again was France back to a rudimental state of things, the situation being aggravated by the dismal fact that the country was to a large extent being overrun by the armed and conquering hosts of Germany. Strasbourg, after a siege of seven weeks, and suffering a bombardment, capitulated, September 28, rendering up 17,000 as prisoners. Metz, with an army shut up in it under Bazaine, also, after a long siege, capitulated, when little short of 200,000 men yielded up their arms. There were some minor victories and capitulations, and it may be said that the French army, so far as it took the field, was led into captivity. With Paris in the agonies of a protracted siege-in gloomy forebodings of what may have to be endured, not only by the French in their maddening humiliations, but by the Germans in their embarrassing and unenviable successes, we let fall the curtain on a tableau vivant as startling as anything ever submitted to human observation.
EPILOGUE. The misfortunes of France, however due to remote causes, are proximately and clearly traceable to the great revolutionary convulsion of 1789-93. The whole series of events, from the meeting of the States-General until the close of 1870, are but consecutive parts of a single and very melancholy drama. Laying the blame on whoever happens to be at the helm of affairs, the French take no account of their own indiscretions or political incapacity. The true cure for the evils which afflict the country is alleged to be constitutional government on the widest possible basis. Is this belief entertained under a proper consideration of facts? That fatal law enforcing an equal division of heritage among children or nearest of kin, which was passed during the revolutionary mania of 1791, and which with some modification was incorporated in the Civil Code, has partitioned France into minute subdivisions among a peasant proprietary, who possess neither the ability nor the inclination to perform the duties incidental to a regular constitutional system; and who, being only desirous to be let alone to pursue their humble industry, are ready to support any government which is not likely to meddle with their petty landed possessions. As subdivision of property is still going on, and could not without difficulty be stayed, it may be said of France that it has inconsiderately doomed itself to the rule of despotic and centralised officialism. Eager politicians may desire, the populace in their misguided fury may proclaim, a Republic. With that the social condition of France is plainly incompatible. Nor, sad to say, can any improvable system whatever be permanently established, so long as an unruly Parisian mob is suffered to work its will, unchecked by those who, from their position, ought to be the guardians of public order. All persons of any feeling will sympathise with the French in their heavy misfortunes. But looking to the past—and especially to the manner in which government after government has been laid in ruin-candour obliges us reluctantly to remind them (in proverbial phrase) that they may ‘Read their Sin in their Punishment.'
INTOINE DE MONTYON, whose
life affords one of the most brilliant
the 23d of December 1733. His father, a respectable accountant, bred up his son to the profession of the law; and such was the early proficiency of young Montyon in his studies, that, when only twenty-two years of age, he was admitted an advocate at the Châtelet-a court of civil and criminal jurisprudence in the French capital. Here he distinguished himself by his talents, and, when still in middle life, he was raised to the dignity of counsellor of state, and was also appointed to the government of Auvergne, a central province in France, where he speedily obtained the love, respect, and gratitude of the inhabitants, not only by his great integrity and justice, but his benevolence on many occasions of suffering.
To make room for some ministerial favourites of the day, he was first shifted from the government of Auvergne to that of Marseille, from Marseille afterwards to Rochelle, and finally he lost his situations altogether. By the accession of Louis XVI., and a change from the dissolute state of affairs which had previously prevailed at court, Montyon again came into favourable notice, and was appointed chancellor of the royal household. Previous to his receiving this appointment, and also when he enjoyed it, he occupied himself in devising and executing useful foundations; but this career of benevolence was brought to a close by the Revolution, an event which caused him to remove first to Switzerland, and afterwards to England, to which country he wisely transferred his fortune. While in England,