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Dialogue of Cultures

Jean-Sylvain Bailly: The French
Revolution's Benjamin Franklin

by Pierre Beaudry

Jean-Sylvain Bailly





This Article originally appeared in the January 26, 2001 of Executive Intelligence Review. It is also referenced in the Leibniz Symposium section of the Spring 2003 issue of Fidelio Magazine.

Related Pages

Editor's Note: We publish here an unusual study, of the work of a man who was: founding president of the revolutionary National Assembly of France, when it was first formed in 1789; the first republican mayor of Paris, at the same time; the first organizer of the Paris Guard, later the French National Guard of Gen. Marquis de Lafayette; an astronomer and extraordinary Leibnizian historian of astronomy, the first man to be elected member of both French national academies of science; and a man who, although the Benjamin Franklin of the French Revolution, is today almost completely unknown! Focussing on Jean-Sylvain Bailly, researcher Pierre Beaudry has written what Lyndon LaRouche has called "one of the best-researched reviews of the crucial developments of the June-July 1789 turning point and their immediate aftermath."

So false are the British-dominated historical sciences, that the case of Jean-Sylvain Bailly is only one of a number in the history of Europe alone, in which real "Founding Fathers" of sovereign nation-states have become virtually unheard-of, even in their own nations. (The Republic of Ireland's first President, Arthur Griffith, is another notable example.) The more durable fame of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin is a sign: They defeated the British Empire, and so for a time, its historians. During the 20th Century of the so-called "special relationship" between irreconcilable enemies—the U.S.A. and the British Empire—British-inspired historians have sought revenge by seeking to destroy the true importance of Washington, Franklin, Hamilton, and Lincoln for the entire human race. The case of Jean-Sylvain Bailly is a warning of the crucial importance of studies such as this, if we are to regain the true history of the republican nation-state, and not allow its destruction in a new, "globalized" world empire.

Bailly's and France's British-Swiss adversary of the Summer of 1789, Finance Minister Jacques Necker, is by contrast quite celebrated. The famous storming of the Bastille on July 14, now France's national holiday, was done for the demand of restoring Necker to control of the royal government. And the provocation which began it—the slaughtering of people in the streets by cannons firing from the Bastille fortress—was a planned counter-revolutionary move in a "coup" in which Necker was deeply involved.

Necker was the Alan Greenspan of Louis XVI's last royal governments. In the aftermath of the notable French military and financial support for the American War of Independence against Britain, a tragedy had occurred. France, in the 1783 Treaty of Paris recognizing American independence, agreed to free-trade provisions demanded by Britain for its control of the Atlantic trade. Then, in a separate 1786 French-British treaty, France accepted suicidal, complete free-trade agreements which ruined the French economy overnight. From 2% annual real physical growth in the late 1770s and early 1780s, France's textile, shipping, and mining sectors, and its agriculture, fell into depression, with outright famines ensuing. The royal budgets collapsed, and in stepped the Swiss agent of Britain's Lord Shelburne, the banker Jacques Necker, as French Finance Minister and First Minister.

Necker, through his banking circles in Geneva and London, brought in huge international loans to fund the French royal budgets from 1787 on, while subjecting the royal treasury to "transparency" and austerity with his famous Compte Rendu. It was just as with International Monetary Fund (IMF) "assistance packages" to nations today. In short order, Louis XVI's regime was at the financial mercy of Necker and the banking interests he represented, while the population of France was in revolt against the economic collapse and deprivation. Necker's ally, the King's cousin Louis Philippe Duke of Orléans, was importing British-trained Jacobin radical writers into Paris, turning the Palais Royale district which he personally owned, into an anarchist bastion to overturn the French state. (One such writer, the infamous Jacobin Jean-Paul Marat, was to be imported from Switzerland particularly to launch attacks upon Bailly and Lafayette.) King Louis was manipulated by Necker into calling the Estates (Chambers) of the three classes of French society into session, a device that had failed many times since the 14th Century. It was in that context of a bankrupted nation, a corrupt "IMF" monetarist policy, and an angry population yearning for justice, that the creative scientist Jean-Sylvain Bailly entered political life, as Paris Mayor and its first Deputy to the Estates General.

Necker repeatedly demanded that the King introduce the British system of parliamentary monarchy into France: government by the financial and landed aristocracy. But the Estates, meanwhile, transformed and unified themselves into the National Assembly: Bailly, partisan of the principles of the American republic, was at its head and organizing a citizens' National Guard, commanded by the hero of the American Revolution, General Lafayette, to defend it. Louis XVI's desperate last-minute attempt to dismiss Necker, in July 1789, started the Bastille cannons firing into the citizenry in the Paris streets, and ended with the mob storming the Bastille and demanding the return to power of Necker, the man who had bankrupted France. This was the first step on the path to the Terror which took the life of Bailly, and drowned the chance of a second American Revolution in France, so feared by the British, in blood.—The Editors


Bailly Creates the National Assembly


The Tennis Court Oath of June 20, 1789 was the most solemn moment of the French Revolution, in which the National Assembly, led by Bailly, demonstrated its Sovereignty, striking a powerful blow against the British and their agent, finance Minister Jacques Necker. Imitating the American Framers at the Constitutional Convention two years earlier, the French deputies swore not to disband until France had a new constitution. Here, “The Tennis Court Oath,” a painting by Jacques-Louis David (1789). Bailly is the central figure, standing on the table.

For over 200 years, the French population has been celebrating the lie of Bastille Day as their national holiday, on July 14. The truth of the matter is, that the Bastille operation was a British-run terrorist action set into motion by a group of British-Swiss secret service agents—Jacques Necker, Baron Besenval Bronstadt, Louis-Philippe Duke of Orléans, and Jean-Paul Marat—whose primary objective was to manipulate public opinion against, and eliminate, the friends of Benjamin Franklin: Jean-Sylvain Bailly and Gen. Marquis de Lafayette. In this report on Bailly, we will demonstrate that the real bloodless "day of glory" of the French Revolution, had already arrived on June 20, 1789.

"A noble and touching picture presented for posterity is that of a man who, already famous in the domain of the sciences, commendable in all private virtues, who finds himself, almost without his knowledge, risen by public esteem to the highest functions; maintaining his modesty among the highest dignitaries, moderating in the middle of the most violent political dissensions; going through a raging revolution without being swayed by it; participating in all of its glories, yet remaining unstained by its excesses; defending liberty against power, and power against license, and whose wise life becomes crowned by the death of a hero. Such was Sylvain Bailly, first deputy of Paris to the Estates General, first president to the National Assembly, and first Mayor of Paris."

Those are the words of A. Berville,1 giving recognition to a true hero of the French Revolution, Jean-Sylvain Bailly, who was beheaded, in November 1793, by Britain's Lord Shelburne's Terror regime of Robespierre, after having been falsely accused of participating in a conspiracy, with Lafayette, to secure the escape of King Louis XVI, and his family, out of France.

The following review of Bailly's role during the French Revolution, is of importance here for two reasons: First, is because of his historical and political alliance with Benjamin Franklin, and of the role he played with Lafayette, in establishing the constitution of the first National Assembly of France. Second, is because of his civilizational groundbreaking ideas relative to an astronomical hypothesis of ancient maritime civilization, and of the common heritage of mankind.

The Nature of Bailly

In the opening words of his 1768 Eulogy of Leibniz, the universal genius who died in 1716, Bailly wrote the following beautiful and eloquent statement, which reveals quite strikingly the noble character of the man: "Nature is just; she equally distributes all that is necessary to the individual put on earth to live, work, and die; she reserves to a small number of human beings, however, the right to enlighten the world, and by entrusting them with the lights that they must diffuse across their century, she says to one, you shall observe my phenomena, to the other, you shall be a geometer; she calls on this one for the purpose of legislation; she calls on this other one to paint the morals of people, of revolutions, and of empires. These geniuses pass away after they have perfected human reason, and leave behind them a great memory. But all of them have travelled on different routes: Only one man elevated himself, and dared to become universal, a man whose strong will synthesized the spirit of invention, and the spirit of method, and who seemed to have been born to tell the human race: Behold and know the dignity of your species! These are the traits by which Europe has given recognition to Leibniz."2

Indeed, this description is also a reflection of the measure of reason that history must claim for the extraordinary efforts that Bailly, the legislator, spent in establishing the National Assembly of France, during the first year of the French Revolution. As he demonstrated by his own example, Bailly was following the policy of Franklin's grand strategy that he applied proportionately in every particular aspect of tactical situations. As if to underscore the measure of the Leibnizian calculus, Bailly showed that "for every differential, there had to be an integral."3 In other words, in order to solve the problem of determining the right tactical move to make, in the establishment of the "act of constitution" of the nation, one had to first discover the appropriate integral solution. By using this measure of proportionality of sufficient reason, Bailly was able to forecast, in advance of the events, the characteristic behavior of his political enemies. This is the same method of metaphorical proportionality that Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. uses today, giving him his ability to forecast events of our own times. Indeed, this pertains to a higher hypothesis whereby the geometric proportionality of metaphor is such that a strategic decision is to a tactical application as an integral is to its differential.

A Counter-Revolution

For example, Bailly understood that the truth about the French Revolution lay precisely in the terms that the great German poet, Friedrich Schiller, had identified it to be, including and through the events that followed the storming of the Bastille, on July 14, 1789: "A great moment in history has met a little people."

What is not generally known, is that this was not a true revolution, but a counter-revolution, organized from the headquarters of the "radical writers' club" of Lord Shelburne and Jeremy Bentham, head of intelligence, in England, which orchestrated, with the complicity of Finance Minister Necker, the Duke of Orléans (otherwise known as Philippe Égalité), and Baron Pierre-Victor Besenval, the massacre of the Bastille on July 14, 1789 (see EIR, April 21, 2000, p. 64). This in turn spawned the terrorist actions of the Jacobin leaders Jean-Paul Marat, Georges Jacques Danton, and Maximilian Robespierre, and the Reign of Terror. As he reported in his memoirs, Bailly had evidence that Marquis de Launay, the Governor of the Bastille, had opened the doors of the prison to Pierre-Victor, Baron de Besenval of Bronstadt, a Swiss officer, commander of the foreign troops that had invaded Paris, in 1789, and who ordered him to set up, in June of that year, at least two weeks before Bastille Day, "special artillery platforms for the emplacement of cannons pointed toward the boulevard, Saint-Antoine Place, and the side of the Arsenal."

What is also not generally known, is that the Bastille terrorist action was aimed at destroying the heroic actions of Franklin's associates, Bailly and Lafayette, and their efforts to replicate a second American Revolution on the European continent. As such, the Bastille served as a smokescreen to overshadow the solemn Tennis Court Oath of June 20, 1789, which had already demonstrated the true national sovereignty of the National Assembly as a representative government of France. In fact, the event of the swearing of the oath represented the culmination of several powerful legislative decisions made by Bailly's National Assembly, which reflected the "act of constitution" of a National Assembly that established the foundations of a true republic.

The Measure of Reason Versus the Measure of Force

It is reported by the historian François Arago, that Bailly "became the particular and intimate friend of Benjamin Franklin, at the end of 1777."4 In point of fact, very little is reported about their relationship; however, it is said that the two scientists and political leaders met, at least once, for an hour in Chaillot, the hometown of Bailly, and that no more than ten words were exchanged between the two, and that Franklin ended the "silent" meeting by saying: "Very well Monsieur Bailly, very well." It is ironic to suppose that, one year after the successful American Revolution, those two scientists, committed to the same political cause, would be at a loss for words.

Bailly resolved that nothing would deter him from complete commitment to the defense of the nation, which was in imminent danger of civil war. As early as June 17 to July 14, 1789, the crucial days in which the National Assembly was created, Bailly asserted his authority based on the sovereignty of the Assembly's representation of the plurality of the people of France.

During June 1789, Paris and Versailles had both been surrounded by tens of thousands of troops, mostly foreign forces, which had been made ready to intervene at a moment's notice. In fact, troops were constantly deployed throughout Paris from June 13 until July 12, 1789. For what purpose, nobody seemed to know. The situation was getting so tense that, after the June 23 speech of the King at the National Assembly, Count of Mirabeau, elected to represent the city of Aix in the Third Estate, succeeded in having the Assembly adopt an emergency security measure that declared: "The person of each of the deputies shall be inviolable." He succeeded in convincing Bailly, who was hesitating. Mirabeau said: "You do not know what you are exposing yourself to! If you do not vote for this decree, 60 deputies, and you the first among them, will be arrested tonight."5 It is not clear how much Mirabeau really knew about the plot to arrest members of the Assembly, but several of his interventions during these very difficult days were indeed very opportune.

Curiously enough, the most revealing security question that remained to be answered with respect to this entire period was indicated by what was not there. As the events of July 14 showed, the foreign troops did not intervene to prevent the Bastille from firing on the people, or to stop the popular revolt against the Bastille. Why were the foreign troops not brought into action? As we shall see, these foreign troops had been set in motion by Finance Minister Necker, whose mission was to paralyze the actions of Bailly at the National Assembly, and to prevent Lafayette's Paris Militia from entering into action, and intervening against the Bastille terrorist operation.

Necker was personally deployed to intervene against Bailly, on behalf of his British masters. It was Necker who proposed to the King that the Estates General be called into existence, and that the King himself should endorse the British form of parliamentary monarchy. Necker wanted to establish a House of Lords that would preserve the privileges of the nobility and the upper clergy, and a Commons that would supposedly serve the interests of the general population. He thought that he was being cunning in doing this, so that the King could order the creation of the "one man, one vote" structure, especially in matters of taxes, but under the control of the minister. However, the Estates General were formed by the King under three distinct groups: the nobility and the clergy, each representing one-quarter, and the Third Estate, representing one-half. In this fashion, the nobility and the clergy did not have a majority that could override the interests of the Third Estate.

However, something very unexpected took place, which took Necker totally by surprise. This unforeseen development occurred when the Estates General were transformed into the National Assembly. Never in the history of France, was there ever recorded such a singular moment, in which the "nobility of heart," and the duty to the nation, were evoked with such enthusiasm, as during the constitution of the National Assembly. And, it happened on the basis of the discovery of a principle. Yes, several representatives of the nobility and the clergy allied themselves with Bailly in adopting his principle of representation of the people, as the expression of their personal commitment to the nation.

As Bailly put it: "I have always thought, and I still think today, that a little more of this philosophical spirit would not have harmed a bit the Constituent Assembly. These were my principles; my conduct has been that of my duties: I do not remember, from my own reason, when general reason became explicit. The first law had been the will of the nation: As soon as it had been assembled, I have not known any other sovereign will. In my stations, I was the man of the fatherland; I knew only to obey. From this has emerged a constitution which, regardless of its defects, is a superb work."

In other words, it was not numbers that established the National Assembly, but the power of reason agreed upon by a majority. It was not the will of the particular individuals that counted, but the will of the Assembly and its president, in which the will of the particular individuals had been subsumed.

The Authority of the National Assembly

June 17, 1789: In the words of the president of the Assembly, Bailly, June 17, 1789 "is forever memorable." Indeed, June 17 was the day that the National Assembly gave itself its name as well as the authority to establish a constitution; that is, the day when the Assembly made public the announcement of the sovereign rights of the nation. Or, as Bailly put it, this was the day when the Assembly "had shown, for the first time, the firm and wise countenance that was fitting for its representatives and for the depositories of its authority."

Indeed, Bailly insisted that, even when the signatures of the representatives were appended to a decision of the Assembly, this would not, by itself, represent a legitimate decision. "If we consider those signatures as emanating from particular wills out of which the general resolution must spring, they will only weaken the expression of that resolution. However, when it has been certified by the majority, the individual wills have vanished away. It has become the will of the Assembly as a whole, and the act only requires the signature of the president to establish its authenticity; the Assembly speaks, signs, and expresses itself always by its organ."

Thus it was that, only when the members of the Assembly gave their full measure of personal commitment, and dissolved their individual interests into that of the national unity, that the Assembly, and its president, could legitimize the decision. This is the basis for the legitimacy of the "act of constitution" of the National Assembly. What was established on that day, was the principle "that it belongs only to the Assembly to declare the will of the nation as founded upon reason," and that "there cannot exist any veto, or negative power, between the Throne and the Assembly."6 Thus, the Assembly passed the resolution of Abbot Sieyès, which stated: "The Assembly, deliberating after the verification of powers, recognizes that this Assembly is already composed of representatives directly delegated by at least 96% of the nation."

After this statement of authority was voted on by the Assembly (491 in favor, 90 against), Bailly and the secretaries of the three orders (who had been deputies to the Estates General) were sworn in as the leaders of the newly created National Assembly. Thus, the Estates General were dissolved. The whole process was, indeed, designed to dissolve the power of the three separate orders—the nobility, the clergy, and the Third Estate—but without dissolving the authority of the King. Bailly wrote: "The Assembly sensed very clearly that the act of its constitution, perfectly wise, perfectly just, and founded on the natural rights of man, took, however, a daring and extraordinary form, which, at the moment of the awakening of reason, and when all eyes had not yet been accustomed to its brightness, could give to prejudices and to pretensions some powerful means to attack it. The court and the two orders had an equal interest at stake. One could not misapprehend that the very destruction of these orders was embodied in the dispositions of this act: By establishing the fact that we could do without them, we were demonstrating their uselessness and their abuse. The government could not help but notice that this act was taking over the authority which, up to that day, was uniquely royal, and was putting it into the hands of the nation and of its legitimate representatives."7

By the next day, the majority of the deputies had been inspired by the emergence of this sovereign act of self-government, and decided to join the National Assembly, and so did one-third of the nobility assembled. A measure of reason had been created. It was nothing else but the recognition of the power of reason that made the majority of the deputies of the three orders join the new "union."

The call for saving the nation was overpowering, and it became clear to all of the deputies that an unprecedented constitutional authority had been put on their shoulders, and the immense responsibility for public order became their most passionate concern. The National Assembly had just received the mantle from heaven. In the meantime, the bishops sensed the danger to their interests, and rallied behind the "absolute authority" of the King. The treasonous Bishop of Autun, Charles Maurice Talleyrand, a known British asset working for the Duke of Orléans, left the Assembly realizing that the rules of the game had been changed, and that Bailly had to be stopped.8

Taxes and Debt: A Challenge to Necker

A second act, which was generally recognized as wise and firm, but very dangerous to the oligarchy, was the necessity for the Assembly to levy taxes. This was a direct affront to Necker and his Ministry of Finance. Thus, the Assembly began to take over the authority of the ministries. The act was passed in the following form: "The National Assembly intends and decrees that all levy of taxes and contributions of all nature, which will not have been in due form and freely accorded by the Assembly, by name, will cease to exist entirely in all of the provinces of the kingdom, whatever their administrative form."

As Bailly put it, "It was necessary to dissipate promptly any worry in this matter, and to guarantee public credit." And, as a way to put Necker and his ministry on notice, Bailly noted that it was necessary to "consolidate the debt as an act of solemn justice which could not be left in the hands of anyone but the Assembly." Thus, "The Assembly moves to declare that, as soon as it will have fixed the principles of national regeneration, in concert with His Majesty, it will occupy itself with the consolidation of the public debt, putting immediately the creditors of the State under the watch of loyalty and honor of the French nation."9 Because the entire finances of the kingdom had been ruined, Bailly was attempting to establish a legitimate reorganization of the debt, by transforming the debt into an asset for development, in the footsteps of what Alexander Hamilton had done after the American Revolution.

The Tennis Court Oath

June 20, 1789 was the punctum saliens, the day on which occurred the most crucial and solemn moment in the history of the French Revolution: the swearing of the Tennis Court Oath. Bailly decided to have the members of the National Assembly swear an oath by which they would not depart, until they had given France a constitution. This amazing event is an echo of the action of the signers of the American Declaration of Independence, who committed themselves not to adjourn until the Declaration was either signed or repudiated. It also adds irony to the famous "silent" meeting between Bailly and Franklin, in Chaillot, in 1777.

Early in the morning on June 20, Bailly and his deputies went to their meeting place, in the Hall of Menus Plaisirs, and found the doors closed. They were told that it was being prepared for the speech of the King, to be held three days later. Convinced that this was an attempt by Necker to prevent their deliberations from taking place, Bailly decided to take his deputies to the nearby building of the Tennis Court (Jeu de Paume), located near the Versailles Palace where the King was. It was there that the representatives of the National Assembly unanimously pronounced the historic oath (with the exception of one voice). The oath was as follows:

"The National Assembly, considering its role in establishing the constitution of the kingdom, in working toward the regeneration of public order, in maintaining the true principles of the monarchy, in assuring that nothing can prevent it from pursuing its deliberation, in whatever place it may be forced to constitute itself, and that, wherever its members may be assembled, there stands the National Assembly,

"Declares that all of the members of this Assembly shall, in a moment, solemnly swear to never depart, and to assemble itself anywhere that circumstances will permit, until the constitution of the kingdom is established, and consolidated on solid grounds; and the said oath being sworn, all of the members, and each in particular, shall confirm this unshakable resolution with their signature."10

Bailly, who wrote the oath, and read it in a very loud voice, swore to it first, then everyone else swore the oath together, before their president. A large crowd assembled outside applauding loudly, and cried out many times as with one voice: "Hail to the King!" The message was very loud and clear, against the despotism of Necker, and in favor of maintaining the principles of a constitutional monarchy, as Bailly had defined them.

A 'Little King'

The Assembly, under Bailly as president, decided to unify itself with the monarchy, and against Minister of Finance Necker. Bailly wrote: "If the Assembly was acting firmly and courageously in taking useful precautions against the ministry, if it was arming itself against its despotism, it was, however, of one heart and spirit with the King, and had no intention to do anything against his legitimate authority; the Assembly had even taken the precaution of declaring in its decree that one of its duties was to maintain the true principles of the monarchy, in order to prove to everybody that whatever could be considered hostile in its advances, was directed against despotism, and not against the monarchy."

June 23, 1789: The day when King Louis XVI spoke before the National Assembly was also a decisive moment for the French Revolution. This day should be remembered as a day when history met a powerful and sovereign National Assembly, but a very unfortunate, and little King. Indeed, the King made a very arrogant speech. In a revolutionary period, there always exists a crucial moment, when the crisis can turn to the greatest advantage of mankind, or to tragedy and disaster; and that always depends on whether the parties involved act according to the measure of reason, or according to the measure of force based on old habits and former privileges. This was the most tragic moment of Louis XVI.

On that day, the King chose to abandon a perfectly acceptable proposal for a constitutional monarchy, and ended his presentation by giving an impotent and imperious marching order to an Assembly that had already established its own sovereignty. After a long, self-serving speech, the King ordered the close of the Assembly, an act that only its president could legitimately execute. So, provocatively, he put Bailly on the spot by saying: "I order you, gentlemen, to disperse right away, and to come back tomorrow morning, each in your chamber according to your order, in order to resume your deliberations. Consequently, I order the master of ceremony to make the rooms ready." Then the King left. Those "chosen words" were exactly contrary to the oath taken by the Assembly in Versailles on June 20.

Bailly was stunned by this theatrical statement. How could the King not have accepted the olive branch extended by the Assembly? Bailly knew that Louis XVI had sympathies with the successful American Revolution; so, why would he not embrace the same cause with respect to the French Revolution? Why could he not follow in the footsteps of the Renaissance King, Louis XI, and commit himself to the general welfare of the people? This is the moment of tragedy, when the King chose to reaffirm the old privileges, when he should have recognized the new constitutional authority of the National Assembly. Bailly realized that the King was not wise enough to see his tragic mistake; so he chose not to offend him, but to respond to the situation with measure and compassion, indicating in his memoirs, that such a crisis could only be resolved through the power of reason—that is, through the application of a strategic-integral overview determining each and every tactical-differential decision:

"Poor prince," said Bailly, "where have they led you, and how much have they deceived you! After the departure of the King, the totality of the nobility and a part of the clergy retired, the communes remained at their place, calm and keeping silent. The grand-master of ceremonies [M. de Brézé] came to me and said: 'Sir, you have heard the King's order?' I answered him: 'Sir, the Assembly will adjourn after the royal presentation; I cannot close it until it has deliberated.' 'Is that your response, and can I inform the King of it?' 'Yes, Sir.' And I added to my colleagues, who were around me: 'I think that the assembled nation cannot receive any order.' It was said and repeated that I had made this reply to M. de Brézé. The official response to his message is the one that I have just reported. I had too much respect for the King to make such a response; I knew only too well the attention that a president owes to the Assembly for me to implicate it without its consent. It was the Assembly's function, not mine, to weigh, to know, and to declare its rights. In truth, Mirabeau took the floor and, flaring up at the grand-master of ceremonies, said approximately what was afterward repeated: 'Go and tell those who sent you that the force of bayonets cannot do anything against the nation's will.' Many praised that response, which was not one, but an apostrophe which he should not have made, and which he had no right to make, because only the president had the right to speak, and he was not only out of place, but was also out of measure.

"Measure requires that we answer only to what is said. Did anyone speak of bayonets, did anyone announce the use of force, did any threat come out of the mouth of M. de Brézé? No! He repeated, according to his duty, the order of the King. Did the King have any right to give that order? The Assembly, in pursuing its session, decided, no. As for me, by declaring that the Assembly could not be dismissed until after it had deliberated, I had maintained its rights and its dignity; and I remained within the measure whereby an Assembly and its president must never be apart."

By making this response, Bailly put his friends in a delicious little paradox: Is this a capitulation to tyranny, or is it an act of sovereign reason?11

Although Bailly was a royalist, it was clear that the King's authority could no longer be absolute. However, the time had come to protect the King against himself, and to keep the monarchy intact, under the already-established constitutional authority of the Assembly. Bailly understood that "the mantle from heaven" had shifted, and that the newly founded authority of the Assembly had to be maintained without bloodshed, and with the guarantee that the sovereignty of the King was to reside in the love of the people, and therefore in the Assembly of its representatives. From that moment on, the revolution had been consummated; this was also a moment that the British understood very well, and feared the most. The enemy did not waste a moment.

The Paris Militia: Too Little, Too Late

July 1, 1789: Paris was very agitated and the National Assembly began a discussion to establish a Paris Militia. The entire Assembly was disquieted by the violence of the day before, which involved the delivery of French Guards who had been detained for disciplinary action at the Abbey, and by the increasing presence of troops around the National Assembly.

Mirabeau kept repeating to the members that, as long as there were any doubts on the part of the King, and the ministers, as to the sovereignty of the National Assembly, there would be a serious danger to the lives of all of the deputies.

July 8: Mirabeau intervened in the Assembly to declare that a great number of new troops were arriving every day, and were becoming more and more numerous, with trains of artillery following them. All of the roads and bridges were changed into military posts, as if there were some great "preparation for war." "Why all these preparations?" he asked. "To maintain order, to contain the people? ... Such precautions, instead of calming the people, will alarm them, and will agitate them."

Thinking about the security of the members of the Assembly, Mirabeau made the following "prophetic" statement: "What if the soldiers get electrified by their contact with the capital; what if they get interested in our political discussions, and, mixing with worried citizens, some soldiers become insubordinate, and resort to some impetuous actions; sedition will march with its head up: What would happen to the authors [deputies] of these measures when the general conflagration shall be lit everywhere, when the drunken people launches itself into the excesses whose extreme I fear to think of."12

At that point Bailly began to wonder if Mirabeau didn't have some particular advance knowledge of what was about to happen. He noted, "Mirabeau could have had some special intelligence to back up such a sense of prophecy."

As a precautionary measure, the National Assembly called for the King to order the troops and their artillery trains out of Paris. The King replied that it might be simpler if the Assembly were to consider moving the location of its deliberations outside of Paris. Bailly feared, and rightfully so, that, after the declaration of June 23, "perhaps the National Assembly will be dissolved ... since the King did declare that 'I alone will do the good for my peoples; alone I will consider myself to be their true representative.' " Bailly added, "This arbitrary coup of absolute authority, so strange under such circumstances, would have been backed up by those 20 or 30,000 men assembled with their artillery."13

July 9: The Assembly decided to plan three days of deliberations for the purpose of establishing the rights of man, the principle of the monarchy, the rights of the nation, the rights of the King, the rights of citizens, the principles of judicial power, the functions and duties of military power, and so on. Also, as a desperate means of sending a message to the King, the Assembly declared, "When the means of governing does not derive from the clearly expressed will of the people, there is no constitution; there is only a government which, in fact, varies with the circumstances, and which gives in to all events. Then, the authorities have more power to repress human beings than to guarantee their rights; those who govern and those who are governed are both miserable."14

July 10: Lafayette was voted in as vice president of the National Assembly, and he introduced a project for a declaration of human rights. A weak attempt was made by a British agent, M. de Tollendal, to discuss the British system, in which the rights of the King, of the barons, and of the people are considered together. Both propositions were sent to committees for further study.

July 13: The city council of Paris passed a resolution to confirm the establishment of the National Guard for the city of Paris, arguing that this would be sufficient to guard against all dangers and to guarantee peace and security for all citizens. M. de Leutres introduced a motion stating: "The National Assembly and the city of Paris are threatened by the greatest calamities; that new foreign troops were brought in to join those at Saint Denis, and around Paris; that these war preparations must create the greatest alarm in the hearts of the citizens; ... and that unless measures are taken immediately, this Monday, July 13 will be more disastrous than the July 13 of last year."15

Indeed, a considerable number of foreign regiments had been deployed. Bailly reported on July 10, that "the regiments of Provence and of Vintimille were stationed in Neuilly; the Royal-Cravat regiment, Helmstadt, the royal Polish regiment, were located in Sèvres and Meudon; Salis-Samade, Chateauvieux, and Diesbach, Swiss regiments (under the supervision of Baron de Besenval de Bronstadt); Berchini, Esterhazy, and Royal Dragoons were at the Champs de Mars with artillery equipment; other regiments were at Saint Denis, Besançon, and La Fère, plus several German regiments which were either at Saint Denis or somewhere else around Paris."

Necker Is Pulled Out

Just to indicate how carefully the plan was being prepared, on July 11, during a dinner with Necker, the King handed him a note ordering him to leave the country quietly and immediately. Very calmly, Necker left the dinner table with his wife, called for his coach, and drove to Saint-Ouen. There, he wrote a note to Madame de Staël, his daughter, telling her that he was leaving for Brussels at midnight.

Mirabeau made a cryptic statement to the Assembly concerning the exile of his enemy Necker: "We can only measure with terror, the pit of evils where yesterday's resolution could bring the fatherland; the exile of M. Necker, which was for a long time the wish of our enemies, has been consummated." In other words, in Mirabeau's mind, the enemy was recalling his agent away from the troubles to come. To which Bailly added: "I have to admit that Mirabeau was considering less the loss of Necker than the disastrous events which his exile portended."

Bailly was deputized to head a large delegation to see the King at Versailles, and to attempt to convince him to pull the foreign troops out of Paris, and replace them by the Paris Militia. But, the King kept insisting that he would not dismiss the foreign troops. Meanwhile, Lafayette was sitting as vice president, night and day, at the National Assembly, until further orders. Reaffirming a motion made by M. Biauzat, Lafayette called for the Assembly to recognize that the disorders in Paris had been instigated by the ministers. During the same meeting, the Assembly called for the distribution of arms to the citizens to form the Paris Militia.

M. de Flesselles, a recent deputy who had pledged a total of 42,000 rifles from M. de Pressoles, a gun manufacturer in Charleville, turned out to be a traitor, and did not deliver the rifles. The militia was to be composed of 60 battalions, forming 16 legions, and everyone was to wear the blue and red cocarde representing the city. Anyone wearing the colors of the city without being registered in the appropriate districts would be arrested. A large contingent from the French Guards joined the militia after they had an armed encounter with the Royal Germans on Place Louis XV in the heart of Paris.

July 14: The permanent committee for the Paris Militia was fully mobilized, while Lafayette was still presiding over the National Assembly. In Versailles, Bailly continued to try to get a restraining order from the King to pull the troops out of Paris, and avoid the clash between these so-called "royal troops" and the Paris Militia.

Bailly realized that the foreign troops had received the order to kill citizens, at random, and then to pull back, leaving the enraged people to run wild. “The agitation of the people, had changed to fury”, wrote Bailly. “It was clear that an order had been given to storm the Bastille”. A “Reichstag fire” provocation had been set up, and Bailly was doing everything he could to stop it.

As early as 8 o'clock in the morning, the cannons on the walls of the Bastille prison were aimed at the people who began to gather below. An early deputation was sent by Lafayette from the National Assembly to the prison, but it returned without success. Lafayette would send four separate delegations that day, with white flag and drum to convince Marquis de Launay, the governor of the Bastille, to spare the blood of the citizens. None of the deputations were received by him. Bailly wrote, "All day it was reported that citizens had been wounded by shots coming from the fortress. It was normal to conclude that, by all of the false rumors, and all of the false alarms that came from every quarter, that the idea was to maintain, and increase the agitation of the people and bring the Bastille under siege." Out of desperation, the Militia committee of the National Assembly took the following decision: "The permanent committee of the Paris Militia, considering that there should not be, in Paris, any other military force under the command of the city, appoints the deputies who are being sent to M. le Marquis de Launay, governor of the Bastille, to ask him if he would accept inside this place troops from the Paris Militia, who shall protect it with the troops that are already inside, and who should be put under the order of the city."16

The deputation was sent with a drummer and a white flag, but there was no one to receive them at the Bastille. The deputation reported that they saw "shooting from above and from below; from above on the multitude; from below, on the fort." For Bailly this situation was conclusive. "The fact is that somebody wants the siege of the Bastille, its destruction, and the death of its governor." It is reported that the governor would invite some citizens inside the fort, only to have them shot. This, to Bailly, was consistent with the fact that de Launay refused to meet with any of the delegations that the Assembly had sent to him. When the defenders of the fort pointed a cannon and fired a shot which killed three people below, the population erupted in fury. It was at that moment that 300 French Guards and a multitude of other people stormed the Bastille with cannons.

Why Defend an Unimportant Post?

Two notes addressed to the Bastille were later discovered. The first, addressed to M. du Puget, mayor of the Bastille, stated: "I am sending you, my dear du Puget, the order that you know is necessary; you will carry it. Paris, July 14. Besenval." The second message said: "M. de Launay, will hold to the very last extremity; I have sent him sufficient forces. This July 14. Besenval." The Swiss officer, Baron Pierre-Victor Besenval de Bronstadt, commanding officer of the foreign troops controlling the entire Paris region, including two Swiss regiments that never entered into action, wrote these two notes. Finally, the news came that the Bastille had been taken, and that M. de Launay had been carried out to City Hall, where he was murdered at the bottom of the steps.

Bailly concluded that, as far as de Launay is concerned, "there is no doubt that orders were given to defend himself to the very last; and I cannot conceive of the reason for this, because the Bastille was neither a citadel, nor an important post.... Whatever may have been his orders, a general insurrection was surely not intended; it necessarily had to force a modification of them. The Bastille was a prison and not a citadel; it was not worth defending at the cost of the people's blood; even the commandant of a post must defend himself differently, whether he is attacked by the people or by the enemies of the nation. This situation required more precise orders, much more appropriate to the circumstances of the moment, which were not known in Versailles, for taking the extreme decision to open fire and to massacre Frenchmen. De Launay has not recognized the deputations that were sent to him; furthermore it was his duty to call on the city to discuss [the situation] with him."17

Indeed, Bailly was able to reconstruct, piece by piece, how the storming of the Bastille had been a preplanned general insurrection orchestrated by the British-Swiss agents, Jacques Necker, Philippe Égalité, and Baron Besenval de Bronstadt, at the behest of their British masters Lord Shelburne and Bentham. Besenval's memoirs shed some interesting light on the matter.18

In his memoirs, Besenval wrote that, on July 12, 1789, he had taken the decision to "withdraw the troops, and leave Paris to its own fate." His timing was perfect. After sabotaging the shipment of arms destined to the National Guard of General Lafayette at the National Assembly, Besenval left the so-called "defense of Paris" in the hands of an enraged mob, just two days before Bastille Day. Although he was no longer in Paris on July 14, Besenval dispatched a messenger to the Bastille mayor and governor, ordering them to defend the prison to the very end, and at any cost. His signed note to the governor stated: "M. De Launay, will hold to the very last extremity; I have sent him sufficient forces." He later wrote that, because the King was convinced that there might be a popular revolt against him, he was relieved of his duties, and was ordered to leave France.

Besenval left Paris, but remained in France until the end of July, when he was arrested, and then immediately released, after Necker pleaded before the National Assembly, "on his knees," for Besenval's freedom. Necker was not going to abandon the man who had caused the expenditure of "100,000 men and 100 million bank notes." On the other hand, Bailly was not going to let the number-one terrorist of France go free. On July 31, Besenval was again arrested, and brought back to Paris, and put under the protective custody of the National Guard of Lafayette, personally, before he was to stand trial for the crime of high treason and for having laid the "siege of Paris." But, Necker intervened again, and succeeded in getting an acquittal, after the Swiss Guards intervened with a petition to spare his life. Besenval died of some undisclosed disease, in his home on June 2, 1791.

Lafayette

In his Memoires d'Outre-Tombe, Count de Chateaubriand adds this interesting twist to the characterization of Besenval: "Baron de Besenval, a liar and cynical voyeur of high society's corruption, a busy-body for all the childishness of the old monarchy, this heavy baron compromised in the affair of the Bastille, saved by M. Necker and by Mirabeau, only because he was Swiss: what a miserable wretch!"19

The End of the Feudal Regime

Relentless in their efforts, Bailly and Lafayette continued to fight for the completion of their "act of constitution," and finally succeeded in establishing the first part of the constitution in the form of a declaration of human and citizens' rights, which Lafayette, personally, had developed with the contribution of Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson, during their stay in Paris. Seventeen such rights were submitted and voted on, at the National Assembly on Aug. 4, 1789, and established that the constitution was explicitly founded for the purpose of "maintaining the happiness of all." That day was so inspiring that, during the evening meeting, the nobility agreed to abolish all of their rights and privileges. The decree of Aug. 4, 1789 stipulates, in Article I: "The National Assembly completely destroys the feudal regime."

The entire feudal system of privileges was brought down. The oligarchs screamed that this was the "Saint Bartholomew of possessions." Bailly noted: "Never have so many individuals sacrificed so much, and demonstrated so much generosity, by voting in one concerted action, and all at once. It is the night of destruction [of privileges] and of public happiness.... The feudal system that weighed on the people for centuries, has been destroyed in one blow, and in an instant. The National Assembly had accomplished more for the people in those few hours, than the most wise and enlightened nations have done during many centuries."20

Necker's Treason: A Still-Born Revolution

Four crucial facts can be established to make the case of high treason against Jacques Necker.

Fact number one: The objective of Necker's plan was to establish a French constitutional monarchy based on the British constitution, including the protection of privileges for the nobility. That objective required that the French National Assembly had to be subjugated, or destroyed, and that the protagonists of the American Revolution who had control over it had to be destroyed.

Fact number two: The June 17, 20, and 23 historical events of the National Assembly were putting Necker and his British masters, Lord Shelburne and Bentham, at risk of losing their control over France. Necker knew how to manipulate the King against Bailly and Lafayette. He estimated that Bailly would not be able to counter the emergency plan of "100,000 soldiers and 100 million bank notes." Bailly acknowledged, after July 14, that this amount of bank notes had effectively been printed. Necker's plan was simple: Either the National Assembly accepts the June 23 declaration of the King, or he will provoke the mob to storm the Bastille.

Fact number three: Necker foiled the plans of the Paris Militia by preventing the mobilization of 48,000 National Guardsmen under the command of Lafayette to protect Paris. Necker used a phony arms merchant, M. de Flesselles, to infiltrate the Assembly, and sabotage the efforts of the permanent committee to deliver rifles to the Paris Militia. In fact, the boxes marked "Artillery" that were received by the committee, the first delivery which was supposed to amount to 12,000 rifles, turned out to be filled with old clothes! Even on July 15, when the National Assembly named Lafayette to be commander-in-chief of the Paris Militia, the citizen-soldiers did not have their rifles. The arms were later found in the basement of Les Invalides, where Besenval had hid them after intercepting them.

Fact number four: Necker's British-Swiss associate, Baron Besenval de Bronstadt, kept his Swiss regiments out of action while giving his marching orders to M. de Launay to execute the Bastille plan to turn the Paris population into a brutal and bloody predator mob, a typical Roman Empire-style fascist "vox populi."

Fact number five: Necker's Bastille coup had been locally orchestrated from behind the scenes by the cousin of Louis XVI, the Duke of Orléans, who had his eyes on the throne, and was planning to become the "Jacobin King," with Necker as prime minister. Thus, Louis Philippe Joseph of Orléans changed his name to Philippe Égalité, got Danton and Robespierre to nominate him as a member of the Montagnard Jacobins, and get him a seat at the convention, where he called for the King's head. It was this Orléans faction that organized the regicide of Louis XVI, and sentenced him to death by the guillotine. The King was beheaded on Jan. 21, 1793. But, the plan did not unfold as anticipated, because Philippe Égalité was also to be guillotined, later that same year.

Necker's Plans for a National Bank

The following report by Bailly, on a speech by Mirabeau's father before the Assembly, further establishes the case of high treason against Necker: "M. de mirabeau senior, spoke against the plan that M. Necker proposed for a national bank. He said that a national bank should be based on an absolutely new concept, and not on the blind hopes of four articles of proceedings; that the minister's project opens up a vast field for speculators and gamblers, and does nothing but perpetuate unfavorable affairs. He warned against the danger of not being able to limit the amount of currency. Most of all, he asked that we be allowed to verify the accounts of the state's coffers. He saw in the minister's plan nothing but a veil covering up another veil; and he finally made the observation that the state does not need an intermediary body to deal with the necessary credit for the payment of the debt, and that this should be under the control of the finance committee [of the National Assembly]."

Bailly concluded: "The minister of finance should be informed that the National Assembly awaits his general plan for the purpose of examination; and meanwhile, the Assembly declares that the funds allocated to the public debt plus interest, shall be separated from the other expenses, and shall be under the control of an administrative body of the nation. ...

"M. Lavenue seriously indicted the activities of the Discount Bank. But M. Dupont de Nemours, who has also declared himself in favor of the Necker plan, defended the bank. No decision was taken."21

This knowledge alone should have been enough to get Necker out of the way, but no such action was ever successful against him. The senior Mirabeau did not have a better plan, because he was a staunch defender of François Quesnay and the Physiocrats.

The reason for Necker's strength is partially explained by the British control and financial backup of a clique of saboteurs of both the French Revolution and of the American Revolution. Historian Anton Chaitkin identified this point: "Most effective for the British side had been the 'irregulars' from the British-Swiss secret service, including: British espionage leader (and Aaron Burr's [Burr killed the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton] cousin) Jacques Mallet du Pan; Swiss banker (and Albert Gallatin's cousin [Gallatin, as Treasury Secretary destroyed U.S. finances]) Jacques Necker, who strangled the French kingdom's finances; and Jean-Paul Marat from Neufchatel and Geneva, who was trained for ten years by British intelligence in England before going on to murder thousands of France's intellectuals in the Reign of Terror."22

Necker's Push for the British System

Bailly knew that Necker had a heavy hand in writing the King's June 23 speech. In a postscript, Bailly intimated that it was Necker who sabotaged the revolution by creating the false opposition between the King and the National Assembly: "It seems certain to me that M. Necker had an important hand in shaping the [King's] declaration of June 23; that either he was upset because a few minor changes had been made to it, and that became the reason, or the excuse he used, for not attending the royal meeting, or, he was upset because he perceived, a little late, that the hateful blame would fall on the ministry, and he wanted to guard himself against it. In any event, he was entirely successful, because his manipulation led him to triumph" (pp. 306-7). Bailly thought that Necker was making a plan for the King to return to absolute power, and never suspected that he was actually attempting to get the King of France to adopt the British constitution.

Many years later, Madame de Staël wrote that her father, Necker, made a declaration to the King on the eve of June 23, 1789, which said in part: "Sire, what you must now do is to accede to the reasonable wishes of France, and resign yourself to adopt the British constitution. You will not personally suffer any constraints by adopting that rule of laws; since they shall never impose on you as many barriers as your own scruples do; and, by anticipating the desires of your nation, you will concede today what she might demand tomorrow." Madame de Staël cynically replied that "the declaration, as it was written, almost word for word, by Necker, was similar to the one given to Louis XVIII, at Saint Ouen, on May 2, 1814, twenty-five years after the opening of the Estates General. Are we not entitled to believe that the bloody circle of these 25 years would not have occurred, if only we had accepted on the very first day what the nation wanted then, and will never cease to want?"23

Was it so surprising that the Charter of the second Bourbon restoration of Louis XVIII, in 1814, was the official establishment of the British-styled constitutional monarchy in France, at the same time that it was consecrating the essential acquisitions of the Jacobin and Napoleonic counter-revolutions? Was that not the plan of "Orléanism," that France establish a historical Entente Cordiale with England, and become a liberal parliamentary system, as it continues to be to this day? The continuity of this filthy tradition was fully confirmed when the son of Philippe Égalité, Louis-Philippe I, became King, and reigned from 1830 until 1848, at the end of which time, another revolution forced him to seek exile in his favorite home away from home, England.24

British Agent Marat Deployed To Eliminate Bailly

On July 17, 1791, as Mayor of Paris, Bailly was forced to impose martial law on the city. The National Guard under the orders of General Lafayette, then general commandant of the Paris Militia, was provoked to fire on an enraged mob gathered at the Champs de Mars, where 24 people were killed. This was another set-up, like that of the Bastille. The purpose of the provocation was clear. After the events, both Bailly and Lafayette were branded as assassins of the people. This was the beginning of the end for both Bailly and Lafayette. As a result, Lafayette abandoned the revolution, and went into exile, on Aug. 19, 1792.25

Bailly was forced to resign on Sept. 19, 1791. In December of the same year, at Le Havre, Bailly refused to exile himself, and rejected the idea of fleeing to England, as a way to save his own life. Upon his return to Paris, where he expected the worst, he made a very courageous declaration. He stated, "The man who was in charge of a great administration has to stay and give account of his conduct, regardless of the threats against him."26

The historian Arago established how Jean-Paul Marat, also a British-Swiss agent, was the initiator of all of the slanders against Bailly, as soon as he arrived in Paris, under the cover of physician to one of the princes of the royal family. His first deployment, before sending thousands of French citizens to the guillotine, during the Reign of Terror, was to discredit and eliminate Bailly from the political scene. During the period that preceded the events of 1789, Marat had availed himself of the intimacy of the Duke de Villeroy, Governor of the city of Lyons, who promoted him to a competition in physics. As Arago puts it: "The prize so longed for and so singularly proposed was not obtained, however, by the Duke de Villeroy's candidate, but by the astronomer Flaugergues. From that instant, the pseudo-physicist became the bitter enemy of the scientific bodies of the whole universe, of whoever bore the title of an academician."

A month after the takeover of the Bastille, Marat returned from England, where he had been trained in Lord Shelburne's "radical writers club," and founded a Paris journal, The Friend of the People, for the explicit purpose of destroying both Bailly and Lafayette. Arago writes: "The mayor of Paris, the General Commandant of the National Guard, were the first objects, therefore, at which the pamphleteer aimed."27

Marat's denunciation of Bailly included three principal accusations: 1) Bailly was a pensioner of the King, 2) Bailly spent his entire life in the study of exact sciences, and 3) Bailly attempted to take advantage of the events of Aug. 30, by bringing to his person all of the authority of the municipality.28

The pros and cons of these accusations are not of any interest, in and of themselves. The nastiness of their effects, however, resides in their ability to influence the ignorance and littleness of the Parisian population, when they are bombarded with repeated lies. Arago notes, concerning Bailly: "The illustrious philosopher, the virtuous magistrate, gave no basis for any positive and decisive charges against him. The pamphleteer understood this well; and therefore adopted vague insinuations, that allowed no possible refutation, a method which, we may remark by the way, has not been without imitators. Marat exclaimed every day: 'Let Bailly send his accounts!' and the most powerful figure of rhetoric, as Napoleon said, repetition, finally inspires doubts in a stupid portion of the public, in some feeble, ignorant, and credulous minds in the Council of the Commune; and the credulous magistrate wished, in fact, to send in his accounts. Here they are in two lines: Bailly never handled any public funds. He left the Hôtel de Ville [City Hall], after having spent there two-thirds of his patrimony."29

Moreover, the accusations against Bailly were based on underlying assumptions that Marat, as a trained agent of British intelligence, maliciously used to manipulate public opinion: 1) "accepting a pension from the King is an infamy," 2) "the revolution has no need of science," and 3) "one central authority is despotism."

By Oct. 10, 1793, Bailly was brought in for judgment before the Jacobin court. He wrote his own defense, entitled "Bailly to His Fellow Citizens." The new accusation, treason against the revolution, was much more serious. Bailly was accused of having plotted the escape of King Louis XVI. The accusation read: "Whereas, according to the declarations of Louis-Charles Capet [Louis XVI], and of the Capet daughter, that Lafayette, favorite in all respects of the Capet widow, and Bailly, then mayor of Paris, were present during the escape from the Tuileries castle, and that they facilitated it with all of their power."

Bailly replied: "It is false that I had been at the Tuileries on the day of June 20; it is false that I have facilitated in any way the escape of the family of Louis. On the contrary, it is true that I did everything in my power to prevent it and to stop it." Then he began to describe what he and Lafayette did that day. He asserted that, because of the notices that he had received, and the worries that he had, he had "asked the Commanding General Lafayette to go to the Tuileries, which it was his responsibility to guard, and that he must instantly go and see what was happening, and that he should take all the security precautions which he deemed necessary. He replied that he would go to the castle, and would give the most strict orders; and that even though the alluded project seemed to him unlikely (these were his words), he would put an end to the execution of this plan. Lafayette effectively went to the castle; he came back to City Hall a little after midnight; and announced that all of the gates were closed, that he had himself made the change of the guards at all of the doors; and he added (these are his expressions that I remember very well) that not even a mouse could escape."

There is no doubt that this testimony is true, and that, not only would Bailly not engage in such an escapade, but neither was Lafayette capable of such a planned desertion. Such an action was uncharacteristic of either individual. Both Bailly and Lafayette were committed to establishing some kind of "constitutional monarchy," and Lafayette truly believed, as he stated, that "the real deserters are those men who have not abandoned their standards." We have shown elsewhere how this statement becomes tragically true in his own case, as Lafayette is forced to abandon the revolution, in August 1792.

At his trial, Bailly then said, "As for Lafayette, I wish to come back to this, because it is important for me to demonstrate that my relationship with him has never been suspect, and that it is wrongly that some take pleasure in associating me with the reproaches that public opinion holds against him. If Lafayette has involved himself into some intrigues, he knew my loyalty only too well to take me into his confidence: I have not participated in them, because I have always ignored them. I repeat it, there only existed between us a relationship of position, and no intimate personal relationship. I will admit it, I have tried to maintain, even at the cost of sacrifices, a good intelligence between him and me, because I have always thought that the tranquility of the capital depended a lot on the union of the Mayor of Paris and the chief of the national guard. My relations with Lafayette have been only those that any mayor must have with the commanding officer of the armed forces."30

A Profound Lapse of Modern History

Bailly and Lafayette knew they had been betrayed. On the evening of July 14, Bailly wrote the following note in his memoirs, realizing with sadness, that the lie of the vox populi had been victorious over the crucial work of the National Assembly: "These great changes had been carried out, and completely, by the decrees of the 17, 20, and 23 of June, but it was only for the eyes and the knowledge of the legislators and of the enlightened minds. The Bastille, taken and razed to the ground, spoke to everybody."

One might add, that the Bastille spoke the lie of vox populi to the ignorance of an enraged mob. In France, on that day, such was the razor-edge difference between truth and fiction. To this day, this crucial difference—between the days of national strength sealed by a few courageous men, on June 20, and the day of national weakness of the great majority of a little people, on July 14—is still not recognized, and remains one of the most profound political lapses of modern history.

However, history may be grateful that Bailly restored the truth of the matter: "We suspected the existence of a great plan, and that the execution of this great plan had been fixed for the night of the 14 to 15 [of July]. It is certain that the governor of the Bastille, who had foreknowledge of it, had moved all of his belongings several days before; there only remained the large furniture affixed under seal. I was told that, in Paris, the Swiss barracks were filled with munitions; that many of them saw a plan to envelop and take over the Palais-Royal [sic]. I was told that, in Magdebourg, before receiving news of the events of the 13 and 14th of July, the sons of a French general officer, working under M. de Broglie around Paris, had the news that Paris was going to be attacked on seven fronts. I was told that the execution of that project required 100,000 men and 100 million [bank notes]. It is true that a considerable number of troops were all over Paris, and that state-notes had been printed. M. Necker was an awkward witness; he had to be sent away. He was sent into exile, and there are reasons to believe that he had been forewarned, since M. de Broglie complained that he, himself, had not been warned, and that the orders had been given precipitously during the night of the 10th to the 11th. Letters which have been seized from officers show that they had orders to get closer to Paris on the 13th and 14th. If we compare this with the language of the responses that the King was told to give ('I must use the necessary means which are in my power, in order to restore and maintain order in the capital and its surroundings'; this was said on the 10th: on the 13th he said: 'I have already made my intentions known to you concerning the measures that the disorders in Paris had forced me to take. It is solely my decision to judge of their necessity, and I cannot, in that respect, make any changes.'), visibly, the plan was being followed."31

Not only does Bailly make it absolutely transparent that Necker was involved in printing 100 million in bank notes to pay a mercenary army of 100,000 men to take over Paris, but that the plan was also to take over the National Assembly, and prevent, in France, a replay of the American Revolution. This is the true reason why Bailly was put to death.

On the rainy day of November 12, 1793, Bailly was brought, his hands tied behind his back, before a furious populace. For three hours, he was paraded, half-naked and freezing, before a mob which was throwing rocks at him, hitting him with sticks, and spitting in his face. Rain was pouring down his body, and he was weak and shivering. Like his glorious predecessor, Jeanne d‘Arc, Bailly humbly accepted his fate. "You are trembling, Bailly?" asked one of the guards. "Yes, my friend, because of the cold," serenely replied Bailly, as he walked up to the scaffold and put his head beneath the blade to receive the deadly blow. Bailly died at the age of 57.

Long Live June 20!

Two important points must be made here if one is to have a coherent understanding of the historical role played by Bailly and Lafayette, at the beginning of the French Revolution. First, the official line that is peddled by French historians, and sanctioned by the French authorities, and which comes from another British asset, François Furet, is an abominable lie, and a complete fallacy of composition:32 The National Assembly did not establish its strength based on the support of the barristers' protection of the "property-owning rentier bourgeois class," which was asserting the sovereignty of "democracy over monarchy." Furet makes the events of the establishment of the National Assembly sound like a poverty-pimp operation. This is frankly disgusting, totally slanderous, and a defamation of Bailly and Lafayette and their noble efforts.

On the contrary, the revolution was born out of the courage and willful determination of only a handful of people, whose grand design was to unite with Benjamin Franklin's efforts to establish an international conspiracy that would eradicate the tyranny of absolute monarchy. The French Revolution would have had a better chance at republican freedom under the authority of a Bailly type of constitutional monarchy, rather than under a bloody British-controlled terror, followed by the fascist imperialist Napoleon Bonaparte, and a British-controlled "Orléanism"; an unfortunate situation which has been perpetuated until today.

It is a disgrace to the human race that on July 14, the French people continue to celebrate the victory of the Swiss cabal of Necker, Philippe Égalité, Baron Besenval, Marat, and of their British masters of the Bastille. Isn't it time that French poodles stop sniffing up to British bulldogs, and put an end to the charade of celebrating this British holiday, known as Bastille Day? It is also shameful that France continues to give credit to a treasonous, still-born revolution, based on the vox populi that had been rejected by the National Assembly only a month earlier,33 while the highest moment of statesmanship and of honor that France had known, was represented by the days surrounding the Tennis Court Oath, on June 20, 1789. Why has the truth of this matter never been made public in France?

It is time to restore the truth of history in this matter, and let it be known, for the sake of future generations, that those few extraordinary hours during the French Revolution, had resonated to the international call of Benjamin Franklin to put an end to the tyranny of oligarchism worldwide. It is time for an axiomatic change.

Vive Bailly! Vive le 20 juin! Vive la France!

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Footnotes


[1] Messrs. Berville et Barrière, Mémoires de Bailly (Paris: Beaudoin Frères, 1821), Vol. I, p. iii. Bailly has also written for the Académie Française, a number of eulogies on Corneille, Molière, Charles V (1767), and a little gem: Éloge de Leibnitz (1768). His published scientific works are: Théorie des Satellites de Jupiter (1771), Histoire de l'Astronomie Ancienne (1775), Histoire de l'Astronomie Moderne (1776), Lettres sur les Origines des Sciences (1777), Lettres sur l'Atlantide de Platon (1779), and Rapport sur l'Hôtel-Dieu (1787). There is also a posthumous Essai sur les Fables (1810), in which Bailly develops the idea that the Gods of Olympus were human heroes turned into divinities.

[2] Jean-Sylvain Bailly, Éloge de Leibnitz (Berlin: Haude et Spener, 1768), p. 1. The towering figure of Gottfried Leibniz has often been discussed by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. and associates. See for example, LaRouche, "Leibniz from Riemann's Standpoint," Fidelio, Fall 1996; Gabriele Liebig, "Leibniz, Cantor, and LaRouche on the Human Mind," EIR, Oct. 1, 1993.

[3] In his Éloge de Leibnitz, Bailly sums up Leibniz's contribution to geometry in the following manner, demonstrating that he was a Leibnizian of the highest order. "The partisans of Descartes were unable to see beyond their own principles and opinions, and seemed to think that Descartes had put an end to the field of the sciences. It is then that Leibniz proposed to them the problem relative to the isochrone curve and to the paracentric curve, and demonstrated to them the usefulness of his principles by showing the impotence of the old method in solving these problems. Only Huygens was able to rise to the task, and he became the first to bring a solution to the first problem. But, even the Bernoulli brothers failed for a long time to solve the second problem, and succeeded only after they had internalized the Leibnizian principles. These illustrious geometers, in turn, challenged him by proposing the problems of the catenary and of the brachistochrone, which were immediately solved by Leibniz. The solution to these problems also depended on the integral calculus, whose principles were born out of the principles of the differential calculus. However, nature which has revealed the art of decomposition of magnitudes and of reducing them to their ultimate elements, does not always permit going from those elements back to their very magnitudes. Here science is limited: either because the principle is beyond the human mind, or because its knowledge is preserved for some future centuries, to whoever would become the author of a third revolution in the sciences, following in the footsteps of Descartes and of Leibniz. The difficulty resides in discovering if any differential has its integral, and if those that present themselves by accident are not often similar to those ruins of superb Asia, where an uncertain art searches in vain for the plan of the edifice. Leibniz, this interesting question was worthy of your genius! You have occupied yourself at solving this difficulty, and too great to flatter yourself without a cause, you were laying claim to unshared successes! Going down with Newton in the abyss of the infinite, you were the only one who climbed back to the edge, and there, deploying your art of reconstruction of magnitudes, you might have said to your rival: It was easy to go down to these dark shores, but my glory is to have come back to the light again" (emphasis added) (Op. cit. pp. 18-19).

[4] François Arago, Biographies of Distinguished Scientific Men (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1859), p. 116. Arago is a scientist of the École Polytechnique, in the tradition of its founders, Lazare Carnot and Gaspar Monge.

[5] Bailly, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 217. The son of Victor Riquetti, the Marquis de Mirabeau (1715-89), was a follower of Quesnay and the Physiocrats. Honoré Gabriel Riquetti, the Count of Mirabeau (1749-91), was a famous public speaker of the National Assembly and a staunch royalist who, like Bailly and Lafayette, rejected absolute monarchy. He was rejected by the nobility because he advocated the principle of sovereignty of the people. He promoted equality of religions and the suppression of privileges for the nobility. In 1789, Mirabeau published a Secret History of the Berlin Court, after he had been sent on a secret mission to Prussia by Charles Alexander de Calonne. Calonne was the Comptroller General of Finances in 1785, who sought exile in England in 1787, after Necker "pushed" him out. It is reported that during the revolution, up until 1802, when he was rehabilitated back into France, Calonne had been providing the armies of the princes, and of the émigrés, with military expenses. As for Mirabeau, there was a constant suspicion that he may have been a double agent. He is said to have intrigued against Lafayette, and that the truth of his treachery against the revolution was finally found in a metal armory, discovered in 1792, a year after his death. We must look further into this matter.

[6] Bailly, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 159.

[7] Bailly, op. cit., Vol. I, pp. 164-65.

[8] Bishop Charles Maurice Talleyrand is, without a doubt, one of the most venal, immoral, hypocritical, and swinish characters that ever pretended to serve France. He was made deputy of the clergy at the Estates General of 1789, and president of the Constituent Assembly in 1790. He was the number-one British asset from the high clergy and for the Duke of Orléans. He was sent to London by the legislature, after which he was accused of having conspired for the benefit of the Orléans faction, against the King of France. After the revolution, he became a key player in Napoleon's empire, and later, a crucial asset to the Bourbon restoration. He also played an important role in the perversions of the 1815 Congress of Vienna. Talleyrand never hesitated in betraying whatever regime he served, when it was convenient for his British masters. He was the consummate French political whore.

[9] Bailly, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 169.

[10] Bailly, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 191. There exist two known pictorial representations of this historical Tennis Court Oath. One is an engraving by M. Jazet, and the other is a painting by L. David, dated 1791. It is unclear if the actual signed document of the declaration is still in existence.

[11] Bailly, op. cit., Vol. I, pp. 214-15.

[12] Bailly, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 294.

[13] Bailly, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 299.

[14] Bailly, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 305.

[15] Bailly, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 322.

[16] Bailly, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 377. (See also the newspaper Le Courrier de Provence, no. 23, 1789.)

[17] Bailly, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 386.

[18] Mémoires du Baron de Besenval sur la Cour de France (Paris: Mercure de France, 1987). Pierre Victor Baron de Besenval was born in Soleure, in 1721, by a Swiss father and a Polish mother. His father had been made a noble under Louis XIV, and became Baron of Bronstadt. His mother was a Polish cousin of Marie Leczynska of the royal family. From 1713 until 1721, the father, Jean-Victor Besenval, Jr., was Louis XIV's Ambassador to Warsaw. Pierre-Victor Besenval married Catherine Bielinska, the daughter of Francis Bielinski, marshal of the Court Guards under Stanislas Leczynski. When Louis XV married the daughter of the dethroned King of Poland, Mme. Besenval became a "personage" at Versailles.

During the French Revolution, Besenval became a British asset who, in alliance with Necker, Marat, and his Genoese associate, Mallet du Pan, set up the massacre of the Bastille.

Besenval's greatest hatred was oriented against the work accomplished by Bailly and Lafayette, in the National Assembly. Officially, however, his enemy is the Baron de Beaumarchais, an ally of the American Revolution, and the author of the French plays The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro, the most powerful satire against the rotten nobility of the time.

In 1789, Besenval was made commander-in-chief of the Paris garrison, and of the surrounding provinces of Soissonnais, Berry, Bourbonnais, Orléans, Touraine, and Maine. In May 1789, it was Besenval who was responsible for the shooting at the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, and who successfully convinced the minister of war, Count of Puysegur, to increase the militarization of Paris, which became the crucial instrument in provoking the French populist mob against the Bastille. Even Besenval's biographer admits that the "decision to withdraw the troops and leave Paris to its own devices," led the "populace to pillage Les Invalides, and to march on the Bastille." This decision was taken by Besenval regardless of the explicit message from the King, which ordered him to "repel force with force."

[19] Chateaubriand, Mémoires d'Outre Tombe (Paris: La Pléiade, Tome I), p. 185.

[20] Bailly, op. cit., Vol. II p. 216.

[21] Bailly, op. cit., Vol. III, pp. 294-95.

[22] Anton Chaitkin, Treason in America (Washington, D.C.: Executive Intelligence Review, 1999), p. 59.

[23] Madame de Staël, Considérations sur la Révolution Française, quoted in Bailly, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 460.

[24] The degeneration of the counter-revolution into the imperial insanities and the killing fields of the Napoleonic era, as well as the several Bourbon restorations, only goes to demonstrate that France was never able to bring back the spirit of Bailly and Lafayette until Charles de Gaulle instituted the Fifth Republic after World War II.

[25] Contrary to Bailly, Lafayette chose self-exile rather than to defend his actions. Even though he was an American Revolutionary War hero, and had made crucial contributions with Bailly to the cause of the French Revolution, his commitment to the aristocracy represented a crucial flaw of character, as exemplified by the tone of his letters to Mme. de Simiane, one of the ladies-in-waiting of Marie Antoinette. Mme. de Simiane was a Lafayette "confidante" and a regular "correspondante" who was trying to convert him away from the revolution, and win him over to her brand of "conservative royalism." In one of his many letters, Lafayette replied to her in the following manner: "I cannot tell you how much sorrow your letter has caused me. This Revolution that I had long wished for, that my efforts have, in part, provoked, that I defend with all my might, is making all those I love unhappy. I will be devoted to it until my dying day, but all the charms it had for me have been poisoned by the effect it has on the people dearest to my heart." This is the Romantic flaw of Lafayette. It was, indeed, very unfortunate that the people closest to his heart were not the citizens of France.

[26] Bailly, op. cit., Vol. I, p. XXV.

[27] Arago, op. cit., p. 189.

[28] There exists a defense of Bailly by Prudhomme in the Révolutions de Paris, No. 12.

[29] Arago, op. cit., p. 190.

[30] Bailly, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 407.

[31] Bailly, op. cit., Vol. I, pp. 390-91.

[32] François Furet, Revolutionary France, 1770-1880 (Oxford: Blackwell, 1988). Incapable of recognizing the true patriotic character of Bailly's Assembly, Furet distorts the facts by peddling the popular opinion of the British secret service concerning partisan bourgeois interests. "The next day, it [the National Assembly] assigned itself the vote on taxation and placed the state's creditors 'under the guard of the honor and uprightness of the French nation.' This was a clever way of telling the Parisian bourgeois, who were so near at hand, that if bankruptcy was a royal custom, then the protection of the property-owning rentier democracy was a revolutionary innovation. Truly a different sovereignty had just been baptized: the Revolution had been born." Thus, Furet chose the right moment for identifying the beginning of the Revolution, but, as a typical British agent, identified it with the wrong reason.

[33] This is the reason why the name of National Assembly was chosen, as opposed to the proposal of Mirabeau: "Representatives of the French People." This way, the name of "National Assembly" would avoid the use of the word "people" precisely as a way to avoid the degenerate implication of the "vox populi."


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