CHAPTER IV. FROM APRIL, 1791, TO THE 3OTH SEPTEMBER. THE END OF THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY

This constitution was, however, less democratic than that of the United States, which had been practicable, despite the extent of the territory, proving that it is not the form of institutions, but the assent which they obtain, or the dissent which they excite, which permits or hinders their establishment. In a new country, after a revolution of independence, as in America, any constitution is possible; there is but one hostile party, that of the metropolis, and when that is overcome, the struggle ceases, because defeat leads to its expulsion. It is not so with social revolutions among nations who have long been in existence. Changes attack interests, interests form parties, parties enter into contest, and the more victory spreads the greater grows opposition. This is what happened in France. The work of the constituent assembly perished less from its defects than from the attacks of faction. Placed between the aristocracy and the multitude, it was attacked by the one and invaded by the other. The latter would not have become sovereign, had not civil war and the foreign coalition called for its intervention and aid. To defend the country, it became necessary that it should govern it; then it effected its revolution, as the middle class had effected its own. It had its 14th of July in the 10th of August; its constituent assembly, the convention; its government, which was the committee of public safety; yet, as we shall see, without emigration there would have been no republic.

THE NATIONAL LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY