William Godwin's Diary


Lafayette was re-instated as Commander of the National Guard during the July Revolution but quickly became convinced that the government was not sufficiently republican. On 24 December the Chamber of Deputies approved an article that forbid any National Guard commander to control an area larger than a commune. Lafayette said he would resign before his post was abolished, refuse the honorary title and retire to his remote chateau of La Grange in central France. Hoping to avoid a breach, the ministry asked him to stay on as commanding general of the Paris National Guard, which Lafayette agreed to if the Chamber of Peers was replaced by a body made up of ‘sincere friends of the revolution’, the franchise was greatly extended and a new, left-wing ministry formed. On 26 December, Louis rejected Lafayette’s demands and sent him a curt note accepting his resignation. Lafayette stepped down with immediate effect in order to maximise disruption but Paris remained calm.

See Munro Price, The Perilous Crown: France Between Revolutions, 1814-1848 (London: Macmillan, 2007).