The encouragement of rebellions within France was not only essential if the allies were to take the émigrés seriously, as well as being a condition of any British support, it also made military and political sense. In the end it was the policy which was to succeed, although in considerably changed circumstances. The émigrés were anyway convinced that the French people had been led astray in their search for novelties by a handful of wicked men. Once these were suitably punished then a volatile nation would return gratefully to the traditional order for which they really hankered. This illusion was not to be dented even by the hostile reception given to the émigrés by the peasantry during the brief invasion of 1792. It was not, however, just their usual infinite capacity for self-delusion which was responsible for this. The princes for the most part were deeply ignorant of provincial France. They had to rely for information on spy networks such as the Paris Agency which passed on its observations to d’Antraigues. Not only was it often pure fiction to start with, it was selected by d’Antraigues to reinforce his own opinions. In addition, the princes received information from various disaffected individuals who found their way to their Court from rebellious areas. They always had a particular case to present and always gave a highly optimistic view of their chances of success.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- The Popular Counter-Revolution
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number