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Jean Maximilien Lamarque (1770–1832) was a French commander during the Napoleonic Wars who later became a member of French Parliament. As an opponent of the Ancien Régime, he is known for his active suppression of Royalist and Legitimist activity. His death was also the catalyst of the Parisian June Rebellion of 1832, which formed the basis for the uprising depicted in Victor Hugo's novel Les Misérables.

Contents

Biography

Born in Saint-Sever in the Landes department of France, Lamarque joined the army in 1791 and rose to the rank of General. In Italy, he led one of six armies under the command of Napoleon’s adopted son Eugène de Beauharnais. In 1810, he was created a baron of the French Empire. When Napoleon was exiled to Elba in 1814, Lamarque remained loyal, returning to the emperor's service during the Hundred Days. Also during this period, Lamarque commanded a division of ten thousand men against a Royalist uprising in La Vendée[1].

After the Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon was again exiled from France. Lamarque also went into exile, returning in 1818 and becoming politically active as a leftist. In 1828, he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies, representing the département of Landes. There, Lamarque was a popular representative of leftist factions. Despite his history as a general under Napoleon, he was given command of military forces in 1830 in order to suppress Legitimist risings against the July Monarchy.

The rioting (on 5 June and 6 June) following his death was an action provoked by Bonapartists and republicans. It was suppressed by the Army and National Guard; an estimated 800 were killed or wounded during the conflict. While the violence broke out following the funeral of Lamarque, some modern historians name as its cause other political issues related to the June Rebellion, feeling that Lamarque's death was simply a convenient excuse for the rebels. The uprising was of brief duration and failed to spread beyond Paris.

In Les Misérables

Victor Hugo’s novel Les Misérables includes a fictional account of the brief uprising which followed General Lamarque's death. In Les Misérables, Hugo views Lamarque as the government's champion of the poor. The insurrection is a failure in the novel as it was in history, but is romanticized in the novel and its various adaptations for film, radio, and stage.

References

  • Alfred Cobban, A History of Modern France, 1992.
  • Jill Harsin, Barricades: The War of the Streets in Revolutionary Paris, 1830–1848, 2002.
  • Vincent J. Esposito and John Elting, A Military History and Atlas of the Napoleonic Wars, 1999.

Footnotes

  1. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition Waterloo Campaign
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