President MacMahon Honors his OathAll of us who served the United States in the armed forces took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. The time has come to keep that promise.
In late 1873, following the disasters of the Franco-Prussian War and the Paris Commune, the provisional government of the French Third Republic finally decided to appoint a permanent president. The choice fell upon Patrice Marie Edme Maurice de MacMahon (1808-1893). MacMahon, scion of an Irish family that had lived in France for nearly two centuries and held patents of nobility from both the Bourbons and Bonapartes, had had a distinguished military career, rising to marshal, and had been serving for several months as the third provisional president of the Republic. Now MacMahon was both a conservative and a monarchist, and had commanded the troops who suppressed the Paris Commune in 1871. So there was fear in some circles, and hope in others, that he might use his office to institute a monarchist restoration.
One day, in November of 1873, MacMahon was approached by the Count de Chambord, Bourbon claimant to the throne. The Count inquired as to whether MacMahon would favor a restoration of the monarchy. French being a language that allows of great nuance, the Count’s words implied that the erstwhile royal family would be quite happy to assist MacMahon in a coup d’etat to restore the monarchy, with Chambord ascending the throne as "Henry V."
The Count must have been very surprised at MacMahon’s reply, which, loosely translated, was, “I could not betray the people of France, who had entrusted me with the safety of the Republic.”
Although MacMahon remained at heart a monarchist, and staunchly favored conservative policies, he stuck to this principle throughout his presidency, until he resigned in early 1879.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
A Positive Example
From the Strategy Page: