GUARDS

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GUARDS ; troops whose particular duty it is to defend the person of a civil or military ruler. In modern times, the term guard has been used to designate corps distinguished from the troops of the hue by superior character, or only by rank and dress. The interest of the governors being often different from that of the governed, and the rulers being also often liable to be called to account for the evils suffered by the people, sovereigns have had guards from the most ancient times. The Assyrian and Persian monarchs had body GUARDS, from whom the generals of the troops were taken. Alexander formed a guard of nobles, and many such have existed in modern times. These guards of Alexander were the sons of the noblest persons of the empire, and were divided into two classes. The inferior class guarded the exterior of the palace or tent, took care of the king's horses, &c. From among them were chosen the hetceri, or friends, who dined with the monarch, and, in the field and at the chase, never left his side. Two of their number watched his bedroom. He promoted them to be generals ; and several of them, after his death, became monarchs of those countries which, during his life, they had ruled as his governors. Still more like modem guards were the argyraspides (the silversi lielded), commanded by Nicanor, son of Parmenio. The praetorians (q. v.) were the guards of the Roman emperors, and, n later times, had the greatest influence on the election of the emperors, sometimes the entire control of it. In their licentiousness and political importance they re sembled the janizaries, the guards of the sultan. In fact, in eveiy real despotism, the tendency of the body guards is, to become the masters. (See Janizaries.) At a later period, the trabants and hatschicrs (archers) guarded the persons of the RomanGerman emperors; and similar troops were maintained at other courts. In the middle ages, distinguished persons, in turbulent cities, often had guards; at least, this was frequently the case in the larger cities of Italy, and, at one time, eveiy cardinal had his own guard. The Corsicans were then employed for this service in Rome. But, until recent times, guards were merely destined to protect the person of the monarch, or some distinguished person. When the interest of the monarch is different from that of the nation, it is safer to choose foreigners for bodyguards, as not having any interest in the disputes between the two parties; hence the Scotch archers of Louis XI, and the Swiss of the Bourbons. In France, their number seems first to have been augmented by the ostentatious Louis XIV, the idol of monarchists. As his plan of government was, to avail himself of the commons against the nobles, and of a standing army against the commons, the number and importance of the guards were much increased. The niaison du roi in his reign amounted to 8000 men, but still retained, more or less, the character of household troops,that is, it was their duty to guard the person and palaces of the kings. Most monarchs had similar troops, and many of the smaller ones were distinguished for the splendor of their guards. The petty princes of Germany had brilliant corps of Swiss, Heydukers, &c. Frederic the Great led his battalion of bodyguards into the fire, like other troops. He had several battalions of infantry and several squadrons of cavalry as guards ; troops of distinguished courage and remarkable height. Height, at this time, was considered one of the chief excellences of a soldier. The guards were, therefore, to excel all other troops in this quality; and they were indeed a rare collection of giants. The Russian guards were more numerous. In 1785, they amounted to 10,000 men. Napoleon's, however, were the finest GUARDS, and among the finest troops that ever existed. He relates (in Las Cases's Memorial, vol. 2, page 33, edit, of 1824), that his narrow escape; from being taken prisoner, in a castle on the Mincio, led to the establishment of troops whose destination was the personal safety of the commander. He call ed them guides : these were bodyguards When he became the head of the government, and all Europe was arrayed against the revolutionary principles of France, it was natural, more particularly after he had conceived the plan of reestablishing a hereditary throne, that he should wish to have a corps, which might serve, in every respect, as a model to his whole army, and which, at the same time, would be particularly attached to him. He therefore instituted his consular guards, and, afterwards, the imperial guards, which formed a complete corps d^armee, with artillery and cavalry, and of which he made use, in battles, only in decisive moments. He could confidently rely on them. They were the elite of the army : none were admitted who had been punished by a courtmartial. In 1812, the imperial guards consisted of one division of old guards (three regiments of gardegrenadiers and two regiments of gardechasseurs) and two divisions of young guards, consisting of six regiments of gardetirailleurs', six regiments of gardevoltigeurs, one regiment of gardechasseurs, one regiment of gardegrenadiers, one of gardejlanqueurs, each containing two battalions of 800 men. The cavalry consisted of grenadiers, dragoons, chasseurs, chevaux legers, landers, Mamelukes and gendarmerie $ elite. The artillery had J 20 pieces of cannon. After the disasters of 1812, the imperial guard was reoiganized on the same basis. Every one knows how nobly the old guards left the stage of history on the field of Waterloo. When Louis XVIII was put upon the throne of his brother, he abolished the imperial guards a measure which, according to some writers, he afterwards regrettedand, instead of them, the ancient household troops weie again introduced, which had been, m part, abolished, even before the revolutionthe gardesducorps, the gardesdelaporte, the cent Swisses, the mousqueiaires noirs and gris, &c, most of them commanded by emigrants, two of the bodies by Berthier and Marmont. The cent Swisses looked ridiculously in their dress, which appeared ludicrous even before the revolution. But, after the hundred days, real guards were established, and several battalions ofSwiss. The fate of both, in July, 1830, is well known. (See France.) There are now no royal guards in France. In England, the household troops or guards consist of the lifeguards, the royal regiment of horseguards, and three regiments of footguards. In Russia, the guards form a numerous corps, which, on the death of Alexander, and previously, showed that many among them had the spirit which, as we have said, the guards of despots always have, more or less; though, at present, Russia has nothing to fear from them similar to the conduct of the Strelitz (q. v.), because even the Russian autocrat governs, in some degree, by means of laws. The Prussian guards form a whole corps d'armee. In Austria, the guards, though more numerous than formerly, are still merely bodyguards of the sovereign, and therefore their number is comparatively small. Noble guards, in which only sons of noblemen could serve, have sometimes been formed, a private in which had the rank of ensign. They have generally proved useless in moments when their services were needed. Guards, National; an institution which has acquired historical importance in the politics of France, and, according to all appearance, will now become more important than ever. It was desirable that the popular party, in the beginning of the revolution, should have forces on which they could rely, both for maintaining order and resisting the attempts of the court party, in case it should be necessary ; as, for instance, the court had early marched 30,000 men, under the duke de Brogiie, towards Paris. July 13, 1789, after great disorders had occurred in Paris, and the day before the Bastile was taken, a municipal committee was formed in the huteldeville, to provide for safety and order. They invited the lieutenant of the police to advise with them; and, within a few hours, "a plan was prepared for arming the citizens. The armed force was to consist of 48,000 men, to be drawn from the various electoral districts. They first adopted green as their color, taking branches of trees as their badges ; but, as it was remembered that this was the color of the lively of the count d'Artois (afterwards Charles X, brother of Louis XVI), who was highly unpopular on account of his arbitrary sentiments, it was abandoned; and it is commonly believed that the colors of the city of Paris (blue and red), were united with that of the king (white). But the origin of the tricolor is not quite certain. (See the article Tncolor.) The plan of arming a portion of the citizens was adopted with great readiness, because it was necessary to preserve order. This is the origin of the national guards, afterwards so important. On the 14th, the Bastile was taken; on the 15th, Bailly, president of the assembly, was made mayor of Paris, and the marquis de La fayette commandantgeneral of the militia of Paris. June 12, 1790, the national assembly decreed that, to enjoy the rights of citizenship, it was necessary to be a member of the national guard. September 29, 1791, a decree was issued for the organization of the national guards. A standing municipal and departmental national guard was herewith established, to be raised by voluntary enlistment, in the proportion of 1 to every 20 citizens; they chose their own officers, and received pay, arms and uniform. The solemn declaration of the national assembly, December 29, 1791, that the French nation renounces all wars of conquest, and will never employ its arms against the liberty of any nation, was connected with this measure. In May, 1792, the number of the battalions of the departmental national guards was fixed at 216. But the measures of Austria and Prussia, as well as the arming of the emigrants on the frontier, obliged the French government to assume a military attitude ; and the national guards became a great support to the army, by diffusing a military spirit throughout the nation, and training many individuals, who afterwards joined the army. October 5, 1795 (13 Vendemiaire), Bonaparte, acting under Barras, led the troops of the convention against the national guards of the sections of Paris, who had declared against the system of terrorism. In consequence of the events of this day, the staff of the national guard of Paris was dissolved, October 8, and the command conferred upon the commanderinchief of the army of the interior; and thus the genuine national guard, a militia, under the civil authorities, destined to maintain order, was abolished. Some months later, the directory introduced movable columns, in lieu of the stationary departmental guards. August 12, 1797, the two legislative councils gave the national guards a new organization, of which Napoleon retained the essential features, but adapted to his military policy. Numerous legions were formed, which watched the coasts and fortresses on the frontiers, or served in the interior, whilst a numerous gendarmerie, entirely distinct from the national guards, formed a powerful and active police, with a military organization. In 1810, Napoleon formed a regiment of four battalions of the. national guards, which had distinguished themselves on the occasions when the English had landed. This regiment was called the national guards of the guards. March 13, 1812, Napoleon issued the decree for the formation of the national guards in three bans, as they were called, of which the first comprised all men capable of bearing arms, from 20 to 26 years of age ; the second, all ablebodied men from 26 to 40 years; the third, or arricre ban, all men fit for service, from 40 to 60 years. Of the first ban, he called out 100 cohorts, of 1000 men each, for active service, who were not to fight beyond the frontiers; but, in 1813, they declared, at least a part of them, their willingness to serve beyond the frontiers. The correspondence between Napoleon and Joseph, his brother, just before the entrance of the allies into Paris, shows that the emperor still relied on the national guards for the defence of the capital; but the want of arms, the defection of the highest civil and military officers, and, more than all, the aversion of the people to a continuance of the struggle, prevented such a measure. After the restoration of the Bourbons, the government endeavored to make the national guards dependent upon itself. Monsieur (the brother of the king) was appointed commanderinchief of all the national guards of France, The guards were not allowed to choose any of their officers (see France,, in 1818); but, in 1818, the staff of the national guards was dissolved, and Monsieur resigned the chief command. The national guards were again put under the prefect and the minister of the interior. April 29, 1827, the national guard of Paris, on an occasion when it was reviewed by the king, having ventured to demand the removal of the ministry (that of Villele, see France), end the banishment of the Jesuits, was dissolved on the 30th. It was revived at Paris, during the memorable days of July, 1830. July 30, general Lafayette was appointed, by the provisionary government, commanderinchief of the national guards, in which office he was confirmed by king Louis Philip, receiving, at the same time, the marshal's staff. The new charter " intrusts the charter and the rights which it consecrates to the patriotism and courage of the national guard and all the citizens" (article 66); so that it would seem, the national guards have Decome a fundamental institution of the kingdom, and cannot again be constitutionally abolished. Complaints have been made, that the command of this immense power is left in the hands of one man, and that the national guards are not, as formerly, a municipal force for the maintenance of order. An ordinance of October 9, 1830, reorganizes the national guards. They are divided into movable and stationaiy; the first, composed of men from 20 to 30 years of age, inclusive, and only to be called into service by a law, or, while the chambers are not in session, by an ordinance, which must become a law during the next session, is to be " an auxiliary of the army for the defence of the territory,the guard of the frontiers, to repel invasion, and maintain public order in the interior." Corporals, subalterns and sublieutenants are to be elected by the members; the other officers are to be appointed by the king. When this body is organized, the members are subject to military discipline; yet, when the national guards refuse to obey orders, or leave their corps without authority, they are to be punished only by imprisonment, not to exceed five years. The Prussian Landwehr is something similar, but more military in its organization, without the privilege of choosing officers, and subjected to an absolute military discipline. (See Militia.) The citizen guards established in Belgium auring the revolution of the year 1830, were an imitation of the French national guards.