The Hundred Days and the Birth of Popular Bonapartism in Paris
This essay examines the meaning and significance of the fédérés (federates) movement in Paris during the Hundred Days, which sought to mobilize popular support for Napoleon. The fédérés were motivated not by attachment to the imperial regime that had fallen in 1814 but by fidelity to the French revolutionary tradition and hostility to the First Restoration and the Bourbon dynasty. The fédération ouvrière (workers’ federation) evolved into the fédérés-tirailleurs (federated skirmishers), a militia drawn from the city’s artisans and working-class living mostly in the working-class faubourgs (peripheral districts). This militia posed a major problem for Napoleon’s government, which sought to preserve popular support but feared a revival of the revolutionary fervour of 1793.