Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States

Edited by: Lalor, John J.
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New York: Maynard, Merrill, and Co.
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Includes articles by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Henry George, J. B. Say, Francis A. Walker, and more.
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BARRICADE. In its widest sense the word barricade means an improvised fortification intended to obstruct the progress of an enemy.


—Barricades are most frequently mentioned in connection with revolutionary movements. They were used for revolutionary purposes as early as in the middle ages. History tells us of those that were erected in Paris, in 1588 and 1648. In the nineteenth century they re-appear with distressing frequency. We may call attention, for instance, to the barricades erected in July, 1830, when the throne of the elder branch of the house of Bourbon was subverted, and the crown was placed upon the head of Louis Philippe, the duke of Orleans; also, to those of Sept. 17, 1831, raised on receipt of the news of the disaster at Warsaw. We may likewise recall those of June 5, 1832, on the occasion of the obsequies of general Lamarque; and those of Feb. 11, 1848, in France. The revolution of Feb 24 resulted in the creation of the ateliers nationaux, the closing of which was followed by the mournful days of June, 1848. At the time of the coup d'état, Dec. 2, 1851, the barricades erected were very weak and feebly defended. The events of the month of June had demonstrated the utter inadequacy of barricades to resist an attack by well disciplined soldiers.


—During the empire no barricades were raised in the streets of Paris; two or three attempts were immediately checked. The empire did not fall through the agency of barricades. When will men understand that violence is generally a bad means to establish durable institutions, that reformation is better than revolution, and that the surest road to amelioration is the road of the law?


—It is hardly necessary to say that Paris has had no monopoly of barricades. Brussels had her barricades in September, 1830. Berlin, Vienna and Dresden had theirs in 1848 and 1849. But neither in Germany nor in France has the use of barricades produced aught but a result of short duration.


—No reference is here made to barricades erected in open cities with a view to stop the passage of an enemy. It would cause great evils, without any good to the country, to fortify an open or unfortified city, save when it becomes part of a strategic plan.


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