Re-Visiting The Past: June Rebellion (June 5-6, 1832)

June Rebellion (June 5 to 6, 1832)
June Rebellion (June 5 to 6, 1832)

June Rebellion, or better known as the Paris Uprising of 1832 (translated in French as Insurrection republicaine a Paris en 1832) is an anti-monarchist insurrection of Parisian republicans in the year 1832. This type of rebellion originated in the attempt of the republicans to overthrow or reverse the establishment in the year 1830 during the reign of Louis Philippe (July Monarchy of Louis Philippe), shortly after President of the Council Casimir Pierre Perier’s death on the 16th of May 1832. Casimir Pierre Perier was the powerful supporter of the late Louis Philippe. But what really sparked the revolutionaries to rise in their barricades was the death of Jean Maximilien Lamarque (He advocated French support for independence struggles in Poland and Italy. His views were what made him a popular figure.

Jean Maximilien Lamarque
Jean Maximilien Lamarque

Jean Maximilien Lamarque was the leading critic of Louis Philippe’s new constitutional monarchy where he argued that the type of monarchy failed to support human rights and political liberty). His death led to the Parisian June Rebellion of 1832 which provided the background of events depicted in Victor Hugo’s novel, Les Miserables.

July Revolution (1830)
July Revolution (1830)

Way back in the year 1830 (July Revolution) , the elected Chamber of Deputies established a constitutional monarchy and replaced that of Charles X of the House of Bourbon by Louis Philippe who was more liberal. This movement angered the republicans who saw their king being replaced by another. By the year 1832, there were simmering displeasures, strongly coming from among the republicans who felt like they spilled blood on the barricades, only to have their revolution stolen by opportunists who even managed to crown Louis Philippe as king. There were even Bonapartists who lamented the loss of Napoleon’s empire while Legitimists supported the overthrown Bourbon dynasty and sought to place the man whom they regarded as the true king who was the designated successor of Charles, Henri.

Apart from the monarchy, another cause of this rebellion was that there were significant economic problems during the year 1827 to 1832 where people experience food shortages, harvest failures, and increases in the cost of living, thus resulting to discontent throughout the classes. There was also a widespread outbreak of cholera in the spring of 1832 , ending up with a death toll of 18,402 within the city and 100,000 across France, devastating the poor neighbourhoods of Paris.

General Lamarque funeral (As seen in Les Miserables movie)
General Lamarque funeral (As seen in Les Miserables movie)

This epidemic claimed the lives of Prime Minister Casimir Perier on the 16th of May and their hero , General Jean Maximilien Lamarque on the 1st of June. The people who dearly loved Casimir Perier gave him a grand state funeral whereas with Lamarque’s funeral, the revolutionaries took it as an opportunity to stand against the monarchial government, as Hugo had described it in his novel.

Before the death of Casimir Perier and General Jean Lamarque, there had also been two significant rebellion wherein one took place in Lyon in which the workers’ uprising (Canut revolt) resulting from economic hardships occurred in December 1831. This uprising took place when the troops sent in after the members of the local National Guard defected to the rebels. The other rebellion, which occurred in February 1832 , Paris supporters of the Bourbons  – Legitimists or Carlists, attempted to carry off the royal family, which became known as the “conspiracy of rues des Prouvaires”.

Insurrection in France (1832)
Insurrection in France (1832)

After this followed an insurrection where the republicans were led by secret societies and formed the most determined members of their movement wherein they have planned to provoke riots which were similar to those that led to the 1830 July Revolution against the ministers of Charles X, wherein one of the most instrumental was “The Society of the Rights of Man”. This was organized like a group of army , divided into sections of twenty members each (in order to evade the law that forbade the association of more than twenty persons), with a president and vice president for each section. These republican conspirators made their move during the public funeral of General Lamarque on June 5 where groups of demonstrators took charge of the procession and redirected it to the Place de la Bastille , where the Revolution began in 1789.

The Polish, Italian and German refugees reinforced the Parisian workers to gather around where the coffin rested and speeches were made about how Lamarque supported the Polish and Italian liberty which he strongly advocated in months before his death. There was an uproar as a red flag was raised , bearing these words La Liberte ou la Mort (which translates to ‘Liberty or Death’) wherein the crowd broke into disorder and there were exchange of gunshots coming from government troops, despite the Marquis de Lafayette calling everyone to calm down.

This subsequent uprising put the 3,000 rebels in control of the eastern and central districts of Paris, those between Chatelet, Arsenal and Faubourg Saint Antoine for one night wherein cries were heard that rioters would attack at the Tuileries Palace that evening. However, the rebellion failed to spread even further.

During the night of June 5 to 6, 20,000 part time militia of the Paris National Guard were led by about 40,000 regular army troops under Comte de Lobau’s command, occupying the peripheral districts of the capital.The revolutionaries made their stronghold in the historic center of Faubourg Saint Martin, where they built barricades in the narrow streets around Saint Martin and Saint Denis.

However, on the morning of June 6, the last rebels were surrounded at the intersection of rues Saint Martin and Saint Merry wherein Louis Philippe decided to show himself up to confirm that he’s still in control of the capital. Upon his return to Paris, Louis Philippe met up with his ministers and generals at the Tuileries, declaring a military operation, arriving at the area of the uprising.

The final struggle of the rebels came at Cloitre Saint Merry where the fighting still took place until the early evening of June 6, wherein total casualties in the rising reached 800 in which the army and national guard lost (73 killed, 344 wounded) and the rebels (93 killed, 291 wounded).

Image Sources: 

June Rebellion

Jean Maximilien Lamarque

July Revolution (1830)

General Lamarque funeral

Insurrection in France
Les Misérables and the Mysterious French 19th Century

movie review

Movie Review: Heneral Luna

This historical film takes us back to the setting of Philippine-American way back in 1898 where General Antonio Luna (John Arcilla) , a commander of the revolutionary army , leads an uprising against the American colony years after the Spanish reign, wanting peace and freedom for Philippines – our Motherland.  However, much to his dismay, some of his cabinet or elite members would want to make a deal with the United States.

General Antonio Luna’s decisions are somehow opposed or met with resistance by some soldiers who only want to follow Emilio Aguinaldo and are loyal to him. Due to his arrogance and short tempered nature, General Antonio Luna makes a number of enemies, not only with the Americans but also with his countrymen and cabinet members particularly Gen. Tomas Mascardo (Lorenz Martinez), Felipe Buencamino (Nonie Buencamino) Pedro Paterno (Leo Martinez) and Capt. Janolino (Ketchup Eusebio) , leading him to his untimely death as well where he was assassinated by a pack of presidential guards.

I could correlate the lines of General Antonio Luna with that of Enjolras, a fictional character from Les Miserables. Some of his quotes like “Freedom cannot be won by protecting their loved ones. They have to pay the price.” and “Do we not have the same right to Liberty?” can be associated with “Have you asked of yourselves what’s the price you might pay?” and “Will you stand up and take your chance?”

The central theme lies on freedom and peace through means of Revolution. This time it was against the American colony. Others fell during the battle while some rose up to take the place of the fallen general. After watching this movie, I could say that the actor John Arcilla as well as the rest of the cast portrayed the role very well.  This is another historical film worth watching as it serves as an eye opener to every Filipino citizen to what’s going on right now, especially with the government.


Bonifacio: The First President

This historical film emphasizes on the life of a revolutionary leader/first president here in the Philippines. The scene opens with the execution of the three priests namely Father Gomez, Father Burgos and Father Zamora (or otherwise known as GomBurZa) which Andres Bonifacio had witnessed. This took place in the year of 1872, February 17 at Luneta Park, Bagumbayan where these three priests were executed through garrote (a form of capital punishment by which a condemned person is strangled to death with an iron collar.)

The oppression and unequal treatment of the Spanish government towards the poor people provoked Andres Bonifacio to form an organization called K.K.K. (stands for Kataas-taasan, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng Anak Ng Bayan or ‘Katipunan’ for short) and started an uprising against the injustice brought upon the Filipino citizens , even the poor. Seeking for independence, Andres Bonifacio, founded this secret organization for his fellow citizens to join through the use of flyers or newspapers. Members of the secret organization increased from less than 300 to 30,000 in the month of January 1896 and 40,000 by August 1896.

Their secret organization did not last for long as the Spanish authorities found out about its existence and decided to start a manhunt. Hearing about this, Andres Bonifacio called up thousands of his fellow Katipunan members for a meeting or mass gathering in Caloocan where they tore up their cedulas  or community tax certificates. Meetings were often held in the place of Cavite, making the city become the “Heartland of the Philippine Revolution”.

The Katipuneros led an attack against the Spanish soldiers at night. But due to the lack of weapons, they were somewhat defeated and members were killed off. During the Tejeros Convention in Cavite, a fight ensued between Andres Bonifacio and Daniel Tirona (a Magdalo leader) in which Bonifacio almost shot the latter , being provoked by the response and insults hurled upon the revolutionary leader/chief of rebellion, stating that Bonifacio is an uneducated person and undeserving to be called a Supreme President.

Andres Bonifacio and his brother Procopio were later arrested for treason against the government of President Emilio Aguinaldo, as well as for the conspiracy to kill the latter. They were  found guilty despite of insufficient evidence and deported on May 8, 1897 upon Aguinaldo’s order. Procopio was shot dead while Bonifacio was stabbed. His close associates later on rose up and took his place in continuing the Katipunan organization.

Notes about the movie:

*Throughout the film, I was really amazed at how the actor Robin Padilla gave justice to Andres Bonifacio’s character. He portrayed the role as a Philippine Nationalist and revolutionary leader very well. This film was really superb.

*The question on whom should really be called a Philippine national hero still remains unanswered. In my point of view, both of them really deserved to be called a hero since they died for their own country and beliefs. They sacrificed their lives for the sake of the country’s freedom and independence from the Spanish government. Jose Rizal fought against the Spanish government with his two novels as his weapons whereas Andres Bonifacio fought by leading the rebellion or uprising.

*If Andres Bonifacio didn’t lead or start a Philippine Revolution nor had Jose Rizal written his two novels which spoke of the cruelty of the Spanish government, Philippines would have never been free and would still be colonized until now.

*Red flags were used as a sign of revolt or uprising. Theme was centralized on fighting for freedom.

*The principle of liberty, equality and fraternity was followed by the Katipunan members upon forming  their ranks in the revolutionary government.

*”I sacrificed my life for the country’s freedom. You? What can you do for your country?” – Andres Bonifacio. This quote is an eye-opener to many Filipno citizens, especially for today’s generations. What are we willing to sacrifice for our country?


What Makes One A Revolutionary Leader?

Think you’ve got what it takes to be called a “revolutionary” leader? Are you one of those seeking for a better change in the government?  Are you sick and tired as well of the corrupt practices of some government officials? Then it’s time to join in the fight that will give you the right to enjoy freedom.

Before getting into the qualities of a revolutionary leader, let’s start first with the definition of ‘revolution’ itself. In political terms, revolution is defined as overthrowing or bringing down of a government, especially that of a corrupt one and replacing it with a better government. Some revolution may lead to a bloody fight but it doesn’t always have to be that way. Some few examples of Revolution to cite here would be the French Revolution/revolution francaise (1789-1799) , Philippine Revolution against Spain(pre-1800s)  and The June Rebellion (1832).

Revolution is not just all about building barricades and fighting to death, it’s also about making a change (not just in the government but also in ourselves). What’s the use of wanting to see the change in the government when we ourselves won’t make a change? What’s the use of fighting for freedom and wanting to end corruption when we ourselves are corrupt as well? Would there be a world beyond the barricade that we long to see? Would there be a brand new life that’s about to start when tomorrow comes? The answer? There will be..

To become an effective revolutionary leader, one must have these qualities/characteristics:

1) A sincere belief in what you are doing or what you can do – This is the first and foremost quality that a person must have in order for him/her to become an effective revolutionary leader. How can one effectively lead a revolution when he or she has doubts in his/her ability?

2) An oratory ability – Becoming an effective revolutionary leader involves a good oratory skill or ability to carry out his/her speech. A soft-spoken type of person would find it hard to convince his/her fellow men. One who lacks the confidence to speak in public would find it impossible to lead a successful revolution. But take note, it’s not always the case that a revolutionary leader would be the only one who gets to speak out his mind.. the opinions of the other citizens matter as well.

3) Careful and thorough planning skills  – Another important quality of an effective revolutionary leader. Everything must be carefully and thoroughly planned – from gathering of weapons/ammunitions, communication with his fellow people, and execution of plan.

A good example of a revolutionary leader would be Andres Bonifacio. He was called as the “Father of Philippine Revolution” and was also a founder/supreme leader of an organization called K.K.K. (stands for Kataas-taasan, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak Ng Bayan). He formed this organization to seek independence of the country against the oppression of the Spanish government. This revolutionary leader educated himself by reading some books about the French Revolution, some biographies, books about penal and civil codes of Philippines and even novels such as Victor Hugo’s Les MIserables and that of our national hero’s works (Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo).

Anyone, yes… even you can be a revolutionary leader.


A Revolution, You Say?

What’s happening in the Philippine government right now is a serious matter. Some or most government officials are becoming corrupt, some of them are using the money of the people for their personal purpose.. How could these people do such a thing and enjoy spending the money of those people while they are out on the streets starving to death? What’s there to enjoy about watching these people having no permanent place to stay… seeing kids out sleeping on the streets, the sidewalks or even at the overpass? What’s with all these government officials, being involved in such scams and crimes?

   “Look down and show some mercy if you can! Look down! Look down! Upon your fellow man..” – people of Paris against the French Monarchy (Les Miserables)

    The same goes here in the Philippine setting.. to those corrupt government officials, I hope you learn someday when you soon face the consequences of what your doing, especially the corrupt practices.

    If Andres Bonifacio, the Father of the Philippine Revolution, is still alive up to this time, he would have continued fighting for the poor and hold the Revolution against the government. Dr. Jose Rizal, the Philippines’ national hero, would have done the same thing. He revolted not with the use of arms, but with a pen and a paper way back during the time our country was colonized by Spain, exposing the abuses of the Spanish government.  Enough with the cruelty and usury of these people’s money, enough with all the corruption. Down with those who monopolize the government! Long live the Philippines!

Just like one of the fictional character, Enjolras, would have said.. “The colors of the world are changing day by day.”

YES.. that’s it! Everything changes here in the Philippines, but was it a change for the better? NO! It changed for the worst , instead. Now is not the time for playing silly games , especially when it’s about the corrupt practices of the government. If France is Enjolras’s  ‘Patria’, so is Philippines our ‘Patria’ and we ourselves must do everything to make a great change and end this corrupt practice…save ‘Patria’ !

        “Red..the blood of angry men! Black..the dark of ages past.. Red, a world about to dawn! Black the night that ends at last!” – Red and Black (Les Miserables)

            Way back during the time we were still colonized by the Spanish government and cruelly ruled by them, our national hero …undaunted by the fears he had before he was executed, bravely faced his death just for the sake of his fellow Filipino people during his execution in Bagumbayan. When Andres Bonifacio heard of Dr. Jose Rizal’s fate, he lead the Revolution, causing lots of spillage of blood of those men on the Philippine soil. They haven’t died in vain for they fought for our country. 

   “Do you hear the people sing? Singing the song of angry men? It is the music of the people who will not be slaves again! When the beating of your heart echoes the beating of the drums…there is a life about to start when tomorrow comes!”

      We are not to let ourselves become slaves to the corrupt practice of the government officials.. let the song from Les Mis become a music in us as well. We are those angry men crying out for freedom and we fight for a better life here in Philippines.


End Corruption

Philippine Revolution way back during 1896