June, 1S63, in tlu> rtluni of thirty-five Opposition iiiemliers to llie Chamber, nioslly men of t;reat abiHty. Hepubheans anil Monarchists, Freethinkers aiui Cath- ohcs, tliey prouped themselves around Thiers, who had been Louis i'liiiip|)e's minister, and who won the confidence of Catholics by jironouncing unequivocally in favour of the temporal power. But the alliance be- tween Hepubheans who wanted Napoleon to desist from ])rotectinn the temporal powerand Catholics who thought he did not protect it enough, could not be very stable. From 1802 to lSti4 t he emperor did nothing in regard to Italy that could cause Pius IX any uneasi- nes.s. He was at that period busy with the early stages of the Mexican War, in which he had very im- prudently allowed himself lo become involved. Four years of lighting against President Juarez were des- tined to end in tlie evacuation of Mexico by the French troops, early in 1867, and the execution of Maximilian, brother of the Emperor of Austria, whom France had caused to be proclaimed Emperor of Mexico. The impression created by this disaster notably increased the strength of the Opposition in France.
Negotiations between Napoleon III and Italy recommenced in 1864, the Itahan Government be- seeching the emperor to put an end to the French occupation of the Pontifical States. The Convention of 15 September, 1864, obliged Italy to refrain from attacking the actual possessions of the Holy See and, on the contrary, to defend them, while France prom- ised to withdraw her troops within a period of not more than two years, pari passu with the organization of the pope's army. This arrangement caused ])ro- found sorrow at the Vatican; Pius IX drew the con- clusion that Napoleon was preparing to leave the States of the Church at the mercy of the Italians. The diplomatic remonstrances with which the em- peror's government replied to the Syllabus, its prohi- bition against the circulation of that document, and Duruy's project to organize primary education with- out the concurrence of the Church, were causes of dis.satisfaction to Rome and to the Catholics. The speech of Thiers against Italian unity, denouncing the imprudence of the Imperial policy, was loudly ap- plauded by the faithful supporters of the Holy See. Napoleon III, always a prey to indecision, no doubt asked himself from time to time whether his policy was a wise one, but the circumstances which he himself had created carried him along. Late in 1864 he thought of negotiating an alliance between the Courts of Berlin and Turin against Austria, so as to allow Italy to get po.sse.ssion of Venetia. Having paved the way for Italian unity, he was inaugurating a policy by means of which Prussia was to acliieve German unity. He did nothing to prevent the conquest of Austria by Prussia at Sadowa (1866), and when he made a vain attempt to have Luxemburg ceded to him, Bismarck exploited the proceedings to convince public opinion in Germany of the danger of French ambition and the serious necessity of arming against France. By the end of 1866 the withdrawal of the French troops which had guarded the pope was complete. But Napoleon at the very time when he was thus carrying out the Conven- tion of 1.5 September was organizing at Antibes a legion to be placed at the disposal of the pope; he once more exacted of Italy a pledge not to invade the Papal States; he conceived a plan to obtain from the Powers a collective guarantee of the pope's temporal sover- eignty. On 3 November, 1866, he wrote to his friend Francesco Arese: "People must know that I will yield nothing on the Roman question, and that my mind is made up, while carrying out the Convention of 15 September, to sui)port the temporal power of the pope by all po.ssible means". But the season of ill-luck and of blundering was setting in for the Imperial diplo- macy. None of the Powers responded to Napoleon's appeal. Italy, displeased at the organization of the
Antibes Legion and the confidence reposed by the emperor in Rouher, a devoted champion of Catholic interests, comi)lained bitterly: Napoleon answered by complaining of the Garibaldian musters that threat- ened the pope's territories. When the (iaribaldians made an actual incursion, on 25 October, 18f)7, the French troops which had for some weeks been concen- trated at Toulon, embarked for Civit^ Vecchia and helped the papal troops defeat the invaders at Men- tana. Cardinal Antonelli asked that the JVench forces should be directed against those of Victor Emmanuel, but the emperor refused. Menabrea, Victor Emman- uel's minister, though he gave orders for the arrest of the (iaribaldians, published in spite of Napoleon, a circular affirming Italy's right to possess Rome. Na- poleon found it increasingly difficult to extricate him- self from the coils of the Roman Question; he was still t hinking of a European congress, but Europe declined. At the dose of 1867, Thier's speech in support of the temporal power gave Rouher occasion to say, amid the applause of the majorit}', "We declare it in the name of the French government, Italy shall not take posses- sion of Rome. Never, never will France tolerate such an assault upon her honour and her Catholicity". That 7iever was extremely unpleasant to the Italian patriots. The emperor had offended both the pope and Italy at the same time. When the Vatican Coun- cil was convoked the imperial government manifested no antagonism. M. Emile Ollivier, president of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, opined, on 2 January, 1870, that the States ought not to interfere in the deliberations of the council. His colleague Daru in- structed Banneville, the French ambas.sachjr to Home, on 20 February, to protest in the name of I'Vench Con- stitutional law against the programme of enactments "De ecclesia", and tried to bring about concerted action of the Powers; but, after Antonelli's denmrrer of 10 March, Daru confined himself to reiterating his objections in a memorandum (5 April) which Pius IX declined to submit to the council. M. Ollivier, against the requests of certain anti-infallibilist prelates, di- rected Banneville not to try to meddle in the proceed- ings of the council.
In 1870 Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern's claim to the crown of Spain brought on a conflict between France and King William of Prussia. A dispatch re- lating to a conversation which took place at Ems, between William and Napoleon's ambassador, Bene- detti, was, as Bismarck himself afterwards confessed, tampered with in such a way as to make war inevi- table. Bismarck's own "Recollections" thus supply the refutation of the charge made by him in the Reichstag (5 December, 1874), that the empress and the Jesuits had <l<'sired the war and driven him into it. The German historian Sybel has formally cleared the empress and the Jesuits of this accusation. (On this point, which has provoked numerous polemics, see Diihr, " Jesuitenfabein", 4th ed., Freiburg, 1904, pp. 877-79). Pius IX wrote to Emperor William offering his good offices as mediator (22 July, 1870), but to no purpose. As for the Italian government, on 16 July, 1870, it refused an alliance with France because Napo- leon had refused it Rome. On 20 July Napoleon prom- ised that the imperial troops should be recalled from Rome, but no more, and so, as usual, he offended both the pope, whom he was about to leave defenceless, and Italy, whose highest ambitions he was balking. The negotiations between France and Italy were conl^inued in August, by Prince Napoleon, who made a visit to Florence. Italy absolutely insisted upon being allowed to take Rome, and, on 29 August, Visconti Venosta, minister of foreign affairs, affirmed the right of the Italians to have Rome for their capital. The anti- Catholic controversialists of France have often made use of these facts to support their allegation that the emperor would have had the Italian alliance in the War of 1870 if he had not persisted in his demand that