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CHAPTER III. THE REIGN OF GEORGE II.
SIGNATURES TO THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.While these things had been passing in England, the Revolution in France had been making great strides. The Assembly, after its removal to Paris, passed completely under the influence of the violent Jacobin Club, and the work of destruction and reconstitution proceeded with startling rapidity. By the division of France into Departments all the old territorial arrangements and provincial Assemblies were abolished; the judicial system was re-established on a popular basis, and its dependence on the Crown swept away; the Church was made a department of the State, and its vast property sold, chiefly by means of bills payable in Church lands and called assignats. The position of the king became well-nigh intolerable. There was a chance, indeed, that Mirabeau might extricate him from the toils of his enemies. That great man, now reconciled to the Court, advised him to withdraw from the capital, and throw himself upon the conservatism of the country districts. But the death of Mirabeau in April, 1791, deprived Louis of his only wise adviser, and in June he adopted the ill-judged course of flying from Paris, with the object of making his way across the frontier and joining the enemies of his country. The flight was ill-managed, the royal family were arrested at Varennes and brought back as prisoners to Paris, where they were placed under the strictest surveillance.