Carnot. I. Lazare Nicolas Marguerite, a French statesman and tactician, born at Nolay, Burgundy, May 13, 1753, died in Magdeburg, Prussia, Aug. 2, 1823. When only 18 he was made a second lieutenant of engineers; two years later he was first lieutenant; in 1783 captain, in which year he wrote an essay on aerial navigation and a eulogy of Vauban, which brought him into controversy with Gen. Montalembert, who caused him to be arrested and confined in the Bastile. He had also published about the same time an Essai sur les machines, in which he demonstrated a new theorem upon loss of motive power, which Arago declared to be one of the greatest and most useful discoveries of the age. He did not at first actively participate in the revolution, although he submitted to the national assembly a memoir with a view to a restoration of the finances. In 1791 he was elected deputy to the legislative assembly by the department of Pas-de-Calais, and devoted himself assiduously to his new duties. As a member of the committee on military affairs, he greatly contributed to the adoption of the decree ordering a large addition of forces to the national guard; and it was in accordance with his report that, for want of muskets, the new guards were armed with pikes.
The efficacy of these weapons was soon tried, Aug. 10, 1792, in the assault against the Tuileries. In the following month he was elected to the convention, and was present on the trial of Louis XVI.; his vote was recorded in these words: " In my opinion, both justice and good policy require the death of Louis; but I must confess that never a duty so heavily weighed on my heart as the one that is now incumbent upon me." He was neither a Girondist nor a montagnard, but upon the fall of the former party he did not hesitate to side with the latter. In August, 1793, he entered the committee of public safety. The armies were demoralized; there were no funds, no provisions; enemies had invaded France in every direction; the insurgent Yendeans were successful; the city of Lyons kept at bay the besieging army; and Toulon had been just delivered into the hands of the English. Carnot went boldly to work, and succeeded so well that his fellow citizens declared emphatically that he had "organized victory." He proved himself to be not only a skilful administrator, but a strategist of the highest ability.
The 14 armies created by the rising en masse of the nation cooperated under his orders in the execution of a well devised plan; they were placed under the command of new generals able to understand the projects of the directing mind, and defeats were soon succeeded by brilliant victories. Carnot sometimes repaired in person to the weakest or most exposed point to watch the operations, and to inspire the troops with his ardor and confidence. A victory was won at Wattignies, which forced the prince of Coburg to retreat; Toulon was retaken from the English; the Vendeans were defeated and almost destroyed; and the Austrian army was expelled from France. As a member of the committee of public safety, Carnot, being entirely absorbed in the performance of his especial duties, left the interior administration in the hands of his colleagues, and was scarcely aware of the atrocities which were perpetrated in the name of the committee. Thus he did not participate in the revolution of the 9th Thermidor; but after the fall of Robespierre he energetically defended his colleagues, Collot-d'IIerbois, Bil-laud-Varennes, and Barere, charged with being the accomplices of the man in whose overthrow they had been instrumental.
Carnot was on the point of being arrested, and was only saved by Bourdon de l'Oise exclaiming, "This is the man who has organized victory." After the 1st Prairial, 1795, he was again threatened with impeachment, and was obliged to leave the committee and give up the management of war affairs, which he had held for nearly two years. On the establishment of the directory, he was elected representative by 14 departments at once, and took his seat in the council of 500. Being appointed one of the five directors, he resumed his previous office and planned the admirable campaign of 1790, the success of which was secured in Italy by Bonaparte. After the coup d'etat of the 18th Fructidor, Carnot was condemned to transportation, but escaped to Switzerland, and afterward to Germany, where he wrote a memoir to vindicate his conduct. After the 18th Brumaire he returned to France, and was appointed minister of war in 1800; but being unable to agree with Bonaparte, he resigned. In 1802 he was elected to the tribunate, where he voted against the establishment of the legion of honor, the consulate for life, and especially the empire. On the suppression of the tribunate he retired to private life, and resumed his scientific pursuits.
But in January, 1814, he addressed a letter to Napoleon, proffering his services: "I staid away as long as you were prosperous; now that misfortune has come, I do not hesitate to place at your disposal what little ability I may still possess." Napoleon at once intrusted him with the command of Antwerp. For years the supreme director of military affairs, he had gained no advancement in the army, and was still merely a major. Napoleon had to promote him to the rank of general, passing him through all the intermediate degrees at once. He defended Antwerp until the treaty of Paris, April, 1814, and returned to the capital, where he published a Memoire au roi, full of liberal opinions and wise advice. On Napoleon's return from Elba, he appointed Carnot minister of the interior, which post he held for three months, during which he received the title of count of the empire, but never bore it. After the rout of Waterloo he almost alone preserved his self-possession, and suggested energetic measures, which were not adopted. "I have known you too late," said Napoleon on his departure. A member of the provisional government, his honesty was not a match for Fouche's shrewdness. On the second restoration he was again outlawed, and retired to Warsaw, then repaired to Madgeburg, where he died.
His writings are numerous; besides his various political papers, he left disquisitions of great interest on several points of science, especially on fortification. A biography of Carnot was published by D. F. Arago (Paris, 1837). II. Lazarc Hippelyte. a French statesman, son of the preceding, born at St. Omer, April 6, 1801. He was of liberal opinions, became a disciple of St. Simon, and wrote the Exposition generale de la doctrine Saint Simoniennc, the authorship of which was, with his consent, ascribed to Bazard. But as soon as St. Simonism assumed the form of a religious creed, Carnot parted with his friends, and became a journalist, and the chief editor of the Revue encyclopedique. He was also intrusted with the publication of Gregoire's and Barere's Memoires. He was elected to the chamber of deputies in 1839, and reelected in 1842 and 1846. After the revolution of February, 1848, he was minister of public instruction till July 5, and improved the condition of the teachers, rendered the normal schools free, and established free lectures. In 1848 he was elected to the constituent, and on March 10, 1850, to the legislative assembly. After the coup d'etat of Dec. 2, 1851, he left France; during his absence he was elected a member of the corps legislatif, but refused to take the oath.
He was reelected in 1857, but again refused to serve. In 18G3 he was elected from Paris, and took his seat. He was again a candidate in 1809, but was defeated by Gambetta. In 1801 he commenced the publication of Me-moires sur Carnot, par son fils.
Fitzherbert, which by the law would have excluded him from the throne. The queen remained in undisputed possession of her rank and title. She, however, was deeply affected at the result of the trial, and the moral shock received on this occasion accelerated her death. The humiliation of seeing the doors of Westminster abbey shut against her, when in July, 1821, she presented herself to attend the coronation of George IV., was the last blow dealt to her before she died. Her funeral gave rise to disturbances at London and Brunswick, the people attributing her death to her opponents.