Gendarmerie. Gendarmerie (from Gens d'Armes, men-at-arms) was a chosen corps of cavalry under the old monarchy of France. The gendarmerie were afterwards formed into a body of soldiers intrusted with the police all over France; it furnishes patrols, arrests criminals, examines the passports of travellers, and contributes to the maintenance of good order. They are divided into foot and horse. They form a distinct corps in the army, under their own superior officers, who are under the orders of the ministers of the interior and of police; but, in case of war, they may be called into active service like the other corps of the army. The gendarmerie is mostly recruited from old and deserving soldiers of other regiments, who consider it as a promotion, as they have better pay and enjoy greater liberty. This explains why the gendarmes, generally speaking, are remarkably well-behaved and trusty men. The same description of troops exists in the Italian states, where they are called Carabineers.