On 5 June 1832 thousands of Frenchmen flocked the streets of Paris for the funeral of General Jean-Maximilien Lamarque, a liberal with revolutionary and Bonapartist credentials who had fallen victim to the cholera epidemic that took thousands of lives that year. The mass involvement was not wholly surprisingly, since funerals had become an occasion for massive political mobilization in French political culture. The demonstration turned into an urban insurrection. After the violent repression of the National Guard, hundreds of death bodies were left in the streets of Paris.
The insurrection was led by the republican opposition and gathered the support of thousands of French citizens who considered that the monarchy of Louis-Philippe de Orleans had abandoned the principles of the revolutionary days of July 1830 to defend the exclusive interests of the bourgeois elite.
Since Lamarque also disapproved the foreign policy of the French government and especially its failure to promote the liberation of other European peoples in the wake of the 1830 Revolutions, many political refugees residing in France participated in the march. Among them was the Spaniard Álvaro Flórez Estrada, who declared in his eulogy that Lamarque’s death was “a calamity not only for France but for the civilized world”. For Flórez Estrada, Lamarque was a champion of the “emancipation of Europe”. Hundreds of Spaniards, Poles, Portuguese, Germans and Italians figured prominently in the demonstration, displaying their national flags, and joined the insurrection, a day that was later immortalised in Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables.