Here they deliberated upon political matters and the vassals and prelates gave the king their advice.
It deliberated in secret and had authority over the ministers; it was entrusted with the whole of the national defence and empowered to use all the resources of the state, and it quickly became the supreme power in the republic. Under it the ministers were no more than head clerks.
No Assembly after the states-general was freely elected and none deliberated in freedom.
But in opposition to the party of order, he defined his own personal policy, as in his letter to Edgard Ney (August 16, 1849), which was not deliberated upon at the council of ministers, and asserted his intention "of not stifling Italian liberty," or by the change of ministry on the 31st of October 1849, when, "in order to dominate all parties," he substituted for the men coming from the Assembly, such as Odilon Barrot, creatures of his own, such as Rouher and de Parieu, the Auvergne avocats, and Achille Fould, the banker.