The Gendarmerie has a long tradition of maintaining order and public peace. Called the “Maréchaussée” under the Ancien Régime, it was part of the King’s military house and took precedence over all other troops. Its missions: to enforce the royal authority, maintain discipline in the armies and disperse the bands of looters that regularly ravaged the country after each war. The National Gendarmerie, recruited from the elite of the revolutionary army, was also responsible for restoring security in the countryside that had been given over to banditry. It took a glorious part in the wars of the Republic, particularly during the Italian campaign.