Unlike the former constabulary the new Maréchaussée was not a fully militarized force.In 1720, the Maréchaussée was officially attached to the Household of the King (Maison du Roi), together with the "gendarmerie" of the time, which was not a police force at all, but a royal bodyguard. It is a branch of the French Armed Forces placed under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior—with additional duties to the Ministry of Defense.Its area of responsibility includes smaller towns, rural and suburban areas, while the Police Nationale—a civilian force—is in charge of cities and downtowns.Under King Louis Phillippe a "gendarmerie of Africa" was created for service in Algeria and during the Second Empire the Imperial Guard Gendarmerie Regiment was re-established.
The military policing responsibilities of the Marshal of France were delegated to the Marshal's provost, whose force was known as the Marshalcy because its authority ultimately derived from the Marshal.
Subsequently, special gendarmerie units were created within the Imperial Guard, and for combat duties in French occupied Spain.
Following the Second Restoration of 1815, the gendarmerie was reduced in numbers to about 18,000 and reorganised into departmental legions.
Despite their connection with the king, they were therefore perceived as a force favouring the reforms of the French National Assembly.
As a result, the Maréchaussée Royale was not disbanded but simply renamed as the gendarmerie nationale (Law of 16 February 1791).