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Georges Jacques Danton (French: [ʒɔʁʒ dɑ̃tɔ̃]; 26 October 1759 – 5 April 1794) was a leading figure in the early stages of the French Revolution, in particular as the first president of the Committee of Public Safety. Danton's role in the onset of the Revolution has been disputed; many historians describe him as "the chief force in the overthrow of the French monarchy and the establishment of the First French Republic".[1] He was guillotined by the advocates of revolutionary terror after accusations of venality and leniency toward the enemies of the Revolution.[clarification needed]

Contents

1 Early life 2 Revolution 3 Rise 4 Fall of the Girondists 5 Reign of Terror 6 Financial corruption and accusations 7 Arrest, trial, and execution 8 Character disputes 9 Fictionalized accounts 10 References 11 Sources 12 Further reading 13 External links

Early life[edit]

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Danton was born in Arcis-sur-Aube
Arcis-sur-Aube
in northeastern France
France
to Jacques Danton and Mary Camus; a respectable, but not wealthy family. As a child, he was attacked by several animals, resulting in the disfigurement and scarring of the skin on his face, also contributed to by smallpox.[2] After obtaining a good education he became an Advocate
Advocate
in Paris.[3] He married Antoinette Gabrielle Charpentier (6 January 1760 – 10 February 1793) on 14 June 1787 at the church of Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois in Paris. The couple had three sons:

François, born in May 1788, died in infancy on 24 April 1789 [4] Antoine, born on 18 June 1790, died on 14 June 1858 with one child, Sophie Octavie Danton born on 3 March 1828 to Sophie Riviere[4] François Georges, born on 2 February 1792, died on 18 June 1848.[4]

On 10 February 1793, while Danton was on a mission in Belgium, Charpentier died, aged 33, giving birth to a boy, who also did not survive. Danton was so affected by her death that he recruited sculptor Claude André Deseine and brought him by night to Sainte-Catherine cemetery to excavate Charpentier's body and execute a death mask.[citation needed] Her bust is now on display at Troyes museum. After his first wife's death, Danton married Louise Sébastienne Gély, aged 16, daughter of Marc-Antoine Gély, court usher (huissier-audiencier) at the Parlement
Parlement
de Paris and member of the Club des Cordeliers. She looked after his two surviving sons.[citation needed] Revolution[edit] Danton's first appearance in the Revolution was as president of the Cordeliers
Cordeliers
club, whose name derives from the former convent of the Order of Cordeliers, where it held its meetings. One of many clubs important in the early phases of the Revolution, the Cordeliers
Cordeliers
was a centre for the "popular principle", that France
France
was to be a country of its people under popular sovereignty; they were the earliest to accuse the royal court of being irreconcilably hostile to freedom; and they most vehemently proclaimed the need for radical action. In June 1791, the King and the Queen made a disastrous attempt to flee from the capital. They were forced to return to the Tuileries Palace, which effectively became their prison. Queen Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette
opened negotiations with the moderate leaders of the Revolution in an attempt to save the monarchy and to establish a moderate constitutional settlement.[5] The popular reaction was intense, and those who favored a constitutional monarchy, including Lafayette, became excited. A bloody dispersion of a popular gathering, known as the massacre of the Champ de Mars (July 1791), kindled resentment against the court and the constitutional party. Danton was, in part, behind the crowd that gathered and fearing counter-revolutionary backlash, he fled to England for the rest of the summer.[6] The National Constituent Assembly completed its work in September 1791. Due to the Self-denying Ordinance none of its members were eligible to its successor, the short-lived Legislative Assembly. Danton's party was able to procure for him a subordinate post in the Paris Commune. In April 1792, the Girondist
Girondist
government—still functioning as a constitutional monarchy—declared war against Austria. A country in turmoil from the immense civil and political changes of the past two years now faced war with an enemy on its eastern frontier. Parisian distrust for the court turned to open insurrection.[citation needed] On 10 August 1792, the popular forces marched on the Tuileries; the king and queen took refuge with the Legislative Assembly. Danton's role in this uprising is unclear. He may have been one of its leaders; this view is supported because on the morning after the effective fall of the monarchy, Danton became minister of justice. This sudden rise from the subordinate office which he held in the commune is a demonstration of his power within the insurrectionist party.[citation needed] Rise[edit]

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According to a biographer, "Danton's height was colossal, his make athletic, his features strongly marked, coarse, and displeasing; his voice shook the domes of the halls".[7]

In the provisional executive government that was formed between the king's dethronement and the opening of the National Convention
National Convention
(the formal end of the monarchy), Danton found himself allied with Jean-Marie Roland
Jean-Marie Roland
and other members of the Girondist
Girondist
movement. Their strength was soon put to the test. The alarming successes of the Austrians and the surrender of two important fortresses caused panic in the capital; over a thousand prisoners were murdered. At that time, Danton was accused of directing these September Massacres, but no evidence of this is available from modern research. However, he apparently did nothing to prevent the atrocities, and instead insisted that his colleagues should remain firm at their posts. The election to the National Convention
National Convention
took place in September 1792; after which the remnant of the Legislative Assembly formally surrendered its authority. The Convention ruled France
France
until October 1795. Danton was a member; resigning as Minister of Justice once it was clear that the invading Austrian and Prussian armies had been turned back, he took a prominent part in the deliberations and proceedings of the Convention. In the Convention, according to the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, "He took his seat in the high and remote benches which gave the name of "the Mountain" to the revolutionists who sat there. He found himself side by side with Marat, whose exaggerations he never countenanced; with Maximilien Robespierre, whom he did not regard very highly, but whose immediate aims were in many respects his own; with Camille Desmoulins
Camille Desmoulins
and Pierre Philippeaux, who were his close friends and constant partisans." As for his foes, the Girondists, they were "eloquent, dazzling, patriotic, but unable to apprehend the fearful nature of the crisis, too full of vanity and exclusive party-spirit, and too fastidious to strike hands with the vigorous and stormy Danton." Dreading the people who had elected Danton, and holding Danton responsible for the September Massacres, they failed to see that his sympathy with the vehemence and energy of the streets positioned him uniquely to harness on behalf of the defense of France
France
that insurrectionary spirit that had removed the monarchy. Danton saw radical Paris as the only force to which the National Convention
National Convention
could look in resisting Austria and its allies on the north-east frontier, and the reactionaries in the interior. "Paris," he said, "is the natural and constituted centre of free France. It is the centre of light. When Paris shall perish there will no longer be a republic." Danton voted for the death of Louis XVI in 21 January 1793. After the execution had been carried out, he thundered "The kings of Europe would dare challenge us? We throw them the head of a king!" Danton had a conspicuous share in the creation of the Revolutionary Tribunal, which on the one hand took the weapons away from the disorderly popular vengeance of the September Massacres, but which would become the instrument of the institutionalized Terror. When all executive power was conferred upon a Committee of Public Safety
Committee of Public Safety
(6 April 1793), Danton had been one of the nine original members of that body. He was dispatched on frequent missions from the Convention to the republican armies in Belgium, and wherever he went he infused new energy into the army. He pressed forward the new national system of education, and he was one of the legislative committee charged with the construction of a new system of government. He tried and failed to bridge the hostilities between Girondists
Girondists
and Jacobins. The Girondists
Girondists
were irreconcilable, and the fury of their attacks on Danton and the Mountain was unremitting. Fall of the Girondists[edit]

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Although he was—again in the words of the 1911 Britannica—"far too robust in character to lose himself in merely personal enmities", by the middle of May 1793 Danton had made up his mind that the Girondists must be politically suppressed. The Convention was wasting time and force in vindictive factional recriminations, while the country was in crisis. Charles François Dumouriez, the senior commander of the Battles of Valmy and Jemappes, had deserted. Danton had defended Dumouriez against attacks in Convention, probably to allow Dumouriez to concentrate on the war, before the General's defection, so it decreased Danton's standing with the public and made him lose some of the support of the more moderate members of the Jacobin club. The French armies were suffering a series of checks and reverses. A royalist rebellion was gaining formidable dimensions in the west. The Girondists
Girondists
were clamoring for the heads of Danton and his colleagues in the Mountain (a name for the group of Jacobins in the General Assembly, stemming from their raised seats in the back of the hall), but they would lose this struggle to the death.

Danton addressing the National Convention.

There is no positive evidence that Danton directly instigated the insurrection of 31 May — 2 June 1793, which ended in the purge of the Convention and the proscription of the Girondists. He afterwards spoke of himself as in some sense the author of this revolution, because a little while before, stung by some trait of factious perversity in the Girondists, he had openly cried out in the midst of the Convention, that if he could only find a hundred men, they would resist the oppressive authority of the Girondist
Girondist
Commission of Twelve. At any rate, he certainly acquiesced in the violence of the commune, and he publicly gloried in the expulsion of the men who stood obstinately in the way of a vigorous and concentrated exertion of national power. Danton, unlike the Girondists, "accepted the fury of popular passion as an inevitable incident in the work of deliverance." (1911 Britannica) He was not an enthusiast of the Reign of Terror
Reign of Terror
like Billaud-Varenne
Billaud-Varenne
or Jacques René Hébert; he saw it as a two-edged weapon to be used as little as necessary. The authors of the 1911 Britannica see him at this time as wishing "to reconcile France
France
with herself; to restore a society that, while emancipated and renewed in every part, should yet be stable; and above all to secure the independence of his country, both by a resolute defence against the invader, and by such a mixture of vigour with humanity as should reconcile the offended opinion of the rest of Europe." The position of the Mountain had completely changed. In the Constituent Assembly, its members had been a mere 30 out of the 578 of the third estate. In the Legislative Assembly, they had not been numerous, and none of their chiefs held a seat. In the first nine months of the Convention, they were struggling for their very lives against the Girondists. In June 1793, for the first time, they found themselves in possession of absolute power. Men who had for many months been "nourished on the ideas and stirred to the methods of opposition" [1911 Britannica] suddenly had the responsibility of government. Actual power was in the hands of the Committee of Public Safety and the Committee of General Security. Both were chosen out of the body of the Convention. The drama of the nine months between the expulsion of the Girondins
Girondins
and the execution of Danton turns upon the struggle of the committees (especially the former, which would gain ascendancy) to retain power: first, against the insurrectionary municipal government of Paris, the commune; and second, against the Convention, from which the committees derived an authority that was regularly renewed on the expiry of each short term. Danton, immediately after the fall of the Girondins, had thrown himself with extraordinary energy into the work to be done. He was prominent in the task of setting up a strong central authority, taming the anarchical ferment of Paris. It was he who proposed that the Committee of Public Safety
Committee of Public Safety
be granted dictatorial powers and that it should have copious funds at its disposal. He was not a member of the resulting committee: in order to keep himself clear of any personal suspicion, he announced his resolution not to belong to the body which he had thus done his best to make supreme in the state and left it in July 1793. His position during the autumn of 1793 was that of a powerful supporter and inspirer from outside the government which he had been foremost in setting up. Reign of Terror[edit] The French National Convention
National Convention
during the autumn of 1793 began to assert its authority further throughout France, creating the bloodiest period of the French Revolution
French Revolution
in which some historians assert approximately 40,000 people were killed in France.[8] (At least a further 200,000 people perished in the civil war resulting from the provincial revolts, such as the War in the Vendée, coming as a reaction to the revolutionary government.) Following the fall of the Girondins, a group known as the Indulgents would emerge from amongst the Montagnards as the legislative right within the Convention and Danton as their most vocal leader. Having long supported the progressive acts of the Committee of Public Safety, Danton would begin to propose that the Committee retract legislation instituting terror as “the order of the day.”[9] While the Committee of Public Safety
Committee of Public Safety
was concerned with strengthening the centralist policies of the Convention and its own grip over that body, Danton was in the process of devising a plan that would effectively move popular sentiment among delegates towards a more moderate stance.[10] This meant adopting values popular among the sans-culotte, notably the control of bread prices that had seen drastic increase with the famine that was being experienced throughout France. Danton also proposed that the Convention begin taking actions towards peace with foreign powers, as the Committee had declared war on the majority of European powers, such as England, Spain, and Portugal.[citation needed] The Reign of Terror
Reign of Terror
was not a policy that could be easily transformed. Indeed, it would eventually end with the Thermidorian Reaction
Thermidorian Reaction
(27 July 1794), when the Convention rose against the Committee, executed its leaders, and placed power in the hands of new men with a new policy. But in Germinal—that is, in March 1794—feeling was not ripe. The committees were still too strong to be overthrown, and Danton, heedless, instead of striking with vigor in the Convention, waited to be struck. "In these later days," writes the 1911 Britannica, "a certain discouragement seems to have come over his spirit". His wife had died during his absence on one of his expeditions to the armies; he had her body exhumed so as to see her again.[11] Despite genuine grief, Danton quickly married again, and, the Britannica continues, "the rumour went that he was allowing domestic happiness to tempt him from the keen incessant vigilance proper to the politician in such a crisis."[citation needed] Ultimately, Danton himself would become a victim of the Terror. As he attempted to shift the direction of the revolution, by collaborating with Camille Desmoulins
Camille Desmoulins
through the production of Le Vieux Cordelier, a newspaper that called for the end of the official Terror and dechristianization, as well as launching new peace overtures to France's enemies, those who most closely associated themselves with the Committee of Public Safety, among them key figures such as Maximilien Robespierre
Maximilien Robespierre
and Georges Couthon, would search for any reason to indict Danton for counter-revolutionary activities.[12] These actions would lead to an investigation of Danton’s revolutionary vigor, and in the end he would be tried and executed for his shady dealings with foreign countries in the interest of filling his own pockets.[citation needed] Financial corruption and accusations[edit]

Statue of Danton in Tarbes.

Toward the end of the Reign of Terror, Danton was accused of various financial misdeeds, as well as using his position within the Revolution for personal gain. Many of his contemporaries commented on Danton's financial success during the Revolution, certain acquisitions of money that he could not adequately explain.[13] Many of the specific accusations directed against him were based on insubstantial or ambiguous evidence.[citation needed] Between 1791 and 1793, Danton faced many allegations, including taking bribes during the insurrection of August 1792, helping his secretaries to line their pockets, and forging assignats during his mission to Belgium.[14] Perhaps the most compelling evidence of financial corruption was a letter from Mirabeau to Danton in March 1791 that casually referred to 30,000 livres that Danton had received in payment.[14] During his tenure on the Committee of Public Safety, Danton organized a peace treaty agreement with Sweden. Although the Swedish government never ratified the treaty, on 28 June 1793 the convention voted to pay 4 million livres to the Swedish Regent for diplomatic negotiations. According to Bertrand Barère, a journalist and member of the Convention, Danton had taken a portion of this money which was intended for the Swedish Regent.[15] Barère’s accusation was never supported by any form of evidence.[citation needed] The most serious accusation, which haunted him during his arrest and formed a chief ground for his execution, was his alleged involvement with a scheme to appropriate the wealth of the French East India Company. During the reign of the Old Regime, the original French East India Company went bankrupt. It was later revived in 1785, backed by royal patronage.[16] The Company eventually fell under the notice of the National Convention
National Convention
for profiteering during the war. The Company was soon liquidated while certain members of the Convention tried to push through a decree that would cause the share prices to rise before the liquidation.[17] Discovery of the profits from this insider trading led to the blackmailing of the directors of the Company to turn over half a million livres to known associates of Danton.[18] While there was no hard evidence that Danton was involved, he was vigorously denounced by François Chabot, and implicated by the fact that Fabre d’Eglantine, a member of the Dantonists, was implicated in the scandal. Danton continued to defend Fabre d'Eglantine even after the latter had been exposed and arrested. Arrest, trial, and execution[edit] On 30 March 1794, Danton, Desmoulins, and others of the indulgent party were suddenly arrested.[19] Danton displayed such vehemence before the revolutionary tribunal that his enemies feared he would gain the crowd's favour.[20] The Convention, in one of its "worst fits of cowardice",[21] assented to a proposal made by Louis Antoine de Saint-Just during the trial that, if a prisoner showed want of respect for justice, the tribunal might exclude the prisoner from further proceeding and pronounce sentence without him being present.[22] Danton, Desmoulins, and many other actual or accused Dantonist associates were tried from 3–5 April before the Revolutionary Tribunal. The trial was less criminal in nature than political, and as such unfolded in an irregular fashion. The jury had only seven members, despite the law demanding twelve, as it was deemed that only seven jurors could be relied on returning the required verdict. Danton made lengthy and violent attacks on the Committee of Public Safety
Committee of Public Safety
and the accused demanded the right to have witnesses appear on their behalf; they submitted requests for several, including, in Desmoulins' case, Robespierre.[citation needed] The Court's President, M.J.A. Herman, was unable to control the proceedings until the aforementioned decree was passed by the National Convention, preventing the accused from further defending themselves. These facts, together with confusing and often incidental denunciations (for instance, a report that Danton, while engaged in political work in Brussels, had appropriated a carriage filled with several hundred thousand pounds of table linen)[23] and threats made by prosecutor Antoine Quentin Fouquier-Tinville
Antoine Quentin Fouquier-Tinville
towards members of the jury, ensured a guilty verdict. Danton and the rest of the defendants were condemned to death, and at once led, in company with fourteen others, including Camille Desmoulins
Camille Desmoulins
and several other members of the Indulgents, to the guillotine. "I leave it all in a frightful welter," he said; "not a man of them has an idea of government. Robespierre will follow me; he is dragged down by me. Ah, better be a poor fisherman than meddle with the government of men!" The phrase 'a poor fisherman' was almost certainly a reference to Saint Peter, Danton having reconciled to Catholicism.[24] Of the group of fifteen who were guillotined together on 5 April 1794, including Marie Jean Hérault de Séchelles, Philippe Fabre d'Églantine and Pierre Philippeaux, Desmoulins died third, and Danton last.[25] The 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica wrote that Danton stands out as a master of commanding phrase. One of his fierce sayings has become a proverb. Against the Duke of Brunswick and the invaders, "il nous faut de l'audace, et encore de l'audace, et toujours de l'audace"—"We need audacity, and yet more audacity, and always audacity!"[citation needed] Character disputes[edit] His influence and character during the French Revolution
French Revolution
was, and still is, widely disputed among many historians, with the stretch of perspectives on him ranging from corrupt and violent to generous and patriotic.[26] Danton did not leave very much in the way of written works, personal or political, and, most information about his actions and personality has thus been derived from secondhand sources.[27] One view of Danton, presented by historians like Thiers and Mignet,[28] suggested he was "a gigantic revolutionary" with extravagant passions, a high level of intelligence, and a tolerance of violence for his goals. Another perspective of Danton emerges from the work of Lamartine, who called Danton a man "devoid of honor, principles, and morality" who found only excitement and a chance for distinction during the French Revolution. He was merely "a statesman of materialism" who was bought anew every day. Any revolutionary moments were staged for the prospect of glory and more wealth.[29] Another view of Danton is presented by Robinet, whose examination of Danton is more positive and portrays him as a figure worthy of admiration. According to Robinet, Danton was a committed, loving, generous citizen, son, father, and husband. He remained loyal to his friends and the country of France
France
by avoiding "personal ambition" and gave himself wholly to the cause of keeping "the government consolidated" for the Republic. He always had a love for his country and the laboring masses, who he felt deserved "dignity, consolation, and happiness".[30] Fictionalized accounts[edit]

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Danton, Robespierre, and Marat are characters in Victor Hugo's novel, Ninety-Three
Ninety-Three
(Quatrevingt-treize), set during the French Revolution. Danton is a central character in Romanian playwright Camil Petrescu's play of the same name. Danton's last days were made into a play, Dantons Tod (Danton's Death), by Georg Büchner. On the basis of Büchner's play, Gottfried von Einem wrote an opera with the same title, on a libretto by himself and Boris Blacher, which premiered on 6 August 1947 at the Salzburger Festspiele. Danton appears in the Hungarian play The Tragedy of Man
The Tragedy of Man
and the animated movie of the same name as one of Adam's incarnations throughout Lucifer's illusion. Danton's life from 1791 until his execution was the subject of the 1931 German film, Danton, starring Fritz Kortner
Fritz Kortner
in the title role and Gustav Grundgens as Robespierre. Danton's and Robespierre's quarrels were turned into a 1983 film Danton directed by Andrzej Wajda
Andrzej Wajda
and starring Gérard Depardieu
Gérard Depardieu
as Danton. The film itself is loosely based on Stanisława Przybyszewska's 1929 play "Sprawa Dantona" ("The Danton Case"). Danton's and Robespierre's relations were also the subject of an opera by American composer John Eaton, Danton and Robespierre (1978). Danton is extensively featured in La Révolution française (1989),[31] played by Klaus Maria Brandauer. In his novel Locus Solus, Raymond Roussel
Raymond Roussel
tells a story in which Danton makes an arrangement with his executioner for his head to be smuggled into his friend's possession after his execution. The nerves and musculature of the head ultimately end up on display in the private collection of Martial Canterel, reanimated by special electrical currents and showing a deeply entrenched disposition toward oratory. The Revolution as experienced by Danton, Robespierre, and Desmoulins is the central focus of Hilary Mantel's novel A Place of Greater Safety (1993). Danton and Camille Desmoulins
Camille Desmoulins
are the main characters of Tanith Lee's The Gods Are Thirsty—A Novel of the French Revolution
French Revolution
(1996). Danton and Maximilien Robespierre
Maximilien Robespierre
are referred to in the book The Scarlet Pimpernel briefly. Danton and Robespierre both applaud a guard for his work in catching aristocrats. In The Tangled Thread, Volume 10 of The Morland Dynasty, a series of historical novels by author Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, the character Henri-Marie Fitzjames Stuart, bastard offshoot of the fictional Morland family, allies himself with Danton in an attempt to protect his family as the storm clouds of revolution gather over France. Danton appears briefly in Rafael Sabatini's adventure novel Scaramouche: A tale of romance in the French Revolution

References[edit]

^ a b " Georges Danton
Georges Danton
profile". Britannica.com. Retrieved 20 February 2009.  ^ Hibbert, Christopher (1980). The French Revolution. Penguin UK. p. 384. ISBN 9780141927152.  ^ Hampson, Norman. Danton (New York: Basil Blackwell Inc., 1988), pp. 19–25. ^ a b c "Family tree Claude FORMA - Geneanet". gw.geneanet.org. Retrieved 4 February 2017.  ^ Lord Acton & The French Revolution
French Revolution
1962, pp. 165–170 ^ Andress, David. The Terror: The Merciless War for Freedom in Revolutionary France
France
(New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005), p. 51. ^ The Monthly Review. Printed for R. Griffiths. 1814. Retrieved 25 February 2009.  ^ Greer, Donald (1935). The Incidence of the Terror During the French Revolution: A Statistical Interpretation. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-8446-1211-9.  ^ French National Convention. "Terror is the Order of the Day". Retrieved 22 January 2012.  ^ Andress, David (2005). The Terror: The Merciless War for Freedom in Revolutionary France. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p. 256. ISBN 978-0-374-53073-0.  ^ Beesly, A.H. (2005). Life of Danton. Kessinger Publishing. p. 172. ISBN 978-1-4179-5724-8. Retrieved 25 February 2009.  ^ Andress, David (2005). The Terror: The Merciless Fight for Freedom in Revolutionary France. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p. 271. ISBN 978-0-374-53073-0.  ^ Hampson, Norman, The Life and Opinions of Maximilien Robespierre (London: Gerald Duckworth & Co., 1974), p. 204 ^ a b Hampson, Norman, The Life and Opinions of Maximilien Robespierre (London: Gerald Duckworth & Co., 1974), p. 204. ^ Hampson, Norman, Danton (New York: Basil Blackwell Inc., 1988), 121 ^ Scurr, Ruth, Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution (New York, NY: Holt Paperbacks, 2006), 301. ^ Scurr, Ruth, Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution (New York, NY: Holt Paperbacks, 2006), 301. ^ Andress, David, The Terror: The Merciless War for Freedom in Revolutionary France
France
(New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005), 252. ^ "Robespierre and the Terror History Today". www.historytoday.com. Retrieved 2017-09-19.  ^ "Danton Versus Robespierre: The Quest for Revolutionary Power". www.ucumberlands.edu. Retrieved 2017-09-19.  ^ 1911 Britannica ^ Schama, Simon. Citizens.  ^ Claretie, Jules (1876). Camille Desmoulins
Camille Desmoulins
and his wife. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 313.  ^ Carrol, Warren, The Guillotine
Guillotine
and the Cross (Front Royal, Christendom Press, 1991) ^ Camille Desmoulins#Trial and execution ^ Hampson, Norman, Danton (New York: Basil Blackwell), pp. 1–7. ^ F.C. Montague, reviewer of Discours de Danton by André Fribourg, The English Historical Review 26, No. 102 (1911), 396. JSTOR 550513. ^ Legrand, Jacques. Chronicle of the French Revolution
French Revolution
1788–1799, London: Longman, 1989. ^ Furet, François. La révolution en debat, Paris: Gallimard, 1999. ^ Henri Béraud, Twelve Portraits of the French Revolution, (Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries Press, 1968). ^ "La révolution française". 25 October 1989 – via IMDb. 

Sources[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Danton, George Jacques". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

Further reading[edit]

François Furet and Mona Ozouf (eds.), A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1989; pp. 213–223. Laurence Gronlund, Ça Ira! or Danton in the French Revolution. Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1887. Norman Hampson, Danton. New York: Holmes & Meier Publishers, 1978. David Lawday, Danton: The Giant of the French Revolution. London: Jonathan Cape, 2009. Marisa Linton, Choosing Terror: Virtue, Friendship and Authenticity in the French Revolution
French Revolution
(Oxford University Press, 2013).

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Georges Danton.

Works by Georges Jacques Danton at Project Gutenberg Works by or about Georges Danton
Georges Danton
at Internet Archive

Political offices

Preceded by Etienne Dejoly Minister of Justice 1792 Succeeded by Dominique Joseph Garat

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(Sep 1792) National Convention
National Convention
(20 Sep 1792 – 26 Oct 1795) First republic declared (22 Sep 1792)

1793

Execution of Louis XVI
Execution of Louis XVI
(21 Jan 1793) Revolutionary Tribunal
Revolutionary Tribunal
(9 Mar 1793 – 31 May 1795) Reign of Terror
Reign of Terror
(27 Jun 1793 – 27 Jul 1794)

Committee of Public Safety Committee of General Security

Fall of the Girondists
Girondists
(2 Jun 1793) Assassination of Marat (13 Jul 1793) Levée en masse
Levée en masse
(23 Aug 1793) The Death of Marat
The Death of Marat
(painting) Law of Suspects
Law of Suspects
(17 Sep 1793) Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette
is guillotined (16 Oct 1793) Anti-clerical laws (throughout the year)

1794

Danton and Desmoulins guillotined (5 Apr 1794) Law of 22 Prairial
Law of 22 Prairial
(10 Jun 1794) Thermidorian Reaction
Thermidorian Reaction
(27 Jul 1794) Robespierre guillotined (28 Jul 1794) White Terror (Fall 1794) Closing of the Jacobin Club
Jacobin Club
(11 Nov 1794)

1795

Constitution of the Year III
Constitution of the Year III
(22 Aug 1795) Conspiracy of the Equals
Conspiracy of the Equals
(Nov 1795) Directoire (1795–99)

Council of Five Hundred Council of Ancients

13 Vendémiaire
13 Vendémiaire
5 Oct 1795

1797

Coup of 18 Fructidor
Coup of 18 Fructidor
(4 Sep 1797) Second Congress of Rastatt
Second Congress of Rastatt
(Dec 1797)

1799

Coup of 30 Prairial VII (18 Jun 1799) Coup of 18 Brumaire
Coup of 18 Brumaire
(9 Nov 1799) Constitution of the Year VIII
Constitution of the Year VIII
(24 Dec 1799) Consulate

Revolutionary campaigns

1792

Verdun Thionville Valmy Royalist Revolts

Chouannerie Vendée Dauphiné

Lille Siege of Mainz Jemappes Namur (fr)

1793

First Coalition Siege of Toulon
Siege of Toulon
(18 Sep – 18 Dec 1793) War in the Vendée Battle of Neerwinden) Battle of Famars
Battle of Famars
(23 May 1793) Expédition de Sardaigne
Expédition de Sardaigne
(21 Dec 1792 - 25 May 1793) Battle of Kaiserslautern Siege of Mainz Battle of Wattignies Battle of Hondschoote Siege of Bellegarde Battle of Peyrestortes
Battle of Peyrestortes
(Pyrenees) First Battle of Wissembourg (13 Oct 1793) Battle of Truillas
Battle of Truillas
(Pyrenees) Second Battle of Wissembourg (26–27 Dec 1793)

1794

Battle of Villers-en-Cauchies
Battle of Villers-en-Cauchies
(24 Apr 1794) Battle of Boulou
Battle of Boulou
(Pyrenees) (30 Apr – 1 May 1794) Battle of Tournay
Battle of Tournay
(22 May 1794) Battle of Fleurus (26 Jun 1794) Chouannerie Battle of Tourcoing
Battle of Tourcoing
(18 May 1794) Battle of Aldenhoven (2 Oct 1794)

1795

Peace of Basel

1796

Battle of Lonato
Battle of Lonato
(3–4 Aug 1796) Battle of Castiglione
Battle of Castiglione
(5 Aug 1796) Battle of Theiningen Battle of Neresheim
Battle of Neresheim
(11 Aug 1796) Battle of Amberg
Battle of Amberg
(24 Aug 1796) Battle of Würzburg
Battle of Würzburg
(3 Sep 1796) Battle of Rovereto
Battle of Rovereto
(4 Sep 1796) First Battle of Bassano
Battle of Bassano
(8 Sep 1796) Battle of Emmendingen
Battle of Emmendingen
(19 Oct 1796) Battle of Schliengen
Battle of Schliengen
(26 Oct 1796) Second Battle of Bassano
Battle of Bassano
(6 Nov 1796) Battle of Calliano (6–7 Nov 1796) Battle of the Bridge of Arcole
Battle of the Bridge of Arcole
(15–17 Nov 1796) The Ireland Expedition (Dec 1796)

1797

Naval Engagement off Brittany (13 Jan 1797) Battle of Rivoli
Battle of Rivoli
(14–15 Jan 1797) Battle of the Bay of Cádiz (25 Jan 1797) Treaty of Leoben
Treaty of Leoben
(17 Apr 1797) Battle of Neuwied (18 Apr 1797) Treaty of Campo Formio
Treaty of Campo Formio
(17 Oct 1797)

1798

French invasion of Switzerland
French invasion of Switzerland
(28 January – 17 May 1798) French Invasion of Egypt (1798–1801) Irish Rebellion of 1798 (23 May – 23 Sep 1798) Quasi-War
Quasi-War
(1798–1800) Peasants' War (12 Oct – 5 Dec 1798)

1799

Second Coalition (1798–1802) Siege of Acre (20 Mar – 21 May 1799) Battle of Ostrach
Battle of Ostrach
(20–21 Mar 1799) Battle of Stockach (25 Mar 1799) Battle of Magnano
Battle of Magnano
(5 Apr 1799) Battle of Cassano (27 Apr 1799) First Battle of Zurich
First Battle of Zurich
(4–7 Jun 1799) Battle of Trebbia (19 Jun 1799) Battle of Novi (15 Aug 1799) Second Battle of Zurich
Second Battle of Zurich
(25–26 Sep 1799)

1800

Battle of Marengo
Battle of Marengo
(14 Jun 1800) Battle of Hohenlinden
Battle of Hohenlinden
(3 Dec 1800) League of Armed Neutrality (1800–02)

1801

Treaty of Lunéville
Treaty of Lunéville
(9 Feb 1801) Treaty of Florence
Treaty of Florence
(18 Mar 1801) Algeciras Campaign
Algeciras Campaign
(8 Jul 1801)

1802

Treaty of Amiens
Treaty of Amiens
(25 Mar 1802)

Military leaders

French Army

Eustache Charles d'Aoust Pierre Augereau Alexandre de Beauharnais Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte Louis-Alexandre Berthier Jean-Baptiste Bessières Guillaume-Marie-Anne Brune Jean François Carteaux Jean Étienne Championnet Chapuis de Tourville Adam Philippe, Comte de Custine Louis-Nicolas Davout Louis Desaix Jacques François Dugommier Thomas-Alexandre Dumas Charles François Dumouriez Pierre Marie Barthélemy Ferino Louis-Charles de Flers Paul Grenier Emmanuel de Grouchy Jacques Maurice Hatry Lazare Hoche Jean-Baptiste Jourdan François Christophe de Kellermann Jean-Baptiste Kléber Pierre Choderlos de Laclos Jean Lannes Charles Leclerc Claude Lecourbe François Joseph Lefebvre Jacques MacDonald Jean-Antoine Marbot Jean Baptiste de Marbot François Séverin Marceau-Desgraviers Auguste de Marmont André Masséna Bon-Adrien Jeannot de Moncey Jean Victor Marie Moreau Édouard Mortier, duc de Trévise Joachim Murat Michel Ney Pierre-Jacques Osten (fr) Nicolas Oudinot Catherine-Dominique de Pérignon Jean-Charles Pichegru Józef Poniatowski Laurent de Gouvion Saint-Cyr Barthélemy Louis Joseph Schérer Jean-Mathieu-Philibert Sérurier Joseph Souham Jean-de-Dieu Soult Louis-Gabriel Suchet Belgrand de Vaubois Claude Victor-Perrin, Duc de Belluno

French Navy

Charles-Alexandre Linois

Opposition

Austria

József Alvinczi Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen Count of Clerfayt (Walloon) Karl Aloys zu Fürstenberg Friedrich Freiherr von Hotze
Friedrich Freiherr von Hotze
(Swiss) Friedrich Adolf, Count von Kalckreuth Pál Kray (Hungarian) Charles Eugene, Prince of Lambesc
Charles Eugene, Prince of Lambesc
(French) Maximilian Baillet de Latour (Walloon) Karl Mack von Leiberich Rudolf Ritter von Otto (Saxon) Prince Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld Peter Vitus von Quosdanovich Prince Heinrich XV of Reuss-Plauen Johann Mészáros von Szoboszló
Johann Mészáros von Szoboszló
(Hungarian) Karl Philipp Sebottendorf Dagobert von Wurmser

Britain

Sir Ralph Abercromby Admiral Sir James Saumarez Admiral Sir Edward Pellew Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany

Dutch Republic

William V, Prince of Orange

 Prussia

Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel Frederick Louis, Prince of Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen

Russia

Alexander Korsakov Alexander Suvorov

Spain

Luis Firmin de Carvajal Antonio Ricardos

Other significant figures and factions

Society of 1789

Jean Sylvain Bailly Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette François Alexandre Frédéric, duc de la Rochefoucauld-Liancourt Isaac René Guy le Chapelier Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord Nicolas de Condorcet

Feuillants and monarchiens

Madame de Lamballe Madame du Barry Louis de Breteuil Loménie de Brienne Charles Alexandre de Calonne de Chateaubriand Jean Chouan Grace Elliott Arnaud de La Porte Jean-Sifrein Maury Jacques Necker François-Marie, marquis de Barthélemy Guillaume-Mathieu Dumas Antoine Barnave Lafayette Alexandre-Théodore-Victor, comte de Lameth Charles Malo François Lameth André Chénier Jean-François Rewbell Camille Jordan Madame de Staël Boissy d'Anglas Jean-Charles Pichegru Pierre Paul Royer-Collard

Girondists

Jacques Pierre Brissot Roland de La Platière Madame Roland Father Henri Grégoire Étienne Clavière Marquis de Condorcet Charlotte Corday Marie Jean Hérault Jean Baptiste Treilhard Pierre Victurnien Vergniaud Bertrand Barère
Bertrand Barère
de Vieuzac Jérôme Pétion de Villeneuve Jean Debry Jean-Jacques Duval d'Eprémesnil Olympe de Gouges Jean-Baptiste Robert Lindet Louis Marie de La Révellière-Lépeaux

The Plain

Abbé Sieyès de Cambacérès Charles François Lebrun Lazare Nicolas Marguerite Carnot Philippe Égalité Louis Philippe I Mirabeau Antoine Christophe Merlin
Antoine Christophe Merlin
de Thionville Jean Joseph Mounier Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours François de Neufchâteau

Montagnards

Maximilien Robespierre Georges Danton Jean-Paul Marat Camille Desmoulins Louis Antoine de Saint-Just Paul Nicolas, vicomte de Barras Louis Philippe I Louis Michel le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau Jacques-Louis David Marquis de Sade Jacques-Louis David Georges Couthon Roger Ducos Jean-Marie Collot d'Herbois Jean-Henri Voulland Philippe-Antoine Merlin de Douai Antoine Quentin Fouquier-Tinville Philippe-François-Joseph Le Bas Marc-Guillaume Alexis Vadier Jean-Pierre-André Amar Prieur de la Côte-d'Or Prieur de la Marne Gilbert Romme Jean Bon Saint-André Jean-Lambert Tallien Pierre Louis Prieur Bertrand Barère
Bertrand Barère
de Vieuzac Antoine Christophe Saliceti

Hébertists and Enragés

Jacques Hébert Jacques Nicolas Billaud-Varenne Pierre Gaspard Chaumette Charles-Philippe Ronsin Antoine-François Momoro François-Nicolas Vincent François Chabot Jean Baptiste Noël Bouchotte Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Gobel François Hanriot Jacques Roux Stanislas-Marie Maillard Charles-Philippe Ronsin Jean-François Varlet Theophile Leclerc Claire Lacombe Pauline Léon Gracchus Babeuf Sylvain Maréchal

Others

Charles X Louis XVI Louis XVII Louis XVIII Louis Antoine, Duke of Enghien Louis Henri, Prince of Condé Louis Joseph, Prince of Condé Marie Antoinette Napoléon Bonaparte Lucien Bonaparte Joseph Bonaparte Joseph Fesch Joséphine de Beauharnais Joachim Murat Jean Sylvain Bailly Jacques-Donatien Le Ray Guillaume-Chrétien de Malesherbes Talleyrand Thérésa Tallien Gui-Jean-Baptiste Target Catherine Théot List of people associated with the French Revolution

Influential thinkers

Les Lumières Beaumarchais Edmund Burke Anacharsis Cloots Charles-Augustin de Coulomb Pierre Claude François Daunou Diderot Benjamin Franklin Thomas Jefferson Antoine Lavoisier Montesquieu Thomas Paine Jean-Jacques Rousseau Abbé Sieyès Voltaire Mary Wollstonecraft

Cultural impact

La Marseillaise French Tricolour Liberté, égalité, fraternité Marianne Bastille Day Panthéon French Republican Calendar Cult of the Supreme Being Cult of Reason

Temple of Reason

Sans-culottes Metric system Phrygian cap Women in the French Revolution Symbolism in the French Revolution Historiography of the French Revolution Influence of the French Revolution

v t e

Ministers of the French National Convention
National Convention
(10 August 1792 to 1 April 1794)

Foreign Affairs

Pierre Henri Hélène Marie Lebrun-Tondu François Louis Michel Chemin Deforgues

War

Joseph Marie Servan de Gerbey Jean-Nicolas Pache Pierre Riel de Beurnonville Jean Baptiste Noël Bouchotte

Justice

Georges Danton Dominique Joseph Garat Louis-Jérôme Gohier

Interior

Jean-Marie Roland, vicomte de la Platière Dominique Joseph Garat Jules-François Paré

Finance

Étienne Clavière Louis Grégoire Deschamps Destournelles

Navy and Colonies

Gaspard Monge Jean Dalbarade

Preceded by Ministers of Louis XVI of France
France
• Followed by French Directory

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 78772915 LCCN: n50037386 ISNI: 0000 0001 0918 4393 GND: 118523732 SELIBR: 183419 SUDOC: 027379272 BNF: cb12198548s (data) ULAN: 500354304 NLA: 35970557 NDL: 00552213 NKC: xx0067

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