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The National Convention
National Convention
(French: Convention nationale) was the first government of the French Revolution, following the two-year National Constituent Assembly and the one-year Legislative Assembly. Created after the great insurrection of 10 August 1792, it was the first French government organized as a republic, abandoning the monarchy altogether. The Convention sat as a single-chamber assembly from 20 September 1792 to 26 October 1795 (4 Brumaire IV under the Convention's adopted calendar). The Convention came about when the Legislative Assembly, which had found it impossible to work with the king, decreed the provisional suspension of King Louis XVI
King Louis XVI
and the convocation of a National Convention to draw up a new constitution with no monarchy. The other major innovation was to decree that deputies to that Convention should be elected by all Frenchmen twenty-five years old or more, domiciled for a year and living by the product of their labor. The National Convention was, therefore, the first French assembly elected by a suffrage without distinctions of class. Although the Convention lasted until 1795, power was effectively stripped from the elected deputies and concentrated in the small Committee of Public Safety
Committee of Public Safety
from April 1793. The eight months from Fall 1793 to Spring 1794, when Maximilien Robespierre
Maximilien Robespierre
and his allies dominated the Committee of Public Safety, represent the most radical and bloodiest phase of the French Revolution, known as the Reign of Terror. After the fall of Robespierre, the Convention lasted for another year until a new constitution was written, ushering in the French Directory.

Contents

1 Elections 2 Girondin Convention

2.1 The Girondins
Girondins
and the Montagnards 2.2 The Plain 2.3 The Trial and Execution of the King 2.4 The Crisis and Fall of the Girondins

3 Montagnard Convention

3.1 Constitution 1793 3.2 Federalist revolt, war and counter-revolution 3.3 Revolutionary government

3.3.1 The economy 3.3.2 The Army of the Year II

3.4 Fall of the factions 3.5 The Terror 3.6 Thermidor

4 Thermidorian Convention

4.1 Thermidorian Reaction 4.2 Crushing of the popular movement 4.3 Constitution of the Year III 4.4 Vendemiaire

5 Legacy 6 See also 7 Notes 8 References 9 Sources 10 External links

Elections[edit] The election took place from 2 to 6 September 1792 after the election of the electoral colleges by primary assemblies on 26 August. Owing to the abstention of aristocrats[clarification needed], the anti-republicans, and the fear of victimization the voter turnout in the departments was low – 11.9% of the electorate came, compared to 10.2% in the 1791 elections - in spite of the fact that the number of those eligible to vote had doubled.[clarification needed] Therefore, the increased suffrage had very little impact. The electorate returned the same sort of men that the active citizens had chosen in 1791.[1] In the whole of France, only eleven primary assemblies wanted to retain the monarchy. Of the electoral assemblies, all tacitly voted for a republic – though only Paris
Paris
used the word. None of the deputies stood as a royalist for elections. Out of the five million Frenchmen able to vote, only a million showed up at the polls. [clarification needed][2][note 1] The Convention held its first sessions in a hall of the Tuileries Palace, then it sat in the Salle du Manège, and finally from 10 May 1793 it met in the Salle des Machines, an immense hall in which the deputies were loosely scattered. The Salle des Machines had galleries for the public who often influenced the debates with interruptions or applause.[4] [note 2] The members of the Convention came from all classes of society, but the most numerous were lawyers. 75 members had sat in the National Constituent Assembly, 183 in the Legislative Assembly. The full number of deputies was 749, not counting 33 from the French colonies, of whom only some arrived in Paris
Paris
in time. Besides these, however, the newly formed départements annexed to France
France
from 1782 to 1789 were allowed to send deputations. According to its own ruling, the Convention elected its President every fortnight, and the outgoing President was eligible for re-election after the lapse of a fortnight. Ordinarily the sessions were held in the morning, but evening sessions also occurred frequently, often extending late into the night. Sometimes in exceptional circumstances, the Convention declared itself in permanent session and sat for several days without interruption. For both legislative and administrative the Convention used committees, with powers more or less widely extended and regulated by successive laws. The most famous of these committees included the Committee of Public Safety and the Committee of General Security. The Convention held legislative and executive powers during the first years of the French First Republic
French First Republic
and had three distinct periods: Girondin, Montagnard or Jacobin, and Thermidorian. Girondin Convention[edit] The first session was held on 20 September 1792. The following day, the assembly agreed the proposition "That royalty be abolished in France" and was carried with cheers. On the 22nd came the news of the Battle of Valmy. On the same day it was decreed that "in future the acts of the assembly shall be dated First Year of the French Republic". Three days later the corollary that "the French republic is one and indivisible" was added to guard against federalism. A republic had been proclaimed, but it remained to enact a republican government. The country was little more republican in feeling or practice than it had been before at any time since Varennes. But now it had to become a republic, because it no longer had a king.[6] When the Convention met the military situation was undergoing an extraordinary transformation that seemed to confirm the Girondin prophecies of easy victory. After Valmy the Prussians withdrew to the frontier, and in November French troops occupied the left bank of the Rhine. The Austrians, who had besieged Lille
Lille
in October, were defeated by Dumouriez at the Battle of Jemappes
Battle of Jemappes
on 6 November and evacuated the Austrian Netherlands. Nice
Nice
was occupied and Savoy
Savoy
proclaimed its union with France. These successes made it safe to quarrel at home.[7] The Girondins
Girondins
and the Montagnards[edit] Most historians divide the National Convention
National Convention
into two main factions: the Girondins
Girondins
and the Montagnards.[citation needed] The Girondins
Girondins
were the more moderate conservatives at Convention. They protested the vast influences held at the Convention by Parisians. They drew their name from the Gironde, a region of France
France
from which many of the deputies of this faction originated. They were also known as the Brissotins after their most prominent speaker, Jaques Pierre Brissot.[8] The Montagnards represented a considerably larger, more democratic, portion of the deputies. They were much more radical than the Girondins
Girondins
and held strong connections to the Jacobin
Jacobin
Club of Paris. They drew their name from the high bleachers that they sat on while the Convention was in session. The Montagnards dominated the Convention.[9] Three questions dominated the first months of the Convention: revolutionary violence; the trial of the king; and Parisian dominance of politics. Antagonism between Paris
Paris
and the provinces created friction among the people that served as a propaganda tool and combat weapon for the two groups. The departments resisted the idea of centralization. They saw this idea being symbolized by the desire to reduce the capital of the Revolution to its one-eighty-third share of influence. Much of the Gironde
Gironde
wished to remove the Assembly from a city dominated by "agitators and flatterers of the people": it did not at the time encourage an aggressive federalism that would have run counter to its political ambitions.[10] The Plain[edit] The Plain was a third faction during the Convention. Though some historians consider these men to be closely associated with the Girondins, the Plain was much more centrist in their ideals.[citation needed] The Plain held the largest group of deputies and derived their name from their place on the floor of the Convention. During the start of the Convention, they sided with the Girondins, however, as it progressed and the Montagnards began to push for the execution of Louis, the Plain began to side with them. The Trial and Execution of the King[edit] Main article: Trial of Louis XVI Main article: Execution of Louis XVI

The trial of Louis XVI

From the opening of the Convention the Girondins
Girondins
showed no inclination to bring the king to trial. They were more interested in discrediting Paris
Paris
and its deputies. Their decision to hound the Jacobins was not merely a choice of priorities; they genuinely wanted to spare the king.[11] But in reality the Convention had to declare him guilty if it wanted to avoid damning 10 August 1792, its own existence, and the proclamation of the Republic. "If the king is not guilty, then those who have dethroned him are", as Robespierre
Robespierre
remarked on 2 December. Once the Convention recognized Louis's guilt it could hardly refuse to pronounce the death penalty against a person who had summoned the aid of foreign powers and whom the sans-culottes considered responsible for the ambush at the Tuileries.[12] The discovery of the iron chest in the Tuileries 20 November 1792 made the trial inevitable. Documents found in this secret chest proved without any doubt the treachery of Louis XVI. The trial began on 10 December. The Montagnards put the debate on the ideological level. Louis XVI was classified as an enemy, alien to the body of the nation and as a "usurper". Balloting began on 14 January 1793. Each deputy explained his vote at the rostrum. The vote against the king was unanimous. There was to be no popular referendum as Girondins
Girondins
hoped. The fatal vote started on 16 January and continued until the next day. Of the 721 deputies present, 387 declared themselves for the death penalty, while 334 were opposed. 26 deputies voted for death on condition that he was reprieved. On 18 January the question of reprieve was put to a vote: 380 votes were cast against; 310 for. Each time the Girondins
Girondins
had split.[13] On the morning of 21 January the Convention ordered the entire National Guard to line both sides of the route to the scaffold. Louis was beheaded at the Place de la Revolution. Within the nation, "voters" and "appellants", those that were against the execution of Louis,[clarification needed] swore undying hatred of each other. The rest of Europe, fearing the outcome of the French Revolution
French Revolution
in their own countries, decreed a war of extermination against regicides.[14][note 3] The Crisis and Fall of the Girondins[edit] The Assembly began harmoniously, but within a few days the Girondins launched a bitter attack on their Montagnard opponents. Conflict continued without interruption until the expulsion of the Girondin leaders from the Convention on 2 June 1793. The Girondins
Girondins
had relied on votes from the majority of the deputies, many of whom were alarmed as well as scandalized by the September massacres, but their insistence on monopolizing all positions of authority during the Convention, and their attacks on the Montagnard leaders, soon irritated them, causing them to regard the party as a faction. One by one, able deputies such as Couthon, Cambon, Carnot, Lindet
Lindet
and Barere began to gravitate towards the Montagnards, while the majority – the Plain, as it was called – held itself aloof from both sides. Girondins
Girondins
were convinced that their opponents aspired to a bloody dictatorship, while the Montagnards believed that the Girondins
Girondins
were ready for any compromise with conservatives, and even royalists, that would guarantee their remaining in power. The bitter enmity soon reduced the Convention to a state of limbo. Debate after debate degenerated into verbal brawling from which no decision could emerged. The political deadlock, which had repercussions all over France, eventually drove men to accept dangerous allies, royalists in the case of Girondins, Jacobins in that of the Montagnards.[7] Thus the struggle within the Convention continued without results. The decision was to come from outside.

Journées des 31 Mai 1er et 2 Juin 1793

Since the king's trial, the sans-culottes had been constantly assailing the "appealers" (appelants), and quickly came to desire their expulsion from the Convention. If this were achieved, the government could recover the energy to enable it to deal with the aristocratic plot by arresting suspects and establishing a revolutionary tribunal.[16] Military setbacks from the First Coalition, Dumouriez's treason and the war in the Vendée, which began in March 1793, were all used as arguments by Montagnards and sans-culottes to portray Girondins
Girondins
as soft. They demanded that the Girondins
Girondins
take measures to change thing, but the Girondins
Girondins
were reluctant to adopt the proposed measures. The Girondins
Girondins
were forced to accept the Montagnards creation of the Committee of Public Safety
Committee of Public Safety
and Revolutionary Tribunal. Social and economic difficulties exacerbated the tensions between the groups. The final showdown was precipitated by Jean-Paul Marat's trial and the arrest of sectional activists. On 25 May the Paris
Paris
Commune demanded that arrested patriots be released. In reply, Isnard, who was presiding over the Convention, launched into a diatribe against Paris
Paris
which was reminiscent of the Brunswick Manifesto: "If any attack made on the persons of the representatives of the nation, then I declare to you in the name of the whole country that Paris
Paris
would be destroyed". On the next day the Jacobins declared themselves in a state of insurrection. On 28 May the Cité section called the other sections to a meeting in order to organize the insurrection. On 29 May the delegates representing 33 of the sections formed an insurrectionary committee of nine members.[17] Main article: Insurrection of 31 May – 2 June 1793 On 2 June, 80,000 armed sans-culottes surrounded the Convention. After an attempt of deputies to leave collided with guns, the deputies resigned themselves to declare the arrest of 29 leading Girondins. In this way the Gironde
Gironde
ceased to be a political force. It had declared war without knowing how to conduct it; it had denounced the King but had shrunk from condemning him; it had contributed to the worsening of the economic crisis but had swept aside all the claims made by the popular movement.[18] Montagnard Convention[edit] Scarcely had the Gironde
Gironde
been eliminated when the Convention, now under Montagnard leadership, found itself caught between two threats. While forces of counter-revolution were gaining new impetus from the federalist revolt, the popular movement, roused to fury by high prices, was increasing the pressure it exercised on the government. Meanwhile, the Government was proving incapable of controlling the situation. In July 1793 the nation appeared to be on the point of falling apart.[19] Constitution 1793[edit] Main article: French Constitution of 1793

Constitution du Peuple Française du 6 Messidor l'an I (24 June 1793)

During the month of June the Montagnards played for time. Yet the Convention did not overlook the peasants. It was to these latter that the revolution of 31 May (like those of 14 July and 10 August) brought a substantial and permanent profit. On 3 June the sale of the property of emigrants, in small parcels and payable in ten years, was decreed; on the 10th, the optional division of common lands by head; and on 17 July, the abolition, without compensation, of all that remained of manorial rights.[20] The Montagnards attempted to reassure the middle classes by rejecting any idea of terror, by protecting property rights, and by restricting the popular movement to very narrowly circumscribed limits. It was a delicate balance to achieve, a balance that was destroyed in July by the worsening of the crisis. The Convention rapidly approved the new constitution, hoping to clear itself of the charge of dictatorship and calm the anxieties of the departments.[21] The Declaration of Rights which precedes the text of the Constitution solemnly reaffirmed the nation's indivisibility and the great principles of freedom of the press, equality and resistance to oppression. It went far beyond the Declaration of 1789, adding to it the right to public assistance, work, education and insurrection. No man could impose his will on others. All political and social tyranny was abolished. Although the montagnards had refused to be led further down the road to democracy, the Constitution became the bible of all democrats.[22] The chief aim of the Constitution was to ensure the major role of the deputies in the Convention, which was seen as being the essential basis for political democracy. The Legislative Assembly was to be elected by direct vote cast for a single member; deputies were elected on receiving a simple majority of the votes cast, and the assembly would sit for one year. The executive council of 24 members was chosen by the Legislative Assembly from among the 83 candidates chosen by the departments on the basis of universal male suffrage, and in this way ministers were made responsible to the representatives of the nation. The exercise of national sovereignty was widened through the institution of the referendum – the Constitution was to be ratified by the people, as were laws in certain precisely defined circumstances.[23] The Constitution was submitted for popular ratification and adopted by a huge margin of more than 1,801,918 in favour to some 17,610 against. The results of the plebiscite were made public on 10 August 1793, but the application of the Constitution, the text of which was placed in the sacred ark and laid in the debating-chamber of the Convention, was postponed until peace had been made.[24] Federalist revolt, war and counter-revolution[edit]

La Mort de Marat Jacques-Louis David, 1793, Brussels

Indeed, the Montagnards faced dramatic circumstances – federalist insurrection, war in the Vendée, military failures, and a worsening economic situation. Despite everything, a new civil war could not be avoided.[20] By the middle of June, about sixty departments were in more or less open rebellion. Fortunately the frontier departments had remained faithful to the Convention. The rising was widespread rather than deep. It was essentially the work of the departmental and district administrations. The communes, which were more popular in composition, showed themselves in general lukewarm or hostile; and federalist leaders soon became divided among themselves. Sincere republicans among them could not fail to be uneasy about the foreign invasion and the Vendée. Those who were seeing themselves rejected by the people, sought support from the moderates, the Feuillants and even from the aristocrats.[25] July and August were bad months on the frontiers. Within three weeks Mainz, the symbol of previous successes, capitulated to the Prussians, and the Austrians captured the fortresses of Condé and Valenciennes and invaded northern France. Spanish troops crossed the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
and began advancing on Perpignan. The Piedmontese took advantage of the diversion of republican forces at Lyons
Lyons
in order to invade France
France
from the East. In Corsica, Paoli's revolt expelled the French from the island with British support. British troops opened the siege of Dunkirk
Dunkirk
in August and in October the Allies invaded Alsace. The military situation had become desperate. In addition there were other incidents which compounded the fury of the revolutionaries and convinced them that their opponents had abandoned all restraint of civilized behavior. On 13 July, Charlotte Corday murdered sans-culotte idol Jean-Paul Marat. She had been in touch with Girondin rebels in Normandy
Normandy
and they were believed to have used her as their agent.[26] The lack of forethought displayed by the Convention during the first few days was redeemed by its vigor and skill in organizing measures of repression. Warrants were issued for the arrest of the rebellious Girondin leaders; the members of the revolting departmental administration were deprived of their office.[27] The regions in which the revolt was dangerous were precisely those in which a large number of royalists had remained. There was no room for a third party between the Mountain, which was identified with the Republic, and royalism, which was the ally of the enemy. The royalist insurrection in the Vendée had already led the Convention to take a long step in the direction of the Terror – that is to say, the dictatorship of central power and the suppression of liberties. The Girondin insurrection now prompted it to take a decisive step in the same direction.[28] Revolutionary government[edit]

La Marseillaise
La Marseillaise
par François Rude

The Constituent Assembly had legislated through its commissions. The Convention governed by means of its committees. Two of them were of essential importance: Public Safety and General Security. The second, which had formidable powers, is less well known than the first, which was the true executive authority and was armed with immense prerogatives. It dated from April, but its composition was thoroughly reshuffled during the summer of 1793.[29] The summer of 1793 saw sans-culotte disturbances reach a peak under a double banner: price-fixing and terror. On top of this came the news of unprecedented treason: Toulon
Toulon
and its squadron had been handed over to the enemy.[30] In the name of the wretched poverty of the people, the leaders of the Enragés, with Jacques Roux at their head, called for a planned economy from a Convention which had no liking for the idea. But the revolutionary logic of the mobilization of resources by national dictatorship was infinitely more powerful than economic doctrine. In August, a series of decrees gave the authorities discretionary powers over the production and circulation of grain, as well as ferocious punishments for fraud. "Granaries of plenty" were prepared, to stock corn requisitioned by authorities in each district. On 23 August the decree on the levée en masse turned able-bodied civilians into soldiers.[31] On 5 September, Parisians tried to repeat the revolt of 2 June. Armed sections again encircled the Convention to demand the setting up of an internal revolutionary army, the arrest of suspects and a purge of the committees. It was probably the key day in the formation of the revolutionary government: the convention yielded, but kept control of events. It put Terror on the agenda on 5 September, on 6th elected Collot d'Herbois
Collot d'Herbois
and Billaud-Varenne
Billaud-Varenne
to the Committee of Public Safety, on the 9th created the revolutionary army, on the 11th decreed the Maximum for grain and fodder (general controls for prices, and wages on the 29th), on the 14th reorganized the Revolutionary Tribunal, on the 17th voted in the law on suspects, and on the 20th gave the local revolutionary committees the task of drawing up lists of them.[32] The dictatorship of the Convention and the committees, simultaneously supported and controlled by the Parisian sections, representing the sovereign people in permanent session, lasted from June to September. It governed through a network of institutions set up haphazardly since spring in March, the Revolutionary Tribunal
Revolutionary Tribunal
and representatives on missions in the departments; was followed the next month by the Convention's representatives to the armies, also armed with unlimited powers; and enforced acceptance of assignat as the sole legal tender, price controls for grain and the forced loan of a billion livres from the rich.[33] At last France
France
saw a government take shape. Danton resigned from it on 10 July. Couthon, Saint-Just, Jeanbon Saint-Andre, and Prieur of the Marne formed a nucleus of resolute Montagnards who rallied Barrere
Barrere
and Lindet, then successfully added Robespierre
Robespierre
on 27 July, Carnot and Prieur of Cote-d'Ore on 14 August, and Collot d'Herbois
Collot d'Herbois
and Billaud-Varenne
Billaud-Varenne
on 6 September. They had a few clear ideas to which they clung: to command, to fight, and to conquer. Their work in common, the danger, the taste of and pride in power created solidarity that made the Committee an autonomous organism.[34] The committee was always managed collegially, despite the specific nature of the tasks of each director: the division into "politicians" and "technicians" was a Thermidorian invention, intended to lay the corpses of the Terror at the door of the Robespierrists alone. Many things, however, set the twelve committee members at loggerheads; Barrere
Barrere
was more a man of the Convention than of the committee and was a link with the Plaine. Robert Lindet
Lindet
had qualms about the Terror which, by contrast, was the outstanding theme of Collot d'Herbois
Collot d'Herbois
and Billaud-Varenne, latecomers to the committee, forced on it by the sans-culottes in September; unlike Robespierre
Robespierre
and his friends, Lazare Carnot had given his support only provisionally and for reasons of state to a policy concession to the people. But the situation which united them in the summer of 1793 was stronger than those differences of opinion.[29] The Committee had to set itself above all, and choose those popular demands which were most suitable for achieving the Assembly's aims: to crush the enemies of the Republic and dash the last hopes of the aristocracy. To govern in the name of the Convention, at the same time controlling it, and to restrain the people without quenching their enthusiasm — this was a gamble.[35] The ensemble of institutions, measures and procedures which constituted it was codified in a decree of 14 Frimaire (4 December) which set the seal on what had been the gradual development of centralized dictatorship founded on the Terror. In the center was the Convention, whose secular arm was the Committee of Public Safety, vested with immense powers: it interpreted the Convention's decrees and settled their methods of application; under its immediate authority it had all state bodies and all civil servants (even ministers would disappear in April 1794); it directed military and diplomatic activity, appointed generals and members of other committees, subject to ratification by the Convention. It held responsibility for conducting war, public order and the provisioning of the population. The Commune of Paris, a famous sans-culotte bastion, was neutralized by coming under its control.[32] The economy[edit] Administrative and economic centralization went hand in hand. The state of siege forced France
France
into autarky; to save the Republic the government mobilized all the nation's productive forces and reluctantly accepted the need for a controlled economy, which it introduced extemporaneously, as the emergency required.[36] It was necessary to develop war production, revive foreign trade, and find new resources in France
France
itself; and time was short. Circumstances gradually compelled it to assume the economic government of the country. Along with organization of the army, this was the most original feature of its work.[37] All material resources were subjected to requisitioning. Farmers surrendered their grain, fodder, wool, flax, and hemp. Artisans and merchants gave up their manufactured products. Raw materials were carefully sought out – metal of all kinds, church bells, old paper, rags and parchments, grasses, brushwood, and even household ashes for manufacturing of potassium salts, and chestnuts for distilling. All businesses were placed at the disposal of the nation – forests, mines, quarries, furnaces, forges, tanneries, paper mills, large cloth factories and shoe making workshops. The labor of men and the value of things were subject to price controls. No one had a right to speculate at the cost of Patrie while it was in danger. Armaments caused more concern. As early as September 1793 efforts were made to create a large factory in Paris
Paris
for rifles and sidearms.[38] A special appeal was made to scientists. Monge, Vandermonde, Berthollet, Darcet, Fourcroy perfected metallurgy and manufacture of arms.[39] Only to the wage earners did the Maximum seem thoroughly advantageous. It increased wages by one-half in relation to 1790, and commodities by only one-third. But since the Committee did not ensure that it was respected (except for bread), they would have been duped had they not been benefiting from the favorable conditions that a great war always offers the labor force.[40] Still Paris
Paris
became calmer, because the sans-culottes were gradually finding ways to subsist; the levée en masse and the formation of the revolutionary army were thinning their ranks; many now were working in arms and equipment shops, or in the offices of the committees and ministries, which were expanded enormously.[41] The Army of the Year II[edit] Main article: French Revolutionary Army During the summer the requisition of the levy was completed and by July the total strength of the army reached 650,000. The difficulties were tremendous. The war production just started in September. The army was in the middle of the purge. In the spring of 1794 the amalgamation was undertaken. Two battalions of volunteers joined one battalion of regulars to constitute a demi-brigade, or regiment. At the same time the command was reconstituted. The purge ended with most of the nobles excluded. The new generation reached the highest ranks, and the War College (Ecole de Mars) received six young men from each district to improve the staff. Army commanders were to be appointed by the Convention.[42] What gradually emerged was a military command unequaled in quality: Marceau, Hoche, Kleber, Massena, Jourdan, and a host of others, backed by officers who were sound both in their abilities as soldiers and in their sense of civic responsibility.[43] [note 4] For the first time since antiquity a truly national army marched to war, and for the first time, too, a nation succeeded in arming and feeding great numbers of soldiers – these are the novel characteristics of the army of the Year II. The technical innovations resulted chiefly from its sheer size as well the strategy that developed from it. The old system of cordons lost its prestige. Moving between the armies of the Coalition, the French could maneuver along interior lines, deploy part of their troops along the frontiers, and take advantage of the inaction of any one of their enemies to beat the others. Acting en masse, and overwhelming the foe by sheer numbers – such were Carnot's principles. They were still untried, and not until Bonaparte appeared did they enjoy any great success.[45] Fall of the factions[edit] As late as September 1793, there were two distinct wings among the revolutionaries. Firstly those who were later called Hébertists
Hébertists
– although Hébert himself was never the official leader of a party – advocated war to the death and adopted the program of the Enragés, ostensibly because the sans-culottes approved it. The Hebertists preferred to side with the Montagnards, so long as they could hope to control the Convention through them. They dominated the Cordeliers Club, filled Bouchotte's offices, and could generally carry the Commune with them.[46] The other wing was that of the Dantonists, which formed in response to the increasing centralization of the Revolutionary Government and the dictatorship of the Committees. The Dantonists
Dantonists
were led predominately by deputies of the Convention (rather than the sans-culottes), including Danton, Delacroix, and Desmoulins. Putting the needs of national defense above all other considerations, the Committee of Public Safety
Committee of Public Safety
had no intentions of giving in to the demands of either the popular movement or the moderates. Following the Hebertists
Hebertists
would jeopardize revolutionary unity, while the giving in to the demands of the moderates would have undermined the both the Terror and the controlled economy. However, unity, centralization, and the Terror were all considered essential to the war effort.[according to whom?] In order to balance the contradictory demands of these two factions, the Revolutionary Government attempted to maintain a position halfway between the moderate Dantonists
Dantonists
(citras) and the extremist Hebertists
Hebertists
(ultras).[47] But at the end of the winter of 1793-4, the shortage of food took a sharp turn for the worse. The Hebertists
Hebertists
incited sans-culottes to demand stringent measures, and at first the Committee did prove conciliatory. The Convention voted 10 million for relief,[clarification needed] on 3 Ventose, Barere
Barere
presented a new general Maximum, and on the 8th Saint-Just obtained a decree confiscating the property of suspects and distributing it to the needy (Ventose decrees). The Hebertists
Hebertists
felt that if they increased the pressure, they would triumph once and for all. Although the call appeared like one for insurrection it was probably just for a new demonstration, like the one in September. But the Committee of Public Safety decided on 22 Ventose Year II (12 March 1794) that the Hebertists
Hebertists
posed too serious a threat. The Committee linked Hebert, Ronsin, Vincent, and Momoro to the emigres Proli, Cloots and Pereira, so as to present the Hebertists
Hebertists
as parties to the "foreign plot". All were executed on 4 Germinal (24 March).[48] This move largely silenced the Hebertists, now without their leadership. Having succeeded in stifling dissent on the left, the Committee then turned on the Dantonists, several members of which were implicated in financial corruption. The Committee forced the Convention to lift the parliamentary immunity of nine Dantonist deputies, allowing them to be put on trial. On 5 April Dantonist leaders Danton, Delacroix, Desmoulins, and Philippeaux were executed.[49] The execution of the leaderships of both rival factions caused some to become disillusioned. Many sans-culottes were stunned by the Hebertists' execution. All the positions of influence traditionally held by the sans-culottes were eliminated: the Revolutionary Army was disbanded, the inspectors of food-hoarding were dismissed, Bouchotte lost the War Office, the Cordeliers Club
Cordeliers Club
was forced to self-censor and the Government pressure brought about closing 39 popular societies. The Paris
Paris
Commune, controlled by sans-culottes, was purged and filled with Committee nominees. With the execution of the Dantonists, many of the members of the National Convention
National Convention
lost trust in the Committee, and even began to fear for their personal safety.[50] Ultimately, the Committee had undermined its own support by eliminating the Dantonists
Dantonists
and Hebertists, both of which had backed the Committee. By compelling the Convention to allow the arrests of the Girondins
Girondins
and Dantonists, the Committee believed it had destroyed its major opposition. However, the trials demonstrated the Committee's lack of respect for members of the Convention (several of whom had been executed). Many Convention members who had sided with the Committee in the past by mid-1794 no longer supported it. The Committee had acted as mediator between the Convention and the sans-culottes from which they both had acquired their strength. By executing the Hebertists
Hebertists
and alienating the sans-culottes, the Committee became unnecessary to the Assembly.[51] The Terror[edit] Main article: Reign of Terror Though the Terror was organized in September 1793, it was not introduced until October. It had resulted from a popular movement. A new chapter of the Revolutionary Tribunal
Revolutionary Tribunal
was opened after 5 September, divided into four sections: the Committees of Public Safety and General Security were to propose the names of judges and jurymen; Fouquier-Tinville
Fouquier-Tinville
stayed as public prosecutor, and Herman was nominated president.[52] The Terror was meant to discourage support for the enemies of the Revolution by condemning outspoken critics of the Montagnards.[53] The great political trials began in October. The queen was guillotined on 16 October. A special decree stifled the defense of 21 Girondins, including Vergniaud
Vergniaud
and Brissot, and they perished on the 31st.[41] At the summit of the apparatus of the Terror sat the Committee of General Security, the state's second organization. It consisted of twelve members elected each month by the Convention, and vested with security, surveillance and police functions, including over civil and military authorities. It employed a large staff, headed the gradually constituted network of local revolutionary committees, and applied the law on suspects by sifting through the thousands of local denunciations and arrests which it then had to try.[54] It struck down the enemies of the Republic whoever and wherever they were. It was socially indiscriminate and politically perspicacious. Its victims belonged to the classes which hated the Revolution or lived in the regions where rebellion was most serious. "The severity of repressive measures in the provinces," wrote Mathiez, "was in direct proportion to danger of revolt."[55] Many outspoken members of the community were tried and executed for claims of treason: Camille Desmoulins
Desmoulins
and Georges Danton
Georges Danton
were two of the more notable men executed for their "threats" against the Revolution.[56] Deputies sent as "representatives on mission" by the Committee of Public Safety, armed with full powers, reacted according to both the local situation and their own temperaments: Lindet
Lindet
pacified the Girondin west in July without a single death sentence; in Lyon, some months later, Collot d'Herbois
Collot d'Herbois
and Joseph Fouche
Joseph Fouche
relied on frequent summary executions by shooting because the guillotine was not working swiftly enough.[57][note 5] Thermidor[edit]

9 Thermidor

The Jacobin
Jacobin
dictatorship could only hope to remain in power so long as it was dealing successfully with a national emergency. As soon as its political opponents had been destroyed, and its foreign enemies defeated, it would lose the chief force that kept it together. The Jacobin
Jacobin
fall happened more rapidly than expected because of issues within the party.[59] So long as it remained united, the Committee was virtually invulnerable, but it had scarcely attained the apogee of its power before signs of internal conflict appeared.[60] The Committee of Public Safety had never been a homogeneous body. It was a coalition cabinet. Its members were kept together less by comradeship or common ideals than by calculation and routine. The press of business which at first prevented personal quarrels also produced tired nerves. Trifling differences were exaggerated into the issues of life and death. Small disputes estranged them from one another.[61] Carnot, in particular, was irritated by the criticisms directed at his plans by Robespierre and Saint-Just, Dispute followed dispute.[62] Bickering broke out on the Committee of Public Safety, with Carnot describing Robespierre
Robespierre
and Saint-Just as "ridiculous dictators" and Collot making veiled attacks on the "Incorruptible". From the end of June until 23 July Robespierre ceased to attend the Committee.[60] Realizing the danger of fragmentation, they attempted a reconciliation. Saint-Just and Couthon
Couthon
favored it, but Robespierre doubted sincerity of his enemies. It was he who brought about the fatal intervention of the Convention. On 8 Thermidor, Year II (26 July 1794), he denounced his opponents, and demanded that "unity of government" be realized. When called upon to name those whom he was accusing, however, he refused. This failure destroyed him, for it was assumed that he was demanding a blank cheque.[62] This night an uneasy alliance was formed from threatened deputies and members of The Plain. On the next day, 9 Thermidor, Robespierre
Robespierre
and his friends were not allowed to speak, and their indictment was decreed. The men of the extreme left played the leading roles: Billaud-Varenne, who attacked, and Collot d'Herbois, who presided. On hearing the news the Paris
Paris
Commune, loyal to the man who had inspired it, called for an insurrection and released the arrested deputies in the evening and mobilized two or three thousand militants.[63] The night of 9–10 Thermidor was one of great confusion in Paris, as Commune and Assembly competed for the support of the sections and their troops. The Convention proclaimed that the rebels were henceforth outlaws; Barras was given the task of mustering an armed force, and the moderate sections gave this their support. The National Guardsmen and artillerymen assembled outside the Hotel de Ville were left without instructions and little by little they dispersed and left the square deserted. Around two o'clock in the morning a column from Gravilliers section led by Léonard Bourdon burst in the Hotel de Ville and arrested insurgents. On the evening of 10 Thermidor (28 July 1794), Robespierre, Saint-Just, Couthon
Couthon
and nineteen of their political allies were executed without trial. On the following day it was the turn of a large batch of 71 men, the largest mass execution in the entire course of the Revolution.[64] Thermidorian Convention[edit] Whatever reasons the conspirators had behind 9 Thermidor, the events afterwards went beyond their intentions. Evidently the remaining members on the Committees counted on staying in office and currying the favour of the Jacobin
Jacobin
dictatorship, as though nothing more had happened than a party purge.[65] Thermidorian Reaction[edit] Main article: Thermidorian Reaction They were speedily disabused of this notion. Robespierrists might go out and Dantonists
Dantonists
come in; the Convention had recovered its initiative and would put an end, once and for all, to the dictatorial committees government which had ousted it from power. It was decreed that no member of governing committees should hold office for more than four months. Three days later the Prairial Law was repealed and the Revolutionary Tribunal
Revolutionary Tribunal
shorn of its abnormal powers. The Commune was replaced with a Commission of Civil Administrators (commission des administrateurs civils) from the ranks of the Conventions. In November the Jacobin
Jacobin
club was closed. Not merely anti-Robespierrist but anti- Jacobin
Jacobin
reaction was in full flood. At the beginning of September Billaud, Collot and Barere
Barere
left the Committee of Public Safety; by the end of the year they were in prison.[65] The stability of the government was weakening. Next came the concentration of power, another revolutionary principle. The identification of the Committee of Public Safety
Committee of Public Safety
with the executive was ended on 7 Fructidor (24 August), restricting it to its former domain of war and diplomacy. The Committee of General Security kept its control over the police. There was now to be a total of sixteen committees. Conventionnels, while aware of the dangers of fragmentation, were even more worried by its experience of monopoly of powers. In a few weeks the revolutionary government was dismantled.[66] These measures affected, finally, the instruments of the Terror and opened numerous breaches in the apparatus of repression. The law of 22 Prairial was repealed, the prisons were opened and "suspects" were released: 500 in Paris
Paris
in a single week. A few public trials were staged — including those of Carrier, held responsible for the mass-drowning at Nantes, and Fouquier-Tinville, notorious as the public prosecutor of the Great Terror of the late spring and summer of 1794 – after which the Revolutionary Tribunal
Revolutionary Tribunal
was quietly put aside.[67][note 6] The destruction of the system of revolutionary government eventually brought about the end of the Economic Terror. Maximum was relaxed even before 9 Thermidor. Now nobody believed in it any longer. Because the black market was plentifully supplied, the idea took hold that price control equalled scarcity and that free trade would bring back abundance. It was generally supposed that prices would rise but that then they would fall as a result of competition. This illusion was to be shattered in the winter. Formally the Convention put the end to the maximum on 4 Nivose Year III (24 December 1794).[68] The abandonment of the controlled economy provoked a frightful catastrophe. Prices soared and the rate of exchange fell. The Republic was condemned to massive inflation and its currency was ruined. In Thermidor, Year III, assignats were worth less than 3% of their face value. Neither peasants nor merchants would accept anything but cash. The debacle was so swift that economic life seemed to come to standstill. The crisis was greatly aggravated by famine. Peasants, finally, stopped bringing any produce, because they did not wish to accept assignats. The government continued to provision Paris, but was unable to supply the promised rations. In provinces local municipalities resorted to some sort of regulations, provided not direct coercion in obtaining provisions. The misery of rural day laborers, abandoned by everyone, was often appalling. Inflation ruined creditors to the advantage of debtors. It unleashed an unprecedented speculation.[69] At the beginning of spring, scarcity was such that more unrest appeared almost everywhere. Paris
Paris
was active again. Crushing of the popular movement[edit]

Journée du 1er Prairial de l'an III

Discontent increased along with the shortages. On 17 March a delegation from faubourgs Saint-Marceau and Saint-Jacques complained that "We are on the verge of regretting all the sacrifices that we have made for the Revolution." Police law was passed which lay down the death penalty for use of seditious language. Arms were distributed to the "good citizens", the faithful nucleus of the National Guard. The trial of strength was approaching. Main article: Insurrection of 12 Germinal, Year III On 10 Germinal (30 March) all the sections called their general assemblies. The political geography of Paris
Paris
emerged clearly from this. Convention debate was centered on two issues: the fate of Barere, Collot, Billaud
Billaud
and Vadier, and the implementation of the constitution of 1793. While in the sections of the center and the west formal addresses called for the punishment of the "Four" and passed over the food shortages, the sections of the east and the faubourgs demanded measures to deal with the grain crisis, the implementation of the constitution of 1793, the reopening of the popular societies and the release of the imprisoned patriots.[70] On the morning of 12 Germinal (1 April) crowds gathered on the Ile de la Cité and, pushing aside the palace guards, burst into the chamber where the Convention met. Amidst the uproar, spokesmen of the sections outlined the people's grievances. Reliable battalions of National Guard were called and demonstrators, lacking arms and leaders, were forced to withdraw. For the most people it was the constitution of 1793 – seen as a liberating utopia – which represented the solution to all evils. There were others who openly regretted the passing of "the reign of Robespierre".[71] Main article: Insurrection of 1 Prairial But it was not the end. A new explosion was on the horizon. Insurrection was being openly prepared. On 1 Prairial (20 May 1795) the alarm bells sounded in the faubourgs Saint-Antoine and Marceau. The armed battalions arrived at Place du Carousel and entered the sitting chamber. After an hour of uproar, "The Insurrection of the People" (L'Insurection du Peuple) was read. In the chaos, none of the ringleaders thought of implementing the key item of the program: the overthrow of the government. The remainder of the Montagnards, The Crest (la Crête de la Montagne), managed to obtain the passage of decrees favorable to the rebels. But at 11:30 p.m. two armed columns entered the chamber and cleared out the rioters. The next day insurgents repeated the same mistakes and after receiving promises from the deputies to take speedy measures against the famine, returned to the sections. On 3 Prairial the government assembled loyal troops, chasseurs and dragoons, national guardsmen, selected from those "who had fortune to preserve" — 20,000 men in all. Faubourg Saint-Antoine
Faubourg Saint-Antoine
was surrounded and on 4 Prairial surrendered and was disarmed. Uncertainty about how to react, hesitancy in action, and lack of revolutionary leadership had doomed the popular movement to throw away its last chance in battle.[72] 4 Prairial Year III is one of the crucial dates of the revolutionary period. The people had ceased to be a political force, participants in history. They were now no more than victims or spectators. Constitution of the Year III[edit] Main article: Constitution of the Year III

Constitution de la République Française du 5 Fructidor l'an III (22 août 1795)

The victors now could set up a new constitution, the task the National Convention was originally elected for. The Commission of Eleven (the most notable members of which were Daunou, Lanjuinais, Boissy d'Anglas, Thibaudeau and La Révellière) drafted a text which would reflect the new balance of power. It was presented on 5 Messidor (23 June) and passed on 22 August 1795 (5 Fructidor of the Year III). The new constitution went back to the constitution of 1791 as to the dominant ideology of the country. Equality was certainly confirmed, but within the limits of civil equality. Numerous democratic rights of the constitution 1793 – the right to work, to relief, to education – were omitted. The Convention wanted to define rights and simultaneously reject both the privilege of the old order and social leveling. The constitution went back to the distinction between active and passive citizens. Only citizens over twenty-five years old, disposing of an income of two hundred days of work, were eligible to be electors. This electoral body, which held the real power, included 30,000 people, half as many as in 1791. Guided by recent experience, institutions were set up to protect the Republic from two dangers: the omnipotence of an assembly and dictatorship. Bicameral legislature as a precaution against sudden political fluctuations was proposed: the Council of Five Hundred
Council of Five Hundred
with rights to propose laws and Council of the Ancients, 250 deputies, with powers to accept or reject proposed laws. Executive power was to be shared between five Directors chosen by the Ancients from the list drawn by Five Hundred. One of the Directors would be renewed each year with re-election after five years. As one of the practical precautions, no military were allowed within 60 miles of the sitting assembly and it could relocate in case of danger. The Directory still retained great power, including emergency powers to curb freedom of the press and freedom of association. The Constitution generally was accepted favorably, even by those on the right, who were hopeful for the upcoming elections and even more happy to get rid of the legislative body so hated by them. But how to make sure that the new elected body would not overturn the constitution as it was before with Legislative Assembly? Thermidorians attempted this on 5 Fructidor (22 August) by voting for a decree on "formation of a new legislative body". Article II stipulated: "All members presently active in the Convention are re-eligible. Election assemblies may not take fewer than two-thirds of them to form the legislative body". This was known as the Law of the Two-Thirds.[73] Vendemiaire[edit] Main article: 13 Vendémiaire

Napoleon
Napoleon
Bonaparte quelling of the Royalist revolt 13 Vendémiaire, in front of the Église Saint-Roch, rue Saint-Honoré.

On 23 September the results were announced: the constitution was accepted by 1,057,390 votes, with 49,978 against. The Two-Thirds decrees obtained only 205,498 votes in favor and 108,754 against.[74] But the Convention had not taken into account those Paris
Paris
sections who were against Two-Thirds decrees and failed to provide precise vote figures: 47 Parisian sections had rejected the decrees.[75] Eighteen of the Paris
Paris
sections contested the result. The Lepeletier section issued a call to insurrection. By 11 Vendemiaire seven sections were in state of revolt, sections which were the base of the Convention since 9 Thermidor and now won by the far right if not royalists. The Convention declared itself permanent.[76] The conventionnels knew the score. They knew the art of insurrection by heart and to bring down muscadins was easier than the sans-culottes.[77] Five members including Barras were appointed to deal with the crisis. A decree of 12 Vendemiaire (4 October) repealed the former disarmament of the former terrorists and an appeal to sans-culottes was issued.[note 7] During the nights of Vendemiaire 12-13 (October 4–5), General Jacques de Menou de Boussay was tasked with putting down the royalist rebels and keep them from attacking the Convention. He recruited other generals to help aid in quelling the insurrection such as, Napoleon Bonaparte. The rebels outnumbered the Army by the thousands, but because of their preparations the night before, Bonaparte and the armies were able to line the road into Paris
Paris
with cannons from Sablons Camp. Without a way into Paris, the rebels surrendered to the Convention on Vendemiaire 13. Barras and the Convention gave the armies permission to kill. Within 45 minutes over 300 royalist rebels were dead in front of the Church of Saint Roch. The rest had scattered and fled.[78] Moderate repression ensued and the White Terror in the south was stopped. On 4 Brumaire Year IV, just before breaking up, the Convention voted a general amnesty for "deeds exclusively connected with the Revolution".[76] Legacy[edit] The article on the Convention in the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica concludes, "The work of the Convention was immense in all branches of public affairs. To appreciate it without prejudice, one should recall that this assembly saved France
France
from a civil war and invasion, that it founded the system of public education (Museum, École Polytechnique, École Normale Supérieure, École des langues orientales, Conservatoire), created institutions of capital importance, like that of the Grand Livre de la Dette publique, and definitely established the social and political gains of the Revolution." By a decree of 4 February 1794 (16 pluviôse) it also ratified and expanded to the whole French colonial empire
French colonial empire
the 1793 abolition of slavery on Saint-Domingue
Saint-Domingue
by civil commissioners Sonthonax and Polverel, though this did not affect Martinique
Martinique
or Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe
and was abolished by the law of 20 May 1802. See also[edit]

Fall of the French monarchy Girondist The Mountain Georges Danton Maximilien Robespierre Marat Ministers of the French National Convention

Notes[edit]

^ The Convention had therefore been elected by small minority of the population, but those who were the most determined. That explains the ambiguity of the word "popular" when it is applied to this period: "popular" the French Revolution
French Revolution
was certainly not in the sense of participation by the people in public affairs. But if the word "popular" is taken to mean that revolutionary policy was formed under pressure from the sans-culotte movement and organized minorities, and received an egalitarian impetus from them, then yes, the Revolution had well and truly entered its "popular" age.[3] ^ During the early meetings of the Convention the deputies had sat indiscriminately, where they pleased. But it was noticed that, as the quarrel between Jacobins and Girondins
Girondins
developed, they grouped themselves to the right and left of the President's chair, whiles the extreme Jacobins found a place of vantage in the higher seats at the end of the hall, which came to be called the Mountain (La Montagne).[5] ^ As opposed to the English Revolution, the French Revolution
French Revolution
killed not only the king of France, but royalty itself. In this sense, even if the Conventionnels had only transformed into a national tragedy what the last century of absolutism had already marked out as inevitable, they had accomplished their aim: to strip royalty from the nation's future. By executing the king, they had severed France's last ties with her past, and made the rupture with the ancien régime complete.[15] ^ The revolutionaries turned soldiers did not forget their attachments. Hoche had been a Maratist, Kleber and Marceau praised the activity of Carrier, and Bonaparte attached himself to the Robespierre brothers. So many years later, even men like Marmont
Marmont
and Soult
Soult
were moved with emotion by the memory of the shining hours they had known in the service of the "Indivisible Republic".[44] ^ Based on recent figures of the Terror: 17,000 victims names distributed according to specific geographical areas: 52% in the Vendee, 19% in the south-east, 10% in the capital and 13% in the rest of France. Distinction is between zones of turmoil and an insignificant proportion of quite rural areas. Between departments, the contrast becomes more striking. Some were hard hit, the Loire-Inferieure, the Vendee, the Maine-et-Loire, the Rhone
Rhone
and Paris. In six departments no executions were recorded; in 31, there were fewer than 10; in 32, fewer than 100; and only in 18 were there more than 1,000. Charges of rebellion and treason were by far the most frequent grounds for execution (78%), followed by federalism (10%), crimes of opinion (9%) and economic crimes (1.25%). Artisans, shopkeepers. wage-earners and humble folk made up the largest contingent (31%), concentrated in Lyons, Marseilles and neighboring small towns. Because of the peasant rebellion in the Vendée, peasants are more heavily represented (28%) than the federalist and merchant bourgeoisie. Nobles (8.25%) and priests (6.5%), who would seem to have been relatively spared, actually provided a higher proportion of victims than other social categories. In the most sheltered regions, they were the only victims. Furthermore, the "Great Terror" is hardly distinguishable from the rest. In June and July 1794, it accounted for 14% of executions, as against 70% from October 1793 to May 1794, and 3.5% before September 1793. if one adds executions without trial and deaths in prison, a total of 50,000 seems likely, that is 2 per 1,000 of the population.[58] ^ Yet an unofficial Terror-in-reverse continued. In the provinces the Terror assumed violent and vicious form. In the Lyonnais, the Company of Jesus flung the bodies of its victims, men and women, into the Rhone, and prisoners were massacred wholesale in gaol or on their way to prison, while in other cities, bands of so-called Companies of Jehu and the Sun indiscriminately murdered "terrorists", "patriots of '89" and – most eagerly of all – purchasers of former Church properties. Such excesses were deplored in Paris, but the Convention and its Committees were powerless to contain forces that they had themselves done much to unleash.[67] ^ Barras reference to "Faubourg Saint-Antoin whose attachment to the cause of liberty is well known" in subsequent report offers curious commentary to the official evolution since journees of prairial.[74]

References[edit]

^ Dupuy 2005, p. 34-40. ^ Thompson 1959, p. 310. ^ Furet 1996, p. 115. ^ The National Convention
National Convention
1906 ^ Thompson 1959, p. 320. ^ Thompson 1959, p. 315. ^ a b Hampson 1988, p. 157. ^ "Girondin political group, France". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2016-12-12.  ^ Reilly, Benjamin (2004). "Polling the Opinions: A Reexamination of Mountain, Plain, and Gironde
Gironde
in the National Convention". Social Science History. 28: 53–73. doi:10.1215/01455532-28-1-53. JSTOR 40267833.  ^ Bouloiseau 1983, p. 51. ^ Jordan 1979, p. 59. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 270. ^ Soboul 1974, p. 284. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 272. ^ Furet 1996, p. 122. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 42. ^ Soboul 1974, p. 309. ^ Soboul 1974, p. 311. ^ Soboul 1974, p. 313. ^ a b Lefebvre 1963, p. 55. ^ Soboul 1974, p. 314. ^ Bouloiseau 1983, p. 67. ^ Soboul 1974, p. 316. ^ Mathiez 1929, p. 338. ^ Mathiez 1929, p. 336. ^ Hampson 1988, p. 189. ^ Mathiez 1929, p. 337. ^ Mathiez 1929, p. 340. ^ a b Furet 1996, p. 132. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 68. ^ [deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/50931/156.pdf?sequence=1 "From Mobilization to Revolution"] Check url= value (help) (PDF). Charles Tilly University of Michigan. March 1977. Retrieved December 12, 2016.  ^ a b Furet 1996, p. 134. ^ Furet 1996, p. 133. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 62. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 64. ^ Bouloiseau 1983, p. 100. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 100. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 104. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 101. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 109. ^ a b Lefebvre 1963, p. 71. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 96. ^ Soboul 1974, p. 400. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 98. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 99. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 61. ^ Soboul 1974, p. 359. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 88. ^ Hampson 1988, p. 220. ^ Hampson 1988, p. 221. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 90. ^ Soboul 1974, p. 341. ^ " Reign of Terror
Reign of Terror
French history". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2016-12-12.  ^ Furet 1996, p. 135. ^ Greer 1935, p. 19. ^ " Reign of Terror
Reign of Terror
French history". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2016-12-12.  ^ Furet 1996, p. 138. ^ Bouloiseau 1983, p. 210. ^ Thompson 1959, p. 502. ^ a b Hampson 1988, p. 229. ^ Thompson 1959, p. 508. ^ a b Lefebvre 1963, p. 134. ^ Furet 1996, p. 150. ^ Soboul 1974, p. 411–412. ^ a b Thompson 1959, p. 516. ^ Woronoff 1984, p. 2. ^ a b Rude 1988, p. 115. ^ Woronoff 1984, p. 9–10. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 142–143. ^ Woronoff 1984, p. 15. ^ Woronoff 1984, p. 17. ^ Woronoff 1984, p. 20. ^ Furet 1996, p. 166. ^ a b Hampson 1988, p. 247. ^ Woronoff 1984, p. 31. ^ a b Soboul 1974, p. 473. ^ Furet 1996, p. 167. ^ " Napoleon
Napoleon
and Counter-Revolutionary Royalists - 13 Vendémiaire
13 Vendémiaire
Year 4 - Napoleon
Napoleon
& Empire". www.napoleon-empire.com. Retrieved 2016-12-12. 

Sources[edit]

Andress, David (2006). The Terror: the merciless war for freedom in revolutionary France. Farrar: Straus and Giroux. ISBN 0-374-27341-3.  Aulard, François-Alphonse (1910). The French Revolution, a Political History, 1789–1804, in 4 vols. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.  Bouloiseau, Marc (1983). The Jacobin
Jacobin
Republic: 1792–1794. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-28918-1.  Dupuy, Roger (2005). La République jacobine. Terreur, guerre et gouvernement révolutionnaire (1792—1794). Paris: Le Seuil, coll. Points. ISBN 2-02-039818-4.  Furet, François (1996). The French Revolution: 1770–1814. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-631-20299-4.  Greer, Donald (1935). Incidence of the Terror During the French Revolution: A Statistical Interpretation. Peter Smith Pub Inc. ISBN 978-0-8446-1211-9.  Hampson, Norman (1988). A Social History of the French Revolution. Routledge: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-7100-6525-6.  Jordan, David (1979). The King's Trial:Luis XVI vs. the French Revolution. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-04399-5.  Lefebvre, Georges (1962). The French Revolution: from its Origins to 1793. vol. I. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-08599-0.  Lefebvre, Georges (1963). The French Revolution: from 1793 to 1799. vol. II. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-02519-X.  Lefebvre, Georges (1964). The Thermidorians & the Directory. New York: Random House.  Linton, Marisa, Choosing Terror: Virtue, Friendship and Authenticity in the French Revolution
French Revolution
(Oxford University Press, 2013). Mathiez, Albert (1929). The French Revolution. New York: Alfred a Knopf.  Rude, George (1988). The French Revolution. New York: Grove Weidenfeld. ISBN 1-55584-150-3.  Soboul, Albert (1974). The French Revolution: 1787–1799. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-394-47392-2.  Thompson, J. M. (1959). The French Revolution. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.  Woronoff, Denis (1984). The Thermidorean regime and the directory: 1794–1799. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-28917-3. 

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

External links[edit]

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Vincent Auriol René Coty

Fifth Republic (1958–present)

Charles de Gaulle Alain Poher* Georges Pompidou Alain Poher* Valéry Giscard d'Estaing François Mitterrand Jacques Chirac Nicolas Sarkozy François Hollande Emmanuel Macron

Debatable or disputed rulers are in italics. Acting heads of state are denoted by an asterisk*. Millerand held the presidency in an acting capacity before being fully elected.

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Governments of France
France
(1792–1870)

First Republic (1792–1804)

National Convention Committee of Public Safety French Directory French Consulate

First Empire (1804–1814)

Napoleon Provisional Government of 1814 First restoration Hundred Days Provisional Government of 1815

Restoration (1814–1830)

Talleyrand Richelieu (1) Dessolles Decazes Richelieu (2) Villèle Martignac Polignac Mortemart

July Monarchy
July Monarchy
(1830–1848)

Paris
Paris
Municipal Commission Provisional Ministry First ministry of Louis-Philippe Laffitte Casimir Perier Soult
Soult
(1) Gérard Maret Mortier de Broglie Thiers (1) Molé (1) Molé (2) Transitional cabinet of 1839 Soult
Soult
(2) Thiers (2) Soult
Soult
(3) Guizot

Second Republic (1848–1852)

Provisional Government Executive Commission Cavaignac Barrot (1) Barrot (2) Hautpoul Petit ministère Faucher Last cabinet of the French Second Republic Louis Napoleon
Napoleon
(1) Louis Napoleon
Napoleon
(2)

Second Empire (1852–1870)

Third cabinet of Napoleon
Napoleon
III Fourth cabinet of Napoleon
Napoleon
III Ollivier Cousin-Montauban

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French Revolution

Causes Timeline Ancien Régime Revolution Constitutional monarchy Republic Directory Consulate Glossary

Significant civil and political events by year

1788

Day of the Tiles
Day of the Tiles
(7 Jun 1788) Assembly of Vizille
Assembly of Vizille
(21 Jul 1788)

1789

What Is the Third Estate?
What Is the Third Estate?
(Jan 1789) Réveillon riots (28 Apr 1789) Convocation of the Estates-General (5 May 1789) National Assembly (17 Jun – 9 Jul 1790) Tennis Court Oath
Tennis Court Oath
(20 Jun 1789) National Constituent Assembly (9 Jul – 30 Sep 1791) Storming of the Bastille
Storming of the Bastille
(14 Jul 1789) Great Fear (20 Jul – 5 Aug 1789) Abolition of Feudalism (4-11 Aug 1789) Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
(27 Aug 1789) Women's March on Versailles
Women's March on Versailles
(5 Oct 1789)

1790

Abolition of the Parlements (Feb–Jul 1790) Abolition of the Nobility (19 Jun 1790) Civil Constitution of the Clergy
Civil Constitution of the Clergy
(12 Jul 1790)

1791

Flight to Varennes
Flight to Varennes
(20–21 Jun 1791) Champ de Mars Massacre
Champ de Mars Massacre
(17 Jul 1791) Declaration of Pillnitz (27 Aug 1791) The Constitution of 1791 (3 Sep 1791) Legislative Assembly (1 Oct 1791 – Sep 1792)

1792

France
France
declares war (20 Apr 1792) Brunswick Manifesto
Brunswick Manifesto
(25 Jul 1792) Paris
Paris
Commune becomes insurrectionary (Jun 1792) 10th of August (10 Aug 1792) September Massacres
September Massacres
(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 (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
Desmoulins
guillotined (5 Apr 1794) Law of 22 Prairial
Law of 22 Prairial
(10 Jun 1794) Thermidorian Reaction
Thermidorian Reaction
(27 Jul 1794) Robespierre
Robespierre
guillotined (28 Jul 1794) White Terror (Fall 1794) Closing of the Jacobin
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
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

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