Bertrand Barère

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Bertrand Barère
Portrait of Barère by Jean-Louis Laneuville (1794)
Member of the Chamber of Representatives
from Hautes-Pyrénées
In office
3 June 1815 13 July 1815
Preceded by Jean Lacrampe
Succeeded by Jean-Baptiste Darrieux
Constituency Tarbes
Member of the Council of Five Hundred
from Hautes-Pyrénées
In office
22 October 1795 26 December 1799
Preceded byHimself in the National Convention
Constituency Tarbes
Commissioner to Navy, Military and Foreign Affairs
In office
6 April 1793 1 September 1794
Majority Committee of Public Safety
7th President of the National Convention
In office
29 November 1792 31 December 1792
Preceded by Henri Grégoire
Succeeded by Jacques Defermon
Member of the National Convention
from Hautes-Pyrénées
In office
4 September 1792 26 October 1795
Preceded by Jean Dareau-Laubadère
Succeeded byHimself in the Council of Five Hundred
Constituency Tarbes
Deputy to the Estates-General
for the Third Estate
In office
5 May 1789 9 July 1789
Constituency Bigorre
Personal details
Born(1755-09-10)10 September 1755
Tarbes, Gascony, France
Died13 January 1841(1841-01-13) (aged 85)
Tarbes, Hautes-Pyrénées, France
Political party Marais (1792–1795)
Montagnard (1795–1799)
Liberal Left (1815)
Élisabeth de Monde
(m. 1785;separated 1793)
Profession Lawyer
Signature Barere de VieuzacSignature.jpg

Bertrand Barère de Vieuzac (10 September 1755 13 January 1841) was a French politician, freemason, [1] journalist, and one of the most prominent members of the National Convention during the French Revolution.

France Republic in Europe with several non-European regions

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.02 million. France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

National Convention Single-chamber assembly in France from 21 September 1792 to 26 October 1795

The National Convention 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.

French Revolution Revolution in France, 1789 to 1798

The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.


Early life

Betrand Barère was born in Tarbes, a commune part of the Gascony region. The name Barère de Vieuzac, by which he continued to call himself long after the abolition of feudalism in France, originated from a small fief belonging to his father, Jean Barère, who was a lawyer at Vieuzac (now Argelès-Gazost). [2] Barère's mother, Jeanne-Catherine Marrast, was of old nobility. [3] Barére attended parish school when he was a child, and by the time he was of age, his brother, Jean-Pierre, became a priest. [3] Jean-Pierre would later earn a spot in the Council of Five Hundred alongside the very men who discarded any notion of accepting Bertrand Barére as a member. [4]

Tarbes Prefecture and commune in Occitanie, France

Tarbes is a commune in the Hautes-Pyrénées department in the Occitanie region of southwestern France. It is the capital of Bigorre. It has been a commune since 1790. It was known as Turba or Tarba in Roman times. Tarbes is part of the historical region of Gascony.

Gascony former France territory

Gascony is a province of southwestern France that was part of the "Province of Guyenne and Gascony" prior to the French Revolution. The region is vaguely defined, and the distinction between Guyenne and Gascony is unclear; by some they are seen to overlap, while others consider Gascony a part of Guyenne. Most definitions put Gascony east and south of Bordeaux.

Abolition of feudalism in France Abolition of the feudal system by the Constituent Assembly

One of the central events of the French Revolution was to abolish feudalism, and the old rules, taxes and privileges left over from the age of feudalism. The National Constituent Assembly, acting on the night of 4 August 1789, announced, "The National Assembly abolishes the feudal system entirely." It abolished both the seigneurial rights of the Second Estate and the tithes gathered by the First Estate. The old judicial system, founded on the 13 regional parlements, was suspended in November 1789, and finally abolished in 1790.

After finishing parish school, Barère attended a college before delving into his career in revolutionary politics. In 1770, he began to practice as a lawyer at the Parlement of Toulouse, one of the most celebrated parliaments of the kingdom. Barère practiced as an advocate with considerable success and wrote some small pieces, which he sent to the principal literary societies in the south of France. His fame as an essayist was what led to his election as a member of the Academy of Floral Games of Toulouse in 1788. This body held a yearly meeting of great interest to the whole city, at which flowers of gold and silver were awarded for odes, idyls, and eloquence. Although Barère never received any of these bounties, one of his performances was mentioned with honor. At the Academy of Floral Games of Montauban, he was awarded many prizes, including one for a panegyric on King Louis the XII, and another for a panegyric on Franc de Pompignan. Shortly after, Barère wrote a dissertation on an old stone with three Latin words engraved on it. This earned him a seat in the Toulouse Academy of Sciences, Inscriptions, and Polite Literature. [2]

The Parlement of Toulouse was one of the parlements of the Kingdom of France. It was modelled on the Parlement of Paris. It was first created in 1420, but definitely established by edicts in 1437 and 1443 by Charles VII as an appellate court of justice on civil, criminal and ecclesiastic affairs for the Languedoc region, including Quercy, the County of Foix and Armagnac. It was the first parlement in the south of France, and it gained in prestige both by its distance from Paris and from the differences between southern France's legal system and northern France's.

Floral Games were any of a series of historically related poetry contests with floral prizes. In Occitan, their original language, and Catalan they are known as Jocs florals. In French they became the Jeux floraux, and in Basque Lore jokoak. The original contests may have been inspired by the Roman Floralia held in honour of Flora.

A panegyric is a formal public speech, or written verse, delivered in high praise of a person or thing, a generally highly studied and undiscriminating eulogy, not expected to be critical.

In 1785, Barère married a young lady of considerable fortune. In one of his works entitled Melancholy Pages, Barère proclaims that his marriage "was one of the most unhappy of marriages." [2] In 1789, he was elected deputy by the estates of Bigorre to the Estates-General – he had made his first visit to Paris in the preceding year. Barère de Vieuzac at first belonged to the constitutional party, but he was less known as a speaker in the National Constituent Assembly than as a journalist. According to François Victor Alphonse Aulard, Barère's paper, the Point du Jour , owed its reputation not so much to its own qualities as to the depiction of Barére in the Tennis Court Oath sketch. The painter, Jacques-Louis David, illustrated Barère kneeling in the corner and writing a report of the proceedings for posterity.

Bigorre region and former province of France

Bigorre is a region in southwest France, historically an independent county and later a French province, located in the upper watershed of the Adour, on the northern slopes of the Pyrenees, part of the larger region known as Gascony. Today Bigorre comprises the centre and west of the département of Hautes-Pyrénées, with two small exclaves in the neighbouring Pyrénées Atlantiques. Its inhabitants are called Bigourdans.

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts. The City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €709 billion in 2017. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, and ahead of Zürich, Hong Kong, Oslo and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong Kong, in 2018.

A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the sovereign exercises authority in accordance with a written or unwritten constitution. Constitutional monarchy differs from absolute monarchy in that constitutional monarchs are bound to exercise their powers and authorities within the limits prescribed within an established legal framework. Constitutional monarchies range from countries such as Monaco, Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain, where the constitution grants substantial discretionary powers to the sovereign, to countries such as the United Kingdom, Spain, Belgium, Sweden and Japan, where the monarch retains no formal authorities.

Political career (1789–93)

Barère was elected to the Estates-General in 1789 and elected judge of the Constituent Assembly in 1791. [4]

Estates General (France) Consultative assembly in France, 1302 to 1789

In France under the Old Regime, the Estates General or States-General was a legislative and consultative assembly of the different classes of French subjects. It had a separate assembly for each of the three estates, which were called and dismissed by the king. It had no true power in its own right—unlike the English parliament it was not required to approve royal taxation or legislation—instead it functioned as an advisory body to the king, primarily by presenting petitions from the various estates and consulting on fiscal policy. The Estates General met intermittently until 1614 and only once afterwards, in 1789, but was not definitively dissolved until after the French Revolution.

National Constituent Assembly (France) Revolutionary legislature of France, 1789 to 1791

The National Constituent Assembly was formed from the National Assembly on 9 July 1789 during the first stages of the French Revolution. It dissolved on 30 September 1791 and was succeeded by the Legislative Assembly.

Soon after the king's flight to Varennes (June 1791), Barère joined the republican party and the Feuillants. However, he continued to keep in touch with the Duke of Orléans, whose natural daughter, Pamela, he tutored. After the Constituent Assembly ended its session, he was nominated one of the judges of the newly instituted Cour de cassation from October 1791 to September 1792.

Flight to Varennes

The royal Flight to Varennes during the night of 20–21 June 1791 was a significant episode in the French Revolution in which King Louis XVI of France, his queen Marie Antoinette, and their immediate family unsuccessfully attempted to escape from Paris in order to initiate a counter-revolution at the head of loyal troops under royalist officers concentrated at Montmédy near the frontier. They escaped only as far as the small town of Varennes, where they were arrested after having been recognized at their previous stop in Sainte-Menehould.

Republicanism is a representative form of government organization. It is a political ideology centered on citizenship in a state organized as a republic. Historically, it ranges from the rule of a representative minority or oligarchy to popular sovereignty. It has had different definitions and interpretations which vary significantly based on historical context and methodological approach.

Feuillant (political group) political party

The Society of the Friends of the Constitution, better known as Feuillants Club, was a political grouping that emerged during the French Revolution. It came into existence on 16 July 1791 when the left-wing Jacobins split between moderates (Feuillants), who sought to preserve the position of the king and supported the proposed plan of the National Constituent Assembly for a constitutional monarchy; and radicals (Jacobins), who wished to press for a continuation of direct democratic action to overthrow Louis XVI. It represented the last and most vigorous attempt of the moderate constitutional monarchists to steer the course of the revolution away from the radical Jacobins.

In September 1792 he was elected to the National Convention for the département of the Hautes-Pyrénées. [5] Barére held membership as a Girondist. [5] He was a member of the Constitution Committee that drafted the Girondin constitutional project, served as presiding officer in the National Convention and chaired the trial of Louis XVI in December 1792–January 93. [7] He voted with The Mountain for the king's execution "without appeal and without delay," and closed his speech with: "the tree of liberty grows only when watered by the blood of tyrants." [6]

On 7 April 1793, Barère was elected to the Committee of Public Safety. [7] A member of "The Plain," [8] who was unaligned with either The Mountain or the Girondins, he was the first member elected to the Committee of Public Safety and one of two members (with Robert Lindet), who served on it during its entire existence. In this role he utilized his eloquence and popularity within the Convention to serve as the voice of the Committee. [9] Of 923 orders signed by the Committee of Public Safety in the fall of 1793, Barère was the author or first signatory on 244, the second most behind Carnot, with the majority of his orders dealing with police activities. [10]

Despite his popularity, Barère was regarded by more extreme revolutionaries as a vacillating politician without true revolutionary ideals. [9] There's dissension among historians about Barère's party alignment: Encyclopædia Britannica (1911) stated that at some point after 7 April 1793 Barère joined the party of Robespierre (Montagnards), [11] but Palmer (1949) analyzed that 'his commitment to the Revolution rather than any distinct faction separated him from other major Revolutionary figures'. [9] Jean-Paul Marat used the very last edition of his paper Publiciste de la République Française (no. 242, 14 July 1793) to attack Barère directly:

'There is one whom I regard as the most dangerous enemy of the Nation: I mean Barère... I'm convinced that he plays both sides of every issue until he sees which one is coming out ahead. He has paralysed all vigorous efforts; he enchains us in order to strangle us.' [12]

Barère on 5 September 1793 incited the French National Convention with a speech glorifying terror:

"The aristocrats of Internal Affairs are since many days meditating a movement. Oh well! They'll have it, that movement, but they'll have it against them! It will be organized, regularized by a revolutionary army that at last will fulfil that great word that it owes to the Paris Commune: Let's make terror the order of the day!" [13] [14]

Barère voted for the death of the Girondists in October 1793. His role as the chief communicator throughout the Reign of Terror, combined with his lyrical eloquence, led to his nickname "Anacreon Of The Guillotine." [15] He then became active in the power struggles between The Mountain and others, and became mediator to all.[ citation needed ]

Ideas, philosophy

After January 1793, Barère began publicly speaking of his newfound faith in "la religion de la patrie". [16] He wanted everyone to have faith in the fatherland, and called for the people of the Republic to be virtuous citizens. Barère mainly focused on four aspects about "la religion de la patrie" – the belief that a citizen would be consecrated to the fatherland at birth, the citizen should then come to love the fatherland, the Republic would teach the people virtues, and the fatherland would be the teacher to all. [6] Barère went on to state that "the Republic leaves the guidance of your first years to your parents, but as soon as your intelligence is developed, it proudly claims the rights that it holds over you. You are born for the Republic and not for the pride or the despotism of families." [6] He also claimed that because citizens were born for the Republic, they should love it above anything else. Barére reasoned that eventually the love for the fatherland would become a passion in everyone and this is how the people of the Republic would be united. [10]

Barère also urged further issues of nationalism and patriotism. He said, "I was a revolutionary. I am a constitutional citizen." [16] He pushed for freedom of press, speech, and thought. Barère felt that nationalism was founded by immeasurable emotions that could only be awakened by participating in national activities such as public events, festivals, and through education. [17] He believed in unity through "diversity and compromise." [17]

In 1793 and 1794, Barère focused on speaking of his doctrine, which included the teaching of national patriotism through an organized system of universal education, the national widespread of patriotic devotion, and the concept that one owed his nation his services. [12] Barère also stated that one could serve the nation by giving his labor, wealth, counsel, strength, and/or blood. Therefore, all sexes and ages could serve the fatherland. [18] He outlined his new faith in the fatherland, which replaced the national state religion, Catholicism. [6] Barère was trying to make nationalism a religion. Besides being concerned for the fatherland, Barère believed in universal elementary education. His influence on education is seen in American schools today as they recite the pledge of allegiance, and teach the alphabet and the multiplication table. [9] Barère believed that the fatherland could educate all.

Thermidor, prison, and later life

As 1794 progressed, tensions mounted inside the Committee of Public Safety as well as with other committees and the Convention's representatives on mission. Some members of the Committee of Public Safety, such as Jean-Marie Collot d'Herbois and Billaud-Varenne, had pursued aggressive campaigns of Terror. Another clique on the Committee, consisting of Robespierre, Couthon, and Saint-Just believed in their own vision of the direction of the Revolution. In his memoirs written years later about this time, Barère described the Committee of Public Safety of having at least three factions: the "experts" consisting of Lazare Carnot, Robert Lindet, and Pierre Louis Prieur; the "high-hands" consisting of Robespierre, Couthon, and Saint-Just; and the "true revolutionaries" consisting of Billaud-Varenne, Collot, and Barère himself. At the same time, the Committee of General Security, nominally the police committee of the National Convention, had seen its place superseded by the Law of 22 Prairial, leaving members like Marc-Guillaume Alexis Vadier and Jean-Pierre-André Amar concerned for their status., [19] These were the laws that led to the streamlining of the Revolutionary Tribunal and the Great Terror, in which there were more executions in the final seven weeks before 9 Thermidor by the Paris tribunal than in the previous fourteen months. [20] Finally, aggressive representatives on mission, including Joseph Fouche, Paul Barras, and Jean-Lambert Tallien, had been recalled to Paris to face scrutiny for their actions in the countryside and all feared for their safety. [21]

In this atmosphere, Barère attempted to forge a compromise between these splintering factions. On 4 Thermidor, Barère offered to help the enforce the Ventose Decrees in exchange for an agreement to not pursue a purge of the National Convention. These decrees, a program of property confiscation that had seen little support in the previous four months, was received with cautious optimism by Couthon and Saint-Just. However, the following day, at a joint meeting of the Committees, Robespierre once again proclaimed his dedication to purging the Committees of potential, though unnamed, enemies. [22] Robespierre continued down this path until 8 Thermidor, when he gave a famous oration alluding to multiple threats within the National Convention. However, to his surprise, Robespierre was pushed for more evidence by members of the Committee of General Security. This led to a fierce debate and a lack of support from the deputies of the Plain, both of which Robespierre was not used to. [23] After being ejected from the Jacobin Club that night, Collot and Billaud-Varenne returned to the Committee of Public Safety to find Saint-Just at work on a speech for the next day. Though Barère had been pushing Saint-Just to give a speech regarding the new unity of the Committees, both Collot and Billaud-Varenne assumed he was working on their final denunciation. [23] This led to the final fracturing of the Committee of Public Safety, and a heated argument ensued, in which Barère allegedly insulted Couthon, Saint-Just and Robespierre, saying:

"Who are you then, insolent pygmies, that you want to divide the remains of our country between a cripple, a child and a scoundrel? I wouldn't give you a farmyard to govern!" [24]

The final pieces of the plot fell into place that night. On 9 Thermidor, as Saint-Just rose to give his planned speech, he was interrupted by Tallien and Billaud-Varenne. After some denunciations of Robespierre, a cry went up for Barère to speak. A possibly apocryphal tale held that as Barère rose to speak he held two speeches in his pocket: one for Robespierre and one against him. Here Barère played his role in 9 Thermidor, by submitting a bill that would blunt the ability of the Paris Commune to be used as a military force. [25]

Unfortunately, Barère was still questioned on the grounds of being a terrorist. Before Barère was sentenced to prison, "Carnot defended him on the ground that [Barère] was hardly worse than himself." [26] However, the defense proved ineffective. Nonetheless, in Germinal of the year III (March 21 to April 4, 1795), the leaders of Thermidor decreed the arrest of Barère and his colleagues in the Reign of Terror, Jean Marie Collot d'Herbois and Jacques Nicolas Billaud-Varenne.

Barère was sentenced for his betrayal of King Louis XVI (by voting to execute him), for being a traitor to France, and for being a terrorist. He was imprisoned in Oléron as he was being transported to French Guiana. Barère's increasing depression while in prison led him to write his own epitaph.

Barère was in prison for two years before the National Convention decided they were going to retry him for death by the guillotine. When Barère found out that he was being re-tried, his cousin, Hector Barère, and a young man helped him escape prison. Barère refused to reveal the name of the latter in fear that he would be executed. Although Bertrand Barère was reluctant to escape, his two friends believed that he should leave at the earliest opportunity. The original plan was to escape over the garden walls or from the dormitory with the help of a long rope-ladder. This plan soon proved impossible as it was discovered that the garden was out of Barère's reach and that the dormitory was closed. The escape plan was soon reconfigured, as it was decided that Barère would escape by the cloister and garden of the convent. Barère escaped and went to Bordeaux, where he lived in hiding for several years. [4]

In 1795, he was elected to the Directory's Council of Five Hundred, but he was not allowed to take his seat. However, Barère served Napoleon. Under the First Empire, he was used as a secret agent by Napoleon, for whom he carried on a diplomatic correspondence.

Some time afterward, Napoleon placed Barère back in prison, but Barère escaped again. He became a member of the Chamber of Deputies during the Hundred Days, but was a royalist in 1815. However, once the final restoration of the Bourbons was achieved, he was banished from France for life "as a regicide". Barère then withdrew to Brussels, where he lived until 1830. [27] He returned to France and served Louis Philippe under the July monarchy until his death on January 13, 1841. He was the last surviving member of the Committee of Public Safety.

See also


  1. Histoire des journaux et des journalistes de la révolution française (1789–1796) By Léonard Gallois
  2. 1 2 3 The Living Age. 1844.
  3. Gershoy 1962, p. 4.
  4. 1 2 Barère, B. (1896). Memoirs of Bertrand Barère, chairman of the Committee of public safety during the revolution. London. hdl:2027/hvd.32044019354919.
  5. Andrew, Edward (2011). Imperial Republics: Revolution, War, and Territorial Expansion from the English Civil War to the French Revolution. University of Toronto Press. ISBN   978-1442643314.
  6. 1 2 3 4 Gershoy 1927, p. 427.
  7. Gershoy 1962, p. 156.
  8. Schama, 1989, p. 661.
  9. 1 2 3 Palmer, 1949, p. 31.
  10. Palmer, 1949, p. 109.
  11. 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Barère de Vieuzac, Bertrand. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  12. Clifford D. Conner, Jean Paul Marat, Scientist and Revolutionary, Humanities Press, New Jersey 1997 p. 254
  13. Noah Shusterman – The French Revolution. Faith, Desire, and Politics. Routledge, London and New York, 2014. Chapter 7 (pp. 175–203): The federalist revolt, the Vendée, and the start of the Terror (summer–fall 1793).
  14. (in French) '30 août 1793 – La terreur à l'ordre du jour!' Website Vendéens & Chouans. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  15. Carlyle, 1837, p. 161
  16. 1 2 Gershoy 1927, p. 425.
  17. 1 2 Gershoy 1927, p. 426.
  18. Gershoy 1927, p. 429.
  19. Schama, 1989, p. 839
  20. Scurr, 2006, p. 361
  21. Citizens, Schama, p. 840
  22. Schama, 1989, p. 841
  23. 1 2 Schama, 1989, p. 842
  24. Palmer, 1949, p. 374
  25. Palmer, 1949, p. 377
  26. Dalberg-Acton, 1920, p. 270
  27. Lee, 1902, p. 151

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Marc-Guillaume Alexis Vadier was a French politician of the French Revolution.


The term Muscadin, meaning "wearing musk perfume", came to refer to mobs of young men, relatively well-off and dressed in a dandyish manner, who were the street fighters of the Thermidorian Reaction in Paris in the French Revolution. After the coup against Robespierre and the Jacobins of 9 Thermidor Year II, or 27 July 1794, they took on the remaining Jacobins and sans-culottes, and largely succeeded in suppressing them over the next year or two. In prints they are often seen carrying large wooden clubs, which they liked to call "constitutions". They were supposedly organized by the politician and journalist Louis-Marie Stanislas Fréron, and eventually numbered 2,000-3,000. They in fact seem to have mostly consisted of the lower middle classes, the sons of "minor officials and small shopkeepers", and were quietly encouraged by the shaky new government, who had good reason to fear Jacobin mobs, and wider unrest as the hard winter of 1794-5 saw increasing hunger among the Parisian working class. The Muscadins are considered to be part of the First White Terror in response to the preceding Reign of Terror of the Jacobins.

First White Terror counter-revolution in France in 1795

The White Terror was a period during the French Revolution in 1795, when a wave of violent attacks swept across much of France. The victims of this violence were people identified as being associated with the Reign of Terror – followers of Robespierre and Marat, and members of local Jacobin clubs. The violence was perpetrated primarily by those whose relatives or associates had been victims of the Great Terror, or whose lives and livelihoods had been threatened by the government and its supporters before the Thermidorean Reaction. Principally these were, in Paris, the Muscadins, and in the countryside, monarchists, supporters of the Girondins, those who opposed the Civil Constitution of the Clergy and those otherwise hostile to the Jacobin political agenda. The Great Terror had been largely an organised political programme, based on laws such as the Law of 22 Prairial, and enacted through official institutions such as the Revolutionary Tribunal, but the White Terror was essentially a series of uncoordinated attacks by local activists who shared common perspectives but no central organisation. In particular locations, there were however more organised counter-revolutionary movements such as the Companions of Jehu in Lyon and the Companions of the Sun in Provence. The name 'White Terror' derives from the white cockades worn in the hats of royalists.

Prisons of the Reign of Terror

Prisons of the Reign of Terror indicates a process set up under the Reign of Terror, inaugurated after the lawsuit of the dantonists, then set up in a systematic manner, after the vote of the Law of 22 Prairial. There were several "crimes against humanity," given that the expression indicates neither rebellion nor mutiny, but a concerted plan of physical elimination of innocent prisoners without due process of the law.

Maximilien Robespierre French revolutionary lawyer and politician

Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre was a French lawyer and politician who was one of the best-known and most influential figures of the French Revolution. As a member of the Constituent Assembly and the Jacobin Club, he campaigned for universal manhood suffrage, and the abolition both of celibacy for the clergy and of slavery. Robespierre was an outspoken advocate for the citizens without a voice, for their unrestricted admission to the National Guard, to public offices, and for the right to carry arms in self-defence. He played an important part in the agitation which brought about the fall of the French monarchy in August 1792 and the summoning of a National Convention.

Moyse Antoine Pierre Jean Bayle was a French politician of the French Revolution.

Jean-Baptiste Clauzel, born in Lavelanet on September 21, 1746 and died in Paris on July 2, 1803, was a French politician. In 1790, he was elected mayor of his hometown. In 1791, his countrymen sent him sit in the Legislative Assembly where he was very discreet. In 1792, he was re-elected to the Convention by the department of Ariege he sided on the Mountain. At the trial of Louis XVI in January 1793, this "royalist" vote the king's death, without suspension ruled against the appeal of the people. He did not vote the impeachment of Jean-Paul Marat while claiming to be "far from approving all the principles of the Revolution espoused by his fanatic friend." Despite his opposition to the Girondins, he vote by MPs maintenance allowances to Members under arrest. His served as a representative on mission to the Army of the Pyrenees (West) from the end of August 1793 when he was recalled to Paris. He was among those who organized the downfall of Maximilien Robespierre. After 9 Thermidor Year II he joined the Committee of General Security, and supported the closing of the Jacobin Clubs. An active Thermidorian, he showed a readiness during the insurrection of the 1st Prairial. He denounced and arrested the "last Montagnards and called for the arrest of Bertrand Barrere, Jacques Nicolas Billaud-Varenne and Jean-Marie Collot. Returned to the army of the Pyrenees, he found it disgracefully disorganized and unable to fight.

Fall of Maximilien Robespierre The coup detat of 27 July 1794 (9 Thermidor II) which deposed Robespierre.

The Coup d'état of 9 Thermidor or the Fall of Maximilien Robespierre refers to the series of events beginning with Maximilien Robespierre's address to the National Convention on 8 Thermidor Year II, his arrest the next day, and his execution on 10 Thermidor Year II. In the speech of 8 Thermidor, Robespierre spoke of the existence of internal enemies, conspirators, and calumniators, within the Convention and the governing Committees. He refused to name them, which alarmed the deputies who feared Robespierre was preparing another purge of the Convention.

Laurent Lecointre was a French politician, born at Versailles on 1 February 1742, and died at Guignes, Seine-et-Marne on 4 August 1805. He is also known under the name of "Lecointre de Versailles".