Jean-Baptiste Robert Lindet

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Jean-Baptiste Robert Lindet Robert-lindet.jpg
Jean-Baptiste Robert Lindet

Jean-Baptiste Robert Lindet (2 May 1746 in Bernay, Eure – 17 February 1825) was a French politician of the Revolutionary period. His brother, Robert Thomas Lindet, became a constitutional bishop and member of the National Convention. Although his role may not have been spectacular, Jean-Baptiste Lindet came to be the embodiment of the growing middle class that came to dominate French politics during the Revolution.

Bernay, Eure Subprefecture and commune in Normandy, France

Bernay is a commune in the west of the Eure department about 50km from Évreux in northern France. The city is in the Pays d'Ouche and the Lieuvin. Bernay is in the Charentonne valley, a tributary of the Risle.

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

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 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, 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.

French Revolution social and political revolution in France and its colonies occurring from 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 career

Born at Bernay (Eure), he worked in the town as a lawyer before the Revolution. He acted as procureur-syndic of the district of Bernay during the session of the National Constituent Assembly. Appointed deputy to the Legislative Assembly and subsequently to the Convention, he became well-known.

Eure Department of France

Eure is a department in the north of France named after the river Eure.

Lawyer legal professional who helps clients and represents them in a court of law

A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney, attorney at law, barrister, barrister-at-law, bar-at-law, civil law notary, counsel, counselor, counsellor, counselor at law, solicitor, chartered legal executive, or public servant preparing, interpreting and applying law, but not as a paralegal or charter executive secretary. Working as a lawyer involves the practical application of abstract legal theories and knowledge to solve specific individualized problems, or to advance the interests of those who hire lawyers to perform legal services.

Syndic officer of government with varying powers

Syndic is a term applied in certain countries to an officer of government with varying powers, and secondly to a representative or delegate of a university, institution or other corporation, entrusted with special functions or powers.

Initially close to the Girondists, Lindet was very hostile to King Louis XVI, provided a Rapport sur les crimes imputés à Louis Capet (20 December 1792) a report of the king's alleged crimes and voted for the king's execution without appeal.

Louis XVI of France King of France and Navarre

Louis XVI, born Louis-Auguste, was the last King of France before the fall of the monarchy during the French Revolution. He was referred to as Citizen Louis Capet during the four months before he was guillotined. In 1765, at the death of his father, Louis, son and heir apparent of Louis XV, Louis-Auguste became the new Dauphin of France. Upon his grandfather's death on 10 May 1774, he assumed the title "King of France and Navarre", which he used until 4 September 1791, when he received the title of "King of the French" until the monarchy was abolished on 21 September 1792.

House of Capet rulers of the Kingdom of France from 987 to 1328, was the most senior line of the Capetian dynasty – itself a derivative dynasty from the Robertians

The House of Capet or the Direct Capetians and, also called the House of France, or simply the Capets, ruled the Kingdom of France from 987 to 1328. It was the most senior line of the Capetian dynasty – itself a derivative dynasty from the Robertians. Historians in the 19th century came to apply the name "Capetian" to both the ruling house of France and to the wider-spread male-line descendants of Hugh Capet. Contemporaries did not use the name "Capetian". The Capets were sometimes called "the third race of kings". The name "Capet" derives from the nickname given to Hugh, the first Capetian King, who became known as Hugh Capet.

Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is a government-sanctioned practice whereby a person is killed by the state as a punishment for a crime. The sentence that someone be punished in such a manner is referred to as a death sentence, whereas the act of carrying out the sentence is known as an execution. Crimes that are punishable by death are known as capital crimes or capital offences, and they commonly include offences such as murder, mass murder, terrorism, treason, espionage, offenses against the State, such as attempting to overthrow government, piracy, drug trafficking, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, but may include a wide range of offences depending on a country. Etymologically, the term capital in this context alluded to execution by beheading.

He was instrumental in the establishment of the Revolutionary Tribunal, and contributed to the downfall of the Girondists before the start of the (after a conflict over the Tribunal's radical character). His proposal for the Tribunal had passed with support from Georges Danton, despite the opposition of Pierre Victurnien Vergniaud.

Revolutionary Tribunal Tribunal during the French revolution

The Revolutionary Tribunal was a court instituted by the National Convention during the French Revolution for the trial of political offenders. It eventually became one of the most powerful engines of the Reign of Terror.

Georges Danton French revolutionary

Georges Jacques Danton was a leading figure in the early stages of the French Revolution, in particular as the first president of the Committee of Public Safety. Danton's role in the onset of the Revolution has been disputed; many historians describe him as "the chief force in the overthrow of the French monarchy and the establishment of the First French Republic".

Pierre Victurnien Vergniaud French politician

Pierre Victurnien Vergniaud was a French lawyer and statesman, a figure of the French Revolution. A deputy to the Assembly from Bordeaux, Vergniaud was an eloquent orator. He was a supporter of Jacques Pierre Brissot and the Girondist faction.

Rapport sur les crimes imputés à Louis Capet

Jean-Baptiste Robert Lindet Lindetjeanbaptiste.jpg
Jean-Baptiste Robert Lindet

Jean-Baptiste Lindet, being a member of the Commission of Twenty-one, had an instrumental role in the execution of Louis XVI and drew up the accusation in the acte enonciatif. He worked incessantly on the project, and became sleep-deprived to the point of exhaustion and was forced to take to his bed. At the time of trial, Lindet was to have Charles Barbaroux read the document, due to his fatigue.

Lindet wrote his accusation as a chronological retelling of the treasonous acts of the King, beginning in May 1789 and spanning until 10 August 1792. Beginning with the eve of the calling of the Estates-General, Lindet argued that Louis XVI intended to use the representatives to raise money for the bankrupt crown, and then send them on their way with few reforms. When this did not prove effective, Louis XVI resorted to the use of military force, which catalyzed the storming of the Bastille, and the movement of the King to Paris. From this point, he focused on the counter-revolutionary actions of the King as showcased by the discovery of the Armoire de fer (Iron Cupboard), proving that the king was duplicitous. By the summer of 1792, Lindet argued that Louis XVI had realized his counter-revolutionary efforts had proved futile, and he would have to take military action. He provoked the insurrection of 10 August, with the gathering of troops at the Tuileries, and when he saw his imminent defeat the Swiss were left to die for an undeserving king. Lindet would be known to have a strong opinion in this matter because during the Insurrection, he actually worked to help a Swiss guard escape. In his accusation against the king, Lindet focused strongly on his duplicity and betrayal against the actions of the French Revolution. His acte enonciatif characterized the views of the Montagnards, and also violated the Criminal Code of 1791. Another inconsistency in the trial of Louis XVI was that the argument presented against him by Lindet disregarded any account of the Revolutionary violence against the King, thus presenting his accusation as a series of inexcusable crimes against the Revolution.

Storming of the Bastille part of the French Revolution

The Storming of the Bastille occurred in Paris, France, on the afternoon of 14 July 1789.

Armoire de fer

L'armoire de fer in general refers to an iron chest used to house important papers. A notable and frequent use of the term refers to a hiding place at the apartments of Louis XVI of France at the Tuileries Palace where some secret documents were kept. The existence of this iron cabinet, hidden behind wooden panelling, was publicly revealed in November 1792 to Roland, Girondin Minister of the Interior. The resulting scandal discredited the King.

The Mountain

The Mountain was a political group during the French Revolution, whose members called the Montagnards sat on the highest benches in the National Assembly.

Committee and Terror

Presumed portrait of Jean-Baptiste Robert Lindet Robert Lindet.jpg
Presumed portrait of Jean-Baptiste Robert Lindet

He became a substitute member of the Committee of Public Safety on 6 April 1793, and soon replaced the ill Jean Antoine Debry. All members of the Committee of Public Safety belonged to bourgeoisie of the ancien regime, were Montagnards, and all had ample experience serving apprenticeships in previous years assemblies or in high offices of state. Lindet was unique in the demographics of the Committee of Public Safety, in that he was forty-six, where the average age of the members was thirty.

Very concerned by the question of food supplies, he showed his administrative talent in coping with the issue. Lindet was the department head, or the "examiner" of the National Food Commission. The National Food Commission was mainly in charge of economic measures and more specifically was responsible for the provision of subsistence, clothing, and transportation. This body consisted of over 500 members at the height of the Reign of Terror, and would often send these members out for tasks and the gathering of intelligence. For one of these missions, Lindet was sent to the districts of Rhône, Eure, Calvados and Finistère, for the purpose of suppressing revolts. He was successful and was able to enact a conciliatory policy. The National Food Commission also functioned to supervise agricultural and industrial production, was given control of the labor force for war effort, put in charge of controlling trade, and most importantly, the enforcement of the Law of Maximum.

Without being formally opposed to Maximilien Robespierre, he did not support him, and he was, with Philippe Rühl, one of the only two members of the Committee who did not sign the order for the execution of Danton and his party. When asked to do so, he had replied to Louis de Saint-Just: "I am here to protect citizens, and not to murder patriots ".

Thermidor and Directory

He also opposed the Thermidorian Reaction of July 1794, and defended Bertrand Barère de Vieuzac, Jacques Nicolas Billaud-Varenne, and Collot d'Herbois from the accusations made against them on 22 March 1795. Himself denounced on 20 May, Lindet was defended by his brother Thomas, but only escaped condemnation by the vote of amnesty of the 4 Brumaire, year IV (26 October 1795).

The French Directory offered Lindet the opportunity to become its spy in Basel, but he turned down the mission. After taking part in the conspiracy of Gracchus Babeuf (1796), he faced trial and was acquitted, and then was elected to the Council of Five Hundred (by Eure and Seine), but was not allowed to occupy his seat. However, he served as Minister of Finance from 18 June to 9 November 1799.

Later life

After Napoleon Bonaparte's coup d'état against the Directory, the 18 Brumaire of 1799, he refused to occupy offices of the Consulate (and consequently of the Empire).

In 1816 he was proscribed by the Bourbon Restoration government as a regicide - avoiding a harsher penalty by not having recognized Napoleon during the Hundred Days. Lindet returned to France some time before his death in Paris.

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