Jean-Marie Collot d'Herbois

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Jean-Marie Collot d'Herbois
Jean Marie Collot d'Herbois.jpg
President of the National Convention
In office
19 July 1794 3 August 1794
Preceded by Jean-Antoine Louis
Succeeded by Philippe-Antoine Merlin
In office
13 June 1793 27 June 1793
Preceded by François René Mallarmé
Succeeded by Jacques-Alexis Thuriot
Personal details
Born(1749-06-19)19 June 1749
Paris, France
Died8 June 1796(1796-06-08) (aged 46)
Cayenne, French Guiana
Cause of death Yellow fever
CitizenshipFrench
NationalityFrench
ParentsGabriel-Jacques Collot, Jeanne-Agnès Collot née Hannen
Occupationactor, dramatist, essayist, and revolutionary
Known formember of the Committee of Public Safety, execution of more than 2,000 people in Lyon

Jean-Marie Collot d'Herbois (19 June 1749 8 June 1796) was a French actor, dramatist, essayist, and revolutionary. He was a member of the Committee of Public Safety during the Reign of Terror and, while he saved Madame Tussaud from the Guillotine, [1] he administered the execution of more than 2,000 people in the city of Lyon.

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 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.

Committee of Public Safety De facto executive government in France (1793–1794)

The Committee of Public Safety, created in April 1793 by the National Convention and then restructured in July 1793, formed the de facto executive government in France during the Reign of Terror (1793–1794), a stage of the French Revolution. The Committee of Public Safety succeeded the previous Committee of General Defence and assumed its role of protecting the newly established republic against foreign attacks and internal rebellion. As a wartime measure, the Committee—composed at first of nine and later of twelve members—was given broad supervisory powers over military, judicial and legislative efforts. It was formed as an administrative body to supervise and expedite the work of the executive bodies of the Convention and of the government ministers appointed by the Convention. As the Committee tried to meet the dangers of a coalition of European nations and counter-revolutionary forces within the country, it became more and more powerful.

Contents

Early life

Born in Paris, Collot left his home in the rue St. Jacques in his teens to join the travelling theatres of provincial France. His moderately successful career as an actor, supplemented by a vigorous outpouring of works for the stage, took him from Bordeaux in the south of France to Nantes in the west and Lille in the north and even into the Dutch Republic, where he met his wife.

Paris Capital city 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, as well as 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 Zurich, Hong Kong, Oslo and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong Kong, in 2018. The city is a major railway, highway, and air-transport hub served by two international airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly. Opened in 1900, the city's subway system, the Paris Métro, serves 5.23 million passengers daily, and is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro. Gare du Nord is the 24th busiest railway station in the world, but the first located outside Japan, with 262 million passengers in 2015.

Bordeaux Prefecture and commune in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne in the Gironde department in Southwestern France.

Nantes Prefecture and commune in Pays de la Loire, France

Nantes is a city in Loire-Atlantique on the Loire, 50 km (31 mi) from the Atlantic coast. The city is the sixth-largest in France, with a population of 303,382 in Nantes and a metropolitan area of nearly 950,000 inhabitants. With Saint-Nazaire, a seaport on the Loire estuary, Nantes forms the main north-western French metropolis.

In 1784 he became director of the theatre in Geneva, Switzerland, and then at the prestigious playhouse at Lyon in 1787. At the outbreak of the Revolution in 1789 he dropped everything and returned to Paris, where his lead actor's voice, his writing skills, and his ability to organise and direct large-scale fêtes (civic feasts) were to make him famous.

Geneva Large city in Switzerland

Geneva is the second-most populous city in Switzerland and the most populous city of Romandy, the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Situated where the Rhône exits Lake Geneva, it is the capital of the Republic and Canton of Geneva.

Switzerland federal republic in Central Europe

Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a sovereign state situated in the confluence of western, central, and southern Europe. It is a federal republic composed of 26 cantons, with federal authorities seated in Bern. Switzerland is a landlocked country bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. It is geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8.5 million is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities are located, among them the two global cities and economic centres of Zürich and Geneva.

Lyon Prefecture and commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Lyon is the third-largest city and second-largest urban area of France. It is located in the country's east-central part at the confluence of the rivers Rhône and Saône, about 470 km (292 mi) south from Paris, 320 km (199 mi) north from Marseille and 56 km (35 mi) northeast from Saint-Étienne. Inhabitants of the city are called Lyonnais.

Activism

He contributed to revolutionary agitation from the very beginning; but it was not until 1791 that he became a figure of importance. With the publication of L'Almanach du Père Gérard, a book advocating a constitutional monarchy in popular terms, he suddenly acquired great popularity.

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 Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain, where the constitution grants substantial discretionary powers to the sovereign, to countries such as Japan and Sweden where the monarch retains no formal authorities.

His fame was soon increased by his involvement on behalf of the Swiss of the Château-Vieux Regiment, condemned to the galleys for mutiny at Nancy. Collot d'Herbois' efforts resulted in their freedom; he went to Brest in search of them; and a civic feast was held on his behalf and theirs, which occasioned for a poem by André de Chénier.

Galley ship mainly propelled by oars

A galley is a type of ship that is propelled mainly by rowing. The galley is characterized by its long, slender hull, shallow draft and low freeboard. Virtually all types of galleys had sails that could be used in favorable winds, but human strength was always the primary method of propulsion. This allowed galleys to navigate independently of winds and currents. The galley originated among the seafaring civilizations around the Mediterranean Sea in the late second millennium BC and remained in use in various forms until the early 19th century in warfare, trade and piracy.

Nancy, France Prefecture and commune in Grand Est, France

Nancy is the capital of the north-eastern French department of Meurthe-et-Moselle, and formerly the capital of the Duchy of Lorraine, and then the French province of the same name. The metropolitan area of Nancy had a population of 434,565 inhabitants at the 2011 census, making it the 20th largest urban area in France. The population of the city of Nancy proper was 104,321 in 2014.

Brest, France Subprefecture and commune in Brittany, France

Brest is a city in the Finistère département in Brittany. Located in a sheltered bay not far from the western tip of the peninsula, and the western extremity of metropolitan France, Brest is an important harbour and the second French military port after Toulon. The city is located on the western edge of continental Europe. With 142,722 inhabitants in a 2007 census, Brest is at the centre of Western Brittany's largest metropolitan area, ranking third behind only Nantes and Rennes in the whole of historic Brittany, and the 19th most populous city in France; moreover, Brest provides services to the one million inhabitants of Western Brittany. Although Brest is by far the largest city in Finistère, the préfecture of the department is the much smaller Quimper.

His opinions became more and more radical. Collot d'Herbois was a member of the Paris Commune during the insurrection of 10 August 1792, and was elected deputy for Paris to the National Convention. On the first day of the Convention (21 September 1792) he was the first to demand the abolition of the French monarchy. Collot d'Herbois later voted for the death of Louis XVI "sans sursis" ("without delay").

Social movement type of group action

A social movement is a type of group action. There is no single consensus definition of a social movement. They are large, sometimes informal, groupings of individuals or organizations which focus on specific political or social issues. In other words, they carry out, resist, or undo a social change. They provide a way of social change from the bottom within nations.

Paris Commune (French Revolution) government during French Revolution

The Paris Commune during the French Revolution was the government of Paris from 1792 until 1795. Established in the Hôtel de Ville just after the storming of the Bastille, it consisted of 144 delegates elected by the 48 divisions of the city. The Paris Commune became insurrectionary in the summer of 1792, essentially refusing to take orders from the central French government. It took charge of routine civic functions but is best known for mobilizing extreme views and actions among the people and for its campaign to dechristianize the churches and the people. It lost much power in 1794 and was replaced in 1795.

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.

Terror, Thermidor, Deportation and Death

He was engaged in the struggle between the Mountain and the Girondists. After François Hanriot's coup d'état of 31 May 1793, he was conspicuous in his attack on the defeated Girondist party. Along with his close friend Billaud-Varenne, he sat at the extreme left of the Convention, attacking speculators, and proposing egalitarian programmes. In June, he was made president of the Convention; and in September he joined the Committee of Public Safety, where he was active as a sort of general secretary.

After having entrusted him with several missions to Nice, Nevers, and Compiègne, the Convention sent him along with Joseph Fouché, on 30 October 1793, to punish the revolt of Lyon. There, he introduced the Reign of Terror in its most violent form, with mass executions, including more than a hundred priests and nuns, and beginning the dismantling of the city itself. [2] His excessive behavior led the Committee of Public Safety to have Collot return to Paris as a suspect.

The month of May 1794 saw assassination attempts on both himself on the 23rd and on Maximilien Robespierre on the 25th. As Collot was accused of excessive slaughter and destruction and he suspected that he might soon be arrested and executed, he opposed Robespierre during the Thermidorian Reaction, when he presided over the Convention during the initial session. Despite this change of heart, Collot d'Herbois was accused of complicity with Robespierre, the two having previously been colleagues on the Committee of Public Safety, but was acquitted. Denounced a second time, he defended himself by pleading that he had acted for the Revolution; but, in March 1795, he was condemned with Bertrand Barère de Vieuzac and Billaud-Varenne to transportation to Cayenne, French Guiana where he exerted a brief revolutionary influence before dying of yellow fever in 1796. [3]

Works

Beginning his literary career in 1772 with the critically acclaimed Lucie, ou les Parents imprudents and finishing in 1792 with L'Aîné et le cadet, Collot was an accomplished, if minor, dramatist in a turbulent period of the French stage.

Before the Revolution, he wrote at least fifteen plays, of which ten survive, including Lucie, an adaptation of William Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor (as M. Rodomont, ou l'Amant loup-garou), and an adaptation of Pedro Calderón de la Barca's El Alcalde de Zalamea (Il y a bonne justice, ou le Paysan magistrat), all three of which kept the stage throughout France for over a decade. During the first three years of the Revolution he wrote at least seven more plays, of which six survive, juggling the tearful love themes of le drame bourgeois with political themes and messages in such plays as L'Inconnu, ou le Préjugé vaincu and Socrate (on Socrates).

In 1791, he wrote the prize-winning L'Almanach de père Gérard, a fictional account of revolutionary morality which went on to become the best-seller of the period, establishing his political credentials in the process.

He was also one of the authors of the first French republican Constitution, which was written in 1793 but never applied. [4]

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References

  1. Undine Concannon, ‘Tussaud , Anna Maria (bap. 1761, d. 1850)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
  2. Citizens: A Chronicle of The French Revolution, Simon Schama, Penguin UK 2004
  3. Narrative of the Deportation to Cayenne, of Barthélemy, Pichegru, &c. in Consequence of the Revolution of the 18th Fructidor, (General J.P. Ramel) J. Wright, 1799 p.91
  4. Crowe, Michael Bertram. 1977. The Changing Profile of the Natural Law. P. 243

Wikisource-logo.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Collot d'Herbois, Jean Marie"  . Encyclopædia Britannica . 6 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 694. The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, in turn, cites as a reference:

Bibliography