Jean-Nicolas Pache

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Jean-Nicolas Pache
Pache 2497.jpg
Statue of Jean-Nicolas Pache in the Town Hall of Paris
7th Mayor of Paris
In office
14 February 1793 10 May 1794
Preceded by Nicolas Chambon
Succeeded by Jean-Baptiste Fleuriot-Lescot
Personal details
Born(1746-05-05)5 May 1746
Verdun, France
Died18 November 1823(1823-11-18) (aged 77)
Thin-le-Moutier, Ardennes, France
Nationality French
Occupation politician

Jean-Nicolas Pache (5 May 1746 – 18 November 1823) was a French politician who served as Mayor of Paris from 1793 to 1794.

A politician is a person active in party politics, or a person holding or seeking office in government. Politicians propose, support and create laws or policies that govern the land and, by extension, its people. Broadly speaking, a "politician" can be anyone who seeks to achieve political power in any bureaucratic institution.



Pache was born in Verdun, but grew up in Paris, of Swiss parentage, the son of the concièrge of the hotel of Marshal de Castries. He became tutor to the marshal's children, and subsequently first secretary at the ministry of marine, head of supplies (munitionnaire général des vivres), and comptroller of the king's household. After spending several years in Switzerland with his family, he returned to France at the beginning of the Revolution.

Verdun Subprefecture and commune in Grand Est, France

Verdun is a small city in the Meuse department in Grand Est in northeastern France. It is an arrondissement of the department.

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.

He was employed successively at the ministries of the interior and of war, and was appointed on 20 September 1793 third deputy suppliant of Paris by the Luxembourg section. Thus brought into notice, he was made minister of war on 3 October 1792 [1]

Luxembourg Grand duchy in western Europe

Luxembourg, officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a landlocked microstate in western Europe. It is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east, and France to the south. Its capital, Luxembourg City, is one of the four official capitals of the European Union and the seat of the European Court of Justice, the highest judicial authority in the EU. Its culture, people, and languages are highly intertwined with its neighbours, making it essentially a mixture of French and German cultures, as evident by the nation's three official languages: French, German, and the national language of Luxembourgish. The repeated invasions by Germany, especially in World War II, resulted in the country's strong will for mediation between France and Germany and, among other things, led to the foundation of the European Union.

Pache was a Girondist himself, but aroused their hostility by his incompetence. He was supported, however, by Marat, and when he was superseded in the ministry of war by Beurnonville (4 February 1793) he was chosen mayor by the Parisians. In that capacity he contributed to the fall of the Girondists. Jean Nicolas Pache would be the first to submit a petition to the National Convention on 15 April 1793 for the totemic 22 Girondist leaders to be removed from office. Although he was scoffed at, the Commune would publish a petition for the removal of the same 22 Girondins, reinforced with 12,000 signatures, and submit it to the Convention on 18 April. The petition would again be scoffed at by a Convention led by Girondins. However, Pache and Chaumette would lead a march on the Convention on 31 May. The Convention was ultimately forced to hand over the 22 in order to appease the threatening crowd, reinforced with National Guard troops, that had arrived on the Convention floor. [2] Pache also brought before the Convention a petition for a ’maximum’ on bread prices on 18 April. With a threat from the Commune issued to the Convention, the maximum was voted on 4 May. [3] On 2 June Pache turned his attention to the matter of the constitution. He wrote to the departments calling for them to give the people what they had fought for time and again: the new constitution that had been promised.

Jean-Paul Marat politician and journalist during the French Revolution

Jean-Paul Marat was a French political theorist, physician, and scientist. He was a journalist and politician during the French Revolution. He was a vigorous defender of the sans-culottes and seen as a radical voice. He published his views in pamphlets, placards and newspapers. His periodical L'Ami du peuple made him an unofficial link with the radical Jacobin group that came to power after June 1793.

Pierre de Ruel, marquis de Beurnonville Marshal of France

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Mayor (France) mayor in France

In France, a mayor is chairperson of the municipal council, which organizes the work and deliberates on municipal matters. The mayor also has significant powers and his or her own responsibilities, such as the responsibility for the activities of municipal police and for the management of municipal staff.

His relations with Jacques Hébert and Pierre Gaspard Chaumette, and with the enemies of Robespierre led to his arrest on 10 May 1794. Jean Nicolas Pache would be replaced as mayor by Lescot-Fleuriot, who was more subservient to the Convention. [4] He owed his safety only to the amnesty of 25 October 1795. After acting as commissary to the civil hospitals of Paris in 1799, he retired from public life, and died at Thin-le-Moutier on 18 November 1823.

Jacques Hébert 1757-1794 French journalist and politician

Jacques René Hébert was a French journalist and the founder and editor of the extreme radical newspaper Le Père Duchesne during the French Revolution.

Pierre Gaspard Chaumette 18th-century French politician

Pierre Gaspard Chaumette was a French politician of the Revolutionary period who served as the president of the Paris Commune and played a leading role in the establishment of the Reign of Terror. He was one of the ultra-radical enragés of the revolution, an ardent critic of Christianity who was one of the leaders of the dechristianization of France. His radical positions resulted in his alienation from Maximilien Robespierre, and he was arrested on charges of being a counterrevolutionary and executed.

Thin-le-Moutier Commune in Grand Est, France

Thin-le-Moutier is a commune in the Ardennes department and Grand Est region of north-eastern France.


Jean Nicholas Pache may not have single-handedly brought down the Girondin, but his determination played an important role. Pache was a key player in changing the political scene in Paris in this time.

Pache also helped to truly give power to the people of Paris. The people of Paris had successfully humiliated the Convention in forcing it to do their bidding and the Convention would not recover this lost power until the Thermidorian Reaction shattered the power of the Jacobin Clubs and sans culottes. The people of Paris would not forget this and the legacy of "the people in arms" would have a long-term impact on the French revolutionary tradition, in the readiness of the Parisian population to "rush to the barricades," through the 19th and 20th centuries.

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  1. John W. Fortescue, A History of the British Army, vol. IV, part I, London, Macmillan, 1915, p.
  2. Andress, David The Terror New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005.
  3. Madelin, Louis The French Revolution London: William Heineman, 1923.
  4. Thompson, J. M. The French Revolution Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1966


  • L. Pierquin, Memoires sur Pache (Charleville, 1900).
  • J. M. Thompson, The French Revolution (Oxford, 1966).
  • Louis Madelin, The French Revolution (London, 1923).
  • David Andress, The Terror (New York, 2005).
  • Wikisource-logo.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Pache, Jean Nicolas". Encyclopædia Britannica . 20 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.