Louis-Marie Stanislas Fréron

Last updated
Louis Fréron
Louis-Marie Stanislas Freron (1754-1802), French revolutionary (small).jpg
Member of the National Convention
In office
20 September 1792 2 November 1795
Constituency Paris
Personal details
Born
Louis-Marie Stanislas Fréron

(1754-08-17)17 August 1754
Paris, France
Died15 July 1802(1802-07-15) (aged 47)
Saint-Domingue, now Haiti
Nationality French
Political party The Mountain
(1792–1794)
Thermidorians
(1794–1795)
Parents Élie Fréron and Thérèse Guyomar
Education Lycée Louis-le-Grand
Profession Journalist, activist
Signature Louis FreronSignature.jpg

Louis-Marie Stanislas Fréron (17 August 1754 – 15 July 1802) was a French politician, journalist, representative to the National Assembly, and a representative on mission during the French Revolution.

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.

<i>Représentant en mission</i>

During the French Revolution, a représentant en mission was an extraordinary envoy of the Legislative Assembly (1791–92) and its successor the National Convention (1792–95). The term is most often assigned to deputies designated by the National Convention for maintaining law and order in the départements and armies, as they had powers to oversee conscription into the army, and were used to monitor local military command. At the time France was in crisis; not only was war going badly, as French forces were being pushed out of Belgium, but also there was revolt in the Vendée over conscription into the army and resentment of the Civil Constitution of the Clergy.

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.

Contents

Background

The son of Elie-Catherine Fréron, he was born in Paris to a wealthy family. His father was a prominent journalist and popular opponent of the philosophes and encyclopédistes, his most notable opponent being Voltaire (who openly considered Elie his enemy), and it is surmised that his father's history of conflict with the state over freedom of the press heavily influenced Louis Fréron's political views. He attended the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, where his father held a faculty position, together with the likes of Maximilien Robespierre and Camille Desmoulins. On the death of his father, he inherited L'Année littéraire, which was continued until 1795 and edited successively by the abbé Royou and Julien Louis Geoffroy. [1]

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 philosophes were the intellectuals of the 18th-century Enlightenment. Few were primarily philosophers; rather, philosophes were public intellectuals who applied reason to the study of many areas of learning, including philosophy, history, science, politics, economics, and social issues. They had a critical eye and looked for weaknesses and failures that needed improvement. They promoted a "republic of letters" that crossed national boundaries and allowed intellectuals to freely exchange books and ideas. Most philosophes were men, but some were women.

The Encyclopédistes were members of the Société des gens de lettres, a French writers' society, who contributed to the development of the Encyclopédie from June 1751 to December 1765 under the editors Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d'Alembert. The composition of the 17 volumes of text and 11 volumes of plates of the Encyclopédie was the work of over 150 authors belonging, in large part, to the intellectual group known as the philosophes. They promoted the advancement of science and secular thought and supported tolerance, rationality, and open-mindedness of the Enlightenment.

Early Revolutionary activities

Though due to legal obligations he still had some affiliation with L'Année littéraire, Fréron took up writing and editing his paper L'Orateur du Peuple. In it, he wrote radical denunciations of counter-revolutionaries much like those written by Jean-Paul Marat and Camille Desmoulins, and in fact the three of them aided each other in editing their papers. His first real taste of rabble-rousing came in the form of collaboration with Desmoulins to incite the storming of the Bastille.

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.

Camille Desmoulins French politician

Lucie-Simplice-Camille-Benoît Desmoulins was a journalist and politician who played an important role in the French Revolution. Desmoulins was tried and executed alongside Danton when the Committee of Public Safety reacted against Dantonist opposition. He was a schoolmate of Maximilien Robespierre and a close friend and political ally of Georges Danton, who were influential figures in the French Revolution.

Soon after, he was elected as representative to the Bonne-Nouvelle district of the newly formed Paris Commune, where it seems he was minimally active before returning to his role as a journalist. He acted as a collaborator for L’Ami des citoyens for a brief period before starting his own paper L'Orateur du Peuple, under the pseudonym Martel, which consisted of 8 pages and was distributed every other day, with Marcel Enfantin serving as editor. Aside from his writings in his paper, he openly collaborated with Marat and agreed to fund and write half of Desmoulins paper.

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.

In June 1790, Marcel Enfantin was arrested for "provable conspiracy against liberty" because the authorities believed him to be Martel. In response, Fréron wrote:

Citizens, can you believe it? The Orateur du peuple is in chains! He had only taken up the pen in defense of your rights, he was a dynamic writer of the most ardent patriotism…he fought the ministerial hydra with a club, and the aristocracy with ridicule…Well, the Municipality has slandered [his] intentions…it has poisoned his innocent phrases…[but] the voice the Orateur du peuple will pierce the vaults of his prison…the articles of the Rights of Man were made to be used by this French citizen…so that he may publish his opinions.

Also, Fréron's relationship with Desmoulins brought him to the cause of the Cordeliers and prompted his involvement with the attack on Tuileries palace of 1792 (the insurrection of the Paris crowds against the House of Bourbon, and their battle with the Swiss Guards). [1]

Cordeliers Political group during the French Revolution (1790-1794)

The Society of the Friends of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, mainly known as Cordeliers Club, was a populist club during the French Revolution from 1790 to 1794, when the Reign of Terror ended and the Thermidorian Reaction began.

House of Bourbon European royal house of French origin

The House of Bourbon is a European royal house of French origin, a branch of the Capetian dynasty. Bourbon kings first ruled France and Navarre in the 16th century. By the 18th century, members of the Spanish Bourbon dynasty held thrones in Spain, Naples, Sicily, and Parma. Spain and Luxembourg currently have monarchs of the House of Bourbon.

Swiss Guards Swiss soldiers who have served as guards at foreign European courts

Swiss Guards are the Swiss soldiers who have served as guards at foreign European courts since the late 15th century.

In September, Fréron was elected to the National Convention for the département of Seine, and voted in favor of Louis XVI's execution. Fréron served as a Representative on Mission to Provence, Marseilles, and Toulon between 1793 and 1794 together with Paul Barras.

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.

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.

Provence Historical province in Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur, France

Provence is a geographical region and historical province of southeastern France, which extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône to the west to the Italian border to the east, and is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It largely corresponds with the modern administrative region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and includes the departments of Var, Bouches-du-Rhône, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, as well as parts of Alpes-Maritimes and Vaucluse. The largest city of the region is Marseille.

Siege of Toulon

He was charged with establishing the Convention's authority in the south during the Toulon rebellion. Fréron remained infamous as an enforcer of the Reign of Terror but came into contact with Napoleon Bonaparte, still just a young artillery officer, who had been stationed there. Augustin Robespierre and Antoine Christophe Saliceti, two representatives on mission, responded favourably to Napoleon's request (bypassing his commander, Jean François Carteaux) to seize the peninsula fort from the British and install artillery on a promontory overlooking the bay in order to fire on the British fleet at anchor. An infantry attack led by Bonaparte was repelled, due chiefly to Carteaux lowering the number of men allocated to Napoleon for the attack. Fréron, despite quarrelling with Bonaparte and threatening him with execution, eventually gave him his backing against Carteaux. He subsequently attempted to curtail Napoleon's career by insuring he would not command another larger attack on the British fort that was being planned, posting him to command the reserves instead. However, as this new attack faltered, Napoleon led the reserves forward without orders and seized the British fort.

Napoleon had previously introduced Fréron to his sister Pauline Bonaparte with whom he had a relationship until Pauline was married off to General Charles Leclerc in 1797.

Reaction and the Directory

Nonetheless, both he and Barras joined the Thermidorian Reaction in its clash with Robespierre; L'Orateur du Peuple became the mouthpiece of anti-Jacobins, and Fréron incited the Muscadins to attack the sans-culottes with clubs. He brought about the accusation of Antoine Fouquier-Tinville, and of Jean-Baptiste Carrier, and the arrest of the last Montagnards. Being sent by the Directory on a mission of peace to Marseilles he published in 1796 Mémoire historique sur la réaction royale et sur les malheurs du midi ("Historical Dissertation on the Royalist Reaction and the Misfortunes of the South").

He was elected to the Council of the Five Hundred, but not allowed to take his seat. Failing as suitor for the hand of Pauline Bonaparte, in 1801 he was sent by Napoleon, now first consul, to Saint Domingue and died there from yellow fever in 1802.

General Charles Leclerc, who had married Pauline Bonaparte, also received a command in Saint Domingue in 1801 (during the last stage of the Haitian Revolution), and died the same year.

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 Greene, Karen (2004). "The Rise and Fall of a Revolutionary: The Political Career of Louis-Marie Stanislas Fréron, Rerpresentative on Mission and Conventionnel, 1754-1802" (PDF). Archived from the original (pdf) on 2008-05-29.