Pauline Léon

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Pauline Léon (28 September 1768 – 5 October 1838), was a radical organizer and feminist during the French Revolution.

Feminism is a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve the political, economic, personal, and social equality of the genders. This includes fighting gender stereotypes and seeking to establish educational and professional opportunities for women that are equal to those for men.

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.

Biography

Léon was born to chocolate makers Pierre-Paul Léon and Mathrine Telohan in Paris on 28 September 1768. Léon was one of six children. Her father died in 1784, after which time Léon helped her mother with the chocolate business in exchange for room and board. She was also responsible for helping to raise and support her siblings. It is believed that she became a political radical after witnessing the execution of leaders of a bread riot.

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.

On 6 March 1792 she addressed the Legislative Assembly on behalf of Parisian women, suggesting that a female militia be formed so that women could protect their homes from counter-revolutionary assaults. In July 1791 she signed the petition at the Champ de Mars. Léon was a founder of the Society of Revolutionary Republican Women (Société des Républicaines-Révolutionnaires) along with Claire Lacombe and became its president on 9 July 1793. Léon and Lacombe both held strong hatred towards Lafayette, mostly due to his wartime opinions and actions. The Société only lasted for about a year before authorities shut it down. She was also a leader of the Femmes Sans-Culottes in 1793. She also was a frequenter of the Cordeliers Club. At age 29, she married Théophile Leclerc, the leader of the Enragés. They were later arrested together, but held separately in the Luxembourg prison from April to August, 1794.

The Society of Revolutionary and Republican Women were two most famous political clubs during the French Revolution formed May 10, 1793, lasting less than five months. In this short span, however, the two Societies managed to create quite a stir in the national political scene, and brought to light some controversial points about women and political and sexual equality.

Claire Lacombe was a French actress and revolutionary. She is best known for her contributions during the French Revolution. Though it was only for a few years, Lacombe was a revolutionary and a founding member of the Society of Revolutionary Republican Women.

Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette French general and politician.

Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, known in the United States simply as Lafayette, was a French aristocrat and military officer who fought in the American Revolutionary War, commanding American troops in several battles, including the Siege of Yorktown. After returning to France, he was a key figure in the French Revolution of 1789 and the July Revolution of 1830.

Little is known about Léon's later life. She died at home in Bourbon-Vendée on 5 October 1838.

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References

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