На какие группы делился национальный конвент великая французская революция

Конве́нт (Национальный конвент, Convention nationale), высший орган государственной власти во Франции в годы Французской революции 18 в. Существовал в 1792–1795 гг.

После свержения монархии Бурбонов в результате восстания 10 августа 1792 г. созван для выработки новой конституции. Выборы прошли на основе закона, по которому правом голоса обладали все французы мужского пола, достигшие 21 года, отвечавшие годичному цензу оседлости и обеспечивавшие себя своим трудом (за исключением слуг). Из тех, кто имел право голоса, реально воспользовались им менее 12 %. Выборы шли открытым голосованием, как правило, под контролем местных революционных активистов, что обеспечило достаточно радикальный состав депутатов. Рабочие, ремесленники и крестьяне в большинстве своём воздержались от участия в голосовании. Наибольшую активность в выборах проявили горожане среднего и высокого достатка, а потому депутатский корпус Конвента состоял преимущественно из представителей «верхов» городского населения. Из 749 его членов 500 являлись юристами, лицами свободных профессий и государственными служащими.

Начал работу 21 сентября 1792 г. с провозглашения Франции республикой. Внутри Конвента сразу же сложились две соперничавшие друг с другом политические группировки республиканцев: более радикальная – монтаньяры (от 110 до 150 человек) и более умеренная – жирондисты (от 140 до 170 человек). Подавляющее большинство депутатов составляли «болото», или «равнину», и по различным вопросам примыкали то к монтаньярам, то к жирондистам.

По инициативе монтаньяров Конвент выступил в роли высшей судебной инстанции на процессе над свергнутым королём Людовиком XVI. В результате открытого и поимённого голосования депутатов Конвента, проводившегося под сильным моральным давлением со стороны революционных активистов, заполнявших трибуны, король в январе 1793 г. был приговорён к смертной казни.

С ухудшением военной и экономической ситуации в Республике весной 1793 г. и ростом недовольства парижского плебса, который открыто угрожал расправой умеренным депутатам, Конвент принял ряд решительных мер. 10 марта 1793 г. был создан Революционный трибунал для осуществления в ускоренном порядке суда над «контрреволюционерами». 6 апреля учреждён Комитет общественного спасения как главный орган исполнительной власти. 4 мая принят Декрет о «максимуме» – ограничении цен на хлеб.

В борьбе с жирондистами монтаньяры обратились за поддержкой к Коммуне Парижа, которая организовала 31 мая – 2 июня 1793 г. восстание столичного плебса. Под угрозой применения к ним силы со стороны восставших большинство депутатов проголосовали за лишение жирондистов депутатской неприкосновенности и их арест, что позволило монтаньярам занять доминирующую позицию в Конвенте. Ведущую роль среди них играл М. Робеспьер и его ближайшие сподвижники.

24 июня 1793 г. Конвент принял конституцию Французской республики, которая впоследствии была утверждена на референдуме, но её введение в действие откладывалось до окончания войны.

Продолжавшееся ухудшение военного и экономического положения Республики вместе с нараставшим давлением со стороны парижского плебса побудили Конвент пойти осенью 1793 г. на ряд новых чрезвычайных мер. 17 сентября был принят декрет о содержании всех подозрительных лиц под арестом «до заключения мира», 29 сентября – декрет о «всеобщем максимуме», т. е. об ограничении заработной платы и цен на все товары. 10 октября декретом об установлении революционного порядка правления Конвент присвоил себе диктаторские полномочия и фактически стал также высшим органом исполнительной власти, осуществлявшейся через Комитет общественного спасения, Комитет общественной безопасности и комиссаров Конвента на местах. Конвент непосредственно руководил также работой судебных органов.

К весне 1794 г. после перелома в пользу Республики ситуации на фронтах усилились противоречия среди самих революционеров. Ряд монтаньяров («снисходительные»), возглавляемых Ж. Дантоном, призвали к прекращению революционного террора, который сторонники М. Робеспьера, напротив, считали важнейшим инструментом построения идеального общества – «царства Добродетели». В ночь на 31 марта Дантон и ряд близких к нему депутатов были арестованы, а 5 апреля казнены.

Избавившись от оппозиции, робеспьеристы приступили к строительству «царства Добродетели». 7 мая Конвент, по предложению М. Робеспьера, принял декрет с принципами новой религии – культа Верховного существа. 10 июня по докладу Ж. Кутона был принят декрет о Революционном трибунале, направленный на «очищение» Республики от «врагов народа», мешающих жить по законам Добродетели. Этот декрет открыл дорогу «Великому террору».

Недовольство диктатурой робеспьеристов привело к формированию направленного против них альянса части монтаньяров с депутатами «болота». Заговорщики произвели 27 июля 1794 г. (9 термидора II года Республики) Термидорианский переворот, свергнув и отправив на гильотину М. Робеспьера и его приверженцев.

После переворота термидорианский Конвент отказался от революционного порядка правления и приступил к постепенному демонтажу соответствующих институтов. В августе 1794 г. полномочия Комитета общественного спасения ограничили, а для его членов ввели регулярную ротацию. 12 ноября 1794 г. закрыли Якобинский клуб. 24 декабря с отменой «максимума» были сняты все ограничения на цены и зарплату. 21 февраля 1795 г. провозгласили свободу вероисповедания. В марте в Конвент вернули последних из ещё остававшихся в живых депутатов, удалённых из него после восстания 31 мая – 2 июня 1793 г. И, напротив, после жерминальского (1 апреля 1795) и прериальского (20 мая 1795) восстаний парижского плебса депутаты Конвента изгнали из своих рядов последних сторонников революционного порядка правления – остатки прежней Горы, именовавшиеся «Вершиной». С апреля 1795 г. Конвент приступил к разработке новой конституции, которая была принята 22 августа 1795 г. Вместе с ней на референдум вынесли т. н. декреты о двух третях, согласно которым 2/3 мест в избранном по новой конституции законодательном корпусе должны получить бывшие депутаты Конвента. Хотя, согласно официальным данным, конституция и «декреты о двух третях» были одобрены участниками референдума, оглашение этих результатов вызвало вандемьерское восстание парижан (5 октября 1795) против Конвента, жестоко подавленное армией.

26 октября 1795 г. Конвент завершил свою работу.

Опубликовано 22 сентября 2023 г. в 21:30 (GMT+3). Последнее обновление 22 сентября 2023 г. в 21:30 (GMT+3).

National Convention

Convention nationale

Kingdom of France
French First Republic

Extrait du procès-verbal de la convention nationale du vongt-quatrième jour de Thermidor l'an deuxième de la République, Paris Musées 20230910202229.jpg

Emblem of the National Convention

Type
Type

Unicameral

History
Established 20 September 1792
Disbanded 3 November 1795
Preceded by Legislative Assembly
Succeeded by Council of Ancients
Council of Five Hundred
Structure
Seats Varied

Political groups

Composition of the National Convention prior to the Insurrection of 31 May – 2 June 1793 and the subsequent purge of the National Convention:

  The Mountain (302)
  The Mountain (disputed members) (7)
  Girondins (178)
  Girondins (disputed members) (49)
  The Plain (153)

  The Plain (disputed members) (97)

Meeting place
Salle du Manège (1792–1793)
Salle des Machines (1793–1795)

The National Convention (French: Convention nationale) was the constituent assembly of the Kingdom of France for one day and the French First Republic for its first three years during 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 (4 Brumaire IV under the Convention’s adopted calendar).

The Convention came about when the Legislative Assembly decreed the provisional suspension of King Louis XVI and the convocation of a National Convention to draw up a new constitution with no monarchy. The other major innovation was to decree that deputies to that Convention should be elected by all Frenchmen twenty-one years old or more, domiciled for a year and living by the product of their labor. The National Convention was, therefore, the first French assembly elected by a suffrage without distinctions of class.[1]

Although the Convention lasted until 1795, power was effectively delegated by the Convention and concentrated in the small Committee of Public Safety from April 1793. The eight months from the fall of 1793 to the spring of 1794, when Maximilien Robespierre and his allies dominated the Committee of Public Safety, represent the most radical and bloodiest phase of the French Revolution, known as the Reign of Terror. After the fall of Robespierre, the Convention lasted for another year until a new constitution was written, ushering in the French Directory.

Elections[edit]

The indirect election took place from 2 to 10 September 1792 after the election of the electoral colleges by primary assemblies on 26 August.[2] Despite the introduction of universal male suffrage, the turn-out was low[3][note 1], though the election saw an increase in comparison to the 1791 elections—in 1792 11.9% of a greatly increased electorate votes, compared to 10.2% of a much smaller electorate in the 1791.
The low turn-out was partly due to a fear of victimization; in Paris, Robespierre presided over the elections and, in concert with the radical press, managed to exclude any candidate of royalist sympathies.[5] In the whole of France, only eleven primary assemblies wanted to retain the monarchy. The electoral assemblies all tacitly voted for a «republic», though only Paris used that word.[3] The elections returned the same sort of men that the active citizens had chosen in 1791.[6]

On 20 September the Convention held its first session in the «Salle des Cent-Suisses», the next day it moved to the Salle du Manège, which had little room for the public and bad acoustics.[7] From 10 May 1793 it met in the Salle des Machines, an immense hall in which the deputies were loosely scattered. The Salle des Machines had galleries for the public who often influenced the debates with interruptions or applause.[8] [note 2]

The members of the Convention came from all classes of society, but the most numerous were lawyers. 75 members had sat in the National Constituent Assembly, 183 in the Legislative Assembly. The full number of deputies was 749, not counting 33 from the French colonies, of whom only some arrived in Paris in time. Thomas Paine and Anacharsis Cloots were appointed in the Convention by Girondins. Besides these, however, the newly formed départements annexed to France from 1782 to 1789 were allowed to send deputations.[1]

According to its own ruling, the Convention elected its President every fortnight, and the outgoing President was eligible for re-election after the lapse of a fortnight. Ordinarily, the sessions were held in the morning, but evening sessions also occurred frequently, often extending late into the night. Sometimes in exceptional circumstances, the Convention declared itself in permanent session and sat for several days without interruption. For both legislative and administrative the Convention used committees, with powers more or less widely extended and regulated by successive laws. The most famous of these committees included the Committee of Public Safety and the Committee of General Security.[1]

The Convention held legislative and executive powers during the first years of the French First Republic and had three distinct periods: Girondin, Montagnard or Jacobin, and Thermidorian.

Political breakdown[edit]

The National Convention was made up of three major factions: The Montagnards (the Mountain), the Marais (the Plain) and the Girondins, also called Brissotins. Historians are divided on the exact make up of the Convention but the current consensus is that the Mountain was the biggest faction with around 302–309 deputies. The Girondins were represented by 178–227 deputies and the Plain was represented by 153–250 deputies. Of the three groups the Mountain was the most cohesive and the Plain was the least cohesive. Over 94% of The Mountain voted similarly on core issues, comparatively the Girondins and the Plain were much more divided with only 70% of Girondins voting similarly on the same issues and only 58% of the Plain voting similarly on the same issues.[10]

Girondin Convention[edit]

The first session was held on 20 September 1792. The following day, the assembly agreed to the proposition «That royalty be abolished in France» and was carried with cheers. On the 22nd came the news of the Battle of Valmy. On the same day, it was decreed that «in future the acts of the assembly shall be dated First Year of the French Republic«. Three days later, the corollary that «the French republic is one and indivisible» was added to guard against federalism. A republic had been proclaimed but remained to enact a republican government. The country was little more republican in feeling or practice than it had been before at any time since Varennes but now had to become a republic because it no longer had a king.[11]

When the Convention met the military situation was undergoing an extraordinary transformation that seemed to confirm the Girondin prophecies of easy victory. After Valmy, the Prussians withdrew to the frontier, and in November, French troops occupied the left bank of the Rhine. The Austrians, who had besieged Lille in October, were defeated by Dumouriez at the Battle of Jemappes on 6 November and evacuated the Austrian Netherlands. Nice was occupied and Savoy proclaimed its union with France. The successes made it safe to quarrel at home.[12]

Girondins and Montagnards[edit]

The Girondins were more conservative than the Montagnards, although they were still democrats.[13] The Girondins drew their name from the Gironde, a region of France from which many of the deputies of this faction were elected (although many «Girondins» were actually Parisian by origin) and were also known as the Brissotins after their most prominent speaker, Jacques Pierre Brissot.[14] The Montagnards drew their support from the Paris Commune and the popular societies such as the Jacobin Club and the Cordeliers, they got their name from the high bleachers on which they sat while the Convention was in session.

Three issues dominated the first months of the National Convention: revolutionary violence, the trial of the king, and the Parisian dominance of politics. Antagonism between Paris and the provinces created friction among the people that served as a propaganda tool and combat weapon for the two groups. The departments and districts resisted the idea of centralization. They saw the idea being symbolised by the desire to reduce the capital of the Revolution to a minuscule share of influence. Much of the Gironde wished to remove the Assembly from a city dominated by «agitators and flatterers of the people» but did not yet encourage an aggressive federalism, which would have run counter to its political ambitions.[15]

The Plain[edit]

The Plain was a third faction during the Convention. It derived its name from their place on the floor of the Convention.[16][17] During the start of the Convention, they sided with the Girondins, however, as it progressed and the Montagnards began to push for the execution of Louis XVI, The Plain began to side with them.

Trial and execution of king[edit]

The trial of Louis XVI

The Convention’s unanimous declaration of a French Republic on 21 September 1792 left open the fate of the former king. A commission was therefore established to examine the evidence against him while the Convention’s Legislation Committee considered legal aspects of any future trial. Most Montagnards favoured judgment and execution, but the Girondins were divided concerning Louis’s fate, with some arguing for royal inviolability, others supporting clemency and still others advocating lesser punishment or banishment.[18] On 13 November, Robespierre stated in the Convention that a Constitution which Louis had violated himself, despite declaring his inviolability, could not be used in his defence.[19] Robespierre had been taken ill and had done little other than support Saint-Just, who gave his first major speech, in his argument against the king’s inviolability. On 20 November, opinion turned sharply against Louis following the discovery of a secret cache of 726 documents consisting of Louis’s personal communications with bankers and ministers.[20] At his trial, he claimed not to recognise documents that had been clearly signed by himself.[21]

The trial began on 10 December. The Montagnards put the debate on the ideological level. Louis XVI was classified as an enemy, who was alien to the body of the nation and as a «usurper». Balloting began on 15 January 1793. Each deputy explained his vote at the rostrum. The vote against the king was unanimous. There was to be no popular referendum, as Girondins had hoped. The fatal vote started on 16 January and continued until the next day. Of the 726 deputies present, 361 declared themselves for the death penalty without condition, 26 voted for death on condition that the Mailhe amendment be applied, 334 were opposed (incl. 44 who voted for death with reprieve), 5 abstained or recused. On 19 January, the question of reprieve was put to a vote: 380 votes were cast against and 310 for (2 voted on condition, 10 abstained or recused). Each time, the Girondins had split.[22]

On the morning of 21 January, the Convention ordered the entire National Guard to line both sides of the route to the scaffold. Louis was beheaded at the Place de la Revolution. Within the nation, «voters» and «appellants», those against or for the execution of Louis, swore undying hatred of each other. The rest of Europe, fearing the outcome of the French Revolution in their own countries, decreed a war of extermination against regicides.[23][24]

Crisis and fall of Girondins[edit]

The Assembly began harmoniously, but within a few days the Girondins launched a bitter attack on their Montagnard opponents. Conflict continued without interruption until the expulsion of the Girondin leaders from the Convention on 2 June 1793. The Girondins had relied on votes from the majority of the deputies, many of whom were alarmed as well as scandalized by the September massacres, but their insistence on monopolising all positions of authority during the Convention, and their attacks on the Montagnard leaders, soon irritated them and caused them to regard the party as a faction. One by one, deputies such as Couthon, Cambon, Carnot, Lindet and Barère began to gravitate towards the Montagnards, and the majority, The Plain, as it was called, held itself aloof from both sides.

Girondins were convinced that their opponents aspired to a bloody dictatorship, but the Montagnards believed that the Girondins were ready for any compromise with conservatives and even royalists to guarantee their remaining in power. The bitter enmity soon reduced the Convention to a state of limbo. Debate after debate degenerated into verbal brawling from which no decision could emerge. The political deadlock, which had repercussions all over France, eventually drove men to accept dangerous allies: royalists in the case of Girondins, sans-culottes in that of the Montagnards.[12]

Fall of the Girondins

Thus, the struggle within the Convention continued without results. The decision was to come from outside. Since the king’s trial, the sans-culottes had been constantly assailing the «appealers» (appelants), quickly came to desire their expulsion from the Convention and demanded the establishing a Revolutionary Tribunal to deal with supposed aristocratic plots.[25] Military setbacks from the First Coalition, Charles François Dumouriez’s defection to the enemy and the War in the Vendée, which began in March 1793, were all used as arguments by Montagnards and sans-culottes to portray Girondins as soft. The Montagnards proposed measures, but the Girondins were reluctant to take such measures. The Girondins were forced to accept the Montagnards’ creation of the Revolutionary Tribunal and a Committee of Public Safety. Social and economic difficulties exacerbated the tensions between the groups.

The final showdown was precipitated by Jean-Paul Marat’s trial and the arrest of sectional activists. On 25 May, the Paris Commune marched to the Convention to demand the release of the activists. In reply, Maximin Isnard, who was presiding over the Convention, launched into a diatribe reminiscent of the Brunswick Manifesto: «If any attack made on the persons of the representatives of the nation, then I declare to you in the name of the whole country that Paris would be destroyed». On the next day, the Jacobins declared themselves in a state of insurrection. On 28 May, the Cité section called the other sections to a meeting in order to organize the insurrection. On 29 May, the delegates representing 33 of the sections formed an insurrectionary committee of nine members.[26] On 2 June, 80,000 armed sans-culottes surrounded the Convention. After an attempt of deputies to leave was stopped with guns, the deputies resigned themselves to declare the arrest of 29 leading Girondins. In that way, the Gironde ceased to be a political force.[27]

Montagnard Convention[edit]

Scarcely had the Gironde been eliminated when the Convention, now under Montagnard leadership, found itself caught between two threats. While the federalist revolt gained strength, the popular movement, roused to fury by high prices, was increasing the pressure it exercised on the government. Meanwhile, the Government was proving incapable of controlling the situation. In July 1793, the nation appeared to be on the point of falling apart.[28]

In June the Montagnards played for time. On 3 June the sale of the property of emigrants, in small parcels and payable in ten years, was decreed; on the 10 June, the optional division of common lands by head; and on 17 July, the abolition, without compensation, of all that remained of manorial rights.[29]

The Montagnards attempted to reassure the middle classes by rejecting any idea of terror, by protecting property rights and by restricting the popular movement to very narrowly-circumscribed limits. It was a delicate balance to achieve, a balance that was destroyed in July by the worsening of the crisis. The Convention rapidly approved the new constitution in the hope to clear itself of the charge of dictatorship and calm the anxieties of the departments.[30]

Constitution of 1793[edit]

Constitution du Peuple Française du 6 Messidor l’an I (24 June 1793)

The Declaration of Rights, which precedes the text of the Constitution, solemnly reaffirmed the nation’s indivisibility and the great principles of equality, liberty, security, and property. In contrast to the Declaration of 1789, the 1793 added rights to public assistance, work, education and insurrection. [31]

The chief aim of the Constitution was to ensure the major role of the deputies in the Convention, which was seen as being the essential basis for political democracy. The Legislative Assembly was to be elected by direct vote cast for a single member, deputies were elected on receiving a simple majority of the votes cast, and the assembly would sit for one year. The executive council of 24 members was chosen by the Legislative Assembly from among the 83 candidates chosen by the departments on the basis of universal male suffrage, and in that way, ministers were made responsible to the representatives. The exercise of popular suffrage was widened through the institution of the referendum. The Constitution was to be ratified by the people, as were laws in certain precisely defined circumstances.[32]

The Constitution was submitted for popular ratification and adopted by a huge margin of more than 1,801,918 in favour to some 17,610 against. The results of the plebiscite were made public on 10 August 1793, but the application of the Constitution, the text of which was placed in an ark in the debating-chamber of the Convention, was postponed until peace had been made.[33]

Federalist revolt and war[edit]

La Mort de Marat
Jacques-Louis David, 1793, Brussels

Indeed, the Montagnards faced dramatic circumstances: federalist insurrection, war in the Vendée, military failures and a worsening economic situation. Despite everything, a new civil war could not be avoided.[29] By the middle of June, about 60 departments were in more or less open rebellion. However, the frontier departments had remained faithful to the Convention. The rising was widespread, rather than deep. It was essentially the work of the departmental and district administrations. The communes, which were more popular in composition, showed themselves in general lukewarm or hostile, and federalist leaders soon became divided among themselves. Sincere republicans among them could not fail to be uneasy about the foreign invasion and the Vendée. Those who were seeing themselves rejected by the people sought support from the moderates, the Feuillants and even the aristocrats.[34]

July and August were bad months on the frontiers. Within three weeks Mainz, the symbol of previous successes, capitulated to the Prussians, and the Austrians captured the fortresses of Condé and Valenciennes and invaded northern France. Spanish troops crossed the Pyrenees and began advancing on Perpignan in the War of the Pyrenees. The Piedmontese took advantage of the diversion of republican forces at Lyons in order to invade France from the east. In Corsica, Paoli’s revolt expelled the French from the island with British support. British troops opened the Siege of Dunkirk in August, and in October, the Allies invaded Alsace. The military situation had become desperate.

In addition were other incidents that compounded the fury of the revolutionaries and convinced them that their opponents had abandoned all restraint of civilized behavior. On 13 July, Charlotte Corday murdered the sans-culotte idol Jean-Paul Marat. She had been in touch with Girondin rebels in Normandy, and they were believed to have used her as their agent.[35]

The lack of forethought displayed by the Convention during the first few days was redeemed by its vigor and skill in organizing measures of repression. Warrants were issued for the arrest of the rebellious Girondin leaders. The members of the revolting departmental administration were deprived of their office.[36]

The regions in which the revolt was dangerous were precisely those in which a large number of royalists had remained. There was no room for a third party between the Mountain, which was identified with the Republic, and royalism, which was the ally of the enemy. The royalist insurrection in the Vendée had already led the Convention to take a long step in the direction of the Terror: that is to say, the dictatorship of central power and the suppression of liberties. The Girondin insurrection now prompted it to take a decisive step in the same direction.[37]

Revolutionary government[edit]

La Marseillaise par François Rude

The Constituent Assembly had legislated through its commissions. The Convention governed by means of its committees. Two of them were of essential importance: Public Safety and General Security. The second, which had formidable powers, is less well known than the first, which was the true executive authority and was armed with immense prerogatives. It dated from April, but its composition was thoroughly reshuffled during the summer of 1793.[38]

The summer of 1793 saw sans-culotte disturbances reach a peak under a double banner: price fixing and terror. On top came the news of unprecedented treason: Toulon and its squadron had been handed over to the enemy.[39] In the name of the wretched poverty of the people, the leaders of the enragés, with Jacques Roux at their head, called for a planned economy from a Convention, which had no liking for the idea. However, the revolutionary logic of the mobilization of resources by national dictatorship was infinitely more powerful than economic doctrine. In August, a series of decrees gave the authorities discretionary powers over the production and circulation of grain and ferocious punishments for fraud. «Granaries of plenty» were prepared, to stock corn requisitioned by authorities in each district. On 23 August, the decree on the levée en masse turned able-bodied civilians into soldiers.[40]

On 5 September, Parisians tried to repeat the revolt of 2 June. Armed sections again encircled the Convention to demand the setting up of an internal revolutionary army, the arrest of suspects and a purge of the committees. It was probably the key day in the formation of the revolutionary government: the convention yielded, but kept control of events. It put Terror on the agenda on 5 September, on the 6th elected Collot d’Herbois and Billaud-Varenne to the Committee of Public Safety, on the 9th created the revolutionary army, on the 11th decreed the Maximum for grain and fodder (general controls for prices, and wages on the 29th), on the 14th reorganized the Revolutionary Tribunal, on the 17th voted in the law on suspects, and on the 20th gave the local revolutionary committees the task of drawing up lists of them.[41]

The dictatorship of the Convention and the committees, simultaneously supported and controlled by the Parisian sections, representing the sovereign people in permanent session, lasted from June to September. It governed through a network of institutions set up haphazardly since spring in March, the Revolutionary Tribunal and representatives on missions in the departments and was followed the next month by the Convention’s representatives to the armies, also armed with unlimited powers; and enforced acceptance of assignat as the sole legal tender, price controls for grain and the forced loan of a billion livres from the rich.[42]

At last, France saw a government take shape. Danton resigned from it on 10 July. Couthon, Saint-Just, Jeanbon Saint-Andre, and Prieur of the Marne formed a nucleus of resolute Montagnards who rallied Barère and Lindet, then successfully added Robespierre on 27 July, Carnot and Prieur of Cote-d’Ore on 14 August, and Collot d’Herbois and Billaud-Varenne on 6 September. They had a few clear ideas to which they clung: to command, to fight, and to conquer. Their work in common, the danger, the taste of and pride in power created solidarity that made the Committee an autonomous organism.[43]

The committee was always managed collegially, despite the specific nature of the tasks of each director: the division into «politicians» and «technicians» was a Thermidorian invention, intended to lay the corpses of the Terror at the door of the Robespierrists alone. Many things, however, set the twelve committee members at loggerheads; Barère was more a man of the Convention than of the committee and was a link with The Plain. Robert Lindet had qualms about the Terror which, by contrast, was the outstanding theme of Collot d’Herbois and Billaud-Varenne, latecomers to the committee, forced on it by the sans-culottes in September; unlike Robespierre and his friends, Lazare Carnot had given his support only provisionally and for reasons of state to a policy concession to the people. But the situation which united them in the summer of 1793 was stronger than those differences of opinion.[38] The Committee had to set itself above all, and choose those popular demands which were most suitable for achieving the Assembly’s aims: to crush the enemies of the Republic and dash the last hopes of the aristocracy. To govern in the name of the Convention, at the same time controlling it, and to restrain the people without quenching their enthusiasm—this was a gamble.[44]

The ensemble of institutions, measures and procedures which constituted it was codified in a decree of 14 Frimaire (4 December) which set the seal on what had been the gradual development of centralized dictatorship founded on the Terror. In the center was the Convention, whose secular arm was the Committee of Public Safety, vested with immense powers: it interpreted the Convention’s decrees and settled their methods of application; under its immediate authority it had all state bodies and all civil servants (even ministers would disappear in April 1794); it directed military and diplomatic activity, appointed generals and members of other committees, subject to ratification by the Convention. It held responsibility for conducting war, public order and the provisioning of the population. The Commune of Paris, a famous sans-culotte bastion, was neutralized by coming under its control.[41]

Economy[edit]

Administrative and economic centralization went hand in hand. The state of siege forced France into autarky; to save the Republic the government mobilized all the nation’s productive forces and reluctantly accepted the need for a controlled economy, which it introduced extemporaneously, as the emergency required.[45] It was necessary to develop war production, revive foreign trade, and find new resources in France itself, and time was short. Circumstances gradually compelled it to assume the economic government of the country. Along with organization of the army, this was the most original feature of its work.[46]

All material resources were subjected to requisitioning. Farmers surrendered their grain, fodder, wool, flax, and hemp. Artisans and merchants gave up their manufactured products. Raw materials were carefully sought out: metal of all kinds, church bells, old paper, rags and parchments, grasses, brushwood, and even household ashes for manufacturing of potassium salts, and chestnuts for distilling. All businesses were placed at the disposal of the nation: forests, mines, quarries, furnaces, forges, tanneries, paper mills, large cloth factories and shoe making workshops. The labor of men and the value of things were subject to price controls. No one had a right to speculate at the cost of Patrie while it was in danger. Armaments caused more concern. As early as September 1793 efforts were made to create a large factory in Paris for rifles and sidearms.[47] A special appeal was made to scientists. Monge, Vandermonde, Berthollet, Darcet, Fourcroy perfected metallurgy and manufacture of arms.[48]

Only to the wage earners did the Maximum seem thoroughly advantageous. It increased wages by one-half in relation to 1790, and commodities by only one-third. But since the Committee did not ensure that it was respected (except for bread), they would have been duped had they not been benefiting from the favorable conditions that a great war always offers the labor force.[49] Still Paris became calmer because the sans-culottes were gradually finding ways to subsist; the levée en masse and the formation of the revolutionary army were thinning their ranks; many now were working in arms and equipment shops or in the offices of the committees and ministries, which were expanded enormously.[50]

Army of the Year II[edit]

During the summer the requisition of the levy was completed and by July the total strength of the army reached 650,000. The difficulties were tremendous. The war production just started in September. The army was in the middle of the purge. In the spring of 1794, the amalgamation was undertaken. Two battalions of volunteers joined one battalion of regulars to constitute a demi-brigade, or regiment. At the same time, the command was reconstituted. The purge ended with most of the nobles excluded. The new generation reached the highest ranks, and the War College (Ecole de Mars) received six young men from each district to improve the staff. Army commanders were to be appointed by the Convention.[51]

What gradually emerged was a well-equipped military command. François Séverin Marceau-Desgraviers, Lazare Hoche, Jean Baptiste Kléber, André Masséna, Jean-Baptiste Jourdan, and a host of others, backed by officers who combined abilities as soldiers and their political sense.[52][53]

For the first time since the Roman Empire, a government succeeded in arming and feeding great numbers of soldiers. The technical innovations resulted chiefly from its sheer size as well the strategy that developed from it. The old system of cordons lost its prestige. Moving between the armies of the Coalition, the French could maneuver along interior lines, deploy part of their troops along the frontiers and take advantage of the inaction of any one of their enemies to beat the others. Acting en masse, and overwhelming the foe by sheer numbers were Carnot’s principles. They were still untried and not until Bonaparte appeared did they enjoy any great success.[54]

Fall of factions[edit]

As late as September 1793, there were two distinct wings among the revolutionaries. Firstly, those who were later called Hébertists although Jacques Hébert himself was never the official leader of a party that advocated war to the death and adopted the program of the enragés, ostensibly because the sans-culottes approved it. The Hébertists preferred to side with the Montagnards so long as they could hope to control the Convention through them. They dominated the Cordeliers Club, filled Bouchotte’s offices, and could generally carry the Commune with them.[55] The other wing was the Dantonists, which formed in response to the increasing centralization of the Revolutionary Government and the dictatorship of the Committees. The Dantonists were led predominately by deputies of the Convention (rather than the sans-culottes), including Danton, Delacroix, and Desmoulins.

Putting the needs of national defense above all other considerations, the Committee of Public Safety had no intentions of giving in to the demands of either the popular movement or the moderates. Following the Hébertists would jeopardize revolutionary unity, and giving in to the demands of the moderates would have undermined both the Terror and the controlled economy. However, unity, centralization and the Terror were all considered essential to the war effort.[according to whom?] In order to balance the contradictory demands of these two factions, the Revolutionary Government attempted to maintain a position halfway between the moderate Dantonists (citras) and the extremist Hébertists (ultras).[56]

But at the end of the winter of 1793–94, the shortage of food took a sharp turn for the worse. The Hébertists incited sans-culottes to demand stringent measures, and at first, the Committee proved conciliatory. The Convention voted 10 million livres for relief, on 3 Ventôse, Barère presented a new general Maximum, and on the 8th Saint-Just obtained a decree confiscating the property of suspects and distributing it to the needy (Ventôse Decrees). The Hébertists felt that if they increased the pressure, they would triumph once and for all. Although the call appeared like one for insurrection it was probably just for a new demonstration, like the one in September. However, the Committee of Public Safety decided on 22 Ventôse Year II (12 March 1794) that the Hébertists posed too serious a threat. The Committee linked Hébert, Charles-Philippe Ronsin, François-Nicolas Vincent, and Antoine-François Momoro to the émigrés Proli, Anacharsis Cloots and Pereira, so as to present the Hébertists as parties to the «foreign plot». All were executed on 4 Germinal (24 March).[57] This move largely silenced the Hébertists, now without their leadership. Having succeeded in stifling dissent on the left, the Committee then turned on the Dantonists, several members of which were implicated in financial corruption. The Committee forced the Convention to lift the parliamentary immunity of nine Dantonist deputies, allowing them to be put on trial. On 5 April Dantonist leaders Danton, Delacroix, Desmoulins, and Philippeaux were executed.[58]

The execution of the leaderships of both rival factions caused some to become disillusioned. Many sans-culottes were stunned by the Hébertists’ execution. All positions of influence traditionally held by the sans-culottes were eliminated. The Revolutionary Army was disbanded, the inspectors of food-hoarding were dismissed, Jean Baptiste Noël Bouchotte lost the War Office, the Cordeliers Club was forced to self-censor and the Government pressure brought about closing 39 popular societies. The Paris Commune, controlled by sans-culottes, was purged and filled with Committee nominees. With the execution of the Dantonists, many of the members of the National Convention lost trust in the Committee and even began to fear for their personal safety.[59]

Ultimately, the Committee had undermined its own support by eliminating the Dantonists and Hébertists, both of which had backed the Committee. By compelling the Convention to allow the arrests of the Girondins and Dantonists, the Committee believed that it had destroyed its major opposition. However, the trials demonstrated the Committee’s lack of respect for members of the Convention, several of whom had been executed. Many Convention members who had sided with the Committee by mid-1794 no longer supported it. The Committee had acted as mediator between the Convention and the sans-culottes from which they both had acquired their strength. By executing the Hébertists and alienating the sans-culottes, the Committee became unnecessary to the Assembly.[60]

Terror[edit]

Though the Terror was organized in September 1793, it was not introduced until October. It had resulted from a popular movement. A new chapter of the Revolutionary Tribunal was opened after 5 September, divided into four sections: the Committees of Public Safety and General Security were to propose the names of judges and jurymen; Fouquier-Tinville stayed as public prosecutor, and Martial Joseph Armand Herman was nominated president.[61] The Terror was meant to discourage support for the enemies of the Revolution by condemning outspoken critics of the Montagnards.[62]

The great political trials began in October. The queen was guillotined on 16 October. A special decree stifled the defense of 21 Girondins, including Vergniaud and Brissot, and they perished on the 31st.[50]

At the summit of the apparatus of the Terror sat the Committee of General Security, the state’s second organization. It consisted of twelve members elected each month by the Convention, and vested with security, surveillance and police functions, including over civil and military authorities. It employed a large staff, headed the gradually constituted network of local revolutionary committees and applied the law on suspects by sifting through the thousands of local denunciations and arrests, which it then had to try.[63]

It struck down the enemies of the Republic whoever and wherever they were. It was socially indiscriminate and politically perspicacious. Its victims belonged to the classes which hated the Revolution or lived in the regions where rebellion was most serious. «The severity of repressive measures in the provinces,» wrote Albert Mathiez, «was in direct proportion to danger of revolt.»[64] Many outspoken members of the community were tried and executed for claims of treason. Camille Desmoulins and Georges Danton were two of the more notable men executed for their «threats» against the Revolution.[65]

Deputies sent as «representatives on mission» by the Committee of Public Safety, armed with full powers, reacted according to both the local situation and their own temperaments. Lindet pacified the Girondin west in July without a single death sentence. In Lyon, some months later, Collot d’Herbois and Joseph Fouché relied on frequent summary executions by shooting because the guillotine was not working swiftly enough.[66][note 3]

Slavery[edit]

The monarchy made a distinction between French soil on the mainland and soil under French control such as the colonies. That distinction allowed for slavery to be illegal in France but continue in the colonies.[68] Colonists in Saint Domingue wanted to have representation, 21 members because of their population size and contribution to the economy.[69] That was shot down by the National Convention as the majority of their population were slaves and thus had no rights as citizens and contributed nothing to representative population.[70] The Société des amis des Noirs [fr] in France originally opposed slavery during the 1780s, but much of the opposition was ignored as a result of the French Revolution breaking out.[71] The French showed a much greater willingness to act on the issue of slavery when the threat of a war with Spain seemed imminent.[72]

In 1792 the National Convention agreed to delegate 3 commissaries for Saint Domingue. Two of the commissaires, Léger-Félicité Sonthonax and Étienne Polverel, implemented rights for free men of color that were equal to their white counterparts. On 5 May 1793 Sonthonax and Polverel attacked the plantation system and forced the owners to treat the slaves better and care more for their well-being.[73] Sonthonax then attacked slavery itself by freeing any slave Huzards, Latin for hazards, who had been armed by their masters since they could not return to peaceful plantation life.[74] Polverel issued a proclamation in Cap Francais on 21 June 1793, which freed all slaves who agreed to fight for the French Republic from both internal and external threats.[75] The commissaires then ruled that the Republic would pay an indemnity to the owners of female slaves marrying free men and that all children of that union would be free.[76] The National Convention eventually allowed for six representative members for the colony.[77] When pressured by the Society of the Friends of the Blacks to end the slave trade in the colonies, the National Convention refused on the grounds of slavery being too core to the French economic wealth.[78] The committee felt «six million French people relied on the colonies to survive» and continued to stand by the argument.[79]

On 12 October 1790 the National Convention declared the only body of power who could control the status of people in the colonies were committees in the colonies themselves, which meant although free blacks met the requirement for active citizenship, the white colonists would not allow it.[80] That was done in an attempt to please the white colonists and convince them not to join forces with the British.[81] It also gave the colonies the power to control their own laws regarding slavery and allowed for the National Convention to wash their hands of the issue.[82] Three deputies from Saint Domingue traveled to France to attempt to persuade the National Convention to abolish slavery. The National Convention abolished slavery after hearing speeches from the deputies on 4 February 1794.[83] However, the Committee of Public Safety delayed sending the proclamation to the colonies for two months. That was because of the apparent opposition of Robespierre to the abolition of slavery. The issue was eventually resolved by the Committee circumventing Robespierre and ordering the abolition decree to be sent to Saint Domingue.[84] However, Napoleon’s attempt to return to slavery in 1801 removed France’s state of being the first to abolish slavery and led to the loss of the most prosperous French colony.[85]

Thermidor[edit]

9 Thermidor

The Jacobin dictatorship could hope to remain in power only so long as it was dealing successfully with a national emergency. As soon as its political opponents had been destroyed, and its foreign enemies defeated, it would lose the chief force that kept it together. The Jacobin fall happened more rapidly than expected because of issues within the party.[86]

So long as it remained united, the Committee was virtually invulnerable, but it had scarcely attained the apogee of its power before signs of internal conflict appeared.[87] The Committee of Public Safety had never been a homogeneous body. It was a coalition cabinet. Its members were kept together less by comradeship or common ideals than by calculation and routine. The press of business, which at first prevented personal quarrels, also produced tired nerves. Trifling differences were exaggerated into the issues of life and death. Small disputes estranged them from one another.[88] Carnot, in particular, was irritated by the criticisms directed at his plans by Robespierre and Saint-Just. Dispute followed dispute.[89] Bickering broke out on the Committee of Public Safety, with Carnot describing Robespierre and Saint-Just as «ridiculous dictators» and Collot making veiled attacks on the «Incorruptible». From the end of June to 23 July, Robespierre ceased to attend the Committee.[87]

Realizing the danger of fragmentation, they attempted a reconciliation. Saint-Just and Couthon favored it, but Robespierre doubted the sincerity of his enemies. It was he who brought about the fatal intervention of the Convention. On 8 Thermidor, Year II (26 July 1794), he denounced his opponents and demanded that «unity of government» be realized. When called upon to name those whom he was accusing, however, he refused. That failure destroyed him, for it was assumed that he was demanding a blank cheque.[89] That night, an uneasy alliance was formed from threatened deputies and members of The Plain.[90][91] On the next day, 9 Thermidor, Robespierre and his friends were not allowed to speak, and Louis Louchet of Aveyron called for the indictment of Robespierre, which the convention accepted. The men of the extreme left played the leading roles: Billaud-Varenne, who attacked, and Collot d’Herbois, who presided.

On hearing the news the Paris Commune, loyal to the man who had inspired it, called for an insurrection and released the arrested deputies in the evening and mobilized two or three thousand militants.[92] The night of 9–10 Thermidor was one of great confusion in Paris, as the Commune and the Assembly competed for the support of the sections and their troops. The Convention proclaimed that the rebels were henceforth outlaws. Barras was given the task of mustering an armed force, and the moderate sections gave their support. The National Guardsmen and artillerymen assembled outside the Hôtel de Ville were left without instructions and little by little they dispersed and left the square deserted. Around two o’clock in the morning, a column from Gravilliers section led by Léonard Bourdon burst in the Hôtel de Ville and arrested insurgents.

On the evening of 10 Thermidor (28 July 1794), Robespierre, Saint-Just, Couthon and nineteen of their political allies were executed without trial. The following day, it was the turn of a large batch of 71 men, the largest mass execution in the entire course of the Revolution.[93]

Thermidorian Convention[edit]

Whatever reasons the conspirators had behind 9 Thermidor, the events afterwards went beyond their intentions. Evidently, the remaining members on the Committees counted on staying in office and currying the favour of the Jacobin dictatorship, as though nothing more had happened than a party purge.[94]

Thermidorian Reaction[edit]

They were speedily disabused of that notion. Robespierrists might go out and Dantonists come in. The Convention had recovered its initiative and would put an end, once and for all, to the dictatorial committees government, which had ousted it from power. It was decreed that no member of governing committees should hold office for more than four months. Three days later, the Prairial Law was repealed and the Revolutionary Tribunal shorn of its abnormal powers. The Commune was replaced with a Commission of Civil Administrators (commission des administrateurs civils) from the ranks of the Convention. In November the Jacobin club was closed. Anti-Robespierrist but also anti-Jacobin reaction was in full flood. At the beginning of September Billaud, Collot and Barère left the Committee of Public Safety; by the end of the year, they were in prison.[94]

The stability of the government was weakening. Next came the concentration of power, another revolutionary principle. The identification of the Committee of Public Safety with the executive was ended on 7 Fructidor (24 August), restricting it to its former domain of war and diplomacy. The Committee of General Security kept its control over the police. There was now to be a total of sixteen committees. Conventionnels, while aware of the dangers of fragmentation, were even more worried by its experience of monopoly of powers. In a few weeks the revolutionary government was dismantled.[95]

The measures affected, finally, the instruments of the Terror and opened numerous breaches in the apparatus of repression. The law of 22 Prairial was repealed, the prisons were opened and «suspects» were released: 500 in Paris in a single week. A few public trials were staged, including those of Carrier, held responsible for the mass drowning at Nantes, and Fouquier-Tinville, notorious as the public prosecutor of the Great Terror of the late spring and summer of 1794, after which the Revolutionary Tribunal was quietly put aside.[96] Yet an unofficial White Terror continued. In the provinces the Terror assumed violent and vicious form. In the Lyonnais, the Companions of Jehu flung the bodies of its victims, men and women, into the Rhône, and prisoners were massacred wholesale in gaol or on their way to prison, while in other cities, bands of so-called Companions of the Sun indiscriminately murdered «terrorists», «patriots of ’89» and, most eagerly of all, purchasers of former Church properties. Such excesses were deplored in Paris, but the Convention and its Committees were powerless to contain forces that they had themselves done much to unleash.[96]

The destruction of the system of revolutionary government eventually brought about the end of the ‘Economic Terror’. Maximum was relaxed even before 9 Thermidor. Now virtually nobody believed in price controls any longer. Because the black market was plentifully supplied, the idea took hold that price controls equalled scarcity and that free trade, therefore, would bring back abundance. It was generally supposed by the free trade minded Physiocrat economists within France that prices would at first rise but that then they would fall as a result of competition. This illusion, however, was to be shattered in the winter of 1794–1795. Formally, the National Convention had put the end to the maximum as the season had started on the Christmas Eve of 4 Nivôse Year III (24 December 1794).[97]

That winter, the abandonment of the controlled economy provoked a frightful catastrophe. Prices soared and the rate of exchange fell. The Republic was condemned to massive inflation and its currency was ruined. In Thermidor, Year III, assignats were worth less than 3% of their face value. Neither peasants nor merchants would accept anything but cash. The debacle was so swift that economic life seemed to come to standstill.

The crisis was greatly aggravated by famine. Peasants finally stopped bringing any produce to market because they did not wish to accept assignats. The government continued to provision Paris but was unable to supply the promised rations. In provinces, local municipalities resorted to some sort of regulations with indirect coercion in obtaining provisions. The misery of rural day laborers, abandoned by everyone, was often appalling. Inflation ruined creditors to the advantage of debtors and unleashed an unprecedented speculation.[98]

At the beginning of spring in March–April 1795, scarcity was such that more unrest appeared almost everywhere. The city of Paris was ‘active’ once again.

Crushing of the popular movement[edit]

Journée du 1er Prairial de l’an III

Discontent increased along with the shortages. On 17 March a delegation from faubourgs Saint-Marceau and Saint-Jacques complained that «We are on the verge of regretting all the sacrifices that we have made for the Revolution.» Police law was passed which lay down the death penalty for use of seditious language. Arms were distributed to the «good citizens», the faithful nucleus of the National Guard. The trial of strength was approaching.

On 10 Germinal (30 March) all the sections called their general assemblies. The political geography of Paris emerged clearly from this. Convention debate was centered on two issues: the fate of Barère, Collot, Billaud and Vadier, and the implementation of the constitution of 1793. While in the sections of the center and the west formal addresses called for the punishment of the «Four» and passed over the food shortages, the sections of the east and the faubourgs demanded measures to deal with the grain crisis, the implementation of the constitution of 1793, the reopening of the popular societies and the release of the imprisoned patriots.[99]

On the morning of 12 Germinal (1 April) crowds gathered on the Ile de la Cité and, pushing aside the palace guards, burst into the chamber where the Convention met. Amidst the uproar, spokesmen of the sections outlined the people’s grievances. Reliable battalions of National Guard were called and demonstrators, lacking arms and leaders, were forced to withdraw. For the most people it was the constitution of 1793—seen as a liberating utopia—which represented the solution to all evils. There were others who openly regretted the passing of «the reign of Robespierre».[100]

But it was not the end. A new explosion was on the horizon. Insurrection was being openly prepared. On 1 Prairial (20 May 1795) the alarm bells sounded in the faubourgs Saint-Antoine and Marceau. The armed battalions arrived at Place du Carousel and entered the sitting chamber. After an hour of uproar, «The Insurrection of the People» (L’Insurrection du Peuple) was read. In the chaos, none of the ringleaders thought of implementing the key item of the program: the overthrow of the government.

The remainder of the Montagnards, The Crest (la Crête de la Montagne), managed to obtain the passage of decrees favorable to the rebels. But at 11:30 p.m. two armed columns entered the chamber and cleared out the rioters. The next day insurgents repeated the same mistakes and after receiving promises from the deputies to take speedy measures against the famine, returned to the sections.

On 3 Prairial the government assembled loyal troops, chasseurs and dragoons, national guardsmen, selected from those «who had fortune to preserve»—20,000 men in all. Faubourg Saint-Antoine was surrounded and on 4 Prairial surrendered and was disarmed. Uncertainty about how to react, hesitancy in action, and lack of revolutionary leadership had doomed the popular movement to throw away its last chance in battle.[101]

4 Prairial Year III is one of the crucial dates of the revolutionary period. The people had ceased to be a political force, participants in history. They were now no more than victims or spectators.

Constitution of the Year III[edit]

Constitution de la République Française du 5 Fructidor l’an III (22 août 1795)

The victors now could set up a new constitution, the task the National Convention was originally elected for. The Commission of Eleven (the most notable members of which were Pierre Claude François Daunou, Jean-Denis Lanjuinais, François Antoine de Boissy d’Anglas, Antoine Claire Thibaudeau and Louis Marie de La Révellière-Lépeaux) drafted a text which would reflect the new balance of power. It was presented on 5 Messidor (23 June) and passed on 22 August 1795 (5 Fructidor of the Year III).

The new constitution went back to the constitution of 1791 as to the dominant ideology of the country. Equality was certainly confirmed, but within the limits of civil equality. Numerous democratic rights of the constitution of 1793—the right to work, to relief, to education—were omitted. The Convention wanted to define rights and simultaneously reject both the privilege of the old order and social leveling.

The constitution went back to the distinction between active and passive citizens. Only citizens over twenty-five years old, disposing of an income of two hundred days of work, were eligible to be electors. This electoral body, which held the real power, included 30,000 people, half as many as in 1791. Later, the age limit was reduced to twenty-one.[1] Guided by recent experience, institutions were set up to protect the Republic from two dangers: the omnipotence of an assembly and dictatorship.

Bicameral legislature as a precaution against sudden political fluctuations was proposed: the Council of Five Hundred with rights to propose laws and Council of Ancients, 250 deputies, with powers to accept or reject proposed laws. Executive power was to be shared between five Directors chosen by the Ancients from the list drawn by Five Hundred. One of the Directors would be renewed each year with re-election after five years. As one of the practical precautions, no military were allowed within 60 miles of the sitting assembly and it could relocate in case of danger. The Directory still retained great power, including emergency powers to curb freedom of the press and freedom of association.

The Constitution generally was accepted favorably, even by those on the right, who were hopeful for the upcoming elections and even more happy to get rid of the legislative body so hated by them.

But how to make sure that the new elected body would not overturn the constitution as it was before with Legislative Assembly? Thermidorians attempted this on 5 Fructidor (22 August) by voting for a decree on «formation of a new legislative body». Article II stipulated: «All members presently active in the Convention are re-eligible. Election assemblies may not take fewer than two-thirds of them to form the legislative body». This was known as the Law of the Two-Thirds.[102]

Vendémiaire[edit]

Napoleon Bonaparte quelling of the Royalist revolt 13 Vendémiaire, in front of the Église Saint-Roch, rue Saint-Honoré.

On 23 September the results were announced: the constitution was accepted by 1,057,390 votes, with 49,978 against. The Two-Thirds decrees obtained only 205,498 votes in favor and 108,754 against.[103]

But the Convention had not taken into account those Paris sections who were against Two-Thirds decrees and failed to provide precise vote figures: 47 Parisian sections had rejected the decrees.[104] Eighteen of the Paris sections contested the result. The Lepeletier section issued a call to insurrection. By 11 Vendémiaire seven sections were in state of revolt, sections which were the base of the Convention since 9 Thermidor and now won by the far right if not royalists. The Convention declared itself permanent.[105] The conventionnels knew the score. They knew the art of insurrection by heart and to bring down muscadins was easier than the sans-culottes.[106] Five members including Paul François Jean Nicolas, vicomte de Barras were appointed to deal with the crisis. A decree of 12 Vendémiaire (4 October) repealed the former disarmament of the former terrorists and an appeal to sans-culottes was issued.[note 4]

During the nights of Vendémiaire 12–13 (October 4–5), General Jacques-François Menou was tasked with putting down the royalist rebels and keep them from attacking the Convention. He recruited other generals, such as Napoleon Bonaparte, to help aid in quelling the insurrection. The rebels outnumbered the Army by the thousands, but because of their preparations the night before, Bonaparte and the armies were able to line the road into Paris with cannons from Sablons Camp. Without a way into Paris, the rebels surrendered to the Convention on Vendémiaire 13. Barras and the Convention gave the armies permission to kill. Within 45 minutes over 300 royalist rebels were dead in front of the Church of Saint Roch. The rest had scattered and fled.[107]

Moderate repression ensued and the White Terror in the south was stopped. On 4 Brumaire Year IV, just before breaking up, the Convention voted a general amnesty for «deeds exclusively connected with the Revolution».[105]

Legacy[edit]

Autel de la Convention nationale or Autel républicain by François-Léon Sicard (1913), Panthéon, Paris

Anchel (1911) concludes, «The work of the Convention was immense in all branches of public affairs. To appreciate it without prejudice, one should recall that this assembly saved France from a civil war and invasion, that it founded the system of public education (Museum, École Polytechnique, École Normale Supérieure, École des langues orientales, Conservatoire), created institutions of capital importance, like that of the Grand Livre de la Dette publique, and definitely established the social and political gains of the Revolution.»[1] By a decree of 4 February 1794 (16 Pluviôse) it also ratified and expanded to the whole French colonial empire the 1793 abolition of slavery on Saint-Domingue by civil commissioners Sonthonax and Polverel, though this did not affect Martinique or Guadeloupe and was abolished by the law of 20 May 1802.

A number of social welfare policies and programs were introduced under the National Convention.[108] Under a public assistance law of 19 March 1793, various principles were established such as state aid to be distributed according to population in each department, while work was to be provided to the able-bodied and home relief «wherever possible for other varieties of the needy,» while almsgiving was prohibited. A later public assistance law dated 28 June 1793 provided for state aid to be given through district ‘agencies’ to the aged, children and, for the first time in the history of France, unmarried mothers. In addition, abandoned children were to be received in hospitals until they turned 12, when they were to be apprenticed. A law of 15 October 1793, however, provided for the prohibition of begging and almsgiving and that «departmental maisons de repression are to be established, to set beggars to work.» A law on pensions for soldier’s dependents was introduced on 9 February 1794, along with a «Generous and humane» law on pensions for war widows on 4 June 1794. In addition, a law of 11 May 1794 established the Grand Livre de Bienfaisance Nationale, «a register of state pensions benefiting the needy in rural areas.»[109]

A decree of June 1793, as noted by one study, «proposed to provide the services of physicians, nurses, midwives, and apothecaries to the sick poor.» A variety of local and concrete welfare projects were pursued by the Jacobins, including a program that provided for free healthcare for armaments workers, along with pay for sick leave and disability and death benefits. Other Jacobin welfare projects included the founding of primary schools in some districts, an «egalitarian food policy,» and the division and distribution of the land of the emigres. According to one study however, the actual impact of such policies and laws were much more limited, arguing that «Decree after decree proclaimed the eradication of mendacity and the end of chronic deprivation, and ever larger appropriations were ear-marked with seemingly reckless abandon for poor relief…all to no lasting effect.»[110]

See also[edit]

  • Fall of the French monarchy
  • Girondist
  • The Mountain
  • Georges Danton
  • Maximilien Robespierre
  • Marat
  • Ministers of the French National Convention

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Convention had therefore been elected by small minority of the population, but those who were the most determined. That explains the ambiguity of the word «popular» when it is applied to this period: «popular» the French Revolution was certainly not in the sense of participation by the people in public affairs. But if the word «popular» is taken to mean that revolutionary policy was formed under pressure from the sans-culotte movement and organized minorities, and received an egalitarian impetus from them, then yes, the Revolution had well and truly entered its «popular» age.[4]
  2. ^ During the early meetings of the Convention the deputies had sat indiscriminately, where they pleased. But it was noticed that, as the quarrel between Jacobins and Girondins developed, they grouped themselves to the right and left of the President’s chair, whiles the extreme Jacobins found a place of vantage in the higher seats at the end of the hall, which came to be called The Mountain (French: La Montagne).[9]
  3. ^ Based on recent figures of the Terror:
    17,000 victims names distributed according to specific geographical areas: 52% in the Vendee, 19% in the south-east, 10% in the capital and 13% in the rest of France. The distinction is between zones of turmoil and an insignificant proportion of rural areas. Between departments, the contrast becomes more striking. Some were hard hit, the Loire-Inferieure, the Vendée, the Maine-et-Loire, the Rhône and Paris. In six departments no executions were recorded; in 31, there were fewer than 10; in 32, fewer than 100; and only in 18 were there more than 1,000. Charges of rebellion and treason were by far the most frequent grounds for execution (78%), followed by federalism (10%), crimes of opinion (9%) and economic crimes (1.25%). Artisans, shopkeepers. wage-earners and humble folk made up the largest contingent (31%), concentrated in Lyon, Marseilles and neighboring small towns. Because of the peasant rebellion in the Vendée, peasants are more heavily represented (28%) than the federalist and merchant bourgeoisie. Nobles (8.25%) and priests (6.5%), who would seem to have been relatively spared, actually provided a higher proportion of victims than other social categories. In the most sheltered regions, they were the only victims. Furthermore, the «Great Terror» is hardly distinguishable from the rest. In June and July 1794, it accounted for 14% of executions, as against 70% from October 1793 to May 1794, and 3.5% before September 1793. if one adds executions without trial and deaths in prison, a total of 50,000 seems likely, that is 2 per 1,000 of the population.[67]
  4. ^ Barras reference to «Faubourg Saint-Antoin whose attachment to the cause of liberty is well known» in subsequent report offers curious commentary to the official evolution since journees of prairial.[103]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Anchel 1911.
  2. ^ Du 2 au 10 septembre 1792: élection des députés à la Convention nationale
  3. ^ a b Thompson 1959, p. 310.
  4. ^ Furet 1996, p. 115.
  5. ^ Jordan, David P. (1989). The Revolutionary Career of Maximilien Robespierre. University of Chicago Press. p. 119. ISBN 978-0-226-41037-1.
  6. ^ Dupuy 2005, pp. 34–40.
  7. ^ «Saint-Just: Lieux de mémoire».
  8. ^ The National Convention 1906
  9. ^ Thompson 1959, p. 320.
  10. ^ Patrick, Alison (1969). «Political Divisions in the French National Convention, 1792–93». The Journal of Modern History. 41 (4): 447–463. doi:10.1086/240442. JSTOR 1878003. S2CID 154416704.
  11. ^ Thompson 1959, p. 315.
  12. ^ a b Hampson 1988, p. 157.
  13. ^ Kim, Minchul (2018). «Pierre-Antoine Antonelle and representative democracy in the French Revolution». History of European Ideas. 44 (3): 2–3. doi:10.1080/01916599.2018.1442955. S2CID 150197641.
  14. ^ «Girondin | political group, France». Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  15. ^ Bouloiseau 1983, p. 51.
  16. ^ Bernard, Jack F. (1973). Talleyrand: a biography. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons. p. 106. ISBN 0-399-11022-4.
  17. ^ Schama, Simon (1989). Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 648. ISBN 0-394-55948-7.
  18. ^ Kennedy 1988, pp. 308–310.
  19. ^ Robespierre 1958, pp. 104–105, _tome_9.djvu/122 120., in Tome IX, Discours.
  20. ^ Soboul 2005, p. 42, in «Armoir de Fer» by Grendron, F..
  21. ^ Hardman, John (2016) The life of Louis XVI, p.[page needed]
  22. ^ Soboul 1974, p. 284.
  23. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 272.
  24. ^ Furet 1996, p. 122.
  25. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 42.
  26. ^ Soboul 1974, p. 309.
  27. ^ Soboul 1974, p. 311.
  28. ^ Soboul 1974, p. 313.
  29. ^ a b Lefebvre 1963, p. 55.
  30. ^ Soboul 1974, p. 314.
  31. ^ Bouloiseau 1983, p. 67.
  32. ^ Soboul 1974, p. 316.
  33. ^ Mathiez 1929, p. 338.
  34. ^ Mathiez 1929, p. 336.
  35. ^ Hampson 1988, p. 189.
  36. ^ Mathiez 1929, p. 337.
  37. ^ Mathiez 1929, p. 340.
  38. ^ a b Furet 1996, p. 132.
  39. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 68.
  40. ^ «From Mobilization to Revolution» (PDF). Charles Tilly University of Michigan. March 1977. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  41. ^ a b Furet 1996, p. 134.
  42. ^ Furet 1996, p. 133.
  43. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 62.
  44. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 64.
  45. ^ Bouloiseau 1983, p. 100.
  46. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 100.
  47. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 104.
  48. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 101.
  49. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 109.
  50. ^ a b Lefebvre 1963, p. 71.
  51. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 96.
  52. ^ Soboul 1974, p. 400.
  53. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 98.
  54. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 99.
  55. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 61.
  56. ^ Soboul 1974, p. 359.
  57. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 88.
  58. ^ Hampson 1988, p. 220.
  59. ^ Hampson 1988, p. 221.
  60. ^ Lefebvre 1963, p. 90.
  61. ^ Soboul 1974, p. 341.
  62. ^ «Reign of Terror | French history». Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  63. ^ Furet 1996, p. 135.
  64. ^ Greer 1935, p. 19.
  65. ^ «Reign of Terror | French history». Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  66. ^ Furet 1996, p. 138.
  67. ^ Bouloiseau 1983, p. 210.
  68. ^ Andress, David, and Manuel Covo. «Race, Slavery, and Colonies in the French Revolution.» The Oxford Handbook of the French Revolution, 2015, 6.
  69. ^ Andress, David, Covo, «Race, Slavery, and Colonies in the French Revolution.», 6.
  70. ^ Andress, David, and Covo, «Race, Slavery, and Colonies in the French Revolution.», 6.
  71. ^ Robert Stein, «The Revolution of 1789 and the Abolition of Slavery.» Canadian Journal of History/Annales Canadiennes D’Histoire 17, no. 3 (1982): 451.
  72. ^ Stein, «The Revolution of 1789 and the Abolition of Slavery», 454.
  73. ^ Stein, «The Revolution of 1789 and the Abolition of Slavery.», 455.
  74. ^ Stein, «The Revolution of 1789 and the Abolition of Slavery», 456.
  75. ^ Stein, «The Revolution of 1789 and the Abolition of Slavery.», 456.
  76. ^ Stein, «The Revolution of 1789 and the Abolition of Slavery.», 458.
  77. ^ Andress, David, and Covo, «Race, Slavery, and Colonies in the French Revolution.», 24.
  78. ^ Andress, David, and Covo, «Race, Slavery, and Colonies in the French Revolution.», 24.
  79. ^ Andress, David, and Covo, «Race, Slavery, and Colonies in the French Revolution.», 25.
  80. ^ Andress, David, and Covo «Race, Slavery, and Colonies in the French Revolution.», 26.
  81. ^ Andress, David, and Covo, «Race, Slavery, and Colonies in the French Revolution.», 26.
  82. ^ Andress, David, and Covo, «Race, Slavery, and Colonies in the French Revolution.», 26.
  83. ^ Stein, «The Revolution of 1789 and the Abolition of Slavery.», 464–465.
  84. ^ Stein, «The Revolution of 1789 and the Abolition of Slavery.», 465.
  85. ^ Stein, «The Revolution of 1789 and the Abolition of Slavery», 466.
  86. ^ Thompson 1959, p. 502.
  87. ^ a b Hampson 1988, p. 229.
  88. ^ Thompson 1959, p. 508.
  89. ^ a b Lefebvre 1963, p. 134.
  90. ^ Durand de Maillane, Pierre Toussaint (1825). Histoire de la Convention nationale (in French). Paris: Baudouin frères. p. 199.
  91. ^ Vivien, L. (1842). P.M. Pourrat freres (ed.). Histoire generale de la revolution francaise, de l’empire, de la Restauration, de la monarchie de 1830, jusques et compris 1841 (in French). Vol. 3. Paris: Bourgogne et Martinet. pp. 317–318.
  92. ^ Furet 1996, p. 150.
  93. ^ Soboul 1974, pp. 411–412.
  94. ^ a b Thompson 1959, p. 516.
  95. ^ Woronoff 1984, p. 2.
  96. ^ a b Rude 1988, p. 115.
  97. ^ Woronoff 1984, pp. 9–10.
  98. ^ Lefebvre 1963, pp. 142–143.
  99. ^ Woronoff 1984, p. 15.
  100. ^ Woronoff 1984, p. 17.
  101. ^ Woronoff 1984, p. 20.
  102. ^ Furet 1996, p. 166.
  103. ^ a b Hampson 1988, p. 247.
  104. ^ Woronoff 1984, p. 31.
  105. ^ a b Soboul 1974, p. 473.
  106. ^ Furet 1996, p. 167.
  107. ^ «Napoleon and Counter-Revolutionary Royalists – 13 Vendémiaire Year 4 – Napoleon & Empire». www.napoleon-empire.com. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  108. ^ To Heal Humankind The Right to Health in History By Adam Gaffney, 2017, P.46
  109. ^ The Longman Companion to the French Revolution By Colin Jones, 2014, P.26
  110. ^ To Heal Humankind The Right to Health in History By Adam Gaffney, 2017, P.46

Sources[edit]

  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Anchel, Robert (1911). «Convention, The National». In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 7 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 46.
  • Andress, David (2006). The Terror: the merciless war for freedom in revolutionary France. Farrar: Straus and Giroux. ISBN 0-374-27341-3.
  • Andress, David, and Manuel Covo. «Race, Slavery, and Colonies in the French Revolution.» In The Oxford Handbook of the French Revolution, The Oxford Handbook of the French Revolution, Chapter 017. Oxford University Press, 2015.
  • Aulard, François-Alphonse (1910). The French Revolution, a Political History, 1789–1804, in 4 vols. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
  • Bouloiseau, Marc (1983). The Jacobin Republic: 1792–1794. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-28918-1.
  • Dupuy, Roger (2005). La République jacobine. Terreur, guerre et gouvernement révolutionnaire (1792–1794). Paris: Le Seuil, coll. Points. ISBN 2-02-039818-4.
  • Furet, François (1996). The French Revolution: 1770–1814. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-631-20299-4.
  • Greer, Donald (1935). Incidence of the Terror During the French Revolution: A Statistical Interpretation. Peter Smith Pub Inc. ISBN 978-0-8446-1211-9.
  • Hampson, Norman (1988). A Social History of the French Revolution. Routledge: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-7100-6525-6.
  • Jordan, David (1979). The King’s Trial: Luis XVI vs. the French Revolution. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-04399-5.
  • Lefebvre, Georges (1962). The French Revolution: from its Origins to 1793. Vol. I. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-08599-0.
  • Lefebvre, Georges (1963). The French Revolution: from 1793 to 1799. Vol. II. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-02519-X.
  • Lefebvre, Georges (1964). The Thermidorians & the Directory. New York: Random House.
  • Linton, Marisa, Choosing Terror: Virtue, Friendship and Authenticity in the French Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2013).
  • Mathiez, Albert (1929). The French Revolution. New York: Alfred a Knopf.
  • Rude, George (1988). The French Revolution. New York: Grove Weidenfeld. ISBN 1-55584-150-3.
  • Soboul, Albert (1974). The French Revolution: 1787–1799. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-394-47392-2.
  • Stein, Robert. «The Revolution of 1789 and the Abolition of Slavery.» Canadian Journal of History/Annales Canadiennes D’Histoire 17, no. 3 (1982): 447–468.
  • Thompson, J. M. (1959). The French Revolution. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
  • Woronoff, Denis (1984). The Thermidorean regime and the directory: 1794–1799. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-28917-3.

Further reading[edit]

  • Moitt, Bernard. Women and Slavery in the French Antilles, 1635–1848. Blacks in the Diaspora. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001.
  • Quinney, Valerie. «Decisions on Slavery, the Slave-Trade and Civil Rights for Negroes in the Early French Revolution.» The Journal of Negro History 55, no. 2 (1970).
  • Nash, Gary B. «Reverberations of Haiti in the American North: Black Saint Dominguans in Philadelphia.» Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies 65 (1998).
  • Popkin, Jeremy D. A Short History of the French Revolution. Sixth ed. 2015.

External links[edit]

  • Presidents of the National Convention: 1792–1795
  • National Convention pamphlets and documents from the Ball State University Digital Media Repository

Конвент Национальный

Конвент Национальный (Convention Nationale от лат. conventus — собрание)
— высшее представительное собрание в период
Великой французской
революции
, избранное после свержения короля. Впервые
собрался во дворце Тюильри 21 сентября 1792 г. Численность — 749 депутатов.
История Конвента делится на три периода.

I. Конвент жирондистов (до 2 июня 1793 г.) — провозглашение
Республики (21 сентября 1792 г.), процесс Людовика XVI (декабрь 1792 -январь
1793 г.), образование I коалиции, преобразование оборонительной войны в
революционную экспансионистскую; начало вандейских и шуанских внутренних войн;
создание Комитета общественного спасения.

II Конверт монтаньяров до 9 термидора II года (27 июля 1794
г.) — принятие Конституции 1793 е. с новой «Декларацией прав человека и
гражданина», федералистский мятеж, упразднение феодальных прав (17 июля 1793
г.), Декрет о «всеобщем максимуме» (29 сентября), оформление якобинской
диктатуры, введение «революционного порядка управления», якобинский террор,
дехристианизация, разгром «бешеных», эбертистов и дантонистов, образование
триумвирата Робеспьер — Сен-Жюст — Кутон, переворот 9 термидора, свержение
Робеспьера.

III. Термидорианский Конвент (до 26 октября 1795 г.) —
разгром якобинцев, подавление санкюлотского движения (жерминальское и
прериальское восстания III года), отказ от системы максимума и регламентации
экономической деятельности, белый террор, принятие Конституции III года (1795),
уничтожение эмигрантов у Киберона и подавление роялистского мятежа 13 вандемьера
IV года (1795).


Далее читайте:

Великая французская
революция
(хронологическая таблица).

Исторические
лица Франции
(биографический
справочник).

Морщихина Л.А. Военная деятельность Антуана Сен-Жюста.

Морщихина Л.А.
Утопия и Великая французская революция 
«Фрагменты республиканских установлений»
(«Les Institutions republicaines. Fragments»)  А. Сен-Жюста как характерный пример
утопического творчества XVIII века. 

НАЦИОНАЛЬНЫЙ КОНВЕНТ ФРАНЦИИ

Санкюлоты, конвент, Французкая республика

1. Санкюлоты 

Народные массы, беднота парижских предместий, рабочие и ремесленники требовали решительных революционных мер. Их называли «санкюлотами», т. е. людьми, не носившими «кюлотт»- особых коротких штанов, отделанных лентами и кружевами, которые носили аристократы.

Песней санкюлотов была «Карманьола». В ней прославлялись решительные революционные действия и гром пушек, а заодно высмеивалась и королева — «мадам Вето».

  • Мадам Вето могла грозить
  • Нас в Париже перебить,
  • Но дело сорвалось у ней —
  • Все из-за наших пушкарей.
  • Отпляшем Карманьолу!
  • Славьте гром, славьте гром,
  • Славьте пушек гром!
  • Национальный конвент.

2. Национальный конвент

Великое революционное собрание — Национальный конвент — открыло свои заседания в сентябре 1792 г. Это было самое революционное собрание французской революции, покрывшее себя славой великих решительных действий. Самой умеренной партией Конвента были жирондисты (они назывались так по имени департамента-области — Жиронды, откуда было большинство их депутатов).

  1. Жирондисты были представителями французской буржуазии. Они занимали правые скамьи Конвента.
  2. Левые скамьи занимали якобинцы — депутаты революционного народа.
  3. Наиболее крайние, решительные якобинцы занимали самые верхние скамьи Конвента и назывались поэтому монтаньярами, или «партией горы» (от французского слова «монтань» — гора).
  4. Было в Конвенте и «болото» — сидевшие в центре колеблющиеся депутаты, поддерживавшие то левых, то правых.

3. Франция — республика.

Прежде всего Конвент объявил Францию республикой (22 сентября 1792 г.). Жирондисты хотели спасти короля, но монтаньяры настаивали на его немедленной казни. 21 января 1793 г. при радостных криках народа Людовик XVI был казнен на гильотине.

Гильотина состояла из поднимающегося ножа, который при падении отрезал голову. Она была придумана доктором Гильотеиом, от его фамилии и произошло ее название. 

Сначала у власти в Конвенте стояли жирондисты. Но революционные массы не были удовлетворены их правлением. Они требовали решительной борьбы с контрреволюционерами и спекулянтами, твердых цен на хлеб и другие продукты.

В июне 1793 г. были арестованы вожди жирондистов, Власть перешла в руки монтаньяров. У власти укрепилась революционная демократия.

Конвент принял революционную конституцию. Она упраздняла королевскую власть, утверждала во Франции республику. Были начисто отменены все феодальные повинности без всякого вознаграждения помещикам. Крестьянские общинные земли, захваченные помещиками, были возвращены крестьянам.

Возобновили продажу земель беглецов — эмигрантов. В сентябре 1793 г. издали закон о твердых ценах на предметы первой необходимости- на хлеб, дрова, уголь, масло и мясо.

Одним из величайших вождей французской революции был Жан-Поль МаратЖан Поль Марат, по профессии врач и ученый-естествоиспытатель. С июня 1789 г. он был вождем революционных парижских предместий. Марат издавал любимую газету революционных масс — «Друг народа». Он был борцом за решительные революционные действия. В июле 1793 г. контрреволюционерка Шарлотта Кордэ пробралась к Марату и убила его ударом кинжала в грудь.

Диктатуру революционных масс во время Конвента проводил в жизнь Комитет общественной безопасности. Во главе его стал великий революционный вождь Максимилиан Робеспьер. Он был по профессии адвокатом. С первых же дней революции он проявил себя как сторонник народных масс. Вскоре он стал вождем революционной мелкой буржуазии. Он обладал замечательным хладнокровием и организаторским талантом. Скромный, всегда просто одетый, несмотря на то что он был главой французского правительства, он по-прежнему жил на бедной квартире в доме плотника Дюпле. За честность Робеспьера прозвали «Неподкупным»Максимилиан Робеспьер.

Был организован также Комитет общественной безопасности, ловивший и каравший шпионов, предателей, заговорщиков, террористов, бандитов, спекулянтов и фальшивомонетчиков. Он осуществлял беспощадный террор против врагов революции.

Ленин сказал: «Конвент был… диктатурой низов, т. е. самых низших слоев городской и сельской бедноты».

4. 9-е термидора

Между тем крупная буржуазия не дремала. Она была недовольна диктатурой низов и хотела взять власть в свои руки. 9-ого термидора (термидор-революционное название месяца июля) Робеспьер и его сторонники в правительстве были арестованы и через два дня казнены. Восторжествовала буржуазная контрреволюция.

В 1795 г. Конвент перестал существовать — власть перешла к буржуазному правительству из 5 директоров, известному под названием Директории.

5. Значение французской революции.

Французская революция уничтожила феодальное угнетение, которое задерживало развитие капиталистического общества. Революция смела старые феодальные отношения и показала этим пример другим странам. Она была решительнее других буржуазных революций.

Французская революция была буржуазной революцией: уничтожив феодальные порядки, она открыла путь новому-в то время прогрессивному — капиталистическому строю. Это была новая ступень в развитии человечества.

Многие другие страны находились в таком же положении, как Франция: и в Пруссии, и в Австрии, и в Италии, и в Российской империи — всюду феодальный гнет тяготел над страной, всюду он задерживал дальнейшее продвижение вперед, задерживал развитие капитализма. Его разрушение было очередным делом.

Поэтому Великая французская буржуазная революция громким эхом отозвалась в других странах, явилась для них образцом и помогла им подняться на следующую ступень развития человечества — к капиталистическому обществу.

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Кропоткин П.А. ВЕЛИКАЯ ФРАНЦУЗСКАЯ РЕВОЛЮЦИЯ 1789-1793

XXXVI

КОНВЕНТ. КОММУНА. ЯКОБИНЦЫ

21 сентября 1792 г открылся, наконец, Конвент — собрание, которое так часто представляли впоследствии прототипом, идеалом всякого революционного собрания. Выборы в Конвент произошли при почти всеобщей подаче голосов, с участием всех граждан, активных и пассивных, но оставались двухстепенными, т. е. граждане выбирали сперва выборщиков, а эти последние выбирали депутатов в Конвент. Такой способ избрания, конечно, был выгоден для зажиточных классов; но так как выборы происходили в сентябре, посреди всеобщего волнения, вызванного народной победой 10 августа, и многие контрреволюционеры, напуганные событиями 2 сентября, предпочли вовсе не показываться на выборах, то результаты были менее плохи, чем можно было опасаться. В Париже список Марата, в который входили имена всех известных революционеров из Клуба кордельеров и из Клуба якобинцев, прошел целиком. 525 «выборщиков», собравшихся в самый день 2 сентября в помещении Якобинского клуба, избрали председателем и вице–председателем своего собрания Колло–д’Эрбуа (крайнего якобинца) и Робеспьера, исключили всех, подписавших роялистские петиции («8 тыс.» и «20 тыс.»), и подали голоса за список Марата.

Тем не менее «умеренный» элемент все еще продолжал господствовать, и Марат писал после первого же заседания Конвента, что если судить по качеству представителей народа, то можно отчаяться в возможности спасти общество. Он предвидел, что их сопротивление революционному духу приведет Францию к бесконечной борьбе. «Они окончательно погубят все, — писал он, — если небольшая кучка защитников народа, призванных бороться с ними, не возьмет верх и не раздавит их». Мы увидим скоро, до какой степени он был прав.

Но сами события толкали Францию к республике, и это общенародное течение было так сильно, что умеренные элементы Конвента не решились противиться потоку, уносившему королевскую власть. В первое же свое заседание Конвент единогласно провозгласил отмену монархии во Франции. Мы видели, что Марсель и некоторые другие провинциальные города требовали республики еще до 10 августа: Париж с первого же дня выборов торжественно выставил то же требование. Клуб якобинцев также решился наконец заявить себя в пользу республики: он сделал это в заседании 27 августа после опубликования бумаг, найденных в шкафу Тюильри. Конвент осторожно последовал за Парижем. В первом своем заседании, 21 сентября 1792 г, он отменил королевскую власть; а на другой день в другом декрете он повелел, чтобы с этого дня все официальные документы помечались первым годом республики. Но самого провозглашения республики он так и не сделал.

Три ясно разграниченные партии сошлись в Конвенте: Гора[194], Жиронда и Равнина или, вернее, Болото (La Plaine, потом — Le Marais) Жирондисты, хотя их было меньше 200, господствовали Они уже раньше, при Законодательном собрании, давали королю министерство (Ролана) и стремились заслужить славу «государственных людей». Состоя из людей образованных, изящных, тонких политиков, партия Жиронды представляла собой интересы промышленной, торговой и земельной буржуазии, быстро создававшейся при новом порядке. При поддержке Равнины жирондисты были вначале самой сильной партией; из них и составилось первое республиканское министерство. В министерстве, попавшем во власть 10 августа, был только один представитель народной революции — Дантон; но и он вышел в отставку 21 сентября, и власть осталась, таким образом, в руках одних жирондистов.

Гора, состоявшая из якобинцев, как Робеспьер, Сен–Жюст и Кутон, из кордельеров, как Дантон и Марат, и пользовавшаяся поддержкой народных революционеров Коммуны, как Шометт и Эбер, еще не сформировалась в то время в политическую партию это случилось лишь позднее, под влиянием самого хода событий. Пока Гора поддерживала всех тех, кто хотел идти вперед и привести революцию к осязательным результатам, т е уничтожить королевскую власть и окончательно подорвать настроение, поддерживавшее эту власть, раздавить аристократию и политическую силу духовенства, отменить вполне феодализм, упрочить республику.

Наконец, Равнину, или Болото (впоследствии его назвали также Брюхом), составляли люди колеблющиеся, без определенных убеждений, но владеющие собственностью и консерваторы по инстинкту — те самые, из кого состоит большинство всех представительных собраний. В Конвенте их было около 500. Сначала они поддерживали жирондистов, но в минуту опасности покинули их. Затем страх заставил их поддерживать крайних монтаньяров с Сен–Жюстом и Робеспьером; а позднее они стали участниками белого террора, после того как Термидорский переворот 1794 г. послал Робеспьера и его товарищей на эшафот.

Теперь, после провозглашения республики 21 сентября 1792 г., опять можно было думать, что революция сможет развиваться беспрепятственно и пойдет своим естественным путем, указанным ей самой логикой событий. Суд над королем и его осуждение, республиканская конституция взамен конституции 1791 г, неумолимая война против иностранных завоевателей и вместе с тем окончательное уничтожение того, что составляло силу старого строя: феодальных прав, власти духовенства, монархической организации провинциального управления. Отмена всех этих пережитков прошлого, естественно, вытекала из самого хода революции.

Но пришедшая к власти буржуазия, представляемая в Конвенте «государственными людьми» Жиронды, вовсе не хотела этого.

Народ низверг Людовика XVI. Но избавиться от изменника, который привел немцев к воротам Парижа, казнить его — этому Жиронда противилась всеми силами. Скорее гражданская война, чем такой решительный шаг! И это не столько из боязни мести со стороны иностранных держав, сами жирондисты настаивали на том, чтобы начать войну со всей Европой, сколько из боязни революционного движения французского народа. Главным образом боялись они революционного Парижа, который мог увидеть в казни короля начало настоящей революции.

К счастью, парижскому народу удалось в секциях и в Коммуне создать рядом с национальным представительством настоящую силу, которая и явилась выразительницей революционных стремлений парижского населения и стала даже господствовать над Конвентом. Остановимся же на минуту, прежде чем приступить к описанию ожесточенной борьбы, завязавшейся в среде представителей нации, и бросим взгляд назад — на то, как создалась эта новая сила, Парижская коммуна.

В предшествующих главах (XXIV и XXV) мы уже видели, как парижские секции приобрели значение в качестве органов городской, муниципальной жизни. Они присвоили себе помимо некоторых полицейских обязанностей и избрания судей, которые предоставлялись им законом, различные другие, в высшей степени важные экономические обязанности (продовольствие города, общественную благотворительность, продажу национальных имуществ и т. п.), и сами эти обязанности дали им возможность оказывать серьезное влияние при обсуждении важнейших политических вопросов общего характера[195].

Сделавшись существенными органами общественной жизни, секции, или отделы, понятно, постарались установить между собой федеративную связь. Несколько раз в 1790 и в 1791 г. они уже назначали специальных представителей для соглашения с другими секциями ввиду совместного действия помимо официального, установленного законом Городского совета. Но ничего постоянного еще не существовало.

В апреле 1792 г., когда была объявлена война, поле деятельности секций расширилось целым рядом новых обязанностей. Им пришлось заняться записью волонтеров, рассортировкой их, патриотическими пожертвованиями, обмундировкой и продовольствием отправлявшихся на войну батальонов; затем — административными и политическими сношениями с этими батальонами, заботой о семьях волонтеров и прочее, не говоря уже о непрестанной борьбе, которую им приводилось вести против роялистских интриг, мешавших их работе. При этих новых обязанностях необходимость непосредственной связи между секциями чувствовалась еще сильнее.

Когда просматриваешь теперь переписку секций и их обширное счетоводство, го приходится удивляться организаторскому духу добровольцев, которые исполняли эту работу по окончании своего трудового дня. Именно здесь видна вся глубина той почти религиозной преданности, которую внушала революция французскому народу. Не нужно забывать, что хотя каждая секция и выбирала свой военный комитет из 28 членов, но по всем важнейшим вопросам обыкновенно обращались к общим собраниям секций, происходившим по вечерам.

Легко понять и то, как люди, видевшие не в теории, а на деле все ужасы войны и близко соприкасавшиеся со страданиями, причиненными народу иностранным нашествием, должны были ненавидеть виновников этого нашествия: короля, королеву, двор, бывших дворян и богатых, всех богатых вообще, так как они поддерживали двор. Столица объединялась таким путем с крестьянами пограничных департаментов в общей ненависти к защитникам престола, призвавшим во Францию чужеземные войска. Поэтому, когда явилась мысль о демонстрации 20 июня, секции взяли на себя подготовку этой демонстрации и они же подготовили нападение на Тюильри 10 августа, причем они воспользовались этой подготовительной работой, чтобы установить наконец давно желанную непосредственную связь между секциями для революционного дела.

Когда стало ясно, что демонстрация 20 июня не привела ни к каким результатам, что двор ничему не научился и не хочет научиться, секции взяли на себя предложить Собранию низложение Людовика XVI. Секция Моконсейль (Mauconseil) приняла 23 июля решение в этом смысле, о котором и сообщила Собранию, и сама стала заниматься подготовлением революционного движения на 5 августа. Другие секции поспешили принять подобные же решения; и когда на заседании 4 августа Национальное собрание объявило постановление граждан Моконсейля противозаконным, это постановление уже получило одобрение 14 других секций.

В тот же день члены секции Гравилье явились в Собрание с заявлением, что пока они еще предоставляют законодателям «честь спасти отечество». «Но если вы откажетесь, — прибавляли они, — то нам придется спасать себя самим». Секция Quinze–Vingt с своей стороны назначила «утро 10 августа как последний срок народному терпению», а секция Моконсейль заявила, что «будет мирно и бдительно ждать решения Национального собрания до 11 часов вечера следующего четверга (9 августа); но если Законодательное собрание не удовлетворит справедливых требований народа, то час спустя, в 12 часов ночи, будут бить сбор и все восстанут»[196].

Наконец, 7 августа та же секция обратилась ко всем остальным с приглашением назначить от каждой «по шести комиссаров, не столько ораторов, сколько действительно хороших граждан, которые, собравшись вместе, составили бы в городской ратуше центральный пункт», что и было сделано[197].

Когда из 48 секций 28 или 30 присоединились к движению, их комиссары собрались в ночь на 10 августа в ратуше, рядом с залой, где заседал законный Городской совет, в эту пору ночи далеко не в полном составе, и стали действовать революционным путем в качестве новой Коммуны. Они временно упразднили законный Генеральный совет Коммуны, подвергли домашнему аресту мэра Петиона, распустили генеральный штаб батальонов национальной гвардии и взяли в свои руки все полномочия Коммуны, а вместе с тем и общее руководительство восстанием[198].

Таким образом создалась и водворилась в городской ратуше та новая власть, о которой мы говорили выше.

Тюильрийский дворец был взят, и король свергнут с престола. И тотчас же новая Коммуна показала, что видит в дне 10 августа не «увенчание революции, начатой 14 июля 1789 г.», а начало новой революции, народной, совершаемой во имя Равенства. Она стала помечать свои документы «IV годом Свободы, I годом Равенства». Множество новых обязанностей, оказалось, было тотчас же возложено на новую Коммуну.

В последние 20 дней августа, в то время как Законодательное собрание колебалось между различными раздиравшими его роялистскими, конституционными и республиканскими течениями и обнаруживало полную неспособность подняться на высоту положения, парижские секции и Парижская коммуна сделались настоящим сердцем французского народа. Они старались разбудить республиканскую Францию, вызвать ее силы на борьбу с объединившимися королями Европы и сообща с другими коммунами внести необходимую организацию в широкое движение волонтеров 1792 г. А когда колебания Законодательного собрания, роялистские поползновения большинства его членов и их ненависть к революционной Коммуне довели парижское население до ярости сентябрьских дней, успокоение пришло опять–таки от секций и от Коммуны. Как только 4 сентября Законодательное собрание решилось, наконец, высказаться против королевской власти и различных претендентов на французский престол и довело о своем решении до сведения секций, они, как мы видели, тотчас же объединились, чтобы положить конец убийствам, грозившим перейти из тюрем на улицу. Они обеспечили безопасность жителям.

Точно так же, когда Конвент собрался и декретировал утром 21 сентября отмену королевской власти во Франции, но еще «не осмеливался произнести решающее слово «республика» и ожидал, по–видимому, поощрения извне»[199], это поощрение пришло ему от французского народа. На улицах первый декрет был встречен криками: «Да здравствует республика!» — а граждане секции Четырех наций дали толчок Конвенту, явившись с заявлением, что они будут счастливы, если им придется пролить свою кровь за республику, которая в то время еще не была провозглашена и получила официальное признание Конвента только на другой день.

Парижская коммуна вырастала, таким образом, и становилась силой. С ней приходилось считаться, если не как с союзницей, то как с вдохновительницей Конвента и союзницей партии Горы.

Гора пользовалась, кроме того, поддержкой еще одной силы, выросшей за время революции — парижского Клуба якобинцев с многочисленными, примыкавшими к нему в провинции народными обществами. Правда, этот клуб вовсе не обладал тем революционным значением и тем революционным почином, какой ему так часто приписывают современные политические писатели. Клуб якобинцев не только не руководил революцией, но всегда шел за ней. Самый состав главного парижского общества, члены которого вербовались в особенности из зажиточной буржуазии, делал такое руководительство невозможным. Якобинцы, совершенно правильно говорил уже Мишле, все время старались быть мудрыми политиками революции, держать в своих руках равновесие. Они не управляли революцией — они следовали за ней. Дух клуба изменялся с каждым новым кризисом. Но клуб тотчас же становился выразителем того течения, которое господствовало в данный момент среди интеллигентной, умеренно демократической буржуазии; он поддерживал это течение, влияя в желательном направлении на общественное мнение в Париже и в провинции, и из него новый, водворявшийся порядок набирал главных своих чиновников. Робеспьер, представлявший, по справедливому выражению Мишле, «золотую середину Горы», хотел, чтобы якобинцы «могли служить посредниками между Собранием и улицей, поочередно пугая и успокаивая Конвент»[200]. Но он понимал, что почин будет исходить от улицы, от народа.

Мы говорили уже о том, что на события 10 августа якобинцы не оказали никакого влияния. Это влияние не сказывалось и в сентябре 1792 г.: клуб даже опустел в это время. Но мало–помалу главное парижское общество якобинцев усилилось в течение осени благодаря присоединению к нему многих кордельеров; клуб оживился и стал сборным пунктом для умеренной части республиканских демократов. Марат сделался там популярным лицом, но нельзя того же сказать о «бешеных», т. е. выражаясь современным языком, о коммунистах. Клуб высказался против них и впоследствии вступил с ними в борьбу.

С другой стороны, весной 1793 г., в критический момент борьбы, начатой жирондистами против Парижской коммуны, якобинцы поддержали Коммуну и партию Горы в Конвенте и помогли им восторжествовать над жирондистами и упрочить последствия своей победы. Благодаря сношениям со своими провинциальными отделами они оказали также крупное содействие крайним монтаньярам (горцам) и помогли им парализовать влияние не только жирондистов, но и скрывавшихся за ними роялистов. Но это не помешало, впрочем, тем же якобинцам обратиться впоследствии, в 1794 г., против народных революционеров Коммуны и тем дать возможность буржуазной реакции совершить переворот 9 термидора (27 июля 1794 г.), которым в сущности закончился революционный период и с которого началась реакция.


Источник

http://www.e-reading.club/book.php?book=1020033

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