The execution of Louis XVI, by means of the guillotine, a major event of the French Revolution, took place on 21 January 1793 at the Place de la Révolution ("Revolution Square", formerly Place Louis XV, and renamed Place de la Concorde in 1795) in Paris. The National Convention had convicted the king (17 January 1793) in a near-unanimous vote (while no one voted "not guilty", several deputies abstained) and condemned him to death by a simple majority.
Louis XVI awoke at 5 o'clock and after dressing with the aid of his valet Jean-Baptiste Cléry, went to meet with the non-juring Irish priest Father Henry Essex Edgeworth de Firmont to make his confession. He heard his last Mass, served by Cléry, and received Communion. The Mass requisites were provided by special direction of the authorities. On Father Edgeworth's advice, Louis avoided a last farewell scene with his family. At 7 o'clock he confided his last wishes to the priest. His Royal seal was to go to the Dauphin and his wedding ring to the Queen. After receiving the priest's blessing, he went to meet Antoine Joseph Santerre, Commander of the Guard. A green carriage was waiting in the second court. He seated himself in it with the priest, with two militiamen sitting opposite them. The carriage left the Temple at approximately 9 o'clock. For more than an hour the carriage, preceded by drummers playing to drown out any support for the King and escorted by a cavalry troop with drawn sabres, made its way through Paris along a route lined with 80,000 men at arms and soldiers of the National Guard and sans-culottes.
In the neighbourhood of the present rue de Cléry, the Baron de Batz, a supporter of the Royal family who had financed the flight to Varennes, had summoned 300 Royalists to enable the King's escape. Louis was to be hidden in a house in the rue de Cléry belonging to the Count of Marsan. The Baron leaped forward calling "Follow me, my friends, let us save the King!", but his associates had been denounced and only a few had been able to turn up. Three of them were killed, but de Batz managed to escape.
At 10 o'clock, the carriage arrived at Place de la Révolution and proceeded to an area where a scaffold had been erected, in a space surrounded by guns and drums, and a crowd carrying pikes and bayonets.
After initially refusing to have his hands tied, Louis XVI relented when the executioner proposed to use his handkerchief instead of rope. After this his hair was cut and the collar of his shirt was removed. After being led upon the scaffold, Louis tried to give a speech but the noise of the drums made this difficult to understand. He was then laid on the bench, the collar closed over his neck and then the blade came down. According to reports the blade did not sever his neck but cut through the back of his skull and into his jaw.
Edgeworth, Louis' Irish confessor, wrote in his memoirs:
The path leading to the scaffold was extremely rough and difficult to pass; the King was obliged to lean on my arm, and from the slowness with which he proceeded, I feared for a moment that his courage might fail; but what was my astonishment, when arrived at the last step, I felt that he suddenly let go my arm, and I saw him cross with a firm foot the breadth of the whole scaffold; silence, by his look alone, fifteen or twenty drums that were placed opposite to me; and in a voice so loud, that it must have been heard at the Pont Tournant, I heard him pronounce distinctly these memorable words: "I die innocent of all the crimes laid to my charge; I Pardon those who have occasioned my death; and I pray to God that the blood you are going to shed may never be visited on France."
The 13 February issue of the Thermomètre du jour ('Daily Thermometer'), a moderate Republican newspaper, described the King as shouting "I am lost!", citing as its source the executioner, Charles-Henri Sanson.
Charles-Henri Sanson responded to the story by offering his own version of events in a letter dated 20 February 1793. The account of Sanson states:
Arriving at the foot of the guillotine, Louis XVI looked for a moment at the instruments of his execution and asked Sanson why the drums had stopped beating. He came forward to speak, but there were shouts to the executioners to get on with their work. As he was strapped down, he exclaimed "My people, I die innocent!" Then, turning towards his executioners, Louis XVI declared "Gentlemen, I am innocent of everything of which I am accused. I hope that my blood may cement the good fortune of the French." The blade fell. It was 10:22 am. One of the assistants of Sanson showed the head of Louis XVI to the people, whereupon a huge cry of "Vive la Nation! Vive la République!" arose and an artillery salute rang out which reached the ears of the imprisoned Royal family.
In his letter, published along with its French mistakes in the Thermomètre of Thursday, 21 February 1793, Sanson emphasises that the King "bore all this with a composure and a firmness which has surprised us all. I remained strongly convinced that he derived this firmness from the principles of the religion by which he seemed penetrated and persuaded as no other man."
"Now then, you were saying you wanted something, Monsieur Dumas?"
"You know how much playwrights need accurate information, Monsieur Sanson. The moment may come for me to put Louis XVI on the stage. How much truth is there in the story of the wrestling bout between him and your father's assistants at the foot of the scaffold?"
"Oh, I can tell you that, Monsieur, I was there."
"I know, that's why it is you I'm asking."
"Well listen. The King had been driven to the scaffold in his own carriage and his hands were free. At the foot of the scaffold we decided to tie his hands, but less because we feared that he might defend himself than because we thought he might by an involuntary movement spoil his execution or make it more painful. So one assistant waited with a rope, while another said to him 'It is necessary to tie your hands'. On hearing these unexpected words, at the unexpected sight of that rope, Louis XVI made an involuntary gesture of repulsion. 'Never!' he cried, 'never!' and pushed back the man holding the rope. The other three assistants, believing that a struggle was imminent, dashed forward. That is the explanation of the moment of confusion interpreted after their fashion by the historians. It was then that my father approached and said, in the most respectful tone of voice imaginable, 'With a handkerchief, Sire'. At the word 'Sire', which he had not heard for so long, Louis XVI winced, and at the same moment his confessor had addressed a few words to him from the carriage, said 'So be it, then, that too, my God!' and held out his hands."
Henri Sanson was family appointed Executioner of Paris from April 1793, and would later execute Marie Antoinette.
Speaking to Victor Hugo in 1840, a man called Leboucher, who had arrived in Paris from Bourges in December 1792 and was present at the execution of Louis XVI, recalled vividly:
Here are some unknown details. The executioners numbered four; two only performed the execution; the third stayed at the foot of the ladder, and the fourth was on the wagon which was to convey the King's body to the Madeleine Cemetery and which was waiting a few feet from the scaffold.
The executioners wore breeches, coats in the French style as the Revolution had modified it, and three-cornered hats with enormous tri-colour cockades.
They executed the King with their hats on, and it was without taking his hat off that Samson, [sic] seizing by the hair the severed head of Louis XVI., showed it to the people, and for a few moments let the blood from it trickle upon the scaffold.
In Le nouveau Paris, Mercier describes the execution of Louis XVI in these words:
... is this really the same man that I see being jostled by four assistant executioners, forcibly undressed, his voice drowned out by the drums, trussed to a plank, still struggling, and receiving the heavy blade so badly that the cut does not go through his neck, but through the back of his head and his jaw, horribly?
A popular but apocryphal legend associated with the execution states that as soon as the guillotine fell, an anonymous Freemason leaped on the scaffolding, plunged his hand into the blood, splashed drips of it onto the crown, and shouted, "Jacques de Molay, tu es vengé!" (usually translated as, "Jacques de Molay, thou art avenged"). De Molay (died 1314), the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, had reportedly cursed Louis' ancestor Philip the Fair, after the latter had sentenced him to burn at the stake based on false confessions. The story spread widely and the phrase remains in use today to indicate the triumph of reason and logic over "religious superstition".
The body of Louis XVI was immediately transported to the old Church of the Madeleine (demolished in 1799), since the legislation in force forbade burial of his remains beside those of his father, the Dauphin Louis de France, at Sens. Two curates who had sworn fealty to the Revolution held a short memorial service at the church. One of them, Damoureau, stated in evidence:
Arriving at the cemetery, I called for silence. A detachment of Gendarmes showed us the body. It was clothed in a white vest and grey silk breeches with matching stockings. We chanted Vespers and the service for the dead. In pursuance of an executive order, the body lying in its open coffin was thrown onto a bed of quicklime at the bottom of the pit and covered by one of earth, the whole being firmly and thoroughly tamped down. Louis XVI's head was placed at his feet.
The area where Louis XVI and later (16 October 1793) Marie Antoinette were buried, in the churchyard of St. Mary Magdaleine's, is today the "Square Louis XVI" greenspace, containing the classically self-effacing Expiatory Chapel completed in 1826 during the reign of Louis's youngest brother Charles X. The crypt altar stands above the exact spot where the remains of the Royal couple were originally laid to rest. The chapel narrowly escaped destruction on politico-ideological grounds during the violently anti-clerical period at the beginning of the 20th century.
Paul and Pierrette Girault de Coursac have written a number of works on Louis XVI, including:
Ange-Élisabeth-Louis-Antoine Bonnier d'Alco (1750 in Montpellier – 28 April 1799) was a French diplomat during the French Revolution.
A representative of Hérault in the Legislative Assembly and of the National Convention, he generally voted with the majority. Bonnier voted for the execution of Louis XVI. He was a friend of Jean-François Rewbell and therefore was entrusted with various diplomatic missions, including to Lille to negotiate with Lord Malmesbury in October 1797 and to Rastadt in 1799 to negotiate with the congress. Negotiations at the latter went slowly and on 28 April, Bonnier, Claude Roberjot and Jean Debry were attacked by Hungarian hussars as they left the town, probably in an attempt to steal their papers. Debry was wounded, but Bonnier and Roberjot were killed.Auguste-Louis Bertin d'Antilly
Auguste-Louis Bertin d'Antilly (1763–1804) was a French dramatist and journalist whose patriotic songs and topical libretti were prominent during the French Revolution, but who emigrated from France under Napoleon.
Bertin d'Antilly possessed the sinecure of premier Commis des Finances au département des revenus casuels du Roi, and thus was a pensioner of Louis XVI of France. In 1783 his one-act L'Anglais à Paris was a comedy without overt political content, and his two-act comedy L'école de l'adolescence was played in June 1789; but that same year, as "Citoyen B. Dantilly" he wrote the libretto for Pierre-David-Augustin Chapelle's opéra comique, that is, with spoken rather than sung dialogue, La Vieillesse d’Annette et Lubin based on a story by Jean-François Marmontel: at the third act finale, peasants armed with their tools face the seigneurial regime in defiance.His "Ode à l'Être Suprême" (Paris, 1794) reflects the Revolutionary Cult of the Supreme Being. Patriotic sentiments were to the fore in his libretto for La prise de Toulon par les français : opéra en trois actes, mêlés de prose, de vers et de chants, which celebrated the Siege of Toulon, an early Republican victory over a Royalist rebellion in the southern French port of Toulon, 18 December 1793. After the revenge assassination in January 1793 of Le Peletier de Saint Fargeau, who had cast the deciding vote for the execution of Louis XVI, Bertin d'Antilly provided the libretto to a two-act trait historique, Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau, ou Le premier martyr de la République française, with music by Frédéric Blasius.
Under the Directoire Bertin d'Antilly abandoned his Jacobin views and moved to the political right. In 1797 he began to publish a daily journal of social and political commentary, Le Thé, ou Le journal des dixhuit, which ran from 16 April, under the epigraph "Je vois de loin; j'atteins de même"; it dropped its subtitle, ostensibly referring to eighteen editors, in favor of the subtitle Le contrôleur général. It was suppressed 18 fructidor An V (5 September 1797) in connection with the counter-revolutionary Coup of 18 Fructidor; earlier that year the Imprimerie du The that printed the journal had printed his "Disgrâce des triumvirs: chanson constitutionnelle", a commentary on disunion among the members of the French Directory. Some years later, a journal under the same title appeared, but Bertin d'Antilly had no part in its redaction. Firmly opposed to Napoleon, he had taken up residence at Hamburg, where he published the journal Le Censeur in collaboration with the émigré M. de Romance, chevalier de Mesmont; when Napoleon put diplomatic pressure on the Hamburg Senate, they were arrested, then released when the Comte d'Artois convinced the Russians to intervene on their behalf.Claude Fauchet (revolutionist)
Claude Fauchet (22 September 1744 – 31 October 1793) was a French bishop.He was born at Dornes, Nièvre. He was a curate of the church of St Roch, Paris, when he was engaged as tutor to the children of the marquis of Choiseul, brother of Louis XVs minister, an appointment which proved to be the first step to fortune. He was successively grand vicar to the archbishop of Bourges, preacher to the king, and abbot of Montfort-Lacarre.
The philosophic tone of his sermons caused his dismissal from court in 1788 before he became a popular speaker in the Parisian sections. He was one of the leaders of the attack on the Bastille, and on 5 August 1789 he delivered an eloquent discourse by way of funeral sermon for the citizens slain on 14 July, taking as his text the words of St Paul, "Ye have been called to liberty".
He blessed the tricolour flag for the National Guard, and in September was elected to the Commune, from which he retired in October 1790. During the next winter he organized within the Palais Royal the Social Club of the Society of the Friends of Truth, presiding over crowded meetings under the self-assumed title of procureur general de la vérité. Nevertheless, events were marching faster than his opinions, and the last occasion on which he carried his public with him was in a sermon preached at Notre Dame on 4 February 1791.
In May he became constitutional bishop of Calvados, and was presently returned by the department to the Legislative Assembly, and afterwards to the Convention. At the king's trial he voted for the appeal to the people and for the penalty of imprisonment. He protested against the execution of Louis XVI in the Journal des amis (26 January 1793), and next month was denounced to the Convention for prohibiting married priests from the exercise of the priesthood in his diocese. He remained secretary to the Convention until, the accusation of the Girondists in May 1793.
In July he was imprisoned on the charge of supporting the federalist movement at Caen, and of complicity with Charlotte Corday, whom he had taken to see a sitting of the Convention on her arrival in Paris. Of the second of these charges he was certainly innocent. With the Girondist deputies he was brought before the revolutionary tribunal on 30 October, and was guillotined on the following day.
Despite his role in the church, earlier authors of this entry suggest he was a member of the atheistic secret society the Illuminati , "whose Plan is to overturn all Government and all Religion, even natural; and who endeavour to eradicate every Idea of a Supreme Being, and distinguish Man from Beast by his Shape only." However, this understanding is likely based on a misreading of Snyder's letters to George Washington, which referred to a Fauchet as Illuminati. However, when the referenced letter is read contextually with the mention of Genêt, the French Envoy to America, the discussed Fauchet is likely Jean Antoine Joseph Fauchet, who actually visited the United States to arrest Genêt.Expiatory Chapel of Monza
The Expiatory Chapel in Monza is a monument-chapel built to atone and commemorate the site at which the king Humbert I was murdered in July 29, 1900, by the anarchist Gaetano Bresci. It stands near the entrance to the Royal Villa of Monza on Viale Regina Margherita and Via Matteo da Campione. Humbert’s son Vittorio Emanuele III commissioned the aged architect Giuseppe Sacconi, and the work was completed by his pupil Guido Cirilli, and completed in 1910. Obelisk-like crosses emerge from a stone chapel, and are surmounted by bronze crown and royal symbols of the House of Savoy. The entrance is surmounted by a Pieta by the sculptor Lodovico Pogliaghi.
There is another such expiatory chapel to atone for a regicide, the Chapelle expiatoire in Paris, built to atone for the execution of Louis XVI.Jean-Baptiste Charles Matthieu
Jean-Baptiste-Charles-Mirampal Matthieu (October 3, 1763, Compiègne – October 31, 1833, Condat, Gironde) was a French politician and Deputy to the National Convention.
He voted for the execution of Louis XVI. On 4 September 1792 , he was elected member of the Convention by the department of Oise. Initially he was a moderate, despising the excesses of the Jacobins and directing his hostility toward Robespierre. On 26 May 1795, he was elected president of the Convention in a difficult position, just after the Uprising of 1 Prairial.Jean-Baptiste Mailhe
Jean-Baptiste Mailhe (2 June 1750, Guizerix - 1 June 1834, Paris) was a politician during the French Revolution. He gave his name to ""the Mailhe amendment", which sought to delay the execution of Louis XVI.Jean-Louis Laya
Jean-Louis Laya (4 December 1761, Paris – 25 August 1833, Meudon) was a French playwright. He wrote his first comedy in collaboration with Gabriel-Marie Legouvé in 1785. The piece, however, though accepted by the Comédie française, was never represented. In 1789 he produced a plea for religious toleration in the form of a five-act tragedy in verse, Jean Calas. In his next work, the injustice of the disgrace cast on a family by the crime of one of its members formed the theme of Les Dangers de l'opinion (1790).
It is by his Ami des lois (1793) that Laya is best remembered. This energetic protest against mob rule, with its scarcely veiled characterizations of Robespierre as Nomophage and of Marat as Duricrne, was an act of the highest courage, for the play was produced at the Théâtre Français (temporarily Théâtre de la Nation) only nineteen days before the execution of Louis XVI.
Ten days after its first production the piece was prohibited by the Commune, but the public demanded its representation; the mayor of Paris was compelled to appeal to the National Convention, and the piece was played while some 30,000 Parisians guarded the hall. Laya went into hiding, and several persons convicted of having a copy of the obnoxious play in their possession were guillotined.
At the end of the Terror Laya returned to Paris. In 1813 he replaced Delille in the Paris chair of literary history and French poetry; he was admitted to the Académie française in 1817. Laya produced in 1797 Les Deux Stuarts, and in 1799 Falkland, the title-role of which provided Talma with one of his finest opportunities. Laya's works, which chiefly owe their interest to the circumstances attending their production, were collected in 1836-1837. His son, Léon, was also a playwright.Jean-Pierre Chazal
Jean-Pierre Chazal, (born 1 March 1766 at Pont-Saint-Esprit, died 23 April 1840 at Brussels) was a French politician of the revolutionary era.Chazal was a lawyer at the parlement of Toulouse before the revolution, and was elected as a député to the National Convention for the département of Gard. He voted for the execution of Louis XVI, with a delay. After the Thermidorian Reaction he was a strong opponent of the Jacobins and was particularly hostile to Bertrand Barère. He served briefly on the Committee of Public Safety in 1795 and was a Représentant en mission to the départements of Aveyron, Cantal, Ardèche, Lozère, Haute-Loire and Puy de Dôme where his actions were noted for their moderation.Elected to the Council of Five Hundred, he opposed the Clichy Union and supported the Directory during the Coup of 18 Fructidor. In 1797-8 he worked on a report about adoption and family law, and contributed further to the development of family law through the new Civil Code of 1803. He supported Napoleon during the Coup of 18 Brumaire and joined the commission which drafted the Constitution of the Year VIII. He also strongly opposed the proposal to reintroduce ground rents in 1800.He was appointed to the Tribunat when it was set up, and on 14 September 1802, as préfet for the Hautes-Pyrénées where he remained until March 1813. Napoleon awarded him the Légion d'honneur on 23 July 1808 and made him Baron of the Empire on 13 August 1810.He served as préfet for Hautes-Alpes from 12 March 1813 to 13 January 1814. During the Hundred Days he was also préfet of Finistère from 6 April to 14 July 1815. After the Bourbon restoration, his goods were seized and he was sent into exile. He went first to Vilvoorde and later set himself up in Brussels and went into business.One of his children, Pierre Emmanuel Félix Chazal, took part in the Belgian Revolution, served as a general and became Belgian Minister of Defence.Louis Gauffier
Louis Gauffier (1762–1801) was a French painter. Born in Poitiers, he studied in Paris with the history painter Hughes Taraval before entering the Prix de Rome competition which he won in 1779 (La Cananéenne aux pieds de Jésus-Christ). Apart from a brief return to Paris in 1789 he remained in Italy for the remainder of his life. Gauffier initially settled in Rome, but popular unrest following the execution of Louis XVI led him to flee with his wife to Florence. He could not receive patronage from France because he was branded a royalist, and this curtailed his career as a history painter. Instead, he painted landscapes, which he sold to English tourists. When French troops occupied Florence in 1799, he began to paint officers' portraits.
Gauffier died in Florence in 1801.Marie-Louise de Beauvoir
Marie-Louise de Beauvoir née Cousin (17 August 1776, Pas-de-Calais-1855), was a Belgian pioneer educator. She was the founder of the first secular school for girls in Belgium, the «Maison d’éducation de demoiselles» in Liége, which was to be regarded as the perhaps most fashionable girls school in the country, and was its manager in 1816-1852. One of her students was the pioneer educator Léonie de Waha, who founded a college for girls, l'école supérieure de demoiselles (1868, from 1878 known as lycée Léonie de Waha).
She was married to the French politician Louis-Etienne Beffroy de Beauvoir, and followed him to Liége when he was exiled during the Bourbon Restoration for having voted for the execution of Louis XVI of France during the French revolution.Phoenix (1792)
Phoenix was a ship involved in the maritime fur trade of the Pacific during the late 18th century.
Her captain was Hugh Moore, and her home port was Bombay. She is known to have visited the Pacific Northwest in 1792, and to have wintered in the Columbia River in 1794. Phoenix visited a prominent Haida village on Langara Island in 1792. As historian F. Howay recounted: "On the 17th arrived the bark, Phoenix of Bengal, Captain Hugh Moore. He had left Bengal seven months before and had since his arrival on the coast been trading to the northward... From Captain Moore they learned of the execution of Louis XVI in January, 1793. This ship remained until the 28th..."
Sailing south to Alta California during March 1795, Phoenix traded for sea otter furs in Santa Barbara before visiting the Kingdom of Hawaii and later the Qing port of Guangzhou. William Marsden later employed the ship to collect several nutmeg and cloves for agricultural efforts in Sumatra. Phoenix delivered the cargo in July 1798 "a complete success."Phoenix was the namesake of the Russian-American Company brig Phoenix, the first vessel built in Russian America by Alexandr Baranov. Moore in the Phoenix had met Baranov near the "Green Islands" in 1793, when Baranov had offered him "every assistance in his power".Pierre-Charles-Louis Baudin
Pierre-Charles-Louis Baudin, born 18 December 1748 in Sedan, Ardennes and died 14 October 1799 in Paris, was a French revolutionary and politician. He is the father of the admiral and explorer Charles Baudin and brother-in-law of the chemist Jean Henri Hassenfratz. He was noted as a moderate; he opposed the execution of Louis XVI.Place de la Concorde
The Place de la Concorde (French pronunciation: [plas də la kɔ̃kɔʁd]) is one of the major public squares in Paris, France. Measuring 7.6 hectares (19 acres) in area, it is the largest square in the French capital. It is located in the city's eighth arrondissement, at the eastern end of the Champs-Élysées. It was the site of many notable public executions during the French Revolution.Rosalie Filleul
Rosalie Filleul (1753 – June 24, 1794) was a French pastellist and painter. She was born in Paris, and was concierge of the château de la Muette. Although she supported the French Revolution, she nevertheless mourned the execution of Louis XVI. Somewhat indiscreetly, at the height of the Terror, she made arrangements to sell some of the furniture at the Chateau de la Muette to a secondhand dealer. This was reported to the authorities and she was arrested on charges of theft and concealment of property belonging to the Republic. Rosalie Filleul was found guilty and guillotined in 1794, along with her friend Mme Chalgrin, despite the attempted intervention of Chalgrin's brother Carle Vernet.
Her cousin was the pastellist Jeanne-Angélique Boquet.Saint-Fargeau (Paris Métro)
Saint-Fargeau is a station of the Paris Métro, serving Line 3bis. It was opened on 27 November 1921 when Line 3 was extended from Gambetta to Porte des Lilas. On 27 March 1971 it was transferred to Line 3bis on its establishment.
It is on the Rue Saint-Fargeau, named after the statesman Lepeletier de Saint-Fargeau, active in the French Revolution and assassinated in 1793, supposedly for voting for the execution of Louis XVI.The Last Moments of Michel Lepeletier
The Last Moments of Michel Lepeletier, The Death of Lepeletier de Saint-Fargeau or Lepeletier on his Deathbed was a 1793 painting by Jacques-Louis David.
Now lost, it showed député Louis-Michel Lepeletier de Saint-Fargeau on his deathbed following his assassination for voting in favour of the execution of Louis XVI and formed a diptych with The Death of Marat for the meeting hall of the National Convention. Those two paintings and The Death of Young Bara formed a series devoted to martyrs of the French Revolution.
It was removed in 1795 and entrusted to the artist, who still owned it on his death in Brussels. It was then sold by his family to the subject's daughter Louise Suzanne de Mortefontaine. After that sale it disappeared and most probably Louise destroyed it and as many engravings after it as possible in order to erase any trace of her father's part in the Revolution. It is only known through a drawing by Anatole Desvosge and an engraving by Tardieu which partially escaped destruction.The Mountain
The Mountain (French: La Montagne) was a political group during the French Revolution, whose members called the Montagnards (French: [mɔ̃taɲaʁ]) sat on the highest benches in the National Assembly.
They were the most radical group and opposed the Girondists. The term, which was first used during a session of the Legislative Assembly, came into general use in 1793. Led by Maximilien Robespierre, the Montagnards unleashed the Reign of Terror in 1793. By the summer of 1793, two minority groups who were referred to as the Mountain and the Girondin, divided the National Convention. The Mountain was composed mainly of members of the middle class, but represented the constituencies of Paris. As such, the Mountain was sensitive to the motivations of the city and responded strongly to demands from the working class sans-culottes. The Mountaineers had little understanding of the daily life and needs of the people in the cities and towns beyond Paris. Although they attempted some rural land reform, most of it was never enacted and they generally focused on the needs of the urban poor over that of rural France. The Mountain operated on the belief that what was best for Paris would be best for all of France.The Girondins were a moderate political faction created during the Legislative Assembly period. They were the political opponents of the more radical representatives within the Mountain. The Girondins had wanted to avoid the execution of Louis XVI and supported a constitution which would have allowed a popular vote to overturn legislation. The Mountain accused the Girondins of plotting against Paris because this caveat within the proposed constitution would have allowed rural areas of France to vote against legislation that benefits Paris, the main constituency of the Mountain. However, the real discord in the Convention occurred not between the Mountain and the Gironde, but between the aggressive antics of the minority of the Mountain and the rest of the Convention.The Mountain was not entirely unified as a party and relied on leaders like Maximilien Robespierre, Georges Danton and Jacques Hébert, who themselves came to represent different factions. Hébert, a journalist, gained a following as a radical patriot Mountaineer (members who identified with him became known as the Hébertists) while Danton led a more moderate faction of the Mountain party (followers came to be known as Dantonists). Regardless of the divisions, the nightly sessions of the Jacobin club, which met in the rue Saint-Honoré, can be considered to be a type of party caucus for the Mountain. In June 1793, the Mountain successfully ousted most of the moderate Gironde members of the Convention with the assistance of radical sans-culottes.Following their coup, the Mountain, led by Hérault-Sécuells, quickly began construction on a new constitution which was completed eight days later. The Committee of Public Safety reported the constitution to the Convention on 10 June and a final draft was adopted on 24 June. The process occurred quickly because as Robespierre, a prominent member of the Mountain, announced on 10 June the "good citizens demanded a constitution" and the "Constitution will be the reply of patriotic deputies, for it is the work of the Mountain". However, this constitution was never actually enacted. The Constitution of 1793 was abandoned when Robespierre later granted himself and the Committee of Public Safety dictatorial powers in order to "defend the Revolution".Timeline of the French Revolution
The following is a timeline of the French Revolution.Trial of Louis XVI
The trial of Louis XVI was a key event of the French Revolution. It involved the trial of the former French king Louis XVI before the National Convention and led to his execution.