The Society of the Friends of the Constitution (French: Société des amis de la Constitution), after 1792 renamed Society of the Jacobins, Friends of Freedom and Equality (Société des Jacobins, amis de la liberté et de l'égalité), commonly known as the Jacobin Club (Club des Jacobins) or simply the Jacobins (/ˈdʒækəbɪn/; French: [ʒakɔbɛ̃]), became the most influential political club during the French Revolution of 1789 and following. The period of their political ascendency is known as the Reign of Terror, during which time tens of thousands were put on trial and executed in France, many for political crimes.

Initially founded in 1789 by anti-royalist deputies from Brittany, the club grew into a nationwide republican movement, with a membership estimated at a half million or more.[2] The Jacobin Club was heterogeneous and included both prominent parliamentary factions of the early 1790s, the Mountain and the Girondins. In 1792–1793 the Girondins were more prominent in leading France, the period when France declared war on Austria and on Prussia, overthrew the monarchy and set up the Republic. In May 1793 the leaders of the Mountain faction led by Maximilien Robespierre succeeded in sidelining the Girondin faction and controlled the government until July 1794. Their time in government featured high levels of political violence, and for this reason the period of the Jacobin/Mountain government is also commonly referred to as the Reign of Terror. In October 1793, 21 prominent Girondins were guillotined. The Mountain-dominated government executed 17,000 opponents nationwide, purportedly to suppress the Vendée insurrection and the Federalist revolts and to prevent any other insurrections. In July 1794 the National Convention pushed the administration of Robespierre and his allies out of power and had Robespierre and 21 associates executed. In November 1794 the Jacobin Club was closed.

Today, the terms "Jacobin" and "Jacobinism" are used in a variety of senses. In Britain, where the term "Jacobin" has been linked primarily to the Mountain, it is sometimes used as a pejorative for radical left-wing revolutionary politics, especially when it exhibits dogmatism and violent repression.[3] In France, "Jacobin" now generally indicates a supporter of a centralized republican state and of strong central government powers[4] and/or supporters of extensive government intervention to transform society.[5] It is also used in other related senses, indicating proponents of a state education system which strongly promotes and inculcates civic values and proponents of a strong nation-state capable of resisting any undesirable foreign interference.[6]

Jacobin Club
French: Club des Jacobins
Seal of the Jacobin Club (1792–1794)
Motto"Live free or die"
(French: Vivre libre ou mourir)
SuccessorPanthéon Club
FounderMaximilien Robespierre[1]
Founded atVersailles, France
Extinction12 November 1794
TypeParliamentary group
Legal statusInactive
PurposeEstablishment of a Jacobin society:
HeadquartersDominican convent, Rue Saint-Honoré, Paris
MethodsFrom democratic initiatives to public violence
Membership (1793)
Around 500,000[2]
Official language
Antoine Barnave (first)
Maximilien Robespierre (last)
Key people
Brissot, Robespierre, Duport, Marat, Desmoulins, Mirabeau, Danton, Billaud-Varenne, Barras, Collot d'Herbois, Saint-Just
AffiliationsAll groups in the National Convention



When the Estates General of 1789 in France was convened in May–June 1789 at the Palace of Versailles, the club, originated as the Club Breton, was composed exclusively of a group of Breton representatives attending those Estates General.[7] They soon were joined by deputies from other regions throughout France. Among early members were the dominating comte de Mirabeau, Parisian deputy Abbé Sieyès, Dauphiné deputy Antoine Barnave, Jérôme Pétion, the Abbé Grégoire, Charles Lameth, Alexandre Lameth, Robespierre, the duc d'Aiguillon, and La Revellière-Lépeaux. At this time, meetings occurred in secret, and few traces remain concerning what took place or where the meetings were convened.

Transfer to Paris

By the March on Versailles in October 1789, the club, still entirely composed of deputies, reverted to being a provincial caucus for National Constituent Assembly deputies from Brittany. As of October 1789, the group rented for its meetings the refectory of the monastery of the Jacobins in the Rue Saint-Honoré, adjacent to the seat of the Assembly.[8] The name Jacobins, given in France to the Dominicans (because their first house in Paris was in the Rue Saint-Jacques), was first applied to the club in ridicule by its enemies.

The club was re-founded in November 1789, after an address from the London Revolution Society congratulating the French on "conquering their liberty" led National Assembly deputies to found their own Société de la Révolution.

Growth (1789–1791)

The Jacobin Club was in the Rue Saint-Honoré, Paris

Once in Paris, the club soon extended its membership to others besides deputies. All citizens were allowed to enter, and even foreigners were welcomed: the English writer Arthur Young joined the club in this manner on 18 January 1790. Jacobin Club meetings soon became a place for radical and rousing oratory that pushed for republicanism, widespread education, universal suffrage, separation of church and state, and other reforms.[9]

On 8 February 1790, the society became formally constituted on this broader basis by the adoption of the rules drawn up by Barnave, which were issued with the signature of the duc d'Aiguillon, the president. The club's objectives were defined as such:

  1. To discuss in advance questions to be decided by the National Assembly.
  2. To work for the establishment and strengthening of the constitution in accordance with the spirit of the preamble (that is, of respect for legally constituted authority and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen).
  3. To correspond with other societies of the same kind which should be formed in the realm.

At the same time the rules of order of election were settled, and the constitution of the club determined. There was to be a president, elected every month, four secretaries, a treasurer, and committees elected to superintend elections and presentations, the correspondence, and the administration of the club. Any member who by word or action showed that his principles were contrary to the constitution and the rights of man was to be expelled.

By the 7th article the club decided to admit as associates similar societies in other parts of France and to maintain with them a regular correspondence. By 10 August 1790 there were already one hundred and fifty-two affiliated clubs; the attempts at counter-revolution led to a great increase of their number in the spring of 1791, and by the close of the year the Jacobins had a network of branches all over France. At the peak there were at least 7,000 chapters throughout France, with a membership estimated at a half-million or more. It was this widespread yet highly centralised organization that gave to the Jacobin Club great power.[2]

Character (1789–1791)

Seal of the Jacobin Club from 1789–1792, during the transition from absolutism to constitutional monarchy

By early 1791, clubs like the Jacobins, the Club des Cordeliers and the Cercle Social were increasingly dominating French political life. Numbers of men were member of two or more of such clubs. Women were not accepted as members of the Jacobin Club (nor of most other clubs), but they were allowed to follow the discussions from the balconies. The rather high subscription of the Jacobin Club confined its membership to well-off men. The Jacobins claimed to speak on behalf of the people but were themselves not of 'the people': contemporaries saw the Jacobins as a club of the bourgeoisie.[10]

As far as the central society in Paris was concerned, it was composed almost entirely of professional men (such as the lawyer Robespierre) and well-to-do bourgeoisie (like the brewer Santerre). From the start, however, other elements were also present. Besides the teenage son of the Duc d'Orléans, Louis Philippe, a future king of France, liberal aristocrats such as the duc d'Aiguillon, the prince de Broglie, and the vicomte de Noailles, and the bourgeoisie formed the mass of the members. The club further included people like "père" Michel Gérard, a peasant proprietor from Tuel-en-Montgermont, in Brittany, whose rough common sense was admired as the oracle of popular wisdom, and whose countryman's waistcoat and plaited hair were later on to become the model for the Jacobin fashion.

The Jacobin Club supported the monarchy up until the very eve of the republic (20 September 1792). They did not support the petition of 17 July 1791 for the king's dethronement, but instead published their own petition calling for replacement of king Louis XVI.[11]

The departure of the conservative members of the Jacobin Club to form their own Feuillants Club in July 1791 to some extent radicalized the Jacobin Club.[7]

Polarization between Robespierrists and Girondins (1791–1792)

Late 1791, a group of Jacobins in the Legislative Assembly advocated war with Prussia and Austria. Most prominent among them was Brissot, other members were Pierre Vergniaud, Fauchet, Maximin Isnard, Jean-Marie Roland.[11]

Maximilien Robespierre, also a Jacobin, strongly pleaded against war with Prussia and Austria – but in the Jacobin Club, not in the Assembly where he was not seated. Disdainfully, Robespierre addressed those Jacobin war promotors as 'the faction from the Gironde'; some, not all of them, were indeed from department Gironde. The Assembly in April 1792 finally decided for war, thus following the 'Girondin' line on it, but Robespierre's place among the Jacobins had now become much more prominent.[11]

From then on, a polarization process started among the members of the Jacobin Club, between a group around Robespierre – after September 1792 called 'Montagnards' or 'Montagne', in English 'the Mountain' – and the Girondins. These groups never had any official status, nor official memberships. The Mountain was not even very homogenous in their political views: what united them was their aversion to the Girondins.[12]

The Legislative Assembly, governing France from October 1791 until September 1792, was dominated by men like Brissot, Isnard and Roland: Girondins. But after June 1792, Girondins visited less and less the Jacobin Club, where Robespierre, their fierce opponent, grew more and more dominant.[13]

Opposition between Montagnards and Girondins in the National Convention (1792–1793)

On 21 September 1792, after the fall of the monarchy the title assumed by the Jacobin Club after the promulgation of the constitution of 1791 (Société des amis de la constitution séants aux Jacobins à Paris) was changed to Société des Jacobins, amis de la liberté et de l'égalité (Society of the Jacobins, Friends of Freedom and Equality). In the newly elected National Convention, governing France as of 21 September 1792, Maximilien Robespierre made his comeback in the center of French power.[13] Together with his 25-year-old protégé Louis Antoine de Saint-Just, Marat, Danton and other associates they took places on the left side on the highest seats of the session room: therefore that group around and led by Robespierre was called The Mountain (French: la Montagne, les Montagnards).

Some historians prefer to identify a parliamentary group around Robespierre as Jacobins,[3][14] which can be confusing because not all Montagnards were Jacobin and their primal enemies, the Girondins, were originally also Jacobins. By September 1792, Robespierre indeed had also become the dominant voice in the Jacobin Club.[12]

Since late 1791, the Girondins became the opponents of Robespierre, but originally also Jacobins who took places on the right side of the session room of the Convention. By now, they stopped visiting the Jacobin Club.[12]

Those parliamentary groups, Montagnards and Girondins, never had any official status, but historians estimate the Girondins in the Convention at 150 men strong, the Montagnards at 120. The remaining 480 of the 750 deputies of the Convention were called 'the Plain' (French: la Plaine) and managed to keep some speed in the debates while Girondins and Montagnards were mainly occupied with nagging the opposite side.[12]

Most Ministries were manned by friends or allies of the Girondins, but while the Girondins were stronger than the Montagnards outside Paris, inside Paris the Montagnards were much more popular, implying that the public galleries of the Convention were always loudly cheering for Montagnards, while jeering at Girondins speaking.[12]

On 6 April 1793, the Convention established the Comité de salut public (Committee of Public Prosperity, also translated as Committee of Public Safety) as sort of executive government of nine, later twelve members, always accountable to the National Convention. Initially, it counted no Girondins and only one or two Montagnards, but gradually the influence of Montagnards in the Committee grew.[12]

Girondins disbarred from the National Convention

Early April 1793, Minister of War Pache said to the National Convention that the 22 leaders of the Girondins should be banned. Later that month, the Girondin Guadet accused the Montagnard Marat of 'preaching plunder and murder' and trying 'to destroy the sovereignty of the people'. A majority of the Convention agreed to put Marat on trial, but the court of justice quickly acquitted Marat. This apparent victory of the Montagnards intensified their antipathies of the Girondins, and more proposals were vented to get rid of the Girondins.[12]

On both 18 and 25 May 1793, the acting president of the Convention, Isnard, a Girondin, warned that the disturbances and disorder on the galleries and around the Convention would finally lead the country to anarchy and civil war, and he threatened on 25 May: "If anything should befall to the representatives of the nation, I declare, in the name of France, that all of Paris will be obliterated". The next day, Robespierre said in the Jacobin Club that the people should "rise up against the corrupted deputies" in the Convention. On 27 May, both Girondins and Montagnards accused the other party of propagating civil war.[12]

On 2 June 1793, the Convention was besieged in its Tuileries Palace by a crowd of around 80,000 armed soldiers, clamorously on the hand of the Montagnards. In a chaotic session a decree was adopted that day by the Convention, expelling 22 leading Girondins from the Convention, including Lanjuinais, Isnard and Fauchet.[12][15]

Montagnard rule and civil war (1793–1794)

Around June 1793, Maximilien Robespierre and some of his associates (Montagnards) gained greater power in France.[16] Many of them, like Robespierre himself, were Jacobin: Fouché,[17] Collot d'Herbois,[16] Billaud-Varenne,[18] Marat,[16] Danton,[19] Saint-Just.[20] Three other powerful Montagnards[16] were not known as Jacobin: Barère,[21] Hébert[22] and Couthon.[23] In 'culture wars' and history writing after 1793 however, the group around Robespierre dominating French politics in June 1793–July 1794 was often designated as 'Jacobins'.[3][14]

Many of these Montagnards (and Jacobins) entered, or were already, in the de facto executive government of France, the Committee of Public Prosperity (or Public Safety): Barère was in it since April 1793[24] until at least October 93,[16] Danton served there from April until July 1793,[19] Couthon[25] and Saint-Just[26] had entered the Committee in May, Robespierre entered it in July,[16] Collot d'Herbois[27] in September and Billaud-Varenne[18] also around September 1793. Robespierre for his steadfast adherence to and defence of his views received the nickname and reputation of l'Incorruptible (The Incorruptible or The Unassailable).[28]

Several deposed Girondin-Jacobin Convention deputies, among them Jean-Marie Roland, Brissot, Pétion, Louvet, Buzot and Guadet, left Paris to help organize revolts in more than 60 of the 83 departments against the politicians and Parisians, mainly Montagnards, that had seized power over the Republic. The government in Paris called such revolts 'federalist' which was not accurate: most did not strive for regional autonomy but for a different central government.[16]

In October 1793, 21 former Girondin Convention deputies were sentenced to death for supporting an insurrection in Caen.[16] In March 1794, the Montagnard Hébert and some followers were sentenced to death; in April the Montagnard Danton and 13 of his followers were sentenced to death; in both cases after insinuation by Robespierre in the Convention that those "internal enemies" were promoting 'the triumph of tyranny'.[24] Meanwhile, the Montagnard-dominated government resorted also to harsh measures to repress what they considered counter-revolution, conspiracy[24][16] and "enemies of freedom" in the provinces outside Paris, resulting in 17,000 death sentences between September 1793 and July 1794 in all of France.[29][30]

In late June 1794, three colleagues on the Committee of Public Prosperity/Safety – Billaud-Varenne, Collot d'Herbois and Carnot – called Robespierre a dictator. Late July 1794, Robespierre and 21 associates including the Jacobin Saint-Just and the Montagnard Couthon were sentenced to death by the National Convention and guillotined.[24]

Probably because of the high level of repressive violence – but also to discredit Robespierre and associates as sole responsibles for it[31] – historians have taken up the habit to roughly label the period June 1793–July 1794 as 'Reign of Terror'. Later and modern scholars explain that high level of repressive violence with: France was menaced by civil war and by a coalition of foreign hostile powers, requiring the discipline of the Terror to mold France into a united Republic capable of resisting this double peril.[32]


Clôture de la salle des Jacobins 1794
Engraving "Closing of the Jacobin Club, during the night of 27–28 July 1794, or 9–10 Thermidor, year 2 of the Republic"

With Robespierre and other leading Montagnards and Jacobins being executed in July 1794, Montagnards and Girondins as groups seem to have ceased to play a significant role in French history: historians make no more mention of them. Also the Jacobin Club seems not to have played a decisive role any longer.

On 9 thermidor Year II (27 July 1794), at some time in the evening, Louis Legendre was sent out to close the Jacobins club which gathered every Saturday evening.[33] The Jacobin club was finally disbanded on 12 November 1794.

Reunion of Jacobin adherents (1799)

An attempt to reorganize Jacobin adherents was the foundation of the Réunion d'amis de l'égalité et de la liberté, in July 1799, which had its headquarters in the Salle du Manège of the Tuileries, and was thus known as the Club du Manège. It was patronized by Barras, and some two hundred and fifty members of the two councils of the legislature were enrolled as members, including many notable ex-Jacobins. It published a newspaper called the Journal des Libres, proclaimed the apotheosis of Robespierre and Babeuf, and attacked the Directory as a royauté pentarchique. But public opinion was now preponderatingly moderate or royalist, and the club was violently attacked in the press and in the streets. The suspicions of the government were aroused; it had to change its meeting-place from the Tuileries to the church of the Jacobins (Temple of Peace) in the Rue du Bac, and in August it was suppressed, after barely a month's existence. Its members avenged themselves on the Directory by supporting Napoleon Bonaparte.[34]


Political influence

The Jacobin movement encouraged sentiments of patriotism and liberty amongst the populace. The movement's contemporaries, such as the King Louis XVI, located the effectiveness of the revolutionary movement not "in the force and bayonets of soldiers, guns, cannons and shells but by the marks of political power". [35] Ultimately, the Jacobins were to control several key political bodies, in particular the Committee of Public Safety and, through it, the National Convention, which was not only a legislature but also took upon itself executive and judicial functions. The Jacobins as a political force were seen as "less selfish, more patriotic, and more sympathetic to the Paris Populace."[36] This gave them a position of charismatic authority that was effective in generating and harnessing public pressure, generating and satisfying sans-culotte pleas for personal freedom and social progress.

The Jacobin Club developed into a bureau for French republicanism and revolutionary purity, and abandoned its original laissez faire economic views in favor of interventionism. In power, they completed the abolition of feudalism that had been formally decided 4 August 1789, but had been held in check by a clause requiring compensation for the abrogation of the feudal privileges.

Maximilien Robespierre entered the political arena at the very beginning of the Revolution, having been elected to represent Artois at the Estates General. Robespierre was viewed as the quintessential political force of the Jacobin Movement, thrusting ever deeper the dagger of liberty within the despotism of the Monarchy. As a disciple of Rousseau, Robespierre's political views were rooted in Rousseau's notion of the social contract, which promoted "the rights of man". [37] Robespierre particularly favored the rights of the broader population to eat, for example, over the rights of individual merchants. "I denounce the assassins of the people to you and you respond, 'let them act as they will.' In such a system, all is against society; all favors the grain merchants." Robespierre famously elaborated this conception in his speech on 2 December 1792: "What is the first goal of society? To maintain the imprescribable rights of man. What is the first of these rights? The right to exist."[38]

The ultimate political vehicle for the Jacobin movement was the Reign of Terror overseen by the Committee of Public Safety, who were given executive powers to purify and unify the Republic.[39] The Committee instituted requisitioning, rationing, and conscription to consolidate new citizen armies. They instituted the Terror as a means of combating those they perceived as enemies within: Robespierre declared, "the first maxim of your policy ought to be to lead the people by reason and the people's enemies by terror.".[34]

The meeting place of the Fraternal Society of Patriots of Both Sexes was an old library room of the convent which hosted the Jacobins, and it was suggested that the Fraternal Society grew out of the regular occupants of a special gallery allotted to women at the Jacobin Club.[40]

Cultural influence

The cultural influence of the Jacobin movement during the French Revolution revolved around the creation of the Citizen. As commented in Jean-Jacques Rousseau's 1762 book The Social Contract, "Citizenship is the expression of a sublime reciprocity between individual and General will."[41] This view of citizenship and the General Will, once empowered, could simultaneously embrace the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and adopt the liberal French Constitution of 1793, then immediately suspend that constitution and all ordinary legality and institute Revolutionary Tribunals that did not grant a presumption of innocence.[42]

The Jacobins saw themselves as constitutionalists, dedicated to the Rights of Man, and, in particular, to the Declaration's principle of "preservation of the natural rights of liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression" (Article II of the Declaration). The constitution reassured the protection of personal freedom and social progress within French society. The cultural influence of the Jacobin movement was effective in reinforcing these rudiments, developing a milieu for revolution. The Constitution was admired by most Jacobins as the foundation of the emerging republic and of the rise of citizenship.[43]

The Jacobins were foes of both the Church and of atheism. They set up a new religious cult to replace Catholicism.[44] They advocated deliberate government-organized terror as a substitute for both the rule of law and the more arbitrary terror of mob violence, inheritors of a war that, at the time of their rise to power, threatened the very existence of the Revolution. Once in power the Jacobins completed the overthrow of the Ancien Régime and successfully defended the Revolution from military defeat. However, to do so, they brought the Revolution to its bloodiest phase, and the one with least regard for just treatment of individuals. They consolidated republicanism in France and contributed greatly to the secularism and the sense of nationhood that have marked all French republican regimes to this day. However, their ruthless and unjudicial methods discredited the Revolution in the eyes of many. The resulting Thermidorian Reaction shuttered all of the Jacobin clubs, removed all Jacobins from power, and condemned many, well beyond the ranks of the Mountain, to death or exile.[45]

List of presidents of the Jacobin Club

In the beginning every two months, later every two weeks a new president was chosen:[46]

Electoral results

Election year No. of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
No. of
overall seats won
+/– Leader
1791 774,000 (3rd) 18.3
136 / 745
Jacques Pierre Brissot
National Convention
1792 907,200 (2nd) 26.7
200 / 749
Increase 74
Maximilien Robespierre
Legislative Body
1795 Did not participate Did not participate
64 / 750
Decrease 136

See also


  1. ^ See also: Jordan, David P. (2013). The Revolutionary Career of Maximilien Robespierre. New York: Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9781476725710. Retrieved 17 Feb 2019. [Robespierre] was always more comfortable at the Jacobin Club than standing before the National Assembly. Not only had the Jacobins been formed in his own image, but he was assured of a sympathetic hearing before his friends. Robespierre had been a member of the Jacobins from its earliest Versailles days when it began inconspicuously as a gathering of deputies from the province of Brittany, along with some other interested adherents [...]. The group did not acquire its famous nickname, the Jacobins, until it rented an abandoned Dominican monastery, in the rue Saint-Honoré in Paris, whose monks had been known as Jacobins and whose building also shared the name.
  2. ^ a b c Brinton, Crane (2011) [1930]. The Jacobins: An Essay in the New History. Transaction Publishers. p. xix. ISBN 9781412848107. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Brown, Charles Brockden (2009) [1793–1799]. Barnard, Philip; Shapiro, Stephen, eds. Charles Brockden Brown's Wieland, Ormond, Arthur Mervyn, and Edgar Huntly. Hackett Publishing. p. 360. ISBN 9781624662034. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  4. ^ Rey, Alain, ed. (1992). Dictionnaire historique de la langue française (in French). Dictionnaires Le Robert. ISBN 978-2321000679.
  5. ^ Furet, François; Ozouf, Mona (2007). Dictionnaire critique de la Révolution française: Idées. Champs (in French). 267. Paris: Flammarion. p. 243. ISBN 978-2081202955.
  6. ^ See also: Furet, François (1989) [1988]. "Jacobinism". In Furet, François; Ozouf, Mona. A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution [Dictionnaire critique de la révolution française]. Translated by Goldhammer, Arthur. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 710. ISBN 9780674177284. Retrieved 17 Feb 2019. The semantic elasticity of the term in late twentieth-century French politics attests to the work of time. 'Jacobinism' or 'Jacobin' can now refer to a wide range of predilections: indivisible national sovereignty, a state role in the transformation of society, centralization of the government and bureaucracy, equality among citizens guaranteed by uniformity of the law, regeneration through education in republican schools, or simply an anxious concern for national independence. This vague range of meanings is still dominated, however, by he central figure of a sovereign and indivisible public authority with power over civil society [...].
  7. ^ a b Phillips, Walter Alison (1911). "Jacobins, The". In Chisolm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  8. ^ Alpaugh, Micah (Fall 2014). "The British Origins of the French Jacobins: Radical Sociability and the Development of Political Club Networks, 1787–1793". European History Quarterly. 44 (4): 593–619. doi:10.1177/0265691414546456. Retrieved 17 April 2015. (subscription may be required or content may be available in libraries)
  9. ^ "World History: The Modern Era". Worldhistory.abc-clio.com. Retrieved 2012-08-11.
  10. ^ (in Dutch) Noah Shusterman – De Franse Revolutie (The French Revolution). Veen Media, Amsterdam, 2015. (Translation of: The French Revolution. Faith, Desire, and Politics. Routledge, London/New York, 2014.) Chapter 3 (p. 95–139) : The Civil Constitution of the Clergy (summer 1790–spring 1791).
  11. ^ a b c (in Dutch) Noah Shusterman – De Franse Revolutie (The French Revolution). Veen Media, Amsterdam, 2015. (Translation of: The French Revolution. Faith, Desire, and Politics. Routledge, London/New York, 2014.) Chapter 4 (p. 141–186): The flight of the king and the decline of the French monarchy (summer 1791–summer 1792).
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i (in Dutch) Noah Shusterman – De Franse Revolutie (The French Revolution). Veen Media, Amsterdam, 2015. (Translation of: The French Revolution. Faith, Desire, and Politics. Routledge, London/New York, 2014.) Chapter 6 (p. 223–269) : The new French republic and its enemies (fall 1792–summer 1793).
  13. ^ a b (in Dutch) Noah Shusterman – De Franse Revolutie (The French Revolution). Veen Media, Amsterdam, 2015. (Translation of: The French Revolution. Faith, Desire, and Politics. Routledge, London/New York, 2014.) Chapter 5 (p. 187–221) : The end of the monarchy and the September Murders (summer–fall 1792).
  14. ^ a b Shariatmadari, David (27 January 2015). "Is it time to stop using the word 'terrorist'?". the Guardian. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  15. ^ "Historic Figures: Maximilien Robespierre (1758–1794)". BBC. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i (in Dutch) Noah Shusterman – De Franse Revolutie (The French Revolution). Veen Media, Amsterdam, 2015. (Translation of: The French Revolution. Faith, Desire, and Politics. Routledge, London/New York, 2014.) Chapter 7 (p. 271–312) : The federalist revolts, the Vendée and the beginning of the Terror (summer–fall 1793).
  17. ^ 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Fouché, Joseph, Duke of Otranto. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  18. ^ a b 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Billaud-Varenne, Jacques Nicolas. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  19. ^ a b "Georges Danton profile". Britannica.com. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  20. ^ Hampson, Norman (1991). Saint-Just. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, Ltd. Pages 78–79.
  21. ^ 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Barère de Vieuzac, Bertrand. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  22. ^ 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hébert, Jacques René. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  23. ^ 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Couthon, Georges. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  24. ^ a b c d (in Dutch) Noah Shusterman – De Franse Revolutie (The French Revolution). Veen Media, Amsterdam, 2015. (Translation of: The French Revolution. Faith, Desire, and Politics. Routledge, London/New York, 2014.) Chapter 8 (p. 313–356) :The Terror (fall 1793–summer 1794).
  25. ^ Colin Jones, The Longman Companion to the French Revolution (London: Longman Publishing Group, 1990), 90-91
  26. ^ Hampson, Norman (1991). Saint-Just. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, Ltd. Page 111.
  27. ^ 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Collot d'Herbois, Jean Marie. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  28. ^ Thompson 1988, p. 174.
  29. ^ "Reign of Terror". Encyclopædia Britannica (2015). Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  30. ^ 'Principal Dates and Time Line of the French Revolution'. marxists.org. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  31. ^ Schama 1989, p. 851.
  32. ^ Haydon, Colin; Doyle, William, eds. (2006). Robespierre. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 260–61. ISBN 978-0521026055. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  33. ^ Projet de réglement pour la Société des amis de la Constitution: séante aux ...
  34. ^ a b "Modern History Sourcebook: Maximilien Robespierre: Justification of the Use of Terror". Internet Modern History Sourcebook. Retrieved 2012-07-25.
  35. ^ Schama 1989, p. 279.
  36. ^ Bosher, John F. (1989). The French Revolution. W. W. Norton. p. 186. ISBN 978-0393959970.
  37. ^ Schama 1989, p. 475.
  38. ^ "Robespierre," by Mazauric, C., in "Dictionnaire historique de la Revolution francaise," ed. Albert Soboul. Presses Universitaires de France, Paris: 1989.
  39. ^ Redfern, Nick (2017-03-14). Secret Societies: The Complete Guide to Histories, Rites, and Rituals. Visible Ink Press. ISBN 9781578596461.
  40. ^ Alger, John Goldworth (1894). Glimpses of the French Revolution: Myths, Ideals, and Realities. Sampson Low, Marston & Company. p. 144. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  41. ^ Schama 1989, p. 354.
  42. ^ Peter McPhee, ed. (28 September 2012). A Companion to the French Revolution. Wiley. p. 385.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  43. ^ Brinton, Crane (2011) [1930]. The Jacobins: An Essay in the New History. Transaction Publishers. pp. 212–213. ISBN 9781412848107. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  44. ^ Gottschalk, Louis R. (1929). The Era of the French Revolution (1715–1815). Houghton Mifflin Company. pp. 258–259.
  45. ^ Bosher, John F. (1988). The French Revolution. W. W. Norton. pp. 191–208. ISBN 9780393025880.
  46. ^ Projet de réglement pour la Société des amis de la Constitution: séante aux ...
  47. ^ A. Aulard (1897) La Société des Jacobins p. 714
  48. ^ A. Aulard (1897) La Société des Jacobins p. 717

Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainPhillips, Walter Alison (1911). "Jacobins, The". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 117–119.


  • Schama, Simon (1989). Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution. Knopf. ISBN 0-394-55948-7.
  • Shusterman, Noah (2014). The French Revolution. Faith, Desire, and Politics. Routledge: London/New York.
  • Thompson, J.M. (1988). Robespierre. New York, NY: B. Blackwell. ISBN 978-0631155041.

Further reading

  • Brinton, Crane (1930). The Jacobins: An Essay in the New History. Transaction Publishers (published 2011).
  • Desan, Suzanne. "'Constitutional Amazons': Jacobin Women's Clubs in the French Revolution." in Re-creating Authority in Revolutionary France ed. Bryant T. Ragan, Jr., and Elizabeth Williams. (Rutgers UP, 1992).
  • Harrison, Paul R. The Jacobin Republic Under Fire: The Federalist Revolt in the French Revolution (2012) excerpt and text search.
  • Higonnet, Patrice L.-R. Goodness beyond Virtue: Jacobins during the French Revolution (1998) excerpt and text search.
  • Kennedy, Michael A. The Jacobin Clubs in the French Revolution, 1793–1795 (2000) .
  • Lefebvre, Georges. The French Revolution: From 1793 to 1799 (Vol. 2. Columbia University Press, 1964).
  • Marisa Linton, Choosing Terror: Virtue, Friendship and Authenticity in the French Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2013).
  • McPhee, Peter. Robespierre: A Revolutionary Life (Yale University Press, 2012) excerpt and text search
  • Palmer, Robert Roswell. Twelve who ruled: the year of the Terror in the French Revolution (1941).
  • Soboul, Albert. The French revolution: 1787–1799 (1975) pp. 313–416.

Primary sources

External links

1791 French legislative election

French legislative elections were held in September 1791 to elect the Legislative Assembly and was the first ever French election. However, only citizens paying taxes were allowed to vote. A plurality of the elected candidates were independents, but almost all were affiliated with the three political factions emerging in the new legislative assembly; the Marais, the Feuillants and the Jacobins (Montagnards, since they occupied the most elevated in the assembly). The factions were only vaguely affiliated to an organized program. The Feuillants did, however, support a constitutional monarchy, the Girondists a moderate republican policy and the Cordeliers a radical democratic constitution, supported by the lower classes. These factions preceded the later dominant factions: the Jacobin, the Girondists and the Marais party, consisting mainly of moderates.

1984 European Parliament election in France

In 1984 the second direct elections to the European Parliament were held in France. Four parties were able to win seats: an alliance of the centre right Union for French Democracy and the Gaullist Rally for the Republic, the Socialist Party and the French Communist Party, and the Front National. 56.7% of the French population turned out on election day.

The result was the first time the far-right Front National obtained important results — this time 10.8% and close to the declining French Communist Party. Jonah Birch argues in Jacobin that the FN's rise in popularity was caused by the Socialists abandoning their Keynesian platform the previous year and instead pursuing policies of austerity.

Anti-Jacobin Review

The Anti-Jacobin Review and Magazine, or, Monthly Political and Literary Censor (1798 to 1821), a conservative British political periodical, was founded by John Gifford [pseud. of John Richards Green] (1758–1818) after the demise of William Gifford's The Anti-Jacobin, or, Weekly Examiner (1797–1798). Gifford and Robert Bisset were the chief writers, and the political philosopher James Mill wrote reviews. Described as "often scurrilous" and "ultra-Tory," the journal contained essays, reviews, and satirical engravings, notably by James Gillray. It grew out of the political ferment of the period and was a vocal element of the British Anti-Jacobin backlash against the ideals of the French Revolution.

The first edition was published on 1 August 1798 and was advertised in The Times as "containing Original Criticism; a Review of the Reviewers; Miscellaneous Matter in Prose and Verse, Lists of Marriages, Births, Deaths and Promotions; and a Summary of Foreign and Domestic Politics."Contributors included Robert Bisset (1758/9–1805), John Bowles (1751–1819), Arthur Cayley (1776–1848), George Gleig, Samuel Henshall (1764/5–1807), James Hurdis, John Oxlee (1779–1854), Richard Penn (1733/4–1811), Richard Polwhele, John Skinner (1744–1816), William Stevens (1732–1807), and John Whitaker (1735–1808), though as items were frequently published anonymously attributions are often unclear.

It denounced reformers, especially the Evangelicals, and greatly angered them, as William Wilberforce, a leader of the anti-slavery movement, made clear in 1800:

It is a most mischievous publication, which, by dint of assuming a tone of the highest loyalty and attachment to our establishment in church and state, secures a prejudice in its favour, and has declared war against what I think the most respectable and most useful of all orders of men--the serious clergy of the Church of England. . . . Its opposition to the evangelical clergy is carried on in so venomous a way, and with so much impudence, and so little regard to truth, that the mischief it does is very great indeed. It accuses them in the plainest terms, and sometimes by name, as being disaffected both to church and state.

Black jacobin

The black jacobin (Florisuga fusca), previously placed in the monotypic Melanotrochilus, is a species of hummingbird in the family Trochilidae. It is found in or near the Atlantic Forest of eastern Brazil, Uruguay, eastern Paraguay, and far north-eastern Argentina. It is generally common, and therefore considered to be of least concern by BirdLife International and consequently the IUCN. Adults of both sexes are overall black with green-tinged back and wing-coverts, and white lower flanks and outer rectrices. The white in the tail is often flashed conspicuously in flight. The commonly seen immatures, sometimes incorrectly referred to as "females", have a distinctive rufous patch in the malar region.

Feuillant (political group)

The Society of the Friends of the Constitution (French: Société des Amis de la Constitution), better known as Feuillants Club (French pronunciation: ​[fœjɑ̃] French: Club des Feuillants), was a political grouping that emerged during the French Revolution. It came into existence on 16 July 1791 when the left-wing Jacobins split between moderates (Feuillants), who sought to preserve the position of the king and supported the proposed plan of the National Constituent Assembly for a constitutional monarchy; and radicals (Jacobins), who wished to press for a continuation of direct democratic action to overthrow Louis XVI. It represented the last and most vigorous attempt of the moderate constitutional monarchists to steer the course of the revolution away from the radical Jacobins.The Feuillant deputies publicly split with the Jacobins when they published a pamphlet on 16 July 1791, protesting the Jacobin plan to participate in the popular demonstrations against Louis XVI on the Champ de Mars the following day. Initially the group had 264 ex-Jacobin deputies as members, including most of the members of the correspondence committee.

The group held meetings in a former monastery of the Feuillant monks on the Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris and came to be popularly called the Club des Feuillants. They called themselves the Amis de la Constitution. The group was led by Antoine Barnave, Alexandre de Lameth and Adrien Duport.

First White Terror

The White Terror was a period during the French Revolution in 1795, when a wave of violent attacks swept across much of France. The victims of this violence were people identified as being associated with the Reign of Terror – followers of Robespierre and Marat, and members of local Jacobin clubs. The violence was perpetrated primarily by those whose relatives or associates had been victims of the Great Terror, or whose lives and livelihoods had been threatened by the government and its supporters before the Thermidorean Reaction. Principally these were, in Paris, the Muscadins, and in the countryside, monarchists, supporters of the Girondins, those who opposed the Civil Constitution of the Clergy and those otherwise hostile to the Jacobin political agenda. The Great Terror had been largely an organised political programme, based on laws such as the Law of 22 Prairial, and enacted through official institutions such as the Revolutionary Tribunal, but the White Terror was essentially a series of uncoordinated attacks by local activists who shared common perspectives but no central organisation. In particular locations, there were however more organised counter-revolutionary movements such as the Companions of Jehu in Lyon and the Companions of the Sun in Provence. The name 'White Terror' derives from the white cockades worn in the hats of royalists.

French Consulate

The Consulate (French: Le Consulat) was the top level Government of France from the fall of the Directory in the coup of Brumaire on 10 November 1799 until the start of the Napoleonic Empire on 18 May 1804. By extension, the term The Consulate also refers to this period of French history.

During this period, Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul, established himself as the head of a more authoritarian, autocratic, and centralized republican government in France while not declaring himself sole ruler. Due to the long-lasting institutions established during these years, Robert B. Holtman has called the Consulate "one of the most important periods of all French history." Napoleon brought authoritarian personal rule which has been viewed as military dictatorship.

French Republican calendar

The French Republican calendar (French: calendrier républicain français), also commonly called the French Revolutionary calendar (calendrier révolutionnaire français), was a calendar created and implemented during the French Revolution, and used by the French government for about 12 years from late 1793 to 1805, and for 18 days by the Paris Commune in 1871. The revolutionary system was designed in part to remove all religious and royalist influences from the calendar, and was part of a larger attempt at decimalisation in France (which also included decimal time of day, decimalisation of currency, and metrication). It was used in government records in France and other areas under French rule, including Belgium, Luxembourg, and parts of the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Malta, and Italy.

Jacobin (magazine)

Jacobin is a democratic socialist quarterly magazine based in New York offering American leftist perspectives on politics, economics, and culture. Articles include pieces on wealth inequality, the power of mass protest, the economic reasons behind Puerto Rico's crisis after Hurricane Maria and (sometimes critical) pieces on unions. Its paid print circulation was 36,000 and its website drew more than a million views a month in 2017. Noam Chomsky has called the magazine "a bright light in dark times".

Jacobin (politics)

A Jacobin (French pronunciation: ​[ʒakɔbɛ̃]) was a member of the Jacobin Club, a revolutionary political movement that was the most famous political club during the French Revolution (1789–99). The club was so called because of the Dominican convent in Paris in the Rue Saint-Jacques (Latin: Jacobus) where they originally met.

Today, the terms Jacobin and Jacobinism are used in a variety of senses. In France, Jacobin now generally indicates a supporter of a centralized republican state and strong central government powers and/or supporters of extensive government intervention to transform society. Jacobin is sometimes used in Britain as a pejorative for radical, left-wing revolutionary politics (English: ), especially when it exhibits dogmatism and violent repression.

Jacobin cuckoo

The Jacobin cuckoo, pied cuckoo, or pied crested cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus) is a member of the cuckoo order of birds that is found in Africa and Asia. It is partially migratory and in India, it has been considered a harbinger of the monsoon rains due to the timing of its arrival. It has been associated with a bird in Indian mythology and poetry, known as the chataka (Sanskrit: चातक) represented as a bird with a beak on its head that waits for rains to quench its thirst.

Jacobin pigeon

The Jacobin is a breed of fancy pigeon developed over many years of selective breeding that originated in Asia. Jacobins, along with other varieties of domesticated pigeons, are all descendants of the rock pigeon (Columba livia). It is in the Asian feather and voice pigeon show group.

The breed is known for its feathered hood over its head.

Jean Théophile Victor Leclerc

Jean Théophile Victor Leclerc, a.k.a. Jean-Theophilus Leclerc and Theophilus Leclerc d'Oze (1771 in La Cotte, Loire, near Montbrison, France – ???), was a radical French revolutionist and publicist. After Jean-Paul Marat was assassinated, Leclerc assumed his mantle.

Leclerc was the son of a civil engineer, and as a young man went to Martinique from which he was expelled for revolutionary propaganda in 1791. He returned to metropolitan France and joined the 1st battalion of Morbihan in which he served until February 1792, when he left for Paris to defend seventeen grenadiers accused, in Martinique, of being revolutionaries. He successfully defended them in front of the Jacobin Club and the revolutionary national assembly. On April first that year he made a speech before the Jacobin Club calling for the execution of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

Leclerc returned to his military duties with the Army of the Rhine, and was sent on an unsuccessful spy mission across the Rhine in southwest Germany. It seems that he betrayed by Dietrich, the mayor of Strasbourg. In November 1792, he fought at the Battle of Jemappes. In February 1793 he was transferred to the General Staff of the newly restructured Army of the Alps, in Lyon. It was there that he joined the Club Central and he was sent to Paris as a special deputy from Lyon.

Leclerc took an extremely radical revolutionary position. He was even expelled from the Jacobin Club for being too radical. He was a founding member of Les Enragés (literally "the Angry Ones") who opposed Jacobian leniency. In 1793, he married Pauline Léon, who together with Claire Lacombe had founded the Société des Républicaines Révolutionnaires a radical & revolutionary feminist organization which was banned the following year. He and his wife published a broadsheet called L'Ami du peuple par Leclerc starting in 1793, which advocated a radical purging of the army, the creation of a revolutionary army only made up of the partisans of the Reign of Terror, and the execution of all the suspected anti-revolutionaries. His publishing activities ceased with his arrest in April, 1794. After his release in August 1794, he and his wife maintained a low profile until his death some time after 1804.

Jeanbon Saint-André

Jean Bon Saint-André (February 25, 1749 – December 10, 1813) was a French politician of the Revolutionary era.

National Legislative Assembly (France)

The Legislative Assembly (French: Assemblée législative) was the legislature of France from 1 October 1791 to 20 September 1792 during the years of the French Revolution. It provided the focus of political debate and revolutionary law-making between the periods of the National Constituent Assembly and of the National Convention.

Polish Jacobins

Polish Jacobins (or Huguenots) was the name given to a group of late 18th century radical Polish politicians by their opponents.

Polish Jacobins formed during the Great Sejm as an offshoot of the "Kołłątaj's Forge" (Kuźnia Kołłątajska) of Hugo Kołłątaj (hence their alternate name - Huguenots (Hugoniści) and later the Patriotic Party (Stronnictwo Patriotyczne). Polish Jacobins played a significant part in the preparation of the Warsaw Uprising and Wilno Uprising during the Kościuszko Uprising. Under the name of Association of Citizens Offering Help and Assistance to National Magistrate for Good of the Homeland (Zgromadzenie Obywateli Ofiarujących Pomoc i Posługę Magistraturom Narodowym w Celu Dobra Ojczyzny) they formed a political club (based on French Jacobin Club) which became part of the provisional government of Poland (Temporary Provisional Council, Radza Zastępcza Tymczasowa). For their support for lynching of supporters of the Targowica Confederation they have been abolished by Tadeusz Kościuszko, but as the Uprising neared its defeat they were reactivated under the name of Association for Supporting the Revolution and the Cracow Act (Zgromadzenie dla Utrzymania Rewolucji i Aktu Krakowskiego). After the third partition of Poland, many Jacobins emigrated and joined the Polish Legions in Italy. Many of those who remained in Poland took part in various conspirational organisations (Association of Polish Republicans, Towarzystwo Republikanów Polskich). Eventually some prominent Jacobins (like Józef Zajączek) became part of the government of the Duchy of Warsaw and later Congress Poland). During the November Uprising they were reactivated as Patriotic Society (Towarzystwo Patriotyczne), founded by Joachim Lelewel. Polish Jacobins slowly became absorbed into other groups of the Great Emigration, although traces of their ideas were visible not only in the January Uprising but also in the Józef Piłsudski's Polish Socialist Party (Polska Partia Socjalistyczna).

Their political views had much in common with French Jacobins. They supported the French Revolution and wanted to transplant most of its ideals to Poland, to abolish monarchy and serfdom, equalize the privileges of the various social classes, nationalize property (as a temporary measure for funding the war) and limit the privileges of the Catholic Church (although unlike radical French Jacobins, their stance was not anti-Christian).

Main activists:

Hugo Kołłątaj

gen. Jakub Jasiński

Józef Pawlikowski

Jan Alojzy Orchowski

Józef Zajączek

Tomasz Maruszewski

Józef Kalasanty Szaniawski

Jan Czyński

Tadeusz Krępowiecki

Maurycy Mochnacki

Kazimierz Konopka

Salomon Islands

The Salomon Islands or Salomon Atoll is a small atoll of the Chagos Archipelago, British Indian Ocean Territory.

The Jacobin

The Jacobin (Jakobín in Czech) is an opera in three acts by Antonín Dvořák to an original Czech libretto by Marie Červinková-Riegrová. Červinková-Riegrová took some of the story's characters from the story by Alois Jirásek, "At the Ducal Court", but devised her own plot about them. The first performance was at the National Theatre, Prague, 1889. Červinková-Riegrová revised the libretto, with Dvořák's permission, in 1894, notably in the last act. Dvořák himself revised the music in 1897 (the revised premiere was on 19 June 1898, under Adolf Čech).

The composer felt great affection for the subject of the opera, as the central character is a music teacher, and Dvořák had in mind his former teacher Antonin Liehmann, who had a daughter named Terinka, the name of one of the opera's characters.John Clapham has briefly discussed the presence of Czech musical style in the opera. H. C. Colles has described this opera as "the most subtle and intimate of his peasant operas", and noted "how clearly its scenes are drawn from life".

White-necked jacobin

The white-necked jacobin (Florisuga mellivora) is a large and attractive hummingbird that ranges from Mexico, south to Peru, Bolivia and south Brazil. It is also found on Tobago (sub-species F. m. flabellifera) and in Trinidad (sub-species F. m. mellivora)

Other common names are great jacobin and collared hummingbird.

The white-necked jacobin is a widespread inhabitant of forest, usually being seen at a high perch or just above the canopy. It is less common at lower levels, except near hummingbird feeders.

The approximately 12 cm long male white-necked jacobin is unmistakable with its white belly and tail, a white band on the nape and a dark blue hood. Immature males have less white in the tail and a conspicuous rufous patch in the malar region. Females are highly variable, and may resemble adult or immature males, have green upperparts, white belly, white-scaled green or blue throat, and white-scaled dark blue crissum (the area around the cloaca), or be intermediate between the aforementioned plumages, though retain the white-scaled dark blue crissum. Females are potentially confusing, but the pattern on the crissum is distinctive and not shared by superficially similar species.

These birds usually visit flowers of tall trees and epiphytes for nectar, and also hawk for insects.

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