Jacobins vs. Girondins during the French Revolution

September 25, 2011 | | Comments Off

During the times of the French Constitutional Monarchy two prominent radical groups fought for power: theGirondins and the Jacobins.  Of the twogroups, though both were radical, the Girondins were less radical and became arising power in 1791.  During this time the group hoped to pass legislation allowing all blacks equal freedoms (The United States was a little behind on this..).  The group also wanted to go to war with Austria in 1792 in hopes of showing power over the king.  As a result of all of these new found politics of the Girondins, the Jacobins began to
counter react in opposition to the Girondins.

An example of the different political views of the two groups is found with the reactions to the SeptemberMassacres.  The massacre was instigated by Georges-Jacques Danton, a revolutionary leader.  Danton gave a speech on September 2nd 1792 in which he said, “When the tocsin sounds, it will not be a signal of alarm, but the signal to charge against the enemies of our country… To defeat them, gentlemen, we need boldness, and again boldness, and always boldness; and France will then be saved.” In reality Danton was probably speaking of boldness needed in fighting the war but most French citizens took it as boldness needed in fighting within France to those who were viewed as “traitors” and killing occurred all over the streets.  By September 7th over 1,000 people had been massacred.  Girdonins urged citizens to stop the violence while Jacobins encouraged the bloodshed.  The gap between Girdonins and Jacobins grew more and more with the Jacobins becoming the more powerful force.

Danton – lifted from Wikipedia

When the king was put on trial for treason the Girondins fought for the king to be exempted from execution while the Jacobins argued that the king should be executed in order to assure the revolution’s success.  The Jacobins were successful.  As a result, they were a monopolizing power and in the National Convention the Jacobins arrested and killed 22 Girondins.  They had won thebattle between the two groups. The main leader of the Jacobins was Jean-Paul Marat.  Parisians loved him and cheered him in the streets.  His reign ended though when Charlotte Corday snuck into his bath, stabbed him, and Marat was named a martyr of the revolution. 

Marat – from Google Images http://www.google.com/imgres?q=jean+paul+marat&um=1&hl=en&tbm=isch&tbnid=AbJ8PABKLdVREM:&imgrefurl=http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/1711618marat.htm&docid=kOlDZQsMV0g3M&w=1000&h=1112&ei=afd_TvrhN4Ho0QGuqoj3Dw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=457&vpy=177&dur=1254&hovh=237&hovw=213&tx=155&ty=163&page=1&tbnh=164&tbnw=147&start=0&ndsp=15&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:0&biw=1366&bih=564

“The Rise of the Jacobins.” HistoryWiz. HIstoryWiz, 1999. Web. 23 Sept. 2011. http://www.historywiz.com/jacobins.htm.

“The September Massacres.” HistoryWiz. HIstoryWiz, 1999. Web. 23 Sept. 2011. http://www.historywiz.com/jacobins.htm.

 


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