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Jacobin, Cordeliers, Sans-Culottes

AS History Revision, Section Two
by

EJ Jane

on 11 April 2013

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Transcript of Jacobin, Cordeliers, Sans-Culottes

Overview In absence of Political parties, clubs were established to support the popular movement. They were set-up soon after the Estates-General met in May 1789. For many ordinary people they provided a stage from which speakers could debate the great issues of the day.

The majority of Frenchmen who had never been involved in political life discovered that they provided a crash course in political education. The public were becoming increasingly politicized. The Revolutionary Clubs 2| The Rise of the Jacobin and the Cordeliers There were no political parties so the clubs played an important part in the revolution through roles such as:
Keeping public informed on major issues of the day
Supporting election candidates
Acting as pressure groups to influence deputies in the Assembly and promote action which deputies were reluctant to undertake.
They provided education in political participation. The Jacobin Club Popular discontent in rural and Urban areas The Cordeliers Club The Sans-Culottes The Jacobin Club The Jacobin Club originated in meetings of radical Breton deputies with others of similar views. The Assembly moved to Paris after the October Days these deputies and supporters rented a room from monks of a Jacobin convent.

Their official title was the 'Society of the Friends of the Constitution'.

At the club, members debated measures that were to come before the Assembly. The Jacobin Club set a high entrance fee for members.
There were 1200 by July 1790 and came from mainly wealthy sections of society.
They associated themselves with ideas of the physiocrats. They raised no serious objections to the introduction of free trade in grain or abolition of guilds in 1791.
War counter-revolution explains their acceptance of a controlled economy.
These measures were forced on them by their more extreme supporters (Sans-culottes). Jacobin Ideology A national network of Jacobin clubs soon grew, all linking to the central group in Paris.
By the end of 1793 there were over 2000 Jacobin clubs across France.
Between 1790-99 it has been estimated that the movement involved 2% of the population (500,000 people approx).
They enabled for the first time large numbers of people to become directly involved in the political life of their country. Key members: Maximilian Robespierre
Supporters: Wealthy Radical deputies
Key ideas: Centralisation Origins Based upon the Englightenment thought and revolutionary practice.
They came to reject the concept of a monarchy.
The Jacobin club men were highly political men of action.
The club moved further left in summer 1792 and favoured increased centralisation of government in order to defend the Republic.

The key figure emerging in this period was Maximilian Robespierre, leader of a minority group of radical Jacobin deputies. Key members: Georges Danton, Camille Desmoulins, Jaques-Rener Herbert, Brissot and Marat
Supporters: Bourgeois and working-class radicals
Key ideas: Direct democracy and right of insurrection
Founded: April 1790
The club was more radical than the Jacobib Club and had no membership fee.
It objected to distinction between 'active' and 'passive' citizens and supported new measures which were favoured by Sans-Culottes... Introduction to the Cordeliers Ideology and measures. they wanted enforced.. direct democracy where votes choose deputies
the recall of deputies to account for their actions, if these went against people's wishes
the right of insurrection-rebellion, if a government acted against popular wishes
The Cordeliers Club had much support from the working class, although the leaders were bourgeois.

George Danton and Camille Desmoulins were lawyers and Jaques-Rene Hebert was an unsuccesful writer who became a journalist when freedom of the press was allowed. Brissot was also a journalist but the most notorious was Marat, a failed doctor to radical journalist. He hated all those who enjoyed privileges in the ancien regime and attacked them in his newspaper: L'Ami du Peuple. Members and leaders... During winter of 1790-1, the example of Cordeliers Club led to the formation of many 'popular' and 'fraternal' societies, soon to be found in every district in Paris and in several provincial towns.

In 1791 the Cordeliers Club and the popular societies formed a federation and elected a central committee. The members of the popular societies were drawn mainly from the liberal professions such as teachers and officials, and skilled artisans and shopkeepers. Labourers rarely joined, as they didn't have spare time for politics. Development... Desmoulins Georges Danton Hebert Marat Brissot By the start of 1790, many peasants became disillusioned with the Revolution. The sense of anticipation following the 'Night of 4th August' diminished once noted in the Spring of 1790 that the feudal dues weren't abolished but would have to bought out.

Rural revolution began in Britany, in central France and in the South-east lasting until 1792, placing pressure on the Jacobin.
Peasants fixed prices of grain, calling for the sale of Church land in small lots and attacking Chateaux. Rising in Midi 1792 was as important as revolts in 1789 in size and destruction, the risings and deteriorating military situation conrtibuted to the most serious crises of the revolution.
10th August 1792, Louis was deposed. Shortly after, all feudal and seigneurial dues which couldn't be justified were abolished. Feudalism was finally abolished without compensation by the Jacobin on 17th July 1793. Who were they? Workers in towns, not a class and included artisans and master craftsmen who owned their workshops as well as wage earners. They had been responsible for the successful attack on the Bastille and for bringing the royal family back to Paris in the October Days, yet received no reward. Many were passive citizens who didn't have a vote. They suffered greatly from inflation.
To meet is expenses the government printed more assignat and the value declined. There was a wave of strikes by workers against the falling value of their wages early in 1791. Grain prices rose by 50% after a poor harvest in 1791. This led to riots wich resulted in shopkeepers' being forced to reduce prices. Discontent in the urban workers could be used by the popular societies which linked economic protests to the political demands for a republic whose representatives were directly elected by the people, and by groups in the Assembly who were seeking power. This made the Revolution more radical in ways which the bourgeois leaders of 1789 had neither intended nor desired.
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