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The French Revolution, Volume 3 The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 4 by Hippolyte A. Taine

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Archives Nationales, AF. II., 46. (Speech of General Wimpffen to the
"Société des amis de la Liberté et de l'Egalité," in session at
Cherbourg, June 25, 1793). "Sixty-four departments have already
revoked the powers conferred on their representatives." Meillan,
"Mémoires," 72: "The archives of Bordeaux once contained the acts
passed by seventy-two departments, all of which adhered to measures
nearly the same as those indicted in our documents."

[50] Buchez et Roux, XVIII., 148. -- Meillan, 70, 71. -- Guillon de
Montléon, I., 300 (on Lyons) and I., 280 (on Bordeaux). Archives
Nationales, AF II., 46. (Deliberations of the Nantes section July 5).
-- Letter of Merlin and Gillet, representatives on mission, Lorient,
June 12. Dissatisfaction at the outrages of May 31 and June 2, was so
manifest that the representatives on mission Merline, Gillet,
Savestre, and Cagaignac print on the 14th of June a resolution
authorising one of their body to go to the Convention and protest "in
their name" against the weakness shown by it and against the
ursurpations of the Paris commune. -- Sauzay, IV., 260. At Besançon,
in a general assembly of all the administrative, judicial and
municipal bodies of the department joined to the commissioners of the
section, protest "unanimously" on the 15th of June.

[51] Archives Nationales, Ibid .(Letter of Romme and Prieur, Caen,
June 10th, to the committee of Public Safety). The insurgents are so
evidently in the right that Romme and Prieur approve of their own
arrest. "Citizens, our colleagues, this arrest may be of great
importance, serve the cause of liberty, maintain the unity of the
republic and revive confidence if, as we hasten to demand it of you,
you confirm it by a decree which declares us hostages. . . . We
have noticed that among the people of Caen, there is a love of
liberty, as well as of justice and docility."

[52] Archives Nationales, AF. II., 46. (Printed July 5). Result of
the deliberations of the Nantes sections. The act is signed by the
three administrative bodies of Nantes, by the district rulers of
Clisson, Anceries and Machecoul, who had fled to Nantes, and by both
the deputies of the districts of Paimbœuf and Chateaubriand, in all,
eighty-six signatures.

[53] Archives Nationales, ibid., (letter of General Wimpffen to the
"Societé des Amis de l'Egalité et de la Liberté" in session at
Cherbourg, June 25, 1793). - Mortimer-Ternaux, VIII., 126. - On the
opinion of the departments cf. Paul Thibaud ("Etudes sur l'histoire
de Grenoble et du Department de l'Isére"). - Louis Guibert ("Le Parti
Girondin dans le Haute Vienne"). - Jarrin, ("Bourg et Bellay pendant
la Révolution").

[54] Albert Babeau, II., 83. (Pamphlet by the curé of Cleray).
"Every primary assembly that accepts the Constitution strikes the
factions a blow on the head with the club of Hercules."

[55] Cf. "The Revolution," Vol. II. Ch. XI.

[56] Buzot. - Archives Nationales, AF. II., 157. Reports by Baudot
and Ysabeau to the Convention. The 19th of Aug. At the Hotel de
Ville of Bordeaux, they eulogize the 21st of January: "There was then
a roar as frightful as it was general. A city official coolly replied
to us: What would you have? To oppose anarchy we have been forced to
join the aristocrats, and they rule." Another says ironically to
Ysabeau: "We did not anticipate that, -- they are our tribunes."

[57] Jarrin, "Bourg et Belley pendant la Révolution" ("Annales de la
Societé d'Emulation de l'Ain, 1878, Nos. For January, February and
March, p. 16).

[58] Louvet, 103, 108. - Guillon de Montléon, I., 305 and following
pages. - Buchez et Roux, XXVIII., 151. (Report of the delegates of
the district of Andelys). "One of members observed that there would
be a good deal of trouble in raising an armed force of one thousand
men." - An administrator (a commissioner of Calvados) replied: "We
shall have all the aristocrats on our side." The principal military
leaders at Caen and at Lyons, Wimpffen, Précy, Puisaye, are Feuillants
and form only a provisional alliance with the Girondists properly so
called, Hence constant contentions and reciprocal mistrust. Birotteau
and Chapet leave Lyons because they do not find the spirit of the
place sufficiently republican.

[59] Louvet, 124, 129. - Buchez et Roux, XXVII, 360. (Notice by
General Wimpffen), July 7. - Puisaye, "Mémoires" and "L'Insurrection
Normande." by et Vaultier et Mancel.

[60] Mortimer-Ternaux, VIII., 471. Letter of Barbaroux, Caen, June
18. - Ibid., 133. Letter of Madame Roland to Buzot, July 7. "You
are not the one to march at the head of battalions (departmental). It
would have the appearance of gratifying personal vengeance."

[61] Buchez et Roux, XXVIII., 153. (Deliberations of the constituted
authorities of Marseilles, June 7.)

[62] Guillon de Montléon, II., 40. The contrast between the two
parties is well shown in the following extract from the letter of a
citizen of Lyons to Kellerman's soldiers. "They tell you that we want
to destroy the unity of the republic, while they themselves abandon
the frontiers to the enemy in order to come here and cut their
brethren's throats."

[63] Guillon de Montléon, I., 288. - Marcelin Boudet, "Les
Conventionnels d'Auvergne," p. 181. - Louvet, 193. - Moniteur,
XVII., 101. (Speech of Cambon, July 11). "We have preferred to
expose these funds (one hundred and five millions destined for the
army) to being intercepted, rather than to retard this dispatch. The
first thing the Committee of Public Safety have had to care for was to
save the republic and make the administrations fully responsible for
it. They were fully aware of this, and accordingly have allowed the
circulation of these funds . . . They have been forced, through the
wise management of the Committee, to contribute themselves to the
safety of the republic."

[64] Archives Nationales, Letter of Robert Lindet, June 16, AF. II.,
43. The correspondence of Lindet, which is very interesting, well
shows the sentiments of the Lyonnese and the policy of the "Mountain."
"However agitated Lyons may be, order prevails; nobody wants either
king or tyrant; all use the same language: the words republic, union,
are in everybody's mouth." (Eight letters.) He always gives the same
advice to the Committee of Public Safety: "Publish a constitution,
publish the motives of the bills of arrest," which are indispensable
to rally everybody to the Convention, (June 15).

[65] Guillon de Montléon, I., 309 (July 24).

[66] Sauzay, IV., 268. - Paul Thibaud, 50. - Marcelin Boudet, 185.
- Archives Nationales AF. II., 46. Extract from the registers of the
Council of the department of Loire-Inferieure, July 14. The
department protests that its decree of July 5 was not "a rupture with
the Convention, an open rebellion against the laws of the State, an
idea very remote from the sentiments and intentions of the citizens
present." Now, "the plan of a Constitution is offered to the
acceptance of the sovereign. This fortunate circumstance should bring
people to one mind, and, with hope thus renewed, let us at once seize
on the means of salvation thus presented to us." - Moniteur, XVII.,
102. (Speech of Cambon, July 11.)

[67] Louvet, 119, 128, 150, 193. - Meillan, 130, 141. (On the
disposition and sentiments of the provinces and of the public in
general, the reader will find ample and authentic details in the
narratives of the fugitives who scattered themselves in all
directions, and especially those of Louvet, Meillan, Dulaure, and
Vaublanc.) Cf. the "Mémoires de Hua" and "Un Séjour en France in 1792
and 1795." - Mallet-du-Pan already states this disposition before 1789
(MS. Journal). "June, 1785: The French live simply in a crowd; they
must all cling together. On the promenades they huddle together and
jostle each other in one alley; the same when there is more space."
"Aug., 1787, (after the first riots): I have remarked in general more
curiosity than excitement in the multitude. . . . One can judge,
at this moment, the national character; a good deal of bravado and
nonsense; neither reason, rule nor method; rebellious in crowds, and
not a soul that does not tremble in the presence of a corporal."

[68] Meillan, 143. - Mortimer-Ternaux, VIII., 203. (Session of
August 10). - Mallet-du-Pan, "Mémoires," II., 9.

[69] Ernest Daudet, "His. des Conspirations royalistes dans le midi."
(Books II. And III.)

[70] Guillon de Montléon, I., 313. (Address of a Lyonais to the
patriot soldiers under Kellerman.)

[71] Mortimer-Ternaux, VIII., 222. - The insurrection of Toulon,
Girondist at the start, dates July 1st. - Letter of the new
administrators of Toulon to the Convention. "W desire the Republic,
one and indivisible; there is no sign of rebellion with us. . .
Representatives Barras and Fréron lie shamefully in depicting us as
anti-revolutionaries, on good terms with the English and the families
of Vendée." - The Toulon administrators continue furnishing the
Italian army with supplies. July 19, an English boat, sent to parley,
had to lower the white flag and hoist the tri-color flag. The entry
of the English into Toulon did not take place before the 29th of

[72] Guillon de Montléon, II., 67. (Letter of the Lyonnese to the
representatives of the people, Sep. 20): "The people of Lyons have
constantly respected the laws, and if, as in some departments, that of
Rhone-et-Loire was for a moment mistaken in the events of May 31, they
hastened, as soon as they believed that the Convention was not
oppressed, to recognize and execute its decrees. Every day, now that
these reach it, they are published and observed within its walls."

[73] Moniteur, XVII., 269. (Session of July 28). (Letter of the
administrators of the department of Rhone-et-Loire to the Convention,
Lyons, July 24). "We present to the Convention our individual
recantation and declaration; in conforming to the law we are entitled
to its protection. We petition the court to decide on our
declaration, and to repeal the acts which relate to us or make an
exception in our favor. . . We have always professed ourselves to
be true republicans."

[74] Guillon de Montléon, I., 309, 311, 315, 335. -- Mortimer-
Ternaux, VIII., 197.

[75] Mortimer-Ternaux, VIII., 141.

[76] Mallet du Pan, I., 379 and following pages; I., 408; II., 10.

[77] Entry of the Republican troops into Lyons, October 9th, into
Toulon, December 19th. - Bordeaux had submitted on the 2nd of August.
Exasperated by the decree of the 6th which proscribed all the abettors
of the insurrection, the city drives out, on the 19th, the
representatives Baudot and Ysabeau. It submits again on the 19th of
September. But so great is the indignation of the citizens, Tallien
and his three colleagues dare not enter before the 16th of October.
(Mortimer-Ternaux, VIII., 197 and following pages.)

[78] Seventy thousand men were required to reduce Lyons, (Guillon de
Montléon, II., 226) and sixty thousand men to reduce Toulon.

[79] Archives des Affaires étrangères, vol. CCCXXIX. (Letter of
Chépy, political agent, Grenoble, July 26, 1793). "I say it
unhesitatingly, I had rather reduce Lyons than save Valenciennes."

[80] Ibid., vol. CCCXXIX. (Letter of Chépy, Grenoble, August 24,
1793): "The Piedmontese are masters of Cluse. A large body of
mountaineers have joined them. At Annecy the women have cut down the
liberty pole and burnt the archives of the club and commune. At
Chambéry, the people wanted to do the same, but they forced the sick
in the hospitals to take arms and thus kept them down."

[81] Moniteur, XVIII, 474. (Report of Billaud-Varennes, October 18,
1793). "The combined efforts of all the powers of Europe have not
compromised liberty and the country so much as the federalist
factions; the assassin the most to be dreaded is the one that lives in
the house."

[82] The convention purposely reinstates incendiaries and assassins.
(Moniteur, XVIII., 483. Session of Breumaire 28, year II.) : XVII.,
176. (Session of July 19, 1793). Rehabilitation of Bordier and
Jourdain, hung in August, 1789. Cancelling of the proceedings begun
against the authors of the massacre of Melun (September, 1792) and
release of the accused. -- Cf. Albert Babeau, (I., 277.)
Rehabilitation, with indemnities distributed in Messidor, year II, to
their relatives. - "Archives des Affaires étrangères," vol. 331.
(Letter of Chépy, Grenoble, Frimaire 8, year II). "The criminal court
and jury of the department have just risen to the height of the
situation; they have acquitted the castle-burners."

[83] Mortimer-Ternaux, VIII., 593. (Deputation of twenty-four
sections sent from Bordeaux to the Convention, August 30). - Buchez
et Roux, XXVIII., 494. (Report of the representatives on mission in
Bouches-du-Rhône, September 2nd). - Ibid., XXX., 386. (Letter of
Rousin, commandant of the revolutionary army at Lyons. "A population
of one hundred twenty thousand souls. . . . . There are not
amongst all these, one thousand five hundred patriots, even one
thousand five hundred persons that one could spare. - Guillon de
Montléon, I., 355, 374. (Signatures of twenty thousand Lyonnese of
all classes, August 17th).

[84] Guillon de Montléon, I., 394. (Letter of Dubois-Crancé to the
Lyonnese, August 19th.)

[85] Mortimer-Ternaux, VIII., 198. (Decree of Aug. 6.) - Buchez et
Roux, XXVIII. 297, (Decree of July 12.). - Guillon de Montléon, I.,
342. Summons of Dubois-Crancé, Aug. 8.)

[86] Meillan, 142.). - "Archives des Affaires Etrangéres," vol.
CCCXXXII. (Letter of Desgranges, Bordeaux, Brumaire 8, year II.):
"The execution of Mayor Saige, who was much loved by the people for
his benefactions, caused much sorrow: but no guilty murmur was heard."

[87] Archives Nationales, AF. II., 46. (Letter of Julien to the
Committee of Public Safety Messidor 11, year II). "Some time ago a
solemn silence prevailed at the sessions of the military commission,
the people's response to the death-sentences against conspirators; the
same silence attended them to the scaffold; the whole commune seemed
to sob in secret at their fate."

[88] Berryat Saint-Prix, "La Justice Révolutionaire," pp. 277-299. -
Archives Nationales, AF. II., 46. (Registers of the Com. Of
Surveillance, Bordeaux). The number of prisoners between Prairial 21
and 28, varies from 1504 to 1529. Number of the guillotined, 882.
(Memoirs of Sénart).

[89] Archives Nationales, AF. II., 46. Letter of Julien, Messidor
12, year II. "A good deal has been stolen here; the mayor, now in
prison, is informed of considerable losses. The former Committee of
surveillance came under serious suspicion; many people who were
outlawed only escaped by paying: it is a fact that . . . Of a
number of those who have thus purchased their lives there are some who
did not deserve to die and who, nevertheless, were threatened with
death." - Buchez et Roux, XXXII., 428. (Extracts from the Memoirs of
Sénart). "The president of the military commission was a man named
Lacombe, already banished from the city on account of a judgment
against him for robbery. The other individuals employed by Tallien
comprised a lot of valets, bankrupts and sharpers."

[90] Buchez et Roux, XXVIII., 493. (Speech by Danton, August 31, and
decree in conformity therewith by the Convention).

[91] Mallet-Dupan, II., 17. "Thousands of traders in Marseilles and
Bordeaux, here the respectable Gradis and there the Tarteron, have
been assassinated and their goods sold. I have seen the thirty-second
list only of the Marseilles emigres, whose property has been
confiscated. . . . There are twelve thousand of them and the lists
are not yet complete." (Feb. 1, 1794.) - Anne Plumptre.2A Narrative
of Three years' Residence in France, from 1802 to 1805." "During this
period the streets of Marseilles were almost those of a deserted town.
One could go from one end of the town to the other without meeting any
one he could call an inhabitant. The great terrorists, of whom
scarcely one was a Marseillaise, the soldiers and roughs as they
called themselves, were almost the only persons encountered." The
latter, to the number of fifty or sixty, in jackets with leather
straps, fell upon all whom they did not like, and especially on
anybody with a clean shirt and white cravat. Many persons on the
"Cours" were thus whipped to death. No women went out-doors without a
basked, while every man wore a jacket, without which they were taken
for aristocrats. (II., 94.)

[92] "Mémoires de Fréron." (Collection Barrière and Berville).
Letters of Fréron to Moise Bayle, Brumaire 23, Pluviose 5 and 11,
Novose 16, II, published by Moise Bayle, also details furnished by
Huard, pp. 350-365. - Archives Nationales, AF. II., 144. (Order of
representatives Fréron, Barras, Salicetti and Richard, Novose 17, year

[93] Mallet-Dupan, II., 17. - Guillon de Montléon, II., 259.

[94] Ibid., II., 281. (Decree of the Convention, Oct. 12); II. 312.
(Orders of Couthon and his colleagues, Oct. 25); II., 366-372
(Instructions of the temporary commission, Brumaire 26).

[95] Ibid. III., 153-156. Letter of Laporte to Couthon, April 13,

[96] The contemporary French Encyclopedia "QUID" ed. Lafont, 1996
states on page 755 that according to Louis Marie Prudhomme there were
31 000 victims at Lyons. (SR.)

[97] Ibid. II. 135-137. (Resolutions of the Revolutionary
Commission, Germinal 17.) and Letters of Cadillot to Robespierre,
Floréal, year II). III., 63.

[98] Guillon de Montléon, II., 399. (Letter of Perrotin, member of
the temporary commission to the revolutionary committee of Moulin.)
"The work before the new commission may be considered as an
Organization of the Septembrisade; the process will be the same but
legalized by an act passed."

[99] Buchez et Roux, XXIX., 192. (Decree of October 12).

[100] Ibid., XXX., 457. (Decree of November 23).

[101] "Mémoires de Fréron." (Letter of Fréron, Nivose 6). - Guillon
de Montléon, II., 391.

[102] Decrees of October 12 and December 24. - Archives Nationales,
AF. II., 44. The representatives on mission wanted to do the same
thing with Marseilles. (Orders of Fréron, Barras, Salicetti, and
Ricard, Nivôse 17, year II.) "The name of Marseilles, still borne by
this criminal city, shall be changed. The National Convention shall
be requested to give it another name. Meanwhile it shall remain
nameless and be thus known." In effect, in several subsequent
documents, Marseilles is called the nameless commune.

[103] Buchez et Roux, XXVIII., 204. (Session of June 24: "Strong
expressions of dissent are heard on the right." Legendre, "I demand
that the first rebel, the first man there (pointing to the "Right"
party) who interrupts the speaker, be sent to the Abbaye." Couhey,
indeed, was sent to the Abbaye for applauding a Federalist speech. -
Cf. on these three months. - Mortimer-Ternaux, vol. VIII.

[104] Buchez et Roux, XXIX., 175. - Dauban: "La Démagogie à Paris en
1793," 436 (Narrative by Dulaure, an eye-witness).

[105] There were really only twenty-two brought before the
revolutionary tribunal.

[106] Dauban, XXVI., p. 440. (Narrative of Blanqui, one of the

[107] Buchez et Roux. XXIX., 178, 179. Osselin: "I demand the decree
of accusation against them all." - Amar: "The apparently negative
conduct of the minority of the Convention since the 2nd of June, was a
new plot devised by Barbaroux." Robespierre: "If there are other
criminals among those you have placed under arrest the Committee of
General Security will present to you the nomenclature of them and you
will always be at liberty to strike."

[108] Ibid., XXIX., 432, 437, 447. - Report by Amar. (this report
served as the bill of indictment against them, "cowardly satellites of
royal despotism, vile agents of foreign tyrants." - Wallon, II., 407,
409. (Letter of Fouquier-Tinville to the convention). "After the
special debates, will not each of the accused demand a general
prosecution? The trial, accordingly, will be interminable. Besides,
one may ask why should there be witnesses? The convention, all France,
accuses those on trial. The evidence of their crimes is plain;
everybody is convinced of their guilt. . . . It is the Convention
which must remove all formalities that interfere with the course
pursued by the tribunal." - Moniteur, XVII., (Session of October 28),
291. The decree provoked by a petition of Jacobins, is passed on
motion of Osselin, aggravated by Robespierre.

[109] Louvet, "Mémoires," 321. (List of the Girondists who perished
or who were proscribed. Twenty-four fugitives survived.)

[110] Mortimer-Ternaux, VIII., 395, 416, 435. The terror and disgust
of the majority is seen in the small number of voters. Their
abstention from voting is the more significant in relation to the
election of the dictators. The members of the Committee of Public
Safety, elected on the 16th of July, obtain from one hundred to one
hundred and ninety-two votes. The members of the Committee of
Security obtain from twenty-two to one hundred and thirteen votes.
The members of the same committee, renewed on the 11th of September,
obtain from fifty-two to one hundred and eight votes. The judges of
the revolutionary tribunal, completed on the 3rd of August, obtain
from forty-seven to sixty-five votes. - Meillan, 85. (In relation to
the institution of the revolutionary government, on motion of Bazire,
Aug. 28). "Sixty or eighty deputies passed this decree. . . it
was preceded by another passed by a plurality of thirty against ten.
. . For two months the session the best attended, contains but one
hundred deputies. The Montagnards overran the departments to deceive
or intimidate the people. The rest, discouraged, keep away from the
meetings or take no part in the proceedings."

[111] The meaning and motives of this declaration are clearly
indicated in Bazire's speech. "Since the adoption of the
Constitution," he says, "Feuillantism has raised its head; a struggle
has arisen between energetic and moderate patriots. At the end of the
Constituent Assembly, the Feuillants possessed themselves of the words
law, order, public, peace, security, to enchain the zeal of the
friends of freedom; the same manœuvres are practiced to-day. You must
shatter the weapon in your enemies' hands, which they use against
you." - Durand-Maillane, 154. "The simple execution of constitutional
laws," said Bazire, "made for peaceable times, would be impotent among
the conspiracies that surround you." - Meillan, 108.

[112] Moniteur, XVIII, 106. (Report of Saint-Just on the organization
of the revolutionary government, October 10th, and the decree in
conformity therewith.) Ibid., 473. (Report of Billaud-Varennes on a
mode of provisional and revolutionary government, Nov. 18th, and
decree in conformity therewith.) - Ib., 479 (session of Nov. 22nd,
1793,.- Speech of Hébrard, spokesman of a deputation from Cantal). "A
central committee of surveillance, a revolutionary army, has been
established in our department. Aristocrats, suspects, the doubtful,
moderates, egoists, all gentlemen without distinguishing those who
have done nothing for the revolution from those who have acted against
it, await in retirement the ulterior measures required by the
interests of the Republic. I have said without distinction of the
indifferent from the suspects; for we hold to these words of Solon's:
" He who is not with us is against us."

[113] The trousers used in pre-Revolutionary France by the nobility
was called culottes, they terminated just below the knee where the
long cotton or silken stockings would begin. The less affluent used
long trousers and no socks and became known as the Sans-culottes which
became , as mentioned in vol. II. a nickname for the revolutionary
proletariat. (SR.)

[114] Moniteur, (Speech by Danton, March 26, 1794.) "In creating
revolutionary committees the desire was to establish a species of
dictatorship of citizens the most devoted to liberty over those who
rendered themselves suspects."

[115] Mallet-Dupan, II., 8. (February, 1794). "At this moment the
entire people is disarmed. Not a gun can be found either in town or
country. If anything attests the super-natural power which the
leaders of the Convention enjoy, it is to see, in one instant, through
one act of the will and nobody offering any resistance, or complaining
of it, the nation from Perpignan to Lille, deprived of every means of
defense against oppression, with a facility still more unprecedented
than that which attended the universal arming of the nation in 1789."
- "A Residence in France," II., 409. "The National Guard as a regular
institution was in great part suppressed after the summer of 1793,
those who composed it being gradually disarmed. Guard-mounting was
continued, but the citizens performing this service were, with very
few exceptions, armed with pikes, and these again were not fully
entrusted to them; each man, on quitting his post, gave up his arms
more punctually than if he had been bound to do so through
capitulation with a victorious enemy."

[116] Moniteur, XVIII., 106. (Report by Saint-Just, Oct. 10th).

[117] Ibid., 473. (Report of Billaud-Varennes, Nov. 13th).

[118] Ibid., XVIII., 591. (Speech by Couthon, December 4th). Ibid.,
Barère: "Electoral assemblies are monarchical institutions, they
attach to royalism, they must be specially avoided in revolutionary

[119] Mortimer-Ternaux, VIII., 40. (Decree passed on the proposition
of Danton, session of September 13th). The motive alleged by Danton
is that "members are still found on the committees whose opinions, at
least, approach federalism." Consequently the committees are purified,
and particularly the Committee of General Security. Six of its
members are stricken off (Sept. 14), and the list sent in by the
Committee of Public safety passes without discussion.

[120] Moniteur, XVIII., 592. (Session of December 4, speech by

[121] Miot de Melito, "Mémoires," I., 47.

[122] Buchez et Roux, XXVIII., 153. Mortimer-Ternaux, VIII., 443.
(Decree of September 28th). - Wallon, "Histoire du Tribunal
Révolutionaire de Paris," IV., 112.

[123] Buchez et Roux, XXXIV., 300. (Trial of Fouquier-Tinville and
associates). Bill of indictment: "One of these publicly boasted of
always having voted death. Others state that they were content to see
people to give their judgment; physical inspection alone determined
them to vote death. Another said, that when there was no offense
committed it was necessary to imagine one. Another is a regular sot
and has never sat in judgment but in a state of intoxication. Others
came to the bench only to fire their volleys." Etc. (Supporting
evidence.) - Observe, moreover, that judges and juries are bound to
kill under penalty of death (Ibid.,30)." Fouquier-Tinville states that
on the 22nd of Prairial he took the same step (to resign) with
Chatelet, Brochet and Lerry, when they met Robespierre, returning to
the National Convention arm-in-arm with Barère. Fouquier adds, that
they were treated as aristocrats and anti-revolutionaries, and
threatened with death if they refused to remain on their posts."
Analogous declarations by Pigeot, Ganne, Girard, Dupley, Foucault,
Nollin and Madre. "Sellier adds, that the tribunal having
remonstrated against the law of Prairial 22, he was threatened with
arrest by Dumas. Had we resigned, he says, Dumas would have
guillotined us.

[124] Moniteur, XXIV., 12. (Session of Ventôse 29, year III., speech
by Baileul). "Terror subdued all minds, suppressed all emotions; it
was the force of the government, while such was this government that
the numerous inhabitants of a vast territory seemed to have lost the
qualities which distinguish man from a domestic animal. They seemed
even to have no life except what the government accorded to them.
Human personality no longer existed; each individual was simply a
machine, going, coming, thinking or not thinking as he was impelled or
stimulated by tyranny."

[125] Decree of Frimaire 14, year II., Dec. 4, 1793.

[126] Moniteur, XVII., 473, 474, 478. (Speech by Billaud-Varennes).
"The sword of Damocles must henceforth be brandished over the entire
surface." This expression of Billaud sums up the spirit of every new

[127] Moniteur, XVIII., 275. (Session of Oct. 26. 1793, speech by
Barère.) "This is the most revolutionary step you can take."

[128] Ibid., 520. (Report of Barère and decree in conformity). "The
representatives sent on mission are required to conform strictly to
the acts of the Committee of Public Safety. Generals and other agents
of the executive power will, under no pretext, obey any special order,
that they may refuse to carry out the said acts." - Moniteur, XVIII.,
291. (Report by Barère, Oct. 29, 1793.) At this date one hundred and
forty representatives are on mission.

[129] Archives Nationales, AF. II., 22. (Papers of the 'Committee of
Public Safety. Note on the results of the revolutionary government
without either date or signature.) "The law of Frimaire 14 created two
centers of influence from which action spread, in the sense of the
Committee, and which affected the authorities. These two pivots of
revolutionary rule outside the Committee were the representatives of
the people on missions and the national agents controlling the
district committees. The word revolutionary government alone
exercised an incalculable magical influence." - Mallet-Dupan,
"Mémoires," II., p. 2, and following pages.



I. The Doctrine.

Program of the Jacobin party. -- Abstract principle and spontaneous
development of the theory.

Nothing is more dangerous than a general idea in narrow and empty
minds: as they are empty, it finds no knowledge there to interfere
with it; as they are narrow it is not long before it occupies the
place entirely. Henceforth they no longer belong to themselves but
are mastered by it; it works in them and through them, the man, in the
true sense of the word, being possessed. Something which is not
himself, a monstrous parasite, a foreign and disproportionate
conception, lives within him, developing and giving birth to the evil
purposes with which it is pregnant. He did not foresee that he would
have them; he did not know what his dogma contained, what venomous and
murderous consequences were to issue from it. They issue from it
fatally, each in its turn, and under the pressure of circumstances, at
first anarchical consequences and now despotic consequences. Having
obtained power, the Jacobin brings his fixed idea along with him;
whether at the head of the government or in opposition to it, this
idea is fruitful, and the all-powerful dogma projects over a new
domain the innumerable links of its endless chain.

II. A Communist State..

The Jacobin concept of Society. -- The Contrat-Social. -- Total
surrender of the Individual to the Community. -- Everything belongs
to the State. -- Confiscations and Sequestrations. -- Pre-emption
and requisition and requisition of produce and merchandise. --
Individuals belong to the State.-- Drafts of persons for Military
service. -- Drafts of persons for the Civil service. -- The State
philanthropist, educator, theologian, moralist, censor and director of
ideas and intimate feelings.

Let us trace this inward development and go back, along with the
Jacobin, to first principles, to the original pact, to the first
organization of society. There is but one just and sound society, the
one founded on the "contrat-social," and

"the clauses of this contract, fully understood, reduce themselves to
one, the total transfer of each individual, with all his rights, to
the community, . . . . each surrendering himself up absolutely,
just as he actually stands, he and all his forces, of which the
property he possesses forms a part."[1]

There must be no exception or reservation. Nothing of what he
previously was, or had, now belongs to him in his own right;
henceforth, what he is, or has, devolves upon him only through
delegation. His property and his person now form a portion of the
commonwealth. If he is in possession of these, his ownership is at
second hand; if he derives any benefit there from, it is as a
concession. He is their depository, trustee and administrator, and
nothing more.[2] In other words, with respect to these he is simply a
managing director, that is to say a functionary like others, with a
precarious appointment and always revocable by the State which has
appointed him.

"As nature gives to every man absolute power over the members of his
body the social pact gives the social body absolute power over all its

The State, as omnipotent sovereign and universal proprietor, exercises
at discretion, its boundless rights over persons and things;
consequently we, its representatives, take all things and persons into
our hands; as they belong to it, so do they belong to us.

We have confiscated the possessions of the clergy, amounting to about
four billion livres; we confiscate the property of the emigrés,
amounting to three billion livres;[3] we confiscate the property of
the guillotined and deported: all this amounts to some hundreds of
millions; later on, the count will be made, because the list remains
open and is being daily added to. We will sequestrate the property of
"suspects," which gives us the right to use it: here are many hundred
millions more; after the war and the banishment of "suspects," we
shall seize the property along with its income: here, again, are
billions of capital.[4] Meanwhile we take the property of hospitals
and of other benevolent institutions, about eight hundred million
livres ; we take the property of factories, of endowments, of
educational institutions, and of literary and scientific associations:
another lot of millions.[5] We take back the domains rented or
surrendered by the State for the past three centuries and more, which
gives again about a couple of billions.[6] We take the possessions of
the communes up to the amount of their indebtedness. We have already
received as inheritance the ancient domains of the crown, also the
later domain of the civil list. More than three-fifths[7] of the soil
thus falls into our hands, which three-fifths are much the best
stocked; they comprise almost all the large and fine edifices,
châteaux, abbeys, mansions, houses of superintendents and nearly all
the royal, episcopal, seigniorial and bourgeois stock of rich and
elegant furniture; all plate, libraries, pictures and artistic objects
accumulated for centuries. -- Remark, again, the seizure of specie
and all other articles of gold and silver; in the months alone of
November and December, 1793, this swoop puts into our coffers three or
four hundred millions,[8] not assignats, but ringing coin. In short,
whatever the form of established capital may be we take all we can get
hold of, probably more than three-fourths of it. -- There remains the
portion which is not fixed capital, that which disappears in use,
namely, all that is consumed, all the fruits of the soil, every
description of provision, all the products of human art and labor
which contribute the maintenance of existence. Through "the right of
pre-emption" and through the right of "requisition," "the Republic
becomes temporary proprietor of whatever commerce, manufacture and
agriculture have produced and added to the soil of France: "all food
and merchandise is ours before being owned by their holder. We carry
out of his house whatever suits us; we pay him for this with worthless
paper; we frequently do not pay him at all. For greater convenience,
we seize objects directly and wherever we find them, grain in the
farmer's barn, hay in the reaper's shed, cattle in the fold, wine in
the vats, hides at the butcher's, leather in the tanneries, soap,
tallow, sugar, brandy, cloths, linens and the rest, in stores, depots
and ware-houses. We stop vehicles and the horses in the street. We
enter the premises of mail or coach contractors and empty their
stables. We carry away kitchen utensils to obtain the copper ; we
turn people out of their rooms to get their beds; we strip them of
their coats and shirts; in one day, we make ten thousand individuals
in one town go barefoot.[9]

"When public needs require it," says representative Isoré, "all
belongs to the people and nothing to individuals."

By virtue of the same right we dispose of persons as we do of things.
We decree the levy en masse and, stranger still, we carry it out, at
least in many parts of the country, and we keep it up for months: in
Vendée, and in the northern and eastern departments, it is the entire
male, able-bodied population, up to fifty years of age, which we drive
in herds against the enemy.[10] We afterwards sign an entire
generation on, all young men between eighteen and twenty-five, almost
a million of men:[11] whoever fails to appear is put in irons for ten
years; he is regarded as a deserter; his property is confiscated, and
his family is punished as well; later he is classed with the
emigrants, condemned to death, and his father, mother and progenitors,
treated as "suspects," imprisoned and their possessions taken. -- To
clothe, shoe and equip our recruits, we must have workmen; we summon
to head-quarters all gunsmiths, blacksmiths and locksmiths, all the
tailors and shoemakers of the district, "foremen, apprentices and
boys;"[12] we imprison those who do not come ; we install the rest in
squads in public buildings and assign them their tasks ; they are
forbidden to furnish anything to private individuals. Henceforth,
French shoemakers must work only for us, and each must deliver to us,
under penalty, so many pairs of shoes per decade.[13] -- But, the
civil service is no less important than the military service, and to
feed the people is as urgent as it is to defend them. Hence we put
"in requisition all who have anything to do with handling,
transporting or selling provisions and articles of prime
necessity,"[14] especially combustibles and food -- wood-choppers,
carters, raftsmen, millers, reapers, threshers, wine-growers, movers,
field-hands, "country people" of every kind and degree. Their hands
belong to us: we make them bestir themselves and work under the
penalty of fine and imprisonment. There shall be no idlers,
especially in crop time: we take the entire population of a commune or
canton into the fields, comprising "the lazy of both sexes;"[15]
willingly or not, they shall do the harvesting under our eyes, banded
together in fields belonging to others as well as in their own, and
they shall put the sheaves indiscriminately into the public granary.

But in labor all hangs together, from the initial undertaking to the
final result, from the raw material to the most finished production,
from the great manufacturer down to the pettiest jobber; grasping the
first link of the chain involves grasping the last one. The
requisition here again answers the purpose: we apply it to all
pursuits; each is bound to continue his own; the manufacturer to
manufacture, the trader to trade, even to his own detriment, because,
if he works at a loss, the public profits, and every good citizen
ought to prefer public profit to his own profit.[16] In effect, let
his office be what it will, he is an employee of the community;
therefore, the community may not only prescribe task-work to him, but
select his task; it need not consult him in the matter, for he has no
right to refuse. Hence it is that we appoint or maintain people in
spite of themselves, in the magistracy, in the army and in every other
species of employment. In vain may they excuse themselves or try get
out of the way; they must remain or become generals, judges, mayors,
national agents, town councilors, commissioners of public welfare or
administration,[17] even against their will. Too bad for them if the
responsibility is expensive or dangerous, if they have no time for
leisure, if they do not feel themselves qualified for it, if the rank
or services seems to them to lead to a prison or the guillotine; when
they declare that the work is forced labor we reply that they liable
to work for the State. -- Such is, henceforth, the condition of all
Frenchmen, and likewise of all French women. We force mothers to take
their daughters to the meetings of popular clubs. We oblige women to
parade in companies, and march in procession at republican festivals;
we invade the family and select the most beautiful to be draped as
antique goddesses, and publicly promenaded on a chariot; we sometimes
even designate those among the rich who must wed patriots[18]: there
is no reason why marriage, which is the most important of all
services, should not be put in requisition like the others. --
Accordingly, we enter families, we carry of the child, we subject him
to a civic education. We are schoolmasters, philanthropists,
theologians, and moralists. We impose by force our religion and our
ritual, our morality and our social customs. We lord it over private
lives and consciences; we dictate ideas, we scrutinize and punish
secret inclinations, we tax, imprison and guillotine not only the
evil-disposed, but again "the indifferent, the moderate and the
egoists."[19] Over and above his visible acts we dictate to the
individual his ideas and his deepest feelings; we prescribe to him his
affections as well as his beliefs, and, according to a preconceived
type, we refashion his intellect, his conscience and his


The object of the State is the regeneration of man. - Two sides to
this undertaking. - Restoration of the Natural man. - Formation of
the Social man. - Grandeur of the undertaking. - To carry it out,
the use of force is a right and a duty.

There is nothing arbitrary in this operation; for the ideal model is
traced beforehand. If the State is omnipotent, it is for the purpose
of "regenerating Mankind," and the theory which confers its rights, at
the same time assigns to it its object. In what does this
regeneration of Man consist? - Consider a domestic animal such as a
dog or a horse. Scrawny, battered, tied up or chained, a thousand are
strained and overworked compared to the few basking in idleness, dying
from rich living; and with all of them, whether fat or lean, the soul
is more spoiled than the body. A superstitious respect keeps them
cowed under their burden, or makes them cringe before their master.
Servile, slothful, gluttonous, feeble, incapable of resisting
adversity, if they have acquired the miserable skills of slavery, they
have also contracted its needs, weaknesses and vices. A crust of
absurd habits and perverse inclinations, a sort of artificial and
supplementary being, has covered over their original nature. - And,
on the other hand, the better side of their original nature has had no
chance to develop itself, for lack of use. Separated from the other,
these two parts of its nature have not acquired the sentiment of
community; they do not know, like their brethren of the prairies, how
to help each other and subordinate private interests to the interests
of the flock. Each pulls his own way, nobody cares for others, all
are egoists; social interests have miscarried. - Such is Man
nowadays, a disfigured slave that has to be restored. Our task,
accordingly is two-fold: we have to demolish and we have to construct;
we must first set free the natural Man that we may afterwards build up
the social Man.

It is a vast enterprise and we are conscious of its vastness.

"It is necessary," says Billaud-Varennes,[20] "that the people to
which one desires to restore their freedom should in some way be
created anew, since old prejudices must be destroyed, old habits
changed, depraved affections improved, superfluous wants restricted,
and inveterate vices extirpated."

But the task is sublime, as the aim is "to fulfill the desires of
nature,[21] accomplish the destinies of humanity, and fulfill the
promises of philosophy".-

"Our purpose," says Robespierre,[22] "is to substitute morality for
egoism, honesty for honor, principles for custom, duties for
etiquette, the empire of reason for the tyranny of fashion, contempt
of vice for indifference to misfortune, pride for arrogance, a noble
mind for vanity, love of glory for the love of profit, good people for
high society, merit for intrigue, genius for intellectual brilliancy,
the charm of contentment for the boredom of voluptuous pleasure, the
majesty of Man for the high-breeding of the great, a magnanimous,
powerful and happy people for an amiable, frivolous and wretched
people, that is to say, every virtue and miracle of the Republic in
the place of the vices and absurdities of the monarchy."

We will do this, the whole of it, whatever the cost. Little do we
care for the present generation: we are working for generations to

"Man, forced to isolate himself from society, anchors himself in the
future and presses to his heart a posterity innocent of existing

He sacrifices to this work his own and the lives of others.

"On the day that I am persuaded," writes Saint-Just, "that it is
impossible to render the French people kind, energetic, tender and
relentless against tyranny and injustice, I will stab myself."

- "What I have done in the South I will do in the North," says Baudot;
"I will convert them into patriots; either they or I must die." -

"We will make France a cemetery," says Carrier, "rather than not
regenerate it our own way."

In vain may the ignorant or the vicious protest; they protest because
they are ignorant or vicious. In vain may the individual plead his
personal rights; he has none: through the social contract, which is
obligatory and solely valid, he has surrendered his entire being;
having made no reservation, "he has nothing to claim." Undoubtedly,
some will grumble, because, with them, the old wrinkle remains and
artificial habits still cover over the original instinct. Untie the
mill-horse, and he will still go round in the same track; let the
mountebank's dog be turned loose, and he will still raise himself on
his hind-legs; if we would bring them back to their natural gait we
must handle them roughly. In like manner, to restore Man to his
normal attitude, you must handle him roughly. But, in this respect,
have no scruples,[24] for we do not bow him down, we raise him up ; as
Rousseau says, "we compel him to be free;" we confer on him the
greatest boon a human being can receive; we bring him back to nature
and to justice. For this reason, now that he is warned, if he
persists in his resistance, he is a criminal and merits every kind of
chastisements[25], for, he declares himself a rebel and a perjurer,
inimical to humanity, and a traitor to the social compact.


Two distortions of the natural man. - Positive religion. -
Proscription of the orthodox cult. - Measures against unsworn
priests. - Measures against the loyal orthodox. - Destruction of the
constitutional cult. - Pressure on the sworn priests. - Churches
closed and ceremonies suppressed. - Continuation of these
persecutions until the Consulate.

Let us (Taine lets the Jacobin say) begin by figuring to ourselves the
natural man; certainly we of to-day have some difficulty in
recognizing him; he bears but little resemblance to the artificial
being who (in 1789) stands in his shoes, the creature which an
antiquated system of constraint and fraud has deformed, held fast in
his hereditary harness of thralldom and superstition, blinded by his
religion and held in check by prestige, exploited by his government
and tamed by dint of blows, always with a halter on, always put to
work in the wrong way and against nature, whatever stall he may
occupy, high or low, however full or empty his crib may be, now in
menial service like the blinded hack-horse turning the mill-wheel, and
now on parade like a trained dog which, decked with flags, shows off
its antics before the public.[26] But imagine all these out of the
way, the flags and the bands, the fetters and compartments in the
social stable, and you will see a new man appearing, the original man,
intact and healthy in mind, soul and body. - In this condition, he is
free of prejudice, he is not ensnared in a net of lies, he is neither
Jew, Protestant nor Catholic; if he tries to imagine the universe as a
whole and the principle of events, he will not let himself be duped by
a pretended revelation; he will listen only to his own reason; he may
chance, now and then, to become an atheist, but, generally, he will
settle down into a deist. - In this condition of things he is not
fettered by a hierarchy; he is neither noble nor commoner, land-owner
nor tenant, inferior nor superior. Independent of the others, all are
equal, and, if all agree in the forming of an association, their
common-sense will stipulate that its first article shall secure the
maintenance of this primordial equality. - Such is man, as nature
made him, as history has unmade him, and as the Revolution is to re-
make him.[27] One cannot batter away too vigorously against the two
casings that hold him tight, one the positive religion which narrows
and perverts his intellect, and the other the social inequality which
perverts and weakens his will;[28] for, at every effort, some band is
loosened, and, as each band gives way, the paralyzed limbs recover
their action.

Let us trace, (say the Jacobins), the progress of this liberating
operation. -- Always timid and at loggerheads with the ecclesiastical
organization, the Constituent Assembly could take only half-measures;
it cut into the bark without daring to drive the ax into the solid
trunk. Its work reduced itself down to the confiscation of clerical
property, to a dissolution of the religious orders, and to a check
upon the authority of the pope; its object was to establish a new
church and transform priests into sworn functionaries of the State,
and this was all. As if Catholicism, even administrative, would cease
to be Catholicism! As if the noxious tree, once stamped with the
public seal, would cease to be noxious! Instead of the old laboratory
of falsehoods being destroyed another one is officially established
alongside of it, so that there are now two instead of one. With or
without the official label it operates in every commune in France and,
as in the past, it distributes with impunity its drug to the public.
This is precisely what we, (the Jacobins) cannot tolerate. - We must,
indeed, keep up appearances, and, as far as words go, we will decree
anew freedom of worship.[29] But, in fact and in practice, we will
demolish the laboratory and prevent the drug from being sold; there
shall no longer be any Catholic worship in France, no baptism, no
confession, no marriage, no extreme unction, no mass; nobody shall
preach or listen to a sermon; nobody shall administer or receive a
sacrament, save in secret, and with the prospect before him of
imprisonment or the scaffold. - With this object in mind, we do one
thing at a time. There is no problem with the Church claiming to be
be orthodox: its members having refused to take the oath are outlaws;
one excludes oneself from an association when one repudiates the pact;
they have lost their qualifications as citizens and have become
ordinary foreigners under the surveillance of the police; and, as they
propagate around them discontent and disobedience, they are not only
foreigners but seditious persons, enemies in disguise, the authors of
a secret and widespread Vendée; it is not necessary for us to
prosecute them as charlatans, it is sufficient to strike them down as
rebels. As such, we have already banished from France all unsworn
ecclesiastics, about forty thousand priests, and we are deporting
those who did not cross the frontier within the allotted time: we
allow only sexagenarians and the infirm to remain on French soil, and,
again, as prisoners and in seclusion; they incur the penalty of death
if they do not of their own accord report to the prisons of their
country town; the banished who return home incur the penalty of death,
and there is penalty of death against those who shelter priests.[30]
Consequently, in default of an orthodox clergy, there must no longer
be an orthodox worship; the most dangerous of the two manufactories of
superstition is shut down. That the sale of this poisonous food may
be more surely stopped we punish those who ask for it the same as
those who provide it, and we prosecute not only the pastors, but,
again, the fanatics of the flock; if these are not the authors of the
ecclesiastical rebellion they are its promoters and accomplices. Now,
thanks to the schism among them, we already know who they are, and, in
each commune, the list is made out. We style as fanatics all who
reject the ministry of the sworn priests, the bourgeois who calls him
an interloper, all the nuns who do not confess to him, all the
peasants who stay away from his mass, all the old women who do not
kiss his paten, and all the relations of an infant who do not wish him
to baptize it. All these people and those who associate with them,
whether allied, close relatives, friends, guests or visitors, of
whatever class, either men or women, are seditious at heart, and,
therefore, "suspects." We deprive them of their electoral rights, we
withdraw their pensions, we impose on them special taxation, we
confine them to their dwellings, we imprison them by thousands, and
guillotine them by hundreds; the rest will gradually become
discouraged and abandon an impracticable cult.[31] - The lukewarm
remain, the sheep-like crowd which holds on to its rites: the
Constituent Assembly will seize them wherever it finds them, and, as
they are the same in the authorized as in the refractory church,
instead of seeking them with the priest who does not submit, it will
seek them with the one who does. But it will proceed without zeal,
without confidence, often even with distrust, questioning itself
whether these rites, being administered by one who is excommunicated,
are not of doubtful quality. Such a church is not sound, and we have
only to give it a push to knock it down. We will do all we can to
discredit constitutional priests: we will prohibit them from wearing
the ecclesiastical costume, and force them by law to bestow the
nuptial benediction on their apostate brethren; we will employ terror
and imprisonment to constrain them to marry; we will given them no
respite until they return to civil life, some admitting themselves to
be impostors, many by surrendering their priestly credentials, and
most of them by resigning their places.[32] Deprived of leaders by
these voluntary or forced desertions, the Catholic flock will allow
itself to be easily led out of the fold, while, to remove all
temptation to go back, we will tear the enclosure down. In the
communes in which we are masters we will make the Jacobins of the
place demand the abolition of worship, while, in other communes, we
will get rid of this authoritatively through our missionary
representatives. We will close the churches, demolish the steeples,
melt down the bells, send all sacred vessels to the Mint, smash the
images of the saints, desecrate relics, prohibit religious burials,
impose the civil burial, prescribe rest during the décadi[33] and
labor on Sundays. No exception whatever. Since all positive
religions deal in error, we will outlaw them all: we will exact from
Protestant clergymen a public abjuration; we will not let the Jews
practice their ceremonies; we will have "an 'auto-da-fé,' of all the
books and symbols of the faith of Moses."[34] But, of all these
various juggling machines, the worst is the Catholic, the most hostile
to nature due to the celibacy of its priesthood, the most opposed to
reason in the absurdity of its dogmas, the most opposed to democracy,
since its powers are delegated from above downwards, the best
protected from civil authority because its head is outside of
France.[35] Accordingly, we must be most furious against it; even
after Thermidor,[36] we will keep up constant persecution, great and
small; up to the Consulate, we will deport and shoot the priests, we
will revive against fanatics the laws of the Reign of Terror, we will
hamper their movements, we will exhaust their patience; we will keep
them anxious during the day and restless at night; we will not give
them a moment's repose.[37] We will restrict the population to the
decadal cult only; we will change the market-days, so that no believer
shall be able to buy fish on a fast-day.[38] - We have nothing more at
heart than this war against Catholicism; no article on our program
will be carried out with more determination and perseverance. The
question involved is truth. We are its guardians, its champions, its
ministers, and never did the servants of truth apply force with such
minute detail and such effect to the extirpation of error.

V. Equality and Inequality.

Social inequality. - Malice of the aristocratic race. - Measures
against the King and Nobles. - Malice of the aristocracy of wealth.
- Measures against landowners, capitalists and people with incomes. -
Destruction of large fortunes. - Measures taken to prevent the large
fortunes in reconstituting themselves.

Next to superstition there is another monster to be destroyed, and,
also here it was the Constituent Assembly that had begun the assault.
But it had also, through lack of courage or of logic, it stopped,
after two or three feeble blows:
* Banning of heraldic insignia, titles of nobility and territorial
* abolition, without indemnity, of all the dues belonging to the
seigneur by right of his former proprietorship over persons;
* abolition of the permission to purchase other feudal rights at a
price agreed upon,
* limitation of royal power.
This was little enough. When it concerns usurpers and tyrants they
must be treated in another fashion; for their privilege is, of itself,
an outrage on the rights of man. Consequently,

* we (the Jacobins) have dethroned the King and cut off his head;[39]
* we have suppressed, without indemnity, the entire feudal debt,
comprising the rights vested in the seigneurs by virtue of their being
owners of real-estate, and merely lessors;
* we have abandoned their persons and possessions to the claims and
rancor of local jacqueries;
* we have reduced them to emigration;
* we imprison them if they stay at home;
* we guillotine them if they return.

(As the aristocrats are)Reared in habits of supremacy, and convinced
that they are of a different species from other men, the prejudices of
their race are incorrigible; they are incapable of companionship with
their social equals; we cannot too carefully crush them out, or, at
the very least, hold them firmly down.[40] Besides, they are guilty
from the fact of having existed; for, they have taken both the lead
and the command without any right to do so, and, in violation of all
right, they have misused mankind; having enjoyed their rank, it is but
just that they should pay for it. Privileged in reverse, they must be
treated the same as vagabonds were treated under their reign,

* stopped by the police and sent off with their families into the
* crowded into prisons,
* executed in a mass, or, at least,
* expelled from Paris, the seaports and fortified towns, put on the
* compelled to present themselves daily at the municipality,
* deprived of their political rights,
* excluded from public offices, "popular clubs, committees of
supervision and from communal and section assemblages."[41]
Even this is indulgence; branded with infamy, we ought to class them
with galley-slaves, and set them to work on the public highways.[42]

"Justice condemns the people's enemies and the partisans of tyranny
to eternal slavery."[43]

But that is not enough, because, apart from the aristocracy of rank,
there are other aristocracies which the Constituent Assembly has left
untouched,[44] especially the aristocracy of wealth. Of all the
sovereignties, that of the rich man over the poor one is the most
burdensome. In effect, not only, in contempt of equality, does he
consume more than his share of the common products of labor, and
without producing anything himself, but again, in contempt of liberty,
he may fix wages as he pleases, and, in contempt of humanity, he
always fixes them at the lowest point. Between himself and the needy
he never makes other than the most unjust contracts. Sole possessor
of land, capital and the necessities of life, he imposes conditions
which others, deprived of means, are forced to accept at the risk of
starvation; he speculates at his discretion on wants which cannot be
put off, and makes the most of his monopoly by maintaining the poor in
their destitute situations. That is why, writes Saint Just:[45]

"Opulence is a disgrace; for every thousand livres expenditure of
this kind a smaller number of natural or adopted children can be
looked after." -

"The richest Frenchman," says Robespierre, "ought not to have now more
three thousand livres rental." -

Beyond what is strictly necessary, no property is legitimate; we have
the right to take the superfluous wherever we find it. Not only to-
day, because we now require it for the State and for the poor, but at
all times, because the superfluous, in all times, confers on its owner
an advantage in contracts, a control of wages, an arbitrary power over
the means of living, in short, a supremacy of condition worse than
preeminence in rank. Consequently, our hand is not only against the
nobles, but also against the rich and well-to-do bourgeois[46] the
large land-owners and capitalists; we are going to demolish their
crafty feudalism from top to bottom.[47] - In the first place, and
merely through the effect of the new institutions, we prevent any
capitalist from deducting, as he is used to do, the best portion of
the fruits of another's labor; the hornets shall no longer, year after
year, consume the honey of the bees. To bring this about, we have
only to let the assignats (paper money) and their forced rate (of
exchange) work things out. Through the depreciation of paper-money,
the indolent land-owner or capitalist sees his income melting away in
his hands; his receipts consist only of nominal values. On the 1st of
January, his tenant pays him really for a half term instead of a full
term; on the 1st of March, his farmer settles his account with a bag
of grain.[48] The effect is just the same as if we had made fresh
contracts, and reduced by one-half, three-quarters, or, even more, the
rate of interest on loans, the rent of houses and the leases of farm
lands. - Whilst the revenue of the landlord evaporates, his capital
melts away, and we do the best we can to help this along. If he has
claims on ancient corporations or civil and religious establishments
of any description, whether provincial governments, congregations,
associations, endowments or hospitals, we withdraw his special
guarantee; we convert his title-deeds into a state annuity, we combine
his private fortune with the public fortune whether he will or not, we
drag him into the universal bankruptcy, toward which we are conducting
all the creditors of the Republic.[49] - Besides, to ruin him, we
have more direct and prompt means. If an émigré, and there are
hundreds of thousands of émigrés, we confiscate his possessions. If
he has been guillotined or deported, and there are tens of thousands
of these, we confiscate his possessions. If he is "recognized as an
enemy of the Revolution,"[50] and "all the rich pray for the counter-
revolution,"[51] we sequestrate his property, enjoying the usufruct of
it until peace is declared, and we shall have the property after the
war is over. Usufruct or property, the State, in either case,
inherits; at the most we might grant temporary aid to the family,
which is not even entitled to maintenance.

It is impossible to uproot fortunes more thoroughly. As to those
which are not at once eradicated we get rid of them piecemeal, and
against these we employ two axes:

On the one hand, we decree the principle of progressive taxation, and
on this basis we establish the forced loan:[52] in incomes, we
distinguish between the essential and the surplus; we fix according as
the excess is greater or less we take a quarter, a third or the half
of it, and, when above nine thousand francs, the whole; beyond its
small alimentary reserve, the most opulent family will keep only four
thousand five hundred francs income.

On the other hand, we cut deep into capital through revolutionary
taxes; our committees and provincial proconsuls levy arbitrarily what
suits them, three hundred, five hundred, up to one million two hundred
thousand francs,[53] on this or that banker, trader, bourgeois or
widow, payable within a week; all the worse for the person taxed if he
or she has no money on hand and is unable to borrow it; we declare
them "suspects," we imprison them, we sequestrate their property and
the State enjoys it in their place.

In any event, even when the amount is paid, we force him or her to
deposit their silver and gold coin in our hands, sometimes with
assignats as security, and often nothing; henceforth, money must
circulate and the precious metals are in requisition;[54] everybody
will deliver up what plate he possesses. And let nobody presume to
conceal his hoard; all treasure, whether silver-plate, diamonds,
ingots, gold or silver, coined or un-coined, "discovered, or that may
be discovered, buried in the ground or concealed in cellars, inside of
walls or in garrets, under floors, pavements, or hearthstones, or in
chimneys and other hiding places,"[55] becomes the property of the
Republic, with a premium of twenty per cent. in assignats to the
informer. -- As, furthermore, we make requisitions for bed-linen,
beds, clothes, provisions, wines and the rests, along with specie and
precious metals, the condition of the mansion may be imagined,
especially after we have lodged in it; it is the same as if the house
had been on fire; all movable property and all real estate have
perished. - Now that both are destroyed they must not be allowed to
accumulate again. To ensure this,

1. we abolish, according to rule, the freedom of bequest,[56]
2. we prescribe equal and obligatory divisions of all
3. we include bastards in this under the same title as legitimate
4. we admit representation à l'infini,[58] "in order to multiply
heirs and parcel out inheritances;"[59]
5. we reduce the disposable portion to one-tenth, in the direct line,
and one-sixth in a collateral line;
6. we forbid any gift to persons whose income exceeds one thousand
quintals of grain;
7. we inaugurate adoption, "an admirable institution," and
essentially republican, "since it brings about a division of large
properties without a crisis."
Already, in the Legislative Assembly a deputy had stated that "equal
rights could be maintained only by a persistent tendency to uniformity
of fortunes."[60]

We have provided for this for the present day and we likewise provide
for it in the future. - None of the vast tumors which have sucked the
sap of the human plant are to remain; we have cut them away with a few
telling blows, while the steady-moving machine, permanently erected by
us, will shear off their last tendrils should they change to sprout


Conditions requisite for making a citizen. - Plans for suppressing
poverty. Measures in favor of the poor.

In returning Man to his natural condition we have prepared for the
advent of the Social Man. The object now is to form the citizen, and
this is possible only through a leveling of conditions. In a well
made society there shall be "neither rich nor poor"[61]: we have
already destroyed the opulence which corrupts; it now remains for us
to suppress the poverty which degrades. Under the tyranny of material
things, which is as oppressive as the tyranny of men, Man falls below
himself. Never will a citizen be made out of a poor fellow condemned
to remain valet, hireling or beggar, reduced to thinking only of
himself and his daily bread, asking in vain for work, or, plodding
when he gets it, twelve hours a day at a monotonous pursuit, living
like a beast of burden and dying in a alms-house.[62] He should have
his own bread, his own roof, and all that is indispensable for life;
he must not be overworked, nor suffer anxiety or constraint;

"he must live independently, respect himself, have a tidy wife and
healthy and robust children."[63]

The community should guarantee him comfort, security, the certainty of
not going hungry if he becomes infirm, and, if he dies, of not leaving
his family in want.

"It is not enough," says Barère,[64] "to bleed the rich, to pull down
colossal fortunes; the slavery of poverty must be banished from the
soil of the Republic. No more beggars, no more almsgiving, no poor-

"The poor and unfortunates," says Saint Just, "are the powerful of
the earth; they have a right to speak as masters to the governments
which neglect them;[65] they have a right to national charity.... In
a democracy under construction, every effort should be made to free
people from having to battle for the bare minimum needed for survival;
by labor if he is fit for work, by education if he is a child, or with
public assistance if he is an invalid or in old age."[66]

And never had the moment been so favorable. "Rich in property, the
Republic now expects to use the many millions the rich would have
spent on a counter revolution for the improvement of the conditions of
its less fortunate citizens. . . Those who would assassinate
liberty have made it the richer. The possessions of conspirators
exist for the benefit of the unfortunate."[67] -- Let the poor take
with a clear conscience: it is not a charity but "an indemnity" which
we provide for them; we save their pride by providing for their
comfort, and we relieve them without humiliating them.

"We leave charity and benevolent works to the monarchies; this
insolent and shabby way of furnishing assistance is fit only for
slaves and masters; we substitute for it a system of national works ,
on a grand scale, over the whole territory of the Republic."[68]

On the other hand, we cause a statement to be drawn up in each
commune, of "the condition of citizens without property," and "of
national possessions not disposed of;" we divide these possession in
small lots; we distribute them "in the shape of national sales" to
poor folks able to work. We give, "through the form of rental, "an
acre to each head of a family who has less than an acre of his own.
"We thus bind all citizens to the country as well as to property. We
restore idle and robust arms to the soil, and lost or weakened
families to the workshops in the towns." - As to old and infirm
farmers or craftsmen, also poor mothers, wives and widows of artisans
and farmers, we keep in each department a "big ledger of national
welfare;" we inscribe thereon for every thousand inhabitants, four
farmers, two mechanics, five women, either mothers or widows; each
registered person shall be pensioned by the State, the same as a
maimed soldier; labor-invalids are as respectable as war-invalids. -
Over and above those who are thus aided on account of poverty, we
relieve and elevate the entire poor class, not alone the thirteen
hundred thousand destitutes counted in France,[69] but, again, all
who, having little or no means on hand, live from day to day on what
they can earn. We have passed a law[70] by which the public treasury
shall, through a tax on large fortunes, "furnish to each commune or
district the necessary funds for adapting the price of bread to the
rate of wages." Our representatives in the provinces impose on the
wealthy the obligation of "lodging, feeding, and clothing all infirm,
aged, and indigent citizens and orphans of their respective
cantons."[71] Through the decree on monopolization and the
establishment of the "maximum" we bring within reach of the poor all
objects of prime necessity. We pay them forty sous a day for
attending district meetings; and three francs a day for serving on
committees of surveillance. We recruit from amongst them our
revolutionary army;[72] we select amongst them the innumerable
custodians of sequesters: in this way, hundreds of thousands of sans-
culottes enter into the various public services. - At last, the poor
are taken out of a state of poverty: each will now have his plot of
ground, his salary or pension;

"in a well-ordered republic nobody is without some property."[73]

Henceforth, among individuals, the difference in welfare will be
small; from the maximum to the minimum, there will be only a degree,
while there will be found in every dwelling about the same sort of
household, a plain, simple household, that of the small rural
proprietor, well-off farmer or factory foreman; that of Rousseau at
Montmorency, or that of the Savoyard Vicar, or that of Duplay, the
carpenter, with whom Robespierre lodges.[74] There will be no more
domestic servitude: "only the bond of help and gratitude will exists
between employer and employee."[75] - He who works for another citizen
belongs to his family and sits at his table."[76] - Through the
transformation of lower social classes into middle class conditions we
restore human dignity, and out of the proletarian, the valet and the
workman, we begin to liberate the citizen.


Repression of Egoism. - Measures against farmers, manufacturers and
merchants. - Socialist projects. - Repression of Federalism. -
Measures against the local, professional and family spirit.

Two leading obstacles hinder the development of civism, and the first
is egoism. Whilst the citizen prefers the community to himself, the
egoist prefers himself to the community. He cares only for his own
interest, he gives no heed to public necessities; he sees none of the
superior rights which take precedence of his derived right; he
supposes that his property is his own without restriction or
condition; he forgets that, if he is allowed to use it, he must not
use it to another's detriment.[77] This even the middle or low class,
who possess goods essential for survival, will do. The greater the
demand for these goods the higher they raise their prices; soon, they
sell only at an exorbitant rate, and worse still, stop selling and
store their goods or products, in the expectation of selling them
dearer. In this way, they speculate on another's wants; they augment
the general distress and become public enemies. Nearly all the
agriculturists, manufacturers and tradesmen of the day, little and
big, are public enemies - farmers, tenant farmers, market-gardeners,
cultivators of every degree, as well as foremen, shopkeepers,
especially wine-dealers, bakers and butchers.

"All merchants are essentially anti-revolutionaries, and would sell
their country to gain a few pennies."[78]

We will not tolerate this legal brigandage. Since "agriculture has
done nothing for liberty and has sought only its own gain,"[79] we
will put it under surveillance, and, if necessary, under control.
Since "commerce has become a species of miserly tyrant," since "it has
become self-paralyzed," and, "through a sort of anti-revolutionary
contempt, neglected the manufacture, handling and expedition of
diverse materials," we will thwart "the calculations of its barbarous
arithmetic, and purge it of the aristocratic and corrupting
fermentation which oppresses it." We make monopoly "a capital
crime;"[80] we call him a monopolist who "takes food and wares of
prime necessity out of circulation," and "keeps them stored without
daily and publicly offering them for sale." Penalty of death against
whoever, within eight days, does not make a declaration, or if he
makes a false one. Penalty of death against the dealer who does not
post up the contents of his warehouse, or who does not keep open shop.
Penalty of death against any person who keeps more bread on hand than
he needs for his subsistence.[81] Penalty of death against the
cultivator who does not bring his grain weekly to market. Penalty of
death against the dealer who does not post up the contents of his
warehouse, or who does not keep open shop. Penalty of death against
the manufacturer who does not verify the daily use of his workable
material. - As to prices, we intervene authoritatively between buyer
and seller; we fix the maximum price for all objects which, near or
remotely, serve to feed, warm and clothe man; we will imprison whoever
offers or demands anything more. Whether the dealer or manufacturer
pays expenses at this rate, matters not; if, after the maximum is
fixed, he closes factory, or gives up business, we declare him a
"suspect;" we chain him down to his pursuit, we oblige him to lose by
it. - This is the way to clip the claws of beasts of prey, little and
big! But the claws grow out again, and, instead of paring them down,
it would probably be better to pull them out. Some amongst us have
already thought of that; the right of pre-emption shall be applied to
every article; "in each department, national storehouse might be
established where farmers, land-owners and manufacturers would be
obliged to deposit at a fixed price, paid down, the surplus of their
consumption of every species of merchandise. The nation would
distribute this merchandise to wholesale dealers, reserving a profit
of six per cent. The profit of the wholesale dealer would be fixed at
eight per cent and that of the retailer at twelve per cent."[82] In
this way , farmers, manufacturers, and merchants would all become
clerks of the State, appointed on a premium or a discount; unable to
gain a great deal, they would not be tempted to gain too much; they
would cease to be greedy and soon cease to be egoists.[83] - Since,
fundamentally, egoism is the capital vice and individual
proprietorship the food that nourishes it, why not suppress individual
proprietorship altogether? Our extreme logicians, with Babæuf at the
head of them, go as far as that, and Saint-Just seems to be of that
opinion.[84] We are not concerned with the enacting of an Agrarian;
the nation may reserve the soil to itself and divide among
individuals, not the soil, but its lease. The outcome of this
principle affords us a glimpse of an order of things in which the
State, sole proprietor of real-estate, sole capitalist, sole
manufacturer, sole trader, having all Frenchmen in its pay and
service, would assign to each one his task according to his aptitude,
and distribute to each one his rations according to his wants.[85] --
These various uncompleted plans still float in a hazy distance but
their common purpose is clearly distinguishable.

"All which tends to center human passions on the vile, individual ego
must be repudiated or repressed;"[86]

We should annihilate special interests, deprive the individual of the
motives and means for self-isolation, suppress preoccupations and
ambitions by which Man makes himself a focal point at the expense of
the real center, in short, to detach him from himself in order to
attach him wholly to the State.

This is why, disregarding the narrow egoism through which the
individual prefers himself to the community, we strive towards the
enlarged egoism by which the individual prefers the community to the
group of which he forms a part. Under no pretext must he separate
himself from the whole, at no price, must he be allowed to form for
himself a small homeland within the large one, for, by the affection
he entertains for the small one, he frustrates the objects of the
large one. Nothing is worse than political, civil, religious and
domestic federalism; we combat it under all its forms.[87] In this
particular, the Constituent Assembly has paved the way for us, since
it has broken up all the principal historic or material groups by
which men have separated themselves from the masses and formed a band
apart, provinces, clergy, nobles, parliaments, religious orders and
trades-unions. We complete its work, we destroy churches, we suppress
literary or scientific associations, educational or benevolent
societies, even down to financial companies.[88] We prohibit any
departmental or commercial "local spirit:" we find

"odious and opposed to all principles, that, amongst municipalities,
some should be rich and others poor, that one should have immense
patrimonial possessions and another nothing but debts."[89]

We regard these possessions as the nation's, and we place
indebtedness to the nation's account. We take grain from rich
communes and departments, to feed poor communes and departments. We
build bridges, roads and canals of each district, at the expense of
the State; "we centralize the labor of the French people in a broad,
opulent fashion."[90] We want no more local interests, recollections,
dialects, idioms and patriotisms. Only one bond should subsist
between individuals, that which attaches them to the social body. We
sunder all others; we do not tolerate any special aggregation; we do
the best we can to break up the most tenacious of all, the family. -
We therefore give marriage the status of an ordinary contract: we
render this loose and precarious, resembling as much as possible the
free and transient union of the sexes; it shall be dissolved at the
option of both parties, and even of one of the parties, after one
month of formalities and of probation. If the couple has lived
separate six months; the divorce may be granted without any probation
or delay; divorced parties may re-marry. On the other hand, we
suppress marital authority: since spouses are equal, each has equal
rights over common property and the property of each other ; we
deprive the husband of its administration and render it "common" to
both parties. We abolish "paternal authority;"

" it is cheating nature to enforce her rights through constraint. .
. . The only rights that parents have are those of protection and

The father can no longer control the education of his children; the
State takes charge of it. The father is no longer master of his
property; that portion he can dispose of by donation or testament is
of the smallest; we prescribe an equal and forced division of
property. - Finally we preach adoption, we efface bastardy, we confer
on children born of free love, or of a despotic will, the same rights
as those of legitimate children. In short, we break that sacred
circle, that exclusive group, that aristocratic organization which,
under the name of the family, was created out of pride and egoism.[92]
- Henceforth, affection and obedience will no longer be frittered
away; the miserable supports to which they have clung like ivy vines,
castes, churches, corporations, provinces, communes or families, are
ruined and rooted out; on the ground which is thus leveled, the State
alone remains standing, and it alone offers any point of adhesion; all
these vines are about to twine themselves in on trunk about the great
central column.


Indoctrination of mind and intellect. - Civil religion.- National
education. -Egalitarian moral standards..- Obligatory civism. - The
recasting and reduction of human nature to the Jacobin type.

Let not Man go astray, let us lead him on, let us direct minds and
souls, and, to this end, let us enfold him in our doctrines. He needs
general ideas and the daily experiences flowing out of them; he needs
some theory explaining the origin and nature of things, one which
assigns him his place and the part he has to play in the world, which
teaches him his duties, which regulates his life, which fixes the days
he shall work and the days he shall rest, which stamps itself on his
mind through commemorations, festivals and ceremonies, through a
catechism and a calendar. Up to this time Religion has been the power
charged with this service, interpreted and served by the Church; now
it is to be Reason, interpreted and served by the State. - In this
connection, many among us, disciples of the encyclopedists, constitute
Reason a divinity, and honor her with a system of worship; but it is
plain that they personify an abstraction; their improvised goddess is
simply an allegorical phantom; none of them see in her the intelligent
cause of the world; in the depths of their hearts they deny this
Supreme Cause, their pretended religion being merely a show or a sham.
- We discard atheism, not only because it is false, but again, and
more especially, because it is disintegrating and unwholesome.[93] We
want an effective, consolatory and fortifying religion, and that
religion is natural religion, which is social as well as true.
"Without this,[94] as Rousseau has said, it is impossible to be a good
citizen... ...The existence of divinity, the future life, the
sacredness of the social contract and of the laws," all are its
dogmas; "no one may be forced to believe in these, but whoever dares
say that he does not believe in them, sets himself up against the
French people, the human species and nature." Consequently, we decree
that "the French people recognizes the Supreme Being and the
immortality of the soul." - The important thing now is to plant this
entirely philosophic faith in all hearts. We introduce it into the
civil order of things, we take the calendar out of the hands of the
Church, we purge it of its Christian imagery; we make the new era
begin with the advent of the Republic; we divide the year according to
the metric system, we name the months according to the vicissitudes of
the seasons, "we substitute, in all directions, the realities of
reason for the visions of ignorance, the truths of nature for a
sacerdotal prestige,"[95] the decade for the week, the décadi for
Sundays, lay festivals for ecclesiastical festivals.[96] On each
décadi, through solemn and appropriate pomp, we impress on the popular
mind one of the highest truths of our creed; we glorify, in the order
of their dates, Nature, Truth, Justice, Liberty, Equality, the People,
Adversity, Humanity, the Republic, Posterity, Glory, Patriotism,
Heroism, and other virtues. Besides this, we honor the important days
of the Revolution, the taking of the Bastille, the fall of the Throne,
the punishment of the tyrant, the expulsion of the Girondins. We,
too, have our anniversaries, our relics, the relics of Chalier and
Marat,[97] our processions, our services, our ritual,[98] and the vast
system of visible pageantry by which dogmas are made manifest and
propagated. But ours, instead of leading men off to an imaginary
heaven, brings them back to a living patrimony, and, through our
ceremonies as well as through our creed, we shall preach public-
spiritedness (civism).

It is important to preach this to adults, it is still more important
to teach it to children: for children are more easily molded than
adults. Our hold on these still flexible minds is complete, and,
through national education "we seize the coming generations."[99]
Naught is more essential and naught is more legitimate.

"The country," says Robespierre, "has a right to bring up its own
children; it cannot confide this trust to family pride nor to the
prejudices of individuals, the eternal nourishment of aristocracies
and of a domestic federalism which narrows the soul by keeping it
isolated." We are determined to have "education common and equal for
all French people," and "we stamp on it a great character, analogous
to the nature of our government and the sublime doctrines of our
Republic. The aim is no longer to form gentlemen (messieurs) but

We oblige[101] teachers, male and female, to present certificates of
civism, that is to say, of Jacobinism. We close the school if
"precepts or maxims opposed to revolutionary morality" are taught in
it, that is to say, in conformity with Christian morals. Children
will learn to read in the Declaration of Rights and in the
Constitution of 1793. Republican manuals and catechisms will be
prepared for their use.[102] "They must be taught the virtuous traits
which most honor free men, and especially the traits characteristic of
the French Revolution, the best calculated to elevate the soul and
render them worthy of equality and liberty." The 14th of July, 10th of
August, 2nd of September, 21st of January, and 31st of May must be
lauded or justified in their presence. They must be taken to meetings
of the municipalities, to the law courts,[103] and especially to the
popular clubs; from these pure sources they will derive a knowledge of
their rights, of their duties, of the laws, of republican morality,"
and, on entering society, they will find themselves imbued with all
good maxims. Over and above their political opinions we shape their
ordinary habits. We apply on a grand scale the plan of education
drawn out by Jean-Jacques (Rousseau).[104] We want no more literary
prigs; in the army, "the 'dandy' breaks down during the first
campaign;[105] we want young men able to endure privation and fatigue,
toughened, like Emile, "by hard work" and physical exercise. - We
have, thus far, only sketched out this department of education, but
the agreement amongst the various plans shows the meaning and bearings
of our principle. "Children generally, without exception, says Le
Peletier de Saint-Fargeau,[106] the boys from five to twelve, the
girls from five to eleven years of age, must be brought up in common
at the expense of the Republic; all, under the sacred law of equality,
are to receive the same clothing, the same food, the same education,
the same attention "in boarding-schools distributed according to
cantons, and containing each from four to six hundred pupils.

"Pupils will be made to submit every day and every moment to the same
rigid rules... Their beds must be hard, their food healthy, but
simple, their clothing comfortable, but coarse." Servants will not be
allowed; children must help themselves and, besides this, they must
wait on the old and infirm, lodged with or near them. "Among daily
duties, manual labor will be the principal thing; all the rest will be
accessory." Girls must learn to spin, sew and wash clothes; the boys
will work the roads, be shepherds, ploughmen and work-hands; both will
have tasks set them, either in the school-workshops, or in the fields
and factories in the neighborhood; they will be hired out to
surrounding manufacturers and to the tillers of the soil. Saint-Just
is more specific and rigid.[107] "Male children from five to sixteen
years of age, must be raised for their country. They must be clad in
common cloth at all seasons, and have mats for beds, and sleep eight
hours. They are to have common food only, fruits, vegetables,
preparations of milk, bread and water. They must not eat meat before
sixteen . . Their education, from ten to sixteen, is to be military
and agricultural. They will be formed into companies of sixty; six
companies make a battalion; the children of a district form a legion;
they will assemble annually at the district town, encamp there and
drill in infantry tactics, in arenas specially provided for the
purpose; they will also learn cavalry maneuvers and every other
species of military evolution. In harvest time they are to be
distributed amongst the harvesters." After sixteen, "they enter the
crafts," with some farmer, artisan, merchant or manufacturer, who
becomes their titular "instructor," and with whom they are bound to
remain up to the age of twenty-one, "under the penalty of being
deprived for life of a citizen's rights.[108] . . . All children
will dress alike up to sixteen years of age; from twenty-one to
twenty-five, they will dress as soldiers, if they are not in the
magistracy." - Already we show the effects of the theory by one
striking example; we founded the "Ecole de Mars;"[109] we select out
of each district six boys from sixteen to seventeen and a half years
old "among the children of sans-culottes;" we summon them to Paris,
"to receive there, through a revolutionary education, whatever belongs
to the knowledge and habits of a republican soldier. They are
schooled in fraternity, in discipline, in frugality, in good habits,
in love of country and in detestation of kings." three or four
thousand young people are lodged at the Sablons, "in a palisaded
enclosure, the intervals of which are guarded by chevaux de frises and
sentinels."[110] We puts them into tents; we feed them with bran
bread, rancid pork, water and vinegar; we drill them in the use of
arms; we march them out on national holidays and stimulate them with
patriotic harangues. - Suppose all Frenchmen educated in such a
school; the habits they acquire in youth will persist in the adult,
and, in each adult we shall find the sobriety, energy and patriotism
of a Spartan or Roman.

Already, under the pressure of our decrees, civism affects customs,
and there are manifest signs, on all sides, of public regeneration.
"The French people," says Robespierre, "seems to have outstripped the
rest of humanity, by two thousand years; one might be tempted to
regard them, living amongst them, as a different species. In the rest
of Europe, a ploughman, an artisan, is an animal formed for the
pleasures of a noble; in France, the nobles are trying to transform
themselves into ploughmen and artisans, but do not succeed in
obtaining that honor."[111] Life in all directions is gradually
assuming democratic forms Wealthy prisoners are prohibited from
purchasing delicacies, or procuring special conveniences; they eat
along with the poor prisoners the same ration, at the common
mess[112]. Bakers have orders to make but one quality of bread, the
brown bread called equality bread, and, to obtain his ration, each
person must place himself in line with the rest of the crowd. On
holidays[113] everybody will bring his provisions down into the street
and eat as one family with his neighbor; on décadi all are to sing and
dance together, pell-mell, in the temple of the Supreme being. The
decrees of the Convention and the orders of the representatives impose
the republican cockade on women; public opinion and example impose on
men the costume and appearance of sans-culottes we see even dandies
wearing mustaches, long hair, red cap, vest and heavy wooden
shoes.[114] Nobody calls a person Monsieur or Madame; the only titles
allowed are citoyen and citoyenne while thee and Thou is the general
rule. Rude familiarity takes the place of monarchical politeness; all
greet each other as equals and comrades.[115] There is now only one
tone, one style, one language; revolutionary forms constitute the
tissue of speech, as well as of written discourse; thought now seems
to consists entirely of our ideas and phrases.[116] All names are
transformed, those of months and of days, those of places and of
monuments, baptismal names and names of families: St. Denis has
become Franciade; Peter Gaspard is converted into Anaxagoras, and
Antoine-Louis into Brutus; Leroi, the deputy, calls himself Laloi, and
Leroy, the jurist, calls himself August-Tenth. - By dint of thus
shaping the exterior we reach the interior, and through outward civism
we prepare internal civism. Both are obligatory, but the latter much
more so than the former; for that is the fundamental principle,[117]
"the incentive which sustains and impels a democratic and popular
government." It is impossible to apply the social contract if
everybody does not scrupulously observe the first clause of it,
namely, the complete surrender of himself to the community; everybody,
then, must give himself up entirely, not only actually but heartily,
and devote himself to the public good, which public good is the
regeneration of Man as we have defined it. The veritable citizen is
he who thus marches along with us. With him, as with us, abstract
truths of philosophy control the conscience and govern the will. He
starts with our articles of faith and follows them out to the end; he
endorses our acts, he recites our creed, he observes our discipline,
he is a believing and practicing Jacobin, an orthodox Jacobin,
unsullied, and without taint of heresy or schism. Never does he
swerve to the left toward exaggeration, nor to the right toward
toleration; without haste or delay he travels along the narrow, steep
and straight path which we have marked out for him; this is the
pathway of reason, for, as there is but one reason, there is but one
pathway. Let no one swerve from the line; there are abysses on each
side of it. Let us follow our guides, men of principles, the pure,
especially Couthon, Saint-Just and Robespierre; they are choice
specimens, all cast in the true mold, and it is this unique and rigid
mold in which all French men are to be recast.

[1] This and the following text are taken from the "Contrat-Social" by
Rousseau. Cf. "The ancient Régime," book III., ch.. IV.

[2] This idea, so universally prevalent and precocious, is uttered by
Mirabeau in the session of the 10th of August, 1789. (Buchez et Roux,
II., 257.) "I know of but three ways of maintaining one's existence in
society, and these are to be either a beggar, a robber or a hireling.
The proprietor is himself only the first of hirelings. What we
commonly call his property is nothing more than the pay society awards
him for distributing amongst others that which is entrusted to him to
distribute through his expenses and through what he consumes;
proprietors are the agents, the stewards of the social body."

[3] Report by Roland, January 6, 1793, and by Cambon, February 1,

[4] Buchez et Roux, XXXI., 311. Report by Saint-Just, Ventôse 8, year
II., and decree in conformity therewith.

[5] Decree of 13 Brumaire, year II. - Report by Cambon, Feb. 1,
1793. Cambon estimates the property alone of the order of Malta and
of the colleges at four hundred million livres.

[6] Moniteur, XVIII., 419 and 486. Reports by Cambon, Brumaire 22 and
Frimaire 1st, year II. "Let us begin with taking possession of the
leased domains, notwithstanding preceding laws."

[7] Cf. "The Ancient Régime," p. 14.

[8] Mallet-Dupan, "Mémoires," II., 19. Moniteur, XVIII., 565.
(Report by Cambon, 11 Frimaire, year II.) Requested to do so by a
popular club of Toulouse, the department of Haute-Garonne has ordered
all possessors of articles in gold or silver to bring them to the
treasuries of their districts to be exchanged for assignats. This
order has thus far brought into the Toulouse treasury about one
million five hundred thousand or one million six hundred thousand
livres in gold and silver. The same at Montauban and other places.
"Several of our colleagues have even decreed the death penalty against
whoever did not bring their gold and silver within a given time."

[9] Archives Nationales, AF. II., 106. (Order by representative
Beauchamp, l'Isle Jourdan, Pluviose 2, year II.) "All blue and green
cloaks in the departments of Haute-Garonne, as well as of the Landes,
Gers and others, are put in requisition from the present day. Every
citizen possessing blue or green cloaks is required to declare them at
the depot of municipality or other locality where he may chance to
be." If not, he is considered "suspect" is treated as such. - Ibid.,
AF.II., 92 (Order issued by Taillefer, Brumaire 3, year II., at
Villefranche-l'Aveyron). - De Martel, "Etude sur Fouché," 368.
(Order by Fouché, Collot d'Herbois and Delaporte: Lyons, Brumaire 21,
year II.) - Moniteur, XVIII., 384. (Session of 19th Brumaire. Letter
of Barras and Fréron, dated at Marseilles.) - Moniteur XVIII., 513
(Orders by Lebon and Saint-Just, at Strasbourg, Brumaire 24 and 25,
year II.) Letter of Isoré to the minister Bouchotte, November 4, 1793.
(Legros, "La Revolution telle qu'elle est.") The principle of these
measures was laid down by Robespierre in his speech on property (April
24, 1793), and in his declaration of rights unanimously adopted by the
Jacobin Club (Buchez et Roux, XXVI., 93 and 130).

[10] Rousset, "Les Volontaires," p. 234 and 254.

[11] Report by Cambon, Pluviose 3, year III., p.3. "One fifth of the
active population is employed in the common defense." - Decree of May
12, and Aug. 23, 1793. - Decree of November 22, 1793. - Order of
the Directory, October 18, 1798.

[12] Moniteur, XIX., 631. Decree of Ventôse 14, year II. Archives
Nationales, D.SI., 10. (Orders by representatives Delacroix, Louchet
and Legendre; Pont-Audemer, Frimaire 14, year II.) - Moniteur, XVIII,
622. - (Decree of Frimaire 18, year II.)

[13] Lenin must have read Taine's text during his long studious stay
in Paris. He and Stalin did, in any case try to let the USSR function
in accordance with such central allocated planning. (SR.)

[14] Decree of 15-18 Floréal, year II. Decree of September 29, 1793,
(in which forty objects of prime necessity are enumerated. - Article
9 decrees three days imprisonment against workmen and manufacturers
who "without legitimate reason, shall refuse to do their ordinary
task." - Decrees of September 16 and 20, 1793, and that of September
11, articles 16,19, 20 and 21.

[15] Archives Nationales, AF. II., III. Order of the representative
Ferry; Bourges, 23 Messidor, year II. - Ibid., AF. II., 106. Order
of the representative Dartigoyte, Auch, Prairial 18, year II.

[16] Decree of Brumaire 11, year II., article 7.

[17] Gouvion Saint Cyr, "Mémoires sur les campagnes de 1792 à la paix
de Campo-Formio," I., 91-109: "Promotion, which every one feared at
this time." . . . Ibid. 229. "Men who had any resources
obstinately held aloof from any kind of advancement." Archives
Nationales, DS. I, 5. (Mission of representative Albert in L'Aube
and La Marne, and especially the order issued by Albert, Chalons,
Germinal 7, year III., with the numerous petitions of judges and town
officers soliciting their removal. - Letter of the painter Gosse
(published in Le Temps, May 31, 1872), which is very curious, showing
the trials of those in private life during the Revolution: "My father
was appointed charity commissioner and quartermaster for the troops;
at the time of the Reign of Terror it would have been imprudent to
have refused any office" - Archives Nationales, F7, 3485. The case of
Girard Toussaint, notary at Paris, who "fell under the sword of the
law, Thermidor 9, year II." This Girard, who was very liberal early in
the revolution, was president of his section in 1789, but, after the
10th of August, he had kept quiet. The committee of the section of
the "Amis de la Patrie," "considering that citizen Girard . . . .
came forward only at the time when the court and Lafayette prevailed
against the sans-culottes;" that, "since equality was established by
the Revolution he has deprived his fellow citizens of his knowledge,
which, in a revolution, is criminal, unanimously agree that the said
citizen is "suspect" and order "him to be sent to the Luxembourg."

[18] Ludovic Sciout, "Histoire de la Constitution civile du clergé,"
IV., 131, 135. (Orders issued by Dartigoyte and de Pinet). -
"Recueil de pieces authentiques serrant à l'histoire de la révolution
à Strasbourg." Vol. I. p. 230. (Speech by Schneider at Barr, for
marrying the patriot Funck.) Schneider, it appears, did still better
on his own account. (Ibid., 317).

[19] Buchez et Roux, XXIX., 160. (Report of Saint-Just, October 20,
1793.) "You have to punish not only traitors, but even the
indifferent; you must punish all in the Republic who are passive and
do nothing for it."

[20] Buchez et Roux, XXXII., 338. Report of the Convention on the
theory of democratic government, by Billaud-Varennes (April 20, 1794).

[21] Buchez et Roux, XXXI., 270. Report by Robespierre, on the
principles which should guide the National Convention in the internal
administration of the Republic, February 5, 1794.- Cf. "The ancient
Régime," 227-230, the ideas of Rousseau, of which those of Robespierre
are simply a recast.

[22] Ibid., 270. - The pretension of reforming men's sentiments is
found in all the programs. Ibid., 305. (Report of Saint-Just,
February 26, 1794.) "Our object is to create an order of things
establishing a universal inclination toward the good, and to have
factions immediately hurled upon the scaffold." Ibid., 337. (Report
of Saint-Just, March 13, 1794." - Ibid., 337. (Report of Saint-Just,
March 13, 1794.) "We see but one way of arresting the evil, and that
is to convert the revolution into a civil power and wage war on every
species of perversity, as designedly created amongst us for the
enervation of the republic."

[23] Ibid., XXXV., 276. (Institutions, by Saint-Just. - Ibid., 287.)
- Moniteur, XVIII., 343. Meeting of the Jacobin Club, Brumaire 13,
year II., speech by Baudot.

[24] Buchez et Roux, XXIX, 142. (Speech by Jean Bon St. André in the
Convention, Sep. 25, 1793.) "We are said to exercise arbitrary power,
we are charged with being despots. We, despots! . . . Ah, no
doubt, if despotism is to secure the triumph of liberty, such a
despotism is political regeneration." (Applause.) - Ibid, XXXI., 276.
(Report by Robespierre, Pluviose 17, year, II.) "It has been said that
terror is the incentive of despotic government. Does yours, then,
resemble despotism? Yes, as the sword which flashes in the hands of
the heroes of liberty, resembles that with which the satellites of
tyranny are armed..... The government of the Revolution is the
despotism of freedom against tyranny."

[25] Ibid., XXXII, 353. Decree of April 1791. "The Convention
declares, that, supported by the virtues of the French people, it will
insure the triumph of the democratic revolution and show no pity in
punishing its enemies."

[26] In the following portrayal of the ancient régime, the bombast and
credulity of the day overflows in the most extravagant exaggerations
(Buchez et Roux, XXXI., 300, Report, by Saint-Just, February 26,
1794.): "In 1788, Louis XVI. Caused eight thousand persons of both
sexes and of every age to be sacrificed in the rue Meslay and on the
Pont-Neuf. These scenes were repeated by the court on the Champs de
Mars; the court had hangings in the prisons, and the bodies of the
drowned found in the Seine were its victims. These were four hundred
thousand prisoners in confinement; fifteen thousand smugglers were
hung in a year, and three thousand men were broken on the wheel; there
were more prisoners in Paris than there are now . . . Look at
Europe. There are four millions of people shut up in Europe whose
shrieks are never heard." - Ibid., XXIV., 132. (Speech by
Robespierre, May 10, 1793). "Up to this time the art of governing has
simply consisted in the art of stripping and subduing the masses for
the benefit of the few, and legislation, the mode of reducing these
outrages to a system."

[27] Buchez et Roux, XXXII., 353. (Report by Robespierre to the
Convention, May 7, 1794.) "Nature tells us that man is born for
freedom while the experience of man for centuries shows him a slave.
His rights are written in his heart and history records his

[28] Ibid., 372. "Priests are to morality what charlatans are to
medical practice. How different is the God of nature from the God of
the priests! I know of nothing which is so much like atheism as the
religions they have manufactured." Already, in the Constituent
Assembly, Robespierre wanted to prevent the father from endowing a
child. "You have done nothing for liberty if yours laws do not tend
to diminish by mild and effective means the inequality of fortunes."
(Hamel, I., 403.)

[29] Decree of Frimaire 18, year II. - Note the restrictions: "The
convention, in the foregoing arrangement, has no idea of derogating
from any law or precaution for public safety against refractory or
turbulent priests, or against those who might attempt to abuse the
pretext of religion in order to compromise the cause of liberty. Nor
does it mean to disapprove of what has thus far been done by virtue of
the ordinances of representatives of the people, nor to furnish
anybody with a pretext for unsettling patriotism and relaxing the
energy of public spirit."

[30] Decrees of May 27, and August 26, 1792, March 18, April 21 and
October 20, 1793, April 11, and May 11, 1794. - Add (Moniteur, XIX.,
697) the decree providing for the confiscation of the possessions of
ecclesiastics "who have voluntarily left or been so reported, who are
retired as old or inform, or who have preferred transportation to
retirement." - Ibid., XVIII., 492, (session of Frimaire 2). A speech
by Forester. "As to the priesthood, its continuation has become a
disgrace and even a crime." - Archives Nationales, AF. II., 36. (An
order by Lequinio, representative of the people of Charante-Inférieur,
la Vendée and Deux-Sèvres, Saintes, Nivose 1, year II.) "In order that
freedom of worship may exist in full plenitude it is forbidden to all
whom it may concern to preach or write in favor of any form of worship
or religious opinion whatsoever." And especially "it is expressly
forbidden to any former minister, belonging to any religious sect
whatever, to preach, write or teach morality under penalty of being
regarded as a suspect and, as such, immediately put under arrest. .
. . Every man who undertakes to preach any religious precepts
whatsoever is, by that fact, culpable before the people. He violates
. . . social equality, which does not permit the individual to
publicly raise his ideal pretensions above those of his neighbor."

[31] Ludofic Sciout, "Histoire de la Constitution Civile du clergé,"
vols. III. and IV., passim. - Jules Sauzay, "Histoire de la
persécution révolutionaire dans le Doubs," vols. III., IV., V., and
VI., particularly the list, at the end of the work, of those deported,
guillotined, sent into the interior and imprisoned.

[32] Order of the day of the Convention September 17, 1792; circular
of the Executive Council, January 22, 1793; decrees of the Convention,
July 19, August 12, September 17, November 15, 1793. - Moniteur,
October, and November, 1793, passim. (November 23, Order of the Paris
Commune, closing the churches.) - In relation to the terror the
constitutional priests were under, I merely give the following
extracts (Archives Nationales, F7,31167): "Citizen Pontard, bishop of
the department of Dordogne, lodging in the house of citizen Bourbon,
No. 66 faubourg Saint-Honoré, on being informed that there was an
article in a newspaper called "le Republican" stating that a meeting
of priests had been held in the said house, declares that he had no
knowledge of it; that all the officers in charge of the apartments are
in harmony with the Revolution; that, if he had had occasion to
suspect such a circumstance, he would have move out immediately, and
that if any motive can possibly be detected in such a report it is his
proposed marriage with the niece of citizen Caminade, an excellent
patriot and captain of the 9th company of the Champs-Elysées section,
a marriage which puts an end to fanaticism in his department, unless
this be done by the ordination of a priest à la sans-culotte which he
had done yesterday in the chapel, another act in harmony with the
Revolution. It is well to add, perhaps, that one of his curés now in
Paris has called on him, and that he came to request him to second his
marriage. The name of the said curé is Greffier Sauvage; he is still
in Paris, and is preparing to be married the same time as himself.
Aside from these motives, which may have given rise to some talk,
citizen Pontard sees no cause whatever for suspicion. Besides, so
thoroughly patriotic as he, he asks nothing better than to know the
truth, in order to march along unhesitatingly in the revolutionary
path. He sighs his declaration, promising to support the Revolution
on all occasions, by his writings as well as by his conduct. He
presents the two numbers of his journal which he has had printed in
Paris in support of the principles he adheres to. At Paris, September
7, 1793, year II. Of the Republic, one and indivisible. F. Pontard,
bishop of the Republic in the department of Dordogne." - Dauban La
Demagogie en 1793, p. 557. Arrest of representative Osselin, letter
his brother, curé of Saint-Aubin, to the committee of section Mutius
Scœvola, Brumaire 20, year II.,"Like Brutus and Mutius Scœvola, I
trample on the feelings with which I idolised my brother! O, truth,
thou divinity of republicans, thou knowest the incorruptibility of may
intentions!" (and so on for fifty-three lines). "These are my
sentiments, I am fraternally, Osselin, minister of worship at Saint-
Aubin." - P.S. "It was just as I was going to answer a call of nature
that I learned this afflicting news." (He keeps up this bombast until
words fail him, and finally, frightened to death, and his brain
exhausted, he gives this postscript to show that he was not an

[33] A term denoting the substitution of ten instead of seven days as
a division of time in the calendar, and forced into use during the

[34] "Recuil de pieces authentiques servant à l'histoire de la
revolutionà Strasbourg," II., 299. (A district order.)

[35] Later, when Lenin and Stalin resurrected Jacobinism, they placed
the headquarters of any subversive movement outside the country where
it operated. (SR.)

[36] Thermidor refers to the a very important day and event during the
French Revolution: the day Robespierre fell: Thermidor 9, year II,
(July 27, 1794), Robespierre's fall, effective the 10, was prepared by
his adversaries, Tallien, Barras, Fouché etc., essentially because
they feared for their lives. Robespierre and 21 of his followers were
executed on the evening of the 10th of Thermidor year II. (SR.).

[37] Ludovic Sciout, IV., 426. (Instructions sent by the Directory to
the National Commissions, Frimaire, year II.) - Ibid., ch. X. to

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