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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 August.

[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 II.)

[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, 1794.

[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 seventy-three.)

[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 times.”

[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 Robespierre).

[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 institution.

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

[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 members.”

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 sensibilities.


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 come.

“Man, forced to isolate himself from society, anchors himself in the future and presses to his heart a posterity innocent of existing evils.”[23]

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 names;
* 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 interior,
* crowded into prisons,
* executed in a mass, or, at least, *
* expelled from Paris, the seaports and fortified towns, put on the limits,
* 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 inheritances;[57]
3. we include bastards in this under the same title as legitimate children;
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 again.


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- houses”.

“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 watchfulness.”[91]

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 citizens.”[100]

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. ______________________________________________________________________- Notes:

[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, 1793.

[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 humiliation.”

[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 accomplice.)

[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 Revolution.

[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 XVIII.