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Jacobins

club, jacobin, assembly, france and name

JACOBINS is the name of a faction which exercised a great influence on the events of the French Revolution. This faction originated in a political club formed at Versailles, about the time of the meeting of the first National Assembly, and which was composed chiefly of depu ties from Brittany, who were most deter mined against the court and the old monarchy, and some also from the South of France, among whom was Mirabeau. When the National Assembly removed its sittings to Paris (October 19, 1789), the Breton club followed it, and soon after established their meetings in the lately suppressed convent of the Jacobins, or Dominican monks, in the Rue St. Honore. From this circumstance the club and the powerful party which grew from it assumed the name of Jacobins. During the year 1790 the dub increased its numbers by admitting many men known for violent principles, which tended not to the establishment of a constitutional throne, but to the subversion of the monarchy. A schism broke out between these and the original Jacobins, upon which Danton, Marat, and other revolu tionists seceded from the club, and formed themselves into a separate club called 'Lea Cordeliers,' from their meetings be ing held in a suppressed convent of Fran ciscan friars. These men openly advo cated massacre, proscription, and confis cation, as the means of establishing the sovereignty of the people. In 1791 the Cordeliers reunited themselves with the Jacobin club, from which they expelled the less fanatical members, such as Louis 'Stanislas Freron, Legendre, and others. From that time, and especially in the following year, 1792, the Jacobin club assumed the ascendancy over the legisla ture; and the measures previously dis cussed and carried in the club were forced upon the assembly by the votes of the numerous Jacobin members, and by the out-door influence of the pikemen of the suburbs, with whom the club was in close connection. The attack on the

Tuileries in August, 1792, the massacres of the following September, the suppres sion of royalty, and most of the mea sures of the reign of terror, originated with the club of the Jacobins. [CoM strTrEE OF PUBLIC SAFETY.] The club had affiliations all over France. After the fall of Robespierre in July, 1794, the convention passed a resolution which for bade all popular assemblies to interfere with the deliberations of the legislature. The Jacobins, however, having attempted an insurrection in November, 1794, in order to save one of their members, Carrier, who had been condemned to death for his atrocities at Nantes, the convention ordered the club to be shut up ; and Legendre, one of its former members, proceeded with an armed force to dissolve the meeting, and closed the hall. The spirit of the club, however, survived in its numerous adherents, and continued to struggle against the legisla ture and the Executive Directory, until Bonaparte put an end to all factions, and restored order in France. The name of Jacobin has since been used, though often improperly, like other party names, to denote men of extreme democratical principles, who wish for the subversion of kingly government and of all social distinctions, and are not over-scrupulous about the means of effecting their object.