French Revolution

The events that will take place on August 10 will change the political panorama. The constituent assembly will be forced to take certain measures: it takes away the king's powers and detains him in the Luxembourg palace; the people will elect a National Convention and this will be in charge of drafting a new Constitution, which will create new institutions and decide on the future of the king. Monarchical ministers (Feuillants) are expelled from the National Convention, which is made up of Girondins and Montagues. At first the Girondins are older and try to avoid the trial against the king. The Girondins have the support of the bourgeois and provincial and of the moderates; the Monta eses have the support of the Sans-Culotte . The Mountaineers remain firm in their intention to judge the king; finally they manage to convict him of treason and the penalty to be applied is death. The king is guillotined on January 21, 1793. The queen on October 16.

Europe does not look kindly on what is happening in France. As a result, the European kings created a coalition in February 1793. To deal with it, the Convention sent 300,000 men to defend the borders. Many citizens refuse this and there will be resistance against the revolutionary measures. The repression will be very harsh and everyone who is considered a counterrevolutionary will be outlawed and uted. Peasant revolts are created in Alsace, Brittany and other places. The toughest confrontation revolutionaries and counterrevolutionaries will take place in the province of Vende, where nobles, priests who have not signed and peasants rise up united against the new regime.

The clashes Girondins and Montaese are increasingly notorious, and spread throughout France. The discussion centers around the way to organize power, but what lies deep down is the struggle for power. In addition, faced with the defeats in the war and the rise in prices, the Sans-Culottes organized an uprising at the end of May 1793. The Montaese took advantage of this to seize power in Paris, although the Girondins were still strong. in several provinces. The convention remains in the hands of the Montaeses, who on June 24, 1793 accept a new constitution. This new constitution gives more power to the municipal assemblies, but it will not be able to function due to the existing instability. The highest utive branch appointed by the Convention shall be the Committee on Public Health . It has the ability to create laws, enforce them, and appoint officials. At first Danton will be the head of the committee, later it will be Robespierre. On the same date the republican calendar was also created.

Radical ideas are strengthened through the press and propaganda and new trends are created. Some tendencies claim the participation of women in politics, but this claim did not become important until the 19th century. The Catholic nuclei suffered attacks, some priests were uted, the churches destroyed. Most of the attacks are perpetrated by the Sans-Culottes , but they do not have the same intensity in all places. The new political culture changes society. A moralizing political culture is imposed, which defends equality and easily justifies violence against the enemies of the revolution. In fact, the Montaese will take exceptional measures to confront the counterrevolutionaries, giving way to the so-called Time of Terror, which will even have legal protection. The radical Jacques-Ren H bert gains the support of the Sans-Culottes , and the Herbertist tendency quickly grows strong and takes control of the Convention.

At the same time the Vendée uprising, named above, spread strongly to the west. In addition to the monarchists, the Girondins, who have been expelled from the Convention, also organize uprisings against the government of Paris. On the other hand, the armies of the foreign monarchies are strengthening and become a threat on the borders, the armies of France, Piemonte, Prussia, Austria and England advance.

The war on the one hand and the government of Terror on the other will result in violent attitudes and policies. December 1793 and February 1794, thousands of people were murdered in Nantes, Lyon, Toulon, and Nimes. 37,00 people were imprisoned and around 30,000 Alsatians fled to Germany. In Euskal Herria thousands of people are deported because there are suspicions that they have acted in favor of Spain.

The slogans of the revolution justify these exceptional measures: political adversaries are stigmatized and outlawed. Robespierre take measures to obstruct the influence of the radical Montanese and the Herbertists. Take religious freedom to a vote, surely with the intention of appeasing the environment. But he accumulated all the power around him and on December 4, 1793 he gave the Convention the total direction of the revolution. It sets up a government of exception and this limits all local initiative. Along with this, the Convention and the Public Health Committee recover their functions. Through the Revolutionary Court of Paris, he managed to control the judiciary and launched, with judicial support, the great terror . It simplifies judicial processes by decree and speeds up utions. He sends Herbert to the guillotine, a supporter of maintaining the revolution; or Danton, a right-wing moderate. In a few weeks 1,400 people are uted. Politics becomes moralistic and, in addition to actions, intentions are condemned and the definition of Counterrevolutionary is expanded. A language, for example, becomes counterrevolutionary, in the case of Breton, Euskera or Alsatian.

Robespierre has more and more enemies among the members of the Convention and the politicians of Paris. Rumors spread that he wants to accumulate all power in his person, and the Sans-Culottes are removed from the debates. The intrigues spread and Robespierre is accused of being a counterrevolutionary. Taking advantage of the fact that he is withdrawing a few weeks from political life, his adversaries organize against him. In a discussion at the Convention, Robespierre speaks out against politicians he does not want to name and threatens to do a new cleanup. He remains in a minority, is denounced and arrested. The following day, July 28 (Thermidor 10, according to the Republican calendar) he is guillotined along with several of his supporters. With this, the era of terror is over.

Many Girondins who were in hiding return and together with some moderates and Montaese control the Convention. Power is centralized and the armed forces under control. The economic situation continues to be bad and the disillusionment with the revolution is important in the social class. The figure of Robespierre is used to blame him for everything while the monarchists and the clergy are getting stronger. The counterrevolutionaries organize uprisings. At the end of 1794, the Revolution launched a policy of conciliation with the monarchists and the moderates, which entailed the strengthening of nuclei favorable to the Old Regime. At the same time, the radical Montaese and the Sans-Culottes continue with the social demands, to which the Convention responds by putting the army in front of them.

The new Constitution is approved by the Convention on August 17, 1795, and in September the people endorse it. A bicameral legislative is agreed, made up of: the Council of Five Hundred and the Council of Elders. The utive power will be in the hands of a Board of Directors made up of five directors. On September 26, the new regime called the Directory ( Directoire in French) was launched. This prevents the return of terror and weakens the monarchists. Although important monarchical nuclei continue to exist in France, they will not manage to reactivate the anger of the population.

From 1795 France plunges into a general transformation. The school and health s are reorganized. The economy is in a serious situation due to a bad management policy. The strong discussions monarchists and liberals in the Directory continue and the war against Austria and England continues. But Bonaparte beats Austria in Italy and that brings money into the French coffers.

In the elections of 1797 the rise of the Monarchists is important. But in the Board of Directors, 3 of the 5 directors are Republicans. Frightened by the rise of the monarchists, the republicans organize a coup with the help of the army that is in Italy (whose leader is Bonaparte). 53 deputies and two directors are deported. In 1798 the Jacobins win the elections but the moderates remain in power although without legitimacy. In addition, different political forces destabilize the Directorate.

Wars in Europe give way to republics in Italy, Switzerland and the Netherlands. France achieves this thanks to the support of autochthonous nationalisms, but is soon forced to use force to deal with the anger created by the occupation. Meanwhile, England takes advantage in the maritime field. With the intention of weakening England (cutting off the road to the Indies) but also to strengthen his figure, Bonaparte undertook an expedition to Egypt, but it failed. At the same time, Turkey, England, Austria, Russia and Naples create a new coalition against France. In Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and the Netherlands there are uprisings. In France the counterrevolution is reinforced and the monarchists are preparing to take power together with the foreign monarchies. In 1799 France manages to push back the armies of Russia and England. The war ends through negotiations.

In November 1799, the moderate revolutionary Seys, who wanted to change the constitution and promote reforms, was appointed a member of the Directory. To achieve his goals, he appointed three of his supporters to the Directory, but considered that a coup d'état had to be organized. For this he will have help from Bonaparte, who will use the initiative to seize power. After the coup d'état, a political regime called the Consulate will be set in motion, which will be made up of three members. Napoleon himself will name himself Major Consul. With this action the Revolution is considered finished.