The Revolutionary Decade
1. Why did the revolution become “radicalized” in 1792?
a) The new constitution created a left wing and right wing split
• Girondists: moderate liberals and pro-monarchists. Believed that the revolution had
gone far enough (constitutional monarchy) and society should be normalized.
• Jacobins: left wing republicans who believed the revolution needed to continue. The
revolution up to this point only created a new social class divide. Nothing better for
b) The Self Denying Ordinance
• NationalAssembly would not stand for the LegislativeAssembly due to their
liberal principles. (Will not stand for re-election)
• Any existing political experience gets thrown away.
• This leaves radicals to replace them in the legislative assembly
c) Question of King’s loyalty
• Suspicion of King plotting against revolution
• Other monarchs could be helping him because they do not want revolutions in
their own regimes
• Flight to Varennes in 1791 only makes public more suspicious (is he leaving and
• As a response there is a lot of anti-monarchical propaganda and hate mongering.
d) War (main reason)
• Began with Austria and Prussia - early defeats showed that the military under the
King was not good enough. Thoughts that he was treacherous.
• New sense of nationalism through conscription • Guillotine introduced
− was an example for those who undermined the revolution
− equal punishment for all (no matter what class).
• Radicalized the commoners (Sans-Cullotes) who formed Jacobin clubs and took matters
into their own hands.
− Tuileries Insurrection: Marched on Tuileries to and attacked Swiss Guards there
and captured the King.
• The monarchy is declared dead in September 1792 when the National Convention takes
over and created the first French Republic.
− Sans-cullotes still have great power and create the September Massacres where
they broke into several prisons and killed everyone there they assumed to be
enemies of the revolution. (In many cases they were simply common criminals).
− Many prison raids and mob hysteria.
2. Why was the second phase of the revolution so violent and doctrinaire?
a) The fight over the King between Girondists and Jacobins
• Struggle for what would happen to King – both agree that he is guilty of treason –
Girondists want a popular referendum to decide what will happen to him, Jacobins want
him executed and execute Girondists for treason. Creates a clustering of Republicans.
b) Ideology is running politics
• In 1793 France fears invasion/civil war/defeat of the revolution
• April 1793 the war widens to Britain, Spain, Holland, and Sirdonia.
− Short term victories give favour to republic
− To keep victories create Levée en Masse (mass consctiption) • In response to co