Mountain, the


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Mountain, the,

in French history, the label applied to deputies sitting on the raised left benches in the National Convention during the French Revolution. Members of the faction, known as Montagnards [Mountain Men] saw themselves as the embodiment of national unity. Its followers included JacobinsJacobins
, political club of the French Revolution. Formed in 1789 by the Breton deputies to the States-General, it was reconstituted as the Society of Friends of the Constitution after the revolutionary National Assembly moved (Oct., 1789) to Paris.
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 elected from Paris as well as the CordeliersCordeliers
, political club of the French Revolution. Founded (1790) as the Society of the Friends of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, it was called after its original meeting place, the suppressed monastery of the Cordeliers (Franciscan Recollects).
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 and the followers of Jacques RouxRoux, Jacques
, d. 1794, French revolutionary. A priest in Paris, he abandoned the priesthood at the start of the French Revolution. Roux was a member of the Commune of Paris of Aug., 1792. As a leader of the enragés in the Paris sections, he helped to instigate (Feb.
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. Approximately 300 of the 750 deputies associated themselves with the Mountain. Although party lines were not sharply drawn, the Mountain's opponents were the more moderate GirondistsGirondists
or Girondins
, political group of moderate republicans in the French Revolution, so called because the central members were deputies of the Gironde dept. Girondist leaders advocated continental war.
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. Prominent Montagnards RobespierreRobespierre, Maximilien Marie Isidore
, 1758–94, one of the leading figures of the French Revolution. Early Life

A poor youth, he was enabled to study law in Paris through a scholarship.
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, Georges DantonDanton, Georges Jacques
, 1759–94, French statesman, one of the leading figures of the French Revolution. A Parisian lawyer, he became a leader of the Cordeliers early in the Revolution and gained popular favor through his powerful oratory.
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, and Jean Paul MaratMarat, Jean Paul
, 1743–93, French revolutionary, b. Switzerland. He studied medicine in England, acquired some repute as a doctor in London and Paris, and wrote scientific and medical works (some in English), but was frustrated in his attempts to win official recognition
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 were elected from Paris. The fall of the Girondists (June, 1793) was a victory for the Mountain, whose members ruled France under the Reign of TerrorReign of Terror,
1793–94, period of the French Revolution characterized by a wave of executions of presumed enemies of the state. Directed by the Committee of Public Safety, the Revolutionary government's Terror was essentially a war dictatorship, instituted to rule the
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 (1793–94). The Montain sponsored the Revolutionary Tribunal, the surveillance committees, the Committee of Public Safety, and the levée en masse. Its deputies went on missions, wielding unlimited powers, to defend the Revolution in the provinces and at the fronts. It was supported by JacobinJacobins
, political club of the French Revolution. Formed in 1789 by the Breton deputies to the States-General, it was reconstituted as the Society of Friends of the Constitution after the revolutionary National Assembly moved (Oct., 1789) to Paris.
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 propaganda. The fall of Robespierre, 9 Thermidor (July 27, 1794), supported by some of the Mountain, split the Mountain and led to its downfall. The romance of the Mountain led the revolutionary left of 1848 to call themselves the Mountain as well. See Plain, thePlain, the,
in French history, term designating the independent members of the National Convention during the French Revolution. The name was applied to them because, in contrast to the radical Mountain, they occupied the lower benches of the chamber.
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.

Mountain, The

 

(Montagnards). (1) During the Great French Revolution, the name of a left democratic grouping in the Convention. representing the Jacobins and occupying the top benches in the Convention (hence the name Montagnards).

(2)During the Revolution of 1848, a group of petit bourgeois democrats in the Constituent Assembly who considered themselves the heirs of the late 18th-century Montagnards. In February 1849 a bloc of petit bourgeois democrats and petit bourgeois socialists was called the New Mountain. The members of the Mountain, led by A. O. Ledru-Rollin and F. Pyat. claimed to advocate revolutionary action. but in the course of events (the demonstration in Paris on June 13. 1849), they revealed their complete inability to rally the masses to the struggle.

REFERENCES

Manfred. A. Z. Velikaia frantsuzskaia burzhuaznaia revoliutsiia XVIII v. Moscow. 1956.
Zastenker. N. E. “Konets Ychreditel’nogo sobraniia vo Frantsii:Porazhenie respublikanskoi burzhuazii.” In Revoliutsii ¡848–1849 gg.,vol. 1. Moscow, 1952. Pages 699–724.
Zastenker, . E. “Vystuplenie 13 iiunia 1849 g. i porazhenie melkoburzhuaznoi demokratii vo Frantsii.’” Ibid.,vol. 2, pp. 7–29.