Philippe Égalité

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Orléans, Louis Philippe Joseph, duc d'

Orléans, Louis Philippe Joseph, duc d' (lwē fēlēpˈ zhôzĕfˈ) (dük dôrlāäNˈ), known as Philippe Égalité (āgälētāˈ), 1747–93, French revolutionist; great-grandson of Philippe II, duc d'Orléans (see Orléans, family) and great-great-great-grandson of King Louis XIII. First duke of Montpensier and then duke of Chartres, he succeeded his father as duke of Orléans in 1785. A libertine, he squandered his immense wealth, then, to recoup his fortune, lined the gardens of his Palais Royal with shops. The gardens became a gathering point for the popular elements of Paris. He became a leader of the discontented faction in the Assembly of the Notables (1787), and he was briefly exiled for protesting the king's attempt to force the Parlement of Paris to consent to taxation. As a deputy to the States-General (1789), he was one of the liberal nobles who joined the third estate (June 25, 1789). After incurring blame for disturbances in the capital, he accepted a mission (Oct., 1789–July, 1790) to England. His liberal views were suspected of cloaking an ambition to become constitutional monarch, and as the revolution progressed he lost the confidence of both republicans and royalists. After exchanging his title for the name Citizen Égalité, he was elected to the National Convention (Sept., 1792), where he joined the Mountain and voted for the execution of King Louis XVI. When his eldest son deserted to the enemy with General Dumouriez, Philippe Égalité was arrested (Apr., 1793). He was guillotined (November) during the Reign of Terror. His son became King Louis Philippe.

Bibliography

See study by G. A. Kelly (1982).

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Philippe Égalité

 

(also Louis Philippe Joseph d’Orléans). Born Apr. 13, 1747, in St. Cloud; died Nov. 6, 1793, in Paris. French political figure.

Philippe Egalité, duke of Orléans, was a representative of the younger branch of the Bourbons. During the French Revolution, he was elected to the Estates General of 1789, where he sided with the deputies of the Third Estate. He made wide use of various demagogic means in an effort to gain popularity. In 1791 he joined the Jacobin Club and in 1792 relinquished his title and adopted the surname Egalité (“equality”). He was elected to the Convention and voted for the execution of Louis XVI. His son Louis Philippe was involved in the treasonous plot of General Dumouriez; soon after the treason was uncovered, Philippe Egalité was guillotined.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.