Barère de Vieuzac, Bertrand

Barère de Vieuzac, Bertrand

Barère de Vieuzac, Bertrand (bĕrträNˈ bärĕrˈ də vyözäkˈ), 1755–1841, French revolutionary. A member of the Revolutionary National Assembly and of the Convention, he moved from a moderate to a radical stand, voting for the execution of King Louis XVI. He was a member of and often the spokesman for the Committee of Public Safety, the body that ruled France for a time during the Revolutionary Wars. When the moderates in the Convention turned against Maximilien Robespierre, one of the leaders of the committee and perpetrator of the Reign of Terror (June, 1794), Barère deserted his colleague. Nevertheless, Barère was imprisoned for his role in the Terror. Escaping from prison, he remained in hiding for several years but reappeared as a secret agent of Emperor Napoleon I. Banished (1815) after the Bourbon restoration, he returned in the reign of Louis Philippe. He left memoirs.


See biography by L. Gershoy (1962).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Barère de Vieuzac, Bertrand


Born Sept. 10, 1755, in Tarbes; died there on Jan. 13, 1841. A figure in the Great French Revolution; lawyer.

A deputy in the Constituent Assembly and the Convention, Barère de Vieuzac advanced as a clever orator. In the Convention he tried to reconcile the Girondins with the Jacobins, supporting first one side and then the other. From April 1793 he was a member of the Committee of Public Safety and its principal speaker; he was occupied with problems of foreign policy and public education. As a member of the committee he worked with G. J. Danton and later M. de Robespierre. During Thermidor (July 27–28, 1794) he opposed Robespierre. Under the Thermidorean reaction Barère de Vieuzac was persecuted. In 1799 he welcomed the coup d’etat of 18 Brumaire. During the Restoration he was exiled. At the beginning of the July Revolution of 1830, Barère de Vieuzac was permitted to return to France.


Mémoires. . . , vols. 1–4. Paris, 1842–44.


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