Born Sept. 9, 1809, in La Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe; died June 26,1870, in The Hague. French petit-bourgeois revolutionary democrat.
In the mid-1830’s, Barbès and L. O. Blanqui participated in the founding of the secret revolutionary societies the Society of Families and the Society of the Seasons. After the failure of the Blanquist uprising of May 12, 1839, he was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment. He was freed during the Revolution of 1848 and actively participated in the democratic movement; he was president of the Club of the Revolution. At a time of intensified class struggle in France in the spring of 1848, Barbes broke with Blanqui. During the antigovernment demonstration of Apr. 16, 1848, he was among those who defended the Provisional Government against the rebellious workers. However, after the opening of the Constituent Assembly Barbès participated in the demonstration on May 15 against the reactionary policies of the assembly. For this he was sentenced to life imprisonment. In 1854, Barbès was released from prison, and he emigrated to Belgium.