Committee of General Security

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Committee of General Security


(Le Comité de Sûreté Générale), one of the committees of the Convention in the period of the Great French Revolution.

The chief task of the committee was to fight domestic counterrevolution. It was established on Oct. 2, 1792, and its membership changed many times, reflecting the political struggle between the Girondins and the Jacobins, as well as struggles within the Jacobin bloc. The committee’s role expanded during the Jacobin dictatorship. After September 1793, it came under the general leadership of the Committee of Public Safety. In the spring and summer of 1794, the frictions between the Committee of General Security and the Committee of Public Safety became exacerbated. The former was dominated by proponents (including Vadier and Amar) of the most extreme, terrorist measures against the enemy, whereas the latter favored a more moderate policy. On the eve of the Thermidorian Reaction of July 1794, counterrevolutionary elements infiltrated the Committee of General Security. The majority of its members took part in the coup of 9 Thermidor. The Committee of General Security ceased to exist when the Convention was dissolved (Oct. 26, 1795).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Indeed, they constituted shock troops serving the will of the Convention's Committee of General Security. They were in many ways precursors of the twentieth-century Nazi Brown Shirts, fascist leagues of France, or Black Shirts of Italy.

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