Pierre-Gaspard Chaumette

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Chaumette, Pierre-Gaspard

 

(during the revolution, Anaxagoras Chaumette). Born May 24, 1763, in Nevers; died Apr. 13,1794, in Paris. Figure in the French Revolution; left Jacobin.

Chaumette joined the political club known as the Cordeliers in 1790. He took part in the preparations for the popular uprising of Aug. 10, 1792. After the insurgents’ victory, he became first a member of the Paris Commune and then, in December 1792, its procurator. He sought to introduce a tax on the rich, end unemployment, and increase the wages of workers. He opposed the Girondins.

Chaumette advocated the arrest of the Enragés; nevertheless, to strengthen the democratic revolutionary dictatorship, he appropriated some of their slogans and led a demonstration of the Parisian lower classes on Sept. 4 and 5, 1793. He insisted on the implementation of egalitarian measures, including an agrarian program that in many respects anticipated that of the Ventose Decrees. He favored state control of the production and sale of agricultural commodities. He also demanded the nationalization of all enterprises that had ceased to function because of the big bourgeoisie’s sabotaging of the Maximum.

Chaumette helped initiate the policy of dechristianization, but he renounced the policy after M. Robespierre condemned it in November 1793. During the period of intense struggle within the Jacobin bloc, Chaumette denounced the actions of the Hébertists. Nevertheless, shortly after the Hébertists were arrested, he too was arrested. Accused of attempting to transform the Commune into a legislative organ opposed to the Convention, Chaumette was guillotined.

REFERENCES

Mikhailov, Ia. (Zakher). Anaksagor Shomett: Antireligioznik XVIII v. Moscow, 1930.
Zakher, Ia. M. “K voprosu o znachenii vzgliadov Anaksagora Shometta dlia predystorii sotsialisticheskikh idei.” In Frantsuzskii ezhegodnik, 1961. Moscow, 1962.