Saint-Just, Louis Antoine

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Saint-Just, Louis Antoine


Born Aug. 25, 1767, in De-cize; died July 28, 1794, in Paris. Leader in the French Revolution; associate of M. de Robespierre.

Saint-Just completed a law course in Reims. Welcoming the revolution enthusiastically, he participated in the political struggle. In 1790 he began to correspond with Robespierre. Elected to the National Convention in September 1792, he joined the Jacobins. At the end of 1792, Saint-Just advocated the execution of the king. He participated in drafting the Jacobin Constitution in 1793.

As a member of the Committee of Public Safety, Saint-Just played a leading role in the politics of the Jacobin dictatorship. At his suggestion, the Convention approved a resolution establishing a revolutionary government (Oct. 10, 1793). Saint-Just was the principal denouncer of the Girondins, Hébertists, and Dantonists. He made an important organizational contribution to the victories of revolutionary France. Assigned at the end of 1793 with P. Lebas to the Army of the Rhine and later, to the Army of the North, he acted decisively in the struggle against counterrevolutionary elements and in the reorganization of the revolutionary armies, thus contributing to their victory at Fleurus on June 26, 1794. On Saint-Just’s initiative, the Convention approved the Ventose Decrees (1794).

Saint-Just was guillotined after the counterrevolutionary Thermidorian coup. In 1800 his friends published his Fragments on Republican Institutions.


Oeuvres choisies. Paris [1968].
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.