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(säN-külôt`) [French,=without knee breeches], a term loosely applied to the lower classes in France during the French Revolution. The name was derived from the fact that these people wore long trousers instead of the knee breeches worn by the upper classes. The term applied to the sectionary "elites" in Paris connected with the JacobinsJacobins
, political club of the French Revolution. Formed in 1789 by the Breton deputies to the States-General, it was reconstituted as the Society of Friends of the Constitution after the revolutionary National Assembly moved (Oct., 1789) to Paris.
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 and to the popular masses aroused during the revolutionary journées (mass protests). Sans-culottism referred to the collectivist ideology that valued fraternity above liberty and demanded economic controls. With the suicide of RouxRoux, Jacques
, d. 1794, French revolutionary. A priest in Paris, he abandoned the priesthood at the start of the French Revolution. Roux was a member of the Commune of Paris of Aug., 1792. As a leader of the enragés in the Paris sections, he helped to instigate (Feb.
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 and the fall of HébertHébert, Jacques René
, 1757–94, French journalist and revolutionary. An ardent supporter of the French Revolution, he gained the support of the working classes through his virulent paper Le Père Duchesne and was prominent in the Cordeliers.
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, sans-culotte power was neutralized. The enragésenragés
, term applied to a small group of Parisian radical extremists in the French Revolution. Rising prices and food shortages provoked them in Feb.–Mar., 1793, to pillage the city's food stores.
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 were a distinct group of sans-culottes.


See A. Soboul, The Sans-cullotes (1981).

References in periodicals archive ?
The French general Dumourier and his sansculotte aide-de-camp are shown entering Holland with the mission of taking over the government of the country, but they are faced by the Dutch army, an implacable band of armed frogs, to whom the aide-de-camp exclaims: 'Aha Mon[sieu]r Grenouille.
The French sansculottes, in substituting for God the will of the majority, completely inverted the relationship of individual to state.
Following "Thermidorian" logic, the sansculottes of the Iranian revolution were eliminated by the neural center of the power system, all while being preached moral philosophy and religious rigor.
Particularly interesting here is Clarke's discussion of the differences between Paris and the provinces in this context, and his compelling argument that even for the staunchest sansculottes, the remembrance of Marat remained replete with references to the sacred and to Catholic traditions.
At the same time, Les Piques, 1992-93, presents a significant reversal of this theme in its allusion not to repression but to anarchic rebellion, to the masses of sansculottes brandishing the impaled heads of aristocrats through the streets of Paris during the Reign of Terror.
2132-33) shows the pavement of the Place du Carrousel littered with heads and dismembered bodies and sansculottes hacking enemies to death as a building goes up in flames in the background and men in the foreground and right-hand side of the scene observe the slaughter; and two illustrations (B.