Vergniaud, Pierre Victurnien

Vergniaud, Pierre Victurnien

(pyĕr vēktürnyăN` vĕrnyō`), 1753–93, French revolutionary. A brilliant lawyer, he gained attention (1790) when defending peasants who had burned a castle. Elected a deputy to the legislative assembly from the Gironde, he was a leader of the GirondistsGirondists
or Girondins
, political group of moderate republicans in the French Revolution, so called because the central members were deputies of the Gironde dept. Girondist leaders advocated continental war.
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 and was one of the greatest orators of the French Revolution. His most noted speeches include his address (1792) in favor of beginning the war against Austria. During the trial of Louis XVI, he unwisely recommended a referendum on the punishment of the king. He led the fight against the bloc known as the MountainMountain, the,
in French history, the label applied to deputies sitting on the raised left benches in the National Convention during the French Revolution. Members of the faction, known as Montagnards [Mountain Men] saw themselves as the embodiment of national unity.
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 and against Maximilien Robespierre. He fell with the Girondists and was guillotined.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Vergniaud, Pierre Victurnien

 

Born May 31, 1753, in Limoges; died Oct. 31, 1793, in Paris. Active in the Great French Revolution. A lawyer.

In 1791, Vergniaud was elected a deputy to the Legislative Assembly and was its chairman during the uprising of Aug. 10, 1792, which overthrew the monarchy. Being a leader of the Girondists, Vergniaud was elected a deputy to the Convention, where he was a resolute opponent of the Mountain. After the victory of the popular uprising of May 31-June 2, 1793, Vergniaud was arrested and sentenced to death by the Revolutionary Tribunal.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.