Georges Danton | French revolutionary leader | vlozodkaz.info
Georges Danton, portrait by Constance-Marie Charpentier; in the Musée . They were challenging not only the system of the terror of Robespierre but the whole. Get an answer for 'How were Robespierre and Danton similar and different during the and find homework help for other History, Georges Danton, Robespierre ways are the Senate and the House of Representatives similar and different?. Amongst those winning a seat were Robespierre, Desmoulins and Danton. their pleasures, the other members of the Convention wrestled with ways off . Robespierre and Saint-Just having a romantic relationship with one another due to.
To add to the fierceness of his repulsive countenance, he was deeply marked with the small-pox, and his eyes were unusually small, and sparkling in surrounding darkness, like the famous carbuncle. With his support, the National Convention authorized the right to search every household throughout the kingdom in order to confiscate all property that could be useful to the government. Danton believed the country's situation called for vigorous actions because public danger was much greater than the people imagined.
During this period, over 18, persons fell to the guillotine, with 2, executions occurring in Paris under the power of the Revolutionary Tribunal.
An emergency executive body, the Committee of Public Safety was designed to provide more effective action and greater co-operation between executive and legislative branches of the government.
At first, the Committee served as a ministry, responsible to the Convention, which it later came to dominate. Under critical circumstances, it was authorized to take measures of general defense, both internal and external. He was the dominating personality in the body. The ends for which he worked were the reconciliation of the parties within the Convention and the re-establishment of peace with Europe. This meant justice for everyone, clemency for enemies and the recalling of all deposed Convention members.
He believed that these former members should be granted amnesty and subjected to the Constitution of Danton misjudged the depth and fury of the revolutionary stream, believing in May that the time had come for compromise and consolidation.
That was his error, and he resigned from the Committee in Julyleaving behind failed projects and the leadership of the newly elected Robespierre. He was to remain a member and the Committee's outstanding spokesman until his death a year later. He established the guillotine as a permanent feature of the Revolution and ordered mass executions in order to cleanse France of all threats to his power. Resting in his hometown, Danton soon learned of his successor's victories.
He was naturally jealous of Robespierre's achievement and horrified by the outrageous methods used to bring it about. Despite the resources which Robespierre could command, Danton saw himself strong enough for a political challenge.
Though he had no stomach for street battles, Danton showed real courage in the political arena. He came back still a giant, forcing a loud voice, but It seems that he returned too late to stop Robespierre's dictatorship. Robespierre sought to help Danton elttier because he saw that Danton and he were not strong enough to overthrow the Committees or because he was afraid to give too much power to Danton. However, the pro-terror groups within the Committee of Public Safety ended the possibility of the two leaders uniting.
Robespierre summarized his views in a speech delivered to the National Convention: In our country, we want to replace egoism with morality, honor with honesty, the tyranny of fashion with the rule of reason, insolence with self-respect, wit with genius, show with truth, and an amiable, frivolous and wretched people with one that is magnanimous, strong and happy, that is to say we want to replace all the vices and stupidities of the monarchy with all the virtues and miracles of the Republic.
He described making himself into a new man by means of virtue, and offered this exemplary being to the nation as a constant object of admIration, pity and fear.
Unlike Danton, known to abandon his heroic posture, Robespierre never relinquished the image that he had created of himself. Danton wished to relax the Terror. He saw no more need for wholesale use of the guillotine when the Republican armies were victorious at home and abroad.
The creation of a vague and broad Republic, with men of all political orientations joined together, was Danton's plan 26 "Blood endless blood," Danton said, "The Wretches. They will end up by drowning the Revolution. During the Convention, Danton had even spoken in favor of eventually ending the Terror. Twice he had approached Robespierre, but no agreement could be made.
Robespierre denied that any innocent people had perished and insisted that Danton's concern for suspects was proof of his own lax principles.
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The Revolution, according to Robespierre, is the war of liberty against its enemies, and the constitution is the regime of victorIous and peace-loving liberty. Robespierre strongly believed that the Terror should be increased in intensity, rather then diminished, in order to assure the establishment of a permanent constitutional government.
Since Robespierre's conception of the Terror was its infallibility in all matters of justice, Danton was seriously questioning a fundamental tenet of Robespierre's nationalist philosophy that the "nation could do no wrong.
Danton seemed to prefer toleration and a return to pre-Revolutionary France. Their decision that the Terror should be maintained was simply a time judgement because both intended to end the Terror after Revolutionary justice had been applied to ease the wounds of the nation.
Although the two politicians had a sense of immortality and constant approval, Englishmen such as W. Miles believed that Robespierre and Danton were just leaders as long as they remained loyal to liberty, but they would be overthrown if they betrayed the cause of liberty. He did not agree that individuals should be denounced at random without any kind of proof.
According to Paine, the Terror undermined and destroyed all trust, not to mention all confidence and authority that had already been created.
While the Dantonists wanted the French royalty to return, Robespierre declared that all kings and aristocrats were slaves rebelling against the people. Robespierre went further to add that all enemies of liberty should be annihilated to uphold the rights of man. With Danton's plan to recall the noblemen, Robespierre scoffed at him and said, "Show consideration for the Royalists. You should have compassion with the innocent and the weak. Given their numerous differences in personality and ideology, Robespierre and Danton were destined to confront one another.
Robespierre definitely considered the Dantonists to be enemies of the Revolution because they proposed a form of government not based upon virtue.
Robespierre connected the government with the welfare of France and considered any assauit upon the government as an attack upon the nation. As Robespierre listened, he was convinced that Danton was pushing for leadership in a post-Terror government.
If Robespierre did not counter-attack quickly, the Dantonists could seize control of the National Convention and bring an end to his Republic of Virtue. He planned to convict Danton and his followers on false charges of treason and other unpatriotic acts. During the week preceding Danton's arrest, Robespierre cautiously moved his agents into vacancies in the government created by previously eliminated factions.
All sides of the trap were carefully tested so that Danton could not escape. In the solitude of his room, Robespierre began to construct the charges that would secure Danton's head. He wrote phrases and ideas, rather than clear sentences, in order to protect himself from possible incrimination.
All but two signed the warrant for arrest of Danton, and the order was carried out the same night. Danton, and his associates, shall be apprehended, taken up and arrested wherever they may be found.Maximilien Robespierre: The Reign of Terror
Their names will be entered in the jail-book of the register of the Luxembourg house of detention, where they shall remain in prison until arraignment upon the decree of accusations. He was soon joined by his followers and kept under close confinement until their trial began. The Dantonists, in Robespierre's eyes, had become false patriots who had preferred personal and foreign interests to the welfare of the nation. The trial was as great a farce as the charges.
Robespierre took every precaution to assure Danton's condemnation. There were no witnesses, because the "proof" rested largely in Robespierre's accusations. However, the charges were scarcely credible.
Georges Danton - Wikipedia
Robespierre's belief that Danton was involved in plots against France was impossible to prove and hardly believable. The charges became even more ridiculous when Robespierre accused Danton of being an enemy of virtue and not being patriotic enough. Once again Robespierre demonstrated his belief that anything contrary to the Republic of Virtue was a crime against France. Their strength was soon put to the test. The alarming successes of the Austrians and the surrender of two important fortresses caused panic in the capital; over a thousand prisoners were murdered.
At that time, Danton was accused of directing these September Massacresbut no evidence of this is available from modern research. However, he apparently did nothing to prevent the atrocities, and instead insisted that his colleagues should remain firm at their posts. The election to the National Convention took place in September ; after which the remnant of the Legislative Assembly formally surrendered its authority. The Convention ruled France until October Danton was a member; resigning as Minister of Justice once it was clear that the invading Austrian and Prussian armies had been turned back, he took a prominent part in the deliberations and proceedings of the Convention.
He found himself side by side with Maratwhose exaggerations he never countenanced; with Maximilien Robespierrewhom he did not regard very highly, but whose immediate aims were in many respects his own; with Camille Desmoulins and Pierre Philippeauxwho were his close friends and constant partisans.
Danton saw radical Paris as the only force to which the National Convention could look in resisting Austria and its allies on the north-east frontier, and the reactionaries in the interior. It is the centre of light. When Paris shall perish there will no longer be a republic. After the execution had been carried out, he thundered "The kings of Europe would dare challenge us? We throw them the head of a king!
When all executive power was conferred upon a Committee of Public Safety 6 AprilDanton had been one of the nine original members of that body. He was dispatched on frequent missions from the Convention to the republican armies in Belgiumand wherever he went he infused new energy into the army. He pressed forward the new national system of educationand he was one of the legislative committee charged with the construction of a new system of government.
He tried and failed to bridge the hostilities between Girondists and Jacobins. The Girondists were irreconcilable, and the fury of their attacks on Danton and the Mountain was unremitting.
Fall of the Girondists[ edit ] This section needs additional citations for verification. June Learn how and when to remove this template message Although he was—again in the words of the Britannica—"far too robust in character to lose himself in merely personal enmities", by the middle of May Danton had made up his mind that the Girondists must be politically suppressed.
The Convention was wasting time and force in vindictive factional recriminations, while the country was in crisis. Danton had defended Dumouriez against attacks in Convention, probably to allow Dumouriez to concentrate on the war, before the General's defection, so it decreased Danton's standing with the public and made him lose some of the support of the more moderate members of the Jacobin club. The French armies were suffering a series of checks and reverses. A royalist rebellion was gaining formidable dimensions in the west.
The Girondists were clamoring for the heads of Danton and his colleagues in the Mountain a name for the group of Jacobins in the General Assembly, stemming from their raised seats in the back of the hallbut they would lose this struggle to the death.
Danton addressing the National Convention. There is no positive evidence that Danton directly instigated the insurrection of 31 May — 2 Junewhich ended in the purge of the Convention and the proscription of the Girondists.
He afterwards spoke of himself as in some sense the author of this revolution, because a little while before, stung by some trait of factious perversity in the Girondists, he had openly cried out in the midst of the Convention, that if he could only find a hundred men, they would resist the oppressive authority of the Girondist Commission of Twelve.
At any rate, he certainly acquiesced in the violence of the communeand he publicly gloried in the expulsion of the men who stood obstinately in the way of a vigorous and concentrated exertion of national power. Danton, unlike the Girondists, "accepted the fury of popular passion as an inevitable incident in the work of deliverance. The authors of the Britannica see him at this time as wishing "to reconcile France with herself; to restore a society that, while emancipated and renewed in every part, should yet be stable; and above all to secure the independence of his country, both by a resolute defence against the invader, and by such a mixture of vigour with humanity as should reconcile the offended opinion of the rest of Europe.
In the Constituent Assembly, its members had been a mere 30 out of the of the third estate. In the Legislative Assembly, they had not been numerous, and none of their chiefs held a seat.
In the first nine months of the Convention, they were struggling for their very lives against the Girondists. In Junefor the first time, they found themselves in possession of absolute power. Men who had for many months been "nourished on the ideas and stirred to the methods of opposition" [ Britannica] suddenly had the responsibility of government. However small a part he played in removing the king, he was elected minister of justice by the Legislative Assembly. Though not officially its president, Danton dominated his colleagues by his strength of character, the aura of his Revolutionary past, and his ability to make swift decisions.
When the news arrived that Longwy had been taken by the invading armies Prussia had allied itself with Austria in July on August 25,and Jean-Marie Rolandminister of the interior, proposed that the government should move from Paris to Blois, Danton objected vigorously.
The proclamation he then caused the Executive Council to adopt bears his stamp: On the morning of September 2, when it was learned that Verdun was besieged and while the populace broke into the prisons to search for suspects and traitors, Danton, in the Legislative Assembly, delivered the most famous of his speeches: There is no proof, however, that the massacres were organized by him or by anyone else, though it is certain that he did nothing to stop them.
Just as in the case of the August insurrection, the September massacre was not the act of one man but of the people of Paris. He immediately made every effort to end all the disputes between the Revolutionary parties, but his policy of conciliation was thwarted by the Gironde, which demanded that he render an accounting when he left his post as minister of justice.
Danton could not justifylivres of secret expenditures. He emerged from this conflict embittered and with his political prestige diminished. He was present, however, on January 15,and voted for death without reprieve.
Although absent from the trial, Danton had played a part in it since the autumn of Only when the plan miscarried did he vote for the death of the king. Danton remained in the mainstream of the Revolution, not without often engaging in intrigue. His dealings with Dumouriez, who commanded the army of Belgium, have never been clarified. After the defeat of Neerwinden March 18,when Dumouriez went over to the Austrians, the Gironde accused Danton of complicity with the General.
Boldly turning the tables, Danton made the same accusation against the Girondins. The break was irreparable. For three months Danton was effectively the head of the government, charged especially with the conduct of foreign affairs and military matters.
During this second period in the government he pursued a policy of compromise and negotiation. He tried in every direction to enter into diplomatic conversations with the enemy. No doubt he could in all honesty think it useful to negotiate in an attempt to dissolve the allied coalition or even to obtain a general peace.
By the spring ofhowever, a policy of negotiation was no longer conceivable: