Cult of the Supreme Being - Wikipedia
The Cult of the Supreme Being was a form of deism established in France by Maximilien Devised almost entirely by Robespierre, the Cult of the Supreme Being was were a belief in the existence of a god and the immortality of the human soul. . "'Look at the bugger,' muttered Thuriot, an old associate of Danton. pregnant at the time of her marriage, and François' parents had refused to attend . Robespierre's alleged abandonment of his friends Danton and Desmoulins as they .. sainthood, he mounts his soapbox, he speaks of God and Providence. The Cult of the Supreme Being was devised by Robespierre in April and republican values and deism (the Enlightenment idea that God existed but of the revolution, its achievements and the pivotal connection between virtue and terror. allied with Georges Danton, was not impressed by Robespierre's speeches.
The best way to regenerate society and draw closer to this Supreme Being was to study, uphold and honour these natural laws. It ordered the artist Jacques-Louis David to oversee the organisation of this festival. The result was a tightly coordinated and choreographed series of marches and ceremonies. According to contemporary reports, the Festival of the Supreme Being in Paris had all the micromanagement, discipline and emotive fanfare of a Nazi rally. It began with speeches and a symbolic ceremony in the Tuileries garden, where a statue representing atheism was set alight.
The participants and crowd then proceeded to the Champ de Mars. Robespierre, dressed in a grand blue coat and gold trousers, led the deputies of the Convention to the top of the artificial mountain while the crowd looked on from below. By they were accustomed to revolutionary festivals. They enjoyed the pomp and pageantry of these events, the respite from daily work and political conflict, the opportunity to remember what had been gained rather than arguing over what had not been achieved.
Some observers believed the Festival of the Supreme Being was a grander, more significant celebration than its predecessors. Today they have rejoiced at the change of place of the guillotine. I have heard a great number of citizens say: According to Michelet, other people believed that the new cult also signaled an end to the executions.
But far from signifying [this] it preceded, by just a few hours, the onset of what has been called the Great Terror. Indeed, two days after the Festival of the Supreme Being, the Convention voted the Law of 22 Prairial, submitted by Couthon and generally thought to have been inspired by Robespierre.
The contrived religious movement failed to capture the public imagination or win any natural support. Readers of her memoirs may see her as an irritating and self-regarding woman, but they will also remember her frankness about her early sexual experiences; she was not a fool, and not someone who lacked self-awareness. She had influence, but no power.
Brissot had been around long enough to be compromised; Marat and Desmoulins claimed he had been a police spy before the Revolution. They had been around too, so they knew.
They held secret files on each other, or so they said. What did mark out the Girondins, Rolandins and Brissotins was their federalist impulses; they distrusted Paris, and in a moment of panic in the autumn of they proposed taking the government out of the capital, an idea Danton dismissed with contempt.
They favoured a policy which the left wing of the Convention saw as suicidal; unless united, how could France possibly withstand a grand European alliance dedicated to the crushing of the Revolution? It was not a big step, later, for the left to represent federalist sympathies as traitorous. He regarded it as immoral, unwinnable and likely to end in military dictatorship. Danton would have avoided war too, and worked busily behind the scenes to negotiate a cessation of hostilities, while pumping out nationalist, expansionist rhetoric: We shall attain them on their four sides — the Ocean, the Rhine, the Alps and the Pyrenees.
When he arrived in Paris, a grieving, howling wreck of a man who had been too long on the road, it was to find that the child was lost too and that Gabrielle had already been buried. She had been dead for a week when Danton had her exhumed so that a sculptor could take a mould for a bust; this gruesome proceeding, carried out by night, suggested that he was a man who, goaded to the edge of exhaustion, had tipped into emotional breakdown.
Perhaps it began here, the strange numbness that overtook him when he was most required to act. His political judgment was no longer secure, his lucky touch had gone. He had to explain that misjudgment to the National Convention; all the same, his domination of that body, in debate after debate, became clear in the spring of With the republic once more on the brink of being invaded, and threatening to break up internally, he launched another round of recruitment and requisitioning, declaring that Paris would have to save the country.
The idea was to fill a power vacuum; as the men seen to matter in France were deputies to the Convention, and so debarred from ministerial office, the old structure had lost status and the force of the executive arm had diminished.
Georges Danton - Wikipedia
The Committee contained no Girondins, Brissotins or Rolandins. By June they were in prison or had fled. His secret was soon out. He took to spending time with his bride in a country house he had rented outside Paris. In July, he was dropped from the Committee. Two weeks later, Robespierre was elected. Till this point he had avoided government posts, but his time had come.
He did not need women or relaxation, and did not have secrets. In Octoberpleading illness, Danton took himself off to Arcis, to seal himself up in his much renovated ancestral home and try to ignore the Paris newspapers. Desmoulins and Fabre begged Danton to come back and reassert his authority.
When he reappeared in Paris, he found he was living in the Year II. The old calendar had ceased to exist, and so had his old address; he was now at home in the rue Marat.
The political landscape was changing as fast as the street names. As the year closed — the old-style year, — Desmoulins launched a press campaign to end the executions and release the thousands of interned suspects held throughout the country. In its first weeks, the campaign for clemency was wildly popular. Robespierre gave cautious approval; then he pulled back, becoming aware that, of all those who needed clemency, the Dantonists perhaps needed it most.
A fulminating stock market scandal, in which Fabre was deeply implicated, seemed in the climate of the times to have political ramifications. Danton could perhaps have escaped. He had a warning, an hour or two before his arrest. He never wrote his speeches; he grew them extempore, and fed them on the emotion of his audience. All his life he was at the mercy of patchy note-takers. Alphonse Aulard, who held the first chair in revolutionary studies at the Sorbonne, investigated the problem in One hopes that he said them.
Historically speaking, one cannot be sure. Perhaps they are more true than authentic. Infleeing a backlash against the radicals, he had spent six weeks in England. He was not welcome then, he would be less welcome now. As a child, he was attacked by several animals, resulting in the disfigurement and scarring of the skin on his face, also contributed to by smallpox. The couple had three sons: She looked after his two surviving sons. One of many clubs important in the early phases of the Revolution, the Cordeliers was a centre for the "popular principle", that France was to be a country of its people under popular sovereignty ; they were the earliest to accuse the royal court of being irreconcilably hostile to freedom; and they most vehemently proclaimed the need for radical action.
In Junethe King and the Queen made a disastrous attempt to flee from the capital. They were forced to return to the Tuileries Palacewhich effectively became their prison.
Queen Marie Antoinette opened negotiations with the moderate leaders of the Revolution in an attempt to save the monarchy and to establish a moderate constitutional settlement. A bloody dispersion of a popular gathering, known as the massacre of the Champ de Mars Julykindled resentment against the court and the constitutional party.
Danton was, in part, behind the crowd that gathered and fearing counter-revolutionary backlash, he fled to England for the rest of the summer.
Due to the Self-denying Ordinance none of its members were eligible to its successor, the short-lived Legislative Assembly. Danton's party was able to procure for him a subordinate post in the Paris Commune. In Aprilthe Girondist government—still functioning as a constitutional monarchy—declared war against Austria. A country in turmoil from the immense civil and political changes of the past two years now faced war with an enemy on its eastern frontier. Parisian distrust for the court turned to open insurrection.
Danton's role in this uprising is unclear. He may have been one of its leaders; this view is supported because on the morning after the effective fall of the monarchy, Danton became minister of justice. This sudden rise from the subordinate office which he held in the commune is a demonstration of his power within the insurrectionist party.
Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. February Learn how and when to remove this template message According to a biographer, "Danton's height was colossal, his make athletic, his features strongly marked, coarse, and displeasing; his voice shook the domes of the halls".
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.