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List of people associated with the French Revolution

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a partial list of people associated with the French Revolution, including supporters and opponents. Note that not all people listed here were French.

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  • ✪ The French Revolution: Crash Course World History #29
  • ✪ What caused the French Revolution? - Tom Mullaney
  • ✪ The French Revolution -In a Nutshell
  • ✪ What Caused the French Revolution? | Cool History
  • ✪ The French Revolution: The Role the Enlightenment Played


Hi, my name is John Green, this is Crash Course World History and today we’re going to talk about The French Revolution. Admittedly, this wasn’t the French flag until 1794, but we just felt like he looked good in stripes. [vertical = slimming] As does this guy. Huh? So, while the American Revolution is considered a pretty good thing, the French Revolution is often seen as a bloody, anarchic mess—which— Mr. Green, Mr. Green! I bet, like always, it’s way more complicated than that. Actually no. It was pretty terrible. Also, like a lot of revolutions, in the end it exchanged an authoritarian regime for an authoritarian regime. But even if the revolution was a mess, its ideas changed human history— far more, I will argue, than the American Revolution. [Intro music] [intro music] [intro music] [intro music] [intro music] [intro music] [intro music] Right, so France in the 18th century was a rich and populous country, but it had a systemic problem collecting taxes because of the way its society was structured. They had a system with kings and nobles we now call the ancien regime. Thank you, three years of high school French. [and Meredith the Interness] And for most French people, it sucked, [historical term] because the people with the money— the nobles and the clergy— never paid taxes. So by 1789, France was deeply in debt thanks to their funding the American Revolution— thank you, France, [also for Goddard and The Coneheads] we will get you back in World Wars I and II. And King Louis XVI was spending half of his national budget to service the federal debt. Louis tried to reform this system under various finance ministers. He even called for democracy on a local level, but all attempts to fix it failed and soon France basically declared bankruptcy. This nicely coincided with hailstorms that ruined a year’s harvest, [ah, hail] thereby raising food prices and causing widespread hunger, which really made the people of France angry, because they love to eat. Meanwhile, the King certainly did not look broke, as evidenced by his well-fed physique and fancy footwear. He and his wife Marie Antoinette also got to live in the very nice Palace at Versailles thanks to God’s mandate, but Enlightenment thinkers like Kant were challenging the whole idea of religion, writing things like: “The main point of enlightenment is of man’s release from his self-caused immaturity, primarily in matters of religion.” [while smacking folks in face w/ glove] So basically the peasants were hungry, the intellectuals were beginning to wonder whether God could or should save the King, and the nobility were dithering about, eating fois gras and songbirds, [I'd rather eat cake, personally] failing to make meaningful financial reform. In response to the crisis, Louis XVI called a meeting of the Estates General, the closest thing that France had to a national parliament, which hadn’t met since 1614. The Estates General was like a super parliament made up of representatives from the First Estate, the nobles, the Second Estate, the clergy, and the Third Estate, everyone else. The Third Estate showed up with about 600 representatives, the First and Second Estates both had about 300, and after several votes, everything was deadlocked, and then the Third Estate was like, “You know what? Forget you guys. [expletive deleted] We’re gonna leave and we’re gonna become our own National Assembly.” This did not please King Louis XVI. [everything can't be an eclair, Lou] So when the new National Assembly left the room for a break, he locked the doors, and he was like, "Sorry, guys, you can't go in there. And if you can't assemble, how you gonna be a national assembly?" […and with that, mischief managed!] Shockingly, the Third Estate representatives were able to find a different room in France, [D'oh!] this time an indoor tennis court where they swore the famous Tennis Court Oath. [Like McEnroe? You can't be serious..] And they agreed not to give up until a French constitution was established. So then Louis XVI responded by sending troops to Paris primarily to quell uprisings over food shortages, but the revolutionaries saw this as a provocation, so they responded by seizing the Bastille Prison on July 14th, which, coincidentally, is also Bastille Day. The Bastille was stormed ostensibly to free prisoners— although there were only seven in jail at the time— but mostly to get guns. But the really radical move in the National Assembly came on August 4, when they abolished most of the ancien regime. -- feudal rights, tithes, privileges for nobles, unequal taxation, they were all abolished -- in the name of writing a new constitution. And then, on August 26th, the National Assembly proclaimed the Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen, which laid out a system of rights that applied to every person, and made those rights integral to the new constitution. That’s quite different from the American bill of rights, which was, like, begrudgingly tacked on at the end and only applied to non-slaves. The DoRoMaC, as I called it in high school, declared that everyone had the right to liberty, property, and security— rights that the French Revolution would do an exceptionally poor job of protecting, but as noted last week, the same can be argued for many other supposedly more successful revolutions. Okay, let’s go to the Thought Bubble. Meanwhile, back at Versailles, Louis XVI was still King of France, and it was looking like France might be a constitutional monarchy. Which might've meant that the royal family could hang on to their awesome house, but then, in October of 1789, a rumor started that Marie Antoinette was hoarding grain somewhere inside the palace. And in what became known as the Women's March, a bunch of armed peasant women stormed the palace and demanded that Louis and Marie Antoinette move from Versailles to Paris. Which they did, because everyone is afraid of armed peasant women. ["hell hath no rath" and all] And this is a nice reminder that to many people at the time, the French Revolution was not primarily about fancy Enlightenment ideas; it was mostly about lack of food and a political system that made economic contractions hardest on the poor. Now, a good argument can be made that this first phase of the revolution wasn’t all that revolutionary. The National Assembly wanted to create a constitutional monarchy; they believed that the king was necessary for a functioning state and they were mainly concerned that the voters and office holders be men of property. Only the most radical wing, the Jacobins, called for the creation of a republic. But things were about to get much more revolutionary— and also worse for France. First, the Jacobins had a huge petition drive that got a bit unruly, which led troops controlled not by the King but by the national assembly to fire on the crowd, killing 50 people. And that meant that the National Assembly, which had been the revolutionary voice of the people, had killed people in an attempt to reign in revolutionary fervor. You see this a lot throughout history during revolutions. What looked like radical hope and change suddenly becomes "The Man" as increasingly radical ideas are embraced. Thanks, Thought Bubble. Meanwhile, France’s monarchical neighbors were getting a little nervous about all this republic business, especially Leopold II, who in addition to being the not holy not roman and not imperial holy roman emperor, was Marie Antoinette’s brother. I should note, by the way, that at this point, the Holy Roman Empire was basically just Austria. Also, like a lot of monarchs, Leopold II liked the idea of monarchies, and he wanted to keep his job as a person who gets to stand around wearing a dress, pointing at nothing, owning winged lion-monkeys made out of gold. [must've been a real partier, that one] And who can blame him? So he and King William Frederick II of Prussia together issued the Declaration of Pilnitz, which promised to restore the French monarchy. At this point, Louis and the National Assembly developed a plan: Let’s invade Austria. [always a solid plan?] The idea was to plunder Austria’s wealth and maybe steal some Austrian grain to shore up French food supplies, and also, you know, spread revolutionary zeal. But what actually happened is that Prussia joined Austria in fighting the French. And then Louis encouraged the Prussians, which made him look like an enemy of the revolution, which, of course, he was. And as a result, the Assembly voted to suspend the monarchy, have new elections in which everyone could vote (as long as they were men), and create a new republican constitution. Soon, this Convention decided to have a trial for Louis XVI, who was found guilty and, by one vote, sentenced to die via guillotine. Which made it difficult for Austria and Prussia to restore him to the throne. Oh, it’s time for the open letter? [musical chairs undefeated champ rolls] An Open Letter to the Guillotine. But first, let’s see what’s in the secret compartment today. Oh, there’s nothing. Oh my gosh, Stan! Jeez. That’s not funny! [That's what Anne Boleyn said…] Dear Guillotine, I can think of no better example of Enlightenment thinking run amok. Dr. Joseph Guillotine, the inventor of the guillotine, envisioned it as an egalitarian way of dying. They said the guillotine was humane and it also made no distinction between rich or poor, noble or peasant. It killed equally. You were also celebrated for taking the torture out of execution. But I will remind you, you did not take the dying out of execution. [or have a self-cleaning function] Unfortunately for you, France hasn’t executed anyone since 1977. But you’ll be happy to know that the last legal execution in France was via guillotine. Plus, you’ve always got a future in horror movies. Best wishes, John Green The death of Louis XVI marks the beginning of The Terror, the best known or at least the most sensational phase of the revolution. I mean, if you can kill the king, you can kill pretty much anyone, which is what the government did under the leadership of the Committee of Public Safety (Motto: We suck at protecting public safety) led by Maximilien Robespierre. The terror saw the guillotining of 16,000 enemies of the revolution including Marie “I never actually said Let them eat cake” Antoinette and Maximilien Robespierre himself, who was guillotined in the month of Thermidor in the year Two. Oh, right. So while France was broke and fighting in like nine wars, the Committee of Public Safety changed the measurements of time because, you know, the traditional measurements are so irrational and religion-y. So they renamed all the months and decided that every day would have 10 hours and each hour 100 minutes. And then, after the Terror, the revolution pulled back a bit and another new constitution was put into place, this one giving a lot more power to wealthy people. At this point, France was still at war with Austria and Britain, wars that France ended up winning, largely [lol] thanks to a little corporal named Napoleon Bonaparte. The war was backdrop to a bunch of coups and counter coups that I won’t get into right now because they were very complicated, but the last coup that we’ll talk about, in 1799, established Napoleon Bonaparte as the First Consul of France. And it granted him almost unlimited executive power under yet another constitution. By which he presumably meant that France’s government had gone all the way from here to here to here. As with the American revolution, it’s easy to conclude that France’s revolution wasn’t all that revolutionary. I mean, Napoleon was basically an emperor and, in some ways, he was even more of an absolute monarch than Louis XVI had been. Gradually the nobles came back to France, although they had mostly lost their special privileges. The Catholic Church returned, too, although much weaker because it had lost land and the ability to collect tithes. And when Napoleon himself fell, France restored the monarchy, and except for a four-year period, between 1815 and 1870, France had a king who was either a Bourbon or a Bonaparte. Now, these were no longer absolute monarchs who claimed that their right to rule came from God; they were constitutional monarchs of the kind that the revolutionaries of 1789 had originally envisioned. But the fact remains that France had a king again, and a nobility, and an established religion and it was definitely not a democracy or a republic. And perhaps this is why the French Revolution is so controversial and open to interpretation. Some argue the revolution succeeded in spreading enlightenment ideals even if it didn’t bring democracy to France. Others argue that the real legacy of the Revolution wasn’t the enhancement of liberty, but of state power. Regardless, I’d argue that the French Revolution was ultimately far more revolutionary than its American counterpart. I mean, in some ways, America never had an aristocracy, but in other ways it continued to have one— the French enlightenment thinker, Diderot, felt that Americans should “fear a too unequal division of wealth resulting in a small number of opulent citizens and a multitude of citizens living in misery.” And the American Revolution did nothing to change that polarization of wealth. What made the French Revolution so radical was its insistence on the universality of its ideals. I mean, look at Article 6 of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen: “Law is the expression of the general will. Every citizen has a right to participate personally, or through his representative, in its foundation. It must be the same for all, whether it protects or punishes.” Those are radical ideas, that the laws come from citizens, not from kings or gods, and that those laws should apply to everyone equally. That’s a long way from Hammurabi— and in truth, it’s a long way from the slaveholding Thomas Jefferson. In the 1970s, Chinese President Zhou Enlai was asked what the affects of the French Revolution had been. And he said, “It’s too soon to say.” And in a way, it still is. The French Revolution asked new questions about the nature of people’s rights and the derivation of those rights. And we’re still answering those questions and sorting through how our answers should shape society today. —must government be of the people to be for the people? Do our rights derive from nature or from God or from neither? And what are those rights? As William Faulkner said, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Thanks for watching. I’ll see you next week. Crash Course is produced and directed by Stan Muller, our script supervisor is Danica Johnson, the show is written by my high school history teacher Raoul Meyer and myself, our graphics team is Thought Bubble, [If you <3 our graphics, Blame Canada!] and we are ably interned by Meredith Danko. [dba: The Interness or MTVCS] Last week’s phrase of the week was "Giant Tea Bag" [seriously, it totally was] If you want to suggest future phrases of the week, or guess at this week's you can do so in comments, where you can also ask questions about today’s video that will be answered by our team of historians. Thanks for watching Crash Course, and as we say in my hometown, don’t forget, Metal Ball, I Can Hear You. [slides out like an ace photobomber] [music outro] [music outro]


Charles, comte d'Artois Younger brother of Louis XVI and one of the first émigrés; later King Charles X (1824–1830).
Reine Audu Participant in The Women's March on Versailles and the 10 August (French Revolution).
Charles Augereau, duc de Castiglione Officer throughout the Revolutionary era and Empire; later a general and Marshal of France.
Jean-Pierre-André Amar Deputy to the National Convention from Isère; member of the Committee of General Security.


François-Noël Babeuf Proto-socialist, guillotined in 1797 after an attempted coup d'etat.
Jean Sylvain Bailly President of the Third Estate who administered the Tennis Court Oath; made Mayor of Paris after the storming of the Bastille; guillotined during the Reign of Terror.
Antoine Barnave Constitutional monarchist and Feuillant; guillotined.
Paul Nicolas, vicomte de Barras A Montagnard, then Thermidorian; ultimately the Directory régime's executive leader.
Madame du Barry Mistress of King Louis XV and famous victim of the guillotine during the Reign of Terror.
François-Marie, marquis de Barthélemy Briefly a Director; exiled to French Guiana; returned to France during the Empire.
Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte General, Ambassador to Vienna and Minister of War; later King of Sweden and Norway.
Joséphine de Beauharnais Empress; wife of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Louis Alexandre Berthier General; effectively Napoleon Bonaparte's chief of staff.
Jacques Nicolas Billaud-Varenne Committee of Public Safety member; survived 9 Thermidor; later deported to French Guiana.
Joseph Bonaparte Eldest Bonaparte brother; supported his brother Napoleon; later made King of Naples and then Spain.
Lucien Bonaparte Younger brother of Napoleon; President of the Assembly during the Directory; later fell out with Napoleon.
Napoleon Bonaparte General; seized power as First Consul in the 18 Brumaire coup. Made virtual dictator as Consul for Life in 1802. Declared Emperor of the French in 1804. Founded the First French Empire.
Louis Antoine de Bourbon, duc d'Enghien Prince of the Blood; son of the Duc de Bourbon; kidnapped and executed by Napoleon.
Louis François de Bourbon Prince of the Blood; briefly emigrated from 1789–1790, but returned to France; expelled by Directory; died in exile.
Louis Henri, duc de Bourbon Prince of the Blood, son of the Prince de Condé and father of the Duc d'Enghien; emigrated.
Louis Joseph de Bourbon Prince of the Blood; composed the Brunswick Manifesto.
Charles de Bouvens Orator who had to flee the French Revolution due to his conservative views.
Louis de Breteuil Royalist; briefly supplanted Necker in the royal cabinet.
Cardinal Étienne Charles de Brienne Royalist; President of the Royal Council of Finances shortly before the Revolution.
Jacques Pierre Brissot de Warville Girondist (Brissotin); guillotined.
Guillaume Marie Anne Brune Political journalist; Jacobin; friend of Georges Danton; appointed a general, then Marshal of France; murdered by royalists during the White Terror.
Edmund Burke English philosopher and politician; author of famous 1790 polemic against the Revolution.


Charles Alexandre de Calonne French Controller-General of Finances from 1783 to 1787, whose discovery of the perilous state of French finances in 1786 precipitated the crisis leading to the Revolution.
Jean Jacques Régis de Cambacérès Moderate; Second Consul under Bonaparte; chief contributor to the Napoleonic Code.
Pierre Joseph Cambon Legislative and the Convention member; directed French financial policy and aided in the Thermidor coup.
Lazare Nicolas Marguerite Carnot Mathematician; physicist; Committee of Public Safety member; "Organizer of Victory"; turned against Robespierre on 9 Thermidor; a Director; ousted in 18 Fructidor coup.
Louis Philippe, duc de Chartres Eldest son of the Duke of Orleans; defected to Austria with Dumouriez in 1793; later King of France.
Pierre Gaspard Chaumette Cult of Reason devotee; guillotined, as was fellow devotee Jacques Hébert.
André Chénier Poet; guillotined.
Jean Chouan Royalist counter-revolutionary.
Étienne Clavière Girondist; finance minister 1792; died in prison by suicide 1793.
Anacharsis Cloots Philosopher and writer; guillotined.
Jean Marie Collot d'Herbois Actor; Paris Commune member; belated Montagnard; Committee of Public Safety member; deported to French Guiana after 9 Thermidor revolt, where he died.
Marquis de Condorcet Philosopher; mathematician; Girondist associate; died in prison.
Charlotte Corday Assassinated Marat; guillotined.
Charles-Augustin de Coulomb Scientist; metric system pioneer.
Georges Couthon Montagnard; Committee of Public Safety member; guillotined following 9 Thermidor.


Georges Danton Writer; Jacobin, but neither a Girondist nor a Montagnard; Committee of Public Safety member; guillotined.
Pierre Claude François Daunou Historian; loosely associated with the Girondists faction; served both Directory and Empire.
Jacques-Louis David Painter; Montagnard; Committee of General Security member; survived fall from power following 9 Thermidor.
Louis Charles Antoine Desaix General; killed while leading the French to victory during the Battle of Marengo (1800).
Camille Desmoulins Journalist; Montagnard; Danton associate; guillotined.
Denis Diderot Enlightenment author; atheist philosopher; influenced Revolutionary theory.
Jacques François Dugommier General; National Convention deputy.
Charles François Dumouriez General; sometime Girondist and Foreign Minister in the Girondist cabinet; eventually defected to Austria.
Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours Constitutional monarchist; National Constituent Assembly president; eventually exiled.
Roger Ducos Deputy from Landes; member of the Council of Five Hundred; vice-president of the Consulate Senate.


Grace Elliott Scottish courtesan; former mistress of Louis Philippe II, duc d'Orléans; resident in Paris throughout the Revolution.
Antoine Joseph Marie d'Espinassy Politician, Knight, General and Deputy; Royal of Signes and Revolutionary.


Fabre d'Églantine Author of the French Revolutionary Calendar; guillotined.
Joseph Fesch Cardinal; closely associated with Napoleon Bonaparte.
Joseph Fouché Jacobin deputy; Thermidorian; Minister of Police under Napoleon.
Antoine Quentin Fouquier-Tinville Public Prosecutor during the Reign of Terror; subsequently guillotined (1795).


Olympe de Gouges Writer; advocate of gender equality; guillotined.
Henri Grégoire Revolutionary priest; supported Civil Constitution of the Clergy.


Jacques Hébert Polemicist; editor of Le Père Duchesne; guillotined.
Marie Jean Hérault Committee of Public Safety member; revised Condorcet's Constitution of 1793; Danton associate; guillotined.
Lazare Hoche Soldier rapidly promoted to General during early years of Revolution.
Pierre-Augustin Hulin Ex-royal soldier and one of the first revolutionaries to enter the Bastille; later general under Bonaparte.



Jean-Baptiste Jourdan General; victor at the battles of Wattignies and Fleurus.


François Christophe Kellermann Promoted to General early in the Revolution; Battle of Valmy hero; Marshal of France; army administrator during Empire years.
Jean-Baptiste Kléber Revolutionary general; assassinated in 1800.


Pierre Choderlos de Laclos Bonapartist general; author of Les Liaisons dangereuses.
Marie Thérèse, princesse de Lamballe Friend of Marie Antoinette; victim of the September Massacres.
Gilbert du Motier, marquis de La Fayette General; constitutional monarchist.
Claire Lacombe Feminist revolutionary, founder of the Society of Revolutionary Republican Women.
Alexandre-Théodore, comte de Lameth Leading Feuillant; formed "Triumvirate" with Barnave and Duport; eventually emigrated.
Charles Malo François Lameth Brother of Alexandre de Lameth; Feuillant; emigrated.
Jean Lannes Soldier rising through ranks to become general; Marshal of France; close to Bonaparte.
Arnaud de Laporte High royal government official, headed up antirevolutionary activities; second political victim of the guillotine.
Marquis de Launay Royalist governor of the Bastille; killed after its storming.
Antoine Lavoisier Scientist; metric pioneer; tax collector; guillotined.
Charles Leclerc General; close to Bonaparte; served in Haiti.
Philippe-François-Joseph Le Bas Deputy to the National Convention from Pas-de-Calais; Robespierrist and close ally of Saint-Just; committed suicide at Robespierre's downfall.
Louis Michel le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau Former noble; voted to execute Louis XVI; assassinated one day before the execution of Louis XVI.
Louis Legendre Deputy for the Seine, present at various events. Eventual President of the Convention, member of the Council of Ancients and Council of Five Hundred.
Jacques-Donatien Le Ray Promoted French support for the American Revolution.
Jean-Baptiste Robert Lindet Committee of Public Safety member; opposed Girondist faction.
Toussaint L'Ouverture Commander of Haitian rebels fighting against French occupying forces; captured and imprisoned by Napoleon's government.
Louis XVI of France French king at outbreak of Revolution; deposed; guillotined.
Louis XVII of France The "Lost Dauphin"
Nicolas, Comte Luckner German-born Marshal of France; commanded troops for the First Republic; guillotined during the Reign of Terror.


Guillaume-Chrétien de Malesherbes Louis XVI's defense counsel at his trial, although not known as a royalist; guillotined.
Jean-Paul Marat Radical journalist; Montagnard; assassinated by Charlotte Corday.
François-Séverin Marceau Soldier who participated in the storming of the Bastille; later a general.
Marie Antoinette Queen consort of France; deposed, guillotined.
André Masséna General; victor at the Battle of Zürich.
Jean-Sifrein Maury French cardinal; Archbishop of Paris; royalist.
Théroigne de Méricourt Radical agitator, organizer.
Philippe-Antoine Merlin
("Merlin de Douai")
Director; later a Bonapartist.
Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau  
Represented the Third Estate in the Estates-General of 1789, despite being a noble; remained a major political figure throughout the rest of his life.
Antoine-François Momoro Printer, publisher, and section leader; Hébertist; originator of the phrase Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité; guillotined.
Charles, baron de Montesquieu
Enlightenment political philosopher; influenced Revolutionary thinking
Jean Victor Marie Moreau General; victor at the Battle of Hohenlinden.
Gouverneur Morris American minister to France; witness and diarist of the early Revolution, 1792–94.
Jean-François-Auguste Moulin General; member of the Directory.
Jean Joseph Mounier Monarchist deputy; president of the National Constituent Assembly, 1789.
Joachim Murat Prominent cavalry general; became Napoleon's brother-in-law; later made King of Naples.


Jacques Necker Liberal royalist; Director-General of Finance whose dismissal precipitated the storming of the Bastille.


Louis Philippe II, duc d'Orléans First Prince of the Blood; supported the Revolution, taking the name Philippe Egalité; voted to execute his cousin the King; later guillotined on suspicion of plotting to become King.


Thomas Paine American revolutionary writer; moved to France during French Revolution but subsequently fell out of favor; arrested, imprisoned and sentenced to death during Reign of Terror, but survived.
Jérôme Pétion de Villeneuve Insurrectionary mayor of Paris; member of first Committee of Public Safety; associated with Girondists; committed suicide during Reign of Terror.
Pierre Philippeaux Montagnard; Danton associate; guillotined.
Philippe Egalité See Orléans, Louis Philippe II, duc d' above.
Charles Pichegru General; member of the Council of Five Hundred; conspirator in the Coup of 18 Fructidor.
Claude Antoine, comte Prieur-Duvernois
("Prieur de la Côte-d'Or")
Engineer; Committee of Public Safety member; Carnot associate; turned against Robespierre on 9 Thermidor; Council of Five Hundred member during Directory.
Pierre Louis Prieur
("Crieur de la Marne")
National Constituent Assembly secretary; Committee of Public Safety member; exiled following Bourbon Restoration.
Louis, comte de Provence Louis XVI's younger brother; emigrated 1791; declared himself Louis XVIII, King of France in 1795, but did not actually assume the throne until 1814.



Jean-François Rewbell Deputy; Feuillant; member of the Directory.
Maximilien Robespierre Montagnard; Committee of Public Safety member; prominent during Reign of Terror; guillotined after 9 Thermidor.
Comte de Rochambeau Senior general and former commander of French troops during the American Revolution, commander of the Armee du Nord for the Republic; imprisoned during the Reign of Terror but not executed.
Jean-Marie Roland de la Platière Girondist; interior minister in 1792; committed suicide in 1793 following his wife's condemnation.
Madame Roland
(Manon-Jeanne Roland, née Philpon)
Jean-Marie Roland's wife; author of influential Revolutionary writings under Roland's name; salonière; guillotined.
Gilbert Romme Initially a Girondist politician, then Montagnard; designed French Republican Calendar; condemned after Girondists' return to power; committed suicide before execution.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau Enlightenment political philosopher; influenced Revolutionary thinking.
Jacques Roux Hébertist leader of the Enragés faction; member of Paris Commune; arrested during Reign of Terror; committed suicide before trial.


Marquis de Sade Author of erotica and philosophy; imprisoned on charges of sodomy and poisoning at the outbreak of the Revolution; released 1790; elected to the National Convention; escaped execution during the Reign of Terror.
Jean Bon Saint-André Montagnard; Committee of Public Safety member; later became a naval officer and administrator.
Louis Antoine de Saint-Just Committee of Public Safety member; Montagnard; close associate of Robespierre; prominent in Reign of Terror; guillotined after 9 Thermidor.
Joseph Servan General; Minister of War.
Abbé Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès Although a cleric, entered the Estates-General of 1789 as a representative of the Third Estate; author of pamphlet What is the Third Estate?; instigated the 18 Brumaire coup, but outflanked by Bonaparte.
Madame de Staël Daughter of Jacques Necker; salonière and writer; adopted moderate Revolutionary position; opposed Napoleon.


Jean Lambert Tallien Montagnard; later a leading Thermidorian.
Madame Tallien
(Thérésa Tallien, née Teresa Cabarrús)
Her moderating influence on her husband Jean Lambert Tallien saved lives in the wake of 9 Thermidor, earning her the moniker Notre-Dame de Thermidor ("Our Lady of Thermidor").
Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord
Clergyman and diplomat; initially a royalist, then revolutionary; co-wrote the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Civil Constitution of the Clergy; survived 9 Thermidor to become Foreign Minister under Directory, Bonaparte and the Bourbon Restoration.
Gui-Jean-Baptiste Target Lawyer and politician; deputy of the Third Estate in the Estates-General of 1789; survived Reign of Terror to become Directory politician.
Jean Baptiste Treilhard Deputy from Paris; held multiple high-ranking offices including Director.



Pierre Victurnien Vergniaud Girondist leader; guillotined.
Bertrand Barère de Vieuzac Girondist, then Montagnard; Committee of Public Safety member; drew up 9 Thermidor report outlawing Robespierre; later a Bonapartist.
(François-Marie Arouet)
Enlightenment author and philosopher whose writings influenced Revolutionary thinking.

See also

Further reading

  • Ballard, Richard. A New Dictionary of the French Revolution (2011) excerpt and text search
  • Fremont-Barnes, Gregory, ed. The Encyclopedia of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars: A Political, Social, and Military History (3 vol. 2006)
  • Furet, Francois, et al. eds. A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution (1989) long articles by scholars excerpt and text search
  • Hanson, Paul R. Historical Dictionary of the French Revolution (2004)
  • Ross, Steven T. Historical Dictionary of the Wars of the French Revolution (1998)
  • Scott, Samuel F. and Barry Rothaus, eds. Historical Dictionary of the French Revolution (2 vol. 1985) full text online
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