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Database: Jacobin Club

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ACU Jacobin Club

The Society of the Friends of the Constitution (or Jacobin Club, deriving its name from the convent where its members gathered) was one of the most powerful political clubs in France for much of the Revolution. With over 7,000 chapters at its height, its membership was estimated at nearly half a million. The club was initially a gathering place for Breton deputies, but quickly expanded to allow anyone, even civilians and foreign nationals, to join.*
* Sounds pretty exclusive.
Despite its later reputation for extremism, the Jacobin Club supported, at least nominally, the monarchy right up to the eve of the Republic. The club became radicalized in June of 1791, when many of its more moderate deputies left to form a new club, the Feuillants. **
** The first thing I look for in any club is the ability to pronounce it. Feuillants = Fail. Or should that be Fueil.
After the fall of the monarchy, Robespierre rose to prominence within the club, and with his backing, and that of the Parisian mob, the Jacobins effectively seized control of the government.*
* They so often make such convincing arguments, the mob, I find.
The Jacobins instituted a Reign of Terror, repeatedly purging the National Convention and the population at large of anyone deemed an enemy of the Republic. The Jacobins held sway for nearly a year before Robespierre overplayed his hand and was himself arrested and executed for treason. Deprived of its leadership, the Jacobin Club was closed and outlawed in November 1794.

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