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ACU Jacques Roux

Ordained in 1779, this son of an infantry lieutenant served as a lowly vicar in the diocese of Saintes. He encouraged those who took part in anti-feudal peasant movements to come to the parish to which he ministered. Promptly removed from his parish, the "red priest" took refuge in Paris.*
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* Not the best nickname, is it? I mean it's hardly the "Black Widow". He just sounds like a permanently embarrassed member of the clergy. Which these days is many of them.
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Roux would soon earn the moniker of "petit Marat." Preaching to the Cordeliers' club, his rhetoric became increasingly incendiary. He encouraged the looting of shops on February 25, 1793. All his actions focused on the issue of livelihood; the working class, the only one useful to society, was dying of hunger**. He petitioned for the punishment of speculators, usurers and employers who exploited their workers.
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**All of which sounds completely reasonable... which is why you need to keep reading.
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On June 25, 1793, he proclaimed his Manifesto of the Enragés to the National Convention. He was booted out. By June 28, was violently denounced by Robespierre*** who had him expelled from the Cordeliers. Marat also turned against him, denouncing him as a false patriot and a criminal in his newspaper, L'Ami du Peuple. No sooner had Marat met his death than Roux took over the newspaper. He lambasted the slowness of the guillotine**** and the absence of any real social measures.
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***You have to admit, 'Too crazy for Robespierre' allows this gentleman to take his place as a member of a rather... select group.
**** 'The guillotine is slow' is not a complaint you will have heard from many people of the time...
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He would later be imprisoned at Sainte-Pélagie, where he continued to write his journal. He was removed to another prison, where he succeeded in stabbing himself mortally*****, on February 10, 1794. The "preacher of the sans-culottes" had failed to develop a viable political system, but had nevertheless been the voice of the oppressed.
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*****That's right. He stabbed HIMSELF fatally. You know - the way people often stab themselves. No Assassins involved whatsoever. Just one of those violent and sustained self-stabbings.

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