- "They called themselves "moderate", but the Girondists were never moderate, my friends! I ask you, where is the moderation in calling for war?"
- ―Andrés de Guzmán criticizing the Girondists, 1794.[src]
The Girondists (French: Girondins), also referred to as the Brissotins, were a political faction in France at the time of the French Revolution, operating within the Legislative Assembly and the National Convention.
Initially, the Girondists held most of the political power, hoping to establish a federalist government similar to that of the, at the time, newly-formed United States. They also supported wars with foreign countries such as Austria, to spread the Revolution.
However, France's lack of success in this department, along with several other political defeats, including the Storming of the Tuileries Palace and the September Massacres, caused the Girondists to gradually lose favor. Their fall from grace led to the rise of the more radical Montagnards, led by Maximilien de Robespierre, Jean-Paul Marat and Georges Danton.
Due to his obsession with conspiracies, especially among his political opponents, Robespierre ordered an insurrection against the Girondists, which took place on June 1 and 2, 1793. Commander General of the Paris National Guard François Hanriot arrived at the National Convention with cannons and a throng of sans-culottes in tow to put several Girondists under house arrest, effectively removing the group's political power.
Trapped in their own homes, the Girondists were being prepared to be sent to prison and from there, to their deaths via guillotine. On the orders of the Assassin Council, Arno Dorian and a team of Assassins helped as many Girondists escape from Paris as they could before Hanriot could arrest them.
Around the same time, some Girondists plotted to kill the Jacobin leader Jean-Paul Marat, sending Theron Brignac to do so. However, he arrived too late, as Marat had already been assassinated by Girondist sympathizer Charlotte Corday in an effort to disrupt the Jacobins. She was executed for this act four days later.
In October 1793, 23 Girondists, among them the group's founder Jacques Pierre Brissot, were executed for treason. Later, Andrés de Guzmán, a radical revolutionary, would hold passionate speeches criticizing the Girondists and their policies, for which he was assassinated by Arno, who acted on the orders of the Parisian Brotherhood.
Following the Thermidorian Reaction in 1794, Théroigne de Méricourt, an ardent supporter of Brissot, would take revenge for the Girondists by pursuing the last of the Jacobins before they could escape Paris.