Edited by Gerald Boerner
To Americans, the French Revolution of 1789 is less well-understood than our own. Most Americans know that the colonists fought against the British Redcoats and their mercenaries. The French revolution was fought with internal forces. Basically, the situation was this: France, like most European countries, was ruled by an absolute monarch, Louie XVI; a Nobility Class, the 1st Estate, who owned most of the land and managed the poor farmers; a Class of Clergy, the 2nd Estate, that managed the Catholic Church’s property; and, an underclass of the common people, the 3rdEstate (sans-culottes), who paid the taxes to support the King and other class by tending the fields, ran the shops, and were the craftsmen.
By the late 1780s, the Third Estate were paying high taxes to keep the Monarch, nobility and clergy with a luxurious lifestyle while they starved, suffered from a varieties of illnesses, and barely surviving. This was a “ripe” environment for a revolt. This started on 4 July 1789 with the people rushing the Bastille Prison to obtain gun powder and other armaments. The leaders of the people fell into two groups: the Girondin faction and the radical Jacobin group that prosecuted the “enemies of the people” & came to power in June 1793. The three main leaders of the latter group included Jean-Paul Marat, Georges Danton and Maximilien Robespierre. The latter two led the “Reign of Terror”.
“Marat only emerged publicly on the 10 August Insurrection, when the Tuileries Palace was invaded and the royal family forced to shelter within the Legislative Assembly. The spark for this uprising was Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg’s provocative proclamation, which called for the crushing of the Revolution and helped to inflame popular outrage in Paris.” (Wikipedia)
The present posting explores the murder of Marat, the Jacobin prosecutor of the “enemies of the people”, was assassinated by Charlotte Corday, the Girondin moderation advocate, while Marat was bathing to treat a skin condition. Corday was tried, convicted and executed on the guillotine. So let’s get started… GLB
These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved
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Quotations Related to JEAN-PAUL MARAT:
“God has always been hard on the poor.”
— Jean-Paul Marat
“All true patriots will that favored a constitutional Monarchy similar to England and themeet in heaven.”
— Charlotte Corday
“Five or six hundred heads cut off would have assured your repose, freedom and happiness.”
— Jean-Paul Marat