Purge of the Girondins. Part 2

1st, 2nd. All of Paris has taken up arms en masse, just like puppets, without knowing why they move in this way. On the 3rd, the Committee of Twelve has been dismantled, at least twenty-two of the most benign members of the Convention are now under arrest, as well as any priests, nobles or rich bourgeois they could lay their hands on, along with at least eighty ladies of rank or wealth. This battle for Paris appears now to be tailing off, but too many people have a stake in it for there not to be a sequel, and a second rebellion is already starting in the Lozère. They are also saying that the rebels hold some advantage over the patriots there, as well as in the Vendée.


Popular pressure finally secured the ‘Purge of the Girondins’ from the National Convention on 2 June 1793. A total of twenty-nine deputies were suspended and placed under house arrest by order of their peers. This was an ominous escalation of political repression. The duchess’s final comments here are a reminder that these events impacted on and connected with what was happening elsewhere in the Republic at the time. In addition to the ongoing Vendée rebellion, the targeting of the Girondin faction caused widespread anger and attempts in several departments to coordinate a military fightback against Parisian dominance. This became known as the ‘Federalist Revolt’ (a federal style of government being more decentralised), and the charge of 'federalism' would be leveled against many alleged Counter-Revolutionaries over the coming months as the Terror intensified. This entry comes from the section of the Elbeuf manuscript comprising short daily entries rather than the much longer letter entries found earlier in the notebook series.

Date and place of writing

1 June - 3 June 1793, Paris



Archives nationales de France, F7 4775/1 ( notebook 6, p. 151).