GIRONDINS


GIRONDINS
   or GIRONDISTS
   a party of moderate republican opinions in the French Revolution; "men," says Carlyle, "of fervid constitutional principles, of quick talent, irrefragable logic, clear respectability, who would have the reign of liberty establish itself, but only by respectable methods." The leaders of it were from the Gironde district, whence their name, were in succession members of the Legislative Body and of the Convention, on the right in the former, on the left in the latter, and numbered among them such names as Condorcet, Brissot, Roland, Carnot, and others; they opposed the court and the clerical party, and voted for the death of the king, but sought to rescue him by a proposal of appeal to the people; overpowered by the Jacobins in June 1793, with whom they came to open rupture, they sought in vain to provoke a rising in their favour; on October 24 they were arraigned before the Revolutionary tribunal, and on the 31st twenty-one of them were brought to the guillotine, singing the "Marseillaise" as they went and on the scaffold, while the rest, all to a few, perished later on either the same way or by their own hands.

The Nuttall Encyclopaedia. . 1907.

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