Talk:Thermidorian Reaction

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Hmm...now we have Thermidor, Thermidorian, and this. What should go where? Adam Bishop 01:43, 25 Sep 2003 (UTC)

(2 years later) Thermidorian is now just a redirect to Thermidor. I suspect that some material should be refactored from Thermidor to this article, then Thermidorian should point here. -- Jmabel | Talk 01:23, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Done. -- Jmabel | Talk 00:49, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

Merge[edit]

I'm not convinced we should merge this with 9 Thermidor, but if we merge, I believe we should merge 9 Thermidor to Themidoriam Reaction rather than vice versa. -- Jmabel | Talk 07:41, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Sources[edit]

I just noticed that among the sources cited are three books by Marianne Becker. While these books are very well-researched, they are still fiction (despite their somewhat misleading titles), and I think we need to make this more clear. --Montagnarde1794 08:36, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

  • They seem to have come in from 9 Thermidor by way of this merge by User:Kerowyn. The were added to 9 Thermidor about a year ago in this edit from an IP address that made several edits that day, but hasn't been heard of since. I doubt that they were really used as sources; perhaps none of these were. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:37, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Really? A pity; they're all excellent sources (although perhaps more applicable to the Robespierre article than one on the Thermidorian Reaction). At any rate, for the sake of those who might wish to do further research, it ought to be made clear that some of these books are fictional, and that, as you mentionned, it is doubtful that they were even used in the article. --Montagnarde1794 06:55, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
I question the neutrality of this article. Every sourced document is directly related to Maximilien Robespierre, and it appears to make Robespierre look like a revolutionary "saint." The continual statements that he was killed without trial reflects a punishment that he served upon many individuals as well and it should be noted that there were additional reasons why Robespierre was arrested other than this claim of conspiracy. I believe the individual who has written this entry is ultimitely biased in their perception of Maximillien Robespierre in history in the context of the French Revolution. 20:21, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
As was previously noted, these sources were likely not actually used. I disagree with you in any case concerning Robespierre; he is not, in this article, being portrayed as a "revolutionary 'saint'," just being given fair treatment; he was sent to the guillotine without trial, something he had, to clarify the record, never "served upon many individuals," as you say (or anyone). Whether one agrees with his opinions and actions or not, one must admit verifiable fact. --Montagnarde1794 16:25, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Other "Thermidorian Reactions"[edit]

Is the characterization of Russia having undergone a "Terror" for the entire period from 1917 until Stalin's death Brinton's? If so, our article should be clear in saying so, and it should be cited. If not, and if it is just a contributor's own view, it should not be there. - Jmabel | Talk 04:15, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Given that none of the actors in the Russian events of 85-91 had anything to do with the Russian Revolution, it should DEFINITELY not be here.

Illusory[edit]

What is "his apparently total grasp on power was, in fact, increasingly illusory" supposed to mean? Str1977 (smile back) 14:07, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Hmm. Doesn't seem the least bit obscure to me, so I'm not sure what you need explained. Let me try to be (much more) verbose. In the period of the Terror, it appeared to most of those concerned that Robespierre had gained the power of a tyrannical dictator. His disfavor had become a death warrant. If anything, this surface impression seemed even truer after he successfully dispatched two other powerful men and past allies, the indulgent Danton and the enragé Hebert. In retrospect, though, by bringing about the execution of those whose views were not that far from his own, he undercut the basis of his own power on two counts: he had ridded himself of potential powerful allies in the coming confrontation, and he had created a situation where it was clear that allying with Robespierre was not a position of safety. Some who had previously been his allies out of opportunism now decided that their chances were better by opposing him and bringing him down at one blow.
I'm not sure if every bit of that is implicit in that one short phrase, but it is why that phrase is essentially accurate. - Jmabel | Talk 04:53, 19 October 2006 (UTC)


He certainly was never as powerful as he is made out to be...any talks of him being a dictator are exagerrated. In reality, it was the Committee of Public Safety that held dictatorial powers and it was their inability to solve their disputes that, at least in part, made certain that one group within the Committee itself would go down. For example, during the "Grand Terror" (the last months of Robespierre's life) he rarely authored or even signed any of the Committee's directives.

Dubious image[edit]

The picture of Merda shooting Robespierre seems a dubious inclusion, since this probably did not even happen. It seems especially inappropriate without an explanatory caption or any discussion in the article. This is as if in the article on the JFK assassination we included a picture of someone shooting from the "grassy knoll", uncaptioned and undiscussed. - Jmabel | Talk 03:22, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

There was a right during the commune?[edit]

" "Deputies of the Right, men of honour, men of virtue, give me the floor, since the assassins will not." However, the Right was decided, and a debate to arrest Robespierre and his followers ensued which led to the end of Robespierre's rule. "

Is this accurate? What kind of right was there back then?

YankeeRoman(65.222.151.74 (talk) 17:17, 25 June 2008 (UTC))

Robespierre's jaw[edit]

Problem in the article: we have two contradicting statements as to who shot his jaw.

Anticipating his own downfall and wanting to have a death of a hero, Robespierre attempted to kill himself and shattered his own jaw with a shot

and

Robespierre was shot in the face, and his jaw was shattered. A gendarme named Charles-André Merda claimed to have pulled the trigger

The main Robespierre article sticks to the self-inflicted wound, but no sourcing is given. We have a web source here for the gendarme's claim. Anyone have a better source? — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 16:20, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Yes, th fact is that we don't know. Both views should be presented. Paul B (talk) 20:39, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

Rewrite needed[edit]

It seems to me that a significant rewrite of this article is needed. Even the very first sentences are dubious: the Committee of Public Safety was not solely and directly responsible for the decision to execute Robespierre, Saint-Just, et cetera; furthermore, their condemnation could not really be said to have "triggered" the Thermidorian Reaction. I think some of this confusion stems from having combined "9 Thermidor" and "Thermidorian Reaction" into one article. "9 Thermidor" is often used metonymically to refer to the downfall of Robespierre and Saint-Just, an event which took place roughly from July 26-28 and encompassed Robespierre's speech to the Convention on July 26, Saint-Just's failed speech to the Convention on July 27, the denunciations and decree of arrest that followed the latter of these, and the subsequent insurrection in Paris that resulted in the arrests and executions of Robespierre, Saint-Just, and their allies. However, the Thermidorian Reaction was a larger sequence of events taking place over a longer period of time, beginning with the downfall of Robespierre. 9 Thermidor could be said to have triggered the Thermidorian Reaction, but 9 Thermidor had its own origins and trigger.

I would be interested in taking on a major rewrite that would clearly delineate this, as well as fix several other errors, inconsistencies, and absences in the article. However, I don't want to step on anyone's toes, if any earlier contributors are still around-- and would welcome input from those with an interest in the article. -- Zhuravlei (talk) 20:37, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

As you can see, I have started the re-edit process. I jumped into this knowing that if I did not “shoot my wad” ( a term that is a double/triple entendre, meaning to shoot: a hand loaded/primed gunpowder’ed weapon before the ball/shot was placed in the barrel, premature ejaculation, and doing something before you were prepared to do so), soon, I might become distracted and loose interest. If you are interested, the portion that I have so meagerly begun needs to be expanded. I agree with the critiques that you have posted above. My recommendation is that, we leave the article as is, but put it under a section say “The demise of Robespierre” or some other such title, write a paragraph about these events with this page as the main article and present a balanced history of this period. BTW, I am rather enamored both with Will Durant and my quoting him in my changes. While I will abandon what I have written, it must be for something which is definitely superior.

MarkSonntag (talk) 22:49, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

Wikiproject conservatism[edit]

Just curious, why is this page being added to wikiproject Conservatism? If, as the conservatism article states, conservatism as a term did not appear in 1819, how is it relevant here? What is conservative about this topic? I am really baffled. eldamorie (talk) 16:15, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

(member response) The project is also interested in articles related to conservatism. That said, I also don't see how this is within the scope, unless LittleJerry is tagging counter-revolutionaries to the French Revolution. I'm going to wait for his response before taking this to the project talk page, which btw is the proper venue. – Lionel (talk) 19:28, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
The term conservative most not have been coined then, but the ideology started around that time. Burke died before 1819 and he was considered a conservative. LittleJerry (talk) 01:27, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
My issue is that the Thermidorian reaction was not a conservative movement - Burke was critical of the French Revolution as an entity, and while the Thermidorian regime was not as left-wing as the Jacobins, the monarchy was not reinstated and no traditionally "conservative" policies were implemented. eldamorie (talk) 13:52, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Were the principals later involved in conservatism? – Lionel (talk) 02:50, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
I did a little digging, and from what I've found so far it's not really clear. Burke did his writings on the Revolution before 9 Thermidor, so he's not really relevant here. my resources are somewhat limited at this point since the only database I really have access to right now is JSTOR. What I was able to find was a number of sources comparing the October Revolution to the Thermidorian reaction, so take from that what you will. eldamorie (talk) 17:05, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
I'd also like to add that Burke himself was not involved in the Thermidorian Reaction.eldamorie (talk) 21:15, 23 September 2011 (UTC)