The Plain

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For other uses, see The Plain (disambiguation).
Leader Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès
Founder Henri Grégoire, François d'Anglas, Jean de Cambacérès
Founded 1789 (1789)
Dissolved 1794 (1794)
Ideology Centrism
Internal factions:
 • Republicanism
 • Constitutional monarchism
Political position Centre
Politics of France
Political parties

The Plain (La Plaine), sometimes called the Marsh (Le Marais), was the name given to the Moderate party, in the French National Convention during the French Revolution.

They sat between the Girondists on the Right and, The Mountain or Jacobin party on the left. (Our modern usage of Right/Conservative and Left/Liberal stems from this seating arrangement). None of these three groups was an organized party as is known today. The Mountain and the Girondists did consist of individuals with similar views and agendas who socialized together and often coordinated political plans. The Plain, however, consisted of delegates that did not belong to either of these two groups and as such was even more amorphous.

The Plain constituted the majority of delegates to the Convention and would vote with either the Girondists or Mountain depending on the issue at hand, the current circumstances and mood of the Convention. Initially they sided with the Girondists, but later backed the Mountain in executing Louis XVI and inaugurating the Terror. Later they abandoned the Mountain inaugurating the Thermidorian Reaction.


  • Will and Ariel Durant The Age of Napoleon, New York:Simon and Schuster (1975)
  • Sylvia Neely, A concise History of the French Revolution (Lanham - Boulder – New York – Toronto – Plymouth, UK):ROWMAN LITTLEFIELD PUBLISHERS, INC. (2008)
  • Simon Schama, Citizens, New York:Alfred A. Knopf (1989)