The Committee of General Security was set up by the Girondin Government on 2 October 1792, and had 6 people as its committee members including Jacques-Louis David, the famous French painter.
The CGS’ main responsibility was to act as a policing agency, there to deal with counter-revolutionaries and treasonous action or behaviour, and also oversee the Watch Committees. It was also bestowed with the authority to unilaterally refer individuals to the Revolutionary Tribunal and have them executed without any lengthy judicial process or deliberation.
However, in reality, it had relatively limited power and influence as an institution, being overshadowed by the Committee of Public Safety. Indeed, by late 1793, its initial duties and authorities were largely subsumed by the CPS, which pushed some members of the CGS to join those of the Plain at the National Convention in July 1794 to arrest Robespierre and many of the CPS, and thereby seize back the Revolution.
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