Camille Desmoulins

Desmoulins was a lawyer and a journalist and ran an influential paper called Le Vieux Cordelier. His first major involvement in the Revolution was in July 1789 where he made a call to arms to the people, which was a key instigator of the fall of the Bastille.

He was a founding member of the Cordeliers Club, along with Danton, and was very active in the petition protest which resulted in the Champs de Mars massacre. Desmoulins was a close friend of Robespierre’s and shared much of the same ideology.

However, following his election to the National Convention and becoming a member of the Jacobin Government of 1793, Desmoulins grew to become a vocal critic of Robespierre and a supporter of Danton, despite being one of Robespierre’s closest friends. This primarily stemmed from his dissatisfaction with the continued practice of the Terror which he perceived had lost its necessity by late 1793, when the French war effort was improving and civil unrest was being dealt with. As such, he was considered by Robespierre by late 1793 as a citra-revolutionary, a conservative and hence effectively a royalist, despite Desmoulins continuing to strongly support the French Republic.

Desmoulins was subsequently arrested in March 1794 and executed on 5 April 1794.


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