Marat, originally a doctor, was a very influential and radical journalist of the revolutionary period. He was the editor of his newspaper L’ami du people which was one of the most widely read and distributed publications, and helped galvanise the people into political action against the ancien régime.
He used his newspaper to spread and persuade the population of his radical ideology, which was a supporter of the Cordeliers and the Jacobins, being a member of the Cordeliers Club. He is widely attributed to have incited much of the violence of the September Massacres, where he urged people to deal with the enemies within, in the face of the external military threat.
Marat was assassinated be Charlotte Corday on 13 July 1793, due to his radical publications and his opposition to the Girondin government, of which Corday was a supporter. The celebrated painter Jacques-Louis David transformed Marat into a martyr of the Revolution with his painting of Marat’s assassination. In so doing, it legitimised much of Marat’s ideology, thus further radicalising the Revolution.
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