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 Maximilien Robespierre 
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Is it true that Robespierre was at school in Arras a primus and therefore had an opportunity to meet Louis XVI in his youth? So Robespierre was at least an intellectual and clever, about morals, humanity and leaders skills, well that is certainly a different question! :?


Thu Feb 22, 2007 7:31 am
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Little Maximilian had the opportunity to read a speach in Latin in front of young Louis XVI. It was raining. The king may have make it shorter to avoid so much discomfort to this boy.

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Thu Feb 22, 2007 9:07 am
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"Little Maximilian" :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Thu Feb 22, 2007 9:24 am
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Yes, little maxou and the flûte à six schtoumpfs... :lol: :lol: :lol: Desmoulins, Saint Just, Danton, Marat, Hebert... ça nous en fait combien, là ? :roll:

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Thu Feb 22, 2007 9:27 am
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Ah, Saint-Just, quel coquette!! :lol:


Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:18 am
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Maxou aussi ! Avec ses beaux petits cheveux toujours bien coiffés... :wink:

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Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:50 am
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Yes, such hypocrites.

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Thu Feb 22, 2007 12:47 pm
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Pimprenelle wrote:
Maxou aussi ! Avec ses beaux petits cheveux toujours bien coiffés... :wink:


I'm finding it difficult to imagine those men as children....

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Sat Feb 24, 2007 3:01 am
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Post not just a madman
As a lawyer, one of the reasons Robespierre's career did not take off is that he represented the downtrodden against the powerful and took a number of cases that annoyed rich and powerful people. he was in strong opposition to the death penalty before the revolution. There is no reason to assume he was amoral. in 1792 he spoke strongly against going to war for moral grounds (and with much common sense). Also, he was, after all, known as the incorruptible at a time when not enriching yourself was very rare.
Ruth Scurr, in her new book "Fatal Purity", sees him as an idealist who compromised his values because of his belief in the revolution and ended up kinda going mad towards the end. both she and Hardman see him as a very tallented and crafty politician.

And of course, you know his childhood story - orphaned from his mom at six, deserted by his dad in early teens, and grew up in poverty and with much responsibility.


Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:47 pm
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Don't agree with you at all...however intelligent Robespierre may have been, his involvement in the "Terreur" is proven and totally discredits him.

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Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:07 am
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Post all in all
of course he was involved in the reign of terror. very much. that's not a reason not to try and understand him. I think these facts about his early idealism are very important to understanding things about the revolution. if even someone with credentials as an idealist supported terror, it means, in my view, that many good people at the time felt threatened and indeed belived the terror was a measure of self defense and important (of course, many others were just blood thirsty sadists).
Whatever side you take in relation to the French revolution, I think there is value in trying to understand all sides. One of Marie Antoinette's mistakes was that she looked at the revolution en bulk, without understanding the different strands and the complexity of the movement.

and as a side note, would you put into one category all those involved in the "white terror" after the 100 days too, and see them as "totally discredited"?


Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:26 pm
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One of Marie Antoinette's mistakes was that she looked at the revolution en bulk, without understanding the different strands and the complexity of the movement.

I am no so sure about that... In her letters, she always spoke of "factitiouses" (factieux)... which was quite right, wasn't it ?

I think Robespierre is a fascinating character, for his idealism led him to a complete deshumanisation. This gives me the creeps...

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Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:53 pm
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Also, the queen knew enough to try to build alliances with the more moderate of the revolutionaries.

That is interesting information about Robespierre's childhood, Dorit. Thanks, I did not realize his background. Very sad.

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Thu Mar 15, 2007 5:08 pm
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Post Marie Antoinette and understanding the revolution
She did aim at establishing connection with the moderates, she did notice there were factions; but from her point of view, they were all the "bad guys" from one cloth, and the difference is, some of the bad guys may be easier to manipulate. her letters scream that all the revolutionaries, from whatever faction, are evil. there is no acknowledgment that some of the demands may have justification, that many of these people may be well intentioned and believe honestly in different things than her. (Or please demonstrate the opposite).
This is a weakness when you're in a political battle - successful politicians understand both the weaknesses and strengths of the enemy and work with them. I think it made her strategy to use the moderates less effective.


Thu Mar 15, 2007 5:38 pm
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I agree with you. We can considerate that Marie Antoinette used Barnave. But how far did she lie to him and the triumvirat ? This is something I sincerely wonder about...

I think she was lost, most of all. Then, how far did her actions reflect the king's will ? That's the theory recently developped by Joel Felix... and it is another point I wonder about...

Anyway, her correspondence shows her very prudence. She was ready to befriend any side, if necessary... or, at least, to seem so, and to keep everyone happy, just in case, the emigrates, Provence and Artois, for she knew they might be the strongest, someday.

How could you manage in such a situation ? We know the end of the story, we also know what democracies are, for centuries. She did not. It was the first huge revolution in Europe. She had no comparizon point.

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Thu Mar 15, 2007 5:52 pm
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