Site Loader

Georges Danton was born in 1759. He was the son of Jacques Danton, an attorney and Marie-Madeleine Camus. Danton got his education in Champagne, then later went on to get his law degree in 1784. He went on to practice law in Paris in 1787. He later married Antoinette Charpentier. At the start of the Revolution in July 1789, Danton enrolled in the Civic Guard of the Cordeliers district and was chosen as the president of the district in October of the same year. In 1790, he founded the Cordeliers Club, a popular association. At that point, though, Danton had only been known by people locally. Elected as a city council in January 1790, he was not allowed to take part in the council in its completion in September. Although he was elected as the administrator of the department of Paris in January 1791, he actually had no influence over that body. While the situation where Louis XVI’s attempted to leave the country in June was happening, he became even more well known in the Revolutionary movement. Despite his growing prominence, Danton’s signature is not on the petition of the Cordeliers that demanded the removal of Louis XVI from the throne. This petition, though, resulted in the massacre of some of the petitioners by the national guard. During the repression after these events, Danton hid in London. He later returned to Paris to participate in the elections to the Legislative Assembly as elector for the Théâtre Français section, and later in December 1791 he was elected second assistant to the public prosecutor of the Paris Commune. The next year when war was declared on Austria during the spring of 1792, Danton resumed his role of tribune of the people. In mid June, he attacked the marquis de Lafayette, an adviser of the king and a general, for using his position to play politics. Although the full role Danton played in the leading of the insurrection is mostly unknown, he is largely credited with its success. Whether Danton played a large role in the insurrection and the removal of the king or not, he was appointed minister of justice by the Legislative Assembly.Because of Danton’s large and powerful personality, he often overpowered those he worked with even if they were superior in rank., Danton also had an advantage over those around him because of his past experiences with the revolution and his ability to think quickly on his feet when it came to making decisions. In early September, Danton was chosen to be the deputy for Paris to the National Convention. He did everything in his power to end all the tension between the Revolutionary parties, but his policy of togetherness and conciliation was stopped by the Gironde when they asked for Danton to explain all of the spending he had done as a justice. Danton could not justify 200,000 livres (roughly $271,000) of secret spending. He left the situation as a man with less of a spirit and reputation and lost a significant amount of his political power. For three months, Danton was considered the head of the government, and was given the responsibility to handle foreign affairs and military matters. While working on these positions he did his utmost to return the opposing parties to good standing by way of negotiation. It was quite apparent that Georges saw it to be most beneficial to seek peace. By the spring of 1793, however, a policy of negotiation was no longer reachable. Danton’s ideas and attempts at bringing peace failed and this led to the Public Safety Convention electing a new committee without Danton on July 10 when the committee expired.Later on in 1793, Danton’s position became even more tarnished. His disapproval of the terrorist repression had become so strong that he completely cut himself off from political life for vague reasons. He is reported to have said to a friend in early October 1793, “I shall not be able to save them,” and to have burst into tears. On October 12 he received leave from the Convention and left for his hometown. He returned on November 21, although the reasons for his return also remain ambiguous. Danton started up his political movements right away. Even though he was no longer on the Public Safety Committee, he still supported their endeavours to remove the large amount of anti-christians associations and their opposition to the abolition of salaries of constitutional priests. Although Danton truly did want the best for this up and coming government, he still had his own personal agenda and things he used his power for. While he did truly want to stop the Revolutionary opposition, Danton also had close friends who risked being arrested for speaking against the government. Danton really gained the support of those around him in December of 1793 when he informed the Revolutionary radicals that their role was finished. At that point until his end, he was viewed as a leader of the opposition. Danton challenged not only the system of the terror, but the whole policy of the Revolutionary government, while inspiring hope to those with the same goal as Danton causing even more advancement in the revolution.This uproar against the government also caused an equal pushback  Many of Danton’s friends were arrested and sentenced to death due to their stand against the government and Danton also faced charges against them that grew in severity. Even though he was warned several times of the threats that hung over him, Danton remained unafraid. Finally during the night of March 29, 1794, he was arrested. Before the Revolutionary tribunal, Danton spoke boldly. He defended himself so well that the convention saw fit to silence him by not allowing him to have part in the debate. “I will no longer defend myself,” Danton cried. “Let me be led to death, I shall go to sleep in glory.” Danton was guillotined on April 5, 1794 for his leadings against the government.Danton’s legacy can be viewed in to different ways, those who viewed Danton as corrupt and willing to accept bribes and under the table payments, or as a hero who was determined to fight for the revolution with those who shared his passion. Danton was a leader of men. More than any other Revolutionary leader, he could work with people who weren’t wealthy or well known. He was a generous man and spoke eloquently and kindly but also with heart. All of these traits caused a fire to be lit under the supporters of the revolution and made him a fine leader.

Post Author: admin

x

Hi!
I'm Erica!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out