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date: 10 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The defeat of Maximilien Robespierre on 9 Thermidor year II initiated a realignment of political forces within and beyond the National Convention, which is traditionally known as the Thermidorian Reaction (July 1794–October 1795). That moment did not, however, signal the fundamental rupture that the Thermidorians claimed. Although the National Convention repealed restrictive legislation and abandoned the promise of political and social democracy, it also sustained revolutionary government and the Montagnard commitment to strengthen the Convention by challenging extra-legislative competitors. Similarly, as legislators, activists, and journalists invented the notion of a ‘Terror’ that Thermidorians claimed to have defeated, they did so with denunciatory practices elaborated since 1789, revealing important continuities within revolutionary political culture that survived 9 Thermidor.

Keywords: Thermidor, Terror, denunciation, National Convention, press, Montagnard

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