- Apr 2018
- Upland, Sweden
Yeah, the Montagnards really seem to have been quite mad. The whole affair with the Girondins is tragic, and I think people, at least in Sweden, have a far too optimistic assesment of the Revolution overall. I remember my elementary school history teacher sneering at the Girondins for being "naïve", whatever that meant given what actually happened...Yes, that's correct. But this was a side effect, not the original cause.
The French people remained attached to the king for a long time, and the Revolution became anti-monarchy only after 3 or 4 years, when the insane "Montagnards" took power and started cutting everybody's head off.
In my city of Bordeaux, there is a monument to the memory of the Girondins, the moderate revolutionaries who opposed the blood-thirsty and violent propositions of the Montagnards and who were then all executed.
The Bourgeoisie saw an opportunity to change the system to their advantage, and confiscated the momentum, but in the beginning, people were just asking for bread, there was no desire to revolutionise the political system whatsoever.
At what point do you think the Revolution could have gone differently? What was the latest possible turning point at which the Ancien Régime or the Girondins could have stopped things from going off the rails - and why did they fail, in your view?