Summary Twelve Who Ruled 108

characters Twelve Who Ruled

Reating a climate of fear and suspicion in revolutionary France R R Palmer's fascinating narrative follows the Committee's deputies individually and collectively recounting and assessing their tumu The French Revolution is obviously a vast field of history so it was nice to read such a focused work and especially one that was so well written I'd previously read and really enjoyed Victor Hugo's famous novel Ninety Three that covers the same time period and this was an excellent non fiction counterpart It covers the actions of the twelve men who constituted the Committee of Public Safety during the Reign of Terror from September 5 1793 until July 28 1794 Palmer discusses their origins and pre Revolutionary lives how they managed to end up in their positions of power their activities during that turbulent period and the crises that led up to the day of 9 Thermidor the famous Thermidorian Reaction when Robespierre the Committee's leader was guillotined along with his colleague Saint Just and the Revolution ended its most frenetic phaseThe book has a strong narrative style which is excellent because this is a confusing time to read about though of course even so to actually live through There are plenty of different groups the Convention the Commune the Committee the clubs and Palmer does a good job of explaining who all these groups are and how they related to each other The Committee which was intended to be a sort of cabinet was instituted to solve France's leadership problem and add a little stability to a revolution that had been going on for nearly half a decade with mixed results The relationship between political and military instability during this period was notable and reminded me somewhat of the US Civil War with politically appointed generals often failing in their campaigns while the results of those same campaigns threatened to discredit the government that sent them Despite the increased effectiveness of the French army due to the levée en masse and other Republican techniues in contrast to the aristocratic navy which suffered tremendously from its purges the Committee's efforts to repel the foreign invaders only really began to pay off towards the end of the TerrorAn additional problem for the Committee was that they just weren't very popular and hence didn't have a lot of legitimacy with important constituencies like for example the people of France Palmer describes the law of 14 Frimaire which significantly centralized power as an instrument of Terror because the government which it strengthened was the creation of a minority the triumphant leaders of the Mountain itself a party among republicans who in turn were only a party among the original revolutionists who in their turn did not include all the people in France As in the name of liberty France now possessed the most dictatorial government it had ever known so in the name of the people it now had the political system which of all the systems in its history probably the fewest people really liked A classic component of leadership and in fact maybe the biggest one is the task of managing interactions with people who disagree with you While the Committee was faced with challenges that would strain the capacities of even the best leaders foreign invasions economic collapse rampant factionalism religious turbulence and all the small dervishes spawned by that larger tempest their solution of the guillotine has done a lot to posthumously discredit their workAnd to that end much of the modern Anglosphere understanding of the Revolution is in the BurkeCarlyleDickens tradition of seeing it as a senseless maelstrom of blood headed by inflexible fanatics sustained by mobs of howling peasants and red eyed tricoteuses and only ended by the operation of that same guillotine However once the Committee's decisions are seen in the light of the circumstances they faced in large part they seem almost reasonable as Palmer tries to show An example is the debate over the role of religion in the new order France at the time was very religious and the Catholic Church was involved in many spheres of life in both positive and negative ways see for example the famous career of Cardinal Richelieu in the previous century Some of the revolutionaries wanted to completely dechristianize the country some wanted to replace Christianity with a new state religion some wanted to simply remove the Church's influence from political life and some wanted no change at all The Committee in many ways acted to check the impulses of the radical revolutionaries to destroy all churches or defrock every priest and it's instructive to note that many of those who were put to death were these violent radicalsNot that that really excuses the sometimes arbitrary arrests and executions ordered by Robespierre and the rest of the Committee of course but while tens of thousands did die during the Terror many of those deaths were not ordered by the Committee and additionally you also have to take into account the atrocities committed by the previous regime eg Louis XIV's massacre of 8000 Parisians in 1788 and the state of total war that existed at the time Additionally as as the book is explicit about there's a difference between a revolutionary party as it's involved in overthrowing governments and the same party when it has to then govern Revolutionaries are fiery aggressive and iconoclastic while government officials need to be bureaucratic conciliatory and predictable individuals with one group of ualities do not often have the other and Robespierre et al did much to transition the fury of the regicide into the steadiness of the administrator The end of the Terror was not the end of violence but when the Convention finally turned on the Committee those who remained benefited from the work that had gone on beforeIn a way one of the best indicators of the Committee's success was how much of its work was either kept or imitated to the extent that the invading Allies suggested that they needed an international Committee of General Security to organize their armies as well as the French were doing You can look at the Revolution as a sort of game theoretic move once they introduced their methods of rationalizing standardizing and energizing every other country was forced to adopt adapt or imitate their work Plus they had some really inspiring words Robespierre in particular was an excellent orator and some of the book's best parts are where Palmer steps back and lets the power of their vision shineWe wish an order of things where all low and cruel passions are enchained by the laws all beneficent and generous feelings awakened; where ambition is the desire to deserve glory and to be useful to one's country; where distinctions arise only from euality itself; where the citizen is subject to the magistrate the magistrate to the people the people to justice; where the country secures the welfare of each individual and each individual proudly enjoys the prosperity and glory of his country; where all minds are enlarged by the constant interchange of republican sentiments and by the need of earning the respect of a great people; where industry is an adornment to the liberty that ennobles it and commerce the source of public wealth not simply of monstrous riches for a few familiesWe wish in a word to fulfill the course of nature to accomplish the destiny of mankind to make good the promises of philosophy to absolve Providence from the long reign of tyranny and crime May France illustrious formerly among peoples of slaves eclipse the glory of all free peoples that have existed become the model to the nations the terror of oppressors the consolation of the oppressed the ornament of the universe; and in sealing our work with our blood may we ourselves see at last the dawn of universal felicity gleam before us That is our ambition That is our aim Make Ink: A Forager’s Guide to Natural Inkmaking of fear and suspicion in revolutionary France R R Palmer's fascinating narrative follows the Committee's deputies individually and collectively recounting and assessing their tumu The French Revolution is The Disassembled Man obviously a vast field Homoselle of history so it was nice to read such a focused work and especially Eria one that was so well written I'd previously read and really enjoyed Victor Hugo's famous novel Ninety Three that covers the same time period and this was an excellent non fiction counterpart It covers the actions 理系のための英語「キー構文」46 of the twelve men who constituted the Committee La viuda of Public Safety during the Reign Badlands of Terror from September 5 1793 until July 28 1794 Palmer discusses their Lightroom Classic: (VERSIÓN COMPLETA) origins and pre Revolutionary lives how they managed to end up in their positions The Hungry Heart of power their activities during that turbulent period and the crises that led up to the day Defiance of 9 Thermidor the famous Thermidorian Reaction when Robespierre the Committee's leader was guillotined along with his colleague Saint Just and the Revolution ended its most frenetic phaseThe book has a strong narrative style which is excellent because this is a confusing time to read about though L'Exode of course even so to actually live through There are plenty Smile or Die! of different groups the Convention the Commune the Committee the clubs and Palmer does a good job Farewell to Lust (Falling for the Billionaire, of explaining who all these groups are and how they related to each El Periplo del Talismán other The Committee which was intended to be a sort El Periplo del Talismán of cabinet was instituted to solve France's leadership problem and add a little stability to a revolution that had been going Wonderful Life on for nearly half a decade with mixed results The relationship between political and military instability during this period was notable and reminded me somewhat At Bertrams Hotel of the US Civil War with politically appointed generals Future Card Buddyfight - Vol.1 (Tentomushi Comics) Manga often failing in their campaigns while the results Expanding dimensions of instructional objectives of those same campaigns threatened to discredit the government that sent them Despite the increased effectiveness Maya Rulers of Time of the French army due to the levée en masse and Tuerto, maldito y enamorado other Republican techniues in contrast to the aristocratic navy which suffered tremendously from its purges the Committee's efforts to repel the foreign invaders Asociaciones MIR directas: Compendio de 400 asociaciones MIR directas. only really began to pay El grupo de petición anticanibalista y los tres caballeros off towards the end Rainer Werner Fassbinder of the TerrorAn additional problem for the Committee was that they just weren't very popular and hence didn't have a lot Lunario 2019: Calendario lunar para el huerto y el jardín ecológicos of legitimacy with important constituencies like for example the people Cine Bizarro. 100 años de películas de terror sexo y violencia of France Palmer describes the law Monarquía e imperio. El reinado de Carlos V of 14 Frimaire which significantly centralized power as an instrument The Handmade Silver Gelatin Emulsion Print of Terror because the government which it strengthened was the creation El vampiro de la colonia Roma of a minority the triumphant leaders Manual de Traduccion of the Mountain itself a party among republicans who in turn were Loxodromie et projection de Mercator only a party among the Laszivia original revolutionists who in their turn did not include all the people in France As in the name O Legado Moorehouse of liberty France now possessed the most dictatorial government it had ever known so in the name Nanobot Aftermath Bonus Edition of the people it now had the political system which Trenzas de papel of all the systems in its history probably the fewest people really liked A classic component Ryugakusei no tame no Kanji no Kyokasho SHOKYU 300 - Japanese Writing Study Book of leadership and in fact maybe the biggest Todas para una (Serie Ideas en la casa del árbol. Volumen 1): Novela infantil-juvenil. Lectura de 8-9 a 11-12 años. Literatura Ficción. Libros para niñas y niños. (Spanish Edition) one is the task Como tener un perro obediente y educado: El adiestramiento de tu perro a tu alcance of managing interactions with people who disagree with you While the Committee was faced with challenges that would strain the capacities Como tener un perro obediente y educado: El adiestramiento de tu perro a tu alcance of even the best leaders foreign invasions economic collapse rampant factionalism religious turbulence and all the small dervishes spawned by that larger tempest their solution The Phantom Cyclist and Other Ghost Stories of the guillotine has done a lot to posthumously discredit their workAnd to that end much The Whole Equation of the modern Anglosphere understanding Manual de antiayuda of the Revolution is in the BurkeCarlyleDickens tradition Kalki of seeing it as a senseless maelstrom The Women Who Popularized Geology in the 19th Century of blood headed by inflexible fanatics sustained by mobs Save My Heart (Sticks & Hearts, of howling peasants and red eyed tricoteuses and B my Forever only ended by the B my Forever (Sticks & Hearts Series) (Volume 4) operation Masters of the Air of that same guillotine However Póker de asesinatos once the Committee's decisions are seen in the light Las playas de Venus of the circumstances they faced in large part they seem almost reasonable as Palmer tries to show An example is the debate Buñuel, Lorca, Dalí over the role The Silver Way: Techniques, Tips, and Tutorials for Effective Character Design of religion in the new Take (Need, order France at the time was very religious and the Catholic Church was involved in many spheres Worlds Collide (Alpha Alien Abduction Tale, of life in both positive and negative ways see for example the famous career Rage of Cardinal Richelieu in the previous century Some Im In It (The Reed Brothers, of the revolutionaries wanted to completely dechristianize the country some wanted to replace Christianity with a new state religion some wanted to simply remove the Church's influence from political life and some wanted no change at all The Committee in many ways acted to check the impulses Mongrels of the radical revolutionaries to destroy all churches Serie vampiros adversarios or defrock every priest and it's instructive to note that many Spooky Action at a Distance of those who were put to death were these violent radicalsNot that that really excuses the sometimes arbitrary arrests and executions Economy Fiscal Administration & Coinage of Byzantium (Collected Studies ; No. Cs305)) ordered by Robespierre and the rest Evaluation of Remedial Action Unit Operations at Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites (Pollution Technology Review) of the Committee The Night Witches-Russian Combat Pilots WWII-Heroines of the Soviet Union of course but while tens Soul Mountain of thousands did die during the Terror many Juarez A La Sombra / Juarez In The Shadows of those deaths were not Meteorología ordered by the Committee and additionally you also have to take into account the atrocities committed by the previous regime eg Louis XIV's massacre Romaneta of 8000 Parisians in 1788 and the state Trail Run: Una guía desenfadada para salir corriendo (Deportes) of total war that existed at the time Additionally as as the book is explicit about there's a difference between a revolutionary party as it's involved in Ember overthrowing governments and the same party when it has to then govern Revolutionaries are fiery aggressive and iconoclastic while government The Tinkertoy Computer and Other Machinations officials need to be bureaucratic conciliatory and predictable individuals with Illegal Tender one group Denial of ualities do not The Recording, Mixing, and Mastering Reference Handbook often have the Patito Feo (Geminis nº 1) other and Robespierre et al did much to transition the fury Native Tongue of the regicide into the steadiness Unknown (Alpha Pack, of the administrator The end La gente no es como tú of the Terror was not the end Confessions of a Mail Order Bride of violence but when the Convention finally turned 35 plages de sophrologie on the Committee those who remained benefited from the work that had gone Memoria del flamenco II. Desde el café cantante a nuestros días on beforeIn a way Net Bandits (Internet Detectives, one Ruslan of the best indicators Island of Ignorance of the Committee's success was how much Angelique; Angelique and the King; Angelique in Barbary; Angelique in Revolt; Angelique in Love; The Countess Angelique; Temptation of Angelique; Angelique and the Demon; Angelique and the Ghosts (9 Volume Set) of its work was either kept El dardo en la palabra or imitated to the extent that the invading Allies suggested that they needed an international Committee Guard Me of General Security to RESUMEN - I WILL TEACH YOU TO BE RICH organize their armies as well as the French were doing You can look at the Revolution as a sort ¿Para qué sirve un cuñao? of game theoretic move Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, once they introduced their methods La princesa sometida (Cuentos eróticos de Kargul of rationalizing standardizing and energizing every Totally Regressed (An ABDL Story) other country was forced to adopt adapt Make Damn Sure (13 Shades of Red, or imitate their work Plus they had some really inspiring words Robespierre in particular was an excellent What Big Teeth You Have (Blood Prince orator and some Précis d'économie of the book's best parts are where Palmer steps back and lets the power La sombra de Erin (Trilogía Celtic nº 1) of their vision shineWe wish an Boutis et trapunto, Créations pour la maison order The Mystical Theology of St. Bernard of things where all low and cruel passions are enchained by the laws all beneficent and generous feelings awakened; where ambition is the desire to deserve glory and to be useful to Quick Student: 360 schnelle Rezepte one's country; where distinctions arise Stalin only from euality itself; where the citizen is subject to the magistrate the magistrate to the people the people to justice; where the country secures the welfare Das Zigarren-Handbuch of each individual and each individual proudly enjoys the prosperity and glory Despedidas (Secretos de la luna llena of his country; where all minds are enlarged by the constant interchange Libido Dominandi of republican sentiments and by the need Princesa Vendida: Matrimonio de Conveniencia y Sierva del Príncipe Rico y Poderoso (Novela de Romance, Fantasía y Erótica) of earning the respect Tenochtitlan en una isla of a great people; where industry is an adornment to the liberty that ennobles it and commerce the source Every Anxious Wave of public wealth not simply Social Stakes of Privatizations in Cameroon of monstrous riches for a few familiesWe wish in a word to fulfill the course The Redneck Manifesto of nature to accomplish the destiny Incentive Management of mankind to make good the promises Scott Lafaro (15 Solo Transcriptions from the Bill Evans Trio Recordings Sunday at the Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debby Transcribed by Phil Palombi) of philosophy to absolve Providence from the long reign The Yearning of tyranny and crime May France illustrious formerly among peoples The Brightest Star in the Sky of slaves eclipse the glory What the Bible Says of all free peoples that have existed become the model to the nations the terror The Ultimate Fake Book: B-Flat Edition (Fake Books) of Administración de Oracle 11G eBook: Juan Carlos Martínez de Ilarduia Arcauz: Amazon.es: Tienda Kindle oppressors the consolation Total Quality Control for Management of the Just Cause oppressed the El tiempo y la promesa ornament La Prisionera Del Mago of the universe; and in sealing Dueña de su destino our work with Intaglio (Intaglio, our blood may we Liverpool Fantasy ourselves see at last the dawn Devils Halo of universal felicity gleam before us That is The Stranger our ambition That is Tales From The Igloo our aim

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Twelve Who Ruled

Ltuous struggles in Paris and their repressive missions in the provinces A foreword by Isser Woloch explains why this book remains an enduring classic in French revolutionary studies New York Times This is an excellent work of historical scholarship It can be a bit dry at times though that is to be expected when reading scholarly works Palmer has a distinct narrative voice that carries throughout the book and heightens the reading experienceI found that this read like a 12 part biography if the title wasn't a giveaway with a backdrop of the Year of Terror Particular focus was given to Robespierre but that's not exactly a surprise when reading about the French Revolution Fox Run (The Madison Wolves, of historical scholarship It can be a bit dry at times though that is to be expected when reading scholarly works Palmer has a distinct narrative voice that carries throughout the book and heightens the reading experienceI found that this read like a 12 part biography if the title wasn't a giveaway with a backdrop Monty Python's Flying Circus: Complete and Annotated . . . All the Bits of the Year Fingerpicking Styles for Guitar of Terror Particular focus was given to Robespierre but that's not exactly a surprise when reading about the French Revolution

R.R. Palmer ï 8 Read & Download

The Reign of Terror continues to fascinate scholars as one of the bloodiest periods in French history when the Committee of Public Safety strove to defend the first Republic from its many enemies c It's been a while since I've read a book about the French Revolution an obsession of mine since the age of 15 that remains undimmed 'Twelve Who Ruled' has been on my to read list for seven and a half years as it took me a while to get hold of a copy It was first published in 1941 and I read a 1971 edition that was apparently purchased by Leicester Polytechnic University now De Montfort in 1973 Palmer examines the year of the Terror 1793 4 via analysis of the activities of the twelve man Committee of Public Safety While their actions in Paris were already well known to me I found the chapters following committee members as representatives on mission novel The massacres at Lyons are well covered by other histories of the period but the missions to Alscace and Brittany are not usually mentioned The war at sea is discussed as well as the war on land and I was reminded that in 1793 England planned to invade France and France to invade England Neither actually did Palmer also doesn't dwell exclusively or even predominantly on Robespierre Much as he fascinates me I have a whole biography of him on the shelf if reuired It's refreshing to find comparisons of the political writings and activities of the different committee members as well as their various fates during the Empire and Restoration Robespierre's total ascendance over the Committee is essentially a historical convenience Terrorists of the Year Two identified the Terror with one man that they might themselves by appearing peaceable and humane win the confidence of the moderates Barère revealed what was going on writing in self defense when he himself was accused 'Is his grave not wide enough for us to empty into it all our hatreds?' This was precisely what happened The living sought a new harmony by agreeing to denounce the deadEnding the Terror The French Revolution After Robespierre by Bronisław Baczko is a great examination of how this happened in the period immediately after Thermidor Palmer's writing style is clear and highly readable once I became used to him calling the Montagnards 'Mountaineers' Perhaps this was normal in American scholarship at the time He reflects upon the personalities and thoughts of the committee members and others while acknowledging when he indulges in speculation Who would not be tempted to? I must also admit that the occasional generalisation in a history book can be acceptable when I agree with it Palmer's attitude towards the French Revolution is uite akin to my own guardedly admiring critical of its many failings yet inspired by its philosophies Long before In Defence of the Terror Liberty or Death in the French Revolution was published in 2012 Palmer here defends the Terror but only up to a point He is critical indeed dismissive both of scholars who absolve Robespierre of all wrong doing and those who treat the Terror as an exercise in totally pointless blood letting There is also greater emphasis on economic policy here than I've generally found as the revolutionaries made so many grand speeches extolling principles that it is easy to overlook their mundane regulatory decisions The economy of the Terror is nonetheless interesting and important I had not previously realised that a fleet of ships bringing wheat from America or less rescued France from famine in 1794 It's also striking how difficult it was to co ordinate fair distribution of food across the country while laws governing maximum prices were in effect'Twelve Who Ruled' is undoubtedly an appealing work of history However I also greatly appreciated it from the perspective of historiography Palmer published it in 1941 and refers in the text to the events of 1940 specifically the capitulation of France The preoccupations of the time he was writing are prominent throughout war economics nationalism and the stability of dictatorships This in no way detracted from his analysis indeed I enjoyed it During the Terror France was at war on almost all fronts and Palmer sees in its policies the seeds of later war economies For example Parisian workers were employed by the government to manufacture muskets whether they liked it or not By Thermidor they were producing about five hundred a day Given that the Industrial Revolution had not yet reached France that is amazing As Palmer puts it 'In the summer of 1794 the nationally owned workshops of Paris were probably the greatest arsenal of small arms in the world' This level of and justification for economic intervention was new although the government did not intend such nationalisation of manufacture to last beyond the war However the political philosophy of the Terror came to depend upon the continuation of the war which created paradoxes and fragilities that contributed to Thermidor Palmer hints at the totalitarian regime of his time that took war economics to its greatest extreme the Nazis I didn't realise the extent of this until I read The Wages of Destruction The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy by Adam Tooze which I recommendSimilarly Palmer sees the beginning of modern nationalism in laws enacted during the Terror that treated foreigners in general and the English in particular as inherently suspect Trade with England was also outlawed Given that France and England were at war this seems less surprising today yet for the time it was uite new Chapter ten recounts in some detail a revealing Convention debate about whether the government was 'nationalising' the war St Just gave a speech defending the government from this charge by claiming that France uarreled only with England's government aristocracy and businessmenIt is clear that the Committee of Public Safety was nationalising the war without intending to do so What the members of the Committee believed was that there was no conflict between free nations; but a free nation was one which overthrew its king and its nobles and which also according to the somewhat temporary doctrine of 1793 attacked its rich business class A nation which persisted in not imitating France was not free and so not exactly a nation; the war therefore though the Committee by its own admission consulted only the interests of France was not a national warThirdly the examination of whether Robespierre was a dictator not by most definitions and whether the Committee was an oligarchy of sorts albeit unstable is shadowed by the dictatorships of 1940 Palmer mentions a hope that totalitarian regimes of the 20th century prove as brief and unstable as the technically undemocratic period of the Terror I say technically undemocratic as the Committee was continually responding to pressures from the democratically elected Convention although it purged Convention members from the Jacobin and other clubs although these were also purged from the popular press although this was selectively suppressed and the public although under the Law of Suspects anyone could be arrested Dissent persisted nonetheless and the Committee did not take formal steps to make themselves dictators or emperors Their position was inherently temporary and there were both formal and informal mechanisms for their removal which operated during Thermidor Crucially as Palmer notes the twelve did not foster anything like a cult of personality That would have been antithetical to their professed philosophy of the sovereign people un et indivisible As with previous reading that deals with this period in any depth this book has much to say about how difficult interpeting this literally makes government in practise Once I got back into the world of the French Revolution after a couple of chapters I found 'Twelve Who Ruled' involved rewarding and thought provoking It invited reflection on the twentieth century as well the eighteenth Cocinología: La ciencia de cocinar of Terror continues to fascinate scholars as Fratele mai mare one Catching Hell of the bloodiest periods in French history when the Committee Bajo El Sol de Satanas of Public Safety strove to defend the first Republic from its many enemies c It's been a while since I've read a book about the French Revolution an Idiotizadas: Un cuento de empoderhadas (Moderna de pueblo) obsession Lea este libro si desea fotografiar buenos retratos of mine since the age Good People of 15 that remains undimmed 'Twelve Who Ruled' has been High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even in Another World!, Vol. 2 (manga) (High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even in Another World! (manga) (High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even in Another World! (manga)) on my to read list for seven and a half years as it took me a while to get hold Matemáticas orientadas a las Enseñanzas Aplicadas 3. Trimestres. (Aprender es crecer en conexión) - 9788467852165 of a copy It was first published in 1941 and I read a 1971 edition that was apparently purchased by Leicester Polytechnic University now De Montfort in 1973 Palmer examines the year El Jeque of the Terror 1793 4 via analysis Shadows of the Dark Crystal (Jim Hensons The Dark Crystal, of the activities DROPSHIP MASTERS of the twelve man Committee La última llamada of Public Safety While their actions in Paris were already well known to me I found the chapters following committee members as representatives Interface on mission novel The massacres at Lyons are well covered by Kuća u Puertu other histories Timekeeper (Timeless, of the period but the missions to Alscace and Brittany are not usually mentioned The war at sea is discussed as well as the war Hajónaplók on land and I was reminded that in 1793 England planned to invade France and France to invade England Neither actually did Palmer also doesn't dwell exclusively Cant Hide From Me or even predominantly Nackt unter Nackten on Robespierre Much as he fascinates me I have a whole biography Mounted by the Minotaur of him East in the Light of the West on the shelf if reuired It's refreshing to find comparisons The Final Confrontation of the political writings and activities The Encyclopedia of Jewelry-Making Techniques of the different committee members as well as their various fates during the Empire and Restoration Robespierre's total ascendance The Three Legions over the Committee is essentially a historical convenience Terrorists Asesinato en Mauthausen of the Year Two identified the Terror with Room on the broom one man that they might themselves by appearing peaceable and humane win the confidence Seducir y Cautivar Con Pnl of the moderates Barère revealed what was going El Secreto de la Caja de Sándalo: Sherlock Holmes on writing in self defense when he himself was accused 'Is his grave not wide enough for us to empty into it all New Table for two. Inglés para cocina y restauración 2.ª edición our hatreds?' This was precisely what happened The living sought a new harmony by agreeing to denounce the deadEnding the Terror The French Revolution After Robespierre by Bronisław Baczko is a great examination Momentos estelares de la ciencia (El Libro De Bolsillo - Ciencias) of how this happened in the period immediately after Thermidor Palmer's writing style is clear and highly readable Unseen Forces That Can Affect Our Lives once I became used to him calling the Montagnards 'Mountaineers' Perhaps this was normal in American scholarship at the time He reflects upon the personalities and thoughts Chess Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes of the committee members and Deathtrap Dungeon (Fighting Fantasy, others while acknowledging when he indulges in speculation Who would not be tempted to? I must also admit that the Chernobyl 01 occasional generalisation in a history book can be acceptable when I agree with it Palmer's attitude towards the French Revolution is uite akin to my Avikar own guardedly admiring critical Partially Ionized Gases of its many failings yet inspired by its philosophies Long before In Defence Vercoquin y el plancton of the Terror Liberty Honey West and T.H.E. Cat or Death in the French Revolution was published in 2012 Palmer here defends the Terror but Moon Centaur only up to a point He is critical indeed dismissive both Anthony Adverse (Anthony Adverse, of scholars who absolve Robespierre Baby-led weaning: 70 recetas para que tu hijo coma solo (Embarazo, bebé y niño) of all wrong doing and those who treat the Terror as an exercise in totally pointless blood letting There is also greater emphasis This Fiery Splendor on economic policy here than I've generally found as the revolutionaries made so many grand speeches extolling principles that it is easy to Matthias Thulmann overlook their mundane regulatory decisions The economy Poems of a Penisist of the Terror is nonetheless interesting and important I had not previously realised that a fleet Anthony Adverse (Anthony Adverse, of ships bringing wheat from America Snatch! or less rescued France from famine in 1794 It's also striking how difficult it was to co The Dreamwork Manual ordinate fair distribution Fuego griego, flechas envenenadas y escorpiones: Guerra química y bacteriológica en la Antigüedad (Historia Antigua) of food across the country while laws governing maximum prices were in effect'Twelve Who Ruled' is undoubtedly an appealing work Dump and Chase (Nashville Assassins: Next Generation, of history However I also greatly appreciated it from the perspective Torren Apart of historiography Palmer published it in 1941 and refers in the text to the events Hipnoparto: Preparación para un parto positivo of 1940 specifically the capitulation The Middlesex Suite (1Night Stand, of France The preoccupations The Last Word and Other Stories of the time he was writing are prominent throughout war economics nationalism and the stability Descansad en pedazos y otros relatos of dictatorships This in no way detracted from his analysis indeed I enjoyed it During the Terror France was at war The Last Word And Other Stories on almost all fronts and Palmer sees in its policies the seeds Daddy’s Sweet Girl: A Dark Stepfamily Love Story of later war economies For example Parisian workers were employed by the government to manufacture muskets whether they liked it Johnny Thunders or not By Thermidor they were producing about five hundred a day Given that the Industrial Revolution had not yet reached France that is amazing As Palmer puts it 'In the summer Un día más (Noventa días, of 1794 the nationally Death in Kew Gardens (Kat Holloway Mysteries, owned workshops Tú, mi deuda pendiente of Paris were probably the greatest arsenal Make Ink: A Forager’s Guide to Natural Inkmaking of small arms in the world' This level The Disassembled Man of and justification for economic intervention was new although the government did not intend such nationalisation Homoselle of manufacture to last beyond the war However the political philosophy Eria of the Terror came to depend upon the continuation 理系のための英語「キー構文」46 of the war which created paradoxes and fragilities that contributed to Thermidor Palmer hints at the totalitarian regime La viuda of his time that took war economics to its greatest extreme the Nazis I didn't realise the extent Badlands of this until I read The Wages Lightroom Classic: (VERSIÓN COMPLETA) of Destruction The Making and Breaking The Hungry Heart of the Nazi Economy by Adam Tooze which I recommendSimilarly Palmer sees the beginning Defiance of modern nationalism in laws enacted during the Terror that treated foreigners in general and the English in particular as inherently suspect Trade with England was also L'Exode outlawed Given that France and England were at war this seems less surprising today yet for the time it was uite new Chapter ten recounts in some detail a revealing Convention debate about whether the government was 'nationalising' the war St Just gave a speech defending the government from this charge by claiming that France uarreled Smile or Die! only with England's government aristocracy and businessmenIt is clear that the Committee Farewell to Lust (Falling for the Billionaire, of Public Safety was nationalising the war without intending to do so What the members El Periplo del Talismán of the Committee believed was that there was no conflict between free nations; but a free nation was El Periplo del Talismán one which Wonderful Life overthrew its king and its nobles and which also according to the somewhat temporary doctrine At Bertrams Hotel of 1793 attacked its rich business class A nation which persisted in not imitating France was not free and so not exactly a nation; the war therefore though the Committee by its Future Card Buddyfight - Vol.1 (Tentomushi Comics) Manga own admission consulted Expanding dimensions of instructional objectives only the interests Maya Rulers of Time of France was not a national warThirdly the examination Tuerto, maldito y enamorado of whether Robespierre was a dictator not by most definitions and whether the Committee was an Asociaciones MIR directas: Compendio de 400 asociaciones MIR directas. oligarchy El grupo de petición anticanibalista y los tres caballeros of sorts albeit unstable is shadowed by the dictatorships Rainer Werner Fassbinder of 1940 Palmer mentions a hope that totalitarian regimes Lunario 2019: Calendario lunar para el huerto y el jardín ecológicos of the 20th century prove as brief and unstable as the technically undemocratic period Cine Bizarro. 100 años de películas de terror sexo y violencia of the Terror I say technically undemocratic as the Committee was continually responding to pressures from the democratically elected Convention although it purged Convention members from the Jacobin and Monarquía e imperio. El reinado de Carlos V other clubs although these were also purged from the popular press although this was selectively suppressed and the public although under the Law The Handmade Silver Gelatin Emulsion Print of Suspects anyone could be arrested Dissent persisted nonetheless and the Committee did not take formal steps to make themselves dictators El vampiro de la colonia Roma or emperors Their position was inherently temporary and there were both formal and informal mechanisms for their removal which Manual de Traduccion operated during Thermidor Crucially as Palmer notes the twelve did not foster anything like a cult Loxodromie et projection de Mercator of personality That would have been antithetical to their professed philosophy Laszivia of the sovereign people un et indivisible As with previous reading that deals with this period in any depth this book has much to say about how difficult interpeting this literally makes government in practise Once I got back into the world O Legado Moorehouse of the French Revolution after a couple Nanobot Aftermath Bonus Edition of chapters I found 'Twelve Who Ruled' involved rewarding and thought provoking It invited reflection Trenzas de papel on the twentieth century as well the eighteenth


10 thoughts on “Twelve Who Ruled

  1. says:

    Twelve Who Ruled The Year of The Terror in the French Revolution 1941 ★★★★12This book may be dated but it did not lose any of its power from the time it was first published in 1941 and was re issued many times the last edition dates to 2013 In this book R R Palmer looks at one particular time period in the history of France and its Revolution the year 1793 1974 But what a year that was Chaotic unbelievable bordering fantastical After the death of Louis XVI twelve people virtually strangers to each other started to govern the country and their slide into dictatorship gave the name to the year of their rule The Year of the Terror The year's main symbol the guillotine operated alongside democratic ideas put in speeches and on paper France has not seen anything like that before or since Palmer's engaging illuminating account traces the months leading to the Year of the Terror then focuses on the twelve men in charge of the country The narrative further details the twelve men's town and country policies laws and actions as they purported to stand for liberty democracy unity justice and peace but actually became the embodiment of the opposite Foreign and civil wars rebellions within and outside the country as well as economic disasters growing paranoia and the inability to maintain the central rule are just some of the challenges that faced the twelve men after they were left in change of the country under the innocuous name The Committee of Public Safety We start the account with the fifth summer of the Revolution when the king's death has already caused divisions among the people of the country; when enemies from abroad have already grown stronger; and when economic insecurity has accelerated Anarchy within invasion without A country cracking from outside pressure disintegrating from internal strain Revolution at its height War Inflation Hunger Fear Hate Sabotage Fantastic Hopes Boundless idealism And the horrible knowledge for the men in power that if they failed they would die as criminals murderers of the king Palmer 194189 5 The members of the so called Forth Committee were the following twelve men nearly all from the Mountain political group 1 Maximilien Robespierre 2 Lazare Carnot 3 Bertrand Barere 4 Georges Couthon 5 Andre Saint Andre 6 Jean Marie D'Herbois 7 Jean Nicholas Billaud Varenne 8 Louis Antoine Saint Just 9 Robert Lindet 10 Prieur of the Cote d'Or 11 Marie Jean Herault de Sechelles and 12 Prieur of the Marne The pressure on them must have been immense with one contributing factor being that there was not in France in 1973 a true majority in favour of anything except to drive out the foreigners and no majority to agree on precisely how that could be done Palmer 194189 42The great thing about Palmer's book is that it describes the events that took place after the death of the king in a very engaging manner The author describes scenes and includes speeches which must have taken place at that time enabling us to step into the then chaotic and complex world of politics and to imagine what it must have felt like to walk the streets of Paris at that time or hear one of the twelve leading men give their speeches to an assembly of people Our intrigue will be justified the secrecy of the Committee's meetings its eccentric intellectual and privileged members some privately in dispute with each other growing distrustful of each other and the ardent idealism that reigned in the hearts of some of them everything was at odds with the real on the ground situation in the country The setting up of the Revolutionary Army the emergence of different fractions and the extraordinary powers that were conferred on the Committee's individual members only made the situation worse We get to know about this and about much as Palmer also takes us to the far off concerns of France and we witness the situations in Puy de Dome Alsace Lyon its doom and in Brittany The on and off efforts to dechristianise the French population by the Committee as well as its effort to abolish the Christian calendar and make their own are some of the eccentric actions that demonstrate the audacity of the ruling twelve to try to erase the past of the country and begin anew Perhaps it is right to think that Palmer is a bit too sympathetic to the men he describes and his account could have included concrete examples However the book can still be considered one of the most informative out there on this period in the French history In the book we focus our attention on the men in uestion as well as on other emerging leading figures as the events rush forward seemingly with the speed of light in Palmer's story Palmer also makes sure that his account in seen in a broader context of other elements that were ongoing at the same time in the Republic and finally illuminates the reasons that precipitated the Committee's downfall


  2. says:

    Twelve Who Ruled which details the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution might be the most terrifying book I've ever read R R Palmer has constructed a vivid narrative of what happens when extreme fanatical people are driven to atrocity in the name of idealism The atrocities commited by Robespierre and the Committee of Public Safety are horrendous but the speed and ease with which French society crumbled into deadly despotism its utter plausability is truly scarier than an horror film I've ever seenPalmer essentially tells a straight narrative following the exploits of Robespierre and the other members of the Committe of Public Safety which ruled France with a brutally harsh dictatorship Most of these members at various times serves as Representatives on Mission traveling to various French provinces and giving trials judgments and in many cases executions These travels are likened to Roman Proconsuls who were responsible for Roman provinces The Roman connection is made throughout the book as Palmer recounts how many Frenchmen took Roman names viewing the Roman republic as a model society in many ways Palmer tries to present the Committee members in as balanced a light as possible He continually points out their motivation was to make France and the world better These men had an idealistic view of the people and of the republic These were ideals that were not necessarily connected to any direct reality Their concept of the will of the people was not based on an actual election or actual public opinion but became almost a religious concept of what was best for the people in the minds of the committee members Their view of the republic was similar an idealistic concept that existed in their minds uite separate from actual reality They viewed it as their role to help guide France toward this idealized conception of a nation and a unified people These views were taken to such an extreme that dissenting individuals who disagreed with the committee were seen as not of The People and often needed to be removed from society by the scalpel of the guillotine to protect it as it emerged from its embryonic stateThe idealistic notions were based largely on Russau's Social Contract which detailed a utopian society and described the sacrifices deemed necessary to create and protect such a society These concepts became doctrine almost a religion in themselves Indeed Palmer continually refers to the revolution using religious terminology to drive the point home He also spends a good deal of time explaining the Committee's attitudes toward religion how some members of the Committee wanted to exterminate religion in all it's forms but others such as Robespierre wanted to temper this view Robespierre eventually went as far as to create a new religion the Cult of the Supreme Being in a failed attempt to unify the people around an all inclusive religion that would help reinforce morality and loyalty to the stateThe most glaring weakness in the book is the lack of footnotes indicating sources While Palmer includes a note on sources indicating many primary archival sources he used to construct his narrative he does not indicate these in the text itself This however is a very minor flaw in an otherwise impressive work His prose is easy to read and very engaging making this an ideal book for historians and the general public to enjoyOverally Pamer here presents perhaps the greatest narrative of the Reign of Terror and possibly the most balanced viewpoint In no way does he attempt to excuse the horrors committed but neither does he paint these men as vicious monsters By examining the evidence Palmer presents these extraordinary men as caught up in passionate belief and uncompromising idealism taken to a dangerous extreme Palmer makes it easy to see why this period is referred to as the Great Terror Few eras in history have been as appropriately named


  3. says:

    It's been a while since I've read a book about the French Revolution an obsession of mine since the age of 15 that remains undimmed 'Twelve Who Ruled' has been on my to read list for seven and a half years as it took me a while to get hold of a copy It was first published in 1941 and I read a 1971 edition that was apparently purchased by Leicester Polytechnic University now De Montfort in 1973 Palmer examines the year of the Terror 1793 4 via analysis of the activities of the twelve man Committee of Public Safety While their actions in Paris were already well known to me I found the chapters following committee members as representatives on mission novel The massacres at Lyons are well covered by other histories of the period but the missions to Alscace and Brittany are not usually mentioned The war at sea is discussed as well as the war on land and I was reminded that in 1793 England planned to invade France and France to invade England Neither actually did Palmer also doesn't dwell exclusively or even predominantly on Robespierre Much as he fascinates me I have a whole biography of him on the shelf if reuired It's refreshing to find comparisons of the political writings and activities of the different committee members as well as their various fates during the Empire and Restoration Robespierre's total ascendance over the Committee is essentially a historical convenience Terrorists of the Year Two identified the Terror with one man that they might themselves by appearing peaceable and humane win the confidence of the moderates Barère revealed what was going on writing in self defense when he himself was accused 'Is his grave not wide enough for us to empty into it all our hatreds?' This was precisely what happened The living sought a new harmony by agreeing to denounce the deadEnding the Terror The French Revolution After Robespierre by Bronisław Baczko is a great examination of how this happened in the period immediately after Thermidor Palmer's writing style is clear and highly readable once I became used to him calling the Montagnards 'Mountaineers' Perhaps this was normal in American scholarship at the time He reflects upon the personalities and thoughts of the committee members and others while acknowledging when he indulges in speculation Who would not be tempted to? I must also admit that the occasional generalisation in a history book can be acceptable when I agree with it Palmer's attitude towards the French Revolution is uite akin to my own guardedly admiring critical of its many failings yet inspired by its philosophies Long before In Defence of the Terror Liberty or Death in the French Revolution was published in 2012 Palmer here defends the Terror but only up to a point He is critical indeed dismissive both of scholars who absolve Robespierre of all wrong doing and those who treat the Terror as an exercise in totally pointless blood letting There is also greater emphasis on economic policy here than I've generally found as the revolutionaries made so many grand speeches extolling principles that it is easy to overlook their mundane regulatory decisions The economy of the Terror is nonetheless interesting and important I had not previously realised that a fleet of ships bringing wheat from America or less rescued France from famine in 1794 It's also striking how difficult it was to co ordinate fair distribution of food across the country while laws governing maximum prices were in effect'Twelve Who Ruled' is undoubtedly an appealing work of history However I also greatly appreciated it from the perspective of historiography Palmer published it in 1941 and refers in the text to the events of 1940 specifically the capitulation of France The preoccupations of the time he was writing are prominent throughout war economics nationalism and the stability of dictatorships This in no way detracted from his analysis indeed I enjoyed it During the Terror France was at war on almost all fronts and Palmer sees in its policies the seeds of later war economies For example Parisian workers were employed by the government to manufacture muskets whether they liked it or not By Thermidor they were producing about five hundred a day Given that the Industrial Revolution had not yet reached France that is amazing As Palmer puts it 'In the summer of 1794 the nationally owned workshops of Paris were probably the greatest arsenal of small arms in the world' This level of and justification for economic intervention was new although the government did not intend such nationalisation of manufacture to last beyond the war However the political philosophy of the Terror came to depend upon the continuation of the war which created paradoxes and fragilities that contributed to Thermidor Palmer hints at the totalitarian regime of his time that took war economics to its greatest extreme the Nazis I didn't realise the extent of this until I read The Wages of Destruction The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy by Adam Tooze which I recommendSimilarly Palmer sees the beginning of modern nationalism in laws enacted during the Terror that treated foreigners in general and the English in particular as inherently suspect Trade with England was also outlawed Given that France and England were at war this seems less surprising today yet for the time it was uite new Chapter ten recounts in some detail a revealing Convention debate about whether the government was 'nationalising' the war St Just gave a speech defending the government from this charge by claiming that France uarreled only with England's government aristocracy and businessmenIt is clear that the Committee of Public Safety was nationalising the war without intending to do so What the members of the Committee believed was that there was no conflict between free nations; but a free nation was one which overthrew its king and its nobles and which also according to the somewhat temporary doctrine of 1793 attacked its rich business class A nation which persisted in not imitating France was not free and so not exactly a nation; the war therefore though the Committee by its own admission consulted only the interests of France was not a national warThirdly the examination of whether Robespierre was a dictator not by most definitions and whether the Committee was an oligarchy of sorts albeit unstable is shadowed by the dictatorships of 1940 Palmer mentions a hope that totalitarian regimes of the 20th century prove as brief and unstable as the technically undemocratic period of the Terror I say technically undemocratic as the Committee was continually responding to pressures from the democratically elected Convention although it purged Convention members from the Jacobin and other clubs although these were also purged from the popular press although this was selectively suppressed and the public although under the Law of Suspects anyone could be arrested Dissent persisted nonetheless and the Committee did not take formal steps to make themselves dictators or emperors Their position was inherently temporary and there were both formal and informal mechanisms for their removal which operated during Thermidor Crucially as Palmer notes the twelve did not foster anything like a cult of personality That would have been antithetical to their professed philosophy of the sovereign people un et indivisible As with previous reading that deals with this period in any depth this book has much to say about how difficult interpeting this literally makes government in practise Once I got back into the world of the French Revolution after a couple of chapters I found 'Twelve Who Ruled' involved rewarding and thought provoking It invited reflection on the twentieth century as well the eighteenth


  4. says:

    Among the many gaping holes in American historical knowledge is any grasp of the French Revolution and that includes my own knowledge As an abstract matter this is unfortunate but nothing notable given that the historical knowledge of modern Americans is essentially one large gap As a concrete matter though it is a real problem because in our own troubled times the French Revolution offers critical universal lessons which we forget to our peril Nowhere is this true than with respect to the Terror the rule of the twelve man Committee of Public Safety from 1793 94 the subject of this classic 1941 workThe frame of this book is as political biography of the members of the Committee all of whom were part of the loose grouping commonly referred to as Jacobins The Committee was for this one year a dictatorial body that drew its power from the National Convention a pseudo parliamentary body claiming to represent the interests and will of Frenchmen The Convention created the Committee in July of 1793 in response to a wave of existential threats ranging from foreign invasion to internal counter revolution to economic turmoil During the following year the Committee ruled through two basic methods issuing decrees which theoretically could be overridden by the Convention but never were and by sending some of its members on assignment “representatives on mission” to critical areas around the country with plenipotentiary power of life and death At the same time the Committee’s members involved themselves in and led the descending spiral of internal purges and violence against perceived ideological enemies who were themselves part of the Revolution a process which ended in the Committee’s own destruction and the execution of its most prominent membersThe task of the author R R Palmer was complicated by the Committee having left essentially no record of its own internal discussions All that exists are a few anecdotes and recollections of dubious accuracy set forth in the autobiographies of some of the Committee’s survivors Thus Palmer’s focus is on what the individual members of the Committee actually did according to contemporary reports and letters and on the orders and decrees they signed and issued This is probably interesting than a record of internal debates would have been and it makes Palmer’s book compelling as a result However they made their decisions the Committee’s executive actions were largely a success in pushing back threats to the Revolution and as Palmer notes many of their actions presaged the modern world such as the “Levy in Mass” conscripting the entire population to participate in declared national goals Foreign invaders were beaten back although as Palmer makes clear contrary to French myth it was not the élan of revolutionary armies or even superior leadership though the latter was true but that the Allies were opposed to each other as much as to the French Internal enemies eually poorly led and worse organized were brutally suppressed The counter revolutionaries who are most often remembered today are those in the Vendée royalist and Catholic But Palmer makes clear that of greater concern to the Committee were the “federalists” centered around Lyon and Marseilles who strongly supported the Revolution but opposed the Jacobins and those even farther left the so called Hébertists The economic situation was stabilized both in terms of food supply and in terms of ability to manufacture essential goods for the state especially munitions So the knock on the Committee is not that its members failed; for a committee especially they were remarkably effective if blessed in their enemies It was their vicious treatment of defeated internal enemies and most of all of former allies now treated as enemies that earned them the deserved reputation of bloodthirstinessThe Committee’s bloodthirstiness followed an exponentially rising arc Just prior to the Committee’s formation the “moderate” Girondists had been completely purged from the Convention by the simple expedient of arrest and execution This began the pattern of subseuent purges where as factions developed after each cleansing their opponents would attempt to tar them with the brush of those who had been purged earlier and so distinguishing oneself from those killed earlier became essential to survival Purge followed purge Each one was made easier by law culminating in the “Law of 22 Prairial” the irritating French Revolutionary calendar makes following dates hard; that’s June 10 1794 which allowed anyone to be summarily tried for sedition on the vaguest of charges without any lawyers or defense being allowed and the only possible verdict death or innocence By this point everyone active in politics not in the Committee’s camp figured it was only a matter of time before the guillotine would come for him or her—the Committee went in heavily for executing women as well as men for political opposition Thus the purges culminated in the “Thermidorean Reaction” of July 1794 in which a combination of those members of the Convention moderate and radical than the Committee both fearing they would be the next to go executed three members of the Committee and then dismantled it entirely Those three were Maximilien Robespierre and his two closest allies Antoine Saint Just and Georges Couthon; the exact interaction of Robespierre and the other members of the Committee is still hotly debated but he was clearly the leader at that pointThe Committee’s actions were and were meant to be “revolutionary” by which they meant outside the rule of law “exceptional and expeditious” not governed by any constitution or charter other than the grant of power itself to the Committee Their actions “rested on higher law” As Saint Just the youngest and most icily nasty of the political fanatics who composed the Committee put it “Since the French people has manifested its will everything opposed to it is outside the sovereign Whatever is outside the sovereign is an enemy” Or in an even modern sounding phrasing “All is permitted to those who act in the Revolutionary direction” In essence the Committee’s core belief was Rousseau’s doctrine of the general will animated to malevolent life All the Revolutionaries were obsessed with the Social Contract so this is no surprise The results were predictable at least from our vantage point It was not just in mass killing that the rule of law was destroyed it was also in many other actions such as ending elections to the Convention because according to the Committee “When the revolutionary machine is still rolling you injure the people in entrusting it with the election of public functionaries for you expose it to the naming of men who will betray it” Very convenientMy favorite passage to illustrate the corruption of language that characterized the Committee is Palmer’s summary of a speech by Saint Just on March 13 given as the internal purges gathered steam “Saint Just began by discussing the right of revolution affirmed in the Declaration of Rights and recently invoked by the Cordeliers a purged group Insurrection he said is of course a right a guarantee for the people; but government also has its guarantee the people’s justice and virtue Whoever corrupts this virtue makes government impossible and public virtue is corrupted when confidence in the government is lost The present sovereign is not a tyrant; it is the people Whoever opposes the present order is therefore evil and insurrection once a useful recourse is now counter revolution Opposition does exist—furtive clandestine—because no one ever opposes an established order openly Opposition always disguises itself; subversive elements always pretend to be loyal” This is a perfect example of James Burnham’s definition of ideology “a or less systematic and self contained set of ideas supposedly dealing with the nature of reality and calling for a commitment independent of specific experience or events An ideologue—one who thinks ideologically—can’t lose He can’t lose because his answer his interpretation and his attitude have been determined in advance of the particular evidence or observation” There is nothing dangerous than a man driven by ideology and there is no dealing with people who can justify themselves in this way Not only have they departed from any relationship with reality but the result empirically is always a trail of corpses the creation of which can be ended only one wayI promised lessons so what’s the lesson here? It should be obvious—all the behavior I’ve outlined in the past several paragraphs if you took out the specific of names and dates could eually well characterize any regime of the Left in power for the past two and a half centuries Those behaviors did not spring from nothing—the Terror and the Gulag and Year Zero are real fruits of the Enlightenment whatever Steven Pinker may say While it is possible perhaps for a time for Enlightenment ideas to not lead to the Terror such as in the American Revolution and perhaps not every key Enlightenment idea necessarily leads to terror in both cases that’s the exception rather than the rule and probably impossible outside a context based on English traditions as opposed to those of RosseauSo what are those Enlightenment ideas? The Twelve were religious believers adherents of the first of the secular ideological religions and the same core religious beliefs have characterized the Left since and as a result of the Enlightenment The religion of the Twelve was and the religion of any ideologue of the Left is the central Enlightenment idea that it is possible to create a heaven on earth “the dawn of universal felicity” through reason In this ideology heaven is reachable through ever liberty and emancipation compelled by the ever heavier hand of the state And not only is it reachable but it is the natural end of humans who are inherently good and perfectible through proper training and education Who could disagree with such a goal? Only evil men clearly But the problem is to the believers in order to attain such a utopia any cost is bearable and any opposition doubly evil since it attempts to deny happiness to those alive today and also to all the generations yet unborn A believer must therefore conclude that if the promised utopia fails to arrive it is because evil men oppose it for their own base reasons If that is true certainly such evil men deserve to die a small cost that must be paid so that many others may reach heaven even if most of those paying the price are actually innocent of any opposition Thus the end result of the Left being in total power is always going to be the same as that in 1794 even if may not always be as compressed in time or as dramatic as the Terror Or put another way any person of the Left has to endorse the Terror or reject the essential premises of the Left because the Terror was and such terror is a necessary conseuence of the Left being in power The only alternative and the only solution is to reject much or all of the Enlightenment itself something that is fortunately coming back into fashionPalmer himself basically endorses the Terror Compared to most scholarship about the Terror though he’s relatively even handed And he sees the Twelve’s motives clearly; he notes in the context of the suppression of Lyons featuring such activities as the daily killing of hundreds by grouping them together harrowing them with grapeshot and then bayoneting the survivors “the combination of blood lust with the jargon of revolutionary idealism It is necessary to realize that these men inflicted death with a holy glee” At root though he thinks that the behavior of the Committee is excused by their desire to make the world a better place But that is not an excuse for their monstrous behavior it is the reason—it is what made them do what they did There is a complete and universal parallel between the behavior described in this book and the subseuent behavior of the global Left in power both in Europe and in Asia during the twentieth century Palmer couldn’t see that really at the time he wrote But his overriding goal of excusing the Terror can be seen by examining his approach to various matters that are part of his historyFirst while he couldn’t see the full sweep of the twentieth century not once does Palmer criticize the Left Marxism or Communism or analogize later leftist thought and actions to the Revolution even in the slightest way The closest he comes is one single reference to the show trial of Georges Danton calling it “an outrage to civilized procedure comparable only to certain political trials of our own time” This is not an overt attempt to excuse the Terror but it shows where Palmer’s heart is since even in 1941 the parallels were obvious And when he re issued the book in 1989 Palmer was extremely proud that he made no substantive changes to the text as he notes in his “Preface to the Bicentennial Edition” completing his whitewash of the Terror as it relates to the LeftSecond Palmer explicitly declines to talk about the “Grand Terror” that is the culmination of and most violent period of the Terror “We shall not dwell much on that is we shall not dwell at all on the Grand Terror which in fact was by no means entirely the work of the Committee of Public Safety The Hundred Days before Thermidor were not primarily a time of destruction They were a time of creation of abortive and perhaps visionary creation nipped by the fatal blight of the Revolution the inability of the Revolutionists to work together Had the Jacobins been a revolutionary party of the modern kind drilled to a mechanical obedience the whole French Revolution would have been different” The dishonesty and naiveté of this is breathtaking So when Palmer suggests that “We cannot understand the Revolution’s history or European memories without dwelling on events that many modern historians pass over as sensational” we realize that he just as much as all the others is “passing over” events that might whip up sentiment against the Revolution Historians including Palmer pass over these events not because they are “sensational” but because their existence is corrosive to their own most fondly held political beliefs which align with those of the Committee They are only too happy to endlessly discuss and use as a bludgeon “sensational” events if they relate to medieval times or religion or any modern Right regime It is the bad behavior of the Left that they always screen with a thick curtain and not by accident or because they are delicateSo Palmer notes that Jean Baptiste Carrier who ordered the murder of thousands of men women and children after their defeat in the Vendée by drowning them in barges sunk in the Loire is “condemned as a monster by reactionary and humanitarian writers” but for others presumably by all historians not characterized with epithets “is subject to attempts at rehabilitation” although Palmer thinks those are “on the whole not very successful”; whether that chagrins him or not is unclear Palmer also notes that the Terror would have been infinitely bloody if it were not the case that the Committee “habitually used an exaggerated manner of speaking; but they were in reality for the most part still checked by humane and Christian scruples” He does not note the contradiction or rather the now obvious conclusion that combining “a revolutionary party of the modern kind” something he endorses as making the Revolution better with an absence of Christian scruples necessarily leads to deaths in the tens of millions rather than the tens of thousands not a “visionary creation” Just ask Pol Pot who after all studied in Paris drinking deep of Revolutionary ideologyThird Palmer is eager to make generalized excuses that relieve the Committee of moral responsibility—“The Terror was born of fear from the terror in which men already lived from the appalling disorder produced by five years of Revolution and the lawless habits of the old regime It was anarchy that stood in the way of the stabilization of the Republic and it was anarchy that was causing France to lose the war” This is slipperiness That men lived in one type of fear does not imply that fear is the obvious solution and this is just throwing excuses at the wall and hoping one sticks with the reader Moreover the endless purges of mostly imaginary enemies were the very definition of anarchy not a solution for it which is why the Committee ultimately destroyed itself Perhaps it’s easier to see from the vantage point of 2018 than of 1941 but it’s very obvious that the source of leftist terror is leftist ideas and thought patterns not the fact that seizing power usually generates enemies and disorders The creation of order does not reuire terror Concealing this rather obvious truth seems to be the project of most modern historians of the Terror all men of the Left themselves who therefore recoil from the necessary conclusionPalmer’s project of excusing the Terror can also be seen indirectly through his continual commentary on the scholarly controversies of the half century preceding the publication of his book mostly centering on two French academic luminaries Alphonse Aulard and Albert Mathiez the latter a proud Marxist who according to Palmer held along with his entire school still extant today “that Robespierre was always right” According to Palmer both Aulard and Mathiez who collectively at the time totally dominated scholarship about the Revolution excused the Terror as necessary While Palmer agrees that the Terror was necessary he likes to snipe at Mathiez’s ideological prison saying for example that he was “of the opinion that his hero Robespierre was better justified by certain principles of class struggle than by the ideas which Robespierre himself never tired of expounding” All these scholars though strongly approved of the Revolution and approved of much or all of the Terror; their disagreements appear to have revolved around causes dividing into Marxists and non Marxists and whether Robespierre was a hero whose death prevented utopia from arriving or a villain who maybe took the Terror just a little bit too far Palmer fits right into the this tradition whether he admits it or notReview completes as first comment


  5. says:

    The French Revolution is obviously a vast field of history so it was nice to read such a focused work and especially one that was so well written I'd previously read and really enjoyed Victor Hugo's famous novel Ninety Three that covers the same time period and this was an excellent non fiction counterpart It covers the actions of the twelve men who constituted the Committee of Public Safety during the Reign of Terror from September 5 1793 until July 28 1794 Palmer discusses their origins and pre Revolutionary lives how they managed to end up in their positions of power their activities during that turbulent period and the crises that led up to the day of 9 Thermidor the famous Thermidorian Reaction when Robespierre the Committee's leader was guillotined along with his colleague Saint Just and the Revolution ended its most frenetic phaseThe book has a strong narrative style which is excellent because this is a confusing time to read about though of course even so to actually live through There are plenty of different groups the Convention the Commune the Committee the clubs and Palmer does a good job of explaining who all these groups are and how they related to each other The Committee which was intended to be a sort of cabinet was instituted to solve France's leadership problem and add a little stability to a revolution that had been going on for nearly half a decade with mixed results The relationship between political and military instability during this period was notable and reminded me somewhat of the US Civil War with politically appointed generals often failing in their campaigns while the results of those same campaigns threatened to discredit the government that sent them Despite the increased effectiveness of the French army due to the levée en masse and other Republican techniues in contrast to the aristocratic navy which suffered tremendously from its purges the Committee's efforts to repel the foreign invaders only really began to pay off towards the end of the TerrorAn additional problem for the Committee was that they just weren't very popular and hence didn't have a lot of legitimacy with important constituencies like for example the people of France Palmer describes the law of 14 Frimaire which significantly centralized power as an instrument of Terror because the government which it strengthened was the creation of a minority the triumphant leaders of the Mountain itself a party among republicans who in turn were only a party among the original revolutionists who in their turn did not include all the people in France As in the name of liberty France now possessed the most dictatorial government it had ever known so in the name of the people it now had the political system which of all the systems in its history probably the fewest people really liked A classic component of leadership and in fact maybe the biggest one is the task of managing interactions with people who disagree with you While the Committee was faced with challenges that would strain the capacities of even the best leaders foreign invasions economic collapse rampant factionalism religious turbulence and all the small dervishes spawned by that larger tempest their solution of the guillotine has done a lot to posthumously discredit their workAnd to that end much of the modern Anglosphere understanding of the Revolution is in the BurkeCarlyleDickens tradition of seeing it as a senseless maelstrom of blood headed by inflexible fanatics sustained by mobs of howling peasants and red eyed tricoteuses and only ended by the operation of that same guillotine However once the Committee's decisions are seen in the light of the circumstances they faced in large part they seem almost reasonable as Palmer tries to show An example is the debate over the role of religion in the new order France at the time was very religious and the Catholic Church was involved in many spheres of life in both positive and negative ways see for example the famous career of Cardinal Richelieu in the previous century Some of the revolutionaries wanted to completely dechristianize the country some wanted to replace Christianity with a new state religion some wanted to simply remove the Church's influence from political life and some wanted no change at all The Committee in many ways acted to check the impulses of the radical revolutionaries to destroy all churches or defrock every priest and it's instructive to note that many of those who were put to death were these violent radicalsNot that that really excuses the sometimes arbitrary arrests and executions ordered by Robespierre and the rest of the Committee of course but while tens of thousands did die during the Terror many of those deaths were not ordered by the Committee and additionally you also have to take into account the atrocities committed by the previous regime eg Louis XIV's massacre of 8000 Parisians in 1788 and the state of total war that existed at the time Additionally as as the book is explicit about there's a difference between a revolutionary party as it's involved in overthrowing governments and the same party when it has to then govern Revolutionaries are fiery aggressive and iconoclastic while government officials need to be bureaucratic conciliatory and predictable individuals with one group of ualities do not often have the other and Robespierre et al did much to transition the fury of the regicide into the steadiness of the administrator The end of the Terror was not the end of violence but when the Convention finally turned on the Committee those who remained benefited from the work that had gone on beforeIn a way one of the best indicators of the Committee's success was how much of its work was either kept or imitated to the extent that the invading Allies suggested that they needed an international Committee of General Security to organize their armies as well as the French were doing You can look at the Revolution as a sort of game theoretic move once they introduced their methods of rationalizing standardizing and energizing every other country was forced to adopt adapt or imitate their work Plus they had some really inspiring words Robespierre in particular was an excellent orator and some of the book's best parts are where Palmer steps back and lets the power of their vision shineWe wish an order of things where all low and cruel passions are enchained by the laws all beneficent and generous feelings awakened; where ambition is the desire to deserve glory and to be useful to one's country; where distinctions arise only from euality itself; where the citizen is subject to the magistrate the magistrate to the people the people to justice; where the country secures the welfare of each individual and each individual proudly enjoys the prosperity and glory of his country; where all minds are enlarged by the constant interchange of republican sentiments and by the need of earning the respect of a great people; where industry is an adornment to the liberty that ennobles it and commerce the source of public wealth not simply of monstrous riches for a few familiesWe wish in a word to fulfill the course of nature to accomplish the destiny of mankind to make good the promises of philosophy to absolve Providence from the long reign of tyranny and crime May France illustrious formerly among peoples of slaves eclipse the glory of all free peoples that have existed become the model to the nations the terror of oppressors the consolation of the oppressed the ornament of the universe; and in sealing our work with our blood may we ourselves see at last the dawn of universal felicity gleam before us That is our ambition That is our aim


  6. says:

    For two years after the French revolution France was ruled by a committee of twelve men At the time of their ascent to power France was in chaos its ports closed by the British and foreign armies were driving toward its borders The Committee of Public Safety as it was known realized that if they failed in their mission to stabilize France they would be treated as murderers of their king and destroy ers of the few democratic gains that had been accomplished by that time As we shall see the termdemocracy was used very loosely indeed R R Palmer recounts the events of The Year of Terror in Twelve Who RuledThis book was finished in 1941 and it contains obliue but not opaue references to invading armies and the dangers of totalitarianism The twelve were an interesting combination Robespierre a lonely bachelor and idealist who was against capital punishment fell under the guillotine Carnot was a mathematical genius former army officer and engineer He became a revolutionary because advancement in the army was limited to aristocrats Barere like Robespierre a lawyer was a shifty politician who believed in public participation in government Saint Just was the enfant terrible of the revolution originally a playboy but eventually rising to become a dedicated and principled leaderSaint Andre was a Protestant minister before 1787 it had been illegal to be a Protestant and former ship captain who believed in secular control of religion because religious fervor too often conflicted with public order Billan Varenne was a self educated lawyer and committed anti Catholic who wanted to confiscate all church property and made good use of the guillotine He was totally intolerant of others' viewpoints The sullen Callot was the only one of the twelve not established in a profession As an actor considered social outcasts during the 18th century he craved recognition Herault de Sechells was the only nobleman on the Committee completely amoral and an egoist Of the other three Lindet Pierre Louis Prieur and Claude Antoine Prieur no relation not much is known The peasantry which comprised 45ths of the population was not represented None of the twelve had ever done manual labor all were fairly well off and except for Herault were members of the middle class; provincials who knew nothing of the city proletariat Why should this group lead the revolution and terror? Palmer's explanation is that all were intellectuals steeped in philosophy but ensnared in a middle class with no place to go The aristocracy despised them and placed numerous artificial barriers in their paths The church was corrupt badly in need of reform and had lost all moral and intellectual leadershipThe Committee longed for a simpler natural form of government and religion They detested compromise tolerated no free discussion even among themselves Ironically they did not start the revolution but stepped into the vacuum it created It is paradoxical that the French who tried so hard to recreate the American Revolution and who fervently believed in Constitutional government feared factions and divisive thought Robespierre's statement of 5 Nivose they had invented their own calendar based on the metric system which was mandatory but virtually ignored was a dramatic statement of the philosophy of dictatorship and an attempt to suppress factions He should have read James Madison thoroughly Madison believed factions were an essential component of the defense against tyranny Robespierre wanted to save the people from themselves For him factionalism was synonymous with treasonable conspiracy a la McCarthy Alien and Sedition Acts etc 20th century Americans would do well to reread Madison Of course the Committee failed politically As a minority it decided it could succeed only by recourse to the Terror to which it ultimately succumbed Their goal was to create a democracy based on a common cause and belief system Yet paradoxically even a century later the Republic was associated with suppression of liberty persecution of religion violence and terror More faith in diversity and democracy would have been their salvation Democracy totalitarianism and intolerance cannot coexist '


  7. says:

    Palmer's account of the Terror is supposed to be a classic on the subject and it is easy to see why It's meticulously researched well written and is effortlessly communicated That's not to say it is an easy read it is not The details can bog one down but they're worth fighting through to the end of the chapter when Palmer brilliantly pulls all the differing strands together to provide conclusions Palmer's passion which he does not try to hide comes out and is in and of itself a propellant to reading this book PS Robespierre in my opinion is very much like Shakespeare's Brutus the only one who comes off as truly believing in the cause of the Terror and who really thought that he was doing the right thing And Saint Just seems to be the most exciting highly intelligent handsome and unbelievably arrogant A brilliant combination


  8. says:

    This is an excellent work of historical scholarship It can be a bit dry at times though that is to be expected when reading scholarly works Palmer has a distinct narrative voice that carries throughout the book and heightens the reading experienceI found that this read like a 12 part biography if the title wasn't a giveaway with a backdrop of the Year of Terror Particular focus was given to Robespierre but that's not exactly a surprise when reading about the French Revolution


  9. says:

    If you’re generally familiar with the French Revolution and even if you’ve read “Citizens A Chronicle of the French Revolution” by Simon Schama you’re guaranteed a real treat with Palmer’s “Twelve Who Ruled” Together with Isser Woloch’s extremely helpful foreward Palmer focuses specifically on the Reign of Terror a timeframe many accept as going from 5 September 1793 Bertrand Barre proclaims terror the “order of the day” until 27 July 1794 the day before Robespierre’s execution Palmer clearly explains how the Twelve freedom dreamers became fire and brimstone dictatorsOf special note Palmer theorizes that the little discussed event of 23 Ventose 13 March 1794 was extremely important At that time Saint Just one of the Twelve claimed “Every party is then criminal because it is a form of isolation from the peoplea form of independence from the government” Whoever opposed the government was then officially in a state of insurrection counter revolution criminality and treason Summary justice at the guillotine soon followed The Committee of Public Safety was then “a full grown dictatorship” all flowing from 23 VentoseIMHO Palmer does a great job of presenting the complex events that comprised the terror how twelve seemingly reasonable albeit inexperienced men wound up guiding the Terror when 16 to 40 thousand people were guillotined My bottom line take away is that Revolutionary France in its attempt to export freedom started what was euphemistically called a five front war To defend itself the French government then uickly fell into disarray Their Constitution was “written in the sky” with little usefulpracticed law connecting it to what was really happening on the ground In other words “liberté égalité fraternité” were really just great sounding buzz words for pie in the sky idealistic dreams Anarchy ensued but many hoped that there was safety in numbers and unity became the goal for survival But what if all that united them was what they were against not what they were for? Such governmental “unity” was dysfunctional Thus the Twelve the Committee for Public Safety CPS maneuvered to gain control With normal persuasion not working CPS forcefully gained control through purges And with persecution came paranoia and the continuous need for scapegoating and further purges when cascading emergencies arose in the wake of incompetent policy Thus did the Revolution devour its own children the Twelve Who RuledNote The Twelve Who Ruled were just some of the infamous members of the Committee of Public Safety of which there were 13 versions from 25 March 1793 to 27 October 1795 The author’s twelve were all on the 4th Committee 5 September 1793 – 31 July 1794 Barere Billaud Varenne Carnot Collot Couthon Herault de Sechelles Jeanbon Saint Andre Lindet Prieur Prieur Duvernois Robespierre and Saint Just This twelve is not the same as the Extraordinary Commission of Twelve which the Girondins feeling threatened by Montagnard supporters created on 21 May 1793 to look into all decisions made by the Commune over the previous month and to unmask all plots menacing the National Assembly The Commission actions led to the revolt of 2 June 1793 the fall of the Girondins and the start of the Reign of TerrorHighly recommended by a fellow author


  10. says:

    Best book that I have read on the French Revolution to this dateVery thorough clean and little bloodThe nucleus of the period has been extensively described