Fragments sur les institutions républicaines (French Edition)

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Des raisons de droit, d'une part.

Saint-Just 1767-1794

Si la loi est inacceptable, c'est principalement , explique le pape, parce qu'elle transgresse la loi de Dieu. En outre, elle contredit le droit des gens. Des raisons de fait, d'autre part. Sans doute pas. Cette ouverture n'est pas dissociable du contexte dans lequel elle se produit. Deux arguments justifient cette posture. On le voit sous le pontificat de Paul VI. Le fondement de la mobilisation? To further his candidacy, he wrote letters to politicians shamelessly flattering their self-esteem and even managed to receive the congratulations of the National Assembly after publicly burning a counterrevolutionary pamphlet.

Though he was driven by ambition, his ambition was to serve the cause of the poor and the peasants, and, if he turned toward Maximilien de Robespierre , the most pitiless of the revolutionaries, it was from conviction. Saint-Just now proposed directing the Revolution beyond benevolent and patriotic activity toward the making of a new society.

L'Église catholique face au modèle français de laïcité

The exposition was bold, vigorous, and lofty. The brief, forceful, and elliptical formulations characterized the author. According to him, the constitution framed by the Assembly was acceptable as a first step, but the French were not yet free. Nor were they sovereign , but sovereignty of the people was acceptable only if the people were just and rational. He confided to his publisher that the boldness of his exposition attracted readers and rightly added that his work, because it was based on less extensive reading than he might have wished, had the originality of a solitary thinker.

At that time Saint-Just believed himself to be on the eve of a political career, and his elimination from the Assembly as a result of his age provoked a serious crisis. He then continued his reflections on the great task of building a society based on nature in which men would live together rather than merely side by side. Taking his region as a model, he observed the village communal traditions. This sojourn in the provinces directed his thinking while straining his energies. His election to the National Convention in September , shortly after he became 25, finally gave him a task cut to his measure.

His first speech, in November , was devoted to arguing that it would be just to put the deposed king, Louis XVI , to death without a trial. His brilliant oratory and his implacable logic immediately established him as one of the most militant of the Montagnards. In the fall of that year, he was sent on mission to oversee the army in the critical sector of Alsace. He proved himself a man of decisive action, relentless in demanding results from the generals but sympathetic to the complaints of ordinary soldiers.

He repressed local opponents of the Revolution but did not indulge in the mass executions ordered by some of the other deputies on mission.

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Upon his return to the Convention, in year II of the French republican calendar —94 , Saint-Just was elected president. These were the most revolutionary acts of the French Revolution, because they expropriated from one class for the benefit of another. Sent on mission to the army in Belgium , he contributed to the victory of Fleurus on 8 Messidor, year II June 26, , which gave France the upper hand against the Austrians.

These months were the high point of his career. He, rather than Robespierre, showed himself to be the forerunner of the totalitarian rulers of the 20th century when he said on another occasion,. We must not only punish traitors, but all people who are not enthusiastic.


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There are only two kinds of citizens: the good and the bad. The Republic owes to the good its protection. To the bad it owes only death. Dreaded, almost totally isolated, and detested, he was arrested on 9 Thermidor July Like Robespierre, he did not try to incite the Parisian sansculottes to rise against the Convention in his defense and was guillotined the next day.

Saint-Just (1767-1794)

Saint-Just has, by turns, been lauded as the archangel of the Revolution or abhorred as the terrorist par excellence. Recent scholarly research has made it possible to draw the line between man and myth. Undoubtedly the Revolution changed the unruly, self-indulgent youth into a principled and decisive, though ruthless, leader. To friends he was also kind, helping them in securing positions. Yet it is doubtful whether he had friends in the true sense, for those whom he helped attached themselves to him without becoming his equals.

Many of his contemporaries acknowledged his ability but considered him a monster of pride and cruelty.

The man of virtue: the role of antiquity in the political trajectory of L. Saint-Just Marisa Linton. Oxford Academic. Google Scholar. Cite Citation. Permissions Icon Permissions. Abstract This article is concerned with how Saint-Just fashioned his political identity, focusing on the ways in which he deployed ideas, gestures and rhetoric derived from antiquity.

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