Sans-culottes  

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"True genius is almost always sans-culotte" --Henri Grégoire

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Sans-culottes (French for without knee-breeches) was a term created 1790 - 1792 by the French to describe the poorer members of the Third Estate, according to the dominant theory because they usually wore pantaloons (full-length trousers) instead of the fashionable knee-length culotte.

Their support came from domestic crises, such as shortages of bread and political injustices. Led by revolutionaries such as Jacques Hébert, the sans-culottes played a crucial role in such events as the September massacres of 1792, and supported the most radical left-wing factions in successive revolutionary governments. During the Reign of Terror, they provided important support for Maximilien Robespierre and the Committee of Public Safety; in March 1794, though, the government distanced itself from the Hébertists; Hébert himself was convicted by the very Revolutionary Tribunals he had lauded, and was guillotined; months later, in the Thermidorian Reaction, Robespierre would suffer the same fate.

See also

September Massacres




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Sans-culottes" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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