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The Parisian Mob

To be ignorant of history is to remain always a child - Cicero
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detail from Liberty Leading the People by Eugene Delacroix

The news of the King's flight destroyed the last of the King's popularity with the people of Paris.

The popular press portrayed the royal family as pigs and public opinion plummeted. Increasingly there were demands for an end to the monarchy and the creation of a new kind of government, a republic. 

At the beginning of the revolution, the working men of Paris allowed the revolutionary bourgeoisie to lead them. But by 1790 the sans-culottes were beginning to be politically active in their own right. They were called sans-culottes (literally, without trousers) because the working men wore loose trousers instead of the tight knee breeches of the nobility. Eventually sans culottes came to refer to any revolutionary citizen.

Though their activity had been growing, after the King's flight to Varennes the sans culottes were spurred to greater political activity. They were uninterested in the complexities of politics, and looked for simple solutions.


Part of Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité: The French Revolution Exhibit

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