National Convention (France)

The National Convention was the body of French deputies which held executive powers, governing France from September 20, 1792, to October 26, 1795, during the French Revolution. The National Convention was the first French assembly whose members were elected by universal male suffrage, without distinctions of class. The age limit of the electors was 21, and that of eligibility was fixed at 25 years. The first session was held September 20, 1792. The following day, the French monarchy was abolished and replaced by the First French Republic. The 22th of September, 1793, would become the base date of the new French Revolutionary Calendar, the beginning of the Year I of the French Republic.

Composed of 749 members, the National Convention came from all classes of society, but the most numerous were lawyers. For both legislative and administrative purposes, the Convention used committees, with powers more or less widely extended and regulated by successive laws. The most famous of these committees included the Committee of Public Safety, and the Committee of General Security. According to its own ruling, the Convention elected its president every fortnight. He was eligible for re-election after the lapse of a fortnight. Originally, this governing assembly was made up moderates, leftists (Jacobins), and rightists members. Nevertheless, when Maximilien Robespierre was elected president of the National Convention, he ushered in and led the most traumatic period of the French Revolution, which is known as the Reign of Terror. During this period, Robespierre and Saint-Just removed all the rightist and most of the moderate members, having them executed by guillotine, including Danton and Desmoulins.

Background

The National Convention was the direct result of the insurrection of 10th of August, 1792, when the people of Paris stormed the Tuileries and demanded the abolition of the monarchy, the Legislative Assembly decreed the provisional suspension of King Louis XVI and the convocation of a "National Convention" which should draw up a constitution.

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Thor is Carlos Benito Camacho, the manager and writer of this blog.

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