When the crisis came the Girondists were ready, and on the 23rd of March 1792 Roland found himself appointed minister of the interior.
Finally, in the trial of the king he demanded, with the Girondists, that the sentence should be pronounced by a vote of the whole people, and not simply by the Convention.
He was in many ways the leading spirit of the Girondists, who were also known as Brissotins.
See French Revolution; Girondists; Mountain; D Anton; Robespierre; Marat, &C.
He was involved in the proscription of the Girondists and imprisoned until the 9th Thermidor.
His courageous intervention in favour of the Girondists on the 2nd of June 1793 served Robespierre as a pretext to prevent his re-election to the Committee of Public Safety.
Chaumette was one of the ringleaders in the attacks of the 31st of May and of the 2nd of June 1793 on the Girondists, toward ' whom he showed himself relentless.
As a member of the Committee of General Defence, and as president of the Convention (March 7-21,1793), he shared in the bitter attacks of the Girondists on the Mountain; and on the fatal day of the 2nd of June his name was among the first of those inscribed on the prosecution list.
Proscribed with the Girondists on the 2nd of June 1793, he succeeded in escaping, and took refuge in Normandy, where he contributed to organize a federalist insurrection against the Convention, which was speedily suppressed.
The Girondists were, indeed, rather a group of individuals holding certain opinions and principles in common than an organized political party, and the name was at first somewhat loosely applied to them owing to the fact that the most brilliant exponents of their point of view were deputies from the Gironde.
In the Legislative Assembly the Girondists represented the principle of democratic revolution within and of patriotic defiance to the European powers without.
Montagnards and Girondists alike were fundamentally opposed to the monarchy; both were democrats as well as republicans; both were prepared to appeal to force in order to realize their ideals; in spite of the accusation of "federalism" freely brought against them, the Girondists desired as little as the Montagnards to break up the unity of France.
The Girondists were idealists, doctrinaires and theorists rather than men of action; they encouraged, it is true, the "armed petitions" which resulted, to their dismay, in the emeute of the 10th of June; but Roland, turning the ministry of the interior into a publishing office for tracts on the civic virtues, while in the provinces riotous mobs were burning the chateaux unchecked, is more typical of their spirit.
Thus the Girondists, who had been the Radicals of the Legislative Assembly, became the Conservatives of the Convention.
Robespierre, who hated the Girondists, whose lustre had so long obscured his own, had proposed to includethem in the proscription lists of September; the Mountain to a man desired their overthrow.
The Girondists, who had a majority in the Convention, controlled the executive council and filled the ministry, believed themselves invincible.
The Girondists played into their hands.
The Girondists, for all their fine phrases, were sold to the enemy, as Lafayette, Dumouriez and a hundred others - once popular favourites - had been sold.
The abortive emeute of the 10th of March warned the Girondists of their danger, but the Commission of Twelve appointed on the 18th of May, the arrest of Marat and Hebert, and other precautionary measures, were defeated by the popular risings of the 27th and 31st of May, and, finally, on the 2nd of June, Hanriot with the National 1 Daunou, "Memoires pour servir a l'hist.
Incidentally they prove, too, that the sentiment of France was for the time against the Girondists, who were proscribed even in their chief centre, the city of Bordeaux.
Of the special works on the Girondists Lamartine's Histoire des Girondins (2 vols., Paris, 1847, new ed.
Memoirs or fragments of memoirs also exist by particular Girondists, e.g.
He shared in the fall of the Girondists, was arrested on the 2nd of June 1793, but somehow was left in prison until the 8th of December, when, on receiving notice that he was to appear on the next day before the Revolutionary Tribunal, he committed suicide.
He sat at first with the Mountain, but having been long associated with Roland and Brissot, his agreement with the Girondists became gradually more pronounced; during the trial of Louis XVI.
He escaped to Normandy to join Buzot, and after the defeat of the Girondists at Pacy-sur-Eure he found shelter in Brittany.
In April 1792 he went to Paris, with introductions to Petion and the leading Girondists, hoping.
On the 2nd of June 1 793 he proposed a decree of accusation against the Girondists; on the 9th, at the Jacobin club, he outlined a programme which the Convention was destined gradually to realize: the expulsion of all foreigners not naturalized, the establishment of an impost on the rich, the deprivation of the rights of citizenship of all "anti-social" men, the creation of a revolutionary army, the licensing of all officers ci-devant nobles, the death penalty for unsuccessful generals.
The chief point of distinction was that the Girondists were mainly theorists and thinkers, whereas the Mountain was composed almost entirely of uncompromising men of action.
During their struggle with the Girondists, the Montagnards gained the upper hand in the Jacobin Club, and for a time Jacobin and Montagnard were synonymous terms. The Mountain was successively under the sway of such men as Marat, Danton, and Robespierre, and the group finally disappeared after Robespierre's death and the successes of the French arms.
See also the articles Jacobins, Girondists and French Revolution.
He accused the Girondists of relations with the court, then turned against Robespierre, who had him expelled from the Jacobin club for his conduct as commissioner of the Convention with the army of La Rochelle.
He voted for the death of Louis XVI., was one of the first to call for the arrest of the duke of Orleans, and took a prominent part in the overthrow of the Girondists (on the 31st of May).
At first he voted with the Girondists, attacked Robespierre, "a pygmy who should not be set on a pedestal," and at the trial of the king voted with the Mountain for the king's death "without appeal and without delay."
The Left consisted of the Jacobins, a term which still included the party afterwards known as the Girondins or Girondists - so termed because several of their leaders came from the region of the Gironde in southern France.
Elected to the Convention by Pas-le-Calais, he associated himself with the Girondists, but strongly opposed the death sentence on the king.
During the final struggle between the Girondists and the Mountain, he refused to resign as deputy and rejected the offer made by the sections of Paris to give hostages for the arrested representatives.
His violent attacks on the Girondists led to his arrest on the 24th of May 1793, but he was released owing to the threatening attitude of the mob.
In the struggle between the Mountain and the Girondists he displayed great energy; and after the coup d'etat of the 31st of May 1793 he made himself conspicuous by his pitiless pursuit of the defeated party.
The speech overthrew De Lessart, whose accusation was decreed; and Roland, the nominee of the Girondists, entered the ministry.
He denounced the massacres of September - their inception, their horror and the future to which they pointed - in language so vivid and powerful that it raised for a time the spirits of the Girondists, while on the other hand it aroused the fatal opposition of the Parisian leaders.
The decree of accusation was voted, and the Girondists were proscribed.