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.
But the Montagnards made up by their fanatical, or desperate, energy and boldness for what they lacked in talent or in numbers.
THE MOUNTAIN (La Montagne), the name applied during the French Revolution to a political group, whose members, called Montagnards, sat on the highest benches in the Assembly.
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.