He now became president of the Education Committee and promptly abolished the system which had had Robespierre's support.
In matters of finance Cambon was now supreme; but his independence, his hatred of dictatorship, his protests against the excesses of the Revolutionary Tribunal, won him Robespierre's renewed suspicion, and on the 8th Thermidor Robespierre accused him of being antirevolutionary and an aristocrat.
Cambon's proud and vehement reply was the signal of the resistance to Robespierre's tyranny and the prelude to his fall.
The excesses of the Revolutionary Tribunal increased with the growth of Robespierre's ascendancy in the Committee of Public Safety; and on the 10th of June 1794 was promulgated, at his instigation, the infamous Law of 22 Prairial, which forbade prisoners to employ counsel for their defence, suppressed the hearing of witnesses and made death the sole penalty.
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.
He was vehemently interrupted, and the sitting ended with an order for Robespierre's arrest (see Robespierre).
After Robespierre's fall he was the first to advocate the reopening of the churches (speech of December 21, 1794).