Copyright © 2020 Billy Burns. All rights reserved.
Masonic Invisible Empire

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION

Let Justice Be Done Though The Heavens Fall

During the 18th century, there was a war in Europe against the Catholic Church, as the organised centre of Christianity.  This was illustrated, not least, in the bloody and failed French Revolution of 1789, whose motto was the same as the Freemasons’: “Liberté, Egalité and Fraternité!”

A European movement that reached its high point in the 18th century was termed the Enlightenment and claimed the likes of Frenchmen, Rousseau, Voltaire, Diderot, Montesquieu, et al, among its disciples.  The principles of these philosophers prepared peoples minds for the problems the French Revolution would later force upon the attention of the world.

Thinkers of the Enlightenment period believed in social progress and in the liberating possibilities of rational and scientific knowledge, and were often critical of existing society.  The roots of these optimistic views gave birth to philosophical scepticism.  This demanded that everything should be susceptible to proof in comprehensible terms and professed that the dead hand of tradition and superstition had at last been lifted, with human dignity and free will rediscovered.  Although much of the principles of the Enlightenment appeared laudable, it was unlikely that the movement could sustain the burden of hostility to religion.

The overconfident attitude towards the inherent rationality of man and of the world led the “philosophers” to reject the social and political complexities of their own age and of the Revolution to come.  This restricted the leaders of the Revolution from realising that changing circumstances demand discrete levels of conciliation, and the modification of some of its principles.  In an eerie twist of fate, unprincipled actions were applied in increments to preserve the very principles of the Revolution.  Paranoia evolved, overtaking any admirable principles once held by the revolutionaries.

The earlier so-called philosophers of the Enlightenment were convinced that jurisprudence, morality and religion were no less dependent upon unchangeable laws than astronomy or physics, so they quickly set about conjuring up the rules that made natural law, natural ethics and natural religion.

A darker world flourished among the seemingly “enlightened” lofty thinkers of the day; that of inquisitors, anti-Catholic zealots, and slave traders. “Enlightenment”, for instance, had little time for schemes where people spent their lives fulfilling the arbitrary commands of a stern God or for barbaric original sin.  The Enlightenment warred with Christianity on several fronts and questioned the need for “revealed” religion.  It was to be inferred that a creator existed from reason and the surrounding world.  This “deism” was a natural and adequate religion without resort to any particular church or to revelation.  The God of the Old Testament, with all His rules and interference, was replaced by a “cosmic watchmaker” who having created the world left it to run according to its own rules.  This “cosmic watchmaker” is just another name, in “Masonspeak”, for “The Great Architect of the Universe (TGAOTU)”, the pretended sovereign being of Freemasonry; until, that is, TGAOTU is replaced by “Jahbulon”.  Jahbulon is the name revealed to those Master Masons who are elevated to the Holy Royal Arch, or elevated even further to the 4th Degree of Secret Master, and beyond.

That aside, Voltaire (1694-1778), philosopher, writer and a believer in deism, was the pen name of François Marie Arouet.  He was imprisoned twice in the Bastille for libellous political writings, the first time in 1717 for insulting in verse his Masonic superior, the regent Duc d’Orléans.  On his release from the Bastille the second time, he went to England (1726-29), where, through the double-dealing Tory politician, Viscount Bolingbroke, formed friendships with other leading English statesmen and writers, and studied the political and religious conditions of the country.

Bolingbroke had earlier feigned allegiance to James Francis Edward Stuart, so to be in a position, on the death of Queen Anne (1714), to dictate terms to the closely connected Whigs and the Hanoverian court, or to a possibly enduring Stuart court.  On the accession of George I in 1714, Bolinbroke played out his role by fleeing to France.  It is at this time he most likely first became acquainted with Voltaire.  He returned to England in 1723 to await his estates being restored; which came to pass two years later.  Retiring to France in 1735, he employed his leisure in writing.

Voltaire was forced to take refuge in 1733 for his Philosophical Letters on the English, essays in favour of English ways, thoughts and political practice.  His rancour against the Church increased with the years and during his retirement he discharged a ceaseless succession of satiric shafts at the clergy.  He played out the role of a lifelong rebel against virtually every kind of authority, using his brilliant gifts as a writer to wage constant war against injustice and oppression, but he had no problems with his conscience over accumulating enormous wealth from slave trading and army contracting.

Denis Diderot (1713-84), a learned scholarly writer who edited the Encyclopédie, a superior French version of Chambers English work, was also once imprisoned for his writings.  Diderot exerted an enormous influence on contemporary social thinking with his materialising and anti-clericalism.  His materialism sees the natural world as nothing more than matter and motion, and his account of the origin and development of life is purely mechanical.  Intellectually stronger than Rousseau or Voltaire, Diderot did not have their high literary gifts, his personality commanding greater respect than his books.

Charles Louis de Secondat, or Baron de la Bréde et de Montesquieu, generally referred to as simply Montesquieu, (1689-1755), jurist and political philosopher, was one of the outstanding figures in the early French Enlightenment.  He advocated the separation of powers within government, a doctrine that became the basis for liberal constitutions. Devoting himself for a number of years to travel, it is almost certain that London was among the places he visited because he became an admirer of the English constitution.  He propounded a constitutional arrangement for France in which the monarchy would be limited by a virtuous aristocracy - otherwise known as an “oligarchy”.  This demonstrated that Montesquieu and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, had almost nothing in common, judging by the evidence of Rousseau’s argument for a truly democratic society in his “The Social Contract”, and in other writings.

While Rousseau held that government could be legitimately overthrown if it failed to express the will of the people, Montesquieu favoured the oligarchical system.  The two are incompatible.  However, neither of them had much experience in real politics.  That said, it is questionable whether or not experience in “real” politics is a valuable asset for governing people to their advantage, if British politics is anything to go by over the centuries..

The philosophical doctrines of all these thinkers, as well as the doctrines of the sycophants of the British establishment, are architects of British Free Trade and Liberalism.  These include so-called philosophers such as Francis Bacon (1561-1626), Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), John Locke (1632-1704), David Hume (1711-1776), Adam Smith (1723-1790), Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), Thomas Malthus (1766-1834), James Mill (1773-1836), and John Stuart Mill (1806-1873), whose doctrines are all based on the Aristotelian school of thought and have no criteria universally, morally, in truth, or in justice.  As opposed to Platonism and Christian theology, which holds that man has the power to create, Aristotelianism maintains that man is just a talking beast, further believing that abstractions do not exist.  Which is to say that the truth, morals, ideas, etc, do not exist because they are not felt or physically acknowledged by any of the senses.  Hence the reason that many philosophers of the Enlightenment had trouble accepting a god because god is an abstract.

So, what type of people were these French “philosophers” of the Enlightenment to have been able to stimulate so much veneration among the revolutionary leaders?  According to documented annals, the chief qualities, for example, of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), philosophic writer, were a susceptibility to emotion almost bordering on hysteria; a self-conscious, unsurpassed by that of the most awkward schoolgirl; a total absence of moral sense; an inordinate vanity; aesthetic perceptions of no mean order; but with an exquisite gift of incomparable literary expression.  His language was easy, simple, and clear as daylight, but he relied on his imagination as a record of facts.  His works are full of hasty epigrams, apparently containing profound truths, which in many cases were nothing more than reckless hyperbole and empty phrases.  One epigram, perhaps not so hasty, held that mankind is essentially good but corrupted by society.

In 1762, Rousseau was threatened by the Jesuits and fled first to Switzerland and then to England, where he was a guest of David Hume.  Edinburgh-born Hume was another disciple of philosophical scepticism, opposing the ideas of the power of reason, claiming that all knowledge comes from experience.  As well as a historian and sycophant of the English establishment, Hume was also, on occasion, a foreign agent, having previously spent time in France (1734-37).  During 1747-49, he was again abroad to France, Austria and Italy on diplomatic missions.  In 1763, the year after Rousseau visited him, Hume was back again in France for two years as secretary to the Embassy.  On his return to England, he was, for a short time, under-Secretary of State.

Rousseau’s publication “The Social Contract” of 1762 was officially banned in France, but was illicitly circulated.  However, it was published in Holland.  Urging universal justice before the law, and a fairer distribution of wealth, “The Social Contract” also advocated that government is essentially a contract between the rulers and the ruled.  This publication had a significant influence on the French Revolution.  Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve, a 19th century French writer and critic, said: “He [Rousseau] wrought a revolution in French prose.”

(The English “philosopher” Jeremy Bentham, who had a book published on penal reform in 1791, which was during the French Revolution, actually offered to go to France that year to establish a model prison with him installed as the gaoler.  It augured ill for France that so many prominent people in England had close ties with similar types in France when political unrest, bad feeling, and instability prevailed.)

Seven long, bloody years of war in Europe between France, Austria, Spain and Russia on the one hand and Britain and Prussia on the other, which ended on 10 February 1763 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, was financially exhausting for France.  Nevertheless, come 10 July 1778, the King of France, Louis XVI, declared war on England in support of American rebels in the War of American Independence.  An unforgiving England would have more than a passive interest in destabilising France after the Revolutionary War ended in America in 1783 - a mere six years before France’s own Revolution began.

In the 1780s, the French monarchy faced a mounting crisis.  A century of foreign wars had left large debts and threatened bankruptcy.  For decades, philosophers such as Rousseau had been preaching against the tyranny of absolute monarchy, the nobility and the clergy.  Rousseau also believed that supreme sovereignty rested with the “general will”, which expressed the aspirations of all citizens; and that it is only by the people’s consent that they turn over power to their governors to be exercised for the common good.  It seemed a good idea, but turning power over to any particular privileged or immeritous section of society, and include with it the replacement of Christian teaching with seditious Freemasonic Satanism LINK leads to devious plots, anarchic disorder and ultimately to terror.

An attempt in 1787 to impose taxes by royal edict broke down through the resistance of Parliament.  By 1788, in despair of any other solution, the king summoned the Estates-General.  The sole function of the representatives of the Estates-General was to sanction measures to impose general taxation.  These representatives had no legislative function and only by petition could they affect the course of public affairs; but they would soon transform themselves.  Hitherto, this assembly had only been summoned twice, the first time in 1302 and the second in 1614.

The formal opening of the Estates-General by Louis XVI on 5 May 1789 marked the beginning of the French Revolution.  And even though the primary causes of the Revolution were political and economical rather than intellectual, many of the leaders of the Revolution imbibed the principles of the aforementioned “philosophers” of the Enlightenment.

The Estate-General was not a genuinely representative body despite the fact that it was made up of representatives from the Three Estates in France: the nobility or First Estate, the clergy or Second Estate, and the citizenship or Third Estate.  Louis XVI gave in to increasingly urgent demands to double the representation of the Third Estate, making it equal to the First and Second Estate combined.  But he had not thus far agreed to hold joint debates or permit free votes because the Third Estate spoke for 24 million out of a total population of 25 million, which would guarantee the Third Estate a massive majority, giving it predominance in any decision-making in the Estates-General.

On 11 May 1789, the Estates-General debate was deadlocked by the Third Estate’s refusal to comply with the proposed voting system.  Sweeping aside the obstacles placed in its way by the nobles, the higher clergy, and the court, the Third Estate declared itself the National Assembly on 17 June 1789.  It then declared itself the Constituent Assembly on 9 July 1789.

Civil unrest had been fomented first by insufficient food, a heavy tax burden on the poorest citizens, the systematic corruption of government tax collectors, inequality with mighty noblemen, and inadequate individual freedoms.  The middle and lower classes seized the opportunity afforded by the bankruptcy of the government to insist upon drastic changes in the administration.  This was the group that called for a National Assembly to promote the interests of the nation as a whole. Aristocrats - such as the Duke of Orleans (or Duc d’Orléans), the cousin of Louis XVI and so-called “father of the people” - were among those who opposed the absolute power of the monarch.

The King’s court tried to effect a coup d’état, which included the suppression of the Revolution by force of arms.  Then the failed but undeservedly popular banker Jacques Necker was dismissed on 12 July 1789 as comptroller-general of finances for failing to produce any programme or policy.  These moves were seen as undermining the Constituent Assembly and the first steps towards ending it.  Crowds began milling around the capital in a mounting frenzy, angered not only by Necker’s abrupt dismissal, but alarmed by the build-up of troops in the city.  On 14 July 1789, a Paris mob attacked and captured the Bastille, a symbol of absolute monarchy, relieving it of all its weapons.  Louis recalled Necker on 16 July and the nobility began to emigrate from France.

The middle classes set up a republic after the fall of the Bastille and a national convention was summoned, placing the government of Paris in the hands of Freemasons Jean Sylvain Bailly and Marie Jean Paul Lafayette.  The former became the first elected president of the National Assembly and the latter the commander-in-chief of the National Guard, which was created on 13 December that year.  Due to his military and society connections, Lafayette became a member of the Freemasons where he was exposed to the ideas of the Enlightenment.  Along with Lafayette and Bailly, the leading members were the Duc d’Orléans, Honoré Gabriel Mirabeau and Maximilien Robespierre, all Freemasons.  The middle classes would carry through the Revolution until 1792.

The Marquis of Lafayette sat in the Assembly as a constitutional royalist, despite the fact he had imbibed republican views when he commanded a division in assisting American colonists in their war with England.  Lafayette was present with George Washington on 19 October 1781 when the British commander-in-chief Charles Cornwallis’ army surrendered to the American victors at Yorktown after American and French troops stormed British fortifications there.  This surrender guaranteed American independence, although the American Revolution did not officially end until the Treaty of Paris was signed on 3 September 1783 (not to be confused with the Treaty of Paris 1763).  For his contribution to the war, George Washington publicly thanked his Masonic brother, Lafayette.

To be fair to Washington, at Mount Vernon on 25 September 1798, before his death, he warned the whole of America to beware of secret societies, saying: “I have little more to add than thanks for your wishes and favourable sentiments, except to correct an error you have run into of my presiding over English lodges in this country.  The fact is, I preside over none, nor have I been in one more than once or twice in the last thirty years.” LINK

Be that as it may, Lafayette seemed to regard republicanism good enough for the American Revolution but not for the French Revolution - for which he chose constitutional royalism.  With such contradictory political ideals, it was only a matter of time before he let things slip.

Jean-Sylvain Bailly made his name as an astronomer, writing about the history of astronomy and the satellites of Jupiter.  On the outbreak of the Revolution, he was the Mayor of Paris before being elected the first President of the National Assembly.

Duc d’Orléans and Honoré Gabriel Mirabeau preferred the idea of constitutional government and limited monarchy based on English lines, absorbed from the time they spent in London at varying times prior to the Revolution.  Orleans was a boon companion of Britain’s Masonic Prince of Wales (later George IV).

Mirabeau was a two-faced demagogue from a noble family in Provence.  Before the Revolution he had a stormy career, was three times imprisoned, and spent several years in exile.  He was wont to burn the candle at both ends, as it were.  While declaring that the Concordat between the Pope and the King of France was “profane and scandalous”, and was an agreement “between an immoral Pope and a despot”, he was to fight hard in the Assembly to retain the royal veto.

In 1789, as the Revolution spread through provincial towns all over France, a “Great Fear” swept through the provinces, so the first duty of those in power was to check the riots and draw up a constitution during this period of panic and riot by peasants and others.  This was amid rumours of an “aristocratic conspiracy” by the king and the privileged to overthrow the Third Estate.  The gathering of troops around Paris provoked insurrection, and on July 14 the Parisian rabble seized the Bastille. In the provinces the peasants rose against their lords, attacking châteaus and destroying feudal documents. To check the peasants, the National Constituent Assembly decreed the abolition of the feudal regime and introduced the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

At the beginning of the Revolution, the Cordelier Club was founded in Paris and played a prominent part in moulding public opinion.  Its leaders were Camille Desmoulins, Jean Paul Marat, Jacques Rene Hebert, and Georges Jacques Danton.  It was from the Cordelier Club that the Parisian members of the National Assembly were chosen.

On 26 August 1789, the Assembly abolished the remnants of feudalism and issued the “Declaration of the Rights of Man”, enumerating them as “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité.”  On the face of it, it was a simple rallying-cry with redeeming qualities, but like all other aspects of the French Revolution, was just a front for hypocrisy, deceit and contrasting objectives.

King Louis XVI yielded to the revolutionaries on all points of the declaration.  Not only was feudalism abolished but the Church was accused, along with the nobility, of being a great ally of the “tyranny of absolute monarchy”.  This was an unfair attack on the Church because it always put the welfare of the people before royalty.  The declaration stated that “men are born and remain free and with equal rights”, based on the theories of Rousseau and in the terms of the Declaration of American Independence.  Not all the delegates were convinced of the wisdom of the declaration.  One, Pierre Victor, baron Malouet, argued: “Why should we carry men up to the top of a mountain and thence show them the full extent of their rights, since we are forced to make them descend again, and assign them limits?”

On 2 November 1789, the property of the Church was confiscated when the Assemblée Nationale voted that all the goods of the clergy "will be placed at the disposal of the nation", declaring them to be national goods, to be put out to bid at auctions on behalf of the State.  Then on 13 February 1790, all monasteries and religious houses were suppressed with monastic vows banned and contemplative religious orders abolished.

On 19 February 1790, the Marquis of Favras, a supporter of the House of Bourbon during the French Revolution, was hanged for his part in a plot to not only help the king escape but to kill Lafayette and Bailly.  Often seen as a martyr of the Royalist cause, Favras was executed for his part in "planning against the people of France".

(The following month, 8 March 1790, the Assembly voted in favour of slavery in France’s colonies.)

Robespierre was kept out of the committees and from the presidency of the National Assembly.  Only once, in June 1790, was he elected secretary of the National Assembly.

In the spring of 1790, seeing the danger to the king and queen, Honoré Gabriel Mirabeau made renewed overtures on their behalf and began to secretly draw up notes of advice for them.  As a result, on 12 July 1790, the Assembly approved a Civil Constitution, which demanded that priests and bishops should be elected.  It was reluctantly promulgated on 22 July 1790 by Louis XVI, although it would be over another year before it was put on the statute.  The Concordat with Rome was also abolished.  In the meantime (7 June) the Assembly adopted a nationwide bond of mutual help and “brotherhood”.

Anti-Catholicism prevailed in many parts of France.  On 15 June 1790, Protestant militiamen massacred 300 Catholics in Nimes.  An attempt at a counter-revolution was put down in Lyon on 26 July 1790 by the National Guard.  A revolt of soldiers in the Chateauvieux garrison at Nancy on 31 August 1790 was also put down with the loss of 300 lives.  Two days later, 45,000 people marched in Nancy in protest of the massacre of the mutineers.  Then on 17 September 1790, sailors mutinied in the port of Brest.

A strange thing happened on 26 August 1790.  The Assembly, influenced by Mirabeau, refused to help Spain in its conflict with Britain over Nootka Sound in Canada, breaking the “Family Compact” between the Bourbons of France and Spain.  One could be forgiven for asking: "Has the foundation of the catenarian arch of British Freemasonry already been laid in the Assembly?  Not only had it been laid, it appeared to be well established.

Pope Pius VI condemned the Civil Constitution of the clergy, but on 27 November 1790, priests were forced to swear allegiance to it regardless.

On 26 December 1790, the Church’s Civil Constitution became law so all beneficed clergy were to be elected, and every beneficed priest was to take an oath to observe the new Civil Constitution.  The desired schism resulted.  The main author of the Church’s Civil Constitution was Bishop Charles Maurice de Tallyrand, a devious double-dealing traitor who would become a wily careerist and foreign minister.  So he, of course, had no problem taking the oath of allegiance to the Church of France’s Civil Constitution.  But he was forced to resign as Bishop of Auton on 20 January 1791.  (Many years later, Napoleon was to say to Tallyrand, in his disgust at his opportunism: “You are nothing but shit in a silk stocking!”)  The same month, January 1791, widespread rebellion was stirred up among priests at the requirement to swear allegiance to the Church’s Civil Constitution.  The first bishops were elected under the new constitution on 2 February 1791.  On 13 April 1791, Pope Pius VI threatened to suspend all priests who swore allegiance to it unless they recanted within forty days.

On 28 February 1791, Lafayette rushed back to Paris to disarm revolutionary plotters after putting down a people’s uprising in Vincennes.  Mirabeau died on 2 April 1791.  Poison was suspected.  National Guardsmen prevented Louis XVI and his family from leaving Paris on 18 April.

Robespierre, a lawyer who had earlier imbibed the views of Rousseau, and who was elected as a member of the Estates-General in 1789, had taken little part in the proceedings of the Assembly.  Then during 1790, he became a great influence at the Jacobins Club.  The Jacobins, who appeared during the Revolution also included Desmoulins, Marat and Danton, along with Alexandre Sabès Pétion, and all the deputies opposed to the government.  In fact, all the revolutionary leaders were one-time members, but the dominant influence was that of Maximilien Robespierre.

Robespierre was elected president on 31 March 1790.  At first, the Jacobins were fairly moderate in tone, but things began to change under Robespierre, which became particularly noticeable during 1791.  There would become great distrust, confusion and eventually paranoia as to who was trying to achieve what and for what reasons, typical of events with an infusion Freemasonry.  For example, on 30 May 1791, Robespierre called for the abolition of the death penalty, but subsequent events demonstrated just how paranoid he became, distrusting his comrades and resorting to the use of the death penalty as if to the manor born.

On 26 May 1791, the royal family was forced by the Assembly to hand over all the assets of the crown to the nation.  The following month they fled from Paris to distance themselves from the work of the Assembly, but were arrested in Varrenes on 21 June trying to reach Metz, in disguise, to join the army of François Claude Amour, Marquis dé Bouillé.  Returning to Paris on 25 June, the Assembly suspended the king’s powers.

On 17 July 1791, the National Guard, on orders from its Commander-in-chief Lafayette, opened fire on a rioting mob at Champ de Mars.  As a consequence, the popularity of Lafayette and Bailly was destroyed.  They were hated by the Jacobins and distrusted by the royalists.  This contributed to the rise of Danton, Marat and Robespierre, who would soon graduate into cold-blooded fanatics.

Danton and Marat, who were considered dangerous by Lafayette and Bailly, left Paris immediately after the massacre at Champs de Mars and lived in London for a while.  Their psychology would no doubt be tampered with by English instigators, goading them down chaotic paths of economic ruin for France in revenge for the part France played in the American War of Independence.  While staying in London, Danton was known to have lived in Greek Street in Soho, so it is likely that Marat also lived there.

(The “coincidence” of first, philosophers of the Enlightenment, and then leaders of the Revolution visiting London, was to recur during the 19th century, showing an interesting pattern of intrigue, which is illustrated further in Chapter 7, Lord Palmerston Grand Master. LINK)

The Civil Constitution became law on 4 September 1791 after two years’ work by the Assembly.  Louis XVI was obliged to accept its work and consented to govern according to the terms of the Constitution, thereby signing the death sentence of absolute monarchy.  Local governments were established and all officials elected.  A new and in many ways excellent system of justice was set up and the old parlements were abolished.  Before dissolving itself, the Assembly carried a fatal motion by Robespierre, a self-denying ordinance prohibiting any member of the Constituent Assembly from becoming a member of the new Legislative Assembly.

On 1 October 1791, the first (and last) Legislative Assembly met according to the Constitution of 1790-91.  The three chief parties were the Jacobins (extreme left-wing revolutionaries), the Girondists (more moderate), and the Feuillants (reactionaries).

Exactly one week later, 8 October 1791, less than three months after the Champs de Mars debacle, Lafayette resigned his post as commander-in-chief of the National Guard.  The solution of new and difficult problems was then left to inexperienced men who to a great extent had been elected under the influence of the Jacobin Club.  The leading section was composed of Girondists, so named because their leaders came from the Gironde.  They formed one of the chief revolutionary parties to arise during the course of the French Revolution, first appearing in that Legislative assembly of 1791.  Their representatives were in the Jacobin Club, hence, were closely allied to the Jacobins in their earlier days.  But that would soon change.

The main figures among the Girondists were Pierre Victurnien Vergniaud, Armand Gensonné and Marguerite-Élie Guadet; and connected with them were Jean Marie Roland de Platière, his wife Madame Manon Jeanne Philipon Roland de Platière, along with Jacques Pierre Brissot, François Nicolas Léonard Buzot, Maximin Isnard, Alexandre Sabès Pétion, Charles Jean Marie Barbaroux, Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat, Marquis of Condorcet, and others.  (By late 1793, Condorcet was a wanted man.  He was arrested in March 1794 but immediately committed suicide by poison, rather than facing the ignominy of the guillotine.)

Danton and Marat returned from London to Paris before the end of the year with the ultimate aim of creating a dictatorship with Robespierre at its head.

In Paris in January 1792, there was a split in the Jacobins between Maximilien Robespierre and those representative of the Girondists, led by Brissot, who favoured war with other European powers.  Around this period, the middle-of-the-road republican Girondists desired war with Austria in the hope that the French king’s overthrow would ensue and that a republic would be formed.  From the Jacobin side, Robespierre had violently opposed the war policy for fear of it undermining the Revolution.

A Girondist ministry was appointed on 23 March 1792 after bringing about the downfall of the Feuillants’ Government, which itself was composed of moderate Jacobins.  This was three days after the Assembly approved the use of the guillotine (named after its reputed inventor, Joseph Ignace Guillotin (1738-1814), the French doctor and Freemason who proposed its use as the most humane way to execute a condemned person).  Within a month of the Girondists holding power (20 April 1792), war was declared on Austria.

On 27 May 1792, the Assembly ordered the deportation of all priests who refused to swear allegiance to the Church’s Civil Constitution. LINK

Defeats on the frontier against Prussia led to an insurrection on 20 June 1792.  Nine days later, Lafayette unsuccessfully attempted to mobilise the same National Guard he had resigned from as commander-in-chief, to break up the Jacobin Club by force.

On 25 July, fears of intervention by foreign powers grew following the publication in Germany of a violently worded manifesto in which Charles William Ferdinand, the Duke of Brunswick, threatened exemplary punishment to France if the slightest harm was to befall the French royal family.

Then another insurrection was organised by the Jacobins and, on 10 August the king was deposed and taken prisoner, a republic was set up and a National Convention summoned.  As a result of his failure to break up the Jacobin Club, Lafayette, who was commander of the northern army on the frontier since the outbreak of war with Austria, escaped the guillotine by quaintly managing to desert across the border into the Netherlands.  He was captured by Austrians there and imprisoned for five years, until 1797.

Further reverses on the frontier led to 1,368 victims perishing in Paris prisons between 2nd and 7th September inclusive, in what became known as the September massacres.  The people of Paris were swept up in bloody communal madness.  Incensed by rumours of treason, and fear of the advancing Prussian troops, groups of people invaded prisons and dragged prisoners from their cells, subjecting them to travesties of trials and cruelly butchering them; literally tearing them to pieces.  The original idea was to purge the nation of the priests and royalists who had not yet been put to death by the courts.  But in the frenzy of killing, “ordinary” criminals were hacked to death, along with prostitutes, madwomen and orphaned girls.  During this time, 5 September, the Paris deputies, including Robespierre and Danton, were elected to the National Convention.

The French army then had an amazing spate of victories, beginning on 20 September when the Prussians under the Duke of Brunswick were defeated at Valmy.  The following day the National Convention in France decreed the abolition of the monarchy.  The French armies advanced across the frontier, the Rhine was reached, Savoy and Nice occupied, and by the battle of Jemappes (6 November) Belgium was conquered, and the Scheldt declared open to the commerce of the world.

Flushed by their victories, the arrogance of the French showed itself in the declarations of 19 November and 15 December 1792, when they called upon all nations to rise against their rulers.  This is when the British elite really became alarmed, as did the rest of Europe. 

Most people thought the Revolution was at an end, but its most violent phase was yet to begin: the “Reign of Terror”.  Many causes precipitated France towards the Reign of Terror, but the most influential ones were the outbreak of a great war against Prussia and the empire, the suspicion that the king sympathised with the foreign enemy, and the paranoia caused by double agents in the ranks of the various factions, not least the Freemasons.

The Girondists and Jacobins engaged themselves in a struggle for supremacy.  The Girondists accused the Jacobins of wishing to establish a dictatorship while the Jacobins replied by accusing the Girondists of wishing to set up a federative republic in order to lessen the power of central government and increase the power of the provinces.

On 21 January 1793, the Jacobins, with the connivance of the Girondists, brought about the execution of Louis XVI in Revolution Square, Paris.  His wife, Marie Antoinette, would be tried and found guilty of treason by a revolutionary tribunal and suffer the same fate on 16 October later that year.

On 1st February 1793, France declared war upon England and the Netherlands.  Spain, Portugal, the Empire, Tuscany and the two Sicilies at once declared war on France.

France were defeated at Neerwinden, Belgium on 21 March 1793, and on the 4 April Charles-Francois du Perier Dumouriez, the Girondist commander-in-chief, defected to the Austrians.  This led the following day to the ousting of the main Girondist deputies.

The situation was critical.  A royalist rising had broken out in La Vendée, and many departments favoured the Girondists.  The Jacobins published the republican Grand Constitution of 1793, and, on 10 July, to supposedly defend France, they formed the “Grand Committee of Public Safety”.  It was the rule of this Committee that became known as the Reign of Terror and was to last a year.

An institution known as the Committee of General Security dealt with all police matters, while the revolutionary tribunal, founded in March 1793, took cognisance of all political offences and, as a rule, inflicted the penalty of death.

In June 1793, the Girondist Ministry was overthrown and its leaders were guillotined.  Marat was instrumental in bringing about the massacres, and in turn, on 13 July 1793, Charlotte Corday assassinated Marat.  Marat, who had a persistent skin disease, was working as usual in his medicinal bath when Corday pulled a knife from her bodice and stabbed him in his chest.  He died almost immediately, and Corday waited calmly for the police to come and arrest her.  She was guillotined four days later.

Since Jacobin deputies were regularly sent on missions, the provinces were brought into subordination to Paris.

The revolt at La Vendée was put down, and the allied troops were driven from the frontiers.  The victories of Hondschoote on 8 September and of Wattignies on 16 October, together with the recapture of Toulon on 18 December, freed France of all fears of invasion.

Success, however, was at once followed by quarrels among the Jacobins.  Robespierre looked with suspicion upon Hébert who was popular with the mob in Paris, and he distrusted Danton who was in favour of a relaxation of the Reign of Terror.

It was not exactly clear what Robespierre’s ultimate goal was, and it was suggested he did not know himself, but typical of the duplicitous nature of the disciples of Freemasonry and their lackeys, Robespierre rounded on his allies Hébert and Danton and caused them to be brought before the Revolutionary Tribunal.  On 14 March 1794, the Hébertists were executed and, on 5 April, the Dantonists suffered the same fate.  This included Hébert and Danton themselves, who were guillotined on 5 April 1794.

Maximilien Robespierre was unanimously elected President of the Convention on 4 June 1794, and four days later, on 8 June, he presided over the celebration of the Masonic “Supreme Being”, held on the Champs de Mars.  Amid fears that revolutionary France would become an atheistic society, the entire country celebrated what was termed “The Supreme Being and Nature”.  An idealised painting of the Festival of the Supreme Being depicts, inter alia, at the centre-top of the portrayal, a triangle with the Masonic symbol of the “all-seeing eye” of the Great Architect of the Universe (TGAOTU) inside.

On 27 July 1794, exactly seven weeks later, leading men of the day who had no sympathy with Robespierre, and perhaps who were manipulated by the same sinister people who presided from a distance over all the other organised mayhem and paranoia, carried out another revolution and Robespierre was himself guillotined, along with 21 supporters, so ending the Reign of Terror.

This reaction lasted a little over a year, during which the party in favour of moderation gradually gained ground.  The extreme Jacobins were in some cases executed, and a party called the jeunesse dorée made itself conspicuous by attacking all who sympathised with the regime of terror.  The Jacobin Club was closed, seventy-three proscribed sympathisers with the Girondists were restored to their seats in the Convention, and early in 1795, several outlawed Girondists were allowed to return.

The Jacobins, however, were not willing to yield without resistance, and on 1st April 1795 made an insurrection, followed by another on 20 May.  Both these riots were to some extent no more than bread riots, caused by the misery in parts of Paris

The same year, the Convention installed a conservative five-man “Directory” as the government of France.  This in turn would be ousted by Napoleon in a coup d’état in 1799.

To summarise: for the duration of the Revolution the French people had to experience economic riots, revolutionary political events, counter-revolutionary events, massacres by the patriots, massacres by the royalists, mutinies, offensives of French armies against the enemies of revolutionary France (1792-94), offensives of anti-revolutionary armies, and kangaroo courts imposing death sentences without permitting the accused a defence.

The elite who were brought to power in 1789 were the “notables” of French Society; the noble and non-noble property owners.  They governed France under constitutions of 1791 and 1795, and also under the regimes of the 19th century.  From the overthrow of the monarchy on 10 August 1792 to the constitution of 1795, France was under the “revolutionary government” of the self-styled advocates of the doctrine of equal political, economic and legal rights for all citizens.  These were, for example, the bourgeois members of the Jacobin Club; the extreme republicans known as sans-culottes; small property owners active in the politics of Paris; and artisans.

During this period, a new form of politics was created.  The Jacobin Club, with its control of the Constituent Assembly laid down the model of democracy.  The Jacobins appealed to the authority of Rousseau in support of their claim to embody the “general will” of the people and to have the right to force men to be free.  It was, and still is, argued that the Terror was a necessary phase of the Revolution, yet the Jacobin Terror did not represent the predominance of any class, or of any revolutionary vanguard, but rather the triumph of the liberation of the state to serve its own ends; a potent recipe for political instability, characteristic of Masonic sedition.

A strong reaction then set in for a constitutional government.  The failure of Lafayette and all the leaders after him, including the new government, to set up a satisfactory constitution, perhaps based on the merits of the American Constitution, almost certainly contributed to the failure of the Revolution.

Under the banner of social freedom, certain schools of thinkers, some good men, friends of the people, but influenced by Freemasons and Freemasonry, were carried away by an excessive love of systemisation and by individual arrogance.  They introduced exclusive and exaggerated doctrines that were economically impossible, threw the social question into the background and split the republican camp in two.  Promulgating good ideas, they spoiled or frustrated them by the false or tyrannic methods by which they proposed to apply them.  When circumstances called these men to power, they did not even attempt a practical application of their own doctrines.  In their writings, their boldness was immense, but they retreated when confronted by the reality of events.

“Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité”, the slogan of the Revolution, has a fine ring to it, but it was no more than a pious platitude, another myth of the Revolution.  The Declaration of the Rights of Man clearly defined liberty - the right to do anything that did not harm others or conflict with their liberty - but the Revolution soon curbed the freedoms of French citizens and imposed French “freedom” on other nations.  Equality was envisaged on a strictly limited sense; that of equality of opportunity and before the law.  There was no suggestion of equality of property and, apart from the rhetoric of 1793-94, little talk of equality of political rights.

Fraternity was probably the hollowest cry of the French Revolution.  From 1789, the domestic opposition to the Revolution was clear, consistent and bloody.  It could be argued that the French Revolution took the course it did, including Terror and foreign war largely because of its struggle against a widespread popular counter-revolution, orchestrated by Masonic agitators.  Every struggle for social justice seemed to be numerous ideologies and ever changing principles.  But above all else, the French Revolution was founded upon republican ideology; but nourished by and indistinguishable from Masonic mythology and method.  The myths and method comprised, respectively, infiltration, agitation, alienation, hallucination, ruination, and finally subjugation.  These Masonic weapons have stood the test of time to this day.

The coup d’état of 1799, which saw the advent of Napoleon Bonaparte as the First Consul, replaced revolutionary war with permanent war.  In 1802, Napoleon ended the ecclesiastical discord when a Concordat with Pope Pius VII was signed.

The most far-reaching legacy that resulted from the Revolution and all its Masonic duplicity and paranoia, was Napoleon’s legal code, which liberalised civil, criminal and commercial law and established the equality of all men before the law.  It is the basis of French law today (but unfortunately, ignored by, for example, the British judiciary).

France also gained a new constitution, which, though stopping short of full suffrage, gave the vote to a large portion of the middle classes.  The Revolution ended several noble privileges and relieved the peasantry of ancient feudal dues and the payment of a tenth of their earnings to the Church.  It drove the nail into the coffin of absolute monarchy and, by its foreign wars fought by an army of the people, it encouraged the growth of nationalism and ended the old international politics of dynastic rivalries.  That said, perhaps a greater evil prevails today in the form of “one-world” financial elitists.

However, most importantly, it could be said that the Declaration of the Rights of Man had at least preached a message of “liberty and equality” to the whole world.  And it replaced the “subject” with the “citizen,” and ushered in what it proclaimed to be a new age of justice and democracy.

The Declaration’s claims were overstated, but it showed that a popular uprising could succeed.  Revolution, nationalism and democracy were to be the watchwords in the 19th century in Europe and beyond.

Nowhere was the initial reaction to the Revolution as favourable as it was in America, whose own revolution in 1776 had helped to inspire the French.  As late as December 1792, as Europe braced itself for war against the new French republic, a parade of citizens in Boston carried to an open space in the town centre, 1,600 loaves of bread, two hogsheads of rum and punch and a roasted ox, with the inscription, “Peace Offering to Liberty and Equality”.  They proceeded to rename this open space in the town centre: “Liberty Square”.  Later, however, the excesses of the Terror, initiated by Masonic leaders, turned many Americans against the Revolution.

After the “War of 1812” in the United States ended, leading circles there collaborated intimately with circles around the Marquis de Lafayette and Lazare Carnot, especially through channels of the military Freemasonic association, the Society of Cincinnati, which Lafayette led in Europe.  On the restoration of the monarchy in France in 1815, Lafayette became a prominent supporter of liberal ideas.  In 1824, the American Congress granted him a large sum of money and an estate.  The US President of the day was James Monroe, a fellow Mason.  Monroe, the 5th president, was the 3rd Masonic president, the other two being James Madison and George Washington.  Numerous Mason were to follow them to the presidency.

Lafayette is both literally and metaphorically “on the square” in America.  "On the square" and "on the level" are Masonic terms that Masons use to identify another as one of the brethren.  To this day, there is a “Lafayette Square” in Washington DC, opposite the White House.

A decade of revolution in France, in material terms, did nothing but harm.  Specific groups, such as army officials, bureaucrats and war profiteers gained financially from the Revolution, but no single social class emerged triumphant.  The nobility and the Church returned, shorn of much of their political power, leaving that vague class, the bourgeoisie, to occupy a more prominent role than it did even before 1789.  The Revolution consolidated a tendency towards centralised bureaucracy, yet its successors espoused equality because it inspired fanciful hope and reduced resistance to the power of the state, institutionalising repression.  Beneath all the mythology, Masonic interference and paranoia, the Revolution was a paradox, in keeping with most power struggles in modern political life.

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Voltaire
Duke of Orleans
Viscount Bolingbroke
George I
Denis Diderot
Rousseau
Queen Anne
Montesquieu
Voltaire
Denis Diderot
James Francis Edward Stuart
Rousseau
Voltaire
Adam Smith
John Locke
Thomas Hobbes
Francis Bacon
David Hume
Jeremy Bentham
Thomas Malthus
James Mill
John Stuart Mill
Sainte-Beuve
Jeremy Bentham
Rousseau
Louis XVI
Montesquieu
Duke of Orleans
Jacques Necker
Lafayette
Louis XVI
Jean Sylvain Bailly
George Washington
Honore Gabriel Mirabeau
Maximilien Robespierre
Charles Cornwallis
Lafayette
Marquis de Favras
Duke of Orleans
Jean Sylvain Bailly
George IV
David Hume
Camille Desmoulins
Jean Paul Marat,
Jacques Rene Hebert
Georges Jacques Danton
Louis XVI
Baron Malouet
Honore Gabriel Mirabeau
Rousseau
Honore Gabriel Mirabeau
Pope Pius VI
Charles Maurice de Tallyrand
Napoleon Bonaparte
Lafayette
Honore Gabriel Mirabeau
Louis XVI
Alexandre Sabes Petion
Georges Jacques Danton
Maximilien Robespierre
Jean Paul Marat,
Camille Desmoulins
Georges Jacques Danton
Francois Claude Amour Marquis de Bouille
Pierre Victurnien Vergniaud
Armand Gensonne
Marguerite-Elie Guadet
Jean Marie Roland de Platiere
Jacques Pierre Brissot
Nicolas Leonard Buzot
Maximin Isnard
Alexandre Sabès Pétion
Charles Jean Marie Barbaroux
Madame Manon Jeanne Philipon Roland de Platiere
Joseph-Ignace Guillotin
Lafayette
Charles William Ferdinand Duke of Brunswick
Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat Marquis of Condorcet
Maximilien Robespierre
Georges Jacques Danton
Louis XVI
Charles-Francois du Perier Dumouriez
Marie Antoinette
Charlotte Corday
Jacques Rene Hebert
Georges Jacques Danton
Jean Paul Marat,
Maximilien Robespierre
Rousseau
Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon Bonaparte
Pope Pius VII
Lafayette
Lafayette
James Madison
James Monroe
George Washington
Jean Sylvain Bailly
Lazare Carnot
Lafayette
Jean Paul Marat,
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