January 11, 1792: Robespierre on War

  • Paul H. Beik
Part of the The Documentary History of Western Civilization book series (DHWC)


At the Jacobin Club on January 2 and 11, 1792, Robespierre made a major statement in his campaign to oppose the coming of war. Like most of Robespierre’s speeches, this one was long, so long that on January 2, after attacking Brissot’s prowar statements, he broke off because of the lateness of the hour, promising to supplement his remarks in another meeting. He resumed on the eleventh, delivering what was really another full-dress speech, which the club ordered printed, together with the speech of the second, and distributed to the members of the club and the legislature and the affiliated clubs. The following is Robespierre’s speech of the eleventh as it was printed after that of January 2 as pp. 45–76 of Discours de Maximilien Robespierre sur la guerre (s.l.n.d., 76 pp.), of which the second part is entitled Suite du discours de Maximilien Robespierre, sur la guerre, prononcé â la Société des amis de la constitution, le 11 janvier 1792, l’an quatrième de la révolution. Of its 24 paragraphs, two on pp. 49–52 and five on pp. 56–61, which are detailed comments on the conduct of the executive, have been omitted, and there are also several deletions of illustrative or rhetorical statements. The major arguments of the speech have all been retained.


Executive Power Miraculous Effect Public Spirit Rhetorical Statement Sacred Duty 
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© Paul H. Beik 1970

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  • Paul H. Beik

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