May 7, 1794 (18 Floréal, An II): Robespierre’s Report on Religious and Moral Ideas and Republican Principles
It would be difficult to choose between Robespierre’s report of February 5 1794, on the Principles of Political Morality, and this report of May 7, 1794, on Religious and Moral Ideas and Republican Principles. They are the two most comprehensive statements of his principles, designed to be so, but at the same time both are like action photographs of political acts, caught and held forever in their juxtaposition of the loftiest principles with the coldest, most merciless attacks on his opponents. This latter aspect of the speeches cannot be overlooked, and it is perhaps misleading to omit chiefly passages of this kind, but both speeches are so lengthy that some omissions have been necessary. With this qualification, one may say that the principal ideas have been retained in this major document as in its predecessor. In the case of the present report of May 7, 1794, this form ofresentation has been somewhat more difficult but, it is hoped, just as effective. In addition to some—though by no means all—attacks on opponents, certain passages in praise of martyrs of the revolution, and a number of historical references, have been omitted; the deletions have been indicated by dots in the text and, where a whole paragraph or more is affected, by extra spacing; whereas, to avoid confusion, the dots placed by Robespierre himself for rhetorical effects have been omitted. The source is the speech as printed by order of the Convention: Convention nationale. Rapport fait au nom du Comité de salut public, par Maximilien Robespierre, sur les rapports des idées religieuses et morales avec les principes républicains, et sur les fêtes nationales. Séance du 18 floréal, l’an second de la République française une et indivisible (Paris, s.d., 45 pp.). The pages translated are 1–7, 9, 11–12, 13–14, 15, 16–20, 21–31, 34, 35.
KeywordsHuman Race Extra Spacing Political Morality Moral Idea French People
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