He returned to Paris to take part in the elections to the Legislative Assembly as elector for the Théâtre Français section, and in December 1791 he was elected second assistant to the procureur (public prosecutor) of the Paris Commune. Georges Jacques 1759-1794. On March 30, 1794, Georges-Jacques Danton and his friends were arrested for conspiracy to overthrow the government, given a mock trial, and guillotined. This was unacceptable to the Robespierrists and Montagnards, who believed the revolution had not gone far enough. Premium Membership is now 50% off! Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? He discredited the evidence raised against him and denounced the proceedings as a political show trial. For more info, visit our FAQ page or Terms of Use. Boldly turning the tables, Danton made the same accusation against the Girondins. A Parisian lawyer, he became a leader of the Cordeliers early in the Revolution and gained popular favor through his powerful oratory. Danton and several of his associates were arrested on March 29th and charged with corruption and attempting to restore the monarchy. On the morning of September 2, when it was learned that Verdun was besieged and while the populace broke into the prisons to search for suspects and traitors, Danton, in the Legislative Assembly, delivered the most famous of his speeches: “To conquer the enemies of the fatherland, we need daring, more daring, daring now and always, and France is saved!”. Though not officially its president, Danton dominated his colleagues by his strength of character, the aura of his Revolutionary past, and his ability to make swift decisions. His dealings with Dumouriez, who commanded the army of Belgium, have never been clarified. Following the flight to Varennes, Danton argued for the forced abdication of Louis XVI in favour of his young son, with the Duke of Orleans acting as regent. When French mountain climbers reach a certain altitude, they still switch from the vous to the tu as if all men become equal in the face of the enormousness of nature. He immediately made every effort to end all the disputes between the Revolutionary parties, but his policy of conciliation was thwarted by the Gironde, which demanded that he render an accounting when he left his post as minister of justice. He was a political realist but often acted as an adventurer. Concerned by Danton’s moderate politics and the threat he posed to their power, Robespierre and the Jacobins orchestrated his arrest, trial and execution in April 1794. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Directed by Andrzej Wajda • 1983 • France Starring Gérard Depardieu, Wojciech Pszoniak Gérard Depardieu and Wojciech Pszoniak star in Andrzej Wajda’s powerful, intimate depiction of the ideological clash between the earthy, man-of-the-people Georges Danton and icy Jacobin extremist Maximilien Robespierre, both key figures of the French Revolution. Georges Danton (1759-1794) was one of the towering figures of the French Revolution. After attending school in Champagne, Danton was from 1773 educated by the Oratorians at Troyes. 1929) offer a more moderate but still favorable interpretation in … He drew on his legal cunning and powerful turns of phrase to condemn Robespierre, the deputies of the … https://www.britannica.com/biography/Georges-Danton, Heritage History - Biography of Georges Danton, Georges Danton - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Danton and several of his associates were arrested on March 29th and charged with corruption and attempting to restore the monarchy. The backroom conspiracies gathered pace in early 1794. "Danton" finds itself comfortable at those two extremes and leaves the parts in the middle -- the facts, the issues, the minor personalities -- to the historians. His powerful speech making made him a formidable leader on the floor of the Convention. Save 50% off a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. His de facto leadership of the Committee was taken over by Robespierre who, with his supporters, proceeded to initiate the Reign of Terror. Georges Danton, in full Georges-Jacques Danton, (born October 26, 1759, Arcis-sur-Aube, France—died April 5, 1794, Paris), French Revolutionary leader and orator, often credited as the chief force in the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of the First French Republic (September 21, 1792). With Emil Jannings, Werner Krauss, Osip Runich, Ferdinand von Alten. According to the Mémoires of Théodore, comte de Lameth, a former Revolutionary, Danton wanted to spare the king. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. This site is created and maintained by Alpha History. “This engaging biography of Danton finally does justice to one of the most fascinating characters of the French Revolution. Although his part in the overthrow of the monarchy by the insurrection of August 10, 1792, remains obscure, he was largely credited with its success. On March 30, 1794, Georges-Jacques Danton and his friends were arrested for conspiracy to overthrow the government, given a mock trial, and guillotined. Danton supported the establishment of both the Revolutionary Tribunals and the Committee of Public Safety – but over time his views moderated and he came to oppose the excessive violence of the Terror. The film stars Gérard Depardieu in the title role, with Wojciech Pszoniak as Maximilien Robespierre, and Patrice Chéreau as Camille Desmoulins. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Danton was a creator of the tribunals, one of the French Revolution’s best lawyers and probably its best orator. He came into his own as one of the major leaders of the French Revolution. The three main leaders of the French Revolution for the rebels were Georges-Jacques Danton, Jean-Paul Marat, and Maximilien Robespierre. It seems incredible that an entire people could rise up and transform the conditions of everyday existence. When the news arrived that Longwy had been taken by the invading armies (Prussia had allied itself with Austria in July) on August 25, 1792, and Jean-Marie Roland, minister of the interior, proposed that the government should move from Paris to Blois, Danton objected vigorously. 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