National Convention


National Convention
1. Fr. Hist. the legislature of France 1792-95.
2. U.S. Politics. a convention held every four years by each of the major political parties to nominate a presidential candidate.

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French Convention Nationale

Governing assembly (1792–95) of the French Revolution.

Comprising 749 deputies elected after the overthrow of the monarchy (1792), it sought to provide a new constitution for France. The struggle between the radical Montagnards and the moderate Girondins dominated the Convention until the Girondins were purged in 1793. The democratic constitution already approved by the Convention was not put into effect while the Montagnards controlled the assembly (1793–94). After the Thermidorian Reaction (1794), the balance of power in the Convention was held by members of the Plain. The Girondins were recalled, and the Constitution of 1795 was approved for the Directory regime that replaced the Convention.

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▪ French history
French  Convention Nationale  

      assembly that governed France (French Revolution) from September 20, 1792, until October 26, 1795, during the most critical period of the French Revolution. The National Convention was elected to provide a new constitution for the country after the overthrow of the monarchy (August 10, 1792). The Convention numbered 749 deputies, including businessmen, tradesmen, and many professional men. Among its early acts were the formal abolition of the monarchy (September 21) and the establishment of the republic (September 22).

      The struggles between two opposing Revolutionary factions, the Montagnards (Montagnard) and the Girondins (Girondin), dominated the first phase of the Convention (September 1792 to May 1793). The Montagnards favoured granting the poorer classes more political power, while the Girondins favoured a bourgeois republic and wanted to reduce the power of Paris over the course of the Revolution. Discredited by a series of defeats in the war they promoted against the anti-Revolutionary European coalition, the Girondins were purged from the Convention by the popular insurrection of May 31 to June 2, 1793.

      The Montagnards controlled the Convention during its second phase (June 1793 to July 1794). Because of the war and an internal rebellion, a revolutionary government with dictatorial powers (exercised by the Committee of Public Safety (Public Safety, Committee of)) was set up. As a result, the democratic constitution approved by the Convention on June 24, 1793, was not put into effect, and the Convention lost its legislative initiative; its role was reduced to approving the Committee's suggestions.

      Reacting against the Committee's radical policies, many members of the Convention participated in the overthrow (Thermidorian Reaction) of the most prominent member of the Committee, Maximilien Robespierre, on 9 Thermidor, year II (July 27, 1794). This Thermidorian Reaction corresponded to the final phase of the Convention (July 1794 to October 1795). The balance of power in the assembly was then held by the moderate deputies of The Plain (La Plaine). The surviving Girondins were recalled to the Convention, and the leading Montagnards were purged. In August 1795 the Convention approved the constitution for the regime that replaced it, the bourgeois-dominated Directory (1795–99).

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Universalium. 2010.

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