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The Convention was the elected government of France from September 1792 until July 1794. The original elections for the 749-seat house were skewed by fear and prejudice. Approximately 300 of the deputies had alliegances to the Jacobins and 180 to the Girondins. 250 deputies who were uncommitted formed the Plain.

Up until 2 June 1793, the Jacobins, who were seated on the left of the President's chair and were known as the Montagnards (The Mountain), fought the Girondins for power. After Georges Danton asked the Girondins to stop attacking the sans-culottes, Maximilien de Robespierre invited 'the people to place themselves in insurrection against the corrupt [Girondin] deputies'. On 2 June, 80,000 National Guardsmen surrounded the Convention and demanded the expulsion of all Girondin deputies as well as several economic concessions. The Convention was forced to concede defeat, and the Girondins were exiled.

The Convention then became unwilling accomplices to Robespierre's minority rule until his death on 27 July 1794 when it was dissolved by the Thermidorians.

Further reading

  • Doyle, William. The Oxford History of the French Revolution (1989). online complete edition; also excerpt and online search from
  • Doyle, William. The French Revolution: A Very Short Introduction. (2001), 120pp; online edition
  • Fremont-Barnes, Gregory. ed. The Encyclopedia of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars: A Political, Social, and Military History (ABC-CLIO: 3 vol 2006)
  • Frey, Linda S. and Marsha L. Frey. The French Revolution. (2004) 190pp online edition