Georges Danton | French revolutionary leader | guiadeayuntamientos.info
The further crucial point to bear in mind is that, for Robespierre, revolutionary .. II (31 March ); the previous night, Danton, Camille Desmoulins, and some .. was contained in the social relations implicitly declared 'unpolitical' - that is, .. One should not be afraid to assert, as a combination of terror and trust in the. The bones of the story of Robespierre's overthrow are as follows. such as Georges Danton and Jacques-René Hébert; and the harboring of dictatorial designs. . be fanciful when set against the fluid character of labor relations in the city. assistance from the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust. Paul Marat, Georges Jacques Danton, and Maximilien Robespierre. (Under the . class relations but rather to the conflict of two political traditions, authoritarianism and popular . However this important trust be conferred, it is important.
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. When the news arrived that Longwy had been taken by the invading armies Prussia had allied itself with Austria in July on August 25,and Jean-Marie Rolandminister of the interior, proposed that the government should move from Paris to Blois, Danton objected vigorously. The proclamation he then caused the Executive Council to adopt bears his stamp: 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: There is no proof, however, that the massacres were organized by him or by anyone else, though it is certain that he did nothing to stop them.
Just as in the case of the August insurrection, the September massacre was not the act of one man but of the people of Paris. 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.
Danton could not justifylivres of secret expenditures. He emerged from this conflict embittered and with his political prestige diminished. He was present, however, on January 15,and voted for death without reprieve. Although absent from the trial, Danton had played a part in it since the autumn of Only when the plan miscarried did he vote for the death of the king. Danton remained in the mainstream of the Revolution, not without often engaging in intrigue. His dealings with Dumouriez, who commanded the army of Belgium, have never been clarified.
After the defeat of Neerwinden March 18,when Dumouriez went over to the Austrians, the Gironde accused Danton of complicity with the General. Boldly turning the tables, Danton made the same accusation against the Girondins. The break was irreparable. For three months Danton was effectively the head of the government, charged especially with the conduct of foreign affairs and military matters.
During this second period in the government he pursued a policy of compromise and negotiation. He tried in every direction to enter into diplomatic conversations with the enemy. No doubt he could in all honesty think it useful to negotiate in an attempt to dissolve the allied coalition or even to obtain a general peace. By the spring ofhowever, a policy of negotiation was no longer conceivable: On various occasions he supported the policy of the Committee of Public Safety though at the same time refusing to play a part in it—which would have stabilized the political situation.
Danton still reappeared from time to time as the tribune of the people, voicing the demands of the masses. He quickly showed, however, that he sought to stabilize the Revolutionary movement; very soon—whether he wanted it or not—he appeared as the leader of the Indulgents, the moderate faction that had risen out of the Cordeliers.
During the great Parisian popular demonstrations of September 4 and 5,Danton spoke eloquently in favour of all the popular demands. Yet at the same time he tried to set bounds to the movement and keep it under control. He demanded, for instance, that the meetings of the hitherto permanent sectional assemblies be reduced to two per week.
He did not, however, intervene personally but left it to his friends to criticize the policy of the government. His disapproval of the terrorist repression had become so strong that he withdrew from political life, alleging reasons of health or of family. On October 12 he obtained leave from the Convention and left for his native town.
He returned on November 21, although the reasons for his return remain ambiguous. Danton at once resumed political activity. He vigorously supported the Committee of Public Safety against excesses of the anti-Christian movement and later opposed the abolition of the salaries of constitutional priests and hence the separation of church and state. Yet this will serve more to reinforce what most instructors might do in class. The film suffers from overly confining certain viewpoints to a class or a particular profession.
Despite this flaw, La Nuit does propose an interpretation of class distinctions that will stimulate all types of viewers. Even if one disagrees with its snapshots, they are subtle, interesting, and stimulating. The movie is most compelling in its understanding of aristocracy.
Also, in the mix is the Italian nobleman and noted rake Casanova Marcello Mastroianni who is fleeing from Count von Waldstein, who is demanding his presence as payment for debts. At first, these aristocrats seem tolerant, embracing the most advanced ideas of the Enlightenment. Casanova, though now aging, appears as sophistication itself. All the ladies, and even the men, swoon over him.
But the deficiencies of aristocracy manifest themselves in their challenge to the new bourgeois values of sexual propriety. The countess and Casanova, separated by decades in age, flirt and openly wish that they had been either older or younger. Accompanying the countess is her hairdresser Jacob Jean-Claude Brialyemasculated through stereotypes involving his gestures and dress.
Perhaps the clearest indication, at least to French audiences, was the use of Brialy, one of the first French leading men to be openly gay. One image is particularly telling. At a relay, when Casanova asks for some privacy, he is given a stall where he combs his wig and powders his face while relieving himself.
There, wig off, with his breeches pulled down to his knees, Casanova appears a very old man. Dignity has given way to vulnerability. Her sophistication has given way to a kind of monomania. When the film turns to the upper middle classes, it is likewise uncharitable. Here, in the guise of a judge, industrialist, and widow of a wine grower, rich commoners come across as narrow and selfish.
Georges Danton - Wikipedia
Interestingly, the judge — an official of the Old Regime — is treated more harshly than the owner of ironworks, perhaps showing greater approval of capitalism. But it is the widow who receives the most negative treatment. Enamored with Casanova, she propositions him, but he graciously turns her down, invoking his decreptitude. But she soon discovers that he can still be amorous as she catches him in an embrace.
Although the viewer later learns that she was mistaken, the widow feels humiliated. Neither this film nor the revolution offer her a meaningful role, but, then, the bourgeois men shuffle out of the movie in a similarly unremarkable way.
The middling sorts between rich and poor are treated more ambiguously: Both seem extremely masculine and strong. Over the course of the trip, they kiss and caress, and he invites her home with him to meet his family.
Danton Versus Robespierre: The Quest for Revolutionary Power
Appearing as handsome, open to difference, and indeed holding strong revolutionary views, he is also rude and totally unwilling to engage in an open exchange of views if they include a counterrevolutionary perspective.
Likewise the national guardsman is crude and ill-bred. Unkempt, he is a totally unattractive man. The intellectuals and artists receive the most favorable treatment: These characters are shown to advantage by the script and camera lens. Their words offer the justification for the revolution. Paine is the one person in the film who is associated completely with the revolution and who receives an overall positive treatment.
Though revolutionary, he is thoughtful and embraces the notion of dissent. And perhaps in the most beautiful scene of the movie, Casanova and the opera singer display their virtue by singing a snippet from Le mariage de Figaro.
As the previous analysis indicates, gender plays a large role in establishing the moral worth of the characters and the groups they represent. Almost without exception, the old regime appears to produce effeminate males; the revolution their opposite. Interestingly, all the intellectuals, except Casanova who cuts across social lines, are seen as normative in their masculinity, directly or indirectly.
It would seem that the filmmaker, like the revolutionaries, signals his preference for domesticated and restrained sexual behavior. As interesting as are the class vignettes, few historians would embrace them as accurate.
The s sexism and homophobia seem especially dated. But these images, it seems to me, capture quite accurately the actual point of view of moderate revolutionaries who prevailed in the Assembly until and even of many Jacobins later on.
Besides recounting the revolution from the perspective of its contemporaries, the movie also treats the time period as disturbing.Execution of Georges Danton and Camille Desmoulins, 5 April 1794
Rapid scene changes render the film sometimes disjointed but also convey the discomfort of the characters. Numerous scenes are shot with dust flying everywhere. Such conditions so annoy the hairdresser that he veils his face.
But the use of dust can also reinforce the social message of the film. At one point Casanova attempts to overtake the stagecoach with his own carriage. Even the noble conveyance has, in fact, failed. Yet if the revolution seems shrouded and problematic, the movie trumpets that the revolution remains relevant to the present.
At beginning and end, the movie relies on two rather unusual gimmicks. As the film opens, a Venetian acting troupe in its boat moored beneath a bridge on the Seine, inportrays several revolutionary figures.