How Can a Person Earn their Stripes by Shooting Innocent People?

On the façade of the Saint-Roch church, it is still possible to see traces of a bloody massacre, committed during the Revolution: on October 5, 1795, e.g. 13 Vendémiaire in the Year IV according to the Republican calendar, several dozens of protesters were killed on these steps by Republican soldiers, led by Bonaparte. The victims were protesting against a decree making it possible to reelect two-thirds of the outgoing deputies – Republicans – in order to stem the flow of the royalists’ return to the Assembly. Against them, cannons were fired. However, it was most likely grapeshot that caused the holes and other marks that still remain today.

To find out more…

A young ambitious general: Bonaparte

Napoléon Bonaparte, General of the National Convention, 13 Vendémiaire Year IV
Napoléon Bonaparte, General of the National Convention, 13 Vendémiaire Year IV

In 1795, the young Napoléon Bonaparte was trying to forget his Robespierrist past and establish himself as a man of order. Perfect timing: this was exactly what the Republic under the Directory and its new constitution wanted in order to end the Revolution. The targets? Those who were qualified as “extremists”: royalists and “Jacobins” or sans-culottes, i.e. anyone that hoped to reestablish a monarchy or, on the contrary, plunge even further into revolution. The massacre was rewarded: Bonaparte was named commander of the Army of the Interior. He gave the impression that when the Republic was threatened, he was an effective answer. Nicknamed the “Vendémiaire General,” in reference to the month of the new Republican calendar, Bonaparte was presented as a savior four years later in 1799, and thus could seize power.

Follow us on Facebook