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Thomas Paine and Robespierre : the terror of the Rights of man

Abstract : The historiography opposes Paine and Robespierre as two models of republicanism. On the one hand, Paine the democrat stands for the Moderns, and on the other hand Robespierre the tyrant is the incarnation of a potentially totalitarian Classical republicanism. However, in 1795, the Assembly judged that the principles exposed three years before by Thomas Paine in his book Rights of Man were that of a terrorist, an anarchist and a demagogue. Against the standard narrative of modernity we have inherited, the Thermidorian period shows that Paine shared with the Montagnards, and mainly with Robespierre, a conception of the republic based on an idea of freedom defined as equality of personal rights - a conception that the Convention sough to eradicate in 1795.
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https://hal-normandie-univ.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02321484
Contributor : Yannick Bosc <>
Submitted on : Monday, October 21, 2019 - 11:49:33 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 23, 2020 - 12:03:31 PM

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  • HAL Id : hal-02321484, version 1

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Yannick Bosc. Thomas Paine and Robespierre : the terror of the Rights of man. . ⟨hal-02321484⟩

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