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Scottish Sports

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After the dethronement of Louis XVI, politics for the first time in France had become an issue for the French to systemize and regulate. No longer did the citizens have to follow the will of the kings' "godly design" but now would be represented by a republic of the people. Very quickly political factions began to emerge across France. The two major political factions of the Convention were the Jacobins and the Girondins, which held very opposite beliefs of the future of the monarchy. However, both had a strong ambition to gain supremacy in the Convention and to ultimately control the direction of the Revolution. Although in doing so the factions had to gain the support of the Marais, the group that did not belong to any faction. The first issue for the elected deputies of France was to determine the fate of the former King of France, Louis XVI. The strong will of the Jacobin's beliefs and the ineffective representation of Girondin philosophy strengthened Jacobin support and ultimately determined the death of Louis XVI.

All three political groups were not the same as the ones found in today's political campaigns. These historic parties had, "no party machinery, no party funds, no party discipline on voting and in most cases no party platform. They were at best loosely-connected groups of men who had been friends, who shared political ideas, or who were thrown together on specific issues." However the citizens believed them to be their representatives in the new regime that would debate for the good of the country based on the new principles. The Jacobin faction was formerly the Society of the Friends of the Constitution and was made up of intelligent bourgeoisie. After the Assembly moved to Paris the group enlarged and rented the former residence of the Dominican monks which were known as the Jacobins, a name eventually inherited by the society. The Jacobins strongly supported power in Paris, and heavily pushed egalitarian aspirations. The Jacobins firmly believed that their group represented the people. During the course of the trial of Louis XVI the approximately one hundred and ten members of the Mountain (as they were referred to in the convention because of their choice of the higher seating) believed that Louis should be "judged by the highest tribunal in the land, the people in the revolution on August the 10,1792." Their final conclusion was that Louis was guilty of treason and that he should be punished by way of the guillotine. The only way for the ancient regime to be totally annihilated was to see the death of Louis XVI. They believed there to be no other confounding factors in this decision and that the trial should be concluded quickly and the beheading of Louis to be done immediately. To accomplish this goal, the horrific fate of Louis, the Jacobins had to win the appeal of the Marais. The Marais made up the largest group of deputies in the Convention. If the Jacobins won the appeal of the Marais they would win the majority of any vote in the Convention and would dictate the future of Louis XVI and France.

The Jacobins had the major disadvantage in the beginning of the trial as far as political support was concerned, being outnumbered by almost double. However, this did not discourage them for the Jacobin had as great an amount of prestigious leaders as the Girondin. These great Jacobin speakers eventually would be the vital factor in the rise of the Mountain. The Jacobin replied to all the Girondin challenges and answered with great knowledge and confidence. Continuously downplaying Girondin condemnation, the Jacobin slowly gained the lustre of the dominant faction and discretely gained the support of the Marais. In the battle words the oratorical battle of strength clearly was one by the Jacobins. Their timing and responses, such as Robespierre's counter to Louvet's challenge, more then made up for the damage, if any, caused by the Girondin. In the end this one sided battle showed that the Jacobins were the dominant force.

The political faction, the Girondins, developed in history as a result of Jacobin propaganda. The name Girondons came from the Department of the Gironde, even though not many of its deputies came from the Gironde. The Girondin were afraid of radical Paris and its Commune, feared the social revolution and egalitarianism seeing it as anarchy in balancing the French society and labelled the Jacobins as a "blood-thirsty and undisciplined mobÐ'...shamelessly manipulating Parisians." Girondins believed that Louis the XVI would be of better use kept alive and utilized as a figurehead to guide a more powerful new regime. The Girondins came to the Convention with a considerate advantage in headcounts and in political continuity. The Girondins controlled the offices of the Convention and had the support of the president who basically controlled the order of the Convention. This clearly gave an advantage to the Girondin to set about destroying their enemies the Jacobins. The Girondins acknowledged this and from the opening of the Convention showed no real interest bringing the king to trial. They were more interested in discrediting Jacobins, Paris and its deputies. This was the major flaw of the Girondins that eventually led to their downfall. The Girondin became too busy in trying to raise their command status and the Marais saw the Girondin lack of focus to the task at hand. This lack of focus caused the Girondin to act more as individuals then as a political party and the Girondins could never come to a definite decision. There were always exceptions to

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