This Day in History

June 28, 1914
The Spark that ignited 
a World War
This month, we commemorate the first centenary of the event that proved to be the catalyst of the First World War– the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This following account of this tragic event comes from our book, Light to the Nations II: The Making of the Modern World. For ordering information on this text and our other books, please click here.
Emperor Franz Josef in 1910
By 1914, Franz Josef had reigned for 65 years over Austria-Hungary — the third-longest reign in European history. Having come to the throne after the 1848 revolutions, Franz Josef had been a determined opponent of Liberal parliamentarian government. And though he eventually established a parliament for Austria and approved universal suffrage, Franz Josef remained what he called himself — the last of Europe’s traditional kings.
In his private life, Franz Josef had suffered many tragedies. In 1867, Mexican revolutionaries had executed his younger brother, Ferdinand Maximilian, who had become emperor of Mexico with the help of Emperor Napoleon III of France. Then, in 1889, Franz Josef’s only son and heir, Archduke Rudolf, committed suicide. Eight years later, an Italian anarchist assassinated the emperor’s wife, Elisabeth of Bavaria. To Franz Josef, a shy, lonely man with few friends, Elisabeth had given companionship, affection, and support. Suddenly she was gone. “The world does not know how much we loved one another,” said Franz Josef.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand
Since Archduke Rudolf had been Franz Josef’s only son, his death meant that the next in line to the throne was the emperor’s nephew, Archduke Franz Ferdinand von Österreich-Este. Franz Josef was not fond of his nephew. Franz Ferdinand could be proud and impatient; he also was critical of how the empire was ruled. The archduke thought the oppression of Slavs and Romanians in the kingdom of Hungary threatened the future of the Habsburg monarchy. Franz Ferdinand wanted to transform the Dual Monarchy into a “Triple Monarchy” with a Slavic kingdom separate from both Austria and Hungary.

Though Franz Josef sincerely had the good of all his subjects at heart, he knew the Magyar nobles who controlled the Hungarian diet would strongly oppose the formation of a separate Slavic kingdom. The emperor feared that a struggle with the Magyars would end in separating Hungary entirely from the empire. The emperor thus was convinced that Austria-Hungary had to remain what it was — the Dual Monarchy. 
Europe in 1914
More vexing to Franz Josef than Franz Ferdinand’s political ideas, however, was the archduke’s announcement of his engagement to a Czech countess, Sophie Chotek. Franz Josef objected to the countess not because she was Czech but because, even though she was nobility, she was related to no royal family. An old-fashioned royalist, Franz Josef insisted that Franz Ferdinand marry into one of Europe’s royal houses.

Franz Ferdinand, Duchess Sophie,
and their children 
Deeply in love with Sophie, Franz Ferdinand refused to give her up. At last, the emperor gave way. Franz Ferdinand could marry Sophie Chotek, but on one condition — that none of their children could inherit the imperial throne. Franz Ferdinand agreed, and he and Sophie were married on July 1, 1900. The emperor, however, refused to attend the ceremony….

Not only were Sophie and Franz Ferdinand’s children barred from inheriting the Austro-Hungarian thrones, but Sophie herself was given none of the respect accorded to the wife of a crown prince. The emperor, it is true, gave her the title, Duchess of Hohenberg, which allowed her to be addressed as “Her Highness”; but in all state ceremonies and gatherings, she could not sit with her husband. Only when Franz Ferdinand acted as a military leader could she be treated as the true wife of her husband.

So when, in June 1914, Franz Ferdinand went to observe the maneuvers of the Austrian army in Bosnia, he took Sophie with him. In the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, the couple could be free from the snubs of the imperial court in Vienna. Franz Ferdinand could appear in state with his beloved wife beside him.

Dragutin dimitrijevic apis.jpg
Colonel Dragutin Dimitriejević
In March, leaders of the Serbian terrorist group, the Black Hand, had learned of Franz Ferdinand’s planned trip to Sarajevo. Serbian nationalists feared the archduke because his plan to grant Slavs equal status to Austrians and Hungarians in the empire might make Croatians and Slavonians too content with Habsburg rule and thus make them less willing to form a Yugoslav kingdom with Serbia. In Serbia’s capital, Belgrade, Colonel Dragutin Dimitriejević, the head of the Central Committee of the Black Hand, came up with a plan to assassinate Franz Ferdinand when he arrived in Sarajevo. Dimitriejević, known by the code name Apis (“Bee”), prepared three young Bosnians for the task: Gavrilo Princip (age 19), Nedjelko Čabrinović (age 18), and Trifko Grabez (also 18). These men were smuggled across the border, from Serbia into Bosnia, and reached Sarajevo about a month before the archduke’s scheduled visit.

When the Serbian government, which was well informed about the Black Hand’s activities, learned of the plot to assassinate Franz Ferdinand, it ordered Apis to halt it. Apis made some attempt to recall the three young men to Serbia; but, it seems, the effort was only halfhearted. There was still plenty of time to call off the plot, but nothing further was done. Serbian Prime Minister Nikola Pasić did tell the Serbian ambassador in Vienna to warn the Austrian government about the planned assassination attempt, though without mentioning the Black Hand; but the ambassador’s warning was not very clear, and the Austrian minister to whom he gave the warning simply ignored it.
File:Franz Ferdinand & Sophie in Sarajevo.jpg
Franz Ferdinand and Sophie in Sarajevo
 Franz Ferdinand and Sophie’s visit to Bosnia began as a happy one, for most of the Bosnians who came out to see the crown prince and his consort warmly welcomed them. On the morning of June 28, 1914, Franz Ferdinand and Sophie together reviewed the troops and then, at about 10:00 a.m., proceeded in a motorcade of about six cars to the Sarajevo city hall. The cars passed down the city’s main street, which ran along the Miljacka River. It was on this street that Princip, Čabrinović, and Grabez, along with four other Black Hand assassins, were mingling with the crowd that had come out to watch the archduke’s passing.
Nedjelko Čabrinović
Čabrinović made the first attempt on the archduke. Taking a bomb from his coat pocket, he hurled it at Franz Ferdinand’s car; but the bomb missed its target, exploded in the street behind the car and injured several bystanders. Somewhat ruffled by the event, Franz Ferdinand and Sophie continued on to the mayor’s palace, where the mayor gave them a formal welcome.

Gavrilo Princip
Following the reception, the motorcade continued along its route, but the archduke’s car took a wrong turn, down Franz Josef Street. Realizing his mistake, the driver stopped the car in order to turn around — only a few feet away from Gavrilo Princip, who had just stepped out of a sandwich shop. Seeing his chance, Princip pulled out his gun, and, walking up to the car, fired at both the archduke and Sophie, hitting him in the neck and her in the stomach. As the car sped way, headed toward the governor’s palace, the injured Franz Ferdinand turned to Sophie and, seeing her collapse, cried out, “Sophie! Sophie! Do not die! Stay alive for our children!”
Sophie died before reaching the governor’s palace, and Franz Ferdinand did not long survive her.
File:Franz Ferdinand & Sophie's Funeral Ceremony1.jpg
The bodies of Franz Ferdinand and Sophie lying in state

This Day in History

June 18, 1815:
This text comes from our book, Light to the Nations II: The Making of the Modern World. For ordering information on this text and our other books, please click here.
Napoleon Bonaparte
Following his return to the imperial throne, Napoleon failed to make peace with the allies. He had offered to respect the boundaries of France drawn up by the Congress of Vienna if it would recognize his government; but the allies ignored him and resolved on war. Perhaps Napoleon’s greatest sorrow, however, was the Austrian court’s refusal to return his son to him. And very bitter too was the news that Empress Maria Louisa had sworn never to see Napoleon again.

Though sorrow had seemed to rob Napoleon of some of his old energy, he did not neglect preparations for the war he knew would come. By June, he had gathered an army of 200,000 men. On June 12, Napoleon left Paris to lead this army against the Seventh (and last) Coalition of his foes. They had gathered an army of 500,000 in Belgium in order to rid Europe, once and for all, of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Three days after leaving Paris, Napoleon and his army crossed the Sambre River into Belgium. Knowing he was outnumbered by the enemy, Napoleon’s strategy was to drive his army between the allied armies of the English general, Arthur Wellesley, the duke of Wellington, and the Prussian field marshal, Gebhard Blücher. After defeating one, Napoleon hoped to turn and fight the other.

On June 16, near the village of Ligny, Napoleon and 80,000 of his men joined battle with 84,000 Prussians under Blücher. The battle was a victory for Napoleon, but an incomplete one. The French had inflicted 24,000 casualties on the Prussians while losing only 11,000 of their own men. But instead of fleeing toward Namur, as Napoleon thought they would, the remaining Prussians turned north, to where Wellington was encamped with about 70,000 men near the town of Waterloo.

On the same day as the Battle of Ligny, Wellington had fought about 20,000 French under Marshal Michel Ney at Quatre-Bras, but neither side was victorious. On June 17, the day following the battle, Wellington withdrew his army to a ridge lying to the south of Waterloo. There he gathered 68,000 men and awaited 89,000 more coming from the west, under Blücher. On the morning of June 18, Napoleon formed up his army, 105,000 strong, on the battlefield below the ridge as well as on the heights opposite Wellington’s position.

The Battle of Waterloo began in late morning of June 18, 1815, with a bombardment of Wellington’s position. Throughout the course of the day, French attempts to break through the allied lines failed, while Wellington’s numbers grew and grew with the addition of troops from Blücher. But about 6 p.m., Marshal Ney gained an important allied position and, setting up his guns, began bombarding the center of the enemy line. Ney sent pleas to Napoleon to send in the best of his troops, the Imperial Guard, to break the allied center. But an hour passed before the Guard could reach Ney, and by that time Wellington had been able to send in more troops to strengthen his line.

Battle of Waterloo
About 7 p.m., the Imperial Guard was ready to attack Wellington’s center. Marching in two great columns, the Guard slammed into the allied lines — only to find themselves met by some of Wellington’s best infantry, rising from the corn where they had lain hidden. From three sides, the British infantry, dressed all in scarlet, fired deadly volleys into the Imperial Guard. And just as the French were reeling under this blow, a corps of Prussians, newly arrived, joined in the attack. The Guard was now forced to retreat, while rumors of treason passed among Napoleon’s men.

Save yourselves who can!” These words ran like quicksilver through the French lines. Seeing the enemy beginning to break, Wellington ordered his whole line to charge — and charge they did, letting out a mighty cheer that filled the evening air with grandeur. The French were now in full flight, and Napoleon himself barely escaped capture by the Prussians.

Morning after Waterloo
I ought to have died at Waterloo,” Napoleon said afterward; but, he added, “the misfortune is that, when a man seeks death most, he cannot find it. Men were killed around me, before, behind, everywhere. But there was no bullet for me.” That day, the allies lost 22,000 men, a great loss; but Napoleon’s loss was far greater — 41,000, almost all of them veterans. His army was destroyed, his reputation as an invincible commander gone forever. Napoleon did not die at Waterloo, but his empire did. Napoleon, as well as anyone else, knew this; and, fearing that if he held on to power, France would be plunged into civil war, he signed his second abdication on June 22, 1815, passing the throne to his son. Napoleon then went into hiding.

In his place of concealment, Napoleon contemplated fleeing to the United States. Somewhere on the North American continent, he thought, he could gather his relatives and companions together and form the beginnings of a new French nation. But this dream ended when it became clear that any ship he sailed on could never escape the British warships patrolling the French coast. With America thus closed to him, Napoleon made a strange resolve — he would seek refuge with his old enemy, England. Confident that the English would show him hospitality, he set sail on the ship Bellerophon and, in late July, put into port at Plymouth, on England’s southern coast.

Napoleon on board the Bellerophon
The news that Napoleon was at Plymouth threw the British government into a panic. What should be done with him? Certainly he could not remain in England — but where should he go? On July 30, Napoleon learned with dismay and anger what the British government had planned for him. He would not be given hospitality in England but be sent, as a prisoner, to St. Helena, a barren, windswept island in the southern Atlantic, 600 miles off the coast of Africa. Napoleon was bitterly angry, but also in despair. He could hardly bear the thought of such an exile, and he contemplated suicide. But considering it was the part of a great man to bear his fate to the end, he decided not to end his life.

Thus, on August 7, 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte set sail on the HMSNorthumberland from Portland harbor, bound for St. Helena. For 10 weeks the Northumberland sailed until, on the evening of October 15, she arrived off the coast of the jagged, rocky island of St. Helena. A day later, Napoleon stepped onto the shore of what would henceforth be his home. He would never again as a living man see France — nor the face of brother, sister, mother, wife, or child. But for a few companions, he was quite alone. His mighty empire had crumbled, leaving nothing behind but a grand dream and a memory.

A Song of Napoleon’s Fall

This song is a musical setting by the German composer, Robert Schumann (1810-1856), of a poem by Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) –Die Beiden Grenadiere (“The Two Grenadiers”). It expresses what many soldiers of France’s First Empire must have felt after Waterloo and their emperor’s capture by the British. This video features the tenor, Juan Borja, and Sergo Bungs, piano. It has subtitles in English. 

This Day in History

June 10, 1734 
The King Condemns Voltaire
This text comes from our book, Light to the Nations II: The Making of the Modern World. For ordering information on this text and our other books, please click here.
Voltaire in 1736
In the Paris salon of the Duchess of Maine, François-Marie Arouet began the literary career that would make him the most famous philosophe in Europe. The year was 1715, and Arouet had just returned to Paris from The Hague in the Netherlands. Arouet had mixed with aristocratic freethinkers before going to The Hague; for though he belonged to the middle class, his mother had friends among the nobility.
The Duchess of Maine’s salon was a distinguished one, but also quite dangerous for a young man like Arouet. The Duchess was a bitter enemy of the Duke of Orléans (the regent of King Louis XV, who in 1715 was still only a boy). Under the duchess’s influence, Arouet wrote poems mocking the regent — a dangerous thing to do, as Arouet soon learned. Because of his lampoons, Arouet was forced to leave Paris in May 1716. Shortly afterward, he was allowed to return; but in 1717 he was arrested and sent to the Bastille. Some anonymous lampoons had surfaced, and the government thought Arouet had written them.
Arouet might have gotten on better if he had followed his father’s advice and become a lawyer. But the young man loved literature, especially stage plays, and he was eager to earn fame as a writer. While in the Bastille, he spent his time working on two plays that he hoped to publish under a pen name he had chosen for himself — Arouet de Voltaire.

The Bastille in the late 18th century
Voltaire saw the first of his plays performed at the Théatre Français after his release from the Bastille in April 1718. The play was a great success. Other plays followed; some successful, others not. But Voltaire did not just rely on his plays and other literary works to make a living. Throughout his life, he engaged in financial speculation and investments. He courted aristocrats and used flattery to gain their favor. Voltaire eventually became a wealthy man — wealthier than many a nobleman whose favor he had sought in his younger days. Indeed, many of these noblemen, under heavy debt, would take loans from Voltaire to pay off their creditors.
Yet Voltaire, it seems, could not control his often bitter, sarcastic tongue. In 1725, he insulted an important noble, the Chevalier de Rohan, who had insulted him. Shortly afterward, several men attacked Voltaire and beat him with sticks while Rohan stood by, watching. This was an affront Voltaire could not ignore. He challenged Rohan to a duel, and the chevalier accepted. But on the morning of the duel, police arrested Voltaire and placed him in the Bastille. He remained there two weeks until, at his own request, he was sent from France to England.

John Locke
During his stay in England (1726-1729), Voltaire discovered that English society differed in many ways from that of his native France. Unlike France, England offered freedom of religion, at least to Protestants, and the English government was far more tolerant of freethinking than was the government of Louis XV. And the government of England itself, in Voltaire’s mind, offered a superb model of how to keep order and preserve freedom at the same time. England’s king was not all-powerful, as was the French king; Parliament, a government by representatives of at least some of the people, severely limited the power of the then reigning King George II. In England, Voltaire discovered the work of the English scientist Isaac Newton and the English philosopher John Locke. Voltaire came to think that Locke showed the way to remedy France’s political and religious “tyranny.”
The title page of Voltaire’s Philosophical Letters
otherwise known as 
Letters on the English
Though Voltaire left France as a playwright, he returned as a philosopher. He continued to write poems and plays, but along with these he wrote commentaries on politics and, especially, works against religion. The first of these was Philosophical Letters on the English, published in 1732. In this work, Voltaire used his sharp wit to praise England’s government and toleration of religion while he attacked the French Church and state. When on June 10, 1734, the government of Louis XV condemned the Philosophical Letters and ordered its author arrested, Voltaire fled Paris to the independent duchy of Lorraine, where he would be safe from French authorities.
Inspired by Newton’s example, Voltaire set up a laboratory at Cirey, his estate in Lorraine, and performed experiments. He continued to write dramas and poetry, but turned more and more to works on science, philosophy, and politics. None of these works offered any original ideas, but they made Liberal ideas more popular and spread Locke’s political ideas among the philosophes in France. Voltaire’s clear, witty, and refined style could capture a reader’s attention, and his cruel satire could make the ideas of his opponents appear ridiculous. Voltaire would stop at almost nothing — even outright lies (and he told many of them) — to promote his ideas and destroy those of others. He stopped at nothing to destroy what he called l’infame -- “the infamous one.”
What was the so-called infamous one? It was what we call religion; Voltaire called it superstition. Voltaire rejected all traditional religion as foolish. Himself a Deist, Voltaire thought everything, including the human soul, was composed of matter; and so he denied the immortality of the soul. Moreover, Voltaire was a rationalist and a proponent of free thought and moral libertinism. Voltaire’s chief enemy, however, (the most infamous of all the infamous ones in his mind) was the Catholic Church. The Church, he said, pretended it was the one, true religion just to fool the masses and keep them under the clergy’s control.
Louis XV
Voltaire thought religion might be fine for ignorant, common people. But, he said, educated men — and especially rulers — should look to science and reason, not “superstition,” for guidance on how to live in and govern society. A rational and scientific society, according to Voltaire, would not try to crush religion, but it would not promote one religion over another.
So it was that Voltaire became perhaps the greatest advocate of religious tolerance in the 18th century. And he proposed other “rational” reforms — abolishing torture, for instance, and ending the death penalty, at least for offenses such as forgery, theft, and smuggling. Yet Voltaire was not a revolutionary. He opposed democracy, for, he thought, the common man (whom he called canaille – “the rabble, riffraff”) could never be enlightened. His ideal government was an absolute monarch, rather like Louis XIV, but without that king’s attachment to “superstition” and persecution of those who did not agree with him. 

Music from the Time of Louis XV 

Performed by Les Concerts de Nations, under the direction of Jordi Savall.

Jordi Savall. Musique au temps de Louis XV.

This Day in History

June 2, 1793 :
The Triumph of the Jacobins
This text comes from our book, Light to the Nations II: The Making of the Modern World. For ordering information on this text and our other books, please click here. 
Georges Danton addressing
 the  French National Convention
The treason of Dumouriez gave the Mountain another weapon to use against the Girondins. The general had been friendly with the Girondins, and his desire to restore the  Constitution of 1791 only proved to the “Mountaineers” that, like the Girondins, he was a conservative and counterrevolutionary. Danton alone called for peace between the warring factions. “Let us become reconciled like brothers,” he cried on April 4, 1793. “It is for the safety of us all. If the counter-revolution triumphs, it will proscribe all who have borne the name of patriot, of whatever shade of party.”

But neither the Jacobins nor the Girondins would listen to calls for peace. Marat was crying out against the Girondins in the Convention. The Enragés and even the Paris commune were demanding an armed rebellion against the Convention. The Jacobin Club and the Paris sections opposed such dangerous measures; but on April 8 and 10, two of the city’s sections demanded that the Convention indict the Girondin leaders as enemies of the revolution.

The Girondin leaders were high-minded and noble in their devotion to their ideals, but they had no support outside the regions they came from. In Paris, they were surrounded by enemies and had no friends except Danton — and they did not return his friendship. The Girondins opposed any measures to control the price of food or restrain the merchants who made great profits off the suffering of the poor, and this stance further enraged the Enragés and men like Marat.

John-Paul Marat
On April 12, 1793, the Girondins made the foolish move of demanding that the Convention indict Marat for plotting violence against the government. In response, the leaders of the Paris sections and the commune presented a petition demanding that the Convention dismiss 22 of its Girondin leaders as “guilty of felony to the sovereign people.” Then came Marat’s trial on April 24, when the mob in the galleries so intimidated the Convention deputies that they acquitted him of all charges. The jubilant mob, taking Marat on their shoulders, carried him to the tribune. There, Marat dramatically pointed toward the Right of the assembly hall where the Girondins sat. “I have them now,” he cried. “I have the rope around their necks.”
In early May, news of Austrian and Prussian victories against the French intensified the battle between the parties. Rancor against the Girondins increased when, on May 3, they opposed a measure passed by the Convention to place a maximum price on grain and force a loan of money from the rich. So serious were the outcries against the Girondins that, on May 18, a Girondin deputy demanded that the Convention dissolve the Paris commune. The measure did not pass, but the Convention did approve the formation of a Committee of Twelve to investigate conspiracy against the government.
Title page of  Jacques Hébert’s 
journal, Pere Duchesne
To the Paris extremists, the Committee of Twelve was just a committee of tyrants. Extremists repeated their calls for the arrest of 22 Girondin leaders and threatened to kill them. The Convention responded by arresting two of the extremist leaders, along with Jacques Hébert. Hébert was a Jacobin like Marat and the editor of a lewd and blasphemous journal.

On May 25, the Paris commune denounced the arrests and demanded the release of Hébert. The president of the Convention that day was the Girondin leader Maximin Isnard, a man given to violent outbursts. In reply to the commune’s demands, he cried out, “You shall have speedy justice.” Then, accusing the commune of aiding the extremists, he added, “I declare to you, in the name of all France, that Paris will be blotted out, and it will soon be questioned on the banks of the Seine whether such a city has ever existed.” Danton tried to get the words wiped from the public record, but the Girondins refused. Instead, they warmly applauded Isnard’s statement. Isnard’s outburst doomed the Girondins. Most Parisians had not gone along with the extremists; but hearing that the president of the Convention had called for the destruction of Paris, they joined in the cries against the Girondins. Robespierre, speaking at the Jacobins Club, called on “the people to rise in revolt in the National Convention against all the corrupt deputies.” Facing all this opposition, the Convention released Hébert; but it still refused to disband the Committee of Twelve.

The Enragés and other extremists were now prepared for insurrection. At a meeting held on the evening of May 30 (at which both Marat and Hébert were present), they declared that Paris was “in revolt for the arrest of the traitors” — the Girondins. At 3 a.m. on May 31, the extremists sounded the tocsin for revolt and appointed a commander for the popular army. But that evening, the more moderate Jacobins were able to take control of the revolt and hold off an armed attack against the Convention.
Frightened by the insurgents, the Convention finally agreed on the night of May 31 to abolish the Committee of Twelve. As the Convention’s members issued from the assembly hall, they were even cheered by the mobs, who carried torches to light the deputies’ way through the streets.

But the Girondins knew they still faced danger. The Jacobins had decided to join with the extremists to force the Convention to arrest the Girondin leaders. High-toned as ever, the Girondin leaders refused to call in armed forces from the departments for their protection. Such a call would lead to civil war, from which the Girondins shrank with disgust. “Rather death than civil war!” declared the Girondin leader Pierre Vergniaud.

The meeting of the Convention on June 2, 1793, opened with bad news: the Vendeans had captured Fontenay and royalists had risen in revolt in Lyons, a large city in southeastern France. Far fewer than the usual number of deputies, however, had gathered in the Convention that day. Most of the seats on the Right were empty. Most of the Girondin deputies were not present. Outside the hall, in the courts of the Tuileries and the palace garden, armed men had gathered. These were National Guardsmen, but among them were armed sans-culottes. They had come at the summons of the commune and the Jacobins, but not to guard the Convention.

Pierre Vergniaud
The Convention deputies knew they were facing an insurrection. But what were they to do about it? The Committee of Public Safety, whose leader was now Danton, gave its advice — the Girondin leaders should voluntarily resign as deputies, “in order to restore peace to the republic.” From the Mountain, Marat spoke for the radicals; the Convention, he said, must indict the Girondin leaders as traitors to the People. The majority of the Convention voted to leave the assembly hall and seek protection from the National Guard.

Outside the hall, armed men stopped the deputies, and the commanding general demanded that the deputies return to the hall and “deliver up the victims called for by the People.” When the deputies did not obey, the general ordered his men to prepare to fire. One deputy, seeing it was hopeless to resist, cried out, “All is over; liberty is lost!” As the deputies retraced their steps to the hall, Marat, surrounded by a gang of ragged children, called out, “I summon you, in the name of the people, to return to your posts!”

Last Banquet of the Girondins
When the deputies had resumed their seats, a man named Georges Couthon, an ally of Robespierre, arose and demanded the arrest of 22 Girondin leaders, along with the members of the Committee of Twelve and two other men. Because they were frightened by the armed men outside, the deputies in the Center refused to vote. The few deputies on the Right protested but could do nothing. The Mountain voted for indictment and arrest. The names of the condemned were announced. They included the Girondin leaders and nine others. Thirty-one Girondins were declared prisoners of the Convention.

The Jacobins had triumphed over their enemies. Though there still were Girondins in the Convention, their power had been broken. Under Jacobin leadership, France was now to enter the most radical phase of its revolution — a phase called The Terror.