- Jacobin (politics)
:"This page describes the political term "Jacobin." For discussion of the political organization of the
French Revolutionera, see Jacobin Club. Jacobinism is unrelated to Jacobitismor the English Jacobean period."In the context of the French Revolution, a Jacobin originally meant a member of the Jacobin Club(1789-1794), but even at that time, the term "Jacobins" had been popularly applied to all promulgators of revolutionary opinions. In contemporary Francethis term refers to the concept of a centralized Republic, with power concentrated in the national government, at the expense of local or regional governments. Similarly, Jacobinist educational policy, which influenced modern France well into the 20th Century, sought to stamp out French minority languages that it considered reactionary, such as Breton, Basque, Catalan, Occitan, Alsatian, Franco-Provençal and Dutch (West Flemish).
The English who supported the French Revolution during its early stages (or even throughout), were early known as "Jacobins". These included the young
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, and others prior to their disillusionment with the outbreak of The Terror. Others, such as William Hazlittand Thomas Paineremained idealistic about the Revolution. Much detail on English Jacobinism is to be found in E. P. Thompson's " The Making of the English Working Class".
The "Anti-Jacobin" was planned by Canning when he was Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. He secured the
collaborationof George Ellis, John Hookham Frere, William Gifford, and some others. William Gifford was appointed working editor. The first number appeared on November 20, 1797, with a notice that "the publication would be continued every Monday during the sitting of Parliament". A volume of the best pieces, entitled "The Poetry of the Anti-Jacobin", was published in 1800. It is almost impossible to apportion accurately the various pieces to their respective authors, though more than one attempt has been made to do so. When is finished in 1798, John Gifford began "The Anti-Jacobin Reviewand Magazine, or, Monthly Political and Literary Censor", which ran until 1821.
In the correspondence of Metternich and other leaders of the repressive policies that followed the second fall of Napoleon in 1815, "Jacobin" is the term commonly applied to anyone with liberal tendencies, such as the emperor
Alexander I of Russia.
Early American newspapers during the French Revolution referred to the
Democratic-Republicanparty as the "Jacobin Party". The most notable examples are the Gazette of the United States, published in Philadelphia and the Delaware and Eastern Shore Advertiser, published in Wilmington, during the elections of 1798.
The conventionalized scrawny, French revolutionary "
sans-culottes" Jacobin, was developed from about 1790 by British satirical artists James Gillray, Thomas Rowlandsonand George Cruikshank. It was commonly contrasted with the stolid stocky conservative and well-meaning John Bull, dressed like an English country squire. C.L.R. Jamesalso used the term to refer to revolutionaries during the Haitian Revolutionin his book The Black Jacobins.
ee also (other national personifications)
Aura the Finnish Maiden( Finland)
Deutscher Michel( Germany)
John Bull( Great Britain)
Johnny Canuck( Canada)
Johnny Reb(fmr Confederate States of America)
Polish Jacobins( Poland)
Uncle Sam( United States)
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