Thermidorian Reaction


The Thermidorian Reaction refers to the period of the French Revolution (1789-1799) between the fall of Maximilien Robespierre on 27-28 July 1794 and the establishment of the French Directory on 2 November 1795. The Thermidorians abandoned radical Jacobin policies in favor of conservative ones, seeking the restoration of a stable constitutional government and economic liberalism.

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  • 28 Jul 1794
    Execution of Robespierre, Saint-Just, and Couthon; end to the Terror, beginning of the Thermidorian Reaction.
  • 29 Jul 1794
    In Paris, 70 officials of the Paris Commune who had remained loyal to Robespierre are executed.
  • 1 Aug 1794
    The Thermidorians repeal the Law of Suspects and the Law of 22 Prairial, removing the justifications of the Reign of Terror.
  • 12 Nov 1794
    The Jacobin Club in Paris is attacked by muscadins; in response the National Convention orders it to be permanently closed and outlawed.
  • 16 Dec 1794
    Jacobin Jean-Baptiste Carrier is executed after a highly publicized trial.
  • 21 Feb 1795
    The Thermidorians reestablish freedom of worship in the French Revolution, officially ending the revolutionary Constitutional Church.
  • 1 Apr 1795
    The Insurrection of 12 Germinal, Year III against the Thermidorian regime fails.
  • 10 Apr 1795 - 10 Jul 1795
    The First White Terror sees the arrests of 90,000 Jacobins; 2,000 are slaughtered by lynch mobs or in prison massacres.
  • 20 May 1795 - 21 May 1795
    The failed Uprising of 1 Prairial sees the last serious attempt by the Jacobins and sans-culottes to regain power in the French Revolution.
  • 2 Nov 1795
    The French Directory is inaugurated.