Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Remodeling America

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

By mid 1793–4, the radical Jacobins had successfully completed their hijacking of the French Revolution.

Jacobinism

They openly enacted agendas that might have seemed impossible in the heady days of 1787. Long gone were the pretenses of the original idealism when the revolution abolished feudalism, issued the Declaration of the Rights of Man, and wrestled with turning the Ancien Régime of Louis XVI into some sort of constitutional or parliamentary monarchy analogous to what had emerged in Great Britain.

Soon executing the clerisy en masse was logically followed by Jacobins guillotining thousands of surviving aristocrats and fellow revolutionaries for supposed counterrevolutionary sympathies.

Most of the leaders of the Jacobins were themselves finally guillotined, largely because their ascendant revolutionary zeal could end only in a sort of cannibalism — given that no revolutionary could possibly meet their accelerating purist demands. Mao’s Cultural Revolution was similar, though he slaughtered millions, not thousands.

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

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