from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An extreme radical republican during the French Revolution.
- n. A revolutionary extremist.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A fellow without breeches; a ragged fellow; -- a name of reproach given in the first French revolution to the extreme republican party, who rejected breeches as an emblem peculiar to the upper classes or aristocracy, and adopted pantaloons.
- n. Hence, an extreme or radical republican; a violent revolutionist; a Jacobin.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Literally, one who is without breeches: a name given to the poorer men of Paris who were prominent in the first French Revolution and took part in the attacks upon the court, the Bastille, etc.
- n. Hence An advanced Republican; a revolutionist; by extension, a communist or anarchist.
Sectional assemblies were typically the hotbeds of direct democracy and sans-culotte militancy.
Especially through its influence over sans-culotte activism, the Commune expanded its political role as the Revolution progressed.
February 1794, he became associated with calls for sans-culotte insurrection and with the faction of Hébert, with whom he was executed on 24 March.
With his friend Billaud-Varenne, Collot d'Herbois was installed as a sans-culotte member of the Committee of Public Safety after popular unrest in
Hanriot was elected commander of the sans-culotte contingent of the Paris national guard after his participation in the uprising against Louis XVI on 10 August 1792.
He asserted that the family of the tyrant ought not to be better treated than any sans-culotte family; and he had caused a resolution to be passed by which the sort of luxury in which the prisoners in the Temple were maintained was to be suppressed.
(Thanks to threader sans-culotte for pointing us to this.)
One need not share the values or worldview of a sans-culotte, in order to arrive at a justified appraisal of those values and worldview.
But if we were a Republic — you know I am an old Jacobin, sans-culotte and terrorist — if this were a real Republic with the Convention sitting and a Committee of Public Safety attending to national business, you would all get your heads cut off.
The hurdle you just don't seem able to jump is the fact that the Taliban ARE the people of Afghanistan, the same as the Minutemen WERE the people of the US, the Viet Cong WERE the people of Vietnam, the sans-culotte WERE the people of France...
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