Guillotines, decapitated elite, and a bloody revolution. No this isn’t a meme on Leftbook, this is the French Revolution that lasted from 1789 to 1799. The aftermath left a nation with a headless monarch as well as ushering in a new area of political thinking. The reasons behind the revolution are vast ranging from rising socioeconomic inequalities, economic mismanagement, environmental factors leading to agricultural failure, unmanageable national debt, and political mismanagement on the part of King Louis XVI. The censoring of newsletters and pamphlets also played a role in attempting to suppress the people from information which lead to many rouge writers to create their own source of info for the masses.
One of those newsletters was L’Ami de Peuple (Friend of the people or The friend of the people) written by Jean-Paul Marat and was celebrated as “The most radical paper of the Revolution“. While typically a small pamphlet consisting of 8-12 pages, it ran for nearly 700 issues and fiery journalism is credited with playing a significant role in the Women’s March on Versaillies in October 1789, the suspension of the monarchy on August 10, 1792, the September Massacre, and inciting other actions of the revolutionary crowd. Igniting the spark in the disenfranchised to create change by reporting from an oppressed perspective was what Marat and L’Ami du peuple excelled at.
Obviously this did not make the publication or Marat popular among Royalists. On July 13 1793, that unpopularity came to an unfortunate end when Marat was assassinated by Charlotte Corday in his flat after giving an informational interview. He was 50 years old and L’ami du peuple’s last publication was printed the next day. After Marat’s death, he was viewed by many as a martyr for the revolution.
A copy of L’Ami du peuple stained with the blood of Marat.
We here at The Friend Of The People, seek to carry on the original publication’s spirit as well as share news from our communities worldwide. We promote a better socioeconomic environment through direct action, however needed, as well as solidarity with all disenfranchised peoples. A Revolution is only possible when we have access to share our experiences and knowledge with others.
Tags: Charlotte Corday, French Revolution, Guillotine, History, Jean-Paul Marat, King Louis XVI, L'Ami du peuple, Marat, Publication, Revolution, Revolutionary newsletters, Revolutionary writers, The Friend Of The People