Plain, the, in French history, term designating the independent members of the National Convention during the French Revolution. The name was applied to them because, in contrast to the radical Mountain, they occupied the lower benches of the chamber. The Plain was a leaderless mass and a pliable instrument, but it was numerically in the majority and consequently determined many votes. It played an important role in bringing about the overthrow (9 Thermidor; July 27, 1794) of Maximilien Robespierre, but after this effort it again lost its cohesion.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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