Couthon, Georges (zhōrzh kōtôNˈ) [key], 1755?–1794, French revolutionary. An able lawyer, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly (1791) and to the Convention (1792). He became (1793) an important member of the Committee of Public Safety, the dictatorial body that ruled France in 1793 and 1794 under Maximilien Robespierre. He generally supported Robespierre in the Reign of Terror. Although partially paralyzed, he led the army that took (1793) Lyons from the counterrevolutionists. As commissioner there he proved most humane, in contrast with his successor Jean Marie Collot d'Herbois. Couthon fell with Robespierre in the coup of 9 Thermidor (July 27, 1794) and was guillotined.
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