Jacques René Hébert

Hébert, Jacques René (zhäk rənāˈ ābĕrˈ) [key], 1757–94, French journalist and revolutionary. An ardent supporter of the French Revolution, he gained the support of the working classes through his virulent paper Le Père Duchesne and was prominent in the Cordeliers. He became one of the leaders of the Commune of Paris, and, as such, his power was a counterforce to that of Maximilien Robespierre. He was largely responsible for the tightening of the maximum price laws during the Reign of Terror and for the Law of Suspects. An atheist, he and Pierre Chaumette were the founders of the cult of the worship of Reason. Hébert's policies and his power over the commune threatened the government and aroused Robespierre's opposition. When Hébert and his followers began preparing for a possible popular insurrection, they were arrested (Mar., 1794), tried by the Revolutionary Tribunal, and guillotined.

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