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Cordeliers (kôrdəlyāˈ) [key], political club of the French Revolution. Founded (1790) as the Society of the Friends of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, it was called after its original meeting place, the suppressed monastery of the Cordeliers (Franciscan Recollects). It provided a political base for Georges Danton and Jean Paul Marat. In 1792–93, after Danton left the club, it was instrumental in the destruction of the Girondists. After Marat's assassination the club was led by Jacques René Hébert and it drifted to the extreme left. Controlling the Paris commune, the Hébertists seemed a threat to the power of Maximilien Robespierre, who had them executed during the Reign of Terror. The club dissolved after Hébert was executed (Mar., 1794).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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