1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Mountain, The

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MOUNTAIN, THE (La Montagne), the name applied during the French Revolution to a political group, whose members, called Montagnards, sat on the highest benches in the Assembly. The term, which was first used during the session of the Legislative Assembly, did not come into general use until 1793. At the opening of the Convention the Montagnard group comprised men of very diverse shades of opinion, and such cohesion as it subsequently acquired was due rather to the opposition of its leaders to the Girondist leaders than to any fundamental hostility between the two groups. The chief point of distinction was that the Girondists were mainly theorists and thinkers, whereas the Mountain was composed almost entirely of uncompromising men of action. During their struggle with the Girondists, the Montagnards gained the upper hand in the Jacobin Club, and for a time Jacobin and Montagnard were synonymous terms. The Mountain was successively under the sway of such men as Marat, Danton, and Robespierre, and the group finally disappeared after Robespierre’s death and the successes of the French arms.

See also the articles Jacobins, Girondists and French Revolution.