The New Student's Reference Work/Jacobins
Ja'cobins (jăk' ō-bĭnz), a political club which had great influence during the French Revolution. The club was at first called the Club Breton, and was formed at Versailles in 1789. The members were all in sympathy with the Revolution. The club met at the former Jacobin convent in Paris. Its power became greater than the national assembly, and no less than 1,200 branch clubs were formed. Almost all the great events which followed were determined by the voice and power of this club. It reached the height of its power in 1792. The popular cry for the death of the king, the uprising of the lower classes against the middle classes and the Reign of Terror throughout France were the work of the Jacobins. But upon the arrest, trial and execution of Robespierre in 1794 the Jacobin club began to lose its influence. On Nov. 9, 1794, the club was suppressed. The term Jacobins is often employed to indicate persons of extreme revolutionary sentiments.