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Feuillant

Feuillant, a French word derived from the Latin for leaf, has been used as a tag by two different groups.

The first Feuillants were monks of the Cistercian order who established an abbey in the Diocese of Rieux[?] in 1145. The abbey was named Notre-Dame des Feuillans and the name came to be applied to the monks too. Pope Gregory XIII established the Feuillants as a separate congregation in 1589 under their reformist abbot Jean de la Barrière[?]. They were given two monastaries in Rome and in 1630 the order was divided into two branches, the French as the Feuillants and the Italians as the Reformed Bernardines. The Feuillants were suppressed in 1791 and the Bernardines later merged with the Order of Citeaux.

The second Feuillants were a political grouping that emerged during the French Revolution. It came into existence from a split within the Jacobins from those opposing the overthrow of the king and proposing a constitutional monarchy. The deputies publically split with the Jacobins when they published a pamphlet on July 16, 1791. Initially the group had 264 ex-Jacobin deputies as members.

The group held meetings in a former monastery of the Feuillants on the Rue Saint-Honoré and came to be popularly called the Club des Feuillants. They called theselves the Amis de la Constilution. The group was led by Antoine Barnave. In March 1792 in retaliation for their opposition to war with Austria the Feuillant ministers were forced out by the Girondins. Labelled by their opponents as royalists they were targeted after the fall of the monarchy. In August 1792 a list of 841 members was published and they were arrested and tried for treason. Barnave was guillotined on November 29, 1793.

The name survived for a few months as an insulting label for moderates, royalists and aristocrats.



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