Essay on the Ideological Differences between the Girondists and the Jacobins


Both these parties played a significant role during the course of the French Revolution. Their formation proved beneficial in the interest of Revolution. However, there were some similarities in their ideologies.


Though the Girondists and the Jacobins were poles apart in their ideologies, yet if we read between the lines, we would be able to trace the following similarities between them:


1. Both the Jacobins and the Girondists were revolutionaries and believed in the principles of Revolution.

2. Both of them wanted to do away with the absolute monarchy and to establish liberty so that the principle of liberty, equality and fraternity might be executed into practice.

3. Both of them believed that the salvation of the country lay in the successful completion of Revolution.

4. Both the parties had no confidence in King Louis XVI and held him responsible for the defeat of France in the Austrian War and considered him to be a staunch enemy of the Revolution.


5. Both of them formed the opposition party in the National Assembly and opposed the supporters of constitutional monarchy.


Besides the above similarities, the following dissimilarities prevailed among the Girondists and the Jacobins:

1. The members of the Jacobin party were quite practical the Girondists were confined to bookish knowledge, also writes about the Girondists: “Theirs was a bookish upon the world.” They were visionary and dreamers, lost in the pages of the books.


2. The Jacobins were pragmatic. They could resort to any means in order to achieve success in their mission but the Girondists followed only the means of justice and law. They did not do anything against the canon of morality.

3. The Jacobins resorted to violence, terror, bloodshed and cruelty to achieve their purpose but the Girondists prepared to follow the path of lawlessness, anarchy, c and force.

4. The Jacobins were supporters of republican government from of the very beginning while the Girondists adopted this principle quite late. Earlier, they were in favour of establishing the constitutional monarchy.

5. The Jacobins exercised great influence on the Paris mob and the Paris Commune, whereas the Girondists had no power over them.


6. The Girondists were in favour of war against the countries in order to crush the monarchy but the Jacobins were opposed to it.

7. The Girondists were strictly opposed to the killing of and the September Massacre but the Jacobins wished core of their heart to put the king to death and not to the persons responsible for the September Massacre.

8. The Jacobins were better organised and decidedly superior to the Girondists in their discipline and organisation.

9. The Jacobins used to give great importance considering it to be the centre of Revolution, whereas the Girondists did not consider Paris to be important.


10. The Jacobin leaders were guided by the Paris mob while the leadership of Girondists was in the hands of women, like Madam Rolland and Julia Talma.

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