Front Page Titles (by Subject) 128.: The Legislative Assembly and the Clubs - Judgments on History and Historians
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128.: The Legislative Assembly and the Clubs - Jacob Burckhardt, Judgments on History and Historians 
Judgments on History and Historians, ed. Alberto R. Coll (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1999).
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The Legislative Assembly and the Clubs
Any assembly, inasmuch as it has to preserve forms and recognize principles and is inwardly heterogeneous because it is elected by an entire country, must necessarily bow to ruthless club bosses who seem to represent the matter at issue much more directly, because they are representatives of the most violent forces, i.e., the movement itself which is still progressing; besides, they are quite unscrupulous as to general means of pressure and have the organized services of the rioters of a big city.
Despite all this one must concede to these club leaders a high degree of that ruling spirit which is not worried about the bottomless and purely temporary character of its creations (which last only as long as the Terror).
To be sure, they were favored by the fact that (through the club’s will) they were able to rule because there was no longer any other government. Their counterparts function down to every village; and it is open to argument whether it can still be called governing when every matter is quickly and subjectively settled through the imposition of terror on entire cities by a certain number of individuals.
Against such forces the Assembly will, with the tide rising, come off badly, because, for one thing, the former’s personnel is renewed and always suited to the moment, whereas the Assembly was chosen at a much less advanced moment. The misery of such an Assembly lies in the fact that it must give in constantly in order to keep the appearance of still being at the head of the movement.
The club leaders, on the other hand—Camille Desmoulins saw in the clubs “l’aristocratie du poumon” [the aristocracy of the lungs]—only needed to give themselves up to the spirit of the rising passion to be certain of acting correctly for the moment. The way in which they gained control of the Paris sections in the summer of 1792 was fundamentally an obvious one. They frightened them into silence, as they did with the Assembly on a large scale, until nobody but their own men could stand it there any longer.
In time the terrorists gained important experience and style in their task of producing power through terror at any cost.
The Terror here was substantially tantamount to controlling the Assembly by the negative forces of Paris.
The significant fact is that the latter were able to unite with an identical mode of action in specific things, a homogeneous procedure. To be sure, this was the only thing they could do and had to do, but others might not have been able to unite and would thus have collapsed right at the start.
An infamous thing is the attitude of Jacobin historiography toward Louis XVI who wanted only to be rescued, and not even that unconditionally. The Jacobin historians are an echo of the Jacobins of that time who had an interest in painting Louis as guilty and dangerous, making murderous threats against him in the papers, and passing off the handful of royalist rowdies for an army of chevaliers du poignard [knights of the dagger]. Louis had already been obliged to bring the request for war before the Assembly. On May 25 they took away his Garde Constitutionelle.