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The Enragés ( French enragé : 'angry') were a social revolutionary political group that formed at the end of 1792 under the leadership of the priest Jacques Roux .


As a radical splinter group of the sans-culottes , the Enragés were active during the French Revolution in 1793. They were not an organized party, but a group of only loosely connected actors who took similar positions and were referred to by their opponents with the negatively connoted name "Enragés". Jacques Roux, Jean Varlet , Théophile Leclerc , Pauline Léon and Claire Lacombe are counted among the Enragés . The latter two were also active in the Republican Revolutionary Society.


As a group that stood out from the rest of the Republicans, the Enragés did not emerge until 1793, after the king had been executed and social issues came to the fore. As early as March, Varlet tried to initiate an uprising against the Girondist leaders in the National Convention . But because the commune under Pierre-Gaspard Chaumette and Jacques-René Hébert did not want to join the movement, the action fizzled out. In May 1793, the conflict between the Jacobins and Girondins in the convention came to a head that the Jacobins and the commune now supported a revolutionary popular movement that Varlet helped initiate, which on June 2nd after several days of siege of parliament by popular masses led to the expulsion and arrest of leading Girondins led out of the convention.

The Enragés also represented other goals of a social and political nature, which they then brought into opposition to the revolutionary government under the leadership of Maximilien de Robespierre : the focus was on the demand for rich people to participate in the costs of the revolution and the execution of hoarders and speculators who were held responsible for the difficult supply situation for the Parisian population. The Jacobins and also the more radical Hébertists turned against the Enragés because of these different goals and switched them off in autumn 1793: Roux was arrested and, in view of what was to be expected, finally committed suicide; Varlet and Leclerc withdrew from politics after imprisonment; the Republican Revolutionary Women Club was closed by Chaumette in November.


Karl Marx mentioned Roux and Leclerc in The Holy Family as the groundbreaking precursors of communism . This is one of the reasons why the Enragés aroused the interest of communist and left-wing historians. In particular, the GDR historian Walter Markov published numerous articles on Roux.

The conflicts between the Jacobins and the sans-culottes were studied in detail by Daniel Guérin in the 20th century .

In May 1968 , Enragés was used as a self-designation, consciously referring to the French Revolution . The word is also used today in the generic sense for extreme groups.

Peter Weiss had Roux appear as a character in his drama Marat / Sade (1964).


  • Ursula Geitner: "The real enragées of their gender". Enlightenment, French Revolution and Femininity. In: Helga Grubitzsch u. a. (Ed.): Cross-border women. Revolutionary women in the 18th and 19th centuries. Düsseldorf: Schwann 1985, ISBN 3-590-18042-0 , pp. 181-217.
  • Daniel Guérin : Bourgeois et bras nus: 1793–1795, Paris: Gallimard, 1973, German class struggle in France: Bourgeois et bras nus 1793–1795 , Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp 1975
  • René Viénet: Enragés et situationnistes dans le mouvement des occupation s, Paris: Gallimard, 1968, German angry and situationists in the movement of the occupations: Paris May '68 , Hamburg: Edition Nautilus published by Lutz Schulenburg, 1977.
  • Peter Weiss: The persecution and murder of Jean Paul Marat. Text and comment. Frankfurt / Main: Suhrkamp, ​​2004. ISBN 3518188496
  • Denis Richet: The Enragés , in: François Furet, Mona Ozouf (Ed.): Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution , Vol. 1, Frankfurt a. M .: Suhrkamp 1996, pp. 565-572. ISBN 3-518-11522-7 .
  • Walter Markov: The Freedoms of the Priest Roux , Berlin: Akademie Verlag 1967.
  • Morris Slavin: The Making of an Insurrection. Parisian Sections and the Gironde , Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1986. ISBN 0-674-54328-9
  • Robert Rose: The Enragés: Socialists of the French Revolution? , Canberra 1965.


  1. See Rose, p. 3 on the connotation; therein the chapter The Enragés as a Party.
  2. See Markov, p. 155.
  3. See Rose, pp. 20f .; Slavin: The Making of an Insurrection, p. 67.
  4. ↑ Described in detail in Slavin: The Making of an Insurrection.
  5. cf. a. the so-called Manifesto of Enragés, a petition presented by Roux in the Convention, in: Walter Grab (Ed.): The French Revolution. A documentation. 68 source texts and a time table, Munich 1973, pp. 163–171.
  6. ^ Daniel Guérin: La lutte de classes sous la première république: Bourgeois et "bras nus"; (1793–1797) , Paris 1946, revised new edition Paris: Gallimard 1968 (2 volumes). Bourgeois et bras nus is a summary of the results.