Today, we will put another political dignitary on trial; this time, however, the dignitary in question, Louis XVI, will probably lose his head. (Before we continue, please remember this: Louis is no longer king, and is now referred to by his family name, Louis Capet.)
- The Constituent Assembly is dominated by two groups: the Girondins and the Jacobins. The Girondins (pronounced Jeer-on din) want reform, but they are moderate; most would be content with a Constitutional Monarchy, a system which still requires a king. The Jacobins (Jack-o-bin), however, want radical change; in particular, they wanted increased rights for the lower classes and the end of upper class privilege.
- The leader of the Girondins is Mirabeau (pg 185)
- The leader of the Jacobins is Robespierre (remember that name? pg 185)
- I will divide you into 2 large groups (Girondins and Jacobins) and a small group representing the king and an advisor or two. Each group will elect one person to play a pivotal role: Mirabeau, Robespierre, or Louis.
- The Girondins will make the case for Louis’ imprisonment. The Jacobins will push for execution.
- When making their arguments, each group needs to refer to the impact of the following on France. Remember that your group’s bias will shape how you see these events:
- Constituent Assembly pg 184
- Mirabeau or Robespierre pg 185
- Change in Continuity pg 186
- The Revolutionary Wars pg 186
- The September Massacres pg 187
- From Monarchy to Republic pg 187
- Mirabeau, Robespierre, and Louis will all make their opening statements.
- Following the opening statements, any representative from any group may add points.
- One all points have been exhausted, the groups will recess for 5 minutes. During these 5 minutes, the groups will plan the closing arguments by Mirabeau, Robespierre, and Louis
Finally, the Assembly will vote on one of three options:
- Reinstate Louis as a Constitutional Monarch
- Imprison Louis indefinitely
- Execute Louis