On 21 June 1791, . the King of France had just escaped with his family, dressed as middle class people, and hoping to reach Austria.
At lunch at the Petions with Brissot and Robespierre also present, the Rolands were discussing what the Assembly should do next. The idea of a republic was first mentioned.
At that point, according to Manon Roland,
"Robespierre with his habitual grimace, and biting his nails asked 'What is a Republic?'"
This was also, Manon claimed, when the project of a republican society and the journal "Le Republicain" were first imagined.
The journal was very short lived, with only four issues printed, It was in fact the work of Condorcet, Brissot, Thomas Paine, Achille Duchatelet, Etienne Dumont and (as we will see in a future post), Sophie de Grouchy. It was first advertised through a pamphlet, written by Paine, translated by Grouchy, and signed by Duchatellet.
Manon, writing to Bancal in July 91 reported that the opening of the new society had caused quite a scandal at the Assembly:
You know that a new republican society was formed, and they are to bring out a paper, the title of which advertises its goals and principles. Payne is at the head of it. He wrote the content of the pamphlet that is pasted everywhere this morning, as a sort of notice. Malouet denounces this pamphet as deserving the of the harshest punishment. The worst thunder was at the assembly, and it is only by flattering its love for the monarchy, and hatred of republicanism that we succeeded in convincing it that whatever the opinion, it should be let to run free [...] The Jacobins, like the Assembly, go into convulsions whenever the Republic is mentioned” Mme Roland,