51 A French tribune

In the eighteenth century appeals for common ownership of property were expressed by philosophes, such as Mably and Morelly. During the French Revolution, such ideas became current, especially with François-Noël Babeuf (1760-1797), who after 1794 called himself Gracchus, after the Roman land reformers. He objected to diluting the revolutionary ideals after the fall of Robespierre, both on paper – as in this letter – and in the practice of the failed ‘conspiracy of Equals,’ which landed him on the scaffold. His views (‘Babouvism’) gave rise to a specifically French communist tradition.

Complaint against the condemnation of Montdidier

Complaint against the condemnation of Montdidier
François-Noël Babeuf
23 October 1794
Manuscript, 24 x 36
French Revolutions and Revolutionaries 1791-1871 Collection, no 1



51 A French tribune

This manuscript was acquired in 1936.