Camille Desmoulins

Lucie-Simplice-Camille-Benoît Desmoulins (; 2 March 17605 April 1794) was a French journalist, politician and a prominent figure of the French Revolution. He is best known for playing an instrumental role in the events that led to the Storming of the Bastille. Desmoulins was also noted for his radical criticism of the Reign of Terror as the editor of the journal ''Le Vieux Cordelier''. He was a schoolmate and close friend of Maximilien Robespierre and a close friend and political ally of Georges Danton, who were the leading figures in the French Revolution.

A lawyer by training, Desmoulins was enthralled by the Revolution from its outbreak. On 12 July 1789, shortly after Louis XVI dismissed his popular finance minister Jacques Necker, Desmoulins delivered an impassioned call to arms to a crowd before the Palais-Royal. His agitation sparked widespread unrest in Paris, which culminated in the Storming of the Bastille two days later. Through his newfound fame, Desmoulins quickly established himself as a prominent radical pamphleteer. He advocated explicitly in favour of republicanism and revolutionary violence, and mounted relentless attacks on not only the Ancien Régime, but also once-sympathetic revolutionary figures such as Jacques Pierre Brissot. His campaigns ultimately contributed to the fall of the moderate Girondist faction and the beginning of the Reign of Terror.

During the Terror, Desmoulins and his close friend and political ally Georges Danton distanced themselves from Maximilien Robespierre's radical Montagnards. Through his new journal ''Le Vieux Cordelier'', he criticized the excesses of the Revolutionary Government and made pleas for clemency, which enraged Robespierre and eventually led to his downfall. In April 1794, Desmoulins was sentenced to death by the Revolutionary Tribunal and guillotined alongside Danton and other accused Dantonists. Provided by Wikipedia