33 Facts About Antoine Barnave


Antoine Pierre Joseph Marie Barnave was a French politician, and, together with Honore Mirabeau, one of the most influential orators of the early part of the French Revolution.


Antoine Barnave is most notable for correspondence with Marie Antoinette in an attempt to set up a constitutional monarchy and for being one of the founding members of the Feuillants.


Antoine Barnave was born in Grenoble, in a Protestant family.


Antoine Barnave's father was an advocate at the Parlement of Grenoble, and his mother, Marie-Louise de Pre de Seigle de Presle, was a highly educated aristocrat.


Antoine Barnave was prepared for a career in law, and at the age of twenty-two made himself known by a speech pronounced before the local Parlement, the Parlement du Dauphine, known as Parlement de Grenoble, on the separation of political powers.


Antoine Barnave explained his political position in a pamphlet entitled Esprit des edits, Enregistres militairement, le 20 mai 1788.


Antoine Barnave was immediately elected deputy, with his father, to the Estates General of Dauphine, and played a prominent role in their debates.

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Antoine Barnave soon rose to prominence in the National Assembly, becoming the friend of most of the leaders of the party originating in the Third Estate, and formed with Adrien Duport and Alexandre Lameth the group known during the Constituent Assembly as "the triumvirate".


Antoine Barnave took part in the conference on the claims of the three orders, drew up the first address to king Louis XVI, and supported the proposal of Emmanuel Joseph Sieyes that the Assembly should declare itself "National".


Antoine Barnave felt that a constitutional monarchy would solve the problems facing France without being a complete upheaval of the government, although it does not mean that he was entirely in favor of the monarchy.


Subject to the more radical forces, Antoine Barnave took part in the attacks on the monarchy, on the clergy, on Roman Catholic Church property, and on the provincial Parlements.


Antoine Barnave advocated the suspensory veto, and the establishment of trial by jury in civil causes, but voted with the Left against the system of two chambers.


Antoine Barnave strongly supported that government influence remain limited to the people and the King, not a single entity.


Antoine Barnave advocated in favor of freedom of speech and the protection of private property.


Antoine Barnave said individuals had to possess the liberty to express what they feel and believe in, arguing that the voice of the French people was not to be silenced.


Antoine Barnave saw that the Church, being first estate, had great power and wealth.


Antoine Barnave stood with the Decree on Church Lands which provided each clergymen with no more than an annual income of 1200 livres while retaining ownership of his residency and lawn.


Antoine Barnave believed that laborers working this land would strengthen the role of France in the manufacturing sector and revitalize the quality and quantity of agricultural goods.


In 1789, Antoine Barnave was one of the key figures to advise King Louis XVI to work in unison with the National Assembly in order to prevent riots that seek an anarchic form of government.


Antoine Barnave argued that the revolution had sparked a necessary change in politics.


Antoine Barnave was strongly in favor of making France into a country that allowed people unrestricted economic or entrepreneurial practices, enabling all citizens to take part in the offerings of commercial markets.


Antoine Barnave argued that successful political changes, incorporation of equal rights, and an inclusive government stem from successful financial progression.


Antoine Barnave opposed discrimination against any race but understood how the African slaves contributed to the only source of wealth France had at a moment of deep financial crisis.


Antoine Barnave advocated that abolishing slavery was not an economically smart course of action.


Antoine Barnave advised the members of the National Assembly of the King's role in achieving this.

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When Louis XVI and the royal family were arrested after the Flight to Varennes, Antoine Barnave was one of the three appointed to bring them back to Paris, together with Jerome Petion de Villeneuve and Charles Cesar de Fay de La Tour-Maubourg.


Antoine Barnave was taken by the queen's charm and waited for her to call on him when she was in grave circumstances.


Antoine Barnave's instructions were that her letter be read while the intermediary stood by to accept a reply.


Antoine Barnave pursued the Queen's support of furthering his political agenda of establishing a constitutional monarch.


Antoine Barnave believed that her support would improve the public opinion on the royal family by preventing her brother, the Emperor of Austria, from invading France and imposing upon it an absolutist monarchical state of government that conflicted with the ideals of the French Revolution.


The letters revealed that Antoine Barnave was confident of his influence in the National Assembly, especially in light of the massacre at the Champ de Mars.


Antoine Barnave was condemned for treason on the evidence of papers detailing his extensive clandestine correspondence with Marie Antoinette discovered in Louis XVI's armoire de fer at the Tuileries Palace.


Antoine Barnave was guillotined the following day, as was Marguerite-Louis-Francois Duport-Dutertre, former Minister of Justice.