French statesman. He was a leading member of the Jacobin Club in Nantes in 1790. He supported their violent doctrines, demanded the execution of the king, and was used to crush revolts in the west. He helped initiate the atheistical movement which led him into conflict with Robespierre and to his ejection from the Jacobin Club in 1794. During the next five years his skill and energy enabled him to play a successful part in the coups that overthrew Robespierre and the Directory. As Minister of Police (1799–1802), and of the Interior under Napoleon, he was one of the most powerful men in France until his resignation in 1815.
Subjects: World History.