Jacques Guillaume Thouret - Encyclopedia




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JACQUES GUILLAUME THOURET (1746-1794), French revolutionist, was born at Pont l'Eveque. He was the son of a notary, and became an avocat at the parlement of Rouen. In 5789 he was elected deputy to the states-general by the third estate of Rouen, and in the Constituent Assembly his eloquence gained him great influence. Like so many lawyers of his time, he was violently opposed to the clergy, and strongly supported the secularization of church property. He also obtained the suppression of the religious orders and of all ecclesiastical privileges, and actively contributed to the change of the judiciary and administrative system. He was one of the promoters of the decree of 1790 by which France was divided into departments, and was four times president of the Constituent Assembly. After its dissolution he became president of the court of cassation. He was included in the proscription of the Girondists, whose political opinions he shared, and was executed in Paris. Besides his speeches and reports he wrote an Abrege des revolutions de l'ancien gouvernement francais and Tableau chronologique de l'histoire ancienne et moderne. His brother, Michel Augustin Thouret (1748-1810), a physician, was a keen opponent of the ideas of Mesmer and a promoter of vaccination in France.

See F. Aulard, Les Orateurs de l'assemblee constituante (2nd ed., Paris, 1905); E. Carette and A. Sanson, Thouret. .. sa vie, ses oeuvres (1890).

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