Radical deputy in the National Convention during the French Revolution. The Montagnards were so called because they sat on the higher benches (the “Mountain”) above the uncommitted deputies of the “Plain.” The Montagnards emerged in 1792 as opponents of the moderate Girondins and later associated with the radical Jacobin Club in the Committee of Public Safety. After the Thermidorian Reaction, many Montagnards were executed or purged from the convention, and they became a minority called the crĂȘte (“crest”).

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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