(French sans-culotte, without breeches) In the French Revolution, one of the ill-clad and ill-equipped volunteers of the Revolutionary army; also a Parisian ultrademocrat of the Revolution. The working-class sansculottes wore long trousers to distinguish themselves from the upper classes, who wore knee-breeches (culotte). Allied with the Jacobins (see Jacobin Club) in the Reign of Terror, sansculottes included ultrademocrats of all classes. Their influence waned after the fall of Maximilien Robespierre in 1794. See also Jacques Hébert.
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