Isaac Le Chapelier


Isaac Rene Le Chapelier (1754-1794) was a lawyer and moderate revolutionary politician, best known for the 1791 law that carried his name. A lawyer from Brittany, Le Chapelier represented the Third Estate at the Estates General, where he supported the formation of the National Assembly. He was also a foundation member of the Jacobin Club, though he later abandoned it in favour of the more moderate Feuillants. In mid-1791 Le Chapelier responded to concerns about escalating wage demands by raising a bill in the National Assembly. Passed into law in June, it banned all workers’ guilds and association and criminalised strikes, a move that alienated thousands of working class Parisians. As a Feuillant constitutional monarchist, Le Chapelier became a target during the Reign of Terror. He fled France in 1793 but was arrested and guillotined the following year, when he returned to reclaim his property.


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