Barère de Vieuzac, Bertrand

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

Bertrand Barère de Vieuzac (bĕrträN´ bärĕr´ də vyözäk´), 1755–1841, French revolutionary. A member of the Revolutionary National Assembly and of the Convention, he moved from a moderate to a radical stand, voting for the execution of King Louis XVI. He was a member of and often the spokesman for the Committee of Public Safety, the body that ruled France for a time during the Revolutionary Wars. When the moderates in the Convention turned against Maximilien Robespierre, one of the leaders of the committee and perpetrator of the Reign of Terror (June, 1794), Barère deserted his colleague. Nevertheless, Barère was imprisoned for his role in the Terror. Escaping from prison, he remained in hiding for several years but reappeared as a secret agent of Emperor Napoleon I. Banished (1815) after the Bourbon restoration, he returned in the reign of Louis Philippe. He left memoirs.

See biography by L. Gershoy (1962).