June 8 - 1794 - The Festival of the Supreme Being

The Cult of the Supreme Being was supposed to be the official state religion of Revolutionary France, replacing the Catholicism of the Ancien Regime. Valuing reason, a non-specific godhead, and civic virtue, the Cult of the Supreme Being was the passion project of Committee of Public Safety member Maximilien Robespierre. The Cult of the Supreme Being was in line with the new Revolutionary Calendar by washing away any sign of the old France. The Festival of the Supreme Being was going to be the Cult of the Supreme Being's great coming out party. Held on the Champs de Mars with a presentation planned by artist Jacques Louis-David, the Festival was the official replacement of Catholicism and its ties to the former royalty. Yet Robespierre's forceful presentation of the new Cult in its Festival was an odd, less bloody version of his Reign of Terror, which saw thousands sent to the guillotine to wipe away the signs of the Ancien Regime. Really, it was one of the last breaking points for Robespierre's opponents, who would arrest and execute him in less than two months in both the Gregorian and Revolutionary calendars during the Thermidorian Reaction.

William Floyd