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Sans-Culottes

SANS-CULOTTES (French for " without knee-breeches "), the term originally given during the early years of the French Revolution to the ill-clad and ill-equipped volunteers of the Revolutionary army, and later applied generally to the ultrademocrats of the Revolution. They were for the most part men of the poorer classes, or leaders of the populace, but during the Terror public functionaries and persons of good education styled themselves citoyens sans-culolles. The distinctive costume of the typical sans-culotte was the panlalon (long trousers) in place of the culottes worn by the upper classes the carmagnole (short-skirted coat), the red cap of liberty and sabots (wooden shoes). The influence of the Sans-culottes ceased with the reaction that followed the fall of Robespierre (July 1794), and the name itself was proscribed. In the Republican Calendar the complementary days at the end of the year were at first called Sans-culottides; this name was, however, suppressed by the Convention when the constitution of the year III. (1795) was adopted, that of jours complementaires being substituted.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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