Who is Pierre-Sylvain Maréchal?June 26, 2021
French poet, philosopher, revolutionary, creator of the Maréchal Calendar. Anarchism would have been one of its first thinkers. Maréchal was the author of the newspaper Révolutions de Paris.
Born in 1750 to a winemaker father, Maréchal studied law in Paris and later became a lawyer. In 1770, at the age of twenty, he successfully published an anthology of lyric poetry called Bergeries (tr: shepherd’s house). For this reason, he was able to work as an assistant librarian at the library of the Collège des Quatre-Nations (Four Nations School) in Paris. There he gained great knowledge and especially read and appreciated the works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire, Helvétius and Denis Diderot.
Marechal; developed the ideas of a utopian Socialism. He advocated the commonization of agricultural properties. He created his new calendar, which opposes the Priests, among others. This so-called Maréchal Calendar was published in the Almanach des Honnêtes Gens (1788). In the book, the name of the Christian saint and the name of the famous personality (Honnêtes Gens) are substituted. Finally, just after Maréchal was expelled from the Collège for his criticism of religion and Absolutism, he was sentenced to four months in prison for his calendar. He published his works only with anonymous names in order to avoid any kind of follow-up and pressure.
He enthusiastically applauded the beginning of the French Revolution. As an editor of the weekly newspaper Révolutions de Paris, he favored the poor. By defending the liberation of man from all forms of slavery, religion; He stated that it was used by the government as a tool for the economic exploitation of the people. Between 1792 and 1794, the Feast of Reason movement, which is religious criticism, was achieved. Although Maréchal did not participate, his calendar design became the basis for the French Revolutionary Calendar in 1793. He joined Gracchus Babeuf’s movement in 1796 and later escaped punishment.
Since Maréchal published his writings anonymously, he was able to continue to write undisturbed by his writing until his death in 1803.