Jean–Paul Marat was a Prussian Physician, political theorist and scientist best known for his career in France as a radical journalist and politician during the French Revolution. He was one of the most radical voices of the French Revolution and is most known for his radical newspaper called the ‘L'Ami du people.’
Marat was born on the 27th of May, 1743, in the Kingdom of Prussia to lower middle class parents. The second of nine children, not much is known of his early life. In 1765 he moved to London and set himself up informally as a doctor. Mixing with a group of intelligent Italian artists in London, he was highly ambitious and was craving more. He decided to make a mark on the intellect scene, with works on philosophy, such as “A philosophical Essay on Man (1773).” By June 1775, Marat had granted himself with an MD in medicine after he published an essay on how he cured his friend from gonorrhoea, he then gained further recognition as a doctor through his essay titled, ‘Enquiry into the Nature, Cause, and Cure of a Singular Disease of the Eyes.’ In 1776 Marat moved to Paris, where he already had a reputation as a highly regarded Doctor. Because of this he found himself in high demand among the aristocracy of the monarch but by 1783 he found himself retired from his medical career. Before his impact on the French Revolution, he published various more philosophical essays.
Beginning in September 1789, as an editor of the radical newspaper ‘L’Ami du people,’ he became an influential voice in favour of the radical and democratic measures. His most notorious issues came around October when the royal family was forcibly removed from Versailles to Paris, particularly, he advocated preventive measures against aristocrats, whom he claimed were plotting to stop the revolution. However, early in the 1970’s he was forced to flee to England as he posted issues attacking the Kings Finance minister, Jacques Necker, who was popular amongst the people, especially the revolutionaries. Upon his return to France, three months later, he was known well enough now to give him some protection from the reprisal. Upon his return, Marat pointed criticism towards major revolutionaries, such as the mayor of Paris but continued to warn of the ‘émigré’s who he claimed to be planning counterrevolution attacks and begging other monarchy’s to restore the power of the French monarchy and Louis XIV.
After posting a controversial issue of his newspaper ‘L’Ami du people,’ Marat was sentenced to 1 month in prison by the National Assembly for criticising the slaughter that had come about because of the revolution. He avoided his prison time and went hiding, living in the sewer, where he was infected with a skin disease that would later get him murdered. Although hiding in the sewer, Marat continued with his campaign. After King Louis XVI tried to flee France, Marat declared the king ‘unworthy to remount the throne,’ and violently denounced the national assembly for refusing to depose the king. Marat continued to publish newspapers, in favour of the people and the revolutionaries, he was an advocator of many barbaric acts, such as the murder of any counterrevolutionaries.
Marat was actively supported by the Parisian people…