The expedition to San Domingo reduced the republican army to a nullity; war demoralized or scattered the leaders, who were jealous of their comrade Bonaparte; and Moreau, the last of his rivals, cleverly compromised in a royalist plot, as Danton had formerly been by Robespierre, disappeared into exile.
Their chief was not so much Robespierre, president of the parliamentary and bourgeois club of the Jacobins (q.v.), which had acquired by means of its two thousand affiliated branches great power in the provinces, as the advocate Danton, president of the popular and Parisian club of the Cordeliers.
Danton, a master of diplomatic and military operations, had to avoid any rupture with the Commune.
Without a Gi,ndias leader or popular power, they might have found both in Danton; for, occupied chiefly with the external danger, he made advances towards them, which they repulsed, partly in horror at the proceedings of September, but chiefly because they saw in him the most formidable rival in the path of the government.
On the other hand, after the 23rd of September they declared Paris dangerous for the Convention, and wanted to reduce it to eighty-three influential members Danton and the Mountain responded by decreeing the unity and indivisibility of the Republic, in order to emphasize the suspicions of federalism which weighed upon the Girondins.