In the context of the French Revolution, a Jacobin originally meant a member of the Jacobin Club (1789-1794), but even at that time, the term Jacobins had been popularly applied to all promulgators of revolutionary opinions. In contemporary France this term refers to the concept of a centralized Republic, with power concentrated in the national government, at the expense of local or regional governments. Similarly, Jacobinist educational policy, which influenced modern France well into the 20th Century, sought to stamp out French minority languages that it considered reactionary, such as Breton, Basque, Catalan, Occitan, Alsatian, Franco-Provençal and Dutch (West Flemish).
The English who supported the French Revolution during its early stages (or even throughout), were early known as Jacobins. These included the young Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, and others prior to their disillusionment with the outbreak of The Terror. Others, such as William Hazlitt and Thomas Paine remained idealistic about the Revolution. Much detail on English Jacobinism is to be found in E. P. Thompson's The Making of the English Working Class.
The Anti-Jacobin was planned by Canning when he was Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. He secured the collaboration of George Ellis, John Hookham Frere, William Gifford, and some others. William Gifford was appointed working editor. The first number appeared on November 20, 1797, with a notice that "the publication would be continued every Monday during the sitting of Parliament". A volume of the best pieces, entitled The Poetry of the Anti-Jacobin, was published in 1800. It is almost impossible to apportion accurately the various pieces to their respective authors, though more than one attempt has been made to do so. When is finished in 1798, John Gifford began The Anti-Jacobin Review and Magazine, or, Monthly Political and Literary Censor, which ran until 1821.