French Revolution- Reign of Terror

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The period of the Reign of Terror, September 1793- July 1794, resulted in significant political and social changes in France. The National Convention and Committee of Public Safety declared the law of suspects, ‘terror’ measures as acceptable and a necessary means for the government. The purpose was to eradicate France of enemies of the revolution and to protect the country from foreign invaders. Over the course of nine months, seventeen thousand people were guillotined. This set the course for change and continuity with the struggle for control between the interactions of groups in France. The results that the Reign of Terror had on Europe
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During the months of terror society came to reflect more narrowly the ideology of those in power, that a man’s status being dependant on his political loyalty and his civic worth with the payment of taxes, service with the National guard, or his political involvement.

During the reign of terror, the Jacobins were also setting pathways for a better future for France. Robespierre influenced the Jacobins of what his beliefs were and that any decisions would be reasonable for France during the reign of terror. The ideology of this group was for fairer rights of the poorer people. Although there was much blood shed, outcomes from the reign of terror helped influence a belief that the nation was not a group of royal subjects, but a society of equal citizens. During the reign of terror there were a number of policies that were created. This included the Jacobin’s education policy, which envisaged a system of free, compulsory education for all children between the ages of six to thirteen. The curriculum emphasized patriotism and republic virtues, linguistic uniformity, and the simplification of formal French and also physical activity, all of which is used in modern day France.


Forrest, A. 1995, The French Revolution, Blackwell Publishing, United
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