Robespierre And The French Revolution

Decent Essays
Maximilien Robespierre is undoubtedly one of the most influential figures of the French Revolution. He assumed a leadership role during this movement, so when the French Revolution took a dark turn, Robespierre was deemed responsible for this change. Although some believe he took necessary progressive action to go fourth with the revolution, he enacted a number of principles that appropriated mass murders of counter- revolutionaries. Though Robespierre was heavily inspired by Enlightenment philosophy and government documents, he had a predilection to distort the core principles by interpreting them very literally while applying them to his own pursuits. Therefore, the promotion of cruelty, violence, and terror was justified, as it was…show more content…
During the September Massacres of 1792, Stanley Loomis, historian and author of Paris in Terror, comments: ...The frenzy of crazed and drunken murderers appears to have reached its highest pitch at La Force. Cannibalism, disembowelment and acts of indescribable ferocity took place here..., [the Princesse de Lamballe] was dispatched with a pike thrust, her still beating heart was ripped from her body and devoured, her legs and arms were severed from her body and shot through a cannon. (Looms, quoted by Kekes, 2) At this point, Rousseau's advocation of crime is lost. The brutal and savage-like nature of the French citizens is unnecessary. It does not promote the progression of the revolution, but actually proves that the French citizens are unworthy of democracy. These tendencies imply that when there are conflicting views, people will treat each other with barbaric violence; civil war may erupt with indecisions regarding important policies. Robespierre could have gone about this in a more organized fashion by singling out the counter-revolutionaries, asking them to surrender to the cause, and then privately killing them if they refuse. The French Constitution of 1793 ratified Robespierre’s actions, as its general articles were easily twisted to permit violence. Specifically, Articles 1 and 4 may have been of most interest to Robespierre, as they repeat that the rights of man come before all else.
Get Access