The external thread of foreign armies on French soil and the internal threat to the french revolutionary government , which
The French Revolution is arguably the bloodiest period in French history, with men such as Maximilien Robespierre leading the country into a situation of state sponsored terror. Originally being quite a liberal thinker inspired by the works of Rousseau, Robespierre quickly gained a reputation for being a radical throughout the course of the Revolution, especially during the Terror. Early on terror was justified as a means to root out foreign and domestic enemies of the Revolution, however; once the foreign threat had been taken care of it became increasingly difficult for Robespierre to rationalize his use of terror to bring about a supposed Republic of Virtue. In his speech, the “Justification of the use of Terror” which he presented to
Robespierre was honestly working for the good of the people. He once stopped 75 Girondins from being tried for signing a secret protest against their leaders’ arrests, knowing they would be executed (Hampson 139). Much of the public understood and loved Robespierre. When he was finally arrested, the prison guard refused to hold him (Gaxotte 223). Instead of fleeing, he returned to Paris where a crowd of his followers congregated. He absolutely forbid them to fight for him, as they were planning (Geib). His altruistic efforts suggest some outside force caused the change in his allowing of the more brutal manner of reformation, later, when the many thousands of people were executed. Jean-Jacques Rousseau may have influenced Robespierre with his strong nationalist views, being an important, and influential role-model for Robespierre. It is said that Robespierre slept with a copy of Rousseau’s Social Contract next to him (Halsall). Rousseau thought that it was the greatest of all sins to continue in life when one believes there is a better way (Searle). Robespierre knew there was another way; a republic, free of the uncaring rule of powerful monarchs. This idea may have encouraged Robespierre to press for reformation at all costs.
Another reason why is that the government didn’t reinforce or support the main ideas of the revolution. Robespierre invoked The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, which was made to protect the people from the government. But according to Document G, in 1794, he was saying how they must smother the enemies of the republic. A lot of the enemies though were French citizens that challenged the government, they made chaotic state. In the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen” it states “No one should be silenced on account of his opinions, including his religious views.” In that case, people are being brutally killed for expressing their own opinions. The government discriminated same-sex relationships and treated people
In 1793 and 1794, were conditions in France serious enough to require such a violent response by the revolutionary government.The Reign of Terror lasted less than two years, from the execution of Louis XVI in January 1793 to late July 1794.During those eighteen months, more than 20,000 French people were put to death by guillotine.The behavior by the revolutionary French government was not justified because Any society that invents the machine to publicly cut off people’s heads is off base. The action is unjustified because it is barbaric.The reign of terror was not justified because Robespierre’s s Desperate times required desperate measures not justified In a government that says it values liberty, passing a law like the levee en mass is unjust because it requires people to do things they do not want to do wrong in a government that says it values freedom and liberty. The revolutionary government made too many demands on individuals who were right to rebel against the oppressive revolutionary government. speech sounds rational, but he is out of touch. When a government has to “smother” its own citizens in order to eliminate individuals who challenge it, the government is not promoting freedom.To lay the foundations of democracy and the rule of law, rulers need to follow democracy and the rule of law, not the blade of terror. Any society that invents the machine to publicly cut off people’s heads is off base. The action is unjustified because it is barbaric.Nine people
The radical turning point of the revolution, marked by the Reign of Terror, was an atmosphere of mass executions and imposed paranoia, with more than ten thousand “counterrevolutionaries” (vaguely defined, which at the end turned out to be anyone with dissent) sent to death under the Law of Suspects. Robespierre himself states that “Terror is nothing but prompt, severe, inflexible justice; it is therefore an emanation of virtue… The government of the revolution is the despotism of liberty against tyranny”. “Severe and inflexible”, as justified by Robespierre, the revolution needed a push in order to reach its goals. France under the committee's total control sent anyone with dissent to the guillotine because they were considered to be a threat to the new government, which ironically named itself “for the people”. An anonymous eyewitness during the reign commented on the Reign of Terror collection of authentic narratives that “It seemed as if their blind fury was particularly directed against the weakest and most amiable.The loveliest, the youngest, and the most interesting females, were dragged in crowds into this receptacle of misery, whence they were led, by dozens, to inundate the scaffold” (325). The sickening extent of human toll
The internal threats against France were minimal because when someone did disagree with the revolution they were punished and more than likely, executed. When these executions took place, people would see what would happen to them if they acted the same way. This shows that there was not many people that rebelled against the government; however, people still did, which is one of the reasons the number executions and murders was so high. People had a right to be angry with the government, nevertheless. Many citizens of France were drafted to the levee en masse, the military draft during the revolution. (Document C) They were very mad about this because they were forced to fight even if they didn’t agree with the method France was using to protect itself from internal and external threats. In Document D, a local government official from Western Europe sends a letter to the National Convention asking for more soldiers because the 3,000 men army wasn’t enough. In the letter, the official says that the men sent by the government have failed to stop the “rabble”. Adding to the many reasons the Reign of Terror was unjustifiable, this leads to the official asking if he can kill the men for not doing their job. Killing nearly 3,000 men because they cannot stop the multitude of soldiers is greatly insensitive. Robespierre overreacted when he believed that the internal threats were serious, because on the contrary, they made little
Maximilien Robespierre has always been known to be controversial and misunderstood. He was the face of the French Revolution. In accordance with the Jacobins, they controlled the time known as the Reign of Terror, due to their influence in the accumulation of murders of those opposed to the revolution. Reign of Terror was a symbolic time period within the French Revolution that involved corruption of power and influence and mass executions. With Robespierre at the forefront, he became one of the most important men in the Revolution. As soon as Maximilien Robespierre decided to react to enemies of the revolutions, mass execution being his choice of force; his implementation of the Reign of Terror was a villainous act striking those who
Sources A and B support the claim established by contemporaries and historians that Robespierre was “incorruptible”, however Robespierre was also despotic, extreme, and radical. Robespierre’s strong opinions, extremism, and despotism support that he was not easily persuaded or corruptible. Source A shows Robespierre saying “the sword that gleams in the hands of the heroes of liberty resembles those in the hands of the henchmen of tyranny”. This statement supports that the government was despotic, which shows that Robespierre was a brutal leader not easily persuaded or corrupted. His statement, “Let the despot govern by terror his brutalised subjects; he is right, as a despot” supports that Robespierre had very strong opinions, showing that
The French Revolution was based on an assortment of Enlightenment ideals. French philosophers, including Voltaire and Rousseau led the revolution leading up to the revolution, so to speak, coming up with progressive ideals as to government, social structure, and the nature of people. Indeed, the ideals which the revolution was fought in the name of progressed throughout France and, eventually, Europe. Though the revolution took wrong turns along the way, the ideals which it was based on never wavered. Even during the heart of his Reign of Terror, Robespierre spoke of a state where each citizen wants to do good by his country. This shows Robespierre with an unwavering commitment to the state, an ideal which came out of the Enlightenment. Though he may have carried out his beliefs in a gruesome and perhaps wrong way, his ideals were the same as the Enlightenment philosophers: make the state better for all to live in.
One of the most influential figures of the Revolution of 1789 and one of the principal exponents of the Reign of Terror, Maximilien-Marie-Isadore de Robespierre was born in Arras to a bourgeois family and was educated in Paris at the Lycée Louis le Grand, where Camille Desmoulins was his classmate. Through his studies, he became an enthusiastic devotee of the social theories of the philosophes of the 18th century, especially those of Jean-Jacques-Rousseau, whom he visited at Ermenonville and whose theory of the general will, as stated in the Contrat social, became Robespierre's guiding principle. An attorney, Robespierre was elected in 1789 as a deputy for the Third Estate to the Estates General, and subsequently to the National Constituent Assembly, where his oratory brought him to the attention of his
During the period of The French Revolution, Maximilien Robespierre, French lawyer and politician, was probably one of the most influential and well – known figures. I selected him because I found his personality interesting, and wanted to know more about him. To this day, among historians, Robespierre is a very controversial figure. Some support his actions during the Reign of Terror, while others do not. Furthermore, in his early days as a politician, he was known as ‘The Incorruptible’ due his strict moral values and ideas, yet, during the Reign of Terror, he was responsible for the executions of thousands. I found the contrast between his two ideologies really shocking, and wanted to know more about historians’ perspective of him, so I decided to research and do this project on Robespierre.
Robespierre was the main person to implement the laws he put forth.[Footnote] He believed in solving all his problems through violence. Those who were born to a particular family, having certain opinions, or simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time, would fall victim to him. Although Robespierre was obsessed with violence, he never actually performed acts himself, unless assured he would succeed, he’d have other people to do his work for him. The most common device used to punish people was the guillotine. Robespierre used other methods at times; he’d burn, hack, stab, shoot, and even cannonade a person. Those he objected, or had been his enemy would soon be imprisoned, and eventually executed. He was relentless and ordered people dead with no trial, killing people without proving or even knowing if they were truly “guilty”. He believed the mass murders he was responsible for were justified.
Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre, more commonly known as just Robespierre, was a politician and a French lawyer most known during the time of the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror. Robespierre was one if the most influential figures during this time period. Robespierre was a member of the Jacobins club, one of the most important revolutionary movements during this time. Robespierre defended the rights of man should be to all man, no matter their color or wealth. Although he claimed that he was against the death penalty during this time but he was a big part of aiding with the execution of King Louis XVI.
“Virtue, without which terror is destructive; terror, without which virtue is impotent” (Zizek). Maximilien Robespierre said this in a speech when people were starting to question his judgment. He believed that to be only virtuous was difficult, and without some terror added in, the world would go into turmoil as no one would follow their leader. A leader has to be strong and forceful, and sometimes even terrifying to get their point across, or to get people to follow them. Robespierre always wanted what was best for France and was willing to do anything to get it, even if that meant causing harm to the people of France. He felt that as long as the outcome of his hard work came with the results he wanted,