Robespierre - Evil or Virtuous?

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Robespierre: Evil or Virtuous? “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,…show more content…
The Royal Family of France’s attempted escape on June 20th, 1791 made many people very unhappy with the King. The mob, ever ready to exercise the uncontrolled Rights of Men, made a mock parade of the King’s Arms in the market places, and, dashing them and the figure of a crown to the ground, they trampled upon them, crying out, “Since the King has abandoned what he owed to his high situation, let us trample upon the ensigns of royalty” (Ascherson 48)! The Royal Family not only lost many of its followers through their attempted escape, but also because King Louis XVI kept making bad decisions, ones that had no benefit to France or its people. The people wanted someone who would lead them into a revolution and change France for the better, not because they wanted the power, but because they believed in France and wanted it to become a great nation. That man was Robespierre, who after the flight of the King followed the Jacobin club in its move toward republicanism. He called for universal male suffrage and the end of property qualifications for voting and office holding (Blumberg 290). Robespierre wanted to make France a republic, a government for the people and by the people, a country where everyone had the freedoms and rights they deserved. In January of 1793, Robespierre voted on whether or not he thought that King Louis should be executed for his actions. At the Convention on the trial
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