Twelve Who Ruled – Why Tenacious Terror was Necessary Essay

1352 Words 6 Pages
In the year 1793-94, the Reign of Terror invoked by the twelve members of Committee of Public Safety (CPS) was unavoidable and led the way for a metamorphosis to occur within France during the French Revolution. While the word terror is often associated with Halloween or stories meant to be frightening for fun, the word held a far more serious meaning to the people of France. The theme of fear allowed the CPS members to change the monarchy to a revolutionary government in hopes of eventually enacting the constitution already written (75). A group of well-educated radical republicans known as the Jacobins developed the CPS in the fifth year of the French revolution and each of the twelve members dealt with a monthly election to continue …show more content…
The twelve divided the work and each member was much like the United States cabinet officials are today. Each member assigned a task such as Finance, Security, etc. Originally, no member could make a decision without seven other members to avoid personal vendettas (67). As discussed in class, the CPS worked about twelve hour each day with only one day off per week, which meant every ten days. The first order of business for the CPS was to hunt for possible candidates who participated or potentially were involved in counter-revolutionary activities. The main suspects included “…refractory priests, émigrés (nobles and clergy members who fled the country because of the revolution), hoarders and monopolists (66).” This did not stop the CPS from watching the entire population of France, but was an obvious place to begin considering the nobles were part of the reason why the French Revolution evolved. A new instrument emerged to attempt to control the people, the guillotine. In class, the device was to gift the nobles a humane and quick death, transcended to a tool of terror by the twelve members of the CPS. The guillotine became a symbol of the French Revolution and ultimately caused the CPS to fall with

More about Twelve Who Ruled – Why Tenacious Terror was Necessary Essay

Open Document