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How Revolutionaries Consolidated their Political Power in France During The French Revolution

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Evaluate the view that revolutionaries consolidated power: Introduction Following the French Revolution, the National Convention and Robespierre as the head of the Committee of Public Safety, employed drastic measures to achieve their goals, however managed to successfully consolidate power as demonstrated by the overall success of the revolution. Whilst the revolution itself was a momentous undertaking, nothing was quite as dramatic as the execution of King Louis XVI that was orchestrated by the National Convention. “The king must die so that the country can live.” This ushered in a new era in France’s history and meant the revolutionaries would have to work hard to secure power given the hostile reaction to the execution by both internal and foreign threats. The day after Louis XVI fell victim to the guillotine the Convention created the first Republic of France and founded the Committee of Public Safety which was to become France’s new de facto executive government to deal with ever increasing external threats to the revolution. Under Robespierre’s radical leadership the Republic endured hard-fought years of power. This can be attributed to political dominance through terror, correcting economic failures of the ancien regime and fundamental changes in French society. However some of the success of the revolution was undermined by the revolutionaries’ failures to unify the people and achieve social harmony. The revolutionaries consolidated their political power more so through decisive action and fear mongering than actual policy making. Whilst their unusual approach to politics is often met with criticism, their approach of fear, terror and violence was successful in its own right. Robespierre’s rise to power through the Nati... ... middle of paper ... ...unction following the revolution. The people of France were obviously not unified under the Republican government as demonstrated by abounding discontent and rebellions triggered by the extreme measures of the revolutionaries. However whilst unification of the people is desirable, any society is going to be unstable following a revolution and ultimately the revolutionaries had achieved power through violent means and then through reforms. The revolutionaries held power for several years, ensured the success of the revolution all the while combatting the discontent of an unstable nation. If they hadn’t successfully consolidated power then they wouldn’t have been free to dictate French society like they did. Their subjects cowered in fear, enemies lost their heads and the might of the revolution won through, the success of the revolutionaries can hardly be doubted.
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