The Radical Period of The French Revolution

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The Radical Period of The French Revolution

By the end of 1971, Europe was preparing to witness the end of a

seemingly triumphant revolution in France. The country was restructuring

its government in a forceful and bloodless manner, while the tyrant King

Louis the XVI agreed to the demands of the masses (albeit without much

choice). However, due to the fanatical aspirations of men such as Danton,

Marat and Robespierre,it would be only a matter of months before the

moderate stage of social and political reform was transformed into a

radical phase of barbaric and violent force. In their quest for freedom,

equality and fraternity, the leaders of the Jacobins inadvertently turned

the revolution into an oligarchic dictatorship that threatened to destroy

all that was achieved in the previous two years of insurrection.

The revolution took a sharp turn on August 9th, 1792. The Municipal

government was overthrown in Paris and a Commune was established by the

leaders of the radical forces. During this time there were continual food

riots erupting in every area of the country and, with the threat of war

against Austria and Prussia looming, it was vital that order was to be

maintained during such tumultuous times. Although the constitution was

already enshrined and the citizens had their freedom and liberties, there

was still plenty of public dissent and disapproval as to whether or not

these laws would help create a new government and prevent the country from

breaking apart. The people had come this far and were not prepared to watch

their efforts lead to failure or the restoration of an absolute monarch. As

a result, the radical forces were able to gain the support of the citizens

in declaring that the ...

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allegedly opposed the will of the Jacobins, and therefore opposed the will

of the republic. Robespierre never intended to justify his ends through

such violent means.

1793 marked a year that could have been prevented, a period that should

never have befallen the liberated citizens of France. Mirabeau warned that

the destruction of the Monarchy would plunge the country into anarchy and

his words rang true. France was not prepared for such social and political

upheaval, and the resulting shift towards a republic would change the

country forever. The Jacobins discarded their holy bible, the constitution,

in order to ensure the security and stability of the country. Not only did

their hasty actions backfire, but the tens of thousands of lives that

perished during their reign symbolized the radical stage of the revolution

in all its bloody glory.
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