Use of Terror in the French Revolution

Better Essays
In the late 18th century of France, the third estate made up of the lower class of France had been oppressed and overtaxed, and received very little representation at the Estates General. The commoners of France wanted change and equality throughout France so they separated from the Estates General and formed their own government to govern France. A few years later in 1792, Maximilian Robespierre, the radical leader of the Jacobin party and the Committee of Public Safety, took control of France and executed king Louis XVI. Robespierre had a vision of a new France where everyone was equal. In order to reach his goal of completely reconstructing France, Robespierre unleashed a campaign of terror. Terror was used to enforce his revolutionary ideas, but the radicalization eventually lead to the downfall of Maximilian Robespierre and the Committee of Public Safety.

Maximillian Robespierre and the Committee of Public Safety used excessive terror to enforce new revolutionary changes during the French Revolution. After the old French government was overthrown, Maximillian Robespierre took control of France in 1793. Robespierre wanted to change the social and economic structure of France for the better, spreading equality throughout France. Robespierre believed that he needed to lead The Committee of Public Safety to completely reconstruct France. In order to achieve his goal of complete reconstruction of the social and economic structures of France, Robespierre and the Committee of Public Safety unleashed a campaign of terror, killing anyone suspected of supporting the old monarchy. Maximillian Robespierre started the reign of terror as a way to remove the nobility, clergy, and other supports of the monarchy from power, mov...

... middle of paper ... structure, but the population of France did not want to live under a reign of terror for a long period of time so they eventually executed Robespierre and returned to a more moderate form of government.

Works Cited

Bentley, Jerry H., and Herbert F. Ziegler. Traditions and Encounters, Volume 2 : From 1500 to the Present. 4th ed. Vol. 2. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Humanities, Social Sciences & World Languages, 2007. 787-91.

Discours et Rapports de Robespierre, ed. Vellay (Paris, 1908), tr. George L. Mosse.

Johnson-West, Gara. Lecture.

Sanson. "Public Executioner Sanson to The Attorney General Of The Department Of The Seine." Letter to The Attorney General Of The Department Of The Seine. 6 Aug. 1792. Paris.

Sherman, Dennis. Western Civilization – Sources, Images, and Interpretations. Volume II. 4th Edition. New York: McGraw Hill, 1995.
Get Access