Page 1 of 4

Causes of the Reign of Terror

Continues for 3 more pages »
Read full document

Causes of the Reign of Terror

Page 1 of 4
The reign of terror was a period of violence in which occurred from 1793- 1794 after the strong onset of the French Revolution. It was a time of fierceness and anger, resulting in the deaths of thousands of people living in France at that period of time. The terror followed the trial and execution of King Louis XVI in 1793 and was incited by the conflict between the Girondins and Jacobins. Soon after, King Louis’ wife, Marie Antoinette, was executed in the guillotine- the new form of constitutionalist justice. Many of the people who were executed during this period of time were not aristocrats, but ordinary people who may have only stated a critical thought or judgment going against the revolutionary government. Many believe that once Robespierre became leader of the Committee of Public Safety, he overpowered France and dominated the public, leading to the terror. Some believe that the terror occurred to stop counter-revolutionaries, such as the War in Vendée, and happened because of the factions between the Jacobins and Girondins.

The Reign of Terror was the governments reaction’s to counter-revolutionary threats occurring particularly in the Vendée region of France in 1793. Here the public armed themselves in order to attempt to overthrow the Republic and restore the monarchy to the way it was. The counter-revolutionaries in this region were strongly against Robespierre and upset he had launched a movement to de-Christianize the nation and persecute the Church- massacring priests, destructing churches and destroying religious images. During this time all of the people of Vendée loyally stood by the Church and the Catholic monarchy of France and could clearly be distinguished wearing Rosaries around their necks at all times and the symbol of the Sacred Heart of Jesus sewn onto their hats. The people of Vendée fought hard against the French revolutionary government, many calling the War in Vendée the first modern ‘genocide.’ A French general of the time,...