Reign of Terror

Topics: French Revolution, Reign of Terror, Committee of Public Safety Pages: 2 (618 words) Published: January 6, 2013
Reign of Terror DBQ:
Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the Terror as an instrument of the French Revolution.

France was experience a great amount of change in the summer of 1793, when the Jacobins succeeded the moderates in the National Convention. With the radical Jacobins in power, the country was in tumult, and a Reign of Terror ensued due to a law of suspects that legalized local revolutionary committees. Because of this, thousands of people were killed by guillotine or other methods. Throughout the summer of 1793, the radical Jacobins’ control of the Committee of Public Safety instituted the Terror which was advantageous in it’s intended purpose, yet it was disadvantageous because of the enemies it created. The main purpose of the Terror was to instill widespread discouragement in those who considered rebelling against the new government. After the terror ended, a grand total of over 14,000 noblemen and peasants alike were killed. It is apparent that the government did not discriminate entirely when it came to social class, for 25% of the nobles in Paris as well as a whopping 68% of the working class/peasants throughout France were killed (document 2). For the French people during the Terror, no one was safe. Those who were executed were a result of acts of treason, such as conspiracy, opposing opinions, or refusing alliance to the state (document 3). Even mentioning any sort of opposition will result in an execution, which created so much fear that it ensured that people would not go against the state. This excess of death was an advantage for the Revolutionary Army because they ultimately wiped out their opposition. Those in the army truly believed they were bringing justice to the new government, as seen in document 5. Moreover, because the law that caused the Terror did not discriminate, some believed that “the verdicts of the Revolutionary Tribunal are always applauded” because “it strikes rich and poor indiscriminately” (document 9)....
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