Reign of Terror Essay

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At the start of the French Revolution in 1789, the revolutionaries who felt the monarchy was tyrannical exclaimed the timeless words of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. It was on these tenets that the revolution began and ironically only four years later a man of great strength would take control of France and begin the Reign of Terror, this man was Maximilien Robespierre. Robespierre was the mastermind of the Reign of Terror. He was the leader of the Committee of Public Safety, the executive committee of the National Convention, and the most powerful man in France (“History Wiz”). To avert the possibility of a counter-revolution, the guards would send people to the guillotines with no remorse. Evidence was rarely needed to prove that the citizen was against the revolution; suspicion was enough to classify someone as the enemy. Robespierre prospered with the help of the Jacobins, who were the most radical and ruthless of the political groups formed in the wake of the French Revolution. The promises of the Declaration of the Rights of Man were forgotten. Terror was the order of the day. In the words of Maximilien Robespierre, "Softness to traitors will destroy us all" (“History Wiz”). He promoted violence and used his power to force the others in following him by means of fear. The old saying “the end justifies the means” could easily be applied to Robespierre’s theories. Even though his reasoning’s seem irrational, immoral, and unfair he truly believed it would solve France’s problems. In a speech to the National Convention Robespierre further explained how terror would lead to a republic of virtue. “If the spring of popular government in time of peace is virtue, the springs of popular government in revolution are at once virtue and terror: virtue, without which terror is fatal; terror, without which virtue is powerless.” The Terror was designed to fight the enemies of the revolution and to prevent a counter-revolution from gaining ground. Most of the people...
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