Robespierre and Stalin: a Comparison and Contrast

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Throughout European history, there have been infamous political leaders who have left unfavorable marks on their nation’s past. Two of the most terrible of these leaders were the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and the French Revolutionary Maximillien Robespierre. Although the two men were apart of completely different generations and different nationalities, their characteristics as politicians and as leaders were similar in many ways. Their brutal disregard for the lives of their countrymen when trying to gain complete power, along with their hatred of religion and the practice of it while in control of their respective nations were both seen as dark periods of European history. During the years prior to the French Revolution, the monarchy had complete control and was strictly controlled by the wealthy. The most powerful non-royal individuals were members of the Conservative Party and supported the monarchy. The minority in those days was the Liberal Party, which consisted of those who were in support of democratic rule and were opposed to the monarchy. As the Revolution commenced, however, the power shifted and the Liberals began gaining independence from the monarchy. As this occurred, a small political club known as the Jacobins began meeting. This small group gradually grew in size and influence and as they became more in favor of liberal ideals, the older conservative members left, leaving the leftists in control. Robespierre used this as his platform to power in French politics as he was able to express his feelings and soon became the leader of the Jacobin Club (1). The Club soon became the leaders of the Revolution and Robespierre called for the execution of the king in order to save the Revolution. Once the king was out of the equation, Robespierre found himself in control of the Revolution and eventually the French government itself. The Bolshevik Party,...
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