The Mentality of the French Revolution

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Terrorism is often associated nowadays with radical extremist groups, who use terror as their only method of power to attain their goals from others. The first time “terror” was actually used however was during the French revolution. The reign of terror was seen in the aftermath of the execution of the King. It was a product of the mentality of the revolution. With everyday that passed, the uncertainty amongst the people grew, and actions became more and more drastic. With the King no longer in the picture, the Jacobins and the Girondins were more enemies to one another than ever before. During the French Revolution, it can be debated whether or not the terror that was used can be seen as a sign of power or as a sign of weakness. Whether it was out of power or weakness, the terror was a direct result of the mentality of the revolution.

King Louis XVI was executed for treason after a trial by the revolutionaries in protest against the monarchy in January of 1793. The new government however immediately had foreign troops threatening its national sovereignty. Additionally, the country was facing civil war and internal division. The new government was under a lot of scrutiny and the National Convention needed to take action against the foreign invaders as well as the turmoil within the state. It resolved to create an alliance between the rural and urban populations in order to mobilize the country for war. The Jacobin government‘s means for persuasion-combined policies meant to address grievances while using tactics of intimidation and coercion. The Committee of Public Safety was the executive committee of the National Convention in power and ordered mass arrests of anyone thought to be a threat to the national security. Internal enemies included deserters as well as citizens expressing disagreement with the revolutionary ideals or those who had been associated with the government under Louis XVI. It is where the issue of deciding whether or not a person was...
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