The Purpose of the Terror- the French Revolution

Topics: French Revolution, Maximilien Robespierre, Reign of Terror Pages: 4 (1163 words) Published: October 16, 2012
What was the purpose of The Terror?
The French revolution which began in 1789 and lasted until the fall of Robespierre in July 1794 is known by many for its violence while seeking social and political change, primarily during The Terror. The Terror, otherwise known as the ‘Reign of Terror’ was implemented on the 5th September 1793 and lasted until the fall of Maximilien Robespierre on the 28th July 1794. The purpose of the Terror was to for the revolutionary governments to consolidate power by violently repressing internal discontent, by defeating the foreign powers and by building an army to serve the above purposes.

The revolution saw that the monarch be overthrown and feudalism abolished in the interests of the majority. Surrounding countries mainly Prussia, Austria and later Britain who were ruled by absolute monarchies viewed the uprising as a threat to their power and intervened with the use of military force. It was not only foreign powers to oppose the revolution, but also the clergy, nobility and others who had benefited from feudalism.

The Terror began on the 5th September after the initial onset of the French Revolution. Shortly after The Terror began, The Law of Suspects was introduced on the 17th September 1793. Its main purpose was to authorise the creation of revolutionary tribunals to try those suspected of Treason against the Republic and sentence those convicted with death. The implementation of this law served the purpose of oppressing internal discontent in France. In May 1793, the First Maximum had been introduced to deter price gouging of grain and it also made hoarding a criminal offence. Under the Terror, the Revolutionary Tribunal was created which had the power to execute those suspected or convicted of hoarding grain, assisting foreign powers or any other supporting other political opponents. The Law of Suspects which allowed for the construction of revolutionary tribunals was a measure taken to ensure those who opposed...
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