Analyze the events or factors that you believe were the most significant causes of the Reign of Terror. This essay peels through the layers of the remarkable years from 1789 through to 1794 to explore the catalysts of that period of the French Revolution characterized by political repression and widespread violence known as la Terreur, or, The Reign of Terror. The French Revolution, which initially saw an overthrow of the dictatorship of Louis XVI, was a period of time when France descended into a stage of political purges and indiscriminate martial law where many innocent civilians were killed. This essay investigates the causes for this unfortunate turn in the trajectory of the revolution. These causes are the storming of Bastille, the dividing nature of politics, the poor standard of living conditions, and the declaration of the new republic.
Historians have traditionally seen the Reign of Terror as a temporary aberration in the course of revolutionary liberty.1 Nevertheless its impact on those who lived through it was severe and lasting. The Terror was a period of violent suppression of suspected anti-revolutionary sentiment spanning the years 1793-94. Throughout France there was a crackdown and seeking out of people thought to not support the revolution. In late 1793 massacres were carried out in various parts of France where insurrection was suspected. Women and children were killed indiscriminately by undisciplined troops in the Vendee region and at Nantes 1800 people, including many women were put on Barges, which were put in the river and sunk. The government permitted these dealings thinking that the more pitiless the program the more efficacious the suppression.2
The first major factor that ultimately lead to the Reign of Terror was the storming of the Bastille prison. After the meeting of the Estates General, Louis XVI was apprehensive by the action of the Third Estate and threatened to dissolve the Estates General after such tumultuous...
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