French Revolution- Reign of Terror

Topics: French Revolution, Reign of Terror, Maximilien Robespierre Pages: 3 (1127 words) Published: May 30, 2012

The period of the Reign of Terror, September 1793- July 1794, resulted in significant political and social changes in France. The National Convention and Committee of Public Safety declared the law of suspects, ‘terror’ measures as acceptable and a necessary means for the government. The purpose was to eradicate France of enemies of the revolution and to protect the country from foreign invaders. Over the course of nine months, seventeen thousand people were guillotined. This set the course for change and continuity with the struggle for control between the interactions of groups in France. The results that the Reign of Terror had on Europe would have impacts on international relations during war. Although the of Reign of Terror was a horrendous, historical event, the aims and achievements of this time would help the survival of the revolution.

The reign of terror was seen as an emergency response to a crisis situation aimed at eliminating political crimes that threatened the state. It was also a specific response to deal with the food shortages and financial crisis that France was facing. When the Committee of public safety passed the ‘law of suspects’ in September 1793 the government were moving farther away from the liberal ideals of the early revolution, and more towards a more police state. Daton, Marat and Robespierre were influential members of this committee. There had been a struggle for control and power between the Jacobins and the Girondins starting from the declaration of war on Austria in April 1792. As a result of the interaction between these groups, the revolution moved into a more radical phase.

The Girondins were a group who were slightly wealthier than their counterparts and had stronger links with the trading and legal elites of larger cities. The leaders came from the provinces and their ideas were both economically and politically liberal....

Bibliography: Forrest, A. 1995, The French Revolution, Blackwell Publishing, United Kingdom
Forrest is reliable as he is a Professor of Modern History and has written widely on this topic. This book is aimed at students and is relevant for research and is current for historical purposes. However, it was difficult to follow the structure when looking for specific information, therefore was not entirely useful.
Hibbert, C. 1982, The French Revolution, Penguin Books Ltd, England
This book gives a clear account of events in France. Hibbert is a respected writer of Historical events and is reliable for information. This book is also useful as it is easy to read. Information contained is relevant for the purpose of research of this essay. Although this book is not current, the information will remain the same.
Kirchberger, J.H, 1989, The French Revolution and Napoleon, Facts on File Inc, New York
Rayner, E.G and Stapley, R.F, 1995, The French Revolution, Hodder & Stoughton Educational, London
‘Reign of Terror’, ‘n.d’,, [dated retrieved 28th October 2008]
As this web site did not have an author or date of when it was written it can not be claimed as reliable information. However, most information when crossed checked was similar to other reliable books. Information on historical aspects although not current, would still be relevant for the purpose of research.
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