Explain the key features of ‘The Terror’
The Terror was a phase during the French Revolution when many people of France were executed for supposedly being ‘Enemies of the Revolution’. The Committee of Public Safety were behind most of the deaths and they were lead mainly by Maximilien de Robespierre. The greatest factors of the Terror were the revolution itself, internal political rivalry, social and economic problems, wars, leadership, violence and the Thermidorian reaction. These can be broadly put into the following categories: the causes of ‘The Terror’, the main factors during ‘The Terror’ and the end and consequences of ‘The Terror’. Before ‘The Terror’ began a revolution to overthrow King Louis XVI and bring liberty, freedom and equality to the people of France was taking place. The King was finally executed on 21st January 1793 and the leaders of the country wanted people to fully support the revolution this is a major feature of why ‘The Terror’ started because some powerful people, that will be introduced later, felt violence was the only way to do this. Secondly, within the National Convention (the parliament of the time) there was internal political rivalry between the foremost ‘parties’ the Girondins (who were a moderate party who opposed the violence) and the Jacobins (who were more extreme in their views on way the country should be run). The two parties both wanted more power than the other and control over the country so the Jacobins (who were also supported by the Parisian people) ultimately turned to violence to achieve this and overthrew the Girondins. The next key feature is the continuing social and economic problems among the poor people in France at the time, who had wanted the revolution to take place to achieve equality for them and put an end to their poverty and hunger, as promised by idealists of the revolution. However, the revolution had not achieved this so some peasants started or wanted to rebel. This also influenced the...
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