Use Of Terror In The French Revolution

1092 words - 4 pages

In the late 18th century of France, the third estate made up of the lower class of France had been oppressed and overtaxed, and received very little representation at the Estates General. The commoners of France wanted change and equality throughout France so they separated from the Estates General and formed their own government to govern France. A few years later in 1792, Maximilian Robespierre, the radical leader of the Jacobin party and the Committee of Public Safety, took control of France and executed king Louis XVI. Robespierre had a vision of a new France where everyone was equal. In order to reach his goal of completely reconstructing France, Robespierre unleashed a campaign of terror. Terror was used to enforce his revolutionary ideas, but the radicalization eventually lead to the downfall of Maximilian Robespierre and the Committee of Public Safety.
Maximillian Robespierre and the Committee of Public Safety used excessive terror to enforce new revolutionary changes during the French Revolution. After the old French government was overthrown, Maximillian Robespierre took control of France in 1793. Robespierre wanted to change the social and economic structure of France for the better, spreading equality throughout France. Robespierre believed that he needed to lead The Committee of Public Safety to completely reconstruct France. In order to achieve his goal of complete reconstruction of the social and economic structures of France, Robespierre and the Committee of Public Safety unleashed a campaign of terror, killing anyone suspected of supporting the old monarchy. Maximillian Robespierre started the reign of terror as a way to remove the nobility, clergy, and other supports of the monarchy from power, moving the power away from the upper class and into his own hands. At the time of the revolution, the peasants and the working class made up 94% of the population, while the Nobility and the Clergy made up 2%, the remaining 4% was the middle class. In the Estates General, the clergy and the nobility each had there own estate and the rest of the population, 98% of France, shared one vote. Because the Clergy and the Nobility both voted to tax the third estate more at the Estates General, supporting the old government and igniting the revolution, Robespierre’s reign of terror was targeted mostly at the first two Estates. During the reign of terror, Robespierre executed any people suspected of supporting the monarchy or the old form of government. Robespierre and the committee of public safety executed approximately 13,880 French citizens, 5530 or 40% of these citizens came from the nobility, clergy, and middle class, three groups who made up only 6% of the total population. Also, more terror and executions occurred in locations of high internal disturbances. Robespierre’s reign of terror targeted mainly the nobility and the clergy, and responded to riots, or any other internal disturbances that threatened his power....

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