New members were appointed the day after Robespierre's execution, and limits on terms of office were fixed (a quarter of the committee retired every three months). The Convention used this as justification for the course of action to "crush the enemies of the revolution…let the laws be executed…and let liberty be saved. The Reign of Terror was characterized by a dramatic rejection of long-held religious authority, its hierarchical structure, and the corrupt and intolerant influence of the aristocracy and clergy.  In his Philosophical Dictionary, Voltaire states, "we are all steeped in weakness and error; let us forgive each other our follies; that is the first law of nature" and "every individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because he is not of his opinion, is a monster.". Favourite answer. Reign of Terror was a period during the French Revolution in which Maximilien-François-Marie-Isidore de Robespierre, leader of the Jacobin Club, clashed heads with the Girondins in an effort to gain control of the vacancy they made on the throne. On 6 April 1793 the National Convention established the Committee of Public Safety, which gradually became the de facto war-time government of France. Even though they were vague laws, people accepted the terror because it helped to combat their feelings of alienation and paranoia in regards to all aspects of the revolution. 27 August 1791. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. The Reign of Terror instituted the conscripted army, which saved France from invasion by other countries and in that sense preserved the Revolution. Accessed 23 October 2018. Though some members of the Enlightenment greatly influenced revolutionary leaders, cautions from other Enlightenment thinkers were blatantly ignored. The sans-culottes' violently demonstrated, pushing their demands and creating constant pressure for the Montagnards to enact reform. On 10 October the Convention decreed that "the provisional government shall be revolutionary until peace." Configuración Moreover, the sans-culottes, the urban workers of France, agitated leaders to inflict punishments on those who opposed the interests of the poor. The Girondins were more conservative leaders of the National Convention, while the Montagnards supported radical violence and pressures of the lower classes. Other laws set up government control of prices, confiscated lands from those found guilty of failing to support the Revolution, and brought public assistance to the poor and disabled. They advocated for arrests of those deemed to oppose reforms against those with privilege, and the more militant members would advocate pillage in order to achieve the desired equality. "Robespierre, "On Political Morality"," Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, accessed 19 October 2018, Rothenberg, Gunther E. "The Origins, Causes, and Extension of the Wars of the French Revolution and Napoleon.". They fled. Baker, Keith M. François Furet, and Colin Lucas, eds. In September 1793 price controls were extended to other staple consumer goods, and the armées révolutionnaireswere cre… "Thermidor" (2nd ed.). The major Hébertists were tried before the Revolutionary Tribunal and executed on 24 March. The revolution itself was caused by a combination of factors the led to an economic and social crisis that left the French third class little choice but to revolt. By the end of 1793, two major factions had emerged, both threatening the Revolutionary Government: the Hébertists, who called for an intensification of the Terror and threatened insurrection, and the Dantonists, led by Georges Danton, who demanded moderation and clemency. On 10 November (20 Brumaire Year II of the French Republican Calendar), the Hébertists organized a Festival of Reason. Document A: Decree Against Profiteers 1. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). In any case, Robespierre was guillotined the next day, together with Saint-Just, Couthon and his brother Augustin Robespierre. In 1789, church lands were expropriated and priests killed or forced to leave France. ", Though some members of the Enlightenment greatly influenced revolutionary leaders, cautions from other Enlightenment thinkers were blatantly ignored. After their victory in expelling the Girondins, Parisian militants “regenerated” their own sectional assemblies by purging local moderates, while radicals such as Jacques-René Hébert and Pierre-Gaspard Chaumette tightened their grip on the Paris Commune. Reign of Terror, period of the French Revolution from September 5, 1793, to July 27, 1794, during which the Revolutionary government decided to take harsh measures against those suspected of being enemies of the Revolution (nobles, priests, and hoarders). 2014. No matter what the French may claim, if one chooses to open his eyes and read about this tragedy, they are most certainly welcome. On 14 Frimaire (5 December 1793) the National Convention passed the Law of Frimaire, which gave the central government more control over the actions of the representatives on mission. Alternatively, he may have been shot by the gendarme Merda. "Introduction." Terror is nothing more than speedy, severe and inflexible justice; it is thus an emanation of virtue; it is less a principle in itself, than a consequence of the general principle of democracy, applied to the most pressing needs of the patrie [homeland, fatherland]. Many of the early battles were definitive losses for the French. Voltaire. A combination of food scarcity and rising prices led to the overthrow of the Girondins and increased the popular support of the Montagnards, who created the Committee of Public Safety to deal with the various crises. This activity asks students to look beyond the “chopping block” to discover the political motivations of the man behind the Terror: Maximilien Robespierre. Accessed 26 October 2018. "Robespierre and the French Revolution,", This page was last edited on 15 January 2021, at 09:28. Almost 17,000 people were killed by official executions during the Reign of Terror, with historians estimating hundreds of thousands more deaths as part of the revolts throughout France or as unrecorded murders. The fear of the guillotine and the mob justice led to self exile of several nobles and clergy. Yahoo Search. They had, between them, made the Law of 22 Prairial one of the charges against him, so that, after his fall, to advocate terror would be seen as adopting the policy of a convicted enemy of the republic, putting the advocate's own head at risk. During the Reign of Terror, at least 300,000 suspects were arrested; 17,000 were officially executed, and perhaps 10,000 died in prison or without trial. The Terror had an economic side embodied in the Maximum, a price-control measure demanded by the lower classes of Paris, and a religious side that was embodied in the program of de-Christianization pursued by the followers of Jacques Hébert. During the Terror, deputies on mission began attacking the symbols of Catholicism: smashing images, vandalizing buildings, and burning vestments. Ozouf, Mona. [a], The term of "Terror" to describe a period was forged by the Thermidorian Reaction who took power after the fall of Maximilien Robespierre in July 1794, to discredit Robespierre and justify their actions. Soboul cited in Mona Ozouf. On 27 July 1793 Robespierre became part of the Committee of Public Safety. On 17 September, the Law of Suspects was passed, which authorized the imprisonment of vaguely defined "suspects". In 1793 the ruling Committee of Public Safety suspended the libertarian rights and ideals of the constitution that was still in progress and terror became the government's official stated and voted-upon policy. The Dantonists were arrested on 30 March, tried on 3 to 5 April and executed on 5 April. Still uncertain of its position, the committee obtained the Law of 22 Prairial, year II (June 10, 1794), which suspended a suspect’s right to public trial and to legal assistance and left the jury a choice only of acquittal or death. History of France § Counter-revolution subdued (July 1793–April 1794), History of France § Revolutionary France (1789–1799), France § Revolutionary France (1789–1799), Learn how and when to remove this template message, "Robespierre and the terror: Marisa Linton reviews the life and career of one of the most vilified men in history", "Maximilien Robespierre: On the Principles of Political Morality, February 1794", Maximilien Robespierre: Justification of the Use of Terror, Montesquieu: The Spirit of the Laws, 1748, 9 Thermidor: The Conspiracy against Robespierre, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, Voltaire, Selections from the 'Philosophical Dictionary', https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2014/entries/montesquieu/, http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199959853.001.0001/acprof-9780199959853-chapter-8, "Maximilien Robespierre | Biography, Facts, & Execution", L’armée de l’an II : la levée en masse et la création d’un mythe républicain, http://www.historyhome.co.uk/c-eight/france/coalit1.htm, https://alphahistory.com/frenchrevolution/declaration-of-pillnitz-1791/, http://people.loyno.edu/~history/journal/1983-4/mcletchie.htm#22, https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/mod/montesquieu-spirit.asp, "The Absolutism of Louis XIV as Social Collaboration: Review Article", "Robespierre and the terror: Marisa Linton reviews the life and career of one of the most vilified men in history, (Maximilien Robespierre)(Biography)", https://link.springer.com/book/10.1057%2F9780230294981, Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick, Frederick Louis, Prince of Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen, François Alexandre Frédéric, duc de la Rochefoucauld-Liancourt, Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau, Alexandre-Théodore-Victor, comte de Lameth, Louis Michel le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau, List of people associated with the French Revolution, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Reign_of_Terror&oldid=1000495051, Short description is different from Wikidata, History articles needing translation from French Wikipedia, Articles with unsourced statements from December 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2020, Articles needing additional references from September 2017, All articles needing additional references, Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from January 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. It is called the Reign of Terror because of Robespierre. This created a mass overflow in the prison systems. The 'sans-culottes' saw popular violence as a political right they held. In March rebellion broke out in the Vendée in response to mass conscription, which developed into a civil war. With the backing of the national guard, they persuaded the convention to arrest 29 Girondist leaders. On 16 Pluviôse (4 February 1794), the National Convention decreed the abolition of slavery in all of France and in French colonies.  This process began with the fall of the monarchy, an event that effectively defrocked the State of its sanctification by the clergy via the doctrine of Divine Right and ushered in an era of reason.. " This was, in fact, the same virtue defined by Montesquieu almost 50 years prior. The Reign of Terror. Under the pressure of the radical sans-culottes, the Convention accepted to institute a revolutionary army, but refused to make terror the order of the day. About 300,000 people were arrested, and 17,000 of them were tried and executed. The tide would not turn from them until September 1792 when the French won a critical victory at Valmy preventing the Austro-Prussian invasion. The great confusion that arose during the storming of the municipal Hall of Paris, where Robespierre and his friends had found refuge, makes it impossible to be sure of the wound's origin. Reign of Terror lasted from September 1793 until the fall of Robespierre in 1794. The Reign of Terror began on September 5, 1793 with a declaration by Robespierre that Terror would be "the order of the day." Reign of Terror, also called the Terror, French La Terreur, period of the French Revolution from September 5, 1793, to July 27, 1794 (9 Thermidor, year II). 10 ] [ 20 ] this was, in fact, the Hébertists a... The profits would have to sell goods and not hold them for themselves assassination of Marat—a. 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