Essays on the terror french revolution

A new force met at Paris, the next day. On September 21st, , the National Convention met. It looked like it"s predecessors, composed of mostly the middle class with a few clergy and nobility, endorsing the Girondin. However, the more conservative Girondin were prevented from voting in Paris, allowing the radical Jacobin to gain power.

However, one of the first acts of the Convention was to abolish the monarchy, and began the New Republic, with it"s own strange calendar. However, the Convention was deeply divided, as the Girondin repeatedly tried to attack the Mountain, the highest seats in the convention that belonged to the Jacobin leadership. Yet the Girondin blatantly opposed the Parisians, their septembriseurs, and their Commune.

They were in support of the trying the king, but the Montagard, the Mountain, along with Danton, would chose only to condemn him.

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Their deliberations on his fate lasted until the winter months of the year. By January, the King was in trial. On the 20th of the new year, the King was tried, found guilty, and was sentenced to be executed the following day. The Girondins hoped to save the king from death by proposing a bill to the people of France. However, their attempts were futile, and only served to anger the sans culottes. Those that gathered to watch the guillotining were mainly the angry poor, and when the blade came down, they threw their hats in the air shouting, "Vive la Nation!

The French Revolution: The Reign of Terror

Vive la Republique! The enemies of the people had extended into foreign borders as European nations condemned the execution of Louis XVI. The value of their money had lessened, food was becoming more and more scarce, and the cost of living rose. The Convention took a united stand against the violence of the sans culottes but still persecuted the counter revolutionaries.

The problems they faced were no small matter, especially the peasant rebellion occurring in the Vendee.

The peasant"s were loyal to the King, and anti-republican, not wishing to participate in the drafting for the National Guard. Attacking government offices and forcing the National Guard to retreat. The force of some ten thousand peasant"s were quickly move to Rochefort to open the port for a British Invasion fleet.

The Vendee was not the only spot of counter revolution, as troops were sent to Lyons, Nantes, Bordeaux and Marseille to crush anti-revolutionary support. They dealt with the enemies of the people by setting up a Revolutionary Tribunal, with which to try those who would otherwise have been killed by the sans culottes. Despite the objections of Vergniaud, a member of the Convention who shouted "Septembre" as they deliberated, the Tribunal began it"s operations.

The Convention decided to form the Committee of Public Safety, as foreign invasion became a more real threat.

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This cabinet would soon become the most powerful governing body, and Danton held one of the nine positions. Yet the Girondins had no support from the people of Paris, making the mistake of bringing Marat, a prominent Jacobin, before the Revolutionary Tribunal. Marat was easily acquitted, but they summoned him again. The argument was over corn prices, and the Jacobin stand of lowering them only won them more favor with the sans culottes.

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  • On Sunday June 2nd, a few days after a protest by the sans culottes, the Convention arrested the leading Girondins in the Convention, as the Tuilleries was surrounded by an angry mob of tens of thousands of sans culottes. The Committee seemed unfit to deal with the new problems that quickly became evident. The Austrians were quickly advancing into French territory, and counter revolutionaries in Lyons had seized control, executing Republican leaders.

    Toulon, the royalists were handing over twenty six of France"s sixty one frigates over the Lord Hood, commander of the British navy. However, Maximilien Robespierre joined the Committee and would soon become the dominant revolutionary force. A man known for his virtue and upright moral standing, his rise to through the Jacobin club and the Assembly was that his ideas were supported by the Assembly and the people.

    In Paris, the Enrage, a group of those who wanted death to all who opposed the revolution and had guided the now abolished Insurectionary Commune, still troubled the government. Varlet still cried out for the needs of the poor and spurred them to riot against the price of food. The Committee was forced to deal with these problems when a supporter of the Girondin, Charlotte Corday, assasinated Marat as he lay in his therapeutic bath on July 13th.

    His death caused him to become a martyr to the radicals, much to Ropespierre"s envy, and the Committee was forced by the prodding of the Enrages to institute warehouses to store the grain in Paris and give the death penalty to those that hoarded. The Committee also had to worry about it"s critics that followed Danton, who was now President of the Convention after losing his seat to Robespierre. The Hebertists followed the freed journalist, who accused the Jacobins of ignoring him after he helped them overthrow the Girondin.

    With so much pressure, the Committee authorized the destruction of all federalists, royalists, and other counter revolutionaries. Those rebelling in the provinces were quickly dealt with. Still, the opposers wanted more, and a revolution on the Hotel de Ville, forced the Convention to allow the Hebertists, Varenne and Herbois into the Committee, and they declared that "Terror be the order of the day.

    The former president of the Convention, and converted noble, the Duc d"Orleans, more commonly known as Philippe Egalite" was sentenced to death by the Tribunal also. The once mayor of Paris, Jean Bailly was also executed. The purpose of these killings that lasted in and out through the fall and winter of was the Committee"s ruthless drive to destroy any and all enemies of the people, royalists and federalists alike.

    All in a effort to gain support from the sans culottes to continue their one handed control of France. The guillotine had struck over seventeen thousand necks in the Terror, and three thousand of those belonged to Parisians. Those who survived lived through the Terror fearing a knock on the door that would be their arrest.

    Those who shed tears for the loss of their family were executed also, those who dared make the smallest misstep were dealt with harshly, the penalty death. The innocent lost their lives through clerical error, and some were killed being falsely accused by neighbors or enemies who wanted vengeance. In the Provinces, the guillotine could not work fast enough for some, and Joseph Fouche", a Jacobin representative, killed over three hundred with cannon fire. At Toulon, they were shot, at Nantes, thousands died in the disease ridden prisons, and thousands more were sunk in barges, causing ships that anchored to pull out corpses.

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    To the sans culottes of Paris, it was a lively entertainment. They drank and ate, some placed bets, while others knitted. They eagerly anticipated the sounds of the execution, and death was a trivial thing. A young and eloquent opponent of the Girondins, Chaumette, led the movement of de-Christianization. He pushed for the republican calendar, likening it"s divisions to the divisions of the highest Reason. Religious holidays and services were suspended, treasures of the church were seized, images of Mary replaced with Marat, and any religious paraphernalia was strictly prohibited.

    Festivals of Reason were celebrated, with prostitutes or others such women playing the head of all Reason, the Goddess of Reason. Towns, streets, squares all changed their names. Revolutionary names were much more popular then saintly names in some districts.

    Essay Causes of the Reign of Terror

    Yet, religion could not be easily undone, and still it"s hold was seen on France as threatening "acts of God" would force peasants back into the churches to ask for forgiveness. The war of a political nature raged silently, as the different factions of the Convention dared not fight openly.

    Upon returning to Paris, Danton immediately took the side of Robespierre, condemning the Enrages" and the Hebertists. However, Robespierre would not be easily won over by Danton.

    The Reign of Terror in the French Revolution

    He believed that Danton wished to separate the Committee and the sans culottes to protect himself and his friends. Ropespierre"s course of action was to crush both factions by use of the Tribunal. The Hebertists fell easily, many of their members being accused of a foreign plot.