Maximilien Robespierre and the Terror

In 1793, a radical group called the Jacobins led by Maximilien Robespierre began to dominate the Convention. They quickly overthrew the more moderate Girondin faction and began the period that has become known as the Terror or the Red Terror. A Committee of Public Safety was created that was also led in part by Robespierre. The Committee and the┬áJacobins’ reign is considered a Terror and Maximilien a kind of violent dictator because they executed (many by the guillotine) more than 30,000 French citizens who did not support the Jacobin government and were considered “enemies of the people.” Robespierre became so paranoid about those who were “ignorant” and did not support his government that his relationship with the Committee and some Jacobins became sour. Robespierre thought they were trying to limit all the work they had done and he publicly accused some of his former colleagues of being traitors. The Committee along with much of France who were tired of all the executions decided it was time for Robespierre’s reign to come to an end and in July of 1794 Robespierre was arrested and guillotined.


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