• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Reign of Terror During the French Revolution

Extracts from this document...


Development of Europe II Professor Hanebrink February 21, 2012 Take Home Essay 1 Reign of Terror After the fall of monarchy, the French revolutionaries faced large popular insurrections and division among the people. In the early days of the revolution, many people still sided with the monarchy which brought on accusations of treason against the new republic. A new stable government was needed to end the chaos, and the Committee of Public Safety was created with Maximilien Robespierre as its leader. He wanted to create a "republic of virtue" in which the government would force the people to become virtuous republicans through a massive reeducation program. And thus began the Reign of Terror which had the purpose to eliminate opposition and to cow citizens into submission. For Robespierre, the Terror was necessary and inevitable to maintain the Republic by revealing the enemy within France. However, the Reign of Terror proved to be a distortion of revolutionary ideals because instead of helping the country to unify and obtain greatness, in essence it victimized its own citizens. ...read more.


In addition, the monarchy ended in France because of the people's desires to limit the power of the king, which was the government at the time. They did not want one person to rule their lives by promoting and enforcing laws that only beneficiate the king and a selected few. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was the first step towards the writing of a constitution for the new government, and a fundamental document for the Revolution that defined the individual and collective rights of all social estates to be universal. One of the articles expressed in the document was that "law can only prohibit such actions as are hurtful to society." (Lualdi, pp. 114). This means that laws were supposed to be established for the good of the people and not for the personal advantage of others. The Terror, however, promoted and enforced laws that went against the ideals of liberty and equality. ...read more.


Here, justice is not the best definition of terror since fairness was far from the minds of revolutionaries executing commoners. The Reign of Terror only allowed violence, hatred and terror to proliferate in France making the social classes to separate even more. In conclusion, the French Revolution grew out of aspirations for freedom that inspired many other countries, and permanently altered the political atmosphere in France by removing an old form of government. But, the Revolution also had its darker side: the Reign of Terror. In this time, revolutionaries forgot or ignored those ideals of liberty and terrorized people as they pleased. Violence might appear to do good at first, but the good is only temporary, and creates an evil that could be temporary. The divisions created in France endured for many years and it was due to the violence and horrible acts committed by revolutionaries during the Terror. The revolutionaries proclaimed human rights and democratic government, but they excluded women and others which lead to beliefs that everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon - revision notes

    * Girondins were discredited because of the defeat in the war (they wanted the war) and purged (usuniety) from National Convention by the popular Insurrection of 31 st May - 2 nd June 1793, made by the Mountagnards (Jacobins). Brissot and other Girondins were executed.

  2. Analyze the events that brought Louis Philippe to power and the reasons why his ...

    Besides all this he appeared to be of the middle class. The people of the July revolution that made Charles X basically lose his power wanted political change and secure their political and social status. Louis Philippe looked as the ideal way to do so.

  1. Revision notes - Causes of the French Revolution and the Development of the Revolution ...

    bourgeoisie who earned their wealth through an expanding overseas trade and from the manufacture of goods such as woolen and silk textiles that were either exported or bought by the richer merchants of the society. In addition to merchants and manufacturers, the Third Estate included professionals such as lawyers, doctors, administrative officials.

  2. Napoleon: Son or Enemy of the Revolution

    The social elite Napoleon created by imposing a system where these 'nobles' were essentially favored was synonymous to the pre revolutionary era in France. This was contradictory in the sense that it was not consistent with revolutionary principles.

  1. To What Extent Was Stalin's Regime Based On Terror

    This is very strong evidence that Stalin based his regime on terror because he used it to found himself as the leader of the USSR. The purges were based on terror and this is evident from the people that Stalin employed in them and the means that he used.

  2. IB History HL, Extended Notes: Russia, the Tsars, the Provisional Govenment and the Revolution.

    resolve in clamping down on opposition as can be seen from the repression of opposition during Alexander III. Backwardness and Witte?s modernization 1890-1905 Indicators of backwardness 1. Inefficient agriculture- Peasants used medieval tools and farming methods.

  1. What was the main cause of the French Revolution?

    Therefore the American Revolution was a major short term cause in the advancement of the revolution. A cause which was of less importance to the French Revolution was Marie Antoinette?s involvement (the queen and wife of King Louis XVI). She was an Austrian and was regarded as a foreign sympathizer

  2. Notes on the History and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

    Iraq refused to do so. - Jan 17 the coalition forces launched 'Operation Desert Storm' (an air offensive) - Jan 18 Iraq began to fire Scud missiles on to Israel and Saudi Arabia. Hussein wanted to provoke retaliation from Israel, which would threaten the coalition against Iraq as the Arabs

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work