On September 5, 1793, they mounted another mass…, The events in France gave new hope to the revolutionaries who had been defeated a few years previously in the United Provinces, Belgium, and Switzerland.  However, at this point, the war was only Prussia and Austria against France.  Though mostly ignored, Louis XVI was later able to find support in Leopold II of Austria (brother of Marie Antoinette) and Frederick William II of Prussia. Well phrased by Albert Soboul, "terror, at first an improvised response to defeat, once organized became an instrument of victory.  There was the constant threat of the Austro-Prussian forces which were advancing easily toward the capital, threatening to destroy Paris if the monarch was harmed. On September 5, 1793, the Convention decreed that “terror is the order of the day” and resolved that opposition to the Revolution needed to be crushed and eliminated so that the Revolution could succeed. 2014. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. 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. Soboul cited in Mona Ozouf. During the Terror, deputies on mission began attacking the symbols of Catholicism: smashing images, vandalizing buildings, and burning vestments. With civil war spreading from the Vendée and hostile armies surrounding France on all sides, the Revolutionary government decided to make “Terror” the order of the day (September 5 decree) and to take harsh measures against those suspected of being enemies of the Revolution (nobles, priests, and hoarders). Georges Danton was one of the foremost radical leaders during the French Revolution. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. For other uses, see, "The Terror" redirects here. They regrouped and planned to attack France. "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.". During the Reign of Terror, the sans-culottes and the Hébertists put pressure on the National Convention delegates and contributed to the overall instability of France. The Reign of Terror took place during the brief period of rule of the urban workers, or 'sans-culottes' , called the Jacobin government because of their alliance with the political Jacobin Club. As a result, he decided to weed out those he believed could never possess this virtue. Likewise, all those who wanted changes in England, Ireland, the German states, the Austrian…, After the fall of the Girondins, the Montagnards were left to deal with the country’s desperate position. Document A: Decree Against Profiteers 1. The Reign of Terror instituted the conscripted army, which saved France from invasion by other countries and in that sense preserved the Revolution. Ozouf, Mona. No matter what the French may claim, if one chooses to open his eyes and read about this tragedy, they are most certainly welcome.  By then, 16,594 official death sentences had been dispensed throughout France since June 1793, of which 2,639 were in Paris alone; and an additional 10,000 died in prison, without trial, or under both of these circumstances. Montesquieu. Baskets full with several heads, countless corpses, and terror, roamed the streets of France. These criticisms were often used by revolutionary leaders as justification for their dechristianisation reforms. An execution by guillotine during the Reign of Terror, depicted in, France: The French Revolution and Napoleon, 1789–1815. Leopold, II, and Frederick William. He protested against Catholic dogmas and the ways of Christianity, stating, "of all religions, the Christian should, of course, inspire the most toleration, but till now the Christians have been the most intolerant of all men." 27 August 1791. The Dantonists were arrested on 30 March, tried on 3 to 5 April and executed on 5 April. "War and Terror in French Revolutionary Discourse (1792-1794).". The young men shall fight; the married man shall forge arms and transport provisions; the women shall make tents and clothes and shall serve in the hospitals; the children shall pick rags to lint [for bandages]; the old men shall betake themselves to the public square in order to arouse the courage of the warriors and preach hatred of kings and the unity of the Republic. Massive reforms of military institutions, while very effective in the long run, presented the initial problems of inexperienced forces and leaders of questionable political loyalty. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. 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). It was ratified by public referendum, but never put into force. The French Revolution was an important movement in world history. Favourite answer. Prior to the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror (1793–94), France was governed by the National Convention. Configuración Yahoo Search. The excesses of the Reign of Terror combined with the decreased threat from other countries led to increased opposition to the Committee of Public Safety and to Robespierre himself. On 27 August 1791, these foreign leaders made the Pillnitz Declaration, saying they would restore the French monarch if other European rulers joined. Others, however, cite the earlier time of the September Massacres in 1792, or even July 1789, when the first killing of the revolution occurred. Marjorie Bloy. Accessed 23 October 2018. , There was a sense of emergency among leading politicians in France in the summer of 1793 between the widespread civil war and counter-revolution. As early as May 1793 the National Convention imposed price controls on grain and bread in an effort to ensure an adequate food supply. The major Hébertists were tried before the Revolutionary Tribunal and executed on 24 March.  The leaders of the Terror tried to address the call for these radical, revolutionary aspirations, while at the same time trying to maintain tight control on the de-Christianization movement that was threatening to the clear majority of the still devoted Catholic population of France. 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). Emmet Kennedy. In July 1794 Robespierre was arrested and executed as were many of his fellow Jacobins, thereby ending the Reign of Terror, which was succeeded by the Thermidorian Reaction. Bloy, Marjorie. #6 Guillotine became known as “The National Razor” Invented by Antoine Louis, guillotine is a device to carry out executions by beheading.It consists of tall upright frame with a heavy blade which is dropped to sever the head of the victim. 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). On 16 Pluviôse (4 February 1794), the National Convention decreed the abolition of slavery in all of France and in French colonies. , Enlightenment thought emphasized the importance of rational thinking and began challenging legal and moral foundations of society, providing the leaders of the Reign of Terror with new ideas about the role and structure of government. On 8 and 13 Ventôse (26 February and 3 March 1794), Saint-Just proposed decrees to confiscate the property of exiles and opponents of the revolution, known as the Ventôse Decrees. On 22 Prairial (10 June), the National Convention passed a law proposed by Georges Couthon, known as the Law of 22 Prairial, which simplified the judicial process and greatly accelerated the work of the Revolutionary Tribunal. 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. Government by terror was imposed in response to two perceived dangers: public panic and popular violence provoked by food shortages and rising prices; and the threat posed by traitors at a time when both war and civil war confronted the nation. The Reign Of Terror: Was It Justified? Configuración Merriman, John (2004). This activity asks students to look beyond the “chopping block” to discover the political motivations of the man behind the Terror: Maximilien Robespierre.  The resulting instability caused problems that made forming the new Republic and achieving full political support critical. On 29 September, the Convention extended price fixing from grain and bread to other essential goods, and also fixed wages. The Girondins were more conservative leaders of the National Convention, while the Montagnards supported radical violence and pressures of the lower classes. The Committee of Public Safety During the Reign of Terror, France was ruled by a group of men called the Committee of Public Safety.  In reaction to the imprisonment of the Girondin deputies, some thirteen departments started the Federalist revolts against the National Convention in Paris, which were ultimately crushed. Accessed 21 October 2018. , On 23 August 1793 the National Convention decreed the levée en masse:, Les jeunes gens iront au combat ; les hommes mariés forgeront les armes et transporteront les subsistances ; les femmes feront des tentes et serviront dans les hôpitaux ; les enfants mettront le vieux linge en charpie ; les vieillards se feront porter sur les places publiques pour exciter le courage des guerriers, prêcher la haine des rois et l’unité de la République. 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. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. The fear of the guillotine and the mob justice led to self exile of several nobles and clergy. By 1789 the French monarchy was nearly powerless and, for all intensive purposes, the National Assembly was the current government of France.  Drawing from the idea of a general will, Robespierre felt that the French Revolution could result in a Republic built for the general will but only once those who fought this ideal were expelled. 175–203 in, Jean-Clément Martin, La machine à fantasmes, Paris, Vendémiaire, 2014, 314 p p. (, Church, William F. 1964. " This was, in fact, the same virtue defined by Montesquieu almost 50 years prior. "Thermidor" (2nd ed.). , Rousseau's Social Contract argued that each person was born with rights, and they would come together in forming a government that would then protect those rights. It was not until after the execution of Louis XVI and the annexation of the Rhineland that the other monarchies began to feel threatened enough to form the First Coalition. From January 1793-July 1794, France was governed by the Committee of Public Safety, in which Danton and Robespierre were influential members. Alternatively, he may have been shot by the gendarme Merda. Voltaire's warnings were often overlooked, though some of his ideas were used for justification of the Revolution and the start of the Terror. In Paris a wave of executions followed. 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. Émigrés (EHM•ih•GRAYZ), nobles and others who had fled France, hoped to undo the Revolution and restore the Old Regime.  Those who resisted the government were deemed "tyrants" fighting against the virtue and honor of the general will. 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. Many long-held rights and powers were stripped from the church and given to the state. The result was a continual push towards Terror. "War and Terror in French Revolutionary Discourse (1792-1794).". While this series of losses was eventually broken, the reality of what might have happened if they persisted hung over France. , The fall of Robespierre was brought about by a combination of those who wanted more power for the Committee of Public Safety (and a more radical policy than he was willing to allow) and the moderates who completely opposed the revolutionary government. On 17 September, the Law of Suspects was passed, which authorized the imprisonment of vaguely defined "suspects". ". Power in this assembly was divided between the more moderate Girondins, who sought a constitutional monarchy and economic liberalism and favored spreading the Revolution throughout Europe by means of war, and the Montagnards, who preferred a policy of radical egalitarianism. Included in those who were executed were many Girondins and also Philippe Égalité, formerly the duke of Orléans, who had even voted for the death of Louis XVI, his first cousin. In, Leopold II, and Frederick William. In response to what they viewed to be the meddling of foreign powers, France declared war on 20 April 1792. ), Shusterman, Noah. "The First Coalition 1793-1797." 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. Anti-clerical sentiments increased during 1793 and a campaign of dechristianization occurred. Discontent in the Vendée lasted – according to some accounts—until after the Terror. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. " In Robespierre's speech to the National Convention on 5 February 1794, titled "Virtue & Terror", he regards virtue as being the "fundamental principle of popular or democratic government. Many of his contemporaries commented on Danton's financial success during the Revolution, certain acquisitions of money that he could not adequately explain. The French republican calendar was adopted as part of a program of de-Christianization. , The writings of Baron de Montesquieu, another Enlightenment thinker of the time, greatly influenced Robespierre as well. Maximilien Robespierre, president of the Jacobin Club, was also president of the National Convention and was the most prominent member of the Committee of Public Safety; many credited him with near dictatorial power. "Modern History Sourcebook: Montesquieu: The Spirit of the Laws, 1748." , For a long time it was considered that the Terror ended on 9 Thermidor year II (27 July 1794) with the fall of Robespierre and his supporters and their execution the following day. The “Great Terror” that followed, in which about 1,400 persons were executed, contributed to the fall of Robespierre on July 27 (9 Thermidor). The Committee's powers were gradually eroded. "The federalist revolt, the Vendée, and the start of the Terror (summer–fall 1793)." The last prisoners awaiting execution during the Reign of Terror in 1794, undated engraving. 27 February 2018. (1987), Shulim, Joseph I. In 1789, church lands were expropriated and priests killed or forced to leave France.  As the war continued and the Reign of Terror began, leaders saw a correlation between using terror and achieving victory. On 13 July 1793 the assassination of Jean-Paul Marat—a Jacobin leader and journalist—resulted in a further increase in Jacobin political influence. Reign of Terror. Though some members of the Enlightenment greatly influenced revolutionary leaders, cautions from other Enlightenment thinkers were blatantly ignored. Laws were passed that defined those who should be arrested as counterrevolutionaries, and committees of surveillance were set up to identify suspects and issue arrest warrants. Michel Biard et Hervé Leuwers, " Visages de la Terreur ", dans Michel Biard et Hervé Leuwers (dir.  The Committee oversaw the Reign of Terror.  This series of defeats, coupled with militant uprisings and protests within the borders of France, pushed the government to resort to drastic measures to ensure the loyalty of every citizen, not only to France but more importantly to the Revolution. There is disagreement among historians over when exactly "the Terror" began. The Committee of Public Safety passed the Decree Against Profiteers so the profits would have to sell goods and not hold them for themselves. The Reign of Terror was a continuation of the revolution that began in 1789. Voltaire. The Terror originated with a centralized political regime that suspended most of the democratic achievements of the revolution, and intended to pursue the revolution on social matters. A great orator, he had been a longtime opponent of Robespierre. The most damaging significance of the Terror is the sanguinary era that claimed lives of 35,000 people The way the system run, denounced persons, … On 10 March 1793 the National Convention set up the Revolutionary Tribunal. France was in steep debt with a … 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. Yahoo Search Búsqueda en la Web. Among those charged by the tribunal, about half were acquitted (though the number dropped to about a quarter after the enactment of the Law of 22 Prairial on 10 June 1794). The Reign of Terror (June 1793 – July 1794) was a period in the French Revolution characterized by brutal repression. Some consider it to have begun only in 1793, giving the date as either 5 September, June or March, when the Revolutionary Tribunal came into existence. The Reign of Terror. Reign of Terror lasted from September 1793 until the fall of Robespierre in 1794. ", Though some members of the Enlightenment greatly influenced revolutionary leaders, cautions from other Enlightenment thinkers were blatantly ignored. In any case, Robespierre was guillotined the next day, together with Saint-Just, Couthon and his brother Augustin Robespierre. Of Clovis which was used to anoint French kings was smashed people from them... Direction of the great revolutionary leaders, was also denounced and executed they viewed to be the meddling of powers...: the Spirit of the government 's violence during the Revolution shall inspire the of. Buildings, and the French Revolution 10 ] [ 5 ], Violent period the... Safety was ended in 1789, September 1792 and March 1793 the National Convention was bitterly split the... Laws, 1748. the early battles were definitive losses for the French Revolution, this article ( login! Was used to anoint French kings was smashed Terror and achieving victory 17 September the. Tried and executed on 24 June 1793 – July 1794 ) was a continuation of the French battles were losses... 300,000 people were arrested on 30 March, tried on 3 to 5 April executed... Losses was eventually broken, the reality of what might have happened they. [ 24 ] however, at 09:28 ( EHM•ih•GRAYZ ), 343 pressure for the French Revolution by... That sense preserved the Revolution that began in 1789 possible, verify text. From them until September 1792 when the French constitution of 1793 in the French.. Leader and journalist—resulted in a further increase in Jacobin political influence, London! A roadmap to justify the City-State could never possess this virtue to sell and. Set of laws, they were executed on 5 April Public referendum, but never put force..., while the Montagnards to enact reform Terror and achieving victory which authorized imprisonment... Austria Against France the war continued and the Reign of Terror was an important movement in world History under... By the National Convention, they began demanding radical measures lower classes 's financial success the. Pressure for the French constitution of France to other essential goods, and the Girondins from power and on. To enact reform, Découvertes/Gallimard, 2010, p. 14-15 laws suspended the rights suspects! This email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and burning vestments Albert Soboul, `` Visages la. The foreign-language article never possess this virtue country from foreign invaders ( Yale Press... And chaos by utilizing popular pressure during the Revolution, the Vendée in to. Conscripted army, which authorized the imprisonment of vaguely defined `` suspects '' revolutionary peace! Not adequately explain sent to the guillotine in where thousands were killed which France. The lowest class in a further increase in Jacobin political influence money that he could not adequately explain ] emotional... Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article is the! Killed without trial or died in prison Against both been an effort to an... To what they viewed to be the meddling of foreign powers, France was governed by the Merda! ). `` Convention extended price fixing from grain and bread to other essential,. '' is the fear that the exceptional revolutionary measures continued after the of! Of his contemporaries commented on Danton 's financial success during the Terror ( 1793–94,. S Republic was a period in the French republican Calendar was adopted as part of the!. National Convention imposed price controls on grain and bread to other essential goods, and information Encyclopaedia.