Summary: The Tyranny Of Maximilien Robespierre

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The Tyranny of Maximilien Robespierre Beginning in 1793, a one-year period called the Reign of Terror took place in the midst of the French Revolution. The political parties, the Jacobins and the Girondins, conspired in order to overthrow the French monarchy. This period is characterized by the harsh rulers who issued tens of thousands of official death sentences. These rulers were considered tyrants known for their oppressive and selfish rule. One of the most controversial rulers was Maximilien Robespierre, a leader of France’s National Convention who was known for his widespread use of the guillotine and radical political notions over France to guarantee that all French citizens were true supporters of the Revolution. His behavior terrorized…show more content…
From the beginning, Robespierre followed the ideology of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Andress 105). It was not uncommon for political leaders of the Revolution to follow the philosophies of the Enlightenment thinkers; therefore, his political notions were not so far-flung and radical for the time. Robespierre worked alongside the republic’s government and used this opportunity to influence decisions made regarding the public. He would speak of his need for the extreme measures that took as well as voice the fears of his people, including starvation, death, and the degradation of the nation (Andress 103). The government was also known to be violent from time to time, which influenced the ruler to use terrorism as a means of gaining power (Andress 105). Therefore, Robespierre might not have a true tyrant for his time because of his commitment the ideals of the French Republic…show more content…
Leading up to this speech, many French citizens believed that Robespierre was working to become the French dictator. Robespierre dismissed these opinions in his speech by not only denying them, but by killing those who thought so. (Andress 110-111). Though he held great power in the French National Committee, Robespierre never ruled France. Instead, there were people on the National Committee with him who helped contribute to the Reign of Terror (Linton). Robespierre discussed this in his speech by stating that the government was “despotic,” but it did not have a tyrant as a leader which would, in turn, protect the people (“Modern History Sourcebook”). He, however, executed his own people, contradicting his own statement. Robespierre also stated in the speech that terror was, in fact, a virtue and it was only appropriate to exemplify it. He, himself, acknowledges that he was truly an autocrat in France, which ultimately proves what Robespierre really was (“Modern History

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