The Reign Of Terror Dbq

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The French Revolution, a period of radical social and political upheaval, is often associated with the ideals of "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity," yet whether the actions of the French people during this time upheld or betrayed these principles remains a complex and contested question. The French Revolution, a pivotal moment in European history, began in 1789 and lasted until the ascent of Napoleon Bonaparte in the late 1790s. It was characterized by the dismantling of traditional institutions such as the absolute monarchy and the feudal system. It was inspired by Enlightenment ideals such as popular sovereignty and inalienable rights. The Revolution's motto of "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" encapsulated its guiding principles. However, …show more content…

Maximilien Robespierre was a key figure in the Reign of Terror and the leader of the Committee of Public Safety. He justified the use of terror by arguing that it was necessary to "weed out" those who threatened the Revolution and the principles of equality and democracy. According to Robespierre, the use of terror was a necessary means of achieving the revolutionary goals of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. However, the use of terror to achieve these goals directly contradicts the principle of Liberty, which was one of the central ideals of the French Revolution. Liberty was supposed to guarantee individual freedoms and rights, including the right to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The use of terror, which involved the arbitrary detention, trial, and execution of individuals without evidence or due process, was a clear violation of these principles. The Reign of Terror was a period of extreme violence and repression in France, during which thousands of people were executed for supposed crimes against the Revolution. Many of these people were innocent and had no connection to counter-revolutionary activity. The use of terror in this way revealed a fundamental contradiction at the heart of the revolutionary movement. The pursuit of revolutionary ideals, including Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity, could come at the cost of individual rights and freedoms. Document 2 provides further evidence of the suppression of individual rights and freedoms

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