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The Reign Of Terror Essay

1462 words - 6 pages

Throughout time, people have always been able to survive by using the things around them in innovative ways. Their cultures have also greatly influenced them. Whatever was happening at the time, they had to react and adapt their lifestyles. These changes almost always led to new inventions such as the guillotine. The guillotine was first introduced into France during the French Revolution on April 25, 1792. The first execution was that of a highwayman. The guillotine was also used in Scotland, England, and many other European countries. During the French Revolution, there were many important events that led up to the Reign of Terror, during which people were looking for a more efficient ...view middle of the document...

Another major event in the French Revolution was the capturing of the Bastille. To the French people, the Bastille signified hatred, tyranny and oppression. The Parisian radicals believed they would find ammunition and arms inside the Bastille with which they could defend themselves. On July 14, 1789, King Louis was forced to surrender when a large group of Parisian radicals captured the Bastille.Meanwhile, the National Assembly continued to meet. Their next act was drafting the Declaration of the Rights of the Man and of the Citizen. It was adopted by the Assembly in August of 1789. The Assembly began the Declaration by stating their purpose.The representatives of the French people, organized as a National Assembly, believing that the ignorance, neglect, or contempt of the rights of man are also the sole cause of public calamities and of the corruption of governments, have determined to set forth in a solemn declaration the natural, unalienable, and sacred rights of man. (Declaration) The declaration gave the French citizens "liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression" (Declaration).At the insistence of the third estate, and many other French people, the Assembly drafted a new constitution. In September of 1791, they adopted the new constitution, which made France a constitutional monarchy with a one house legislature. By the end of that September, the Assembly had disbanded, believing that the revolution was over. However, the Assembly's new government did not set well with the French public. And, as a result, it did not last long.The next major power was the National Convention. The Convention consisted mainly of elected adult French males. It opened for the first time on September 21, 1792. Shortly after this, it declared France a republic. At the same time, the Estates-General continued to meet. The Estates-General was composed of clergy, nobility, and commoners. Still unhappy with the constitution the Assembly had drafted, the third estate urged the Estates-General to write a new constitution.It was about this time when the anger among the French began to escalate. Radical movements were becoming more apparent and frequent. These movements were headed by such radicals as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who believed that people had the right to govern themselves. He was an immense influence on the French people, and as a result, he had many followers. Radical political parties were also beginning to form.The most important radical political party was the Jacobins. They wanted a democratic monarchy, and they believed a constitutional monarchy was still unfair. One of the Jacobins most famous radicals was Maximilien Robespierre. Robespierre was elected to the Estates-General in 1789. He pushed for the voting rights of all people while he served on the Estates-General. Robespierre also pushed for equality of all people. Robespierre was also the acknowledged chief of the Committee of Public Safety. By 1792, Robespierre had joined the...

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