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Regin Of Terror – World History – Free PDF

FRENCH REVOLUTION

  • The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789.
  • The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies.
  • Demands for change were formulated in terms of Enlightenment ideals and contributed to the convocation of the Estates General in May 1789.

FRENCH REVOLUTION

  • During the first year of the Revolution, members of the Third Estate (commoners) took control, the Bastille was attacked in July, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was passed.
  • The next few years featured political struggles between various liberal assemblies and right-wing supporters of the monarchy intent on thwarting major reforms.
  • The Republic was proclaimed in September 1792 and Louis XVI was executed in January 1793. The dictatorship imposed by the Committee of Public Safety during the Reign of Terror, from 1793 until 1794.

REIGN OF TERROR

  • There was a sense of emergency among leading politicians in France in the summer of 1793 between the widespread civil war and counter-revolution.
  • They were determined to avoid street violence such as the September Massacres of 1792 by taking violence into their own hands as an instrument of government.

REIGN OF TERROR

  • 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.
  • Drawing from the idea of a general will, Robespierre felt that the French Revolution could result in a Republic.
  • On 10 March 1793 the National Convention created the Revolutionary Tribunal. On 6 April the Committee of Public Safety was created, which gradually became the de facto war-time government.

REIGN OF TERROR

  • The Committee oversaw the Reign of Terror. “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.”
  • On 24 June, the convention adopted the first republican constitution of France, the French Constitution of 1793. It was ratified by public referendum, but never put into force.
  • On 27 July 1793, Robespierre became part of the Committee of Public Safety.

ENEMIES OF PUBLIC

  • On 17 September, the Law of Suspects was passed, which authorized the imprisonment of vaguely defined “suspects”. This created a mass overflow in the prison systems. On 29 September, the convention extended price fixing from grain and bread to other essential goods, and also fixed wages.
  • On 24 October, the French Republican Calendar was enacted. The trial of the Girondins started on the same day and they were executed on 31 October.
  • Anti-clerical sentiments increased during 1793 and a campaign of dechristianization occurred.

REIGN OF TERROR

  • On 4 February 1794, the National Convention decreed that slavery be abolished in all of France and French colonies.
  • The major Hébertists were tried before the Revolutionary Tribunal and executed on 24 March. The Dantonists were arrested on 30 March, tried on 3 to 5 April and executed on 5 April.
  • With the enactment of the law, the number of executions greatly increased, and the period from this time to the Thermidorian Reaction became known as “The Grand Terror”.

 AFTERMATH

  • Between his arrest and his execution, Robespierre may have tried to commit suicide by shooting himself, although the bullet wound he sustained, whatever its origin, only shattered his jaw.
  • The reign of the standing Committee of Public Safety was ended. New members were appointed the day after Robespierre’s execution, and limits on terms of office were fixed .The Committee’s powers were gradually eroded.

 

 

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