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How did the Reign of Terror cause the National Convention to be replaced by the Directory?

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connorcolin3 | Valedictorian

Posted September 22, 2012 at 4:09 PM via web

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How did the Reign of Terror cause the National Convention to be replaced by the Directory?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 23, 2012 at 5:27 PM (Answer #1)

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I think that the argument could be made that the Revolutionary Government, of which the National Convention represented, was significantly weakened by the Reign of Terror.  The immediate aftermath of the Reign of Terror was that while it quelled internal dispute, it showed the revolution to have no real legitimacy amongst the people.  The military expanded under the Jacobins as the desire for control and stability ended up becoming more needed and desired than the zeal of freedom and demand for change.  The Reign of Terror exposed how the Revolution could splinter the calls for reform and actually hasten a desire for a sense of control and normalcy.  It is here where the Directory was actually preferred and could be seen as a form of a government that would be perceived as more desirable than anything else that the Revolution would strive to offer.  The National Convention as well as extensions from the Revolution lost credibility in the eyes of the people. The "excesses of the Terror" did much to usher in the Directory and the centralized form of control that the Revolution sought to dismantle in the first place.

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