Fall of Robespierre (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: The fall of Robespierre ends the Reign of Terror and allows the army, now used against the populace, to become the primary force of the French Revolution.
Summary of Event
The Jacobin Club’s advantage over other Parisian political clubs lay in its network of five hundred affiliated provincial clubs. Robespierre came to dominate this organization through expulsions: the Feuillants in 1791 and the Girondins in 1793. The Jacobins controlled the National Convention through their affiliation with the Commune (the Paris city government and focus of its forty-seven sections). In the spring of 1793, defeats of French revolutionary armies in the Netherlands and Rhineland and internal rebellion in the department of the Vendée (monarchist, Catholic, and against military conscription) combined with fear of espionage and hunger in Paris to cause the establishment of the Reign of Terror and the Committee of Public Safety, which dominated the Convention in 1793-1794. Robespierre strengthened his position in Paris and the Committee through his image as “incorruptible,” a protector of the people’s interests. Agencies of the Terror (the Revolutionary Tribunal, surveillance committees in Paris sections, and “representatives on mission” acting for the Convention in the provinces) helped France to regain the offensive abroad and control insurrection at home. Popular leaders, such as Jacques René Hébert of...
(The entire section is 1332 words.)
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