How did the civil and foreign wars France was fighting affect  the Terror in the French revolution?

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rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The war against the so-called "First Coalition" was probably the biggest factor in creating an atmosphere in which the Terror could occur. Indeed, the Committee of Public Safety, which was responsible for carrying out the Terror, was formed to deal with the crisis created by the war. In 1792 and 1793 the war, which was going rather badly, created an atmosphere of economic and political turmoil in France. A counter-revolution seemed imminent, especially in the Vendee region of France, and in the cities, the war led to extreme shortages and inflation that the revolutionary government, still motivated primarily by liberal political beliefs would not regulate through price supports. With the support of the radical urban sans-culottes, the Jacobins, with Robespierre as leader, seized control of the National Convention and created the Committee of Public Safety charged with running the country during the war. Urged on by the sans-culottes, and using the war as justification, the Committee embarked on a program of eliminating so-called reactionaries and enemies of the Revolution. The Vendee revolt, in particular, was brutally crushed, and thousands of Frenchmen were summarily sent to the guillotine This was the Terror, and it was instituted out of a sense of emergency created by the war and the crisis it brought about for the Revolution. The Committee was, in many ways, successful. It mobilized the country for war in a way that no nation had ever been before, and it did so largely through the use of terror.  

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