During the Reign of Terror, the Revolutionary government in France spearheaded a war against counter-revolutionaries, including nobles and priests. This period lasted from September 1793 to July 1794. Robespierre was the head of the Committee of Public Safety and was largely responsible for its actions. Robespierre was dedicated to the ideals of the sans-culottes, or the radical lower classes during the French Revolution. He believed that terror was justified in the pursuit of what he felt was justice; he stated, "Terror is nothing else than justice, prompt, severe, inflexible." The committee he led had dictatorial powers that they felt were necessary to curb civil unrest and foreign wars. Under his leadership, the committee killed off its political enemies on the left and right and instituted the Law of 22 Prairial, year II (passed on June 10, 1794). This law allowed juries only to acquit a suspect or sentence that person to death, and jury trials were held in secret. During the Reign of Terror, about 300,000 people were arrested, and about 17,000 people were executed, largely at Robespierre's direction.