What was the cause of the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution? 

3 Answers | Add Yours

rrteacher's profile pic

rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

The Reign of Terror resulted from several factors. The first was the seizure of the National Convention by the so-called "Mountain," the radicals who were backed by Parisian sans-culottes, and favored a number of radical measures. Most of these measures had to do with conducting the ongoing war with the other powers of Europe, as well as a bloody anti-revolutionary insurrection in the Vendée region of France. The Convention formed the Committee of Public Safety to deal with these challenges. They included crushing the revolt, as well as quelling urban protests against inflation, managing the nation's war resources, including conducting a draft. Under the leadership of Maximilien Robespierre, the Committee moved against the enemies, real and perceived, of the Revolution.

Thousands of Frenchmen, including many who were decidedly not anti-revolutionaries, went to the guillotine during the so-called Reign of Terror which lasted from the summer of 1793 until 1794. The Terror came to an end due to a number of reasons. First, the French became more successful in the war; second, Robespierre made a fool of himself in attempting to establish a "Festival of the Supreme Being" that managed to offend almost everyone in Paris; and most important, he went a step too far in executing fellow radical Georges Danton. Robespierre was himself captured and executed in July of 1794, thus ending the Terror.

thetall's profile pic

thetall | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

The Reign of Terror was a period of violence during the French Revolution emanating from conflicts between the Girondins and the Jacobins. During this period people perceived to be against the Revolution were publicly executed by guillotine. Both the Jacobins and the Girondins supported the end of the monarchy. However, the Girondins were against the unchecked progress of the Revolution and some activities undertaken by members of the radical Jacobin club. The situation brought the Girondins into conflict with the Jacobins, which led to the onset of the Reign of Terror.

Although the Girondins were against the monarchy, they aspired to protect their position and viewed the uncontrolled ouster of the monarchy as a threat to their power and influence. The situation forced them to make moves perceived by the most radical members of the Jacobin club as against the Revolution. The Jacobins rallied the masses against the Girondins by calling them betrayers of the Revolution. Popular dissent against the Girondins led to their purge from the Convention followed by detention and death of some of its members.

Sources:
thetall's profile pic

thetall | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

The Reign of Terror was a period of violence during the French Revolution emanating from conflicts between the Girondins and the Jacobins. During this period, people perceived to be against the Revolution were publicly executed by guillotine. Both the Jacobins and the Girondins supported the end of the monarchy. The Girondins were against the unchecked progress of the Revolution and some activities undertaken by members of the radical Jacobin club. The situation brought the Girondins into conflict with the Jacobins, which led to the onset of the Reign of Terror.

Although the Girondins were against the monarchy, they aspired to protect their position and viewed the complete decimation of the monarchy as a threat to their power and influence. The situation forced them to make moves perceived by the most radical members of the Jacobin club as against the Revolution. The Jacobins rallied the masses against the Girondins by calling them betrayers of the Revolution. Popular dissent against the Girondins led to their purge from the Convention, followed by detention and death of some of its members.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,912 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question