Why did the French Revolution become so bloody?

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The French Revolution was particularly bloody due to the level of repression by the French monarchy and the determination and militant resistance displayed by the French revolutionaries. The French Revolution consisted of a popular struggle of both working class people in the cities and rural spaces, as well as the...

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The French Revolution was particularly bloody due to the level of repression by the French monarchy and the determination and militant resistance displayed by the French revolutionaries. The French Revolution consisted of a popular struggle of both working class people in the cities and rural spaces, as well as the emerging middle-class merchants of the cities and ports. The interests of these two distinct classes were not the same in their motivations for the revolution, but they held the same enemy, which was the French monarchy. However, the tensions between the working class and rising bourgeoisie in the revolution attributed to the violence as the factions engaged in internal fights once the monarchy was disposed. The invention of the guillotine just prior to the French Revolution allowed for quick and numerous executions by the French monarchy, and then, with the fall of the monarchy by the King and Queen's own beheadings, through the various revolutionary factions. When the Jacobins, led by Maximilien Robespierre, took power after the fall of the monarchy, they quickly ushered in the period of time known as the Reign of Terror. This time period of 1793-1794 was one of immense paranoia and suspicion in which the new and equally tyrannical State regularly arrested and beheaded suspected counter-revolutionaries. Neighbors were, similar to witch hunts, encouraged to turn in their fellow neighbors if suspected of counter-revolutionary behaviors. Tens of thousands of people were executed by the guillotine during the initial stages of the French Revolution and, particularly, during the Reign of Terror. Once more moderate elements took power in government, the oppression and violence decreased significantly.

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In my opinion, the French Revolution became so bloody because of the depth of the grievances that the revolutionaries felt and the level of stubbornness and rigidity that the people in power displayed.  In other words, the revolutionaries were really angry and the people in power didn't want to give in to them in any way.

France had been ruled by one of the most absolute monarchies in Europe.  This meant that the common people had been given little to no say in government.  They had also been abused in various ways.  Because of this, they felt strong grievances.  Instead of trying to lessen that sense of grievance, the monarchy resisted the revolutionaries at every turn.  This led the revolutionaries to feel even angrier.

So I pretty much blame the monarchy.  They were too oppressive and too rigid.  They did not give the revolutionaries anything and that made the revolutionaries violently angry and let the radicals come to power.

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