1.1 By late 1793 , the Vendee rebellion was under control; the
Federal Revolt had been crushed and Austrian armies had been
driven out of France after the battle of Onschoote in October.
2 Reasons for
2.1 Developed radical ideas – supported by
anti-monarchists (1792) and sans culottes – a
spokesman of the new radical stage of the
2.2 Ability as a public speaker –
regularly spoke in the Convention
2.3 Girondin faction ousted from the Convention –
makes the Convention increasingly radical
2.4 Appointed to sit on Committee of Public Safety (July 1793)
2.5 Popular amongst Sans Culottes and
perceived to be working the interests of
3 What did Robespierre believe?
3.1 ‘We must organise the
dictatorship of liberty to crush
the dictatorship of kings”
3.2 Robespierre dreams of a
Republic of Virtue – a purge
of all corruption, which often
meant cleansing of nobles
and the wealthy.
3.3 Political views which differed
from those of Robespierre were
dismissed as treason.
3.4 Political views which differed from
those of Robespierre were dismissed
4 What was the Great 'Terror'
4.1 With all potential critics executed
and all criticism stifled,
Robespierre (between 10th June to
27th July, 1794) aimed to create a
Republic of Virtue
4.2 Law of Prairial (10th June 1794) announced
that any enemy of the people (such a board
definition that almost anyone could be
included) could be tried and executed without
witnesses or evidence
4.3 1594 were sentenced to death by
the Revolutionary Tribunal in Paris
in June and July - 59.3% of its
victims across the whole period.
4.4 Many of the Victims were priests, nobles
or wealthy bourgeoisie. But many were
also ordinary people accused on trumped
5 Robespierre's fall from power...
5.1 His creations of the cult of the Supreme Being
pleased no one. Catholics opposed it because it
ignored Catholic doctrine and anti-clericals thought it
was an attempt to reintroduce the Church.
5.2 Robespierre’s popularity among the sans-culottes was
falling because of the execution of the Hébertistes and the
raising of the maximum on prices which cause inflation
and the imposing of the maximum in wages.
5.3 The CPS and CGS began to fall out when the CPS
set up its own police bureau, which Robespierre
led, to prosecute dishonest officials. Many leading
politicians now felt threatened by Robespierre.
5.4 After nearly month away from public life (July 1794),
Robespierre returned to address the Convention, accusing
unnamed colleagues of plotting against the government. As
people felt threatened, it led directly to the coup of Thermidor
(late July), and Robespierre’s death.