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Maximillan Robespierre is known for being the most menacing and
mysterious leaders of the French Revolution. His main objective was to have
France as an ideal “Republic of Virtue.” In the process of achieving his goals
many innocent citizens were sent to the guillotine. He also created a
revolutionary dictatorship in France (Carson BC).
Robespierre attended college in Paris. The college was called College de
Louis-le-Grand (Encarta 96). It was here , while studying, Robespierre found
the works of Rousseau. These works led Robespierre to believe society had
degraded and enslaved mankind. These beliefs would reflect Robespierre for the
rest of his life (Carson 27).
After getting his law degree, Robespierre became a deputy of the Third
Estate. He represented the province Arras. During the meeting of the General
Estate, King Louis XVI tried to separate the First and Third Estates from joining
and gaining the advantage. This led to the forming of the Third Estate into a
group called the National Assembly (Scott 49).
The signing of the Tennis Court Oath could be considered the start of the
French Revolution was the start of the French Revolution. Robespierre was one
of the first to sign it (Carson 109). It meant France would soon have a new
constitution, new government, new system, a new everything (Scott 51).
The next group Robespierre joined was the National Convention. In the
National Convention, he was president of the Jacobins. The National Convention
declared France a republic. The group debated the fate of King Louis XVI.
Robespierre argued on the side to have Louis executed, in which he was executed
four days later. The convention also approved a new constition(Carson 109).
While in National Convention, Robespierre came under attack by fellow members. One of Mareselles deputies complained that Robespierre was trying to
create a dictatorship. Robespierre, in return, argued that he believed that France
must stay together as a republic. He told them, if France split, that they would fall
to foreign attacks. Many of the other members took to Robespierre s arguments
and came to like him more as a leader(Carson 98).
After the Festival of the Supreme Being, created by Robespierre, he came
under fire again. A loony faith healer proclaimed Robespierre to be the Messiah.
This struck fear into many lives. Joseph Fouche began to create a group of
people to bring down Robespierre. He preached to others that they would be next
to go to the guillotine by the demand of Robespierre.
On July 26, 1794, he called for a purging of consiprators in the National
Convention. By this time, he saw Fouche to be a major threat to his power. After
arguing he was blameless, the crowd began to shout and “boo” Robespierre
(Carson 98). The next day he was arrested by the National Convention. The day
after being arrested, he died by the guillotine(Scott 232).
Carson, S. L. Robespierre. New York: Chelsea House. 1988
“Robespierre, Maximilien Francois Marie Isidore de,” Microsoft Encarta. 1994 Microsoft Corporation. 1994 Funk & Wagnalls Coporation.
Scott, Otto J. Robespierre: The Voice of Virtue. New York: Mason & Lipscomb. 1974.
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