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Robespierre 1794 Essay, Research Paper

1794 Paris, France

At the expense of thousands of lives, the recent terror that has struck France has helped to

rescue France from the brink of total collapse. The leadership of Robespierre and the

Committee of Public Safety have created a powerful military, rid France of internal opposition,

and placed a much needed cap on the price of essential goods. While the mass butchery

seems inhumane and drastic, this time period of terror was completely necessary. Though it

may sound harsh, many problems were solved that had been threatening France from within

and outside its borders during this time of terror.

During this time of terror, France has been able to drive all of its enemies off French soil,

crush all revolts that had been brewing within the French providence?s, and hold off what could

have been a devastating famine. All of the French people have been forced to contribute

towards the war effort. All unmarried men were forced to join the military, married men made

weapons, women made tents and served as battle nurses, and children made bandages and

gunpowder. All of this support for France?s army, although forced, proved invaluable beside a

strict discipline policy. The French army has overwhelmed the enemy forces by the large

numbers of men. In the past two and a half years of fighting, almost all enemies have been

driven off French soil, Flanders has been retaken, and the army has established a new

Batavian Republic in Holland.

Aside from fending off foreign invasion, the ?Reign of Terror? also served to help resolve the

problems that had been threatening France from within. The Committee of Public Safety had

put forth steadfast efforts to resolve order to the French countryside, where revolts jeopardized

the nations security. Anyone suspected of opposing Robespierre?s ?Republic of Virtue? could

be convicted and executed without any evidence being heard on the defendants behalf. Brutal

and wrongful as it was, the action of the Committee of Public Safety was essential in

extinguishing the rebellious uprisings that threatened France.

France was successful in battling off enemies from afar and within, yet it was faced with

another threat, famine. Food prices were dangerously high and to avoid mass starvation, the

Committee of Public Safety issued the Law of the Maximum. This new law demanded that forty

goods, including corn, flour, firewood and oil were to be frozen until further notice. This new

law also fixed people?s wages and those who broke the maximum were subject to death. The

law had some faults, namely the fact that many other goods prices continued to rise while

wages remained frozen. In spite of the law?s imperfections, the Law of the Maximum helped

France survive the famine.

Considering all of the benefits France was able to acquire during the ?Reign of Terror,? it is

appropriate to say that the ends justified the means, as brutal as the means happened to be.


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