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The Reign of Terror. Robespierre and the Republic of Virtue. Recap Video of what we spoke about More detail. What do they portray? Why are They Relevant?. “I support the Jacobins”. “ I used to pick locks”. Les Sans- Cullotes.

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the reign of terror

The Reign of Terror

Robespierre and the Republic of Virtue

recap video of what we spoke about more detail
Recap Video of what we spoke aboutMore detail
what do they portray why are they relevant
What do they portray? Why are They Relevant?

“I support the Jacobins”

“ I used to pick locks”

Les Sans-Cullotes

What’s the connection?

  • Review Questions:
  • 1) Did women have a role in the French Revolution?
  • 2) What is the National Assembly? Who do they represent?
  • 3) Name 2 causes of the Revolution and briefly explain
  • 4) Name the three estates, which estates had a better lifestyle?
  • 5) What is the declaration of the Rights of Man? Who put it in motion?
  • 6) Who were the Jacobins? Were they extremists? Or conservative? What did they want?
  • 7) Why was the guillotine an ideal choice of execution throughout the revolution?
  • 8) What is Feudalism, why did the National Assembly want to get rid of it?
  • 9) Who were the Girodins? Were they extremists? Or conservative? What did they want?
  • Discuss with the people at your table
fun fact of the day
Fun Fact of the Day
  • The first public zoo was created in Paris during the French Revolution: the Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes

They took Marie Antoinette’s animals

so the national assembly is in power
So the National Assembly is in power
  • They have successfully removed the Monarchy from France
  • King Louis is dead
  • The Radical Jacobins are now in power
  • Things have changed, but life is still pretty bad in France (people are still hungry and France is still in debt)
  • The war is not going so well…It is quite unsettling for both the commoners and those in power

The National Convention/Assembly decide to create…


The Committee of Public Safety


  • After the death of Louis and severe defeats on the battlefield, the National Assembly created the committee of Public Safety
  • The committee of Public Safety is a nine man group that would form the executive leadership of the country
  • (supervisory powers over military, judicial, and legislative efforts)
  • Their aim: To protect the newly established republic against foreign attacks and internal rebellion
committee of public safety
Committee of public safety
  • They were led by THIS DUDE
  • As time passed, the committee assumed more and more power
  • Eventually, the committee gained dictatorial powers and ruled the country by emergency decree
  • Once again, we have a group of selected individuals ruling the country “because they have to”
  • But Danton was relatively conservative

Georges Danton

the most important member of the public safety committee
The most important member of The public safety committee
  • One of the most influential members and spokesman for the group was a young lawyer named Maximilien de Robespierre
  • Robespierre wanted a Republic of Virtue based on his idealistic philosophy, while Danton wanted a Republic slightly different from pre-Revolutionary France
  • Robespierre would eventually replace Danton as leader (after Robespierre had Danton executed)
  • Will talk more about him in a bit
let s talk about propaganda
Let’s talk about Propaganda
  • Why is propaganda important? Well…
  • It masks the truth (ex: Cake)
  • It spreads the word
  • It is effective
  • It sticks
  • Propaganda is usually:
  • Repetitious
  • Simple
  • Image based
  • Sentimental
example of propaganda
Example of Propaganda


Effective because it relates to them

Image based

It will stick

“Taxes, work, poverty

many forms of propaganda
Many forms of propaganda
  • Some people believe that advertising is a form of propaganda as it aims to persuade people to buy a certain product to make them feel a certain way. Propaganda is communication for the purpose of persuasion so they are linked in some way

But we will talk about political propaganda

the word on the street
The Word on the Street
  • During the French Revolution, the new freedom of the press allowed newspapers and pamphlets to do things they had never done before
  • They freely criticized the government and addressed the concerns of the people
  • These papers were people’s link to the revolution, a great way of spreading propaganda
  • Some of these papers were very radical and often promoted fear and paranoia in the part of the people (Towards the end; usually written by Jacobins and their sympathizers)
  • The most infamous writer during this time was Jean Paul Marat
meet jean paul marat
Meet Jean Paul Marat

JACOBIN sympathizer

  • He supported the Jacobins and promoted violence and intolerance towards anyone who opposed radical reform
  • Marat said that if the conservative elements of the National Assembly were not removed then . . .
  • “Five or six hundred heads would have guaranteed your freedom and happiness but a false humanity has restrained your arms and stopped your blows. If you don’t strike now, millions of your brothers will die, your enemies will triumph and your blood will flood the streets. They'll slit your throats without mercy and disembowel your wives. And their bloody hands will rip out your children’s entrails to erase your love of liberty forever.”
what do you think of marat
What do you think of Marat?
  • What is he trying to tell the French?
  • Is he right?
  • Does he condone violence?
  • How is he manipulating the public?
  • Do you think it works?
  • Talks amongst yourselves, I’m going to pick 3 groups at random
it does work some examples
It does work, some examples:
  • Marat caused many riots (The march on Versailles)
  • Stirred a lot of commotion before the Estate General
  • Made a lot of people favor the Jacobins
the death of marat what did it cause
The death of Marat, what did it cause?
  • We already know:
  • Through his writing and political maneuvers, Marat attacked the Girodins, who he blamed for starting the war
  • He was influential in the destruction of Girodin power in the National Assembly and then the persecution of Girodins as traitors
  • He represented the Jacobins, he was utilized as a propaganda tool
  • His death:
  • One day, as Marat sat in a bath (because of a skin condition) he was stabbed to death by a female Girodin sympathizer (Charlotte Corday)
  • Marat became a martyr of the revolution and his death was the spark that started the reign of terror
  • The Jacobins became obsessed with destroying any elements in society that opposed the revolution
what do you think happened to charlotte corday
What do you think happened to Charlotte Corday?

"I knew that he was perverting France. I have killed one man to save a hundred thousand."

This shows that people began to question their new leadership


Detail of The Death of Marat showing the paper held in Marat's left hand. The letter reads (in French) "Il suffit que je soisbienmalheureuse pour avoir droit a votrebienveillance" or in English, "Given that I am unhappy, I have a right to your help"

Jacques louis David


So the King is dead, the radicals are more or less in power, the war effort is not going so well and it

Has an economic effect on France and, the people are STILL HUNGRY, and MARAT IS DEAD

What do you think will happen? Will the National

Assembly sympathize and revolt against themselves?

Will they step down from power? Will they ignore

Marat’s death?

you re completely right
You’re completely right

But who will step up and help control the public?

robespierre remember him
Robespierre, remember him?
  • Started out as a Lawyer and was fairly conservative
  • At first, he did not advocate the use of violence
  • Over time… he became one of France’s most ruthless leaders
maximilien de robespierre
Maximilien de Robespierre
  • Becomes the leader of the Jacobins
  • He is:
  • A brilliant Fanatical
  • A Visionary (Reformed France)
  • Uncompromising (No tolerance)
  • Incorruptible (Lived a simple, modest life
  • He could not be influenced by money/les emigres

As the leader of the nation, Robespierre faced a difficult task because:

  • The countryside was still starving and violent

B) There were enemies of the revolution everywhere (royalists who wanted a return to monarchy, French Nobility plotting the downfall of the revolution in hiding, foreign invaders that were routing the French Army in every battle)

C) The war effort was not going well, people began to grow tired of France’s devotion to the war effort

  • So how does he “control” the situation?

He was supported by these guys

  • Radical left-wing partisans of the lower classes; typically urban labourers, which dominated France
  • They supported the Jacobins
  • SYMBOLIC GESTURE AGAINST les culottes (silk knee-breeches) of the moderate bourgeois
  • The working class, sans-culottes, traditionally wore pantalons (trousers)
the reign of terror1

Who is this?

Robespierre demanded absolute conformity from everyone in society

Anyone who did not follow Robespierre’s rules (even minor infractions) were swiftly executed

Example of Minor infraction: Clothes

robespierre s reign of terror
Robespierre’s reign of terror
  • In his time as leader of France, 16,000 - 18,000 people were beheaded in public
  • He killed people for various reasons:
  • Their clothes
  • The way they spoke (if it resembled l’ancien regime, the months)
  • Their beliefs (Religion, revolution)
  • Why do you think he killed people for such minor things? Does it make sense? Does it follow the principles of the enlightenment?
robespierre accomplishments
Robespierre Accomplishments

Through terror, Robespierre accomplished many things; for example

  • He calmed the countryside and provided stability for the first time in years
  • He Turned the Tide of War (He started drafting soldiers from the general public, he inspired them with the hope of the revolution and a better life, defeat meant going back to tyranny. France started to win against the combined Armies of most of Europe)

Robespierre had other contributions as well . . .

  • He was one of the major contributors to the declaration of the rights of man, laws that we take for granted
more from robespierre
More from Robespierre
  • He instituted the “METRIC SYSTEM” (international)
  • Attempted to create a new Calendar (e.g. Thermador) instead of August
  • Created new fashions (Against the style of l’ancien regime, no more distinguishing between nobility, clergy, and everyone else)
  • Created new language conventions and word usages (less fancy)
  • Created a New Flag (France’s current flag)
  • He even created a new religion (The Cult of the Supreme Being, love thy neighbor)
  • Robespierre wanted to get rid of everything that represented France before the revolution, he wanted no reminders
  • He believed that tolerance would allow their old ways to creep back into society
  • To him, terror was a great way of ensuring stability
what do you think happened to robespierre
What do you think happened to Robespierre
  • A) Reigned until he died
  • B) Resigned
  • C) Asked Austria to provide the new king of France
  • D) ?
his downfall
His Downfall
  • Robespierre was too successful
  • When the threat of military defeat was gone and the countryside was back in order, there was no need for the radical Robespierre and his grand vision
  • When they went to arrest him he attempted to commit suicide (he shot himself but missed . . . He only managed to blow off his lower jaw)
  • He was guillotined without trial the next day
  • After the downfall of Robespierre and the Jacobins, a new government took over: The Directory
  • The Directory was more moderate and further stabilized France
  • However, the directory was weak and only managed to survive for 4 years. They did the same things… without the mass murder

With that in mind, was Robespierre in the right? Were his methods appropriate?

  • In a way… they sort of represented the ideals of the enlightenment
so let s just go through this one more time
SO, let’s just go through this one more time

The French Revolution (a brief gif summary)

in a nut shell
In a nut shell
  • First Video
  • Hero or Villain activity
  • Second Video