The Jacobins .
By the summer of 1792, leaders of street mobs had more power than any part of the government. The Jacobins, with their powerful hate-filled speech sent a powerful message that resonated with the French- remove the king and establish a republic and advocated as many enemies as need be in the process. The newly established governing body- The National Convention abolished the monarchy, France was made a republic- adult male citizens were free to vote and hold office. Louis was considered to be a common man and prisoner and was tried for treason by the radical Jacobins. He was found guilty and was sentenced to death.
Some doctors believed that a victim’s head retained its hearing and eyesight for up to 15 minutes after the blade’s deadly blow. All remains were eventually gathered and buried in simple graves.
Before each execution, bound victims traveled from the prison to the scaffold in horse drawn carts during a 1 ½ hour procession through the city streets.
Once the executioner cranked the blade to the top
A mechanism would release it. The sharp weighted blade fell, severing the victims head from his or her body.
Marat was a thin, high strung, sickly man whose revolutionary writings stirred up violent mood in Paris. Because he suffered from a painful skin disease, he often found comfort by relaxing in a cold bath- even arranging things so he could work in his bathtub.
During the summer of 1793, Charlotte Corday, a supporter of a rival faction whose members had been jailed, gained an audience with Marat by pretending to have information about traitors. Once inside Marat’s private chambers, she fatally stabbed him as he bathed. For her crime, a revolutionary court sent Corday to the guillotine.
Not all of France supported the radical Jacobin agenda. War with Austria and Prussia continued with Britain and Spain joined in the fight, the religious leaders hated the state control of their religion and rival leaders were stirring up rebellion in the provinces outside Paris. France was in desperate need of changes that would heal the fractions and end the violence…
As the head of the committee of public safety, Robespierre decided who should be considered enemies of the republic. The committee was known for trying people in the morning and having them guillotined by the afternoon. Robespierre ruled as a dictator during the Reign of Terror. He justified his actions by stating that e was remaining true to the ideals of the Revolution. Those members of government less radical than Robespierre were executed. Besides leading political figures thousands were sent to death for flimsy infractions. Nearly 3,000 people were estimated to have been executed in Paris- tens of thousands more throughout France- most of whom were common people- for whom the benefit of the Revolution had supposedly been carried out.
Fear over possible execution under Robespierre, those with the surname “Leroy” (King) changed their names. Kings, Queens and Jacks were replaced with revolutionary leaders in decks of cards, new republic calendars were issued, with 12 months each having 30 days- all names were changed to words that described the season- Rainy, Windy, etc. Churches throughout France were closed down.
Georges Danton, a member of the National Convention and friend of Marat was executed. He said, “Don’t forget to show my head… it is well worth seeing”. The former queen Marie Antoinette was also faced the guillotine Other less know victims were a tavern owner and 18 year old boy. The tavern owner was sentenced to death for serving sour wine while the 18 year old sawed down a tree that had been planted as a sign of liberty.
Member of the National Convention knew that none of them were safe from Robespierre, so in an act to save themselves they turned on him. The Reign of Terror- the radical phase of the French Revolution, ended when Maximilen Robespierre lost his head.
People from all classes were targeted and executed
Anyone suspected of disloyalty was executed including government officials, royalty, nobility, the clergy, and the bourgeoise.
More peasants and laborers died in the Guillotine.
The French Reign of Terror
The leader of the radical phase was Maximilien Robespierre.
He headed the prosecution of the king in 1792.
In 1794 he set up a civic religion, “the Cult of the Supreme Being” to replace Catholicism.
He pushed for a new constitution, slavery was abolished in French colonies (later reinstated). Nationalism replaced older loyalties to the church or localism.
Opposition later was mounted against him and he was executed.
By 1799, the revolution changed when a leading general, Napoleon Bonaparte establishes an authoritative empire.
The French are Rad…ical
While defending French delegates from rebels, Napoleon led an attack which led to him being hailed as a hero. In 1796 he was appointed to lead the French army in an attack against Austria and Sardinia. He pressed forward into Egypt but the army and navy were defeated by the British.
When he returned to France, the directory had lost control of the political situation and the confidence of the people of France.
This left an opening for Napoleon to seize control. He was in charge of the military and his wife Josephine was a wealthy socialite with many political connections.
Napoleon quickly assumed dictorial powers once the newly formed legislature dissolved the Directory and asked him to serve as one of three counsels.
You will create either a set of playing cards for the key players in the American or French Revolutions, or you will make an action figure.
If you choose the playing cards you must have a hand of 5 cards. You must choose the suits, colors and people.
If you choose the action figure, you only need to choose one person. You MUST be a highly creative person. If you choose Marie Antoinette for example, she needs to look like her, dress like her, and have some quality about her that shows historical knowledge.
They all must be colored, and show historical relevance and competence.