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Justification of the Reign of Terror

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In France, people were having trouble with the Monarchy. This is because the King put higher taxes on food like bread, which only affected the 3rd Estate. So the third estate decided to get help from the Estates-General who doesn’t allow one-sided power. However the king decided to lock the doors to the meeting hall not allowing the Peasants inside, so they decided to create the Tennis Court Oath, which was a promise to not let the King become too powerful under the new constitution. When the King heard of this Revolution or Uprising he went into kill mode, under many attacks on the revolutionaries or the Monarchy. Finally, the King was “defeated”. They forced him to sign a document switching it from a Monarchy to a Constitutional Monarchy. Afterward, the revolutionaries feeling safer with what was done, find out that King Louis XVI was unhappy with the new government. The 3rd Estate decided to create a blockade not allowing the King to leave and escape to Austria. The King still upset decides to try and escape France but gets caught upsetting the revolutionaries more wanting to try him for treason. After his trial, they find him guilty and decapitate him and the Queen. France now lacking a government created the Committee of Public Safety who decided everyone’s fates. Robespierre on this Committee grew too powerful and executed people for reasons like treason and talking with the enemy. This started the Reign of Terror because of the thousands of people who were executed spreading this fear of Robespierre. To many of the revolutionaries the Reign of Terror may have seemed justified, however, it was not justified because it went against peoples rights and safety, it engulfed many of its “children” (citoyen), and the reasons revolutionaries said it was justified make it not [1B].

Since the Reign of Terror went against people’s rights and safety makes this horrible occurrence unjustified to happen. This goes along with many of the documents about the Reign of Terror like Documents A, C, and E [3]. Document A speaks of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and how this represents their goal at the start of the Revolution, but how they drift further from it the closer they get to the Reign of Terror. Article 1 of the Declaration of the Rights of Man states, “Men are born and remain free and equal in rights”. Based on this first line it shows how much they missed this goal of theirs. During the time of writing this declaration, they were trying to diminish the monarchy from France and it worked pretty well till the Reign of Terror started in 1793 and this is when France drifted further from reality.

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