Start Date

1-5-2019 10:30 AM

End Date

1-5-2019 11:45 AM

Disciplines

European History | Political History

Subjects

Maximilien Robespierre (1758-1794) -- Influence, Maximilien Robespierre (1758-1794) -- Political and social views, Maximilien Robespierre (1758-1794) -- Trials litigation etc., France -- History -- Reign of Terror (1793-1794)

Abstract

The French Revolution’s infamously radical Reign of Terror rallied revolutionaries and quelled dissenters, all under the justification that the “republic of virtue” mandated protection. The Terror’s enigmatic Jacobin figurehead, Maximilien Robespierre, undeniably embodied the Enlightenment, egalitarian thought that provoked the revolution in 1789. Nonetheless, his resolute view of virtue and tyrannical tendencies debased a 1792 republic already overcome by factionalism and unnecessary bloodshed. His extreme rhetoric and public unpopularity only further blackened his image, raising the question of his legitimacy to his colleagues and fellow Jacobins. This paper asserts that while Robespierre acted in the name of the “Republic,” his uncompromising view of what the “republic of virtue” ought to be further alienated patriots and party members, in turn inciting counterrevolution. The growing perception of him as tyrannical and hypocritical, therefore, catalyzed Jacobin action to bring him to his downfall and eventual execution.

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Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/28639

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May 1st, 10:30 AM May 1st, 11:45 AM

Robespierre: A Self-Destructed Revolutionary

The French Revolution’s infamously radical Reign of Terror rallied revolutionaries and quelled dissenters, all under the justification that the “republic of virtue” mandated protection. The Terror’s enigmatic Jacobin figurehead, Maximilien Robespierre, undeniably embodied the Enlightenment, egalitarian thought that provoked the revolution in 1789. Nonetheless, his resolute view of virtue and tyrannical tendencies debased a 1792 republic already overcome by factionalism and unnecessary bloodshed. His extreme rhetoric and public unpopularity only further blackened his image, raising the question of his legitimacy to his colleagues and fellow Jacobins. This paper asserts that while Robespierre acted in the name of the “Republic,” his uncompromising view of what the “republic of virtue” ought to be further alienated patriots and party members, in turn inciting counterrevolution. The growing perception of him as tyrannical and hypocritical, therefore, catalyzed Jacobin action to bring him to his downfall and eventual execution.