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The Reign of Terror in France, 1792- 95


Cindy Dang

on 18 June 2013

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Transcript of The Reign of Terror in France, 1792- 95

Overview of events : 1789 - 1792
The End of the

1792- 1795
Robespierre and the Terror

Madame Guillotine and Her Victims
Reign of Terror
Reign of Terror
King Louis
Overall, After the Terror
The Revolution become more moderate
The fall of Robspierre
Good to know
Involvements with the war created = political, economical struggles within France
Within the last eighteenth century, France has fought within three great wars on a world wide scale
King Louis XVI had absolute authority over the country as he shared his power with nobody except God
As these problems came into a worse, the uprising of citizens wanting a revolution was gradually dominating
Louis continued to gain interest through being involved in wars. For example, as France joined with the USA to help them win its freedom, Louis committed large sums of money, even though the french could not afford enough money to do so.
Enlightenment =
Europe wide movement which caused great expressions in the works of French writers which were referred to as 'philosophers' . They believed that their idea's were powerful as they had progresses and reasons to create a more humane world.
Enlightenment influenced on how educated individuals would think about the current society that they're living in = Creation of social movements before the revolution
There are a series of
Besides the financial crisis, within this period of time, the northern area of France experienced a natural disaster (colossal hailstorm) which destroyed most of the ripening harvest, which created =
- Sever economic difficulties -> bread prices rising, consumers spending more money on food through their own incomes
- Manufacturing problems -> British competitions under commercial treaty
- Weather problems: Country became cold -> rivers froze, transport to a stop
Winter ended -> Wide- spread flooding
Dr Joseph Guillotin proposed on 10 October 1789 the use of a device to carry out death penalties in France.
Before the Guillotine, beheading was executed by means of a sword - mainly reserved for the nobility.

Estates General
The program was to fix the constitution of France, that would severely limit the kings powers, the abolition of legal privileges, a representative assembly, religious tolerance and press of freedom.
The Estates General includes three estates=
First Estate: Clergy
Second Estate: Nobility
Third Estate: Unprivileged Commoners
Jacques Necker: Estate General Chief Minister
Estates General
Both linked to the royalty and share many privileges
Both have similar advantages within the community
1st & 2nd

Granting a similar vote compared towards the third estate vote
Estates General
Guillotin was opposed to the death penalty.
Hoped to be the first step towards the abolition of the death penalty.
To discourage onlookers from committing such crimes.
There would not be blood on the executioner's hands.
Louis granted the Third Estate a larger representation compared towards the nobility and clergy
3rd Estate
All 3 group have to conclude with one vote towards particular situation

Exclusive group through their noble status as they enjoyed various tax exemptions, privilege of top access and was resented (was annoying) towards the rich people/ noble origins
They can be known as the UPPER LEVEL/ GROUP of the Third Estate as well as non noble rich people as some hold the identity of being:
- Merchants
- Manufacturers
- Lawyers
- Professionals
Abbe Sieyes
- Created a pamphlet called: " What is the Third Estate? "
- Sieyes pamphlet influenced the Third Estate to Break off from the Estates General
- Abbe Sieyes recommended that: there was no point of the third estate meeting within the estates general as the third estate should constitute itself independently as an assembled nation such as known as parliament themselves
Third Estate
National Assembly
- 17th June 1789 : Firstly was called the Communes however, gradually, Nobles and the clergy started to join
- National Assembly: represents the national community as a WHOLE.
He was a north country lawyer turned radical politician driven by enlightenment. He was part of the National Convention which put the King on Trial and arguing for his execution and the Committee of Public safety as well as the Jacobin club who influenced the revolution. His opinions were highly valued in these political groups.
Against the backdrop of the threat of foreign invasion and the increasing disorder of the country, Robespierre and the committee of public safety began the Reign of Terror which eliminated enemies of the revolution as

Who was he?
What did he do?
What is it?
10 month Period of Revolutionary Justice during the French Revolution where executions were high in number and people were scared of being accused with anti-revolution feelings believed to have been started with the execution of the King by Robespierre as he thought that was the only way to give birth to a new republic. It became government policy in 1793
Reign of
What was it used for?
It was used as a means of stabilizing the country and to eliminate enemies of the revolution.
What happened?
Enemies of the revolution were fed to the guillotine or the republican razor. 14000-40000 were killed and many of these were peasants and workers. Robespierre and the Jacobin's were not afraid to decapitate any of their opponents.
The Tennis Court Oath
-National Assembly held an emergency session within the Kings indoor Tennis Court. ( Their usual meeting place was blocked out by royal officials )
- Why Tennis Court? Large enough to
accommodate the individuals
- They swore the "Oath of the Tennis Court" = Pledging not to allow themselves to never separate until they have given France a constitution
20th June 1789
The Bastille
14th July 1789
Bastille = Medieval fortress prison that had become a symbol of despotic authority
- Large crowds of ordinary Parisians along with French Guards who have abandon the king for royal regiment surrounded the Bastille as they showed how the crowed to move
- Significant mark of revolt from the ordinary people of Parisians
- Only 7 prisoners were held in captivity
- Expected to free hundred of victims within the Bastille
The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizens
26 August 1789
- Document guaranteed to process in judicial matter and establish sovereignty among the french people.
- Defines the fundamental principles of a new society based on EQUALITY and individuals RIGHTS
- New system of government based on the consent (permission to do something) of the governed
The declaration has ended the distinction between the nobles and the commoners
There are 17 declarations of the rights of man and citizens
The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizens
Louis XVI was not prepared to endorse these restructuring of government and society within this declaration, the king refused to make a public statement on accepting them
The October Days -
Women's March to Versailles
5 October 1789
France was suffering through the continuation of high prices of bread -> inability to eat and feed their families properly.

This caused anger as the people presumed and concluded that the aristocrats (nobility) were planning to take over
Apparent that the King had given a feast for his body guards along with his officers as they refused a revolution through throwing revolutionary cockade (bundle of ribbons with revolutionary colours) and trampling it
The October Days - Women's March to Versailles
Large Crowd of women gathered within the markets as they demanded that the city should take action and protect the revolution. ( Reaction towards the Kings feast)
The crowed believed that the only way to stop an aristocratic to attack was to bring the king back to Paris
Demonstration of women ( which were excluded from politics) could influence the course of events such as this.
Constitutional Debates
Debating towards on what
powers the king should have within the new constitution
- Monarchiens: took control, nearly dominated the national assembly
Promised - King having a large budget to spend as he pleased and the right to veto (reject) laws
They only granted him 2 to
3 years of veto in the
Disapproval:Feared that the king would use his veto to paralyse the assembly
Constitutional Debates
Debate on the right to vote
Deputies in the assembly argue that citizens :
- who earn certain amount of property
- something to lose from radical measurements
Could be expected to make 'intelligent' political choices:
- 'Passive' citizens: rest of population
- 'active' citizens: adult males who pay taxes equi. 3 days ordinary labourers wage
March 1790 - National Assembly voted on to let the colonies to determine the issue of voting qualifications for themselves
Constitutional Debates
National Assembly created a new division for France into new districts which are called DEPARTMENTS
Each Departments are divided into equal sections through having features
Fixed overlapping court districts, religious diocese and other division compared to old regime
Assembly abolished all the various toll's and custom boundaries that have divided France economically
Departments been created have survived until present today
Church lands and the Assignats
- Wanting to sell off all the churches lands as the government would be able to repay the massive debts that was left over from the old regime
Became a form of paper currency used for ordinary business transactions and payment of taxes
ASSIGNATS = Certificate backed by the presumed value of the churches land that could be redeemed for property when it came on the market
Government were tempted to issue more -> revolutionary problem
Feb 1790 - Assembly abolished monastic religions except for those who devoted towards teaching and charitable activities
- Violence between protestants and Catholics
- Monks and Nuns as citizens
The Civil Constitution of the Clergy
Catholics objected due to the selecting priest might encounter protestants, jews and atheist.
Civil constitution redrew the boundaries of dioceses to correspond the boundaries of Departments.
Priest objected, assembly demanded those who agree to undertake an oath as a public choice
Government went into position to introduce newly promoted priests who accepted the oath
Suspicion towards laity individuals who blamed the revolution for destroying the true faith of their religion
Allowed readers all over the country to follow the revolution which created a sense of national community
The country began to become more well informed towards the political news and occurrence.
Clubs channeled and organised the public participation int he new politics
Originally contained Patriot deputies then later expanded to include citizens as well as legislators
WHY CALLED JACOBIN = met in a church formally owned by the Jacobin order
PREVIOUS PROBLEMS = 1791- Membership was restricted due to high admissions fee. However the Jacobin's club gave the opportunity for poorer citizens to be included
PURPOSE = Brought supporters of the revolution together to hear the latest news from the assembly, discuss issues of the day and plan local political initiatives
FIRSTLY WAS CALLED " Society of Friends of the Constitution" but was commonly referred to the JACOBIN CLUB
Other Clubs
Cordeliers Club - Welcomed 'passive' citizens and campaigned against what is saw in the national assembly ( as they believed it was biased and in favour of the rich
Club Massiac - Counterrevolutionaries ( those who opposes a revolution)
Cercle Social - Parisian supporters or political and religious democracy. Mainly women would participate in this group ( as women were excluded from politics)
- Public festivals have been developed by the country which provides a symbolic representation of the revolution achievements that the entire population can participate in
The Kings Flight
Louis XVI faced problems :
- Under pressure where he refused demands against the nobles through that the national assembly demanded
- The civil constitution of the clergy to a law, the pope condemned this idea
Louis Asks for their help through restoring Louis XVI and his family into power in France with rulers of Austria, Prussia and Sweden
June 1791 - Kings Family attempted to escape to the Austrian boarder where they were suppose to meet the Austrian army and arrange attacks on the revolutionaries back in France
The Kings Flight
Members consisted of ex members from the Jacobin's. This organisation was lead by Robespierre
The Feuillants= Decided to give Louis XVI a chance to be free from his flight if he would swear an oath towards the new constitution as the country believed that it was better without a Monarch
King and his family were recognised as they were heavily guarded as they traveled back to Paris
The Massacre on the Champ De Mars
17 July 1791
Occurrence that revolutionaries fired upon fellow revolutionaries and not upon forces of the old regime
Around 50 people were killed and others were injured as guards decided to fire.
The crowed turned on two suspicious individuals and prepared to murder them, National Guard was called to deal this problem
50,00 individuals flowed into the Champ De Mars as people were lining up to sign a petition through demanding that the king should be deposed
decided to conclude its work as things seemed to be in hand and the constitution has been followed effectively

It had given France a completely new constitutional system based on the principles for the legal equality for all male citizens and individual liberty
The National Assembly
The Legislative Assembly
- Democratic Faction = King could no longer be trusted, rep. by Jacobin Club.
- Bourgeois= favoured constitutional monarchy rep. by Feuillants. Felt that the revolution has achieved
Provides political debates and revolutionary law making between the periods of the National Constituent Assembly
It was driven by two groups:
The Legislative Assembly
It has completed =
- Eliminated penalties for homosexual acts

They continue to make legislation to fit into the new constitution
- Etat civil: registration of births, marriage, death as a function of government rather than church
- Divorce: allowed husbands and wives to have equal rights to initiate proceedings, made it a voluntary agreement
- Women greater personal rights
The revolt in the
Saint - Domingue = One of the most important colonies of France called the Caribbean sugar island of Saint Domingue
August 1791 - revolt of dark skinned slaves due to not recognising their rights and freedom. This proved the idea that it was difficult to control the individuals -> coloured rebels started to burn crops / plantation used for overseas trade
Move to war
The King asked the Legislative Assembly to declare war ->even though the National Assembly stripped his rights to declare war (also in constitution)
Legislative assembly declared war against Austria due to the fact that the Austrian government rejected a French ultimatum.
20th April 1792:
Other countries admit that they have been impacted towards the revolution
Supporters to war =
Non Supporters to war =
Feuillant moderates- they feared that the 'fragile' constitutional monarchy would not survive
Majority of the Jacobin's
WHO IMPORTANTLY? Journalist - deputy Jacques Pierre Brissot. Other talented and ambitious individuals who made to their own world through their own abilities.
Leaders of the pro war faction in the Jacobin club
WHY CALLED GIRONDINS? many were deputies from the Gironde, the department of Bordeaux
ARGUE THAT ? the war would exalt patriotic favor and expose traitors who hoped for the the defeat of revolution
Impact of War
- Soldiers revolting
- Political debates
- Lower class were called to fight within the war ( even though the constitution excluded passive citizens doing political means)
- Violence to those who oppose revolution as they will be undertaken in harsh punishment ( constitution stated that individuals are important)
Overthrow of the
SANS - CULOTTES= Meaning 'without culottes' that is individuals wearing knee breeches that the privileges wore.This group consisted of urban laborers, peasants that wanted to see the end of the privilege that the nobles had.
The constitution that came to effect in 1791 was beginning to become apart.

20th June 1792 onwards - The Sans Culottes became increasingly violent and then became a popular movement as they protest the Kings Veto's to strengthen war.
Groups of revolutionary individuals have decided to plan for the force of removing the king
Overthrow of the
28th July : Duke of Brunswick issued a proclamation holding the inhabitants of Paris responsible for any attacks on the King
Overthrow of the
Legislative assembly suspended Louis XVI form his functions to vote/ call nation wide elections

10 August: Supporters that were planning to attack ( reaction to the Proclamation)
King Louis XVI, his family and the Legislative Assembly took refuge as they left the situation to the Swiss guards protecting their palace
Removed the constitution of 1791
More violence, massacres continued as the legislative nor the commune made any effort to stop this problem
10 October 1789
Six articles in favour of the reformation of capital punishment.
Article 1.
Article 2.
Article 3.
Article 4.
Article 5.
Article 6.
All offences of the same kind will be punished by the same type of punishment by the same type of punishment irrespective of the rank or status of the guilty part.
Whenever the law imposes the death penalty, irrespective of the nature of the offence, the punishment shall be the same: decpitation, effected by means of a simple mechanism.
The punishment of the guilty party shall not bring discredit upon or discrimination against his family.
No one shall reproach a citizen with any punishment imposed on one of his relatives. Such offenders shall be publicly reprimanded by a judge.
The condemned person's property shall not bring discredit upon or discrimination against his family.
At the request of the family, the corpse of the condemned man shall be returned to them for burial and no reference to the nature of death shall be registered.
- After events in 1972 (Fall of the monarchy) Louis was arrested and tried for high treason and found guilty.
- Stripped of all his titles and honours on the 21st of September 1792.
- As Louis got onto the podium he appeared dignified and resigned.
- Began on March 30th 1794
- Tension grew between committee of Public Safety and the committee of General Security
- Supporters from the convention of Robespierre wanted to draw back
- 26th July Robespierre gave an aggressive speech
- Pierre Joseph stood up to Robespierre and the French nation, which encouraged others to do so
- Robespierre tried to stop this where it ended no good where he was later shoot

- Convention began to assert control
- Military successes also continued
- Middle of 1795, Belgium was going to take over
- Prussia signed an agreement in April 1795
Spain signed a treaty with France

Government by directory
France created a government, which had three levels
- Lower House
- An Upper House
- Directors

- After Robespierre was executed, The Revolution continued but the number of killings at the guillotine decreased drastically
- After the Revolution, France was in a very chaotic position
- Not everything was solved at The End of the Reign of Terror and The French Revolution
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