Convention and the Terror

Convention and the Terror

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  • Created by: cat1232
  • Created on: 10-05-12 20:32

The Terror

27th August 1793- Toulon accepted protection from British forces- welcomed to port.

4th September 1793- demonstration for more bread turned to advantage of Terrorists- Chaumette, backed by sans-culottes, called for Terror to tackle shortages.


  • Marxist- Terror as final parts of class struggle
  • Temporary reaction to counter revolution
  • Furet- the Terror was developing throughout the revolution
  • Expediency or extension of revolution?
  • Robespierre- extension of power- marxist defend/ revisionist guilty of genocide
  • Robespierre the "INCORRUPTABLE"
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Robespierre extends leadership

The Hébertistes

  • preched extreme violence and v. popular with sans culottes
  • Robespierre disliked their encouragement of dechristianisation campaign
  • 24th March- Hébert and 18 supporters arrested and guillotined
  • CPS took advantage to gain power- revolutionary army disbanded, repressentatives recalled.


  • Spring/summer 1794- called for end of Terror due to victories- seen as threat
  • Bought before revolutionary tribunal April 1794- executed

The Cult of the Supreme Being (Decree passed 7 may 1794)

  • Wanted to unite france
  • Catholics disliked and anti-clericals saw it as way to gain power (Robespierre)
  • April 1794- Robespierre had control of CPS and convention
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Robespierre loses support

  • Begins after cult
  • Sans-culotte opposed to rising of the maximum in March 1794 and Terror
  • Criticised for not promoting social and democratic polies as he said
  • Regarded as blood thirsty tyrant- law of prairial
  • Committed revolutionary or tyrant?
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Key events of the Terror

23rd August 1793- Levée en masse- short term success

The journée of the 4/5th September 1793- Led by Jacques Roux- called for economic terror- September 4th- crowd gathered before  hotel de ville- marched on convention

Parisian Armée revolutionaire- formed after 4/5th september- aims protect food supply, arrest deserters, hoarders and rebels- short term success- CPS disliked as outside control

Economic Terror- July 1793- law making hoarding punishable by death.

May 1794- government abolished all previous provincial revolutionary tribunals- all accused now tried in Paris

Law of Prairial- 10th June 1794- trials had no witnesses or defence- not fair but fast

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The Revolutionary Crowd

Makeup of the sans-culottes

  • gained power through war
  • Involved in October days/bastille- mostly under bourgois control
  • when National guard opened to "Passive" citizens (1792) rose in power
  • Made up majority of army


  • hated aristocracy and great wealth- desire equality
  • mostly anti-clerical as priests had been too wealthy
  • Desired direct democracy- believed in right of insurrection
  • Believed politics should be public as patriot had nothting to hide
  • Became more organised by 1792
  • Marxist- provided dynamic to overthrow the king
  • Soboul- thought and acted en masse
  • Revisionist- diverse, shared bourgeoise outlook
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Links between Commune and sans-culottes

Links between Commune and sans-culottes

  • Support of sans-culottes needed for factions to gain influence
  • 1792-5 sans culottes most powerful
  • Led by revolutionnaries and members of the commune e.g. Jacques Roux and Hébert
  • Provided vital support for CPS and Robespierre during Terror
  • Permanently suppressed by directory and closure of commune
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