French Revolution - Part 2

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  • Created by: Rosa
  • Created on: 08-05-13 09:12

Emergence of Government By Terror

The Political Crisis - to ffigth a war against both inernal and external enemies the support of the peopel was neccessary, to achieve this popular demnads would have to be granted . The Montagnards were closer to the sans-cullottes and the Plain was drawing closer to the Montagnards, is members share the hatred of Robespierre and Marat, however the held the Giordins responsible for failures in the war, rising in the Vendee and the economic crisis (several minsters were giordins). Plain joined the Monatganards in favouring repressive measures , the Plain told the convention to recognize 3 things:

  • in an emergency government could rule by normal methods
  • bourgoise should not isolate themselves from the people , demands should be satisfied
  • Convention must take initiative by introducing necessary measures

The Machinery of the Terror - due to military defeat , civil war economic issues and ani-republic opposition which threatened the over-turn of the revolution- the Convention passed a range of measures designed to deal with the problems:

  • idenify , place under observation and punish suspects
  • make government more effective and ensure that its orders were carried out
  • to meet some of the economic demands of the sans-culottes













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Committe of General Security (CGS)

  • task of rooting out all ant-republican oppositon
  • March 1793 a Revoluionary Tribunal in Pais to try counter-revolutionary suspects - one of main instruments known as the Terror
  • Representatives-on-mission were set up (mainly jacobin deputies who sent to reassert government authority)- to provinces - had unlimited power over armies and central control over provinces (comites de surveillance was set up in each commune and major towns which provided victims for the Revoluionary tribunal)
  • Summary execution decree - trial and execution of armed rebels within 24 hours - without jury and appeal- harsh laws against emigres , property confiscated and executed if returned to France

Commitee of Public Safety

  • purpose was to supervise and speed up the activities of ministers - had more authority - was not a dicatorship
  • a committee without extremists - nine members , 7 from the plain - no Giordins
  • May a maximum pice fixed on grain - compulsory loan imposed on the wealhy - Giodrdins dsagreed


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Overthrow of Girodins & The Federal Revolt

  • 26th May Robespierre came down on side of the sans-cullotes - he invited people to join him in an uprising (mainly sans-culttes) against the Giordins
  • 31st May a rising spread rapidly when hearing of the overthrow of the Jacobins reached Paris
  • 2 June 80,000 National Guardsmen surrounded convention and directed canon at it , the demanded to the Giordins to leave Assembly and a max price on essential goods
  • To avoid a massacre the Convention agreed and arrested 29 Giordins from the Assembly and put a max price on goods- following dismissal of Girodins a young royalist ,Charlotte Corday assinated Marat believing it would end the revolution

Federal Revolt - Military crisis worsened ,Montagnard Jacobin deputies turned on the Giordins , Girodins were expelled from Convention as they supported revolts backed by royalists which aimed at destroying the unity of the Republic. Montagnards called these revolts fedralism , and were concerned about the unity of the Rebuplic was under threat , and also as they were fighing a war th governments resources would be put under strain. Many departments resented the influence of Paris and commune over the convention  and the power of jacobins. Many inhbitants turned against Jacobin club and anti-Jacobin supporters took control of many towns and cities . 60 Disturbances - most serious was Toulon - government had o cut off food supply. Many towns rejected authority of Convention - many of these fedralist were supporters of Rebuplic - however federal forces were small and weak and this enabled the government to pick off rebel areas one by one

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New Committee of Public Safety

Many deputies feared and mistrusted Montagnards due to the way they treated Girodins- but did not wan to see Republic overthrown, so many were reluctant accomplicies of the Montagnards Jacobin minority. New CPS was formed Sept 1793 12 members were either Montagnards or depuies of the Plain. - all were young , no chairman , all members responsible for Comitties actions - first strong government since the Revolution began

Maximilian Robespierre - joined CPS 27th June 1793 , influence in Jacobin and Commune he could make he link between middle-class jacobins and sans culottes- he was known as the 'incorruptible' as he did not seek power or wealth for himself and was consistent in putting the good of the coutry above anything else .

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The Dominance of the Sans Culottes

Main Characteristics of Sans Cullottes :

  • hatred of aristocracy and anyone of great wealth
  • wore red caps - associated with free slaves and equaliy to all ciizens
  • a belief in direct democracy

Paris Section - controlled by a small minority of milliants - of the 454 militants 65% were shopkeepers and independent crafts men while only 8 % were wage earners - the sans culottes supported the government on basic issues such as they hatred of arisocracy and determination to win the war

Concession to the sans-culottes (from Jacobins as they had put them in power):

  • rights of people to work ,to have assistance in time of need , to be educated- all adult males could vote and there would be direct elections
  • to fight war effectivley - sections demanded conscription
  • economic concessions - max legislaion o fix prices - hoarding goods a capital offence - anti-hoarding laws

Levee en masse - 23 Aug 1793 - marked appearance of total war (ensure victor)- conscription, fed , armed , trained









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