What role did Maximillan Robespiere play in french revolution. Why did he met to a cruel end

Asked by vatsalchoudhary41 | 3rd Sep, 2014, 06:12: AM

Expert Answer:

During the reign of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette the situation in France was tensed. This led to losses and economic difficulties for the people, which in turn resulted in formation of various political clubs. These clubs believed that the revolution had to be carried further, as the Constitution of 1791 gave political rights only to the richer sections of society. Out of all the clubs, the Jacobins was the most successful. The members of the Jacobin club belonged mainly to the less prosperous sections of society which included small shopkeepers, artisans such as shoemakers, pastry cooks, watch-makers, printers, as well as servants and daily-wage workers. Maximilian Robespierre was the leader of the Jacobin club.

Under the leadership of Maximilian Robespierre, a large group among the Jacobins decided to start wearing long striped trousers similar to those worn by dock workers. This was to set themselves apart from the fashionable sections of society. Then, in the summer of 1792 the Jacobins planned an insurrection of a large number of Parisians because of the short supplies and high prices of food. On the morning of August 10th they stormed the Palace of the Tuileries, held the king as hostage and imprisoned the royal family. On 21st September 1792 the monarchy was abolished and France was declared a republic. Later, on 21st January 1793 Louis XVI was executed publicly at the Place de la Concorde.

The reign of Robespierre i.e. the period from 1793 to 1794 is referred to as the Reign of Terror. He followed a policy of severe control and punishment. Anybody that seemed as an enemy of the republic to him – ex-nobles and clergy, members of other political parties, even members of his own party who did not agree with his methods – were arrested, imprisoned and then tried by a revolutionary tribunal. If the court found them ‘guilty’ they were beheaded. His government issued laws placing a maximum ceiling on wages and prices. Meat and bread were rationed. Peasants were forced to transport their grain to the cities and sell it at prices fixed by the government. The use of more expensive white flour was forbidden; all citizens were required to eat the pain d’égalité (equality bread), a loaf made of wholewheat. Equality was also sought to be practised through forms of speech and address. Instead of the traditional Monsieur (Sir) and Madame (Madam) all French men and women were henceforth Citoyen and Citoyenne (Citizen). Churches were shut down and their buildings converted into barracks or offices.

Because of Robespierre’s persuasion of such relentless policies even his supporters began to demand moderation. This resulted in him finally being convicted by a court in July 1794, arrested and on the next day sent to the guillotine. 

Answered by Akanksha Kaul | 3rd Sep, 2014, 02:47: PM

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