Robespierre 1794 Essay, Research Paper
1794 Paris, France
At the expense of thousands of lives, the recent terror that has struck France has helped to
rescue France from the brink of total collapse. The leadership of Robespierre and the
Committee of Public Safety have created a powerful military, rid France of internal opposition,
and placed a much needed cap on the price of essential goods. While the mass butchery
seems inhumane and drastic, this time period of terror was completely necessary. Though it
may sound harsh, many problems were solved that had been threatening France from within
and outside its borders during this time of terror.
During this time of terror, France has been able to drive all of its enemies off French soil,
crush all revolts that had been brewing within the French providence?s, and hold off what could
have been a devastating famine. All of the French people have been forced to contribute
towards the war effort. All unmarried men were forced to join the military, married men made
weapons, women made tents and served as battle nurses, and children made bandages and
gunpowder. All of this support for France?s army, although forced, proved invaluable beside a
strict discipline policy. The French army has overwhelmed the enemy forces by the large
numbers of men. In the past two and a half years of fighting, almost all enemies have been
driven off French soil, Flanders has been retaken, and the army has established a new
Batavian Republic in Holland.
Aside from fending off foreign invasion, the ?Reign of Terror? also served to help resolve the
problems that had been threatening France from within. The Committee of Public Safety had
put forth steadfast efforts to resolve order to the French countryside, where revolts jeopardized
the nations security. Anyone suspected of opposing Robespierre?s ?Republic of Virtue? could
be convicted and executed without any evidence being heard on the defendants behalf. Brutal
and wrongful as it was, the action of the Committee of Public Safety was essential in
extinguishing the rebellious uprisings that threatened France.
France was successful in battling off enemies from afar and within, yet it was faced with
another threat, famine. Food prices were dangerously high and to avoid mass starvation, the
Committee of Public Safety issued the Law of the Maximum. This new law demanded that forty
goods, including corn, flour, firewood and oil were to be frozen until further notice. This new
law also fixed people?s wages and those who broke the maximum were subject to death. The
law had some faults, namely the fact that many other goods prices continued to rise while
wages remained frozen. In spite of the law?s imperfections, the Law of the Maximum helped
France survive the famine.
Considering all of the benefits France was able to acquire during the ?Reign of Terror,? it is
appropriate to say that the ends justified the means, as brutal as the means happened to be.