Robespierre Essay Research Paper ROBESPIERREThesis Political leaders

Robespierre Essay, Research Paper


Thesis: ?Political leaders committed to radical or

extremist goals often exert authoritarian control in the

name of higher values.? This statement is very much

true in most cases. A perfect example of the validity

of this statement is Maximillion Robespierre who himself

said, ?Terror without virtue is bloody, virtue without

terror is impossible.”

TS: Robespierre?s goals, though well-meaning, were

considered revolutionary and fanatical. SAS: He

actually was originally quite conservative.

CD: Robespierre, because he was against capitol

punishment, resigned from a judgeship rather than

sentence death. CDx: This is quite a contrast to his

later life as a member of the Committee of Public

Safety. CD: Robespierre was known as ?the

Incorruptible? due to his immunity to bribes and graft

within his office. CDx: He wanted the rest of the

republic to be just as virtuous. SAS: Robespierre was a

great believer in virtue, and he wished to incorporate

it into the forming of a democratic nation. CD: His

dream was to bring about a democratic republic made up

of good citizens and honest men. CDx: The idea of a

democratic republic was extremely revolutionary to a

country that had been ruled by sovereigns since its

beginning. Robespierre?s goals were extremist and

revolutionary for the times he was living in, and since

man is naturally resistant to the extreme, the Committee

of Public Safety was set up by the convention to help

convince the masses towards his way of thinking.

TS: Robespierre was a member of the Convention and

then the Committee of Public Safety, furthering his

goals for a virtuous republic. SAS: During this time,

Robespierre began to turn to more authoritarian

practices to get things done. CD: The goal of the

Convention was to prepare a democratic constitution and

to initiate legislation for the lower classes. CDx:

This seems like a good idea, but many were opposed to

any idea of a republic. CD: The Convention set up the

Committee of Public Safety to repress anarchy, civil

strife, and counterrevolution at home. CDx: To have the

idea of a constitution accepted by the general populace,

the constitutionalists had to be rid of those who would

try to undermine it. SAS: Robespierre would do anything

to realize his dream of a virtuous republic, even go

against his own values. CD: During the ?Reign of

Terror?, which Robespierre was a leading figure in,

40,000 people in league against the Republic, or just

merely suspected of hostile activities were guillotined,

including Marie Antoinette, Girondin leaders, and many

other members of the common public. CDx: The man who

once gave up a judgeship rather than sentence death now

sanctioned ?terror as the order of the day?.

TS: Robespierre?s higher ideals drove him to the

extremes and eventually led to his own death. SAS:

Robespierre believed in what he did and did not consider

it as revolutionary as others. CD: An Herbertist was

responsible for the drowning of 2000 people at Nantes.

Robespierre called such people ?ultra revolutionaries?.

CDx: Though Robespierre headed the Reign of Terror, he

considered it all in the name of justice, and so it was

not as gruesome as the other terrors of the revolution.

SAS: Due to the many people and groups he had

antagonized in trying to realize his dream of a virtuous

republic, Robespierre brought about his own downfall.

CD: After the death of Danton, the Convention became

fearful of its own ruling committee and obtained the

?outlawing? of Robespierre. CDx: The Convention feared

that Robespierre might find something wrong with them

next. CD: Robespierre was sent to the guillotine July

28, 1794, and became a victim of his own terror. CDx:

The Convention?s decision was based on a kind of

?guillotine them before they can guillotine you?

principle. CD: Those who turned against Robespierre

absolved themselves of any guilt for the terror by

heaping the blame on him. CDx: He was an easy

scapegoat, not being alive to defend himself

Con.: Robespierre started out with high ideals and

principles, but lost his principles when he didn?t get

his way fast enough. He ran over anyone who got in his

way, and so brought about his own downfall. Though what

he wanted was a republic of good citizens and honest

men, he created The Reign of Terror, a bloody time in

French history that will never be forgotten.


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