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Word Count: 351
No figure of the French Revolution has aroused so much controversy as that of Maximilien Robespierre He is known to most people as the symbol of the Reign of Terror a short but horrifying period where approximately 17000 people died in prison in horrible conditions or were executed on the simple thought of being a traitor by such inventions as the guillotine He was born to Francois Robespierre in the spring of 1758 and received and education at the local college in Arras France his place of birth Maximilien being such an intelligent individual was selected to go to a prominent educational institution Robespierre joined the political scene after experiencing a successful career in law His interest in humanity and the abused rights of all sorts of people led him to devise his own philosophy about the rights of man One of Robespierres main influences was the enlightenment philisophe Rousseau both were humanitarians interested in the welfare of all people as well as the French Robespierre was the leader of the twelve man Committee of Public Safety elected by the National Convention in April 1793 and which effectively governed France at the height of the radical phase of the revolution As his power increased his popularity subsided So eventually finding himself in the status of destructive and deadly dictator causing more damage in ten months the approximate duration of the Reign of Terror than was done in many years to follow The next three months Robespierre reigned supreme He nominated all the members on the Government Committees and placed his men in all places of influence in the third estate of Paris and assumed completed control of the Revolutionary Tribunal Maximilien Robespierre started out his political career hoping for peace freedom and equality Through the influence of Rousseau an earlier philosopher and the many fanatical revolutionaries he had as his peers he very quickly became a violent and evil tyrant taking over the minds
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