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Maximilien Robespierre His Reason Behind the Terror 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 period where approximately 17000 people died while enduring horrible prison conditions or were executed due to the mere suspicion of being a traitor The question of whether or not these actions were rightfully justified is an important one Robespierre seems to have thought so I however will show that the use of terror by Robespierre during the French Revolution was not just or necessary and that he was acting in his own best interest rather than the States First to understand Robespierre it is important to look into his past He was born on May 6 1758 in the town of Arras to Francois Robespierre Although he belonged to a poor family he was able to study law in Paris by means of a scholarship He was highly dedicated to his studies which left him isolated from companionship Returning to Arras he practiced law and gained a reputation He then became familiar of the works of Jean Jacques Rousseaus theories of democracy deism and virtue which Robespierre understood as civic morality These beliefs eventually led to his epithet the Incorruptible Lycos In 1789 he was elected into the States-General and attached himself to the extreme left wing His influence grew over the Jacobin Club and eventually he became its leader In 1791 he made a law which stated that no member of the current Constituent Assembly would be able to sit in the following Legislative Assembly For this he was appointed Public Accuser Robespierre opposed the Girondists war proposals in 1792 which caused him to lose popularity with the public He resigned as Public Accuser and was then elected as first deputy for Paris to the National Convention where he was bitterly attacked by the Girondists
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