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The structure of the Terror locally and nationally

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Coming of public safety into power.
    1. Victory of the Jacobins over the Girondins.
    2. Dictatorship of the Committee of public safety.
  3. Economic policy of the Committee.
  4. Conclusion.
  5. Bibliography.

The terror is often depicted as the most violent period of the French Revolution, and maybe of the French history. The terror is a regime set up by Robespierre and the Committee of public safety in the aftermath of the fall of the Girondins on the 2nd of June 1793. The committee of public safety was very powerful, and could give orders to the National Assembly and to the different ministries. It was created in April 1793 in order to ?provide more effective action and greater coordination between executive and legislative branches of the government?. Indeed, between September 1793 and the fall of Robespierre, the Committee has been the government of France, since it had a say on most important decisions. Moreover, the power of the committee stemmed from the popularity of its members; Robespierre was the symbol of the French Revolution and of the fight against the Ancien Régime. He was backed by Saint Just, a young and ambitious man whose influence had been growing and growing over the period. Other members were also very popular, such as Couthon, Hérault de Séchelles and Lazare Carnot.

[...] The Terror is not only a Parisian phenomenon, since the Convention sent deputies in France to re-establish the order and to implement the regulations of the Convention. For example, Collot d'Herbois and Fouché were sent to Lyon to re-establish the order. Indeed, Lyon had been subject to a revolt of Girondins and moderates, and the leader of the Jacobin club, Charlier, had been toppled, arrested and executed. After the fall Charlier, Lyon became a rebel and a public enemy. Once the army sent by the Committee of Public Safety had defeated the ?conspirators?, Fouché and Collot d'Herbois were sent to punish the ?enemies of the patry?. [...]


[...] The Committee also issued a decree on May 7th 1794, stating that French people recognized the existence of the Supreme Being and the immortality of the soul?. In other words, the Committee imposed his rules on religious matters. The terror tried to impose a new man, which led some historians to say that the French terror has been the fist example of totalitarianism. The Terror is characterised by the pervasiveness of the committee of public safety: indeed, the committee intervened on economics, social, religious and military matters. [...]

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