terror was necessary had become an issue of debate. He complained that he was being accused of crimes unfairly. "Robespierre and the Terror." History Today. Speech to the National Convention (5 February 1794) Death is not "an eternal sleep!" Citizens! Robespierre opposed the Girondist? Original French: En scellant notre ouvrage de notre sang, nous puissions voir au moins briller l'aurore de la flicit universelle. Robespierre, Maximilien: His Reason Behind The Terror Essay, Research Paper.
We look to Robespierre?s own reasoning in hope to see his logic.
In two of his speeches he addresses the notion of capital punishment.
He instituted the use of terror because he believed it to be virtuous. Robespierre, who was elected in July, then became one of the rulers of France. To him, virtue is essentially what contributes to the public good which encompasses the love of your country and the subjection of the private to the public interest. His obsession with gaining more power over the citizens of France led him to commit unnecessary and illogical acts that contradicted his prior beliefs of virtue. Terror without virtue is fatal; virtue without terror is impotent. In another speech one year later, Robespierre makes excuses for why he has changed his opinion of the death penalty in the case of Louis XVI: You are confusing the rules of civil and positive law with the principles of the law of nations. Speech to the National Convention on the judgment of, louis XVI (3 December 1792 our revolution has made me feel the full force of the axiom that history is fiction and I am convinced that chance and intrigue have produced more heroes than genius and. His influence grew over the Jacobin Club and eventually he became its leader. Xvi If the mainspring of popular government in peace time is virtue, its resource during a revolution is at one and the same time virtue and terror; virtue, without which terror is merely terrible; terror, without which virtue is simply powerless. Because of this, Robespierre received much criticism (Lycos).