Tag Archives: Committee of Public Safety

The Fall and Execution of Robespierre

On July 26th, 1794, Robespierre returned to the Convention to give a speech denouncing the Committee of Public Safety, General Safety, and other various members of the convention who he believed discredited the revolution by using excessive violence, for example, some of the representatives on the missions abused their power to conduct mass drowning and shootings of suspected rebels (Dwyer and McPhee 110). In his speech, he suggested a new purge of deputies, but his refusal to name specific individuals alarmed many of his listeners. His opponents used this chaotic moment to condemn Robespierre as a tyrant and demand his removal. They wanted to dispose of Robespierre to protect themselves from the guillotine. On July 27th, Robespierre, his brother, and other “Robespierrist” officials were arrested and sent to prison. However, the city prisons refused to hold Robespierre, so Robespierre and his supporters moved to the Hôtel de Ville. Upon hearing Robespierre’s liberation, the National Guard entered the Hôtel de Ville on July 28th and made the arrest. Afterward, Robespierre and the surviving Robespierrists were taken to the Revolutionary Tribunal. They were quickly condemned to death and sent to the guillotine. Robespierre’s execution effectively ended the Terror, which many of his opponents would later blame him for, tarnishing his reputation.

Works Cited

Dwyer, Philip, and Peter McPhee. The French Revolution and Napoleon. London: Routledge.