Tag Archives: Phase II

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.

The Execution of Philippe-Egalite

Louis Philippe, Duc d’Orleans, later known as Philippe-Égalité, was executed by guillotine on 7 November 1793 (Schusterman 199).  The First Prince of the Blood, Égalité was one of the king’s distant cousins, though he deviated quite seriously from the king’s absolutist politics, attending regular meetings of the Jacobin club until his death (96).  The execution of Philippe-Égalité represents the end of the final hope for the monarchy.  After the execution and, considering the youth of the young “Louis XVII,” there were hopes he would be created regent in a restored republic.  While Égalité was a Jacobin, his placement on the throne could signify a compromise between the Old Regime and the Revolution, though this idea was unpopular.  Marat famously used this proposal to attack his opponents, the Girondins, as well as the former Duke. Although the Duc d’Orleans attempted to be a Montagnard, his status as a Bourbon and his association with Dumouriez’s defection ultimately led to his demise.  Dumouriez, who tried to attack Paris to remove the revolutionaries and then promptly fled to the Austrians after his defeat in Holland, was a known associate of the already suspect Duke (162).  This acted as the final nail in the coffin for “France’s coolest uncle” (162) and the father of the future king.

Works Cited:

Shusterman, Noah. The French Revolution: Faith, Desire, and Politics. London: Routledge, 2014