Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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Reign Of Terror It was 1789 and the citizens of France were fed up. They had had too many years of dealing with a monarchial government, one ruled solely by a king. Where had this gotten them? No where, they were bankrupt and the greatest percentage of citizens was considered in the lower class. This was not a successful country; they were in a horrible economic and social state. What became of the country? A revolution! So Robespierre comes in, creating a sort of socialist dictatorship. Many believed that this was in no way a better alternative to the monarchy until they were fully able to realize the extent to which Robespierre's control helped their nation and ended up saving their republic and paving the way for a greater future for France. Though they may not have realized it until after his rule reaped the benefits that it set out to, it was Robespierre's policies that saved France, and the seemingly unpleasant ways that he achieved this were merely a necessary trade-off for what was to come.

Robespierre's reign of terror can hardly be called a terror, given the outcome of his goals. The means were often times unpleasant, but they were more than justified by the ends. In order to save the French republic, his citizens had to be healthy and strong. Healthy and strong citizens must eat. So he created a policy where bakers were only permitted to make "bread of equality," which was bread made of available flour, inexpensively and without wasting good flour on such luxuries as pastries and white bread. This wasn't fun at the time obviously, but look at the ends that it achieved: all of the citizens of France ate, no one went hungry, and the only negative aspect was the inability to...