The french revolution- "The Terror was the triumph of violence over ideals"

Essay by kezzHigh School, 11th gradeA+, July 2004

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The ideals commonly associated with the French revolution of 1789-1794 are "Liberty, Equality and Fraternity". Articles like the Cahiers and the "Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen" published early in the revolution were inspired by the Enlightenment and growing dislike of the Ancien Regime and the king's oppression.

They are clear demonstrations of the ideals of the revolution- mainly being equality before the law, freedom of speech and a united France.

In the search for achieving these ideals however, violence was used often to an amazing extent as the revolution became radical. Although at first violence was used to progress France by crushing counterrevolutionaries and opposes of the republic, the time known as the Terror was the peak of radicalism and resulted in the triumph of violence over these ideals. Laws such the "Law of Suspects" and "Law of Prairial" were deliberately created to bypass the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen.

The Terror and the violence associated with it became a form of political oppression as Robespierre rose to the point of dictatorship, thus crushing the ideals of the revolution

The Philosophes were the voice of the Enlightenment and essentially that of the ideals that triggered the beginning of the Revolution. According to Townson "Their aim was to apply rational analysis to all activities... They were very much in favour of liberty- of the press, of speech, of trade and of freedom from arbitrary arrest." The French Revolution aimed to create this liberty within the social classes by destroying the absolute monarchy and establishing a government of the people, for the people.

The Cahiers collected before the estates general also voiced the main ideals of the revolution. They contained ideas of equality before the law, economic freedom, fiscal equality and they...