Maximilien Robespierre, the Incorruptible Leader(Reign of Terror)

Essay by holocentauriA, May 2004

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George Washington's chopping of the cherry tree to the Holocaust of Adolf Hitler, historical figures are remembered for their actions as heroic or demonic. Maximilien-Francois-Marie-Isidore de Robespierre, the chief architect of the Reign of Terror and a bloodthirsty revolutionary democrat, was one such man that is now known as the incorruptible leader. Robespierre played a vital role in the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution. The Reign of Terror was a filtration to purge the streets of France of the enemies of the Republic, as Robespierre claimed. Instead, the Reign proved none other than a ruthless mass murder of the enemies of the Republic that was enjoyed as entertainment by the Republicans.

Maximilien Robespierre was born in Arras, a small provincial capital of Artois in France, on May 6, 1758. Jacqueline-Marguerite Carraut, daughter of a brewer and mother of Robespierre, died giving birth to her fifth child. Robespierre's father, Maximilien-Barthelemy Francois, then left his four children (one having died at child birth) under the care of relatives, leaving Robespierre almost an orphan at the age of eight.

Robespierre's talent of speech became evident in his youth when Robespierre was chosen to address King Louis XVI. It is said that when Robespierre finished his Latin oration, King Louis smiled at him. Robespierre would later make numerous speeches, supporting the equality of the people, claiming that "freedom of the press goes hand in hand with freedom of speech.(Rude 21)" Being popular among the commoners, Robespierre was one of the first to speak in favor of granting suffrage to all citizens. This shows that once Robespierre put his mind to something, he would remain dedicated to it and would stop at nothing to reach his goals. It is rumored that he also kept a copy of The Social Contract by his...