The Reign Of Terror

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade October 2001

download word file, 5 pages 5.0

Throughout time, people have always been able to survive by using the things around them in innovative ways. Their cultures have also greatly influenced them. Whatever was happening at the time, they had to react and adapt their lifestyles. These changes almost always led to new inventions such as the guillotine. The guillotine was first introduced into France during the French Revolution on April 25, 1792. The first execution was that of a highwayman. The guillotine was also used in Scotland, England, and many other European countries. During the French Revolution, there were many important events that led up to the Reign of Terror, during which people were looking for a more efficient means of execution.

The revolution in France happened for many reasons. First, France was in a financial crisis; it was on the verge of becoming bankrupt. The country went into debt after helping to finance the Seven Years' War and the Revolutionary War in America.

Second, the people of the middle and lower classes were very unhappy. Third, people were beginning to have new ideas concerning the way the government functioned. King Louis XVI wanted to collect new taxes to pay for France's debts. So, he called his Estates-General to support him in his desire. Of course, the noblemen and clergymen approved, since they were not held responsible to pay the tax. The commoners did have to pay the tax, and they were always outvoted due to the fact that each estate only received a single vote.

Angrily, the third estate demanded more votes. After all, they had more members than the first two estates combined. The third estate wanted all three estates to merge into one national assembly. In this new government, each representative would receive a vote. By June of 1789, the commoners had declared...