Today in History
28.7.1794: Robespierre is executed
Maximilian François Marie Isidore de Robespierre was a great fan of Rousseau’s visions, namely the abolition of social constraints. Individuality is nothing, collectivity is everything. In the recently elected parliament, he represented the Jacobeans, all ultra-radical revolutionaries.

His polished speeches hit a nerve in revolutionary France.
"It is in the nature of things that the path of reason is an arduous path," Robespierre wrote in "Against war" in 1792. "The most depraved government is supported by the prejudices, the habits and the lack of education of the population. Despotism spoils the human spirit to such an extent that it is idolized and makes freedom appear suspicious and fearful at first glance."

Freedom, equality and brotherhood are the key words of the revolution. Robespierre also spoke them regularly. His reputable appearance and ascetic change of lifestyle earned him regard and respect. He was soon given the nickname of "The Incorruptible." He had the vision of destroying the privileges and institutions of the "ancien régime," and his ideals were high.

"People of all countries are brothers; different nations must support each other as the citizens of one state," he wrote in "About property" in 1793. "Anyone who suppresses a nation is the enemy of all nations. Anyone who takes a nation to war in order to halt the progress of freedom and eliminate human rights, should be persecuted by all the nations, not as a conventional enemy, but as a wretched murderer."

But the concept of a brotherhood of nations was soon forgotten. Austria declared war on France. Queen Marie-Antoinette was the daughter of the Austrian Empress who said: "If you or the king touch one hair on her head, Paris will be flattened."

Robespierre considered the matter and said in "Against war": "Should we go to war or make peace? Should we attack our enemies or invite them into our homes? I believe that these words do not portray all the many different aspects of the issue. Which side should the nation and its representatives take in the position that we find ourselves in, giving consideration to our domestic and foreign enemies? This is the true perspective from which the issue should be viewed if we are to understand it completely and negotiate with the required precision."

The negotiations did not last long. Revolutionaries stormed the Tuileries in Paris and seized the king. Robespierre, the idealistic supporter of brotherhood, showed a new face. He pushed through the sentence against King Louis XVI, who was executed in January 1793.

Robespierre was quoted as saying: "Terror is nothing other than justice: prompt, sharp and unwavering. It is therefore an expression of virtue!"

Resistance grew against the arbitrary regime and its spokesman, Robespierre. He responded by stepping up the terror campaign. The guillotine ceaselessly performed its arbitrary executions. It had already taken the lives of his former companions, such as Georges Danton. Moderate members of parliament joined forces. Robespierre and his closest advisors were arrested. And then no time was lost. On the next day, July 28, they sent him to his death, as they had their king.

Tens of thousands of people lost their lives during the Jacobean terror regime and, in the end, so did its creator. One year after Robespierre’s death, France elected a new government headed by five directors. The reign of terror in France had ended.
Zitat des Tages
Zitat des Tages
The Reign of Terror in France came to an end when the following leader was executed on July 28, 1794:
  Maximilian de Robespierre
  Louis XVI