The Reign of Terror

Years of Terror

Before the Reign

Right before the Reign France was in war. There were thousands of deaths across france. King Louis XVI was killed and all the citizens were in shock. That is when a new leader came in...

A New Leader

Maximilien Robesperre was born from Irish origin, on May 6, 1758. He was admitted to avocet in 1781, after being on that for about eight years he was elected to the estates general in 1789. He grew very popular and influential. As his popularity got more and more, he took on a leader role that would soon lead to dictatorship.

Start of the Reign

On September 5 1793, the Reign of Terror starts when Maximilien Robesperre declares terror the "day of order". This marked the day of almost two years of repressing perceived enemies.

What did Robesperre change?

Robesperre changed many thing in The Terror such as:

- Changed Calendar to 12 month years

- Also changed months to be 30 days long

- took away sundays

Why was it called to Reign of Terror

Sept. 5, 1793, to July 27, 1794, Caught up in civil and foreign war, the Revolutionary government decided to make “Terror” the order of the day and to take harsh measures against those suspected of being enemies of the Revolution. In Paris a wave of executions followed. In the provinces, representatives on mission and surveillance committees instituted local terrors. The Terror had an economic side embodied in the Maximum, a price-control measure demanded.

How many died?

A real civil war took place in the French countryside, between the Vendeen and the republican guards. From March to September 1793, more than 100,000 people died from this opposition.

WHo was responsible for the Reign?

While truly is was no one single person responsible for the Reign of Terror in the French Revolution, the one name that is often tied to it is Maximilien Robespierre. Ironically, he was executed by the guillotine, as a fitting punishment for those who he had executed during the brief period in history. So influential was he over the Reign of Terror, that his arrest and execution in 1794 effectively ended the period. He was largely influenced by Enlightenment thought from writers such as Rousseau and Montesquieu.


While it was clear france needed a government, with the leading of Robespierre they could not because he had no sympathy toward France and its people. It was hard to have a government when people are being killed right and left. Still through all of that France during the Reign of Terror had a Republic of France.

How they killed during the Reign of Terror

A lot of times, they would use the Guillotine to kill people during this time. Guillotine, a machine for beheading persons condemned to death. The device was introduced during the French Revolution at the suggestion of Dr. Joseph Guillotin. The machine consists of a heavy base, two upright posts joined by a crosspiece at the top, and a heavy, weighted knife that moves up and down in grooves of the posts. The knife is raised to the top of the posts; the victim is bound at the base, face downward, with neck directly beneath the knife; and the knife, released, falls by its own weight.

End of the Reign and aftermath of the Terror

The Reign of Terror ends with the fall of Robespierre on July 27. The Convention charges Robespierre and his allies with crimes against the Republic. They are accused, condemned, and guillotined within two days executed. They also formed a new government in France called the Republic of France.