The Terrorfying French Revolution

Nov 2008
Melbourne, Australia
Was Robespierre a patriotic hero of the French Revolution or a paranoid lunatic? Did the circumstances in which France found itself justify the Terror?
Nov 2008
Milky Way
No, he wasn't crazy.

I think Robespierre was not crazy. He was honestly trying to preserve the work that the philosophes that preceded the revolutionaries had done. King Louis XVI really did run out on France, though he was left with a pretty crappy deal. Robespierre simply wanted to make sure that the country did not have any people who posed an enormous threat to the revolution. He basically said, "Rid the country of traitors," and the people he worked with carried it too far. I DO think that Robespierre introduced the initial idea. Then when he gave his last speech, he talked about his new list of traitors, but he would not name them yet, and the people, not yet knowing if they were on the list, arrested him the next day. They would not even wait to see. His list was NOT long, and he was just trying to keep the general principals of the time flowing. He wasn't too radical, he just came too late in the French Revolution.
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