The Ancien Regime system was based on the concentration of all political, social and economic power between three classes, the monarchy, the clergy, and the aristocracy.
•The First estate represented the Roman Catholic clergy.
•The Second estate represented the nobility, with its main governor, King Louis XVI and his "court".
•Finally, the Third estate represented the rest of the population, the poorest and largest group of people.
The inequality in distribution of powers and rights between these different estates was the main cause of the explosion of anger amongst Third estate representatives.
There were very few opportunities for the general population to ascend the social ladder as all privileges were determined by birth and not by talent. The social mobility rights could be bought but it was impossible for the poorest to afford them.
All the main political decisions were taken arbitrarily by the King and his advisers, with little or no direct consultation with the rest of the French population.
Added to this unfair and archaic political system, a terrible economic crisis pushed the poorest people closer to revolt.
The beginning of the French revolution
The storming of the Bastille was the symbol of the victory of the French people against the Monarchy. What started as a revolt became a Revolution that will change the face of France's policy for ever.
The National Guard was quickly formed, composed of more than 40,000 people directed by Lafayette. They adopted the tri-color rosettes as the new symbol of the Revolution. The White, the color of the Monarchy is encircled by the Blue and the Red, the colors of Paris. Those three colors are now the ones of the French flag.
Louis XVI had no choice but to accept his defeat. He arrived in Paris with La Fayette and was welcomed with a rosette, placed upon on his vest. Few Months later, Louis XVI will be executed.
In September 1793, the "Reign of Terror" spread all over the country. This was a cruel period when France was killing its people by hundreds in a frightening movement of rage and decadence. People were arrested and executed without trial if they were accused of being enemies of the revolution. It is estimated that about 40,000 people died during this 15 month period.
Marie Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI was executed by a Guillotine in October 1793. She died because she represented the King's heritage and was the perfect illustration of the fear that reigned at this time.
The all new constitution was suspended. Some say Robespierre became a despot, who thought anything was justified when it came to the revolution's rights. He changed his views on the death penalty, saying it was justified against enemies of the Republic. He reinstalled censorship, especially in the press and acted for a secular state. To this effect, he changed the calendar and in November 24th, 1793 he set the Revolutionary calendar as the new benchmark.
In February 15th, 1794 the French Flag was created, with 3 colors, the Blue, the White and the Red, disposed vertically. The blue was the color of for the Parisian bourgeoisie, the White was the color of the chiefs of army and the Red was the symbol of the blood poured during the wars.
Quickly, Danton himself became the victim of the Terror. He was considered too moderate and then, arrested and executed on April 5th, 1794.
One of the darkest periods in French history soon ensued. The Great Terror began in June 1794. Robespierre tyrannised the Comity of Public Safety and the Convention. He was strongly supported by the Montagnards and the Sans-Culottes.
Robespierre was in a mission against the counter revolutionaries and against the Church. Thousands of people who were suspected to be anti-revolutionists were executed savagely. A campaign of dechristianization took place all over the country.
On May 8th, 1794 the Assembly introduced the "Culte de l'Être Supreme" (The cult of Supreme Being), as form of deism. On June 8th, 1794 Robespierre, the President of the Convention, participated in the "Fête de l'Etre Supreme" (Supreme Being celebration) in Paris. However, these celebrations were mocked by the Parisians and Robespierre lost his credibility.
The arrest of Robespierre
In July 1794, Robespierre was finally accused of dictatorship and tyranny and evicted from the Convention. The members voted for his simultaneous eviction and execution, without allowing him to defend himself. The following day, Robespierre was beheaded to an ovation by the people of Paris. His death was the symbol of the Reign of Terror's end and the end of the democratic movement at the same time. http://bastille-day.com/history/The-Terror
In defense of Maximillien Robespierre;
There can be no virtue without terror, as virtue without terror is impotent.
There can be no terror without virtue as terror without virtue is meaningless.
As someone who channeled the spirit of Mr. Robespierre it is clear to both of us that history can and will repeat itself. The guillotine can be rebuilt, and some of our beloved rulers who wish to pull the rug out from under our feet can find their heads resting under the blade in a few years time.
Keep it up greedy capitalists, as there is nothing that Mr. Robespierre's spirit would like more than to hear that blade crashing down on the necks of the greedy pigs once again!!
Nothing but the knife to live for!
Give me one good reason!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEANapksXlY
Welcome back to the world of the living, Mr. Maximillien Robespierre!!