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Finally, the enemies of the Revolution at home and abroad seemed to be suppressed. Only Great Britain and Austria continued the war. The people were tired of the Terror. When Robespierre showed no signs of stopping the bloodshed, the rest of the Convention took matters into their own hands.

Danton had predicted: "Robespierre will follow me; I drag down Robespierre." Robespierre was arrested and sent to the guillotine on July 28, 1794. People then and afterward blamed him for all the horrors of the Reign of Terror, but much of the blame as well as the credit for it belonged to others.


Men that were more moderate now governed France. The Convention wrote another constitution the third since 1789 and the second to be put into operation then prepared to dissolve. A mob protested against two thirds of the new assemblies being drawn from the hated Convention. A young artillery officer, Napoleon Bonaparte, protected the new government. He was then practically unknown.

Rise of Napoleon

The new government, the Directory, proved unable to meet the problems within disorganized France. The glory of foreign victories won under the Directory was due to Bonaparte. On Nov. 9, 1799, he helped overthrow the Directory and replaced it with a Consulate of three members. He was the first consul and actual ruler of France. In 1804 he discarded pretense and called himself "Napoleon I, Emperor of the French." Liberty was gone.

Napoleon himself declared: "Liberty is a necessity felt only by a not very numerous class. It can therefore be restricted with impunity. Equality on the other hand pleases the multitude." Few events have so powerfully influenced the political and economic development of the modern world as the French Revolution.


External Websites

Here are some websites that discuss this topic.

Maximilien Robespierre, Master of the Terror
This article by by Scott McLetchie, discusses how Robespierre  was a master at bringing terror on the people during the French Revolution.

Maximilien de Robespierre Biography
This is a biography of the man at Wikipedia.

This article on Wikipedia describes the Jacobin political ideals that arouse during the French Revolution.

Reign of Terror
This article on Wikipedia goes into further detail on the Reign of Terror.