The National Convention was the direct result of the end of the monarchy. On August 10, 1792, the people of Paris stormed the Tuileries and demanded the end of the monarchy. The Legislative Assembly agreed to the provisional suspension of King Louis XVI and the start of a "National Convention" which should draw up a constitution (Thor). During the 3 years that the national Convention was in power, the Committee of Public Safety and the Revolutionary Tribunal were instituted. Also during the 3 years that the convention was in power, The Committee of Public Safety started “The Reign of Terror”, during which the Committee of Public Safety exterminated all potential enemies, of whatever gender, age, or condition” (Cody), to save the revolutionary government from military defeat (Navarrete).
The National Convention was formed during the Radical Phase of the French Revolution. The Radical Phase began when war with Austria and Prussia was initiated in April and May (Lambert). Then in the summer of 1792, “public opinion hardened against Louis XVI” (Lambert). At the same time, Parisians were split into sections and assemblies, and then on August 9 th , these assemblies seized power. The assemblies joined together and formed the Paris Commune to overthrow the King. The King and his family tried to escape, but they were caught and held up and would be put on trial at a later time. The Legislative Assembly then declared that the king was suspended, that meant some of the Constitution of 1791 was now partially incorrect. The assembly then agreed to call elections for a new government, the National Convention, which met in September 1792 (Lambert). Towards the end of the National Convention, some of the members became worried and feared for their lives, since Maximilien Robespierre, head of the Committee of Public Safety and played a big role in the start of the Reign of Terror, had the power to arrest or execute any of the members. The only way to assure their lives was to overpower Robespierre. He tried to shoot himself, but he was arrested then executed shortly after he was caught. The Reign of Tower was put to an end and thousands of prisoners were set free (Lambert).
The members of the Convention were known as the Mountain because they sat in the rear of the hall on high benches. The most prominent leaders were Maximilen Robespierre, Georges-Jacques Danton, and Jean-Paul Marat. Their opponents were known as the Gironde because several came from a department of that name. All of the members in the Convention, called the Plain, chose to not support either the Mountain nor the Gironde, but were still part of the Convention. (Woloch).
In April 1792, France went to war against Austria and Prussia. These nations wished to restore the king and emigrés to their positions. The foreign armies defeated French forces in the early fighting and invaded France. Louis XVI and his supporters clearly hoped for the victory of the invaders. The new government faced a foreign threat. As a result, angry revolutionaries in Paris and other areas demanded that the king be dethroned (Woloch).
The Convention voted to abolish the monarchy and establish a republic. Deputies then drew up a constitution for France. The Jacobins, who ruled most of the Convention, set out to erase all traces of the old order. They seized lands of nobles and abolished titles of nobility (Ellis, 224). During the first phase of the Convention, Louis XVI was put on trial and found guilty for treason of France. In January of 1793, Louis XVI was beheaded by the means of guillotine. That same year in October, Marie Antoinette, the wife of Louis XVI, was executed by guillotine. France set up the Committee of Public Safety to control all of the threats towards them. The Committee had 12 members and had absolute power, which prepared France for war. The Committee started the leveé en masse , which was a tax for all citizens to pay for war effort. Maximilien Robespierre quickly became head of the Committee of Public Safety, who received the nickname “the incorruptible” because of his dedication to the French Revolution (Ellis, 224 & 225) The start of the Reign of Terror was caused by Robespierre. The Reign of Terror was an act of hatred for those people who did not support the French Revolution so, those people were executed.
Maximilien Robespierre petitioned to the Legislative Assembly of a revolutionary Tribunal and a new government. He was later elected as First Deputy to the National Convention to the Jacobin club, but that club lost power. The Committee of Public Safety, which was formed in April of 1793, elected Robespierre as one of the leaders. Robespierre later formed the Reign of Terror, and sent thousands of people, including many important political people, to the guillotine. The fall of Robespierre started on July 26 th of 1794, when he wrote to the National Convention that he was being accused of actions that were not true, the National Convention agreed, but realized that Robespierre was lying. The Convention called for Robespierre’s arrest. On July 28 th , Robespierre tried to flee, but an officer caught him and Robespierre was sent to the guillotine for a beheading the next day (Kreis).
George-Jacques Danton was a French Revolutionary leader and speaker. He was elected Minister of Justice of the Legislative Assembly for the events that had happened on August 10, 1792. On August 10 th , Danton was largely credited to its success, although there are no exact details on that day in history. On September 6, Danton was elected deputy for Paris to the National Convention. He immediately made effort to end all the disputes between the Revolutionary parties, but his policy of conciliation was prevented by the Gironde, which demanded that he write a report when he left his post as minister of justice. On April 7, 1793, Danton became a member of the first Committee of Public Safety, which became the executive branch of the Revolutionary government. For three months Danton was effectively the head of the government, charged especially with the conduct of foreign affairs and military matters. During this second period in the government he pursued a policy of compromise and negotiation. Danton was put on trial by the Convention because he was degraded national justice, but Danton led himself to be sent to the guillotine on April 5 th of 1794 (Soboul).
In 1790 and 1791, Marat gradually came to the view that the monarchy should be abolished, after Louis XVI’s attempt to flee in June 1791. Marat declared the king unworthy to take the throne again and violently denounced the National Assembly for refusing to get rid of the king. Marat started as a delegate on the National Convention in the beginning of September. He advocated such reforms as a graduated income tax, state-sponsored vocational training for workers, and shorter terms of military service. Though he had often advocated the execution of counterrevolutionaries. Only July 13 th of 1793, Marat was stabbed to death by Charlotte Corday while he was simply taking a bath. Yet, at the same time that Marat was killed, the Montagnards triumph over their opponents symbolized that Marat was all for the cause (Vidalenc).
The revolutionary movement was harmful, however, by an alliance of European nations and by counter-revolutionary forces in France. As the committee strove to meet these dangers, it became more and more powerful. In July 1793, following the defeat at the convention of the Girondins, the prominent leaders of the radical Jacobins--Robespierre, Saint-Just and Georges Couthon-were added to the committee. As a result, the committee became the real center of power in the country. In December 1793 the convention formally conferred the entire power of government on the committee. Robespierre eliminated his rivals and established a virtual dictatorship. “To defend France and suppress internal uprisings, he and the committee raised 14 armies; to ensure supplies, the committee instituted a partial system of maximum prices and fixed wages; and to repress domestic opposition, it instituted the Reign of Terror” (ThinkQuest Team). After the overthrow on July 27, 1794, of Robespierre and his colleagues by their enemies at the convention, power in the government was restored to the convention. The Committee of Public Safety continued to exist until 1795.
The Reign of Terror lasted from September 1793 until the fall of Robespierre in 1794. Its purpose was to get rid of enemies of the Revolution and protect the country from foreign invaders. From January 1793-July 1794, France was governed by the Committee of Public Safety, in which Danton and Robespierre were influential members. In the course of nine months, thousands of people were beheaded or died from disease, but the executions of internal enemies of France took place throughout the country. During this time there was a shift in power within the committee from Danton to Robespierre. Danton had a strong physical presence and was an incredible public speaker, while Robespierre was less passionate. However, Robespierre was a hard worker who was very ambitious. He blindly believed in the work of Rousseau, who argued that men are all born good at heart and are corrupted by society. It was these beliefs that caused him to continue the Terror even when it was no longer necessary. In 1794, the armies of France were very successful against their enemies, which meant that the Terror was no longer necessary. But Robespierre continued the Terror because he wanted to cleanse France of everyone who was corrupt. The killing ended when Robespierre was executed on July 28 th of 1794 (Schwartz).
The national convention of 1792
of tion v en C on n al a tio uz a N So e h 2 y: N ickT 9 dB 17 reate C A statue depicting the National Convention during the French Revolution (National Convention of the French Revolution.)
What was the National convention?• In September of 1792, The National Convention was a new legislative body, but was a more radical body than any earlier assemblies or bodies. A picture of the National Convention (“Maximilien De Robespierre.”).
When did the national convention start and end?• The National Convention was formed September 20, 1792.• The Convention was in power for 3 years.• The convention officially ended Oct. 26, 1795. The Hall of the first convention (Hazen).
Who Was on the National Convention?• The National Convention members were decided by French men over the age of 25.• The body was made up of 749 members from France and a few other countries. A picture of the National Convention meeting hall (Grieves).
WHY was the national convention started?• The National Convention was elected to provide a new constitution for the country after the monarch, LOUIS XVI, was overthrown on august 10th of 1792 (GUPTA). Decree of the National Convention (Decree of the National Convention).
What Did the national convention do?• The Execution of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette• Created the Committee of Public Safety, which Started the reign of terror The execution of Louis XVI by guillotine (Silva).
Maximilien Robespierre• Robespierre would be very involved in government until his execution in 1795• Brought the idea of a Revolutionary Tribunal and a new government to the legislative assembly• Elected to the Committee of Public Safety• Caused dictatorship of France A picture of Maximilien Robespierre (“Maxmilien de Robespierre.”).
Georges-Jacques Danton• Credited for the overthrow of the monarchy and establishment of the First French Republic• First president of the Committee of Public Safety• Died on the guillotine during the reign of terror A picture of George-Jacques Danton (Soboul).
Jean-Paul Marat• Leader of the radical Montagnard faction• Supported simple changes for the state of France• Assassinated by an opposing Girondin, Charlotte Corday A photo of Jean-Paul Marat (Vidalenc).
The Committee of Public Safety• The Committee of Public Safety was created by the National Convention in 1793.• Consisted of 12 members• “an administrative body to supervise and expedite the work of the executive bodies of the convention and of the government ministers appointed by the convention” (ThinkQuest The Committee of Public Safety Team). established 1793 (Wood).
The Reign of Terror• A Direct Result of The National A picture of a guillotine (Rockwell). Convention’s creation of the committee of public Safety• A period in time of 10 months in which 300,000 people were arrested and 40-50 thousand were killed by guillotine, disease, or other ways for not supporting the French Revolution.
Works citedChavis, Jason. "About the National Convention." SoYouWanna. Demand Media, n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2013.Cody, David. "French Revolution." French Revolution. Nagoya University, 25 Oct. 2012. Web. 16 Mar. 2013.Decree of the National Convention. Digital image. AllPosters.com. AllPosters.com, 2013. Web. 17 Mar. 2013.Ellis, Elisabeth Gaynor. "Chapter 6: The French Revolution and Napoleon." World History: THe Modern Era. Boston: Pearson, 2011. 210-38. Print.Grieves, Kevin. The National Convention. Digital image. The Modern Historian. Blogspot, 2010. Web. 17 Mar. 2013.Gupta, Kanchan. "National Convention (French History)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2013.Hazen, Charles. The Hall of the Convention. Digital image. Clip Art Etc. Florida Center for Instructional Technology, 2013. Web. 17 Mar. 2013.Kreis, Steven. "Maximilien Robespierre 1758-1794." Maximilien Robespierre 1758-1794. The History Guide, 30 Mar. 2005. Web. 17 Mar. 2013.Lambert, Tim. "A History of The Great Terror." A History of The Great Terror. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2013."Maximilien De Robespierre." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 17 Mar. 2013. Web. 17 Mar. 2013.National Convention of the French Revolution. Digital image. Paris 2006 - The Pantheon. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2013.
Works Cited (continued)Navarrete, Yasser O. "The Radical Revolution." The Radical Revolution. N.p., 11 Feb. 2008. Web. 16 Mar. 2013.Rockwell, Llewellyn H. Guillotine. Digital image. LewRockwell.com. LewRockwell.com, 5 Aug. 2002. Web. 17 Mar. 2013.Schwartz, Robert. "The Reign of Terror." The France of Victor Hugo. Mount Holyoke College, 10 May 1999. Web. 17 Mar. 2013.Silva, Leonard Da. Louis XVI: Execution by Guillotine. Digital image. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 2013. Web. 17 Mar. 2013.Soboul, Albert M. "Georges Danton (French Revolutionary Leader) : Dantons Committee of Public Safety." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2013. Web. 17 Mar. 2013.SparkNotes Editors. "The French Revolution (1789–1799)." SparkNotes. SparkNotes LLC., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2013.ThinkQuest Team. "The Committee of Public Safety." ThinkQuest. Oracle Foundation, n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2013.Thor. "National Convention (France)." History Wars Weapons. History Wars Weapons, 22 Apr. 2011. Web. 16 Mar. 2013.Vidalenc, Jean. "Jean-Paul Marat." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2013.Woloch, Isser. "French Revolution, Introduced Democratic Ideals to France." French Revolution, Introduced Democratic Ideals to France. Concord Learning Systems, 2012. Web. 16 Mar. 2013.Wood, Brandon. The Committee of Public Safety. Digital image. Vimeo. Vimeo, LLC., 2012. Web. 17 Mar. 2013.