Robespierre Homework 1-3
1. What arguments does Robespierre make to support the use of terror? Which of the 17 specified rights are put on hold during this use of terror?
Robespierre believed that he was incorruptible, sincere and an effective leader and he supported the use of tear in bringing down the forces that were in power in France in the late 1700s. He believed it was a virtue of its citizens to maintain the Republic through any means necessary inside of the revolution and it was his job as a public servant to push the revolution forward in the name of political equality, suffrage and the abolition of privileges. He believed it is “necessary to conclude the war of liberty against Tierney and to pass successfully through the storms of revolution” when he says storms of revolution he is actually saying the bloodshed that will be brought about by anybody who disagrees with his ideas of using terror to change regimes in France. In his speech The Terror Justified he says”the basis of popular government in time of peace is virtue the basis of popular government in time of revolution is both virtue and tear where virtue without tear is murderous terror without virtue is powerless” he believes it is virtuous to terrorize people if you're doing it for the right reasons.
The 17 rights included in the Declaration of the Rights of Man that were put on hold during his use of terror include numbers 2,4-11
2 The aim of all political association is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man. These rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression.
There was no security during this time because of him
4Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights. These limits can only be determined by law.
Because everyone had to agree with him no one had any freedoms and they could not exercise their natural rights because they were not allowed to think freely
5Law can only prohibit such actions as are hurtful to society. Nothing may be prevented which is not forbidden by law, and no one may be forced to do anything not provided for by law.
Since the committee decided what law was they decided what was hurtful to society
6Law is the expression of the general will. Every citizen has a right to participate personally, or through his representative, in its foundation. It must be the same for all, whether it protects or punishes. All citizens, being equal in the eyes of the law, are equally eligible to all dignities and to all public positions and occupations, according to their abilities, and without distinction except that of their virtues and talents.
Nobody was equal in the eyes of the law because everyone had to agree with him
7No person shall be accused, arrested, or imprisoned except in the cases and according to the forms prescribed by law. Any one soliciting, transmitting, executing, or causing to be executed, any arbitrary order, shall be punished. But any citizen summoned or arrested in virtue of the law shall submit without delay, as resistance constitutes an offense.
He arrested and killed many people with his arbitrary orders yet he was never punished.
8The law shall provide for such punishments only as are strictly and obviously necessary, and no one shall suffer punishment except it be legally inflicted in virtue of a law passed and promulgated before the commission of the offense.
His version of law was brutal he murdered people without a trial or jury.
9As all persons are held innocent until they shall have been declared guilty, if arrest shall be deemed indispensable, all harshness not essential to the securing of the prisoner's person shall be severely repressed by law.
You repressed everyone and he decided to was guilty and killed them
10No one shall be disquieted on account of his opinions, including his religious views, provided their manifestation does not disturb the public order established by law.
Anyone who went against his views was deemed wrong and was punished
11The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the rights of man. Every citizen may, accordingly, speak, write, and print with freedom, but shall be responsible for such abuses of this freedom as shall be defined by law.
Nobody was allowed to disagree with him
2. How does Robespierre differentiate between the role of government in times of peace compared to in times of revolution?
Roberpierre believed the role of government in times of peace were very different than in times of revolution. The role of government in times of peace looked more like what the Enlightenment looked like and in his Speech on Revolutionary Government he said “because it is at war it is subjected to less binding and less uniform regulations “ in this section he is saying that the revolutionary government has to decide things quickly and to the best of their ability given the information that they have and not necessarily wait for a lot of people to agree so during wartime he believe that the committee and himself could be judged jury next fusion or to those who are against their ideas. During peacetime he believes the French Revolution will bring “the glory of all free peoples that have existed, become the model of all nations that is our ambition that is our aim” so during peacetime he believes that once they are through this revolution they can go back to their original ideas set forth in the rights included in The Declaration of the Rights of Man.
3. Make a case for or against Robespierre:
Robespierre in my opinion has no defense to his violence to secure the gains of the revolution what he did is unacceptable at every level. His arrogance that believing his way was the only way and that anybody who disagreed with them would be killed is exactly what people were fighting against with the first and second estate. He was doing the exact same thing to the people of France that the first and second estates did to them, he made them his slaves. He made them his slaves in that they were expected to do exactly what he said without question or else they would be killed. In his speech The Terror Justified he says”what is the goal for which we strive? A peaceful enjoyment of liberty and equality the rule of the bad internal justice whose laws are engraved” he certainly went against these ideals when he took away laws and justice for all men who disagreed with them. He is no better than the nobles who took away the peasants rights in the years beforehand. There are no new laws to protect the third estate under the committee's rule with him. In his speech The Terror Justified he says”the basis of popular government in time of peace is virtue the basis of popular government in time of revolution is both virtue and tear where virtue without tear is murderous terror without virtue is powerless” he believes it is virtuous to terrorize people if you're doing it for the right reasons. You could argue that the Kings before him believed that they were also virtuous and doing the right thing for their people. The whole idea of a democratic government is that everybody has their voice heard but through Robespierre and the committee nobody else's voice manages to be heard. He is the only one that is deciding what is right for people to do or to think which is of course very wrong.