The French Revolution

The Trial and Execution of Louis XVI
Revolutionary Tradition and Les Mis
Revolution 1789
--The Monarchy
--Tennis Court Oath
--Fall of the Bastille
--October Days
--Declaration of War
--Palace Invaded
--Louis XVI
--Reign of Terror
-- Fall of Robespierre
--At war
1789 in Les Miserables
--The Terror
--The People
--The Students
--The Monarchy
--Place de Concord
--Notre Dame
Daily Sites
--Street Names
--Children's Names and Games
Works Consulted



 The execution of Louis XVI, 21 January 1793, from Decaux.

By December of 1792, the Assembly had been replaced by the Convention as the official government of France. The Convention was divided into two factions: Jacobins and Girondins. The biggest ideological difference between the two was that the Jacobins were in favor of executing Louis XVI, and the Girondins were opposed. The Girondins also thought that the King had the right to a trial, and the Jacobins did not. Robespierre, who was a radical Jacobin, had this to say on the subject:

"Louis cannot be judged, he has already been judged. He has been condemned, or else the republic is not blameless. To suggest putting Louis XVI on trial, in whatever way, is a step back towards royal and constitutional despotism; it is a counter-revolutionary idea; because it puts the Revolution itself in the dock. After all, if Louis can still be put on trial, Louis can be acquitted; he might be innocent. Or rather, he is presumed to be until found guilty. But if Louis is acquitted, if Louis can be presumed innocent, what becomes of the Revolution?" (Doyle, p.195)

Despite Robespierre's speech, Louis was brought to trial on December 26, 1792. On January 15, 1793, 361 of the 700 deputies of the Convention voted to execute Louis. On January 21, Louis XVI was executed in what is today the Place de la Concorde.

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