The French Revolution

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




 Robespierre, "The Candle of Arras," image from Decaux

Robespierre was the best known and most influential of the members of the Committee of Public safety. He was rasied in Arras, but attended grammer school in Paris. His best friend during his school years was Camille Desmoulins, another prominent figure in the Revolution. Robespierre was a presence in all of the major events that occurred between 1789-1794. He was a representatvie at the Estates General, and had a large following in the radical Jacobin clubs of Paris and among the Sans-Culottes.

During the reign of Terror, Robespierre was the most prominent member of the Commitee of Public Safety. He was a hard worker with strong principles, and he became known as the Incorruptible because of his honesty and rigid commitment to transforming France into a republic of Virtue. He was a cold man however, and was never as popular amoung the people of Paris as Marat, Desmoulins, or Danton. He believed more in the ideas of Rousseau than in men, and was suspicious of those around him. (Dowd, 124).

The fact that Robespierre allowed his two close associates to be killed in April of 1794, he lost the faith of the rest of France's governing body (Spielvogel, 696). Eager to destroy him before he destroyed them, members of the Convention arrested Robespierre and guillotined him on 28 July 1794. His death brought to an end the radical period of the French revolution known as the Terror.

Which member of the Friends of the ABC in Les MIserables resembles Robespierre? Click here to find out!

For more information on reflectiond of Robespierre in Les Miserables click here.



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