For two hundred years, the Terror has haunted the imagination of the West. The descent of the French Revolution from rapturous liberation into an orgy of apparently pointless bloodletting has been the focus of countless reflections on the often malignant nature of humanity and the folly of revolution.
David Andress, a leading historian of the French Revolution, presents a r...more
I also loved his reflections on the reasons for the Terror, which was the result of the demonization of all those opposing to Revolutionary, but above all, Jacobine ideals, coupled with the military and economic ...more
"A final series of notes were taken from Saint-Just upon his arrest. ... the last note of all is telling: 'The misfortunes of the fatherland have spread across the whole country a sombre and religious hue. Silent reflection is necessary in these distressing times; it must form the disposition of every friend of the Republi ...more
Indeed, the French Revolution was 'too big too fail,' and that may have been part of the r ...more
This recount of the brutal period of France shows what happens when large groups of mobs become leaders. The period of The Terror was when there were quotas to be sen ...more
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Of far more significance, and the true and tragic lesson of the epic descent into The Terror, is the summons to vigilance against ourselves — that we should not assume that we are righteous, and our enemies evil; that we can see clearly, and to others are blinded by malice or folly; that we can abrogate the fragile rights of others in the name of our own certainty and all will be well regardless.
If we do not honor the message of human rights born in the revolutions of 1776 and 1786, as the French in their case most certainly failed to do, we too are on the road to The Terror.”