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Power of Terror as a Political Weapon


In the past, the power of terror was used as a political weapon in France. The terrorist policy was implemented by some of the rebels in the United Kingdom and Europe. In France, terror was used as a device of state strategy. The people of this country faced a lot of problems due to the use of the power of terror by the monarch. The political leaders had several objectives behind terrorism and to achieve their aim the politicians behaved very cruelly to the public. Political terrorism caused the death of many people and several other losses in this country. When the French people fought against political terrorism, it led to violence in this country. The use of the power of terror by the French monarchy was the main reason that made the people think about democracy.

Power of terror

During the period of the French revolution, the fight against monarchy by the people established major changes in the history of France. These changes caused a violent atmosphere in this country. “Pre–Revolutionary France had a social structure that assigned every individual their “rightful” place before God. In actuality, commoners resented the nobility and the poor resented those above them, whether noble or common.” [1] Terror was used largely in France as a political weapon. France used armies for implementing the power of terror on common people. The power of terror was mainly used during the period of the French revolution. The period of the use of terror was mainly during 1973 and 1974. After that period, there was a decrease in terror activities. It was the period when Robespierre was the president of France. These activities came to an end when he was overthrown from the position.

The armed forces of the ruler were always equipped with knives, guns, and other deadly weapons in their hands to defeat the poor people. Even small children were treated badly by these cruel emperors and for some period their towns and villages were really flooded with blood. Some of the brave people who intended to save their nation performed a march towards the monarch and they sought the support of every civilian to participate in this movement. The civilians were too armed weapons to fight against the rebels. After the movement against the rebels for long period, the civilians established a character and a government. This caused sudden changes in this nation which led to the regeneration of the French nation.

Several laws passed in France showed the use of the power of monarchy as a political weapon. “The main terrorist legislation was the Law of Suspects, passed on 17 September 1793. It gave very wide powers of arrest, and defined ‘suspects’ in very broad terms, giving sweeping powers to the ruling Committees, and making ‘Terror the order of the day.” [2]

This law enabled the authorities to arrest the suspected people. There were several categories of people who were regarded as suspects by the law. The people who did not have the certificate of patriotism, the civil servants who lost their positions, emigrants between certain periods, etc were regarded as suspects. These helped the politicians to establish a power of terror on the people. “The Committee of Public Safety and the Revolutionary Tribunal was instituted immediately after the execution of the King. The Reign of Terror, during which the ruling faction ruthlessly exterminated all potential enemies, of whatever sex, age, or condition, began in September of 1793 and lasted until the fall of Robespierre on July 27, 1794:” [3]

Cordelier, which was a committee for the safety of the public, warned the people that emperors could damage the republic. It was a period of the rule of some of the cruel rulers. Cordelier explained that these rulers could not support democratic activities. There was the cruel treatment of the public by these rulers. Cordelier made the public aware of the inhuman treatment and killing of innocent people by the rulers at that time. Even the courts that are considered to be the protector of human lives and possessions became the punishers of the common public. They started torturing the people very badly and gave high punishments for even very small crimes. Human slaughtering became common in the country. There was immense opposition to the revolutionary activities of the emperors. The cruel treatment was mainly to eradicate these reformation activities in the country.

Thermidor is a month in the calendar of France. The eighth, ninth and eleventh of Thermidor are important in the French revolution. “The Thermidorian Reaction, Revolution of Thermidor, or simply Thermidor refers to the coup of 9 Thermidor (27 July 1794) in which Maximilien Robespierre was guillotined and the Reign of Terror ended.” [4]

During the period there was widespread terror in the country. On the eighth of Thermidor, a club meeting was held in France; in this meeting, Robespierre was questioned by a member of the committee of public safety. On the ninth of Thermidor, Robespierre attacked the members of the committee of public safety for being against him. This made the people against him more than ever before. A declaration against him was passed and he and his brothers were arrested. Robespierre’s followers wanted his freedom and claimed for that. The people against Robespierre went to convince the activists about the reason for their activities. On the eleventh of Thermidor, a meeting was held that proposed that terror should be replaced by justice. “Fortunately for France, Robespierre and his cronies were overthrown in the Coup de Thermidor on 27 July 1794 and he was executed, facing upwards, on the guillotine.” [5]

For the peaceful rule of the constitutional law, the civilians terminated the battle for freedom against the cruelty of the monarchies. When the country became democratic, this nation attained peace and the people enjoyed freedom and equality. The revolutionary government had followed the principles of democracy. Thus, the use of the power of terror was the main reason that caused an end to the monarchy.


The power of terror was used during the French revolution. There was great conflict between the civilians and monarchies for democracy. This was a fundamental change in the history of France. The battle between the monarchies and civilians caused a violent circumstance in this nation for a long period. The public faced many cruelties of the monarchies; moreover, it caused several losses for them. With the support of some of the nationalistic people, the French civilians conducted a revolutionary movement against the cruelty of monarchies. After the movement, they attained democracy and they enjoyed the peace of freedom and equality. This was really a rebirth of the French nation without any violence and cruelty and the government ruled the nation with all the principles of democracy.


Cody, David. French Revolution. The Victorian Web, 2007.

Linton, Marisa. Dr. The Terror in the French Revolution. Blackwell, 1935, Web.

Moore, Richard. French Revolution. Napoleonic Guide, 1999, Web.

Social Causes of the Revolution. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity Exploring the French revolution, n.d., 2010. Web.

Thermidor., 2010, Web.


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