Biography of Robespierre –

Maximilien Robespierre is perhaps one of the key figures in French history and in fact an important figure in the French Revolution, so in Overhistory we now review his biography.

Although figures such as Napoleon are perhaps better known and recognized in the period that frames the French Revolution, we cannot ignore the presence in this period of a man like Robespierre and who even today it provokes passions among certain youth sectors who are identified with their political ideals and their theories very close to the most radical left.

Biography of Robespierre

Childhood of Maximilien Robespierre:

  • French lawyer, writer, orator and politician, Robespierre was known in France as the “Incorruptible” since although many tried it seems that it was impossible for anyone to end up bribing him. Before reaching his popularity in politics we have to review his childhood full of poverty and effort to carve out a future.
  • Maximilien Robespierre born in Arras in 1758, in a family abandoned by the father and that he suffers the loss of his mother when the little one is 7 years old. Although he was able to study oratory thanks to the scholarships he was awarded, Robespierre ended up growing up with his brothers in his maternal grandfather’s house.
  • Despite childhood without the presence of the father, Robespierre decides to follow in his father’s footsteps and ends up studying to be a lawyer. Being young he discovers the work of the philosophers and among which stands out Rosseau who becomes the center of his ideals and whom you can meet with 18 years.

History of Maximilien Robespierre:

  • Of an honest and straight character, Robespierre never stood out for his physical appearance (he was a short man with green eyes and a somewhat distant expression and who had lost a hand when he was only 6 years old) although he always did so for his ease of oratory and speeches, that he wrote at night, and that they were very long.
  • After finishing his law degree, he returned to Arras in 1781 where he began to practice as such. in addition to criticizing the judicial system and monarchical absolutism and beginning to advocate the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity.
  • In April 1789 he was elected deputy for the third state of Artois in the Estates General and, although somewhat shy for the position, he ends up revealing himself in the assembly as a good speaker who defended the political rights of all citizens, universal and direct suffrage, freedom of the press and assembly, free and compulsory education and the abolition of slavery and the death penalty. That is when they begin to know him with his nickname “The Incorruptible”.
  • While sand is in legislative period joins the Jacobin Club who will end up leading in a certain way when the monarchy was abolished in August 1792and after being elected deputy of the National Convention for Paris where will become part of the political group La Montañafrom which he insistently calls for the execution of King Louis XVI.
  • The elected member of the Commune after an insurrection occurred in it and that causes his party to end winning to the Girondinsrepresentatives of the upper and middle bourgeoisie, those who managed to unseat power on June 2, 1793.

The Reign of Terror is proclaimed:

  • Despite the ideals in favor of the people and the poor and although these ideals were praiseworthy in a certain original sense, the truth is that between 1793 and 1794 France enters the period known as the “Reign of Terror.”
  • Robespierre ruled autocratically, sowing hatred and fear throughout the country in addition to being submerged in a period characterized by the political persecutions and continuous executions for treason, sedition, conspiracy, among many other crimes such as the eexecution of the revolutionary leaders Jacques René Hébert and Georges Jacques Danton.
  • It is precisely the death of Danton that opens the first divisions in the National Convention, causing Robespierre to redirect, more and more, the power of the government towards the Committee of Public Safety, until a group of soldiers opposed to his policies, take the City Hall in Paris where Robespierre is arrested and guillotined on July 28, 1794 (Thermidor 10) with 21 of his followers.

I leave you a documentary video about the French Revolution:

Other articles of interest in Overhistory:

  • The French Revolution and the War of the First Coalition
  • 1848: the “third” French Revolution