The Reign of Terror

nantesFrom September 1793 to July 1794 there arose an incredible amount of bloodshed in midst of French revolution. What was known as the committee of public safety decided that all enemies of revolution should be put to death by any means necessary. The committee assigned the job of carrying out this duty to Maximilien de Robespierre. Due to the travesties that Robespierre brought upon the French people his actions are known today as The Reign of Terror. The primary instrument of The Reign of Terror was the guillotine, which Robespierre gracefully renamed the “National Razor”. It is calculated that 16,594 people lost their heads to the Razor of which 2,639 fell to their fate in the city of Paris.

However, if someone were to think that the guillotine was the only form of execution they would be very wrong. In the city of Nantes, Robespierre put a man named Jean-Baptiste Carrier in charge executions. The means by which Carrier followed Robespierre’s orders are completely bone chilling. Carrier ordered the deaths of noblemen, women, children and clergymen and more by drowning. They executioners’ would put them into boats that had holes, which had been boarded up. Before the executioners’ disembarked off of the boats they would remove the boards, thus allowing the boats to fill with water and sink. Over 4,000 people lost their lives. These events are known as the Drowning’s at Nantes.

It was in this time that Robespierre had in essence become a dictator. However, the French people were now disgusted with his actions and on July 27, 1794 they revolted against his rule. The very next day Robespierre was executed, thus putting an end to his Reign of Terror.

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