Reign Of Terror


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reign of terror Revolution in a tale of two ci

Revolution

It was the year 1789, when the flood started. The flood known as the French Revolution. The revolution brought France all the change, we desired for a long time. The success of the revolution can not even be expressed in words. I only wish that the flood was started earlier.
The flood was not some spontaneous event, however it was a flood filled with all the bitterness and harshness my people had to endure for centuries. Revolution by definition is the abrupt overthrow of the government; a sudden change in a system.  And the sudden change in the system was obvious in A Tale of Two Cities.  The cries of our dead children were no longer be silenced, for they began to burst forth from their coffins. Their cries harmonized with those of our forefathers demanding change.    
"Monseigneur, the good God knows; but I don't ask it. My petition is that a morsel of stone or wood, with my husband's name, my be placed over him to show where he lies. Otherwise the place will be forgotten, it will never be found when I am dead of the same malady, I shall be laid under some heap of poor grass. Monseigneur, there are so many, they increase so fast, there is so much want. Monseignuer! Monseignuer!(Dickens, page 122)  This poor woman could not even provide her husband with a proper burial. Her husband probably worked hard all his life just trying to provide for his family. It was in his death that he had to die with no dignity. His story like others was soon to be forgotten. It was up to the flood to assure the fact that his story would not be forgotten, that it would always be remembered as something that should never have happened.
One of the most thrilling events of the revolution occurred on July 14. The French people stood as one, one body, one heartbeat, and one resounding cry. A cry that will forever echo throughout the halls of time. "Deep ditch, single drawbridge, massive stone walls, eight great towers, cannon, muskets, fire and smoke. One drawbridge down! "Work, comrades all, work! Work Jacques One, Jacques Two, Jacques One Thousand, Jacques Two Thousand, Jacques Five-and-Twenty Thousand;in the name of Angels or Devils-which you prefer work!"(Dickens,page 214-215)
For years the Bastille had always stood as a symbol of the king's power. When the people decided to storm the Bastille they went against the king and his power.The fight was very bloody, but that is how the people were heard. The bloodshed got them the attention that they desired.This was a bold step, once  this step was taken there was no way the people could back out now. Although this was a bold step it wasn't as bold as the one made on June 20th.
On June 20th, the National Constituent Assembly was formed. The Tennis Court Oath was formed. This oath taken by the assembly promised to fight for a fair constitution for the people of France. A constitution that would provide equal rights for everyone living in France. That is why the storming of the Bastille was a very important event.
The reign of Terror happened between the months of July and August. During these months, the French people stormed the countryside to vent out the rage that they felt deep within. They attacked the nobles forcing them to give up their rights on taxation. If the people of France wanted a fair constitution, they had to start with nothing and work their way up. They were not all about to subject our lives on the hope that the nobles would somehow change. The french had to force them to change, whether they liked it or not.
On August 27, The Declaration of the Rights of a Man were documents  penned and written. Those that require deeper thought and design are said to be framed.This was the constitution that France. This constitution promised every man equality, freedom of worship, and rights. However this constitution had its flaws. There were still restrictions on being represented in the government. However, that battle was another war that would finally be won ... more

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French revolution-death of mar

History C.A.T. 1  
  The Death of Marat , is an idealistic portrait painted by Jacques-Louis David, depicting the assassination of one of the leaders of the French Revolution, Jean-Paul Marat. Marat was a prominent member of a group of people called the Jacobins, and founder of a controversial newspaper publication, LAmi du Peuple (the Friend of the People). Through the title of his paper, he became widely acknowledged as just that.    Marat used his the Friend of the People publication frequently to call for popular violence against politicians. Marat was a part of a group of people called the Sans Culottes. The Sans Culottes supported Marat, and Marat had an influence over them. The main target of his calls were largely a group of people called the Girondins. The Jacobins blamed the Girondins for the defeats on the battlefield and the rising prices of food.  

On the second of June the Sans-Culottes, supporters of the Jacobins, forced their way into the Convention and expelled the leading Girondins .  Many of the expelled Girondins fled Paris, in fear of facing the recently invented guillotine. Many fled to their provinces. In doing so they triggered off revolts in the provinces which supported the Girondins. By the summer of 1793, sixty out of eighty-three departments had joined the rebellion against the government .

Faced with such immense problems, on April the 6th, the Convention set up an emergency group called the Committee of Public Safety. This was quite a contradiction of terms, as on September the 17th The Law of Suspects came into effect. The Law of Suspects started a period referred to as the Reign of Terror. During this period groups of citizens in every town were required to write up lists of people suspected of opposing the government. Citizens of whatever sex, age, or condition were ruthlessly executed purely for being suspected of opposing the government; public safety was in fact at an all time low. Marat was vocal in support of the executions, and this was what ultimately led to his demise. On July 13th 1793 Charlotte Corday, a woman with Girondin sympathies gained entry to Marats apartment and murdered him.

Subsequently Jacques-Louis David was commissioned by the convention to paint a portrait of Marat. The function of Davids painting was to ensure that the momentum of the revolution kept moving forward.  If Marat was to be a symbol for maintaining the momentum of the revolution then David needed to portray him in the most appealing possible way, as friend of the People; a martyr. Obviously then, David could not portray Marat as old and ill. Davids aim was to indeed construct images of the secular saint .  By depicting Marat in such a martyr like fashion David ensured that Marats political ideologies would live on. With Davids painting displaying such sympathies towards Marat he helped the Sans Culottes strengthen support which in turn ensured Marat's and the Sans Cullotes ideals would therefore continue the momentum of the revolution moving forward. The assassination of Marat sent shockwaves through Paris. The fact that a Girondin had infiltrated Paris, and killed a leading revolutionary figure in his own home scared many leaders (in particular Robspierre) who now feared the same could easily happen to them. They needed to ensure Marats death would raise sympathies with their parties and quash any future counter-revolutionary assassinations.  

David had previously shown an aptitude for painting historical events. One of his most famous is that of The Oath the Horatii . In this painting David depicts precisely what the French Revolution came to represent. The painting depicts three brothers declaring that they would fight to their death as champions of their city against that of a rival city, for the common good of the people . The subject of The Oath of the Horatii is dedication and sacrifice .

This same theme was present in Davids portrayal of Marat.  David shows a Marat who sacrificed his life for the people of his country. In his hand Marat holds a letter. In the letter Corday pleads for assistance. This is an historical inaccuracy by David, showing the problems of representing the past,  as this ... more

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