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 Maximilien Robespierre 
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Post mob violence
actually, in some cases, it was the mob who run away and forced the revolutionaries - just think about all the days when the mob marched into the convention and dictated terms: expulsion of the Girondins, maximum laws...

so who was manipulating who, and who was to blame?


Thu Mar 22, 2007 2:51 pm
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Post Louis XVI
and I completely agree with you - a compromise with Louis XVI was SO possible. part of the problem is that early in the revolution, even some of the idealistic deputies lost faith in the king's good faith, and saw him as untrustworthy, as manipulated by counter revolutionaries - blaming the queen in particular of giving him hostile advice.


Thu Mar 22, 2007 2:53 pm
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The mob was manipulated by revolutionary propaganda.

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Thu Mar 22, 2007 2:58 pm
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Don't you think, Doritmi, that these events happened to quick ? I think this revolution was far too rapid, for everybody. Who was ready for such a change ? The king was not... nor was the people. After all, they greeted Napoleon dictator so enthusiastically...

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Thu Mar 22, 2007 3:00 pm
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Post too quick?
Ok, I can read that remark, Pim, as either referring to an idea that the revolution was planned in advance, as a plot (perhaps by freemasons), or as what it simply said - things were happening too quickly for everyone to think of a response (and I completely agree with the last but have strong doubts as to the first). which one?


Thu Mar 22, 2007 3:44 pm
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Post mob manipulated?
Therese, I think that's true to some degree, but not completely.
a) the people who depend on bread for subsistence did not need to be told they need to be worried when bread became scarce and prices went up; I think there was a bottom-up push for measures that will guarantee bread. I also think many of the common people believed bread was denied by conspiracy, and wanted to strike at the conspirators - and needed no encouraging to identify them. After all, the paris mob once rioted when they thought children were being kidnapped. they have a history of believing in conspiracy stories and reacting violently.
b) people tend to believe what they want to believe, or what fits into the preconceived notions they have developed over a long time. if the revolutionary propaganda didn't fit what people wanted to believe or what they grew up seeing as true, it wouldn't work.
for example, since people grew up seeing MA as a frivolous light headed girl, when she tried to transform her image into that of a motherly matron, it didn't work - didn't fit into previous descriptions.


Thu Mar 22, 2007 3:48 pm
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The second one, of course. I just try to understand why, although being an intelligent and generous guy, Louis XVI did not accept the changes due the revolution. Why he did not completely agree this the constitution (even if he promised...) and thus missed the chance of a constitutional monarchy. That's why I say that it all happened to quicly for him... and for the queen, and for Robespierre, who lived in terror, and for many others, and for the people, who will soon fall into Napoleon's strong arms.

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Thu Mar 22, 2007 4:07 pm
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Post French Monarchy, government by council
great question - I agree, things were happening really rapidly. for Louis XVI, I think he also had the problem that several writers identified in his and Louis XV's reign - the French kings governed by counsel, and in this case, he was getting radically opposed counsel from the people advising him - and it was hard to make the decision. Not just because he was indecisive - but because different people he respected saw things so differently!


Thu Mar 22, 2007 4:15 pm
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The bread shortages were partly due to crop failures but also partly engineered by speculators buying up the grain.

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Thu Mar 22, 2007 5:17 pm
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Post Re: Maximilien Robespierre
Here is artist-historian George Stuart's view of Robespierre, the guillotine and Sanson -

http://www.galleryhistoricalfigures.com ... obespierre

http://www.galleryhistoricalfigures.com ... Guillotine

http://www.galleryhistoricalfigures.com ... enrySanson

Enjoy!

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Sat Jan 12, 2008 4:43 am
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Post Re: Maximilien Robespierre
I know this is an old topic, but, reading the posts, I got very interested.
My personal opinion is:
1) Propaganda has really a strong impact on people. I think the central point is not so much that the people believe want they want to believe, but that the cleverness of leaders is in telling the people what they want to hear. This can really do a lot in moving the mob towards some directions. I mean: obviously if people starve they are very willing to find one, ore more, culprits, but the revolutionary leaders (or at least some of them) carried out a real campaign of hate in order to make the anger of the people increase. That's why I think the leaders of the Revolution had really heavy responsibilities for what happened.
2)The mistakes were of course from both sides: Lous XVI could have found a compromise and Marie Antoinette, too, could have understood the genuine needs of the people expressed in the Revolution. But I think that, in judging the king and queen's behaviour, we should always bear a fact in mind: they were the king and queen of ancient-regime France, Louis had been brought up by people who taught him that he would become the king of France and that the royal rule was sacred and established by God, he had lived in Versailles since he was a child: for us, today, it's obvious that Louis and MA made a mistake, but could it be so obvious for them? If the king had had the gift of political ability, he would probably have understood that times had changed and his attitude needed to change too; but neither he nor Marie Antoinette were born politicians, so they probably tried to defend what they thought was right and just.
And certainly counsellors influenced the king greatly; his indecise character didn't help, of course, even if he was an intelligent and learned man with noble ideals.

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Sun Feb 17, 2008 2:55 pm
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Post Re: Maximilien Robespierre
You make some excellent and insightful remarks, dear Rosalie!

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Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:26 am
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Post Re: Maximilien Robespierre
thank you, Delicate Fleur!!

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Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:47 pm
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Post Re: Maximilien Robespierre
I think Robespierre is an incredibly twisted person mentally, and a borderline sociopath if not a sociopath. He could have had some potential, sadly there were no medication that could have helped him. As Rosalie mentioned here is an equation that I have thought of.
Starving, Poor People+ Propganda+ Decling Power of Monarchy+ Supposedly charasmatic leader who really keeps the people ignorant= disaster.

I can understand that you would be bitter if you were hungry and too poor to afford a piece of bread, I would too. However, there are more peaceful ways to obtain change than bloodshed. However like Lambelle mentioned previously I do not sympathize with them because they had a choice to either kill someone or spare someone else's life, because you are hungry and poor or perhaps anyone in any class of that matter, gives no excuse, reason or cause to commit these horrible atrocities and inflict pain, death and sickness on others.

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Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:36 pm
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Post Re: Maximilien Robespierre
Of course!
One thing is to be concerned about social equality, and even angry, because I understand you can be angry if you don't have food to feed yourself and your children; another thing is to massacre people that you hold responsible for that.
But, especially,I think I couldn't justify in any way the behaviour of leaders who consciously used the feelings of the poor people. And most of the leaders (like Robespierre himself) were not poor, but middle class people, I suppose; so I can't find other explanation for their hate than a kind of envy towards who has more.
I always believe there must be a peaceful way towards justice and equality...even if it requires more patience. Maybe I'm an idealist, but it's the only way to avoid bloodshed.

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Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:34 pm
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