A Brief History
On July 27, 1794, Maximilien Robespierre, a leader of the French Revolution was arrested, later to be denounced and executed by a Revolutionary Tribunal.
Robespierre had tried to commit suicide before being arrested by shooting himself in the head with a gun, blowing off part of his jaw. His execution came in the typical revolutionary way by beheading on the guillotine.
Once heralded as “The Incorruptible,” Robespierre lost support among his fellow revolutionaries for his staunch opinions and the fact that his single-minded aims did not allow for humanity, and his actions as “Public Accuser” sent as many as 17,000 “enemies of the revolution” to their deaths by execution.
Question for students (and subscribers): Should capital punishment still exist? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
McPhee, Peter. Robespierre: A Revolutionary Life. Yale University Press, 2013.
Scurr, Ruth. Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution. Holt Paperbacks, 2007.
The featured image in this article, a color engraving by Jean-Joseph-François Tassaert (1765 – ca.1835) titled The Arrest of Robespierre, ‘The Night of the 9th to 10th Thermidor, Year II, 27th July 1794’, is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. The work of art itself is in the public domain for the following reason: This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or fewer. This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published (or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) before January 1, 1927.