Reign of Terror

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A period of the French Revolution that began in March 1793 when the Revolutionary government, known as the Convention, having executed the king, set about attacking opponents and anyone else considered a threat to the regime. A Revolutionary Tribunal was set up to bring “enemies of the state” to trial and the following month the Committee of Public Safety was created. It began slowly but during the ruthless dictatorship that followed the defeat of the Girondins at least 12,000 political prisoners, priests, and aristocrats were executed, including Marie Antoinette and Madame Roland de la Platière. The Terror was intensified in June 1794 after the execution of Hébert and Danton had left Robespierre supreme. It ended the following month, after the arrest and execution of Robespierre.

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