In June 1793, the French Revolution enters its most violent and turbulent phase when the Jacobins seized control of the National Convention from the more moderate Girondins and instituted a series of radical measures, including the establishment of a new calendar and the eradication of Christianity. They also unleashed the bloody Reign of Terror (“la Terreur”), a 10-month period in which suspected enemies of the revolution were guillotined by the thousands. Many of the killings were carried out under orders from Robespierre, who dominated the draconian Committee of Public Safety until his own execution on July 28, 1794. His death marked the beginning of the Thermidorian Reaction, a moderate phase in which the French people revolted against the Reign of Terror’s excesses.
More to Explore
Louis XVI was the last king of France before the French Revolution of 1789 toppled the monarchy.
Marie Antoinette, the reviled queen of revolutionary France, was executed by guillotine on October 16, 1793. She was 37 years old.
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military leader and emperor who conquered much of Europe in the early 1800s.
On June 20, 1789 in Versailles, France, the deputies of the Third Estate met on the Jeu de Paume, an indoor tennis court, in defiance of King Louis XVI's order to disperse.
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Classroom Study Guides
French Revolution (PDF)
Study guide to the events leading up to the French Revolution, from the grandeur of Versailles as King Louis XVI wed Marie Antoinette through the dramatic culmination of the revolutionary period as thousands of dead were left in its wake.