the French Revolution
A backdrop of blood (cont)

If the Monarchy wasn't in enough peril, the King's apartments at the Tuileries palace were stormed by 20,000 armed people calling themselves the sans-culottes (without fine clothes; ordinary people). Their actions, along with threats from the Austrians, led the Legislative Assembly to decree La Patrie en Danger (The Country in Danger). Arms were distributed to all citizens.

In August the Tuileries was once again stormed and this time the monarchy was overthrown. Georges Jacques Danton, known as the "voice of the revolution" was the Minister of Justice. He and Jean Paul Marat dominated the Paris commune that seized police power.

On September 22 the national Convention met in Paris and proclaimed a republic. In 1793, Louis XVI was tried for treason and executed on January 21. In March the Revolutionary Tribunal was created, as was the Committee of Public Safety the following month. Danton led the Committee until his departure in July, which heralded the arrival of Maximilien Robespierre, who began the bloody period of French history known as the Reign of Terror. The Law of Suspects was defined. It said who could be arrested for treason and, as a result, several thousand were guillotined.

July was also when Jacobin supporter Marat was murdered in his bath by Charlotte Corday, a Girondist sympathiser (the two revolutionary groups disagreed). Corday was caught and guillotined.


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