"To punish the oppressors of humanity is clemency; to forgive them is barbarity."
"Maximilien Robespierre"
"Pity is treason"
"Maximilien Robespierre"

Maximilien Robespierre (May 6th, 1758 - July 28th, 1794) was one of the leaders of the French Revolution. He was responsible for one of the worst periods in the Revolution - The Reign of Terror.

Reign of Terror

The Reign of Terror was a period of the French Revolution where 16,000 people were executed via guillotine, and another 25,000 people executed without or hastily-done trials, most of whom were against the French Revolution. He was also responsible for the deaths of 100,000 people when he ordered the attack of Vendee.

Ultimately, he was killed via guillotine without trial later on.

Early Life and Education

Born on May 6, 1758, Robespierre earned praise for his intelligence from a very early age.

Legal Career

After completing his law studies, Robespierre was appointed to the Arras bar. He served as a criminal judge for a time, but quickly resigned (ironically, because he was uncomfortable ruling on capital cases, due to his opposition to the death penalty).

More Quotes

"If virtue be the spring of a popular government in times of peace, the spring of that government during a revolution is virtue combined with terror: virtue, without which terror is destructive; terror, without which virtue is impotent. Terror is only justice prompt, severe and inflexible; it is then an emanation of virtue; it is less a distinct principle than a natural consequence of the general principle of democracy, applied to the most pressing wants of the country."
"Robespierre, attempting to justify the Reign of Terror"