- "To punish the oppressors of humanity is clemency; to forgive them is barbarity."
- —Maximilien Robespierre
Maximilien Robespierre (May 6th, 1758 - July 28th, 1794) was one of the leaders of the French Revolution.
Early Life and Education
Born on May 6, 1758, Robespierre earned praise for his intelligence from a very early age.
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).
- "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