Reign of Terror

Origins of the Terror

Initially the Committee of Public Safety was created (Apr. 6, 1793) to preserve the reforms of the French Revolution. Its membership took final form on Sept. 6. Among its twelve members were Bertrand Barère de Vieuzac, Lazare Carnot, Georges Couthon, M. J. Hérault de Séchelles, Maximilien Robespierre, and Louis de Saint-Just and the Hébertists, J. N. Billaud-Varenne and J. N. Collot d'Herbois. Robespierre became the dominant member. Their aim was to eliminate all internal counterrevolutionary elements, to raise new armies, and to assure food supplies for the armies and cities. Some of their measures were demanded by the people of Paris, whose support was essential.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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