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Maximilien Robespierre (French America)

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Robespierre
Office: 1st President of the French Republic
Term of Office: 17 July, 1792 - 9 February, 1798
Predecessor:

Louis XVI (as King of the French)

Successor: National Council
Office: President of the National Assembly
Term of Office: 10 February, 1792 - 17 July, 1798
Predecessor: Abbe Sieyes
Successor: Lazare Carnot
Date of Birth 6 May, 1758
Place of birth:Arras, France
Date of Death 9 September, 1798 (aged 40)
Place of Death Paris, France
Party:Jacobin
Profession:Lawyer and Politician

Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre was an influential French politician during the revolution. He served as President of France for six years until his death. Before that, he had been a delegate to the Estates-General and President of the National Assembly.

President of the National Assembly

Robespierre was elected President of the National Assembly upon the removal of the Abbe Sieyes, who was less than certain that he favored the abolition of the monarchy. The obvious choice for his replacement was the charismatic leader of the Jacobin party. Upon his election, he urged the passage of the 1st amendment and the execution of the King of France. His election as president of the Republic soon followed.

President of the Republic

Robespierre won the election of 1792 with 327 of 610 total votes. Shortly after, he used the near dictatorial power of the Presidency to pack the National assembly with more Jacobins. Then, with the support of a vast majority of the packed Assembly, purged the body of moderates, especially the Feuillants.

Robespierre, immediately upon his election, ordered the arrest of Former King Louis XVI. The King was tried and found guilty of "crimes against the French People" and sentenced to death. Upon this, the royalist sympathizers aided the Kings escape to England, and eventually Quebec. This led to a foreign war with Quebec, now the home of the King, and a civil war with Royalists at home.

Robespierres distrust of the Conservative Provincial Parlements led to the passage of the Sencond amendment to the Interim constitution. The Amendment eliminated the provincial parlements and created a centrally appointed governor and council for each. The amendment was enormously unpopular and led to further open rebellion in the provinces bordering Italy and Germany. These moderate Republicans joined Royalists in the civil war.

Electoral Fraud

Fearing for his office and for the fate of the Revolution, Robespierre rigged the Legislative elections of 1794 to again give his party a supermajority. The chaos and obvious fraud strengthened the resolve of the varying Dissidents. However, the dissident factions found it impossible to trust each other, and could not effectively oppose the Revolutionary army.

At this time, Robespierre grew paranoid and accused many of disloyalty. Executions became regular events across the country as thousands were convicted. The National Assembly spent most of its time condemning people of treason. Most legislation was created by Presidential decree and enforced by the Revolutionary Army.

The Navy of the Republic, was far weaker than the Army, and found it impossibe to cross the Atlantic and attack Quebec. The King remained there and attempted to build a royalist invasion force, but given the small population of the Colonies, never did.


Downfall

At this time, Robespierre grew paranoid and accused many of disloyalty. Executions became regular events across the country as thousands were convicted. The National Assembly spent most of its time condemning people of treason. Most legislation was created by Presidential decree and enforced by the Revolutionary Army.

The Navy of the Republic, was far weaker than the Army, and found it impossibe to cross the Atlantic and attack Quebec. The King remained there and attempted to build a royalist invasion force, but given the small population of the Colonies, never did.

In 1798, Robespierres own re-election came about, and was unanimously chosen by the lame duck 2nd National Assembly. The 3rd National Assembly had been elected almost entirely from a small area in Burgundy, where groups of villagers stormed polling places and over the course of days cast millions of ballots for themselves.

Downfall

With a de facto Leader in the new National Assembly, the Moderate and Royalist Dissidents took control of numerous provinces. The National Assembly declared that President Robespierre should stand trial for treason.

In The National Assembly appointed a council to act as president until Robespierre was either acquitted or removed. The Anti-Robespierre factions surrounded Paris, where Robespierre and the Revolutionary Army were garrisoned. Upon their entering of the city, the National Council took direct control of Paris and had a group of Anti-Robespierre zealots transport the President to Dijon,where the National Assembly had been meeting.

The National Assembly had no Constitutional means by which to remove Robespierre from office. Instead, it tried Robespierre for treason, and scheduled his execution. The Assembly moved back to Paris in February of 1799 and Robespierre was executed almost immdiately.






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