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"New order never comes without destruction of the old. And if men are made to fear untrammeled liberty, so much the better. A brief taste of chaos will remind them why they crave obedience."
―François-Thomas Germain on the reasons for his instigation of the Terror, 1794.[src]

The Reign of Terror, sometimes referred to simply as the Terror, was a period of intense social and political violence in France - and particularly in Paris - during the French Revolution. During the Terror, thousands of people across the country were executed, imprisoned or exiled for perceived crimes of treason against France.

The Terror was secretly planned by François-Thomas Germain, Grand Master of the French Templars and Sage, as the final phase of the "Great Work". Germain and his radical faction within the Order sought to turn the revolution as chaotic and violent as possible; doing so would crush the old social order and lead to a capitalist society in which the Templars could control the populace in far greater secrecy. The people would also fear the concept of revolution, as the Terror made an anarchic revolutionary society appear violent and brutal.

History

=Establishment of the Revolutionary tribunal

Due to the machinations of the Templar Marie Lévesque, the royal family came to be held responsible for the food shortages across France during the revolution. In January 1793, King Louis XVI was sent to the guillotine for high treason, and the Jacobins under the Templar Maximilien de Robespierre continued to gain power.

In March 1793, a Revolutionary tribunal was established to judge the individuals suspected to act against the Revolution. In April, the newly formed Revolutionary government run by the Committee of Public Safety was tasked to defend France from the threat of invasion and supposed counter-revolutionary activities, and was given increasingly dictatorial powers.

Fall of the Girondins

The divisions increased between the Montagnards, who wanted exceptional measures to stop the violence and a centralized power France with Paris, and the Girondins, who were more moderate and wanted a federal government. The Girondin who had the majority in the Convention tried to arrest the journalist and Montagnard Jean-Paul Marat, but he was liberated. As an act of revenge, Marat used his Journal to demand the arrestation of the Girondins.

On 2 June, François Hanriot, the Commander General of the National Guard in Paris and a Templar puppet, led the Sans-culottes with cannons to the Convention and arrested Girondin deputies. Danton tried to stop this but couldn't reason with Robespierre, who organized the arrest. A team of French Assassins rescued the deputies who were not arrested and smuggled them out of Paris.[1] After the arrest of the Girondins, a federalist uprising began in the South of France, as in the city of Lyon and Marseille, and in Normandy to fight the centralization of power in Paris.

Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat

With the fall of the Girondin, the Montagnards seized control of the Convention but faced opposition from the Sans-culottes like Jacques Roux and his Enragés who demanded social reforms and more radical measures against the enemies of the Revolution. On 13 July, Marat was assassinated by Charlotte Corday, a sympathizer of the Girondins who killed him for his role in the arrest of Girondins. She was arrested by the former Assassin Arno Dorian and guillotined on 17 July.[2] Ironically, she wanted to save people from the guillotine, but her actions only increased paranoia against the enemies of the Revolution, instituting a series of radical measures.

The Law of Suspects

In September 1793, the Law of Suspects passed, whereby any suspected counter-revolutionary was arrested and judged. Important political figures were arrested end executed. In September, the leader of Enragés Jacques Roux was arrested by Robespierre as he was unpredictable for the Templars' plans. He was sent to Saint-Pélagie prison and moved later to the Salpêtrière Hospital. The Templars wanted to keep Roux as a backup plan in case Robespierre fell.[3]

In October, the Girondins who were arrested in June as Jacques Pierre Brissot were guillotined and the former Queen Marie Antoinette knew the fate of her husband on 16 October. In November, the feminist authors and Girondin supporters Marie-Jeanne Phlippon Roland and Olympe de Gouges were executed. Philippe Égalité, a cousin of Louis Capet who voted for his execution was guillotined. The former president of the National Assembly and mayor of Paris Bailly was guillotined as he refused to testify against the former Queen.

The Law of Suspects could apply to any agents of the government, such as Didier Paton, a patriotic spy who denounced many suspects and was arrested by Robespierre for discovering the Templar Order. The Assassins rescued him during his execution and recovered his notes on the Templar Order before inducting him into the Brotherhood.[4]

During the Terror, the British Templar known as the Crimson Rose and his allies saved other Templars who were condemned to be guillotined. The Chevalier d'Éon, unaware of the Crimson Rose allegiance, recruited the former Assassin Arno Dorian to help the Templar in his quest. Together they saved the Templar Comte de Choisy. Later d'Éon discovered the true identity of the Rose and revealed it to Arno, who killed all the Templars linked with the Crimson Rose.[5]

Enragés' plot

In February 1794, the Templars wanted to release Jacques Roux to increase the Terror in Paris. A team of Assassins went to Salpêtrière Hospital to kill Roux, but they were captured. A second-team rescued the first one and killed the leader of Enragés.[3]

Later, one of Roux's lieutenant gave a speech in the Hôtel de Cluny to enrage the population against the government. An Assassin killed the lieutenant before the riot began.[6]

Execution of the Exagérés and the Indulgents

With the destruction of the Enragés, a new radical group arose called the Exagérés, led by Jacques Hébert, who wanted to further the Terror. Georges Dantonled the Indulgents, who wanted to stop the Terror. In March, the two groups were tried and condemned as enemies of the Republic. Robespierre especially wanted Danton dead as he and his friends compared Robespierre disfavourably to a dictator. François Hanriot found in Danton's correspondence the name of his supporters who weren't arrested. The Exagérés were executed at the end of March.

Danton's Sacrifice 1

Danton and his acolytes on the way for the Guillotine

On 4 April, Danton, Desmoulins, Fabre d'Églantine, and others were sent to the Guillotine. The Assassins sought to rescue Danton, but he refused as his death would mean the Fall of Robespierre and asked the Assassins to save his friends. The Assassins obeyed his last will and succeeded in their missions.[7] The Assassins also killed Andrés de Guzmán who was responsible for the fall of the Girondins. With the death of Danton, Robespierre's popularity began to decrease.[8]

Thermidor

By 1793, the Templar Aloys la Touche was appointed chief of the execution in the city by Robespierre, executing even the persons who stole food to survive. The former Assassin Arno Dorian killed La Touche on the scaffold before the population of Versailles.[9]

Later, Arno allied with his Templar step-sister and lover Élise de la Serre, the daughter of François de la Serre, the former Grand Master who was assassinated by François-Thomas Germain. Together, Arno and Élise worked to end the Terror in Paris.

On 8 June, during the Festival of the Supreme Being, Élise poisoned Robespierre with ergot to make him look like a mad man during his speech while Arno gave to the Templar's rivals a list of deputies' names written by Robespierre. This framed Robespierre as he wanted to execute his political enemies. This turned the popular opinion against Robespierre as the former Assassin and the young Templar expected and as his supporters decreased, the two would ask Robespierre where Germain was hiding.[10]

On 10 June, Robespierre increased the Terror, calling for a purge of all the members of government who perpetrated massacres around France. One of them, Jean-Lambert Tallien, was on a list which was found by Arno. So, Tallien led a group of deputies and the Convention voted for the arrestation of Robespierre and his acolytes on 27 July.

On the road to the prison of Luxembourg Palace, the Communes rose against the Convention and freed Robespierre. A fight between the Commune and the Convention spread throughout the city. Robespierre and his men took refuge in the Hôtel de Ville. While the troops of the Convention led by Paul Barras surrounded the building, Arno and Élise infiltrated the Hôtel de Ville to interrogate Robespierre. After Élise shot Robespierre in the jaw, he wrote the information indicating that Germain was in the Temple. Then, the two lovers fled from the building while the troops of the Convention arrested Robespierre and his band.[11]

Jacobin Raid 3

Robespierre guillotined

On the next morning, Robespierre and his men, like Saint-Just and Hanriot, were guillotined at the Place de la Révolution.[12] Their deaths marked the beginning of the Thermidorian Reaction, a phase in which the French people revolted against the Reign of Terror’s excesses. Some factions like the Muscadins took revenge on the Sans-culottes and killed them.

While Robespierre and his acolyte were executed, Arno and Élise infiltrated the Temple to confronted Germain who possessed a Sword of Eden, a Piece of Eden from the Isu. During their fight, Élise was killed by a blast of the Sword of Eden but Arno assassinated Germain. In his last word, Germain expressed the fact that even if he died, the Great Work was accomplished as he reshaped humankind.[13]

On the night of July 29, Théroigne de Méricourt led an attack of the convent of Jacobins where the last remnants of Germain's faction took refuge. The Assassins helped Théroigne and killed the Jacobin leaders, ending their control on France.[12]

In the weeks that followed, the arrests of the Jacobins' allies continued. In August, Napoleon Bonaparte was arrested for his connection with Augustin de Robespierre, Maximilien's brother, but also for illegally sending troops into Franciade. He was later released. [14]

References

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