Why was The Republic Of Virtue important in the framework of the French Revolution?


I’m doing a French Revolution project and can’t find the importance of The Republic Of Virtue.

Thank you.



John B

Please read this short speech it will answer all your questions,
good luck in your studies,


The best answer you will find within Robespierre speeches that he gave to Convention and Jacobin clubs. The Virtue as Robespierre understand it was a civic virtue defined in his speech in Feb 5, 1794 which can be summarized in rule of eternal justice, equality, and liberty. This virtue demanded any French patriot to take a stance for Revolution, to serve the fatherland, and behave to the ideal of Jacobin Republic. It required participation, sacrifice, and servitude from all its subjects for the better good of the community. This Republic of Virtue was an ideal of Robespierre, who believed it can be achieved by terror. It justified the period of senseless execution and judicial killing which claimed a life of 40,000 people.
The Terror was a peak of the Revolution which decimated opposition and under the threat of the death penalty unified the nation to achieve the Republican goal. People who did not want to take a stance with the revolution could be under the idea of Virtue to be liable of treason, and thus to be executed at the guillotine. There was no middle ground, no compromise. There was no mercy as Robespierre said that “mercy is treason”. Robespierre combined the civic virtue with judicial killing to create a Republic Virtue [ and Terror], twins that bathed in the blood.
The Republic of Virtue created a period of paranoia in France in the spring of 1794 that peaked during the Great Terror (May-July). Everyone could be accused for not upholding to the level of a civic virtue, and with it risking his or her life and entire family. As a result, activity of the Revolutionary Tribunals increased, number of executed spiked, and France had more than 250,000 people under arrest. When Robespierre came into Convention denouncing traitors having their names on the list, everyone was terrified. With a Robespierre reasoning, the treat of treason would question anyone the loyalty toward the republic. If anyone doubted his attachment, it was sign that he was a traitor. In July 27, the universal fear that anyone could be on the list caused various factions within Revolution to unify and overthrew Robespierre. The Thermidor reaction was a watershed of the Revolution and was the end of the Jacobin Republic.

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