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Paul Barnabic European History AP Mrs.

Fleming January 22, 2014 Justice In the Reign Of Terror The French Revolution was one of the greatest contributions to the development of modern European society. It was an event that not only challenged the French monarchy, but also Europes old ways. Many French men and women supported the cause of the revolutionaries, yet there were those who did not. Knowing that internal conflict could be the downfall of their movement, the French initiated the Reign of Terror to ameliorate this issue. The Reign of Terror was in no way a misnomer; the events that occurred during its nine-month period were horrendous. Roughly fifty-thousand people, of all social classes, are estimated to have been executed for the purpose of preserving the revolution and Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. The victims included, but were not limited to, royalty, children, and priests and often the crimes were often as meager as stating that the bloodshed that was occuring was unnecessary. Although people supported the movement, citizens of France did sympathize with the so-called rebels as can be seen in J.G. Milligens The Revolutionary Tribunal Milligen commences the document by describing the courtroom in which many of the accused were tried. In many ways the court room he describes is similar to that which can be found in the United States; it consists of judges, a prosecutor, a jury, defendants, and soldiers that serve as bailiffs. He describes the number of accused using the term rows, suggesting that an innumerable amount of people were accused of treason. Milligen then proceeds to describe the way the guilty were treated on the way to their execution. He states that they ride in crowded carts, led by an executioner, with their hands bound and citizens taking enjoyment in their suffering. He further states that a reporting clerk rides behind them so he can report that their executions were carried out as ordered by the court. Finally, Milligen illustrates the scene of so many peoples deaths. He asserts that a guillotine rests upon a platform, in front of the Liberty Statue, and that on one side there are carts, for the dead bodies and heads; and on the other side there are carts filled with criminals. Furthermore he describes the last moments of the guilty individuals lives.

He articulates that many accepted their deaths and then had walked with a determined step, while others had to be carried. Either way, in the end, the weighty knife dropped with a heavy fall and that persons life is over and his body is tossed. Milligen introduces very little bias into his account, yet his emotions can be seen. Using terms such as mournful, victims, and unfortunates Milligen conveys the sad, and very-much cruel, nature of these times. It becomes very clear that he believes these actions are unnecessary and are very upsetting, yet he also realizes that nothing can be really done about them, for those who oppose them are killed. Miligen conveys two central ideas through his brief account of the executions. First, it becomes clear that the actions made to create a more free state often came at the sacrifice of both peoples rights and lives: to become free many had to live trapped or worse die. Secondly, and arguably more importantly, Milligen demonstrates that this dramatic change in European life did not come without both bloodshed and opposition; many lives were lost and struggles were overcome in order to create modern day France, and as a result, modern day Europe.