What were the Criticism of the Reign of Terror?


The Reign of Terror has been described in a hyperbolic style by the historians. After going through this description, it seems as if such tortures and atrocities had never been perpetrated in any part of the world but it is not so.

If we pay proper attention to the statistics, only five thousand persons were killed in Paris and fifteen thousand were put to death in other parts of the country. But we know that fifty thousand persons were burnt alive in Netherlands during the reign of Charles V.

In England and America people were awarded death sentences even for small crimes, and thousands of persons were imprisoned for small crimes.


In England people were awarded death punishment for two hundred crimes and several persons remained in jail even after they had been declared innocent because they had no money to bribe the in-charge of jail.

In France, on the day of St. Bartholomew two thousand Protestants were awarded death punishment.

But the difference was only that in England and Netherlands death punishments were awarded to the commoners who did not have any supporters and in France the nobles and feudal lords were not subjected to these punishments and their cases received the attention of different writers who highlighted these incidents.

But actually the condition of France was very precarious. She was surrounded by enemies both in the internal and external spheres. Had she not faced these problems boldly, it would have meant the end of her existence.


In fact, the nobles and the priests of France were themselves responsible for these tortures for they constantly tried to suppress the revolution and to re-establish the absolute monarchy because of which the radical leaders felt much offended and sowed the seeds of the Reign of Terror.

But the subsequent tyrannical acts and deeds of the ‘Reign of Terror’ did more harm to the country than good and several able leaders were executed by the terrorists.

It affected the country adversely and also helped to plant the seeds of dictatorship in France which later on flourished in the form of Napoleon.

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