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Maximilien Robespierre is one of the best-known of the French Revolutionaries. He was very influential in the period of the French Revolution known as the 'Reign of Terror' – he was responsible for the execution and imprisonment of many 'enemies of the revolution'. Many were suspicious of him and began to scheme against him. In such an atmosphere of chaos and plots, he tried to take his own life, but failed. He was arrested and executed in 1794. By 1799, Napoleon led a coup that wrestled power from the early Revolutionaries and the initial energy for 'Liberty, Egality, Fraternity' had all but been extinguished.
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First broadcast:
13 January 2009

Classroom Ideas

This clip could be used to provide an overview of the short term and long term impacts of the French Revolution. Make a balance sheet listing the incidents of short term tyranny and instability, versus the long term high ideals of the revolutionaries.

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