06.04.

1793: A Committee that Included the “Bloodthirsty Dictator” and “Angel of Death”

1793: A Committee that Included the “Bloodthirsty Dictator” and “Angel of Death”
Photo Credit To https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Comite_de_Salut_Public.jpg

On this day the most sinister institution of the French Revolution – the Committee of Public Safety (Comité de salut public) – was established. It was supposed to serve as an administrative body of the Convention and quickly became the de facto French government. The Committee originally had nine members, under the initial leadership of famous Georges Danton, a representative of Paris, who was politically a moderate. The decisive event occurred when Maximilien Robespierre replaced Danton as the head of the Committee two-and-a-half months later.

Unlike Danton, he was a radical (supporters called him L’incorruptible – The Incorruptible, and his opponents called him a bloodthirsty tyrant). In September during the same year, the Committee initiated a Reign of Terror. It is calculated that 16,594 citizens, including Danton, were executed on the guillotine. In the end, Robespierre himself ended up on the guillotine when the French could no longer tolerate his dictatorship. It is interesting that the famous mathematician Lazare Carnot (known by Carnot’s Theorem) and the member of the so-called “Gilded Youth” (“Jeunesse Doree”) Louis de Saint-Just, known as the “Angel of Death” were among the members of the Committee of Public Safety.

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