David A. Bell

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A Ge­neal­ogy of Ter­ror in Eigh­teenth-Cen­tury France by Ron­ald Schechter

A Ge­neal­ogy of Ter­ror in Eigh­teenth-Cen­tury France by Ron­ald Schechter. Univer­sity of Chicago Press, 289 pp., $45.00

It is clearly im­pos­si­ble to iden­tify a birth­date for ter­ror­ism. There are vo­cif­er­ous dis­agree­ments about its def­i­ni­tion, and even more vo­cif­er­ous ar­gu­ments about which ac­tions ac­tu­ally count as ter­ror­ism. As the old say­ing goes, your evil ter­ror­ist is my heroic free­dom fighter. Were the bomb-throw­ing an­ar­chists of late-nine­teenth-cen­tury Europe ter­ror­ists? What about Guy Fawkes, the rad­i­cal Catholic who tried to blow up the English Par­lia­ment in 1605? What about the Cru­saders? The Mac­cabees? It all de­pends on whom you ask. We can, how­ever, date the birth of the word “ter­ror­ism” with sur­pris­ing pre­ci­sion: Au­gust 28, 1794, in a speech by the French politi­cian Jean-Lam­bert Tal­lien. Five weeks ear­lier, Tal­lien had helped to end a pe­riod of largescale, mur­der­ous po­lit­i­cal re­pres­sion in France, which had claimed tens of thou­sands of lives. The in­sti­ga­tors of this re­pres­sion had seized on “ter­ror” as a slo­gan, pledg­ing to make it “the or­der of the day.”

Tal­lien him­self had done his bloody part to ex­ter­mi­nate real and sup­posed coun­ter­rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies, be­fore turn­ing mur­der­ously on his erst­while al­lies— in­clud­ing, most promi­nently, Max­im­i­lien Robe­spierre. Now he sought to place all the blame on their heads and to turn the slo­gan against them. They had, he claimed, made ter­ror the ba­sis of a de­praved and per­verted po­lit­i­cal sys­tem: “ter­ror­ism.” Within a few weeks, the word “ter­ror­ist” also ap­peared in the French po­lit­i­cal lex­i­con, and soon enough a French po­lit­i­cal so­ci­ety was declar­ing: “We...de­clare eter­nal war . . . on the ter­ror­ists.” The pe­riod of re­pres­sion it­self be­came known, and has been known ever since, as “the Ter­ror.”

Most com­men­ta­tors to­day would dis­tin­guish what Tal­lien called “ter­ror­ism” from the tac­tics em­ployed by small, con­spir­a­to­rial non­state groups like al-Qaeda or the IRA. Robe­spierre and his al­lies did not place bombs in public places. They used the po­lice pow­ers of a large, au­thor­i­tar­ian state to ar­rest and ex­e­cute their po­lit­i­cal ad­ver­saries. But in both cases the word de­notes the use of ter­ror—not just vi­o­lence but also the in­duce­ment of a strong emo­tional re­ac­tion—as a weapon: to be struck with ter­ror is to feel wholly vul­ner­a­ble and help­less. Ter­ror­ism, then and now, does not kill any­where near as many peo­ple as a full-scale war. But just as air­plane travel tends to gen­er­ate more pow­er­ful anx­i­eties than au­to­mo­bile travel de­spite its demon­stra­bly greater safety, so ter­ror­ism to­day tends to gen­er­ate more pow­er­ful anx­i­eties than war, be­cause of that sense of vul­ner­a­bil­ity and help­less­ness. At least in war we have a chance to de­fend our­selves, and there­fore a sense of con­trol. For this rea­son, few things gen­er­ate greater re­pug­nance in mod­ern so­ci­ety than the use of ter­ror as a weapon, which is pre­cisely why the word “ter­ror­ism” is thrown about so in­dis­crim­i­nately. It would be easy to as­sume that a sim­i­lar re­pug­nance has pre­vailed in all times and places. But as Ron­ald Schechter shows in his re­mark­able new book, A Ge­neal­ogy of Ter­ror in Eigh­teenth-Cen­tury France, this is not the case. Ter­ror, he ar­gues, was once held to be quite an ad­mirable thing in the West­ern world, not just as some­thing to in­duce in one’s ad­ver­saries but as some­thing one should feel one­self. Writ­ers of­ten paired it with the ad­jec­tive “salu­tary.” Ter­ror was purga­tive, restora­tive, and per­haps even salvific. Ter­ror was good. When Robe­spierre de­clared, in the win­ter of 1794, that “ter­ror is noth­ing other than jus­tice, prompt, se­vere, in­flex­i­ble; it is there­fore an em­a­na­tion of virtue,” he was not be­ing de­lib­er­ately per­verse, para­dox­i­cal, or provoca­tive. Ac­cord­ing to Schechter, he was ex­press­ing a be­lief that drew di­rectly on cen­turies of Euro­pean writ­ing and think­ing on the topic.

Opin­ions about ter­ror only shifted to­ward the end of the eigh­teenth cen­tury—as a con­se­quence, Schechter ar­gues, of the Ter­ror it­self. This last point is con­testable. More plau­si­bly, the shift took place grad­u­ally, for rea­sons that went far beyond the events of the French Rev­o­lu­tion and the bor­ders of France. In­deed, I will pro­pose that the revo­lu­tion­ary Ter­ror shocked ob­servers in large part be­cause its em­brace of ter­ror so bla­tantly de­fied much larger changes in moral at­ti­tudes. Even so, in his fas­ci­nat­ing and lu­cid anal­y­sis, Schechter has sug­gested a new way to think about one of the most im­por­tant po­lit­i­cal and cul­tural trans­for­ma­tions of the mod­ern world.

Most of Schechter’s book con­sists of a close anal­y­sis of the uses of the word “ter­ror” in France in the cen­tury be­fore the Rev­o­lu­tion of 1789. He does not com­ment on his re­search meth­ods, but this is the sort of project that would have been al­most im­pos­si­ble to carry out be­fore the Great Dig­i­ti­za­tion of the past two decades, and par­tic­u­larly the ex­tra­or­di­nary work car­ried out by Google in scan­ning tens of mil­lions of books pre­vi­ously ac­ces­si­ble only in re­search li­braries. Thanks to the Google Books data­base, sup­ple­mented by sev­eral other, more spe­cial­ized on­line col­lec­tions, it is now pos­si­ble, sit­ting in the com­fort of one’s home, to track vir­tu­ally ev­ery sin­gle oc­cur­rence of the word ter­reur in print dur­ing the pe­riod in ques­tion.1 Schechter is an ex­pert in this sort of anal­y­sis. His pre­vi­ous book, also writ­ten with the ben­e­fit of dig­i­tal re­sources (although more mea­ger ones—it came out in the dig­i­tal dark age of 2003), traced the im­ages of Jews in eigh­teenth-cen­tury France, show­ing how they be­came a touch­stone for philosophes

1

Spe­cial men­tion must go here to the Gal­lica col­lec­tion of the French Na­tional Li­brary; the ARTFL re­search project of the French gov­ern­ment and the Univer­sity of Chicago; the French Rev­o­lu­tion Dig­i­tal Ar­chive cre­ated by the Stan­ford Univer­sity li­braries and the French Na­tional Li­brary; and Gale’s Eigh­teenth Cen­tury Col­lec­tions On­line. and rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies try­ing to deal with is­sues of eth­nic and re­li­gious dif­fer­ence.2

Trac­ing the use of ter­reur in France was al­ready a Her­culean task, and Schechter un­der­stand­ably did not try to ex­tend his re­search to other coun­tries. Still, by lim­it­ing his work to France alone, his claim to have un­cov­ered a “mo­men­tous cul­tural shift” stretching across the West­ern world seems some­what over­stated, and de­pends on the as­sump­tion that the French Rev­o­lu­tion had as strong an im­pact on no­tions of ter­ror out­side of France as in­side. Did the English no­tion of ter­ror change in the same ways as the French no­tion of ter­reur did? Per­haps—the French revo­lu­tion­ary Ter­ror of 1793–1794 cer­tainly ob­sessed Bri­tish writ­ers and politi­cians—but the ar­gu­ment re­mains to be proven.3

De­spite this lim­i­ta­tion, Schechter still makes an enor­mously sug­ges­tive case. He is wholly per­sua­sive on the point that in France be­fore the late eigh­teenth-cen­tury, “the word ‘ter­ror’ had largely pos­i­tive con­no­ta­tions.” His chap­ters pa­tiently sift the uses of the word into dis­tinct cat­e­gories: re­li­gious, po­lit­i­cal, le­gal, artis­tic, and med­i­cal. And in each one he un­cov­ers much the same pat­tern. Catholic preach­ers and the­olo­gians, for in­stance, rou­tinely spoke of God justly strik­ing ter­ror into the wicked, draw­ing par­tic­u­larly on the Old Tes­ta­ment, whose au­thors had ad­mired the use of “ter­ror” in cer­tain cir­cum­stances. For in­stance, when scrip­ture speaks of God de­liv­er­ing the Is­raelites from Egypt “with a strong hand and an out­stretched arm” (words cen­tral to the an­nual re­count­ing of the Passover story), it some­times adds “and with great ter­ror” (e.g., Jeremiah 32:21). French preach­ers and the­olo­gians also in­sisted that Chris­tians should feel ter­ror when con­tem­plat­ing their cre­ator. “Fill us with ter­ror at the sight of the judge who is to come,” de­clared the late-seven­teenth-cen­tury bishop Jac­ques-Bénigne Bos­suet.

God was not the only source of salu­tary ter­ror. Kings, con­sid­ered the im­ages of God on earth, were praised for strik­ing ter­ror into their foes, and a king would of­ten re­ceive the so­bri­quet “the ter­ror of his en­e­mies.” The law, mean­while, was sup­posed to in­still ter­ror in male­fac­tors. In 1712, King Louis XIV de­clared that corpses could be put on trial if the per­sons in ques­tion had com­mit­ted suf­fi­ciently griev­ous crimes. “Ca­dav­ers are tried,” he stated, “in or­der to im­print ter­ror onto the liv­ing.” Art and drama ful­filled salu­tary pur­poses by strik­ing ter­ror into their au­di­ences. Ed­mund Burke’s trea­tise on aes­thet­ics, which called ter­ror “the com­mon stock of ev­ery­thing that is sub­lime,” had 2

Ron­ald Schechter, Ob­sti­nate He­brews: Rep­re­sen­ta­tions of Jews in France, 1715–1815 (Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia Press, 2003).

3Schechter fails to cite Joseph Craw­ford’s in­ter­est­ing Gothic Fic­tion and the In­ven­tion of Ter­ror­ism: The Pol­i­tics and Aes­thet­ics of Fear in the Age of the Reign of Ter­ror (Lon­don: Blooms­bury Aca­demic, 2013).

a large and en­thu­si­as­tic read­er­ship in France.

Med­i­cal doc­tors had a par­tic­u­lar fas­ci­na­tion with ter­ror, which they con­sid­ered a pos­si­ble cure for paral­y­sis, epilepsy, and many other dis­eases. A pop­u­lar eigh­teenth-cen­tury med­i­cal trea­tise re­counted the case of the scholar and physi­cian Gabriel Naudé, whose wife had cuck­olded him. He de­cided to cure her sup­pos­edly ex­ces­sive li­bido with ter­ror, wak­ing her up in the mid­dle of the night with cries of rob­bery and fir­ing off pis­tol shots in her pres­ence. He then di­ag­nosed her with a high fever, for which he pre­scribed co­pi­ous bleed­ings and the ap­pli­ca­tion of leeches. “By this means,” the trea­tise con­tin­ued, “he so cooled her tem­per­a­ment and made her so thin, so pale, so ex­hausted, that he ex­tin­guished in this poor woman the fire of love.” An­other doc­tor who firmly be­lieved in the cu­ra­tive pow­ers of ter­ror was Jean-Paul Marat, who would soon emerge as one of the most fe­ro­cious ad­vo­cates of po­lit­i­cal ter­ror in the French Rev­o­lu­tion.

Given this back­ground, Schechter ar­gues, it is no sur­prise that ter­ror held such an ap­peal for French rad­i­cals such as Marat and Robe­spierre. As he notes, the records of the revo­lu­tion­ary leg­isla­tive de­bates con­tain nearly 600 in­stances of praise for “ter­ror” and 139 sep­a­rate calls for it to be­come “the or­der of the day” just in 1793–1794. In mak­ing these calls, he writes, the rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies “were hon­or­ing a set of dan­ger­ous in­no­va­tions with a ven­er­a­ble and re­as­sur­ing name.” In­deed, he sug­gests that calls for ter­ror func­tioned as a form of “ther­apy” for them. The im­age of their en­e­mies trem­bling, or struck dead by ter­ror, helped re­lieve their own anx­i­eties at a mo­ment when, with civil war raging and for­eign ad­ver­saries on the at­tack, the suc­cess of the rad­i­cal rev­o­lu­tion hung in the bal­ance. The ap­peal of ter­ror as a con­cept, he in­sists, was cru­cial in al­low­ing the rad­i­cals to im­ple­ment ter­ror as a prac­tice, and to un­der­take the re­pres­sion that ended up send­ing tens of thou­sands to the guil­lo­tine af­ter tri­als that grew more and more per­func­tory dur­ing the win­ter and spring of 1794.

But fi­nally the re­pres­sion spun out of con­trol en­tirely, lead­ing fear­ful deputies to the Na­tional Con­ven­tion to stage their coup against Robe­spierre and his al­lies on what the French revo­lu­tion­ary cal­en­dar called the Ninth of Ther­mi­dor. It was then, in Schechter’s ac­count, that a ma­jor shift took place as the “Ther­mi­do­ri­ans,” in­clud­ing Jean-Lam­bert Tal­lien, tried to po­si­tion them­selves as the he­roes who had brought the Ter­ror to an end—as the great op­po­nents of “ter­ror­ism.” “Thus in an as­ton­ish­ingly short pe­riod of time,” he writes, “ter­ror came to stand for in­jus­tice, tyranny, and the dis­cred­ited Robe­spierre.” From then on, a “post-Ther­mi­do­rian sen­si­bil­ity” would come to pre­dom­i­nate in the West­ern world as a whole: “The word lost its con­no­ta­tions of jus­tice, le­git­i­macy, majesty, and sal­va­tion and came in­stead to in­di­cate un­just and point­less vi­o­lence.”

De­spite the rich­ness of Schechter’s re­search, these ar­gu­ments about the French Rev­o­lu­tion it­self fail to con­vince, for two rea­sons. First, it is not at all clear that the mean­ing of “ter­ror” changed so com­pletely in 1794—es­pe­cially out­side the bor­ders of France. This date hardly marked the end of ser­mons in which Chris­tian clergy tried to put the “fear of God” into their au­di­ences. Ro­man­tic artists and po­ets con­tin­ued to speak of na­ture as ter­rorin­duc­ing in a sense en­tirely con­sis­tent with the ear­lier sources Schechter cites. Lord By­ron, for in­stance, wrote of sum­mer clouds dis­play­ing “ter­ror to earth, and tem­pest to the air,” and claimed that while the power of the sea in­duced ter­ror in chil­dren, “’twas a pleas­ing fear.” The Bri­tish nov­el­ist Ann Rad­cliffe as­serted that ter­ror “ex­pands the soul, and awak­ens the fac­ul­ties to a high de­gree of life.” Through­out the years since the fall of Robe­spierre, ter­ror as a po­lit­i­cal tac­tic has hardly lacked for ad­vo­cates in the West. Dur­ing the Rus­sian civil war, Leon Trot­sky wrote a lengthy pam­phlet en­ti­tled Ter­ror­ism and Com­mu­nism, which first ap­peared in English un­der the ti­tle The De­fense of Ter­ror­ism and praised the use of ter­ror against class en­e­mies. Much pop­u­lar film and fic­tion at­tempts to in­duce ter­ror in au­di­ences as a form of en­ter­tain­ment, and the old no­tion that ter­ror can be an ac­cept­able means of be­hav­ior mod­i­fi­ca­tion in cer­tain cir­cum­stances is still hon­ored in the ex­pres­sion “scar­ing a per­son straight.”

Se­condly, if the “ter­ror speech” of the French rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies grew so nat­u­rally and con­tin­u­ously out of a long tra­di­tion of such speech, why did the Ter­ror it­self ex­cite such hor­ror across the West­ern world? Hor­ror, as Schechter him­self notes, is an emo­tion dis­tinct from ter­ror, des­ig­nat­ing the re­vul­sion and fear felt once a ter­ri­fy­ing event has taken place (Ann Rad­cliffe wrote that it “con­tracts, freezes, and nearly an­ni­hi­lates” the fac­ul­ties that ter­ror awak­ens). Schechter’s re­search prompts this ques­tion, but he him­self fails to pose it.

Yet his book—par­tic­u­larly the ma­te­rial on re­li­gion—does sug­gest an an­swer, and a way of look­ing at changes in the mean­ing of “ter­ror” and “ter­ror­ism” that does not as­sign so much im­por­tance to the dis­cur­sive choices made by French politi­cians in the mid-1790s. If one be­lieves in a power in­fin­itely greater than any in­di­vid­ual per­son, and so high above hu­man­ity as to be ut­terly mys­te­ri­ous and in­ex­pli­ca­ble, then ter­ror is an ap­pro­pri­ate emo­tion to feel to­ward it. In­deed, it is a salu­tary emo­tion, re­mind­ing poor, lowly hu­mans of their true place in the or­der of things. A tran­scen­dent power of this sort does not have to be di­vine to in­duce ter­ror. It can be a God-like sovereign or that sovereign’s laws. It can be na­ture, or the na­tion, or his­tory. It can be a rev­o­lu­tion. The Ja­cobins rou­tinely com­pared the French Rev­o­lu­tion to mas­sive, ir­re­sistible forces of na­ture: vol­ca­noes, storms, tor­rents. Do­ing so, the his­to­rian Mary Ash­burn Miller has ar­gued, al­lowed them to present revo­lu­tion­ary atroc­i­ties as un­avoid­able nat­u­ral phe­nom­ena for which no in­di­vid­ual par­tic­i­pant could bear re­spon­si­bil­ity.4 At the same time, peo­ple who be­lieve in a tran­scen­dent, in­fin­itely great power find it eas­ier

4Mary Ash­burn Miller, A Nat­u­ral His­tory of Rev­o­lu­tion: Vi­o­lence and Na­ture in the French Revo­lu­tion­ary Imag­i­na­tion, 1789–1794 (Cornell Univer­sity Press, 2011). to jus­tify de­ploy­ing ter­ror against oth­ers—even against in­no­cents—as long as it serves the cause of that power. They do so with the same cer­tainty in obe­di­ence that led Abra­ham to bind his own son for sac­ri­fice.

But well be­fore the French Rev­o­lu­tion, the great move­ment of Euro­pean thought that we call the En­light­en­ment de­voted it­self, in large part, to a de­fense of hu­man power and dig­nity, and to chal­leng­ing the idea that any higher power should hold ab­so­lute do­min­ion over us. Im­manuel Kant pro­claimed that En­light­en­ment is “man’s re­lease from his self-im­posed tute­lage”—i.e., his sub­jec­tion to forces that he him­self in­vents. Sig­nif­i­cantly, Schechter has no chap­ter on ter­ror and the En­light­en­ment, and in­deed the great works of the En­light­en­ment of­ten spoke of ter­ror in a way very dif­fer­ent from the more tra­di­tional eigh­teenth-cen­tury sources that he quotes. The En­cy­clo­pe­dia of Diderot and d’Alem­bert crit­i­cized laws that “in­spired noth­ing but ter­ror,” while damn­ing as despotic so­ci­eties “which know no other prin­ci­ple of gov­ern­ment than ter­ror.” Schechter him­self ad­mits that many En­light­en­ment writ­ers, in­clud­ing Jean-Jac­ques Rousseau, sharply crit­i­cized the as­so­ci­a­tion of the law with ter­ror. He also notes that King Louis XVI, who came to the throne in 1774, dur­ing the En­light­en­ment’s peak of in­flu­ence, was never, un­like his pre­de­ces­sors, praised as a “ter­ror.” And he ad­mits that ar­gu­ments in fa­vor of ter­ror ap­peared far more rarely in the first years of the Rev­o­lu­tion than they did in 1793–1794.

In short, Schechter’s own ev­i­dence strongly sug­gests that the calls for ter­ror in France in 1793–1794 did not arise out of a po­lit­i­cal cul­ture in which the word still had en­tirely pos­i­tive con­no­ta­tions. To the con­trary, they arose in a world that had be­gun to turn against ter­ror, to see it as a relic of hu­mankind’s prim­i­tive, vi­o­lent past. And this is pre­cisely why the Ter­ror of the Rev­o­lu­tion hor­ri­fied the West­ern world so deeply— not be­cause of the death toll alone, dis­may­ing as it was, but be­cause the ex­plicit em­brace of ter­ror seemed such a shock­ing re­jec­tion of what were com­ing to be seen as civ­i­lized norms. Robe­spierre’s praise of ter­ror as “an em­a­na­tion of virtue” might not have hor­ri­fied any­one if he had writ­ten the line in 1700, but it evoked far-reach­ing hor­ror in 1794.

This turn back to the past fits a larger pat­tern. The most rad­i­cal of the French rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies cer­tainly thought of them­selves as ul­tra-mod­ern. Robe­spierre in the spring of 1794 claimed that the French had leapt two thousand years ahead of the rest of the hu­man race. But in fact, the most rad­i­cal phase of the Rev­o­lu­tion rep­re­sented a strik­ing re­jec­tion of the mod­ern lib­er­al­ism nour­ished by the En­light­en­ment, and its guid­ing credo that the public good is com­pat­i­ble with the fer­vent pur­suit of in­di­vid­ual self-in­ter­est. The largely bour­geois Ja­cobins may have defended pri­vate prop­erty, but they de­nounced the pe­riod’s nascent com­mer­cial cap­i­tal­ism and con­sumer so­ci­ety. Their so­cial ideal was aus­tere, self-suf­fi­cient, and agri­cul­tural. They an­grily re­jected the idea that pol­i­tics should serve as an arena in which dif­fer­ent so­cial and ge­o­graph­i­cal in­ter­ests com­peted and com­pro­mised. The body politic should be a har­mo­nious, in­di­vis­i­ble whole, and there could be no such thing as a “loyal op­po­si­tion.”

These dreams were un­der­stand­able. At the be­gin­ning of the Rev­o­lu­tion in 1789, a na­tional con­sen­sus had fa­vored the trans­for­ma­tion of France into a mod­er­ate, lib­eral con­sti­tu­tional monar­chy, but the at­tempt to ac­com­plish this foundered on bit­ter in­ter­nal di­vi­sions and the pres­sures of an ini­tially dis­as­trous for­eign war. By the sum­mer of 1793 the Rev­o­lu­tion was be­sieged and des­per­ate, and the rad­i­cals who had come to power be­lieved that only ex­treme emer­gency mea­sures could save it. Small won­der that these men, deeply ed­u­cated in the Ro­man and Greek clas­sics, with their paeans to stern repub­li­can virtue and unity, should re­ject lib­eral ideas that, in their view, could only en­cour­age self­ish­ness, cor­rup­tion, di­vi­sion, and na­tional weak­ness. Small won­der that they should re­sort to the in­creas­ingly anachro­nis­tic but still pow­er­ful lan­guage of ter­ror, and ev­ery­thing it im­plied about the need to sup­press one’s self-in­ter­est in the name of some­thing beyond the in­di­vid­ual.

And here we find an­other con­nec­tion be­tween the French revo­lu­tion­ary “ter­ror­ists” and the mod­ern com­bat­ants who go by this name. For one thing that most mod­ern ter­ror­ists have in com­mon is a will­ful anachro­nism, a fer­vent em­brace of fan­tasies about a glo­ri­ous past. They dream of reestab­lish­ing an eth­ni­cally pure na­tion that never ex­isted, or a Caliphate. They think of pol­i­tics and so­ci­ety in myth­i­cal terms, ac­cord­ing to which sig­nif­i­cant change does not de­pend on com­plex, dif­fi­cult pro­cesses in­volv­ing large pop­u­la­tions, in­sti­tu­tional struc­tures, and re­sources, but can be en­acted by heroic, self­sac­ri­fic­ing in­di­vid­u­als strik­ing a sin­gle grand blow against evil.

These fan­tasies may seem ab­surd to most of us, but it is easy to see why they re­main so enor­mously ap­peal­ing to men and women who feel frus­trated, help­less, vul­ner­a­ble, and un­able to bring about change through the or­di­nary chan­nels of mod­ern po­lit­i­cal life. And it is easy to see why they adopt tac­tics that so suc­cess­fully trans­fer those feel­ings of help­less­ness and vul­ner­a­bil­ity to mil­lions of po­ten­tial vic­tims: tac­tics of ter­ror.

The ex­e­cu­tion of Max­im­i­lien Robe­spierre in Paris on July 28, 1794

‘The Pa­tri­otic Ac­coun­tant’; French po­lit­i­cal car­toon

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