Official Execution Figures

Table 5.2: Official executions by region during the Terror From France in Revolution Fourth Edition, Dylan Rees, Access to History, page 120, 2008

Table 5.2: Official executions by region during the Terror
From France in Revolution Fourth Edition, Dylan Rees, Access to History, page 120, 2008

This source is a table demonstrating the number of deaths per region during the French Revolution. Although we can never really know how many people exactly were killed during the Terror including unofficial homicides, these official figures allow us to see an almost accurate estimate of how many people were massacred in Robespierre’s attempt to achieve ‘virtue’. This begs the question as to whether Robespierre ever really wanted to achieve righteousness or whether he was simply in pursuit of furthering his own status and authority and if he practised Terror as a method of ensuring his own rank and significance. The fact that these figures are taken from official execution records from during the Terror propose that they would represent exactly the number of deaths during this period. However, we cannot be sure as to whether these figures are a perfectly accurate account since there are no records of the unofficial executions, such as those as depicted in the contemporary print of the noyades at the River Loire, mentioned in the post ‘Le Noyades’, and it is impossible for us to know if the number of official executions were recorded precisely. If the governing body at the time decided to doctor any records or destroy evidence of some executions due to numerous motives then it is unlikely that we could find out. Since the French Revolution is long out of living memory, the only evidence we can examine is the records left in archives. Even if there was no sinister motive behind the destruction of records, some file may have merely not survived for two hundred years. A virtuous society can be described as a culture and civilisation in which humanity is righteous and good; surely being in pursuit of this would imply that a person is looking to eradicate wickedness and immorality, not to cause it.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s