Talk:Maximilien de Robespierre

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Centre for Research on Globalization quote[edit]

I do not understand it's value whatsoever. it seems out of place entirely.-- (talk) 20:53, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Shockingly this is the only reference to slavery and Haiti in this whole article. The subject deserves more extended treatment, and I am not sure why it appears in this floating box, unconnected to other issues. If somebody is going to address this problem they should add a section or paragraph on slavery before removing the quote. - Darouet | Talk 03:01, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

What on earth is shocking about this being the only reference to slavery or Haiti? I looked up this article for information about Robespierre. If I had wanted to know about Haiti, I should have typed in 'Haiti'. If I had wanted to know about slavery, I should have entered 'slavery'. If I had wanted to know about left wing loonies who hate globalisation, I should have entered ditto. If Maximilien Robespierre had anything whatsoever to do with Toussaint Louverture & his revolution, please include it in the article, otherwise remove the silly box. Wikipedia has major problems with perceptions of bias, and this does not help. Just because one can quote a source does not make it gospel, or relevant. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DylanThomas (talkcontribs) 11:44, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

Yes, we should get a better source. In the mean time, if you don't know why Robespierre is relevant to Haiti or slavery, you don't have the competence to contribute to this article. -Darouet (talk) 20:26, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps you could enlighten us, O competent one. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:16, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
Seriously, I came to the talk page only because of the odd floating box. What has this quote to do with the article? If there is a _connection_, please write a section on Robespierre and Haiti, or on Robespierre and the anti-Globalisation movement. I have no idea if or how Robespiere is relevant to Haiti or slavery. Please make the connection for us. Otherwise, I suggest the box is just a tad unencyclopedic, and should go. J.A.Treloar (talk) 21:20, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

Execution of Louis XVI[edit]

I've made a number of edits and additions to the sections on Robespierre's opposition to War and on the execution of the king, and have added a section concerning the National Convention. My principle goal is to add historical context (provided in much greater detail by linked wiki pages), and to make more clear Robespierre's political position on major events of the Revolution. My changes will certainly be insufficient in some ways and so I hope all who can will contribute, while being meticulous in sourcing. Regarding the section on the execution of the king, I've provided two long quotes because I wasn't sure how to edit these any more without eliminating critical information. I believe the extended treatment is justified given Robespierre's previous opposition to the death penalty, given the momentous event of the King's execution, and given the terror that would follow. The section deserves more material if anybody can provide it. Darouet (talk) 3:00, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Robespierre's Views On Capital Punishment[edit]

Robespierre certainly had qualms about capital punishment; however, the idea that he resigned rather than deliver the death penalty as a judge in Arras is false. His signature is on a death warrant. His sister Charlotte is the source of the claim that he resigned. Ruth Scurr, Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution, pp 44-45. Maurizio689 (talk) 20:39, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

True. Nice catch! SteveStrummer (talk) 18:25, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Advocated against death penalty but directly involved in executions ? it is confusing, needs clarification and sources "As a member of the Estates-General, the Constituent Assembly and the Jacobin Club (Jacobin leader during the Reign of Terror), he advocated against the death penalty" — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:19, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

Called a dictator[edit]

Who called him a "dictator"? Was it only his enemies, or did he style himself "Dictator of France"?

  • After the execution of Danton and Desmoulins, Robespierre became the dictator France. He got 1370 persons guillotined in Paris ... History of Europe - Radhey Shyam Chaurasia

Is this a reliable source? --Uncle Ed (talk) 01:50, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

People who opposed him called him a dictator, but from a historical perspective this would be a very controversial statement, even among opponents of the Montagnards. Robespierre's formal power even at the height of the terror was not equivalent to his de facto power on the basis of his prestige and personality in France. Also, if you're able to look at it, the French Wikipedia page has a much more thoughtful discussion of his role in the terror than we have presented here. -Darouet (talk) 04:17, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Is the book you quote reliable? Was Maximilien Robespierre a dictator? For the first question, it is only reliable to illustrate the common misconceptions about Robespierre but it is not a very serious text. In Paris, 2,639 persons were executed during the reign of Terror, not 1,370 and it wasn't Robespierre who particularly demanded all these executions. It was the comittee of public safety as a whole and the Revolutionary Tribunal (especially Fouquier-Tinville). A dictator is supposed to assume sole and absolute power and Robespierre was only one member (influential and popular but not more powerful than Barrère) of a not-so-strong executive branch (among eleven others). Another thing, most people who opposed him called him a dictator only after the Battle of Fleurus (which saved the country) and his reputation of dictator was promoted among the general public after his death when he was used, in France, as a scapegoat by the other revolutionary leaders and, in the rest of Europe, as a bogeyman by conservatives. Serious scholars don't call him a dictator. Eleventh1 (talk) 07:57, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Agree with the above, but just to make sure this is perfectly clear: Robespierre never styled himself "dictator of France" eldamorie (talk) 13:39, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Would be nice to incorporate some of Slavoj Zizek's commentary on Robespierre from "In Defense of Lost Causes"

  • How would adding commentary from a flat out Marxist not lend this article to imply that Robespierre's rule was a model for latter Marxist governments? OTOH, if you are attempting to tie Robespierre's terror into certain 20th century Marxist "reigns of terror" - I'd be interested to see a well cited treatise on this. 10stone5 (talk) 04:53, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

End of Reign of Terror correct?[edit]

While this entry claims the Reign ended months after Robespierre's execution, another source I saw awhile back--it may have been Encyclopedia Britannica--insisted the Reign ended with his execution. Anyone know what is the historians' consensus on the final date of the Reign? Thanks in advance! [signed] FLORIDA BRYAN — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:11, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

"Robespierre’s speeches were exceptional, and he had the power to change the views of almost any audience." This phrase does not meet Wikipedia's standards. When we write our history we must do it without bias!-- (talk) 18:31, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

picture caption needs a little clarification[edit]

I find: "The execution of Robespierre. Note: the beheaded man is not Robespierre, but Couthon; Robespierre is shown sitting on the cart closest to the scaffold, holding a handkerchief to his mouth."

Did you mean "just-beheaded"? (Headless body still on the scaffold, and the executioner displaying the severed head.) I am asking this because the sketch also has a headless body on the ground nearby. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:47, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

"headless body on the ground nearby" - body of Le Bas, who committed suicide during Hotel de Ville capture and whose dead body was decapitated together with other robespierrists as it is shown on the picture.
-- (talk) 23:31, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

How do you arrive at Le Bas for the identity of the headless body on the ground nearby? I take it you agree with "just-beheaded", which I have still not implemented, in reference to the decapitated body still on the scaffold.

Well, there is no other body on the ground... Just Le Bas... How? By numbers, my friend, by numbers.. Number 5 is "Le traitre Lebas..." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nivose (talkcontribs) 23:42, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Ronan Vibert's performance[edit]

I think there should be a reference somewhere in the article to Ronan Vibert's superb performance as Robespierre in the 1999 and 2000 film versions of The Scarlet Pimpernel. 'Ah, Lady Blakeney ... or do you prefer Citizeness?'

Djwilms (talk) 05:37, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Proposal to change the subject’s religious belief from deism to theism[edit]

As noted within Ruth Scurr’s Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution, to the bemusement of many of his fellow Jacobins and other radical revolutionaries, Robespierre was always going on about “Providence.”

[From Merriam-Webster: Providence:

a often capitalized : divine guidance or care

b capitalized : God conceived as the power sustaining and guiding human destiny]

He raged against atheists and their slogan that “death is but eternal sleep.” Most importantly in regard to my point here, he (rather curiously in my view) held that atheism was an “aristocratic” notion, the denial that God watches over the poor and downtrodden, which the aristocrats have no need of or interest in.

In Paris in the Terror: June 1793 - July 1794, by Stanley Loomis, the author makes the wry remark that it had seemed to occur to Robespierre—unusual among left wing revolutionaries—that he was going to die one day, thus his affinity for the idea of an eternal afterlife.

What follows are quotations form Wikipedia’s article on deism:

“Deism holds that God does not intervene with the functioning of the natural world in any way, allowing it to run according to the laws of nature.”

(Below) Quoting from Orr, John (1934). English Deism: Its Roots and Its Fruits:

"Prior to the 17th century the terms ['deism' and 'deist'] were used interchangeably with the terms 'theism' and 'theist', respectively. ... Theologians and philosophers of the seventeenth century began to give a different signification to the words... Both [theists and Deists] asserted belief in one supreme God, the Creator... and agreed that God is personal and distinct from the world. But the theist taught that God remained actively interested in and operative in the world which he had made, whereas the Deist maintained that God endowed the world at creation with self-sustaining and self-acting powers and then abandoned it to the operation of these powers acting as second causes.”

Later, Wiki’s article on deism seems to divert from the original understanding of what constitutes deism as explained by Orr by accepting that deists can accept the notion of a judgmental, rewarding/punitive deity in regard to an afterlife. To me, that so diminishes the differences between deism and theism as to render the distinction virtually moot. However, even if I can accept this for the sake of argument here, the one salient remaining difference between the two theological paradigms is whether God intervenes within His creation during its metaphorical run.

As noted above (from Scurr), Robespierre’s belief in Providence and God’s protection of and affinity for the poor (i.e., the "virtuous") confirms that at the time he began his political career, though he had long since ceased to be a conventional Catholic, he was still a theist. Therefore, I would like to change the article to reflect such. Does anyone object and, if so, why please?HistoryBuff14 (talk) 15:18, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Wiki editors are supposed to pay attention to the reliable secondary sources and not try for themselves to do original research to decoide what French religious beliefs really were in the 1790s. For the RS look at these citations to scholarly books -- which generally call him a deist. Rjensen (talk) 18:40, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
I’m not trying to judge what were the religious beliefs of the French in the 1790s. Rather, I’m simply stating what Robespierre's were, the subject of this article, which seem clear to me. If a Christian doesn’t accept the supremacy of Rome, then he or she is not a Catholic. In what or whose definition of deism can the concept of Providence be reconciled with it?
Okay, you are obviously against my proposed change, so I shall not make it at this point. We’ll see if others choose to weigh in. If no consensus can be formed, then I shall refrain from making the change. I usually only edit in regard to trivial matters, typos and obvious hasty mistakes.
In regard to substantive changes to articles, the only one of perhaps a dozen I have made that was reverted was reinstated by the person reverting it after I explained my reasoning. I’m doing what I’m supposed to do before making a substantive change to an article, discussing it on the article’s Talk Page, so please refrain from lecturing me.HistoryBuff14 (talk) 19:31, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
Robespierre was a Deist in that he believed the universe was created and upheld by the unifying force of a Supreme Being. Like many of his era, he believed this was irrefutable truth based on reason and scientific observation. As noted by observers like Immanuel Kant, this differs essentially from Theism, which offers a faith-based belief in a God who works as a personal savior. SteveStrummer (talk) 19:21, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
This is true as far as it goes. But can you reconcile the concept of Providence with deism? If Robespierre had been a deist, it seems to me that he had been rather a heretical one. :>. Thanks.HistoryBuff14 (talk) 19:46, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
That doesn't seem surprising, considering this was the French Revolution. Most historians consider Robespierre's anti-atheistic beliefs to be sincere, but note that they were propelled more by political concerns than theology. SteveStrummer (talk) 19:55, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
My introduction to the concept of deism was from a Catholic high school lay teacher with a quirky sense of humor. His initial summation of a deist was one who held that God created the universe and then went out to lunch, having nothing more to do with it. So perhaps my view of the philosophy was unduly solidified at such an impressionable age. However, when one takes Robespierre's belief in Providence combined with his belief in an afterlife dictated by God, then I still maintain that he was far closer to theism than deism. I also agree with Loomis’s assessment of the man’s character regarding Robespierre’s motivation with his views on God.
However, rest assured that barring a totally unexpected groundswell of support for my proposed change to the article emerging, I shall refrain from making it. Thank you for your input which is most appreciated.HistoryBuff14 (talk) 20:13, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Warehouse 13[edit]

I think there should be something about the reference of Robspierre using Magellan's Astrolabe in the show Warehouse 13. Perhaps merged with Djwilm’s suggestion in a section called References in Popular Culture? --Atutouato - (talk) 21:52, 5 October 2014 (UTC)