First White Terror

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Massacre of Republican prisoners in Lyon in 1795

The first White Terror was a period of political violence during the French Revolution following the death of Robespierre and the end of the Reign of Terror. It was started by a group in the south of France calling themselves The Companions of Jehu. They planned a double uprising to coincide with invasions by Great Britain in the west and Austria in the east. The movement was crushed by Lazare Hoche at Quiberon, 21 July 1795.

The White Terror took place in 1795, during the period known as the Thermidorian Reaction, in the aftermath of the Reign of Terror. It was organized by reactionary "Chouan" royalist forces, and was targeted at the radical Jacobins and anyone suspected of supporting them. Throughout France, both real and suspected Jacobins were attacked and often murdered. These "bands of Jesus" dragged suspected terrorists from prisons and murdered them much as alleged royalists had been murdered during the September Massacres of 1792. Just as during the Reign of Terror, trials were held with little regard for due process. In Paris, the Muscadins, gangs of youths, roamed the streets attacking Jacobins and sans-culottes.

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