Essay on Russian Revolution Vs French Revolution

Essay type:
This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students' samples.

Cite this essay cite-image

The revolution is a child of the Enlightenment, people dreamed of building a world based on reason, they dreamed of bringing universal happiness, but it all ended in blood, and civil war. What is terror? In Latin, “terror” means fear and horror, that is, any violence that causes horror is called terror. For many years, disputes have been going on about what the policy of terror was necessary for and what it led to. We look at this issue in the example of Russia with the Stalinist terror and France with the Jacobin terror.

Violence in the French Revolution began in its first days - the capture of the Bastille. In history, there is a fairly stable phrase “Jacobin terror”. But, it was not the Jacobins who began the terror, it began long before them. But it was the Jacobins who gave terror such a scope and made it mundane. This began to happen in the early fall of 1973 at the request of the Parisian lower classes, then the National Convention was formed. The people express this will by electing their representatives. They make certain decisions, and who opposes these decisions, opposes the people, he is the enemy of the people. And if he is an enemy of the people, if he by his actions puts himself outside the borders of the nation, beyond the borders of the French people, then, naturally, the nation has the right to respond to this and punish him. The brutal massacres began with the “Decree of Suspicious”, where it was ordered to arrest and keep in prison all suspicious people. This shows that they killed all people who could not prove their loyalty, such as former nobles, priests, and generally any people who did not support the revolution, and not those who committed a crime or who spoke out with counter-revolutionary slogans or killed revolutionaries. This is the first wave of terror and one of the first people who was killed was a former king. From that moment on, terror became mass, literally, every second was arrested, and then the question arises of how precisely these mass arrests coincide with the decrees of the Convention. Although this movement carries the image of the struggle against the counter-revolutionaries and those who want to return the monarchy. According to Donald Green’s calculations, “The Incidence of the Terror during the French Revolution” executed more than 25,000 people, and most of these victims were the third estate, that is, the very people who started the revolution.

Save your time!
We can take care of your essay
  • Proper editing and formatting
  • Free revision, title page, and bibliography
  • Flexible prices and money-back guarantee
Place an order

Robespierre said: “Terror is nothing other than justice, prompt, severe, inflexible; it is, therefore, an emanation of virtue; it is not so much a special principle as it is a consequence of the general principle of democracy applied to our country's most urgent needs. ”And he states that terror is the highest justice, even if it circumvents the laws. He is a manifestation of virtue because all who are not with us are against us. He knew what he was doing and believed that he was doing everything right and for the good.

But why was a terror policy introduced? Terror is becoming an indispensable element of political struggle. He became a state and Jacobin politician, and in particular, robespierists began to use terror, based on their desires and benefits, to reduce personal scores and fight political opponents. On February 22, 2 years on the revolutionary calendar or in May 1794, one of Robespierre's associates, Georges Couton, appears in the Convention. In his report, he proposes to simplify legal proceedings, to abolish a wealthy process, that is, no lawyers will be sentenced not based on law, not a criminal code, not some formal crimes, but a jury conscience. That is, terror was justified as a way of exercising popular sovereignty; terrorist laws were only a manifestation of this unlimited sovereignty, acting in the name of public salvation and revolutionary renewal. And from that moment, more than 14 months earlier, people were executed in a few weeks. But Robespierre is declining, as is terror. Terror was the price France paid for defeating external enemies, and this was what ensured stability to the regime. Members of the Convention put up with Robespierre, obediently voting for all his terrorist decrees. The external threat has disappeared - the need for Robespierre with its terror has disappeared.

Now we will consider how the terror took place in Russia. The history of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and all subsequent events, including Stalinist rule, is closely connected with the history of the French Revolution, which served as its model and ideological support. In May - June 1937, a top-level struggle took place, and mass purges of the country began, by shooting a group of dignitaries: military and civilian. Mass repressions for political, class, and ideological reasons began in the USSR in the late 1920s and continued with varying degrees of intensity. They affected all sectors of society and all social groups. Millions of citizens have been arrested, executed, imprisoned, exiled, and other penalties.

Why was terror needed and how did it arise? As a result of the October Revolution and the victory of the Bolsheviks in the civil war, a dictatorship of the Central Committee of the Communist Party arose in our country. The main task of Lenin, Stalin, and their comrades-in-arms was to keep the seized power at all costs - its loss threatened not only political but also personal risks to tens of thousands of Bolsheviks.

The bulk of the population of the USSR were peasants. It became clear to Stalin that as long as a free and independent peasant producer remained on earth, he would always be a danger to the Communist Party. In 1928, Stalin openly called the peasantry 'a class that distinguishes from its midst, generates and nourishes the capitalists, kulaks and, in general, all kinds of exploiters.'

It was required to destroy the most hardworking part of the peasants, to expropriate their resources, and the rest to attach to the land as state-disenfranchised farm laborers - to work for a nominal fee. Only such a collective farm system, despite its low profitability, allowed the party to retain power.

Even though terror began only in mid-1937, preparatory work for it was carried out in previous years. In subsequent years, not only the number of arrests increase, but also “open trials” took place in Moscow over former party leaders, a massive update of personnel in the state security took place, and much was written in the press about the need to tighten repression. Preparations were underway for a new wave of state terror: camps were opened where future “enemies” were to go, and special commissions were formed to review their criminal cases. The absence of any civil and political freedoms, the absence of real elections to government bodies, and freedom of speech, the main way to carry out any social transformations was terror.

Initially, the policy of the Great Terror was aimed at repressing the highest party functionaries, the leadership of the army, and purging inside the NKVD, but in 1937 the terror became widespread. During the active period of the Great Terror - from August 1937 to November 1938 - over 1 million 700 thousand people were arrested on political charges. Of these, more than 700 thousand were shot. Yes, belonging to any of the “wrong” categories of citizens could carry a threat - however, they also arrested janitors, machinists, housewives, athletes, and artists; in a word, anyone. Only a very small percentage of those arrested were engaged in some undesirable activity. All the rest belonged to the usual law-abiding civil 'majority'. Since the investigation of cases was often carried out with the active use of torture - physical violence, threats to the families of the accused, 'torture by sleep' - the proportion of 'confessed' was close to 100 percent. Confessional testimonies remained the most important argument in favor of human guilt - as did the testimonies of acquaintances and colleagues already arrested or executed.

Active writing of denunciations was part of general political hysteria - without a doubt, they played a role in mass arrests, but many more people were arrested simply by lists, by pre-compiled and certified “plans”, which featured all “unreliable” citizens of different levels. In addition, many denunciations were written under tremendous psychological pressure - already at the stage of the investigation, people stipulated their loved ones, and very often they faced a choice between the possibility of personal survival and the need to sign a paper against another person. Reasons for the Great Terror.

What did the Great Terror lead to? Stalin and his subordinates destroyed hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Scientific, economic, military personnel, cultural, and art workers suffered heavy losses, and huge human capital was destroyed - all this weakened society and the country.

Devilry did not suppress protest moods in society, it made them only more acute and angry. The Stalinist government itself multiplied the number of its opponents.

Make sure you submit a unique essay

Our writers will provide you with an essay sample written from scratch: any topic, any deadline, any instructions.

Cite this paper

Essay on Russian Revolution Vs French Revolution. (2024, February 23). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 14, 2024, from
“Essay on Russian Revolution Vs French Revolution.” Edubirdie, 23 Feb. 2024,
Essay on Russian Revolution Vs French Revolution. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 14 Jul. 2024].
Essay on Russian Revolution Vs French Revolution [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2024 Feb 23 [cited 2024 Jul 14]. Available from:

Join our 150k of happy users

  • Get original paper written according to your instructions
  • Save time for what matters most
Place an order

Fair Use Policy

EduBirdie considers academic integrity to be the essential part of the learning process and does not support any violation of the academic standards. Should you have any questions regarding our Fair Use Policy or become aware of any violations, please do not hesitate to contact us via

Check it out!
search Stuck on your essay?

We are here 24/7 to write your paper in as fast as 3 hours.