Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre (French: [mak.si.mi.ljɛ̃ fʁɑ̃.swa ma.ʁi i.zi.dɔʁ də ʁɔ.bɛs.pjɛʁ]; 6 May 1758 – 28 July 1794) was a French lawyer and politician, as well as one of the best known and most influential figures associated with the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror. As a member of the Estates-General, the Constituent Assembly and the Jacobin Club, Robespierre was an outspoken advocate for the poor and for unrestricted admission to the national guard, to public offices, and to the commissioned ranks of the army, and for the right to petition. He campaigned for universal suffrage and religious tolerance in France, and the abolition of slavery in the French colonies. He played an important role in the arrest of King Louis XVI, which led to the establishment of a French Republic on 2
In August 1792 Robespierre was elected as president of the insurrectionary Paris Commune, but he is perhaps best known for his role during fourteen months of Great Terror and arranging the execution of many political opponents. In July 1793 he was named as a member of the powerful Committee of Public Safety launched by his political ally Georges Danton and exerted his influence to suppress the Girondins on the right, the extreme Hébertists on the left and the Dantonists in the middle. (As part of his attempts to use extreme measures to control political activity in France, Robespierre moved against his former friends, the more moderate Danton, and Desmoulins who were executed in April 1794.) The Terror ended four months later with Robespierre's arrest on 9 Thermidor and his execution, events that initiated a period in French history known as the Thermidorian Reaction.Robespierre's personal responsibility for the excesses of the Terror remains the subject of intense debate among historians of the French Revolution.