Maximilien de Robespierre Biography
Birthday: May 6, 1758 (Taurus)
Born In: Arras, France
Maximilien Robespierre was a French lawyer who became one of the most influential figures of the French Revolution. A major political figure in 18th century France, he served as a member of the Committee of Public Safety which he dominated in the latter months of 1793. He is accused of being one of the principal architects of the ‘Reign of Terror’, a period of large-scale violence during the onset of the French Revolution, marked by mass executions of “enemies of the revolution". Born as the son of a lawyer, Robespierre went on to become a lawyer himself. As a young man he was greatly influenced by the writings of social philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau and developed strong moral values. He was against the death penalty and advocated the abolition of slavery. He entered into politics and over a period of time became the president of the powerful Jacobin political faction. He was opposed to monarchy and played a pivotal role in the uprising against King Louis XVI in August 1792 following which monarchy was abolished and France was made a republic. Robespierre was a revolutionary at heart, and even though he was once opposed to death penalty, he ruthlessly began eliminating those whom he considered to be the enemies of revolution. He became increasingly unpopular because of his autocracy and was arrested and executed in July 1794.