Explain why the September Massacres broke out in 1792?
Terms in this set (8)
• the September Massacres were a response to military defeats. The Prussians were on French soil and had reached Verdun by September - the last fortress before Paris
• Lafayette had defected to the Austrians, breeding suspicion and fear
• many nobles, royalists and priests had been rounded up as counter-revolutionaries and packed in the Paris gaols, where security was lax - and there was fear of a mass breakout
• following the King's own treachery, there was fear that counter-revolutionaries from the gaols would try help the Prussians attack Paris
• Marat - a leader in the Paris Commune - called for the 'conspirators' to be killed and helped rouse the sans-culottes
• the sans-culottes had considerable power as a radical and discontented mob (mainly passive citizens) who felt the revolution had not gone far enough to help the 'ordinary people' and had already shown their power in their 'journées'
• the Septembrists were paid to carry out the massacres by the Commune.
• To reach the higher levels, candidates will need to show the interrelationship of the reasons given, for example, they might explain how the conduct of the war and France's failures in it were the most important factor in causing the panic which led to the massacres or they might argue how the sans-culottes wanted to push the revolution forward and show their power and how Marat's calls acted as the spark to inflame their passions.