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Was Robespierre a success?

            One of the more controversial figures of the French Revolution was Maximilien Robespierre. Some argue he was a cruel hypocrite out only for himself, while others argue that he was out to serve the General Will, and the good of France and the French people. Robespierre, in his last speech before the National Convention on July 26, 1794 said, "They say I am a tyrant. Rather I am a slave. I am a slave of Liberty, a living martyr to the ideals of the Republic."" It is clear that Robespierre saw himself as the latter, so if one is to judge Robespierre's success, his success can be judged by whether or not his actions had the cumulative and overall result of implementing Rousseau's principles of the General Will, and betterment of France and the French people. By this definition, Robespierre was a great success, but his success was neither entirely direct, nor entirely immediate.
             To begin, Robespierre's direct successes were more minor than what he accomplished indirectly, but they were still significant. Robespierre dominated the Committee of Public Safety at the center of the Radical Jacobin Terror. Consequently, Robespierre played a main role in rescuing France from the predicament the Moderate Girondins had managed to land it in. Before the Terror, France faced a threatening counter-revolution that could have reverted France back to the situation it was in during the monarchy. Robespierre and the Radical Jacobins reestablished the four monopolies necessary for effective government and at the same time all but squashed the counter revolution and provide relative economic stability by implementing radical legislation and actions such as the creation in March 1793 of the Revolutionary Tribunals, and in September of that same year the Levée en Masse, just to name two. In order to implement and enforce these measures, many heads rolled, about 60,000. However, this was in a nation of 25 million people and these were specifically targeted people.

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