The reign of terror began when King Luis XVI was killed by guillotine, which was followed by his wife's death by guillotine as well. They both got short trials where they were accused of treason, for which the penalty was death. This is significant because hundreds of people showed up to watch the royals be killed. It made the death penalty seem normal. Question: Is it important to everyone to have a fair trial, even if they are definitely guilty?
The committee of public safety was formed. It was a small group of very powerful men, which is interesting because they were just trying to get rid of a system like that. They decided on harsh punishments, mostly the death penalty, for very small crimes. This was significant because they were the reason for the reign of terror, they were the ones that made all of the very intense laws and penalties, which is what the reign of terror was known for. Question: Why might France go from a monarchy to another very powerful group of men?
Many people were killed during the reign of terror. Over 800 people per month were sent to the guillotine. People lived in fear for a long time, afraid to say anything out of line because they could be beheaded for it. There were spies everywhere trying to find people that disagreed with the current situation. Overall, it was a time of great fear that left a large impact of the French peoples' lives. Question: Was it fair that all these people were killed? What else could the government have done instead?