French Revolution: Bastille Day and Reign of Terror
In 1781, 27-year-old King Louis XVI of France sent his navy and troops to help America gain independence from Britain.
In return, France gained very little, except an enormous amount of debt.
On the verge of financial collapse, France then experienced a terrible famine in 1788.
The people blamed the King.
Anti-monarchists referred to Queen Marie Antoinette as Madame Déficit.
According to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, when she was told the people did not have bread, her reply was: “Let them eat cake.”
On July 14, 1789, a mob stormed the Bastille Fortress in Paris, which had been used as the state prison.
The king, endeavoring to be an enlightened monarch, did not forcibly respond.
Sadly, his benevolence only served to embolden the unruly rioters.
On October 5, 1789, in what started as a Women’s March demanding bread, a mob surrounded the Palace at Versailles.
The Marquis de Lafayette vainly attempted to moderate the crowd, who had found sympathy with disgruntled soldiers.
Finding an unguarded door, rioters barged in.
Two guards were killed, with one’s head placed on a pike. The Queen fled through a secret passage to the King’s chamber.
With the mob now numbering 60,000, the King and Queen were escorted back to Paris, where they became captives in the Royal residence called the Tuileries.
Rise of the Tyrant - Volume 2 of Change to Chains
On June 20, 1791, the Royal family tried escaping by carriage at night, and almost made it out of France, but, tragically, were recognized from the king’s face being on a note of French currency.
One again, they were captives in the Tuileries.
“Jacobin Club” left-wing agitators, such as Maximilien Robespierre, whipped the city into an anti-king frenzy.
(The club originally met on a street in Paris named “Jacob” — Rue Saint Jacques.)
The Tuileries were stormed August 10, 1792. Hundreds of Swiss guards were slaughtered trying to defend the King.
Following the example regicide in England , which beheaded King Charles I in 1649, France beheaded the King, January 21, 1793.
The French Revolution turned into a Reign of Terror.
Maximilien Robespierre led the “Committee of Public Safety,” France’s version of Department of Homeland Security.
He gave a speech to the National Assembly, February 5, 1794, titled “The Terror Justified”:
“Lead … the enemies of the people by terror … Terror is nothing else than swift, severe, indomitable justice.”
Author Don Feder wrote in the article “Observations and Fulminations-The French Revolution and Jacobins in Our Streets (July 13, 2018):
"The Reign of Terror wasn’t an episode of the French Revolution, it was the Revolution. In ‘ Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution,’ historian Simon Schama writes,
"The terror … was not just an unfortunate side effect … it was the Revolution’s source of collective energy … From the very beginning, violence was the motor of the revolution.”
Robespierre began accusing, arresting, and beheading:
– first all the royalty;
– then the wealthy;
– then the farmers and businessmen;
– then those hoarding food;
– then the religious clergy;
– then the former revolutionaries.
Over 40,000 were beheaded in Paris.
Don Feder continued:
“Slaughter in the name of the ‘people,’ atheism, thought police, the ruthless suppression of dissent, mass murder for ideological purity, – all started in the orgy of murder and nihilism unleashed by the furies of Jacobinism.
They started by killing aristocrats and royalists, then moderates (like the Girondists), then dissidents, then any who had doubts, until, finally, an emperor (Napoleon) with a genius for conquest took the place of a relatively benign monarch.”
The French Revolution initiated an intentional campaign to separate French society from its Judeo-Christian past and replace it with a civic religion of state worship.
Not wanting a constitution that was “Done in the year of the Lord,” as the U.S. Constitution was, the French made 1792 the new “Year One.”
They did not want a seven day week with a Sabbath day rest, as this was derived from the Bible, so they devised a ten day “decade” week, and ten month year.
“French Revolutionary Time” divided the day into 10 decimal hours, with each hour consisting of 100 decimal minutes, and each minute made up of 100 decimal seconds.
Every measurement was to be divisible by ten, as ten was considered the number of man with ten fingers and ten toes.
This was called “the metric system.”
The new secular government proceeded to:
– Forbid crosses as being offensive;
– Religious monuments were destroyed;
– Statues were torn down, including that of Good King Henry IV;
– Public and private worship and education outlawed;
– Priests and ministers, along with those who harbored them, were executed on sight;
– Christian graves were desecrated, including that of Ste. Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris who called the city to pray when Attila the Hun was attacking in 451 AD;
– Churches were closed or used for “immoral,” “lurid,” “licentious,” “scandalous” “depravities.”
Robespierre put a prostitute in Notre Dame Cathedral, covered her with a sheet, and called her “the goddess of reason” to be worshiped.
The Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg was turned into a Temple of Reason.
In America, Yale President Timothy Dwight gave an address on July 4, 1798, tracing the origin of the radical, left-wing Jacobin organizers, who agitated a violent overthrow of France’s government:
“About the year 1728, Voltaire, so celebrated for his wit and brilliancy and not less distinguished for his hatred of Christianity and his abandonment of principle, formed a systematical design to destroy Christianity and to introduce in its stead a general diffusion of irreligion and atheism …
With great art and insidiousness the doctrines of … Christian theology were rendered absurd and ridiculous; and the mind of the reader was insensibly steeled against conviction and duty …
The overthrow of the religious orders in Catholic countries, a step essentially necessary to the destruction of the religion professed in those countries …”
Dwight describe further Voltaire’s plan:
“… The appropriation to themselves, and their disciples, of the places and honors of members of the French Academy … In this way they designed to hold out themselves … to dictate all literary opinions to the nation …
The fabrication of books of all kinds against Christianity, especially such as excite doubt and generate contempt and derision …
The being of God was denied and ridiculed … The possession of property was pronounced robbery. Chastity and natural affection were declared to be nothing more than groundless prejudices.
Adultery, assassination, poisoning, and other crimes of the like infernal nature, were taught as lawful … provided the end was good …
The good ends proposed … are the overthrow of religion, government, and human society, civil and domestic.
These they pronounce to be so good that murder, butchery, and war, however extended and dreadful, are declared by them to be completely justifiable.”
The anti-christian French government sent its army to a rural, very religious Catholic area of western France called the Vendée.
Hundreds of thousands of religious citizens who refused to embrace secularism were killed in a what is considered the first modern genocide.
French General Francois Joseph Westermann wrote to the Committee of Public Safety stating:
“There is no more Vendée …
According to the orders that you gave me, I crushed the children under the feet of the horses, massacred the women who, at least for these, will not give birth to any more brigands.
I do not have a prisoner to reproach me. I have exterminated all.”
A young French officer, named Napoleon, pleaded poor health in order to avoid participating in the slaughter.
John Robison documented the globalist plans of anarchist Jacobin organizers in his book, Proofs of a Conspiracy Against all the Religions and Governments of Europe, Carried on in the Secret Meetings of Free Masons, Illuminati, and Reading Societies, Collected From Good Authorities (New York: George Forman, 1798).
George W. Snyder of Fredericktown, Maryland, wrote of this book to President George Washington, August 22, 1798:
“To His Excellency George Washington.
Sir,—You will, I hope, not think it a presumption in a stranger, whose name, perhaps never reached your ears, to address himself to you, the Commanding General of a great Nation …
Our present time pregnant with the most shocking events and calamities, threatens ruin to our liberty and government.
The most secret plans are in agitation; plans calculated to ensnare the unwary, to attract the gay irreligious, and to entice even the well-disposed to combine in the general machine for overturning all government and all religion.
It was some time since that a book fell into my hands, entitled ‘Proofs of a Conspiracy, &c. by John Robison,’ which gives a full account of a Society of Free Masons, that distinguishes itself by the name of ‘Illuminati,’ whose plan is to over throw all government and all religion, even natural; and who endeavor to eradicate every idea of a Supreme Being, and distinguish man from beast by his shape only.
A thought suggested itself to me, that some of the Lodges in the United States might have caught the infection, and might co-operate with the Illuminati or the Jacobin Club in France …
I send you the ‘Proof of a Conspiracy,’ &c. which I doubt not, will … afford you matter for a train of ideas, that may operate to our national felicity.”
President George Washington replied from Mount Vernon to George W. Snyder, September 25, 1798:
“Sir, Many apologies are due to you, for my not acknowledging the receipt of your obliging favor of the 22d. Ulto, and for not thanking you, at an earlier period, for the book you had the goodness to send me. (John Robinson’s Proof of a Conspiracy against All the Religions and Governments of Europe.)
I have heard much of the nefarious, and dangerous plan, and doctrines of the Illuminati, but never saw the book until you were please to send it to me.
The same causes which have prevented my acknowledging the receipt of you letter have prevented my reading the book, hitherto; namely, the multiplicity of matters which pressed upon me before, and the debilitated state in which I was left after, a severe fever had been removed.
And which allows me to add little more now, than thanks for your kind wishes and favorable sentiments, except to correct an error you have run into, of my presiding over the English Lodges in this country.
The fact is, I preside over none, nor have I been in one more than once or twice, within the last thirty years.
I believe notwithstanding, that none of the Lodges in this Country are contaminated with the principles ascribed to the Society of the Illuminati.
With respect, I am & c.”
(Washington, George, 1732-1799. The Writings of George Washington from the original manuscript sources Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library)
Washington wrote again to George W. Snyder, October 24, 1798:
“Revd Sir … It was not my intention to doubt that, the Doctrines of the Illuminati, and principles of Jacobinism had not spread in the United States. On the contrary, no one is more truly satisfied of this fact than I am.
The idea that I meant to convey, was, that I did not believe that the Lodges of Free Masons in this Country had, as Societies, endeavored to propagate the diabolical tenets of the first, or pernicious principles of the latter (if they are susceptible of separation.)
That individual of them may have done it, or that the founder, or instrument employed to found, the Democratic Societies in the United States, may have had these objects; and actually had a separation of the people from their government in view, is too evident to be questioned …
With respect, etc.”
In 1799, Alexander Hamilton condemned the French Revolution’s attempt to overthrow Christianity:
“… (depriving) mankind of its best consolations and most animating hopes, and to make a gloomy desert of the universe …
The praise of a civilized world is justly due to Christianity; - war, by the influence of the humane principles of that religion, has been stripped of half its horrors.
The French renounce Christianity, and they relapse into barbarism; - war resumes the same hideous and savage form which it wore in the ages of Gothic and Roman violence.”
Hamilton wrote further:
“Opinions … have been gradually gaining ground, which threaten the foundations of religion, morality, and society.
An attack was first made upon the Christian revelation, for which natural religion was offered as the substitute.
The Gospel was to be discarded as a gross imposture, but the being and attributes of god, the obligations of piety, even the doctrine of a future state of rewards and punishments, were to be retained and cherished.”
(Lodge, Henry Cabot, The Works of Alexander Hamilton, vol. 8, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 1904, pg 425-426.)
During this time, French privateers ignored treaties and by 1798, had seized nearly 300 American ships bound for British ports.
Talleyrand, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, demanded millions of dollars in bribes to leave America’s ships alone.
Talleyrand was a master of deceitful political speech called “obfuscation” – intentionally being obscure, speaking out of both sides of his mouth to as convince both sides he supported them.
“We were given speech to hide our thoughts.”
Known as the XYZ Affair, the American commission of Charles Pinckney, John Marshall and Elbridge Gerry refused to pay bribes.
The cry went across America, “Millions for defense, not a cent for tribute.”
American college campuses were being infiltrated by “decadent, ungodly and immoral Francophiles” – the term used to describe those fascinated with French culture, infidelity and irreligion which was being exported from France.
As America and France came perilously close to war, second President John Adams asked George Washington, now retired at Mount Vernon, to again be Commander-in-Chief of the Army.
Washington agreed, writing the year before he died, July 13, 1798:
“Satisfied … you have … exhausted, to the last drop, the cup of reconciliation, we can, with pure hearts, appeal to Heaven for the justice of our cause;
and may confidently trust the final result to that kind Providence who has, heretofore, and so often, signally favored the people of these United States …
Feeling how incumbent it is upon every person … to contribute at all times to his country’s welfare, and especially in a moment like the present, when everything we hold dear and sacred is so seriously threatened, I have finally determined to accept the commission of Commander-in-Chief.”
President Adams declared a Day of Fasting, March 23, 1798, and again, March 6, 1799:
“The people of the United States are still held in jeopardy by … insidious acts of a foreign nation,
as well as by the dissemination among them of those principles subversive to the foundations of all religious, moral, and social obligations …
I hereby recommend … a Day of Solemn Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer;
That the citizens … call to mind our numerous offenses against the Most High God, confess them before Him with the sincerest penitence, implore His pardoning mercy, through the Great Mediator and Redeemer, for our past transgressions,
and that through the grace of His Holy Spirit, we may be disposed and enabled to yield a more suitable obedience to His righteous requisitions …
That He would interpose to arrest the progress of that impiety and licentiousness in principle and practice so offensive to Himself and so ruinous to mankind …
‘Righteousness exalteth a nation but sin is a reproach to any people.’”
In retrospect, it was seen that France’s abandonment of sexual restraints was followed by an abandonment of societal and physical restraints, leading to open violence.
France’s godless Revolution, instigated by Jacobin agitators, became the blueprint for successive Communist revolutions, where a bloody killing off of the old order was justified as a necessary transition to usher in the promised utopian paradise, which sadly proved to be totalitarian dictatorships.
Best-selling author Os Guinness stated in an interview with Dr. Albert Mohler, (Thinking in Public, June 5, 2017):
“The culture war now at its deepest roots is actually a clash between 1776, what was the American Revolution, and 1789 and heirs of the French Revolution.”
President John Adams’ leadership and call to prayer successfully led the young nation of the United States to avert war with France.
Where secular France pulled away from God, America experienced a religious revival called the Second Great Awakening which spread across country.
In contrast to the irreligious French Revolution, in America, religious enthusiasm spread from frontier camp meetings to college campuses.
A foreign missions movement began, impacting the world, reaching as far away as the Caribbean, Burma, China and Hawaii.
Organizations formed which promoted Biblical values, including hospitals, prison reform, care for the handicapped and mentally ill, American Bible Society, Society for the Promotion of Temperance, Y.M.C.A. chapters, Salvation Army outreaches, and the abolitionist movement to end slavery.