Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Political Science


College of Humanities and Fine Arts

First Advisor

Kimberly Hale


Liberty, equality, and fraternity were the three original pillars of the French Revolution at the start in 1789. The slogan became the rallying cry for the embittered French people in their initial pursuit for political and social transformation. The French Revolution is perhaps the most prominent contemporary illustration of a violent revolution which ultimately was successful, resulting in a model of democratic government. The French Revolution reached a decade in length wherein there were countless demonstrations, massacres, wars, civil unrest, and political enlightenment. The disorganized nature of the revolution cultivated a vast array of political beliefs, which ranged from radical revolutionaries, moderates, and anti-revolutionaries. This incoherence generated monumental brutality and a serious lack of fluidity. The French Revolution is a perplexing topic because regardless of the overt tyranny, excessive violence of a savage nature, and the unjustified infringement upon civil rights perpetrated by the revolutionary government, the French nation did ultimately develop into a successful democratic republic. It is this conclusive and extraordinary eventual success of the French Revolution which is compelling. I intend to investigate and explain how the French Revolution materialized and for what reasons, as well as to analyze the effectiveness of the revolution through the administration of tyranny. Furthermore, I intend to explore how the Reign of Terror culminated and became an emblematic component of the French Revolution. There is a unique paradoxical relationship regarding tyranny which occurred wherein the revolutionary government administered tyrannical laws and perpetrated unnecessary violence against the people of France in a desperate effort to preserve the new regime. I intend to examine the design of this phenomena and explain why this paradox occurred.