Lead: From the earliest meetings of the Estates-General in 1789 until his execution by guillotine (gil’ uh tin) or (gee uh tine fr) five years later Maximilien Robespierre played a major role in the progress of the French Revolution.

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content: About Maximilien-Francois-Marie-Isidore de Robespierre few held a neutral opinion. He was either a tyrant or a servant of the people; a savior of the Revolution or the devil incarnate. Yet, like so many figures of the past whose memory is frozen in some historical time warp, the truth of the matter is somewhat more complex. He was ruthless in pursuing the enemies of the Revolution, but regularly intervened to save the lives of his opponents brought to trial by those far more radical than he. He was an excellent administrator under whose leadership the French preserved their fledgling democracy in the face of internal threats even as France faced a military coalition of Europe’s great powers seeking to turn back the French revolutionary clock.

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