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Maximilien Robespierre

(1758—1794) French revolutionary

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French Revolutionary politician; one of the architects of the ‘Reign of Terror’ (1793–4) which claimed his own life. His deification of ‘the people’ using slogans loosely connected with Rousseau has led writers of the left to hail him as a precursor of socialism, and communism, and writers (mostly but not entirely) of the right to hail him as a precursor of totalitarianism.

Subjects: Literature

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