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A collection of quotes and thoughts by Maximilien Robespierre on oppression, punishment, forgiveness, violence, divine, left-wing, radicalism and power.

28 Mind-Blowing Quotes By Maximilien Robespierre

Quick Facts

Famous As: Politician, Lawyer, Journalist, Revolutionary

Born On: May 6, 1758

Died On: July 28, 1794

Born In: Arras

Died At Age: 36

Maximilien Robespierre was an eminent French politician and lawyer. He was one of the most influential figures associated with the ‘Reign Of Terror’ and the ‘French Revolution’. He served as a member of the ‘Committee of Public Safety’. The writings and thoughts of Jean-Jacques Rousseau greatly influenced Robespierre which developed strong moral values in him. Robespierre advocated the quashing of slavery and also opposed death penalty. He also became the President of the powerful Jacobin political faction. A controversial figure, Robespierre was a capable articulator and his thoughts, words, views and opinions are still quoted broadly. Following is a list of quotes and sayings by Maximilien Robespierre that will give you a glimpse of his political thoughts.

A true revolutionary should be ready to perish in the process

Maximilien Robespierre

Terror is only justice: prompt, severe and inflexible; it is then an emanation of virtue; it is less a distinct principle than a natural consequence of the general principle of democracy, applied to the most pressing wants of the country.

Maximilien Robespierre

Any law which violates the inalienable rights of man is essentially unjust and tyrannical; it is not a law at all.

Maximilien Robespierre

Any institution which does not suppose the people good, and the magistrate corruptible, is evil.

Maximilien Robespierre

Softness to traitors will destroy us all.

Maximilien Robespierre

Pity is treason.

Maximilien Robespierre

Atheism is aristocratic; the idea of a great Being that watches over oppressed innocence and punishes triumphant crime is altogether popular.

Maximilien Robespierre

Is it to be thought unreasonable that the people, in atonement for wrongs of a century, demand the vengeance of a single day?

Maximilien Robespierre

Establish liberty on a rock of brass.

Maximilien Robespierre

No one loves armed missionaries.

Maximilien Robespierre

It is with regret that I pronounce the fatal truth: Louis ought to perish rather than a hundred thousand virtuous citizens; Louis must die that the country may live

Maximilien Robespierre

One can...never create [freedom] by an invading force.

Maximilien Robespierre

Terror is nothing more than justice, prompt, secure and inflexible.

Maximilien Robespierre

The revolution is the war of liberty against its enemies. The constitution is the rule of liberty against its enemies. The constitution is the rule of liberty when victorious and peaceable.

Maximilien Robespierre

Omelets are not made without breaking eggs.

Maximilien Robespierre

By sealing our work with our blood, we may see at least the bright dawn of universal happiness.

Maximilien Robespierre

The aim of constitutional government is to preserve the Republic; that of revolutionary government is to lay its foundation.

Maximilien Robespierre

When a Banker jumps out of a window, jump after him - that's where the money is.

Maximilien Robespierre

We must smother the internal and external enemies of the Republic or perish with it; now in this situation, the first maxim of your policy ought to be to lead the people by reason and the people's enemies by terror.

Maximilien Robespierre

Citizens, did you want a revolution without revolution?

Maximilien Robespierre

Again, it may be said, that to love justice and equality the people need no great effort of virtue; it is sufficient that they love themselves.

Maximilien Robespierre

Crime butchers innocence to secure a throne, and innocence struggles with all its might against the attempts of crime.

Maximilien Robespierre

The most extravagant idea that can be born in the head of a political thinker is to believe that it suffices for people to enter, weapons in hand, among a foreign people and expect to have its laws and constitution embraced. No one loves armed missionaries; the first lesson of nature and prudence is to repulse them as enemies.

Maximilien Robespierre

Food that is necessary for man’s existence is as sacred as life itself. Everything that is indispensable for its preservation is the common property of society as a whole. It is only the surplus that is private property and can be safely left to individual commercial enterprise.

Maximilien Robespierre

Peoples do not judge in the same way as courts of law; they do not hand down sentences, they throw thunderbolts; they do not condemn kings, they drop them back into the void; and this justice is worth just as much as that of the courts.

Maximilien Robespierre

Smuggle out the truth, pass it through all the obstacles that its enemies fabricate; multiply, spread by all means possible her message so that she may triumph; through zeal and civic action counterbalance the influence of money and the machinations lavished on the propagation of deception. That, in my opinion, is the most useful activity and the most sacred duty of pure patriotism.

Maximilien Robespierre

It has been said that terror is the principle of despotic government. Does your government therefore resemble despotism? Yes, as the sword that gleams in the hands of the heroes of liberty resembles that with which the henchmen of tyranny are armed ... The government of the revolution is liberty's despotism against tyranny. Is force made only to protect crime

Maximilien Robespierre

Lf the attribute of popular government in peace is virtue, the attribute of popular government in revolution is at one and the same time virtue and terror, virtue without which terror is fatal, terror without which virtue is impotent. The terror is nothing but justice, prompt, severe, inflexible; it is thus an emanation of virtue.

Maximilien Robespierre