Who said: "The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant"

BookBrowse's Favorite Quotes

"The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant." - Maximilien de Robespierre

Maximilien de RobespierreMaximilien de Robespierre (b. 1758, in Arras, France) was the leader of the Jacobin political movement established in 1779, one of the most radical political groups involved in the French Revolution, and was a principle figure in the Revolution and the following Reign of Terror.

He was born the oldest of four children who were raised by their maternal grandparents after their mother died when Robespierre was six and his father left. He was educated in Paris and graduated with a law degree in 1781, after which he returned to Arras, in Northern France and earned a comfortable living practicing law while also taking a keen interest in politics.

Aged 30 he was elected to the Estates General of the French legislature and earned popularity for advocating for democratic reforms, attacking the monarch, and opposing the death penalty and slavery. His rigid opinions and refusal to compromise alienated his colleagues who considered his ideas extreme and impractical, so he left the legislature in order to pursue his cause outside of government.

In April 1789 he was elected president of the Jacobin political faction. The following year he participated in writing the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen which became the foundation of the French constitution. When Parisians rose up against King Louis XVI in August 1792, Robespierre was elected to head the Paris delegation to the new National Convention. He successfully argued for the execution of the king and continued to encourage the crowds to rise up against the aristocracy.

Louis XVI was sent to the guillotine in January 1793. In July of that year Robespierre was elected to the Committee of Public Safety, with effective dictatorial control. Two months later, in September, he initiated the Reign of Terror. Over the next eleven months, about 300,000 suspected enemies of the Revolution were arrested and more than 17,000 were executed--including many of Robespierre's political enemies. The purges continued until July 1794, when a coalition of moderates and revolutionaries formed to oppose Robespierre. He and many of his allies were arrested and imprisoned. Shortly after he managed to escape and tried to commit suicide. He failed and was soon recaptured and summarily executed along with 21 of his allies.

More Quotes

This quote & biography originally ran in an issue of BookBrowse's membership magazine. Full Membership Features & Benefits.

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Fake Like Me
    Fake Like Me
    by Barbara Bourland
    After years of trying to make it as a painter in New York City, the unnamed narrator of Fake Like Me...
  • Book Jacket: Hungry
    Hungry
    by Jeff Gordinier
    Noma, René Redzepi's restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark, has widely been considered among the ...
  • Book Jacket: With the Fire on High
    With the Fire on High
    by Elizabeth Acevedo
    From Like Water for Chocolate to Ratatouille, writers have recognized the power ...
  • Book Jacket: Lanny
    Lanny
    by Max Porter
    At once beautifully poignant and hauntingly grotesque, Max Porter's Lanny is like an unexpected ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Beirut Hellfire Society
    by Rawi Hage

    A searing and visionary novel set in 1970s Beirut that asks what it means to live through war.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
The Guest Book
by Sarah Blake

"An American epic in the truest sense…"
Entertainment Weekly

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win In the Full Light of the Sun

New from Clare Clark!

"Evocative prose and excellent pacing make this fine historical a must-read for art history buffs."
- Publishers Weekly

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A A A Day K T D A

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.