Originally Posted by Manach
For this period I'd rely on the historian Michael Burleigh who wrote about this in books such as Age of Terror. He focuses in on the how the state used violence to ensure ideological uniformity and crush dissent. His accounts of the massarces in Western France that encompassed even those suspected of supporting the old regime and the methods of used, mass drownings, are chilling. He traces the lineage of the French revolution through subseqient eras with this being the template.
In the Vendee, didn’t the revolutionary commander say he would “burn everything” and “exterminate” all “rebels”?
The idea of a “genocide” of Royalists is hotly debated and contested though.
One similarity with 20th century totalitarian regimes, is the idea that to reach the promised land and create an ideal place for all, they have to exterminate any opposition in its path.
Robspierre’s buddy Saint-Just has a lot of quotes like this: “The vessel of the Revolution can arrive in port only on a sea reddened with torrents of blood.”
“ You have to punish not only the traitors, but even those who are indifferent; you have to punish whoever is passive in the republic, and who does nothing for it"
"a nation generates itself only upon heaps of corpses“.
“ In every Revolution a dictator is needed to save the state by force, or censors to save it by virtue.”