The September Massacres 2nd - 6th of September 1792

Background and Context
The September Massacres occurred on September 2 to 6 in 1792 after the general population learnt that Prussia had invaded France and had taken Verdun no other strongholds stood between them and Paris they had heard that Prussia had signaled its intention that they would punish the Parisian people severely if they harmed the monarchy or and aristocracy. In an effort to protect the monarchy the threats made to the general public only worked to spurn them into action that would lead to devastating consequences
The September Massacres was pivotal to the French revolution because the general population and the middle class bourgeois had already been successful in achieving social change by the creation of the national assembly, the civil constitution and the removal of unfair feudal taxes and the application of the laws of the land to all people where before it did not generally apply to the aristocracy.
The statement made by Prussia signaled to the people the support for the French aristocracy and monarchy from the European aristocracy and served to fuel the fear of failure it also highlighted the possible consequences of failure.
The subsequent mass killings of prisoners regardless of their status as counter-revolutionaries served to bolster their public intention to continue the revolution over the five days that the massacres took place around 1200 prisoners were killed this was almost half the prisoner population of Paris of the murderers it was said that there were only around 150 to 200.

Nature of the event
Most of the murders were preceded by what the assassins considered a 'trial', better known as 'mob courts'. The supposed judges in these courts were the actual killers themselves. The sight of them was atrocious; their arms were covered in blood, they wore butchers' aprons, and they had swords at their sides. Most of the judges were either drunk or half asleep (Hibbert).
What could possibly cause such a horrible event to take place? The rationale for the developing massacre of early September was simply a pretext invented by men eager to kill those who disagreed with them Christopher Hibbert blames the massacre mainly on the fear of counter revolution within the walls of Paris. Hibbert's explanation follows that during this time, France was involved in the French Revolution. The people of France felt they had to defend Paris by watching for rebels and traitors that were opponents of the Revolution, especially the clergy and the nobility. The clergy were most suspicious of leading a counter revolution because they supported anything that the king did. The people of Paris also thought that the nobility would lead a counter revolution because they were the people who were officers at Verdun when it was attacked. The ease with which Verdun fell made it seem like there was no effort on the part of the defence. The people of France viewed the fall of Verdun as a rebellion so they took matters into their own hands and dealt with the traitors in a manner that they felt was necessary (Hibbert).

Significance to the revolution
the significance of the September massacres to the revolution was huge the was the people strolled around the street hacking up any prisoners they found and entering government prisons and kill every one showed how much the national convention was not in control the people could not be stopped by any one the military would not fire on them and the national guard were easily pushed aside. This deeply worried the convention but it was something that they could not worry about at the time there main focus was on the outer problem of the invading force of Prussia they decided they would let Paris by itself for a while whilst they took care of the more imminent problem at hand.

Response of the revolutionary government and society
But not long after the Prussian army was halted and turned around and by the French army the convention then turned to matters in Paris there first act was to completely abolish the monarchy. Then they wrote a decree that stated that this would be the first year French republic but soon after the convention could agree on little else and the Girondins and the Jacobins began their war against each other each one trying to get the better hand.
Jack Murdoch