What Was The Republic Of Virtue?


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Christopher Adam Profile
The Republic of Virtue refers to the ideological and even "spiritual" goals of Robespierre Reign of Terror in 1793. Although Robespierre wished to purge France of Catholicism, which he saw as diametrically at odds with the country's new-found republicanism, he did not shy away from the notion of creating a new state religion.

This proposed new state religion was comprised of anti-monarchist notions sprinkled with the idea of creating a utopia, or an ideal republic in France. This notion was largely based on Rousseau's concepts and on the belief that all people would work for the common good. This state sponsored faith was also highly patriotic and nationalist, and there were even plans to establish special festivals and rituals that would replace those of the Roman Catholic Church.

During the creation of the Republic of Virtue, Catholic parishes were shut down across France and were replaced with so-called "Temples of Reason," the clergy faced great persecution and Robespierre's regime tried to erase all vestiges of France's Catholic heritage.

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