The day of 9 Thermidor in the French Republican calendar (27 July 1794) is universally acknowledged as a major turning-point in the history of the French Revolution. At midnight, Maximilien Robespierre, the most prominent member of the Committee of Public Safety, which had for more than a year directed the Reign of Terror, was planning to destroy one of the most dangerous plots that the Revolution had faced.
By midnight at the close of the day, following a day of uncertainty, surprises, upsets, and reverses, Robespierre’s world had been turned upside down. He was an outlaw, on the run, and himself wanted for conspiracy against the Republic. He felt that his whole life and his Revolutionary career were drawing to an end. As indeed they were. He shot himself shortly afterwards. Half-dead, the guillotine finished him off in grisly fashion the next day.
The Fall of Robespierre by Colin Jones provides an hour-by-hour analysis of these 24 hours. Explore each of those hours across the 24 hours of 9 Thermidor by following the white circles, then black circles, and finally the blue circle in the interactive timeline below.