he French Revolution became the template for revolutions since the 1790s—especially in the 19th Century—and then its ideological heirs of the 20th. At first, men like the Marquis de Lafayette, hero of the American War for Independence, saw the rebellion in his native land as an opportunity to accomplish what the Americans had done—establish a constitutional republic, or at least make the crown answerable to a fixed law. The intellectual groundwork of revolution had been laid, however, in the preceding years, by the radical French Philosophes who promoted an agenda of very different goals and magnitude. This was going to be a comprehensive revolution, led by lawyers, bent on eradication of Christianity, monarchy, and aristocracy, committed to the enshrinement of democracy, social levelling, and the worship of man and his sovereign “reason.” The results, of course, created a monstrous and murderous tyranny far beyond anything the hapless King Louis XVI could ever have imagined, much less implemented, had he wanted to. The new “Republic of Virtue” even created its own religion for mass democratic man.