France's King Louis XVI sent his navy and troops to help America win independence.
Afterward, France had a few years of crop failure, then a Revolution.
In Paris, King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were beheaded.
Robespierre led the "Committee of Public Safety," giving a speech to the National Assembly, February 5, 1794,
titled "The Terror Justified":
"Lead...the enemies of the people by terror...Terror is nothing else than swift, severe, indomitable justice."
Robespierre began his Reign of Terror, accusing, arresting, then beheading all the royalty;
then the wealthy;
then the farmers and businessmen;
then those hoarding food;
then the clergy,
then the former revolutionaries.
Over 40,000 were beheaded in Paris.
An intentional campaign began to de-christianize French society and replace it with a civic religion of state worship.
Not wanting a constitution 'Done in the year of the Lord,' they made 1791 the new “Year One.”
They did not want a seven day week with a sabbath day rest, so they came up with a ten day week and ten month year – ten being their number of man with ten fingers and ten toes.
They created the metric system with all measurements divisible by ten.
Crosses were forbidden;
Religious monuments were destroyed;
Public and private worship and education outlawed;
Priests and ministers, along with those who harbored them, were executed on sight;
Graves were desecrated, including Sainte Genevieve's, the patron saint of Paris who called the city to pray when Attila the Hun was attacking in 451 AD;
Churches were closed or used for "immoral," "lurid," "licentious," "scandalous" "depravities."
Robespierre put a prostitute in Notre Dame Cathedral and called her the goddess of reason to be worshiped.
The Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg was turned into a Temple of Reason.
Hundreds of thousands were killed throughout France, especially in a religious area called the Vendee' in western France. French officer
Napoleon pleaded poor health so as to not participate.
During this time, French privateers ignored treaties and by 1798, had seized nearly 300 American ships bound for British ports.
Talleyrand, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, demanded millions of dollars in bribes to leave America’s ships alone.
Known as the XYZ Affair, the American commission of Charles Pinckney, John Marshall and Elbridge Gerry refused.
The cry went across America, “Millions for defense, not a cent for tribute.”
As America and France came close to war, second President John Adams asked George Washington, now retired at Mount Vernon, to again be Commander-in-Chief of the Army.
Washington agreed, writing the year before he died, July 13, 1798:
“Satisfied...you have...exhausted, to the last drop, the cup of reconciliation, we can, with pure hearts, appeal to Heaven for the justice of our cause;
and may confidently trust the final result to that kind Providence who has, heretofore, and so often, signally favored the people of these United States...
Feeling how incumbent it is upon every person...to contribute at all times to his country’s welfare, and especially in a moment like the present, when everything we hold dear and sacred is so seriously threatened, I have finally determined to accept the commission of Commander-in-Chief.”
President Adams declared a Day of Fasting, March 23, 1798, and again, March 6, 1799:
“The people of the United States are still held in jeopardy by...insidious acts of a foreign nation,
as well as by the dissemination among them of those principles subversive to the foundations of all religious, moral, and social obligations...
I hereby recommend...a Day of Solemn Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer; That the citizens...call to mind our numerous offenses against the Most High God, confess them before Him with the sincerest penitence, implore His pardoning mercy, through the Great Mediator and Redeemer, for our past transgressions,
and that through the grace of His Holy Spirit, we may be disposed and enabled to yield a more suitable obedience to His righteous requisitions...
That He would interpose to arrest the progress of that impiety and licentiousness in principle and practice so offensive to Himself and so ruinous to mankind...
'Righteousness exalteth a nation but sin is a reproach to any people.'”
As the nation prayed, war with France was averted and a revival, called the Second Great Awakening, spread across America with church membership soaring in all denominations.