One core concept of the Enlightenment thought is putting an end to “fanaticism” in all its forms. This included religious dogmas and superstitions. Robespierre’s sympathy to this concept is clearly manifest in his famous speech. Another such indication of the influence of Enlightenment is found in his emphasis of equality and natural rights to all the members of the republic. Everyone was entitled to be treated in a way fitting their dignity as a human being. Accordingly, everyone had the right to equal justice before the law and a right not to be exploited by those enjoying power and privilege. And such sentiment is quite evident in Robespierre’s utterances during the time.
One could further trace the principles of the Revolution to the ideas of Enlightenment. The central themes of the Enlightenment culture were humanitarianism and rights for all human beings and such sentiments were expressed by Robespierre as well. In fact, the immorality of slave trade was discussed by most of the reformist thinkers of the period leading up to the Revolution. The principle had the support of such influential intellectuals as Voltaire, Rousseau and Hume among others. Consistently, he implicitly attacks the inhumane practices of religious oppression and slavery. Thus, the Enlightenment ideals prepared a climate of opinion which eventually ushered in the Revolution.
Doyle, William, Haydon, Colin (eds.) (1999). Robespierre. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-59116-3.
McPhee, Peter. Robespierre: A Revolutionary Life (Yale University Press; 2012) 299 pages