Created by the National Convention on April 6, 1793, the Committee of Public Safety was a body of citizens officially delegated to perform broad supervisory functions over military, judicial, and legislative matters during the French Revolution with the objective of protecting the new Republic against foreign attacks and internal conspiracies. It was based on the former Committee of General Defense, which had been established in January 1793. The Committee of Public Safety originally consisted of nine members, who were all selected by the National Convention for one month at a time, without period limits. However, in July 1793, after the defeat at of the Girondins (moderate Republicans) at the Convention, the prominent leaders of the radical Jacobins Maximilien Robespierre, Louis Antoine de Saint-Just, and Georges Couthon were added to the Committee of Public Safety, increasing its membership to twelve.
The Committee of Public Safety became the real center of power in the country. In December 1793 the National Convention formally conferred the entire power of government on the Committee as Robespierre acquired more power and influence. He managed to eliminate his rivals and establish a virtual dictatorship. To defend France and suppress internal uprisings, he and the Committee raised 14 armies; to ensure supplies, the Committee instituted a partial system of maximum prices and fixed wages; and to repress domestic opposition, it instituted the Reign of Terror. After the Thermidorian Reaction that overthrew Robespierre and his faithful followers on July 27, 1794, power in the government was restored to the Convention. The Committee of Public Safety continued to exist until 1795, playing a secondary role, when it was dissolved under the Constitution of 1795, which marked the beginning of the Directory.