Posts Tagged ‘France’

The French Revolution

French RevolutionThe Great French Revolution took place in 1789-1799. It was inspired by American Revolution and had a number of reasons: social, economic, political, etc. First of all, the lowest social estate of France, the peasants, started expressing discontent with their life and absence of rights. Economic situation in the country was fierce for them, because they were pressed with huge burden of taxation, low wages and expensive food. Moreover, leadership of the King Louis XVII and his Court proved to be weak and unable to deal with these problems.

Therefore, in 1789 the leaders of the commoners took the oath to fight for liberty and equality, and organized their forces to storm the Bastille on July, 14. Louis XVII and his ruling aristocrats were captured. Revolutionary forces made the Court surrender their demands, thus, in 1791 a new Constitution was proclaimed, which established limited monarchy and separation of powers in the country. But the King was still very frightened of new rules and tried to escape the country, that’s why in 1792 he was put to trial and soon executed.

With the death of Louis XVII, the third estate received the power, and their leader, Maximilien Robespierre, started ruling France. His desire to establish control over the country turned into a “reign of terror”. Every person, who could be a threat to a new regime and a new government, had to be immediately put to death on guillotine. In 1794 French people revolted against this terror, so Robespierre and his associates were executed. Thus, a new regime of so called Directory came into power. Directory followed the policy of Robespierre, but was not that fierce. Finally, in 1798 a young general, leader or ruling power Napoleon Bonaparte gained the control over France. He directed all the activity of French activists on outer military operations.

The French Revolution was inevitable and crucial historical event. Establishment of republicanism instead of existing absolute monarchy was its main effect. A new constitution was proclaimed, protecting the rights of poor people, and a new social system was founded in France. Besides, the French Revolution gave sparks to revolutionary thoughts and ideas in other European countries, like Germany, Russia, Italy, Ireland, and indirectly caused continental wars between European nations in XIX – XX centuries.



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