The Revolution Controversy was a "pamphlet war" set off by the publication of A Discourse on the Love of Our Country, a speech given by Richard Price to the Revolution Society on 4 November 1789, supporting the French Revolution (as he had the American Revolution), and saying that patriotism actually centers around loving the people and ...
- 5 May 1789 – 9 November 1799, (10 years, 6 months and 4 days)
- Abolition of the Ancien Régime and creation of constitutional monarchy;, Proclamation of First French Republic in September 1792;, Reign of Terror and Execution of Louis XVI;, Radical social and political change;, French Revolutionary Wars, Appointment of Napoleon as First Consul in November 1799
- Other activities
The French Revolution was a watershed event in modern European history that began in 1789 and ended in the late 1790s with the ascent of Napoleon Bonaparte. During this period, French citizens razed and redesigned their countrys political landscape, uprooting centuries-old institutions such as absolute monarchy and the feudal system. The upheaval was caused by widespread discontent with the French monarchy and the poor economic policies of King Louis XVI, who met his death by guillotine, as did his wife Marie Antoinette. Although it failed to achieve all of its goals and at times degenerated into a chaotic bloodbath, the French Revolution played a critical role in shaping modern nations by showing the world the power inherent in the will of the people.
As the 18th century drew to a close, Frances costly involvement in the American Revolution, and extravagant spending by King Louis XVI and his predecessor, had left the country on the brink of bankruptcy.
Not only were the royal coffers depleted, but two decades of poor harvests, drought, cattle disease and skyrocketing bread prices had kindled unrest among peasants and the urban poor. Many expressed their desperation and resentment toward a regime that imposed heavy taxes yet failed to provide any relief by rioting, looting and striking.
The meeting was scheduled for May 5, 1789; in the meantime, delegates of the three estates from each locality would compile lists of grievances (cahiers de doléances) to present to the king.
By the time the Estates-General convened at Versailles, the highly public debate over its voting process had erupted into hostility between the three orders, eclipsing the original purpose of the meeting and the authority of the man who had convened it.
Though enthusiastic about the recent breakdown of royal power, Parisians grew panicked as rumors of an impending military coup began to circulate. A popular insurgency culminated on July 14 when rioters stormed the Bastille fortress in an attempt to secure gunpowder and weapons; many consider this event, now commemorated in France as a national holiday, as the start of the French Revolution.
The wave of revolutionary fervor and widespread hysteria quickly swept the countryside. Revolting against years of exploitation, peasants looted and burned the homes of tax collectors, landlords and the seigniorial elite. Known as the Great Fear (la Grande peur), the agrarian insurrection hastened the growing exodus of nobles from the country and inspired the National Constituent Assembly to abolish feudalism on August 4, 1789, signing what the historian Georges Lefebvre later called the death certificate of the old order. Drafting a formal constitution proved much more of a challenge for the National Constituent Assembly, which had the added burden of functioning as a legislature during harsh economic times. On the domestic front, meanwhile, the political crisis took a radical turn when a group of insurgents led by the extremist Jacobins attacked the royal residence in Paris and arrested the king on August 10, 1792. The following month, amid a wave of violence in which Parisian insurrectionists massacred hundreds of accused counterrevolutionaries, the Legislative Assembly was replaced by the National Convention, which proclaimed the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of the French republic. Following the kings execution, war with various European powers and intense divisions within the National Convention ushered the French Revolution into its most violent and turbulent phase. In June 1793, the Jacobins seized control of the National Convention from the more moderate Girondins and instituted a series of radical measures, including the establishment of a new calendar and the eradication of Christianity. On August 22, 1795, the National Convention, composed largely of Girondins who had survived the Reign of Terror, approved a new constitution that created Frances first bicameral legislature. Executive power would lie in the hands of a five-member Directory (Directoire) appointed by parliament. Royalists and Jacobins protested the new regime but were swiftly silenced by the army, now led by a young and successful general named Napoleon Bonaparte.
The document proclaimed the Assemblys commitment to replace the ancien régime with a system based on equal opportunity, freedom of speech, popular sovereignty and representative government.
For months, its members wrestled with fundamental questions about the shape and expanse of Frances new political landscape. For instance, who would be responsible for electing delegates? Would the clergy owe allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church or the French government? Perhaps most importantly, how much authority would the king, his public image further weakened after a failed attempt to flee the country in June 1791, retain?
Adopted on September 3, 1791, Frances first written constitution echoed the more moderate voices in the Assembly, establishing a constitutional monarchy in which the king enjoyed royal veto power and the ability to appoint ministers. This compromise did not sit well with influential radicals like Maximilien de Robespierre, Camille Desmoulins and Georges Danton, who began drumming up popular support for a more republican form of government and for the trial of Louis XVI.
On January 21, 1793, it sent King Louis XVI, condemned to death for high treason and crimes against the state, to the guillotine; his wife Marie-Antoinette suffered the same fate nine months later.
They also unleashed the bloody Reign of Terror (la Terreur), a 10-month period in which suspected enemies of the revolution were guillotined by the thousands. Many of the killings were carried out under orders from Robespierre, who dominated the draconian Committee of Public Safety until his own execution on July 28, 1794.
His death marked the beginning of the Thermidorian Reaction, a moderate phase in which the French people revolted against the Reign of Terrors excesses.
French Revolution, revolutionary movement that shook France between 1787 and 1799 and reached its first climax there in 1789—hence the conventional term ‘Revolution of 1789,’ denoting the end of the ancien regime in France and serving also to distinguish that event from the later French revolutions of 1830 and 1848.
Apr 26, 2019 · The French Revolution has often been called the start of the modern world, and while this is an exaggeration—many of the supposed "revolutionary" developments had precursors—it was an epochal event that permanently changed the European mindset.
Oct 11, 2019 · The French Revolution is often considered to be one of the most significant events not only in the history of France and Europe, but also in the world. This revolution is known also as the Revolution of 1789, the year when it reached its first climax.
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May 24, 2019 · The French Revolution was a cyclical, ongoing conflict that brewed throughout France for years at a time, causing incredible turmoil.
The Oxford History of the French Revolution (3rd ed. 2018) excerpt; Mignet, François, Member of the Institute of France, History of the French Revolution, from 1789 to 1814, Bell & Daldy, London, 1873. Popkin, Jeremy. A Short History of the French Revolution (2014) excerpt; In French. Bezbakh, Pierre (2004). Petit Larousse de l'histoire de ...
- French society
- Abolition of the French monarchy, Establishment of a secular and democratic republic that became increasingly authoritarian and militaristic, Radical social change based on liberalism and other Enlightenment principles, Rise of Napoleon Bonaparte, Armed conflicts with other European countries
- Social Inequality in France due to the Estates System. In the 1780s, the population of France was around 24 million and 700 thousand and it was divided into three estates.
- Tax Burden on the Third Estate. The First Estate in France, or the clergy, owned 10% of the land though it comprised less than 0.5% of the population.
- The Rise of the Bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie were the rich men and women of the Third Estate who started to become influential in the years leading to the revolution.
- Ideas put forward by Enlightenment philosophers. The Age of Enlightenment was an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe during the 18th century.
Apr 26, 2008 · The two later French Revolutions, the French Revolution of 1830 and the French Revolution of 1848, were two major events that not only impacted France, but the rest of Europe as well. The French Revolution of 1830, better known as the July Revolution, was triggered after Louis XVIII died, and his brother, Charles X, rose to power.