MaIn Pecularities Of The French Revolution
The French Revolution
The Starting point of Chapter 6 revolves around the French Revolution. The pre-revolution started from the widespread famine throughout France, also the King at the time (King Louis XVI) and his wife were deficit spendings such as new art for their house and the wars. The men and women of the 3rd estate were becoming even more angry with the king because they had to pay tons of taxes while the 1st and 2nd estates were tax-free. As the debt deepened the King called for the Estates General which had not been called for in 175 years. Toward the end of 1788, the Estates General was called by the King to meet at Versailles the following year. The King had each representative from the estates write a cashier listing the grievances of each estate. In 1789 the Third Estate were claiming to represent the people of France and declared themselves the National Assembly. After a couple of days, the King locked them out of their meeting hall. Since the King locked them out they feared they would be dismissed and moved into a tennis court nearby.The delegates took the tennis court oath which said that they swore never to separate and to meet wherever the circumstance might require until they had established a sound and just constitution.
The start of the French Revolution started on July 14, 1789, were 800 Parisians were outside the fortress or the Bastille. The crowd was demanding weapons and gunpowder. The commander of the fortress refused and shot at the crowd. The crowd then attacked the fortress and eventually broke through and killed the commander and some guards also they released the prisoners but found no guns. Due to the political crisis of 1789, the famine was at an all-time high and people had to spend 80% of their income on just bread alone if they could even find a job at this time. Rumors of attacks on villages and soldiers taking crops caused the “Great Fear” and caused the peasants to attack and steal from the nobles and storehouses. This did not last very long but showed the anger of the people growing throughout France. During a meeting of the National Assembly the nobles gave up their special privileges and around 2 a.m. the president of the assembly said “We may view this moment as the dawn of the new revolution. Toward the end of August, the National Assembly issued The Rights of Man and the Citizen which basically said that all males were equal under the law. The National Assembly with most of its members Bourgeoisie worked to make a constitution and fix the financial crisis. Later they voted to take over and sell the church’s land also they put the church under state control. The King and his family tried to escape France but failed to do so. The other countries in Europe were fearful of the revolution spreading to the countries so the blocked the borders off from French people. The nobles and clergy would get into these countries and tell the leaders emigres of the horror going on in France.
Radicals took over the Assembly. They wanted a new legislative body and the suffrage was extended to all male citizens. the King and his family were later executed as to were Marie Antoinette. Maximilien Robespierre Was a lawyer and a politician who rose to power in the Committee of Public Safety. Robespierre basically started the Reign of Terror which lasted for ten months. The reign of terror killed about 17,000 people with fast trials with little to no evidence and then sent them to the guillotine. As the chaos in France became worse the turned to Napoleon Bonaparte for help to get to the goals. Napoleon was a smart general who eventually outsmarted them and became the ruler of France. Nationalism spread through France at the time with many people attending festivals. In 1793 France was “healing” from the wounds of the revolution and had many troops under napoleon’s control, from the port city Marseilles there were soldiers marching to a song which later became their national anthem.
Napoleon created his own laws which are known as napoleonic code which included enlightenment ideas such as equality of all citizens. After Napoleon came to power he was winning many battles for his country and by 1812 he got the country to its largest. Napoleon was “reshaping” Europe by expanding his own country by annexing the Netherlands, Belgium, and parts of Italy and Germany. After Napoleon has become so powerful he blocked trade with Europe and Britain with the Continental System. The Spanish try to fight back against Napoleon with guerrilla warfare but in the end, did not work. After Napoleon controlled most of Europe he went to attack Russia with about 600,000 troops but in the freezing cold weather the French were not used to the Russians used the scorched earth policy which basically was the Russian burning their villages and crops. Since the troops had no food to eat there and the cold weather most died off and only 20,000 survived and returned back to France. After his huge defeat, his whole reputation basically crashed and burned. About one year after Napoleon abdicated the throne then he was exiled to Elba where he would later die in 1821. Later they restored legitimacy to most of the European countries. The leaders of Europe formed the Concert of Europe which met every once in a while to talk and make sure there is a balance of power in Europe.
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