The of thinking. The American Revolution caused the French

The French Revolution was an uprising in France that resulted in the establishment of France as a republic. It began in 1789 and lasted until 1799. The revolution had major social and political impacts on France. There were many causes of the French Revolution. Some of these causes include debt and taxes, changes in culture, and an ineffective leader. Due to France’s major debt, the king had to raise the taxes. The commoners of France were forced to pay the majority of these taxes, while the nobles and clergy were not expected to pay. The nobles were the ones who held the powerful positions in the government. Commoners and peasants had to deal with manorial rights, which gave nobles the right to overwork and overtax them. The culture had dramatically changed after the Enlightenment Era and the American Revolution. This Enlightenment Era presented new ways of thinking. The American Revolution caused the French to become interested in the concepts of individual liberty and a representative government. King Louis XVI did not realize how bad the conditions were for the commoners in France and never could agree with the nobles on reform ideas. He faced many problems such as a massive budget deficit, an inefficient taxation policy, and massive spending habits. On May 5, 1789 the king, Louis XVI, called together the Estates General because of the financial problems. The Estates were a group of people that represented all the different social groups. The First Estate included the clergy, the Second Estate included French nobility, and the Third Estate included the rest of the population such as peasants. The king made the rule that each Estate would get one vote when voting on the issues.This infuriated the Third Estate because they represented the larger group and knew the First and Second Estate could easily out vote them. After much arguing, the Third Estate decided to break away from the Estates General and form the National Assembly. This outraged the Louis XVI and he ordered the building where they meet to be shutdown. After being locked out of their meeting place, the National Assembly formed the Tennis Court Oath. The Tennis Court Oath “they pledged to remain assembled until a new national constitution had been drafted and implemente” ( The French Revolution began with the Storming of the Bastille on July 14 1789. Revolutionists, who were mostly commoners, stormed the Bastille. They demanded that the military leader of the Bastille give them gunpowder and surrender the prison. The revolutionists needed gunpowder because they were afraid the French army would attack them after they demanded the commoners get more power in the government. The soldiers began firing into the crowd and eventually were forced to give up the prison to the revolutioners. This battle was the starting point of the revolution. The Reign of Terror was the darkest and most violent period of time during the French Revolution. After the death of Louis XVI, radicals took over the government and threaten to execute anyone who got in their way. Anyone who was accused of being opposed to the revolutionary government was executed. The Reign of Terrors purpose was to fight the enemies of the revolution and it lead to over 40,000 deaths . Maximilien Robespierre played a key role during this period. He was the chairman of the Committee of Public Safety and the leader of the radical group known as the Jacobins. “The Committee of Public Safety introduced several new laws. They wanted to make terror an official government policy. This law said that anyone who was even suspected as an enemy of the revolution was to be arrested” ( The Jacobins club was the most influential political group during the revolution. They supported the downfall of the king and the uprising of the French Republic. Robespierre began turning on his own people and executing members that he saw as a threat. After realizing that the state of terror could not continue, the Jacobins overthrew Robespierre and ordered to have him executed. The Reign of Terror ended on July 27, 1794 when Robespierre was executed. The period after the Reign of Terror is known as the Thermidorian Reaction.  This was a time of governmental rebuilding, which eventually lead to the Constitution of 1795. The Constitution of 1795 was more conservative and declared that France be separated into two houses. The Directory was soon put in place and was based off of the Constitution of 1795. The Directory faced many problems such as famine and civil war. Many citizens were unhappy with this new form of government because of the used of military force that The Directory used. Eventually, a general named Napoleon Bonaparte was able to overthrow The Directory. Napoleon created a new government called the French Consulate and crowned himself emperor. This new government brought equality and stability to France, ending the  French Revolution. While Napoleon was in charge he: granted universal suffrage, organized a secret police, granted religious freedom to Jews and Protestants, and created privately owned banks. Under Napoleon’s rule women’s rights were lost and their freedom of speech and press were violated. Along with Robespierre and Napoleon, there were many other key figures that had a major impact on the French Revolution. Jean Paul Marat was a radical journalist and politician during the revolution. He fought for basic rights for the commoners of France. Marat was the editor of “L’Ami du Peuple” and used this newspaper as his voice. He urged for more violence and bloodshed and was eventually killed by Charlotte Corday, who opposed many of the radical leaders of the revolution. Edmund Burke was a British politician, who disagreed with the French Revolution. He expressed his hostility in “Reflections on the Revolution in France”. The French Revolution had many long term and short term effects on Europe. The revolution’s lasting effects include an increased and unified power of the national state, an increase in the feeling of nationalism, and a better life for the commoners of France. The Napoleonic Code had many impacts on Europe. It preserved the social aims of the revolution, protected the interests of the rising middle class, and guaranteed civil liberties. The French Revolution


I'm Neil!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out