French Rev 1

  • By Jasmine Ewing

     When the government's monopoly of power is effectively challenged by some groups who no longer recognize its legitimate authority, no longer grant it loyalty, and no longer obey its commands.Dual or multiple sovereignty is the identifying feature of a revolutionary situation - the fragmentation of an existing polity into two or more blocs, each of which exercises control over some part of the government and lays claim to its exclusive control over the government. A revolutionary situation continues until a single, sovereign polity is reconstituted.

      One interpretation from this definition is that a revolution will continue until a single sovereign order has been restored either by agreement or force.A good example in the French Revolution is the events leading up to the overthrow of the Constitutional Monarch on August 1792—often called the “Second Revolution”—and the establishment of the First French Republic.After the establishment of the Republic, the level of violence grew as the Republican regime sought to repress counter-revolutionary movements in France (Federalist revolts and the Vendée uprising) while struggling at the same time to prevent defeat in war by the combined forces of Austria, Prussia, and Britain.

        This great drama [the French Revolution] transformed the whole meaning of political change, and the contemporary world would be inconceivable if it had not happened. . . . In other words it transformed men's outlook. The writers of the Enlightenment, so revered by the intelligentsia who made the Revolution, had always believed it could be done if men dared to seize control of their own destiny. The men of 1789 did so, in a rare moment of courage, altruism, and idealism which took away the breath of educated Europe.