French Revolution

The French Revolution was the second in a series of Atlantic Revolutions in which the middle and lower classes revolted against the wealthy elites in order to reform French society. The French Revolution was heavily influenced by the American Revolution which is reflected in the goals of the french revolutionists.

The National Assembly was a group that created laws that consisted of three "estates" that represent different groups of the French populace. The three groups were the clergy (1%), the nobility (1%), and the commoners (98%). This shows under representation of the common man that led to the revolution.

Marie Antionette, as shown above, was the wife of the French king, King Louis XVI, who married into the royal family to create peace between France and Austria. This caused the French populace to have hatred for her and wanting to remove her from power, fueling the revolution.

The Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen, seen above, was drafted by the group of representatives of French commoners called the National Assembly. The document launched the revolution. Later, Olympe de Gouges attempted to use the Declaration to fight for women's rights.

King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette getting brutally beheaded, marking the beginning of the Terror of 1793-1794. The Terror of 1793-1794 was a period of the revolution in which there was much blood shed and fear amongst the peoples.

Napoleon is often credited with taming the revolution, as he preserved many of its more moderate elements such as civil equality. He represents convalescence of the revolution, as he was the strong, dominant leader in France who lead the recovery period in a way that kept the best parts of the revolution intact while creating an empire in Europe through conquest in order to spread the ideas that resulted from the revolution.

The French revolution relates to the stages of a revolution and follows the model as described by Crane Brinton's Fever model of the revolution. The first stage of a revolution, or the symptoms, is when the middle class becomes frustrated by the government because the government fails in doing its job and fails its people. This is shown by the national assembly an the american revolution which showed the french people that a revolution is possible and gave them a driving force to lead a revolution. The second stage of the french revolution is shown by the taking of the Lost Bastielle which shows the people becoming frustrated with the government and taking back the people who were being put into jail. This also served as a fuel for the revolution because it showed them that they could have a revolution. The third stage is the climax of the revolution is the execution of the king and queen because it meant that they could start a new government without a monarchy. The final stage is that of recovery from the revolution where they had to reform the government and create a new country. This is shown in the killing of Robespierre and the institution of Napoleon as the leader.


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