BeginningKing Louis XVI had depleted the royal treasury and multiple years of cattle disease, drought, and insufficient harvests as well as inflated bread prices had ignited unease among the poor. After virtually going bankrupt, the French regime requested for Charles Alexandre de Calonne to create a solution. The tax reform he proposed did not exempt the nobles from taxation. To gain support for the reform, the king summoned the Estates-General May 4, 1789. The reforms suggested infuriated the aristocrats, the implementations the third state also advocated for did nothing to quell the rising temper of elite. Subsequently following the meeting’s return from adjournment, the third estate representatives attempted to return to the conference room but was impeded by a locked door.
This act prompted an epiphany for the rejected estate, they were the majority- why were they allowing themselves to be subjected to this behavior. These revelations encouraged the bourgeois to create the National Assembly.DuringJune 14, 1789 was a monumental date for the revolution since it marked the first major transgression against the monarchy. The National Assembly locked their eyes on Bastille Fortress to gain access to the plethora of ammo and the extensive weapons cache stored inside. After a day of the armed rioter’s assault, the prison of Bastille was seized by the revolutionaries. The general leading the defense of Bastille ordered a ceasefire to avoid his troops being massacred, despite this, he was still beaten and decapitated; his head placed on a pike and paraded around the city as a trophy to symbolize their triumph.The French king, Louis XVI was executed early 1793 for his crimes against the people. The “Reign of Terror” was the time period that followed the king’s demise, it took place between June 1793 and July 1794.
This event was triggered by the Jacobins- a radical group of insurgents that removed control from the moderates in the National Convention. During these years, the callous ratifications instituted caused lawlessness chaos, at least 16,594 people were killed by guillotine. June 2, 1793, Jacques Roux and Jacques Hebert gained control of the Convention.
They composed political and administrative purifications and established a low, fixed price for bread. The first constitution (the French Constitution of 1793 or Constitution of the Year 1) was progressive for its time, facilitating universal male suffrage and other aspects, but it was never taken into effect due to the legal processes being suspended. On August 22, 1795, the government was altered again- this time to a bicameral legislature. The Directoire (a five member directory appointed by Parliament) would hold the executive power.
However, following the trends of the previous French revolutionary governments; corruption permeated throughout the Directoire’s four year reign. By the late 1790s, the Directoire was completely dependent on the military to preserve their semblance of authority. Nonetheless, November 9, 1799, Napoleon Bonaparte staged a coup d’etat and appointed himself as consul. This event signified the end of the French Revolution and the beginning of the Napoleonic eraAftermathThe French Revolution is often lauded as one of the most consequential events in the history of mankind. It paved the way for representative based governments, since no other kingdoms wanted to go through the same grievances France did. Many revolutions were committed against the countries that did not change their government or revise the rules of the monarchy since the common people were inspired by the French and American Revolution.
France’s inner turmoil is said to be one of the most influential events in history because of all of the changes it caused. The whole world was shaken to the core during and after the revolution. The worldwide consequences of the French Revolution culminated many never seen before circumstances; the spread of enlightenment ideas throughout Europe, as well as the end to the Clergy’s appalling tyranny.
Priests were no longer allowed to parade themselves to be ‘holier than thou’. The Revolution said no to any preferential treatment. Everybody works, everybody pays taxes, no exceptions, and economy-wise things improved drastically. People started getting paid for the work they did and could afford the bare minimum required to sustain life.
Other countries switched to representative based governments from fear such as: Spain, Austria, Holland, etc.Influential FiguresKing Louis XVI reigned as King of France between September 4, 1791 and September 21, 1792. He was influential because he deregulated the grain market, which in turn made bread prices go through the roof, and when harvests were bad, food scarcity was common and the poor would revolt against King Louis XVI.
He also signed the Treaty of Paris in 1783.His reign ended when the monarchy system was overthrown and he was executed by guillotine.Napoleon Bonaparte ruled with Jean Jacques and Charles-Francois Lebrun from November 10th 1799 to May 18th 1804 when Napoleon ruled france by himself as a dictator.
Napoleon influenced many parts of the world with his Napoleonic code such as the Netherlands and Belgium and he may be responsible for modern day Germany. He died May 5th 1821.Robespierre ruled over the Committee of Public Safety during the “Reign of Terror”. Robespierre executed over 40,000 he assumed did not agree with his or the revolution’s ideas. The Committee of Public Safety took other measures to control French society.
Robespierre called this the Republic of Virtue. He tried to de- Christianize France but failed due to the overwhelming amount of Catholics. He was later guillotined for treason in 1794.