French Revolution

On the morning of July 1789 French Paris there was an atmosphere of terror. Rumors were spreading in French. The King of France wants to open fire on people of France. And he wants his soldiers to kill the people. This news spread in the entire French like fire in petrol. There was an atmosphere of fear among the public regarding this news. People thought that it is better to be killed by doing something than to die like this.

7000 men and women gathered in front of the Town hall. They discussed if we want to stand up and rebel against the king then we will need weapons for that. Why not forcefully loot the weapons kept in government buildings ? They looted from Bastille jail. Jail commandant – Bernard-Rene Jourdan de Launary.

Why did this happen ?How did this happen ?France during late 18th century. Louis IV. King of Bourbon family at age 20 married Australian princess Mary Antonnette. In the time France had a debt of more than one billion libero and there was already a debt of 2 billion libero. So tax imposed to people increased in increased rate.

18th century, France was divided into 3 estates.Three estates: The society of 18th century France was devided into three classes or estates.The clergy was the first estate, the Noble were the second estate and the third estate, which formed the majority of population, included the middle classes, the the artisans, the city workers and the peasants.

1.Estate clergy ( people worked in Church ).

2. Estate Nobility ( King and his family ).

3. Remaining people ( businessmen, merchants, lawyer, farmer, labour etc.)

90% of entire population of French were farmers. Even they are large in number they had no land. 60% of land with 2nd estate . Only rich people in 3rd state had land.

The tax which went to the church by the farmers was called tithe. Tithe was the one tenth part of the crop. King imposed tax on tobacco, salt etc.

1715 – 2.3 crore population of France.1789 – increased to 2.8 crore.

Demand increased and scarcity in food and death due to starvation. Rich became more rich, poor became more poor.

Revolt occured. In that time, people had became more Educated. They danded that the rights of the people should not be decided by their birth but on the basis of their merit in the society.

John Locke -( English philosopher and physician ) Jacques Roussesau (Genevan philosopher, writer and composer ) were in front.

They also believed that there should be such a society where everyone has freedom, equal laws for all and government should be such that it listens to the people. Later wrote book. Two features of government where the monarchy government was fiercely opposed. Outbreak of Revolution. The Estate general was a political body in which all the estates send their respective respresents live.

Estate General decided that the new tax proposals had to be approved.

Estate general last meeting was convened in 1614. Louis XVI called a meeting again on 5 May 1789 to increase the new taxes. In which 1st estate had 300 representatives, 2 nd estate – 300 representatives, and 3 rd estate – 600 representatives.

Farmers and artisans were not allowed in this meeting. They send his complaints and demands in 4000 letters to the assembly. Each estate had 1 vote each – not every representative allowed to vote.

3rd estate proposal to vote by every one did not accept by king. And all their people gathered in the indoor tennis court of Versailles on 20th June. Until we make a constitution in which the king has less power, we will continue to fight together. He declared himself a national assembly. National Assembly in which Mirabean – French , Abbe Sieyes – French Author were members. Meantime Death due to starvation increased. And on 14 July Bastille Jail revolt occured.

On the night of 4 August 1789 National assembly passed an order in which the people of the first estate were ordered to return the land that you have taken in the name of the church.

In France one-tenth part of the crop which is given as tax in the church, that is tithe. People demanded it should be stopped. The government got the benefit of 2 billion lives. Now gradually national assembly made a new constitution in 1791.

Divided the government equally into three parts – Legislative, executive, Judiciary.

L – who makes laws/rules. E- Who sees weather the law is being followed. J- Judiciary works for L.

Following were the major ideas enlisted in the Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen.

>> All men are born free and equal.>>Equality before law.>>Principle of innocent until proven otherwise.>>All people were eligible to the public offices.>>Freedom of speech and press>>Right to private property unless the public welfare necessitates to infringe this right.>>The society has a right to demand accountability from each civil servant.>>The document gave the term nation its modern meaning ie. nation is sum total of the people residing in a territory and not the territory itself. From the idea of Nation followed the idea of Sovereignty of the people Thus people were the source of all power and authority and there can not be any ruler above the people but only a republic.

The wars were fought from 1792 to 1802, by France, against the absolute monarchies of Austria, Prussia, and Savory ( Italian State) as the latter desired to protect their own hold on power from being eroded by ideas of liberty and equality.

They are known as Revolutionary wars because France was trying to protect the revolution of 1789, which was under threat from neighbouring monarchies who were afraid of the French revolution spreading to their countries.

The abolition of slavery after French revolution was the first move against this repressive system and Britain followed suit in 1833 while USA banned it in 1865.

It led to destruction of Feudalism in France as all laws of oldIt led to destruction of Feudalism in France as all laws of old Feudal regime were repealed and lands of the nobles and church were confiscated and redistributed.

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