56 Facts About The French Revolution To Keep You Updated On History | Kidadl


56 Facts About The French Revolution To Keep You Updated On History

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The French Revolution was a 10-year long struggle that brought about several changes in France.

It all began as a protest against the existing social order in France. But it slowly grew to become one of the most violent and most-remembered historic events in the world.

The French Revolution brought centuries-long rule by the French nobility to an end. It was a long decade of political crisis as well as financial crisis in the country. But it demolished many age-old systems that the French people had been abiding by for several years. Some might have known about this revolution from history lessons, and others might have read about it in the book, 'A Tale of Two Cities' by Charles Dickens. From dire inequality to unjust tax norms, several reasons led to the revolution. In the end, the monarchy was overthrown, and a government that treated its citizens as equals was established. It was a decade of struggle that slowly gained momentum and brought an end to centuries-old systems in the country. Here are some facts to brush up on your French Revolution knowledge.

Once you learn about the French Revolution, do check out other interesting articles on the first battle of the Revolutionary War and American Revolution facts here at Kidadl.

French Revolution: When And Why

The very first event that marked the beginning of the French Revolution took place on May 5, 1789. From there, this one lasted until 1799. This was the time when the guillotine became a popular contraption in history. Considering the mass executions that were carried out using this, it was also called the 'national razor'.

Even before the actual revolution started, there were revolts breaking out against the aristocratic rule that prevailed. In 1787, a pre-revolution happened. It started out as a revolt against the monarchy, but then it grew to become violent, which is why most people remember this event to date.

Back when there was a monarchy, France had the concept of three estates, representing the three different social groups: clergy, the nobility, and the commoners. The people in the third estate were suffering as a result of tax exemptions and other benefits for the first two estates.

As the financial crisis of the commoners increased day by day, they found it hard to even have access to the bare essentials like food. Most of this was credited to the wars waged by the king and the exorbitant expenses of the royal family.

Because of these expenses, there was hardly any money left for the common people, and they started rebelling against the rule. This was the prime reason that triggered the French Revolution. To tackle this, there were sensible budgets proposed by Jacques Necker, the finance minister of France. But King Louis XVI was not in favor of this. Instead, he fired Necker.

When things went out of hand, the women of the country led a march and attacked the guards of the palace and the men who formed the National Assembly. The Tennis Court Oath happened in 1789 as a pledge to bring equality to the country. The assembly further became the Legislative Assembly and took absolute control of France; this was when the 'reign of terror began'.

Crimes were not taken lightly under the assembly's rule. Treason in all its forms, as well as suspected treason, was to be punished by the law. As a result, the French Revolution's dark phase was in the years 1793 and 1794.

Maximilien Robespierre, who played a crucial role in the execution of the king, also became the head of the National Convention. The former National Assembly then placed Robespierre and other aristocratic leaders in the revolutionary army under arrest. The whole committee was overthrown and three consults took over the government, marking the end of the French Revolution.

Key Points Of The French Revolution

The beginning of this revolution marked the end of the French monarchy. The last ruler the country had was King Louis XVI, and Marie Antoinette was the last queen under this rule. In place of monarchical rule, a constitutional monarchy was brought in. The ruler, King Louis XVI, was also forced to accept the new French government.

The end of the aristocracy was considered to be at the execution of King XVI. The queen was also beheaded in front of an audience. Her last words were when she apologized to the executioner for stepping on his feet by mistake.

The French Republic, called the First Republic, came into existence in the very same year that the royal family was imprisoned. In the early days of the revolution, there was a group of representatives who belonged to the third estate, and they played a critical role in the revolution until 1791.

Before the formal closure of the king's rule, the royal family was imprisoned by the year 1792. This is one of the most significant events that even paved the way for some historic incidents in modern history. There was a huge impact on religion, art, and several other areas as well.

Before the Legislative Assembly came into existence, there was another body called the National Constituent Assembly, formed by the National Assembly, but this was short-lived. For the French citizens, this revolution came as a boon that helped them finally put an end to the feudal system that had existed for eons.

Besides the actual revolutionary movement within the country itself, there was the Italian war in the Northern Italy region against the Revolutionary army. Napoleon Bonaparte's march into Italian territory to invade the region marked the beginning of the first Italian war.

The Russian Revolution is often the one historic event compared with the French Revolution because of the similar causes of these incidents. The Communist domination of the Russian revolution was one striking difference.

The Irish Rebellion is another historic event that aimed at fighting against social discrimination based on religion and other societal divisions. A Sicilian revolution took place after the French Revolution period, as one of the first of its kind. Following this, there were several other European revolutions.

Among the many revolutionary things that were tried in the French Revolution period, one was the introduction of 10 day weeks, thus creating months with only three weeks. The French Calendar came to an end in the year 1805, and the very next year, the country started following the Gregorian calendar like the rest of the world.

According to the new constitution that was founded in 1795, executive power was vested in the hands of five directors. The French national anthem is well-known for being an anthem that was composed overnight. It is called 'La Marseillaise'.

The National Assembly was responsible for abolishing many political processes in the country. The National Constituent Assembly made sure that all kinds of tax payment discrimination were based on societal classes. Special taxing schemes for the nobility were all shattered. Though the revolution's intention was widely accepted by the people, things did not exactly proceed as predicted.

From being ruled by the king to being ruled by the directors of the national assembly, things were not much different for the people. There was still no sense of equality in several areas, as they had intended.

Another reason was that the leaders of the revolution were growing increasingly inhumane. The guillotine was just an example of how cruel things turned out to be. Maximilien Robespierre is considered one of the most prominent leaders who were in favor of the violence and bloodshed that existed back then. Irrespective of the course of events, as this revolution indirectly established the importance of putting an end to the feudal system, it is known as one of the crucial watershed events in modern history.

French Revolution: A Short Summary

For several centuries, France was ruled by kings. There were social classes in the country similar to those found in most other countries ruled by a monarchy. Things took an ugly turn in 1789 when the country, or rather, the third estate people, went into a state of financial crisis.

A majority of the population belonged to this estate, and they were also the major landowners. However, the minority population of clergy and royals did not have to pay taxes. The bulk of the tax load was on the common people, and even commodities like bread were too expensive for them.

When they were summoned by the rules to discuss the financial state of the country, the people met in a tennis court and decided to put an end to the situation by bringing in a constitution for equal rights of the people, which was the Tennis Court Oath.

From there, one event led to another; the National Assembly was formed; King Louis XVI and his family were executed in public in 1791. Though the revolution itself came to an end by 1799, things were not favorable for the revolutionary army in France.

Their growing strength and the way they put an end to the monarchy inspired similar revolts in other countries. As a result, rulers around the world saw this army as a threat, and this led to numerous wars that took place until 1802.

The Major Events Of The French Revolution

The story of how the National Assembly came into power itself was a major event in the French Revolution. In 1789, before the actual revolution began, the women of the country decided to protest against the rising prices of food, particularly bread. They even attacked the royal guards, and this was when King Louis XVI agreed to talk to the public about the financial situation in the country.

The beheading of King Louis XVI is considered one of the most violent events in the course of the revolution. It is said that there were folks in the gathering that witnessed this execution who actually dipped pieces of cloth in his blood and preserved them as a reminder of the rule they had brought to an end.

The Siege of Paris by the rebels was one of the major events that caused the revolution to take shape. The National Assembly was the party behind this event, and they achieved this feat by breaking into Bastille prison.

The Bastille was attacked not just for the prisoners it held but also for the weapons it stored. The rebels did not have access to many weapons before the Bastille attack.

The Bastille attack was on July 14, and as this was one of the most significant steps in the progress of the revolution, it is celebrated today as a national holiday in France. It was also the day the national anthem of France was first incorporated. So, it is definitely one of the most important dates in the country's history.

Today's French flag also has its origins in the French Revolution. During the Bastille attack, the protestors wore cockades that had the colors blue, white, and red, and this is how the French flag got its colors.

Another critical event that took place before this was the Tennis Court Oath of 1789, where the common people pledged to stay united in the fight to bring a constitution to France.

As the first step to establishing the constituent as intended, the National Assembly released the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in the year 1789. This was an oath of freedom and equal rights.

In 1791, before being arrested, the ruler, Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and others in the royal family left the royal palace in disguise. Their plan of heading to Austria to seek refuge was shattered when the third estate identified them. According to them, the ruler fleeing the country was another act of deceit, and this further worsened their sentiments towards him.

As the revolution took drastic turns in the next few years, 1795 saw the publishing of the Constitution of the Year III, and by 1799, finally, the five directors of the constitution who were in absolute power were replaced by three consults. This was an event that ended the revolution and was called the coup of 18th Brumaire.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for facts about the French Revolution, then why not take a look at when did Revolutionary War start, or facts about the Revolutionary War.

Written By
Lydia Samson

<p>A diligent and driven mass communications graduate from Caleb University, Lydia has experience in media and a passion for digital marketing and communications. She is an effective communicator and team-builder with strong analytical, management, and organizational skills. She is a self-starter with a positive, can-do attitude.</p>

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