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An Analysis of French Revolution

An Analysis of French Revolution

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Published by cantutr
French Revolution, Napoleon, King Louis
French Revolution, Napoleon, King Louis

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Published by: cantutr on Dec 20, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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An analysis of French Revolution and Beyond
 The French Revolution (1789-1799) and the periodfollowing is an important era, in which France –previously amonarchy rule– under went radical changes and became arepublic. First of all, one of the most important causes to theRevolution is the Enlightment. The grim economic and politicalstate of France also combined with the incompetent rule of KingLouis XVI are also one of the things that triggered the FrenchRevolution. People were hungry, shortage of basic food such aswheat and potatoes lead to famine. The immense amount of debt King Louis took from the nobles drove the state tobankruptcy. The King’s indifference and excessive luxuriousspending did not help the situation.People demanded change and to be represented.Demands of the people of France forced King Louis XVI to giveinto their demands and gather an assembly – a sort of parliment– where people were represented to a degree. Still, thecommoners were not happy and gathered in an indoor tenniscourt to write a new constitution for the government. The Tennis Court Oath is considered the start of the Revolution. TheKing was afraid of these changes and called his guard regimentto protect him but the commoners thought this regiment wouldmassacre them. An angry mob stormed the prison of Bastille,set the prisoners free and seized the guns and weaponarywithin. Paris went into anarchy and people (mostly women)marched to the palace of the King in Versailles to take him backto Paris. They did so and radical revolutionaries beheaded KingLouis XVI there. Government collapsed with the death of theKing and there was quite a chaos. Eventually MaximillianRobespierre took power and a period called ‘Reign of Terror’started, where thousands of aristocrats and nobles wereexecuted. Eventually, Napoleon Bonaparte – a brilliant tacticianand leader – took control of the army and with a coup d’état,
proclaimed himself Emperor. Napoleon was indeed a brilliantand an agressive leader. He invaded and controlled almost all of the European continent along with vast colonies in Africa andIndochina. Technologically, the French Revolution and the followingera marks advances that are fitting to the characteristics of therevolution and beyond. Some of the major technologicaladvances that were made during this period are:Inventing of chemically manifactured saltpeter. Saltpeter isactually Sodium Nitrade and it is the main component of gunpowder. This was used widely for production of gunpowderfor the revolution and for the wars that were fought afterwards.Also this chemical was used in fields of medicine. Manifacturingof this material reduced France’s dependance on imports – amuch needed feature at the time.Invention and usage of balloons. Making of Balloons usingheated air helped French armies get beter reconnaissance andenabled them to fight more aggressively.Invention and development of the early telegraph, whichgreatly improved communications all over the country. This wasno doubt an important technological advance, widely used bythe central government in Paris and the army.Steam Engines and Railroads were invented and usedduring this period of advancing steel industry. I think this is alsovery important advance for a central government to transportmaterials and men across great distances with speed. Buildingof mass railroad Networks improved the infastructure. This alsowas of great help to the French armies for their aggressivetactics of invasions. The cumulative effects of these technological advancesseem to be urging Napoleon for massive invasions with speed
and improving the French aggressiveness, something that isalso featured in their Emperor Napoleon. It is without doubtthat these advances made it easy for Napoleon’s Empire tomaintain control of the conquered lands.If we look at the social points of view of the FrenchRevolution, we see that the commoners, the people who usedto be ignorant and obedient, became more aware of politics andstate of the country. They started to look for their own rightsand they sought to be represented in the governing of thecountry. In the end when they were not satisfied, they tookwhat they wanted with bloodshed: the French Revolution.Women who were passive citizens played a very importantrole during and after the revolution. They too fought for whatthey believed in and showed that they made patriots as muchas men did. Women played an aggressive and sometimesviolent role within the revolution, they requested and then didbore arms fort he revolution. Women writers supported therevolution and also began to speak of their rights to be equalwith men in multiple aspects, which they recieved to somedegree at the time.I think an obvious connection can be made between thepolitical arena of France and the leaders. Under the reign of King Louis XVI the country was poor and hungry, whilearistocrates lived in luxury. I think this resembles to theincompetence of the King and the selfishness of the nobility.After the revolution, the leaders of the revolutionaries fought

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