The French Revolution | Brief History –

the french revolution It was a social and political conflict, with various periods of violence, which convulsed France and by extension, other European nations that faced supporters and opponents of the system known as the Old Regime. One of the most important events of the Modern Age that we will be unraveling, its background, its causes and consequences, let’s travel back in time to the French Revolution.

The French Revolution | Background

Culturally we are in the Age of Enlightenment and it is in France where it would have greater importance. The French illustration has a great political content. The Natural Right that all men have to life, liberty and prosperity.

The mission of the State will be defend the rights of man, guarantee his liberty, security and property, so the state must be representative and liberal. Enlightened politicians oppose monarchical absolutism and want a regime for France that is based on equality and freedom.

The enlightened writers of the eighteenth century, philosophers, political scientists, scientists and economists, and from 1751, the encyclopedists, all of them commonly called philosophes, contributed to undermine the foundations of the Divine Right of kings.

The prevailing school of thought in France was illustration, whose principles were based on reason, equality and liberty. The Enlightenment had served as an impetus for the Thirteen North American Colonies for the
independence from its European metropolis.

Both the influence of the Enlightenment and the example of the United States served as an ideological “springboard” for the beginning of the revolution in France.

The French Revolution | Causes

There were several factors that triggered the Revolution, we are going to schematically summarize these causes.

  • France, despite expanding its land for cultivation, continued to use very old farming techniques, typical of the Middle Ages, with a very low production. This low performance coupled with a long period of bad harvestscaused the food prices rise dramatically, this price rise caused the discontent of the population.
  • The bourgeoisie held economic power but they had no access to political power nor the social recognition that they claimed, these were in the hands of the privileged classes, the nobles. So the bourgeoisie too was dissatisfied.
  • The severe financial crisis in which the monarchy was immersed, it was caused by the exorbitant expenses of the court and the State.

All these factors and the discomfort of the different social classes led to a social, economic and financial revolution, ultimately the french revolution.

The tensions, both social and political, long containedwere unleashed in a great economic crisis as a result of two specific events such as:

  • France’s collaboration in supporting the Americans against England in the American War of Independence caused a big deficit in the state coffers.
  • Rising wheat prices and agricultural products.

Discomfort of the population headed towards nobles and high clergywhich despite the economic situation, continued to maintain their privileges, preventing the incursion into public life to the new social classes such as the Bourgeoisie.

The French Revolution | The different stages

Inside of French Revolutiondifferent stages can be seen.

The French Revolution | The Monarchic stage (1789 – 1792)

  • General States (1789)
  • National Assembly (1789)
  • constituent Assembly (1789 – 1791)
  • The Legislative Assembly (1791 – 1792)

The French Revolution | The Republican stage (1792 – 1804)

  • Convention (1792-1795)
  • The Directory (1795 – 1799)
  • The consulate (1799 – 1804)

The French Revolution | The Imperial stage (1804 – 1815)

  • The battles: battle of trafalgar (1805); battle of austerlitz (1805) and the Battle of Jena (1806)
  • The Continental Bloc
  • invasion of Spain (1808 – 1813)
  • Russian campaign (1812)
  • Battle of Leipzig (1813)
  • Battle of Waterloo (1815)

The French Revolution | Most Important Events

Given the complexity of historical process of the French Revolutionit is often very difficult to to study. To facilitate this, we have made a abstract or guide to historical facts more relevant. On this occasion we have focused on the first stage of the Revolutioncovering the periods of General Statesthe National Assembly and the constituent Assembly.

  • May 5, 1789, the Estates General meet (assembly made up of the three estates: the Clergy, the Nobility and the Third Estate) that had been summoned by King Louis XVI.
  • June 17, 1789the Third Estate, representatives of the people, separates from the Estates General of France and establishes itself as National Assembly.
  • June 20, 1789, members of the National Assembly do the “Ball Game Oath”undertaking not to dissolve until enact a constitution for France. The members of the Assembly are joined by part of the lower clergy and 47 members of the nobility.
  • July 9, 1789the Assembly appointed itself “National Constituent Assembly”
  • July 11, 1789, the popular mobilization begins in Paris, a part of the military joins them.
  • July 14, 1789, occurs the Storming of the Bastillea prison of little real importance, but its symbolism was enormous, since it is the historical fact that is considered the beginning of the French Revolution.
  • Between July 20 and August 6, 1789. The revolutionary movements they spread throughout France, from the villages to the cities. New municipalities were created that would only recognize the authority of the National Constituent Assembly. In rural areas, titles to easements, feudal rights, and serfdom titles that had suffocated peasants and those that nobles had enjoyed since the Middle Ages were burned. The assets of the nobility such as castles and palaces were raided. This uprising of the peasants became known as The Great Fear.
  • August 4, 1789the National Constituent Assembly declares the abolition of serfdom or what is the same, the abolition of feudalism, of the payment of tithes, the seigneurial privileges being annulled. This implied that all citizens were equal before the law and before taxes. Access to public office is no longer the exclusive responsibility of the clergy and nobility.
  • August 27, 1789the National Constituent Assembly carries out the “Declaration of the rights of man and citizen”establishing the principle of freedom, equality and fraternity.
  • October 1789, the king refuses to give his consent to the resolutions of 4-Aug and the decrees of 5 and 11-Aug.
  • October 1789the aristocracy held demonstrations in favor of the old regime, causing more discontent in the popular masses.
  • October 6, 1789a crowd marches towards Versaillesand force the King to accept the decrees.
  • The royal court is moved to Paris. Then it is also transferred constituent Assembly.
  • The Count of Artois, brother of Louis XVIleaves France together with other members of the aristocracy, in order to organize from abroad the Counterrevolution.
  • End of 1789 and year 1790Period of relative stability.
  • July 1790It is approved Civil Constitution of the Clergy.
  • November 1790A large part of the ecclesiastics refuses to accept the Civil Constitution of the Clergy. The church is divided, those opposed to the constitution will be called refractory and those who adhere to it, sworn. As a result of the religious conflict, the movement of Counterrevolution.
  • April 1791The papal condemnation of the Civil Constitution of the Clergy.
  • June 20, 1791, The king, Louis XVItries to flee the country and is arrested in Varennes. He is suspended from his duties.
  • July 1791A demonstration of the most radical revolutionaries is strongly repressed, and Martial Law is established.
  • August 1791The emperor of Austria and the king of prussia sign the declaration Pillnitz. In this way, the interventionist policy that the European powers will take is foreshadowed.
  • September. 1791it is approved Constitution of 1791. Louis XVI he accepts it and is reinstated in his functions. He organized a regimen of parliamentary monarchy, introducing the division of powers of Montesquieu.
  • October 1 1791, comes into force the Constitution of 1791 and the constituent Assembly is replaced by the legislative Assembly.
  • November 2, 1971, the Assembly decrees that all emigrants return under penalty of death. Civil marriage and divorce are established.
  • January 2, 1792Decree of January 1, 1789 that establishes the beginning of the ‘Age of History’.
  • April 20, 1792, Start of the War of the First Coalition. France declares war on Austria.
  • August 19, 2792, Lafayettecommander of the National Guard flee to Austria.
  • September 20, 1792, France defeats the Prussians at Valmy.
  • September 21-22, 1792 it declares the year I of the First Republic.
  • November 6, 1792, French victory over Austria, at Jemappes. The French occupation of Belgium begins.
  • December 11, 2792, The trial of the king begins.
  • January 21, 1793, Louis XVI is guillotined.
  • July 1793, death of Marat and the proclamation of the Constitution.
  • 1794, Robespierre’s government and regime of Terror.
  • October 1795, end of the Convention. yesBoard Urge.
  • November 1799, Napoleon Bonaparte’s coup.

The French Revolution | Declaration of Human Rights

One of the most important events that occurred during the revolution was the declaration of the rights of man and of the citizen. This Declaration proclaimed the right to guarantee all citizens the freedom of property, the security of citizens and resistance to oppression. The right of citizens only limits with the right of another citizen of the same society.

Namely, the law as a promoter of equal rights among citizens and only prohibit actions that may be harmful to the rest of society. The freedom of the individual ends where the freedom of another individual begins.

The first time the rights of man were solemnly proclaimed was in the USA on the Virginia Declaration of Rights in 1776 and the US Constitution in 1787, the human rights revolution is a purely European phenomenon.

It will be the French Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen of 1789, the model to be followed by the rest of the declarations promulgated in the 19th and 20th century.

The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 is considered a timeless, unique text, separate from the constitutional text and, therefore, with a universal character, created with a simple, clear and brief text. All these attributes contributed to the Declaration being so successful in France, Europe and in general in the Western World.

The French Revolution | Napoleon

It is evident that the French Revolution cannot be understood without the figure of Napoleon, not because he was one of the instigators of it, but…