The Significance of the French Revolution Essay

July 23, 2017 General Studies

Prior to 1789. France was in a desperate province of conditions. King Louis XVI’s authorities was confronting fiscal troubles. and faced with few other options. the male monarch imposed revenue enhancements on the people. What ensued was an detonation of fury in the Gallic center and working category that had been built up over the last 100 years–what we now call the Gallic Revolution. While the Gallic Revolution. like many other revolutions. occurred in response to the government’s incompetency. what sets it apart from other revolutions in Europe is that it marked the birth of democracy. This construct. though idealistic in theory and taking to a big figure of deceases. abuse of power. and complete panic. gave rise to equality of conditions. power in the people. and mostly. the foundation beneath the democracy the universe has come to accept today.

One of the greatest illustrations of the Gallic Revolution’s significance was the extent of the integrity the Gallic experient subsequent to the Revolution and Napoleon. For 100s of old ages. the Gallic people knew what it was like to populate under the regulation of an bossy monarchy. and they thrived under such regulation. Louis XI. besides known as the Spider King. every bit good as the ill-famed Louis Fourteen are both noteworthy illustrations of successful Machiavellian swayers who used their power sagely and consolidated the classes’ needs. and in consequence. created a consolidative state. What made the swayers of the Gallic Revolution. specifically Robespierre and Napoleon peculiarly different and successful. though. was genuinely secular leading that paid attending to persons of all categories.

Much more so than earlier. during the Gallic Revolution. Robespierre appealed to the San Culottes. efficaciously altering monetary value controls so that the working category could afford nutrient at nice monetary values. In return. Robespierre got an ardent battle to the decease from his working category provincials. and in consequence. mobilized the entire war attempt. utilizing each person expeditiously and therefore get the better ofing the remainder of Europe’s ground forcess convincingly and efficaciously. Clearly. had it non been for the difference of the lower categories. France would non hold been winning on all foreparts. and the Gallic Revolution Robespierre and the Mountain’s Reign would non hold made the impact it did.

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Similarly. Napoleon was different than old Gallic swayers and more successful in big portion due to his enormous diplomatic accomplishment at appealing to all groups of people. In order to solidify his domestic strength. Napoleon worked out legion unwritten understandings with powerful groups in France. these which received favours in return for their services. Napoleon’s celebrated Civil Code of 1804 appeased and gained the support of the in-between category when he maintained the two rules of equality of all male citizen and absolute security of wealth and private belongings. Napoleon’s constitution of the Bank of France was besides critical in that it created a organic structure which served the involvements of province every bit good as his authorities. therefore work outing jobs posed by the unhappy Sans Culottes during the reign of the Directory. Thus. by go oning to vouch for this new economic order. Napoleon besides gained support from the peasantry. who saw themselves more sceptered in footings of land and position compared to earlier.

As if this wasn’t plenty. Napoleon besides strengthened the bureaucratism. continually authorising each degree of the bureaucratism and honoring them good for their services ; he besides signed the Concordat of 1801 with Pope Pius VII in order to guarantee the political influence of his ain authorities over church personal businesss. In fact. except for the critical position of adult females. who saw their power diminution dramatically from the existent Gallic Revolution to after the Napoleonic Era. all other categories in France gained became more outstanding and more sceptered. This renewed sense of importance contributed greatly to a loyal. chauvinistic ardor as each citizen felt progressively of import separately and a portion of something great. Under Robespierre and Napoleon. citizens of France began to experience that they could consequence alteration. that France was non merely a king’s state. but a state of the people as good.

No statement over the significance of the Gallic Revolution would be complete without discoursing the political elements that were created during the period of clip. Prior to the Gallic Revolution. France was dominated by absolutist governments. most notably by Louis XIV. With the Gallic Revolution and the creative activity of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen. France was introduced to a constitutional authorities. and the ideal of democracy were unleashed upon the state. Many critics have argued that in all the bloodshed. panic. and Gore of the Gallic Revolution. France really gained nil democratic out of it ; nevertheless. this surely is non true. While the rise of the Mountain and Robespierre. and the unfortunate Reign of Terror could intelligibly be seen as improbably undemocratic. one must look past that to the end Robespierre had intended: to make a society in which “liberty. equality. and fraternity” were emphasized. where the Gallic people could govern as one and non be oppressed by the over-powerful aristocracy.

Granted. what was of baronial purpose finally ended in black panic. but as with all experiments. there are bound to be successes and failures. The same can be said about Napoleon’s reign. Although he was clearly a dictator. he was driven by democratic rules and driven by what was best for the “French democracy. ” From a strictly theoretical point of view. the Gallic Revolution and Napoleonic Era were lessons well-learnt in democracy. because they taught France. every bit good as the remainder of Europe and America. what the bounds of popular regulation was. and that there was such a thing as “tyranny of the bulk. ” as Alexis de Tocqueville dubbed it. Subsequent philosophical thoughts. such as limited popular sovereignty or cheques and balances. were all extremely influenced by the Gallic Revolution and reign of Napoleon. Had it non been for this of import concatenation of events. when would Europe hold learned that democracy was a game that could easy travel incorrect?

There is no difference today that the Gallic Revolution was the most of import revolution to happen in Europe in recent memory. Not merely did it do black results. including a Reign of Terror that was dehumanising. gory. and impossible in this twenty-four hours and age. but more significantly. it set the tone for what a democratic authorities could potentially go. in footings of equality. autonomy. and fraternity. France experienced spots and pieces of all three during the Gallic Revolution. and although it the Napoleonic Era finally ended in a similar state of affairs as compared to before the Gallic Revolution. it was clearly the thoughts and potency of democracy which gave hope to the remainder of Europe for the following twosome of centuries.


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