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French revolution

The enlightenment during the French revolution of the 18th century led to the introduction of new thinking ways regarding issues like religion and politics. The enlightenment experienced during this period gave shape to the French revolution policies. During the enlightenment period, there was increased interest to learn, use of logic and also reason. The traditional beliefs which had been held for a long time were being re-examined with some being discarded. The astronomical studies of this period saw the geocentric theory being replaced with heliocentric theory.

Many enlightened thinkers of this period rejected the divine right belief. They believed that the governance of the universe was not as a result of random chaos but on the contrary, its governance was formed in a way as to follow set of laws which were fixed. These enlightened thinkers also believed that understanding the fixed laws governing the universe was the key to understanding of secrets of universe. They also questioned the validity to Christian believes which led to the emergence of secularism and atheism cultures. Enlightenment led to the separation of the church and nation leading to formation of a secular France nation .

This research will evaluate the major events that took place during the Napoleon era and their impact on the different sectors of administration and also the cultural settings of France. Major Events during the French Revolution between 1799 and 1815 and Their Impacts on Social, Political and Cultural Policies Prior to the Napoleon era, Germany was not having a well defined national identity and it was made up of groups of states which were united by commonality in their language, cultural ties though they were vague and a weak government made up of the Roman Empire.

During this period, Germany was under the French rule being governed by napoleon. Napoleon was a great advocate for rationalism which was the dominant French enlightenment tradition. The Germans on the other hand started to rebel against this rationalism form of administration and introduced the romanticism and nationalism. The French idea of enlightenment is thus credited for having propelled a political reaction in Germany as well as opened doors to intellectual advancement in this region which led to the evolution of romanticism and nationalism.

Politically, French revolution thus helped in the development of a nationalism and romanticism form of governance in Germany . Napoleon was one of the enlightened monarchs who took over power in 1799. Prior to this period, the church and the state had been separated with the protestant churches being completely sidelined. When he took over power, napoleon incorporated the church to be part of the state. The protestant churches were also granted the right to exist. However, napoleon was against the churches independence and thus national synods were not organized by the churches.

The churches were divided as by the state and classified into districts. The individual parishes which existed before this period were integrated. Pastors were also being paid by the states with conversions prohibited. The enlightenment period thus had a great impact on the social policies which were being implemented during this era . During his reign, napoleon implemented a set of rules commonly referred to as the napoleon code or the civil code. These laws or codes include the penal code, the criminal procedure and the civil procedures.

These codes had long effects to France governance even in the latter years. Under these new set of rules, napoleon aimed at abolishing all the different rules which were being practiced by different provinces and replace them with standardized rules to govern the whole country. He reformed the taxation systems and led to an overhaul in the financial system in France when the led to the creation of the bank of France. The introduction on new set of rules led to a complete overhaul on the political as well as social policies in the country.

These set of rules also sought to equalize all citizens in the country as per the law . This era also show changes being made in the social and cultural settings. The women were for example allowed to trade independently in chattels unlike in earlier years. However, these women had to be permitted by their husbands to carry out such trade. The civil code is regarded as the root of recognition of women in the country. The civil code on the other hand outlined strict divorce laws and also gave more power to men as heads of their family.

The fathers were given power to imprison their children to a period of one month. Some of these rules were limiting revolution and especially the freedom of women . Another characteristic of this era was marked by the improvement of the public works. Canals and harbors were constructed during this period and roads were significantly improved. More schools were also built thus ensuring that most of the children had access to education. More private schools were also constructed thus ensuring France had a literate community.

This improved the social status of the citizens as well as the country. The cultural divisions were also reduced with implementation and enhancement of public works and education facilities. The revolution era between the year 1799 and 1815 also saw the reduction of the rule of terror which was symbolic in the earlier regimes. However, despite the achievements, this enlightenment era was marked by dictatorship. For example, napoleon cracked down and closed most of the newspapers and press rooms since they were criticizing his administration.

Napoleon was a military adventurer and during his governance, most of French citizens lost their lives . Another important phase of this revolution period was the Louisiana Purchase in 1802. During this transaction, a big portion of northern America was sold to United States. This marked new boundaries for French emperor. The Louisiana Purchase was seen as a cleaver move by napoleon which was done because napoleon was aware that he could not defend it successfully. Abolition of the revolutionary calendar by napoleon also marked a change in the social and cultural policies in the country.

Prior to its abolition, workers had to work for ten day-week which left them with few resting hours. This calendar was opposed by the Catholic Church since it was seen as a means to eliminate church its activities in the country. This calendar was also inconsistent with the rhythms of trade and other trading affairs. This had an impact on the cultural, political and social policies in France during the revolution period.


Elton, Matthew: The Enlightenment and the French Revolution. Retrieved on 3rd February 2009 from, http://www. Moore Richard: Civil Code or Code Napoleon (2006). Retrieved on 3rd February 2009 from, http://www. napoleonguide. com/codenap. htm. SparkNotes LLC: Napoleonic Europe (1799-1815): German Nationalism and Romanticism under French Rule. Retrieved on 3rd February 2009 from, http://www. sparknotes. com/history/european/napoleonic/section7. rhtml. Women in World History: The French Civil Code (Napoleonic Code) 1800-1820. Retrieved on 3rd February 2009 from, http://www. womeninworldhistory. com/TWR-07. html.

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