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French Revolution

French Revolution started 13 years after American Revolution and lasted for ten years. The reasons of the revolution were to abolish absolute Monarchy and the feudal privileges of the aristocracy and the Catholic clergy. The most popular reason is the fight against the authority for the achievement of Liberty, Fraternity and Equality. • The first major event of the Revolution was the attacking Bastille prison on july 14 1789, where prisoner were given special treatment.

• In October 1789 the women of Paris marched to Versailles and protested for the shortage of bread. • On 24th June 1790, 31,000 people marched to the National Assembly to demand a republic. • Later, on 17 July 6000 people grouped in the Champs-du-mars, a large field on the edge of Paris – to sign the petition. In 1792 the Guillotine was introduced as the method of execution and war was declared with Austria. • In January 1793 King Louis XVI was guillotined. • In March 1793 the Revolutionary Tribunal was set up.

• In July 1793 Marat was murdered in his bath by Charlotte Corday, who thought that Marat’s death would put an end to extremism and save the Revolution. • In October 1793, Queen Marie Antoinette was executed. • In December 1793 the city of Toulon, which had been under siege, fell to the republican army. On 4 February 1794, slavery was abolished in all the French colonies. • In April 1794 Danton was executed. • From 10th June 1794 to 27th July 1794, the Great Terror took place, during that almost 1400 men and women were executed..

• On 27 July Robespierre was overthrown. • In May 1795 the White Terror started in which Jacobin prisoners were slaughtered and on 20 May there was a major uprising in Paris. • For the first time since 1789, the army was used against the citizens of Paris to quell the insurrection. • The Vendemier rising of 1795 was the last great insurrection of the Revolution. The principles of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity were guaranteed to the people, in spite of the fact that an absolute monarchy had been replaced by a military dictatorship.

By the end of the French revolution, France had reverted to almost dictatorial rule and the democratic institutions had been made ineffective, she had made some definite gains from the Revolution. “Political liberty, social equality, national patriotism were now the permanent heritage of the people of France”

References: Cobb, R & Jones, C. (1988). The French Revolution: voices from a momentous epoch, 1789-1795. Publisher: Simon & Schuster. Dayal, R. (1992). A textbook of Modern European History 1789-1939. Publisher: CBS (India)

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