The French Revolution

A summary of how the French are bad at choosing leaders

Causes and outcomes of the Revolution

Causes: A political and economic crisis/bankruptcy brought on by the Seven Years' War (1756-1753) and the American Revolution (1775-1783), and new radical ideas about freedom and how the people can have the power in the government.

Outcomes: The spreading of Democratic ideals, the strengthening of the middle class, and the end of the supreme rule of French Monarchs.

The Estates-General

Because of the incoming bankruptcy, the Parliament of Paris insisted that the King of France, Louis XVI call a meeting of the Estates-General. The Estates-General were made up of the three Estates. The First Estate consisted of the Nobles, the Second of the Clergy, and the Third of the common people. The Three Estates merged to create the National Assembly and created the Decrees of August 4th and the Declaration of the rights of Man and the Citizen. This granted every citizens the same basic rights, which are, 'life, liberty, property, security, and the resistance to oppression'. They also limited the powers of the Monarchy and created a one-house legislator.

The Legislative Assembly

The National Assembly disbanded to make way for the Legislative Assembly, which was made up of representatives from the middle class. However, King Louis XVI plotted with the Aristocrats to reclaim the Government. The people responded to this by imprisoning Louis XVI and his family, and in 1793, January 21st, Louis XVI was beheaded. New radical leaders came into power and two political groups, the Jacobins and the Gironde, fought for power. Eventually, the Jacobins won.

Jacobin rule

The Jacobins ruled over the darkest and most terrible period of French history, which was called the Reign of Terror. Under the rule of the Jacobins, Girondists and Girondist supporters were arrested and killed, and courts issued thousands of death sentences. The Jacobins ruled with a Dictatorial Democracy, and suspended civil rights and political freedom. Maximilien Robespierre, a Jacobin ruler, seized control, but was executed as a tyrant on July 28th, 1794. Conservatives took control of the government and drove the power out of the Jacobin's hands. They abolished Democratic reforms (called the Thermidorian Reaction), and replaced the Democratic Constitution. However, people were unhappy with this, and Politicians asked General Napoleon Bonaparte for military support. Bonaparte took control of the government on November 9th 1799.
The participants/revolutionaries in the French Revolution demonstrated their belief system through the way they protested. The revolutionaries used violent methods, such as storming the Bastille, to get their point about needing a change across. It shows how desperate they are as a people for social and economic justice and economy.
The French Revolution -In a Nutshell