Louis XVI (23 August 1754 – 21 January 1793) was Kingof France and Navarre from 1775 until 1791, after which hewas subsequently King of the French from 1791 to 1792,before his deposition and execution during the FrenchRevolution. His father, Louis, Dauphin of France, was the sonandheir apparent of Louis XV of France. Due to the Dauphinsdeath in 1765, Louis succeeded his grandfather in 1774. The first part of Louis reign was marked by attempts toreform France in accordance with Enlightenment ideals.These included efforts to abolish serfdom, removethe taille,and increase tolerance toward non-Catholics.The French nobility reacted to the proposed reforms withhostility, and successfully opposed their implementation;increased discontent among the common people ensued.From 1776 Louis XVI actively supported the North Americancolonists, who were seeking their independence from GreatBritain, which was realized in the 1783 Treaty of Paris.
The french revolution led to the end ofmonarchy in France. A society based onprivileges gave way to a new system ofgovernance . The declaration of the rights of man duringthe revolution , announced the coming of anew time. The idea that all individuals hadrights & could claim equality became part of anew language of politics. These nations of equality & freedom emergedas the central ideas of anew age. by arkya bagchi
French Society during the Late Eighteenth Century 1774: Louis XVI of the Bourbon family of kingsascended the throne of France. Under Louis XVI, France helped America ingaining their independence from Britain. France was experiencing financial instability dueto the long years of wars fought by her and the cost of maintaining an extravagant court atthe palace of Versailles. Taxes were increased for meeting the expenses ofmaintaining an army, the court and running government offices or universities.
The French Society was divided into three estates– First Estate: Clergy Second Estate: Nobility Third Estate: Big businessmen, merchants, courtofficials, lawyers, peasants, landless labourers andservants. The first two estates enjoyed certain privileges by birthwhich also excluded them from paying any taxes to the Frenchgovernment. The members of the third estate had to pay taxes to the Statethat included a direct tax and a number of indirect taxes leviedon the articles of daily consumption. Peasants served in the fields and houses of the privilegedclasses and they also built the roads and served in the army. The Church collected taxes known as tithes from thepeasants. The price of the food grains increased with an increase in thedemand for the same. Fixed-waged workers could not afford the expensive foodgrains. Hence, the gap between the poor and the rich widened. by arkya bagchi
18th century: France witnessed the emergence of socialgroups and middle class, who earned through anexpanding overseas trade and from the manufacture ofgoods such as woolen and silk textiles. Philosophers such as John Locke and Jean JacquesRousseau envisaged a society based on freedom andequal laws and opportunities for all. Locke refuted thedoctrine of the divine and absolute rights of the monarch. Rousseau proposed a form of government based on asocial contract between people and their representatives. Montesquieu proposed a division of power within thegovernment between the legislature, the executive andthe judiciary. By arkya bagchi
The Estates General was a political body which hadthe representatives of all three estates. 5th May, 1789: Louis XVI called an assembly of theEstates General for passing proposals for new taxes. The first and the second estates sent 300representatives each and the third estate had 600members. The members of the third estate demanded that thevoting must be conducted by the assembly as a whole,where each member would have one vote. 20th June, 1789: The third estate declared them as theNational Assembly and swore to draft a constitutionfor France that would limit the powers of the monarch. Mirabeau and Abbe Sieyes led the third estate. by arkya bagchi
14th July, 1789: The fortress prison of Bastille was destroyedby the crowd, protesting against the increasing prices ofessential commodities. Rumours spread saying that the manor had hired bands ofbrigands who would destroy their ripe crops. Peasants in several districts attacked chateaux with hoesand pitchforks. Louie XVI finally recognized the National Assembly andagreed that the constitution will check his powers thereafter. 4th August, 1789: The National Assembly abolished thefeudal system, feudal privileges and taxes. Members of theclergy were also forced to give up their privileges, tithes were abolished and lands owned by the Church wereconfiscated. tithes were abolished and lands owned by theChurch were confiscated. by arkya bagchi
Broken chain FreedomBundle of rods or fasces Strength in unityEye with a triangle radiating light KnowledgeSceptre Royal powerSnake biting its tail to form a ring EternityRed Phrygian cap FreedomBlue, white, red National colours of FranceWinged woman lawLaw tablet Equality before law
The Declaration of the Rights of Man and ofthe Citizen is a fundamental document of theFrench Revolution and in the history of humanrights, defining the individual and collectiverights of all the estates of the realm asuniversal. Influenced by the doctrine of"natural right", the rights of man are held tobe universal: valid at all times and in everyplace, pertaining to human nature itself.
The last article of the Declaration of the Rights ofMan and the Citizen was adopted on 26 August1789, by the National Constituent Assembly ,during the period of the French Revolution, as thefirst step toward writing a constitution for France.Inspired by the Enlightenment, the original versionof the Declaration was discussed by therepresentatives on the basis of a 24 article draftproposed by the sixth bureau, led by JérômeChampion de Cicé. The draft was later modifiedduring the debates. A second and lengthierdeclaration, known as the Declaration of the Rightsof Man and Citizen of 1793 was later adopted.
Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Socialdistinctions may be founded only upon the general good. The aim of all political association is the preservation ofthe natural and imprescriptible rights of man. Theserights are liberty, property, security, and resistance tooppression. The principle of all sovereignty resides essentially in thenation. No body nor individual may exercise anyauthority which does not proceed directly from thenation. Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything whichinjures no one else; hence the exercise of the naturalrights of each man has no limits except those whichassure to the other members of the society the enjoymentof the same rights. These limits can only be determinedby law.
Law can only prohibit such actions as are hurtful to society.Nothing may be prevented which is not forbidden by law,and no one may be forced to do anything not provided for bylaw. Law is the expression of the general will. Every citizen has aright to participate personally, or through his representative,in its foundation. It must be the same for all, whether itprotects or punishes. All citizens, being equal in the eyes ofthe law, are equally eligible to all dignities and to all publicpositions and occupations, according to their abilities, andwithout distinction except that of their virtues and talents. No person shall be accused, arrested, or imprisoned except inthe cases and according to the forms prescribed by law. Anyone soliciting, transmitting, executing, or causing to beexecuted, any arbitrary order, shall be punished. But anycitizen summoned or arrested in virtue of the law shall submitwithout delay, as resistance constitutes an offense.
The law shall provide for such punishments only as arestrictly and obviously necessary, and no one shall sufferpunishment except it be legally inflicted in virtue of a lawpassed and promulgated before the commission of theoffense. As all persons are held innocent until they shall have beendeclared guilty, if arrest shall be deemed indispensable, allharshness not essential to the securing of the prisoners personshall be severely repressed by law. No one shall be disquieted on account of his opinions,including his religious views, provided their manifestationdoes not disturb the public order established by law. The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of themost precious of the rights of man. Every citizen may,accordingly, speak, write, and print with freedom, but shallbe responsible for such abuses of this freedom as shall bedefined by law.
Jean-Paul Marat ; 24 May 1743 – 13 July 1793), born inthe Principality of Neuchâtel, was a physician, politicaltheorist and scientist best known for his career in Franceas a radical journalist and politician during the FrenchRevolution. His journalism was renowned for its fierycharacter and uncompromising stance toward "enemiesof the revolution" and basic reforms for the poorestmembers of society. Marat was one of the most extreme voices of the FrenchRevolution and he became a vigorous defender ofthe sans-culottes; he broadcasted his views throughimpassioned public speaking, essay writing andnewspaper journalism, which carried his messagethroughout France.
1791: Constitution drafted. The Constitution vested the power of making laws inthe National Assembly. The members of the National Assembly wereindirectly elected; the citizens voted for a group ofelectors, who in turn chose the Assembly.Only menabove 25 years of age who paid taxes equal to at least 3days of a labourer’s wage were given the status of activecitizens and were allowed to vote. The Constitution also began with a Declaration of theRights of Man and Citizens. Rights such as the right to live, freedom of speech,freedom of opinion, equality before law, wereestablished as ‘natural and inalienable’ rights
1792: The National Assembly voted for declaration ofwar against Prussia and Austria. Revolutionary wars brought losses and economicdifficulties to the people. Large sections of people continued with the revolutionand formed numerous political clubs such as theJacobins. The Jacobin club belonged mainly to the lessprosperous sections of the society. Maximilian Robespierre was the leader of the Jacobinclub. Jacobins wore long striped trousers as opposed to thenobles who wore knee breeches. They also wore a redcap to symbolize liberty.
10th August, 1792: The Jacobins entered the Palace of theTuileries, massacred the king’s guards and held the kingas hostage for several hours. The Assembly voted for imprisonment of the royalfamily. Elections were held and all men of 21 years and above,regardless of wealth got the right to vote. The newly elected assembly was called theConvention. 21ST September, 1792: The Convention abolished themonarchy and declared France a republic. 21st January, 1793: Louis XVI was executed publicly atthe Place de la Concorde. Queen Marie Antoinette met with the same fate shortlyafter.
1793-1794: Known as the Reign of Terror. Jacobins under Robespierre practiced a policy ofsevere control and repression. Those suspected as the ‘enemies’ of the republicwere arrested, imprisoned and then tried by arevolutionary tribunal. These included ex-nobles,clergymen, members of other political parties andthose who criticized the Jacobin’s rule. They were guillotined if the court found themguilty. Robespierre’s government imposed a maximumceiling on wages and prices. Meat and bread were rationed.
Peasants were forced to sell their grain at the pricesfixed by the government. All citizens were required to eat the paind’egalite (equality bread) and discard the use ofexpensive white flour. All French men and women were henceforthcalled Citoyen and Citoyenne not anymore,Monsieur and Madame. Churches were shut down and their buildingsconverted into barracks or offices. July, 1794: Robespierre was arrested andguillotined the next day.
Maximilien de Robespierre was a French lawyer,politician, and one of the best-known and mostinfluential figures of the French Revolution. As a member of the Estates-General, the ConstituentAssembly and the Jacobin Club, he advocatedagainst the death penalty and for the abolition ofslavery, while supporting equality ofrights, universal suffrage and the establishment of arepublic. He opposed war with Austria and thepossibility of a coup by the Marquis de Lafayette. Asa member of the Committee of Public Safety, he wasan important figure during the period of theRevolution commonly known as the Reign of Terror,which ended a few months after his arrest andexecution in July 1794.
The fall of the Jacobin government allowed thewealthier middle classes to seize power. A new constitution was introduced. Voting right to the non-propertied sections of thesociety was denied. The new constitution provided for two electedlegislative councils. These councils appointed an executive consistingof five members, called the Directory. The Directory was formed for avoiding theconcentration of power. Differences arose between the Directory and thelegislative councils which paved the way for the riseof a military dictator, Napoleon Bonaparte.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau writer, and composer of 18th-centuryRomanticism of French expression. His politicalphilosophy influenced the French Revolution as well asthe overall development of modern political,sociological, and educational thought. Rousseaus novel Émile: or, On Education is a treatise onthe education of the whole person for citizenship.His sentimental novel Julie, or the New Heloise was ofimportance to the development of pre-romanticism and romanticism in fiction. Rousseausautobiographical writings—his Confessions, whichinitiated the modern autobiography, and his Reveries of aSolitary Walker—exemplified the late 18th-centurymovement known as the Age of Sensibility, and featuredan increased focus on subjectivity and introspection thatlater characterized modern writing. His Discourse on theOrigin of Inequality and his On the Social Contract arecornerstones in modern political and social thought.
Montesquieu was a French social commentator and politicalthinker who lived during the Age of Enlightenment. He is famousfor his articulation of the theory of separation of powers, which istaken for granted in modern discussions of government andimplemented in many constitutions throughout the world. He mayhave been partly responsible for the popularization of theterms feudalism and Byzantine Empire. Montesquieu was also highly regarded in the British coloniesin North America as a champion of British liberty (though not ofAmerican independence). Political scientist Donald Lutz found thatMontesquieu was the most frequently quoted authority ongovernment and politics in colonial pre-revolutionary BritishAmerica, cited more by the American founders than any sourceexcept for the Bible. Following the American revolution,Montesquieus work remained a powerful influence on many ofthe American founders, most notably James Madison of Virginia,the "Father of theConstitution". Montesquieus philosophy that"government should be set up so that no man need be afraid ofanother" reminded Madison and others that a free and stablefoundation for their new national government required a clearlydefined and balanced separation of powers.
Women had to work for a living and also had to take careof their families. Women were paid lower wages as compared to men. Women started their own political clubs andnewspapers such as ‘The Society of Revolutionary andRepublican Women’. They demanded for equal political rights. The revolutionary government introduced stateschools. Schooling was made compulsory for all girls,marriage could not be forced upon and divorce wasmade legal.During the Reign of Terror, laws wereissued for closing women’s clubs and banningtheirpolitical activities. 1946: Women in France won the right to vote.
Olympe de Gouges born Marie Gouze, was a Frenchplaywright and politicalactivist whose feminist and abolitionist writings reacheda large audience. She began her career as a playwright in the early 1780s.As political tension rose in France, de Gouges becameincreasingly politically involved. She became anoutspoken advocate for improving the condition ofslaves in the colonies as of 1788. At the same time, shebegan writing political pamphlets. Today she is perhapsbest known as an early feminist who demanded thatFrench women be given the same rights as French men.In her Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the FemaleCitizen (1791), she challenged the practice of maleauthority and the notion of male–female inequality. Shewas executed by guillotine during the Reign of Terror forattacking the regime of the Revolutionary governmentand for her close relation with the Girondists.
A triangular slave trade took place between Europe,Africa and America. Slaves were bought from the local chieftains ofAfrica and were sold to the plantation owners in theCaribbean. 1794: The Convention legislated to free all slaves inthe French overseas possessions. However, Napoleon reintroduced slave trade aftersome years. 1848: Slavery was abolished in the French colonies.
Nationalism was an important factor in the developmentof Europe. In the 19th century, a wave of romanticnationalism swept the continent of Europe transforming thecountries of the continent. Some new countries, such asGermany and Italy were formed by uniting smaller stateswith a common "national identity". Others, such as Romania,Greece, Poland and Bulgaria, were formed by winning theirindependence. The French Revolution paved the way for the modern nation-state and also had a big part in the birth of nationalism.Across Europe radical intellectuals questioned theold monarchial order and encouraged the development of apopular nationalism committed to re-drawingthe political map of the continent. By 1814 the days of multi-national empires were numbered. TheFrench Revolution, bydestroying the traditional structures of power in France andterritories conquered by Napoleon, was the instrument forthe political transformation of Europe.
Revolutionary armies carried the slogan of "liberty, equalityand brotherhood" and ideas of liberalism and national self-determinism. National awakening also grew out ofan intellectual reaction to the Enlightenment thatemphasized national identity and developed a romanticview of cultural self-expression through nationhood. The keyexponent of the modern idea of the nation-state was theGerman G. W. Friedrich Hegel. He argued that a sense ofnationality was the cement that heldmodern societies together in the agewhen dynastic and religious allegiance was in decline. In1815, at the end of the Napoleonic wars, the major powers ofEurope tried to restore the old dynastic system as far aspossible, ignoring the principle of nationality in favour of"legitimism", the assertion of traditional claims to royalauthority. With most of Europes peoples still loyal to theirlocal province or city, nationalism was confined to smallgroups of intellectuals and political radicals.Furthermore, political repression, symbolized by the CarlsbadDecrees published in Austria in 1819, pushednationalist agitation underground.
Censorship was abolished in france. Books, newspapersand plays could now be read and performed withoutthe approval of the censors of the king.The Declaration of Rights of Man and proclaimedfreedom of speech and Citizens expression to be anatural right .Newspapers, pamphlets, books and printed picturesflooded both French towns and countryside.
was a French military and political leader whorose to prominence during the latter stages ofthe French Revolution and its associated wars inEurope. As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of theFrench from 1804 to 1815. His legal reform,the Napoleonic Code, has been a major influenceon many civil law jurisdictions worldwide, but heis best remembered for his role in the wars ledagainst France by a series of coalitions, the so-called Napoleonic Wars. He established hegemonyover most of continental Europe and sought tospread the ideals of the French Revolution, whileconsolidating an imperial monarchy whichrestored aspects of the deposed AncientRégime. Due to his success in these wars, oftenagainst numerically superior enemies, he isgenerally regarded as one of the greatest militarycommanders of all time, and his campaigns arestudied at military academies worldwide.
1804: Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himselfEmperor of France. Napoleon saw himself as a moderniser of Europe.He introduced laws such as the protection ofproperty and a uniform system of weights andmeasures provided by the decimal system. Napoleonic army was initially viewed to be aliberating force but soon it was seen as an invadingforce. 1815: Napoleon was defeated in the Battle ofWaterloo. The French ideas of liberty and democratic rightsspread to the rest of Europe and inspired manyindividuals and societies.