French Revolution

The storming of the Bastille, on 14 July, 1789; painting by Jean-Pierre Houël

The French Revolution was a revolution in France from 1789 to 1799. It led to the end of the monarchy, and to many wars. King Louis XVI was executed in 1793. The revolution ended when Napoleon Bonaparte took power in November 1799. In 1804, he became Emperor.

Before 1789, France was ruled by the nobles and the Catholic Church. This is The ideas of the Enlightenment were beginning to make the ordinary people want more power. They could see that the American Revolution had created a country in which the people had power, instead of a king. The government before the revolution was called the "Ancient (old) Regime".

Causes of the revolution

Many problems in France led up to the Revolution:

  1. Under the Kings Louis XV and Louis XVI, France had fought against Prussia and the British Empire in the Seven Years' War. They also fought against Britain again in the American Revolution. They borrowed much money to pay for the wars, and the country became poor. The king and queen considered themselves representatives of God on earth and thus, did not pay attention to people's sufferings
  2. The high price of bread and low wages given to workers caused the ordinary people to suffer from hunger and malnutrition. This made them dislike the rich nobles, who had the money to eat well and build huge houses.
  3. The Roman Catholic Church, which owned the most land in France, put a tax on crops called the dime (tithe) which hurt the poorest and hungriest people as they were not able to afford the tax.
  4. Ideals of Enlightenment. Many people disliked absolute rule by the royalty and the nobility. They could see that in other countries, such as in the United States, which, in this time period, had just been formed, people like them had more power over the government. They also wanted freedom of religion.
  5. The first and the second estate i.e., the Clergy and the Nobility, enjoyed all the privileges and rights but the third estate (everyone else) had to pay tithes and taille (taxes paid to Church and the court).
Other Languages
Afrikaans: Franse Rewolusie
Bân-lâm-gú: Hoat-kok Kek-bēng
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Француская рэвалюцыя
brezhoneg: Dispac'h Gall
Fiji Hindi: French Revolution
한국어: 프랑스 혁명
Bahasa Indonesia: Revolusi Perancis
interlingua: Revolution francese
Interlingue: Francés Revolution
Basa Jawa: Revolusi Prancis
къарачай-малкъар: Уллу француз революция
Kreyòl ayisyen: Revolisyon franse
Lëtzebuergesch: Franséisch Revolutioun
Lingua Franca Nova: Revolui Franses
Bahasa Melayu: Revolusi Perancis
Nederlands: Franse Revolutie
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Buyuk fransuz inqilobi
Qaraqalpaqsha: Fransuz ko'terilisi
slovenščina: Francoska revolucija
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Francuska revolucija
vepsän kel’: Sur' francine revolücii
Tiếng Việt: Cách mạng Pháp