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Day 32 – Q.1 What were the main causes and events of the French Revolution, and how did it shape the course of modern European history?

  • IASbaba
  • December 29, 2022
  • 0
GS 1, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing, World History
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What were the main causes and events of the French Revolution, and how did it shape the course of modern European history?

फ्रांसीसी क्रांति के मुख्य कारण और घटनाएँ क्या थीं और इसने आधुनिक यूरोपीय इतिहास की दिशा को कैसे आकार दिया?


Approach

Candidates can start the answer by giving idea of French revolution and as per demand simply write causes political, social, religious and economic also highlight prominent events. In the write about how it led the modernism in Europe.

Introduction

French Revolution was an important chapter in the history of Europe. It marked a turning point in the history of humankind. The French Revolution put an end to the age-old absolute monarchy, feudal laws and social inequality. For the first time ideas like “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity” were introduced.

Body

Causes and events:

Political:

  • Despotic rule: From 1553 there was the despotic rule of the Bourbon dynasty in France. The complete centralization of power alienated all sections of the society.
  • The incompetence of Louis XVI: From his accession in 1774, Louis XVI had faced a worsening financial situation, compounded by the money and troops sent to assist the Americans in the war against Britain.

Religious:

  • Luxurious Clergies: The clergies of France were included in the upper class. They hardly paid any taxes and had strict controls on people social life. However, Clergy and their institutions were rampant with immoral activities which angered the common people.
  • Roman Catholics and their monopoly: Reformist Protestants were minorities. Since they advocated reforms, the clergy persecuted them and even charged them with blasphemy.

Economic:

  • Feudal economy: The government did nothing to improve farming, feudal too neglected it and exploited farmers. The sustained neglect was the main cause of the Serfs revolt against the king.
  • Unsatisfied merchants: There was ample mineral wealth in France. Many rivers like Sen, Rhoan, Luar and Atlantic, the Mediterranean seashore was useful for the development of trade. However, due to uncertain taxation and legal hurdles merchants were highly dissatisfied with the monarchy.

Events:

  • After being locked out of the meeting of the Estates-General, they moved to an indoor tennis court where they pledged the so-called Tennis Court Oath, vowing to remain there until a new constitution had been written.
  • France was proclaimed a constitutional monarchy, while the National Assembly was dissolved and replaced by a new political body named the Legislative Assembly.

Modern Europe due impact of French revolution:

  • Nation State: Napoleon carried ideals of the Revolution to the rest of Europe: Liberty, Modern Laws, Democratic Rights, protection of private property. This, in turn, gave rise to Modern Nationalism paving way creation of the sovereign nation-state.
  • Declaration of rights of man: The constitutional assembly came out with the document of human rights which granted political liberty, like freedom of speech, press, association, worship, and ownership of property.
  • Revolutionary ideas: The revolution gave birth to the revolutionary ideas of liberty, equality, and fraternity in Europe. These ideas started in France and spread to other areas like Italy, Germany, etc. promoting equality, freedom and democracy, and good governance.
  • Political Parties: These parties kept the government under check and balance by criticizing bad policies.

Conclusion

Thus, the importance of the French Revolution laid in laying the foundation of Modern States based on Liberal Democratic ideals. Also, indirectly it laid the groundwork for the growth of Socialism and Communism by providing an intellectual and social environment in which these ideologies could flourish.

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