The French Revolution was a civil revolt that broke out in France against the absolute monarchy and the Roman Catholic Church, which lasted from 1789-1799. This resulted in the establishment of France as a republic, democratic government and caused the Roman Catholic Church’s necessity, as well as its power to be questioned. The French Revolution ended the thousand-year rule of the monarchy in France and began when King Louis XVI gathered representatives from the 3 social groups called the Clergy, the Nobilities and the Commoners to solve a great national debt and economic crisis France was experiencing.
The American Revolution is believed to have greatly influenced the French, and may have inspired the French Revolution. As the French had a crucial role in the American Revolutionary War, and funded the Americans in their revolution, revolutionary ideas of freedom and independence were spread amongst the two nations, inspiring the French to start their own Revolution.
As well as this, the French Revolution was also influenced by the ideas of the Enlightenment, a movement that promoted reason and science rather than traditions. The Enlightenment gave rise to ideas of equality and liberty of an individual, democracy in governments, nationalism, citizenship and freedom of speech. The Enlightenment also challenged the Catholic Church’s power and the rights of the nobles.
The unfair ways of how common people were treated compared to royalty and nobility formed the ideas of liberty, equality and fraternity, leading to the French Revolution. Unfair taxes that were only directed to the commoners, high society positions that were only to be obtained by nobles, food scarcity that only affected the poor and the royals having power over all caused the commoners to rebel and start the French Revolution.
The French Revolution began when King Louis XVI organised a meeting with the clergy, the nobility and the commoners, known as the Estates General on the 5th of May 1789. This gathering was about the long-running financial crisis that the French government was undergoing. The king supported the nobles and clergy and their voting system, which was voting by estate, disregarding the third estate, the commoners. The French commoners from the third estate proclaimed themselves as the National Assembly as they disliked the way King Louis XVI was dealing with their financial crisis.
As time passed, the King gradually acknowledged the National Assembly’s constitution and their laws that stated all men would be treated as equals when more nobles and clergy joined the third estate. After some time, food became very scarce in France due to poor harvests and it was feared that the King would end the existence of the National Assembly. Then on the 14th of July 1789, the French rebelled against the King, the nobles and the church by attacking the Bastille, a prison were weapons were stored. This prison was the symbol of power for the nobility and the King,...