Essay about The French Revolution

Submitted By ashleyray
Words: 734
Pages: 3

Ashley Sanchez-Raymundo
English IV
Period 5
Timeline Event

The French Revolution caused many social, political, and economic changes that helped shape the world and still have considerable impact today. The political changes involves the the revolution, such as The Declaration of the Rights of Man as well as France declaring itself a republic have set a new notion of what a government should do and be; by the people, for the people. Social changes also affected the quality of life for many people who otherwise would not have had an opportunity for betterment, much less have a part in the making of laws.
One of the major causes of the revolution is attributed to king Louis XVI being "completely oblivious to the rising tide of of popular discontent" (Friedman, Foner). The powers of the king, which were absolute, allowed him to tax however he pleased. This led to only the Third Estate, the commoners, while the First and Second Estate, the clergy and nobility respectively, paid the brunt of the taxes. King Louis' divine right did not require him to be accountable to his subjects, only to God, and therefore the clergy. This further hindered the oppressed Third Estate. The people of France were being crushed by taxes, and coupled with the harsh winters in the years leading up to the revolution, they were left starving due to crop shortages.
Some of the major social changes at the time were intellectual, there was freedom of speech and press, education became what it is today, libraries and museums were common and were integrated in the education system. All of this by the end of the war in 1799. The quality of life improved dramatically, taxes that had taken half of the income of the Third Estate were abolished in the "Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen" which stated that "Men are born and remain free and equal in rights". This idea is further explained in Articles 4,6, and 11, the main idea being that all citizens have the "right to take part" in the making of the law, through representatives.
Political changes at this time were many. France's movement from monarchy to a democracy took many years and bloodshed. Beginning with the adoption of the "Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen" in 1789 by the National Assembly along with the constitutional monarchy being established and feudalism abolished, France underwent radical changes in thinking; and by 1792 France was a republic, though this only lasted 7 years. From 1792 to 1795 France was ruled by the Committee of Public Safety which controlled France during the Reign of Terror. Initially being set up to defend France by Georges Danton it was taken over by the Jacobins, led by Maximillen Robespierre. Robespierre had beaten out the Girondines, led by Jaques-Pierre Brissot. With Robespierre leading the Committee of Public