French Revolution Part I

French Revolution, in French history the period from 1789 to 1799, in the course of which the Ancien Régime was forcibly abolished and political and social relations were reorganized; beyond France, it also had an impact on the world of European states.

The French Revolution emerged from the inability of the Ancien Régime to adapt its structures to the changed social and intellectual situation of the late 18th century and to get a grip on state finances in the face of a huge mountain of debt. The rejection of attempts at reform by the Assembly of Notables (1787/88; “pre-revolution”) and the bankruptcy of 1788 exacerbated the sovereignty crisis that led directly to the revolution of 1789. The in elections to the Estates General complaint books (resulting Cahiers de doléances) reflect the political awareness and reform needs of the population.

The revolution can be divided into three main phases: 1) the establishment and overthrow of the constitutional monarchy (1789–92); 2) the convent rule of the Girondins and Jacobins (1792–94), which in its second half included the dictatorship of the welfare committee (“La Terreur”) under Robespierre; 3) the “bourgeois republic” (1794–99), from 1795 under the Directory.

From the meeting of the Estates General to the removal of the King

On May 5th, 1789, King Louis XVI opened the general assembly; the abolition of press censorship (flood of reform brochures, e.g. “What is the third estate?” by the Abbé Sieyès), and the equality of the third estate, had to do with their compositiontargeted activity of the “patriot party” and the electoral process for the Estates General (especially the participation of the lower clergy on an equal footing with the prelates): The first estate (clergy) sent 291, the second estate (nobility) 270 delegates, the third estate, mostly representatives of the educated bourgeoisie, 578, after the king had allowed him to double the number of his mandates. The third estate, which unsuccessfully demanded voting by heads and not by classes, consisted almost exclusively of reform supporters (main speaker Count Mirabeau); to these also belonged the majority of the members of the first class, who had emerged from the lower clergy; in the second estate, liberal nobles made up a considerable minority. Check to see more about France and other countries in the world.

In a revolutionary act, the third estate was constituted as the National Assembly on June 17, 1789 (“Assemblée nationale”) and on June 20, it vowed not to split up before the completion of a constitution (“Ballhaus Oath”). He was joined by like-minded people from the other two estates until pressure from the Parisian people forced the king’s subsequent approval and Louis XVI. on June 27th called on the other members of the nobility and clergy to join the National Assembly. This declared itself on July 9th. to the constituent national assembly (“Assemblée nationale constituante”). The dismissal of the popular finance minister J. Necker (July 11th) and the concentration of troops around fermenting Paris led to the storming of the Bastille (July 14th; national holiday), for the establishment of a revolutionary city administration under J. S. Bailly and for the formation of the National Guard (citizen militia with blue-white-red cockade under La Fayette). At the same time, the nobility began to emigrate, led by the brothers Louis XVI. , the later kings Louis XVIII. and Karl X.; they tried to get foreign powers to intervene in France.

French Revolution: Excerpts from the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen”

Excerpts from the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen” proclaimed by the French National Assembly on August 26, 1789

The representatives of the French people appointed as the National Assembly, considering that ignorance, forgetting or despising of human rights are the sole causes of public unhappiness and the corruption of governments, decided to solemnly declare the natural, inalienable and sacred rights of the To set people out so that this declaration is constantly in view of all members of society and constantly reminds them of their rights and obligations; so that the actions of the legislative and executive powers can be compared at any time with the purpose of any political institution and are thereby respected accordingly;

Accordingly, the National Assembly recognizes and declares, in the presence and under the protection of the Supreme Being, the following human and civil rights:

Art. I: People are and will remain free and equal in rights from birth. Social differences may only be based on general benefit.

Art. II: The aim of every political association is to preserve natural and inviolable human rights. These rights are freedom, security and resistance to oppression.

Art. III: The nation is the main source of all sovereignty. No corporation and no individual can exercise violence that does not come expressly from the nation.

Art. IV: Freedom consists in being able to do everything that does not harm the other. Thus, the exercise of the natural rights of every human being has only the limits which guarantee other members of society the enjoyment of the same rights. These limits can only be set by law.

French Revolution 1