French Revolution

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The French Revolution lasted roughly 10 years, beginning in 1789 and ending in 1799. The revolution came about because of resentment of the privileges of the aristocracy and the taxation policies of the French government on its people, despite years of bad harvests, to help relieve national debt.

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  • What is the difference between the American Revolution and the French Revolution?

    Q: What is the difference between the American Revolution and the French Revolution?

    A: One of the main differences between the revolutions is the status of countrymen involved in the revolt. For, instance, the American Revolution was between the American colonies and Great Britain. The French Revolution, however, was between French citizens and the French monarchy.
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  • What is Napoleon Bonaparte famous for?

    Q: What is Napoleon Bonaparte famous for?

    A: Napoleon Bonaparte is famous for being a European revolutionary, soldier, statesman and lawmaker. As suggested by Robert Wilde at About.com, he also exhibited some of the first modern dictatorial behavior, silencing political enemies, as well as severely censoring media publications. Within the context of military history, Bonaparte is often remembered and celebrated as one of the most talented and audacious commanders of all time.
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  • What occurred during the French Revolution?

    Q: What occurred during the French Revolution?

    A: During the French Revolution, France saw the end of the monarchy ruling the country and worked towards fair representation for the working classes. During this time, peasants rioted, looted and protested, and a new government was formed.
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  • What led to the French Revolution?

    Q: What led to the French Revolution?

    A: The massive debt of the French state, the resistance of the nobility and clergy toward any tax increases, the growth of Enlightenment philosophy, and a rise in food prices led to the French Revolution. All of these factors destabilized the Ancien Régime and increased the power of commoners.
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  • How did Napoleon come to power in France?

    Q: How did Napoleon come to power in France?

    A: Napoleon came into power in France due to military success in Italy, as well as his attack on the French Revolutionary government while it was under assault by a Parisian mob. On November 9th and 10th, 1799, he was put into power with two other consuls, Sieyes and Ducos.
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  • Was Marie Antoinette killed because of her fashion sense?

    Q: Was Marie Antoinette killed because of her fashion sense?

    A: Marie Antoinette was both loved and then hated for her extravagant tastes, but she was not ultimately put to death because of her love for high fashion. That great love of style while her subjects lived much humbler lives did, however, negatively alter her subjects' view of her.
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  • How long did the French Revolution last?

    Q: How long did the French Revolution last?

    A: The French Revolution lasted roughly 10 years, beginning in 1789 and ending in 1799. The revolution came about because of resentment of the privileges of the aristocracy and the taxation policies of the French government on its people, despite years of bad harvests, to help relieve national debt.
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  • Where did the French Revolution take place?

    Q: Where did the French Revolution take place?

    A: The French Revolution took place throughout France. Battles were fought in different parts of the country including the Bastille in Paris. The revolution began in May 1789 with demands for change within the country. It ended with the deposition of the French Directory on Nov. 9, 1799.
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  • What led to the storming of the Bastille?

    Q: What led to the storming of the Bastille?

    A: The initial root cause of the storming of the Bastille, and the subsequent French Revolution, was France's economy. In the late 1700s, the country was in a financial crisis, which set in motion the sequence of events that led to the storming of the Bastille.
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  • What were the causes of the Napoleonic Wars?

    Q: What were the causes of the Napoleonic Wars?

    A: The Napoleonic Wars were caused by the French Revolution, the bankruptcy of France as a nation under the monarchy, and the overthrow of the French aristocracy and royal family. Named for French general and dictator Napoleon Bonaparte, the Napoleonic Wars involved France's rise to power over much of western Europe from 1792 to 1815.
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  • When did Napoleon Bonaparte rule France?

    Q: When did Napoleon Bonaparte rule France?

    A: Napoleon Bonaparte ruled France from 1799 to 1815. He was First Consul of France from 1799 to 1804, and he was emperor of the French people from 1804 to 1814 and again in 1815.
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  • Which goal of the Revolution did Napoleon achieve?

    Q: Which goal of the Revolution did Napoleon achieve?

    A: One of the primary goals of the French Revolution that Napoleon eventually achieved was civil reform. Although he imposed his tyrannical will upon his subjects, he was also responsible for the unification and codification of French laws.
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  • Who were important people in the French Revolution?

    Q: Who were important people in the French Revolution?

    A: King Louis XVI, Maximilien de Robespierre, Georges Danton and Napoleon Bonaparte were important people during the French Revolution. During this period between 1789 and 1799, the people of France deposed and executed the king, set up a republic and dealt with substantial internal and external threats.
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  • When were the bread riots during the French Revolution?

    Q: When were the bread riots during the French Revolution?

    A: The bread riots started long before the French Revolution, at least as early as 1724. However, as the century wore on, these riots grew more common. On July 14, 1789, a riot that started as a bread riot ended with the fall of the Bastille.
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  • Q: Who was involved in the French Revolution?

    A: The French Revolution was a war led by the French people against the monarchy. It involved untold numbers of commoners and the upper echelon of French society.
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  • Q: What did the Civil Constitution of the Clergy do?

    A: The Civil Constitution of the Clergy was a severe legislative action initiated by the French revolutionary government that aimed to subordinate the Catholic Church to the new social and political order. It recreated the diocesan and monastic character of the Catholic Church in France and drastically reduced papal influence.
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  • Q: What economic factors contributed to the French Revolution?

    A: France's tax system, the cost of foreign wars and the personal court expenditures of Louis XVI were all important contributing factors to the French Revolution. France's economic instability gave rise to a system in which the wealthy elite evaded taxes and lived in luxury while the highly-taxed poor starved.
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  • Q: Why was Maximilien Robespierre important?

    A: Despite his unassuming appearance, Maximilien Robespierre came to symbolize both the brutality and idealism of the French Revolution. He was described by his contemporaries as either a tyrannical dictator or a revolutionary democratic leader. He led the Committee of Public Safety and was responsible for the Reign of Terror that began with the execution of Marie Antoinette and caused the deaths of 30,000 people.
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  • Q: Which reforms were made by the National Assembly?

    A: The French Revolution's National Assembly was instrumental in urging along constitutional reform during the early days of the revolution, and for quelling peasant rebellion. Additionally, the assembly was responsible for widespread reforms of the French Catholic Church, particularly through legislation called the Civil Constitution of the Clergy.
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  • Q: What was the life of an aristocrat like during the French Revolution?

    A: Life for aristocrats during the French Revolution was dangerous, and many lost their lives. The revolutionaries believed that the aristocrats maintained an unfair and undeserved social, economic and political privilege. Aristocrats before the French Revolution were largely descendants of the nobility; however, they were often appointed by the monarchy or entered by marriage.
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  • Q: What group imposed the Reign of Terror?

    A: The Reign of Terror was started by the Committee of Public Safety, whose members believed that ridding France of anyone who did not support the Revolution was the best course of action. There were an estimated 20,000 to 40,000 people killed during the Terror including Marie Antoinette herself. The killing did not stop until the leader of the Committee of Public Safety, Robespierre was put to death by the very instrument he used to kill those he found guilty of treason, the guillotine.
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