25 Things About The French Revolution You Probably Overlooked

Contemporary historians widely regard the French Revolution as one of the most important events in human history and one of the most influential (if not the most influential) revolutions of all time. This period of far-reaching social and political upheaval lasted from 1789 to 1799 and resulted in the violent overthrew of the monarchy and the rise of Napoleon. The divide between rich and poor in French society caused extreme resentment and anger. Those on the bottom saw the wealthy grow increasingly richer, while they got nothing though they worked the hardest. The lower classes decided to rebel and create a new, fairer society. Their basis for reform was grounded in the desire for democracy, citizenship, and inalienable rights.

The effect of the French Revolution had a massive impact, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Europe split into pro- and anti-revolutionary groups; with the anti-revolutionary ones being anti-intellectual, pro-religion, and thereafter viewed public gatherings with suspicion. The revolution established a republic and eventually culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon that rapidly brought many of its principles to Western Europe and beyond. Though you are probably versed in its legacy, these are 25 Things About The French Revolution You Probably Overlooked.

20

Although scholarly debate continues about the exact causes of the revolution, the fact that France was the most populous country in Europe and crop failures in much of the country in 1788 came on top of a long period of economic difficulties appears to have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.

crop failuresSource: A Chronicle of the French Revolution, Image: Wikipedia
19

On July 14, 1789, the people of Paris were afraid that the army had been ordered to attack them. They armed themselves and marched to the Bastille, a royal fort used as a prison, in search of gunpowder. The revolution had begun.

the BastilleSource: A Chronicle of the French Revolution, Image: Wikipedia

18

Because they didn’t have powerful explosives, the men, women, and children who stormed the Bastille tore it down brick by brick. The bricks were given away or sold as symbols of the breakdown of tyranny.

bricksSource: A Chronicle of the French Revolution, Image: Wikipedia
17

When the Bastille was eventually captured only seven prisoners were found inside.

The BastilleSource: A Chronicle of the French Revolution, Image: Wikipedia

16

The Marquis de Sade, a French aristocrat, revolutionary politician, and writer, famous for his libertine sexuality and pornographic fiction, was among the seven prisoners.

Marquis de SadeSource: A Chronicle of the French Revolution, Image: Wikipedia

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