25 Things About The French Revolution You Probably Overlooked

Posted by , Updated on April 6, 2016

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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.


25

Prior to the beginning of the French Revolution peasants were so poor and the cost of food so high that many starved to death. A loaf of bread was equal to a week’s pay.

BreadSource: A Chronicle of the French Revolution, Image: Wikipedia
24

The rich were born rich and the poor were born poor. It was impossible for a person who was born poor to become wealthy since this could happen only by birth. The French Revolution changed this dismal fate for France’s citizens.

French RevolutionSource: A Chronicle of the French Revolution, Image: Wikipedia
23

What was even more frustrating is that the poor were the ones who had to pay taxes, while the rich did not.

paintingSource: A Chronicle of the French Revolution, Image: Wikipedia
22

This was the situation throughout Europe at the time, not just France. It is estimated that ninety-seven percent of Europe’s people struggled to survive, while the remaining three percent lived a life of wealth and luxury.

PaintingSource: A Chronicle of the French Revolution, Image: Wikipedia
21

The American Revolution and the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 4 sent shockwaves throughout Europe, giving hope to many poverty-stricken peasants in France who wanted to see the powerful aristocracies of Europe fall.

United States Declaration of IndependenceSource: A Chronicle of the French Revolution, Image: Wikipedia


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