La Révolution Française: An Introduction to The French Revolution

La Révolution Française: An Introduction to The French Revolution

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The French Revolution was a monumental moment in history. You are a French peasant, relying on your harvest to survive. The harvest has failed for the last few years, and you are slowly starving. Harvests are failing nationwide, and the country’s money has been invested in expensive wars abroad. France couldn’t afford to feed you, even if she wanted to. But you have heard about the privileges enjoyed by a complacent and spoilt aristocracy, and an increasingly bloated and prescriptive clergy. Everybody is angry. Change is in the air, and something has to give.

In simple terms, that is the start of The French Revolution. People were poor, hungry and furious. In 1789, Louis XVI called a meeting of the estates of the realm, Les États-Généraux, to ask for their suggestions for improving France’s financial situation. Instead, they formed an independent national assembly, and kicked off ten years of revolution which stormed the Bastille, abolished the monarchy, and established a free, democratic French republic.