The French Revolution2 Essay

This essay has a total of 1187 words and 5 pages.


The French Revolution2





A New Beginning or a License to Kill?


The French Revolution evokes many different emotions and controversial issues in that some
believe it was worth the cost and some don’t. There is no doubt that the French
Revolution did have major significance in history. Not only did the French gain their
independence, but an industrial revolution also took place. One of the main issues of the
Revolution was it’s human costs. Two writers, the first, Peter Kropotkin who was a
Russian prince, and the other Simon Schama, a history professor, both had very opposing
views on whether the wars fought by France during the Revolution were worth it’s
human costs. Krapotkin believed that the French Revolution was the main turning point for
not only France but for most other countries as well. On the other hand, Schama viewed
the French Revolution as unproductive and excessively violent.

The French Revolution started in 1787 because the country was going through financial
difficulties and there was unrest between the classes of citizens in the country. The
differences between the lower class citizens and higher classes, being nobles and the
monarchy were great. The citizens had heard of the revolution that went on in the
colonies and they also wanted freedom and independence. The real start of the French
Revolution was on July 14, 1789, with the storming of the Bastille. Between 1789 1793, a
constitution was written, feudalism was abolished, war had broken out, and King Louis XVI
was put to death. In late 1793 and early 1794, Maximilien Robespierre became the head of
the Committee of Public Safety in France. This was the new governing body in France; it
could be compared to the executive branch of a government. Robespierre was a great
leader, he instituted the first military draft, set prices so that the poor could afford
food, and reformed the government. He also began one of the bloodiest periods in French
history, the Reign of Terror. During the Reign of Terror, more than 30,000 people were
executed, mainly for opposing Robespierre’s views. Late in 1794, Robespierre was
put to death and a new leader was looked for; this of course turned out to be Napoleon.
With many conquered lands under his belt by 1798, Napoleon had a huge following and
planned a coup d’etat. On November 18, 1799, Napoleon became the First Consul of
France, or in his mind the dictator. Napoleon then crowned himself Emperor in 1804 and
conquered many countries including Austria, Prussia, and Russia in 1805,06, and 07
respectively. Such a strong ruler is bound to fall eventually, this happened in 1815 with
his death. Even with the many improvements to the country of France in the late
1700’s and early 1800’s, some still believe that the French Revolution was not
worth it’s human costs. Detailed below are two opposing viewpoints on the topic.

Continues for 3 more pages >>




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