The Legacy of the French Revolution

Length: 4 Pages 900 Words

One of the periods of tremendous upheaval throughout Europe was the French revolution, beginning in 1789. As the people of France, from the workers to the bourgeoisie to the nobles, vied for political power and control, the country went through intense periods of terror and bloodshed. Some may argue that the revolution’s end did not fulfill the desires of the French people or aid them in their search for reform. But the revolution did create the inextinguishable spark throughout Europe: the right to rebel. All over the continent oppressed countries began following France’s lead, trying to better their life through rebellion. This spark of hope in Europe’s lower classes is the foremost legacy of the French revolution; all people realized the power of the working man and his ability to unite a country. While the revolution, with its moderate yet useless political reform, implement the beginning of the modern age of France, the revolution’s true legacy was to afford Europe’s lower classes with the confidence, cause, and motivation to change their country through rebellion. The political reforms created by the revolution in France did little to better the people’s lives or empower them through representation. As power s Continue...

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All Europe needed was a good example. But by 1848, the socialist peasants realized their immense oppression and soaring taxes had not been eliminated, and revolted against the revolutionaries in a violent outburst that left unrest all over France. By the end of the French revolution, the age of revolutions had spread over Europe and into the colonies. A truly reformed country would not be so divided that members of one revolutionary group would turn on the other because of a lack of reform. Those that did not acknowledge peasant demands soon learned their grievous error when particularly oppressed countries throughout Europe forced, instead of coerced, their way to independence. For hundreds of years the people of Europe lived under absolutism, and yet all the successful rebellions happened after the French revolution. France's storm of revolt and uprising might have been unsuccessful in meeting its goals, but it was successful in raising the awareness of two continents to the point where nationalists were pressing oppressors for reform and independence. Though Poland's revolt failed because of lack of unification, the spirit of the people was still kindled, and the leaders of Russia, Austria, and Prussia realized the need to quell that spirit. The drafters constitutions of the 1790's were never concerned about socialist reforms, instead they wish to empower themselves. hifted hands throughout the revolution's four stages, the demands of the lower classes remained as they had been upon the meeting of the Estates General. Some rulers were quicker to realize the peasants' volatile state and met their demands with reforms, and most other leaders were filled with the fear rebellion. The peasant's cry for lower taxes and less economic pressure was due to their lack of food and privileges, neither of which were addressed at all during the revolution. Latin-American hopes were fed after the French cried out for justice, and Haiti, Mexico, and the South American countries became separate countries. Only after the Napoleon's conquest of Europe, spurring the nationalism hidden deep in the people, did the liberation of countries begin.


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