What Caused the French Revolution and it’s effect on the World
As a lover of history, big events such as the French Revolution has and will always amaze me. The effect it has on our world is so tremendous it is hard to believe.
In the late seventh century, France was one of the wealthiest countries in Europe. Its citizens had a better life than others in Europe. It had colonies around the world and it was the second most populated country in Europe.
So why did the revolution happen?
France bitter rivalry with Britain had led it into devastating wars such as the seven years war and the fight for the American Revolution. Both wars had left France in a terrible financial state with a lot of debt to pay off. The debt owed was over 12 billion livres (old french currency). Taxes were raised high to help deal with the debts, nobles were informed of the country’s current state of finance but to no avail, nothing worked. The nobles could not be taxed because they were exempted from taxation. This prevented millions of livres from being collected which meant that the commoner’s taxes were heavily relied on. To make matters worse the grain industry was deregulated even though there was a bad harvest. People were starving in the streets while the nobles stuff themselves. Soon rumours spread that the famine was caused by the nobles themselves. The public sentiment became even worst and the nobles were portrayed as villains.
During the American Revolution, ideas such as social equality and freedom of the individual had spread across France due to their involvement in the war. The American Revolution showed the french that it was possible to break free from the old government and form a new one that was centred around the people. This type of government would abolish the rights of the nobles and would give the power back to the people.
During the rules of Louis XV and XVI, several proposals to change the french tax system were rejected by parliament. This was because changing the french tax system would strip the nobles of their immunity to taxes. Most ministers were nobles who bought their position from the monarchy which could be hereditary. This meant that the nobles had a permanent grip on the government so the monarch would need their consent if he planned to make changes. France was suffering from both an economic and political problem.
With nothing changed, the revolution loomed around the corner. Soon the storming of the bastille happened and a decade of turmoil in France continued after.
The Blueprint of all revolution after
The revolution was inspiring to others suffering the same fate across the world. Ideas of social equality spread further and the world was on the verge of embracing a new era. Even though, the royal families of Europe were not happy about it. After all, this revolution gave birth to Napoleon Bonaparte who would make France an empire again.
Slavery in France
The revolution also influenced the Haitian Revolution which became successful after the french government granted Haiti its freedom. The revolution managed to fend off British and Spanish armies who saw the revolution as a threat since slavery was a great source of income at that time. This success helped bring about the downfall of slavery in the western world.
The rise of the liberators
The South Americas faced a drastic change when Napoleon defeated Spain and placed his brother on the throne. With Revolution in North America and France as inspiration for independence, most of Latin America took the chance to revolt against Spain at it’s weakest time. With heroes the likes of Simon Bolivar and Jose de San Martin, most of South America gained independence. Spain tried to regain its colonies later on but failed.
Was the Revolution really a success?
The revolution had a massive impact on the world because it challenges the idea that a country should be ruled by a monarch. Although the revolution is seen as one of the most important parts of human history, the factors that led to it are common in all revolutions. The people’s cry for change, national debt and a foolish outdated system that allows the top hierarchy to do whatever they wish.
The revolution was a success however, terrible consequences came with it. The country was ravaged by a decade of terror as the control of France changed hands multiple times. The result was Napoleon who brought back monarchy by becoming emperor and restored slavery in France. In the end, the Revolution did no good for France. It only made matters worse, however, the impact it had on the world is incredible and will forever be remembered.