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The French Revolution: Impact of the Reign of Terror - Essay Example

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The French revolution is perhaps one of the most significant events which revolutionized the modern world today. Although the French revolution did to some extend enlighten, signify freedom of speech and equality but it was not without its share of issues. …
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The French Revolution: Impact of the Reign of Terror
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Download file to see previous pages The revolution, among other things, also highlights the result of the ignorance of the nobles and clergy of France; It all begins with Louis XVI, was one of those nobles, who was during that point in time facing a financial crisis and decreasing popularity among the people. In order to salvage some of the support of the masses he gave representation to the people of France and called upon the Estates General for the first time in two hundred years, but regardless of the fact that it was a step forward in a positive direction, the Third estate (consisting of more than ninety percent of the population) had less representation than what would have been fair. The Third Estate was not given proper power in the assembly and the few next series of events saw the masses get fed up with the oppression and claimed that the only ones representing France would be them with complete power. These events which occurred have great significance to the revolution as it was when the Third Estate that was locked outside the assembly when the revolution took a different direction. The Courtyard Oath was taken that day and the National Assembly was formed. The King did not approve of the formation of the National assembly and this was what leads to serious consequences for him. A vote of four hundred ninety three to ninety four decided that serious action was to be taken against the King and it was hard to undermine the power that the National Assembly possessed as it had won over a significant portion of the population. With such a resounding opposition, on June 27th, 1789, Louis XVI gave into their demands (Jean & Edgeworth, 1961). This decision proved to be slightly too late for the King as a young twenty six year old educated in Paris laid down the seeds of revolution in people. People were looking for a leader and quickly embraced this new soul as their own voice. Soon riots erupted and the military quickly acted to stop this movement but then again France only had six thousand soldiers to defend them from internal problems; An insignificant amount as seen in the Place Vendome, where the cavalry attempted to control the riot, only to find their horses surrounded and unmovable through the dense crowd. It was this event which saw the formation of the Paris Commune, drawing from the electoral populace of each section; four thousand and eight hundred men were given the task of protecting Paris. Unfortunately for the King and the nobles the riots just increased in intensity and the Bastille was the next to fall. The Bastille was the prison where political prisoners were kept, though rumors were that it was a torture cell where prisoners sent were never seen again and was reserved for the worst prisoners in France. The people laid siege to the Bastille and the prison just holding enough food for two days had to surrender quickly. The morning of July 14th eight hundred people grew more and more impatient and when talks broke down between both sides resulting in the Bastille being attacked. Shots were fired from both sides and the guards eventually surrendered. The violence that followed was so intense that it could not have been predicted. The guards were rounded up and their heads were cut off, decapitated, and then paraded on pikes like the wax busts of French heroes. De Lunay who was hosting the talks for the Bastille was shot, rolled into a gutter and his head was kept as a trophy. The King was losing control and even the church was slowly refusing to support the King as they did not endorse the Civil Constitution of the Clergy in 1791 simply because it was not in their best interests and furthermore the revolution itself was frowned upon by the Church. This left the King with very few options. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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