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Paris in 1792 - Essay Example

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Paris in 1789 The year 1792, was for a historic one for Paris and in many ways, for the world. It inaugurated a kind of violent political protest that had never before been unleashed on structures of political authority. Apart from providing citizens of a state a method to protest, the events that occurred in Paris in the year of 1792 also proved the power of the emergent bourgeoisie in Europe…
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Paris in 1792
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Download file to see previous pages The events of this year thus, also heralded a new form of governance, complete democracy as the major form of governance. Even though democracy was followed in varying degrees in many parts of Europe, it was the French Revolution that gave the impetus for its establishment as the sole form of government acceptable to the people of a nation. As is the case with any historic event, the actual event is preceded by a build up consisting of mounting tensions, resentment and dissatisfaction on the part of certain communities. The involvement of the French government in the American Revolution and the huge expenditure that this interference had cost had created widespread dissatisfaction among the middle classes of France, who felt that this expenditure was needless and could have been avoided, had the government been more astute in the evaluation of the situation. The refusal of the nobility to have helped out the government had meant that an unfair share of the taxes required for the expenses were extorted out of the bourgeoisie. This bred a lot of resentment amongst them, not only against the monarch, Louis XVI, but also against the nobility of France. France’s unsuccessful attempts to defeat England in war had also placed a heavy burden upon the exchequer that fell largely upon the French bourgeoisie whose standards of living dipped drastically. The constitution of the National assembly, a body of people who were picked out of the middle classes was an important development during the year of 1792. This led to an understanding on the part of both the king and the bourgeoisie of the power of a collective. Michael David Sibalis remarks upon this understanding of the power of the collective as an outcome of the class-consciousness that had seeped into the minds of the middle classes of France, as is seen in the emergence of “mutual aid societies” in Paris before 1789. These societies enabled the mobilization of the masses during the constitution of middle class citizens during the creation of the National Assembly that was created for the purpose of the creation of a national constitution for France that would invest the bourgeoisie with more powers that it had till then. This constitution of the National Assembly represents, for Sibalis, an attempt on the part of the Parisian middle classes to “provide themselves with some minimal economic security through their own efforts” (http://fh.oxfordjournals.org/content/3/1/1.extract). Many of these efforts were frustrated by later events of the Revolution but the events of 1789 displayed a passion and fervor on the part of the Parisian middle classes to rise above their petty divisions and fight for the causes of equality that the French Revolution stands for, even today. The fight was also against what Barry M. Shapiro refers to as an “irrational and inhumane judicial system” (Barry M. Shapiro, Revolutionary Justice in Paris, 1789-1790, ix) that refused to treat every subject of the state equally. The embodiment of this passion and fervor and one of the turning points of the revolution, according to historians like Eric Hobsbawm, was the storming of the Bastille on the morning of the fourteenth of July in 1789 (Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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