French Revolutionaries

external image 3cd6073036.jpgPainting by Eugene Delacroix depicting the French Revolution


France (Napoleonic)
France (Modern)
American Revolutionaries


Several factors led us to the point of revolution against the ancien regime, the existing society of France. A philosophical revolution was already taking place in Europe around the time of our uprising, with philosophers such as Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Montiesque declaring new and exciting ideas, known as Enlightenment ideals. From these revolutionary thoughts, such as Rousseau's Social Contract, we were enlightened to the corruption and political captivity we were living under in the old monarchial rule of French society. In addition to the influence of the Enlightenment, we saw an opportunity in the dire economic situation of France under King Louis XVI in the 1780s. Since taxes were rising, it was easy to generate support for our revolution. We separated from the Estates General and formed the National Assembly. The revolution began when we stormed the Bastille, and caused a battle between ourselves and the military garrison. We then turned our attention to creating documents for social reform, including the Declaration on the Rights of Man and the Citizen (August 1789), which gave all men equality in society.
For a few years, our Revolution seemed to be succeeding in put our radical thoughts into practice. We even drafted a constitution in accordance with the Enlightenment ideals that sovereignty lies with the people, and that all men are equal. However, the well-meaning principles of the French Revolution soon got out of our hands, and into the hands of the radical Convention, at the pressure of foreign armies invading France. The Convention unleashed a reign of terror, executing our former king, Louis XVI, and Marie Antoinette, and the reign of terror got even worse when Robespierre and the Jacobins took over. Eventually, the radical rule of France became so violent and unstable that the Convention arrested Robespierre in 1794. This marked the end of our revolutionary rule, as this is when the more conservative Directory took over. We revolutionary French soon after were subjected to the leadership of Napoleon Bonaparte, in 1799.

external image "Emancipation through revolution"


The guillotine was an important technological innovation that we used at this time, used as a quick way of executing enemies of our revolution. During the reign of terror by the Jacobins and Robespierre, over 40,000 of our enemies were killed. We also used this famous device to execute King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. At the end of the revolution, when we had to bring Robespierre's violent reign to an end, even he became a victim of the guillotine.= =


During the French Revolution, we sought to limit the power of the Roman Catholic Church, which was the largest landowner in France during the ancien regime. We took the power away from the priests and the clergy, and gave theis power back to the people, who deserved it.


1750 - Enlightenment Ideas: Reading the works of Locke, Voltaire, Montiesque, and Rousseau, as well as the other Enlightenment thinkers, has really inspired us to take our lives and our freedom into our own hands. King Louis should not monopolize the power of our French society, and, as Rousseau said, he is only in power because of a social contract that the people make. The people need to recognize the power and freedom that is entitled to them at birth, and we can start a revolution against the old order of society, in which we are dominated by the king and the church!
1789 - Storming the Bastille: This was a turning point in our revolution. We stormed the Bastille, trying to get in and seize weapons, and we ended up in a skirmish with the defenders of the Bastille. Angry and determined, we fought back and killed some of the guards, even though we lost some men as well. We have found that parading around Paris with the severed head of a military guard on a stick really gets people to notice us. Now the word is getting out about the French Revolution, and we think that pretty soon we will gain enough recognition that we can begin to make some significant social changes to this terrible regime we live under. We are confident that, by drafting a fair constitution that will bring equality and justice to the ancien regime, we can rule France, and nothing can ever stop us! Liberty! Equality! Fraternity!
1794 - Ending Jacobin Rule: Robespierre must be arrested, and put to the guillotine which he had killed so many others with! We thought that he was a true revolutionary like us, but he soon became a radical tyrant, and it isn't even possible to count the victims of his reign of terror. Sometimes we start to think that we would rather live back in the ancien regime again. The Jacobins have done some good things that we agree with, such as taking power away from the church, and promoting a secular alternative to religion, as well as continuing the revolution that we started. However, there comes a point where revolution is not even worth the destruction and the dead bodies on the streets. It seems that the French Revolution has come to an end...

The Wall

The French Revolutionaries are in the house! You guys are awesome...bringing change in such a driven and strong manner...way to be! Dont wanna ramble or anything but just wanted to let ya'll know that we are huge fans. Society needs change and you stick to those Enlightenment ideals like there is no tomorrow! woo!
--Early Liberals

-Hey guys, we love all of your effort and interest in democracy and revolution and anti-oppression and everything. Really, we're actually very flattered that you admire us, were inspired us, and subsequently want to emulate us, but we're sorry to say that our nation is torn about whether agreeing to your plea for help. We know that you guys need assistance in winning your revolution, since your government's putting up some strong resistance, but we really can't help. You see, you all want us to help you overcome the French monarchy so you can be a democracy. But your government, the King and Queen, have asked us for help to quell your rebellion, and we kind of owe them since we couldn't have gained independence from the British without their help. So we can't help them, or else we'd be hypocrites for wanting democracy and self-determination for ourselves helping them against you, but we also can't help you, since that would be betraying them and stabbing them in the back. Now, you know we don't like to stab people in the back and be two-timers, so it looks you're on your own this time. Sorry guys! I don't think we should even be wishing you guys good luck, since you're fighting our allies, but... Good luck!- American Revolutionaries

I cannot express how disappointed I am at you France. You are losing your morals and God doesn't like immoral people. You society needs to incorporate the Catholic values. Only then will your lives be completer and only then would God more importantly , acknowledge you as a country and help you flourish . Always praying for your sinful souls.Catholics


Bentley, Jerry H., and Ziegler Herbert F.. Traditions and Encounters: A Global Perspective on the Past. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2006.
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