The French Revolution, which began its first spark in the year 1789, isone of the most important events not only in the history of France, but in thehistory of Europe.
In terms of social and political conditions, France lived in a state ofrelative stability under the rule of Louis XIV, who took care of the arts andliterature and won the love and respect of the people, but after his death, andthe transfer of the throne to men less than a matter, the burden graduallyslipped from the king and his ministers to the shoulders of the class(Bourgeoisie), which had begun to emerge, especially during the reign of LouisXVI, who was characterized by weakness of personality, which was in the era ofthe revolution and was executed in January 21, 1793, and the members of thismiddle class, mostly educated And then they began to feel uncomfortableSatisfaction with the minimum they occupy in relation to the status of thenobility, and dignitaries in the church. Their resentment and rebellion againstthese conditions were factors that ignited the revolution in alliance with thepublic or the so-called third class, which was in bad conditions under thefeudal system prevailing at the time.Before therevolutionThe French Revolution started with the conflict between the aristocraticclass and the absolutist monarchy ,thisreaction was to be translated into opposing the Third Estate, The revolutionarysituation was provoked by the fiscal incapacitation of the state Because of the French involvement in the ‘7years’ war( 1756 – 1763) . The monarchy demanded from the assembly of Notables in 1787 inVersailles to higher taxes during the session of May, the General assemblyrefused the demands of the monarchy and after that in 1788 the Monarchy took anew approach by appealing to the provincial parliament and the demands wererefused after that Louis XVI tried to make harsh policies against theparliament and in 1788 the monarchy tried to close the parliament, the kingappealed to the institution of the estates general and in august 1788 heconvoked it but the second assembly of notables again refused the Monarchy’swishes.A wide public debate started and the main topic of the debate was; ifthe elections of the estates general were to be held as usual or in a new way;the old way were each order had to vote for its representatives separately andthe new way when elections were to be organized by head count without takinginto account the split of the estate general, the solution was in the middle:the old customs were to be applied with the third estate having many deputies’doubling the third estate’, in 1789 the elections were held and the 5thof May 1789 was marked by establishmentof the estates general assembly.The Beginning of therevolutionThe period after the 5th of May 1789 was the start of thetransformations and the social and political conflict, the first stages ofthese transformations started with the attempts of the lower clergy of tendingto a side with the third estate, and in the 13th of June 1789, 3members of the lower clergy abandoned they positions and joined the thirdestate chamber and after that in the 17thof June 1789 the French revolutionstarted when the members of the third estate proclaimed themselves as national assembly.The ideas of Abbe Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès in his book “what is the third estate”had a great impact on the French revolution.
In The 20th June 1989 the thirdestate’s deputies took an oath providing that they will stay together up to theadoption of a new constitution, it was named ‘The Tennis Court Oath ‘, it wasnamed like this because the Oath was held in the tennis court in Versaillespalace, After the oath, the king tried to put down the revolution process.In June 23 a common session was held, the king asked the deputies of thethree chambers to continue working in the traditional way and the thirdestate’s deputies revolted so in June 26th. The king called the army around theVersailles palace.
In June the 27th the king was obliged to give the order tothe privileged orders to join the National assembly, this shift taken by theking yielded into a way of popular support in Paris for the third estategeneral revolution. The results were a disaster, the 14th of Julywas marked by the event called “The storming of the bastille”, and the prisonof The Bastille was taken by the rebelled population of Paris. In the 17th of July, the king was forced to make a new actionin favour of the revolution, he went to Paris addressing the crowds andspeaking in favour of the revolution. The week after the storming of thebastille was marked by the spread of the revolution to all of France but Parismaintained the dynamics of the revolution. August 1789, it seemed that the revolution process would spread fromParis to the countryside enlisting wider numbers of the population, after thatit was the involvement of “the great fear”: The French peasantry was driven byrumours, it was feared that the revolt of peasantry lead to a state of anarchyand the great rebellion would never take a place in the French revolution,under the influence of the great fear the revolutionary process wasradicalized.August the 11th .1789 a royal decree was issued, economicarrangements of Feudal nature were abolished and that led to the August the 26thdeclaration of the rights of men and citizens, civil equality implied, thedeclaration of separation of power with the state and the right of property wasa sacred right. After that it was the phenomenon of aristocratic immigration:aristocrats left to other European countries that lined with world of the oldregime and after the royalist right wing emerged.
After that, the Parisian crowds attacked the Versailles palace and theking and the assembly were obliged to leave Versailles and the authoritiesbecame more dependent on the pressure coming from the streets. On November the2nd 1789; the revolution adopted its first act targeting the Catholic Church bythe decree issued and that led to an establishment of a link between the Frenchstate and the Church. December 24th.
The act of emancipation of theProtestant minority allowing Calvinist representation to be in public and on Novemberthe 7th the assembly decidedthat deputies of the assembly would not be ministers, the shift of balancebetween the executive and legislative bodies started and the preventing of theshaping of powerful executive institutions. At the end of 1789 three orientationswere centralized; the left wing around H. Mirabeau and the right wing aroundgeneral La Fayette.1790 was marked by the development in 3 fields in the political life andnational administration; there stood a national assembly decree with thepractical implication of the philosophy of property, this his consisted in adistinguish between the Active and passive citizens, the active citizen rightto vote and to be elected and the passive citizen just having the civil rights,only citizens having property and good income could take part in the politicallife. July the 14th, a great national fest was held in Paris withthe representatives of the provinces and the links between the church and thestate were strengthened. After that, the clerics were obliged to make an oathto the French state ‘The clerical oath ‘, it was the end of the alliancebetween the clergy and the revolution.1791 was marked by the decline of the popularity of general La Fayette andon May the 16th, the members of the national assembly could not beelected as deputies in the future assembly and that the future assembly wouldbe created with new politicians.
The period between the 20th and the 21st of June1790, the king tried to join the immigration movement ‘ royal flight ‘ but hewas caught and he was obliged to get back to Paris and the Jacobin churchturned to republic opinions. This period was also marked by the ‘Champ de MarsMassacre ‘ : a military unit under the command of general La Fayette putted down a manifestation in a bloodyway and that opened a gap between thecrowds and the General assembly. A foreign intervention against the revolutionary process in France: kingLeopold the 2nd and Willem the 2nd, they were against therevolutionary process and they spoke as representatives of Europe’s old regimesbecause they saw French revolution as a threat to the entire continent and theFrench revolution nationalized the territories that are under the foreign rulerlike Alsace and Avignon.September the 3ed 1791, the creating of the first revolutionaryconstitution after the Polish constitution experiment, the constitution renewedthe difference between the Active and Passive citizens. The legislativeAssembly had a new ideological profile ‘Gironde’ and it was also thedeclaration of war against Austria in April the 20th 1792 in theregion of Belgium which was at that time under the rule of Austria.
France wasdefeated and after that it was the declaration of the state of emergency. August 1792 was marked by the newelections of the legislative assembly and the constitution of 1791 ceased tofunction, August the 17th was also marked by the establishment of the regime ofterror and also the establishment of the revolution tribunal and in August the20th General la Fayette joined the immigration.In September the 20th 1792, the revolutionary army had a bigvictory in the battle of Valmy and September 22nd was the first day of therepublic, in October, the leader of the Gironde was expelled from the majoritygroup ‘Jean Baptist boyer ‘.
January the 22nd 1793 was marked by the execution of LouisXIV, the regime of terror was worse than the monarchy; a lot of people wereexecuted and February 1793 was marked by the declaration of war against Englandand the Dutch wars.March 1793. The province of Belgium was annexed by France and royalistrebellion started in Vendee and in the 6th of April 1793, thedictatorial regime was formed in France with the establishment of the committeeof public safety and in the end of May, the last members of the Gironde wereeliminated.July the 24th was marked by the creation of the 2nd revolutionary constitution ‘The Jacobinconstitution’ and this constitution abolished the division between the activeand passive citizens, the Jacobin constitution looked forward to the ‘ Right ofhappiness and right to live’ but theJacobin constitution was never to be applied. September the 22nd 1793, the Christian calendar was replacedwith the revolutionary calendar and the Jacobin assembly promoted the ‘the cultof supreme being’ and on November the 22nd the church in Paris was closed after that it was the execution of MarryAntoinette in October 1793 and also other leaders of the Gironde.- The regime of terror evolved towards self-contradiction and March the24th 1794 was marked by the execution of the followers of Hebert andin April the 5th Danton andhis followers were executed.
In July the 28th Robespierre wasexecuted and the event was named ‘Thermidor’.February 21st 1795, the declaration of the separation betweenthe state and the church and on August The third revolutionary constitution wasadopted. The new constitution departed from the previous policies of revolutionand the shift of balance was turned in favour of the executive body.In October the 26th, double edged process of deradicalisation that meant a class of new rich people would occupy dominantpositions within the political body and there was a big link between money andpolitical life, politics was depend of fortunes of newly reshaped upper class andpeople turned to the opinion of the military body.
February 1796 was marked by Theextend of the treaty of November 1794 between United States and Britain and the relationsbetween France and the United States deteriorate and on March, the Directorynames General Bonaparte the commander of the Army of Italy.May the 10th was marked by the defeats of the Austrians atthe Battle of Lodi, and after it Bonaparte begins the siege of Mantua, the lastItalian city held by Austria, and in July a new Austrian army under Wurmserarrives in Italy. Bonaparte defeats the Austrians under Wurmser at the Battleof Bassano and in October, Spain, now allied with France, declares war onBritain.October the 17th 1797 was marked by the signature of peace betweenAustria and France in the Treaty of Campo Formio and in December 28,Anti-French riots in Rome, and murder of a French general, in January the 12th1798, Bonaparte presents a plan for an invasion of England to the Directory andBonaparte recommends to the Directory the abandonment of the invasion ofEngland, and an invasion of Egypt instead after that the Directory approvesBonaparte’s plan to invade Egypt. And in 1799 Bonaparte started to march his armyfrom Cairo toward Syria and in April the 9th was the beginning of legislativeelections in France to replace one-third of members after that Sieyès ordersthe closing of the new Jacobin Club in Paris,Napoleon went back from Egypt andhe organized a Coup On November 1799 and in December the 24th 1799 The 4thconstitution was adopted.