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20 Mar 2019

Lesson 6 Actual Events of the French Revolution

In this lesson, we lay the foundation for a successful study of the actual French Revolution- the major events, key actors, the political changes, economic changes, social changes from 1789 to 1799

Key debates/issues in the actual events of the French Revolution

  • Which particular event can be said to have marked the beginning of the Revolution in France?
  • What was the actual contribution of Louis XVI and other individuals like Marie Antoinette, Robespierre and Lafayette to the actual events and development of the Revolution?
  • What was the actual contribution of different groups like the Nobles, Clergy, peasants, Bourgeoisie, Jacobins and Girondists to the political or economic or social developments witnessed during the Revolution?
  • How important was the character of Louis XVI as a cause of the Revolution?
  • What was the role of each of the groups/classes in causing the revolution?
  • How important were the philosophes and the Enlightment Ideas in bringing about the Revolution?

Things every student should know about the Actual Events of the French Revolution

  • The French Revolution started off as a moderate revolution with only moderate political and social reforms
  • The French revolution assumed a truly radical character in 1792 with the radical, political and social reforms being implemented
  • Different groups within France including the nobles, clergy, Jacobins, Paris mobs and the Sans Culottes all contributed in various degrees to the radicalisation of the French revolution
  • The king Louis XVI as well as individuals like Marat, Danton and Robespierre also contributed to the radicalisation of the French Revolution
  • Foreigners namely the European countries tried to undermine the French Revolution and this only helped to radicalise it even more
  • Even the revolutionaries (namely Jacobins, Girondists, Peasants, Sans Culottes and Paris Mobs) had a negative impact on the French Revolution
  • Controversial as it was, the Reign of Terror saved the French Revolution and it helped to lay the groundwork for the successes of the Revolutionary Armies and Napoleon against European Powers from 1793 to 18

Key terms used in the topic

Note. Before you go further, make sure you know what these words mean in the context of the French Revolution

Moderate reforms/ Moderate Phase of the Revolution/ Radical Reforms/ Radical Phase of the Revolution/ Civil Constitution of the Clergy/ Brunswick Manifesto/ Declaration of Pillnitz/ Jacobins/ Girondists/ Committee of Public Safety/ Reign of Terror/ National Assembly/ Constitutional Monarchy/ Legislative Assembly/ National Convention/ Themidorean Reaction/ Directory/ Republic/ Moderate /Radical 


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