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Secondary V • 2yr.

Good afternoon. I was wondering how was the French Revolution marked by great political instability?


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Explanations (1)

  • Explanation from Alloprof

    Explanation from Alloprof

    This Explanation was submitted by a member of the Alloprof team.

    Team Alloprof • 2yr.

    Good evening !

    This is an extremely complex question!

    In short, before the Revolution, the people were governed under a monarchy (King Louis XVI). You should know that there were several tensions between the people and the king, which led the latter to convene the States General.

    • The king lost control of the meetings and the Third Estate and the Clergy began to meet behind his back and together form the first National Assembly.
    • This House wanted to draft a new constitution, based on the United States Declaration of Independence.

    Following the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, there is a new administrative form in Paris; there is now a mayor, who is independent from the king.

    During this time, the rural world, faithful to the king, is violent; the peasants burn the seigniorial documents and certain small lords are beaten or killed. The deputies will vote for the abolition of seigneurial rights, but the King is against, which will increase the anger of the people.

    • Angry Parisians will come to seek the king in Versailles to make him leave and Commander LaFayette will succeed.

    Subsequently, October 1, 1791 will be marked by the inauguration of the constitutional monarchy. However, already in 1792, the people were very dissatisfied with this new Constitution and August 10, 1792 the crowd invaded the Tuileries palace and imprisoned the king and his family.

    • The king will therefore form a new legislative assembly, called the Convention. On September 21, 1792, she proclaimed the Abolition of the monarchy. Thus was born the Republic.

    Here are some highlights in 1793

    • The king is guillotined
    • There will be a civil war: The war in Vendée
    • Maximilien de Robespierre will establish a dictatorship
    • Several countries form a coalition against France: England, Austria, Prussia, Spain, etc. The French were defeated in March by this coalition, which weakened the country.


    • Robespierre is arrested on July 27 and he and his allies are guillotined


    • The royalists want the return of the monarchy
    • The assembly prepares a new constitution for a new regime: the Directory
    • During the following years, it is the Directory who is in class and we see the recovery of the economy


    • The population is still dissatisfied
    • The Directory does not want to bring back the monarchy
    • on November 9 and 10, Napoleon Bonaparte overthrows the government by a coup d'état
    • He establishes a new regime: the Consultate

    Theoretically, this event marks the end of the Revolution, but during the 15 years which follow, there will be wars, a return to the monarchy, the establishment of a new Republic.

    There you go! :) I hope I have provided you enough information to help you understand the MANY political changes during this period. 

    Keep it up!

    Sarah G.

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