Revolution is usually a sudden change made to the government or other structures of power. Between the years 1789 – 1799 there were changes in the ideas about how France should be ruled. So there were many changes made in the government. This period is popularly known as The French revolution. At that time, France was ruled by King Louis XVI. King Louis was an ignorant king living lavishly in Palace of Versailles unaffected by the plight of his countrymen.
In those times, the population of France was divided into three classes – Nobles, Church and the common man. Nobles were people who were gifted large lands by the king and lived in big houses comfortably no less than king themselves. The Church, which owned the most land in France, put taxes on crops. These taxes were to be paid by the common man. Nobles and church both made the common men work extremely hard and also pay massive taxes. Common men were the poorest and had nothing to eat. The common people were getting dissatisfied and angry. They were also getting influenced by America, where people had a say about how country should be run.
As a result, the common people revolted and created a group called National assembly. National assembly pledged to make new laws that treated all the french men fairly. To display their growing power over the king, nobility and the church, National Assembly attacked the Bastille prison on 14 July 1789. The Bastille prison contained weapons and was the symbol of power of the nobility and the rule of the king.
After the attack, the National Assembly began to make a lot of changes. Feudalism, system of the entire land belonging to only the king came to an end. The high taxes the Church was collecting from common people were discontinued.
But this was not the end of the revolution. What happened next?
Read The French Revolution – Part II coming up tomorrow…