The French Revolution – Part II

The French Revolution

After the uprising in France, many nobles, unhappy with the changes made by National Assembly left the country. King Louis and his wife, Marie Antoinette, also planned an escape, but were caught. Assembly decided that France should continue to have a king, but the one without any power to make critical decisions. So, Louis XVI was put back on the throne, and he took his new oath.

Return of the royal family

But, the troubles of the country did not end here. The kings of many foreign countries got worried by the French Revolution. They did not want a revolution in their own countries. Austria and Prussia wrote to France that Louis XVI should be set free, and the National Assembly must be ended. They threatened to invade France if their requests were ignored. Following the warning, Prussia invaded France. The French revolutionaries were very angry and violent. Things got worse. Commotion prevailed everywhere. No single group controlled France anymore.

For a while, a set of people known as the Jacobins, took charge of the nation. They determined to crush any resistance within the nation. Since they ruled with a lot of violence, their one year reign is known as ‘reign of terror’. Another group known as Directory ruled from 1795 until 1799. They denied the right to vote to those who could not afford to pay a tax. Once again, the rich began hoard wealth while the poor suffered.  Another wave of dissatisfaction that had started the revolution years ago  began to creep into France again.

Napoleon Bonaparte

During these tumultuous times, a 26-year-old general, by the name of Napoleon Bonaparte began to outshine all the others. Napoleon was a clever ruler. Napoleon’s skillful leadership helped to crush rebellions within France and also vastly expand the territories of France, including a victory over the more powerful Austrian army.

Napoleon made new laws that brought peace and stability back to France. Many of these laws remain in France to this day.

(All image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)




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