French Revolution Success or Failure

Topics: French Revolution, Reign of Terror, Louis XVI of France Pages: 2 (665 words) Published: March 18, 2013
French Revolution Success or Failure AP European History:

The French Revolution;
Success or Failure

Like many of the debacles and upheavals of France, and Western Europe, the French Revolution resulted in many examples of successes, as well as failures. Even the outcomes that were viewed positively, most came at a very high price. Amid a fiscal crisis, the peasants of France were increasingly angered by the incompetency of King Louis XVI and the continued indifference of the aristocracy. The people knew there was a problem, but everybody had different ideas on the solution. Thus, resulting in multiple successes and failures.

One of the most obvious failures of the French Revolution was the Reign of Terror. The Reign of Terror occurred between: September 1793 to July 1794. “The Terror”, which was orchestrated by Robespierre and his followers, was seemingly a way to provide for the security of the Republic, by exposing traitors to the people. The Revolutionary Tribunal summarily condemned thousands of people to death by the guillotine, while mobs beat other victims to death. Sometimes people died for their political opinions or actions, but many for little reason beyond mere suspicion, or because some others had a stake in getting rid of them. In reality, it was used, by Robespierre, as a means to consolidate and strengthen his hold on power. Instead of putting into practice the democratic ideals of liberty and equality that he spoke of in public, Robespierre used the Terror to execute or imprison thousands of people who he viewed as a threat. The Terror came to an end only after Robespierre himself came to an end at the guillotine.

The French Revolution also failed to establish a constitutional monarchy or a representative government. France began in 1789 with the absolute monarch of Louis XVI and ended with the military dictatorship of Napoleon Bonaparte. In between there were various elected legislative bodies, but these...
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