Importance of the French Revolution

Topics: French Revolution, Europe, Feudalism Pages: 6 (1997 words) Published: February 11, 2011
The French Revolution is a moment in France’s history that brought upon a political upheaval and chaotic mess. What many people do not realize is the enormous impact the French Revolution has on current European Civilization and other societies in the world. The revolution changed not only France, but other countries as well. Consequently, the revolution was not a mark in history, but a stepping stone. The Revolution started a domino effect which led to imperative events in the world’s history and inspired many notorious leaders. The French Revolution was a historical moment for the lower class of society, change. Unlike the Old Regime the aristocracy was “…stripped of its privileges” and no longer maintained a dominant social status. The French Revolution was able to annihilate the feudal system by removing any trace of feudalism. Some changes were that peasants were no longer demanded to pay unreasonable dues or religious tithes (Sherman). Corporations and monopolies were eliminated and the national market was unified. In The Decree Abolishing the Feudal System it states in the first article that, “The National Assembly hereby completely abolishes the feudal system. It decrees that, among the existing rights and dues…all those originating in or representing real or personal serfdom shall be abolished without indemnification”(The Decree1). The Revolution abolished the feudal system and brought upon a new way of living, capitalism, which is still practiced today throughout Europe. Throughout European history the Catholic Church had a large role in European affairs. Consequently, when the revolution occurred, the Catholic Church lost most of their independence (McCrory 58). The French revolution saw many of the worst aspects of the Old Regime in the Catholic Church (Sherman 518) since they did enjoy “extensive property rights and special privileges under the Old Regime” (Kaiser 3). Officials of the Revolution sold, rededicated, and even transformed the church buildings. “The sale of church land was seen as a sort of guarantee that the forces of reaction would not prevail” (McManners 29). Another reason why the church land was sold off was because of the enormous interest people had in the land (McManners 29). Some drastic revolutionaries even went to the extreme of mutilating statues by sending them to the guillotine. The most drastic change was when some of the clergy were sought out for prosecution. Since the revolution the “religious liberty to non-catholics and the growing freedom of the press” (Cahier1) grew extensively. This resulted in more Christian religions. The impact of the revolution did not stay within France, but it crossed the country and even the ocean by having a powerful impact on the opinions of nations outside of France (Sherman 519). Many thought that the revolution was a great idea, and supported the revolutionaries’ ideas of freedom. This quickly changed, however, when they realized the threat that was imposed on their own monarchy and aristocracy positions. Even though the idea of the Revolution was not fully supported after violence erupted, these ideals still made an enormous impact on other nations. In Poland patriots were inspired by the French, and used this inspiration to try and gain independence from Russia. Unfortunately, the attempts for Poland failed. However the inspiration of the French Revolution did not end there, …200 years later Chinese students, who weeks before had fought their government in Tiananmen Square, confirmed the contemporary relevance of the French Revolution when they led the revolutionary bicentennial parade in Paris on July 14, 1981 (Kaiser 6).

Just the inspiration of the revolution made a significant impact on Poland and China. Another to be inspired was Ireland. In Ireland, the motto of liberty, equality, and natural rights flourished the streets. The Irish took heart to the motto, which inspired them to rise against their British...
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