.. French people under one banner. Many of the members of the Legislative Assembly believed that France would unite under one banner to defend itself. On April 20th 1792, the French Legislative Assembly charged Austria with plotting aggression and declared war, starting the first War of the Peoples in the modern world. This was followed by a French invasion of the Austrian Netherlands and two months later the King of Prussia joined Austria in the struggle against France.
The French Forces were quickly overcome by the Austrian Forces in Belgium and were driven back into France. The Duke of Brunswick that issued a manifesto saying that Paris would be burnt to the ground if the Royal family were hurt. This infuriated the people as it gave the impression that they had collaborated with the invading Armies. This turned the balance in Paris towards the radicals. This saw the replacement of the bourgeoisie dominated Paris Commune and saw it replaced with a radical dominated Commune.
This lead to the invasion of the Tuileries by Georges Danton and his supporters. On the 10th of August a crowd of 10 000 invaded the Tuileries and killed the Swiss Guard. Louis XVI escaped and asked for the protection of the Legislative Assembly. They suspended him as monarch and locked him and his family in a prison known as the tower. This went against the Constitution and it saw the end of the Legislative Assembly.
The Assembly had remained a futile body and it had failed to achieve any of its aims to keep order. This saw the establishment of a new government called the National Convention. This new convention was to be elected by universal suffrage. Dantons organizing men and labourers supplied the army with men and weapons. This enabled Dumouriez to defeat Brunswick at Valmy (September 20th 1792). It was on the 21st of September that the Republic was proclaimed.
This was also the start of the Revolutionary calendar. The Convention and its Committee of Public Safety In the first week of September there was a call to arms by Danton to the Parisian mobs. They marched off to defend France. All those suspected of being against the revolution and being held in prison were also massacred. The massacres were initiated by the comite de surveillance of the Paris Commune under the leadership of Dr. Paul Marat.
Marat joined Robespierre and Danton in a triumvirate dedicated to the establishment of a proletarian republic. The main external pressures came from the new coalition formed by the European Monarchs. This included Austria, Prussia, Great Britain, Spain, Russia, Sardinia, Tuscany, the Netherlands Republic and the states of the Holy Roman Empire. Lazare Carnot, an organizational genius, organized the conscripted armies of France. They drove back this threat of the enemy. Any General who lost a battle was executed, as it was thought they were a traitor to the Republic. Within France the Committee dispatched the army to crush the royalist uprisings and instituted the Reign of Terror.
With the committee of Public Safety a revolutionary tribunal was also set up. The Revolutionary tribunal was to try counter revolutionaries. Then the Committee developed a new policy that involved the use of the guillotine across France. Many were killed, most from the aristocracy classes or those that were of wealth. The Committee was in favour of imposed equality by direct democracy, punishment and violence. The guillotine was the scythe of equality, the peoples axe.
There was the introduction of the Law of Suspects. This Law allowed of the arrest of those that were believed to have opposed the revolution. The Law of the Maximum was also introduced which allowed for the setting of price ceilings. The Jacobin dominated Committee loosely followed the needs of the Sans-Culottes. This allowed for greater popularity. They were well known as defending the poor.
When Danton believed that the external and internal threats had been dealt with he called for an end to the terror. Robespierre had him and his closest followers executed. This shocked many of the moderates within the convention as they thought if Danton was not safe who would be. They labeled Robespierre a terrorist and he was executed on July 28th 1794. With the passing of military danger, the desire appeared for a relaxation of these emergency measures.
The Jacobins were outvoted in the Convention and Robespierre accused and executed. The Jacobins were then outlawed, and the Terror officially ended. The Committee of Public Safety had been successful in making some epoch reforms. These included establishing the metric system of weights and measures, abolishing Negro slavery and establishing culture centres such as libraries and art galleries that were open to the masses. The Convention then abolished the Committee of Public Safety after the fall of Robespierre and also the Revolutionary Tribunals.
The Convention then formed the Constitution of Year III (Year III of the Revolutionary Calendar). This included: A Directory, or executive, of five directors, who were to hold the chief executive office in turn A) Parliament consisting of two Houses B) The Council of Five Hundred C) The Council of Elders D) limited franchise (like the one in 1791). This signified a return to the protection and support of the Bourgeoisie. It was a move away from the masses and the peasants. This also brought an end to the experiment of democratic government in France.
On the announcement of this constitution there were mass uprisings. These were stopped by Napoleon. Napoleon was becoming more and more popular with the Convention for his crushing of these attempted coup detat. Another problem had arisen though as the Second Coalition was formed. This included Britain, Russia, Turkey, Austria and Naples. Napoleon meanwhile was furthering his popularity with the success of his Italian Campaign and his Egyptian Campaign.
The period of 1795 to 1799 was marked with attempted coups and rebellions. However the Directory was able to continue in Government as it had the backing of the military. If this backing were to ever be removed the Directory would cease to exist. A final coup was organized by Napoleon Bonaparte. On returning to France in 1799 he joined with three of the Directors in a conspiracy to take control. His three Director collaborators resigned and the remaining two were arrested.
When the council of elders did not welcome him with opening arms he secured the government buildings with his army. A partial council of his friends were formed and voted Bonaparte and two others as temporary consuls. This was the start of the Consulate Government. The first task of Napoleon was to rid the threat if the Second Coalition. For this he marched his own armies against them.
Fighting his second Italian Campaign he inflicted a defeat on Austria at Marengo in 1800. General Moreau defeated the Austrians at Hohenlinden. Russia hastily withdrew form the coalition and the Austrian emperor agreed to peace. Then the Peace of Amiens was achieved with Britain in 1802. This got rid of the external threats for the time being.
Napoleon than worked on reorganizing France and closing the Revolution. While working towards this:: Local governments were made more efficient and became highly centralized. The Code of Napoleon was instituted The Concordant was signed with the Vatican France reverted back to the Christian Calendar Education was placed under a central control These changes made sure some of the good points of the Revolution were carried on. These included the abolition of the feudal system and the old class order. It also kept and guaranteed the land settlements of the Revolution and gained for Napoleon the support of the peasantry and the clergy. The costs of all these reforms affected all Frenchmen.
Personal Liberty disappeared; the press was censored; the schools and Church taught loyalty to Napoleon; the secrets police imprisoned or murdered Napoleons enemies. Napoleon claimed Frenchman only wanted glory, aggressive Nationalism and demagogic leadership. I sealed the gulf of anarchy and unraveled chaos. I purified the Revolution and strengthened the monarchy. Napoleon then started enlarging ports and docks and the British took this as an offence and disregarded the Peace of Amiens. In 1805 Britain formed the third coalition containing Britain, Russia, Prussia and Austria.
Napoleon defeated the Austrians at Ulm on the 15th of October 1805 and he entered Vienna. The British naval commander Lord Nelson destroyed his fleets in the ports of Spain and France. This ruined any chance of Napoleon invading Britain. By winning the battles at Austerlitz on the 2nd of December, 1805, Jena, Averstadt and Friedland in June of 1807, Napoleon defeated the Austrian, Prussian and Russian Armies. Austria accepted the Peace of Pressburg and Russia the Treaty of Tilsit.
In 1807 Russian and France became Allies. Napoleon improved his infrastructure to make campaigns more efficient. The continental Blockade was issued after the Berlin Decree that stated no British ships could trade with Europe. This was followed by a counter blockade. This greatly affected France more and this was abandoned in 1813.
By 1810 the French Empire had reached its biggest position. Napoleon then failed in his campaign s in Portugal and Spain. Austria encouraged by Spanish success rose in revolt in 1809. They were crushed in and in the Treaty Napoleon demanded the hand of the Austrian emperor Marie – Louise. IN 1811 Napoleon suffered a humiliating defeat in Russia.
Prussia also rose in revolt and was crushed. However Austria and Russia joined forces and defeated Napoleon at Leipzig. On April 14th 1814 Napoleon abdicated and was banished to the Island of Elba. Ten months later he returned but was defeated by British Prussian forces on the 18th of June at Waterloo. The Importance of Napoleon The Good: His early victories saved France He established law and order in France He established national unity under a string centralized government He made permanent some of the gains of the Revolution.
For example legal equality, land settlement and the departments for the local government Organized France into a string unified state eg. Concordat, Code of Napoleon, Bank of France European Countries were affected by abolishing class privileges and spreading nationalism. The Bad His wars continually drained France They cause a great loss of life and destruction His continental system dislocated trade and industry Private interests and rights became subordinate to the Emperor Napoleon thought that the only way he could be respected was to continually bring back glory through his military campaigns. The following is a list of those things that occurred due to or during the Revolution which had a considerable impact on French Society or the World. Immediate Effect on France of Napoleons Defeat at Waterloo With the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, there was a return of the Bourbons to the throne with Louis XVIII.
All of Napoleons conquests were lost by France and divided among those countries of the coalition that defeated France. Economically the wars had crushed France and left industry and commerce in ruins. This ruined Frances opportunity to rival Britains industrial power. Politically the coalition who had defeated France demanded a return to the old rulers and structure within France. This saw the middle classes fight bitterly to hold their basic legal and political rights.
It was not until 1870 that France would again become a Republic. The French Revolution summed up the whole Anti Feudal process in Europe by swiftly putting an end to all the feudal privileges, laws and institutions in France. With Napoleons conquest the Anti-Feudalism Process was spread further through Europe. This was made Napoleons conquests easier as the peasants of the countries were happy to see the end of Feudalism. After Napoleons defeat however most of Europe restored some of the feudal taxes and this undid the work of Napoleon and the Revolution.
The Bourgeoisie economically benefited the most from the Revolution. Firstly they secured the abolition of tax injustices within the Ancien Regime. Tax Privileges were abolished, so were corrupt taxing methods, local and provincial tolls, taxes on legal and market transactions, indirect taxes on goods and the harsh system of tax supervision which hampered the growth of industry and commerce. The Revolution also established a uniform standard of weights and measures. This was the metric system.
The Government also helped establish protective tariffs for French industries. The Revolution continued the process of Emancipating the Serfs and creating peasant proprietors. France emerged as having the richest peasants in Europe. Their land gains gave them wealth and power. Therefore the peasants became conservatives in French Politics.
To the workers and non-land owners the Revolution did not really benefit them. They were still not allowed to vote or form trade unions. Their working conditions still could not be negotiated. This may explain why there was later a Revolution against the Bourgeoisie. In its first victory the Revolution had put an end to absolutism in France.
Instead of the divine right of the Kings there was the will of the people. This was understood to mean limiting the powers of Government through a constitution and secondly electing an assembly and parliaments. Free speech, freedom of the press and freedom to form political parties were seen as basic human rights even though they did not really exist after Napoleon established a dictatorship. Universal Suffrage was started and then abandoned quickly. Political Liberties won by the revolution led to a constitutional parliament but not a democracy. The Revolution had provided one democratic election (National Assembly, and not for women) and this would be remembered throughout French History.
The Revolution brought an end to privileges and the class system. Everybody came under the same law and taxation. Promotion became open to talent and citizens were equal before the law. Neither the new set of Nobles nor the returned set in 1815 could extract the same privileges present in the Ancien Regimes nobility. The actions and ideas of the French Revolution have been keenly studied by political theorists. They have arrived at three different conclusions about which type of government should have resulted: Democratic parliamentary government is the best solution and it leads to endless reforms That another revolution is necessary to gain the social justice that the Bourgeoisie denied to the lower classes. This idea was to be embraced by socialist and later communists.
That good government can be expected only from a leader Genius like Napoleon. Bibliography Bibliography Blanch, Ian & Larson, Peter. The French Revolution . Online. Available HTTP://members.aol.com/agentmess/frenchrfev/frscri pt.html Forest, Woodberry.
The French Revolution 1789-1793. Online. Available HTTP://www.woodberry.org/acad/hist/FRWEB/ Christopher, James R. & Wittet, George G. Modern Western Civilization.
Toronto, Oxford University Press. 1991 Map of Europe in 1815. Online. Anailable HTTP://www.libarts.ucok.edu/history/faculty/plaks/ MAPS/eur1815.htm MODERN HISTORY SOURCEBOOK. The French Revolution. Online.
Available HTTP:// www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/FRENREV.html The French Revolution. Online. Available HTTP:// www.frenchrevolutionproject.homestead.com/french revolution.html Orsinger, Richard R. France During The Revolution And Under Napoleon Bonaparte. Online. Available HTTP://www.txdirect.net/users/rrichard/napoleol.ht m.