French Revolution Dbq Essay

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Imagine a country of rigid hierarchy, and restricted rights, brimming with conflict, and chaos to come. This was Pre-Revolution France. The French Revolution was brought on by the French people’s desire for equality and liberty for all estates, and their anger at the current monarch King Louis the 16th. It was largely influenced by the ideas of Enlightenment thinkers such as John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, with some of the main goals being equality, freedom, and ending feudalism. Feudalism was a social system, widely used in pre-revolution France, where peasants worked for the lords in exchange for land and protection. During the French Revolution, Napoleon Bonaparte was becoming more and more known through his many military achievements. …show more content…

Throughout history, many historians have argued whether Napoleon’s actions helped uphold or undermine the goals of the French Revolution. Documents such as the Napoleonic Code, a book of laws written by Napoleon, largely preserving the ideas of the French Revolution and furthering Equality, and The Imperial Decree at Madrid, a decree issued by Napoleon after he conquered Spain, abolishing the Feudal System and spreading ideas of the French Revolution into Spain, provide strong evidence that Napoleon upheld the goals of the French Revolution. “Napoleon as Preserver of the Revolution”, a secondary source article written by George Rudé, also argues and provides evidence of Napoleon's rule in furthering Equality and ending Feudalism. Additionally, the Glencoe World History textbook provides information on Napoleon’s new bureaucracy and how this helped Napoleon promote equality. Through these documents and articles, it is clear that Napoleon upheld and furthered the ideals of the French Revolution by promoting equality, ending feudalism, and spreading the ideals of the …show more content…

Equality was scarce in pre-revolution France, where there was a strict social hierarchy. During this period the people were upset by the rigid social structure and the fact that the third estate was the only estate being taxed, while the first and second estates were exempt from the taxes. During the French Revolution, the people fought fiercely for equality. In the moderate phase of the French Revolution, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was published. This document largely addresses the goal of equality by eliminating the first and second estates tax exemptions and establishing equality for all. Following the French Revolution the Napoleonic Code, a code written by Napoleon in 1800 was published. It is a set of laws created by Napoleon himself, that promotes equality and ends feudalism for the French people. The Napoleonic Code states “The exercise of civil rights is independent of the quality of citizen, which is only acquired and preserved conformably to the constitutional law” (Napoleonic Code, Article 7). This article of the Napoleonic Code is giving all French citizens civil rights through the constitution instead of through social status, which is how the French people’s natural rights were determined before. By doing this Napoleon gave all French men equal rights, no matter their social status. In

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