Three Stages Of The French Revolution

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The enlightenment was an intellectual movement resulting from scientific advances, and it applies critical thought and reasoning to everything, including political systems and its relationship to religion, particularly Christianity. During the enlightenment, ideas were spread and shared more easily due to an increased literacy of the people and because of the invention of the printing press, making it easier to make and distribute newspapers, thus information, to the people. One of the leading personalities during the enlightenment was a man named Voltaire, he was a judge, and was critical of the French government and its absolutism. One of his publications was called “Letters Concerning the English Nation”. He states that the “Social Contract”,…show more content…
Stage I of the revolution was the slower and more peaceful of the three stages of the revolution, because the advocates of reform wanted to go through some sort of legislative body. To establish a constitution was the goal of this stage. Louis XVI agreed with the proposed changes, and in 1791 was able to issue a constitution, wherein those who could vote and couldn’t vote was clearly defined, it established religious toleration, banned slavery in France, abolished guilds, and the local government was reorganized into 83 departments. However, due to the hastily formed type of government, and France not having any history and experience with a different kind of government, the changes were executed poorly and was met with many challenges and resistances. Additionally, over time, it was evident that the changes made, benefited the elites not the poor. All these failures of the 1st stage of the revolution ushered in the 2nd stage. In the 2nd stage of the revolution, which began in June of 1789, it was established that the people, not the king, are sovereign. The rights of man like, freedom of speech, press and religion, and equal treatment before the law was declared. However, this stage also failed primarily due to the peasant 's "Great Fear". Having people as the sovereign instead of a king, was a completely new idea to the people and was met with plenty of skepticism, and fear of reprisal by the king, prompting the peasants to organize different militias. Due to the people 's revolts, countries that supported the monarchy intervened, and chaos and violence erupted within France. In 1794, an effort to control the madness and establish control was made, and a directory consisting of 5 elected men was established, signaling the beginning of the 3rd stage of the revolution. The primary goal of the 3rd stage was to moderate and end the terror happening in France, and the primary figure that came from this period
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