French revolution

the term French revolution refers to the historical period between 1789 and 1799 in France, in which for the first time in the modern history of Europe a monarchy was replaced by a republic. The revolution marks thatTransition from the early modern times to the modern trend and represents one of the most important breaks in European history.

In the period of 14. July 1789 (storm on the Bastille) up to 9. November 1799 (beginning of the rule Napoléons)the transition of France from the absolute monarchy carried out itself to the republic. Although the Republic of extensively and durably only 1871 could be established, the revolution changed the society of France and Europe fundamentally. Here the model became the modern state andSocial order production. The achievements of the revolution like personal liberty, opinion - and Pressefreiheit and equality of all citizens before the law, a same taxation, the general right to vote, the right of self-determination of the people, the connection of the state to a condition and occupation - and freedom of trade (fundamental rights) are today fundamental part of the consciousness of the citizens of the western democracies and, at least on the paper, basis of the right of most states of the earth.
The time of the terror, the fright rule Robespierres with the illegal and arbitrary condemnation to death on the Guillotine, stands for the negative side of the revolution.

Eugène Delacroix: „The liberty leads the people “(the picture represents the July revolution of 1830, to those) Table of contents 1 causes 1,1 overview 1,2 the philosophy



the revolution had numerous causes, to the most important following belonged:

  • The authority crisis: The philosophy of the clearing-up during 18. Century partly publicised oneBreak with the absolutist to a democratic state State of, the general validity of humans - and citizen rights, the secular state as well as the faith in the reason. This philosophy extracted from the requirement for rule of king (Gottesgnadentum) and Klerusthe basis.
  • The Erstarken of the middle class: The first two conditions (Klerus and aristocracy) divided political power. Citizens and farmers were not involved, although the middle class was economically erstarkt. This and in the other pointsspecified bad states led to a dramatically shrinking confidence in the third conditions.
  • The crisis of the Feudalismus: The traditionally feudale social order, which was based on interdependence, was guessed/advised from the plumb bob, since the aristocracy still enjoyed all privileges,politically however by the absolutism more noticed no tasks. To another picture came the historian Alfred Cobban, which classified the society at that time not as feudalistisch, but the-poetically.
  • The economic crisis: The French state stood briefly before the inability to pay.Besides 1789 the bread prices rose clearly on (1788er harvest failure, severe winter 1788/89). The food prices were increased over up to 60%, the wages of the farmers however only by 20%, which led to hunger and misery.

The philosophy of the clearing-up

sinceCenter 18. Century controlled the critical spirit of the clearing-up the society. Large parts of the aristocracy did not believe no more in the traditional privileges, to which they owed their position. The salons, magazines, debating clubs and freebricklayer-lied always became carrier thatmore critically becoming public opinion. Into the broad layers simple key words penetrated, which supplied reasons for and a way out of the desolate situation.

The Erstarken of the middle class

in the course 18. Century formed within the third conditions a newsocial layer out. From buyers, industriellen entrepreneurs, financial tenants and officials the middle class developed.

For the economy of France was the middle class of crucial importance. It - with exception of colonial business - was forbidden to noble ones, itself in the flourishing tradeto operate, since this was not considered as according to rank; of that increasingly farmers suffering from the mercantilism however they hardly still taxes could require, whereby in particular the low aristocracy became impoverished. The economic weighting shifted clearly to favour of the large middle class.

On the other handthe aristocrats kept their political leading position. They were released and only from all taxes them had entrance to public offices. Since the large middle class did not divide these privileges, a dissonance between its great economic importance and its small political power developed.

This led to the fact that the discontent in the middle class grew and ever more citizen expressed criticism at the existing rule system. The citizens became simultaneous more self-confidently and sought themselves from the other society classes to distinguish. Expression found increased self-confident its of the middle class for example inthe end 17. Century developing Cafés and private civil circles, in which judges, attorneys, writers, physicians as well as specialized employees of the civilian or military administration met. Soon a discussion culture spread, for those among other things Voltaires writings in this surrounding fieldto the English parliamentarism, Montesquieus opinions for the separation of the government authorities and Rousseaus demands for people sovereignty were crucial.

The criticism at the absolutism entered also contemporary plays like the wedding of the Figaro . Owing to influential advocates many of these pieces of the royal could It escapes censorship and actually came to the performance whereby the criticism at the existing system and the demand achieved a broad public after political say.

The crisis of the Feudalismus

The Feudalismus is the name for the medieval social order, those on the leaning naturewas justified. The king prevailed not over a territory, but over a personnel federation. The co-operation of the society was ensured by mutual subordinate positions. The Vasallen carried for example war service for the king out, for which they got country as return made available.

ThisSocial order had been replaced to a large extent by the absolutism. The king saw itself from now on as ruler over a territorial state and personbound dependence between the king and the crowning and Aftervasallen was abolished, since the king assigned no more Lehen. Throughthis social paging an imbalance in the society had developed: Aristocracy and Klerus had less and less obligations in relation to the third conditions, retained however nevertheless their rights. The third conditions had to pay further deliveries to the dominant layers out and carry Frondienste, withoutto get in response ensured by its rulers protection. This unfairness is mentioned in many later revolution writings (see. the writings of Abbé Sieyès).

Also the rigid condition system lost appreciably its justification. The third conditions covered a multiplicity very more differently more sociallyAnd 98.3% of the French population constituted groups. Poor farmers or Tagelöhner belonged likewise to the third conditions like rich large citizens. Therefore very large economic contrasts and different interests developed within the third conditions.

Also in the second conditions, which became aristocracy,the contrasts more clearly: Low aristocracy and high aristocracy fought for the re-establishment and/or preservation of their political Mitspracherrechte opposite the king and stood thus in principle in opposition to the absolutist aligned ruler. Them the interest, any privileges to the rising part was not commonto deliver the middle class. In addition the border between aristocracy and Nichtadel blurred, since king and yard with view of the financial situation granted ever more civil one against appropriate payments the entrance into the conditions of the aristocracy.

Economic crisis

the control system had become outdatedand by many lack and abuses loads. Of the most important direct tax, which was waist, Klerus and aristocracy releases. The collection of the indirect taxes lay in the hands of general tenants. These drew the taxes against payment of a fixed leaseindependently. The general tenants tried now to press out of them entrusted areas the highest possible tax revenue in order to maximize their personal profit.

The budgetary deficit of the French state increased 1736 and 1789 between rapidly, so that finally even a national bankruptcy threatened.The support of the wars of independence of American settlers against the ore enemy England did not meet the French national budget hard, also the peace treaty with England brought economic recovery. On the contrary: Industrially far developed England inundated the French market with cheap textiles, industrial goods andagricultural goods, while the domestic economy under harvest failures suffered.

A industrie and an agrarian crisis end of the 1780er years increased the discontent, and a harvest failure 1788, followed of a severe winter, led to the fact that the bread prices rose clearly.


Recapitulatory overview

as beginning of the revolution becomes mostly the so-called „storm “on the Bastille in Paris to 14. July 1789 (since 1880 national holiday of France) seen. The actual starting point of the revolution took place however already some weeks before: summoning togetherthe general conditions and the controversy over the third conditions for the exclusive agency of the nation explained itself their mode of election, consequently.

The main motive frequently associated with the revolution of 1789, the Trias „Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité “(„liberty, equality, fraternity “), became only at the beginning1871 as foreign exchange to the third republic imported and afterwards as the main maxim of the revolution explains. In the process of the revolution this was only one of many three-formulas like „welfare, Kraft, Einheit “and „Kraft, Gleichheit, Gerechtigkeit “, who one in the historical documentsfrom this time does not find under any circumstances more frequent than the latter.

The French revolution marks - since the Marxist historical interpretation - the social transformation of the feudalen to the capitalistic society. The monarchy was fallen and a republic was created. For the first timethe economically erstarkte middle class took over also the political rule of the aristocracy, which lost already before increasingly in meaning. In the science of history the revolution is used from 1789 as dating for the end of the early modern times.

After the explanation of thethird conditions within the general conditions for national assembly, these announced to 26. August 1789 also the first general declaration of the human rights (French original text: Déclaration of the Droits de l'Homme et you Citoyen).

In the process of the revolution king became Ludwig XVI.fallenand together with its wife, queen Marie Antoinette first arrests and 1793 by the Guillotine executed. The arrest found to 10. August 1792 instead of and the king became to 21. January 1793 before court posed and executed.

The French revolution broughthowever not the hoped for liberty, but ended to the people in a terror regime under Maximilien de Robespierre (executed in June 1794) and Danton, who first by a board of directors was replaced and after few years by the autocracy Napoléons (1799 and/or 1804). Napoleon crowned himself in the long run to the emperor of the Frenchmen (1804), maintained however substantial achievements of the French revolution and established these also in other European states (for example code civil compared as the first example of a civilLaw book BGB).

Vorrevolution 1786-1789 (king against parliament)

Ludwig XVI.and its Ministers had long recognized that a budget reorganization was possible only on the basis of more far-reaching reforms; above all the exemption from taxes had to be waived by aristocracy and Klerus. These defendedin the parliament of Paris and in the thirteen regional parliaments their privileges.

With the appointment of baron Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, a representative of the physiokratischen economic theory, to the Minister of Finance 1775, was operated first a radically reformistic economic policy. Turgot terminated many, a uniform real estate tax for all conditions created, freed national interferences into the economy the farmers from some Frondiensten, established with the abolishment of the guilds the freedom of trade, levied a tax on landed property and gave the privilege of the grain trade for all Frenchmenfreely. With these measures it encountered the embittered resistance of the parliaments. After he in addition the high yard attitude costs of the king as well as France criticized commitment in the American war of independence, Ludwig took XVI. this to the cause to dismiss Turgot 1776.

Jacques Necker,a civil banker from Geneva, operated an opposite economic policy. It took up high government loans, looked for the support of the privileged ones, by supporting the reestablishment of the Provinziallandtage and the economy affected by national interferences, by determining for example the grain prices.Since it aimed at however - like already Turgot - a tax revision, which should be carried out however with support of the parliaments, he failed like its predecessor because of the resistance of the privileged ones and the yard aristocracy. As it in a report, the 100.000-mal, the budgetary deficit of France was printed published, dismissed Ludwig XVI. also it.

Its 1783 destined successors Charles Alexandre de Calonne, who likewise aimed at a tax revision, it was clear that this could not be interspersed in agreement with the parliaments. Therefore appointedit the Notabeln, a 144köpfiges, of the king determined committee from men of high education, rank and fortune. These refused co-operation however and demanded summoning the general conditions, those together the Jacques Necker on instruction, appointed again as the Minister of Finance, of theKing to 5. May 1789 summoned together.

On the way to the constitutional monarchy (1789-1791)

the meeting of the general conditions

summoning of the condition meeting of France together by king Ludwig XVI, first since 1614. in the crisis year 1789 applies today among historians as the crucial tripthe French revolution.

The summoning of the general conditions accompanied already with numerous concessions of the king to the third conditions. Thus for the first time each male French citizen, that possessed 25. Lebensjahr had completed, the passive and active right to vote,if he had registered himself in particular into the tax list, and those delegate number of the third conditions doubled on 621 delegated in. The desires and complaints of the voters generally speaking country should thereby the delegated one, those in the classical conceptiona imperatives mandate held, in the form of complaint booklets („cahiers de doléance “) to be given.

Choice procedure and composition

the choice of the general conditions took place themselves on the level of the royal administrative districts in three separated choice procedures, for the Klerus ina over weighting low clergyman and in the third conditions in a over weighting of largecivil interests struck down. Accordingly the composition of the third conditions was characterised by a dominating number of persons from the large middle class: Like that were under the 585 to 621 (thoseData in addition vary) delegates of the third conditions largecivil occupations such as attorneys, notaries, basic owners, dealers, judges, mayors and physicians strongly over-represented. Besides were also financial specialists, noble ones, employees of the military administration and not exercising priests among the representatives of the third conditions.

Revolution in Versailles

of summoning the condition meeting together was expected by all parties with very strongly diverging resolutions and expectations. While the king saw the purpose in deciding new taxes, it was the avowed goal of Klerus and aristocracy, theirTo defend privileges not only to recover but also their political meaning to thus reach a weakening of the absolutist system.

The third conditions hoped against the fact that its grown economic role is also politically appreciated and it political say in form of oneCondition were guaranteed. In addition one was not satisfied with the traditional choice procedure after conditions. The increased delegate number should be considered also with the tuning, why by prominent delegates of the third conditions one demanded, not after conditions, but after thatTo co-ordinate majority principle. The majority principle was not successful however, thus the delegates withdrew. Thus the problem of the increased delegate numbers took care of itself. The economic role of the third conditions did not become after this political procedure failed the say in form of a conditionguaranteed.

The controversy over the mode of election dragged on over weeks, to itself to 17. The delegates of the third conditions closed for national assembly finally explained June 1789, whereby they requested the delegates of the other two conditions to follow them. Partsthe aristocracy and the Klerus followed them, by the majority remained their resistance however just as unbroken as that of the king. It concerned nearly all of the 1. Conditions, up to the bishops and some few 2. Conditions.Because of alleged construction work parliament building was thus closed, in order to block the work of the new appointed national assembly. Therefore the delegates of the new national assembly moved into the close convenient ball house, in order to carry famous the ball house oath out become there, in thatthey among other things swore themselves “… to never separate and everywhere meet, where the circumstances will require it, so long to the condition it is created and on firm bases is based “. When they refused in addition, one ofResolution of 20 wrote king. June, that the explanation of 17. June for illegaly explained to follow added itself Ludwig the new political circumstances and explained, the delegates should the national assembly follow. There now the political responsibilitysubstantially in the hands, explained themselves it was appropriate for the national assembly to 9. July for condition-giving meeting („Constituante “).

The revolution of the third conditions in of Paris

about at the same time for the summoning of the general conditions began itself also the tendency in Paris underto heat the third conditions. The bread prices were still high due to the harvest failure in the year 1788. As the king at the 11. July 1789 the civil Minister of Finance Necker dismissed, who was considered to many civil ones as guarantor of necessary changes, even if itszögerliche reform politics far behind that its predecessor stayed, gave this the cause for first collisions between excited craftsmen and royal troops. Fast the rumor, the king spread wants its troops together to pull, around the constitution of the new national assembly inTo prevent Versailles by force. Into of Paris strong middle class and arranged for each Paris district the education of armed citizen weirs took over large parts of the city administration . The new national guard carried the colors blue and red.

„The storm on the Bastille “
thatStorm on the Bastille to 14. July 1789

to 14. July 1789 came it to the storm on the Bastille. The Bastille , around cannons, drew thousands armed Paris citizen and Vorstädter those from Bastille commander Marquis to Paris city prisons ,de Launay brought into the prison were to konfiszieren for the new national guard.

In the Bastille, a prison particularly for noble ones, also very famous and for the civil revolution symbol-pregnant persons had been arrested, as for instance Voltaire,that also some its writings wrote there. 1789 were occupied the prison, which with its 30 meters high walls and 25 meters worked broad ditches impressing, with 80 invalids awake soldiers and 30 Swiss. It accommodated however only sieved insignificantPrisoner.

The applied quantity penetrated by force into the Bastille, by the Gegenwehr of the awake soldiers in it was surprised and withdrew themselves soon thereafter. After some negotiations with delegations of citizens, in whom the Bastille crew explained, it becomesthe Bastille handed over, if the citizens were actually legitimate representatives that Paris city government, came it then from until today not clarified reasons to a second shooting, with which there were about 80 dead ones and wounded ones among the besieging citizens.

ThoseCitizens brought now by two departments several cannons to the French guard here and develop them before the gate of the fortress. Thereupon de Launey hissten and its invalid awake soldier a white flag for the indication of their surrender. The Bastillepeacefully one handed over. That Paris city peoples lynched the commander and one of the awake soldiers on the way to the city hall and pulled as indication of the Triumphes with de Launeys head by the roads of Paris.

Altogether it had with approximately hundred dead ones in this afternoon more dead one than given with all other preceeding collisions between royal troops and civil ones. The success of the insurgent ones was recognized by the king, by it the advice of the insurgent ones in Paris city halls as official agency that Paris citizen,the “municipality”, recognized. In addition it set Ministers of Finance Necker. To 17. July visited the king the city and attached themselves in the city hall as symbol of the solidarity to the people the blue-white-red Kokarde to its hat.

In the following years became„the storm on the Bastille “from the revolutionaries to an important historical myth of the French republic stylizes.

The revolution of the farmers in completely France

also the large number of the farmers in completely France, those still under the large harvest failure of 1788 suffered, could by the revolutionary tendency and rumors of around-pulling gangs of robbers be stuck on. „The large fear “fallow out, into the farmers, monasteries and locks armed themselves stormed and many documents, as for example such, the one which can be carried outFrondienste and deliveries the farmer regulated, destroyed. Many aristocrat fled before from their properties.

The civil members of the national assembly were to a large extent shocked, there over the messages of the country them one of the principles of the early revolution - protecting the property- saw threatened.

About 100 delegates of the national assembly, which had united in the Bretoni club, in order to coordinate its common procedure, therefore suggested sacrificing the vested titles of the Feudalherren in order to protect the civil vested titles. In the night session of 4. The delegates of the Bretoni club could succeed August, all feudalen privileges like the explicit hunting right of the aristocracy, the body characteristic and the feudale tax exemption were abolished. Each citizen (citoyen) possessed owing to these formally at the 11. August adopted August decrees same rights and obligations. In order to lend in addition, to the August decrees validity in law, the king had its agreement to give, what Ludwig XVI. for the time being refused. He did this only under the impression of the course of the Poissarden and the national guard after Versailles to 5. October, under whose escort it went on the next day to Paris. „The Ancien régime “was now finally past.

The declaration of the human rights

to 26. August 1789 announces the national assembly on suggestion of the delegate Marquisde Lafayette the explanation of the people and citizen rights consisting of 17 articles. In it the ideals of the clearing-up are formulated as for all men and at all times valid laws. In particular therein the rights of the liberty, the property became,security and postulates the right to resistance in relation to suppression. In addition, modern state-theoretical thoughts like the division of power, the people sovereignty, freedom of religion and opinion and right-national principles find entrance into the explanation, which is adopted with large majority. ThoseSlavery was abolished.


Humans are born freely and directly at rights and remain it. (Equality, end of the privileges) social differences can be justified only in the well-being of the community (§ 1).
The purpose of each national combination is thosePreservation of the natural and imprescriptible human rights. These rights are: Liberty, property, security and resistance against suppression (§ 2). “
” The origin of each rule is appropriate in principle and for its nature after in the nation: No body and no individually knows an authorityexercise, which deduces itself not expressly from it (§ 3).
The liberty consists of being able to do everything what does not harm another [...]. The borders of the liberty can be determined alone by the law (§ 4). “

In article 11the explanation of the people and citizen rights it meant: „The free report of the thoughts and opinions is one of the most precious human rights “.

The article saw already a restriction of the liberty of opinion forwards, however only in the autumn the 1791 into forcestepped. The newspapers consisting usually of few thousand copies per edition used the liberty of opinion extensively, partly also in slanderous way against individual delegates and to the call to demonstrations, in order to have revolutionary pressure for the delegates of the national assembly.

Despite allprogressive elements of the explanation were equated at that time human rights still with man rights. The fact that the explanation refers only to men is mentioned in the explanation not expressly, understood themselves however automatically. As reaction the French philosophies of law and authoress at that time published Olympe de Gouges 1791 the Déclaration droits de la femme et de la citoyenne („explanation of the rights of the woman and citizen “), in which it demanded the complete equalization of the woman with the man.

“Patrioten”, “Constitutionnels” and monarchists in thatNational assembly

within the national assembly had not come it to date yet to the party formation. In the course of the discussion around the people and citizen rights however increasingly different camps crystallized: The camp demanded a fast and consistent execution of the revolutionand occurred for values such as liberty, equality and democratic principles. This grouping occupied itself gradually from the parliament president on the left of finding places of the building, over as far as possible away of at the honour places to rights of the parliament presidentto sit sitting delegates of the first two conditions. To it Robespierre belonged.

In the center the “Constitutionnels” sat with La Fayette and Abbé Sieyès, which endorsed a constitutional monarchy. They partly stepped for an absolute right of veto of the king. In addition Abbé Sieyès demanded a right to vote only for the male possession middle class. For this position the consideration was crucial that only a not available and independent citizen should exercise the right to vote.

Them most aristokratischen closed at the right edgeDelegates on, who demanded a restoration of the old feudalen order of France including the privileges. Their rows got thinner rapidly, since many noble ones emigrierten.

To organization into left policy and right policy, used today, originates from this time, became howeveronly after the revolution transferred to the general linguistic usage.

The Jakobiner

in view of the then chaotic conditions during the parliamentary debates, with which also numerous spectators were present, sat down the well organized Bretoni club, which belonged to linking, with mostDecisions through. Soon he baptized himself in club of the Jakobiner over, since they met in a monastery, which was designated after holy Jakob. In the statute of the Jakobinerklubs of 8. February 1790 is called it among other things, the goal thatJakobiner is „the uniformity of desires, principles, and acting the revolution for completing “. In view of this goal and the good internal organization the Jakobinerklub, to which alone approximately 400 delegates that belonged linking, in the course of the time became a competitionto the national assembly, in which many requests were discussed internally first, before they were submitted to the national assembly to the discussion.

The emergence of the nation

before the French revolution the terms people and nation were used synonymously, designated thus member of one by language, Culture, and history connected group of humans. Thus one spoke German nation for example also at European universities of one „“, „English nation “in addition, „bretonischen nation “as name for the group of the students from the respective countries.

With thatFrench revolution the term of a redefinition was submitted. A part of the nation was now each citizen, who itself to the political-social values of the nation well-known, which formed a state. From now on there was not thus no more a bretonische nation, korsische nation or elsässische nation, but only a French nation, which did not define themselves first over a common language or culture, but over common principles and values. Everyone, which itself to the values of the revolution well-known, could French citizen become.

In the course of the formation of this nation it came first to numerous standardizations of the right customs and to regional alliances between neighbouring cities and provinces. The emergence so ever more closely interlaced network from friendly cities became to 14. July 1790 with the celebration of the fraternization in Paris and many other places celebrated. This starting point for a renewed reinterpretation of the term of the nation, in which the nation was defined again also over language and culture, was later whatin France to a suppression of regional languages and customs led.

Apart from the goals of the revolution - liberty, equality and property -, determining to date, now fourth developed, later often associated guidance term of the revolution: the fraternity (la fraternité).

Failed the escape of the king

to 20. June 1791 tried the king including its family into neighbouring Luxembourg, that from his having citizen brother-in-law Leopold governed to flee. It left a letter addressed to the Frenchmenback, in which he announced his imminent, militarily protected return and the dissolution by force of the national assembly.

With a post office station in Varennes it was however recognized and stopped, over thereafter - escorted by members of the national guard - to the return to Paristo be forced. The so morally weakened king saw itself forced to put an oath down on the new condition of 1791, prepared by the national assembly which limited the rule of the king to a suspensives right of veto for laws prepared by the national assembly.

The constitutional monarchy in the crisis (1791-1792)

in the condition of 1791 was contained already a clear confession to the people sovereignty, since it limited the function of the king to its right of veto as well as representative tasks. A republic without king became before itsEscape only demanded by few radical-left and democratic groupings as the Cordeliers - club, whose members were to a large extent not selectable however for lack of property and could thus also hardly political influence within the patriotic party win. Around the achievements of the past civilRevolution to secure, tried a part of the Patrioten, thus the left wing of the parliament to aim at a reconciliation with the king and stated, the king had been kidnapped by „enemies of the revolution “. During at that time still moderate Jakobinerklub this lieaccepted, demanded radical-left groupings like the Cordeliers - club impeachment proceedings against the king on basis of an opinion poll. During a demonstration to 17. About 5000 craftsmen and worker from the poorer layers of this demand expression tried to lend July 1791 andby the revolutionary guard were fired at. Thus it came to bloody splitting of the patriotic party, which determined so far quite by agreement the course of the revolution.

Danger of a aristokratischen Gegenrevolution?

Abroad military forces, some Gegenrevolution collected themselves at the timeaimed at. The possibility of each humans, who profess themselves to the values of the French revolution, part of the French nation to become, scared the noble ones completely Europe exactly the same as the numerous political rights of codetermination, which the middle class had fought for. Onefeared, the again won liberty of the citizens in France can the likewise economically erstarkten civil layers of other European countries likewise revolutionary unrests cause and assumed as wire-pullers of the revolution the aufklärerischen Illuminatenorden forbidden since 1784, thatany longer did not exist.

Among other things become impoverished French noble ones from loyalty collected themselves to their king to a military armed force and in Koblenz met members of the wealthy yard aristocracy around a brother of Ludwig XVI in Worms.. In the populationcirculating rumors of a against-revolutionary conspiracy of the loyalistischen noble ones seemed to be confirmed by the escape of the king and its left letter.

In fact however most princes had due to other martial entangling, like the war of Russia and Austria against that Osmani realm 1790 and the national collections of Poland, no interest in a war against France, following in the year after. Nevertheless the connections of royalistischer circles to the foreign country contributed to the fact that fears of invasion and conspiracy theories in France substantial spread.

ThoseParanoia was directed now against the Girondisten, the moderate republicans. Their leaders were Vergniaud, Brissot, and Roland. The wealthy and of the ideas of the clearing-up fulfilled middle class in west and Southern France was represented in this party. The Girondisten wanted thoseRevolution as soon as possible see terminated deepening, which Jakobiner it resume, in the sense of a class warfare and the fight against feudale Europe to resume. The Girondisten tried to save the life of the king. Thus they came into contrast to the Jakobinern, althoughthey with them had fallen before together the Königtum. In the convention they were pushed 1793 into the opposition, since one unjustified-proved them suspected, to have against the revolution conspire themselves. Their leaders and many of their members became 1793/94 duringthe fright rule Robespierres executed.

The Sansculotten forces the Republic of

Die Sansculottes
the Sansculottes

of the owners of shop and craftsmen Paris' above all the missed financial policy the dominant revolutionary, particularly the group of the later Girondisten, become impoverished, for the renewed economic crisis was made responsible. Fastthey united to a socialrevolutionary people movement, to the Sansculotten (of French sans culottes - without knee federation trousers, the typical leg clothes of noble). Their demands were above all a genuine direct democracy without census right to vote and interferences of the state into the economy,as for example the definition of a top price for bread. In July 1792 Sansculotten the Tuilerien , the place of residence of the king in Paris stormed. There they forced the king among other things to put the phrygische cap on of the Jakobiner. During the second conquest of theTuilerienschlosses to 10. August 1792, with which they defeated the Swiss guards of the king, fled Ludwig XVI. into the building of the national assembly and under the pressure of the Sansculotten by its office, there itself with the plundering that was suspended thereTuilierien of documents found had proven, the betrayal of the king with the revolution. At the same time one decided the summoning of a new national assembly, the national convention (convention national), which should prepare a republican condition.

The rule of the national convention (1792-1794)

meeting of theNational convention and introduction of the revolution calendar

the national convention stepped for the first time to 20. September 1792 together, decided the abolishment of the monarchy on the following day and to 22. September the introduction in accordance with a new annuity those the current as a “year I of the republic”to apply should. In the following year decided the national convention then to radicalize this new counting method and led completely new, “republican” designations and/or. Partitionings for days, weeks and months. Became retroactively the 22. September 1792 as starting point of the revolution calendar confirms,meanwhile all earlier data further after the Gregorian calendar were designated. In historical representations it is quite usual until today, for highlights of French history, between that the 22. September 1792 (1. Vendémiaire I) and that 31. December 1805(10. Nivôse XIV) took place to indicate the data both after the Gregorian one and after the revolution calendar.

Mountain and level

after had decided, left the national assembly the joggle of the king the delegates that rights concluded from protest the parliament. Now stillremaining left ones split finally.

The third selected national assembly, the national convention, split into the Montagnarden (of French la montagne, mountain) or too German a mountain party and the Girondisten withdrawn from the Jakobinerklub, those as moderate civil revolutionariesin opposition to the Montagnarden stood. To the mountain party the most radical Wortführer of the Jakobiner belonged such as Maximilian Robespierre and Georges Danton, which cooperated increasingly also with the Sansculotten. The large quantity of the delegates, times with the one, times alsothe other group were correct, marked both groups than amorphous sump (Marais) or level.

Beheading Ludwig XVI.

for the republic and against thoseMonarchy was correct the new convention, reminding the uncovered royal betrayal, still closed. The first controversy between Montagnarden and Girondisten was inflamed over the question, how the king was to be punished.

A small minority around Robespierre demanded the immediate treatment of the kingas traitors, thus its killing without process. The majority decided for a process, whereby the convention was determined as court instance. In the middle of January 1793 spoke the convention nearly unanimously the king of the high treason guiltily, but only one very much knappe majorityfrom a voice decided in an open and namentlichen tuning for the death penalty.

The Girondisten requested first an opinion poll to the judgement and then a moratorium for the enforcement of the punishment. Both became by the majority of votes of the Montagnarden under guidancethe Jakobiner rejected. To 21. January 1793 (2. Pluviôse I) became Ludwig XVI. before the eyes of the people on the Place de la revolution, the today's Place de la Concorde, executed.

The first French republic and the terror

to24. June 1793 adopted the convention the condition of the first French republic. In it both the right to property (“it was contained meant the fact that everyone its goods and its income which after free liking possesses yield of its work and its diligenceand over it to order can ") like also the right to the rebellion (“hurts the government the rights of the people, is the rebellion for the people and for each group of the people the holiest and absolute obligation”). Above all however was to firstTimes a general and same right to vote (for men) intended. However the entry into force of the condition was shifted on peacetime.

Instead the rebellions of the Girondisten in the province and the murder Marats led to 13. July 1793 (25. Messidor I) tooviolent excitation in Paris and to retaliatory measures against alleged and actual counter-countering revolutionaries in completely France. The so-called “war of the liberty was led against their enemies” (St.Just) by the wohlfahrtsausschuss, whose members were selected again each month by the convention. At the pointwohlfahrtsausschuss stood of 27. July 1793 up to 27. July 1794 Robespierre. The alleged measures for the rescue of the revolution were directed now no longer only against Aristokraten and moderate politicians, but also against the large middle class and all this those, thosethe continuation of the revolution rejected. Also Danton and Desmoulins became to 5. April 1794 (16. Germinal II) as “traitors” and “enemies of the native country” guillotiniert. These efforts to seek out and fight all enemies of the revolution on the inside became more and morealso of trailers of the republic as reign of terror felt.

To 27. July 1794 (9. Thermidor II) were accused and arrested Robespierre and its of trailers in the convention. One day later, to 28. July 1794 (10. Thermidor II) became them, after a missedRelease attempt, executed.

Board of directors and internal stabilization (1794-1799)

in place the Robespierres took over the “Thermidorianer “power. A new condition was adopted and the census right to vote was led. The government lay now in the hands of a family of five board of directors. ThatParliament consisted of two chambers, the “advice the five hundred” and the advice of the oldest ones with 250 members.
The changing members of the board of directors tried to calm the internal situation down in France and a careful reconciliation between the former Jakobinern and thatTo manufacture trailers of a constitutional monarchy. At the same time that led board of directors further war against nearly all of kings controlled states of Europe. The generals won, in the first place Napoleon ever more influence on the political happening.

“The revolution is terminated”: Napoléon Bonaparte

Napoléon Bonaparte was a child of the revolution. 1789 he was already an officer in the French army, could 1791 on the condition be sworn in and took part in the year after with the conquest of the Tuilerien in Paris. Besides was itduring the back conquest of insurgent French cities such as Avignon or Marseille in the employment. Thus it is carried within only two years from the captain to the Brigadier General. When it to the 1795 taking place Royalistenaufstand in Paris on behalf bar-race successfully strikes down, it receivesthe Kommandantur over the army of the inside and in the year after the supreme command over the alpine army.

With this army it defeated 1796 in a proper lightning campaign of scarcely six months the Austrian troops in Italy and forced the emperor of the holy Roman realm of German nation Franz II. to the peace. Italy received a new face by Napoléon: from the many monarchischen small states new larger republics, like Liguri or the Cisalpine republic, were formed. The church state was explained for waived andthe Pope went as a prisoner to France.

Around the supremacy of the English fleet in the Mediterranean area to cut Napoléon planned an Egypt campaign, to which he breaks open in May 1798. Within only three weeks it conquers first Alexandria and then Later admiral Nelson the French fleet strikes Cairo , but only one week with Abukir destroying. Napoléon still breaks 1799 open to a Syria campaign, with which he conquers Gaza and Jaffa, but then due to large losses to turn around must. Thisdid in France however no abort to his popularity, when it returns 1799 to France, it is admired as a national hero.

Now Napoléon used the favour of the hour, at the night of 9. on the 10. November 1799 (18. /19. Brumaire VIII) fallshe in the context of a coup d'etat board of directors and appoints himself the first consul and Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès and Roger the Ducos his Mitkonsulen. It can its office be confirmed even in the framework to one, afterwards accomplished, popular vote. The nameafter France remained republic, but Napoléon prevailed already like an absolute monarch.

Resuming one on the left of

the national assembly

(5. May 1789 - 2. September 1791)


the attempt of the constitutional monarchy

(3. September 1791 - 20. September 1792)


the national convention and the reign of terror

Contributions to national convention and the reign of terror (21. September 1792 - 25. October 1795)


board of directors

(26. October 1795 - 23. December 1799)


time board

see: Time board to the French revolution


reconnaissance aircraft

of phenomena and terms

parties and parliamentary groups



Web on the left of

Wiktionary: French revolution - word origin, synonyms and translations

  > German to English > (Machine translated into English)