THE ORIGIONS OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION The French revolution, in this part of the world at least, was the inspiration for all subsequent uprisings and revolts throughout Europe in the nineteenth century and its ideals, in part, are visible in many of the twentieth centuries' wars as well. Before I go on to talk about the reasons why the revolution occurred I would like to place it in its context in European history; the French revolution has traditionally been viewed as a major dividing line in modern Europe's history, an event which has destroyed that complex of political, social, legal and juridical institutions known as the "old regime"Ã¯Â¿Â½ and inaugurated a new era characterised by a greater emphasis upon individual rights, the spread of a representative government and the emergence of a new kind of loyalty to the nation.
In the course of this essay I will try to examine French society and indeed European society and propose reasons why these sociological conditions influenced and brought about the revolution.
I will also attempt to show how the quality of life in Europe and especially France was also a catalyst in the beginnings of the revolt. Vital to this study is the economic state of pre-revolutionary France and the also the fiscal state of the peasants.
But I would like to begin with a question: Why did this revolution occur in France only and why at this stage in European history? The enlightenment and enlightenment writings had a very deep impact on the French psyche. The increasing prevalence of the language of the enlightenment, stressing equality before law and differentiating between absolute and despotic rule, placed the monarchy and government under the closer scrutiny of public opinion. Enlightenment literature was not in itself revolutionary but some of its' implications could...