About the French Revolution: Introduction, Causes and Solved Questions

The compilation of these French Revolution Notes makes students exam preparation simpler and organised.

About the French Revolution

Just before the French Revolution, the economic situation was so bad that a loaf of bread would cost a peasant a week’s worth of wages! The poor population of France was starving to death while the nobility continued to live a life of luxury. These atrocities snowballed into the French Revolution. Let us learn about it.

Introduction to French Revolution

In the year 1789, French Revolution started leading to a series of events started by the middle class. The people had revolted against the cruel regime of the monarchy. This revolution had put forth the ideas of liberty, fraternity as well as equality.

The start of the revolution took place on the morning of 14th July 1789 in the state of Paris with the storming of the Bastille which is a fortress prison. The Bastille stood for the repressive power of the king due to which it was hated by all. The revolt became so strong that the fortress was eventually demolished.

Introduction To French Revolution

Causes of French Revolution

Although there were innumerable causes and reasons for the French Revolution a few have been found to be the main culprits. These causes can be divided accordingly

Social Cause
As over the old regime, the French society and institution are described much before 1789 wherein the society was divided into three estates–the clergy, the nobility, and the commoners.

The first state included the group of people who were involved in the church matters known as clergy. The second estate includes people who are highly ranked in state administration known as nobility. The first two estates enjoy all the privileges right from birth and are even exempted from any kind of taxes to the state. The third estate comprises big businessmen, courts, lawyers, officials, artisans, peasants, servants, and even landless laborer. This estate usually was the one who must bear the taxes.

Economic Cause
The population of France had risen between 1715 and 1789 from about 23 million to 28 million. This, in turn, leads to surplus demand for food grains, further leading to a lack of pace in the production cycle as relative to demand – ultimately leading to rice in the price for the food grains.

The majority of the laborers who worked in the workshops didn’t see any increase in their wages. And the taxes were not lowered. This had eventually lead to a worst-case crisis leading to food grain scarcity or also known as Subsistence Crisis that occurred frequently during the old regime.

Political Cause
The long years of war had turned France into dry land with almost no financial resources. During the year 1774, Louis XVI came into power and found nothing. In his reign, France helped the 13 American colonies to gain independence from Britain, which was their common enemy.

The state during this time was forced to increase the taxes as they had to meet the regular expense that included the cost of upholding an army, running government offices or universities, and running governments.

The Legacy of the French Revolution
The most important legacy of the French Revolution was its ideas of Liberty and Democratic rights which spread progressively in the 19th century from France to the rest of Europe where the feudal system was abolished. These ideas were later adopted by Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Tipu Sultan, the famous Indian revolutionary strugglers.


Describe the legacy of the French Revolution for the peoples of the world during the 19th and the 20th centuries?
The legacy of the French Revolution for the peoples of the world during the 19th and the 20th centuries are as followed:

  • The spread of ideas of equality, as well as democracy, brought about a huge difference from France to other European Countries. Feudalism was abolished.
  • The ideas of liberty, equality, and fraternity were adopted.
  • The declaration of Rights of Man and Citizens allowed them the freedom of speech, equality before the law, and the right to life.
  • Women were also given rights including where they couldn’t be forced to get married against will, divorce was made legal and the right to education was made compulsory to train for their jobs.