This exhibit demonstrates that the French Revolution was a key point in history that marked the beginning of crucial changes that shaped our current world.
Before the French Revolution, Europe, and especially France, ruled as a monarchy (most of the times an absolute one) as a form of government. Moreover, in France, the society operated under the principle of feudalism, where people were classified under three level of social hierarchy, the clergy, the nobility, then the commoners, and that the royalty (kings and queens) was part of a category on its own. This classification enhanced the inequalities among people, where the upper social classes would benefit of more privileges and rights unlike the last class in which people would live depending on the upper classes in misery with only a few rights given to them.
Source 1 (Social Media)
This pin explains briefly how the principles of feudalism worked in France several centuries ago, with the four distinct social classes. It shows the big notion of dependency and loyalty among the classes, where each of them would have a role to fulfill for the nearest class in exchange of services. The peasants, being the least powerful, yet biggest group, were the ones who triggered the start of the French Revolution.
Source 2 (Images)
This picture of the execution of the king Louis XVI perfectly demonstrates that the period of absolute monarchy along with the dominance of royalty on the rest of the population is over. People are fighting for their rights, and from now on, those who have the power are the people. This event marks the beginning of democracy in France.
Source 3 (Time)
The Declaration of the Rights of Man is undoubtedly, one of the most important thing that came out due to the French Revolution. It was passed by the National Constituent Assembly of France in August 1789, and is linked with historical figures such as Champion de Cicé, Mirabeau, Mounier, or Lafayette. One of America’s Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, also influenced the declaration as he was working with Lafayette.
This declaration also finds its signifiance a couple of centuries later, in 1948, a short period after World War II, when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. This universal declaration marked the recognition of human rights in which all human beings are entitled with at birth.
Source 4 (Maps)
This map of Europe in 1800, so shortly after the French Revolution ended, depicts how kingdoms and monarchies were still widely present in the neighboring countries of France (Portugal, Spain, Great Britain, Prussia, etc) while France just became a republic. Throughout the decades, a shifting will occur with kingdoms and empires falling down, allowing smaller and dependant countries to be born as what we can see today.
Source 5 (Words)
The Voyant analysis of the book The Age of Revolution by Eric Hobsbawm suggests a large use of words such as “revolution”, “france”, “class”, “society”, “poor”, “bourgeois”, or “power” which connect well to the idea of a hierarchy of power and the different classes in the French society I highlighted earlier on.
Source 6 (Numbers)
At the end of this working paper, there are relevant statistics that are worth to be looked at. The different charts all share something in common, which is a more abrupt growth of whatever economic measurements done for the purpose of the paper. This increase could also be explained by the industrial revolution which began to take place around the same time as the French Revolution, however it is fairly acceptable to conclude that some effects of the French Revolution, such as the change of the form of government, strongly contributed to economic alterations throughout Europe.
By the end of the French Revolution, a new phase came out where absolute monarchies were mainly left out to the detriment of democracy which gave the power to people, there were no longer recognized social classes which meant that everyone was equal under the law, freedom of religion was established, and a declaration of human rights was adopted. These effects, which are still up to date to this day, show the fundamental event that represented the French Revolution into taking part of building the current world we are currently living in.