The Fall of the French Monarchy

2135 WordsApr 10, 20029 Pages
The revolution resulted, among other things, in the overthrow of the Bourbon monarchy in France and in the establishment of the First Republic. It was generated by a vast complex of causes, the most important of which were the inability of the ruling classes of nobility, clergy, and bourgeoisie to come to grips with the problems of state, the indecisive nature of the monarch, impoverishment of the workers, the intellectual ferment of the Age of Enlightenment, and the example of the American Revolution. Recent scholarship tends to downplay the social class struggle and emphasize political, cultural, ideological, and personality factors in the advent and unfolding of the conflict. The Revolution itself produced an equally vast complex of…show more content…
Unable to stem the rising tide of revolt, Louis XVI withdrew his loyal troops. He recalled Necker, and then he formally legalized the measures that had been taken by the provisional authorities. Unrest and disorder, known as the Great Fear, stimulated the National Constituent Assembly to action. During the night session of August 4, 1789, the clergy, nobles, and bourgeoisie renounced their privileges; a few days later the assembly passed a law abolishing feudal and manorial prerogatives. The assembly proceeded to grapple with its primary task, the drafting of a constitution. In the constitutional preamble, known in history as the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, the delegates formulated the revolutionary ideals later summarized as Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. While the Constituent Assembly deliberated, the hungry population of Paris, a hotbed of discontent and of rumors of Royalist conspiracy clamored for food and agitated for action. On October 5-6 a large body of Parisians, mostly women, marched on Versailles and laid siege to the royal palace. Lafayette, on demand of the crowd, escorted Louis and his family to Paris. After this episode some conservative members of the Constituent Assembly, which followed the king to Paris, handed in their resignations. In Paris, both the court and the assembly became increasingly subject to pressures from its citizens. Radical sentiment became predominant in the
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