Q1. Discuss the role of French Monarchy which became roots of French Revolution?
Just a decade after American revolution the French Revolution, a watershed event in modern world history changed Europe irrevocably, It began in 1789 and ended in the late 1790s with the ascent of Napoleon Bonaparte. During this period, French citizens razed and redesigned their country’s political landscape, uprooting centuries-old institutions such as absolute monarchy and the feudal system.
Like the American Revolution before it, the French Revolution was influenced by Enlightenment ideals, particularly the concepts of popular sovereignty and inalienable rights. Although it failed to achieve all of its goals and at times degenerated into a chaotic bloodbath, the movement played a critical role in shaping modern nations by showing the world the power inherent in the will of the people.
The French Revolution’s ideas of liberalism and nationalism have permeated nearly every revolution across the globe since 1945.
The role of French Monarchy which became roots of French Revolution:-
France was a strong and powerful state in the 18th century. She had seized vast territories in North America, islands in the West Indies. However, despite its outward strength, the French monarchy was facing a crisis which was to lead to its destruction. The origins of French revolution has deep historic and geographic roots, providing the need, means, and justification for building the absolute monarchy of the Bourbon Dynasty which eventually helped trigger the revolution.
like other countries of Europe in eighteenth century, France was also ruled by the autocrats of the Bourbon dynasty who had unlimited powers, privileged nobility, high tax rates.
The need for absolute monarchy came partly from France’s continental position in the midst of hostile powers. The series of wars with the Hapsburg Powers to the south, east, and north (c.1500-1659) provided a powerful impetus to build a strong centralized state. (Hapsburg family was one of the most powerful royal families ruling Austria, Bohemia, Germany, Hungary, and Spain)
The means for building a monarchy largely came from the rise of towns and a rich middle class. They provided French kings with the funds to maintain professional armies and bureaucracies that could establish tighter control over France.
Louis XIV (1643-1715) is especially associated with the absolute monarchy, and he made France the most emulated and feared state in Europe.
On account of the wars waged by Louis XIV, the national debt of France had greatly increased. and extravagant court at Versailles depleted France and left it in heavy debt. Louis’ successors, Louis XV (1715-74) and Louis XVI (1774-89), were weak, disinterested rulers.
Along with debt, the monarchy’s weakened condition led to two other problems: the spread of revolutionary ideas and the resurgence of the power of the nobles. As a result, the ideas of Voltaire, Rousseau, and Montesquieu on liberty and democracy spread through educated society.