The French Revolution
Class 9 chapter 1 Social Science History
Q 1. Describe the circumstances leading to the outbreak of Revolutionary protest in France.
Ans: The circumstances which led to the outbreak of Revolutionary protest in France were a combination of social, economic, political and intellectual circumstances. These are discussed below:
- Social: the social order consisted of many inequalities. The privileged classes were the clergy and noble men, the first and second estate respectively. They were exempt from paying taxes; the rest of the citizens belong to the third estate and constituted the majority of the population. they did not have any political or social status and had to pay all the taxes. so they were very discontented.
- Economic: there was a financial crisis as the king’s treasury was almost empty. The luxurious lifestyle of the king and his involvement had made France very poor. There was no money left to feed the poor when there was a bad crop.
- Political: The king ruled like an autocratic and the people had no voice in any of the decisions. The estates general of the French Parliament had not been convenient for many years. the administration was inefficient, corrupt and disorganised.
- Intellectual: during that era a number of philosophers refuted the theory of the divine right of Kings to rule. They proclaimed a doctrine of sovereignty of the people and equality of all men. They started igniting the fires of discontent by exposing the evil actions of the king and the nobility.
Q 2. Groups of French society benefited from the revolution? Which groups were forced to relinquish power? Which sections of society would have been disappointed with the outcome of the revolution?
Ans. The middle class All the richer members of the third estate consisted of merchants, traders, lawyers and rich peasants. they benefited the most from the French Revolution. feudal obligations were no longer to be honoured by the third estate. Tithes, the tax given to the church were abolished.
The clergy and the nobility were the groups which were forced to relinquish power, How they were forced to give up the privilege example the how could not collect taxes and its Lands were confiscated.
The poorest sections of the third estate and the women were disappointed with the outcome of the French Revolution because their aspirations were not properly fulfilled. Women were not given voting rights. Poor men who did not have property or who did not pay taxes were not allowed to vote.
Q 3. Describe the Legacy of the French Revolution for the people of the world during the 19th and 20th centuries
Ans: The Legend of the French Revolution for the people of the world during the 19th and the 20th centuries was as follows.
i) The ideas of inequality and democracy spread from France to other European countries and feudalism was abolished.
ii) Colonial people worked the idea of freedom from bondage into the movements to create sovereign Nation States.
iii) It was the first movement to adopt the ideals of Liberty, equality and fraternity.
v) the declaration of the rights of man and citizen give rights such as right to life and freedom of speech, equality before law, etc
vi) Women were given many rides. they could not be forced to marry against their will, divorce was made legal, schooling was made mandatory and they could even get training for jobs.
Q 4. Draw a list of democratic rights we enjoy today whose origin could be traced to the French Revolution.
Ans: the democratic rights that we enjoy today whose origin can be traced to the French Revolution are
1. right to equality
2. right to freedom
3. right to assemble and form unions
4. right to freedom of expression
Q 5. would you agree with the view that the message of Universal rights was beset with contradiction. Explain
Ans: the message of Universal rights was beset with contradiction. many ideas in the declaration of rights of man and citizen were not clear in their meaning.
i) “the law has the right to form bed only actions injurious to society” did not mention the criminal offences against other individuals.
ii) the declaration stated that “ law is the expression of the general will. all citizens have the right to participate in it’s formation… all citizens are equal before it”. However, France became a National monarchy, but still millions of citizens ( men under the age of 25 and women) were not allowed to vote.
The above points were in contrast to the ideal that the revolution espoused. When the Jacobins assumed power, they had very hard policies and so the wealthier middle classes became powerful. The political instability of such regimes made Napoleon the Monarch of France.
Q 6. Explain the rise of Napoleon?
Ans: France was ruled by the Directory, an executive made up of 5 members.
1. However the directors of an clashed with the legislative councils, who then sought to dismiss them.
2. The political instability of the directory paved the way for the rise of a military Dictator, Napoleon Bonaparte.
3. After Crowning himself as emperor of France in 1804, he went out to conquer the neighbouring European countries. He started dispossessing the dynasty and creating kingdoms where he placed the members of his family.
initially, he was viewed as a liberator who would bring freedom to the people, but soon the Napoleonic Armies came to be viewed everywhere as an invading force
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