The Causes of the Revolution
Before the revolution began, citizens were less than happy about the way that their country was being run. The monarchy, who obviously did not give much thought to their poor subjects, spent excessive amounts of money on parties and luxuries. At the same time, the social imbalance between the three estates made life even harder for the commoners, who were already facing starvation after a drought and a storm ruined their crops. They were also faced with injustice from the authorities, whom punished them far worse than those of higher class. In fact, some people would not even be punished at all, as those of another estate were given a trial different from those of the third estate which makes bias not an uncommon thing. Many French citizens were afraid of voicing their opinions, as people could be punished for simply speaking against the laws and beliefs of the upper class. It was obvious why these citizens decided to rebel.
The question is, was the Revolution successful? It can definitely be said that it was, as it did bring about changes to the government and the way society worked. It was made so that criminals from different estates who committed the same crime received the same punishment. It was also made that nobody could be persecuted for saying what they believed. One of the most important changes were the just laws that protected the citizens' rights, and the citizens' ability to take part in making the laws.
How did other countries react?
During the revolution, Russia wanted France to return to an absolute monarchy. They wanted the king back in power. Russia, Britain and Austria formed the third coalition and aimed to stop the revolution from continuing. Russia was against the social equality and democracy brought about by the revolution.
Austria shared the same views as Russia. After forming the coalition, Austria and Russia went to war with France. At the time, France's army was led by Napoleon Boneparte. Britain also joined the coalition. The coalition was thwarted and out smarted by Napoleon multiple times during their battle, as he was an excellent strategist.
Napoleon Bonaparte: Hero or Villain
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French general and rose up through the ranks, crowning himself the Emperor of France. He was a brilliant man and arguably one of the best military leaders in history. Napoleon was a master or strategy, and did not let his height hinder his performance in battle. However, despite his numerous was achievements, in is still unclear to many whether this French ruler was a hero or a villain.
Napoleon Bonaparte became Emperor in the December of 1899, taking charge of France during a very chaotic time. He kept the idea of democracy alive, even when the third coalition went to battle against him when they wanted France to remain an absolute monarchy. Napoleon helped fix the hostility that was between the citizens (including the rebels) and the church, which may have encouraged freedom of religion. Many people were in awe of his leadership in battle, and were inspired to become like him. People in the military today even aspire to become like Napoleon. He fought against the coalition bravely to defend his country.
While Napoleon an exceptional warrior who inspired many, not everyone would see him as a valiant war hero, or a great leader. As the Emperor of France, he limited freedom of speech in the papers and in many books. He also reduced the rights given to women (which most white males in power would have done back then), which lessened equality between the citizens.