From War to Happiness By Edgard E. Graterol Paez

"Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité"
Photographs in the City of Love

The late 1700's was a hard time to live in if you were a commoner. You had no human rights and every thing was up to the two upper classes (clergy & aristocracy) and the church. And even when they did let them vote they would lose 2 to 1. Some of the causes of the French Revolution included, new ideas stating that a country should be ruled based on reason and not tradition, the upper classes of society didn't get along with the lower ones, there wasn't much food, and France's debt led to more taxation among the lower class while the conditions for the upper classes remained the same as they were before. And with all these things happening at once...let's just say the people were NOT happy.

The French Revolution began in 1789 when people began to be enlightened with ideas of equality, liberty, and brotherhood. Once this philosophy spread through France the people decided that no king or church would help them out of this mess and that they would have to do something for themselves. On July 14, 1789 a rebellion happened at the Bastille, this really scared the monarchs and aristocrats. Little after that, people decided to make a Bill of Rights. Later, King Louis XIV and Queen Marie Antoinette attempted to evacuate the country but the peasants caught them and pretty much put them under house arrest at Versailles. The fact that people would revolt like that scared other European Monarchs, therefore France had no allies or money during this time period. Soon after the french people introduced the Guillotine, a machine less painful than the king's torture chambers. On Jan. 21, 1793 Louis XIV and his wife were executed in Paris. After that, a man named Robespierre persuaded the people of France that there was danger everywhere. This started the "Reign of Terror" during this time most of the upper class was slaughtered by the commoners and a lot of killing was going on in France. Then, a group of people known as The Directory "ruled" France for a short period of time. An amazing general of his time, a man called Napoleon Bonaparte came back from war and was so respected that he ended up as the ruler of an empire. This pretty much ends the time of the revolution in France. Soon after, France started growing rapidly during Napoleon's dynasty.

Even though the French Revolution was such a devastating time period, it brought some major improvements. For example, it brought new ways of thinking and new ways of life, and it also provided the French society rights and freedoms that they couldn't have ever dreamed of before this occurrence. Another big change the revolution brought was that it gave opportunities to people who wouldn't have had them before, plus if it weren't for this revolution Napoleon Bonaparte would have died a common man and France, or even Europe wouldn't be the same as they are today.

Credits:

Created with images by Ken and Nyetta - "Gates of Chateau Versailles" • WikiImages - "france french revolution civil war" • nathanh100 - "Flag of France, Undated" • Mike Cattell - "Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy, France" • Jose Losada Foto - "Arc de Triomphe - París" • ALDOBERGIA - "pompadour versailles favorite" • junko - "versailles austria the palace" • Andy Hay - "Louis XIV statue" • Marc Wathieu - "Jeff Koons : Louis XIV (1986)" • orionpozo - "Marie Antoinette" • Lanz - "louis xiv chateau versailles jackson" • WikiImages - "napoleon bonaparte france emperor"

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