The French Revolution By JonAthAn p DePoister

The Revolution and Louis XVI

The French Revolution had a number of causes and effects. Before the revolution, France was a monarchy, it's monarch, King Louis XVI (16th). King Louis was married to an Austrian noble women Marie Antoinette. Many French commoners distrusted her due to her heritage and extravagant lifestyle, she is often attributed with the quote "Let them eat cake" in response to reports of starvation, though there is little to no evidence of this, however she did spend frivolously on many things she was not ignorant nor stupid, she just didn't really care or couldn't do anything, either way many did later attribute this quote to her likely as an insult or misunderstanding. King Louis had other bigger problems than his wife, he was a poor leader he chose to overspend massively on helping the Americans in the American Revolution by fighting England in Europe, which many historians attribute most of Americas success to, however it left France in huge dept. and the upper class refused to pay, Louis couldn't make them due to his own cowardice and instead taxed peasants half of their income.

The French citizens revolted, and after much fighting they eventually won and kept the King only as a figure head, however it was not to last soon a mob slaughtered some guards and the royal family was thrown in prison. The government voted itself out of existance and radicals took control. Louis was executed. Peasants were horrified. Robespierre the de facto leader of them caused many executions of the very people he set out to free, he himself was eventually beheaded. With his beheading the needless executions ended but the country found itself in a similar situation to how it started, the rest of the leaders were weak and corrupt, high prices, dept and everyone was scared. At this point the Revolution was a failure.

Napoleon, A Hero To His People

The Revolution may have been a failure but it paved the way for Napoleon Bonaparte. The turmoil of the Revolution was just what he needed to fly up the ranks from captain to ruler of France then emperor of most of Europe. Napoleon was a master strategist likely the best of his time he would often turn problems into advantages, the best example is when he used a lack of food to increase in mobility and survived off the land. Napoleon and a group of armed supporters performed a coup d'etat on the government at the time and succeeded. They then put in place a group of three consuls of which Napoleon came first. Napoleon was technically a dictator but he was not disliked by his people who actually welcomed him.

Napoleon had gone far in just 11 years but he wanted more. Napoleon asked the voters if they wanted him to become their emperor. They voted yes, and so Napoleon was set to be coronated emperor by pope Pius VII. At the coronation the pope was about to put the crown on Napoleons head when Napoleon stood and grabbed it from his hands and placed it on himself, to show the world that he was not given power, he took it.

Once he was emperor he set out to conquer all of Europe and nearly succeeded but was severely weakened by the Russian terrain losing about 506,000 troops of 600,000. After this Napoleons army stood no chance against Russia, Prussia, Austria and Great Britain, and was defeated thus ending his reign and banishing him to an island called elba with some of his supporters. About a year passed and Napoleon hired a passing ship to take him and his men to France. Upon arrival a group of troops were sent to arrest him but when they found him they pledged their loyalty instead. Napoleon arrived in Paris to the sound of cheering crowds.Napoleons victory would not last. He remained in power for another hundred days before being defeated by all of Europe.

Napoleon to Outsiders

The English were appalled at the beheading of Louis XVI and wrote news articles declaring that the French were savages. Over the course of the many governments of France England went to war with France even during Napoleon's rule of France they remained a thorn in France's side. When France embargoed Great Britain they responded by demanding ships heading to France to dock in Great Britain on the way.

Russia was at first supportive as Britain was a mutual enemy. When France started to back off of Britain Russia was all for the embargo and became a big problem eventually killing most of Napoleons army in one infamous battle. They continued to war with France until its defeat, and then it's other defeat. Russia's influence in France at the time cannot be understated and probably led to Napoleons defeat.

Created By
Jonathan DePoister
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