The French Times Madison Cadwell

The French Revolution is a topic that has been widely discussed in our country. It's no surprise considering the immense impact that it has had on our country economically, politically, and morally. Many would say that the main reason for this Revolution was the estate system put and kept in place by King Louis XVIII. The estate system was completely unfair to the large majority of the population. The clergy paid no taxes and answered to different laws, and the nobility paid little to no taxes, leaving the average citizen like myself forced to give up our hard earned money. When the 3rd estate wanted to address this issue, they were shut down and forced out of the meeting, angering them. Another reason is the recent years of Enlightenment. The French Revolution happened very soon after the Enlightenment, and hearing those ideas of John Locke and others made people in our society realize that they didn't have to take mistreatment sitting down. This also caused them to realize that the church shouldn't have all of the power over a country. My home country of France was also in extreme debt, and people believed that great reforms needed to be made in the government to fix this crisis. We had also witnessed the American Revolution go very well, which gave us the idea that we could do something similar within our own country.

The French Revolution could absolutely be considered successful. Although it definitely had its ups and downs, the end result was a reformed France with citizens with new ideals and principles. Many would argue that it was a failure at first glance, but I would disagree. Even the commoners, who now live lives similar to the ones we lived before the Revolution, have kept in mind that we do have an influence on our lives. We know that we can change the way our country and all of Europe functions. The ideals inspired by the Revolution will stick around with society for years to come. Maybe hundreds of them. I can feel it.

The Reign of Terror was detrimental to French society. It discouraged everyone, and very few people benefitted from it. Radical leaders who began this awful time even ended up getting executed themselves. Thousands of members of our society were murdered in front of their friends and family if they were even vaguely thought to have been “against the Revolution”. Many of the innocents who were executed were actually trying to support the Revolution, but crazy leaders were paranoid. Nobody was spared. Not the common folk, not even the King.

As for the Revolution, the Reign of Terror certainly didn't help further our cause. If anything, it put a bad image on our country and our cause. Where we could've used help from other countries, the whole issue of the Reign of Terror made my country of France more enemies than allies. Overall, the Revolution was a positive, but the Reign of Terror was a bad, bad time. I'm proud to be French, but I'm embarrassed to be a part of a country that could commit such horrors. What's important now is that we recognize our mistakes, and move forward from them. I hope we will never make these mistakes again.

Napoleon and the French Revolution threw all of Europe into turmoil. Both Austria and Russia participated in wars against us. We made it through the dark for so long, until Napoleon was finally defeated. After our reforms, Europe met without us to redraw borders and repay everyone for the things they had lost when we conquered them. Although I am not sure if it was fair to have the things we rightfully won taken away from us, I do think it was for the best. We obviously aren't ready to take control for ourselves. We need to recuperate and hope that things only get better from here, not worse.

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