What revolution made everyone equal?

French Revolution

July 14, 1789: Insurgents attack a prison in Paris, the Bastille. The prisoners of the old rulers were to be freed. This is considered to be the beginning of the revolution. In reality, there were only seven prisoners there. The guards were killed even though they surrendered.

The French Revolution was an event in France. It all began in 1789 when many French felt that the king had too much power. Over the years there have been several new rulers or groups to rule. Eventually Napoleon became the sole ruler.

The France of the Revolution conquered many countries in Europe. However, the other countries finally managed to defeat France. In 1815 the revolution and the time of Napoleon finally came to an end. Many people in Europe had become poor or died.

The revolutionaries wanted to make France a more modern country in order to bring freedom, equality and brotherhood to the people. The state and society should have sensible laws and work for progress. Even today, many people see something good in the revolution.

How did the revolution come about?

This painting is about the escape of the king. Ludwig wanted to flee abroad with his family. To do this, they disguised themselves as rich citizens. But he was caught and imprisoned.

The King of France was then Louis the Sixteenth, a descendant of the famous "Sun King" Louis the Fourteenth. A French king ruled absolutist, which means that he alone determined the government and the laws. He imprisoned his opponents and worked with the nobility and the church.

In the summer of 1789, many people were very dissatisfied with the king. He had made mistakes and waged many wars. As a result, France had a lot of debt. In addition, the weather had been bad, so there wasn't much to be harvested and there was less to eat. The people were poor and wanted to be better governed. That is why they fought against their rulers, this is called a revolution. They wanted a lot of things to change in the country.

The king became afraid of the people and called a parliament. Finally, Parliament said it was speaking on behalf of the people and it took power. The king was eventually imprisoned and later executed, as were many other people. As a result, France went from a monarchy to a republic, a state with a parliament and a government without a king.

What happened in the course of the revolution?

In 1794, in Paris. People came to see Robespierre being executed. At that time there was a new machine for this, the guillotine. This ended the Jacobin reign of terror.

In the end, those politicians who wanted to change the country particularly strongly, decided in parliament. The Catholic Church should no longer be important, but a "Supreme Being" or reason. There should be new dimensions and even a new calendar. Some revolutionaries even found that parents should no longer raise children, but the state. That way, people would really become the same.

The strictest of the revolutionaries were the Jacobins with their leader Maximilien de Robespierre. They had their opponents executed. In the summer, however, Robespierre himself was executed because the other revolutionaries were afraid of him. A new government of five, the Board of Directors, took power.

After a few years, Napoleon Bonaparte made himself the French ruler and formed a new monarchy. The "Emperor of the French" conquered and exploited many countries. In Russia, however, he and his army suffered a terrible defeat. It was not until 1815 that Napoleon was completely defeated.

How did one think about the revolution later?

An army parade in Paris on National Day. In the background you can see the triumphal arch. Napoleon had it built to celebrate his victories.

There were many different opinions about the revolution. Some people thought of the revolution's motto: "Freedom, Equality, Fraternity". Good laws and human rights had been passed. These people thought the revolution was good, despite the flaws and atrocities. Above all, the socialists and then the communists wanted a new revolution.

Other people, however, remembered the violence and the wars. These people believed that the revolutionaries wanted to force the people to change. Besides, Napoleon was only concerned with becoming more and more powerful and suppressing other countries. For decades after the revolution there was still a fear that another violent revolution might occur.

However, some of these people were just out to make sure that nothing in the world should change. They were called the Conservatives, after all. They restored the old power of kings and other princes, this was called the Restoration. Kings and princes misused the fear of the revolution in order to remain rulers themselves and not have to give up power to the people.

Other people, the liberals, were against the violent revolution and against the conservatives. They wanted to change their countries little by little, that is, with reforms. For this purpose, the people or at least a part of the people should be able to freely elect a parliament that makes the laws.

In France, in any case, most people still think it is important and right that there was a revolution. It is the most important event in its history. July 14th is the national holiday: many French people come together on this day. In Paris, many watch their country's army in a large parade. Important symbols of France date from the time of the Revolution: the national anthem and the national colors blue, white and red.


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