What are the causes of French Revolution? Discuss the impact of French Revolution.

What are the causes of French Revolution? Discuss the impact of French Revolution.
Destruction of Bastille
The French Revolution, which broke out in 1789, had
affected not merely the political and social destiny of France, but exerted a
far-reaching and profound influence in shaping the destiny of the whole
continent. Centuries of oppression came to an end. People everywhere were
inspired with democratic ideals, and the power of the king and the aristocrats
came crumbling down. A wonderful humanitarian enthusiasm and gorgeous dreams of
progress and perfections were thus kindled in ardent young soul. As Wordsworth
puts it:
                             “But
Europe at the time was thrilled with joy
                             France standing on
the top of golden hours
                             And human nature
seeming born again.”
There
were several causes for the French Revolution:
1.     The French society consisted of three orders or ‘estates’-
the clergy constituted the First Estate; the nobility (advocates, doctors or
merchants), the Second Estate; and the rest of the population (almost 95%),
belonged to the Third Estate. The first two estates enjoyed special privileges
(e.g. Exemption from paying taxes) while the Third Estate suffered untold
misery and poverty.
2.     The court of Louis XVI was known for its extravagance
and pomp. The king believed in the divine right of theory and ruled in an
arbitrary manner. Besides Queen Marie Antoinette was an arrogant and irritated
the already frustrated mass.
3.      A bunch of
writers-cum-philosophers like Rousseau, Voltaire with their writings left
exercised a tremendous impact to ignite the revolutionary spirit.
4.     The American War of Independence also supplied the
oxygen to the French people.
All
these brought matters to a boiling point and with the attack of Bastille on 14th
July in 1789, the French Revolution began. When the concept of absolute
monarchy was rejected Louis XVI sought foreign help. This enraged the mob and
the horrifying September Massacre
took place. Thousands of royalists, priests and nobles were killed on the street.
Louis XVI was beheaded. From 1789 to 1799 there was a Reign of Terror.
The
effects of French Revolutions are-
1.     Before the French Revolution,
Catholicism had been the official religion of France. The French Catholic
Church had been very powerful and nearly all of France’s population had been
Catholic. However after the French Revolution France’s churches had lost much
of their power.
2.     The French revolution destroyed the
social discriminating class system in France and declared equality for all. The
revolution came up with the equality and career open to talents.
3.     This revolution led to the
declaration of rights of man and citizens. The constitutional assembly or
parliament came out with the document of human rights. It granted political
liberty, like freedom of speech, press, association, worship and ownership of
property.
4.     The Bourbon monarch that had ruled
France for over 400 years came to end by the French revolution. The monarchy
rule was abolished in 1792 and replaced it with the Republican form of Government.
5.     The French revolution contributed to
the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte to power without which he would have died a
common man. He provided the strong military leadership.
6.     The revolution gave birth to the
revolutionary ideas of  “liberty,
equality and fraternity” which is the base of democracy of the world.
The
French Revolution stirred the British people and affected their literature in a
major way. There was a complete break with the Age of Reason and a new kind of
literature known as the Romantic Revival came into exist with the publication
of Lyrical Ballad (1798). Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey, Byron, Shelley and
Keats were the poets who specialised in this style of poetry. The prose
literature of the time was illuminated by the works of Lamb, Hazlitt, De
Quincey.
The
drastic change from the rural to the urban that was brought about by the
Industrial Revolution had repercussions on literature also. 
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