The impact of the French Revolution on the European system?
France always played an important role in the life of Europe. It was
told that to understand Europe you have to know France. The story of
Europe is the story of France. Everything France took part in is a part
of life of different European countries.
The impact of French Revolution on Europe is so huge, that it made its
impact on the whole XIX century. It made its step to kindness with the
help of the clever ideas, freedom and equality. It brought light in the
ideas of many countries and horrified some of them. Socialism of the XIX
century was also the idea of French Revolution, it also was a reaction
to French Revolution, and the reaction against that France did not make
its promises: liberty and equality. The reaction on French Revolution
was indifferent. The actions happening in France showed that revolution
itself brings anarchy and terror. The struggle of people for better
life, for liberty and fairness brings to repression, terror, vandalism
To talk about impact of one action, happening to one nation on the life
of others and their history is not easy, even though it is such a great
event as revolution. French Revolution for a long time made impact on
Europe with its ideas and became the reason to some actions of the
people for a century. That is why, to talk about the impact of the
revolution is to talk how the ideas of the release from the
non-governmental states were brought from one nation to another. That is
how ideas of the rebel and the struggle against old reforms emerged on
all the countries. The attempt to make the changes in the history awakes
people for active deeds. Revolution itself gardens and protects. It
points how dangerous it is for any form of government the combination
the masses of people who are against something, because they are not
under control, how revolution is unpredictable and how it can turn for
many into the crush of hopes and destinies.
“French Revolution was very complex event which raises so many different
and contradictory assessments. Many different groups of people of
various public movements, different classes have tried to find a better
life for themselves and their own way to resolve issues of justice and
freedom through revolution. Tremendous passion of people to free
themselves from the oppression of the rich, from the injustice cannot
not to evoke sympathy. How to make all of them free, happy and
prosperous? Even Rousseau, Helvetius, Mably, Diderot, and others
consider an inequality of states and the accumulation of wealth in the
hands of a few people the major obstacle to the establishment of
democratic freedom. And in the years of revolution, these attitudes
began to speak with greater force. Many of the Revolutionists maintained
that equality of political rights is nothing, if not right in practice.
The latter, said Condorcet, represents “the latest target of public
art”, since the inequality of wealth, inequality of states and
inequality of education – the main premise of all evil. A very common
formula the first years of the revolution: “Big states represent an
obstacle to freedom.” In large cities, people in the needs of life
itself first appeared communist ideas. Chief among them: the
distribution of means of subsistence and the general membership on the
ground, as well as the right to education for all. It was assumed, along
with the right of all the products and the products of the first and
second necessity, as a personal right to surplus” (Karlyle, 2002).
This topic will help to understand, what revolution is, how it appears,
how it is important for the other countries: what kind of philosophical,
economical and social ideas it brought to the humanity what is its role
in the history.
In every state there are people who are not happy with their lives.
Revolution appears when the masses of people, who are not happy with
laws, government and their lives, come together. Revolution means to
connect different classes of people. They all have different aims,
different interests, but there is one will – is to get rid of life they
live at the moment. The rebel against existing laws is the connector of
all the revolutions.
There were two massive flows in France, which prepare and made
revolution. Bourgeoisie, which had its own views on the government, and
proletariat, which were aiming for better life. When two of these flows
came together, in the beginning, with one aim, and then helped each
other, the revolution started.
“The governor should be only the emblem on national unity, alleging the
will of Parliament, and from time to time holding the balance between
the parties. The real power is bound to be elected and remain in the
hands of Parliament, in which the educated bourgeoisie, representing an
active and thoughtful part of the nation, would have predominated over
all the estates. In this case the Government must enrich individuals and
the accumulation of huge wealth. Many believed that the enrichment of
individuals is the way to enrich people. The economic desires of that
time could reflect the notion of “freedom of industry and trade,
suggesting the presence of a large mass of workers, due to release
farmers from feudal dependence and the removal of state intervention
that hider businessman.
According to the aspirations, knowledge and skills in political affairs,
by its own conscience and consistency, bourgeoisie, of course was
superior to ordinary folk, who did not create a public and economic
ideal, although the great ideas of freedom and equality came to the
darkest corners of the country. Although in the minds of a light had
flashed indignation and rebellion, and hope to close the change forced
the heart beat even the most downtrodden people, the ideas of national
liberation and economic changes were manifested in the people only in
the form of a usual denial and vague desire for something. Many
favourites thought: “Why tell people how future will pan out? This is
just cool revolutionary fervour. Let people have the strength to attack
the old institutions, and we’ll see how to live”. This lack of people
clear idea of what to expect from the Revolution, led then to a variety
of collisions and led to anarchy and spontaneity” (Gentz, 2002).
“French Revolution had a great impact on European nations and inspired
mostly all of the countries, which took part in the events of revolution
beginning in Europe in the XIX century. Repressions started to take part
in England since 1892. Dissatisfaction of the government was rising in
England, there were more speeches of poor people and massive
discomposure of the sailors. The government answered with arrests,
executing of the people taking part in rebellion, jails and banding of
any democratic communities and working nations.
Ireland, still being the colony of England, saw help in French
Revolution. The democratic flow was started. All the enemies of England
were drawn together in the head of bourgeoisie revolutionists. They
wanted to create independent Irish republic. They were preparing
uprising, relying on the help of France.
French Revolution also had an impact on the appearing the entire
political events in the European countries. There, as well as in France,
the revolutionary actions started. First of all they have started in
Belgium. And as the result Belgium became a part of France in 1795. It
had lost its sovereignty and its economy was under control of French
bourgeoisie” (Davies, 1996).
“There were changes also in the political life o Switzerland. French
Revolution brought to the democratic actions in Switzerland. After
French troops were on the territory of Switzerland there was a new
constitution made, which broke old public relations and new bourgeoisie
Germany also became a country French Revolution had a great impact on.
German bourgeoisie was too weak in economic sense and not developed to
overcome the division of their country and become the head of its
In Italy, the idea o French Revolution also found many followers. In the
middle of them, Philippe Buonarroti, who has moved to France during the
Revolution. He was closely connected with many figures of Italian
democracy, which relied on France in restoring the unity of Italy.
Despite the fact that in the end of Bonaparte’s campaign, there were
serious territorial and political configurations, neither the director,
nor Bonaparte did not support the Italian Democrats to create a unified
Italian republic. The French intervention had an aggressive character.
All this led to a creation of a secret revolutionary society in
Piedmont, directed against monarchy and against French. The uprising,
organised by this society was brutally crushed by French troops. In the
end, when the second coalition against French was formed, French Army
could no longer rely on Italian folk. After French troops left Italy,
the old order was restored”(Alison,2009).
Indeed, the revolution has led to enormous political, economic and
educational reforms in the country and in Europe. The economic recovery
in France let her make more than 20 years of war. Within four years of
the revolution, France was transformed. France became the state of
wealthy farmers with high productivity. Nation has refreshed. This
manifested in the obsession with political affairs and in the
independence of judgments. The revolution in the country has managed to
preserve the land confiscated from the nobility and the church, to keep
freedom, reclaimed from the Monarchy. Even after coming to power of the
Bourbons the old order was restored.
In the history of people comes time which brings significant change in
the whole system of their life. And then it seems likely two ways:
reform or revolution. Sometimes there is one moment when reformation is
still possible, but if this moment is not used by the rulers of the
country, therefore the revolution begins.
During the work I often wondered, why the French Revolution, all,
irrespective of how it estimated, was called the Great?
And now, I think I know the answer. The revolution, of course, did not
start itself. People got tired to live the way they lived. Everyone
wanted changes. Nearby were the greatest scientists, philosophers, who
gave the people of the great ideas of rebuilding lives. Economists,
public figures, the bourgeoisie – all thought about society, the welfare
of the nation, the prosperity of their people. This led to capitalism
and individualism, the enrichment of individuals, the impoverishment of
the rest. Welfare society, still did not work. But it was such a bright
dream of mankind, such a global project! Already engaging in a
revolution, people have seen the blood and pillage, the deception, all
of human baseness. The world was a great disappointment in the idea of
man! And I think that there were many moral views understood. The fact
is when people destroy something, they destroy themselves. That is not
realistic to achieve happiness of the nation, destroying part of it. And
the choice is all the same – to fight or all suffer and forgive?
1. Alison, A., 2009. History of Europe from the Commencement of the
French Revolution to the Restoration of the Bourbons in 1815. United
States: General Books LLC,2009.
2. Davies, N., 1996. Europe. UK: Oxford University Press, 1996.
3. Gentz, F., 2009. On the State of Europe Before and After the French
Revolution. United States: Kessinger Publishing, 2008.
4. Karlyle, T., 2002. French Revolution. History. United States: Modern
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