Unit 5 - Conflict, Crisis, and Reaction in the Late 18th Century
The French Revolution is considered by many historians to be one of the most important events in European history. Even though the revolution did not accomplish its immediate goals of a republican government, it did flip Europe upside down and introduce a new order in the modern era. The Church, the nobility, and the ancien regime lost their status and power as Europe started its path toward secularization and popular sovereignty. This chapter will closely examine the causes of the revolution, the major events and stages of the revolution, and the immediate consequences. Like many revolutions, the changes that occurred were largely cosmetic- in the end, France ended up with a new monarch- the Emperor Napoleon. Most historians consider to be Napoleon the first modern dictator. It is interesting to note that today, historians and politicians use these topics to understand the "anatomy" of a revolution, which is often followed by destabilization and a new regime, which is often just as, if not more oppressive than its predecessor. The development of the French Revolution as well as the various conflicts stirred up in Europe by the great general Bonaparte will change the face of European politics, society, and knowledge as we know it.