Visual Encyclopedia

French Revolution

The French Revolution (French: Révolution française [ʁevɔlysjɔ̃ fʁɑ̃sɛːz]) was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies that lasted from 1789 until 1799. It was partially carried forward by Napoleon during the later expansion of the French Empire. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.

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The third and final video in the series which completes the introduction to the history of the French Revolution, discussing the rise of the Committee of Public Safety, Maxmillien Robespierre, the reign of terror, the guillotine, the death of Marie Antoinette, the Directory, the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte, and some thoughts on why we study history in the first place.

Contributed by Ursula Bertram

The second video in a three part series which continues the introduction to the history of the French Revolution, discussing Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette's flight to Varennes, the constituent assembly's attempts to write a constitution of France, France's brief experiment with constitutional monarch, war with Austria and Prussia and then eventually the rest of Europe, and the rise of the French Republic--also guillotines and the use of the guillotine in Revolutionary France.

Contributed by Ursula Bertram

A video about the causes of the French Revolution and its initial events, including the French debt crisis under King Louis XVI, the convocation of the estates general, the rise of the third estate, the formation of the National Assembly, the tennis court oath at Versailles, the storming of the Bastille, the women's march, and the moving of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette to Paris.

Contributed by Ursula Bertram

crash course on the French Revolution

Contributed by Selena Gilbert

The rebellion got increasing violent to the point the citizens even went to the extreme of publicly executing their own king and queen.

Contributed by Payton Tremblay

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