Revolution of 1789 Essay
Why do you think the Revolution of 1789 began in France and not England?
The French revolution took place in 1789 and lasted for ten years. The development of political and social life in France conditioned causes of this revolution. If to compare the situation in France and in England, which was by the end of the eighteenth century, we can say why it was France that witnessed the Revolution of 1789 and not England.
The rule of kings in France and England was quite different and consequently led to different results. The rulers in France, particularly Louis XIV and his successors, were the main figures in the country. The law and the court were subordinate to them. Since in those times the main aim of all the rulers in France was the prosperity of court and the luxury of palaces they lived in, these were noble people and the king himself who had all their needs satisfied. Meanwhile the population of France was disregarded and could not ask any one to help. Thus, the resentment of people grew and finally they had the only way to improve their situation – to conduct a revolution.
If to analyze the situation in England at that time, we can see that monarchs were not as obsessed by wealth and luxury as French kings were. Besides, the power of king was limited by the activity of Parliament and the king’s advisors, which took an active part in the enactment of laws. The post of Prime Minister gained more power and people felt that the political life in the country was more or less free. Therefore, in England, people were not as discontented as in France and the country evaded the Revolution.
Another significant difference between France and England in the eighteenth century was the religious atmosphere in these countries. In England liberty gradually dominated not only in the political life but also in the religious sphere. Having experienced Reformation the English became freer in their religious views. Still Christian values and morals were very influential in the society and mostly guided people in their acts.
In France, the position of the Church was different. Taking an active part in the political life of the country, the Church did not fulfill its duties of a force that led people towards the God. On the contrary, it indulged the nobility’s whims and thus set a bad example to people. Besides, people who could not find the answer to their problems in Christianity began to follow anti-Christian philosophers like Rousseau and Voltaire. As a result, the instability and disunity in the society contributed much into the tense situation in the country, making the Revolution more probable.
To conclude, the Revolution of 1789 was inevitable in France. Moreover it was necessary for the French society as due to it France became a republic, which was supposed to ensure its citizens liberty and equality. The political system in France changed owing to many reforms, which included the creation of lawful equality among all people, the fusion of the church and the state, the abolishment of slavery, serfdom, tortures and hereditary privilege. These reforms altered nearly all spheres of people’s life: politics, economy, and social life. Among the revolutionary changes in politics, it is necessary to mention the attempts to establish the representative democracy and the encouragement of nationalism, the main feature of which was the conviction that the nation was a community of equal people not just privileged groups.
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