French Revolution: All basic information you need to know

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French Revolution

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The French Revolution was a watershed event in modern European history that began in 1789 and ended in 1799 with the ascent of Napoleon Bonaparte. The revolution lasted approximately 10 years and reached its first climax in 1789—hence the conventional term “Revolution of 1789”, denoting the end of the Ancien Régime in France and serving also to distinguish that event from the later French revolutions of 1830 and 1848.

One of the most famous events of the revolution was the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789. Rioters stormed the Bastille fortress in an attempt to secure gunpowder and weapons. The medieval armory, fortress, and political prison represented royal authority in the centre of Paris. The prison contained only seven inmates at the time of its storming but was seen by the revolutionaries as a symbol of the monarchy’s abuse of power; its fall was the flashpoint of the French Revolution, now commemorated in France as a national holiday.

The upheaval was caused by widespread discontent with the French monarchy and the poor economic policies of King Louis XVI, who met his death by guillotine in January 1973, as did his wife Marie Antoinette in October 1793. They were both executed in Place de la Concorde, Paris.

The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, 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.

Napoleon, who became the hero of the Revolution through his popular military campaigns, established the Consulate and later the First Empire, setting the stage for a wider array of global conflicts in the Napoleonic Wars.

Source:,, Wikipedia