Writing an Essay about French Revolution: Quick Guide
Writing an essay might be a daunting task. However, composing a French Revolution thematic essay is even more challenging. Before you tackle the question of how the revolution started (spoiler alert - bankruptcy and income inequalities), organize your writing process into steps. Start with conducting profound research: read peer-reviewed articles and watch documentaries. Decide whether you should consult museums online or in person. Collect your data, outline it, and draft the essay. Editing and proofreading are the last stages to consider.
Feel overwhelmingly confused with the writing process? Check the guidelines from our experts below.
Steps to help you write an essay on the topic french revolution
Whether you have to write my paper on French Revolution in 300 words or 10 pages, the essay writing process is the same. Below, the academic writing tips will teach you how to effectively organize the data in your French Revolution essay.
The Planning Stage
The greatest writers plan their work meticulously. Remember Joan Katlin Rowling? Before creating the first book of Poterriana, she thoroughly elaborated the universe, its laws, and the characters residing in it. The same goes for the French Revolution essay or any other academic project. In other words, think about the main elements and how they relate to each other.
Steps to consider in this stage are:
- Choosing the topic . Pick the one that sparks your interest and has enough peer-reviewed data to collect;
- Think of the essay structure. Will it be a traditional 5-paragraph essay? Will your work include more than three body paragraphs?
Creating an Essay Outline
This stage implies you put all the necessary essay parts on paper. Start with the Intro section. What are you going to begin your essay with? Work out the thesis statement and add it to the end of the first paragraph. Are you going to add some French Revolution facts or statistics as an attention grabber?
When working on body paragraphs, you may write them in the form of French Revolution essay questions to be answered. By doing so, you’ll outline the main ideas your writing should focus on later. Here, you can also ‘assign’ the academic sources which you're going to use for the proof of the thesis statement.
Start Writing Your French Revolution Essay
Once you’ve successfully completed the outline stage, time to start the actual writing. In fact, you’re pretty settled up. Why so? Your outline already includes your essay ideas and the sources to prove them. What is left is coherence. You should link the sections with each other so the whole writing is smooth and well-balanced with facts and answers to the counterpoints.
For instance, your essay focuses on the effects of the French Revolution. Obviously, your thesis statement will contain three effects to be explored in the project. If you’ve chosen a 5-paragraph style, make sure you use at least one different source for each paragraph.
The introductory part familiarizes your reader with the topic you’re going to explore. We advise you to use an effective attention grabber. This element allows you to set a tone and establish close contact with the reader. Think of a fun fact or surprising French Revolution statistics.
In your French Revolution Essay introduction, Describe the time period in a few sentences. By doing so, you’ll let your reader stay on track. For instance, mention when did the French revolution start and end.
The last sentence of your intro is a thesis statement that contains the main idea to be proved in your essay.
When writing the body of your essay (which might equal 80% of the entire writing), keep your thesis statement in mind. For instance, your essay focuses on the French Revolution causes, three of which you’ve already mentioned in your thesis statement. To effectively organize your body paragraphs and prove the causes of the french revolution essay, follow this paragraph structure:
- 1st sentence . State the cause you're going to analyze;
- 2-3rd sentences . Write down what you think about the cause. For instance, why it was important;
- 4-5th sentences . Cite facts from the sources to prove your thoughts;
- 6-7th sentences . Conclude the paragraph by summarizing the idea.
Once you google ‘essay topics French Revolution,’ you’ll find a daunting number of them. Easy topics make easy conclusions. Hence, the complexity of your topic will directly influence the amount of effort you’ll have to put into writing your essay conclusion. Don’t worry; writing the essay's concluding paragraph is not as tedious as you might think.
- 1st sentence. Restate your thesis;
- 2-3rd sentences . Write down the results of your study. As a tip, follow the ideas you’ve explored in the body paragraphs;
- 4th sentence. Some essay instructions might ask you to add the impediments your study encountered or some general ideas about future research.
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The Post-Writing Stage: Proofreading and Editing
The last stage of your essay writing process is editing and proofreading. So, you’ve written the last sentence of your French Revolution essay conclusion. Which activities do proofreading and editing include?
- First of all, cite your sources . If you don’t know how to do it properly (most of us don’t, let’s be honest), use the online magic tools. For instance, the Citation Machine. It will save you time and organize your source details properly;
- Secondly, correct grammar, style, and punctuation mistakes . Again, use online software like Grammarly or Hemingway Editor to make sure your essay has a cohesive structure and is error-free;
- Thirdly, avoid plagiarism . For this purpose, use tools like PlagScan or PlagTracker.
Other things to check for are:
- No passive voice;
- The paragraphs transition is smooth;
- Each body paragraph explores only one idea;
- Each paragraph follows a clear structure;
- The in-citations follow the necessary academic formatting style;
- The whole essay is coherent and easy to read.
How to Choose the One and Only from French Revolution Essay Topics?
As a Humanities student, there is a high chance you’ll be told to compose an essay on the French Revolution. Why so? The French Revolution is one of the most significant revolutions that happened in France but changed world history. It was the French Revolution that inspired the 19th-century abolitionists or 20th-century socialists to act for human rights. Guess what? The first Declaration of Human Rights emerged due to French revolutionaries too.
When choosing a topic, aim for the one which presents a deep interest for you. Make sure you have at least minimum expertise in it. Meanwhile, keep the topic concise and clear. In case you don’t feel like writing an essay and searching topics, you can ask our expert writers, “ write my paper for me ,” and they will deliver an A-worth paper at a friendly price.
Possible Topics to Focus Your Essay On
- The Opposition of the Divine and Secular as a Premise for the French Revolution
- How the Enlightenment Changed the Human Thought and Led to the French Revolution
- Robespierre’s Influence on the French Revolution
- The Uprise of Nationalism as the Main Post-Revolutionary Effect
- Power Dynamics as One of the Main Causes for the French Revolution
- Absolutism and Democracy as Two Oppositions during the French Revolution Period
- Social Classes: Division Before and After the French Revolution
- Is Napoleon the Epitome of the French Revolution?
- How Industrialism Influenced the French Revolution
- French Revolution in Art and Music
The Key Milestones and Events in the French Revolution
Rome wasn’t built in a day. The same proverb speaks about the French Revolution that lasted not for weeks or days - but years. It started in 1789. When did the French Revolution end? Ten years later, in 1799. One decade was the time required to remind the country about democracy and, ironically, come back to Napoleon’s dictatorship.
French Revolution Timeline
- 14th of July, 1789 . French people who were neither aristocrats nor clergy stormed the Bastille tower. The latter was a symbol for the absolute monarch’s power and the oppression of the poor;
- 1793 - 1794 . Robespierre introduces the Reign of Terror against the Revolution opponents;
- 1791 . The royal family (Louis and Marie Antoinette) were captured at Varennes. The attempt to start a counterrevolution was prevented;
- 1793 - 1802 . French Revolutionary Wars in and against other countries start;
- 1793 . The ‘commons’ storm Tuileries Palace and capture Louis XVI. The Parisians proclaim the first French Republic that will exist till 1975;
- 1794 . The Thermidorian Reaction or a parliamentary revolt happened;
- 1795 . The Directory was established;
- 1799 . Napoleon was inaugurated as the First Consul of France.
Other Revolutions in France
- 1830 - the July Revolution. The House of Orleans took the entire power from the House of Bourbons;
- 1848 - another French Revolution. Algeria fights for freedom; the Second French Republic is introduced.
The Key Symbols of the French Revolution
Just like a cross is a symbol for Christianity, so is a Phrygian cap for the French Revolution. Why is symbolism important? Any ideology has symbols. A symbol is a visual sign, an object, or even a sound one can relate to a specific event or a historical period.
The guillotine, the Phrygian cap, the French flag, and ‘La Marseillaise’ are the French Revolution symbols.
The Guillotine - French Revolution Symbol
Sure, not the most peaceful symbol one can associate with the French Revolution. However, the guillotine is the epitome of the French Revolution and Robespierre’s power. It tells you about how the revolution was held. The Parisians executed the monarchs, while during the Reign of Terror, the tool was used for capital punishment of the Revolution opponents.
The Phrygian Cap - Symbol of Liberty
The symbol of ennoblement of the ‘commons.’ The Phrygian cap or the Liberty cap was worn by all revolutionaries and had roots in Greek and Roman culture. When a Roman slave was given freedom, they received a bonnet. Yeap, the same tradition is in ‘Harry Potter’ when Dobby gets a sock from Mr. Malfoy (obviously, unintentionally). Pretty cool, right?
The French Flag - Blue, White, and Red
The same combination of colors was used in tricolor cockades. Traditionally, blue and red are the colors of Paris. Later, white, the color of nobility, was added to the red-and-blue pair. The new colors were supposed to symbolize the new state of affairs. At the same time, the combination of colors was used to distinguish the Parisian military forces
La Marseillaise - France National Anthem
Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle is the author of the song that later became the official anthem of the First French Republic in 1795. The song has a melody and lyrics that evoke a solemn mood. The first time the song was performed publicly was during the peaceful march organized by the Marseille volunteers.
The song is considered an anthem of the French Revolution.
Historical Figures Who Took Part in the French Revolution
Revolution is made by people. Hence, you’ll need to mention a few historical figures in your essay. Those are names to mention in your French Revolution essay answers. Make sure you indicate representatives from the aristocracy, famous politicians, clergymen, and the advocates of the Revolution. This will help you write a paper .
Check the main participants of the French Revolution and learn the facts about their lives below.
Louis XVI was among the monarchs who felt the anger of the ‘commons’ and the guillotine’s power on their heads. The King of France and Navarre disappeared into history books as the last absolute monarch in France. He was criticized for leading the country to bankruptcy due to supporting the American colonies when it came to military action.
Queen of France and Navarre, Marie Antoinette, was guillotined along with her husband Louis XVI. She is the last absolute queen in French history. Marie Antoinette is known for opposing the French Revolution and keeping the court resistant to social changes. She failed to organize the counterrevolution, was accused of treason, and was publicly punished in 1793.
Maximilien de Robespierre
The voice of the poorest and a former lawyer, Robespierre, is the first historical figure you have to mention when asked, ‘who was involved in the French Revolution?’ The Robin Hood of the French, Robespierre became a member of the Committee of Public Safety. Along with radical Jacobins, he punished the opponents of the revolution. Ironically, Robespierre was publicly executed a few years later.
Jean Paul Marat
With ink and paper, Marat is an example of a journalist and politician who inspired others without directly ordering them to participate in the revolution. Marat defended the need for violence while spreading pamphlets. The latter triggered bloodshed and gave rise to radical nationalism. As a politician, he supported Jacobins. In 1793, Marat was stabbed to death.
Georges Jacque Danton
The president of the Committee of Public Safety, Danton, was both a lawyer and politician. Just like his colleague Robespierre, Danton radicalized the Revolution and made the capital punishment of the Revolution opponents legal. Along with Robespierre, he introduced the Revolutionary Tribunal. In 1794, Danton was stabbed by Charlotte Corday, a political activist who saw the revolution through the eyes of a modern liberal.
Marquis de Lafayette
A notorious general of the army and politician, Lafayette is mostly known for his active participation in Revolutionary Wars. Before the latter started, Lafayette ignited the French Revolution in 1789 and drafted the first document on human rights - the Declaration of the Rights of Man itself. The general later supported the American colonies in their war against the British and defended democracy till his death in 1834.
Emmanuel Joseph Sieyes
A clergyman and politician, Sieyes was a National Assembly member. He participated in creating the first draft of the Declaration of the Rights of Man. As a politician, he voted for the monarch’s execution, wrote pamphlets that contained the values of revolutionaries, and supported them during the most difficult days. Later, Sieyes helped Napoleon come to power as the First Consul of France.
A prominent journalist and politician, Mirabeau was among the top members of the National Assembly. He is mostly known for Revolutionary speeches at Versailles that persuaded the masses to join the Revolution and stand against tyranny. When the Revolution turned into a radical movement, Mirabeau started supporting King Louis XVI, trying to save the country from Terror. Eventually, his views led to a nationwide scandal.
A banker and politician, Necker, is known for introducing economic reforms that positively affected the ‘commons’ and the country’s budget. First of all, he introduced an economic policy that reduced royal expenditures and increased interest rates rather than taxes. Necker persuaded the crown to introduce a system of loans when France decided to contribute to the American revolution. He was later dismissed because of his sympathy for the ‘commons.’
A lawyer and journalist, Desmoulins is known for writing the ‘Free France’ pamphlet. The document inspired the Third Estate to take arms and dethrone the monarch. Desmoulins is known for his less radical views on the French Revolution and his friendship with Robespierre, which was later destroyed by a difference in their political views. Under Robespierre’s order, Desmoulins was guillotined in 1794.
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- Introduction & Top Questions
- Origins of the Revolution
- Aristocratic revolt, 1787–89
- Events of 1789
- The new regime
- Counterrevolution, regicide, and the Reign of Terror
- The Directory and revolutionary expansion
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The French Revolution as a remarkable event in the contemporary history started in the year of 1789 and finished in the late 1790s with the ascension of the military and political leader Napoleon Bonaparte. During the revolution, French citizens demolished and rebuilt the political scene of their country, eradicating the feudal system and absolute monarchy. The French Revolution was impacted by the ideals of Enlightenment, in particular the conceptions of inherent rights and national sovereignty. Though it failed to reach all of its purposes and sometimes caused a cruel and severe bloodbath, the movement has played a crucial role in forming the contemporary nations by demonstrating to the whole world the inalienable power in the human will. The French Revolution produced significant changes in the government and society and represented democratic ideals to France, but did not contributed towards the democracy in terms of the French nation. Nonetheless, it had widely influenced the rest of the European countries. However, French kings completed the basic rule and consolidated the middle class. After the revolution started, no nobles, kings or other favored individuals could ever again take up their position as an authority or disregard the ideals of equality and liberty (Woloch, n.d.).
The ideals of brotherhood, equality and liberty were considered as the driving forces of the French Revolution, and the collapse of the era of power and aristocratic privileges led to the new age with the rise of the bourgeoisie to authority. In this context, it was assumed that everyone should become free and equal individuals as sisters and brothers in the whole nation. The ideal of equality was demonstrated on August 4, when the feudal rights were eliminated. With the removal of their ancestral liberties, the aristocracy was supposed to follow the same laws as all the French citizens, generating legal equality. This equality was further specified in the Declaration of the Rights of the Man and Citizen along with the ideal of liberty. This declaration mentioned that all the humans were born to remain free. They have natural and essential rights to safety, property, liberty, and resistance to pressure.
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These constitutional rights of freedom and protection of that freedom were the eventual death of the old regime. They provided the bourgeoisie with the access to the propertied class and power in their administration, previously regulated by the monarch and aristocracy. The ideal of brotherhood was also presented in the Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen (Anderson, 1908). During the period of the French Revolution, humans were divided on the basis of their race and color. That was the time, when the conception of fraternity had originated in the revolution so that all human-beings could have been consolidated. The French Revolution aimed at creating democratic authorities in place of monarchy.
As the eighteenth century came to the end, France’s essential involvement in the American Revolution and wasteful spending by King Louis XVI and his predecessor had left the nation on the brink of bankruptcy. Many people expressed their hopelessness and indignation towards the regime that imposed high taxes yet failed to guarantee changes by rebellion, robbery and striking (“French Revolution”, n.d.). People required significant changes, and they wanted to be represented in the society. In the fall of 1786, the king’s controller general de Calonne offered the financial reform. It contained a universal land tax that supposed the following: a privileged class no longer would be exempt since the tax reform forced aristocracy to pay taxes. In addition, it led to the confrontation between the monarchy and nobility. In order to solve the debt problem of the nation, the king and the French authorities decided to summon an Estates General Assembly of the three estates, nobility, clergy, peasants, and citizens.
The French population actively and efficiently participated in the new political culture originated by the Revolution. On July 14, 1789, a huge crowd of Parisians reached the Bastille. People felt that they would find weapons and necessary equipment to apply in protecting themselves against the king’s armed forces. Humans captured the Bastille and started to ruin it. At the same time, the leaders in Paris generated a revolutionary city government. A massive rebellion of the peasants against nobles also emerged in the countryside. When a few nobles decided to escape from France, many more followed them in the next years. These individuals were declared as ?migr?s, since they emigrated. Massive uprisings in the countryside and town saved the National Assembly from the king’s disbandment (Woloch, n.d.).
For many conservative Western representatives, the major philosophy of Enlightenment generated the political and intellectual hubris during the 1789 French revolution. Once, reckless Utopians failed in their attempts to create an ideal society established on individuality, rationalism and secularism.
The technological factor has had a significant impact on the French Revolution. It revealed the next advances: an invention of chemically manufactured saltpeter that was widely applied for the manufacture of gunpowder being its major component. Its production has decreased France’s dependence on import that was quite an essential feature at that period. Moreover, a creation of balloons applying heated air enabled French forced armies fight more aggressively. The invention and further development of the early telegraph was another technological advance widely used by the central Parisian government and the army. The guillotine was also a significant device that was invented then. It supposed to make the death punishment less painful by cutting humans’ heads off in a split of the second. This machine caused many waste deaths during that period and, thus, left the majority of citizens in devastation. There is an overall agreement that the administrative and political images of France were entirely varied. The republic that was based around primarily elected bourgeois authorities had replaced a monarchy promoted by the nobles. Meantime, diverse feudal systems were replaced by new elected establishment, which were applied universally throughout the whole country. At least in the short term, culture was also affected by the revolution spreading each creative aspiration. Nevertheless, there is still a dispute over whether the revolution constantly changed the social structures of France or whether they were only altered in the short term
The French Revolution was an epochal event that permanently altered the European vision and mind. Devotion to the country and patriotism instead of the mass struggle and monarchy became hardened in the modern mindset (Wilde, n.d.). The French Revolution brought France into opposition to the majority of the European countries. The monarchs, who governed other countries, feared of the spread of the democratic values. The revolution left the French nation in a deep disagreement about the perfect government’s form for France. By the year of 1799, the majority of people were truly exhausted of political conflicts. Nevertheless, the French Revolution has created a permanent and durable basis for the strong government, unified nation and a free society, where landowners and the middle class dominated.
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To effectively organize your body paragraphs and prove the causes of the french revolution essay, follow this paragraph structure: 1st sentence. State the cause you're going to analyze; 2-3rd sentences. Write down what you think about the cause. For instance, why it was important; 4-5th sentences. Cite facts from the sources to prove your thoughts;
French Revolution, also called Revolution of 1789, revolutionary movement that shook France between 1787 and 1799 and reached its first climax there 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. The French Revolution had general ...
The French Revolution was a watershed event in world history that began in 1789 and ended in the late 1790s with the ascent of Napoleon Bonaparte. During this period, French citizens...
The French Revolution was a time of turmoil that lasted from 1787 to 1799. Its first climax was in 1789, so the event is often called the “Revolution of 1789,” distinguishing it from later French revolutions in 1830 and 1848. At the end of the 18th century feudal regimes had weakened or completely disappeared across Europe.
The French Revolution produced significant changes in the government and society and represented democratic ideals to France, but did not contributed towards the democracy in terms of the French nation. Nonetheless, it had widely influenced the rest of the European countries.
The French Revolution was a huge event in European history, one that shaped the way the French government worked forever. However, there was not just one cause that led to this war. There were many causes in the 1780s that led to the French Revolution, the most important being political unrest, failure to reform, and economic crisis.