As a result of the French Revolution, the monarchy came to an end in France. In this article, Class 9 History Chapter 1 Notes we will know about the key aspects of the French Revolution, exploring its causes, major events, and its impact on society. The students can understand all the important topics covered in this chapter, through these Class 9 History Chapter 1 Notes & can do their exam preparation well to score high marks in the exam.
The French Revolution | Class 9 History Chapter 1 Notes
In 1789, at dawn, the city of Paris was in a state of danger. Rumors spread that the king would open fire on the citizens. People started to gather and break into several government buildings in search of weapons. The commander of the Bastille was killed in an armed fight and the prisoners were released. People did not like the Bastille because it was a symbol of the absolute power of the king. People protested against the high price of bread. A new chain of events began that led to the execution of the king in France.
French Society During the Late Eighteenth Century
In the eighteenth century, France was divided into three estates.
1st Estate: The Clergy
2nd Estate: Nobility
3rd Estate: the merchants, professionals, peasants, artisans, landless laborers, etc.
The members of the first two estates, enjoyed certain privileges by birth. These groups of members were exempted from paying taxes and enjoyed feudal privileges.
The members of the third estate were required to pay taxes to the state, such as direct taxes, called Talay, and a number of indirect taxes, which were levied on items of everyday consumption such as salt or tobacco.
The Struggle to Survive
The requirement for food grains increased due to the increase in population. Production of grains was not with the demand, so the price of bread rose. The gap between the poor and the rich widened due to the low wages paid to the laborers. Drought or hail reduced the harvest.
A Growing Middle Class Envisages an End to Privileges
In the eighteenth century, new social groups emerged, called the middle classes, who earned their wealth by expanding overseas trade and manufacturing woolen and silk fabrics, which were exported by wealthier members of society. The third estate is like professions such as lawyers or administrative officials. The social status of a person depended on his ability.
All these groups were educated and believed that no group in society should be privileged by birth. It should depend on his merit. Rousseau proposed a new form of government based on a social contract between the people and their representatives.
Like this, Montesquieu proposed a division of power within the government between the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary which was implemented in the United States. Louis XVI planned to impose extra taxes to meet the expenses.
The Outbreak of the Revolution
In France, the monarch had no authority to impose taxes and had to call a meeting of the three estates to discuss new taxes. On May 5, 1789, Louis XVI called for an assembly to address this issue. The representatives from the first and second estates were present, but the third estate was only represented by its wealthy and educated members. Each estate had one vote, but the representatives of the third estate demanded equal voting rights for each member. Their demand was rejected, leading them to walk out in protest. They pledged not to disperse until a constitution was drafted for France.
During an intense winter, bread prices rose, causing long queues and hardships for the people. Rumors spread that landowners had hired bandits to destroy crops. Fearing scarcity, peasants began looting hoarded grain and destroying documents containing records of feudal dues. Many nobles fled from their homes. Louis XVI acknowledged the National Assembly and accepted the principle of constitutional checks on his powers.
On August 4, 1789, the Assembly passed a decree abolishing feudal obligations and taxes. Tithes were abolished, and Church lands were confiscated.
France Becomes a Constitutional Monarchy
In 1791, the National Assembly completed the task of drafting the Constitution. Its main purpose was to limit the powers of the king. Powers were delegated to various institutions – the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary. Thus France became a constitutional monarchy.
Citizens voted for a set of electors who in turn chose the assembly, but not every citizen had the right to vote. Tax-paying males over the age of 25 had the right to vote. The Constitution began with the declaration of the rights of citizens to the right to life, freedom of speech, freedom of thought, and equality before the law.
France Abolishes Monarchy and Becomes a Republic
In April 1792, France declared war on Prussia and Austria following a vote by the National Assembly. During the war, women took on the responsibility of caring for their families while men were away. Dissatisfaction with the 1791 constitution, which favored the wealthy, led to demands for a continued revolution. The Jacobins, a political club that included various working-class members, gained prominence. They were known as sans-culottes, as they wore long striped trousers instead of knee-breeches.
On August 10, 1792, the Jacobins stormed the Tuilery’s palace, holding the king hostage. Elections were held, granting voting rights to all men aged 21 and above. On September 21, 1792, the monarchy was abolished, and France became a republic. Louis XVI was subsequently sentenced to death for treason by the court.
Explain the Reign of Terror in Brief Class 9
The period from 1793 to 1794 in France is commonly known as the Reign of Terror. During this time, individuals perceived as enemies of the republic were arrested, imprisoned, and subjected to trials by a revolutionary tribunal. If found guilty, they faced execution by the guillotine, a device named after Dr. Guillotin, consisting of two poles and a blade used for beheading.
To maintain control, laws were enacted to impose price and wage limits. Rationing of meat and bread was implemented, and the use of expensive white flour was prohibited. The principle of equality was enforced through language, with all French men and women being addressed as “Citoyen” and “Citoyenne” (Citizen).
However, the Reign of Terror eventually took a toll on its orchestrator, Robespierre. In July 1794, he was convicted by a court, arrested, and swiftly executed by guillotine the following day.
A Directory Rules France
Following the downfall of the Jacobin government, the wealthier middle classes capitalized on the opportunity and took hold of power. Under the new constitution, voting rights were denied to non-propertied sections of society. The constitution introduced two elected legislative councils to govern the nation. To ensure executive authority, a Directory was established, comprising five appointed members. However, the political landscape remained volatile, leading to the emergence of a military dictator, Napoleon Bonaparte, who would ultimately seize control.
Did Women Have a Revolution?
Women played an active and transformative role right from the beginning of the French Revolution, bringing about significant changes in the country. Women belonging to the third estate were often engaged in labor and faced limited access to education and job training. Some daughters of nobles within the third estate were allowed to receive education within convents. Working women had to balance their employment with familial responsibilities, all while enduring lower wages compared to men.
Notably, women initiated their own political clubs and established newspapers to amplify their voices. The Society of Revolutionary and Republican Women emerged as one of the most renowned women’s clubs. They advocated for equal political rights, including the right to vote and hold political office, alongside men.
Recognizing the importance of women’s contributions, the revolutionary government introduced laws aimed at improving their lives. Compulsory schooling was established, divorce was legalized, and women gained the ability to run small businesses. However, during the Reign of Terror, the government shut down women’s clubs and prohibited their political activities.
Despite facing challenges and obstacles, women in France persevered in their struggle for equal rights. Their determination bore fruit in 1946 when women finally secured the right to vote after a long and arduous journey.
The Abolition of Slavery Class 9
During the Jacobin regime, one of the most radical social reforms implemented was the abolition of slavery in the French colonies. The transatlantic slave trade emerged in the 17th century, involving the capture, branding, and shackling of slaves who were then transported in overcrowded ships during an arduous three-month voyage to the Caribbean.
The demand for sugar, coffee, and indigo in European markets increased the need for slave labor. There was little opposition to slavery in France during the 18th century.
In 1794, the Convention enacted a law to free all slaves in French overseas territories. Napoleon reintroduced slavery a decade later, but it was finally abolished in the French colonies in 1848.
The Revolution and Everyday Life
In 1789, significant changes took place in France that affected the lives of men, women, and children. A notable change was the abolition of censorship during the summer of that year. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, adopted in 1789, declared freedom of speech and expression as an inherent right. This new freedom allowed the expression of diverse viewpoints and opinions through the press. Theatrical performances, songs, and lively processions became popular and attracted large crowds, creating a sense of community and connectedness.
FAQ | Class 9 History Chapter 1 Notes
1. What were the French Revolution class 9 short notes?
The French Revolution began in 1789 and resulted in the overthrow of existing political institutions, the abolition of the French monarchy, and the establishment of a more democratic government. The storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789 proved to be a turning point in the Revolution. The revolution finally ended with the coming to power of Napoleon Bonaparte.
2. Who started French Revolution class 9?
The primary cause of the French Revolution was popular discontent with the absolute monarchy led by King Louis XVI. This discontent arose from a combination of factors, including economic inequality and social injustice, which further fueled revolutionary sentiments.
3. Why is it called French Revolution?
The French Revolution, commonly known as the Revolution of 1789, was a revolutionary movement that took place in France from 1787 to 1799. It marked a turning point in the country’s history, leading to the end of the Ancien Régime and the establishment of a Stage of profound political, social, and cultural changes.
4. Who fought in the French Revolution?
The French Revolution, which spanned two periods known as the War of the First Coalition (1792-1797) and the War of the Second Coalition (1798-1802), resulted in France engaging in conflicts with several nations, including Great Britain, Austria, Prussia, and Russia.
5. What was the slogan of the French Revolution?
The citizens of France adopted the iconic slogan “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité” or “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” as their guiding principle. Among the revolutionaries, the concept of equality, which aimed to abolish privilege, held paramount importance.
6. Who was one leader of the French Revolution?
Maximilien Robespierre was a radical democrat during the French Revolution of 1789.
7. Who said I am the revolution?
8. What ended the French Revolution?
On November 9, 1799, amidst mounting discontent with the existing leadership, Bonaparte orchestrates a coup d’état, leading to the dissolution of the Directory and his appointment as France’s “first consul.” This pivotal event signifies the conclusion of the French Revolution and the commencement of the Napoleonic era.
9. Who helped the French Revolution?
a. Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès.
b. Marquis de Lafayette.
c. Jean-Paul Marat.
d. Jacques Pierre Brissot.
e. Olympe de Gouges.
f. Georges Danton.
g. Maximilien Robespierre.
10. Where was the French Revolution?
at Paris in France.
Conclusion | Class 9 History Chapter 1 Notes
Class 9 History Chapter 1 Notes provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the various aspects of the French Revolution, exploring its causes, major events, and its impact on society. By studying and practicing these notes, students can enhance their knowledge, improve their problem-solving skills, and perform better in their exams. You can access them by visiting our website. If you have any other queries about, Class 9 History Chapter 1 Notes feel free to reach us so that we can revert back to us at the earliest possible.