The revolution, the revolt of the lower classes and the capture of the Bastille led to anarchy in the country and the so-called “Jacobin terror”.
The new rulers resorted to the physical annihilation of supporters of the monarchy and the class of aristocrats.
If you would like to contribute an essay question to this page, please contact Alpha History. Evaluate the French royal court at Versailles, why it existed and the contribution it made to French government and society. “The French nobility did little but concern themselves with leisure, finery, decadence, affairs and intrigues.” To what extent is this statement true in the context of late 18th century France? The presence of things like and the Bastille give the impression that pre-revolutionary France was an authoritarian society that oppressed personal liberty and freedom. How did ordinary French people view the Catholic church and its clergy? Identify and discuss tensions between the Three Estates that may have contributed to revolutionary sentiment in 18th century France. To what extent was feudalism a cause of the French Revolution?
Describe how feudal bonds and dues impacted on the ordinary people of France during the 18th century. Explain why the taxation regime and the collection of tax revenue in 18th century France failed to meet the fiscal requirements of the nation. Some historians argue that commerce and trade in France were restricted by regulations that were overbearing, complex and inconsistent.
This collection of French Revolution essay questions has been written and compiled by Alpha History authors, for use by teachers and students.
They can also be used for short-answer questions, homework activities and other research or revision tasks. Examine the role of religion in 18th century France, both in ideological and practical terms.
To what extent was this true, both of Louis XIV and his two successors? Describe the relationship between the Bourbon monarchy and the French people in the century before 1789. Identify and discuss two individuals who attempted to achieve fiscal and political reform in France during the 1780s. How did these bodies contribute to the developing revolution? Explain the events of 1788 that led to Louis XVI calling for the convocation of the Estates-General. What were the and what did they suggest about the mood of the French people on the eve of the revolution? Why did French harvests fail in the late 1780s, leading to a downturn in agricultural production?
How did French kings impose their will on the nation? In what ways did the Roman Catholic religion support the Bourbon monarchy – and how was the church itself supported by the state? Discuss the relationship between the Bourbon monarchy and the Second Estate. Explain how the ideological foundations of the French monarchy were challenged and possibly undermined by Enlightenment philosophers and writers. According to Simon Schama, the Bourbon monarchy was threatened by “whispering campaigns”. What impact did this have on the lives of ordinary people? What factors and forces led to the failure of reformist policies in the 1780s?
Was the formation of this body inevitable – or did it occur because of chance and circumstance? “From the beginning of 1789, the push for economic and fiscal reform in France became a push for political reform.” Explain the meaning of this statement, referring to key ideas and events of 1789. Discuss the context, reasons and outcomes of the sacking of Jacques Necker on July 11th 1789.
What impact did this have on the unfolding revolution? Why has the storming of the Bastille become the best-known event of the French Revolution?