Why The Moderates Could Not Control The French Revolution

Was The Reign Of Terror Inevitable ?

The French Revolution was all about the spreading of liberty and the full freedom of expression for citizens. It was the replacement of an absolute monarchy headed by an inept King, with a republic run by the people for the people, or so the theory went.

Moderation could not control the Revolution

To begin with there were hopes that France would end up with a constitutional set up like the British one.

However the reality turned out to be the Reign of Terror fuelled by the hatred of the Parisian mob instead of a republican utopia. When everything settled down in France, the revolution actually brought a great deal of standardisation in its wake as many things in the Ancien Regime had been chaotic, or really archaic.

Once the revolution had begun it became apparent to the more radical revolutionaries that so much of the old system was broken that they needed to start from scratch. The moderates that had wanted a constitutional monarchy along the lines of the British were simply swept aside by events. The people that brought these changes about believed they were doing so for the benefit of the world and not just for the good of France itself.  Although France did not start the Revolutionary Wars her leaders were happy to spread revolutionary ideals as the French army advanced over much of Europe.

During the French Revolution who was in charge of the country changed several times, and caused much confusion, and even more bloodshed in the process. Ironically the French Revolution led to the emergence of the French Empire, yet that seemed to contradict the aims of the original revolutionaries.

Bibliography
Atkins, S R (1965) From Utrecht To Waterloo – A History of Europe in the Eighteenth Century, Methuen & Co Ltd, London
Eatwell, R & Wright R (2003) Contemporary Political Ideologies 2nd edition, Continuum, London & New York
Marriott, E (2013) The History of the World in Bite-Sized Chunks, Michael O’Mara Books Limited, London 

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