French Revolution

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The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France that lasted from 1789 until 1799, when Napoleon Bonaparte seized power. The revolution overthrew the monarchy and established a republic with violent periods of political turmoil, attempted counter-revolutions, terror (the "Reign of Terror" period), and a period of extensive European wars lasting for more than 20 years. It also abolished fedualism and slavery in France and all her overseas territories.

The French Revolution has been an inspiration for leftist revolutionaries and terror worldwide, ignoring, for example, that other countries introduced civil reforms without violence.

In addition to commonly mentioned causes, such as the influence of the Enlightenment/the American Revolution and socioeconomic factors/crisis, there are many conspiracy theories involving the French Revolution. Some are generally accepted, such as there being conspirators involved in the various coups that occurred during this time period. Others are controversial, for example involving claimed conspirators such as Freemasons, Illuminati, Jews, foreign powers, and/or high-ranking members of the nobility. A well-known example is stated in the 1919 book The French Revolution by Nesta Webster.[1] There have been various criticisms of the book.[2]

Jewish associations

French Jews, and later Jews in some other countries influenced by France, were one of the beneficiaries of the French Revolution, for reasons such as the associated removal of previous restrictions on Jews/Judaism, sometimes referred to as Jewish emancipation. However, recent critics of Jewish influence such as David Duke and The Occidental Observer do not mention Jewish influence as prominent in causing the revolution, possibly due to Jewish influence being limited by the restrictions.

Another possible cause is that the pre-revolution Jewish population in France was relatively small.[3]

Many leading Enlightenment thinkers, such as Voltaire, are stated to have expressed anti-Semitism (as well various other less politically correct views, such as regarding race). "In France, while the Revolution was still ongoing, there was a robust and lengthy debate on whether Jews should be considered full citizens on a par with Frenchmen in the new state. There was even significant debate with the Assembly as to whether Jews were included within the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. On December 23, 1789 a debate was once more held in the Assembly on the subject. [...] de la Fare explained that Jews and Frenchman had opposing interests, often resulting in violence because of the Jewish tendency towards monopoly, nepotism, the communal accumulation and hoarding of wealth, and extremely high levels of ethnocentrism. [...] The Assembly proved incapable of coming to a definite decision on the Jewish position in the new state, and the matter was left to fester, resulting in the de facto granting of full political equality to Jews." [4][3]

Regarding Napoleon Bonaparte and Jewish issues, see the article on Napoleon Bonaparte.

See also

External links



  1. Webster, N.H., The French Revolution, London, 1919.
  2. Conspiracy Theory and the French Revolution
  3. 3.0 3.1 Balzac and the Jews
  4. The Jewish Question: Suggested Readings with Commentary, Part One of Three: The Enlightenment and Jewish ‘Emancipation’