French Revolution

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French Revolution.jpg
Hundreds of thousands of innocent people were guillotined by the French Revolutionary regime.
The Declaration of Human and Civil Rights in a 19th century depiction.

The French Revolution was a murderous period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France that lasted from 1789 until 1799, when Napoleon Bonaparte seized power. Hundreds of thousands of people were executed, including the King and Queen. The French Revolution has been an inspiration for Leftists, revolutionaries, and civil terror worldwide, ignoring, for example, that other countries introduced civil reforms without violence.


The revolution overthrew the monarchy[1][2] and established a republic with violent political turmoil, attempted counter-revolutions, the "Reign of Terror" period, and extensive European wars lasting for more than 20 years. It also abolished feudalism and slavery in France and all her overseas territories.

In addition to commonly mentioned causes, such as the influence of the Enlightenment/the American Revolution and socio-economic factors, 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 the 1919 book The French Revolution by Nesta Webster.[3] There have been various criticisms of the book.[4]

Among the better known revolutionary leaders are Jean Sylvain Bailly, Georges Danton, Maximilien de Robespierre, Camille Desmoulins, all eventually guillotined, and Jean-Paul Marat (murdered in his bath by Charlotte Corday, a Girondist), all monsters in their own way.

Jewish associations

French Jews, and later Jews in some other countries influenced by France, were significant beneficiaries of the French Revolution, for reasons such as the 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 aforesaid restrictions. Another possible cause is that the pre-revolution Jewish population in France was relatively small.[5]

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) prior to the revolution.

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. [6][5]

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


Of the numerous films made about or centring upon the French Revolution, La Révolution française (1989) is considered the most authentic. It is a two-part historical film co-produced by France, West Germany, Italy and Canada for the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution. The full film runs for 360 minutes, but the edited-for-television version is slightly longer. It purports to tell a faithful and neutral story of the Revolution, from the calling of the Estates-General to the death of Maximilien de Robespierre.

See also


  • Carlyle, Thomas, The French Revolution, Chapman & Hall Ltd., London, 1837 Reprint. (Famous book).
  • Lamartine, Alphonse de, History of The Girondists in three volumes, Henry G. Bohn, London, 1848.
  • Roustan, M., translated by Frederic Whyte, The Pioneers of the French Revolution, Ernest Benn Ltd., London, 1926.
  • Hardman, John, The French Revolution, St.Martin's Press, New York, 1982, ISBN: 0-312-30522-2.

External links



  1. Price, Munro, The Fall of the French Monarchy, Macmillan, London, 2002, ISDBN: 0-333-90193-2
  2. Hardman, John, The Life of Louis XVI, Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 2016, ISBN:978-0-300-22042-1.
  3. Webster, Nesta H., The French Revolution, London, 1919.
  4. Conspiracy Theory and the French Revolution -
  5. 5.0 5.1 Balzac and the Jews
  6. The Jewish Question: Suggested Readings with Commentary, Part One of Three: The Enlightenment and Jewish ‘Emancipation’