Q1- Describe the circumstances leading to the outbreak of revolutionary protest in France.
Ans- Causes ofrevolution in France:
- The war with Britain for an independent America:- This war led French monarchy in debt. So the monarch imposed new taxes on the public.
- Privilege based on birth:- People got privileges and position by Estate system and not on their merit. This led to inequality among common people.
- Concentration of power among the privileged:- People belonging to the first and second estate had all the power and money and most of the third estate people were at the mercy of this privileged class.
- Subsistence Crisis:- Rising population and less grain production resulted in demand supply gap of bread, which was the staple diet. Wages did not keep pace with rising prices. It was becoming difficult for people.
- Growing Middle Class:- Because of increased overseas trade a new class emerged. This class was wealthy not because of birth but because of its ability to utilize opportunities. People of the middle class started raising their voice for an end to privileges based on birth.
Q2- Which groups of French society benefited from the revolution? Which groups were forced to relinquish power? Which sections of society would have been disappointed with the outcome of the revolution?
- Peasants and artisans of French society benefited from the revolution.
- Clergy, nobles and church had to relinquish power.
- It is obvious that those who had to relinquish power and privileges would have been disappointed. People from the first and the second estate must have been a disappointed lot.
Q3- Describe the legacy of the French Revolution for the peoples of the world during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
- The ideas of liberty and democratic rights were the most important legacy of the French Revolution. These spread from France to the rest of Europe during the nineteenth century, where feudal systems were abolished.
- Further these ideas spread to different colonies of the European nations.
- Colonised people interpreted these ideas according to their needs to an end of colonization in their countries.
- The idea of nationalism that emerged after the French revolution started mass movements all over the world. Now people began to question the absolute power.
- In India Tipu Sultan and Raja Ram Mohan Roy got deeply influenced by the idea of the revolution.
Q4- Draw up a list of democratic rights we enjoy today whose origins could be traced to the French Revolution.
Ans- The following fundamental rights, given in the Indian constitution can be traced to the French Revolution:
- The right to equality
- The right to freedom of speech and expression
- The right to freedom from exploitation
- The right to constitutional remedies
Q5- Would you agree with the view that the message of universal rights was beset with contradictions? Explain.
- The major contradiction in the message of universal rights as per the French Constitution of 1791 was the total ignorance of women. All rights were given to men.
- Apart from that the presence of huge number of people as passive citizens, without voting rights.
- France continued to hold and expand colonies. Thus its image as a liberator could not last for a long time.
- Slavery existed in France till the first half of the 19th century.
- The French revolution could not bring economic and political equality in France.
Q6- How would you explain the rise of Napoleon?
- When France became a republic in 1792, the then ruler, Robespeirre became autocratic. This led to reign of terror for the following many years.
- After Robespeirre’s rule came to an end a directory was formed to avoid concentration of power in one individual. Members of the directory often fought among themselves this led to political instability in France.
- The political instability of the directory rule paved the way for the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte a military dictator.
- In 1804 he crowned himself as the emperor of France.
He set out to conquer neighbouring European countries, dispossessing dynasties and creating kingdoms where he placed members of his family