The French Revolution Essay

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The Ancien regime saw an absolute monarch with complete power, running a feudal based society and economy.

The Marxist interpretation of the French Revolution states that it was in essence a power struggle between the middle classes or the bourgeoisie and the upper classes, aristocracy and the nobility.

Having established my definition of the French Revolution, it is first important not to gloss over without mention to the years 1793 – 1799, before going on to look at the nature of the Napoleonic regime itself.

Inmy view these years can in essence be described as a crisis created by panic and a power vacuum.

The revolution’s heir must be the regime that follows on from were the revolution left France, and presides over, or creates the kind of society the revolutionaries of 1789 intended to.

It is my belief that Napoleon and the Napoleonic regime did not either preside over or create this kind of society and as such Napoleon cannot be considered an heir to the French Revolution.Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of UK Essays.Of all the Events of European history, the French Revolution of 1789 is without doubt one of the most important and controversial.Similarly Napoleon Bonaparte has to be amongst the most written on and opinion dividing individuals world history has ever seen.Therefore the question as to weather Napoleon was an heir to the revolution, its saviour, hijacker, or simply consolidator is probably the most frequently asked question regarding the revolution and Napoleon.This was essentially a critique of the Marxist interpretation.This was followed up in the 1960’s and 1970’s by what is often called second generation revisionism, as historians such as Blanning and Doyle began to look more closely at the Nobility as a social group and found new definitions for the events in the years after 1789 up to when Napoleon took power.The revolution is defined by the events of 17 alone.The founding principles and morals of the revolution were that of the bourgeoisie, and these can best been seen by such documents as the declaration of the rights of man, the decree abolishing the feudal system, the Cashier de Doleances referring to the middle classes, and the actions and constitution of the revolutionary government up until 1793 and the beginning of the terror.The most recent historical study on the subject is known as post revisionism and this tends to place more emphasis on matters such as chance than previous approaches whilst also stressing the importance played by the aspects such as popular culture and the psyche of the days society and influential groups and people.Of these approaches I find the Marxist interpretation most convincing and therefore I will now move on to briefly explore this, in order to portray my definition of the French Revolution.

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