British revolution (which was first bourgeois revolution) was symbol of the transition from the feudal regime to the capitalist regime. British revolution hardly revolutionized the crowds and it was more of a military movement than a public revolution. While in another case, French revolution was more of a public revolution than the British one even if it was affected by that.
According to Marx; 1648 and 1789 revolutions were not separate “British and French revolutions”, they were classified together as “Europe style revolutions”. These were not the victories of a particular class of society over the old political order, these were political order proclaims for new Europe society. This time, in the French revolution, bourgeoisie prevailed.
“Incontestable right” term was emerging after the second half of XVI. century. Jean Jacques Rousseau, produced an important work that questions how societies should be with his work titled “Social Contract”. Social laws were quickly getting separated from “divine order” mentality in the same period.
French society were divided into three different groups before the revolution; aristocracy, clergy, “Tiers Etat” (bourgeoisie, peasantry, workers). The regime of absolutism was about to be destroyed. King had only one choice; using force. People in Paris reacted hard to king’s precautions.
On 14 July 1984, a crowd of people walked to the Bastille Prison, the symbol of royal autohority in Paris and took control of it. News did not reach to Versaille Palace untill midnight. When the king XVI. Louis heard the events, he asked “Is this a rebellion?”. Duke Rochefoucauld-Liancourt said “No, this is a revolution.”
Civil commotion leaded by French bourgeoisie seizied the power on 14 July 1789. On August 26, 1789, the Constituent Assembly proclamied “Declaration of Rights of Man and the Citizen“. This manifesto went down in history as the first documantry that established the basic principles of bourgeois democracy. After the revolution, political functioned clubs spread rapidly in Paris and the countryside.
The French Revolution was a bourgeois democratic libertarian rooted revolution that surpassed its predecessors and influenced the later ones. However, in terms of politics, economics, philosophy “Declaration of Rights of Man and the Citizen” was individualist. Declaration saw the individual as the basic unit of society and it called property as a natural sacred right. Declaration used as preamble at 1791, 1793, 1795 constitutions.
One of the most important outcomes of French revolution was the born of nationalism idea. After the revolution, nationalist movements gained political character. This outcome played a big part in the breakdowns of multi-national countries and empires. Ottoman empire and Austria-Hungary empire were damaged greatly from this.
“I prefer liberty with danger than peace with slavery.”
― Jean-Jacques Rousseau
“Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.”
― Jean-Jacques Rousseau