How did the ideas of the French Revolution spread outside France?

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The ideas of the French Revolution (1789--1799) spread in various ways. The French Revolution was a momentous event and its effects could not be limited to France.

One way ideas spread was through the thousands of French emigres. These were the nobles who fled France to save their lives. They...

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The ideas of the French Revolution (1789--1799) spread in various ways. The French Revolution was a momentous event and its effects could not be limited to France.

One way ideas spread was through the thousands of French emigres. These were the nobles who fled France to save their lives. They were, of course, very hostile to the French Revolution.

A second way these ideas spread was through France's position as the intellectual powerhouse of Europe. France was the home of the philosophes, so the ideas of the French Revolution influenced many people in far-flung places. In one example, they inspired the Haitian war for independence.

Another way the ideas were spread was through military conquest. Napoleon conquered much of Europe and put relatives on thrones throughout Europe. After Napoleon's defeat in 1815, the conservative Great Powers of Europe tried to reverse the effects of the French Revolution.

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Based on ideals of liberty and equality, the French Revolution destroyed the monarchy, curbed the power of the Catholic Church, created fairer taxation for citizens, and established democracy as the new form of government. Destruction of the feudal model of governance, when combined with new industrial opportunities, helped foster lasting economic growth.

The ideals perpetuated by the French Revolution had a ripple effect throughout the world, fueling similar revolutions in other countries: Haiti, Italy, Switzerland, Prussia, and South America for instance. Those who emigrated to other countries in an effort to escape the war also helped promote the spread of French culture and revolutionary ideals.

Finally, the French Revolution had an enormous impact on art—and literature in particular—by spawning the greatest literary movement of all time: Romanticism, which inspired the works of authors such as Keats, Byron, Coleridge, and Shelley.

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