The immediate impact of the French Revolution was the death of thousands of aristocrats on the guillotine, the desecration of many Catholic cathedrals and churches and the abolishment of religion, and the establishment of a republic in 1792 after the arrest of the King at the Royal Palais. Then, the legislative power of the republic fell to the National Convention. But, in 1793, the Jacobins seized power and unleashed the Reign of Terror (1793-1794) with nearly 1200 people meeting death on the guillotine.
In 1794 the French people revolted against the excesses of the Reign of Terror. After this a plebiscite ratified a constitution and took effect in 1795, installing what is known as the Directory. Because this group met with opposition from the remaining Jacobins, Napoleon Bonaparte was able to gain power and organize the coup which installed the Consulate. In 1804, Bonaparte established himself as Emperor, a position which effectively did away with the specifically republican phase of the French Revolution.
With the monarchy restored after Bonaparte's exile in 1814, albeit only 100 days, France was still not a democracy. But by the revolution of 1848, and the establishment of the Second Republic whose motto was Liberte, Equalite, Fraternite, there began a more democratic trend in government with the promulgation of universal suffrage. However, there was yet support for the monarchists, with Napoleon III eventually being made monarch in 1852. Conflict between the two ideologies existed until 1879.
With the establishment of democratic and socialist ideas in France, old ideas gave way as in the Haitain revolution of the slaves, who obtained liberty. The New Enlightenment, and secularism, separation of church and state, came into being. These were both movements toward modernization. Thus, the modern era came in the shadow of the French Revolution.