What were the two main outcomes of the French Revolution?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

One major outcome of the French Revolution was the weakening of the power of the Roman Catholic Church and the breaking of the implicit alliance between throne and altar. One explicit pillar of the French Revolution was the notion of laïcité, the idea that the government should be independent of religious influence. This notion was even stricter than that of the United States' wall of separation between church and state and had its roots in opposition to the strong links between the ancien régime and the Roman Catholic Church, in which only aristocrats had been able to hold certain high-ranking positions such as bishoprics in the French Roman Catholic Church. Secularism also led to complete freedom of religion and an end to the persecution of Huguenots, Jews, and atheists.

Another major outcome of the French Revolution was equality for all citizens. Instead of laws treating nobles and peasants differently, all men were equal under the law, and they enjoyed the same rights and liberties. It should be noted, though, that this equality and "fraternity" did not extend to women, who only gained the right to vote in 1944.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The French Revolution was a major political and social event which took place in France between 1789 until 1799. The Revolution dramatically altered the way of life for French people, beginning first with the end of the monarchy and the establishment of the republic. This happened on September 21 1792 when the Legislative Assembly voted to abolish the monarchy and they executed King Louis on January 21 1793. This set France on the path to representative government and development of the famous principle, 'liberty, equality, fraternity,' the idea that sovereignty rested with the people.

Another main outcome of the French Revolution was the creation and extension of civil rights. This began with the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen in 1789 which recognised basic rights, like security, liberty and the right to resist oppression. After the Revolution, France also supported the women's movement, the abolition of slavery and removed the economic and social privileges of the upper class, especially with regards to taxation.

 

 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial