Essay on The French Revolution, King Louis XVI

Essay on The French Revolution, King Louis XVI

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In a time of great dispute and confusion, it took the courage of one man to rise up against the opposition and throw out the revolutionary ideas. The French Revolution started in 1789 and concluded in 1799, but the revolution began due to the unrest of the peasantry and the supposed treasonous acts committed by King Louis XVI. As a result, the social classes revolted against the King and this led to his execution, which left France without a leader until Napoleon Bonaparte took control of the revolutionaries and became the ruler. Although, Napoleon Bonaparte’s reforms as head of France did not reflect revolutionary ideas and therefore he was not a child of the revolution. One example of this can be found in the government established by Napoleon because although the French Revolution pushed for a government with distributed power, Napoleon used a dictatorship. At the same time, Napoleon’s religious and social policies or reforms were contradictory to the ideas of the revolution. However, the revolutions primary economic tenet of laissez faire was completely changed by Napoleon because he instituted the Continental system, which destroyed ports throughout all of Europe. Finally, Napoleon rose to power in France and he had instituted policies and reforms as dictator, which had been completely different from the ideas of the French Revolution.
Therefore Napoleon was not a child of the revolution, which can first be seen in his establishment of a dictatorship, while the French Revolution had pushed for a government with distributed power. More specifically, the French Revolution had stressed for equality under the law and how the King should stand by this idea and not go against the French Law. For example the French Constitution of ...


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Englund, Steven. Napoleon: A Political Life. New York: Simon and Schuster publishing, 2010.

Fauvelet de Bourrienne, Antoine, Louis. Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte. London: C. Scribner’s sons, 1896.

Heckscher, Eli Filip. The Continental System: An Economic Interpretation. Boston: Clarendon Press, 1922.

Hosack, A. Kristen. Napoleon Bonaparte’s Concordat and the French Revolution. Illinois: Weslyan University Press, 2010.

Kreis, Steven. Europe and the Superior Being: Napoleon. (Boston: Pennington Press, 2006), 9.

Sloane, M. William. The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte. London: The Century and Company, 1910.

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