Popular Will in the French Revolution
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An analysis of the French Revolution illustrates the role of the popular will in dictating its course of action. This paper explains how the Revolution began with the aim of establishing a constitutional monarchy via internal reorganization, but the initial actions of the National Assembly were immediately met with suspicion and criticism, paving the way for the first turning point in the Revolution, which involved division and radicalization of the political culture. It discusses that, as the public became increasingly active and radical, it eventually achieved power over the Convention with the demise of the Girondins, the second major turning point in the French Revolution. After this, the Revolution's focus on preservation of the Republic and underclass concerns was expressed through hysteria and terror. The writer points out that the French Revolution is a clear example of how revolutions are created and sustained by the people. Thus, in any historical analysis of a revolution, a consideration of the public will is an essential component for fully understanding the causes or the course of a revolution.
From the Paper:"At the core of a revolution is the mass population that lends credibility to the revolutionary leaders. Thus, the popular will is a key element in understanding the course of any revolution. Specifically, during the French Revolution popular will forced the goals and methods of the National Assembly, which aimed to replace the absolute monarchy with a constitutional monarchy, to turn in many unpredicted directions. In the first major turning point of the revolution, the moderate goals of the National Assembly took a dramatic turn on June 20, 1791 when King Louis XVI fled to Varennes, confirming popular suspicions of an aristocratic plot and producing a radicalization of popular political culture. The popular will reached its pinnacle of power during the second major turning point of the Revolution, the demise of the Girondins. After this, the suspicious popular will was expressed through the ruling Jacobins and the Revolution turned hysteric. Although the popular will was not always sovereign during the French Revolution, the interaction of the publics will with the governing deputies forced abrupt changes in the direction of the French Revolution and dictated the course it would take."
Cite this Essay:
Popular Will in the French Revolution (2005, January 28) Retrieved December 04, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/essay/popular-will-in-the-french-revolution-55418/
"Popular Will in the French Revolution" 28 January 2005. Web. 04 December. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/essay/popular-will-in-the-french-revolution-55418/>