How Did France Abolish Monarchy and Become a Republic to Leave Trails

Updated July 31, 2022

How France Abolished Monarchy is a very significant part modern civilization. Let’s put this rather straight that it was the National Convention of France which abolished monarchy and declared France a republic. And, this National Convention was de-facto, the parliament of French Revolution. This Convention announced that it put the French monarchy to end on 21 September 1792 and the French First Republic had taken birth. However, the French republic of modern day had to go through many twists & turn.

After all, the king Louis XVI had signed the constitution but he entered into a secret negotiation with the king of Prussia. The rulers of other neighbors were greatly concerned by the developments in France. And, they made plans to send troops to scale down the events that was going on there since the summer of 1789. Before this could be done by troops of Prussia, the national assembly declared war against Prussia and Austria in April 1792.

Thousands of volunteers who came from the provinces thronged to join the army. They thought that this is a war of the people against the king and aristocracies all over the Europe. They sang Marseillaise, composed by Roget de L ‘Isle. All the France people took steps to become a republic and abolish the monarchy. When Marseille volunteers marched into Paris, the song Marseillaise was sung for the first time by them. Now, the Marseillaise is the national anthem of France.

Political Clubs Became a Rallying Point

The revolutionary wars led losses and economic difficulties to the people of France. When men were fighting on the front, women had to earn livelihood to take care of their families. large sections of the population were convinced that the revolution had to be taken forward, as the constitution of 1791 gave political rights only to the wealthy sections of society.

During the following years, all political clubs became an important rallying point. In the rallying point, people discussed government policies and plan their own forms of action. Among these clubs, the most famous club was the Jacobin club. its name was derived from the former convent of St Jacob in Paris. Also, women have formed their own clubs, which were active during this period.

The Greater Role Played by The Jacobin Club

The leader of the Jacobin club was Maximilian Robespierre. And, the people who were in the Jacobin club mainly belonged to less wealthy sections of society. Small shopkeepers, shoemakers, pastry cooks, the servants, daily wage workers and the likes were part of this club.

A large section of the Jacobins decided to make the dressing similar to the dock worker in which, they started wearing long striped trousers. In a sense, they wanted to show that they were different from the fashionable sections of society, especially the nobles, who wore knee-breeches. Basically, it was a way of proclaiming the end of the power wielded by the wearers of the knee-breeches.

Further, these Jacobins were also known as “Sans-Culottes”, which meant those who were not wearing knee-breeches. Sans culottes men wore in addition, a red cap that symbolized liberty. However, women were not allowed to do so.

Jacobins planned a revolt in the summer of 1792 in which a large number of Parisians included, who were angered by the short supplies and high prices of food. On the morning of August 10, they stormed the palace of the Tuileries, massacred the king’s guards, and held the king himself as a hostage for several hours. Elections were held and only men of 21 years and above, got the right to vote. Later the assembly decided to imprison the royal family.

1792 When France Abolished Monarchy & Declared Republican

The newly elected assembly was called the convention. On 21 September 1792, the assembly abolished the monarchy and declared France a republic. Louis XVI was sentenced to death by the court, On the charge of betrayal of the country. And, he was executed publicly on 21 January 1793 at the Place de la Concorde. Queen Marie Antoinette met with the same fate shortly after.

The Reign of Terror

The Reign of Terror took place between September 5, 1793, and July 27, 1794. And, the ruling period of Maximilien Robespierre is referred to as Reign of Terror. Robespierre followed a policy of severe control and punishment. The member of the clergy, ex-nobles and other political parties, even members of his own party who did not agree with his methods. they were arrested, imprisoned, and then tried by a revolutionary tribunal. If the court found them ‘Guilty’ they were guillotined. The instrument consisting of two poles and a blade which is known as the guillotine. It was named after Dr. Guillotine who invented it.

Robespierre’s government implemented laws on wages and prices. Peasants were forced to transport their grain to the cities and sell it at prices fixed by the government. Churches were closed and their building converted into barracks or offices. Robespierre implemented the laws over the citizens so relentlessly that even supporters began to demand moderation. After a few days, Robespierre was convicted by a court in July 1794 and the very next day he was Guillotined.

A Directory Started Ruling France

After, the fall of the Jacobin government the wealthier middle classes seized power and formed a new constitution that denied the vote to non-propertied sections of society. It provided for two elected legislative councils. then appointed a directory, an executive composed of five members. It was meant as protection against the concentration of power in the executive of each individual under Jacobin.

The Directory or Directorate was a five-member committee that governed France from 1795 when it replaced the Committee of Public Safety. On 9 November 1799, it was overthrown by Napoleon Bonaparte in the Coup of 18 Brumaire and replaced by the French Consulate. It gave its name to the final four years of the French Revolution.

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