The French Revolution (1789 - 1815)

Egality - Liberty - Fraternity for ...... the Bourgeoisie

1789. Where the economic power and the capital was in hands of the bourgeoisie they had no political influence. The king with the nobles and the clergy controlled land and people and paid no personnal taxes. In order to take away the base of their power the bourgeoisie developped the ideas of the French revolution, hoping that the lower class will stand up against the noble and the clergy. The ideas of the freemasons picked up by the philosophers made the base for the changes. When bad harvest an famine made the people discontented the conditions for a revolution were fullfilled. So after the assault of the "Bastille", the king and the parliament abdicated. But in the first years committees formed by the lower class took the power and installed terror. After a few years as we will see the bourgeoisie could regain the control and came on power. Symbols of the past with the nobles and the church were partly reinstalled to hold the lower claseses under control.

Evolution of the Revolution

1792. The king and the queen were decapitated, because the queen was from Austria and the new regime feared an intervention of Austria. A regime of terror was installed and a new time sheduling made as a sign of a new area. Dictators ruled the country in name of the peole.  

1796. Belgium came under control of France and gradually the rest of Europe.

1800. When Napoleon became very popular after his victory on the English in Egypt,  it was the moment to install a more bourgeois regime, first with 3 consuls then with Napoleon alone.

1803. When France controlled at that time Europe, England was forced to react. First came the battle of Trafalgare, where France loosed the control of the sea. Napoleon could then not:  and face whole Europe and face the whole catholic church. So an agreement was made:  the church regained the use of the churches (but the property came under a civil local church administration) and Napoleon was crowned as Cesar through the church. One of the consequences of the loose of the control of the sea was also that on the continent the cane suchar ( candy for the bourgeoisie) imported from Haiti etc. has to be replaced by local beet suchar. Louisiana (under Franco-Spanish dominance)  who provided Haiti etc. with food was then of no further use (risking to fall in hands of England) and sold to the United States. Then England deplaced the battle fields far from France  to Portugal and Spain. There France became involved in a kind of guerilla and being far from France they could never gain a definitive battle. Gradually the resisitance became stronger and stronger and France started to loose battles.

1813. As a result on the other end of Europe Russia and Autrich started actions against France and the situation obliged France to fight on two far îonts. There was no other solution as to attack the most far and intangible ennemy: Russia. France started to build the "Grande Armée", enrolling people in the occupied countries. But what happened in Spain on a smaller scale, occured on a larger scale with a Russian guerilla and the tactic of burned land. Nevertheless in the winter of 1813 Napoleon will reach Moscow, but the long supply lines under guerilla attacks and the russian winter forced Napoleon to withdrawn and the "Grande Armée" will be decimated on his way back.

1814-1815: With the battle of Waterloo will end what started with the French revolution in 1789.