French Revolution From Despots to Dictators
French Revolution: From Despotsto Dictators
Journal entry 1: Storming theBastille
My name is Claude Armand, and Iam a member of France’s third estate. Today, I joined my fellowpeasants in storming the Bastille. The cry for equality, liberty, andfraternity is now bearing fruits. A few years back, my father hadparticipated in the American Revolution against Great Britain (Mantin33). The success of the revolution had encouraged the third estatethat it is possible to attain liberty and stop the oppressivepolicies of the monarchy. I had been afraid when my father asked meto join the revolution yesterday. The King and his troops had a greatadvantage over us civilians since we did not have any sophisticatedweapons. However, our militia leaders obviously considered this andthus they led us to Bastille to seize ammunition from the prison. Theprison attack was not easy since we faced a lot of resistance fromgovernor Marquis de Launay who refused to open the prison gates.Unfortunately, the resistance led to the death of several guards andgovernment officials such as Marquis de Launay (Frey and Frey 60).
Journal entry 2: Overthrowing theMonarchy
The air is tight with tension andexcitement. The third estate managed to revolt against the governmentat last! For several years now, we have suffered greatly under thehands of the first and second estates. These hypocritical classesclaim to be our spiritual and political leaders when in essence theytreat us as their slaves. For instance, I have to pay huge tax billsfrom my meagre salary as a shop owner. However, the wealthy first andsecond estate who own 10 % and 25% of the land respectively do notpay any tax at all! Moreover, King Louis XVI was ineffectual,indecisive, and unsuitable for his seat (Spielvogel 600). He had evenbeen so insensitive as to raise taxes for the third estate in orderto cover the country’s debts, a decision that led to the starvationof several commoners. The most logical position in this case was toget rid of the King and the entire monarchy. Thankfully, we managedto confine the king and his extravagant wife Marie Antoinette inParis. We were also able to imprison the royals who did not manage toescape. Literary, we overthrew the king, abolished monarchy, and tookover the control of the palace (Neely 20). Today, we enjoyed thefruits of the Enlightenment.
Journal Entry 3: The Birth of theRepublic of France
Abolishing the monarchy was agreat step towards ensuring liberty, equality, and fraternity.However, I must admit that I had been sceptical about what to expectafter the fall of the monarchy. Often, regimes overthrow anoppressive government only to oppress the people when they takecontrol (Thomas 16). My fears were addressed when the NationalAssembly took charge of the government. The Assembly is now referredto as the National Convention. Its first responsibility was todeclare France as a Republic officially. Jubilations filled the airas members of the third estate and those of the other estates who hadjoined the noble cause celebrated the birth of a nation. It will takea while to organize the country into a democratic nation where eachindividual is respected and free (Thomas 15). I hope for betterliving conditions under the new leadership. Abolishment of therestrictive classes will be essential to allow us to soar to greaterheights of success as a nation.
Frey, Linda, and Marsha Frey. TheFrench Revolution.Westport (Conn.: Greenwood press, 2004. Print.
Mantin, Peter. TheFrench Revolution.Oxford: Heinemann Educational, 1992. Print.
Neely, Sylvia. AConcise History of the French Revolution.Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008. Print.
Spielvogel, Jackson. Westencivilization: Volume C: Since 1789.New York: Cengage Learning. 2011. Print.
Thomas, Paul. TheFrench Revolution. NewYork: In the Hands of a Child Publishers. 2001. Print.