Politics played an important into shaping French nationalism. After the declaration of the Rights of Man and of the citizens; this meant the coming down and abolishment of the privileged who were the monarch and clergy. This gave commoners more freedom, and they felt a heavy weight has been lifted of their shoulders.
Reaction outside France
Other monarchs did not like the revolution taking place in France. It posed as a threat, and they were afraid the third estate people of their kingdom would start getting ideas, and react in the same way as the people of France did. Resulting- the French royalties left and took refuge in neighboring countries.
Different countries, such as Austria, sent army forces to attack France in hopes of defeating them, and retaining the status of Monarchs and other royalties. The idea backfired, as the people of France turned out to be more powerful by defeating the army.
To stop interference from other countries and to insure the rights the people of France have gained throughout the period of the revolution, they executed the King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette in 1793.
The revolution became extreme
Though the majority of the people agreed with the revolutionary ideas and how it was taking place, there were people who opposed it. The extent of brutal acts taking place was one of the main reasons for the opposition.
Revolutionary leaders were raged by non supporters, so they settled to punish or execute anyone that criticized or questioned their ideas. Almost 200,000 people were arrested, and 17,000 were beheaded during those 11 months; this period was known as the Reign of Terror.
Olympe de Gouges was one of the executed people. She questioned the revolutionaries about the rights of women. Though France had a new Declaration of Rights, those rights seemed to pay more importance to men than women. She wrote a pamphlet called The Declaration of the Rights of Woman and of the Female Citizens, to grab the attentions of the people specially women to realize the situation. She opposed the idea of beheading the king and queen. Her opinions raged the revolutionary leaders as she was not on their side, so she was executed during the Reign of Terror.
The Rise of Napoleon
The Reign of Terror finally ended in 1794. The revolutionaries spilt into different groups.
As years went by there was instability in the French government, as the different groups tried to gain more power. That’s when Napoleon Bonaparte stepped in during the year 1799; he was the reason for uniting the French people together and stabilized the country.
Napoleon died in exile in 1821. Before that Napoleon successfully captured most of Europe through a series of wars.
Currently, people have different views about Napoleon. Some see him as a great leader who did a lot for France after the revolution by strengthening French national pride by winning wars. He stabilized and modernized the government of France. He set up the Rule of Law which is still the basis of the legal system in France today; this also had a huge impact on the civil law that is being followed in Quebec up to this day.