How Are The French Revolution and the Age of Enlightenment Connecned: [Essay Example], 759 words GradesFixer

Haven't found the right essay?

Get an expert to write your essay!


Professional writers and researchers


Sources and citation are provided


3 hour delivery

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by professional essay writers.

How Are the French Revolution and the Age of Enlightenment Connecned

Download Print

Pssst… we can write an original essay just for you.

Any subject. Any type of essay.

We’ll even meet a 3-hour deadline.

Get your price

121 writers online

Download PDF

The Age of Enlightenment was a period of intellectual development from the 17th to 18th century that sprouted many ideas about humanity and government, most of them surrounding reasoning, science, and equality. The French Revolution, which took place from 1789-1799, centered around many of these ideals, and the intense desire among the public to put them to use in government to undo the damage that the monarchy had done over the last few decades. Some facets of the revolution, like the terror, however, did not represent Enlightenment ideals well at all.

The connection between the Age of Enlightenment and the French Revolution is best understood in the context of what the French people wanted from the revolution, and not what they achieved. The French had a deep desire for democracy and “political morality” in their government, and they also strove for civil rights- such as “liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression – and to be free from the oppressive monarch King Louis XVI. Although King Louis was quoted as saying “The Monarch and the Nation… have the same interests.” He was known for imposing high taxes and spending lavishly on useless royal court affairs, despite France’s massive debt. He also aided the Americans in an expensive, foreign war that there was no guarantee of winning- increasing the debt. In fact, Louis XVI’s reign was characterized by expensive necessities, turmoil and violence, fiscal irresponsibility in Government, and a general distaste towards 98% of the population- the Third Estate. This was most easily visible by the Estates General locking the Third Estate representatives out of a congress, causing the formation of the National Assembly- an organization that would help kickstart the Revolution. For these reasons and more, the king was eventually executed by his own people for his poor leadership.

Executions were common during the Revolution- in fact, they were common. The Age of Enlightenment encouraged rational thinking, cooperation between people and the government, and equality- and while the Revolutionaries began working towards those goals, as the revolution continued, things became increasingly radical. Towards the end of the almost decade-long revolution, terror became the standard. Not only was the revolution’s de-facto leader Maximillian Robespierre killed by the very people who looked to him for counsel years before, but over the two year ‘Reign of Terror’ an estimated 35,000 people were slaughtered in the streets. Not only was terror the standard, but inequality was rampant despite the new constitution and the new government. As pointed out by Olympe de Gouges in her Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen pamphlet, women had no suffrage, no education, and no representation in government. Edmund Burke, a British conservative, accurately summed up the Revolution and it’s violation of it’s very founding ideals as surmounting to “Industry withough vigor; commerce expiring; the revenue unpaid, yet the people impoverished; a church pillaged, and a state not relieved” Despite the country’s apparent desire for democracy, Napoleon Bonaparte took hold of France with an iron fist after the Revolution and quickly named himself the dictator.

Comparisons can be drawn between the French Revolution and the Russian Revolution of 1917- they both had similar goals, and both missed the mark in extremely similar ways. Much like the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution started with an intense need for equality and less oppressive and inexperienced rule, and an uprising of citizens and fighters overtaking an oppressive ruler- in the Russian’s case, Tsar Nicholas II. The Revolution was bloody though, and the government in place after the revolution was Marxist. Equality was taken to it’s farthest extreme, and not only did the revolution mark the beginning of the Russian Civil War, but it ushered in another long age of difficulty and oppression to Russian citizens under Vladimir Lenin and then Josef Stalin. Similarly to France and it’s revolutions of 1830 and 1848, the Russians endured smaller, less successful revolution attempts once the communists took hold and began building the Soviet Union.

The French Revolution is, in some ways, a picture perfect example of Enlightenment ideals in play on the world’s stage- in other ways though it’s practically a handbook on what not to do when attempting to reform a country based on enlightened ideals. Although they overthrew the oppressive king and made strides towards democracy and equality, the revolution had a high civilian body count and ended almost exactly where they started with little improvement. The French Revolution and it’s failure to usher in an enlightened and peaceful era after poor ruling can be compared to the Russian Revolution easily.

Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

Your time is important. Let us write you an essay from scratch

100% plagiarism free

Sources and citations are provided

Find Free Essays

We provide you with original essay samples, perfect formatting and styling

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

How Are The French Revolution and the Age of Enlightenment Connecned. (2019, September 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 22, 2020, from
“How Are The French Revolution and the Age of Enlightenment Connecned.” GradesFixer, 13 Sept. 2019,
How Are The French Revolution and the Age of Enlightenment Connecned. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 22 Oct. 2020].
How Are The French Revolution and the Age of Enlightenment Connecned [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Sept 13 [cited 2020 Oct 22]. Available from:
copy to clipboard

Sorry, copying is not allowed on our website. If you’d like this or any other sample, we’ll happily email it to you.

    By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails.


    Attention! this essay is not unique. You can get 100% plagiarism FREE essay in 30sec

    Recieve 100% plagiarism-Free paper just for 4.99$ on email
    get unique paper
    *Public papers are open and may contain not unique content
    download public sample

    Sorry, we cannot unicalize this essay. You can order Unique paper and our professionals Rewrite it for you



    Your essay sample has been sent.

    Want us to write one just for you? We can custom edit this essay into an original, 100% plagiarism free essay.

    thanks-icon Order now

    Hi there!

    Are you interested in getting a customized paper?

    Check it out!
    Having trouble finding the perfect essay? We’ve got you covered. Hire a writer uses cookies. By continuing we’ll assume you board with our cookie policy.