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While the French Revolution is filled with notable figures like Robespierre, Danton, and Sieyes, the role of common people in the streets of Paris and in the provinces cannot be underestimated. What role do you feel these crowds or mobs played in the Revolution, and would it have been feasable without their demonstrations and violence? Lastly, why did these crowds take to the streets – did they want the same things as the Revolutionaries from the National Assembly?

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Sample Answer

The role of the common people in the French Revolution was crucial. They were the driving force behind many of the major events of the Revolution, including the Storming of the Bastille, the Women’s March on Versailles, and the Reign of Terror.

The common people were motivated to take to the streets by a variety of factors, including economic hardship, political oppression, and a desire for social justice. They were also inspired by the ideals of the Enlightenment, such as liberty, equality, and fraternity.

Full Answer Section

The common people played a key role in the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of the Republic. However, they were also responsible for some of the most violent acts of the Revolution, such as the September Massacres and the Reign of Terror.

Would the Revolution have been feasible without the demonstrations and violence of the common people?

It is difficult to say whether the French Revolution would have been feasible without the demonstrations and violence of the common people. On the one hand, the common people provided the muscle and the manpower that was needed to overthrow the monarchy and establish the Republic. On the other hand, the violence of the Revolution alienated many people and ultimately led to the Thermidorian Reaction and the end of the Reign of Terror.

Did the common people want the same things as the revolutionaries from the National Assembly?

In general, the common people wanted the same things as the revolutionaries from the National Assembly, such as liberty, equality, and fraternity. However, there were also some important differences between the two groups. For example, the common people were more interested in economic reforms, such as lower taxes and higher wages, while the revolutionaries from the National Assembly were more focused on political reforms, such as a constitutional monarchy and a representative government.

Examples of the role of the common people in the French Revolution:

  • The Storming of the Bastille: On July 14, 1789, a crowd of Parisians stormed the Bastille, a prison that was seen as a symbol of royal oppression. The Storming of the Bastille is considered to be the beginning of the French Revolution.
  • The Women’s March on Versailles: On October 5, 1789, a crowd of women marched from Paris to Versailles to demand that the king and queen return to Paris. The Women’s March on Versailles was a major turning point in the Revolution and led to the king and queen being forced to return to Paris.
  • The September Massacres: In September 1792, a series of massacres took place in Paris in which thousands of prisoners were killed. The September Massacres were one of the most violent episodes of the French Revolution.
  • The Reign of Terror: From 1793 to 1794, the Reign of Terror was a period of intense violence in which thousands of people were executed for suspected counter-revolutionary activities. The Reign of Terror was led by Maximilien Robespierre and the Committee of Public Safety.

The French Revolution was a complex event with many different causes and consequences. The role of the common people was crucial to the Revolution, and it is impossible to imagine the Revolution happening without them.

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