French Revolution - Successful Or Not?

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Western Civ Sara G Essay: Catalyzed by the Enlightenment, the French Revolution signifies an epoch in which dissimilar socioeconomic classes sought a more democratic state, even though each estate’s motive differed. Given the initial ambition of the revolution, it was ultimately unsuccessful because of the people’s failures through the constitution of 1791, the establishment of the Committee of Safety, and the appointment of Napoleon as emperor. The Constitution of 1791, though nearly efficacious, failed because of Louis XVI’s inability to reign as a constitutional monarch. The National Assembly wrote the Constitution, exploiting enlightenment values as inspiration for the composition. The Constitution of 1791 incorporated ideas such as voting rights for white men who passed a test of wealth, having only one house legislature would be responsible for lawmaking, and pronouncing that the king does not have an absolute veto. This doctrine embodied equality and democracy, the essential principles of the revolution, and hoped to lessen the strength of the monarch. After two years, the constitution was finally completed and endorsed by the king, who was now identified as “Louis, by the grace of God and the constitutional law of the state, king of French.” Louis then stated the end of the revolution, but a short time after fled to Vareness, where he was captured, and sent back to Paris, arrested. In order for a constitutional monarchy to prosper, it needs both a constitution AND a monarch. Louis “copping out” illustrates a ruler who could not bare losing his authoritative power. While the people were successful at generating a feasible constitution, because of Louis XVI’s inability to reign as constitutional monarch, the entire exploit was ultimately a failure considering the aspiration of the revolution: establish a democratic state. As the Republic suffered
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