Tale Of Two Cities Essay

1257 WordsMar 29, 20096 Pages
The historical context of Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities directly alludes to the tense social, economic, and political climates in France and England during the beginnings of the French revolution. The French Revolution was one of the most important events of the 1700s, and its influence was still strong in Charles Dickens’s time. The revolution began in 1789 with the attack on the notorious prison, the Bastille—a key event in A Tale of Two Cities. Throughout the revolution’s different phases, various elected bodies ruled France, but none enjoyed total support of the people. Several forces resorted to terrorism to defeat their political opponents. In addition to national turmoils, France was struggling with other countries in Europe. France’s revolutionary government frightened Europe’s monarchs, who feared that the spread of democratic ideas would bring an end to their power. The European monarchs sent troops to end the threat to their thrones. Wars raged for six years. The French government had many problems to deal with, including opposition from some French citizens. In 1799 certain political leaders plotted to overthrow the current government. They chose the French general Napoleon Bonaparte to help them. Bonaparte quickly took power and crowned himself emperor a few years later. Though many points have been implemented for the cause, a few examples why the revolution include the country’s inability to produce enough food to feed its people; the newly wealthy middle-class was without political power; peasants hated the ancient feudal system, in which they were forced to work for local nobles; new ideas about social and political reforms were spreading. The aristocracy’s pompous lifestyle coupled with the lower classes’ desperation formulates a conflicting juxtaposition throughout the novel. Dickens depicts a historically familiar atmosphere. He has a

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