The French Revolution was very different from the American Revolution. The poor revolted against the rich; the women armed themselves and stormed strongholds; nobles were murdered for owning land and money and for their substandard treatment of the peasants. The French Revolution was a time of violence and turmoil in the history of France.

The French Revolution altered France forever. It was caused by suppressive taxes due to King Louis XV fighting so many wars with other nations and aiding America in the Revolutionary War. His son, Louis XVI, later demanded cash from the French to restock the royal treasury. But he did not tax all of the French--only the lower classes. Also, there was political unrest and a desire for freedom amongst the French. To make matters worse, France was suffering from a famine. The French were not happy and rebelled.

The poor Frenchmen had a definite advantage because of their superior numbers. Though most wars are considered to be fought by trained soldiers, women participated in the battle of Bastille alongside the army, and defeated the enemy. The “Reign of Terror” began when Marat, a physician, philosopher, political theorist, and scientist, was murdered by a girl, Charlotte Corday, while taking his bath. Many people were dragged off to their deaths in prison carts. In the end, Louis XVI was executed. 18,000 to 40,000 nobles were executed by the poor because they committed the “crime” of owning money and land while unfairly treating the poor. This mass slaughter was committed during the Reign of Terror under the Frenchman Robespierre. The poor had made their complaints heard.

The French government was in for a dramatic change. After the French Revolution, Louis XVI‘s son, who had been held in protection, resumed his place on the throne. France established a voting system for all land owners, instead of just the rich ones. However the revolution made France a weak and vulnerable nation because almost all of its political and influential men were slaughtered. This opened the way for a dictator like Napoleon to take control of the government.

This revolution was an attempt of the poor to be granted equal rights. Many nobles were unlawfully slaughtered--a scar that would forever remain in French history. The most tragic part of the French Revolution was the Reign of Terror. The violence it produced caused the French to rethink their revolt and execute Robespierre. The French Revolution was very turbulent.