Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen (consists of liberty, equality, and fraternity concepts), Nationalist ideology, Women’s rights, the idea of Republican rule, and the Abolition of privileges & slavery were the major contribution of French revolution which has been widely accepted all over the world.
Five Contribution of French Revolution, Overview
Let’s understand each point of the contribution of French revolution to today’s society, briefly:
1. Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen
The French National Constituent Assembly created this document on August 26, 1789. It is a fundamental document of the French Republic and one of the first expressions of human rights in history. The Declaration consists of a preamble and seventeen articles that explain the rights of citizens, including liberty, equality, and fraternity.
The concept of “liberty” mentioned in the Declaration means that all citizens have the right to live their lives as they see fit, without interference from the government. “Equality” means that everyone is equal before the law and has the same rights, regardless of social class. “Fraternity” implies that all citizens should help each other and work together for the country’s good.
The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen was a significant contribution to the French Revolution because it helped to establish the idea of human rights, which is now accepted worldwide.
2. Nationalist Ideology
Nationalism is the idea that people who share a common language and culture should be united in a single country, primarily driven by loyalty to the state and rejection of foreign intervention.
Before the Revolution, most people in France considered themselves to be citizens of their local region or city rather than of the country as a whole. However, during the Revolution, people began to think of themselves as French citizens first, and this sense of national identity has continued to grow in the years since.
The development of nationalism was a major contribution to the French Revolution because it led to the unification of France as a country and also inspired other peoples around the world to fight for their independence. Nationalism is now a powerful force in many countries.
3. Republic Government
Before the French Revolution, France was ruled by a monarchy. The king or queen had absolute power and could make decisions without consulting the people.
On September 21, 1792, the Legislative Assembly proclaimed that the monarchy was abolished. This meant the people would elect their representatives to make decisions for them. This event happened on November 22, 1792, when a parliament elected by universal male suffrage met. At this meeting, the French Republic was established.
The establishment of the republic showed that the people could govern themselves without a monarchy. Many other countries later adopted this idea. But the idea that people can elect their representatives to make decisions is now commonplace.
4. Women Rights
Before the Revolution, women were not considered citizens and had no political rights. However, during the Revolution, women began to demand equality with men. One of the most famous women’s rights activists was Olympe de Gouges, who wrote a Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen.
In which the first article says: “Woman is born free and remains equal to man in rights. Social distinctions can only be based on common utility.”
The French Revolution was crucial for developing women’s liberties because it helped establish that women were equal to men and should have the same rights. Today, women all over the world enjoy many rights that were first established during the French Revolution.
5. Abolition of the privileges and slavery
After the French Revolution, on February 4, 1794, slavery was abolished in France. This meant that all men without distinction of color, who lived in the colonies, were French citizens and would have the same rights as everyone else. However, on May 10, 1802, Napoleon restored slavery.
Finally, on April 27, 1848, the Decree for the abolition of slavery in France was approved. This ended privileges and slavery practices in France and its colonies. Years later, other countries followed suit, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Portugal, and Spain.
The French Revolution also led to the abolition of the privileges of the nobility and the clergy and resulted in the abolition of slavery in France. These changes helped to create an equal society.
So, there are the contribution of French Revolution to the society.