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The French Revolution was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France from 1789 to 1799. It began with the Estates-General, a meeting of representatives from the three estates (clergy, nobility, and commoners), which was called in response to financial troubles in the country. The commoners, known as the Third Estate, felt marginalized and demanded more representation and rights.

On June 17, 1789, the Third Estate declared themselves the National Assembly, asserting that they represented the will of the nation. This marked the beginning of the Revolution. They were joined by some members of the clergy and nobility, while others remained loyal to the monarchy.

Tensions escalated in Paris, leading to the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, a symbol of royal authority. This event and subsequent uprisings in other parts of France led to the collapse of the monarchy and the establishment of a revolutionary government.

The Revolution was characterized by radical political, social, and economic changes. The monarchy was abolished, and the country became a republic. The principle of popular sovereignty and the rights of man and citizen were declared. The nobility and clergy lost their privileged status, and land was redistributed to the commoners. The revolutionary government introduced secular reforms, such as the adoption of the metric system and the reorganization of education.

However, the Revolution also witnessed significant violence and chaos. The Reign of Terror, led by the Committee of Public Safety, saw countless executions of perceived enemies of the Revolution. Maximilien Robespierre, one of the leaders of the Committee, was eventually overthrown and executed himself.

The Revolution ultimately ended with the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte, who seized power in a coup d’├ętat in 1799 and established himself as First Consul. This marked the beginning of the Napoleonic era, which would have a significant impact on Europe and shape the future of France.

Overall, the French Revolution was a pivotal moment in history, as it brought about profound changes in France and inspired movements for liberty and equality around the world. It challenged the power of monarchies and aristocracies and laid the foundation for the emergence of modern democratic states.

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