French Revolution Posters
years of increasing dissatisfaction with the way they were
treated by the royal family and aristocratic class, the
people of France moved towards improving their lot in life
by the formation of a National Assembly on 17 June 1789.
people wanted an end to tax exemptions and special privileges
given to the nobility.
civil unrest grew stronger and, less than a month later,
a crowd stormed Paris' Bastille prison and released a handful
of prisoners languishing there.
two years of detention King
Louis XVI attempted to flee France, but was captured
by revolutionaries at Varennes.
Trapped, the King agreed to a constitution, but as the revolutionary
armies were hit by defeat after defeat the extremists pushed
to rid themselves of opponents and the monarchy.
Terror was unleashed and on 21 September the Republic of
France was announced.
hardliners still wanted the King out of the way and put
him on trial. He was condemned to death and guillotined
on 21 January 1793. His wife, Marie-Antoinette,
suffered the same fate on 16 October that year. Their son,
the Dauphin, died terribly in prison.
From the chaos emerged a hard man in the form of Maximilien
Robespierre who, with his Jacobin allies and the Committee
of Public Safety, plunged France into even more bloodshed
guillotine was kept busier than ever as thousands of people
were denounced as anti-revolutionary traitors.
is believed more than 40,000 people died during the Terror.
Fortunately for France, Robespierre and his cronies were
overthrown in the Coup de Thermidor on 27 July 1794 and
he was executed, facing upwards, on the guillotine.