CBSE Class 9 Social Science French Revolution Assignment Set C

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Assignment for Class 9 Social Science India And Contemporary I Chapter 1 The French Revolution

Class 9 Social Science students should refer to the following printable assignment in Pdf for India And Contemporary I Chapter 1 The French Revolution in standard 9. This test paper with questions and answers for Grade 9 Social Science will be very useful for exams and help you to score good marks

India And Contemporary I Chapter 1 The French Revolution Class 9 Social Science Assignment

The revolution of France began on 14 July 1789 with the storming of the fortress prison, The Bastille. It was suspected to find hoarded ammunition (quantity of bullets and shells). The Bastille is a fortress prison hated by everybody because it stood for despotic power of king. The
fortress was demolished. The beginning of chain of events started by middle class affected and shaken lower class and led the execution of king in France followed by revolt against monarchy. This revolution put up the ideas of liberty, fraternity and equality.
Causes of French Revolution:
i. Social cause (French society during late 18 TH century)
i. The society was divided into 3 estates.
i. The members of first 2 estates i.e., Clergy and Nobility enjoy certain privileges by birth. They are exempted from paying taxes to the state.
Nobles also enjoy feudal privileges which include feudal dues extracted from peasants.
ii. The church extracts its share of taxes called Tithes from peasants. A direct tax Taille and a no. of indirect taxes are levied on everyday consumption articles like salt and tobacco.
ii. Economic cause (The struggle to survive)
i. The population of France increase from 23 million to 28 million in 1789 which led to increment in demand for food grains.
ii. Most workers were employed as laborers in workshops with fixed wages but the wages did not keep pace with rise in prices of food grains.
iii. This led to Subsistence crisis (extreme scarcity of basic means of livelihood) in France due to old regime.
iii. Political cause:
iv. In 1774, Louis XVI becomes the king of France and faces empty treasury due to long years of war which drained financial resources and
discontent within the society was increasing.
v. He helped 13 American colonies to gain their independence from the common enemy, Britain. This war added more than 3 billion livres for
which the moneylenders began to charge 10% interest on loans.
vi. To meet its regular expenses, such as the cost of maintaining an army, the court, running government offices or universi es, the state was forced to increased taxes.

Role of middle class:
i. The 18 th century witnessed the emergence of social groups termed as middle class who may have means and programmes to carry out full
scale measures to bring a change in social and economic order and being educated they believe that no group should be privileged by birth.
ii. They earned their wealth through an expanding overseas trade, from manufacture of goods like woollen and silk tex les and professions as
lawyers and administrated officials.
iii. They were inspired by the ideas of different philosophers and spread the same through books and newspapers.

Such as:
i. John lock – In his two treatises of govt, lock sought to refute the doctrine of the divine and absolute right of the monarch.
ii. Rousseau- Rousseau carried the idea forward, proposing a form of a govt based on a social contract between people and their representatives.
iii. Montesquieu- In the spirit of law, Montesquieu proposed a division of power within the government between the legislative, executive and the judiciary.

Outbreak of French Revolution:
i. Louis XVI called an assembly of estates general (a political body to which 3 rd estate that their representatives to pass proposal for new taxes.
ii. The first 2 estates sent 300 representatives each, while 3 rd one has 600 members who were more prosperous & educated. However, artisans, peasants & women were denied entry to assembly.
iii. Voting is estate general has been conducted as according to past principle of each state – one vote but members of 3 rd estate demanded for each member one vote philosophy.
iv. Due to rejection, they walked out of assembly in protest a er this, they declared themselves a national assembly and drafted a constitution for France to limit powers of monarch, which was led by Mirabeau (a noble) and Abbe Sieye’s (a priest).
v. Due to the power of revolt, law 16 finally recognized the na onal assembly and accepted the constitution.
vi. The assembly passed a law abolishing the feudal system of obligation & taxes and the members of clergy were forced to give up their privileges.

France becomes a social monarchy:
i. The national assembly completed the draft of constitution in 1791 with its main objective to limit the powers of monarch. The powers were
separated and assigned to different institutions-the legislature, executive and judiciary.
ii. The constitution of 1791 gave the power to make laws in the national assembly, which was indirectly elected.
iii. Active citizens were only men above 25 years of age who paid taxes equal to at least 3 days of laborer’s wage. The remaining men and women do not have right of vote.
iv. The constitution began with a right of declaration of the rights man and ci zen such as right to life, freedom of speech, freedom of opinion, equality before law etc.
v. Various political symbols used by illiterate people in 18 th century are:
The broken chain: stands for the act of becoming free.
The bundle of rods and fasces: shows strength lies in unity.
The eye within a triangle radiating light: the all-seeing eye stands for knowledge.
Sceptre: symbol of royal power.
Snake bi ng its tail to form a ring: symbol of eternity.
Red Phrygian cap: cap worn by a slave upon becoming free.
Blue-white-red: the national colors of France.
The winged woman: personification of law.
The law tablet: the law is same for all and all are equal before it.

France abolishes Monarchy and becomes republic:
i. Louis XVI had signed the cons tu on but also he entered into secret negotiation with the King of Prussia.
ii. Rulers of neighboring countries were worried by the developments of France and made plans to put down their events. The national
assembly voted to declare war against Prussia and Austria.
iii. The patriotic song Marseillaise composed by the poet Roget de L’Isle as sung for the first me by volunteers as they march into Paris which is national anthem of France.
iv. The revolution wars brought losses and difficulties to the people. The cons tu on of 1791 gave poli cal rights only to the rich people of the
society. Political clubs became important from rallying point of view in which most successful club was that of Jacobins. Its leader was Maximilian Robespierre.
v. Members of Jacobin club were from less prosperous sections of society which includes small shopkeepers, artisans, printers, servants etc. they planned a revolt against people of Paris. Later the assembly voted to imprison the royal family and elections were held.
vi. The newly elected assembly was called the Convection. In 1792 it abolished the monarchy and declared France a republic.

Reign of terror:
i. The period from 1793 to 1794 is referred to as the regime of terror. Robespierre followed a policy of severe control and punishment.
ii. All those whom he saw as being “enemies” of the republic-ex-noble and clergy, members of other political par es even members of his own party who did not agree with his method- were arrested, imprisoned.
iii. If the court found them guilty, they were guillotined. Robespierre’s government issued laws placing a maximum ceiling on wages and prices.
iv. Meat and bread were rationed. Peasants were forced to transport their grain to the ci es and cells and sell it at prices mfixed by the government.

A Directory rules France:
i. A new constitution was introduced which denied the vote to non-proper ed sec ons of society.
ii. It provided 2 elected legislative councils which later pointed a directory (an execu ve made of 5 members).
iii. The directors o en clashed with the legislative council, who then sought to dismiss them.
iv. The political instability of the directory paved the way for the rise of military dictator, Napoleon Bonaparte.

Revolution of women:
i. Women were active participants in the events which brought about changes in French society. They hoped that their involvement would pressurize the revolutionary government to improve their lives.
ii. Most women of the third estate had to work for their living. They worked as seamstresses and laundresses, sold flowers, fruits and vegetables at market.
iii. Working Women also had to care for their families and children. They were disappointed that the constitution of 1971 reduced them to passive citizens.
iv. The revolutionary government did introduced laws to improve their lives by making schooling compulsory for girls, not marrying against their will, making divorce legal etc.
v. During the reign of terror, the new government issued laws ordering closure of women’s clubs and banning political activities. In 1946 women in France won right to vote.

Abolition of slavery:
i. Slave trade began in 17 th century; the colonies in the Caribbean- Guadeloupe and San Domingo were important suppliers of commodities like indigo, sugar tobacco and coffee. The slaves were bought from local chiefs. This was met by triangular slave trade between Europe, Africa and America.
ii. The slaves were packed tightly into ships for 3 month long voyage across the Atlantic to Caribbean and there to plantation owners.
iii. The national assembly held long debates for the rights of man to be extended to all French subjects. But it didn’t pass any laws fearing opposition of business men whose income depends upon slave trade.
iv. Finally slavery was abolished in French colonies in 1848.

Rise of Napoleon Bonaparte
i. In 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself as emperor of France. He conquered neighboring countries, dispossessing dynasties and created kingdoms by placing his family members there.
ii. He saw his role as modernizer of Europe. He introduced many laws such as protec on of private property and uniform system of weight and measure provided by decimal system.
iii. Many saw him as a liberator who would bring freedom for the people but soon his armies came to be viewed as an invading force.
iv. Finally Napoleon was defeated at waterloo in 1815.

Legacy of French Revolution
i. The ideas of liberty and democratic rights were the most important legacy of French revolution. These spread from France to the rest of
Europe during 19 th century, where feudal system was abolished.
ii. Colonized people reworked the idea of freedom from bandage into their movements to create a sovereign na on state.
iii. Tipu sultan and Raja Ram Mohan Roy are 2 examples of individuals who responded to the ideas coming from mrevolutionary France.


The French Revolution

Question. Describe the circumstances leading to the outbreak of revolutionary protest in France.
Answer : Circumstances leading to the outbreak of revolutionary protest in France:
A society of estates, and the plight of the third estate French society was divided into three distinct estates: the first estate comprising the clergy, the second estate composed of the nobility, and the third estate made up of tradesmen, merchants, court officials, lawyers, peasants, artisans, landless labour and servants. It was only the third estate that was made to pay taxes. The clergy and the nobility were exempt from this rule. In addition to the taxes that were to be paid to the state, peasants had to pay taxes to the Church and feudal dues to the noble lords. It was an unfair situation which led to the growth of a feeling of discontent among the members of the third estate.
Subsistence crisis At this time, there was a greater demand for foodgrains. Due to greater demand than supply, the price of bread (the staple diet of the majority) rose. Due to rising prices and inadequate wages, most of the population could not even afford the basic means of livelihood. This led to a crisis of subsistence, and an increase in the gap between the rich and the poor.
A stronger middle class, and popularisation of democratic and social ideals The middle class emerged educated and wealthy during the eighteenth century. The system of privileges as promoted by the feudal society was against their interests. Being educated, the members of this class had access to the various ideas of equality and freedom proposed by the French and English political and social philosophers. These ideas got popularised amongst the masses as a result of intensive discussions and debates in salons and coffee-houses, and through books and newspapers.
The assembly of the Estates General, and the proposal to increase taxes In order to pass proposals for increasing taxes, the French monarch Louis XVI called together an assembly of the Estates General on 5 May, 1789. Each estate was allowed one vote in this assembly. The third estate protested against the unfairness of the proposal. They proposed, instead, that each member should have one vote. The king rejected this appeal, and the representative members of the third estate walked out of the assembly in protest.
The National Assembly, and the revolting subjects These representative members, led by Mirabeau and Abbe Sieyes, declared themselves a National Assembly, and took an oath to not disperse until they had drafted a constitution for France that would limit the powers of the monarch and do away with the unjust feudal system of privileges. While this organisation was busy drafting a democratic constitution, there were numerous localised rebellions that sought to displace the feudal lords. Meanwhile, the food crisis worsened and the anger of the masses spilled onto the streets.
On 14 July, the King ordered troops to move into Paris. In response, several hundreds of agitated men and women formed their own armed groups. One such people's militia stormed and destroyed the Bastille fortress-prison (representative of the king's despotic power). This is how the French Revolution came about.

Question. Which groups of French society benefited from the revolution? Which groups were forced to relinquish power? Which sections of society would have been disappointed with the outcome of the revolution?
Answer : The richer members of the third estate (the middle class) benefitted the most from the French Revolution. The clergy and the nobility were forced to relinquish power. The poorer sections of society and women would have been disappointed with the outcome of the revolution as the promise of equality was not fulfilled in full measure at the end of the revolution.

Question. Describe the legacy of the French Revolution for the peoples of the world during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Answer : The French Revolution bore a rich legacy for the peoples of the world during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries because it was the first national movement that adopted the ideals of "liberty, equality and fraternity". These ideas became the basic tenets of democracy for every nation in the 19th and the 20th century. The Revolution espoused the cause of the masses, sought to abolish the idea of divine right, feudal privileges, slavery and censorship, and upheld merit as the basis for social upgradation. These tenets are important even in the contemporary world for their emphasis on equality and a world free from prejudice.
Feudal systems and later, colonisation were abolished by re-working the French Revolution ideals of freedom and equality. Indian leaders such as Raja Ram Mohan Roy were deeply influenced by the ideas that the French Revolution propagated against the monarchy and its absolutism.

Question. Draw up a list of democratic rights we enjoy today whose origins could be traced to the French Revolution.
Answer : Democratic rights that we enjoy today whose origins can be traced to the French Revolution are:
freedom of expression, right to equality, right to freedom, right to assemble and form unions (as long as they are not a threat to national security and peace).

Question. Would you agree with the view that the message of universal rights was beset with contradictions? Explain
Answer : The message of universal rights was beset with contradictions. Many ideals in the "Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen" were replete with dubious meanings. For example, "the law has the right to forbid only actions injurious to society" had nothing to say about criminal offences against other individuals.
Also, the declaration stated that "law is the expression of the general will. All citizens have the right to participate in its formation…All citizens are equal before it", but when France became a constitutional monarchy, almost 3 million citizens including men under the age of 25 and women were not allowed to vote at all. This was in striking contrast to the ideals that the revolution espoused. When the Jacobins came to power, they were welcomed, but their policies were too harsh and this gave way yet again to the rise of the wealthier middle classes. The political instability of these regimes finally led to the rise of Napoleon.

However, throughout these coups, ideals of freedom, equality and fraternity remained paramount in the French political movement.

Question. How would you explain the rise of Napoleon?
Answer : The rise of Napoleon came right after the fall of the Directory in 1796. The Directors often clashed with the legislative councils, who then made attempts to dismiss them. The Directory was highly politically unstable; hence, Napoleon rose to power as a military dictator. Earlier, the Jacobins had overthrown King Louis XVI and established governance on their own module; but Robespierre's administration was too harsh and relentless. Napoleon crowned himself the Emperor in 1804 and abolished dynasties. He viewed himself as a "moderniser of Europe" and was rightly seen as a liberator who introduced a uniform system of weights and measures, introduced laws to protect private property, etc. However, his quest for power led to his ultimate downfall with his defeat at Waterloo in 1815.


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