The Crench Revolution: The Causes Of The French Revolution

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The revolution begins in earnest when these cadres have assembled to themselves a great following of the discontent, from a spectrum of classes and interests, and commit illegal acts and direct challenges to the sovereignty of the old regime. Previously formulated demands are placed before the ruling class, radical changes which would require the “virtual abdication of those governing” (253). To quell the unrest, the government contemplates and applies military force. “One is impressed... more with the ineptitude of the governments’ use of force than with the skill of their opponents’ force” (252). The military forces fight poorly, are led badly, or desert, sometimes even over to the side of the enemy (88-89). The loss of the old regime’s …show more content…
The years of decline weakened discipline, bad treatment gave common cause to the common soldier and the rebels, and the best officers lose faith in the regime and military they are fighting for. His indecisiveness would show when he failed to use his reliable corps of artillery to what would have been great effect against the initial uprising. In other words, “he didn’t really try” and the old regime “failed to make adequate use of force” (88). The Guard immediately turned on him and the King would have to flee, giving great legitimacy and power to the Parisian rebels. The Russian Revolution played out similarly, although much more quickly. Demonstrations for bread in Petrograd had garrison soldiers in attendance and “seemed, indeed, to sympathize with them” (75). Initial piecemeal responses were ineffective and the generals ordered a repression of the mob. However, soldiers destined for the Western front mutinied, joining the protestors and the Czar fled while abdicating to his brother (who refuse the crown). In both the French and Russian Revolutions, the military was decidedly on the side of the rebels.
The seizure and attainment of power, however, will show the true divided nature of the rebels. In the face of a common opponent, factions united to achieve the most immediate objective of victory. Yet, the political philosophies
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Because revolutions attack at those things which traditionally bind men into a society, the dictator does not utilize legal methods but by sheer force and the centralized power he inherited from the radical committee to accomplish unification. The dictator sets about destroy the terroristic radicals and strike down the worst of their legislation, recalling the political proscribed (209), and creating a new ruling class which “possess the privileges and wealth a ruling class hitherto always had”, content with the “stratification which has worked itself out during the revolution” (212). The dictator will restore many of the old dismantled institutions as necessary to ensure a return to normality. Once things have settled down, they will risk a democratic plebiscite, while continuing to nominally hold to the principles the revolution was initially fought for (212).
Although there are a number of extenuating circumstances and caveats, the four revolutions of Brinton’s The Anatomy of Revolution follow broad patterns and timelines, and can be compared and analyzed by these trends. Brinton’s conclusion are That is, that revolutions are caused by inefficient and bankrupt governments in times of economic growth, that they are led by cadres of revolutionaries with

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