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The French Revolution

            The French Revolution helped to achieve the goals of liberty, equality and fraternity. The ideas of the Enlightenment made the people of France realize these goals. The revolution went through several stages to get to the point where the people had liberty, equality, and fraternity.
             As the ideas of the Enlightenment spread, more and more people began to resist oppression and the rule of an absolute monarch. The group of people who made the majority of the population, the third estate, was not happy with the way that things were run in France. The first and second estates paid no taxes and had the best land, while the third estate paid taxes, had no food and the worst land. Document 1 depicts members of the first and second estate riding on the back of a member of the third estate. The document represents how the first two estates had an easy ride while the third estate had to do all of the work. In an attempt to get away from the monarchy, the third estate started a different government called the National Assembly. As they were trying to make to constitution they were locked out of their meeting area so they moved to a tennis court. Document 2 is the oath taken at the tennis court where the members swore to meet wherever necessary until the constitution was completed. The Enlightenment ideas that were used to create a new government help to achieve the goals of the French Revolution.
             The end of the revolution started with blood and brutality. When Robespierre took power, he began the Reign of Terror where forty thousand people died under the guillotine. Document 4 is a picture of Robespierre beheading someone under the guillotine. The cartoon shows his method of getting rid of those who opposed the revolution. When the revolution was over, the Declaration of Rights of Man and of Citizen was written to ensure that all people were equal. Document 3 is an excerpt from the document that shows some of the rights ensured by the government.

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