The French Revolution and Napoleon Bonaparte.
What caused the French Revolution? There were several factors that were involved. In 1787 and 1788, there were poor grain harvests and the country was in a recession. Many people were desperate for food and there were riots in many cities. The King, Louis XVI, had almost bankrupted the country fighting the English in the American War of Independence. Most of the rich landowners who were the nobility, taxed the people very harshly. Many people believed that society should be run for the benefit of all the people and not just a privileged few. The French revolution was a series of political acts that began in 1789 by reformers in the French Government to take away the absolute power of the King and the rich landowners to form a Government elected by all the people.
The new Government brought many changes. They adopted the "Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen". All Frenchmen were declared equal and free and all citizens had equal rights before the law. Public office and employment were open to all and taxation was based on the ability to pay. The major benefit of the French Revolution was that it inspired people in other parts of Europe to modernise their own countries.
What was "The Terror"? The Revolution, begun in 1789, actually continued for several years. This was also known as a time of terror. By 1793, several groups had formed within the Government. One of these was the Montaguards. At the time King, Louis XVI, was executed. He wanted the Austrian troops to help him destroy the Revolution. A new Revolutionary Government, led by Robespierre, a tyrant, was organised to maintain order and fight the Austrians. France was in turmoil, Robespierre, proceeded to eliminate all whom he considered to be enemies of the Revolution. .
Thousands were brought to trial and executed by the guillotine, under orders of Robespierre.