The French Revolution: An Overview
French society underwent an epic transformation as feudal, aristocratic and religious privileges evaporated under a sustained assault from liberal political groups and the masses on the streets. Old ideas about hierarchy and tradition succumbed to new Enlightenment principles of citizenship and inalienable rights. 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 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). -Riya Mahajan IX RV