It led to an interclass struggle in France. This struggle was between the privileged and the unprivileged classes as the former were not willing to surrender their privileges like tax exemption peacefully. It also divided the catholics into the Jurists and the non-Jurists. Therefore, the French revolution of 1789 divided the French into the supporters and non-supporters of the revolution which caused civil wars that led to unrest in France.

It led to the massive destruction of property. The French revolution of 1789 was characterized by violence and therefore during its course, a lot of property especially for the nobles and clergy was attacked and destroyed by the violent revolutionaries.

Similarly, the revolution led to the loss of lives. This was during the course of the Reign of Terror, the revolutionary as well as the Napoleonic Wars in which thousands of innocent Frenchmen lost their lives.

It led to the massive exodus of Frenchmen to the neighboring countries like Austria and Prussia. These people came to be known as the Émigrés. These were mostly nobles, clergy and royalists who decided to go abroad in search of military aid so as to organize a counter revolution against the revolutionary government in France. This increased enemity between France and those European countries that were hosting and supporting the Émigrés like Austria.

It led to international enemity or cooperation among European powers against France. This was manifested in the Brunswick Manifesto of July 1792 which was issued by Brunswick – the joint commander of the Austro-Prussian army as well as the formation of coalitions against France like the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th coalitions where all the big powers allied to fight against revolutionary France. This was because the revolution threatened the survival of the absolute regimes in European countries like Austria and Prussia. This enemity led to the breakdown of international diplomacy in Europe.

It led to economic decline further. For example, there was a sharp decline in the manufacturing and commercial sectors and industrial production in France fell by 75% between 1789 and 1799.  This increased the unemployment problem in France. There was also inflation with the prices of essential commodities like sugar doubling. It also shattered international trade such that by 1797 only a tenth of the Ocean going Vessels (ships) of 1789 were available and as a result the French exports had fallen by 50%.

The Civil constitution of the clergy of July 1790 greatly reduced the power and influence of the Catholic Church in France. This created enemity between the Catholic Church and the state or government, thus leading to the events of the Reign of Terror in France and the subsequent instability in France.

The French revolution of 1789 led to freedom of worship. This was good but it gave birth to radical religious sects like the Herbertists who introduced a religion called the Worship of Reason and changed the calendar of the Catholic Church. For example, it forced people to work on Sunday and those who refused were killed.

It led to the execution or killing of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette in 1793. This therefore weakened the Bourbons, hence making them unable to restore their glory in France as it generated hostility towards the Bourbon Monarchy from 1793 to 1814 as well as 1814 to 1830.

It led to internal political instability characterized by rebellions against the revolutionary governments in France from 1790 onwards. For example, there was the Royalist Revolt of October 1795 as well as the conspiracy (revolt) of the Socialists under Babeuf of May 1796. There were also religious instabilities in France especially as the members of the Catholic Church were attacked by the Herbertists who captured their property and a new Revolutionary Calendar was also adopted in 1792.

It led to the imposition of harsh terms on France by the Great European Powers during the signing of the Vienna Settlement of 1815 after the downfall of Napoleon Bonaparte I. For example, France suffered a heavy war indemnity or fine, an army of occupation as well as the loss of her territories in Europe. This was because revolutionary France had disturbed European peace for over twenty years and therefore she was paying a heavy price for this disturbance.

The success of French revolution of 1789 inspired the outbreak of other revolutions in France. for example, there was the 1799 coup or revolution that brought Napoleon Bonaparte to power as well the 1830 and 1848 revolutions. All these revolutions destabilized France.


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