In 1789 France was the powerhouse of Europe. It had the continent’s biggest population, a large overseas empire and had become the hub of the Enlightenment. But the country was to be transformed and engulfed by a fierce revolution… a 10-year struggle of profound social and political upheaval that would have a lasting impact on the world.
It would create shockwaves that traversed the globe, ending the Bourbon monarchy and sending shivers down the spine of Kings and Queens in Europe.
Though it degenerated into a bloodbath during the Reign of Terror, the French Revolution helped to shape modern democracies by exposing the power inherent in the will of the people. Many of its values – liberté, égalité, fraternité – are still used as a motto today.
So how did this monumental series of events come about? How did they escalate into the scenes of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette's execution that we conjured up today? Who were the key, influential figures, like Maximilien De Robespierre, Georges Danton, Louis de Saint Just and Jean-Jacques Rousseau?
In this video, Luke Tomes covers the main causes of the French Revolution, exploring how economic hardships, political injustices and cultural shifts converged to ignite one of the most seismic uprisings in history… and gave rise to one man - his name, Napoleon Bonaparte.