NCERT Solutions for Class 9 History Chapter 1 The French Revolution

The French Revolution – Given in this post is NCERT Solutions Class 9 History Chapter 6 The French Revolution Important Question Answers. The important questions we have compiled will help the students to brush up on their knowledge about the subject. Students can practice Class 9 History important questions to understand the subject better and improve their performance in the board exam. The NCERT Solutions Class 9 Social Science (History) provided here will also give students an idea about how to write the answers.

 

Class 9 History Chapter 1 The French Revolution MCQs, Question Answers (Short and Long type Questions)

 

Chapter 1 The French Revolution MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions 1 mark each)

 

Q1 That ‘each member should have one vote’ was advocated by-

A Georges Danton

B Rousseau

C Jean Paul Marat

D The Jacobins

 

Ans B Rousseau 

 

Q2 How does a ‘Subsistence Crisis’ happen?

A Bad harvest leads to scarcity of grains.

B Food prices rise and the poorest cannot buy bread.

C Leads to weaker bodies, diseases, deaths and even food riots

D  All of the above

 

Ans D  All of the above

 

Q3 The third estate comprised 

A Poor servants and small peasants, landless labourers

B Peasants and artisans

C Big businessmen, lawyer, merchants etc

D All of the above

 

Ans D  All of the above

 

Q4 Which choice from the list below was made by the convention?

A Declared France a constitutional monarchy

B Abolished the monarchy

C All men and women above 21 years of age got the right to vote

D Declared France a republic

 

Ans D Declared France a republic

 

Q5 Which of the following statements is not true about the third estate?

A The third estate was made of the poor only

B Within the third estate some were rich and some were poor

C Richer members of the third estate owned lands

D Peasants were obliged to build roads, or serve in the army

 

Ans A The third estate was made of the poor only.

 

Q6 Which patriotic song did the military sing during the war with Prussia and Austria?

A ‘Liberty’, written by an unknown woman poet

B ‘Marseillaise’ written by the poet Roget de L’Isle

C ‘Viva France’ written by a French peasant

D None of the above

 

Ans B ‘Marseillaise’ written by the poet Roget de L’Isle

 

Q7 What was the ‘Subsistence Crisis’ which occurred frequently in France?

A An extreme situation endangering the basic means of livelihood

B Subsidy in foodgrains

C Large-scale production of foodgrains

D None of the above

 

Ans A An extreme situation endangering the basic means of livelihood

 

Q8 What was the name of the tax which was directly paid to the state by the Third Estate?

A tithes

B livres

C taille

D all of the above 

 

Ans C taille

 

Q9 Who wrote the pamphlet called ‘What is the Third Estate’?

A Mirabeau, a nobleman

B Abbe Sieyes

C Rousseau, a philosopher

D Montesquieu

 

Ans B Abbe Sieyes

 

Q10 A guillotine was

A a device consisting of two poles and a blade with which a person was beheaded

B a fine sword with which heads were cut off

C a special noose to hang people

D none of the above

 

Ans A a device consisting of two poles and a blade with which a person was beheaded

 

Q11 The term ‘Old Regime is usually used to describe

A France before 1000 B.C.

B Society of France after 1789 A.D.

C Society and institutions of France before 1789 A.D.

D None of the above

 

Ans C Society and institutions of France before 1789 A.D.

 

Q12 What was ‘Estates General’?

A Post of Army General

B A political body

C Head of all landed property

D Advisor of the king

 

Ans B A political body

 

Q13 When did Louis XVI summon a meeting of the Estates General to approve new tax proposals?

A 2 January, 1775

B 10 March, 1780

C 5 May, 1789

D 14 July, 1789

 

Ans C 5 May, 1789

 

Q14 The term ‘Old Regime’ is usually used to describe

A France before 1000 B.C.

B Society of France after 1789 A.D.

C Society and institutions of France before 1789 A.D.

D None of the above

 

Ans C Society and institutions of France before 1789 A.D.

 

Q15 In the meeting of the Estates General, the members of the Third Estate demanded that 

A All the three Estates should have one vote altogether

B Each member of the three Estates should have one vote

C Each Estate should have one vote

D None of the above

 

Ans A All the three Estates should have one vote altogether

 

Q16 Which of these laws did the Assembly approve on the evening of August 4, 1789?

A Abolition of feudal system of obligations

B Clergy had to give up its privileges

C Tithes were abolished

D All the above

 

Ans D All the above

 

Q17 The delegates of the Third Estate gathered on June 20 in Versailles’s indoor tennis court for

A hunger strike

B drafting a Constitution for France which limited the king’s power

C declaring a revolt

D making an appeal to support the king in times of need

 

Ans B drafting a Constitution for France which limited the king’s power

 

Q18 Which of these people were entitled to vote?

A Only men above 25 years of age

B Men and women above 30 years of age

C Men who paid taxes equal to at least 3 days of a labourer’s wage

D Both A and C

 

Ans D Both A and C

 

Q19 The new Constitution made France a

A Constitutional Monarchy

B Communist state

C Fully democratic state

D None of the above

 

Ans Constitutional Monarchy

 

Q20 Which one of these works is a creation of John Locke?

A The Spirit of the Laws

B Two Treaties on Government

C The Social Contract

D All the above

 

Ans Two Treaties on Government

 

Q21 When Louis XVI saw his revolting subjects’ strength, what did he do?

A He accorded recognition to the National Assembly

B Accepted checks on his powers

C Ordered his army to crush the revolt

D Both A and B

 

Ans D Both A and B

 

Q22 Which of these people were entitled to vote? 

A Only men above 25 years of age

B Men and women above 30 years of age

C Men who paid taxes equal to at least 3 days of a labourer’s wage

D Both A and C

 

Ans D Both A and C

 

Q23 Who led the representatives of the Third Estate in Versailles on 20th June?

A Mirabeau

B Abbe Sieyes

C Louis XVI

D Both A and B

 

Ans D Both A and B

 

Q24 Which of these freedoms was not declared by the Constitution of 1791 to be “natural and inalienable”?

A Right to life

B Freedom of speech and opinion

C Equality before the law

D All the above

 

Ans All the above

 

Q25 The new Constitution made France a

A Constitutional Monarchy

B Communist state

C Fully democratic state

D None of the above

 

Ans A Constitutional Monarchy

 

Q26 Which of these provisions form a part of the ‘Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen? 

A Men are born free

B They are equal in rights before the law

C Liberty means powers to do what is not injurious to others

D All the above

 

Ans All the above

 

Q27 Name the most effective “political club” that served as a focal point for supporters of the French Revolution.

A Jacobin 

B Arthur

C Mirabeau

D Dauphine

 

Ans A Jacobin 

 

Q28 Which of these decisions was made in France as a result of the elections that were held following the Jacobin uprising in 1792?

A Elections were held

B Monarchy was abolished

C France was declared a Republic

D All the above

 

Ans D All the above

 

Q29 The National Assembly voted in April 1792 to declare war against

A Prussia 

B Austria

C England

D Both A and B

 

Ans D Both A and B

 

Q30 The Assembly elected in 1792 was called

A Convention 

B Congress

C Congregation

D Council

 

Ans A Convention 

 

Q31 Which of the following events took place as a result of the revolt of Jacobins in 1792?

A The revolutionaries stormed the Palace of Tuileries

B Massacred the king’s guards 

C Held the king hostage for several hours

D All the above

 

Ans D All the above

 

Q32 Instead of the traditional Monsieur (sir) and Madame (madam), all French men and women were henceforth addressed as

A Citoyen

B Citoyenne

C Both A and B

D None of the above 

 

Ans C Both A and B

 

Q33 On what charge was Louis XVI sentenced to death?

A Cruelty

B Treason

C incapability 

D Misuse of powers

 

B Treason

 

Q34 Which of the following Indians expressed an opinion in response to French Revolutionary ideas?

A Bhagat Singh

B Rammohan Roy

C Mahatma Gandhi

D Sultan of Awadh

 

Ans B Rammohan Roy

 

Q35 Why is the period from 1793 to 1794 referred to as the ‘Reign of Terror?

A Louis XVI’s successor became a tyrant 

B Robespierre followed a policy of severe control and punishment

C Jacobins opted for loot and plunder

D None of the above

 

Ans B Robespierre followed a policy of severe control and punishment

 

Q36 Who among the following reintroduced slavery in France after it was abolished by Jacobin regime?

A Louis XIV

B Robespierre

C Napoleon

D Marat

 

Ans C Napoleon

 

Q37 When the volunteers from Marseilles marched into Paris, they sang the Marseillaise, a patriotic hymn, in reference to France. Who composed this song?

A Maximilian Robespierre 

B Marie Antoinette

C Roget de L’Isle 

D Mirabeau

 

Ans C Roget de L’Isle

 

Q38 Who seized power after the fall of the Jacobin government?

A Common people

B Descendants of Louis XVI

C Wealthy middle class

D Robespierre’s son

 

Ans C Wealthy middle class

 

Q39 Tax from peasants to Church was called:

A Taille

B Tithe

C Lagan

D Jazia

 

Ans B Tithe

 

Q40 In the context of France, ‘the fall of Bastille’ took place on:

A 14th July 1789

B 20th June 1789

C 4th Aug 1789

D 5th May 1789

 

Ans A 14th July 1789

 

Q41 The National Assembly of France voted in April 1792, to declare war against: 

A Britain and Germany

B Prussia and Austria

C Italy and Germany 

D Russia and Prussia

 

Ans B Prussia and Austria

 

Q42 In the context of France, what were ‘tithes?

A A tax levied by the Church

B Direct tax levied by the State

C The tax levied on the articles of everyday consumption

D None of these

 

Ans  A A tax levied by the Church

 

Q43 Who among the following proposed the Social Contract theory? 

A Locke

B Thomas Paine

C Montesquieu

D Rousseau

 

Q44 The National Assembly was established as a result of the French Revolution. Which of the following claims about the National Assembly is untrue?

A It abolished the feudal system of obligations and taxes

B It confiscated the land owned by the churches

C It abolished slavery in France 

D it drafted the constitution

 

Ans C It abolished slavery in France 

 

Q45 In which of the battle was Napoleon finally defeated?

A Russia 

B Waterloo

C Versailles

D Paris

 

Ans B Waterloo

 

Q46 King Louis XVI belonged to which dynasty of kings?

A Hapsburg 

B Bourbon

C Romanov

D Windsor

 

Ans B Bourbon

 

Q47 The term ‘Old Regime’ refers to:

A The society and institution under an old emperor

B Society and institution of France before 1789 

C The society and institution of France after 1789

D The society and institution of France under Jacobins

 

Ans B Society and institution of France before 1789 

 

Q48 Austrian Princess Marie Antoniette was the queen of which of the following French rulers?

A Louis XIII

B Louis XIV 

C Louis XV

D Louis XVI

 

Ans D Louis XVI

 

Q49 The book “Two Treatises on Government’ was written by: 

A Rousseau

B John Locke

C Montesquieu

D Karl Marx

 

Ans B John Locke

 

Q50 The term ‘Old Regime’ (France) refers to: 

A The society and institution under an old emperor 

B Society and institution of France before 1789

C The society and institution of France after 1789 

D The society and institution of France under Jacobins

 

Ans B Society and institution of France before 1789

 

1 Mark Questions

 

Q1 Which Dynasty ruled over the French during the eighteenth century? 

 

Ans The Bourbon dynasty was ruling over the French in the eighteenth century.

 

Q2 Which ruler came to power in France in 1774? 

 

Ans Louis XVI of the Bourbon family, ascended the throne of France in 1774.

 

Q3 What is Livre? 

 

Ans It was a unit of currency in France discontinued in 1794.

 

Q4 How did the American war of Independence add more debt to France?

 

Ans The French army supported thirteen colonies of America in their war of independence against Great Britain. It added more than one billion livres (unit of currency in France) that had risen to more than two billion livres with interest.

 

Q5 Name the book that has proposed a division of power within the government?

 

Ans The Spirit of the Laws.

 

Q6 What was ‘tithe’?

 

Ans It was a tax levied by the church, comprising at least one tenth of the agricultural produce by the farmers.

 

Q7 What was taille? 

 

Ans It was also a kind of tax which was paid by the people of the third estate directly to the state.

 

Q8 Who was Rousseau?

 

Ans Rousseau was a French Philosopher, who carried the idea of Locke forward, proposing a form of government based on a social contract between people and their representatives.

 

Q9 Who was the king of France at the time of the French revolution? 

 

Ans Louis XVI of the Bourbon family.

 

Q10 When was the French National Assembly recognised? 

 

Ans Louis XVI finally accepted the national Assembly in July 1789 and  on 4 Aug 1789,the assembly passed a decree abolishing the  feudal system of obligations and taxes.

 

Q11 Who was Olympe de Gouges? 

 

Ans Olympe de Gouges was one of the most important of the politically active women in revolutionary France.

 

Q12 Who was the leader of the Jacobin club? 

 

Ans Maximilian Robespierre was the leader of the Jacobin club.

 

Q13 In which year the Jacobins planned an insurrection? 

 

Ans In the summer of 1792.

 

Q14 Name the newspaper on which the speech of Robespierre was printed.

 

Ans Le Moniteur Universal.

 

Q15 Name the military dictator who established his power over France after the dismissal of the Directory?

 

Ans Napoleon Bonaparte.

 

Q16 When did Napoleon Bonaparte become Emperor of France?

 

Ans In 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself the Emperor of France.

 

Q17 Who wrote the book “Two Treaties of the Government”? 

 

Ans John Locke. 

 

Q18 Who wrote an influential pamphlet “What is the Third Estate”?

 

Ans Abbe Sieyes.

 

Q19 Who wrote the book “The Spirit of Laws”? 

 

Ans Montesquieu.

 

Q20 Who wrote the book “The Social Contract”? 

 

Ans Rousseau.

 

Q21 What was the main objective of the National Assembly in France while drafting the constitution of 1791? 

 

Ans The main objective of the National Assembly in France was to limit the powers of the Monarch.

 

Q22 Name the book in which the idea of one person one vote was mentioned. 

 

Ans The Social Contract.

 

Q23 Who composed the patriotic song Marseillaise? 

 

Ans Roget de L’Isle.

 

Q24 When was slavery finally abolished in French colonies? 

 

Ans 1848

 

Q25 Who was given the status of active citizens? 

 

Ans Only men above 25 years of age who paid taxes equal to at least 3 days of a labourer’s wage.

 

Q26 Who could qualify as an Elector? 

 

Ans To qualify as an elector and as a member of the Assembly, a man had to belong to the higher bracket of taxpayers.

 

Q27 What was the most important legacy of the French Revolution? 

 

Ans The ideas of liberty, freedom and democratic rights were the most important legacy of the French Revolution.

 

Assertion-reason based questions:

 

Q1 Assertion (A): In many ways, the French Revolution was a very significant event in the history of the world. 

Reason (R): The French Revolution not only inspired French citizens to take action, but it inspired many philosophers and leaders across the globe. 

Options: 

  1. Both A and R are true and R is the correct explanation of A. 
  2. Both A and R are true but R is not the correct explanation of A 
  3. A is true but R is false. 
  4. A is false but R is true. 

 

Ans A. Both A and R are true and R is the correct explanation of A. 

The French Revolution is called “The Dawn of Modern Era”. It ended a medieval society dominated by kings, priests, and nobles, signalling the beginning of a new era – The Modern Era. It also inspired nationalist leaders like Tipu Sultan and Rammohan Roy, and philosophers like Karl Marx.

 

Q2 Assertion (A): The formation of the National Assembly was one of the most important events in late 18th century France. 

Reason (R): Ever since the National Assembly was formed, people started gathering outside the Palace of Versailles where leaders like Mirabeau gave some very powerful speeches.

Options: 

  1. Both A and R are true and R is the correct explanation of A. 
  2. Both A and R are true but R is not the correct explanation of A 
  3. A is true but R is false. 
  4. A is false but R is true. 

 

Ans B. Both A and R are true but R is not the correct explanation of A. 

Ever since the National Assembly was formed, the tennis court of the Versailles was significant among the French. The formation of the National Assembly was one of the most important events in the 18th Century in France. It marked the beginning of a shift in power from the king to the legislative entities. The members started working on drafting a Constitution for the people of France.

 

Q3 Assertion (A): The Constitution of 1791 improved the condition of women in France. 

Reason (R): Education was made compulsory to women and divorce was made legal.

Options: 

  1. Both A and R are true and R is the correct explanation of A. 
  2. Both A and R are true but R is not the correct explanation of A 
  3. A is true but R is false. 
  4. A is false but R is true. 

 

Ans B. A is false but R is true. 

The Constitution of 1791 was unsupportive of women in France. It considered them as ‘passive’ citizens. But the revolutionary government gave women the freedom to pursue education, and divorce was made legal. Women were able to enjoy better opportunities and had better job prospects.

 

Q4 Assertion (A): Tithe was a tax levied by the Church. 

Reason (R): It comprised one tenth of the agricultural produce. 

Options: 

  1. Both A and R are true and R is the correct explanation of A. 
  2. Both A and R are true but R is not the correct explanation of A 
  3. A is true but R is false. 
  4. A is false but R is true. 

 

Ans A. Both A and R are true and R is the correct explanation of A. 

Tithe was a tax to religious contribution and it was collected by the church. It was a tax in which one tenth portion of agricultural produce was paid to the church, collected by clergy.

 

Q5 Assertion (A): Soldiers of the French Army were known as Jacobians. 

Reason (R): Jacobians were the trained soldiers of King Louis.

Options: 

  1. Both A and R are true and R is the correct explanation of A. 
  2. Both A and R are true but R is not the correct explanation of A 
  3. A is true but R is false. 
  4. A is false but R is true. 

 

Ans D. A is false but R is true.

Jacobians were the members of the Jacobian club formed by the people of France to discuss government policies. The members of the Jacobin club belonged mainly to the less prosperous sections of society. They included small shopkeepers, artisans such as shoemakers, pastry cooks, watch-makers, printers, as well as servants and daily-wage workers.

 

Q6 Assertion (A): The National Assembly completed the draft of the Constitution in 1791. 

Reason (R): The main objective of this constitution was to increase the powers of the monarch.

Options: 

  1. Both A and R are true and R is the correct explanation of A. 
  2. Both A and R are true but R is not the correct explanation of A 
  3. A is true but R is false. 
  4. A is false but R is true. 

 

Ans C. A is true but R is false. 

The main objective of the constitution was to limit the powers of the monarch. These powers instead of being concentrated in the hands of one person, were now separated and assigned to different institutions i.e. the legislature, executive and judiciary. This made France a constitutional monarchy.

 

Q7 Assertion (A): During the eighteenth century France witnessed the emergence of the middle class. 

Reason (R): The emergence of the middle class happened on the account of royal patronage.

Options: 

  1. Both A and R are true and R is the correct explanation of A. 
  2. Both A and R are true but R is not the correct explanation of A 
  3. A is true but R is false. 
  4. A is false but R is true.

 

Ans C. A is true but R is false.

About 90% of the population belonged to the third estate and had no political rights while having the absolute burden of taxation. First and second estates were exempted from paying tax, owned the land, and enjoyed many privileges and luxuries. During these social conditions, the renaissance and the period of enlightenment together brought the ideas of equality, liberty, and fraternity and along with it a new class with wealth grew within the third estate which worked for money rather than inheriting it. The middle class became the flag bearer of the French Revolution that eventually led to the downfall of the monarchy and feudal system and brought the concept of modem democracy. Hence during the eighteenth century, France witnessed the emergence of the middle class but it didn’t happen on the account of royal patronage.

 

Q8 Assertion (A): On 21st September, 1792 the monarchy was abolished and France was declared as a republic. 

Reason (R): A republic is a form of government where the people elect the government including the head of the government.

Options: 

  1. Both A and R are true and R is the correct explanation of A. 
  2. Both A and R are true but R is not the correct explanation of A 
  3. A is true but R is false. 
  4. A is false but R is true.

Ans A. Both A and R are true and R is the correct explanation of A.

 

Fill in the blanks in the following:

 

Q1 The word livres stands for a ____________ in France.

 

Ans unit of currency

 

Q2 _____________ of the Bourbon family, ascended the throne of France in 1774.

 

Ans Louis XVI

 

Q3 ____________ was a French Philosopher, who carried the idea of Locke forward, proposing a form of government based on a social contract between people and their representatives.

 

Ans Rousseau 

 

Q4 Maximilian Robespierre was the leader of the ___________ club.

 

Ans Jacobin 

 

Q5 ______________ was the newspaper on which the speech of Robespierre was printed.

 

Ans Le Moniteur Universal

 

Q6 ___________ wrote the book “Two Treaties of the Government”.

 

Ans John Locke

 

Q7 Roget de L’Isle composed the patriotic song ____________.

 

Ans Marseillaise

 

Q8 Only men above 25 years of age who paid taxes equal to at least 3 days of a labourer’s wage were given the status of __________ citizens.

 

Ans active 

 

Q9 The ideas of liberty, freedom and democratic rights were the most important legacy of the ______________.

 

Ans French Revolution

 

Q10 ‘The Spirit of Laws’ was written by ________________. 

 

Ans Montesquieu

 

3 Mark Questions

 

Q1 Answer the following questions- Which group of French society benefited from the revolution? Which group were forced to relinquish power? Which section of the society would have been disappointed with the outcome of the revolution? (NCERT QUESTION)

 

Ans 1. The middle class or the richer members of the Third Estate consisting of merchants, traders, lawyers and rich peasants benefited the most from the French Revolution; feudal obligations were no longer to be honoured by the Third Estate. 

  1. Tithes, the tax given to the Church, were abolished. The clergy and nobility were the groups which were forced to relinquish power. 
  2. Now they could not collect taxes and their lands were confiscated. The poorer sections of the third estate and women were disappointed with the outcome of the French revolution because their aspirations were not properly fulfilled, for example women were not given voting rights. Poor men who did not have fulfilled property or who did not pay taxes were not allowed to vote.

 

Q2 How would you explain the rise of Napoleon? (NCERT QUESTION)

 

Ans 1. After the fall of the Jacobin government allowed the middle classes to seize power.

  1. A new constitution was introduced. 
  2. Ended the vote for a non-properties section of society. 
  3. It provided for two elected and legislative councils. 
  4. This then appointed a directory executive made up of five members. 
  5. This was meant as a safeguard against the concentration of power. 
  6. The political instability of the directory proved the way for rising military director Napoleon Bonaparte.

 

Q3 Draw up a list of democratic rights we enjoy today whose origins could be traced to the French Revolution. (NCERT QUESTION)

 

Ans We can trace the origin of the following democratic rights we enjoy today to the french revolution: 

Right to Equality 

Right to Freedom 

Freedom of Speech and expression 

Right against exploitations 

Right to justice

 

Q4 What do you understand by the term “Reign of Terror’? 

 

Ans 1. The period from 1793 to 1794 is referred to as reign of terror. 

  1. Robespierre followed the policy of severe control and punishment. 
  2. All those who were regarded as the enemy of the republic were arrested and tried by tribunal. If found guilty they were guillotined.

 

Q5 Highlight the provisions of the constitution which was introduced after the fall of the Jacobin Club. 

 

Ans 1. The fall of the Jacobin Government allowed the wealthier middle classed to seize power. A New constituent was introduced which denied the vote to non-propertied sections of society. 

  1. It provided for two elected legislative councils. These then appointed a Directory, an executive made up of five members. 
  2. This was meant as a safeguard against the concentration of power in a one man executive as under the Jacobins. 

 

Q6 What role did women play during the revolutionary years? 

 

Ans 1. From the very beginning women were active participants in the events which brought about so many important changes in French society. 

  1. In order to discuss and voice their interests women started their own political clubs and newspapers. 
  2. About sixty women’s clubs came up in different French Cities. The Society of Revolutionary and Republican women was the most famous club.

 

Q7 What types of taxes were paid by the third estate in France? 

 

Ans 1. Nobles enjoyed feudal privileges. 

  1. Peasants were obliged to work in their houses and fields, to serve in the army and build roads. 
  2. Peasants paid a tax called tithes to the church. 
  3. The third estate paid a direct tax called taille. 
  4. Direct tax on salt and tobacco were also levied.

 

Q8 How did France see the subsistence crisis during the old regime?

 

Ans 1. The rapid increase in population from 23 million in 1715 to 28 million in 1789 led to rapid increase in the demand for food grains. Production of food grains could not keep pace with the demand. 

  1. Price of bread was increased. Wages also did not keep pace with the rise of prices. So the gap between poor and rich widened. 
  2. Things became worse whenever drought or hail reduced the harvest. This led to subsistence crises.

 

Q9 What was the significance of the storming of the Bastille? 

 

Ans 1. The first of the French Revolution was fired on 14 July 1789, in the city of Paris. 

  1. Around 7000 men and women who formed the people’s militia gathered in front of the town hall and broke into government buildings in search of arms. 
  2. Finally they stormed the Bastille, the fortress prison to free political prisoners. The Bastille was hated by all as it stood for the despotic power of King.

 

Q10 What laws did the revolutionary government introduce to improve the lives of women? 

 

Ans 1. In the early years the revolutionary government did introduce laws that helped improve the lives of women. 

  1. Together with the creation of state schools, schooling was made compulsory for all girls. Their fathers could no longer force them into marriage against their will. Marriage was made into a contract entered into freely and registered under civil law. 
  2. Divorce was made legal, and could be applied for by both women and men.

 

Q11 Why were women disappointed by the constitution of 1791 in France? 

 

Ans 1. Women were disappointed that the constitution of 1791 reduced the passive citizens. They don’t have the right to vote. 

  1. They demanded the right to vote, to be elected to the assembly and to hold political office. 
  2. Only then they felt their interests would be represented in the new government. 

 

Q12 What do you know about the Estates General?

 

Ans 1. The Estates General was a political body to which the three estates sent their representatives.

  1. In France of the Old Regime, the monarch did not have the power to impose taxes; rather he had to call a meeting of the Estate General to pass the proposals for new taxes. 
  2. However it was the monarch alone who could decide when to call a meeting of this body. 

 

Q13 Who was Mirabeau? 

 

Ans 1. Mirabeau was born in a noble family but was convinced of the need to do away with feudal privileges. 

  1. He brought out a journal and delivered powerful speeches to the crowds assembled at Versailles. 
  2. The representatives of the third estate assembled on 20 June in the hall of the indoor tennis court in the grounds of Versailles. They declared themselves National Assembly. They were led by Mirabeau and Abbe Sieyes. 

 

Q14 Who was Abbe Sieyes?

 

Ans 1. Abbe Sieyes was a prominent member of the National Assembly. 

  1. Originally, he was a priest. He wrote an influential pamphlet called, ‘What is Third Estate?’.
  2. The representatives of the third estate assembled on 20 June in the hall of the indoor tennis court in the grounds of Versailles. They declared themselves National Assembly. They were led by Mirabeau and Abbe Sieyes.

 

Q15 Highlight the turmoil of the countryside of France, when the National Assembly was busy at Versailles in drafting a new constitution. 

 

Ans 1. In the countryside rumors spread from village to village that the lords of the manor had hired bands of brigades who were on their way to destroy the ripe crops. 

  1. Caught in a frenzy of fear, peasants in several districts seized hoes and pitchforks and attacked chateaux. 
  2. They looted hoarded grains and burnt down documents containing records of manorial dues.

 

Q16 How was the National Assembly recognized and how did it start exercising its powers? 

 

Ans 1. Faced with the power of his revolting subjects, Louis XVI finally accorded recognition to the National Assembly and accepted the principle that his powers would from now on be checked by constitution. 

  1. On the night of 4 August 1789, the Assembly passed a decree abolishing the feudal system of obligations and taxes. Members of the clergy too were forced to give up their privileges. 
  2. Tithes were abolished and lands owned by the church were confiscated.

 

Q17 Highlight any three steps taken by Robespierre to establish equality in French Society? 

 

Ans 1. Instead of Monsieur (Sir) and Madame (Madam) a more equal form of address Citoyen and Citoyenne (Citizen) was practiced. 

  1. Churches were shut down and converted into barracks and offices. 
  2. More expensive bread was forbidden- all citizens required to eat the ‘equality bread’.

 

Q18 What was the position of women in French society? 

 

Ans 1. Most women worked for a living as seamstresses, laundresses, selling flowers, fruits etc or as domestic servants. 

  1. Only daughters of nobles and wealthier parties studied in the convent. 
  2. Their families arranged marriages for them. Working women also took care of their own families, cooked, and washed, cleaned and queued up for bread.

 

Q19 Name some symbols used during the French Revolution and what do they stand for? 

 

Ans 1. The broken chain: Chains were used to fetter slaves. A broken chain stands for the act of becoming free. 

  1. The Bundle of rods or fasces: One rod can be easily broken, but not an entire bundle. Strength lies in unity. 
  2. The eye within a triangle radiating light: The all-seeing eye stands for knowledge. The ease of the sun will drive away the clouds of ignorance.

 

Q20 What was Guillotine? By whom and why was it used? 

 

Ans 1. Guillotine was a device consisting of two poles and a blade with which a person is beheaded. 

  1. It was named after Dr Guillotine who invented it. It was used by Robespierre. Robespierre followed a policy of reign of terror of severe control and punishment. Those who followed a policy of reign of terror of severe control and punishment. 
  2. Those who did not agree with his methods were arrested, imprisoned and then tried by a revolutionary tribunal. If the court found the guilty, they were guillotined.

 

Q21 How did France become a constitutional monarchy? 

 

Ans 1. The National Assembly completed the draft of the constitution in 1791. 

  1. Its main object was to limit the powers of the monarch. 
  2. The powers instead of being concentrated in the hands of one person were now separated and assigned to different institutions- the legislature, executive and judiciary. This made France a constitutional monarchy. 

 

Q22 What was Directory? Why was it removed from France? 

 

Ans 1. The fall of the Jacobins government allowed the wealthier middle class to seize power. A new constitution was introduced which denied the vote to non-propertied sections of society. 

  1. It provided for two elected legislative councils. These then appointed a Directory, an executive made up of five members.
  2. However the Directors clashed with the legislative councils, who then sought to dismiss them. The political instability of the Directory paved the way for the rise of a military dictator, Napoleon Bonaparte.

 

Q23 How could abolition of slavery become possible in France? Explain. 

 

Ans 1. Throughout the eighteenth century there was little criticism of slavery in France. 

  1. There were long debates in the National Assembly about whether the right of man should be extended to all French subjects including those in the colonies. But now law was made fearing opposition from the business community. 
  2. It was finally the conventions which in 1794 legislative to free all slaves in the French overseas possessions. But ten years later, Napoleon again started slavery. 

 

Q24 Explain three teachings of Rousseau which laid the foundations of democracy? 

 

Ans 1. He upheld the doctrine of popular sovereignty. 

  1. He believed that government should be based on the consent of the governed. He stated that people are the real sovereigns and kings rule only with their consent. 
  2. His famous book Social Contract tells us about a contract between the rulers and the ruled whereby the former would guarantee freedom and happiness.

 

Q25 The eighteenth century France witnessed the emergence of the middle class’. Who were they and what were their ideas? 

 

Ans 1. The eighteenth century witnessed the emergence of social groups, termed as the middle class. 

  1. They earned their wealth through an expanding overseas trade and manufacture of goods such as woolen silk textiles that were exported or bought by the richer members of society. 
  2. In addition to merchants and manufacturers the third estate included professionals such as lawyers or administrative officials.

 

Q26 Describe any three causes for the fall of the Jacobin government in France. 

 

Ans 1. The Jacobin government followed the policy of severe control and punishment. All those who were regarded as the enemy of the republic were arrested and tried by tribunal. If found guilty they were guillotined. 

  1. Even Louis XVI was sentenced to death by a court on charge of treason. 
  2. Finally, opposition to such severe control began to grow and was responsible for the fall of the Jacobin government.

 

Q27 Describe the storming of the prison Bastille in France. 

 

Ans 1. On the morning of 14 July 1789, the city of Paris was in a state of alarm. The king had commanded troops to move into the city. Rumours spread that he would soon order the army to open fire upon the citizens who rose in protest due to shortage of bread. B

  1. Some 7,000 men and women gathered in front of the town hall and decided to form a people. militia. They broke into a number of government buildings in search of arms. Finally, a group of several hundred people marched towards the eastern part of the city and stormed the fortress-prison, the Bastille, where they hoped to find hoarded ammunition. 
  2. In the armed fight that followed, the commander of the Bastille was killed and the prisoners released . though there were only seven of them. Yet the Bastille was hated by all, because it stood for the despotic power of the king. The fortress was demolished and its stone fragments were sold in the markets to all those who wished to keep a souvenir of its destruction. 

 

Q28 What was the ‘subsistence crisis’ in France? How did it arise? 

 

Ans 1. The population of France rose from about 23 million in 1715 to 28 million in 1789. This led to a rapid increase in the demand for food grains. Production of grains could not keep pace with the demand. So the price of bread which was the staple diet of the majority rose rapidly. 

  1. Most workers were employed as labourers in workshops whose owners fixed their wages. But wages did not keep pace with the rise in prices. So the gap between the poor and the rich widened. 
  2. Things became worse whenever drought or hail reduced the harvest. Shortage of food grains led to price rise, riots and death. It is called the subsistence crisis, something that occurred frequently in France during the Old Regime. 

 

Q29 What were the immediate results of the outbreak of the French Revolution.

 

Ans 1. A large number of nobles fled from their homes, many of them migrating to neighbouring countries. 

  1. Faced with the power of his revolting subjects, Louis XVI finally accorded recognition to the National Assembly and accepted the principle that his powers would from now on be checked by a constitution. 
  2. On the night of 4 August 1789, the Assembly passed a decree abolishing the feudal system of obligations and taxes. Members of the clergy too were forced to give up their privileges. Tithes (tax imposed by the Church) were abolished and lands owned by the Church were confiscated. As a result, the government acquired assets worth at least 2 billion livres. 

 

Q30 Why did the Third Estate walk out from the Estate General called by King Louis XVI in France? 

 

Ans 1. Voting in the Estates General in the past had been conducted according to the principle that each estate had one vote. This time too Louis XVI was determined to continue the same practice. But members of the third estate demanded that voting now be conducted by the assembly as a whole, where each member would have one vote. (This was one of the democratic principles put forward by philosophers like Rousseau in his book The Social Contract)

  1. When the king rejected this proposal, members of the third estate walked out of the assembly in protest. The representatives of the third estate viewed themselves as spokesmen for the whole French nation. 

 

Q31 How did France Become a Constitutional Monarchy? 

 

Ans 1. Faced with the power of his revolting subjects, Louis XVI finally accorded recognition to the National Assembly and accepted the principle that his powers would from now on be checked by a constitution. 

  1. On the night of 4 August 1789, the Assembly passed a decree abolishing the feudal system of obligations and taxes. Members of the clergy too were forced to give up their privileges. Tithes (tax imposed by the Church) were abolished and lands owned by the Church were confiscated. 
  2. The National Assembly completed the draft of the Constitution in 1791. Its main object was to limit the powers of the monarch. These powers, instead of being concentrated in the hands of one person, were now separated and assigned to different institutions, the legislature, executive and judiciary. This made France a constitutional monarchy.

 

Q32 What was the Reign of Terror in France? 

OR

Why is the period from 1793 to 1794 referred to as ‘reign of terror’ in France? 

 

Ans 1. The period from 1793 to 1794 is referred to as the Reign of Terror because it was a period of severe control and punishment by Robespierre. 

  1. All those whom he saw as being enemies of the republic, ex-nobles and clergy, members of other political parties, even members of his own party who did not agree with his methods were arrested, imprisoned and then tried by a revolutionary tribunal. 
  2. If the court found them guilty they were guillotined. 
  3. The guillotine is a device consisting of two poles and a blade with which a person is beheaded. It was named after Dr Guillotine who invented it. 

 

Q33 Why was a Directory appointed to rule France? What was the result? 

OR

Under what circumstances did Napoleon Bonaparte come to power in France? 

 

Ans 1. The fall of the Jacobin government allowed the wealthier middle classes to seize power. A new constitution was introduced which denied the vote to non propertied sections of society. It provided for two elected legislative councils. 

  1. These councils then appointed a Directory, an executive made up of five members. This was meant as a safeguard against the concentration of power in a one-man executive as under the Jacobins. 
  2. However, the Directors often clashed with the legislative councils, who then sought to dismiss them. The political instability of the Directory paved the way for the rise of a military dictator, Napoleon Bonaparte. 

 

Q34 What were the measures taken by the revolutionary government to improve the status of women in France?

 

Ans 1. In the early years, the revolutionary government introduced laws that helped improve the lives of women. Together with the creation of state schools, schooling was made compulsory for all girls. Their fathers could no longer force them into marriage against their will. Marriage was made into a contract entered into freely and registered under civil law. 

  1. Divorce was made legal, and could be applied for by both women and men. Women could now train for jobs, could become artists or run small businesses. Women’s struggle for equal political rights, however, continued.

 

Q35 Describe the legacy of the French Revolution for the peoples of the world during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. 

 

Ans 1. The ideas of liberty and democratic rights were the most important legacy of the French Revolution. These ideas spread from France to the rest of Europe during the nineteenth century, where feudal systems were abolished. 

  1. Further these ideas spread to different colonies of the European nations. The people of the colonies interpreted and moulded these ideas according to their needs. The principles of equality, liberty and fraternity helped to intensify the freedom movements in these countries. 
  2. By the mid 20th century a major part of the world adopted democracy as the preferred mode of rule and the French Revolution can be termed as the starting point for this development.

 

Q36 Explain the role of Napoleon as an emperor of France. What are his contributions? 

 

Ans 1. In 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself Emperor of France. He set out to conquer neighbouring European countries, dispossessing dynasties and creating kingdoms where he placed members of his family. 

  1. Napoleon saw his role as a moderniser of Europe. He introduced many laws such as the protection of private property and a uniform system of weights and measures provided by the decimal system. 
  2. Initially, many saw Napoleon as a liberator who would bring freedom for the people. But soon the Napoleonic armies came to be viewed everywhere as an invading force. He was finally defeated at Waterloo in 1815. 
  3. Many of his measures that carried the revolutionary ideas of liberty and modern laws to other parts of Europe had an impact on people long after Napoleon had left.

 

4 Mark Questions

 

Q1 Read the given extract and answer the questions that follow: 

On the morning of 14 July 1789, the city of Paris was in a state of alarm. The king had commanded troops to move into the city. Rumours spread that he would soon order the army to open fire upon the citizens. Some 7,000 men and women gathered in front of the town hall and decided to form a peoples’ militia. They broke into a number of government buildings in search of arms. Finally, a group of several hundred people marched towards the eastern part of the city and stormed the fortress-prison, the Bastille, where they hoped to find hoarded ammunition. In the armed fight that followed, the commander of the Bastille was killed and the prisoners released – though there were only seven of them. Yet the Bastille was hated by all because it stood for the despotic power of the king. The fortress was demolished and its stone fragments were sold in the markets to all those who wished to keep a souvenir of its destruction. The days that followed saw more rioting both in Paris and the countryside. Most people were protesting against the high price of bread. Much later, when historians looked back upon this time, they saw it as the beginning of a chain of events that ultimately led to the execution of the king in France, though most people at the time did not anticipate this outcome.

 

  1. On 14th July, 1789 the people of the ________ estate attacked the Bastille prison and freed all the prisoners signalling the start of the _________. 
  2. first, civil war 
  3. fourth, Russian war 
  4. second, movement 
  5. third, revolution 

 

Ans D. third, revolution

 

  1. Which of the following statement is incorrect? 
  2. The Bastille was the fortress-prison. 
  3. The Bastille stood for the democratic power of the king. 
  4. On the morning of 14 July 1789, the people of Paris stormed Bastille 
  5. All are correct 

 

Ans B. The Bastille stood for the democratic power of the king.

 

  1. In the question given below, there are two statements marked as Assertion (A) and Reason (R). Read the statements and chose the correct option: 

Assertion (A): The people of France storm the Bastille. 

Reason (R): They were hopeful to find King Louis XIV and commander of the Bastille there. 

  1. Both A and R are correct and R is the correct explanation of A. 
  2. Both A and R are correct but R is not the correct explanation of A. 
  3. A is correct but R is wrong. 
  4. Both A and R are wrong. 

 

Ans C. A is correct but R is wrong. 

 

  1. What was the immediate cause of rioting in Paris? 
  2. Atrocities by the commander 
  3. The high price of bread 
  4. The killing of women and children 
  5. All of these

 

Ans B. The high price of bread

 

Q2 Read the given extract and answer the questions that follow:

 

In his Two Treatises of Government, Locke sought to refute the doctrine of the divine and absolute right of the monarch. Rousseau carried the idea forward, proposing a form of government based on a social contract between people and their representatives. In The Spirit of the Laws, Montesquieu proposed a division of power within the government between the legislative, the executive and the judiciary. The ideas of these philosophers were discussed intensively in salons and coffee-houses and spread among people through books and newspapers. These were frequently read aloud in groups for the benefit of those who could not read and write. France was a monarchy before the French revolution in 1789. Monarchy means France was ruled by a hereditary king. Louis XVI was the king of France. The first estate was clergy (priestly class). The second estate was nobles (rich people). The third estate was the commoners (poor and middle class people). The first and second estates lived luxurious lives. These two estates were getting all the high- ranking jobs. People in the third estate were less developed and poor. The third estate revolted against the king, clergy and nobles. This marked the beginning of the French revolution.

 

  1. Write down Rousseau’s ideas regarding government. 

 

Ans Rousseau was a French Philosopher, who carried the idea of Locke forward, proposing a form of government based on a social contract between people and their representatives.

 

  1. During 1789 France was ruled by which monarchy?  

 

Ans Louis XVI was the king of France in 1789.

 

  1. Write a short note on the lifestyle of first and second estate. 

 

Ans The first and second estates lived luxurious lives. These two estates were getting all the high- ranking jobs. People in the third estate were less developed and poor. 

 

  1. Write down the financial status of the third estate. 

 

Ans The third estate revolted against the king, clergy and nobles. This marked the beginning of the French revolution.

 

5 Mark Questions

 

Q1 Describe the circumstances leading to the outbreak of revolutionary protest in France. (NCERT QUESTION)

 

Ans The circumstances leading to the outbreak of revolutionary protest in France were: 

  1. Social Inequality: French society in the eighteenth century was divided into three estates namely The Clergy, The nobility and third estates which comprise peasants, officials and small business. It was the only third estate that paid taxes. Clergy and nobility were exempt from taxes. 
  2. Subsistence Crisis: The population of France also increased from 23 million in 1715 to 28 million in 1789. Foodgrains were now in great demand. Price of bread shot up. Wages did not keep pace with rising prices. This led to a subsistence crisis. 
  3. Economic Problems: Long years of war had drained the financial resources of France. France had a debt of more than 2 billion lives. To meet its regular expenses, such as the cost of maintaining an army, the court, running government offices or universities, the state was forced to increase taxes. 
  4. Strong Middle Class: The middle class emerged educated and wealthy during the eighteenth century. They believed that no group in society should be given privileges by birth. Ideas of equality and freedom were put forward by philosophers. The ideas of these philosophers were discussed intensively in salons and coffeehouses and spread among people. 
  5. Immediate Causes: On 5 may, 1789, Louis XVI called together an assembly of Estates General to pass proposals for new taxes. Third estates protested against this proposal but as each estate had one vote, the king rejected this appeal. They walked out of the assembly.

 

Q2 Describe the legacy of the French Revolution for the people of the world during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. (NCERT QUESTION)

 

Ans 1. The ideas of liberty and democratic rights were the most important legacy of the French Revolution. 

  1. These spread from France to the rest of Europe during the nineteenth century, where feudal systems were abolished. 
  2. It inspired the Germans, Italians, and Austrians to overthrow their oppressive regimes. 
  3. The French Revolution inspired the struggling nations of Asia and Africa who were groaning under the oppression of European colonialism. 
  4. Tipu Sultan and Rajaram Mohan Roy are two examples of individuals who responded to ideas coming from the French revolution.

 

Q3 Describe the society of estates that existed in French society in the Late Eighteenth century. 

OR

How was the system of Estates in French Society organised?

 

Ans The system of estates in French society that existed in the late eighteenth century is as follows: 

 

1. 1st estate Clergy (group of persons invested with special functions in the Church)
2. 2nd estate Nobility
3.  3rd estate
  1. Big businessmen, merchants, court officials, lawyers, etc.
  2. Peasants and artisans
  3. Small peasants, landless labours, servants.

 

  1. The French society in the 18th century was divided into three estates, and only members of the third estate paid taxes.
  2. The society of estates was part of the feudal system that dated back to the middle ages. The term Old Regime is usually used to describe the society and institutions of France before 1789.
  3. The members of the first two estates, that is, the clergy and the nobility respectively, enjoyed certain privileges by birth. 
  4. The most important of these was exemption from paying taxes to the state. The nobles further enjoyed feudal privileges. These included feudal dues, which they extracted from the peasants. 
  5. Peasants were obliged to render services to the lord- to work in his house and fields, to serve in the army or to participate in building roads.
  6. In the third estate, some were rich and others were poor.
  7. 90% of the population was made up by peasants but only a small number of them owned the land they cultivated.
  8. 60% of the land was owned by nobles, the Church and other richer members of the third estate.
  9. The church too extracted its share of taxes called tithes (a tax levied by the Church, comprising one-tenth of the agricultural produce) from the peasants, and all members of the third estate had to pay taxes to the state finally. These included a direct tax, called taille, and a number of indirect taxes which were levied on articles of everyday consumption like salt or tobacco.
  10. The burden of financing activities of the state through taxes was borne by the third estate alone.

 

Q4 Describe the main features of the constitution of 1791. Mention any five points. 

 

Ans 1. Constitutional Monarchy: The new constitution made France a constitutional Monarchy. 

  1. National Assembly: It had 745 members and was indirectly elected and could legislate. 
  2. Right to Vote: Only men above the age of 25 who paid taxes equal to 3 day of a labourer’s wage were active citizens and can vote. 
  3. Powers of National Assembly: This body had the organs- legislature, Executive and Judiciary. 
  4. The Declaration of Rights and Man and Citizens: The Constitution began with this declaration and included rights like rights to life, freedom of speech and freedom of opinion. 

 

Q5 Write a short note on the Reign of Terror in France. Describe any five steps taken by him to consolidate his power in France. 

 

Ans 1. The period from 1793 to 1794 is known as the reign of terror. Robespierre followed a policy of severe control and punishment. 

  1. Maximum ceiling on wages and prices.
  2. Rationing of Meat and bread. 
  3. Peasants made their grain to the cities and sold it at a fixed price. 
  4. Use of more expensive white flour was forbidden. 
  5. All were to eat the equality bread, a loaf made of whole wheat. 
  6. Equality in forms of speech and address. 
  7. Churches were shut down and their buildings were converted into barracks and offices. 

 

Q6 What changes people witnessed in everyday life after the revolution of 1789 in France? 

 

Ans 1. After the storming of the Bastille in 1789, a law was passed according to which censorship on the press was abolished.

  1. The Constitution of 1701 began with a Declaration of the Rights of man and citizen. It

proclaimed that freedom of speech and opinion and equality before law were natural rights

of each human being by birth.

  1. Newspapers, pamphlets and printed pictures appeared steadily in the towns of France. From

In France this printed material travelled into the countryside. These publications described and

discussed the events and changes taking place in the country.

  1. The Freedom of Press allowed expression of the opposing views of events. Each side could

now try to convince others of its stand on any event or problem.

  1. Much use was made of plays, songs and festive processions which attracted large number of

people.

 

Q7 Explain the achievements of Napoleon Bonaparte in France.

 

Ans 1. Napoleon Bonaparte was a military dictator of France. After crowning himself as the emperor of France in 1804, he saw his role as a modernizer of Europe.

  1. He introduced a law for the protection of private property.
  2. He introduced a uniform system of weights and measures.
  3. Initially many saw Napoleon as a liberator who would bring freedom for the people.
  4. Many of his measures carried the revolutionary ideas of liberty and modern laws to other

parts of Europe.

  1. They left a long lasting impact on the lives of people there.

 

Q8 Explain triangular slave trade carried on during 18th and 19th century.

 

Ans 1. There occurred a shortage of labour on the plantations in the Caribbean when Europeans refused to go and work in the distant land.

  1. This problem was solved by a triangular slave trade between Europe, Africa and the

America.

  1. French merchants sailed from the ports of Bordeaux or Nantes to the African coast. There

they bought slaves from local chieftains.

  1. The slaves were branded and shackled. They were then packed tightly into ships which

carried them to the Caribbean. There they were sold to plantation owners.

  1. The exploitation of slave labour, thus met the growing demand in European markets for sugar, coffee and indigo.

 

Q9 Describe the legacy of the French Revolution for the people of the world. 

 

Ans 1. The 1791 constitution began with a declaration of the rights of men and citizen. 

  1. Rights such as the right to life, freedom of speech, freedom of opinion, etc were considered as basic or natural and inalienable rights which could not be taken Tipu Sultan and Rammohan Roy, Indian individuals responded to the ideas of liberty and equality coming from revolutionary France. 
  2. The new revolutionary ideas spread to France occupied areas in Europe and abroad. 
  3. People in such areas began dreaming of sovereign nation states. 
  4. Colonized people in Africa, Asia and Latin America reworked the idea of freedom from bondage into their movements to create sovereign new states. 

 

Q10 Which was the important law that came into effect soon after the storming of Bastille in the summer of 1789? How did it change the lives of the common people? Explain. 

 

Ans 1. Abolition of censorship was the important law that came into effect soon after the storming of Bastille in July 1789. 

  1. Newspapers, pamphlets, books and printed pictures flooded the towns of France from where it reached the countryside. 
  2. They all discussed events and changes taking place in France. Freedom of the press also meant that opposing views of events could be expressed. 
  3. Plays, songs and festive processions attracted common people through which they could identify with ideas such as liberty or justice.

 

Q11 State any five causes of the empty treasury of France under Louis XVI. 

 

Ans 1. Long years of war had drained the financial resources of France. 

  1. Added to this was the cost of maintaining an extravagant court at the immense palace of Versailles. 
  2. Under Louis XVI, France helped the thirteen colonies to gain their independence from the common enemy, Britain. 
  3. The war added more than a billion livres to a debt that had already risen to more than 2 billion livres.
  4. Lenders, who gave the state credit, now began to charge 10 percent interest on loans. To meet its regular expenses, such as the cost of maintaining an army, the court, running government offices or universities.

 

Q12 How was the church responsible for the French revolution? 

 

Ans 1. About 60% of the land was owned by nobles, the church and other richer members of the third estate. 

  1. The church enjoyed a certain privilege that was they were exempted from paying taxes to the state. 
  2. The church too extracted its share of taxes called tithes from the peasants, and finally, all members of the third estate had to pay taxes to the state. 
  3. These include a direct tax called taille, and a number of indirect taxes which are levied on articles of everyday consumption like salt or tobacco. 
  4. The burden of financing activities of the state through taxes was borne by the third estate alone. 

 

Q13 Explain the role of philosophers in the French Revolution of 1789. 

 

Ans 1. In Two treaties of Government, Locke sought to refute the doctrine of the divine and absolute right of the monarch. 

  1. Rousseau carried the idea forward, proposing a form of government based on a social contract between people and their representatives. 
  2. In the Spirit of the laws Montesquieu proposed a division of power within the government between the legislative, the executive and the judiciary. 
  3. The ideas of these philosophers were discussed intensely in salons and coffee-houses and spread among people through books and newspapers. 
  4. Patriotic song Marseillaise composed by poet Roget de L’Isle. It was sung for the first time by volunteers from Marseilles as they marched into Paris and so got its name. Marseilles is now the national anthem of France. 

 

Q14 Describe the political and economic condition of France during the 18 th century. 

 

Ans 1. In 1774, Louis XVI of the Bourbon family of kings ascended the throne of France. He was 20 years old and married to the Austrian princess Marie Antoinette. 

  1. Upon his accession the new king found an empty treasury. Long years of war had drained the financial resources of France. The cost of maintaining an extravagant court at Versailles was very high. 
  2. Under Louis XVI, France helped the thirteen American colonies to gain their independence from the common enemy, Britain. The war added more than a billion livres (currency) to a debt that had already risen to more than 2 billion livres. 
  3. Lenders who gave the state credit, now began to charge 10 per cent interest on loans. So the French government was obliged to spend an increasing percentage of its budget on interest payments alone. 
  4. To meet its regular expenses, such as the cost of maintaining an army, the court, running government offices or universities, the state was forced to increase taxes.

 

Q15 Describe the social condition of France during the 18 th century. 

OR 

How was the French society organised? 

 

Ans 1. French society in the eighteenth century was divided into three estates, viz. The First Estate, Second Estate and the Third Estate. The First Estate consisted of the Clergy and the Second Estate consisted of Nobility. 

  1. The members of the first two estates, that is, the clergy and the nobility, enjoyed certain privileges by birth. The most important of these was exemption from paying taxes to the state. The nobles further enjoyed feudal privileges. These included feudal dues, which they extracted from the peasants. 
  2. The Third Estate consisted of three categories of people. Big businessmen, merchants, court officials, lawyers etc come in the top layer. Peasants and artisans come in the middle and small peasants, landless labourers and servants come under the lowest category of people. 
  3. Peasants made up 90 percent of the population. However, only a small number of them owned the land they cultivated. About 60 per cent of the land was owned by nobles, the Church and other richer members of the third estate. 
  4. Peasants were obliged to render services to the lord to work in his house and fields, to serve in the army or to participate in building roads. The burden of financing activities of the state through taxes was borne by the third estate alone.

 

Q16 Who were the groups of people who protested rising taxes and food scarcity in France? What was the result? How did the emergence of the middle class help French society? 

 

Ans 1. In the past, peasants and workers had participated in revolts against increasing taxes and food scarcity. But they lacked the means and programmes to carry out full-scale measures that would bring about a change in the social and economic order. This was left to the middle class. 

  1. The middle class became prosperous and had access to education and new ideas. The merchants earned their wealth through an expanding overseas trade and from the manufacture of goods. 
  2. In addition to merchants and manufacturers, the third estate included professionals such as lawyers or administrative officials. All of these were educated and believed that no group in society should be privileged by birth. Rather, a person’s social position must depend on his merit. 
  3. These were the groups of people who protested rising taxes and food scarcity in France. These ideas of a society based on freedom and equal laws and opportunities for all, were put forward by philosophers too. 

 

Q17 What role did philosophers play in bringing about the French Revolution? 

 

Ans 1. These ideas of a society based on freedom and equal laws and opportunities for all, were put forward by philosophers such as John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau. In his Two Treatises of Government, Locke sought to disprove the doctrine of the divine and absolute right of the monarch. 

  1. Rousseau carried the idea forward, proposing a form of government based on a social contract between people and their representatives. 
  2. In The Spirit of the Laws, Montesquieu proposed a division of power within the government between the legislative, the executive and the judiciary. This model of government was put into force in the USA, after the thirteen colonies declared their independence from Britain. 
  3. The American constitution and its guarantee of individual rights influenced political thinkers in France. The ideas of these philosophers were discussed intensively in salons and coffee-houses and spread among people through books and newspapers. 
  4. These were frequently read aloud in groups for the benefit of those who could not read and write. The news that Louis XVI planned to impose further taxes to be able to meet the expenses of the state generated anger and protest against the system of privileges. 

 

Q18 Examine the factors that led to the French Revolution. 

 

Ans 1. The war with Britain : France supported American colonies in their war with Great Britain for their independence. This war led to an increasing debt on the French monarchy. This necessitated imposition of new taxes on the public. 

  1. Privilege based on birth: French society in the eighteenth century was divided into three estates, viz. The First Estate, Second Estate and the Third Estate. The First Estate consisted of the Clergy and the Second Estate consisted of Nobility. The members of the first two estates, that is, the clergy and the nobility, enjoyed certain privileges by birth. The most important of these was exemption from paying taxes to the state. 
  2. Subsistence Crisis: The high population led to a rapid increase in the demand for food grains. Production of grains could not keep pace with the demand. So the price of bread which was the staple diet of the majority rose rapidly. Wages did not keep pace with rising prices. It led to the subsistence crisis. 
  3. Growing Middle Class: A new class emerged in France because of increased overseas trade. This class was wealthy not because of birth but because of its ability to utilize opportunities. People of the middle class started raising their voice for an end to privileges based on birth. 
  4. Role of philosophers: The ideas of a society based on freedom and equal laws and opportunities for all, were put forward by philosophers such as John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau. They spread awareness through various media. Some from the privileged classes also advocated a switch to democracy. So, finally there was a revolution in France. 

 

Q19 Examine the incidents preceding the outbreak of the French Revolution.

 

Ans 1. Louis XVI, the King of France had to increase taxes for many reasons. He called a meeting of the Estates General which would pass his proposals for new taxes. 

  1. Voting in the Estates General in the past had been conducted according to the principle that each estate had one vote. But members of the third estate demanded that voting now be conducted by the assembly as a whole, where each member would have one vote. 
  2. When the king rejected this proposal, members of the third estate walked out of the assembly in protest. On 20 June they assembled in the hall of an indoor tennis court in the grounds of Versailles. They declared themselves a National Assembly and swore not to disperse till they had drafted a constitution for France that would limit the powers of the monarch. 
  3. While the National Assembly was busy at Versailles drafting a constitution, riot spread across the country. A severe winter had meant a bad harvest; the price of bread rose, often bakers exploited the situation and hoarded supplies. 
  4. After spending hours in long queues at the bakery, crowds of angry women stormed into the shops. At the same time, the king ordered troops to move into Paris. On 14 July, the agitated crowd stormed and destroyed the Bastille. 
  5. In the countryside rumours spread from village to village that the lords of the manor had hired bands of brigands who were on their way to destroy the ripe crops. Angry peasants in several districts seized hoes and pitchforks and attacked chateaux (residence of lords) 
  6. They looted hoarded grain and burnt down documents containing records of manorial dues.

 

Q20 Write a short note on the Constitution of 1791 in France. 

 

Ans 1. The Constitution of 1791 vested the power to make laws in the National Assembly, which was indirectly elected. That is, citizens voted for a group of electors, who in turn chose the Assembly.

  1. Not all citizens, however, had the right to vote. Only men above 25 years of age who paid taxes equal to at least 3 days of a labourer’s wage were given the status of active citizens, that is, they were entitled to vote. 
  2. The remaining men and all women were classed as passive citizens. To qualify as an elector and then as a member of the Assembly a man had to belong to the highest bracket of taxpayers. 
  3. The Constitution began with a Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen. 
  4. Rights such as the right to life, freedom of speech, freedom of opinion, equality before law, were established as natural and inalienable rights, that is, they belonged to each human being by birth and could not be taken away. It was the duty of the state to protect each citizen’s natural rights.

 

Q21 Why were the women disappointed by the Constitution of 1791 in France? What laws did the revolutionary government introduce to improve the lives of women? 

 

Ans 1. The Constitution of 1791 vested the power to make laws in the National Assembly, which was indirectly elected. That is, citizens voted for a group of electors, who in turn chose the Assembly. 

  1. Not all citizens, however, had the right to vote. Only men above 25 years of age who paid taxes equal to at least 3 days of a labourer’s wage were given the status of active citizens, that is, they were entitled to vote. The remaining men and all women were classed as passive citizens. Therefore women were disappointed by the Constitution of 1791 in France. 
  2. In the early years, the revolutionary government introduced laws that helped improve the lives of women. 
  3. Together with the creation of state schools, schooling was made compulsory for all girls. Their fathers could no longer force them into marriage against their will. Marriage was made into a contract entered into freely and registered under civil law. 
  4. Divorce was made legal, and could be applied for by both women and men. Women could now train for jobs, could become artists or run small businesses. Women’s struggle for equal political rights, however, continued.

 

Q22 Why is the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen regarded as a revolutionary document? 

 

Ans 1. Rights such as the right to life, freedom of speech, freedom of opinion, equality before law, were established as natural and inalienable rights, that is, they belonged to each human being by birth and could not be taken away. It was the duty of the state to protect each citizen’s natural rights. 

  1. Now the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen proclaimed freedom of speech and expression to be a natural right. Newspapers, pamphlets, books and printed pictures flooded the towns of France from where they traveled rapidly into the countryside. They all described and discussed the events and changes taking place in France. 
  2. Freedom of the press also meant that opposing views of events could be expressed. Each side sought to convince the others of its position through the medium of print. 
  3. Plays, songs and festive processions attracted large numbers of people. This was one way they could grasp and identify with ideas such as liberty or justice that political philosophers wrote about at length in text which only a handful of educated people could read. 
  4. In a country where people were classified and discriminated, where laws did not protect the public, where the upper class enjoyed privileges, Rights of Man and Citizen regarded as a revolutionary document.

 

Q23 How did France become a Republic? 

 

Ans 1. Although Louis XVI had signed the Constitution, he entered into secret negotiations with the King of Prussia. Rulers of other neighbouring countries too were worried by the developments in France and made plans to send troops to put down the events that had been taking place there since the summer of 1789. 

  1. Before this could happen, the National Assembly voted in April 1792 to declare war against Prussia and Austria. Thousands of volunteers joined the army. They saw this as a war of the people against kings and aristocracies all over Europe. 
  2. Political clubs like the Jacobins became an important rallying point for people who wished to discuss government policies and plan their own forms of action. Their leader was Maximilian Robespierre.
  3. In the summer of 1792 the Jacobins planned an uprising of a large number of Parisians who were angered by the short supplies and high prices of food. 
  4. On the morning of August 10 they stormed the Palace of the Tuileries, massacred the king’s guards and held the king himself hostage for several hours. Later the Assembly voted to imprison the royal family. Elections were held. 
  5. From now on all men of 21 years and above, regardless of wealth, got the right to vote. The newly elected assembly was called the Convention. On 21 September 1792 it abolished the monarchy and declared France a republic.

 

Q24 What were the measures taken by Robespierre’s government in bringing equality in French society? 

 

Ans 1. Robespierre’s government issued laws for placing a maximum limit on wages and prices. Meat and bread were rationed. Peasants were forced to transport their grain to the cities and sell it at prices fixed by the government. 

  1. The use of more expensive white flour was forbidden; all citizens were required to eat the pain dégalité (equality bread), a loaf made of whole wheat. 
  2. Equality was also sought to be practised through forms of speech and address. Instead of the traditional Monsieur (Sir) and Madame (Madam) all French men and women were henceforth Citoyen and Citoyenne (Citizen). 
  3. Churches were shut down and their buildings converted into barracks or offices. Robespierre pursued his policies so relentlessly that even his supporters began to demand moderation. Finally, he was convicted by a court in July 1794, arrested and on the next day sent to the guillotine. 
  4. One of the most revolutionary social reforms of the Jacobin regime was the abolition of slavery in the French colonies.

 

Q25 How and when did the women in France get the right to vote? 

 

Ans 1. The Constitution of 1791 reduced the women to passive citizens in France and the right to vote is denied. They demanded the right to vote, to be elected to the Assembly and to hold political office. 

  1. In order to discuss and voice their interests women started their own political clubs and newspapers. About sixty women’s clubs came up in different French cities. The Society of Revolutionary and Republican Women was the most famous of them. 
  2. Women’s movements for voting rights and equal wages continued for two hundred years in many countries of the world. The fight for the vote was carried out through an international suffrage movement during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. 
  3. The example of the political activities of French women during the revolutionary years was kept alive as an inspiring memory. 
  4. It was finally in 1946 that women in France won the right to vote.

 

Q26 What role did women play during the revolutionary years in France? 

 

Ans 1. From the very beginning women were active participants in the events which brought about so many important changes in French society. They hoped that their involvement would pressurize the revolutionary government to introduce measures to improve their lives.

  1. In order to discuss and voice their interests women started their own political clubs and newspapers. About sixty women’s clubs came up in different French cities. The Society of Revolutionary and Republican Women was the most famous of them. 
  2. One of their main demands was that women enjoy the same political rights as men. Women were disappointed that the Constitution of 1791 reduced them to passive citizens. They demanded the right to vote, to be elected to the Assembly and to hold political office. Only then, they felt, would their interests be represented in the new government. 
  3. Women’s struggle for equal political rights, however, continued. During the Reign of Terror, the new government issued laws ordering closure of women’s clubs and banning their political activities. Many prominent women were arrested and a number of them executed. 
  4. The example of the political activities of French women during the revolutionary years was kept alive as an inspiring memory. It was finally in 1946 that women in France won the right to vote.

 

Q27 Write a short note on slavery in France. 

OR 

What was the position of France on slavery in the 18 th and 19 th centuries? 

 

Ans 1. The colonies in the Caribbean. Martinique, Guadeloupe and San Domingo were important suppliers of commodities such as tobacco, indigo, sugar and coffee. But the reluctance of Europeans to go and work in distant and unfamiliar lands meant a shortage of labour on the plantations. So this was met by a triangular slave trade between Europe, Africa and the Americas. 

  1. The slave trade began in the seventeenth century in Europe. French merchants sailed from the ports of Bordeaux or Nantes to the African coast, where they bought slaves from local chieftains. Branded and shackled, the slaves were packed tightly into ships for the three-month long voyage across the Atlantic to the Caribbean. There they were sold to plantation owners. 
  2. Throughout the eighteenth century there was little criticism of slavery in France. The National Assembly did not pass any laws, fearing opposition from businessmen whose incomes depended on the slave trade. 
  3. It was finally the Convention which in 1794 legislated to free all slaves in the French overseas possessions. This, however, turned out to be a short-term measure: ten years later, Napoleon reintroduced slavery. 
  4. Plantation owners understood their freedom as including the right to enslave African Negroes in pursuit of their economic interests. Slavery was finally abolished in French colonies in 1848. 
  5. One of the most revolutionary social reforms of the Jacobin regime was the abolition of slavery in the French colonies.

 

Q28 What changes did the revolution of 1789 bring in the everyday life of the people in France? 

 

Ans 1. The years following the revolution of 1789 in France saw many changes in the lives of men, women and children. The revolutionary governments took it upon themselves to pass laws that would translate the ideals of liberty and equality into everyday practice. 

  1. One important law that came into effect soon after the storming of the Bastille in the summer of 1789 was the abolition of censorship. In the Old Regime all written material and cultural activities, books, newspapers, plays could be published or performed only after they had been approved by the censors of the king. Now the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen proclaimed freedom of speech and expression to be a natural right. 
  2. Newspapers, pamphlets, books and printed pictures flooded the towns of France from where they traveled rapidly into the countryside. They all described and discussed the events and changes taking place in France. 
  3. Freedom of the press also meant that opposing views of events could be expressed. Each side sought to convince the others of its position through the medium of print. Plays, songs and festive processions attracted large numbers of people. 
  4. This was one way they could grasp and identify with ideas such as liberty or justice that political philosophers wrote about at length in text which only a handful of educated people could read.