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The French Revolution and the Idea of the Nation - Chapter 1 The Rise of Nationalism in Europe Class 10 History Notes

We have detailed The French Revolution and the Idea of the Nation given in Chapter 1 The Rise of Nationalism in Europe Class 10 History that will encourage students to learn new topics. These explanation will provide in depth analysis of the topics and help in solving the difficulties that lie ahead with ease. It will useful in getting a solid understanding of the various concepts embedded in the chapter.



The French Revolution and the Idea of the Nation - Chapter 1 The Rise of Nationalism in Europe Class 10 History

The French Revolution and the Idea of the Nation - Chapter 1 The Rise of Nationalism in Europe Class 10 History


The first clear expression of nationalism came with the French Revolution in 1789. Before the French revolution of 1789, France was ruled by an absolute monarch of Bourbon dynasty. The French revolution happened in 1789 which changed that led to the transfer of sovereignty from the monarchy to a body of French citizens.

• After gaining power, the French revolutionaries introduced various measures and practices that could create a sense of collective identity amongst the French people. These are:

→ The ideas of France as la patrie (the fatherland) and its people as le citoyen (the citizen) emerged so that the people can see them united enjoying equal rights under a constitution.

→ A new French flag was chosen to replace the former royal standard.

→ The Estates General was renamed as the National Assembly and it was to be elected by a body of 'active' citizens.

→ New hymns were composed and oaths were taken in the name of the nation.

→ A centralised administrative system formulated uniform laws for all citizens within its territory.

→ Internal custom duties and dues were abolished.

→ Uniform system of weights and measures were adopted.

→ All the regional languages were discouraged and French language was promoted among the people as common language.

• The revolutionaries in France viewed this product as ideal thus they declare it was mission and the destiny of the French nation to help other European people by liberating them from the despotic rule of the monarchs and become nation like France.

• When the news of the events in France reached the different cities of Europe reached the different cities of Europe, inspired them. Educated middle class began setting up Jacobin clubs. Their activities and campaigns prepared the way for the French armies which moved into Holland, Belgium, Switzerland and much of Italy in the 1790s.

• But the republic came to end in France. In 1799, French revolution ended in France and Napoleon Bonaparte rose to power.

• In 1804, Napoleon became emperor of France and thus destroyed democracy in France. He further expanded his empire and brought many reforms that he had already introduced in France.

• He introduced uniform civil code in 1804, popularly known as the Code of Napoleon which did away with all privileges based on birth, established equality before the law and secured the right to property.

• In the Dutch Republic, in Switzerland, in Italy and Germany, Napoleon simplified administrative divisions, abolished the feudal system and freed peasants from serfdom and manorial dues.

• Serfdom mean a peasant or worker had to provide services to their lords. They own land but had to pay rent for it. That is called manorial dues.

• In the towns too, guild restrictions were removed. Guilds are basically associations of craftsmen or merchants created to establish monopoly over trade.

• Transport and communication systems were improved which helped peasants, artisans, workers and new businessmen.

• The uniform laws, standardised weights and measures, and a common national currency facilitated the movement and exchange of goods and capital from one region to another. This proved very helpful for businessmen and small-scale producers of goods.

• Reaction of the local people to French rule

→ Initially, in many places such as Holland and Switzerland, the French armies were welcomed as harbingers or indicators of liberty. But soon the people realised that this new and efficient administrative arrangements made by Napoleon came at the cost of compromised political freedom means it denied the political freedom of the people.

→ Increased taxation, censorship, forced services into the French armies which were required to conquer the rest of Europe all seemed to outweigh the advantages of the administrative changes introduced by him.

You can also find NCERT Solutions for Class 10 History which will be helpful in completing homework on time. Extra Questions for Class 10 History guide students to frame good answers in the examinations. MCQ Questions for Class 10 History will make entire memorizing process effortless and entertaining. Revision Notes for Class 10 History will help the students to recall information with more precision and faster.
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