NCERT Solutions For Class 9 History Chapter 1 French Revolution
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1. Describe the circumstances leading to the outbreak of revolutionary protest in France .
Ans . The outbreak of revolutionary protest in France was a culmination of social , political , economic and intellectual factors . These were
( 1 ) Social Causes or Social Conditions French society was divided into three estates . The first estate and the second estate belonged to the privileged section who were exempt from payment of state taxes . The third estate consisted of the lower and middle classes . The third estate was represented by its more prosperous and educated members but they were who bore the burden of the taxes . They did not have any political rights and social status .
( ii ) Political Causes Louis XVI , the King of France , was an autocratic , inefficient ruler who led a luxurious life with his queen . People of France became tired of this rotten system of administration and wanted a change .
( iii ) Economic Causes The treasury of the king was empty on account of long wars , involvement in the American War of Independence , luxurious living of the king and faulty system of taxation . The state also undergone to a great debt .
( iv ) Influence of the Philosophers and Writers There were many French Philosophers and thinkers like Montesquieu , Roussean , Voltaire , Mirabeau who exposed the evils prevailing in the system . The ideas of them were discussed intensively in salons and coffee – houses and spread among people through books and newspapers . They inspired people with the idea of liberty , equality and fraternity .
There was a wide gap between rich and poor people in the society . Increasing price of staple food caused a wide spread anger among masses .
( v ) Immediate Cause Forced by financial bankruptcy , Louis XVI was compelled to call an assembly of the Estates General to pass proposals for new taxes in 1789. This time , voting method was not accepted by the third estate . They demanded that each member should have one vote . This controversy led to agitation among the people which became the immediate cause of the French Revolution .
2. Which groups of French society benefited from the revolution ? Which groups were forced to relinquish power ? Which sections of society would have been disappointed with the outcome of the revolution ?
Ans . All the groups which formed the third estate were benefited from the revolution . These groups included workers , businessmen , merchants , court officials , lawyers , teachers , doctors etc. Previously these people had to pay state taxes and they did not enjoy equal status . But after the revolution they began to be treated equally with the upper sections of the society .
The classes which formed the privileged sections of society like the nobility and clergy were forced to relinquish ( give up ) their executive powers and privileges .
The privileged classes , would have been disappointed with the outcome of the revolution because their privileges were taken away from them .
3. Describe the legacy of the French Revolution for the people of the world during the 19th and 20th centuries .
Ans . The legacy of the French Revolution for the people of world during 19th and 20th centuries can be discussed in the following ways .
• The idea of liberty expressed in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen laid the foundation of a new social order . The ideals of freedom and liberty formed the basis of national sovereignty .
• The idea of equality led to the end of a society based on privileges . All individuals have the same rights ‘ became the new slogan for world politics .
• The idea of fraternity promotes the ideals of love , unity and cooperation among different sections of society .
• Another great legacy of the French Revolution was the idea of nationalism . The French Revolution promoted the concept of ‘ nationalist ‘ which inspired the people of Poland , Germany and Italy to establish nation- states in their countries .
• These ideas played a great role in reshaping the boundaries of Europe and South America . In India Tipu Sultan and Raja Ram Mohan Roy got deeply . influenced by the ideas of revolution . Even today , people get inspiration by the great ideals of the French Revolution .
4. Draw up a list of democratic rights we enjoy today whose origins could be traced to the French Revolution .
Ans . Some of the democratic rights which we enjoy today whose origins could be traced to the French Revolution are given in the Indian Constitution . They are
( i ) Right to Equality The Right to Equality has its origin in the French Revolution . In the Indian Constitution , Right to Equality means equality before law , prohibition of discrimination and equality of opportunity in matters of employment .
( ii ) Right to Liberty or Freedom The origin of this right can also be traced to the French Revolution .. In the Preamble to the Indian Constitution , Right to Liberty or Freedom means ‘ freedom of thought , expression , belief , faith and worship ‘ .
( iii ) Encouraging the Spirit of Fraternity The French Revolution introduced the growth of the spirit of fraternity and social welfare .
In the Indian Constitution , the concept of ” fraternity ‘ abolishes untouchability and local or provincial anti – social feelings .
( iv ) Inspiring the Spirit of Democracy The French Revolution inspired the spirit of democracy which ensured many rights , viz . , right against exploitation , right to life , right to vote etc , which we are enjoying today .
5. Would you agree with the view that the message of universal rights was beset with contradictions ? Explain .
Ans . Yes , I agree that the message of universal rights was beset with contradictions . Many ideals in the ” Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen ” were not . clear in their meanings .
( i ) ” The law has the right to forbid only actions injurious to society ” did not mention about criminal offences against individuals .
( ii ) The declaration stated that ” law is the expression of the general will . All citizens have the right to participate in its formation . All citizens are equal before it . ” Although , France became a Constitutional Monarchy , millions of citizens ( men under the age of 25 and women ) were still not allowed to vote at all .
( iii ) Women were still regarded are passive citizens . They did not have any political rights , such as right to vote and hold political offices like men . Thus , their position contradicts the concept ‘ men are born and remain free and equal in rights . “
( iv ) French colonies and slavery still continued till the Nineteenth Century . All these were in striking contrast to the ideals that the revolution supported .
6. How would you explain the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte .
Ans . The rise of Napoleon Bonaparte was the result of following reasons
Political Instability The rise of Napoleon Bonaparte was an indirect result of the French revolution . After the revolution there was a struggle for power going on in France .
New Constitution After the fall of the Jacobin government , a new constitution was introduced . It provided for two elected legislative councils and a Directory which was made of five members . The Director often clashed with the legislative councils , who then sought to dismiss them . Napoleon took advantage of this instability and become a military dictator .
Napoleon became the Emperor In 1804 , Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself Emperor of France .
Many people saw him as a liberator , who would bring freedom for the people . But his rise to power did not last for a long time . In 1815 at Waterloo , he was finally defeated .
Activities on page 12 and 13
1. Identify the symbols which stand for liberty , equality and fraternity .
Ans . Liberty ( i ) Broken chain ( vi ) Red Phrygian cap .
Equality ( viii ) Winged woman ( ix ) Law tablet .
Fraternity ( ii ) Bundle of rods or fasces ( vii ) National colours of France , viz , Blue – White – Red .
2. Explain the meaning of the painting of the Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen by reading only the symbols .
Ans . The figure on the left symbolises the right to liberty , property , equality , etc enshrined in the new Constitution of France . The figure on the right symbolises the The law tablet signifies equality before the law for all .
3. The political rights which the Constitution of 1791 gave to the citizens with Articles 1 and 6 of the Declaration ( Source C ) . Are the two documents consistent ? Do the two documents convey the same idea ?
The Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen
1. Men are born and remain free and equal in rights .
2. The aim of every political association is the preservation of the natural and inalienable rights of man ; these are liberty , property , security and resistance to oppression .
3. The source of all sovereignty resides in the nation ; no group or individual may exercise authority that does not come from the people .
4. Liberty consists of the power to do whatever is not injurious to others .
5. The law has the right to forbid only actions that are injurious to society .
6. Law is the expression of the general will . All citizens have the right to participate in its formation , personally or through their representatives . All citizens are equal before it .
7. No man may be accused , arrested or detained , except in cases determined by the law .
11. Every citizen may speak , write and print freely : he must take responsibility for the abuse of such liberty in cases determined by the law .
13. For the maintenance of the public force and for the expenses of administration a common tax is indispensable ; it must be assessed equally on all citizens in proportion to their means .
17. Since property is a sacred and inviolable right , no one may be deprived of it , unless a legally established public necessity requires it . In that case a just compensation must be given in advance .
Ans . The two documents are consistent and convey the same idea that human beings are born equal and all citizens are equal before the law . However , the Constitution of 1791 did not give practical shape to these ideas .
4. Which groups of French society would have gained from the Constitution of 1791 ? Which groups would have had reason to be dissatisfied ? What developments does Marat ( Source B ) anticipate in the future ?
The revolutionary journalist Jean – Paul Marat commented in his newspaper L’Ami du peuple ( The friend of the people ) on the Constitution drafted by the National Assembly :
‘ The task of representing the people has been given to the rich …… the lot of the poor and oppressed will never be improved by peaceful means alone . Here we have absolute proof of how wealth influences the law . Yet laws will last only as long as the people agree to obey them . And when they have managed to cast off the yoke of the aristocrats , they will do the same to the other owners of wealth ’
Source An extract from the newspaper L’Ami du peuple .
Ans . Only some members of the third estate , who were rich and propertied , would have gained from this Constitution . Members of the first and second estates would have been dissatisfied as their privileges were abolished and they had to pay taxes . Marat anticipated another revolution in which the poor would rebel against the rich persons of the third estate and overthrow them , just like they had done to the noblemen and clergy .
5. Imagine the impact of the events in France on neighbouring countries such as Prussia , Austria – Hungary or Spain , all of which were absolute monarchies . How would the kings , traders , peasants , nobles or members of the clergy here have reacted to the news of what was happening in France ?
Ans . The reaction of the kings , traders , peasants , nobles , clergy and other privileged sections of these countries was that they would become fearful about what has happened in France can happen in their country also . The peasants would welcome the developments in France and sympathise with the peasants and underprivileged sections of that country .
Activity on page 16
6. Compare the views of Desmoulins and Robespierre ( Source D ) . How does each one understand the use of state force ? What does Robespierre mean by ‘ the war of liberty against tyranny ‘ ? How does Desmoulins perceive liberty ? Refer once more to Source C ( page 11 ) . What did the constitutional laws on the rights of individuals lay down ? Discuss your views on the subject in class .
What is liberty ? Two conflicting views :
The revolutionary journalist Camille Desmoulines wrote the following in 1793. He was executed shortly after , during the Reign of Terror .
‘ Some people believe that Liberty is like a child , which needs to go through a phase of being disciplined before it attains maturity . Quite the opposite . Liberty is Happiness , Reason , Equality Justice , it is the Declaration of Rights … You would like to finish off all your enemies by guillotining them .
Has anyone heard of something more senseless ? Would it be possible to bring a single person to the scaffold without making ten more enemies among his relations and friends ? On 7th February , 1794 , Robespierre made a speech at the Convention , which was then carried by the newspaper Le Moniteur Universal . Here is an extract from it .
‘ To establish and consolidate democracy , to achieve the peaceful rule of constitutional laws , we must first finish the war of liberty against tyranny .. We must annihilate the enemies of the republic at home and abroad , or else we shall perish . In time of Revolution , a democratic government may rely on terror . Terror is nothing but justice , swift , severe and inflexible ; … and is used to meet the most urgent needs of the fatherland . To curb the enemies of Liberty through terror is the right of the founder of the Republic . ’
Ans . Robespierre felt that use of terror by a democratic government was justified , as it preserved the ideals of the revolution . However , Desmoulins saw liberty as freedom to do anything which was based on principles of equality , reason and justice without being injurious to others .
Robespierre saying , ‘ the war of liberty against tyranny ‘ meant that they should kill the enemies of the republic both in France and outside France .
Desmoulins perceived liberty as laid down in the Declaration of Rights , i.e. it was happiness , reason , equality and justice . The constitutional laws on the rights of individuals laid down the rights of liberty , equality , property , security and resistance to oppression .
Activity on page 18
7. Describe the persons represented in figure below their actions , their postures , the objects they are carrying . Look carefully to see whether all of them come from the same social group . What symbols has the artist included in the image ? What do they stand for ? Do the actions of the women reflect traditional ideas of how women were expected to behave in public ? What do you think : does the artist sympathise with the women’s activities or is he critical of them ? Discuss your views in the class .
Ans . They are all women and belong to the same social group , i.e. the underprivileged . The symbols that are included in the image are the agricultural implements , the clothes , symbol of justice , woman on the horse and the drum .
The agricultural implements in their hands confirm that they are peasants . The clothes also show their poverty . The symbol of justice held by one woman depicts that they are striving for it .
The woman on the horse symbolises power and strength . The drum symbolises that they are proclaiming their march to all concerned .
The actions of the women do not reflect the traditional ideas of how women should publicly behave . The artist definitely sympathises with the activities of the women .
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