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War In France by pradeep elankumaran


 1789 was the year of the worst famine in France ever. Everywhere, prices were shooting skyward and the adding number of peasants who left for the big city to find jobs, while adding to the unemployment rate didn't help to raise the moods of the people. And suddenly there was a fresh new thought in the minds of the French people and it brought new hope: why don't we just get rid of the government and do it all ourselves?  And thus began the French Revolution...

Over the next few months, an increased feeling of patriotism among the French people led the National Assembly to issue a Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, which announced freedom for everyone to do anything they want. But the ruler, Louis XIV, didn't want to accept their decisions of the National Assembly at that time and so, again, the people got mad...very mad. This time, women rose to the occasion.  In a heavy rainstorm, they marched twelve miles on the road that connected Paris and Versailles and brought the king and his family to Paris, where they were prisoners in their own capital for the next three years.

The National Assembly moved to Paris too, and started work on a new constitution which would solve the financial crisis. They then made a big mistake by taking control of the Church, which lost them valuable footing with the peasants and also the support of the Church. The Constitution of 1791 got rid of the absolute monarchy and established a limited monarchy in it's place and created a new Legislative Assembly, which had the power to create laws, set taxes and decide on issues of war and peace. The members of the Legislative Assembly could only be elected by tax-paying male citizens. The Constitution replaced the provinces with 83 equal-sized departments, along with many other changes.  Meanwhile, the rulers of France were pressured to escape from their humiliation, and so they did. And when the rest of Europe heard their stories of pain, they immediately turned against France. But that only led to France preparing for war.

 October 1791: the Legislative Assembly took office. Meanwhile in Paris, working class men and women called sans-culottes fought for a republic, and found support with the radical leaders of the Legislative Assembly, called the Jacobins.  This led to a 3-way split of the Assembly: the center, right and left. The right had people who had enough of the revolution, the center wanted moderate reform and the left wanted to abolish the monarchy and create a republic.  But the Jacobins had the upper hand, and in April 1792, the Legislative Assembly declared war on Austria, Prussia, Britain and other states. The war that started then went on till 1815.