NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Social Science History Chapter 1 The French Revolution are prepared by expert teachers. These solutions contain answers to all the exercise questions provided in the History (India and the Contemporary World – I) textbook.
Class 9 History The French Revolution Questions and Answers
Question 1: Describe the circumstances leading to the outbreak of revolutionary protest in France.
Answer: The outbreak of revolutionary protest in France was primarily triggered by deep financial crises. The monarchy spent too much on wars and luxury. French society in the eighteenth century was divided into three estates namely The Clergy, The nobility and the third estates. This financial strain led to increased taxes and economic hardship for the Third Estate, which comprised the majority of the population. Many people were hungry and angry because bread was expensive and there were not enough jobs. Ideas about freedom and equality from the Enlightenment and the American Revolution made people want change. King Louis XVI’s attempt to impose additional taxes on the third estates sparked outrage. They stormed a prison called the Bastille on July 14, 1789, leading to widespread violence, and marking the start of the French Revolution.
Question 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?
Answer: The group that benefited from the French Revolution primarily was the Third Estate. The third estate consisted of Peasants, artisans, Small peasants, landless labourers, servants, big businessmen, merchants, court officials, lawyers etc. The nobility and clergy, who formed the First and Second Estates respectively, were forced to relinquish power, losing their privileges, exemptions from taxes, and feudal rights. As these people had lost all their privileges, they were disappointed with the outcome of the revolution. Women, despite playing a significant role in the revolution did not gain equal political rights, which led to disappointment and continued struggle for rights.
Question 3: Describe the legacy of the French Revolution for the peoples of the world during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Answer: The ideas of liberty and democratic rights were the most important legacy of the French Revolution. These ideals spread from France to the rest of Europe, leading to the abolition of feudal systems and influencing the push for democratic reforms. It inspired the Germans, Italians, and Austrians to overthrow their oppressive regimes. The French Revolution inspired the struggling nations of Asia and Africa that were groaning under the oppression of European colonialism. Figures like Tipu Sultan and Raja Rammohan Roy were inspired by these ideas, integrating them into their own struggles against colonialism and social reform.
Question 4: Draw up a list of democratic rights we enjoy today whose origins could be traced to the French Revolution.
Answer: The following fundamental rights, given in the Indian constitution can be traced to the French Revolution:
- Right to equality
- Right to liberty
- Right to Property
- Freedom of speech and expression
- The right to freedom from exploitation
- The right to constitutional remedies
Question 5: Would you agree with the view that the message of universal rights was beset with contradictions? Explain.
Answer: Yes, the idea of universal rights during the French Revolution had contradictions. Women were disappointed that the Constitution of 1791 reduced them to passive citizens and left them out of the basic rights that were promised. Olympe de Gouges highlighted this contradiction by drafting the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and Citizen, pointing out the Revolution’s failure to include women in its promise of equality. Additionally, while the Revolution led to the abolition of slavery in French colonies in 1794, this measure was short-lived, and Napoleon reintroduced slavery in 1802. So, while the Revolution had big ideas about rights for all, it didn’t make those rights real for everyone right away.
Question 6: How would you explain the rise of Napoleon?
Answer: After the French Revolution, France was in chaos and needed strong leadership. Napoleon was a great general who became very popular because he won many battles. When the government, called the Directory, wasn’t doing a good job, Napoleon took the chance to take over. In 1799, he made himself the boss in a quick move called a coup. Because he was good at making decisions and had strong control, he made himself Emperor in 1804. People liked him because they wanted the country to be stable and strong again after so much trouble from the Revolution.
Napoleon’s rise can be explained by the political instability and turmoil that France experienced during and after the French Revolution. After the fall of the Jacobin government, the wealthier middle classes seized power through a new constitution. They denied votes to the lower class of society and established the Directory, an executive made up of five members. However, the Directors often clashed with the legislative councils, leading to political instability. This environment paved the way for Napoleon Bonaparte, a military dictator, to rise to power. Napoleon crowned himself Emperor of France in 1804 and set out to modernize Europe, introducing laws like the protection of private property and a uniform system of weights and measures. Initially, many saw him as a liberator who would bring freedom to the people, but his armies were soon viewed as an invading force. Despite his eventual defeat at Waterloo in 1815, many of his measures that carried revolutionary ideas had a long-lasting impact on Europe.