End of Monarchy

Emperors of neighboring countries were worried at developments in France as they were apprehensive similar revolutions in their territories. Louis XVI negotiated with neighboring emperors to suppress the revolt. In April 1792, the National Assembly voted to declare war against Prussia and Austria.

Thousands of volunteers took part in the war because they considered it to be a war against monarchy at all places. They sang the song written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle. Subsequently, the song got the name ‘Marseillaise’ and is now the National Anthem of France.

The war resulted in heavy loss for France, causing various crises among people. Many people were of the opinion that the constitution of 1791 gave power to only rich class. So, many political clubs began to discuss about government policies and possible forms of government. The most successful club among them was the Jacobins which was named after the convent of St Jacob in Paris. Maximilian Robespierre emerged as the leader of Jacobins.

Jacobins comprised of women, small peasants, labors, artisans, etc. In order to look different from the fashionable society, Jacobins started wearing the dress of dock workers (long striped trousers). The fashionable people wore knee breaches. The Jacobins earned the sobriquet ‘sans-culottes’ which means ‘those without knee breaches’. They also wore a red cap which was the symbol of liberty.

In summer of 1792, Jacobins attacked the Palace of Tuileries and captured the king for several hours. In this attack most of the guards of king were killed. After that election was held, and the newly elected assembly was called the Convention. In the election all men above the age of 21 got the right to vote; regardless of wealth. On 21st of the September 1792 monarchy was abolished and France was declared a republic.

Later king Louis XVI and the queen Marie Antoinette were sentenced to death. They were executed publicly at the Place de la Concorde.

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