The French Revolution (1789 – 1799) is considered the event that marked the beginning of a new historical period, that of the Contemporary Age.
France was at the end of the 18th century, like most of Europe, ruled by an absolutist monarchy. With structures typically of the Old Regime, characterized by the maintenance of the old medieval system of estate division of society and with a feudal type of land ownership.
In a society divided between privileged and non-privileged classes and with a severe subsistence crisis, a series of revolts took place that led to the overthrow of the Ancien Régime system and the old absolutist Bourbon monarchy.
The crisis of the French Absolute monarchy of the Ancien Régime
Eighteenth-century France was ruled by an absolutist monarchy, where the king ruled with the advice of his ministers. The monarchs of this century were Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI.
The Estates General of 1789 and the conversion into a National Assembly
The French Revolution began with the convocation of the Estates General, the assembly of the three estates. The States General of 1789 were transformed into a National Constituent Assembly, which turned the country into a constitutional and parliamentary monarchy.
The Constitutional Monarchy and the Legislative Assembly (1791-1792)
The France that arose from the Constitution of 1791 opted for a constitutional monarchy that limited the powers of the king and where sovereignty was in the hands of the Legislative Assembly chosen by census suffrage.