Q79. What measures had been taken by Robespierre to remove
discrimination in French society?
Describe any 5 efforts made by Robespierre to bring equality in
Who was Robespierre? Describe any four steps taken by him to
Ans. Maximilian Robespierre was the leader of Jacobin
Robespierre’s government issued laws placing a maximum ceiling on
wages and prices.
Meat and bread were rationed. Peasants were
forced to transport their grain to the cities and sell it at prices fixed by
The use of more expensive white flour was
forbidden; all citizens were required to eat the pain d’égalité (equality bread), a loaf made of
Equality was also sought to be practised
through forms of speech and address.
Instead of the traditional Monsieur (Sir)
and Madame (Madam) all French men and women were henceforth Citoyen and
Churches were shut down and their buildings
converted into barracks or offices.
Q80. Which section of society did belong to the Jacobin club?
What was the role of Jacobins during the French Revolution? What
were they known as?
What was Jacobins Club? Who were its members? How did Jacobins
contribute to carrying the French Revolution further?
Describe the main features of Jacobins Club in France during the
Ans. Role of Jacobins during the French Revolution
The most successful of these clubs was that
of the Jacobins, which got its name from the former convent of St Jacob in
The members of the Jacobin club belonged
mainly to the less prosperous sections of society. They included small
shopkeepers and artisans.
Their leader was Maximilian Robespierre.
A large group among the Jacobins decided to
start wearing long striped trousers to set themselves apart from the
fashionable sections of society, especially nobles, who wore knee breeches.
These Jacobins came to be known as the
sans-culottes, literally meaning those without knee breeches. Sansculottes men
wore in addition the red cap that symbolised liberty.
On the morning of August 10 they stormed
the Palace of the Tuileries, massacred the king’s guards and held the king himself as hostage for
Elections were held. The
newly elected assembly was called the Convention. On 21 September 1792 it
abolished the monarchy and declared France a republic.
Q81. Describe the circumstances leading to the outbreak of
revolutionary protest in France.
Describe any social and political factors that led to the
outbreak of the revolutionary protest in France.
Ans. The circumstances leading to the outbreak of
revolutionary protest in France:
Inequality - French society in the eighteenth century was divided
into three estates, and only members of the third estate paid taxes. The
members of the first two estates, that is, the clergy and the nobility, enjoyed
certain privileges by birth. The most important of these was exemption from
paying taxes to the state.
Causes - Long years of war had drained the financial resources
of France. The war added more than a billion livres to a debt that had already
risen to more than 2 billion livres. To meet its regular expenses, such as the
cost of maintaining an army, the court, running government offices or
universities, the state was forced to increase taxes.
Problems - The population of France rose from about 23 million
in 1715 to 28 million in 1789. This led to a rapid increase in the demand for food
grains. Production of grains could not keep pace with the demand. So the price
of bread rose rapidly. But wages did not keep pace with the rise in prices.
This led to a subsistence crisis.
of middle class - The eighteenth century witnessed the
emergence of social groups, termed the middle class. All of these were educated
and believed that no group in society should be privileged by birth. Rather, a person’s
social position must depend on his merit. These ideas envisaging a society based
on freedom and equal laws and opportunities for all.
causes - On 5 May 1789, Louis XVI called together an assembly
of the Estates General to pass proposals for new taxes. Voting
in the Estates General in the past had been conducted according to the
principle that each estate had one vote. But members of the third
estate demanded that voting now be conducted by the assembly as a whole, where
each member would have one vote. When the king rejected this
proposal, members of the third estate walked out of the assembly in protest.