why is the french revolution so important

This is true, but the American Revolution and the French Revolution were fundamentally different. While both argued for liberty the experiences prior to the wars were quite different. Mainly, the American colonists had experience governing themselves. The saluatory neglect practiced by the British Crown allowed an autonomous (to an extent) government to develop not only its own methods of governing but also to create a tradition of leaders. The French Revolution, on the other hand, had a two-tiered basis. The middle class revolted because it had no power but was often wealthier than poor noblemen and had to pay taxes. The peasant revolted because they had no power, no money and were the only ones footing the taxes. One of the main points of contention was the the middle class and the peasants were lumped together into the Third Estate. Regardless of this social unrest, very few people in France had experience governing.


That's why the Revolution ended up lasting over 10 years. And to say that the Revolution failed with Napoleon becoming dicator is a fallacy, as Napoleon was elected to the dicatorship. Thus No Revolution = No Napoleon. But in regards to most important events. hmmm. I would definitely say the birth of Christ is in there. Even if you don't believe he was a deity or if he even existed, you cannot deny the importance of Him throughout the ages.
I think what your teacher has provided should be sufficient if you just think about each of the prompts. The French Revolution acted as a model for all sorts of societies in the future, whether it was one they wished to follow - or at least some aspects of it - or one they devoutly wished to avoid. For example, the ideals of the Revolution; Liberty, Equality and Fraternity have inspired Revolutionaries and Reformers ever since. Liberty is the call of every oppressed people right down to the recent Arab Spring; Equality has been the demand of subject groups from the slaves to feminists and Gays.


Fraternity is something we are reminded of every time we receive a charity appeal, all men are brothers. In 1848 the Revolts in Germany, France, Spain and Italy all referenced the Constitutions of the Napoleonic period. During the Russian revolution the Bolsheviks constantly looked back at 1789, and a refrain at the time was beware the man on a white horse a reference to David s painting of Napoleon and a warning against a military dictatorship (something Stalin used against Trotsky who led the Red Army to victory). The Terror had a different effect. Both in France and across Europe it brought about Reaction. Every reform was stifled with the warning that it could open the flood-gates to Revolution and Terror. It held back reform in Britain, Austria, and Russia. Even today Statesmen warn of the danger of Revolution unleashing Terror, although some like Mao have used it deliberately.


The conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars left Britain the pre-eminent Sea Power in the world, which meant they could get on with establishing their Empire without much interference until the 1860s. It kept European conflicts largely confined to Europe. Britain largely withdrew from Continental Europe until it got involved in the Crimean War. After that experience it stayed out again until 1914. The Concert of Europe organised primarily by the Austrian minister Metternich was the first attempt at agreed international dispute resolution in the world, and can be seen as an inspiration for the League of Nations and the United Nations. It arose directly from the need to prevent any one nation ever again achieving the dominance which France had under Napoleon. Have another look at the other points. The History Blog below might help too.

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