The French Revolution

The French Revolution challenged political, social and cultural norms in European society. Politically, the governmental structure of the Revolution moved from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy to a republic and finally to an oligarchy. At each stage, the question of who should hold political power was further refined. The Revolution also undercut the traditional social hierarchy of France, by reducing the privileges of the First (clergy) and Second (nobility) Estates. The Revolution had a dramatic cultural impact in terms of building nationalism.