Discuss the French revolution tried to bring the marginalized population like women to the center between 1789 and 1794
The 1789-1794 French revolution is among the major historical fights for liberty and especially by the French women. This movement was not only helpful for France but also for Europe and European colonies as well. This has been based on the fact that the females do not often require equal rights to those of men. The massive movement commenced around 1789 which was meant for the recognition of the freedom for all people regardless of their ethnic backgrounds, color, race, and gender.
Despite the declaration of independence and Bill of Rights in France, women were not allowed to vote, own property, sit on a jury, make a will, nor initiate a lawsuit. Therefore, this raised a major concern to the people of France and especially women who were seen to have organized campaign groups and demonstrations against the then leadership. This massive revolution movement was therefore meant to fight for the rights of women in European colonies and France.
Not only were the common man’s rights being discussed in this movement but also the minority rights such as the rights of the religious minorities, colonial slaves, and more importantly, women. During this period, it was the first time the discussion of women’s rights being brought to the table with the view of equality between the men and women’s rights and opportunities. Since the French history up to this time of the great revolution, women were obviously treated as second-class citizens whereby, they were viewed as the commodity or property of their husbands, father, or the society in general.
The women had a variety of challenges when they tried to argue their points in the society due to the oppression forced upon them by men and the leaders. They had stayed for too long without enjoying the fruits of their democracy since they were not allowed in any way to practice their democratic rights such as voting and being voted as leaders.
In the early revolution excitement, many women joined political debates through the formation of women’s clubs such as the Revolutionary Republic Women. For about two years, 1789 to 1791, the France National Assembly drafted the 1971 constitution and reorganized the country into eighty-three departments. This led to the elimination of nobility as a legally recognized class making the Catholic Church the state agency hence, extended the Jews’ full citizenship alongside other minority religions. The taking over power by Jacobins in 1972 made the revolution took a more radical turn. Although this movement recognized the women as the crucial players in caregiving to the children, the perspective was not publicly practiced. This led to feminism whereby the women were strictly limited to their roles.
Although the women did not overrally succeed and benefit from the great French women revolution, some individuals supported them and played as the key supporters of the movement. Some of the individuals include a newspaper journalist called Condorcet, Etta Palm D’Aelders, Olympe De Gouges, and Prudhomme. These supporters of women’s rights played a significant role in fighting for the liberty and respect for human rights by men and the other leaders associated with discriminative activities in France. They contributed to through publishing of books and pamphlets and public speaking to bring into minds of people that both men and women deserved equal rights and were ready to achieve respect for their rights.
This fight for women’s rights took place until early 1794 although their demands were not fully fulfilled. In conclusion, the French revolution was not so much effective to the extent of achieving the women’s full citizenship and their rights to vote. However, this happened until the end of World War II when the grant for women full citizenship and allowance for the practice of their democratic rights long after all other western democracies.
- Horn, Jeff. “Revolutionary Ideas: An Intellectual History of the French Revolution from the Rights of Man to Robespierre.” (2017).
- Weber, William. “Mark Darlow. Staging the French Revolution: Cultural Politics and the Paris Opéra, 1789–1794.” (2013): 599-600.