Why do some reject the French Revolution?


Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
The radicalization and hardening of the Revolution was in large part due to strong reactionary pressure
and the bad faith of the King himself .
when the fellows monarques raised armies , gathering emigres under their banners to repress the revolution in blood
one should not be surprised if survival attitude kicked in .
....."If you are not with us you are against us "
extreme danger create extreme violence


Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
The start of dehumanization is to view everyone in a particular group as having no individuality but as simply being defined by membership of a group - death to aristocrats, death to Jews, death to Kulaks, etc. etc. etc, take your choice. So we should rejoice that someone like Lavoisier, who was both a great scientist and a philanthropist, was guillotined! As if the random guillotining of such people made any contribution to the general good. Such views as expressed in an internet forum are perhaps too silly to be worth arguing against, but a great deal of evil in this world also takes it start from them.
You think that began with the revolution? How do you see the Ancien Regime? It was fundamentally based on group identity and collectivism. Rights and privileges were held on a group basis, and it was key that these were very different between groups, and must remain so.

As one of the leaders of the reaction observed: "Humanity begins with the Baron", when informed about the weird concept of human rights.


Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
San Antonio, Tx
American situation is different to French one. Development of the country and historical context is different. Civil War in USA happened decades later after Great French Revolution. By the middle of 19th century you still had slavery in your own country. Killed your own citizens in hundred of thousands. Also Restored Bourbon monarchy was more of constitutional monarchy, that what was during Ancien Regime.
Louis, in accordance with the Declaration of Saint-Ouen, granted a written constitution, the Charter of 1814, which guaranteed a bicameral legislature with a hereditary/appointive Chamber of Peers and an elected Chamber of Deputies – their role was consultative (except on taxation), as only the King had the power to propose or sanction laws, and appoint or recall ministers.
Many of the legal, administrative, and economic reforms of the revolutionary period were left intact; the Napoleonic Code, which guaranteed legal equality and civil liberties, the peasants' biens nationaux, and the new system of dividing the country into départments were not undone by the new king. Relations between church and state remained regulated by the Concordat of 1801.

Whether you like it or not Americans, French Revolutions had bigger impact, bigger importance for Europe and influence on it than American one.

US has enough blood on it's hands. That country still had a lot of issues even after Civil War. Black people were still treated like dirt.

Also, nobody says that French Revolution was without bloodshed or didn't have terrible instances of violence, war and etc. I don't understand what people are even arguing about here.

Plus, France now is a Republic. There is no Absolute Monarchy in France. There are liberties and civil rights. There is capitalism. As far as I can see, Revolution won. Because it all goes back to 1789.
Rivers of blood and disastrous mayhem; that’s the French Revolution. People admire this? Ridiculous but go ahead and knock yourself out admiring hundreds of heads rolling into baskets. Every time I think of the French “Revolution”, I shake my head and think: It’s a revolution that ate the lives of its own creators. Admirable? No, not so much.


Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
Where did I ever say that this began with the French revolution? I'm not a complete idiot. It's as old as history in different ways.
Fair enough, my apologies.

The problem as I see it is still (re the OP) a relative lack of focus on what the revolution was a response to (ignored), compared to the later actions of the revolutionaries (panned).

I could of course now be charged with simplistic whataboutism I guess. Except context still matters. If we agree on the processes of dehumanisation in a conflict, then the social system of the Ancien regime might well be considered an ongoing, institutionalised act of violence directed at all groups making up French society NOT part of the privileged aristocracy.

And historically the great French statesmen, Richelieu, Mazarin and Louis XIV, all grappled with the problem of defusing French society so as to get it into a stable state that could end the cycles of violence of the Wars of Religion, the Fronde, etc. And while achieving that, it was done at the cost of setting up a state and a society that catered almost exclusively to the privileged aristocracy. Which initially made sense, as the high nobility was the major potential source of breakdown, initially having enough of an independent power-base to threaten the cohesion of royal government and the French state. Diverting them in a direction that at best harnessed them for use by the royal government, or at least defused them so as not to constitute an ongoing threat, did work for a long time. The problems of this occurring at the expense of most of the rest of society only building up over time.

Vivant Denon (the old erotic artist-antiquarian) once put it that no one who didn't experience it themselves could later quite grasp just how comfortable life in pre-revolutionary France was... if you had a title.


Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
Rivers of blood and disastrous mayhem; that’s the French Revolution. People admire this? Ridiculous but go ahead and knock yourself out admiring hundreds of heads rolling into baskets. Every time I think of the French “Revolution”, I shake my head and think: It’s a revolution that ate the lives of its own creators. Admirable? No, not so much.
Do you like trade guilds? Inequality before the law?
Sep 2016
I don't think anyone really admires Revolution. People point out it's importance, influence and positive things that were brought. However, everybody also remembers rivers of blood and time it took to finally settle things down.

I've never met people who were big fans of French Revolution and saw only good things in it. Usually people know about bad and terrible things as well. Don't really understand the point of this thread.

Maybe someone is just butt-hurt that French Revolution attracted and attracts so much attention and etc. Than they try to completely tear it down, to make their nation's history look better. Some examples of which can be seen in this thread.
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Aug 2010
Welsh Marches
I note actually that many people seem to have a sort of emotional investment in the French Revolution, and get defensive or aggressive (the two often go together) when others seem to them to be overstressing the bad sides of it. To the British and Americans it is largely a matter of indifference because they developed free intitutions in a wholly different way, and derived almost nothing from it, whether for good or evil, apart (from the British point of view) a period of intentional conflict and of internal political regression; but they do tend to get irritated when people claim that the ideas of freedom, equality etc. were French inventions deriving from the revolution.