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Class 9 - Ch1 - French Revolution - Q & A

Q1: The Third Estate comprised of what?

Answer: Poor servants and small peasants, landless labourers, Peasants, artisans,Big businessmen,
merchants, lawyers, etc.

Q2: Who advocated ‘each member should have one vote’?

Answer: Rousseau

Q3: What decision was taken by the convention?

Answer: Declared France a Republic

Q4: How does a ‘Subsistence Crisis’ happen?

Answer: ‘Subsistence Crisis’ happened in France due to the following reasons:-

i) Bad harvest
ii)Scarcity of grains
iii) High prices of food.

Q5: In the war against Prussia and Austria, the army sang which patriotic song?

Answer: ‘Marseillaise’ written by the poet Roget de Lisle

Q6: Who wrote the pamphlet called ‘What is the Third Estate’?

Answer: Abbe Sieyes

Q7: A guillotine was ...

Answer: A device consisting of two poles and a blade with which a person was beheaded.

Q8: When did the French Revolution begin?

Answer: July 14, 1789

Q9: The word livres stands for ...

Answer: Unit of currency in France

Q10: What was the effect of the rise of population of France from about 23 million in 1715 to 28
million in 1789?

Answer: Rapid increase in the demand for food grains.

Q11: What was the ‘Subsistence Crisis’ which occurred frequently in France?

Answer: An extreme situation endangered the basic means of livelihood.

Q12: What was the name of tax which was directly paid to the state by the Third Estate?

Answer: Taille

Q13: What was ‘Estates General’?

Answer: A political body

Q14: Which social groups emerged in the 18th century?

Answer: Lawyers,Administrative officials, Middle class

Q15: The term ‘Old Regime' is usually used to describe ...

Answer: Society and institutions of France before 1789 A.D.

Q16: In which of these countries was the model of government as advocated by Montesquieu put
into effect?

Answer: USA

Q17: ‘Two Treatises on Government’ book was written by whom?

Answer: John Locke

Q18: When did Louis XVI call an assembly of Estates General to pass proposals for new taxes?

Answer: 5 May, 1789

Q19: In the meeting of the Estates General, the members of the Third Estate demanded that ...

Answer: All the three Estates should have one vote.

Q20: On 20th June, the representatives of the Third Estate assembled in the indoor tennis court of
Versailles for ...
Answer: Drafting a Constitution for France which limited the king’s power.

Q.21: Who led the representatives of the Third Estate in Versailles on 20th June?

Answer: Mirabeau And Abbe Sieyes

Q22: What did Louis XVI do, seeing the power of his revolting subjects?

Answer: He accorded recognition to the National Assembly and accepted checks on his powers.

Q23: According to the new constitution of 1791, the National Assembly was to be ...

Answer: Elected indirectly.

Q24: Which people were entitled to vote in France?

Answer: Only men above 25 years of age and who paid taxes equal to at least 3 days of a labourer’s

Q25: Whom did Louis XVI marry?

Answer: Louis XVI married to the Austrian princess Marie Antoinette.

Q26: Who was common enemy of France and America?

Answer: Britain

Q27: Who owned the lands in French society?

Answer: Peasants made up about 90 per cent of the population. However, only a small number of them
owned the land they cultivated. About 60 per cent of the land was owned by nobles, the Church and other
richer members of the third estate.

Q28: Which privileges was enjoyed by the first two estates?

Answer: The members of the first two estates, i.e. the clergy and the nobility, enjoyed certain privileges by
birth. The most important of these was exemption from paying taxes to the state. The nobles further
enjoyed feudal privileges. These included feudal dues, which they extracted from the peasants. Peasants
were obliged to render services to the lord, to work in his house and fields to serve in the army or to
participate in building roads.

Q29: Which thought was put forward by John Locke in his book Two Treatises of Government?

Answer: He refuted the doctrine of the divine and absolute right of the monarch. Rousseau carried the
idea forward, proposing a form of government based on a social contract between people and their
Q30: Which thought was put forward by Montesquieu?

Answer: In The Spirit of the Laws, Montesquieu proposed a division of power within the government
between the legislative, the executive and the judiciary.

Q31: How was ideas of the philosophers spread among people?

Answer: Ans:The ideas of these philosophers were discussed intensively in salons and coffee-houses
and spread among people through books and newspapers. These were frequently read aloud in groups
for the benefit of those who could not read and write.

Q32: Name two important leaders of the National Assembly.

Answer: Mirabeau and Abbe Sieyes were two important leaders of the National Assembly.

Q33: What was the important decree the Assembly legislated?

Answer: The Assembly passed a decree abolishing feudal system of obligations and taxes.

Q34: Name the popular political club of France.

Answer: The Jacobin Club was one of the most popular political clubs in France.

Q35: Name the leader of the Jacobin Club.

Answer: Maximilian Robespierre was leader of the Jacobin Club.

Q35: On what a charge was Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette beheaded?

Answer: Both Louis XVI and later Marie Antoinette were beheaded on charges of treason.

Q36: The 'Reign of Terror is referred to which period in French revolutionary history?

Answer: Reign of Maximilian Robespierre, from 1793-94 is referred to as the 'Reign of Terror.'

Q37: What is meant by the term 'Directory'?

Answer: The term 'Directory' refers to the executive board made up of five members.

Q38: What does a broken chain signify?

Answer: A broken chain signifies act of becoming free, as chains were used to fretter slaves.

Q39: Give the name of any one women's club.

Answer: The 'Society of Revolutionary and Republican Women' was the most famous women's club.

Q40: When did French women get voting rights?

Answer: After a long struggle in 1946.

Q41: Which factor contributed to the rise of Napoleon?

Answer: The political instability of the Directory contributed to the rise of Napoleon.

Q42: When was Napoleon defeated at Waterloo?

Answer: Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo in the year 1815.


Q1: What were the legacy and results of the French revolution?

The French Revolution is one of the most important events in the history of the world. It marked the
beginning of new era for people of France and those of the world.

The new ideas of Liberty equality and fraternity.

The revolution asserted the equality of man. It brought about the downfall of the autocratic regime in
France. Other European kings had now realised that the time was approaching when the subjects also
would assert their democratic rights.
Liberty equality and fraternity these words came as the source of light and want to a dead world.

A death blow to feudalism

The revolution brought an end to the feudal system in France. Old social based on the privileges of the
novels and the clergyman cease to exist. It gave freedom to the bulk of the population - the peasants, the
serfs and the agricultural labourers

Aroused the nationalist ideas:

Napoleon started on the career of conquest. He brought under his domination other countries of the
world. This allows the national spirit among the people of Europe. It was the growth of nationalism which
enabled them to defeat Napoleonic armies and inflict upon Napoleon of crushing defeat.

Freedom movement in India and other Afro Asian countries do inspiration from the French Revolution.

The idea of equality paved the way for socialism

Confiscation of the property by the state weekend the idea of the sanctity of property. The socialist
movement voted the interest of the walking classes.
Q2: What was the system of voting in the Estates General? What changes did the Third Estate
want in this system?

Answer: Voting in the Estates General had been conducted from the past.
1. According to the principle, each estate had one vote.

2. Members of the Third Estate demanded that voting must now be conducted by the assembly as a
whole, where each member would have one vote.

3. This was according to the democratic principles put forward by philosophers like Rousseau in his book,
‘The Social Contract’.

Q3: Describe the incidents that led to the storming of the Bastille.

1- National Assembly was busy at Versailles drafting a constitution; the rest of France was seething with

2- A severe winter had meant a bad harvest, the price of bread rose. Often bakers exploited the situation
and hoarded supplies.

3- After spending hours in long queues at the bakery, crowds of angry women stormed into the shops.

4- At the same time, the king ordered troops to move into Paris. On 14 July, the agitated crowd stormed
and destroyed Bastille.

Q4: What were ‘natural and inalienable rights’?

1- The constitution began with a Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizens.

2- Rights such as the right to life, freedom of speech, freedom of opinion, equality before the law were
established as ‘natural and inalienable rights’, i.e., they belonged to each human being by birth and could
not be taken away.

3- It was the duty of the state to protect each citizen’s natural right.

Q5: Who formed the National Assembly? On which date is ‘Bastille Day’ celebrated and why?

1- The representatives of the Third Estate assembled at Versailles on 20th June and declared themselves
a National Assembly.

2- The Bastille Day is celebrated on 14th July every year because on this day the unruly Paris mob
stormed and attacked the prison of Bastille which was considered a symbol of terror and despotism.

Q6: Describe the ‘Reign of Terror’ and the role played by Robespierre in it.

Answer: The period from 1793 to 1794 is referred to as the ‘Reign of Terror’.

1. Maximilian Robespierre, leader of the Jacobins, followed the policy of severe control and punishment.
2. All those who saw as enemies of the Republic — ex-nobles, clergy, political opponents — were
arrested, tried and guillotined if found guilty.

3. He issued laws placing a maximum ceiling on wages and prices.

4. Meat and bread were rationed.

5. Use of expensive white flour was forbidden.

Robespierre followed his policies so relentlessly that even his supporters began to demand moderation.
Finally, he was convicted, arrested and guillotined in July 1794.

Q1: Important dates related to French Revolution


 1774: Louis XVI becomes King of France.

 1789: Third Estate forms National Assembly. The Bastille is stormed., Session of Estates General
 1791: A constitution is framed to limit the powers of the monarch.
 1792-93: France becomes a republic. The king is executed. Directory rules France.
 1804: Napoleon becomes emperor of France.
 1815: Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo.
 1848: Slavery was abolished in all French colonies.
 1946: French women got the right to vote.
Q2: What principles were supported by the revolution?
Answer: Liberty, Equality and Fraternity

Q3: Important Terms to remember.

1. First Estate: French society was divided into classes called Estates, The First Estate consisted of
the Clergy which held vast land, wealth and was exempted from taxes.
2. Second Estate: It consisted of the aristocracy and controlled all the top positions in the
government. parliament and in the army and navy. They were also exempted from taxation and led an
extravagant life.
3. Third Estate: This comprised everyone who was neither nobility nor clergy and constituted
almost 97% of the population. The wealthy upper middle class (merchants, bankers, doctors. lawyers),
lower middle class, shopkeepers, craftsmen. and peasants comprised the Third Estate. This class lacked
political power, social status and was heavily taxed.
4. The Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen: In 1789. the French National Assembly adopted
a set of basic principles called the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen. Proposed by Lafayette
and based on the ideas of Locke, Montesquieu and Jefferson, this document stated that “men are born
and remain free and equal in rights” and that the “source of power resides in the people”. It guaranteed
all Frenchmen the basic rights of liberty, security, equal justice, fair taxes, religion, fair speech, and
5. Livre: Unit of currency used in France till 1794.
6. Clergy: Group of persons invested with special functions in the Church.
7. Tithe: A tax levied by the Church equal to one-tenth of the agricultural produce.
Q4: Write a short note on 'Reign of Terror'.
Answer: The term 'Reign of terror' referred to the policy of severe control and punishment. This policy was
adopted by Robespierre during his reign from 1793 to 1794. During this period, all of those whom he considered
being enemies of the Republic (e.g. nobles, clergy, members of other political parties) were arrested. They were
tried by a revolutionary tribunal and eventually
more then 15,000 persons including Queen of France were guillotined or executed. Meat and bread
were rationed. Peasants were forced to sell their grains at the prices fixed by the government. All citizens were
forced to eat the equality bread i.e., a loaf made of whole wheat. Churches
were shut down and their buildings were converted into barracks or offices.

Q5: What role did women of France of the third Estate play in French revolution?
Answer: Women of the third estate of France played a crucial role in the revolution:
 During Revolutionary years, women started their own political clubs and newspapers. They set up about
sixty women clubs in different cities of France.
 The most famous among them was the Society of Revolutionary and Republican Women.
 They also demanded to enjoy the same political rights as men, i.e., right to vote, to be elected to the
Assembly and to hold political office.
However, the women were disappointed because they were not given same political rights as enjoyed by the men of

Q6: In the context of France the volunteers from Marseilles sang the Marseillaise a patriotic song when they
marched into Paris. Who composed this song?
(a) Maximilian Robespierre
(b) Marie Antoinette
(c) Roget de L'lsle
(d) Mirabeau

Answer: (c) Roget de L'lsle

Q7: What did the Red Cap worn by Sans Culottes in France symbolize?
(a) Liberty
(b) Brotherhood
(c) Love
(d) Equality

Answer: (a) Liberty

Q8: What was the legacy of the French Revolution?

1. It led to the decade of political changes in Europe.
2. Three founding words of the French revolution i.e. 'liberty, equality and fraternity' reflected the
coming of new democratic and social order in Europe and rest of the world.
3. It inspired the Germans, Italians and Austrians to overthrow their oppressive regimes.
4. It inspired struggling nations of Asia and Africa. E.g. India's struggle for Independence was
inspired by the thoughts of French philosophers like Voltaire and Rousseau.
5. French revolution put into the practice the idea that sovereignty comes from the people from
below not from the above.
6. It marked the beginning for the first time in history about active and institutionalized mass
participation in the government. It inculcated the spirit of nationalism among the people.

Q9: Which of the following refers to the political body representing the three estates of pre-
revolutionary France?
(a) Parliament of France
(b) National Assembly
(c) Estates General
(d) Estates Committee

Answer: (c) Estates General

Q10: The word 'Guillotine' during French revolution era refers to

(a) Beheading a person
(b) Awarding a person
(c) Taxing a person
(d) Threatening a person

Answer: (a) Beheading a person

Q11: What is the importance of the document 'Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen'?
Why 'Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen' is considered as a revolutionary document in french

Answer: Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen is regarded as a revolutionary document because:
1. It abolished the privileges and power given to the French feudal classes i.e. First Estate and
Second Estate.
2. It provided equal distribution of the burdens of taxation and rights to public property among all
3. The Declaration emphasized equality before law and freedom of speech and press.Every citizen
has right to speak, print and express.

Q12 (CBSE 2010): Explain how did the freedom of speech and expression under the revolutionary government
in France promote the ideals of Liberty and Equality into everyday practice.

1. The Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen emphasized that freedom of speech and expression
be established as established as ‘natural and inalienable’ right.
2. The ideas of these philosophers were discussed intensively in salons and coffee-houses and spread
among people through books and newspapers.
3. Newspapers, pamphlets, books and printed pictures flooded the towns of France from where they
travelled rapidly into the countryside.
4. Freedom of the press also meant that opposing views of events could be expressed.
5. Plays, songs and festive processions attracted large numbers of illiterate people to help them grasp
and identify with ideas such as liberty or justice that political philosophers wrote about.
Q13: What was the important aim of setting up Directory? What was the final outcome of appointing the

Answer: After the fall of the Jacobin government, the two elected legislative Council appointed an executive of five
members called Directory. The main objective of the directory was to work as a safeguard against the concentration
of power in a one-man executive as under the Jacobins.

However, the Directors often clashed with the legislative councils, who then sought to dismiss them. The political
instability of the Directory paved the way for the rise of a military dictator, Napoleon Bonaparte.

Q14: Who authored the book 'The Spirit of the Laws'? What was proposed in this book?
Answer: Montesquieu was the author of The Spirit of the Laws. In the book, he proposed a division of power within
the government between the legislative, the executive and the judiciary.

Q15: Which cities became prosperous because of the slave trade?

Answer: Port cities like Bordeaux and Nantes prospered due to the flourishing slave trade.

Q16: What impact did French Revolution have on slave trade?

1. During and after the revolution, there was little criticism of slavery in France.
2. It was totally ironical that National assembly held long debates about the rights of men but did not
pass any laws to abolish slavery.
3. In 1794, a convention was passed to free all slaves in French overseas possessions. However, it
turned out to be a short-term measure. Napoleon reintroduced slavery after 10 years of the ban.
4. Slavery was finally abolished in French colonies in 1848.
Q17: What was the role of French philosophers and revolutionary thinkers in the French Revolution?
Answer: The 18th century witnessed the emergence of revolutionary thinkers such as John Locke, Jean Jacques
Rousseau and Montesquieu. They didn't play an active role in the events of the revolution but their ideas inspired the
revolutionary movement. Their revolutionary ideas encouraged people to fight for their rights.

1. The idea of a society based on freedom, equal laws and opportunities for all were put forward by
philosophers such as John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau. In his book Two Treatises of Government,
Locke sought to refute the doctrine of the divine and absolute right of the monarch.
2. Rousseau carried his radical ideas forward by proposing a form of government based on the social
contract between people and their representatives.
3. Montesquieu, in his book, The Spirit of the Laws proposed a division of power within the
government between the legislative, the executive and the judiciary.
4. Voltaire's ideas revolved around individual liberties. He believed that people should have freedom
of expression.
The ideas of these philosophers were discussed and debated in salons and coffee houses and spread among people
through books and newspapers. This founded the way to the revolution of 1789.

Q18: The French revolution took place on _________

(a) July 14, 1789
(b) July 14, 1788
(c) July 14, 1786
(d) July 14, 1785

Answer: (a) July 14, 1789 (Storming of the Bastille)

Q19: On what charges was Louis XVI guillotined?

(a) Cruelty
(b) Treason
(c) Absolute Role
(d) misgovernance

Answer: (b) Treason

Q20: The tax called tithe was collected from French Peasants by
(a) The Church
(b) The emperor
(c) The Nobles
(d) Chief of the Army

Answer: (a) The Church

Q21: Why was the subsistence crisis caused in France?
(a) The wages of the people were low
(b) There was widespread unemployment
(c) Increase in population led to rapid increase in the demand for food grains.
(d) The government imposed various taxes.

Answer: (c) Increase in population led to rapid increase in the demand for food grains.
Note: A ‘subsistence crisis’ is defined as an economic crisis which threatens the food supplies or, more precisely,
the survival prospects of a larger population.

Q22: The Bastille was hated by all in France because:

(a) it stood for the despotic power of the king.
(b) it was a fortress prison
(c) Prison In charge tortured the inmates.
(d) it housed dreaded criminals.

Answer: (a) it stood for the despotic power of the king.

Note: A despot is a ruler or other person who holds absolute power, typically exercising it cruelly.

Q23: What were the different political groups operating in the Legislative Assembly during French
Answer: Following political groups were active within the Legislative Assembly during French Revolution:
1. The Girondins: It was the largest group who wanted war against all despots.
2. The Jacobins: The most influential and ruthless group who were responsible for the reign of
terror. They did not favour war.
3. The Feuillants: They proposed constitutional monarchy.

Q24: What was the impact of the French Revolution in France?

Answer: The impact of the French Revolution in France can be summarized as:

1. End of Monarchy: It marked the end of absolute monarchy and paved way for a republic
2. Laid the foundation of Democratic Principles: It upheld the theory of sovereignty and laid the
foundation of the democratic principles i.e. government decisions should be based on the consent of her
3. Ideas of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity: The slogans of Liberty, Equality and
Fraternity became the founding milestones for a democratic nation.
4. Declaration of Rights and Equality: The declaration provided equality among the citizens for all
public offices, freedom of speech and expression was granted and freedom from arrest without a proven
cause was implemented.
5. Abolition of Censorship: Mass media was allowed Freedom of the press was granted.
6. Taxes to be paid by all: Taxes would be borne by all the people irrespective of their status.
7. Religious Freedom: It guaranteed the free exercise of religious worship and abolished the taxes
collected by the churches.
8. Reforms and New Initiatives: New initiatives and reforms were carried out in education,
administration and judiciary domain.
Q25: Who were allowed to vote for the formation of the National Assembly?

 Only men above 25 years of age and those who paid taxes equal to at least 3 days of a labourers wage were
given the status of active citizens. And they were entitled to vote.
 The remaining men and women were classified as passive citizens and were not allowed to vote.
 To qualify as an elector and then as a member of the assembly, a man had to belong to the highest bracket
of taxpayers.
Q26: What was Rousseau's concept about the state?
Answer: Rousseau, a thinker, is regarded as an inspiration behind the French Revolution.
1. According to him, the society creates a Political state for a stable life.
2. The state is not a divine creation but is the outcome of a sort of unwritten social contract.
3. If the state failed to abide by the terms of the contract, people have natural and moral rights to
overthrow the state authority.
Q27: Who was the president of USA during French revolution?

Answer: George Washington became the first president of USA at that time.

Q28: Arrange the following events of French Revolution in chronological order (what happened next).
(i) Louis XVI is guillotined.
(ii) the Oath of the Tennis Court
(iii) The Bastille falls
(iv) French Republic is declared.
(v) The Great Fear

Answer: The correct sequence is (ii) - (iii) - (v) - (iv) - (i)

Q29: What was The Great Fear of French revolution?

Answer: After the storming of the Bastille, the National Assembly was busy at Versailles drafting a
constitution, the rest of France seethed with turmoil.
1. In the countryside rumours spread from village to village that the royalists of the manor had hired
bands of brigands who were on their way to destroy the ripe crops.
2. Rumours also spread that Kingsmen were planning to kill National assembly representatives.
3. Caught in a frenzy of fear, peasants in several districts seized hoes and pitchforks and attacked
chateaux. They looted hoarded grain and burnt down documents containing records of manorial dues.
4. A large number of nobles fled from their homes, many of them migrating to neighbouring
This turmoil at that time is termed as The Great Fear.

Q30: When did the Assembly pass a decree abolishing the feudal system of obligations and taxes?

Answer: 4 August 1789

Q31: Who among the following proposed a division of power within the government?
(a) John Locke
(b) Jean Jacque Rousseau
(c) Voltaire
(d) Montesquieu

Answer: (d) Montesquieu

Q32: When did Louis XVI call for The Estates General? When was it convened last time?

Answer: Louis XVI called for The Estates-General on May 5, 1789. It was called after a gap of 175 years since

Q33: From where Jacobin's club got its name? Who was the leader of Jacobin's club?
Answer: It got its name from the former convent of St Jacob in Paris.Maximillian Robespierre was the leader of

Q34: What was the outcome of Battle of Waterloo? When did this battle occur?

Answer: The Battle of Waterloo was fought in 1815 between Napolean Forces and the allied army of Prussia, UK
and Netherlands. In this battle, Napolean was defeated.

Nice and Detailed Presentation on French Revolution (posted by Griffel on Slideshare)

Chap11 Fr Rev
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Q35: What happened after the fall of Robespierre’s government?

Write a short note on the Directory.

Answer: After the fall of Robespierre’s government, the prosperous and educated middle classes came forward to
seize power. A new constitution was introduced which denied the vote to non-propertied sections of the society. It
provided for two elected legislative councils. These then appointed a Directory, an executive made up of five
members. This was meant as a safeguard against the concentration of power in a one-man executive as under the

However, the Directors often clashed with the legislative councils, who then sought to dismiss them. Thus, the
Directory became the victim of political instability which paved the way for the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte.