Class 9 History Chapter 1 Extra Questions and Answers The French Revolution

Here are extra questions from CBSE Class 9 History Chapter 1 |The French Revolution.

Very Short Answer Type Questions

1. Which incident led to the French Revolution?

On 14th July 1789, the third estate launched an attack on the Bastille State Prison. They set the prisoners free. The fall of Bastille sparked the French Revolution.

2. Why did the revolutionaries attack the Bastille Prison?

The prison was the symbol of the dictatorial rule of the monarchy and hence the revolutionaries hated it. They attacked the Bastille Prison with the objective of finding the ammunition hoarded there.

3. What were the ideals upheld by the French Revolution of 1789?

The ideals upheld by the French Revolution were Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.

4. What was the immediate cause of rioting in Paris?

The immediate cause of rioting in France was the rise in the price of bread.

5. Who ascended the throne of France in 1774?

Louis XVI of the Bourbon family

6. How did the monarch Louis XVI hasten the French Revolution?

Louis XVI ascended the throne in 1774. He had little concern for the wellbeing of his people and led an extravagant lifestyle which brought France to the verge of bankruptcy. Thus he hastened the revolution.

7. How did the American War of Independence affect French economy?

France had been fighting many wars when Louis XVI ascended the throne in 1774. These wars had drained the country of its resources and their debts had risen to over 2 billion livres. France’s decision to support the thirteen colonies of America in the war of independence against Great Britain added another 1 billion livre to the debt.

8. Why did the French government increase the taxes?

In order to meet regular expenses such as maintaining an army, running the court and other government offices or universities, the state had to increase taxes.

9. What does the term Old Regime refer to?

The term Old Regime refers to the French society and institutions before 1789.

10. Which estate paid taxes out of all?

The third estate paid taxes out of all.

11. How was the French society divided before the French Revolution?

Before the French Revolution, the society was divided into three estates.

(a) The 1st estate consisting of the clergy.

(b) The 2nd estate consisting of the nobles.

(c) The 3rd estate consisting of big businessmen, merchants, lawyers, court officials, servants, peasants, landless labourers, and artisans.

12. Who owned much of the land in France in the 18th century France?

The Nobles, the Church and the rich members of the third estate owned nearly 60% of land in France before the French Revolution.

13. Name the most important privilege enjoyed by the first two estates.

Exemption from paying taxes to the states was the main benefit enjoyed by the first two estates.

14. What are feudal privileges? Which estate enjoyed them?

Feudal privileges are certain privileges enjoyed by Nobles. It enabled them to collect feudal dues from peasants.

15. What were the hardships that peasants suffered in France in the 18th century?

Peasants had to work for the lord in his fields or house. They also had to join the army when asked to or participate in tasks such as building roads.

16. What was Tithe?

Tithe was a tax levied by the Church. It was equal to one-tenth of the agricultural produce.

17. Which types of taxes were levied by the states?

The government levied a direct tax called taille and a number of indirect taxes on essential commodities like salt or tobacco.

18. Why did the peasants and workers participate in revolts?

Peasants and workers started participating in revolts because they were unhappy with the increasing taxes and food scarcity.

19. Which social group emerged in France in the 18th century?

An important social group that emerged in the 18th century France was the middle class.

20. Name the philosophers who inspired the French Revolution through ideas such as freedom, equal laws and opportunities for all.

John Locke, Montesquieu and Jean Jacques Rousseau were philosophers who promoted ideas such as freedom and equal rights.

21. What did John Locke write in his book Two Treaties of Government? [CBSE 2011]

In his book Two Treaties of Government, John Locke refuted the doctrine of the divine and absolute right of the monarch.

22. What kind of government was proposed by Rousseau?

The form of government proposed by Rousseau was based on a social contract between people and their representatives.

23. Who wrote The Spirit of the Laws? [CBSE 2016]

Montesquieu wrote the Spirit of the Laws.

24. Briefly discuss the ideas proposed by Montesquieu in the book The Spirit of the Laws.

In his book the Spirit of the Laws, Montesquieu proposed that the power of the government should be divided between the executive, the legislative and the judiciary.

25. Where and when did the division of power within the government first come into effect?

The idea that the power should be divided within the government first came into effect in the US after the 13 American colonies declared their independence from Britain.

26. What aspect of the American Constitution had a deep influence on French thinkers?

The individual rights guaranteed by the American Constitution had a great influence on political thinkers in France.

27. How did the ideas of French political leaders spread in France?

In France, the ideas of French political leaders were extensively discussed in shops, salons and coffee houses. They also spread through books and newspapers. These ideas were also read aloud to those who could not read. 

28. What was the Estates General? [CBSE 2014]

The Estates General was a political body to which the three estates sent their representatives.

29. Why was a meeting of Estate General called during the Old Regime?

In France of the Old Regime, the monarch did not have the power to impose taxes on his own will. He had to call a meeting of the Estates General which would then pass his proposal for increasing taxes. The monarch alone had the power to decide when a meeting of the Estates General should be called.

30. How were the three estates represented in the Estates General Assembly of 1789?

The first and second estates both had 300 representatives each. At the General Assembly meeting, they sat facing each other on two sides. The third estate had 600 representatives who had to stand.

31. When was an assembly of the Estates General called by Louis XVI?

On 5 May 1789, Louis XVI called an assembly of Estates General in a resplendent hall in his Versailles palace.

32. What was the principle of voting followed by the Estates General?

In the Estates General, they followed the principle that each estate would have one vote.

33. Which proposal of the third estate was declined by Louis XVI?

The third estate demanded that each member of the Estates General should have one vote. However, the king turned down this proposal.

34. Who is the author of the book the Social Contract?


35. Who proposed the idea of one person, one vote in which book?

Rousseau proposed the idea of one person, one vote in his book the Social Contract.

36. How did the third estate react when the king turned down their request that each member should have one vote?

They walked out of the assembly in protest. Later on 20th June, they assembled in a tennis court in Versailles and declared themselves the National Assembly. They swore that they would not disperse until they had drafted a constitution that would limit the powers of the monarch.

37. Who was Mirabeau?

Mirabeau was born in a noble family. He was convinced of the need to do away with social privileges. He led the representatives of the 3rd estate who had assembled in Versailles.

38. What do you know about Abbe Sieyes? [CBSE 2011]

Abbe Sieyes was originally a priest. He was also the author of the influential pamphlet ‘What is the Third Estate’?

39. Define Chateaux.

A Chateaux is a castle or a stately residence of the king or a nobleman.

40. What was the decree of the National Assembly of 1789?

The decree of the National Assembly of 1789 abolished the feudal system of obligations and taxes.

41. When did the National Assembly complete the drafting of the constitution?

The National Assembly completed the drafting of the constitution in 1791.

42. What was the objective of the draft constitution drafted by the National Assembly in 1791?

The draft constitution aimed at limiting the powers of the monarch.

43. How France became a constitutional monarchy?

The constitution drafted by the National Assembly limited the powers of the monarch and separated the power of the government between three institutions namely legislature, executive and judiciary. Thus, France became a constitutional monarchy.

44. Which section of the French society got political right by the constitution of 1791? [CBSE 2013]

As per the draft constitution of 1791, only men above 25 years of age who paid taxes equal to at least 3 days’ wages of labourers were active citizens and had the right to vote.

45. The French constitution begins with ……………………….

The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen

46. According to the French Constitution which are the natural and inalienable rights?

The right to life, the right to freedom of speech and opinion and the right to equality before law are the natural and inalienable rights.

47. What is meant by natural and inalienable rights?

These are the rights that every human being acquires by birth and cannot be taken away.

48. What decision was taken by the National Assembly in April 1792?

The National Assembly declared war on Prussia and Austria in April 1792.

49. What was Marseillaise? Who composed it? [CBSE 2014]

Marseillaise was one of the patriotic songs that volunteers from Marseilles sang as they marched into Paris. Thus, it got its name. It was composed by Roget de L Isle. It is now the national anthem of France.

50. How did the declaration of war on Prussia and Austria affect the French people?

The war forced men to fight at the front leaving women with the task of taking care of the household by earning a living.

51. Why were the political clubs formed in France?

People in France were unhappy with the policies of the government that gave political rights only to the rich people. Hence, they formed political clubs to discuss their course of action against such policies. Both men and women formed such clubs.

52. Name the most successful political clubs formed in France? How did it get its name?

The Jacobins political club was the most successful of the political clubs in France. It got its name from the former convent of St Jacob in Paris.

53. Who were the members of the Jacobin Club? Name the leader. [CBSE 2014]

The members of the Jacobin club were the less privileged sections of the French society. They included small shopkeepers, artisans such as shoemakers, pastry cooks, etc. Maximilian Robespierre was its leader.

54. Who were Sans-culottes?

Members of the Jacobins clubs were also called Sans-culottes. This expression literally means that those without knee breaches. In France, the upper sections of the society such as nobles used to wear the fashionable knee breeches. To set themselves apart from the nobles, Jacobins wore long stripped trousers. 

55. What was the name given to the newly-elected assembly of the Jacobins? [CBSE 2014]

The newly elected assembly of the Jacobins was called the Convention. It abolished the monarchy and declared France a republic.

56. Explain the term ‘republic’.

The republic is a form of government in which people elect the government including the head of the government. There is no hereditary monarchy in a republic.

57. What is treason?

Treason is the act of betraying one’s country or government.

58. Why was Louis XVI sentenced to death?

In January 1793, Louis XVI was sentenced to death on charges of treason.

59. In France, which period was known as the Reign of Terror? Why?

The period from 1793 to 1794 was known as the Reign of Terror because Robespierre, the leader of the Jacobins clubs, followed the policy of severe control and punishment.

60. Against whom was the policy of severe control and punishment followed by Robespierre?

Robespierre followed the policy of severe control and punishment against those whom he considered the enemies of the republic. They included nobles, clergy, members of other political parties and sometimes members of his own political party when they disagreed with him.

61. What was guillotine?

Guillotine was a device used to behead people. It consisted of two poles and a blade. It was named after Dr Guillotine who invented it.

62. What happened after the fall of Jacobin government?

When the Jacobin government fell, the wealthier middle class came into power.

63. Who were denied the right to vote by the new constitution?

When the wealthier middle class formed a constitution, the non-propertied sections of the society were denied the right to vote.

64. What was Directory?

Directory was an executive body consisting of five members. It was appointed by two elected legislative councils.

65. What was the need to introduce an executive body like Directory?

Under the Jacobins government, power concentrated in the hand of a one-man executive. A five member directory was set up with the objective of preventing this concentration of power in one person.

66. How did the Napoleon Bonaparte come to power?

Though the Directory consisted of 5 members and thus prevented the concentration of power in one person, it still could not create an atmosphere of political stability in France. The directory often clashed with the legislative councils and then the latter would dismiss the former. Napoleon, a military dictator, took advantage of this instability to come into power.

67. What was the status of women in the French society before the revolution?

Most women of the third estate had to work to earn a living. They did not have access to education or job training and hence most of them did menial jobs. Some worked as domestic helps and others sold flowers, fruits and vegetables in the markets. Only daughters of nobles or wealthier members of the third estate could study at a convent. Women also earned less than men.

68. Name an important political club formed by women in France.

The Society of Revolutionary and Republican Women was the famous club formed by women in France.

69. What were the political rights sought by French women?

French women sought the right to vote, the right to be elected to the Assembly and the right to hold political office. They felt that only then would their interests be represented in the new government.

70. What laws were introduced by the revolutionary government to improve the lives of women?

The revolutionary government built state schools and made education compulsory for all girls. Their parents could no longer force them into marriage against their will. Also, marriage was made into a contract that had to be registered under civil law. Both men and women were given the legal right to divorce. Women were also allowed to train for jobs and run their own businesses.

71. What happened to women’s clubs during the reign of terror?

During the reign of terror, the new government issued the closure of women’s political clubs and banned their political activities. Many prominent women were arrested and a number of them were executed.

72. Who wrote the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and Citizen?

Olympe de Gouges

73. When did French women won the right to vote?

It was in 1946 that women in France won the right to vote.

74. What was the most revolutionary reform of the Jacobin regime? [CBSE 2010]

Abolition of slavery in French colonies was the most revolutionary reform of the Jacobin regime.

75. What were the main commodities supplied by the French colonies in the Caribbean.

The main commodities supplied by the French colonies in the Caribbean were indigo, tobacco, sugar and coffee.

76. The triangular slave trade was between ………………………..

Europe, Africa and the Americas

77. Name the French ports where slave trade flourished?

Bordeaux and Nantes were two French ports where the slave trade flourished.

78. What necessitated slave trade?

French colonies in the Caribbean were the chief suppliers of sugar, coffee, indigo and tobacco. As the demand for these products increased in France, their production too had to be increased. However, Europeans were unwilling to go and work in the far away Caribbeans. Hence, the slave trade began in the 17th century. French merchants travelled to African coasts and bought slaves from chieftains there. These slaves were then shipped to the Caribbean islands across the Atlantic.

79. Why did the National Assembly not pass any law against the exploitation of slaves?


The National Assembly did not pass any law against the slave trade because they were afraid of opposition from businessmen whose income was dependent on slave trade.

80. What was a plantation owner’s view of freedom?

For a plantation owner, freedom also meant the right to enslave African Negros so that they can pursue their economic interests.

81. When was slavery finally abolished in French colonies?

In 1848, slavery was finally abolished in French colonies.

82. Who crowned himself as Emperor of France in 1804?

Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself as Emperor of France in 1804.

83. Name an important law which was introduced immediately after the fall of Bastille?

It was the abolition of censorship

84. What actions proved that Napoleon was indeed the moderniser of Europe? [HOTSJ

He enacted laws that protected private property and also introduced a uniform system of weights and measures provided by the decimal system.

85. Where was Napoleon defeated?

Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo in 1815.

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