French Revolution Essay Questions & Topics

Instructor: David Wood

David has taught Honors Physics, AP Physics, IB Physics and general science courses. He has a Masters in Education, and a Bachelors in Physics.

The French Revolution is complex, and there's a lot for students to learn. One way of helping students amend their knowledge is by assigning essays. Here are some questions about the French Revolution from which you can choose.

Essay Questions & Topics

When teaching about the French Revolution, discussions and essays can be helpful ways of exploring a topic in more detail and solidifying knowledge. It can, therefore, be useful to have a series of discussion and/or essay questions ready to go for your students. This lesson will provide you with some possibilities to choose from, organized by category.

Backdrop & Bigger Picture

Here are some questions focusing on the bigger picture of the French Revolution - the Enlightenment, class struggle, human rights, and economics:

  • What was the Enlightenment? Describe some of the most prominent figures of the Enlightenment.
  • What was the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen? What was the relationship between this declaration and the U.S. Constitution? What was the counterargument to the declaration as expressed by people like Edmund Burke?
  • How did Olympe de Gouge modify the declaration? How did people respond to this?
  • What was the third estate?
  • What effect did the American Revolution have on Europe?
  • What economic changes were suggested by Jacques Turgot? Was he successful?
  • How did the economic views of Turgot, Necker and Calonne differ? Why did Charles Calonne expect his economic proposals to be adopted by the Assembly?

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