Thursday 1 March 2018

Influence of French Revolution on Romantic Period,phases of French revolution

      Influence Of French Revolution on Romantic period

Influence of French Revolution on Romantic Period,phases of French revolution
Influence of French Revolution on Romantic Period


one of the major influence on the English Romantic movement was the social and political upheaval in France , which culminated in the events of JULY 14,1789 , in the form of Revolution.

The three key words associated with the French Revolution - Equality , Liberty , and Fraternity not only influenced Political, thought but also profoundly Shaped philosophy and Literature in England.


The central idea of Revolution was equality ,This was a belief that mankind is one brotherhood and hence there is an essential oneness of man in all countries and planets. Every individual of this brotherhood have an equal right to freedom from oppression to happiness and to equality of opportunity.


The revolution was a protest against the oppression and exploitation " The old Fortress of Bastille" long used by the French kings as a prison had become a symbol of oppression to the revolutionaries .the demolition of this structure signified the beginning of the end of the old order based on suppression of Liberty .

Phases of the French Revolution 


Influence of French Revolution on Romantic Period,phases of French revolution
French Revolution

(1) Social Phase :

The revolutionaries were also visionaries they envisioned the universal regeneration of mankind of golden age .Great philosophers like Voltaire , Rousseau , Montesque , Danton provided the ideology to the Revolution .

These philosophical ideas were also taken up across the channel and became the background of the English Romantic movement .

The major influence was that of Rousseau who exposed the hallowness of social system and pointed out its evil and restraining influence on human Personality .Man has to destroy the existing social structure that he has imposed upon himself through centuries of civilization and start afresh. Rousseau pointed out the importance of the unrestricted development of this human personality . According to him the only way in new social order can be created is through the light of pure reason .

Similarly Voltaire ridiculated hypocrisy in religion , dogmatic faith and meaningless existence of the church . This intellectual phase of the Revolution profoundly influenced the English Romantic movement

(2) Political Phase

The second phase of the Revolution can be termed as the political phase or the age of Robespierre and Danton . After the historical events of 1789 with the fall of Bastille ,the destruction of the old structure marked the end of the old order harolded the beginning of a new order based on democratic ideas of liberty equality and Fraternity . This phase of struggle stirred up the imagination of English Romantic writers like Adam Smith , and Thomas Paine along with Wordsworth and Colleridge.
However the early enthusiasm of the English Romantic soon dessipiated when the new established government let loose the Reign of Terror on September (5 )1793
The romantic poets in England who had accepted the revolutionary ideas at first with joy , now recoiled in horror at the violence .

(3) Millitary Phase :

On the age of Napoleon The meteoric rise of Napoleon soon established a Millitary despotism in France , and the country was plunged into a Successions of wars known as the Napoleonic wars . The long continental wars finally ended with the defeat of Napoleon at WATERLOO in 1815.Soon after the European monarchs determined to destroy democracy and crush popular government .

In England both Wordsworth and Colleridge were horrified by the extinction of the great ideals of the Revolution .Sir Walter Scott ,their contemporary turned from the ideas of Revolution and began to write of Revolution and began to write of the Romantic past.

Byron was inspired by the Revolution and he had experienced the whole of the revolutionary spirit . In its actions against social opinion.

Shelley on the other hand , considered the Revolution as an ideal and not as an political event.

In this manner the romantic poetry in England was profoundly influenced by the ideas of the French Revolution in its early stages and then became disillusioned by its Failures .



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