Romanticism Historical Context

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The French Revolution, which drew upon some of the principles enacted in the American Revolution, resulted in the overthrow of the monarchy of France and the spread of interest in democracy, nationalism, and socialism throughout Europe. On the eve of the revolution, France was in crisis; the monarchy, which claimed to rule by divine right, had spent so much money that the country had a massive deficit. A poor harvest and bitter winter in 1788 plunged the country into famine and drastically increased prices. In addition, British textile makers were underselling their French counterparts, leading to the closure of some French manufacturers and the spread of unemployment among the workers. The increasingly restless poor found that the wealthy nobles, clergy, and upper middle class made good targets for their anger at this situation.

The revolution was not a clean victory for either the poor or...

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This section contains 892 words
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Literary Movements for Students
Romanticism from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.