A legacy is the result of an event is something that is transmitted from, and is a direct result of that event. The French Revolution (1789 to 1799) was a period of radical social and political change, and it left a lasting effect on the world, Europe in particular. Although there are smaller legacies that the Revolution has (creation of the French National Anthem, French Flag), three in particular stand out.
The first of the major legacies that the French Revolution left was how it handed power to the masses. Before the event, a revolution was merely political change. However, after the revolution, the masses realized that they had power to shake the very foundations of the state. The power left the state feel accountable for its doings; something that has defined the system that forms government policies today. Even though after the revolution France saw a return of an autocratic form of government, Napoleon did still establish “Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen” this was basically, the establishment of certain human rights.
The revolution led to the formation of the French motto, “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity”. People were free to decide, and the economic inequality that existed between the rich and the poor was curbed somewhat due to the establishment of a price ceiling for necessary items.
The third major legacy had to do with Arts and Culture. Formerly, French art revolved around the rich. However, after the Revolution, the lives of the poor became highlighted, and were deemed fashionable and not merely acceptable in social circles.
While it would be fair to remark that the French Revolution, as a whole, was a major victory for the people, the process was not without its flaws. Among the most apparent of these was the presence of child labor even after the Revolution ended. Although a law banning child labor was passed in 1841, children were still wrongfully employed in industries. Mass industrialization left many people unemployed. Worse still, the factory system created a gap between the male and female gender. Female workers were paid a quarter of their male counterparts, and the presence of children in mines and factories was widespread. There was a lack of education as well. There was clear state of gender inequality in the Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen. Although women were classified as citizens, they were not given proper citizenship rights. Women were, at large, uneducated, and this left a gaping hole, with many issues still unsolved.
Slavery is another topic that the French Revolution failed to deal with. Although slavery was abolished during the Revolution, the formation of Napoleon’s government led to the restoration of slavery in 1802. Slavery continued to exist in France until the independence of Haiti in 1804, and the abolishment of slavery from French Colonies in 1848.
"Liberty Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution." Chapter 10 Page 1. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Dec. 2013.