NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Social Science History Chapter 1 The French Revolution

To assist students in their CBSE exam preparation, comprehensive NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Social Science History Chapter 1- The French Revolution are available.

The French Revolution marked a period in France when the monarchy was overthrown, and the people took control of the government. Spanning from 1789 to the late 1790s, the Revolution brought about significant changes in the social and political structure of France. The NCERT Solutions for Class 9 History Chapter 1 covers all the essential concepts related to the French Revolution, facilitating students’ understanding and enabling them to tackle textbook questions with ease. As the CBSE exam may include NCERT textbook questions, utilizing these solutions ensures students stay ahead in their studies. These well-structured NCERT Solutions for Class 9 History provide a valuable resource for students’ exam preparation.

Question 1. Describe the circumstances leading to the outbreak of revolutionary protest in France.


The outbreak of revolutionary protest in France was influenced by a series of circumstances that created dissatisfaction and unrest among the French people. These circumstances can be broadly categorized into political, social, and economic factors.

Political Factors

France was ruled by an absolute monarchy under King Louis XVI. The king held ultimate power and made important decisions without consulting the people. The monarchy was marked by corruption, favoritism, and the suppression of individual rights. The lack of political representation and the denial of basic liberties frustrated the French citizens.

Social Factors

France was divided into three estates or classes. The First Estate consisted of the clergy, the Second Estate comprised the nobility, and the Third Estate included the commoners, which constituted the majority of the population. The Third Estate faced significant social inequality and unfair treatment. They were burdened with heavy taxes and feudal dues, while the First and Second Estates enjoyed privileges and exemptions.

Economic Factors

France was facing severe financial difficulties. The country was heavily in debt due to extravagant spending by the monarchy, participation in costly wars, and an inefficient taxation system. The burden of this debt fell primarily on the Third Estate, exacerbating their economic hardships. Additionally, poor harvests and rising food prices resulted in widespread hunger and poverty among the common people.

These grievances and inequalities led to the outbreak of revolutionary protests. The French Revolution began with the convening of the Estates-General in 1789, where representatives from all three estates were brought together to address the country’s problems. However, the Third Estate, feeling underrepresented and marginalized, broke away from the Estates-General and declared themselves the National Assembly, vowing to create a new constitution that would guarantee the rights and liberties of all citizens.

The revolutionary spirit spread throughout France, fueled by the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, which symbolized the uprising against the monarchy and the demand for change. This event marked the beginning of a series of revolts, protests, and eventually the French Revolution.

Question 2. Which groups of French society benefited from the revolution? Which groups were forced to relinquish power? Which sections of society would have been disappointed with the outcome of the revolution?


The French Revolution brought both benefits and losses to different groups in French society.

Groups that benefited from the revolution included the bourgeoisie (middle class) and the Third Estate (commoners). The bourgeoisie gained political power, as the revolution led to the establishment of a constitutional monarchy and later the First French Republic. They also benefited economically from the abolition of feudal privileges and the promotion of free trade.

On the other hand, the nobility and the clergy were forced to relinquish power and privileges during the revolution. The nobility lost their feudal rights and privileges, and many of them faced the loss of their lands and titles. The clergy saw their influence diminished as the revolution implemented religious reforms and confiscated church lands.

While the revolution aimed to address the grievances of the lower classes, some sections of society were disappointed with the outcome. The radical groups, such as the sans-culottes (urban workers) and the Jacobins, who sought more radical social and economic changes, felt that the revolution did not go far enough in addressing their concerns. Additionally, peasants, who had hoped for a more equitable distribution of land, were disappointed as the revolution did not lead to comprehensive land reform.

Question 3. Describe the legacy of the French Revolution for the peoples of the world during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.


The French Revolution left a significant legacy that impacted the peoples of the world throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

Spread of Revolutionary Ideas: The French Revolution popularized ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity, inspiring other nations and peoples to challenge the autocratic rule and fight for their rights. It sparked revolutionary movements in various parts of Europe and beyond, contributing to the wave of nationalism and demands for political and social reforms.

Rise of Nationalism: The French Revolution played a crucial role in the development of nationalism. The idea of the nation as a sovereign entity with shared values and aspirations gained prominence during this period. Nationalistic movements and the quest for self-determination gained momentum, ultimately leading to the restructuring of borders and the creation of new nation-states.

Transformation of Monarchies: The revolution challenged the concept of absolute monarchy and influenced the transformation of monarchies across Europe. The idea of constitutional monarchy, where power was limited and shared with representative bodies, gained traction. Monarchs were compelled to accept constitutional reforms and grant more rights to their citizens.

Revolutionary Wars: The French Revolution’s impact was felt through the series of wars that followed. Revolutionary France engaged in conflicts with other European powers, leading to the spread of revolutionary ideals, the redrawing of borders, and the establishment of client states. These wars also created a sense of nationalism and patriotic fervor among the people involved.

Modernization and Secularization: The revolution brought about significant societal changes, including the secularization of the state and the separation of church and state. It led to the dismantling of feudal privileges and the establishment of a more meritocratic society. These reforms set the stage for modernization and the development of democratic institutions.

Challenges to Social Order: The revolution exposed the deep social divisions and economic inequalities within society. It brought attention to the plight of the lower classes and paved the way for future labor and socialist movements advocating for workers’ rights and social justice.

Impact on Colonialism: The ideals of the French Revolution also influenced anti-colonial movements. The concepts of freedom, equality, and self-determination resonated with oppressed peoples in colonies worldwide, fueling their struggles for independence from colonial rule.

The French Revolution’s legacy reverberated globally, inspiring movements for freedom, equality, and political reforms, shaping the rise of nationalism, influencing the transformation of monarchies, fueling revolutionary wars, fostering modernization, and impacting anti-colonial struggles.

Impact on India: The French Revolution had indirect effects on India, primarily through the dissemination of revolutionary ideas and the subsequent rise of nationalism. While India was under British colonial rule during the 19th and 20th centuries, the ideals of liberty, equality, and nationalism that emerged from the French Revolution inspired Indian intellectuals and leaders in their quest for independence.

The French Revolution’s principles of liberty and equality resonated with Indian intellectuals who sought to challenge the oppressive and discriminatory policies of the British Raj. Influenced by these ideals, leaders like Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Dadabhai Naoroji emerged as early advocates for social and political reforms in India.

Question 4. Draw up a list of democratic rights we enjoy today whose origins could be traced to the French Revolution.


The French Revolution had a profound impact on the development of democratic rights around the world. Some of the democratic rights that we enjoy today can be traced back to the French Revolution, including:

  • The right to equality, which means that all people are equal before the law and should be treated equally, regardless of their race, religion, gender, or social status.
  • The right to freedom of speech and expression, which means that people are free to express their opinions without fear of censorship or reprisal.
  • The right against exploitation, which means that people are free from forced labor and other forms of exploitation.
  • The right to life, which means that people have the right to live and be free from violence.
  • The right to vote, which means that people have the right to participate in the political process and elect their leaders.

These rights were not always guaranteed, and they have been fought for and won over time. However, the French Revolution played a significant role in their development, and they continue to inspire people around the world who are fighting for freedom and justice.

Question 5. Would you agree with the view that the message of universal rights was beset with contradictions? Explain.


Yes, it can be argued that the message of universal rights during the French Revolution was beset with contradictions. While the revolutionaries proclaimed the ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity, the implementation of these principles faced challenges and contradictions in practice. Here are some reasons for this viewpoint:

Limited Scope of Rights: The concept of universal rights proclaimed during the revolution was often limited to certain segments of society. Initially, these rights were primarily extended to male citizens and excluded women, enslaved individuals, and colonial subjects. This selective application of rights contradicted the principle of universality.

Social Inequalities: Despite advocating for equality, the French Revolution did not eradicate social hierarchies and disparities. The class divide between the bourgeoisie and the working class persisted, and economic inequalities remained prominent. The revolution failed to address these deep-rooted social inequalities effectively.

Repression and Violence: While proclaiming the rights of individuals, the French Revolution witnessed significant levels of violence, including the Reign of Terror. The revolutionaries employed repressive measures against perceived enemies of the revolution, suppressing dissent and violating the very rights they sought to uphold. This contradiction between the message of rights and the violent means employed to achieve them is evident.

Inconsistencies in Application: The revolutionary governments and subsequent regimes often struggled to consistently uphold the proclaimed rights. The shifting political landscape and power struggles led to a lack of stability and inconsistency in the protection and promotion of individual rights.

Lack of Socioeconomic Rights: The focus of the French Revolution was primarily on political and civil rights, neglecting socioeconomic rights such as the right to education, healthcare, and adequate living conditions. This omission highlights a contradiction between the proclaimed universality of rights and the failure to address essential socioeconomic concerns.

While the French Revolution put forth the message of universal rights, it was beset with contradictions in its implementation. Selective application of rights, social inequalities, violence, inconsistencies, and the neglect of socioeconomic rights all highlight the contradictory nature of the revolution’s message. However, it is important to acknowledge that the revolution played a significant role in shaping the discourse on rights and laying the groundwork for future advancements in the pursuit of universal rights and freedoms.

Question 6. How would you explain the rise of Napoleon?


The rise of Napoleon Bonaparte can be attributed to a combination of factors, including his military prowess, political circumstances in France, and his ability to capitalize on opportunities presented by the chaotic aftermath of the French Revolution. Here is an explanation of the key factors that contributed to Napoleon’s rise:

Military Success: Napoleon’s military achievements played a crucial role in his rise to power. As a talented military strategist, he won several significant victories, including the Italian Campaigns and the Battle of Austerlitz. His military successes earned him popularity and admiration among both the military and the French public, establishing his reputation as a skilled and victorious commander.

Political Instability: Following the French Revolution, France experienced a period of political instability. The Directory, the governing body at the time, faced numerous challenges and struggled to maintain control. The dissatisfaction with the Directory’s inefficiency and corruption created an opportunity for a strong leader to emerge.

Coup d’État of 18 Brumaire: Taking advantage of the political vacuum and growing discontent, Napoleon orchestrated a coup d’état on November 9, 1799 (18 Brumaire in the French Republican calendar). With the support of key military figures and political allies, Napoleon overthrew the Directory and established the Consulate, with himself as First Consul, effectively becoming the leader of France.

Consolidation of Power: As First Consul, Napoleon consolidated his power by implementing a series of reforms and centralizing authority. He introduced the Napoleonic Code, a comprehensive legal system that promoted equality before the law and protected individual rights. He also reformed the educational system and initiated infrastructure projects, which contributed to stability and economic development.

Popular Support: Napoleon garnered significant popular support due to his ability to restore order and stability after the turbulent years of the Revolution. His charismatic leadership, strategic reforms, and promise of a strong government resonated with the French population, who yearned for stability and a strong leader.

Expansion of French Empire: Napoleon’s military successes allowed him to expand the French Empire, annexing territories and establishing client states across Europe. The perception of France as a dominant power under his leadership further enhanced his reputation and influence.

Napoleon’s rise to power was fueled by his military successes, the political instability in France, his ability to exploit opportunities, and his appeal to the French population’s desire for stability and strong leadership. His consolidation of power, reforms, and the expansion of the French Empire cemented his position as a dominant figure in European history.

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