Extra Questions for Class 9 History Chapter 1 The French Revolution

Class 9 Social Science History Chapter 1 The French Revolution extra questions and answers available here in PDF format. Solving class 9 extra questions help students to revise the Chapter most competently. We prepared these questions with PDF as per the latest NCERT book and CBSE syllabus. Practising these questions before the exam will ensure excellent marks in the exam.

Class 9 History Chapter 1 extra Questions and Answers

Very Short Answer Questions

1. When did the French Revolution begin?
Or
When was the Bastille Prison stormed?
Answer: It began on 14th July, 1789 with the storming of the Bastille prison just outside Paris.

2. Louis XVI belonged to which dynasty?
Or
Which ruler came to power in France in 1774?
Answer: Louis XVI belonged to the Bourbon dynasty. He became the king of France 1774.

3. Who belonged to the third estate?
Or 
Which estate of the French society paid all taxes?
Answer: The third estate comprised all the people of France except the clergy (first estate) and the nobility (second estate), i.e., all those who paid taxes.

4. The new Constitution of France drafted in 1791 immediately after the revolution made France what kind of state?
Answer: It made France a Constitutional monarchy, with the powers of the king severely limited.

5. Who was the leader of the Jacobin club?
Answer: The leader of the Jacobin club was Maximilian Robespierre.

6. Who was the author of the pamphlet called ‘What is the Third Estate’?
Answer: Abbe Sieyes, originally a priest, wrote an influential pamphlet called ‘What is the Third Estate’.

7. Who was the editor of the paper called “L’ami du peuple” (The friend of the people)?
Answer: The revolutionary journalist Jean-Paul Marat was the editor.

8. What was the charge on which king Louis XVI was sentenced to death?
Answer: Louis XVI was sentenced to death by a court on the charge of treason. On 21st January, 1793 he was executed publicly at the Place de la Concorde.

9. What was the name of the assembly which was called in France in 1792?
Or 
Which new Assembly was formed by Jacobins?
Or
Who abolished monarchy in France and declared it a republic and when?
Answer: On 21st September, 1792 the Convention, the newly elected assembly abolished the monarchy and declared France a republic.

10. A triangular slave trade was held between which areas of the world during the 18th century?
Or 
Between which three continents triangular slave trade was held?
Answer: A triangular slave trade was held between Europe, Africa and the Americas to meet a shortage of labour on the plantations in the Americas.

11. When did Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself Emperor of France?
Or
When did Napoleon Bonaparte become Emperor of France?
Answer: He crowned himself Emperor of France in 1804.

12. When and where was Napoleon Bonaparte finally defeated?
Or
In which famous war was Napoleon Bonaparte defeated?
Answer: Napoleon was finally defeated at the battle of Waterloo in 1815.

13. Name the French port cities related with the slave trade.
Or
Name the French ports through which slave trade was done.
Answer: Bordeaux and Nantes were the places from where the French merchants sailed to the African coast, where they bought slaves from local chieftains.

14. Who did seize power after the fall of the Jacobin government?
Answer: The fall of the Jacobin government allowed the wealthier middle classes to seize power in the form of a political body called Directory.

15. Who did lead the representatives of the third estate in Versailles on 20th June, 1789?
Answer: The representatives of the third estate were led by Mirabeau and Abbe Sieyes.

16. Which social groups emerged in the 18th century?
Answer: The 18th century witnessed the emergence of social groups, termed the middle class, as well as lawyers and administrative officials.

17. What was the name of the direct tax collected by the state from the peasants in 18th century France?
Or
What was taille?
Answer: These included A direct tax, called taille was collected by the state.

18. Name the French colonies in the Caribbean.
Answer: The French colonies in the Caribbean were Martinique, Guadeloupe and San Domingo.

19. When was slavery finally abolished in the French colonies?
Answer: Slavery was finally abolished in the French colonies in 1848.

20. Who wrote a ‘Declaration of the Rights of Women and Citizens’?
Answer: Olympe de Gouges wrote a ‘Declaration of the Rights of Women and Citizens’ in 1791.

21. When did the women in France get the right to vote?|
Or
When did women in France finally get the right to vote in France?
Answer: In 1946, the women in France won the right to vote.

22. Name the symbol of eternity in the French society.
Answer: Snake biting its tail to form a ring is the symbol of eternity in the French society.

23. Which section of French society was forced to give up their power after the French Revolution?
Answer:
 First and second estates were forced to give up their power after the French Revolution.

24. Whom did Louis XVI get married to?
Answer: Louis XVI was married to princess Marie Antoinette of Austria.

25. Why was the Bastille hated by all?
Or
What did the fall of the Bastille signify?
Answer: The Bastille, the fortress prison was hated by all, because it stood for the despotic power of the king.

26. Name the classes which formed the privileged estates.
Answer: The clergy and the nobility constituted the privileged estates.

27. When was monarchy abolished and France declared a republic?
Answer: On 21st September, 1792 monarchy was abolished and France became a republic.

28. Name the authors of these following books. 
(i) The Social Contract 
(ii) The Spirit of Laws
Answer: 
(i) ‘The Social Contract’ was written by Jean Jacques Rousseau.
(ii) ‘The Spirit of Laws’ was written by Montesquieu.

29. Explain the terms Liberty, Equality and Fraternity of French Revolution.
Answer: The term ‘Liberty’ means freedom, Equality stands for being equal and Fraternity stands for brotherhood.

30. Name the European countries which share common boundaries with France.
Answer: The countries which share common boundaries with France are Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium.

31. What was the most important legacy of the French Revolution?
Answer: The ideas of liberty and democratic rights were the most important legacy of the French Revolution.

32. When was slavery finally abolished in France?
Answer: Slavery was finally abolished in 1848 in France.

33. Name the important political clubs formed by women in France to fight for their political rights.
Answer: The society of Revolutionary and The Republican Women.

34. What was ‘Directory’?
Answer: Directory was an executive made up of five members. They were appointed by two elected legislative councils.

35. How Robespierre’s end came?
Answer: Robespierre was convicted by a court in July 1794, arrested and on the next day sent to the guillotine and killed in the same manner he punished guilty people.

36. What was Guillotine?
Answer: Guillotine was a device consisting of two poles and a blade with which a person is beheaded. It was named after Dr. Guillotine, who invented it.

37. Who introduced ‘Reign of terror’ in France?
Answer: Robespierre introduced Reign to Terror when he followed a policy of severe control and punishment in France.

38. Who were ‘Sans-Culottes’?
Answer: Those Jacobins were known as Sans-Culottes, who were without knee breeches and who wore red caps to symbolize liberty.

39. What were political clubs?
Answer: Political clubs were formed by people to discuss government policies and plan their own forms of actions. Women too formed such clubs.

40. What was ‘Marseillaise’?
Answer: It was a patriotic song sung by volunteers of Marseilles as they marched into Paris. Marseillaise is now the national anthem of France.

41. Who could qualify as an Elector?
Or
Who were electors?
Answer: To qualify as an elector and then as a member of the Assembly, a man had to belong to the highest bracket of taxpayers.

42. When was the draft of the National Assembly’s constitution completed and what was its main objective?
Answer: The draft of the constitution was completed in 1791 and its main objective was to limit the powers of the monarch.

43. What was tithe?
Answer: It was a tax levied by the church, comprising at least one tenth of the agricultural produce by the farmers.

44. What was a ‘Manor’?
Answer: Manor was an estate consisting of the lord’s lands and his mansion.

45. What does ‘Chateau’ mean?
Answer: It was a castle or stately residence belonging to a king or a nobleman.

46. What do you know about Abbe Sieyes.
Answer: Abbe Sieves was originally a priest. He wrote an influential pamphlet called ‘What is the Third Estate’.

47. What was the Estates General?
Answer: The Estates General was a political body to which the three estates sent their representatives.

48. How was division of power suggested by philosopher Montesquieu?
Answer: Montesquieu proposed a division of power within the government between the legislative, the executive and the judiciary.

49. Why was Bastille Prison attacked?
Answer: The revolutionaries stormed the Bastille prison with a hope to find hoarded ammunition for the revolution.

50. What does ‘subsistence crisis’ mean?
Answer: It is an extreme situation where the basic means of livelihood were endangered.

51. What was the Bastille?
OR
Who had stormed the Bastille during the last years of the 18th century?
Answer: The Bastille was the fortress-prison that was stormed by the people of Paris on 14 July 1789.

Short Answer Type Questions

1. What was the subsistence crisis? Why did it occur in France during the Old Regime?

Answer: Definition- Subsistence crisis can be defined as an extreme situation where the basic means of livelihood are endangered.
Reason- The population of France was on the rise. It rose from 23 million in 1715 to 28 million in 1789.
This led to an increase in the demand for food grains. The production of food grains could not keep pace with the demand and the price of bread which was the staple diet of the majority rose rapidly. The wages also did not keep pace with the rise in prices. This led to the subsistence crisis in France.

2. What was the system of voting in the Estates General? What change did the Third Estate want in this system?

Answer: Voting in the Estates General in the past had been conducted according to the principle that each estate had one vote. Members of the Third Estate demanded that voting must now be conducted by the assembly as a whole, where each member would have one vote. 
This was according to the democratic principles put forward by philosophers like Rousseau in his book “The Social Contract”.

3. What were ‘natural and inalienable rights’?

Answer: The constitution began with a Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizens. Rights such as the right to life, freedom of speech, freedom of opinion, equality before law were established as ‘natural and inalienable rights’, i.e., they belonged to each human being by birth and could not be taken away. It was the duty of the state to protect each citizen’s natural rights.

4. What was the importance of the Declaration of the Rights of Man? 

Answer: The document ‘Declaration of the Rights of Man” passed by France’s National Constituent Assembly in August 1789, hit the prevailing European system which was based on privileges. It is a fundamental document of the French Revolution that granted civil rights such as faith in equality, liberty and fraternity. It was a remarkable declaration and is regarded as ‘‘gospel of modern time” although it excluded a significant segment of the French population.

5. Discuss the role of women in the French Revolution.

Answer: Women were active participants in the events related to the French Revolution of 1789. Most women of the Third Estate had to work for a living as seamstresses, flower-sellers, vegetable and fruit sellers. They led a hard life, and were paid lower wages. So to discuss and voice their interests they began their own newspapers and political clubs. They put forward their political and economic demands.

6. Who were the people who comprised the Third Estate? Who paid the taxes and to whom?

Answer: The people who comprised the Third Estate were big businessmen, merchants, lawyers, peasants, artisans, small peasants, landless labour and servants. These were 95 percent of the population. They had to pay taxes to the state. Taxes included taille, tithes and a number of indirect taxes. 

7. Who formed the National Assembly? On which day is ‘Bastille Day’ celebrated and why?

Answer: The representatives of the Third Estate assembled at Versailles on 20 June 1789 and declared themselves a National Assembly and swore not to disperse till they had drafted a constitution for France. The Bastille Day is celebrated on 14th July every year because on this day the unruly Paris mob stormed and attacked the prison of Bastille which was considered a symbol of terror and despotism.

8. Name three famous writers and philosophers who influenced the French Revolution. What were their ideas?

Answer: Jean Jacques Rousseau – A French Swiss philosopher. His main idea was – man is naturally good and that society of civilisation makes man anxious and unhappy.
Mirabeau- He brought about a journal and delivered powerful speeches to the crowds at Versailles.
Voltaire – A famous French writer. He exposed the evils prevailing in the Church and administration.

9. Who were the sans culottes? Who were able to control them in the end?

Answer: A large among the Jacobins decided to start wearing long striped trousers similar to those worn by dock workers. To set themselves apart from the fashionable sections of the society, especially nobles, who wore knee breeches. It was a way of proclaiming the end of the power wielded by wearers of knee breeches. These Jacobins came to be known as the sans culottes, literally meaning ‘those without knee breeches’. After the fall of Jacobins, power was seized by the wealthier middle class.

10. Which single event turned the revolution into a Reign of Terror? Describe the role of Robespierre in it.

Answer: The period from 1793 to 1794 is referred to as the ‘‘Reign of Terror’’. Robespierre followed a policy of severe control and punishment. All these he saw as enemies of the republic.
Examples: Nobles, clergymen and other party members, with whom he did not agree were arrested, imprisoned, tried and guillotined if found guilty. He pursued his policies relentlessly that even his supporters began to demand moderation.

11. Describe the role of the Bourbon kings in the French Revolution.

Answer: The Bourbon kings maintained an extravagant court. They lived and spent lavishly. The many wars and their lavish style of living had drained the financial resources of France. The treasury was empty. France was under a debt of more than 2 billion livres. 
To meet expenses the state under Louis XVI, who was only 20 years of age when he ascended, increased taxes. There was a steep rise in prices, extreme shortage of food, low wages, the gap between the rich and the poor widened. All this finally led to the French Revolution.

12. How was French Society organised? What privileges did certain sections of society enjoy?
Or
How far was the French society responsible for the drastic changes brought about by the revolution?

Answer: French society in the eighteenth century was divided into three Estates-two privileged estates, i.e. the clergy and the nobility, and the Third Estate comprising businessmen, traders, lawyers, peasants, workers, poor people. Out of these, only the members of the Third Estate paid taxes. 

The maximum burden of taxes was borne by the common people, which gave rise to the ‘subsistence crisis’. The growth of an enlightened, educated middle class plus the role of philosophers like Locke and Rousseau, together brought about the changes caused by the revolution.

13. Write the importance of Napoleon Bonaparte in the History of France and the world.

Answer: Napoleon saw himself as a moderniser of Europe. He introduced many laws such as protection of private property and uniform system of weights and measures provided by the decimal system. He carried out the revolutionary ideas of liberty and modern laws to other parts of Europe which he conquered. They had a great impact on people. He was a great general too.

14. What was the Estates General? Which demand of the Third Estate did Louis XVI reject?

Answer: The estates general was a political body of France to which the three estates sent their representatives which would then pass the proposal of new taxes.
The Third Estate demanded that voting in the assembly should be conducted as a whole and each member should have one vote. This was rejected by King Louis XVI.

15. What is the significance of ‘The Tennis Court Oath’ in the French Revolution?

Answer: The representatives of the Third Estate viewed themselves as spokesmen for the whole French nation. On 20th June, 1789, they assembled in the hall of on indoor tennis court in the grommets of versailles. They declared themselves a national assembly and score not the disperse till they had drafted a constitution for France that would limit the powers of the monarch. They were led by Mirabeau and Abbe Sieyes.

16. Write three main features of the French constitution of 1791.

Answer: (a) The National Assembly completed the draft of the constitution in 1791. Its main objective was to limit the powers of the monarch.
(b) The power to make laws was vested in the National Assembly. Citizens voted for a group of electors, who in turn chose the assembly.
(c) Rights like the right to life, freedom of speech, freedom of opinion, equality before law were established as ‘natural and inalienable’ rights. It as the duty of the state to protect each citizen’s natural rights.

17. What was the contribution of Mirabeau and Abbe Sieyes to the French Revolution?

Answer: On 20 June, 1789, the representatives of the Third Estate had assembled in the hall of an indoor tennis court in the grounds of Versailles. They were led by Mirabeau and Abbe Sieyes. Himself from a noble family, Mirabeau was convinced of the need to do away with a society of feudal privileges. He brought out a journal and delivered powerful speeches to the crowds assembled at Versailles. Abbe Sieyes, originally a priest, wrote an influential pamphlet called ‘What is the Third Estate’?

18. How was the Church responsible for the French Revolution? Mention three points.

Answer: (a) The members of the church- clergy belonged to the First Estate. The clergy enjoyed all privileges with no obligations. They lived in pomp and extravagance which led to resentment among the members of the Third Estate.
(b) The church was the owner of a big chunk of land in France. It maintained a federal set up.
(c) The church too extracted its share of taxes called tithes from the peasants. Apart from this, the church also collected several other dues.

Long Answer Type Questions

1. Explain the “Reign of Terror” in brief.    [CBSE 2015]

Answer: The following points explain the Reign of Terror:
(a) The period from 1793 to 1794 is called the Reign of Terror because Robespierre followed a policy of severe control and punishment. Ex-nobles, clergy, members of other political parties and even the members of his own party, who did not agree with his methods, were arrested, imprisoned and guillotined.
(b) Laws were issued by Robespierre’s government laws were issued by placing a maximum ceiling of wages and prices. Meat and bread were rationed.
(c) Peasants were forced to transport their grain to the cities and sell it at prices fixed by the government. The use of more expensive white flour was forbidden; all citizens were required to eat the equality bread.
(d) Equality was also sought to be practiced through forms of speech and address. Instead of the traditional Sir and Madam, French men and women were addressed as citizen.
(e) Churches were shut down and their buildings converted into barracks or offices. Finally, Robespierre was convicted by a court in July 1794, arrested and the next day, sent to the guillotine.

2. Explain the features of the constitution of France drafted in 1791.

Answer: (a) The constitution of 1791 was the first written constitution in France, created after the collapse of absolute rule.
(b) Its main aim was to limit the powers of the monarch.
(c) Powers were then divided/separated and assigned to different institutions like legislative, executive and judiciary.
(d) According to this, active citizens of France elected electors who in turn voted to elect the National Assembly.
(e) Not all citizens had the right to vote. Only men of 25 years of age who paid taxes equal to at least three days of a labourer’s wage. They were called active citizens.
(f) The remaining men and all women were called the passive citizens.
(g) The National Assembly controlled the king. France became a constitutional monarchy.

3. Describe the incidents that led to the storming of the Bastille.

Answer: (a) While the National Assembly was busy at Versailles drafting a constitution, the rest of France was seething with turmoil. A severe winter had meant a bad harvest, the price of bread rose.
(b) The situation worsened When bakers started hoarding supplies.
(c) After spending hours in long queues at the bakery, crowds of angry women stormed into the shops. At the same time, the king had ordered troops to move into Paris. On 14 July,1789 the agitated crowd stormed and destroyed Bastille.
(d) In the armed fight the commander was killed and all the seven prisoners were released. Bastile was hated by all because it stood for despotic powers of the king.
(e) The fortress was demolished and its stone fragments were sold in the market to all those who wished to keep a souvenir of its destruction.

4. Why did slavery begin and why was it abolished in French colonies?

Answer: (a) The slave trade began in the 17th century. The colonies in the Caribbean – Martinique, Guadeloupe and San Domingo – were important Suppliers of commodities.
(b) But the reluctance of Europeans to go and work in distant and unfamiliar lands meant a shortage of labour on the plantations.
(c) Throughout the eighteenth century there was little criticism of slavery in France. The National Assembly did not pass any laws, fearing opposition from businessmen whose incomes depended on the slave trade.
(d) It was the Convention which in 1794 legislated to free all slaves in the French overseas possessions. This, however, turned out to be a short-term measure. Napoleon reintroduced slavery.
(e) Slavery was finally abolished in French colonies in 1848.

5. what is a revolution? In what ways did the French Revolution mean different to different people?

Answer: It is an attempt by a large number of people to change the government of a country, especially by violent action.
It has changed the life of many people in the following manner.
(a) The Third Estate comprising the common men benefited from the Revolution.
(b) The clergy and nobility had to relinquish power. Their land was confiscated. Their privileges were finished.
(c) 
The people of lower middle class also benefited. Position of artisans and workers improved.
(d) Clergy, feudal lords, nobles and even women were disappointed.
(e) The revolution did not bring real equality as everyone was not given the right to vote meaning women who got it finally in 1946.

6. Describe how the new political system of constitutional monarchy worked in France.

Answer:  The Constitution of 1791- The new system had many new following changes in the functioning of government.
(a) The constitution of 1791 vested the power to make laws in the National Assembly, which was indirectly elected. That is, citizens voted for a group of electors, who in turn chose the Assembly.
(b) Not all citizens, however, had the right to vote. Only men above 25 years of age who paid taxes equal to at least 3 days of a labourer’s wage were given the status of active citizens, that is, they were entitled to vote.
(c) The remaining men and all women were classed as passive citizens. To qualify as an elector and then as a member of the Assembly, a man had to belong to the highest bracket of taxpayers.

7. How did Robespierre propose to bring about equality in the French society?

Answer:  Robespierre followed a policy of severe control and punishment to bring about equality in the French society. He brought many following changes.
(a) He put a maximum ceiling on wages and prices.
(b) Meat and bread were rationed.
(c) Peasants were forced to transport their grain to the cities and sell it at prices fixed by the government.
(d) The use of expensive white flour was prohibited. .All citizens were required to eat the equality bread made of whole wheat.
(e) Equality was also practised through forms of speech and address. All French men and women were called Citoyen and Citoyenne respectively (citizens).
(f) Churches were shut down and converted into barracks or offices (the church buildings).

8. What are the three important ideas of the French Revolution? How were they guaranteed under the constitution of 1791?

Answer: The three important ideas of the French revolution was Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.
The constitution passed the right of man and citizen and the following rights were established as ‘natural and unalienable’ rights: 
(a) Right to life, 
(b) Freedom of speech, 
(c) Freedom of opinion, 
(d) Equality before law 
Rights were given by birth and could not be taken away. The duty of the state was to protect each citizen’s natural rights.

9. What were the causes for the empty treasure of France under Louis XIV? Assess any three causes.

Answer: (a) Long years of war had drained the financial resources of France. Under Louis XIV, France helped the thirteen American colonies to gain their independence from the common enemy, British. The war added more than a billion lives to a debt that had already risen to more than 2 billion lives.
(b) Lenders who gave the state credit began to charge 10 percent interests on loans. So the French government was obliged to spend an increasing percentage of its budget on interest payments alone.
(c) The cost of maintaining the army, the court, government officials and universities was very high.

10. ‘‘The inequality that existed in the French society in the Old Regime became the cause of French Revolution.’’ Justify the statement by giving three suitable examples.

Answer: (a) Peasants constituted about 90 per cent of the population but about 60 per cent of the land was owned by nobles, the church and richer members of the Third Estate.

(b) The members of the First Estate and the Second Estate, that is the clergy and the nobility, enjoyed certain privileges by birth. The most important of these was exemption from paying taxes to the state. 
The nobles further enjoyed feudal privileges. These included feudal dues, which they extracted from the peasants, peasants were obliged to render services to the lord–to work in his house and fields, to serve in the army or to participate in building roads.

(c) The burden of financing activities of the state through taxes was borne by the Third Estate alone. Taxes included tithes collected by the church from the peasants and taille, a direct tax, and a number of indirect taxes which were levied on activities of everyday consumption like salt and tobacco. 
Thus the members of the Third Estate groaned under heavy taxation with no privileges whatever. This led to a deep sense of resentment among the members of the Third Estate who galvanised and led the revolution.

11. Why did King Louis XIV conclude to increase taxes? Assess any three points.

Answer: (a) Upon his accession, Louis XIV found the treasury empty. Long years of war had drained the financial resources of France. France had helped the thirteen American colonies to gain their independence. Total debt rose to more than 2 billion livres. Lenders began to charge 10 per cent or more as interest.

(b) Added to this financial burden was the huge cost of maintaining an extravagant court at the immerse of Versailles

(c) The French government was obliged to spend an increasing percentage of its budget on interest payments alone. To meet its regular expenses, such as the cost of maintaining an army, the court, running government offices or universities, the state was forced to increase taxes.

12. Explain the condition which led to the rise of Jacobins.

Answer: (a) The revolutionary wars brought losses and economic difficulties to the people. Huge sections of the population were convinced that the revolution had to be carried further, as the constitution of 1791 gave political rights only to the richer sections of society.

(b) Political clubs became an important rallying point for people who wished to discuss government policies and plan their own forms of action. The most successful of these clubs was that of the Jacobins which got its name from the former convent of St. Jacob in Paris.

(c) In the summer of 1792, the Jacobins planned an insurrection of a large number of Parisians who were angered by the short supplies and high prices of food. On August 10, they stormed the palace of the Tuileries, massacred the king’s guards and held the king himself hostage for several hours. Later the Assembly voted to imprison the royal family. The Jacobin regime from 1793 to 1794 is referred to as the Reign of Terror.

13. How did the peasants contribute to the outbreak of the French Revolution? Explain.

Answer: The peasants constituted the majority of the Third Estate which led the revolution. Peasants made up about 90 per cent of the population. However, only a small number of them owned the land they cultivated. They had to bear the burden of taxes. The nobles extracted feudal dues from the peasants. 

Peasants were obliged to render services to the lord–to work in his house and fields and to serve in the army or to participate in building roads. The exploitation of peasantry and their misery led the peasants to revolt. 

They became the most vociferous section of the Third Estate which led the revolution. Moreover, the peasants were the worst victims of the Subsistence Crisis which occurred frequently in France during the Old Regime.

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