How Did The French Revolution Impact On Religion

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The French Revolution and the policies of Napoleon had a dramatic effect on the Christians of the time period, which has continued to influence the relationship between the church and state to this day. Prior to the French Revolution, the Catholic Church was extremely powerful; it was the official religion of France. Nearly the entire population of France was Catholic and those who weren’t did not have the ability to enjoy equal citizenship under the law (Brandstatter). Not only did the church own about six percent of the land and collected a national tithe that was ten percent of the agricultural production, but it also had to pay no taxes whatsoever. Because of the three estates, which were considered social classes, the church consumed an…show more content…
The dechristianization of France was the result of many different religious policies created by the National Convention of France during the French Revolution. Even though this act took place for more than one year, the strongest effects were created in 1793. The goal of this act was to destroy all of the Catholic churches and more importantly, the religion itself. There were two epidemics of dechristianization: “The Little Terror” (Latreille, French Revolution) began in 1792 and just like the name belonging to it, it was not a great problem and the effects were small, however this was what started all of the greater epidemics. It had only lasted a year and then the main section of dechristianization began to occur. This section of it was called “The Great Terror” (Latreille, French Revolution), and like The Little Terror, the name followed along with the actions of it. The Great Terror lasted from 1793 to 1794 and there were great consequences from it. Throughout The Great Terror, the actions of the government were getting stronger and stronger. Churches were closed, religious symbols and monuments were destroyed, worship and religious teaching of Christianity was prohibited along with worship (Latreille, French Revolution). The two main effects of dechristianization were when the government required every single church in France to be shut down and how some of the Christians who refused to stop worshiping were killed (Latreille, French Revolution). The Catholic masses disputed the process of dechristianization and many of the Catholic clergy who were associated to the Roman orthodoxy left France (Latreille, French Revolution). One hundred and ten of the bishops left France; however, twenty-five of those refused to leave and spent the entire time of the

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