French Revolution 1789
Where can I find information about the French Revolution in 1789?
Entry last updated: 3/11/23
The French Revolution often referred to as the Revolution of 1789 took place in France between 1787 and 1799. It was in response to social and political inequalities and led to the overthrow of the monarchy and the development of France as a republic, a country ruled by people. There have been various revolutions in France over time, which include the July Revolution of 1830, June Rebellion of the Paris Uprising of 1832, and the February Revolution of 1848.
EPIC is a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics and is a great place to look for information on a variety of subjects. It is put together, especially for New Zealand school students. You may need a password from your school or local library to access it.
This is an information resource for schools with encyclopedia articles, journals and periodicals, multimedia, primary sources, and other learning resources.
- Do a search using the keywords 'French Revolution'.
- Select a link eg French Revolution (1787–1799).
- You can move down a level if you need to.
- Also, check the list of related resources including primary sources.
Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually it's better to leave out small words like the, a, and, of, and just choose the main ones, eg French Revolution. We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.
This database has a wide range of international history topics, including the French Revolution
- Go to Browse Topics from the top of the page.
- Look down the page for the French Revolution.
- Select Read more to read the important stages of the revolution.
- Also, choose from the images, videos, audio, articles, primary sources and biographies.
This is a good database for studying about people involved in the French Revolution.
- Do a keyword search using the name of the individual such as 'Lafayette' or 'Georges-Jacques Danton'.
- Select an article such as this one on Danton.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.
These websites provide a good overview of what happened during the French Revolution. They also have specific sections which can help you find more detailed information about parts of the revolution like the storming of the Bastille and the Reign of Terror.
This education website has information and videos on a range of topics for all ages. It covers math, science, computers, economics, history, art and more.
- Enter the search words 'French Revolution' into the search bar.
- Select the French Revolution (part 1) to learn about the events before the storming of the Bastille.
- Use the list of contents on the left to watch other related videos on the Reign of Terror and the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Tips: Websites that have .org or .net in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the organisation’s mission and values are.
This site has general overviews and revision material on a variety of topics, including the French Revolution.
- Enter the keywords 'French revolution' into the search bar.
- Select The French Revolution (1789–1799) Study Guide.
- From the list of contents select a chapter such as France's Financial Crisis: 1783-1788.
Tips: Some websites have advertisements (or ads) which ask us to buy something or tell us to ‘click here’. It’s best to ignore these ads and focus on the information we’re looking for.
Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.
Primary sources are pieces of information from the time that the event happened such as newspapers, diaries, photographs, or pieces of art. Remember that many of these sources reflect one person's opinion on an event at the time it occurred, and they could contain bias.
This site has many primary sources, including images, maps and songs as well as essays on the French Revolution.
- Go to the tab called Explore, then find Women and the Revolution.
- Read the text of Madame De Beaumer, Editorial, Journal des Dames (March 1762).
- Also, look at Songs of the Revolution, which became an important part of the revolution.
Tips: Websites that have .org or .net in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the organisation’s mission and values are.
This page from Stanford Libraries links to the collections of the Bibliothèque nationale de France. It has more than 5,000 images from 1787 to 1799 relating to the French Revolution.
- If the site appears in French, change it to English from the tab at the top of the page.
- Search using a keyword like 'Danton'.
- Select an image of him such as this one, Georges Danton.
- Or, go to the list of contents on the left, select Topic, then look for Revolutionary Figures.
Tips: A website’s address (URL) can give you a hint about how reliable it is. Look for addresses in the results that include .gov or .edu in the URL. These are quality sites from overseas government or educational organisations.
There have been many books written about the French Revolution. Check out your local public or school library to see what they have.
Some recommended titles are:
- The French Revolution by Nicola Barber
- The French Revolution: from Enlightenment to tyranny by Ian Davidson
- The French revolution and what went wrong by Stephen Clarke
- Liberty or death: the French Revolutions by Peter McPhee.
SCIS no: 1881760