French Revolution 1789

Where can I find information about the French Revolution in 1789?

Entry last updated: 12/10/18

Introduction

The French Revolution often referred to as the Revolution of 1789 took place in France between 1787 and 1799. It was a response to social and political inequalities and led to the development of a constitution and the overthrow of the monarchy. 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.

General websites

SparkNotes

This site has general overviews and revision material on a variety of topics including the French Revolution.

  1. Type your keywords 'French revolution' into the search bar.
  2. Select a link (eg SparkNotes: The French Revolution (1789–1799)).
  3. From the list of contents select a chapter such as France's financial crisis.
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.

Khan Academy

This website has a useful video series on the French Revolution.

  1. Type your keywords 'French Revolution' into the search bar.
  2. Select a video such as Reign of Terror.
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.

Epic Resources

Another great place to look is EPIC. EPIC is a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics and is put together especially for New Zealand school students. You may need a password from your school or local library to access it.

Britannica School

This is an information resource for schools with encyclopedia articles, journals and periodicals, multimedia, primary sources, and other learning resources.

  1. Select a level.
  2. Do a search using the keywords 'French Revolution'.
  3. Select a link eg French Revolution ((1789–1799) France).
  4. You can move up or down a level if you need to.
  5. 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.

World History in Context

This database provides an overview of world history that covers including French Revolution

  1. Do a keyword search eg 'French Revolution'
  2. Select an article from the results which appear such as Maximilien Robespierre.
Tips: Not all the articles show up in the top layer. Click on the header to see more.

Biography in context

For studying people involved in the French Revolution, this is a good database to use.

  1. Do a keyword search using the name of the individual such as 'Lafayette' or 'Georges-Jacques Danton'.
  2. 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.

Primary Sources

Liberty, Equality and Fraternity

This site has many primary sources, including images, maps and songs as well as essays on the French Revolution.

  • Search by keyword e.g. 'Danton' or 'Lafayette'.
  • Browse by material type.
  • or explore themes like Women and the Revolution.
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.

Books

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:

SCIS no: 1881760
managed by
proudly supported by

Acceptable Use

Acceptable use means acting like a good citizen online. How you behave online should be the same as how you behave offline (in the real world). AnyQuestions is a free service, staffed by real people from libraries right around New Zealand. Please be respectful and polite to our librarians. We like helping people who show good manners :)


We may end a chat session if we think you are being inappropriate or misbehaving, this includes:

  • Using racist/sexist, offensive or obscene language.

    Please don’t use mean or cruel words when talking to or about someone else; whether they are a male or female, or of another race or skin colour. Obscene language means using words that would upset your grandparents!

  • Using the service to transmit messages that harass or threaten the operators.

    Please don’t be mean to our librarians or act like a bully.

  • Visiting an objectionable website while in session with an operator.

    An objectionable website means a website that you really wouldn’t want your grandparents looking over your shoulder at!

  • Deliberately time wasting in a way that denies service to other legitimate users.

    Time wasting means being silly and not working with our librarians. Time wasting means other students are not getting help, and that isn’t nice!

  • Any form of vandalism, including damaging computer systems or networks and knowingly introducing programs such as computer viruses and worms.

    You might be technically savvy and know about web viruses and worms and how they affect computers but please don’t spread these. It takes our attention away from helping you and other students.

  • AnyQuestions reserves the right to disconnect users at the operator’s discretion. AnyQuestions might also block access to the service for repeat offenders.

    If you act like a troll then we’ll end the chat. Remember everything digital or online can be traced and we can track it back to where you came from and/or your school. If you misbehave on AnyQuestions then we will be in touch with your school or we will block you from accessing AnyQuestions.