The French Revolution Question Answers Class 9 History Chapter 1

Get here Question Answers of Class 9 History Chapter 1 ‘The French Revolution’. These answers include the intext activity related questions and then the chapter end textbook exercise questions. All the answers are as per the CBSE exam standards. So, enjoy free learning here👍.

Textbook Activity Intext Questions

(Activity, Page no. 5)

Q. Explain why the artist has portrayed the nobleman as the spider and the peasant as the fly.

Answer: The fly does hard labour to get its food. The spider feeds on the fly and gets its food that was found by
the fly with all the hard labour. During the 18th century in France, the nobles survived on what the labourers cultivated. The peasants had to pay feudal taxes as well as render services to the nobles.

(Activity, Page No. 6)

Q. Fill in the blank boxes in Fig. with appropriate terms from among the following: Food riots, scarcity of grain, increased number of deaths, rising food prices, weaker bodies.


(Activity, Page No. 7)

Q. What message is Young trying to convey here? Whom does he mean when he speaks of ‘slaves’?
Who is he criticising? What dangers does he sense in the situation of 1787?

Answer: Young is conveying a message about the dangers of relying on slaves for one’s personal service and the potential consequences of doing so.

He means people who own slaves and treat them poorly.

He is criticizing those who choose to use slaves and do not treat them well, likely referring to slave owners in France during the late 18th century.

Young senses that the situation in 1787 is dangerous for those who rely on slaves because they are putting their property and life at risk by mistreating them and potentially inciting violence or rebellion from the slaves. He also suggests that those who dine to the accompaniment of their victims’ groans are desensitized to the suffering of others and may face retribution for their actions.

(Activity, Page no. 8)

Q. Representatives of the Third Estate take the oath raising their arms in the direction of Bailly, the President of the Assembly, standing on a table in the centre. Do you think that during the actual event Bailly would have stood with his back to the assembled deputies? What could have been David’s intention in placing Bailly (Fig.5) the way he has done?

Answer: Bailly would not have stood with his back to the deputies during the actual event. Through his painting, David aimed to depict the Constitution that was established in 1791 following the revolution of 1789. However, the painting symbolically ignored the aspirations of peasants, workers, and women, and failed to address their needs. Despite the Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen, only the wealthy and propertied class retained the right to vote and run for office, while others remained passive citizens.

(Activity, Page no. 13)

Q.1. Identify the symbols in Box 1 which stand for liberty, equality and fraternity.

Answer: Liberty: The broken chain and the Phrygian cap.

Equality: The winged women and the Law tablet.

Fraternity: The bundle of rods or fasces and Blue white-red.

Q.2. Explain the meaning of the painting of the Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen (Fig. 8) by reading only the symbols.

Answer: The figure symbolises the right to liberty, property, equality, etc., which was enshrined in the new
Constitution of France. The figure on the right symbolises law. The law tablet signifies equality before the law for all

Q.3. Compare the political rights which the Constitution of 1791 gave to the citizens with Articles 1 and 6 of the Declaration (Source C). Are the two documents consistent? Do the


  1. Upon birth, men are inherently free and possess equal rights.
  2. The primary objective of any political organization is to protect the fundamental and natural rights of humanity, which includes liberty, property, security, and the ability to resist oppression.
  3. The nation holds the ultimate sovereignty, and no individual or group can exercise authority without the explicit consent of the people.
  4. Liberty encompasses the ability to act freely without causing harm to others.
  5. The law has the power to prohibit only actions that are detrimental to society.
  6. The law represents the general will of the people, and all citizens possess equal rights to participate in its creation either directly or through their representatives.
  7. No individual can be subjected to accusations, arrest, or detainment without due process and as outlined by the law.
  8. Every citizen holds the freedom to express themselves through speech, writing, and print. However, they are responsible for any abuse of this liberty, as outlined by the law.
  9. A common tax assessed proportionally to the means of all citizens is necessary for the maintenance of public security and administration expenses.
  10. As property is an inviolable right, it cannot be taken away from anyone except in cases of legally established public necessity, in which a fair compensation must be given in advance.

Although both documents seem consistent in expressing the idea of human equality and equal treatment before the law, the Constitution of 1791 failed to manifest these principles into practical implementation.

Q.4. Which groups of French society would have gained from the Constitution of 1791? Which groups would have had reason to be dissatisfied? What developments does Marat (Source B) anticipate in the future?

Answer: According to comment of Jean-Paul Marat in his newspaper, L’Ami du peuple, the rich were given the task of representing the people under the Constitution of 1791. This suggests that the wealthy or the aristocrats would have gained from the Constitution of 1791. On the other hand, the poor and oppressed would have had reason to be dissatisfied because they would not have been well-represented under the new system.

Marat anticipates that the lot of the poor and oppressed will not be improved by peaceful means alone and that wealth influences the law. He also predicts that laws will last only as long as the people agree to obey them. Finally, he suggests that when the people manage to cast off the yoke of the aristocrats, they will do the same to other owners of wealth, indicating that he expects a revolution that would lead to a complete overhaul of the political and social systems.

Q.5. Imagine the impact of the events in France on neighbouring countries such as Prussia, Austria-Hungary or Spain, all of which were absolute monarchies. How would the kings, traders, peasants, nobles or members of the clergy here have reacted to the news of what was happening in France?

Answer: In countries like Prussia, Austria-Hungary, or Spain, the kings, nobles, clergy, and other privileged classes would become anxious that the events that occurred in France could also take place in their own nation. Meanwhile, the peasants would likely support the changes taking place in France and feel solidarity with the peasants and other underprivileged groups in that country.

(Activity, Page no. 15)

Q. Look carefully at the painting and identify the objects which are political symbols you saw in Box 1 (broken chain, red cap, fasces, Charter of the Declaration of Rights). The pyramid stands for equality, often represented by a triangle. Use the symbols to interpret the painting. Describe your impressions of the female figure of liberty.


  • The Broken Chain: Historically used to shackle slaves, a broken chain represents the act of achieving freedom.
  • The Bundle of Rods or Fasces: While a single rod can be easily broken, a bundle of rods is much stronger, symbolizing the power of unity.
  • The Eye Within a Triangle Radiating Light: This symbol of the all-seeing eye represents knowledge and enlightenment, with the sun’s rays driving away ignorance.
  • Sceptre: A symbol of royal power and authority.
  • The Ouroboros (Snake Biting Its Tail): This ancient symbol represents eternity, as a ring has no beginning or end.
  • Red Phrygian Cap: Originally worn by emancipated slaves in ancient Rome, this cap is now a symbol of freedom.
  • Blue-White-Red: These are the national colors of France.
  • The Winged Woman: Personifying the law, this figure represents the idea that the law should be fair and impartial to all.
  • The Law Tablet: This symbolizes the idea that the law applies equally to everyone, regardless of social status or power.
  • The Scroll in the Right Hand of the Woman: This symbolizes the Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen.
  • The Pyramid in the Background: Representing equality, a pyramid’s three sides are equal.
  • The Left Hand Holding Aloft the Red Cap: This symbolizes the torch of freedom and liberty.
  • The Female Figure of Liberty: Symbolizing the equality of women and men, this figure represents the idea that everyone should have equal rights and opportunities.

(Activity, Page no. 16)

Q. Compare the views of Desmoulins and Robespierre. How does each one understand the use of state force? What does Robespierre mean by ‘the war of liberty against tyranny’? How does Desmoulins perceive liberty? Refer once more to Source C. What did the constitutional laws on the rights of individuals lay down? Discuss your views on the subject in class.


The two conflicting views presented here are:

Camille Desmoulins’ view – Liberty is synonymous with happiness, reason, equality, justice, and the Declaration of Rights. He argues against using the guillotine to eliminate enemies of the state as it would only create more enemies.

He believed that the use of state force, such as the guillotine, to eliminate enemies was senseless and counterproductive, as it would only create more enemies.

Desmoulins perceived liberty as a delicate and precious thing that needed to be nurtured, rather than disciplined, to reach maturity.

Robespierre’s view – Democracy can only be established by finishing the war of liberty against tyranny and annihilating the enemies of the republic at home and abroad. He believes that terror is necessary to curb the enemies of Liberty and is the right of the founder of the Republic.

He saw terror as a necessary tool to curb the enemies of liberty, which he saw as the right of the founder of the Republic.

Robespierre viewed the war of liberty against tyranny as a perpetual struggle, where the use of terror was a just and necessary means of achieving the peaceful rule of constitutional laws.

The constitutional laws on the rights of individuals, which were enacted during the French Revolution, laid down the principle of equality before the law and the protection of individual rights, such as freedom of speech, religion, and association. These laws were seen as a major achievement of the revolution, but their implementation was often hampered by the political instability and violence that characterized the period.

In my view, the use of state force should always be a last resort and should be proportionate to the threat faced. While liberty is a fundamental human right, it is not an absolute right and may need to be balanced against other values, such as security and social order. The challenge for any democratic society is to find the right balance between liberty and security, without resorting to excessive or arbitrary use of state force.

(Activity, Page no. 18)

Q. Describe the persons represented in Fig. 12 – their actions, their postures, the objects they are carrying. Look carefully to see whether all of them come from the same social group. What symbols has the artist included in the image? What do they stand for? Do the actions of the women reflect traditional ideas of how women were expected to behave in public? What do you think: does the artist sympathise with the women’s activities or is he critical of them? Discuss your views in the class.

Answer: All the figures depicted in the given illustration are females who share a common social status – they belong to the underprivileged group. Their impoverished condition is evident from the agricultural tools they hold and the attire they wear.

One of the women holds a symbol of justice, indicating their struggle for it. Another woman riding a horse represents power and might. The drum they carry signifies their proclamation of the march to the public. These women’s actions deviate from the conventional expectations of female behaviour in public.

The artist evidently empathizes with the women’s cause.

(Activity, Page no. 20)

Q. Compare the manifesto drafted by Olympe de Gouges (Source F) with the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen (Source C)

Answer: The manifesto drafted by Olympe de Gouges (Source F) and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen (Source C) share some similarities but also have some notable differences.


  • Both documents assert that all individuals, regardless of gender, are born free and have natural rights such as liberty, property, and security.
  • Both documents agree that the source of sovereignty is the nation, and that the law should be the expression of the general will.
  • Both documents maintain that citizens have the right to participate in the formation of laws, either personally or through representatives.
  • Both documents emphasize the importance of just compensation when property is taken away for public use.


  • Source F specifically emphasizes women’s rights and their equality with men, while Source C uses gender-neutral language.
  • Source F argues that women should be entitled to all public employment according to their abilities, while Source C does not mention this.
  • Source F includes a specific provision stating that women must obey the law just like men, which is not explicitly stated in Source C.
  • Source C includes provisions related to the prohibition of actions that are injurious to society, while Source F does not address this.
  • Source F does not explicitly mention resistance to oppression as a natural right, although it is implied in the text.

Overall, both documents share some common principles regarding natural rights and the role of the law, but Source F is more explicitly focused on women’s rights and their equality with men.

Q. Imagine yourself to be one of the women in Fig. Formulate a response to the arguments put forward by Chaumette (Source G).

Answer: Chaumette’s arguments lack justification as he only considers the biological role of women. However, it is important to recognize that women have the same rights as men as individuals, and should be treated accordingly. While women may continue to fulfill traditional roles such as childbearing and nurturing, they are equally capable as men in carrying out other responsibilities of human beings.

(Activity, Page no. 21)

Q. Record your impressions of this print (Fig. 14). Describe the objects lying on the ground. What do they symbolise? What attitude does the picture express towards non-European slaves?

Answer: This image reflects the sense of superiority that French individuals held over African and Caribbean slaves, whom they perceived as uncivilized. The slogans depicted signify that now that the slaves have been emancipated, they will have the same rights as European settlers.

Meanwhile, the European clothing strewn about the ground represents the perceived cultural superiority of Europe over that of the slaves, highlighting the French’s racial and patronizing attitude towards them.

(Activity, Page no. 22)

Q. Describe the picture in your own words. What are the images that the artist has used to communicate the following ideas: greed, equality, justice, takeover by the state of the assets of the church?

Answer: The rotund clergyman on the left symbolizes greed,

The press in the centre, designed to reduce fat, symbolizes the concept of justice.

The man and woman on the right symbolize equality.

The two men accompanying the rotund clergyman are representative of government officials who have seized the Church’s assets.

Taken as a whole, the image represents the values that underpinned the French Revolution.

NCERT Textbook Exercise Questions

Page No. 24

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

Answer: There were some causes which led to the outbreak of revolutionary protest. They are as follows –

(i) Privileges based on birth: There were rich people in the society who received privileges by birth leading to resentment among common people.

(ii) The war with Britain for an independent America: Due to this war, there was a high debt on the French monarchy. For the repayment of those debts, many new taxes were imposed on the common people.

(iii) Concentration of power among the privileged: There was no equal division of power in the society. The third estate was dependent on the first and the second estate for money.

(iv) Subsistence Crisis: There was a demand supply gap of bread due to the increasing population and less production of grain.

(v) Growing middle Class: This class was wealthy because of its ability to utilise opportunities and not because of birth right. As the people of the middle class were educated and believed in the idea of equal distribution of wealth, they began raising their voice to end the privileges on the basis of right of birth.

The Ideas of Philosophers: There were also few thinkers like Locke, Rousseau, Montesquieu, etc. during this period who by their books spread the idea of democracy and equality.

Q.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?

Answer: It was the third estate of common people who mainly benefited from the revolution as they gained equal socio-economic rights and status. The Third Estate included workers, businessman, merchants, court of officials, lawyers, doctors, teacher, etc.

The first (clergy) and the second estate (nobility) of the society were forced to relinquish power.

Since, the First and Second Estates of the society were exempted from the taxes and enjoyed all the facilities of the state, therefore, this section of the society would have been disappointed with the outcome of the revolution.

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

Answer: The French Revolution proved to be the most important event in the history of the world.

(i) The ideas of liberty and democratic rights were the most important legacy of the French Revolution. These ideas became an inspiring force for the political movements in the world in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

(ii) The French Revolutionary ideas of liberty, equality and fraternity spread from France to the rest of Europe, where feudal systems were finally abolished.

(iii) Colonised peoples reworked the idea of freedom from bondage into their movements to create a sovereign nation state.

(iv) The idea of nationalism that emerged after the French Revolution started mass movements all over the world. Now, people began to question the absolute power.

(v) The impact of the French Revolution could be seen on India too. Tipu Sultan and Raja Ram Mohan Roy got deeply influenced by the ideas of the revolution.

In nutshell, we can say that for the first time after the French Revolution, people all over the world became aware of their rights.

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

Answer: The democratic rights we enjoy today whose origins could be traced to the French Revolution:

(i) Right to equality before law.

(ii) Freedom of speech and expression.

(iii) Right against exploitation.

(iv) Right to justice.

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

Answer: The message of universal rights was beset with contradictions. Many ideals in the ‘‘Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen’’ were not clear in their meanings. They had dubious meanings.

(i) ‘‘The law has the right to forbid only actions injurious to society” and did not describe about criminal offences against other individuals.  

(ii) The Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen stated that ‘‘law is the expression of the general will. All citizens have the right to participate in its formation. All citizens are equal before it’’. But a large section of the society was denied to it. However, France became a Constitutional Monarchy, but still millions of citizens (men under the age of 25) were not given right to vote at all.  

(iii) Women also did not have any political rights such as right to vote and hold political offices. Hence, their struggle for equal political rights continued.  

(iv) France continued to hold and expand colonies. When the Jacobins assumed power, they had very harsh policies and so the richer middle classes became powerful. Ultimately, the political instability of such regimes made Napoleon the Monarch of France.

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


(i) The political instability of the Directory paved the way for the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon had achieved glorious victories in wars. This made France realize that only a military dictator like Napoleon would restore a stable government.

(ii) In 1804, he crowned himself as the emperor of France. He set out to conquer neighbouring European countries, dispossessing dynasties and creating kingdoms where he placed members of his family.

(iii) Napoleon viewed himself as a moderniser of Europe. He introduced many laws such as the protection of private property and a uniform system of weight and measures provided by the decimal system.

(iv) But his rise did not last for a long time. He was finally defeated at Waterloo in 1815.

Another Answer:

(i) After the formation of France as Republic in 1792, the ruler, Robespierre, gave more privileges to the wealthier section of the society.

(ii) Robespierre was an autocrat. His act led to ‘Reign of Terrors’ for many years.

(iii) After his rule came to an end, a directory was formed so as to avoid concentration of power in one individual’s hand. But the members of the directory fought among themselves, which led to political instability.

(iv) In this period, Napoleon Bonaparte gained the control of the reign as a dictator.

(v) In 1804, he crowned himself as the emperor of France and set out to conquer the neighbouring European countries.

(vii) Soon, the Napoleonic armies came to be viewed everywhere as an invading force. His reign came to end with his defeat in 1815.

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