The French Revolution (French: Révolution française; 1789–1799), was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France that had a lasting impact on French history and more broadly throughout Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed within three years. French society underwent an epic transformation, as feudal, aristocratic and religious privileges evaporated under a sustained assault from radical left-wing political groups, masses on the streets, and peasants in the countryside. Old ideas about tradition and hierarchy regarding monarchs, aristocrats, and the Catholic Church were abruptly overthrown by new principles of Liberté, égalité, fraternité (liberty, equality and fraternity). The royal houses across Europe were horrified and led a countercrusade that by 1814 had restored the old monarchy, but many major reforms became permanent. So too did antagonisms between the supporters and enemies of the Revolution, who fought it out politically over the next two centuries.
Amidst a fiscal crisis, the common people of France were increasingly angered by the incompetency of King Louis XVI and the continued indifference and decadence of the aristocracy. This resentment, coupled with burgeoning Enlightenment ideals, fueled radical sentiments, and the French Revolution began in 1789 with the convocation of the Estates-General in May. The first year of the Revolution saw members of the Third Estate proclaiming the Tennis Court Oath in June, the assault on the Bastille in July, the passage of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in August, and an epic march on Versailles that forced the royal court back to Paris in October. The next few years were dominated by struggles between various liberal assemblies and a right wing of supporters of the monarchy intent on thwarting major reforms.