The American and, especially, the French Revolution were at the origin of the modern nations of the European continent. The monarchic, federal and partly feudal Ancien Régime societies, with their state religion, were transformed into unitary secularized states. In these states the bourgeoisie set itself up as the representative of the whole nation which was to consist of free and equal citizens on the basis of the people’s sovereignty. In most countries, this violent, protracted transformation dragged on until 1848 or 1870 or even until later. In the Southern Netherlands it began with the Brabant Revolt of 1789 and ended with the Belgian Revolution of 1830.
KeywordsFrench Revolution European Continent Parliamentary System Estate General Equal Citizen
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