Next to WWI and WWII, the historic episode that most affected American history was the French Revolution. The Revolution was inspired by the American Revolution and arguing over whether our new fledgling nation should support the French in their revolution was one of the causes of America’s first political party system. Jefferson and the Democratic Republicans wanted to support the French in their cause while Hamilton and his Federalists wanted to stay as far away from the French Revolution as possible.
Jefferson believed we owed the French in their struggle as their assistance made our own possible. He also believed the best way to help our experiment, called America, was to encourage and assist other nations in their own democratic struggles. More nations overthrowing kings for Republican governments the better. Hamilton on the other had was watching the French Revolution in terror. What he saw was chaos as several new governments came to power and killed off everyone in the old regime under what was known as the Reign of Terror. He feared the French Revolution making its way across the pond and he and the other founders would be getting in line for the guillotine. He also did not believe we owed the French allegiance in that our treaties were with Louis 16th who had recently had his head separated from his body by the new revolution government.
There are several sites that deal with the French Revolution. The L’Assemblee National was called the Chamber of Deputies before the Revolution but was turned into the building where the new National Assemble meet. The National Assemble was made up of the Third Estate of the Estates-General or the new government. The Third Estate made up 96% of the population so saw themselves in charge. Another important building is the La Conciergerie. It was built in 1310 by Phillippe IV as a palace for the Capetian monarchs. During the Revolution it was turned into a prison and its most famous resident was Queen Marie Antoinette. Finally, there is La Palace De la Concorde. This was originally the palace of Louis 15th. The large open square was designed for an equestrian statue of Louis 15, but during the Revolution it was overrun by the people who seized its weapons, including cannons, that were used storming the Bastille. The square then became famous later for the site of the guillotine. It most famous executions were again that of Louie 16 and his young wife.