Dechristianisation of France during the French Revolution

Dechristianisation Of France During The French Revolution

Dechristianisation of France during the French Revolution

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The Dechristianisation of France during the French Revolution is a conventional description of the results of a number of separate policies, conducted by various governments of France between the start of the French Revolution in 1789 and the Concordat of 1801, forming the basis of the later and less radical Laïcité movement. The goal of the campaign was the destruction of Catholic religious practice and of the religion itself.

The Church under the Ancien Régime

In 18th century France, ninety-five percent of the population were adherents of the Catholic Church; most of the rest were Protestant Huegenots, who, although greatly outnumbered by the Catholics, nonetheless retained powerful positions in French local governments. (A small population of Jews, amounting to around 40,000, also existed, and very small numbers of Muslims were likely also scattered around the kingdom; in a country whose total population was at least 27 million, however, these groups were numerically negligible.) Under the Ancien Régime, the authority of the clergy was institutionalised in its status as the First Estate of the realm. The Catholic Church was...
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