One of the periods of tremendous upheaval throughout Europe was the French revolution, beginning in 1789. As the people of France, from the workers to the bourgeoisie to the nobles, vied for political power and control, the country went through intense periods of terror and bloodshed. Some may argue that the revolution's end did not fulfill the desires of the French people or aid them in their search for reform.
But the revolution did create the inextinguishable spark throughout Europe: the right to rebel. All over the continent oppressed countries began following France's lead, trying to better their life through rebellion. This spark of hope in Europe's lower classes is the foremost legacy of the French revolution; all people realized the power of the working man and his ability to unite a country. While the revolution, with its moderate yet useless political reform, implement the beginning of the modern age of France, the revolution's true legacy was to afford Europe's lower classes with the confidence, cause, and motivation to change their country through rebellion. The political reforms created by the revolution in France did little to better the people's lives or empower them through representation.
As power shifted hands throughout the revolution's four stages, the demands of the lower classes remained as they had been upon the meeting of the Estates General. The peasant's cry for lower taxes and less economic pressure was due to their lack of food and privileges, neither of which were addressed at all during the revolution. The drafters constitutions of the 1790's were never concerned about socialist reforms, instead they wish to empower themselves. But by 1848, the socialist peasants realized their immense oppression and soaring taxes had not been eliminated, and revolted against the revolutionaries in a violent outburst that left unrest all over France. A truly reformed country.