Overall, nationalism played an important role in the French Revolution of 1789. It was a driving force for change within the state. The shift from monarchy to the idea of a nation in the interests of the people reflected an emerging national consciousness.
Love for la patrie and la nation surfaced with the Revolution, free from ties to the monarchy and Catholic Church. With influence from Enlightenment writers like Rousseau, the baron de Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Locke, the Revolution aimed for an enlightened, nationally-minded France. Through publications like the General Cahiers and political pamphlets, the nationalist ideology was distributed and publicized. Orators like Mirabeau, Vergniaud, Barére, Danton, and Robespierre likewise spread the national ideals of the revolution. Their speeches provide an important insight into the evolution of revolutionary policy and its reflection of French nationalism. The levy en masse of 1793 relied heavily on national pride and patriotic spirit. Symbols such as the tricolor flag and “La Marseillaise” remain enduring images of the French Revolution of 1789.