In its impact on France and on Europe, the French Revolution stands as one of the pivotal moments in the recent history of Christianity. It led not only to a decade-long schism within the Catholic Church, but also, for a time, to a state-sponsored assault on Christianity itself unlike anything in the European experience since the early Roman Empire. In its later stages it produced the first full separation of church and state in modern times. Although some of these conflicts were attenuated under the Napoleonic regime, the memory of the Revolution continued to exercise a powerful influence on anticlerical and antireligious movements and on the church itselfwell into the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
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