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- King of France
- Weak leader
- Attempted to flee France with family, held prisoners in Paris.
- Executed by guillotine during Jacobin's rule.
Wrote the pamphlet "What is the Third Estate"
- Middle class and richest group in Third Estate
- Well educated and sometimes as rich as nobles
- Paid hgih taxes and lacked privileges
Workers/small shopkeepers who wanted the Revolution to bring greater changes to France.
- Workers of France's cities
- Poorest group in Third Estate
- Tradespeople, apprentices, laborers
- A Jacobin leader that gained power
- Governed as a dictator
- Reign of Terror - executed suspected traders
- Those who fled France.
- Hoped to undo the Revolution and restore the Old Regime.
Radical political organization that took control of France.
- About 97% of people.
- Three groups: Bourgeoisie, Urban poor, and Peasants.
- Bourgeoisie - educated, rich, no privileges
- Urban poor - poorest group, workers
- Peasants - 80% of French people
- Rich nobles
- Almost no taxes
- Clergy from Roman Catholic Church
Social and political system of France before Revolution. People divided into estates
- An assembly of representative from all three estates.
- Called together to approve a new tax on the Second Estate
- First meeting in 175 years
- Third Estate delegates
- Marked end of an absolute monarchy and beginning of representative government
- First deliberate act of revolution
- Passed laws and reforms in the name of French people
- New constitution created by National Assembly
- Constitution created a limited constitutional monarchy
- Constitution created a new legislative body, Legislative Assembly
List of grievances drawn up by each Estate during beginning of the French Revolution.
Tennis Court Oath
Third Estate delegates created a pledge to stay in an indoor tennis court until new constitution is made.
Wave of senseless panic that rolled through France. Rumors circulated that the nobles were hiring outlaws to terrorize the peasants.
Declaration of the Rights of Man
- Statement of revolutionary ideals adopted by the National Assembly.
- Ended serfdom
- Men are equal
- Rights - liberty, property, security
Constitution of 1791
- First constitution of France
- Written by National Assembly
- Made France a limited monarchy
- Guaranteed equal rights
Civil Constitution of the Clergy
- French government got control of the church
- Citizens elect bishops and priests.
Reign of Terror
- Period of Robespierre's rule
- Robsepierre convinced his job to protec tthe Revolution from enemies
Committee of Public Safety
- Robespierre = leader
- Main task is to protect revolution from enemies
French national anthem
The political, economic and social causes of the revolution
Before the revolution, France had a monarchy, led by King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette. Louis was a weak leader. He was indecisive and allowed matters to drift. France’s economy was also in decline. On the surface, the economy appeared to be sound, because both production and trade were expanding rapidly. However, the heavy burden of taxes made it almost impossible to conduct business profitably within France. The cost of living was rising, bad weather caused crop failures, resulting in a shortage of grain, the price of bread doubled, and many people faced starvation. The king and queen plunged France further into debt with their excessive spending and put off dealing with the money situation. France was divided into three large social classes, or estates. The first two were higher up, wealthy, and had privileges. The Third Estate, however, was the poorer class, had no privileges, and only one group of the three in this estate was educated, the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie was the wealthiest in the Third Estate, they were generally well educated, but they lacked privileges, as the rest of the Third Estate. The bourgeoisies were often as wealthy as nobles, and it angered them that they did not get privileges. The bourgeoisies were big starters in the Revolution.
Significance of the storming of the Bastille
Rumors started, and the people began to gather weapons in order to defend the city against attack. On July 14th, a mob searching for gunpowder and arms stormed the Bastille, a Paris prison. The fall of the Bastille became a great symbolic act of Revolution to the French people. July 14th – Bastille Day – ever since has been a French national holiday, similar to the Fourth of July in the United States.
Impact on the world of the French Revolution
Monarchs and nobles in many European countries watched the changes taking place in France with alarm. They feared that similar revolts might break out in their own countries. As a result, some countries took action. Austria and Prussia, for example, urged the French to restore Louis to his position as an absolute monarch. The Legislative Assembly responded by declaring war.
Provisions of the Declaration of Rights of Man, Civil Constitution of the Clergy, Constitution of 1791
The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was a statement of revolutionary ideals. It stated that “men are born and remain free and equal in rights.” These rights included liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression. The document also guaranteed citizens equal justice, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion. The Civil Constitution of the Clergy gave the French government control of the church and allowed citizens to elect bishops and priests. The Constitution of 1791 made France a limited monarchy and set up a system of separation of powers. At the head of the executive branch was the king. The constitution guaranteed equal rights under the law to all citizens.
Significance of wars with other European nations during the revolution
The wars with other European nations during the revolution were caused because other European countries feared similar revolts might break out in their own countries. So they urged the French to restore Louis to his position as an absolute monarch. The Legislative Assembly responded by declaring war. Angry and fearful citizens decided to take the law into their own hands after hearing rumors that Paris prisoners planned to break out and seize control of the city. For several days in early September, they raided the prisons and murdered over 1,000 prisoners. Many nobles, priests, and royalist sympathizers fell victim to the angry mobs in these September Massacres. Under pressure from radicals in the streets and among its members, the Legislative Assembly set aside the Constitution of 1791. It declared the king deposed, dissolved the assembly, and called for the election of a new legislature. This new governing body, the National Convention quickly abolished the monarchy and declared France a republic.
Purpose and results of the Reign of Terror
Robespierre led the Reign of Terror. For a year, Robespierre governed France virtually as a dictator, and the period of his rule became known as the Reign of Terror. The Committee of Public Safety’s chief task was to protect the Revolution from its enemies. Under Robespierre’s leadership, the committee often had these “enemies” tried in the morning and guillotined in the afternoon. Thousands of unknown people were sent to their deaths, often on the weakest of charges. Perhaps as many as 40,000 were executed during the Reign of Terror.
Role of the Committee of Public Safety
The role of the Committee of Public Safety was to protect the Revolution from its enemies. The committee often had these “enemies” tried in the morning and guillotined in the afternoon. Many of these “enemies” were radicals who challenged Robespierre’s leadership.
Abuses of the Old Regime
The Old Regime was the social and political system of France in the 1770s. The people of France were divided into three large social classes, or estates, under this system. The first two estates had power in government, wealth, and privileges. The Third estate had none of this. When the Estates General was called together, despite the fact that the Third Estate had about 97% of the people, the First and Second Estate had more say in the government.
Right versus left during the revolution and its impact today
Radicals sat on the left side of the hall, moderates sat in the center and conservatives sat on the right side of the hall. The radicals wanted a great amount of changes in the way the government was run. Moderates wanted some changes in government, but not as many as the radicals. And conservatives wanted few changes in government. The terms we use today to describe where people politically stand derive from the seating that developed in the Legislative Assembly. People who want to radically change government are called left wing or are said to be on the left. People with moderate views often are called centrists or are said to be in the center. People who want few or no changes in government often are called right wing, or are said to be on the right.