The French Revolution. Chapter 18

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1 The French Revolution Chapter 18

2 Ancien Regime, or Old Order Everyone in France was divided into one of three social classes, or estates. The clergy The nobility The Third Estate (majority of the population)

3 The Clergy Enormous wealth & privilege. Owned about 10% of the land, collected tithes (a tenth of ones income), and paid no direct taxes to the state. Nuns, monks, and priests ran schools, hospitals & orphanages. Philosophes targeted the Church for reform. Criticized idleness of some of the clergy, the Church s interference in politics, and its intolerance of dissent. Condemned the Enlightenment for undermining religion & moral order.

4 Nobles Held top jobs in government, the army, the courts, and the Church. Some competed for royal appointments at Versailles, others enjoyed endless entertainments. Those who didn t live near the center of power received little financial income (during a period of rising prices). Hated absolutism. Feared losing their traditional privileges (especially their freedom of paying taxes).

5 Third Estate Most diverse social class. Bourgeoisie, or middle class, was at the top of the third estate. Included bankers, merchants, & manufacturers, as well as lawyers, doctors, journalists, and professors. Majority of the third estate consisted of rural peasants.

6 Third Estate Cont d Poorest members were urban workers. Apprentices, journeymen, and others who worked in industries. Third Estate resented the privileges enjoyed by their social betters. Peasants paid taxes on everything.

7 Enlightenment Why should the first two estates have such great privileges at the expense of the majority?

8 Financial Troubles Years of deficit spending: When a government spends more money than it takes in. Louis XIV left France deeply in debt. Costs had risen in the 1700s, and the lavish court soaked up millions. Government borrowed more & more money to bridge the gap between income & expenses. 1789, half of the governments income went to paying the interest on the nation s debt.

9 Louis XIV

10 Economic Reform Fails Heirs of Louis XIV were not the right men to solve the crisis. Louis XVI was well-meaning but weak and indecisive. He did choose Jacques Necker, a financial expert, as an advisor. He urged the king to reduce extravagant court spending, reform government, and abolish burdensome tariffs on internal trade. When he proposed taxing the First & Second Estates, however, the nobles & high clergy forced the king to dismiss him.

11 Louis XVI

12 Estates General Wealthy & powerful classes demanded that the king summon the Estates-General, the legislative body consisting of representatives of the three estates, before making any changes. Had not been called by a French king for 175 years! Feared the nobles would use it to recover the feudal powers they had lost under absolute rule.

13 Estates Prepare Grievance Notebooks To prepare for the meeting with the estates general Louis had all three estates prepare cahiers, or notebooks, listing their grievances. Showed class resentments.

14 May 1789 Estates General meets. From the start, the delegates were deadlocked over the issue of voting. Third estate wanted all three estates to meet in a single body, with votes counted by head. Weeks of stalemate. Claiming to represent the people of France, the third estate declares itself to be the National Assembly in June Few days later they found their meeting hall locked & guarded. Moved to a nearby tennis court.

15 Tennis Court Oath At the Tennis Court, the Third Estate swore to never to separate and to meet wherever the circumstances might require until we have established a sound and just constitution.

16 July 14, 1789 Streets buzzed with gossip that royal troops were going to occupy Paris. More than 800 Parisians assembled outside the Bastille, a grim medieval fortress used as a prison for political and other prisoners. Believed weapons & gunpowder were being stored there.

17 The Storming of the Bastille Commander of the Bastille refused to open the gates and opened fire on the crowd. Many were killed. Finally the mob broke through the defenses. They killed the commander & five guards and released the prisoners who were being held there, but found no weapons. This was a wake up call to Louis XVI. Since 1880, the French have celebrated Bastille day annually as their national independence day.

18 The Storming of the Bastille

19 Phases of the French Revolution Moderate phase of the National Assembly (1789/1791) Turned France into a constitutional monarchy. A radical phase ( ) Escalating Violence led to the end of the monarchy and a Reign of Terror. The Directory ( ) Period of reaction against extremism. Age of Napoleon ( ) Consolidated many revolutionary changes.

20 Famine Political crisis of 1789 coincided with the worst famine in memory. Starving peasants roamed the countryside or flocked to towns. As grain prices soared, people with jobs had to spend as much as 80% of their income on bread.

21 Rumors Create Fear Great Fear - tales of attacks on villages and towns (panic). Other rumors said government troops were seizing peasant crops. Peasants unleashed their fury on nobles who were trying to reimpose medieval dues. Set fire to old manor records and stole grain from storehouses.

22 Paris Capital & chief city of France. Revolutionary center. A variety of factions, or dissenting groups of people, competed to gain power.

23 Marquis de Lafayette Headed the National Guard, a largely middleclass militia organized in response to the arrival of royal troops in Paris. Fought with George Washington in the American Revolution. Favored by moderates.

24 The Paris Commune More radical group who replaced the royalist government of the city. It could mobilize whole neighborhoods for protests or violent action to further the Revolution.

25 National Assembly Acts Peasant uprisings and the storming of the Bastille led the National Assembly to take action. August 4 they held an all-night meeting and nobles agreed to end their own privileges. Agreed to give up their old manorial dues, exclusive hunting rights, special legal status, and exemption from taxes.

26 The Declaration of the Rights of Man Modeled after the declaration of Independence. Says that all men were born and remain free and equal in rights. They enjoyed natural rights to liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression. Insisted that governments exist to protect the natural rights of citizens. All male citizens were equal before the law. Every Frenchman had an equal right to hold public office. Asserted freedom of religion and called for taxes to be levied according to ability to pay. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.

27 Women Declaration did not grant equal citizenship to them. 1791, Olympe de Gouges, a journalist, demanded equal rights in her Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen.

28 Women March on Versailles October 5, about 6,000 women marched 13 miles in the pouring rain from Paris to Versailles. They shouted Bread and demanded to see the king.

29 Marie Antoinette Daughter of Maria Theresa and Queen of France. Women who marched on Versailles were angry with her. She lived a life of great pleasure & extravagance. She was against reforms & bored with the French court.

30 Royal Family Goes to Paris Women refused to leave until the king went to Paris. The king and his family rode to Paris where they lived for the next 3 years. Louis was a virtual prisoner.

31 Church is Placed Under State Control The National Assembly put the French Catholic Church under state control. Ended papal authority over the French Church & dissolved convents & monasteries. The Civil Constitution of the Clergy, issued in 1790, made bishops & priests become elected, salaried officials. Many priests & bishops refused to accept the Civil Constitution. Pope condemned it. French peasants also rejected the changes.

32 Constitution of 1791 Set up a limited monarchy in place of the absolute monarchy. New Legislative Assembly had the power to make laws, collect taxes, and decide on issues of war and peace. Ensured equality before the law for all male citizens and ended Church interference in government. Put power in the hands of men with the means and leisure to serve in government.

33 King Tries to Escape 1791, Louis tries to escape Paris disguised as a servant. Attempted escape fails and he is escorted back to Paris. Many saw him as a traitor to the revolution.

34 French Plague European rulers increased border patrols to stop the spread of revolution. Émigrés or nobles, clergy, & others who had fled France and its revolutionary forces told horror stories that spread fear through Europe.

35 Declaration of Pilnitz Issued by the king of Prussia and the emperor of Austria (Marie Antoinette s brother). The two monarch threatened to intervene to protect the French monarchy. Revolutionaries prepared for war.

36 1791 New Legislative Assembly takes office but survives less than a year. Assignats, the revolutionary currency, dropped in value causing prices to rise rapidly. Sans-culottes pushed the revolution into more radical action. Demanded a republic, or government ruled by elected representatives instead of a monarch.

37 Jacobins Mostly middle class lawyers or intellectuals. Used pamphleteers and sympathetic newspaper editors to advance the republican causes. Supported the sans-culottes.

38 War Legislative Assembly declared war first on Austria and then Prussia, Britain, and other states. Fighting began in 1792 and lasted on and off until 1815.

39 Tensions lead to Violence August 10, 1792 a crowd of Parisians stormed the royal palace & slaughter the king s guards. Thought the king was in league with the enemies. The royal family fled to the Legislative Assembly, escaping before the mob arrived. A month later, citizens attacked prisons that held nobles and priests accused of political offenses. About 1,200 prisoners were killed.

40 Radicals Take Control Took control of the Assembly. Called for the election of a new legislative body called the National Convention. Suffrage, the right to vote, was to be extended to all male citizens, not just property owners.

41 September 1792 Convention met and voted to abolish the monarchy and establish a republic-the French Republic. Deputies drew up a new Constitution for France. Jacobins seized lands of nobles and abolished titles of nobility.

42 Louis XVI Put on trial as a traitor to France. He was convicted by a single vote & sentenced to death. January 1793, Louis is beheaded.

43 Marie Antoinette October 1793, she was also executed. The press celebrated her death.

44 Terror and Danger Grip France Threatened on all sides. Country was at war with much of Europe, including Britain, the Netherlands, Spain, and Prussia. Vendee region of France there was rebellion against the government. The Convention itself was divided between Jacobins and the Girondins.

45 Committee of Public Safety Created to deal with threats to France. 12 member committee that had almost absolute power as it battled to save the revolution. Issued a levée en masse, or mass levy (tax) that required all citizens to contribute to the war effort. Also in charge of trials & executions.

46 Maximilien Robespierre Shrewd lawyer and politician who quickly rose to the leadership of the Committee of Public Safety. Embraced Rousseau s idea of a general will as the source of all legitimate law. Promoted religious toleration and wanted to abolish slavery. One of the chief architects of the Reign of Terror, which lasted from September 1793 to July 1794.

47 Reign of Terror About 300,000 people were arrested for resisting the revolution. 17,000 were executed. Many were victims of mistaken identity or were falsely accused by their neighbors. The guillotine, a fast falling blade, extinguished life instantly (became a symbol of horror).

48 Robespierre is Executed Members of the Convention turned on the Committee of Public Safety. July 27, 1794, Robespierre was arrested. He was executed the next day.

49 Third Stage Constitution of 1795 is written and sets up a five-man Directory and a two-house legislature elected by male citizens of property. Middle class & professional people of the bourgeoisie were the dominant force during this stage. Directory held power from 1795 to 1799.

50 The Directory Peace was made with Prussia & Spain but war with Austria & Great Britain continued. Faced problems at home (ex. émigrés were returning and devout Catholics resented measures taken against the Church). 1797, supporters of a constitutional monarchy won the majority of seats in the legislature.

51 Napoleon Bonaparte Popular military hero who had won a series of brilliant victories against the Austrians in Italy. Politicians planned to use him to advance their goals. He outwitted them and became ruler or France.

52 Nationalism A strong feeling of pride in and devotion to one s country. Revolution gave the French a strong sense of national identity.

53 Push for Social Reform Revolutionaries pushed for social reform and religious toleration. Set up state schools to replace religious ones and organized systems to help the poor, old soldiers, and war widows. Slave revolt in St. Domingue (Haiti): Government also abolished slavery in France s Caribbean colonies.

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