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Transcript of French Revolution
The Estates General
Revolution - Phase 2
The Reign of Terror
Phase 3 - Napoleon
Reign of Terror
July 28, 1794
scaffold with the beheading of
. The former French
, who now considered themselves
, tired of high prices for basic necessities like bread and salt, shifted their opinion of the Revolution and began to call for a more
tone in the
. The French government adopted a
and five moderate
men, formed an
. Because France continued to face a
military threat from her Austrian, Prussian, and English neighbors, The Directory appointed a new general to lead the French forces to victory - his name was
Maximillien Robespierre and the Jacobins instituted the Reign of Terror through the Committee of Public Safety on September 5th, 1793. The Terror came to a conclusion on July 28th, 1794 after the guillotine claimed 16,594 lives while another 25,000 to 100,000 French citizens were executed in mass purges across France.
The French Revolution
Pre-Revolutionary French Social Hierarchy
% of the population (130,000 people)
% of all French lands
% in taxes
" (required donations) from peasants
provided people with
relief services (
absolute monarch of France
in return for loyalty, awarded "
" (jobs & government positions) to the
- relatives & friends of the royal family
1.5% of the population
owned 20-25% of the land in France
paid 0% in taxes - enjoyed "
an arrangement of governance whereby individuals, called
, are provided with security and
by a land-owning
in exchange for a portion of
, tax, or
this was the state of society during the Old Regime
% of the population (25,480,000 people)
owned 65% of the land
% of the
" tax system
NOT entitled to
divided into three groups based on employment & wealth
, and the
, and the
citizens of France's
appx. 4,680,000 people
Some members of the
were as wealthy as the nobility, educated, and believed firmly in
ideals such as
BUT they were NOT entitled to
The 2nd group of the
relied on flour to make
The 3rd group of the
of the population
of their income to the nobles, clergy, and the King's
with their low status and high tax burden
marks a critical turning point in the history of
. From the 5th to the 15th century (that's 1000 years!), Europeans lived as
on the lands of the
. Their daily safety was constantly threatened because of
. They needed
but had only their
to give in return. As the
Age of Discovery
created the opportunity for people to move into trading cities and work for themselves,
society began to break down. The French Revolution symbolizes the final
Third Estate carries the First and Second Estates
First Estate supported by Third Estate
Second Estate supported by the Third Estate
Context for Revolution
right to keep
right to speak and publish freely
right to representative government
right to justice by
Social Injustice & Inequality
Marie Antoinette, Queen of France
, became the symbol of 18th century Bourbon excess. She was married to Louis XVI at 14 years old as part of a
between the French royal family and the Austrian Habsburgs - traditional enemies - in repayment for French loyalty to Austria during the
Seven Years' War
~ 1756-1763 (
French and Indian War
Empress Maria Theresa
was Marie Antoinette's mother!
money from the Treasury to
, did not give birth to an heir for the first 7 years of marriage, and remained completely isolated in the Palace at Versailles -
entirely from the troubles of the French
In the 18th century, the average French urban worker and peasant ate 2 lbs. of
each day. The price of flour had a direct impact on the vast majority of French people. When the
grain stores, flour mills and bakeries in search of the basic ingredients to make bread. Coupled with a severe winter season, many suffered from
Deeply in debt after defeats during the
Seven Years' War
under Louis XV, the Treasury was
. France lost many of its territories in North America, including Canada, Louisiana, and portions of the Caribbean. Louis XVI was forced to raise
in order to prevent the collapse of his government.
The last great outbreak of The
in France occurred between 1720-1721 and killed
people. After The Plague ran its course in Europe,
more people than ever before were demanding
Seeking revenge for his grandfather's (
) losses to Britain during the Seven Years' War, Louis XVI sent supplies, ammunition, and weapons to the American revolutionaries at a cost of 5 million livres. One livre was originally equal 1 lb. of silver but the French Treasury overproduced them, causing hyper-inflation. Some estimates put the French financial contribution to the American Revolution at 5,000,000 livres - at $4 p/livre, after considering inflation, we can estimate Louis XVI spent more than
Seven Years' War
Members of the Third Estate had no rights or privileges. Many were sent to the dungeons of
Prison in Paris for minor infractions or complaints, where
and limitless imprisonment were commonplace.
Bubonic Plague subsides...
Forced to raise
to replenish the Treasury, Louis XVI called together
years! They met at
on May 5, 1789 to discuss the state of the French economy and debate the "
" - a tax up to 3/20ths of income on the
The National Assembly forms...
problem at the
meeting.... the First and Second Estate could always unite their votes to
the Third Estate! What do you think they might decide to do when asked to vote on the new law to raise taxes?
, also known as "
", were interested in some
but wanted most to take a course that would not lead to outright
They sat in the
of the Assembly Hall.
members who were interested most in
and living the most productive life under the traditions of the
They sat on the
side of the Assembly Hall.
Assembly members who were most interested in totally
the government, including a call for revolution, sat on the
of the Assembly Hall.
Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyes argued that the representatives of The Third Estate should bypass the
power of the First and Seconds Estates in the new legislature and rename themselves, the "
The Third Estate delegates accepted his suggestion on June 17, 1789, sweeping away absolute
and beginning the essential path to revolution.
faction of the 1789
was very much like a
that discussed issues related to
in French society. Made up of
aristocrats, they actually supported
until the eve of the Revolution. By 1792, and active in the
-leaning members were excused from their membership and in 1793 the Jacobins took over the government under the leadership of
The Jacobins had approximately 420,000 members throughout France and wanted:
to discuss policies that would be
in advance of their meetings
to support the
Declaration of the Rights of Man
- France's revolutionary constitution
to cooperate and communicate with other political clubs in France in order to build alliances and work toward preserving the Revolution
Today, we call a political party's policy goals a "
". The Jacobins's platform was:
government instead of absolute monarchy
separation of church and state
Increasingly, the Jacobins called for the unquestioned end to divine right monarchy - King Louis XVI was their ultimate enemy who opposed their platform for reform.
The Committee of Public Safety
Formed in the spring of 1793 by the National Convention, the Committee became the primary seat of government in France by the summer of that year. Made up of 12 members, it controlled the military, judicial, and legislative powers of government. It's essential goal was to protect the new French Republic from foreign attacks - Austria, Prussia, Britain - and internal sabotage or rebellion. Robespierre was its leader from August 1793 through July of 1794.
Known as "The Incorruptible" by his supporters and a "blood thirsty dictator" by his critics, Robespierre was a dedicated revolutionary and disciple of Rousseau who lead the Reign of Terror between 1793 and 1794.
"Let us be in revolution, because everywhere counter-revolution is being woven by our enemies. The blade of the law should hover over all the guilty." ~ Robespierre
By the fall of 1793, Robespierre and the Committee of Public Safety was arresting and executing "enemies of the Revolution" on a massive scale. Anyone could be accused of sabotage, association with an enemy of the state, or suspected of hoarding grain and sent to the guillotine.
"The government in a revolution is the despotism of liberty against tyranny." ~ MR, 1794
16,594 French citizens were guillotined - while an additional 25,000 to 100,000 were swept up in the Terror and executed across France. 72% of those who perished were peasants in the former Third Estate.
August 1792, Louis XVI was officially arrested for treason and conspiring with the Austrian Hapsburgs. He was tried, found guilty, and on January 21, 1793, Louis Capet - the former King of France - was sent to the guillotine as a traitor of the French people. Robespierre believed that if the Revolution was to live, then the king had to die.
Napoleon leads his troops against a band of royalists who attack the National Convention in October, 1795. He is hailed as a hero of the Revolution!
November, 1799 - Napoleon seizes control of the National Convention and his supporters in the legislature vote to dissolve The Directory. France, now ruled by three
, saw Napoleon claim the first seat and assume the powers of a
Coup d'Etat = blow to the state
Austria, Prussia, and Britain united their efforts to invade France, prevent further revolution across Europe and drive Napoleon from power. A master of military strategy, however, Napoleon led his troops to victory. By 1802, Europe was at peace and Napoleon returned home to hold a
to approve a new constitution for France.
Inspired by the ideas of the Enlightenment and the ideals of the French Revolution,
seized control of Saint Domingue - Haiti, today - in 1789. Napoleon, desperate for tax revenues to prevent the bankruptcy of his government, decided to send troops to reclaim French control of the sugar trade and establish a renewed foothold in the Americas.
In 1801, Napoleon's troops were greeted with some enthusiasm by the island's revolutionary government, but when L'Ouverture issued an independent constitution for the Haitian people which
, Napoleon ordered him arrested. A prisoner of the French government, L'Ouverture stated on his prison ship to Europe,
"In overthrowing me you have cut down in Saint Domingue only the trunk of the tree of liberty; it will spring up again from the roots, for they are many and they are deep."
Although he died in a French prison in 1803, the remaining French forces in Saint Domingue were defeated and forced to retreat in the same year.
Unable to secure
revenues from Haiti, Napoleon negotiated the sale of French lands west of the newly founded United States in the
in 1803. President Thomas Jefferson eagerly purchased the land for the bargain price of $15,000,000 - more than doubling the size of his country with the stroke of his pen. Napoleon was pleased to have the money and helped to create a permanent force in the Americas to prevent British
for the rest of known history.
Transfer of Louisiana Territory to the Americans, 1804
One of Napoleon's strengths was establishing law and order for the French citizens. He created a uniform set of laws that applied to all people in France called the
. Much like Hobbes' philosophy of government, it limited individual liberties in favor of strong but
authority. The Code abolished the remaining feudal laws of the Old Regime by:
forbidding privilege based on birth
allowing freedom of religion
declared that government jobs would go to those who were most qualified rather than to those who had the most influential connections
However, the Code also restricted freedom of the press and attempted to restore slavery in France's Caribbean colonies.
Still eager to fill the French treasury and permanently prevent all rivals from invading France, Napoleon crowned himself
Emperor of the French
and took the name Napoleon I in 1804.
the Netherlands because of their wealthy trading ports,
parts of northern Italy to secure access to the Mediterranean Sea
set up a puppet government loyal only to him in Switzerland - effectively controlling the very heart of continental Europe.
Battle of Austerlitz
Battle of Trafalgar
Napoleon wins continental Europe!
Russia - defeated
Austria - defeated
Napoleon loses the sea!
England - victorious!
French fleet - defeated!
Spanish fleet - defeated!
Napoleon established a trade
in 1806, where the French Navy attempted to prevent trade and communication between Great Britain and the rest of
. He called his plan the "
" and intended to destroy Britain's profitable manufacturing economy. However, the plan was largely
because France had lost many of her ships in the
Battle of Trafalgar
and the Brits were able to stop and search ships sailing from the United States, then confiscate the goods on board. These actions eventually sparked the
War of 1812
between the UK and the USA!
that all nations allied to France must NOT trade with Great Britain under any circumstances. Alexander I, Russia's Czar, continued his dealings in trading grain with the UK and for that offense, Napoleon invaded Russia in June, 1812.
"No more peace with Napoleon!" he cried,
"He or I, I or He: we cannot longer reign together!"
~ Alexander I, Czar of Russia, 1812
Napoleon invades Russia!
Although Napoleon's army was 420,000 strong, the Russians adopted a "
" retreat policy and destroyed everything they could in advance of Napoleon's forces. The Russian army set Moscow on fire, themselves, knowing that the French forces were closing in on their most populated city.
As late fall arrived, with little remaining food and almost no supplies, Napoleon led his forces back to France but his Grand Army arrived home with only 10,000 soldiers still alive.
retreat from Russia in the fall of 1812, his Grand Army was severely weakened. Many of the replacement troops were poorly trained and unprepared for battle. After experiencing defeats by the united forces of Britain, Russia, Prussia, and Sweden between 1813 and 1814, Napoleon was humiliated when Frederick William III of Prussia and Alexander I, Czar of Russia marched their troops into the city of Paris!
Forced into exile in 1814, Napoleon plotted his return to France from a small Mediterranean island, called Elba, off the west coast of Italy.
Napoleon escaped in March of 1815 and by June 18th, he was ready to attack his enemies near the village of
, in present day Belgium.
Although the fighting was fierce, the British and Prussian armies overpowered Napoleon's forces and finally defeated the French by the afternoon of June 20, 1815.
The soldier who wore this armor suffered a direct hit from a canon ball at the Battle of Waterloo!
In 1815, Klemens von
, Foreign Minister of Austria, lead the
Congress of Vienna
toward restoring order to the European continent following Napoleon's years of warfare against his neighbors.
Metternich's primary goals were:
prevent future French aggression
restore the balance of power between European nations
restore the royal families of the Old Regime
The Congress of Vienna:
united the Austrian Netherlands and the Dutch Republic to form the Kingdom of the Netherlands
39 independent German states united to become the German Federation - led by Austria
Switzerland gained its independence
the Kingdom of Sardinia gained Genoa, moving Italy closer to a unified nation-state
Napoleon died of gastric cancer in 1826, while banished in exile on the island of St. Helena in the south Atlantic Ocean.
Rise and Fall of Napoleon
and the Second Estate Bourbon nobility
The vast majority of French people - The Third Estate
The Catholic Church
and the First Estate Clergy
The French Revolution
...prior to 1789
The Estates General
Equality, Liberty, Fraternity!
...until the Second French Republic was established in 1848!
Part 1 of 9: 10min