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Transcript of French Revolution
Steps of the French Revolution
Moderate Phase, 1789-1792
-- Constitutional Monarchy
Radical Phase, 1793-1794
Three: Reactionary Phase, 1795-1799
--The Directory is established
--Weakened central government
Four: Napoleonic Phase, 1799-1815
--The Republic ends
--Napoleon Bonaparte declares himself Emperor
What does this contemporary political cartoon say about conditions in France under the Old Regime?
The Queen’s Hamlet
Marie Antoinette, seeking to flee the Court at Versailles, ordered the construction of her hamlet in 1783. There, she regularly found the charms of country life, surrounded by her lady's companions. It became a veritable farm, directed by a farmer, whose products supplied the kitchens of the Palace. The hamlet consisted of eleven houses for use by the Queen and her lady companions. Each was surrounded by its own garden. Often the Queen would dress as a milkmaid. For her, the hamlet was an escape but many saw this as frivolous playing.
The Hall of Mirrors
The Queen’s Bedroom
Versailles is one of the largest and most lavish palaces in the world. It is located about 12 miles west of Paris. It is famed not only for its beauty, splendor and formal gardens but, as the last home of Louis XVI before he was forced out by the Revolution, it serves as a symbol of absolute monarchy.
Economic Conditions under the
France Is Bankrupt
Society under the Ancien Regime
In France, people were divided into three estates (status was attained by birth so no matter how hard someone worked, they couldn’t rise above this fate)
Everyone else – from peasants in the countryside to
wealthy bourgeoisie merchants in the cities
The Three Estates
Extravagant life of Marie-Antoinette
Tennis Court Oath by Jacques Louis David
Louis XVI did not actually want a written constitution
When rumors of his plan to use military force against the National Assembly reached Paris on July 14, 1789, people stormed the Bastille
National Assembly (1789-1791)
Liberated prisoners parading later in the day
Political Crisis leads to Revolt:
By the end of July and beginning of August 1789 there were riots in the countryside. Tales of attack spread panic.
Peasants burned their nobles' chateaux and destroyed documents which contained their feudal obligations. It was called "The Great Fear."
The Great Fear
Burning chateaux as the peasants riot in the countryside
As the largest city, Paris was a revolutionary center
Parisians organized their own government which they called the Commune
A variety of factions competed for power
Moderates looked to Marquis de Lafayette (head of National Guard)
Many radical clubs formed (like the Jacobins)
The Marquis de Lafayette, commander of the new National Guard, combined the colors of the King (white) and the colors of Paris (blue and red) for his guardsmen’s uniforms and from this came the Tricolor, the new French flag.
The National Assembly responded to the storming of the Bastille and the Great Fear.
On the Night of August 4, 1789, one by one members of the nobility and clergy rose to give up:
Hunting and fishing rights
In one night feudalism was destroyed in France.
The Night of August 4
The National Assembly on the night of August 4, 1789
Medallion commemorating the Night of August 4, the end of feudalism in France
1. Vote to end special privileges
2. Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen (Drafted by Marquis de Lafayette and
Based on the American Dec. of Ind.)
All men born free
All entitled to natural rights
All male citizens equal before the law
All men can hold public office according to their capacities, and without other distinction than that of their virtues and talents.
Freedom of religion
Taxes paid according to ability to pay
National Assembly Acts:
October 5, 1789
After another bad harvest, the people of Paris were starving. Seeking bread for their families, thousands of Parisian women walked to Versailles to tell the King and Queen of their suffering. They were followed by Lafayette and the National Guard.
At first, the King seemed to pacify them but then a riot began.
The King, Queen and the National Assembly were forced to move to the Tuileries in Paris
Women March on Versailles:
Under pressure from the National Guard, the King also agreed to return to Paris
with his wife
It was the last
time the King
The King’s Return to Paris
Catholic Church is placed under government control. Goal was to sell church lands to raise needed funds to pay off government debt (not popular with the peasants)
Constitution of 1791
Set up a limited monarchy
Created a Legislative Assembly to make laws, collect taxes and decide on wars
replaced old court systems and reformed laws
First constitution of France
Used the Declaration of Rights of Man as preamble
Many moderates thought revolution complete.
The King could not accept many of the reforms, especially those which hurt the Church.
National Assembly Continues to Work
On June 20, 1791, the King and his family set out for the border in a carriage. The King was disguised as a steward and his son was wearing a dress. At the border village of Varennes, he was recognized and eventually apprehended. Word of his attempted flight spread quickly. Crowds lined the street to jeer at him when he was returned to Paris. The King remarked, "There is no longer a King in France."
The Apprehension of Louis XVI at Varennes
Formation of the French Republic
King Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette are beheaded
Robespierre and "The Reign of Terror"
"Terror is nothing other than justice, prompt, severe, inflexible"
National Convention creates the Committee of Public Safety
Under the control of Maximilien Robespierre “the incorruptible.”
The terror was designed to put down counter-revolution but became tyrannical. 1793-1794 became the bloodiest year of the revolution.
300,000 were arrested and 17,000 were executed.
By July 1794, most people had enough of the terror and Robespierre was executed.
The Reign of Terror Begins
"I forgive those who are guilty of my death"
August 1792 – Parisian mob stormed the Tuileries and killed the King’s guards
September Massacres – “citizens” attacked prisons full of “counter-revolutionaries” and killed 1,200
September 1792 – radicals took over Legislative Assembly and created the National Convention led by radicals
January 1793 – King Louis is executed as a traitor
October 1793 – Marie Antoinette is executed
Revolution becomes radical
The Marseillaise began as a French marching song, and later became the French National Anthem
"Arise children of the fatherland
The day of glory has arrived
Against us tyranny's
Bloody standard is raised
Listen to the sound in the fields
The howling of these fearsome soldiers
They are coming into our midst
To cut the throats of your sons and consorts!"
The revolution entered a more radical phase after the royal family attempted to flee to Austria to ignite a counter revolution
The royal family was returned to the Tuileries under guard and confined
People now felt the king was a traitor to the revolution
Calls began for the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of a republic
June 1791 - Louis’s Failed Escape
Symbolic Decline of the Monarchy:
Popular anger shown against
King and Queen in 1792
Other European monarchs began to worry that the ideas of the French Revolution would spread
Monarchs all over Europe began to lock up their critics -- even Enlightened monarchs turned against the revolution
European monarchs didn’t trust each other so never banded together to stop the revolution
“The French Plague”
The King of Prussia and the Emperor of Austria threatened to intervene in the revolution to protect the French monarchy and restore order to France.
August 1791 – The Declaration of Pilnitz
Began as debating societies in Paris
Created a vast network of clubs throughout France
Members were mostly the elite middle-class
Many had given up on the idea that a constitutional monarchy could guarantee the liberties of the people.
They began to call for a republic. (radicals)
Robespierre – one of the most prominent leaders of the French Revolution. A brilliant lawyer, he was a member of the Estates-General, the National Assembly and President of the National Convention. He was leader of the Jacobin club in Paris. Articulate and immaculate, he was known as “the incorruptible"
Some Famous Jacobins
The youngest of the deputies elected to the National Convention in 1792, Saint-Just rose quickly in their ranks and became a major leader of the government of the French First Republic.
He became the closest confidant of Maximilien Robespierre, and served with him as one of the commissioners of the powerful Committee of Public Safety.
The Legislative Assembly fearful of Austrian invasion and eager to spread the revolution to destroy tyranny abroad declared war on Austria.
Soon after, it declared war on Prussia, Britain and other places.
War continued until 1815
April 1792: War!
Many served in French army
Red cap of liberty
Pantalon (long pants)
They shared many of the ideals of their middle-class representatives in government!
Vigilance against counter-revolutionaries
The Parisian Working Class
July 1792: The Brunswick Manifesto was published. It established that the King and Queen were in communication with foreign monarchs and emigres. This seemed to be the final proof that Louis was collaborating with counter-revolutionaries.
August 10, 1792 – A Parisian mob stormed the Tuileries and slaughtered the King’s Swiss guards.
The royal family was arrested.
Its first act was the formal abolition of the monarchy on September 21, 1792.
The Year 1 of the French Republic
The Decree of Fraternity
It offered French assistance to any subject peoples who wished to overthrow their governments
The National Convention
Citizen Capet Goes on Trial
When France sneezes, all of
Europe catches a cold!!
"Danton's height was colossal, his make athletic, his features strongly marked, coarse, and displeasing; his voice shook the domes of the halls".
Marat – outspoken radical journalist and vigorous defender of the sans-culottes. He called himself the “Friend of the People”
The Three Estates
National Debt Soars
France’s economy was based primarily on agriculture
Poor harvests meant that peasants had trouble paying their regular taxes and certainly could not afford to have their taxes raised
Soaring bread prices meant many poor began to starve
Economic Reform Fails
Bourgeoisie often managed to gather wealth
But were upset that they paid taxes while nobles did not
Nobles and Clergy refused to be taxed
Forced Louis XVI to dismiss his financial expert Jacques Necker
Louis XIV left France deeply in debt
Government kept borrowing money to pay the bills
The King spent lavishly on himself and residences like Versailles.
Depleted funds on wars - including funding the American Revolution
Deficit spending: when a government spends more money than it takes in
By 1788 - half of government income in taxes went to paying interest on debts
The Gardens at Versailles
This side of the palace is almost 2000 feet long and contains the famous Gallery of Mirrors so called for the seventeen large mirrors which occupy the side of the room opposite the large round arched windows on the second floor.
Petit Trianon – the King and Queen’s
personal palace “get-a-way”
Liberty, Equality, Fraternity