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The French Revolution

The French Revolution (1789-1799) for Western Civilization.

Kristin Roberts

on 11 December 2013

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Transcript of The French Revolution

1792 - The Violence Continues...
April 20 - France declares war on Austria
August 10 - Jacobins and sans-culottes storm Tuileries and arrest Louis XVI
September 2 - Sansculottes initiate prison massacres in Paris
September 22 - France is declared a republic
1793-1794 - The Reign of Terror!
January 21, 1793 - Louis XVI is executed
April 6 - The National Convention creates the Committee of Public Safety
June 24 - The Constitution of 1793 is established
September 5 - The Reign of Terror begins & lasts 10 months
September 29 - Robespierre’s Maximum implements a "max" on prices of goods
October 16 - Marie-Antoinette is executed
July 27, 1794 - Robespierre is overthrown
December 24 - Maximum is repealed and prices skyrocket
1795-1799 - The Directory
August 22, 1795 - Constitution of 1795 is ratified
October - National Convention is dissolved in favor of five-man executive Directory and two large legislative bodies
September 4, 1797 - two directors removed from power
October 9, 1799 - Napoleon returns to France
November 9 - Napoleon overthrows the Directory
Napoleonic Europe
1799 - Napoleon overthrows the Directory
July 15, 1801 – Concordat of 1801
1802 – Napoleon elected "Consul for Life"
March 1804 – Napoleon issues the Napoleonic Code
December 2, 1804 – Napoleon crowns himself "Emperor"
October 21, 1805 – Battle of Trafalgar. British Navy defeats Napoleon.
1806 – Continental System instated
July 1807 – Treaties of Tilsit
1810 – Napoleon marries Marie Louise and divorces Josephine
June-December 1812 – Napoleon enters Russia and is defeated!
April 4, 1814 – Napoleon abdicates and is exiled to Elba
March 1, 1815 – Napoleon escapes from Elba & returns to France
June 18, 1815 – Napoleon is defeated again at Waterloo and is, again, exiled

1789 - The Year it All Begins . . .
May 5 - The Estates-General meets for the first time since 1614
June 17 - The Third Estate breaks away from Estates-General, establishes itself as National Assembly
June 20 - National Assembly members take Tennis Court Oath
July 14 - The Storming of the Bastille!
July 20 - The Great Fear!
August 4 - August Decrees issued releasing peasants and farmers from feudal contracts
August 26 - Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
October 5 - Women's March to Versailles!
1791 - The Violence Escalates
June 20–21 - Louis XVI and his family flee Paris but are caught near the Austrian border
July 17 - Champ de Mars massacre
August 27 - Austria and Prussia issue Declaration of Pillnitz
September 14 - Louis XVI approves National Assembly’s new constitution, which establishes constitutional monarchy
October - the National Assembly is replaced by the Legislative Assembly, a new representative body
Causes of the French Revolution
The Enlightenment
Natural Rights of Man = Life, LIBERTY, property
Separation of Powers
Secularism = separation of church/god and king
Many questioned whether the king ruled by "divine right" after all
Democracy, or, rule BY the people FOR the people (not for the king!)

Liberté, égalité, fraternité
$$ Money Troubles $$
Wars cost $$$$ (Lots of money!!) - paying for soldiers, equipment, transportation, funding other nations, etc.
War of Religions
Thirty Years War
Seven Years War (French & Indian War here in 'Merica)

Also, French kings SPENT a lot of $$$
Versailles . . .
Ancien Regime (The Old Regime)
The "
Old Regime
" was a strict class system in France that put clergy and nobility WELL above regular people
Divided into 3 "
First Estate
= Clergy
Second Estate
= Nobility
Third Estate
= Everyone else

The Third Estate
Everyone else . . .
(99% of population!)
= (upper, middle class) merchants, manufacturers, bankers, lawyers, & master craftsmen
Urban laborers = craftsmen & other small manufacturing workers
= agricultural/farm laborers (very prosperous land owners to migrant workers)

The Second Estate
Nobility, which included all titled aristocrats (Lords, Ladies, etc.)
Owned 25-33% of land
Exempt from most taxes
Held high offices in the govt. & Church

The First Estate
Clergy or ministry
Owned 10% of land
paid no taxes, just gave “gifts” to the govt.
Ranged from poor parish priests to wealthy Bishops and Cardinals

The French Revolution &
Napoleonic France

The Estates General
A legislative group called and dismissed by the king
They had no true power
Just an advisory body to the king
= Members could present a list of their own concerns
Each estate got one vote in the Estates-General
usually 1st & 2nd estate voted the same, leaving the 3rd estate out-voted

The Estates-General Meets - May
It's the first time they've met since 1614

They are summoned by King Louis XVI to propose solutions to govt. financial problems
The three estates clash
The 1st & 2nd estates make up
3% of population, so why should they get
of the voting power?
The 3rd estate gets frustrated . . .
The Kings . . .
Louis XV
great-grandson of Louis XIV (the Sun King)
took the throne at 5
Blamed for diplomatic, military & economic reverses for France (7 Years War)

Louis XVI
Louis XV's grandson
Took throne at 19
felt unqualified for the job
Married Marie Antoinette (Austrian)
Faced great debt & resentment from people
Third Estate breaks away & forms the
National Assembly
(a NEW legislative body for France)

3 days later, the new National Assembly gets locked out of the Estates-General meeting hall, so they go to royal tennis court!

They take the
Tennis Court Oath
, agreeing not to leave until a new constitution was written (want a constitutional monarchy)

Feeling pressure, Louis XVI decided all estates should join the National Assembly (the Estates-General is over)

The National Assembly & Tennis Court Oath - June
The Storming of the Bastille - July 14
Louis XVI blamed
Jacques Necker
(The Director of Finance for France)

for the Estates-General's failure & fired him . . .
Nobles then wanted to break up the National Assembly . . .

Parisians were OUTRAGED! They wanted GUNS!
And, the
, a medieval fortress and prison, held guns . . .

July 14, 1789 - Parisians stormed the Bastille & took the guns
Then, they began to tear the Bastille down!
July 14 in France is Bastille Day! (like our Independence Day)
The Great Fear - August
While chaos was in Paris, a majority of conflicts took place in the French countryside
Peasants and farmers, who had been suffering with unfair feudal contracts & heard about problems with the Estates-General, began to erupt
Attacked manors and estates, burning some down
This hysteria called the
Great Fear

The National Assembly creates the
August Decrees
which ended the feudal contracts between peasants & landlords
Women March on Versailles - October
Despite progress, food crisis in France was getting worse (people were starving)

Oct. 5, 1789 - THOUSANDS of women march to Versailles to protest to the king

Their protests forced the royal family to move back to Paris into the
Tuileries Palace

Royal family imprisoned/house arrest
French thought king could then see their problems
Declaration of Rights of Man - August
3 weeks later, National Assembly presents the
"Declaration of Rights of Man and of the Citizen"
guaranteed legal rights for all people
every Frenchman was EQUAL
Liberté, égalité, fraternité!
These themes remained with the French
Questions to Consider . . .
What broad factors within France contributed to the Revolution?
What might have been the catalyst, or "spark" to the Revolution?

How was French nobility responsible for the crisis that destroyed the ancien régime?

What events might mark the beginning of the Revolution?
How is the storming of the Bastille seen as the mark of French independence?

What role did women play in the Revolution?
Flight to Varennes
Louis XVI seemed to support the Revolution, but hoped foreign countries, like Austria, could help restore his power

Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette try to flee to Austria, but they are caught near the border and returned to Paris

French Revolutionaries become very skeptical of the King
His days become numbered . . .
Champ de Mars Massacre
Louis XVI swore an oath to the constitution, but many Revolutionaries thought he should be removed

A crowd of revolutionaries go to the
Champ de Mars
to sign a petition removing the king

The National Guard arrives, led by the
Marquis de Lafayette
stones were thrown by the crowd
the Guard fired into the crowd, people died

Declaration of Pillnitz
In response to the capture & return of Louis XVI to Paris, Prussia and Austria issue the
Declaration of Pillnitz
Warned the French against harming the king
Demanded the monarchy be reinstated
Implied that Prussia and Austria would intervene militarily if any harm came to the king (war!)

Prussia & Austria wanted to protect the king AND make sure revolutionary ideas did not affect
own nations
A Constitutional Monarchy
National Assembly released its much-anticipated
Constitution of 1791
Created a
constitutional monarchy
, or limited monarchy, for France
Allowed King Louis XVI to maintain control of the country, even though he and his ministers would have to answer to new legislature (the
Legislative Assembly
Eliminated the nobility as a legal social class order
Assured the middle class that they were in charge!
Questions to Consider:
Did Louis XVI destroy the prospect of a moderate Revolution when he attempted to escape from France in June 1791? Or, was a constitutional, or limited, monarchy an inevitable step?

Why did the war turn in an increasingly radical direction after 1789?

Did events through 1791 have to be violent? If not, what made them violent?

The Jacobins, Girondins, & Sansculottes
Radicals, liberals, modern urban idealists, poorer, students of Enlightenment, leading thinkers, wanted change drastic changes

More moderate, wanted independence & equality, but loyal and had less contempt for the monarchy, wanted a constitutional monarchy

“without culottes," disdain for upper class, urban laborers, peasants, poor, became violent easily & difficult to control
Outbreak of War
April 1792 - Legislative Assembly declares war against Austria
threatened by the Declaration of Pillnitz
Austria and Prussia already had their troops ready
French army unprepared

War against Austria, Prussia, and other areas of Europe continues until 1799

The Sansculottes go crazy . . .
Aug. 10 – Jacobins rally a crew of sansculottes to storm the Tuileries Palace & arrest King Louis XVI for treason
Sept. 2 – Sansculottes then raid prisons killing more than 1,000 prisoners after hearing counterrevolutionary rumors

The Jacobins & Girondins realize that the Sansculottes could not be controlled. They were radical, created chaos, and truly had the power . . .

France gave up on their constitutional monarchy
Elected a 
National Convention
 of delegates to oversee the country
First action of the Convention = abolished the monarchy
Next step, create the
Republic of France

Republic = a country that is governed by elected representatives and by an elected leader (such as a president) rather than by a king or queen

The Execution of Louis XVI
The National Convention's final step - the execution of Louis XVI . . .
Found guilty of treason
On January 21, 1793 executed at the guillotine
October 16 - Marie-Antoinette met the same fate

The Committee of Public Safety
 Following the execution of Louis XVI, problems still facing France
War still ongoing with Austria (& France was losing)
Peasants and sansculottes still protesting
National Convention creates the
Committee of Public Safety
  to restore order
Doesn't really work until
Maximilien Robespierre
takes control with the Jacobins (and sansculottes)
And, there is another new
Constitution in 1793

Maximilien Robespierre
Becomes chairman of Committee of Public Safety & starts drastic changes
Inspiring & nationalistic leader from the middle class
= a decree that fixed prices to stop the inflation that was ruining the economy & hurting the French

The Reign of Terror
Robespierre & Committee of Public Safety began accusing anyone whose beliefs seemed counterrevolutionary
Accused citizens who had committed no crime but their politics differed

Executions began in Paris & spread
For 9 months 15,000 to 50,000 beheaded at the 

The End of the Reign of Terror . . .
and Robespierre
After almost 10 months, Jacobin allies arrested Robespierre and he lost his own head at the guillotine
Reign of Terror over.

Girondins take the National Convention back over and reverse Robespierre's changes, hurting the peasants again =
Thermidorian Reaction
Questions to Consider
Although many accounts of the French Revolution focus on the actions of the Girondins and Jacobins, nearly every major step of the Revolution was incited by the sansculottes. Is this a true statement? Why or why not?

Why do you suppose the Jacobins orchestrated the deaths of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette?

What was Robespierre’s goal? Did he achieve it?

What does the situation in France in 1793-1794 reveal about the leadership of the French Revolution?

A New Constitution & the Directory
Aug.-Oct. 1795
The National Convention becomes more conservative (Girondins)
Sansculottes and Jacobins were forced into hiding

Constitution of 1795
Legislature would have 2 houses – upper and lower
Executive would be 5 officers = the

The Directory works for the next 4 years, but faced challenges of corruption within & discontent from the people . . .

Coup of 1799
(coup of 18 Brumaire)
Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès elected to Directory
Sieyès enlists the aid of
Napoleon Bonaparte
to have a military coup of the Directory
= a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government

November 9, 1799 – Napoleon returns to Paris & overthrows the Directory
Dissolves legislature & makes himself military dictator
Napoleon ends the French Revolution, but starts a whole new France . . .

The Consulate (1799-1804)
= another French government created after the Directory
Napoleon “elected” as First Consul
In 1802, he becomes the First Consul for life . . .
Does this make him a king? A dictator? Or, still just a really well-liked elected official?

Napoleon Institutes Order
Put down rebellions in France
Concordat of 1801
Allowed Catholics to practice their religion freely
Napoleonic Code
forbade privileges based on birth, allowed freedom of religion, government jobs went to the most qualified, all men equal
slavery reintroduced . . .
women lost powers . . .
HUGELY influential across Europe

Napoleon Institutes Order
Secret police and a spy system used to "maintain" order
Free speech and press continually surpressed in favor of Napoleonic views
Elections were rigged in Napoleon's favor
Political suspects held in state prisons

Napoleon – Emperor of France
December 2, 1804
Emperor = a sovereign ruler of great power and rank, esp. one ruling an empire
As EMPEROR, was Napoleon a king? A dictator? An elected official??
Was there a monarchy in France again??

Napoleon's coronation was not a restoration of monarchy, but an introduction of a new political system to France (again!) . . .
Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815)
Remember, during the French Revolution, France was at war with the rest of Europe (1792-1802)
Called the First & Second Coalitions (coalitions of European countries
France acquired Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, and the Rhineland (Prussia)

Wars with Europe continues under Emperor Napoleon
Third-Seventh Coalitions
Against Great Britain, Russia, Austria, Sweden, Prussia, Saxony

Notable Events in the Napoleonic Wars
France wins most, except for Battle of Trafalgar
Treaties of Tilsit = Russia becomes an ally of France
Continental System =blockade of English goods to hurt their economy and war effort

Invasion of Russia (1812) - not allies anymore!
GB, Russia, Sweden secretly ally against Napoleon
Napoleon invades Russia with 650,000 men
Napoleon defeated! And left with only 27,000 men left

Sixth Coalition (1812-1814)
Prussia, Sweden Austria, & German states re-enter the war after Napoleon's loss in Russia
The coalitions enter Paris in March 1814

Napoleon abdicates (gives up throne) on April 6, 1814
Exiled to the Island of Elba
Restored monarchy to Louis XVIII (Louis XVI’s brother)

The End of Napoleon
The End of Napoleon
Napoleon escapes Elba and comes to Paris gathering support . . .

Seventh Coalition (1815), aka the
Hundred Days
GB, Russia, Prussia, Sweden, Austria, Netherlands, & German states gather armies to fight him again
June 18, 1815 – Napoleon defeated, again, at Battle of Waterloo

Napoleon is exiled to Saint Helena, dies in 1821
France returns to a monarchy again

Questions to Consider:
What types of symbolism do you see in the coronation ceremony of Napoleon?
What were the purposes of the Napoleonic Code? How might it have impacted the rest of Europe that Napoleon had conquered?
What type of leader was Napoleon for France? Good? Bad? Why?
What were the effects of the Napoleonic Wars on Europe?
How is Europe going to recover from over two decades of war? What do they need to do? How might life be different for them?

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