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The French Revolution and Napoleon 1789-1815

Patrick Stallings

Mike Epstein

on 4 September 2015

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Transcript of The French Revolution and Napoleon 1789-1815

The French Revolution and Napoleon

You are living in France in the late 1700s. Your parents are merchants who earn a
good living. However, after taxes they have hardly any money left. You know that
other people, especially the peasants in the countryside, are even worse off than
you. At the same time, the nobility lives in luxury and pays practically no taxes.
Many people in France are desperate for change. But they are uncertain how
to bring about that change. Some think that representatives of the people should
demand fair taxes and just laws. Others support violent revolution. In Paris, that
revolution seems to have begun. An angry mob has attacked and taken over the
Bastille, a royal prison. You wonder what will happen next.
How Would you Change an Unjust Government?
The French Revolution Begins
Describe the social divisions of France’s old order.
List reasons for France’s economic troubles in 1789.
Explain why
Louis XVI
called the
and summarize what resulted.
Understand why Parisians stormed the

Terms and People
Ancien regime
- the government in pre-revolution France

- social class

- the middle class

deficit spending
- when a government spends more money than it takes in

Terms and People (continued)
Louis XVI
- king of France from 1774 - 1792; executed in 1793

Jacques Necker
- a financial advisor to Louis XIV

- the legislative body consisting of representatives of the three estates

- notebook used during the French Revolution to record grievances
Terms and People (continued)
Tennis Court Oath
- an oath taken by the members of the National Assembly to meet wherever the circumstances might require until they had created a constitution

- fortress in Paris used as a prison; French Revolution began when Parisians stormed it in 1789
What led to the storming of the
, and therefore, to the start of the
French Revolution

A volatile atmosphere in
resulted from a widespread famine and the influence of reformers inspired by
Enlightenment ideas

The situation exploded on July 14, 1789.

In 1789, France’s society was based on a system created in the Middle Ages. The ancien régime separated everyone in French society into one of
three estates:
First Estate

Second Estate
Third Estate
95 percent
of the
population, including the
urban workers, and rural peasants

Louis XIV was the
“Sun King”

He started running up huge French
by fighting
spending lavishly
Ex: Building of his huge
Palace at Versailes
, out side of Paris.

Louis XVI
continued the family tradition of absolutism.

France was unable to pay its

Increased taxes angered the
The Third Estate

Estates General
was called for the first time in 175 years to deal with the financial problems of France.

Before the Revolution

The first two estates enjoyed most of the wealth and privileges of France.
The Church
The Nobility
Owned 10% of the land
collected Tithes
payed no diect taxesto the state
had right to top jobs in government, army, courts and church
paid no taxes
At all levels, members of the
Third Estate
had reason to resent the existing social order.
Even wealthy members of the
did not have access to the best government positions.
Urban workers earned pitiful wages and faced starvation whenever the price of bread rose.
Rural peasants owed fees and services that dated back to feudal times.

As Enlightenment ideas spread among the
Third Estate
, many began to question the
ancien régime

Economic troubles
added to the social unrest and heightened tensions.
Years of
deficit spending
had put the government deeply in debt. The money had been spent on:

Louis XIV
’s lavish court
Seven Years’ War
support for Patriots in the
American Revolution
rising costs of goods and services

Bad harvests in the 1780s made it harder to recoup this money.

To solve the financial crisis, the government had to
increase taxes
reduce expenses
, or both.

The first two estates resisted any attempts to make them pay taxes.

Louis XV ran up more debt.
Louis XVI was weak but attempted some economic reforms.

Louis XVI
Jacques Necke
r as his
financial advisor
. Necker made recommendations to reduce the debt:

Reduce extravagant court spending
Reform government
Abolish tariffs on internal trade
Tax the First and Second Estates

When Necker proposed taxing the First and Second Estates, the nobles and high clergy forced Louis XVI to dismiss him.

The pressure for reforms mounted, but the powerful classes demanded that the king summon a meeting of the
The nobles hoped that the Estates-General could bring the absolute monarch under their control and guarantee their own privileges
In the meantime, France was on the verge of bankruptcy.
Rising prices led to bread riots.
Nobles continued to fight against taxes.

Each Estate (First, Second, Third) got one Vote

Third Estate
(peasants and commoners) had to meet separately from the First and Second Estates.

The Third Estate declared itself the
National Assembly
and the Estates General is dissolved (the revolution has begun).

The Estates General

Before the meeting, Louis had all the estates prepare

listing their grievances
Fairer taxes!

Freedom of the press!

Regular meetings of the

Many delegates from the
Third Estate
wanted to solve the financial crisis, but insisted on reforms
The voting system created a stalemate, because each estate traditionally met separately and had one vote.
Third Estate
moved to create a fairer system in which the three estates met together and votes were counted by heads rather than estates.

1st Estate
1 Vote
2nd Estate
1 Vote

3rd Estate
1 Vote

In June 1789, after weeks of stalemate, members of the
Third Estate
declared themselves to be the
National Assembly
and the true representatives of the people.
They were locked out of their meeting hall and moved to a nearby tennis court.

The members of the
National Assembly
took the
Tennis Court Oath
. They pledged to continue meeting until a constitution was established.

French Revolution Part III
French Revolution Part I
French Revolution Part II
French Revolution Part IV
Some reform-minded clergy and nobles joined the
Third Estate
in the
National Assembly

Louis XVI was forced to accept the new body
But when royal troops gathered in Paris, rumors spread that the king planned to dissolve the
National Assembly.

On July 14, 1789, events erupted into revolution with the storming of the Bastille.

A crowd gathered outside the prison to demand weapons they thought were stored there.

The commander fired on the crowd, killing many. The mob broke through, freeing prisoners but finding no weapons.

The fall of the Bastille challenged the existence of the

ancien régime

was a prison in Paris that housed political prisoner

July 14th 1789
, the rioting Parisians stormed the prison as a sign of the beginning of the revolution.

people were freed from the prison and a few guns taken. It was a huge symbolic event that marked the beginning of the Revolution.

Today the French celebrate
Bastille Day
as their Independence Day.

Storming the Bastille
The Great Fear
Rebellion spreads

Peasants destroy the countryside

End of feudal privileges

The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen
Adopted by
National Assembly
on August 27th

Enlightenment ideals
Outlined basic freedoms held by all

Asserted the sovereignty of the people

“Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité”

The March of Women
Lower classes still unsatisfied

Thousands of starving women and peasants march on Versailles

Louis forced to return to Paris

Civil Constitution of the Clergy
Financial crisis

National Assembly confiscates and sells off church lands

Church also secularized, reorganized

Clergy oath of loyalty

Cartoon depicting the confiscation of Church lands

Flight of the King

Louis XVI and his family attempted to flee France

They were arrested at Varennes

The capture of Louis XVI at Varennes

Reaction from Other Countries
Illustration depicting Prussian King Frederick William III, Austrian Emperor Leopold II, and the Comte d’Artois, Louis XVI’s brother

Declaration of Pillnitz
Possible foreign intervention

French Revolution Part V
Peasants all over France pillaged and burned the houses of the

Aristocrats fled France. Records of debts owed to the Nobles were
1789-1791: The National Assembly
National Assembly
was formed to run France They passed the
Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen

They reformed the laws that favored the aristocracy

They allowed Louis XVI to remain
in power.
He agreed to rule as a
limited monarch
. (The real power was given to the assembly)

Louis tried to flee but he was captured and forced back to
Radicals React to the Revolution
In 1792, radicals wanted to make France a pure republic. The King and his wife
Marie Antoinette
at the guillotine.
The Reign of Terror
The Radicals:
Committee of Public Safety
were lead by
Maximilian Robespierre
. They set out to destroy their opposition. This was known as the
Reign of Terror

, leader of the Jacobins, pushed for the "
Reign of Terror
" that lasted from July 1793 - July 1794

Committee of Public Safety
was formed by the Jacobins to rule France. The encouraged
as a reaction to the fancy clothes of the old aristocracy.

The guillotine was the main form of execution. 20,000 to
were killed in the
Reign of Terror

While the King, Queen, and aristocrats were beheaded at the guillotine, 50% of those killed were
who opposed the Jacobin's "Terror"

The Terror ended with the Jacobins executing
at the
. The Jacobines soon lost power.
The Directory
was established after a new constitution was written in 1795. This placed control of France with the rich
moderate leaders

The Directory was run by an
executive body of five men.

Problems of
continued in France. The Directory became weaker and finally
French Revolution Part VIII
French Revolution Part IX
Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon was a popular
Military Leader
in the French Army

In 1799, he returned to
, where he was greeted by cheering crowds.

He acted on his popularity and seized power from the weak Directory in a
Coup d' etat.

Napoleon set up a new government in which he ruled as an
Full transcript