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Reasons for the French Revolution

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Lauren Hauszner

on 7 October 2014

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Transcript of Reasons for the French Revolution

Key Points -The FR had a fairly moderate start however, it became extremely radical
-French nationalism was perpetuated by the fear of foreign evasion and counterrevolutionaries
-Napoleon emerged as a leader in 1799, who united France. Many people still remember Napoleon as an inspirational leader. His implementation of the Concordat (declaration) in 1801 restored ties to the church but mainly favored the state.
-The FR still effects events that shape our world today! Preliminary Info on the FR Factors that Shaped French Nationalism Before the revolution what defined French people's sense of nation??

-The FR marked a turning point in the history of European nationalism.
-France was the first European country to transform from an absolute monarchy into a republic.
-The FR and it's events demonstrates that nationalism can be shaped by external factors including: historical, social, economic, geographical, and political.
Historical Factors The Storming of the Bastille July 14, 1789
-A prison in Paris rumored that the king
locked up those who spoke out against him.
-600 angry Parisians attacked the Bastille
and took control over this symbol of
tyranny. This sparked other French people
to fight against the king and nobility.
-This is often considered the beginning of
FR, and July 14 is now a national holiday
in France.
-The storming of the Bastille is now a
Nationalist symbol. Why do you think this is so?
What does collective consciousness mean? Economic Factors -By the 1780s France's economy was chaotic, the treasury was drained and the country was nearly bankrupt. This was due to France's involvement in wars overseas such as the Seven Years War and American War of Independence.
-The grave disparity of the General Estates.
-First Estate: clergy
-Second Estate: aristocrats
-Third Estates: common people.
The Third Estate was always outnumbered by the First and the Second. Social Factors -Strict social order largely defined by birth. Ruling elite made up around 4% of the pop. (26 million) but paid limited taxes and accumulated great wealth by collecting taxes.
-France as the center of new ideas. Intellectuals, writers, artists, philosophers, etc. questioned the established order and began discussing liberty, happiness, religious freedom, and individual rights.
-The emerging middle class, known as the bourgeoisie, were often well-traveled and well-educated, and many had adsorbed new ideas about individual rights. Aware of the governmental systems in Britain and the United States as well as scientific discoveries. Geographical Factors -Winter of 1788-89 was bitterly cold and the spring/summer brought drought creating a food shortage. Price of flour drastically rose causing prices of bread, the main food staple of the French, to sky rocket.
-Famine feeds hatred of Marie Antionette "let them eat cake". Symbolizes a huge gap between royal family and commoners.
The Tennis Court Oath
June 1789 -The Third Estate went to their meeting hall in Versailles but the door was locked. Suspecting a plot, they rushed to a nearby tennis court.
-The Third Estate declared themselves the National Assembly
-They swore on the Tennis Court Oath: a constitution that placed power in the hands of the people! They were the only group that represented the nation.
-New of this event inspired people to stand up against the nobles and clergy who had controlled them; the storming of the Bastille ensued in Paris. Political Factors -National Assembly abolished the Ancienne Regime and created the Declaration of Rights of Man and of the Citizen August 1789.
-Reaction outside of France. Other European royals felt threatened and became aggressive towards France.
-1793 Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette executed.
-Reign of Terror: led by Robespierre and lasted 11 months 1793-1794. The constitution was suspended and anyone who criticized the revolution was targeted and put to death by the guillotine.
-The rise of Napoleon (1799)! "When France sneezes, Europe catches a cold."
-Metternich (German politician)
Full transcript