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10 Major events Leading to the French Revolution
Transcript of 10 Major events Leading to the French Revolution
Storming of the Bastille
On July 14th, 1789, the people of France stormed down to the Bastille which at the time was a major prison of political prisoners. The people took a stand against the King by doing this, and they also acquired many weapons.
The Flight to Varennes
The Reign of Terror
From the beginning of the revolution to the end, the people of France took a stand as a nation and fought for what they believed in. These actions that were made by the French people so long ago did not only give France a very defining history, but helped shape the country that France has become today. As a Nation, the people of France have a very strong connection to each other since most of the people living in France have ancestors that fought for their equality, liberty, and brotherhood that is still a very crucial part of French society. Unlike Canada, France and its tri-coloured flag was brought together by the people, which has made the citizens of France very loyal and connected to each other. Due to this France is now a democratic country, and the people are very involved in their government. Without the French Revolution, France would not be like the country, and French Nation that they are today.
Calling of the Estates General
Therefore the people could not change their government because the first and second estates could outvote them on every and any issue. This upset the people of France since they made up 97% of the population, and the people then decided that they must act on bringing change to their country.
The Tennis Court Oath
The people of France then swore to the Tennis Court Oath. This made the group feel powerful and that they could do something to make their lives better. The people of France knew that no man deserved to starve just because they were of lower class, while the rich enjoyed parties and the finest food every day of their existence. Coming together as a collective was very important in the French Revolution because this was the first time the people claimed their independence and defied the King.
France was on the verge of bankruptcy in 1789, so the King decided that he had to try to get more taxation money from his people. The calling of the Estates General occurred on May 5th 1789. I feel that this was an important event in the start of the French Revolution, since it brought to the general public's attention that although they made up the majority of the population, they only had 1/3 of the voting power.
On June 17th 1789, the third estate had been removed from the Estates General as they were locked out of the building, but in a tennis court not far away the third estate gathered, and the people of France decided to call themselves the National Assembly. This new National Assembly instated a sense of power and belonging to the people of France for they were then united as a group to make a stand against the King and his power over men, for the National Assembly wanted equality, and this means that no man is better or more powerful than any other.
The Declaration of the Rights of Man
The March to Versailles
I feel that this was a very important part of the French Revolution because it showed the King how unhappy his people truly were, and it gave the people of France the weapons that they would need later use in the revolution.
On August 26, 1789, only two months after the Tennis Court Oath was sworn, The Declaration of the Rights of Man was created. This signified that all men were equal, and that no man had power over another. This act did not include women and children during this time.
This was an important part of the French Revolution because it finally declared that the commoners were equal to even the richest of men under the law. It also set the foundation for real democracy. This helped give the people of France political power.
In Paris, the families were starting to grow hungry due to the flooding, then the drought that occurred during the year which had killed their crops. The price of bread, the main food in the french diet, was outrageously high. On October 5, 1789 the Parisian market women in France decided that they had enough, and they marched down to Versailles with weapons in hand. The ladies demanded the wheat from the palace, and when it was not given to them they attacked. The ladies broke into the palace and demanded the blood of Marie Antoinette who was not there. The next day the ladies demanded the royal family move to Paris to see what things were like there, and the royal family complied.
I feel that this was a very important event in the French Revolution because it was the first time that the people made a move directly at the royal family. This forced the family to see how their actions affected their people directly, unlike the Bastille which the King was not there to witness. This gave the people power directly over their monarchy, and forced them to constantly witness the hardships that were happening around them in Paris.
In Paris the royal family was unhappy being locked away, so they decided that they would flee to Austria, and stay under the protection of Marie's family. On the night of June 20, 1791, The family dressed as commoners, and snuck away. The family made it all the way to a small town in France called Varennes, but were recognized at a stop in Sainte-Menehould, so once they reached Varennes they were arrested.
This was a very important event in the French Revolution because this is what eventually would get King Louis the 16th arrested for treason, and executed. Without the attempt to flee, the government of France may have stayed as a constitutional monarchy much like Britain is today. Instead the people of France do not have this type of representative democracy and are now a republic.
The Execution of Louis the 16th
The day had come for Louis to go on trial for his arrest. The jury declared that Louis was guilty of high treason, which in France was punishable by death. On January 21, 1793, the King of France was executed by the guillotine which at the time was the most humane way of execution, since the guilty did not have to suffer.
I feel that this was a very important for the French Revolution because it was the final act to completely remove the monarchy from France. The people of France now had all political power and could make choices for themselves. Although this made Louis the first victim of the Reign of Terror.
The Reign of Terror was a very violent time in the history of the French Revolution. From September 5, 1793 to July 28, 1794 the people of France were very violent and vicious. The leaders of the republic, led by Robespierre, were very keen on making sure that everyone in the country was fighting for the revolution, and anyone that was suspected to be against the revolution was sentenced as traitors and were to be executed. It is estimated that the death toll was up to tens of thousands of people, with approximately 16500 people were executed by the then famous guillotine.
This event was substantial in the French Revolution because it forced all the people of France to unite in a revolution, and anyone who was seen as a traitor was executed, so no opposition was allowed to surface and stop the revolution. I do not feel that this was the right way to take control of the situation but it worked in helping unite all the people of France.
The Rise of Napoleon
The Invasion of Russia
Napoleon was a very influential political and military leader who rose to fame during the French Revolution. Napoleon was a very smart war leader and through his victories, he gained power within France. In 1802 Napoleon created the Napoleonic Code, which was a new governing system for France, and today is still influential in many constitutions. Napoleon's ability and consolidation of power allow him to declare himself the French Emperor on December second, 1804. Napoleon continued to expand his European empire by defeating foreign armies.
Once Napoleon took power the people of France were again ruled by a form of a monarch. This helped unite the people and stop the reign of terror. This also brought upon a new form of government due to the Napoleonic Code which has helped make France into the country it is today.
In the summer of summer 1812 Napoleon decided that he was going to expand his empire to include Russia. With a force of at least 420000 strong Napoleon led his forces into Russia and and began to win multiple small battles, and he began to gain more Russian land, pushing further and further inward. The Russians saw that the French troops were using a method of which they left most of their supplies behind, and took from the lands they conquered in order to get food and shelter. Russia knew that the french army could not eat if they did not forge the food from the captured land, the Russian army began to retreat and burn the towns as they left. This made it so that the French army could not survive. Napoleons men began to starve and freeze to death. By the time the French military reached Moscow there was only 100000 men left. Napoleon knew that he had lost the war, and the men marched back in defeat, but still more of his men succumbed to the cold, and Napoleon arrived home with only 10000 of his original troops. This was possibly the worst loss in history.
The great loss in Russia ultimately led to the downfall of Napoleon. In my opinion this was important to the french Revolution because this finally abolished the monarchy that had been reinstated in France, and a political government was then formed. The people of France would finally get to be in power of their countries actions in a much safer and less violent way. This is what the people of France were revolting for from the start, their equality and their involvement in political aspects in the country of France.