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The French Revolution

Viva La Revolucion!

Daniel Kim

on 1 March 2016

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Transcript of The French Revolution

For most of history, people have always been
When unfairly controlled and abused, we have always seen the masses erupt in
It is then no surprise that the control and suppression of the
Age of Absolutism
brought about great
throughout the world
We will begin with the
Now if you recall
Louis XIV
, also known as the Sun King, was a champion model of

Not only did Louis
rule with an iron fist
, he lived in extreme luxury and splendor inside of the
Palace of Versailles

Louis did two things that critically damaged the French Treasury
He spent all the state's money on the palace and his lavish lifestyle
He kicked out 200,000 tax paying protestants from France
These financial issues would eventually spark the flames of anger within the French people
To make matters worse, there was an unfair social and political system known as the
Old Order

that created
within France's 25 million inhabitants
First Estate
Third Estate
Second Estate
The king at the time of the French Revolution was
King Louis XVI
, and his queen was
Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette was from Austria which made her
extremely unpopular with the French
, considering the relations between the two countries
She also had fabulously lavish parties, and wore
fancy clothing
while most common people wore
This estate was made up of the
Roman Catholic Clergy
who made up
of the population and were given special privileges and protections:
Priest and Bishops did not have to follow the
same laws
as everyone else
The Church did not have to
pay taxes
The Church
owned 10% of the land
in France which produced a vast amount of rent, making many high ranking
clergy wealthy
This estate was made up of the
, less than
of the population. While they controlled the majority of the wealth, they
paid very little taxes
Members of the second estate held high positions in the
They lived in beautiful country estates, where
peasants worked the fields
for very little pay
"Everybody Else"
This estate made up
97% of the population
and were broken up into three parts
: Well educated Merchants, doctors, lawyers, and other professionals
San Culottes
: Artisans and workers in the cities. Shoemakers, Carpenters, and laborers
: They had to work and pay rent to the nobles for working the fields. They also had to
pay 1/10th of their income
to the church
The majority of the French people were poor and miserable and to make matters worse - they had to
pay the majority of the taxes!
These injustices, as well as Enlightenment philosophers like
John Locke
, were driving people towards revolution
Straw that broke the Camel's back:
France went
France was in
debt to other countries
King and his court
lived lavishly
The 1st and 2nd estates
refused to pay taxes
Meanwhile back in France a hailstorm, a drought, and the worst winter in 80 years
decimated crops and livestock.
With the drop in supply, food became incredibly expensive
By now nobody was happy, and the king did something no one had done for 175 years:
Call together the Estates-General
This was essentially a meeting between
representatives of the Three Estates
to vote.
Each estate got
one vote
The 1st and 2nd estates usually voted together
against the 3rd
The representatives of the 3rd estate, who outnumbered the 1st and 2nd,
refused to cooperate
. Louis responded by locking them out of the meeting.
The 3rd estate went to the nearest
tennis court
where they swore the
Tennis Court Oath to make a new constitution for France
100 Thousand Members
400 Thousand Members
They were also given,
Manorial Rights
, which were privileges of lordship. These gave nobles exclusive rights to fish, hunt, produce foodstuffs, wear swords, and a host of other useful privileges.
Then French military support of the American colonists during the
American Revolution
was unkind to the French treasury, and the ideals and successes of the Americans inspired political reform
The American Revolution was a
physical manifestation
of a primary Enlightenment Idea:
That rational individuals could establish a new social contract and create a better world
males over 25
could vote
of grain prices induced pernicious effects on the common people.
Price of Bread began to soar
which forced families to spend up to half of their wages on bread
With resources being driven towards bread,
consumer demand for manufactured goods collapsed
, which unleashed a slew of unemployed artisans and small traders.
At one point 150,000 of Paris' 600,000 people were unemployed!
The Great Fear
Rumors flew that King Louis was amassing a Swiss mercenary army outside Paris to massacre the National Assembly
Storming of the Bastille
Women's march on Versailles
Desperate for weapons to protect themselves, the peasants stormed the Bastille, a prison at the heart of Paris
The rioters hacked the Bastille guards to death and paraded their heads on pikes
Fueled by the rising price of food, thousands of angry women broke into the palace and massacred the guards
Stalking the halls of the palace, the women found the king and queen, and demanded they return with them to Paris
Fun Fact:
The women marched over 20 miles back to Paris with the severed heads of the guards on their pikes
Full transcript