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Mr. Bellisario Woodridge High School

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1 Mr. Bellisario Woodridge High School
Chapter 6 “The French Revolution & Napoleon” Section 1 On the Eve of Revolution Mr. Bellisario Woodridge High School The Social Structure of the Old Regime in France was an outdated social system from the Middle Ages…the King live a carefree life, along with the nobles and clergy while most of the French population suffered

2 The First Estate – Clergy (church)
Enormous wealth & privilege Owned 10% of French land Collected money but paid no taxes Provided some social services Schools Hospitals Orphanages High church leaders were wealthy land owners while parish priests were poor

3 The Second Estate – Nobles
Top jobs in: Government Army Courts Church Owned land but had money Feared losing privileges & freedom from paying taxes

4 The Third Estate – 98% of the French Population
Bourgeoisie – middle class Bankers, merchants, manufacturers Officials in government bureaucracy Lawyers, doctors, journalists, professors, artisans Rural peasants Landowners Tenant farmers Day laborers Urban workers Apprentices, journeymen – worked in industry Servants, stable hands, porters, construction workers

5 Why is the 3rd Estate upset with the 1st and 2nd?
…Because members of 3rd Estate resented privileged 2nd & 1st Estates Wealthy bourgeoisie could buy political offices & titles Nobles had best jobs but hardest urban workers got very low wages Peasants had to pay high taxes Nobles had the right to hunt, but peasants could not even kill rabbits who ate their crops

6 Economic problems in 1789 Financial crisis because of deficit spending – government spending more money that it takes in Burden of debt left by Louis XIV (14th) 7 Years War/French & Indian War American Revolution Lavish court expenses ½ of income from taxes went to paying interest on debt

7 How to solve the problem
To solve financial crisis, the government had to Increase taxes Reduce expenses, objected to by 1st & 2nd Estates

8 Result of Poor harvests in 1780’s
Food prices rose Hunger for poor peasants & city dwellers People rioted & demanded bread, attacked nobles’ manor houses

9 Heirs of Louis XIV (14th) Louis XV ( ) pursued pleasure & ran up debt Louis XVI well-meaning but weak & indecisive, chose Jacques Necker as financial director

10 Jacques Necker’s Suggestions
Reduce court spending Reform government Abolish tariffs on trade

11 Pressure for reform mounted
Powerful classes demanded king summon Estates General Hoped to bring king under control of nobles & guarantee own privileges

12 Estates General Louis XVI called Estates General – first meeting in 175 years Cahiers – notebook with grievances from the 3 Estates Fairer taxes Freedom of the press Regular meetings of Estates General

13 Tennis Court Oath Delegates to the Estates General from Third Estate were elected Lawyers, middle class officials, & writers Solve financial crisis & reform Delegates dead-locked over voting issue Each group had one vote & 1st & 2nd estates outvoted 3rd Estate 3rd Estate separated & called themselves National Assembly & wanted to write own constitution

14 The Beginning…the Bastille
July 14, 1789, 800 Parisians met outside Bastille prison Demanded weapons & gunpowder Commander of Bastille refused & opened fire on the crowd, killing many Angry crowd broke through defenses, killed commander & 5 guards, but found no weapons Bastille became a symbol of French Revolution

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