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Essay planning: This activity will check your understanding of the topics covered so far, make you do some revision and help prepare you for your exams!

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Presentation on theme: "Essay planning: This activity will check your understanding of the topics covered so far, make you do some revision and help prepare you for your exams!"— Presentation transcript:

1 Essay planning: This activity will check your understanding of the topics covered so far, make you do some revision and help prepare you for your exams! Plan the answer for the following a) part questions 5, 6, 7, 9,

2 5. “The shortcomings of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were the main cause of the Revolution”. How far do you agree with this judgement? Louis Divine Right – no choice of a King. diffident & weak. Out-dated poor decisions Estate General (events surrounding them) Marie Antoinette Austrian Extravagant. Unpopular = “Madame Deficit”. Politically insensitive Meddles BUT Social structure was inherently reactionary and restricted the ability to make change. Greater pressures, such as the economy, were more responsible. Ministers also failed to convince or create acceptable plans.

3 Ancien Regime System is unfair and corrupt. Social structure = imbalance of taxation = economically flawed. Lack of uniformity and coherency in law and tax. Poor administration therefore could lead to chaos.

4 The Enlightenment Spoke out against the King and Church; in particular the more vocal elements of Rousseau may be considered to be discrediting to these institutions. Emphasised and highlighted the problems with the system, such as the King’s unaccountability, albeit sometimes indirectly such as the corresponding increase in censorship. Wanted improvement. BUT!!! The philosophes were not revolutionary, but reformist, desiring only greater balance and change.

5 Financial Situation of France and the resultant Economic Crisis 20 th August 1786 = Calonne = verge of bankruptcy. Not everyone pays taxes & tax farming corrupt. Foreign policy = ruinous Monarchs overspent = Crown has borrowed massively Failure of Controllers to deal successfully with the debt. Revolts in 1789 – dismissal of Necker = revolution

6 Conclusion Weigh up the factors you have identified. Are they linked?

7 6. How radical was the constitution of 1791? August “The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen” accepted. Based on the philosophes of the Enlightenment. Replace the ancien régime with system based on equal opportunity, freedom of speech, popular sovereignty and representative government. Radical  Limited Monarchy = Louis could not propose laws, Only had temporary veto to block legislation (Suspensive vote).  Separation of Powers = Legislative & Executive.  Independent judiciary  Created active citizens – more people could vote.

8 6. How radical was the constitution of 1791? Not radical  Written at a time of economic hardship so not very radical.  Louis still had power to appoint ministers and veto laws.  Compromise = radicals began drumming up popular support for a more republican form of government and the trial of Louis (e.g. Robespierre, Desmoulins & Danton)  Restricted right to vote i.e. “active” and “passive” citizens. Those who could vote also faced restrictions. 1/3 rd of adult males denied the franchise.  To stand for office or become a Deputy = had to pay more taxes so relied on taxes and wealth over merit (i.e. not meritocracy) Conclusion: Weigh up how radical you think the constitution was.

9 7. “Too much reform too quickly caused the failure of the constitutional monarchy between 1789 and August 1792” How far do you agree with this judgement? Too much reform too quickly?  1791 constitution – was the monarchy necessary?  Economic, Taxes and Finance reform etc  Religious reforms = The Pope encouraged Louis to reject the Civil Constitution and the King’s belief in Divine Right was grounded in faith. The refractory priests were central to the counter-revolution. The Civil Constitution split opinions.  Reforms upset various parties, causing radicalisation and divisions. They also led to questions about the role of monarchy.

10 Louis’ personal failings and mistakes.  increasingly unwilling to support the Assembly,  Flight to Varennes  Increase demand for a republic = The Champs de Mars Massacre  In November 1791, the King vetoed two laws the Assembly saw as vital = Suspicion grew that he was undermining the Revolution.  Maria An = Deeply unpopular.  Trunk of letters aided accusations of royal treachery immeasurably

11 Result of war By August = dire position = within 60 miles of Paris Brunswick Manifesto and an increasing fear of desertion, treason and danger led the Assembly to grant the power to arrest counter revolutionaries to local councils on 11 th August. September Massacres. Panic = rise of the radicals = Tuilieres. Lafayette = defection

12 The result of deepening economic crisis bad harvest led to the highest corn prices ever. The crisis of the ancient regime- reform wasn’t resolving problems fast enough, leaving the people angry (for example, there were riots when the National Assembly did not immediately remove the old taxes).

13 Machinations of a radical minority  Rise of the political clubs- effectively pressure groups- with different opinions. The most important were the Feuillants (constitutional), Jacobins (moderate republicans) and Cordeliers (radical and violent with working class members).  The rise of the radicals, especially as controllers of the mob.  Girondins in power- and their role in encouraging war/laws.  The influence of the Cordeliers (Tuilieres).  Personal aims (e.g. Lafayette).  Radicalisation due to Robespierre’s ‘self-denying ordinance’.

14 9. How far was the “Terror” of 1793 – 1794 justified? Justified  Threatened by both external enemies (France was at war with Austria, Prussia, The United Provinces, Britain and Spain. General Dumouriez had deserted in April 1793, creating panic and fear) and internal (counter-revolutionaries, particularly the rising in the Vendée which broke out in March 1793).  Repressive response to provincial rebellion. Most of the provinces- particularly in the north-west and south east- erupted during July-August 1793 following the execution of the king. Control was regained by the end of  Revolutionary Tribunal - A court specialising in trying those accused of counter revolutionary activities (quickly). Set up in Paris and intending to prevent events such as the September Massacres. “Let us embody Terror so as to prevent the people from doing so” –Danton  Suspension of the new constitution until peacetime by the CPS in October 1793 to ‘help the war effort’.  France faced economic difficulties, partly brought about by the spread of war. The Economic terror aimed to provide food for the poor & solve the on-going economic crisis. Severe laws were introduced including the death penalty for hoarding, a compulsory loan for the wealthy and the Maximum. The revolutionary armies seized grain for the government but became out of control. Measures such as the compulsory loan and the sale of émigré lands and property were intended to prop up the economy and regain popular support. JUSTIFIED BECAUSE Parisians get fed (in the short term), Sales of land and the Maximum gain support

15 9. How far was the “Terror” of 1793 – 1794 justified? Unjustified:  Repressive response to provincial rebellion. BUT UNJUSTIFIED BECAUSE a period of harsh repression followed, from January-May 1794, labelled ‘pacification’. Across France peasants were shot, farms burnt, animals killed and women raped. The worst horrors were perpetrated by representatives on mission and revolutionary armées encouraged by the Government: for example, in Nantes, 1800 were placed on barges in the Loire, which were then sunk.  The Terror continued despite war effort improving e.g. Danton were beginning to question its necessity – executed.  Increasing radicalism = The policy of representatives-on-mission placed Jacobins in control of rebellious provinces and the Law of Suspects enabled local communes led by fanatical Montagnards to be purged of local administrators in favour sans-culotte militants.  Show trials, such as that of Marie Antoinette (16 th October), 20 leading Girondin deputies (31 st October), the Duc D’Orleans (6 th November) and, perhaps least fairly, Madame Roland, the wife of a Girondin ex-minister (9 th November).

16 11. ‘The political instability in France in the years 1794–99 arose from the bitter political divisions created by the events of 1793.’ How far do you agree with this opinion? Yes  Terror = Coup of Thermidor - Robespierre’s fall from power (religious, conventions role etc)  Thermidorian Reaction = government was reorganised in an attempt to prevent dictatorship. The instruments of the Terror were dismantled: the Jacobin Club was closed in November 1794, the Commune abolished and moderation and freedoms restored. The New Constitution of Year III was issued in August 1795 and set up the Directory.  The White Terror of 1795 was a reaction against the revolution terror - those who had profited (land purchasers, constitutional clergy and officials) and the Parisian sans-culottes were attacked by the angry and the aggrieved; there was particular violence in the west and the Vendee.  On the 5 th of October 1795 (13 Vendemiare), armed Parisians- including factory and property owners, civil servants and sans-culottes- marched on the Convention in protest against the new Constitution, in what was described by contemporaries as a royalist rising. They were resisted by government troops, led by the young Napoleon Bonaparte, who killed over 300 with a “whiff of grapeshot”. This was the last attempt to intimidate an elected assembly until  Violence continued until 1797.

17 11. ‘The political instability in France in the years 1794–99 arose from the bitter political divisions created by the events of 1793.’ How far do you agree with this opinion? NO  Directory’s structure = relied on cooperation between the groups. Political stalemate and a lack of leadership. Any attempt to make change was slow and bureaucratic. Directory – too much change too quickly Economic crisis still serious – Directory found it difficult to deal with it. Measures introduced were unpopular Royalist support - did well in elections = rise in support of constitutional monarchy. Directory actions at manipulating elections. Various plots e.g. Babeuf War = defeats in Europe and with Britain.

18 How successful was the Directory in solving the problems facing France between ? Success:  reduced debt, increasing revenue through new taxes, plunder of occupied lands and the introduction of a new currency with the withdrawal of the assignats  presided over a period of successful conquest so that by 1798, Britain was France’s sole enemy  prevented a royalist resurgence – curbing the Chouans, taking action against émigrés and preventing royalist dominance in the councils through the Coup of Fructidor (1797)  curbed the Jacobins and left wing through the defeat of the Babeuf Plot (1796) and the Coup of Floréal (1798)  France’s success in the prosecution of total war against external enemies was only possible because of the success in curbing counter-revolution at home.

19 Failure the new currency rapidly lost value and coupled with the declining value of government rentes, this alienated the bourgeoisie property-owners. French finances remained on a precarious footing and were dependent on the short-term gains of war and forced loans the continuation of counter-revolution, e.g. the Chouans; the undercurrent of political opposition and the need to resort to the army to preserve its existence, subverting democracy, suggested political problems remained the return of royalists, who were elected in large numbers posed a threat to the revolution and the principles the Directory had been set up to enshrine the war went less well in 1799 and its continuance caused hardships to remain. There was hostility to conscription and economic dislocation problems of the Church – juring/non-juring priests and the aftermath of dechristianisation were ignored. Good answers are likely to conclude that the Directory was largely unsuccessful in solving problems although it managed to ‘paper over’ them and to survive longer than any other regime since The superficiality of achievements is likely to be identified and the underlying weaknesses stressed, although it is possible to argue that it was ‘successful’ in its very survival in difficult circumstances.


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