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The French Revolution and Napoleonic Era

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1 The French Revolution and Napoleonic Era
Chapter 18

2 The French Revolution and Napoleonic Era
Louis XIV - The Sun King Louis XIV was an absolute ruler and domineering personality He ruled during France’s Golden Age His palace of Versailles was the envy of Europe

3 The French Revolution and Napoleonic Era
Versailles exemplified the opulence with which the French Royalty lived. Succeeding Monarchs lacked Louis XIV personality and would bear the brunt of his extravagance.

4 The French Revolution and Napoleonic Era
Structure of French Society [Old Regime] Estates First Estate: consisted of the clergy who ran the schools, recorded births and deaths and managed church affairs. They paid no taxes. Second Estate: French Nobility [less than 2% of population] and only they could serve as officers in the Army or hold high posts in government. Third Estate: majority of French citizens were in this estate. Included poor peasants and wealthy bourgeois merchants

5 The French Revolution and Napoleonic Era
Underlying Economic and Social Problems Poor harvests led to problems in feeding France’s growing population [18m in 1715 to 25m in 1789]. Ancient customs duties inhibited trade and commerce within France adding to existing inflation. Huge government debt because of France’s wars. French support for the colonists during the American Revolution nearly doubled the debt. Skyrocketing inflation: one loaf of bread = a month’s wage. In a desperate attempt to raise money, Louis XVI called the Estates General [Parliament] into session for the 1st time since 1614.

6 The French Revolution and Napoleonic Era
From Estates General to National Assembly Voting based on Estate, 1 vote each. Louis XVI rejected a plan to let all estates meet together. Members of the 3rd Estate then declared themselves a National Assembly and prepared to write a constitution. Louis XVI banished them from their meeting hall.

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Oath of the Tennis Court : On June 20, 1789 members of the Third Estate met on a Tennis Court and agreed to not disband until a constitution for France was written. Many Nobles and clergy decided to join the National Assembly.

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Economic Crisis and Revolt Summer of 1789: inflation was skyrocketing, drought, food shortages and taxes were overburdening the people. Storming the Bastille, July 14, 1789: French Peasants storm the French prison as an act of rebellion against the old regime. Peasants attacked their landlords and destroyed their tax records and deeds of debt.

9 The French Revolution and Napoleonic Era
The National Assembly Responds Reforms: abolished tax exemptions for Nobles made all male citizens eligible for government and church positions ended most feudal custom duties inhibiting commerce Declaration of the Rights of Man: stated democratic principles would be the basis of French government and called for equality of all citizens. Civil Constitution For The Clergy: Abolished special privileges of the church, put church affairs under the control of the government and began selling off church land to raise money. Metric system, begun under Louis XVI, was adopted in 1791.

10 The French Revolution and Napoleonic Era
Louis XVI: Prisoner in His Own Country October 1789: Parisians marched on Versailles forcing Louis and his family to stay at the palace in the city. Marie Antoinette, the Queen, incurred the wrath of French citizens. They resented her indifference to their struggles and her lavish lifestyle.

11 The French Revolution and Napoleonic Era
Constitution of 1791 [Stage 1] made France a Constitutional Monarchy limiting the power of the King. Legislature made the laws, the King would carry them out or veto them. The legislature could override his veto. A new judicial system was created. Guaranteed equal rights to all citizens forever abolishing feudalism. Very similar to the American system except it retained the Monarchy.

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Louis XVI’s Great Mistake Louis XVI attempts to flee to Austria in hopes of raising an army to defeat the Revolution but is caught at the border.. Louis and family are returned to Paris under house arrest and Louis is forced to accept the new Constitution.

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France’s First Revolutionary Government Legislative Assembly was internally divided and the seating arrangements would have long lasting effects. Right Wing: Girondins were moderate revolutionaries who sought to preserve a constitutional monarchy Left Wing: Jacobins were radical revolutionaries who sought to overthrow the monarchy and make France a Republic

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France Reacts With War Monarchs throughout Europe [Austria in particular] were afraid the Revolution would spread to their country and began preparing to use force if necessary to restore Louis XVI to his throne. April 1792, the Legislative Assembly declares war on Austria. Prussia comes to the defense of Austria. The war initially is disastrous for France. Prussia and Austria threatened Paris and scapegoats are needed. Many believe Louis XVI is aiding the enemy.

15 The French Revolution and Napoleonic Era
The National Convention [Stage 2] Paris Commune, August 1792, revolution breaks out in Paris. Sans-Culottes, revolutionaries, take over city government, calling themselves the Commune, and storm the King’s Palace. Writings of Jean-Paul Marat encouraged the people to take violent action. Revolutionaries call for elections based on universal male suffrage to create a National Convention and demand a new Constitution.

16 The French Revolution and Napoleonic Era
The Republic [Stage 2, the Radical State] September 1792 the National Convention abolishes the Monarchy and declares France a Republic. Evidence of the King’s attempt to plot with émigrés and foreign enemies leads to Louis XVI’s trial for treason. He is found guilty and executed on January 21, 1793. October 16, 1793 Marie Antionette is executed for treason as well. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity became the rallying cry of the French Revolution.

17 The French Revolution and Napoleonic Era
France At War March 1793 – Disgusted with the September Massacres, Great Britain, Dutch Netherlands, and Spain join Austria and Prussia in a war against France. French armies struggle as the Prussians and Austrians threaten France. Desperation sets in and the National Assembly creates A Committee for Public Safety.

18 The French Revolution and Napoleonic Era
Reign of Terror [July 1793-July 1794] Committee of Public Safety had virtual dictatorial powers Led by Maximilien Robespierre Put France on a Military Preparedness Schedule by raising new armies and creating conscription where all men were eligible for military service. By 1794 France’s Army was 1,169,000. Prices restrictions were put on food and wages. All class distinctions and titles were eliminated, everyone was referred to as Citizen. New Calendar and clock were created, attempted to supplant the influence of Christianity.

19 The French Revolution and Napoleonic Era
The Reign of Terror To combat internal enemies the Committee for Public Safety set up tribunals. From July 1793 to July 1794 during The Reign of Terror about 30,000 people were executed for treason against the Republic. Eventually, France repulsed her enemies and the need for a reign of terror ended. Robespierre was executed on July 28, 1794.

20 The National Razor Guillotine
Method of execution made every “equal” in death Considered humane and therefore not “cruel or unusual punishment” similar to the demand made in the English Bill of Rights and the US 8th Amendment.

21 The French Revolution and Napoleonic Era
The Directory [ ] [Third Stage] New Constitution of 1795 created and legislative body and executive branch with 5 directors. Successes: France had the largest Army in Europe and was able to pursue an aggressive foreign policy Failures: Lifted price controls which led to inflation and riots. Directory was inefficient and corrupt.

22 The French Revolution and Napoleonic Era
The Rise of Napoleon Bonaparte born of Italian descent on the Island of Corsica By age 27 rose to the rank of General Between Napoleon won major victories against the Austrians in Italy. Invasion of Egypt and Defeat of the British led to him becoming a national hero.

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The Consulate: Napoleon as First Consul 1799 Napoleon returned to Paris and led a revolt against the Directory with help of 2 sitting Directors. New Constitution was written with the Republic run by a Consulate. 3 Consuls served as heads of State with Napoleon as First Consul. By a plebiscite in 1802 Napoleon was named Consul for Life and in 1804 years later named himself Emperor.

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Napoleon’s Domestic Achievements Napoleonic Code: brought about the reforms of the revolution into a single unified code of laws in existence to this day. All men are created equal before the law [turned back earlier revolutionary equality for women] Freedom of religion Freedom of enterprise [to work in any occupation] Re-drew the boundaries of France making for efficient government

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Napoleon’s Domestic Achievements Finance & Economics Taxation: all citizens must pay, no exemptions. National Bank of France Issued paper currency Education Government run schools called Lycees were the first steps toward public education Religion Concordant of 1801 With Rome recognized Catholic faith as the faith of the majority of French citizens in return Pope would not demand the return of church land seized during the revolution.

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Napoleon’s Foreign Policy [ ] Wars of Conquest & Aggression Napoleon chose to attack France’s enemies rather than passively defend Through cunning tactics and diplomacy Napoleon was able to subdue his enemies 1805 He defeated the Austrians and Russian at Austerlitz 1805 Naval Defeat at Trafalgar ends his plan for invading England 1806 he defeated the Prussians at Jena and at Friedland in 1807.

27 The French Revolution and Napoleonic Era
Europe Under Napoleon’s Rule [ ] System of Alliances Controlled France and Netherlands directly Spain, Italy and the Confederation of the Rhine were satellite states run by Family members. Austria and Prussia were forced allies Only Britain and Russia remained as enemies Reforms Spread the ideals of the French Revolution: abolished serfdom, religious toleration, and the Napoleonic Code

28 The French Revolution and Napoleonic Era
France vs Britain Cape Trafalgar: British Naval victory ending Napoleon’s attempt to invade Britain. Continental System: Napoleon’s blockade of British trade with the continent of Europe forbid European nations to trade with Britain Britain replied by seizing any ship trying to trade with France Led to American dispute with Britain and the War of 1812

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The Rise of Nationalism nations began to despise French rule and longed for the day they ruled their own countries Nationalism: an intense feeling of commitment or loyalty to one’s own nation or culture Uprising in Spain Spaniards were the first to revolt using guerrilla warfare tactics to harass French troops

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Napoleon’s Attack on Russia Tsar [Czar] Alexander I decided to ignore Napoleon’s continental system and resumed trade with Britain in 1812. Napoleon invaded Russia in June of 1812 with 500,000 troops. Napoleon defeated the Russians but his supplies line were over extended. He withdrew and faced harassment from Russian troops. Thousands of French troops starved and froze to death. Less than 100,000 escaped Russia.

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Europe Revolts Napoleon’s defeat in Russia encouraged Prussia & Austria to join Britain and Russia in attacking France. By March 1814, Napoleon’s efforts to rebuild a new army failed and the Allies captured Paris. Napoleon was forced into exile on the Isle of Elba. Louis XVIII, brother of executed Louis XVI was returned to the throne of France.

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Napoleon’s Return & The Hundred Days Many French were dissatisfied with the return of the old monarchy. Napoleon escaped from Elba in March of 1815, organized an Army, marched on Paris and forced Louis XVIII into exile. The Allies responded quickly. In June of 1815, a joint British & Prussian army under the Duke of Wellington defeat Napoleon at Waterloo. Napoleon is again exiled to St. Helena in the South Atlantic where he dies in 1821.

33 The French Revolution and Napoleonic Era
The Legacy “I am the Revolution” Napoleon Bonaparte In what ways was Napoleon the embodiment of the Revolution? In what ways did Napoleon turn back the clock on the Revolution?

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