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The French Revolution 1789-1815. Background The French Revolution was not so much anti- government as it was about social classes Certain French classes.

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Presentation on theme: "The French Revolution 1789-1815. Background The French Revolution was not so much anti- government as it was about social classes Certain French classes."— Presentation transcript:

1 The French Revolution 1789-1815

2 Background The French Revolution was not so much anti- government as it was about social classes Certain French classes had special privileges. The French Revolution saw attempts at several types of governments and finally failed as a democracy.

3 The Estates Since medieval times French society was divided into three classes or “estates”. – The First Estate—the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church. – The Second Estate—the nobility and aristocrats – The Third Estate—everybody else.

4 The First Estate--Clergy About 130,000 Owned about ten-percent of the land. Often from noble families. Cardinals, bishops, or heads of monasteries. Paid no taxes.

5 The Second Estate--Nobles About 350,000 Owned about 25 to 30 percent of the land. Leaders of government, military, law, and church. Controlled most of the wealth. Paid no taxes.

6 Third Estate—Everybody else Not a common group of people. Many occupations Different levels of wealth. About 26 million Owned 35-40 percent of the land

7 Duties of the Third Estate From medieval times the Third Estate was bound to: – Pay to grind wheat and press grapes because only nobles could own mills and presses – Had a certain number of days it was their duty to work for the noble (usually during harvest times)

8 Bourgeoisie Members of the Third Estate 8 percent of population 20 percent of land Middle class Lawyers, doctors, public officials, journalists.

9 Nobles and Bourgeoisie Did not want to abolish the nobility New nobles being created Shared Enlightenment ideas Disliked rigid social structure Finally opposed absolute monarchy

10 Financial Crisis Bad harvests Wars American Revolution Slow down in manufacturing Unemployment Crisis forces Louis XVI to call Estates-General to raise taxes

11 Voting Traditionally each Estate had one vote. First and Second Estate voted as a block Kept their privileges 1789 Third Estate and some nobles and clergy wanted a “head” vote (one person-one vote) King said he liked the old way.

12 National Assembly The Third Estate reacted by calling itself the “National Assembly” They would draft a constitution June 20 th found the doors to their meeting place locked

13 Tennis Court Oath The National Assembly moved to an indoor tennis court to meet. They swore an oath they would not leave until they had a constitution. Louis XVI threatened force.

14 Storming the Bastille Parisians reacted to the threat of violence by attacking the Bastille (a fort and prison) and tearing it down. Royal troops refused to fire on the rioters The revolt began to spread all over France Some of the nobility’s homes were looted and records destroyed.

15 Destruction of the “Old Regime” The National Assembly votes to abolish legal privileges of the nobles and clergy. Aug. 26, 1789 the National Assembly adopts the Declaration of Rights of Man and the Citizen

16 Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen Inspired by English Bill of Rights and American Declaration of Independence. Basic liberties were – “the natural and imprescriptible rights of man to liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression.” All men free and equal before the law Appointment to public office based on talent No group exempt from taxation.

17 continued All groups had right to make laws Freedom of speech and press DID THIS APPLY TO WOMEN? – Yes, as long as they did not get into politics – Olympe de Gouges, a woman writer disagreed and wrote Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen She was ignored by the National Assembly

18 The King Concedes Women of Paris march on Versailles The king and queen forced to go to Paris. They are virtual prisoners in Paris

19 Church Reform National Assembly decreed: – Bishops and priests elected by people – Church land confiscated and sold (not all) – State would pay salaries Alienated many Catholics towards the revolution

20 New Constitution of 1791 Limited monarchy with king Legislative Assembly to make laws – 25 years old who paid taxes could vote – Mostly wealthy would serve – 745 members The new assembly frightened the king who tried unsuccessfully to escape

21 National Convention Called by legislative assembly to form new constitution Abolished the monarchy Set up French Republic

22 National Convention Splits Jacobins—a network of political clubs splits – Girondins represent those outside Paris – Mountain represents radicals in Paris Mountains gain power and have Louis XVI executed

23 Committee of Public Safety Crisis from threat of Austria Maximillian Robespierre takes control of the Committee of Public Safety Starts the “Reign of Terror”

24 Reign of Terror All of those deemed enemies of the revolution were killed Revolutionary courts sentenced 40,000 to death

25 The Republic of Virtue Government pushed de-christianization Churches closed The word “saint” removed from street signs A new calendar introduced Weeks were 10 days long—this helped people forget what day Sunday was.

26 End of the Terror Robespierre was killing so many that government officials were afraid They voted to execute Robespierre

27 The Directory Restricted the Committee of Public Safety Allowed churches to reopen Created a new constitution Directory lasted from 1795-1799 Was corrupt 1799 Napoleon Bonaparte stages a coup d’etat and takes power.

28 PERSIA POLITICAL ECONOMIC RELIGIOUS SOCIAL List the changes in France from the beginning of the revolution to Napoleon’s takeover for these PERSIA concepts. TPS-notes-discuss-list

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