Presentation on theme: "“RAGING MOB” OR “SOLDIERS OF LIBERTY”? How should we describe the Parisians who stormed the Bastille on July 14, 1789? Hippolyte Taine (1880): “Like a."— Presentation transcript:
“RAGING MOB” OR “SOLDIERS OF LIBERTY”? How should we describe the Parisians who stormed the Bastille on July 14, 1789? Hippolyte Taine (1880): “Like a tame elephant suddenly become wild again, the mob throws off its ordinary driver, and the new guides whom it tolerates perched on its neck are there simply for show…. The dregs of society at once come to the surface…. Ruffians, armed with pikes and sticks, pillage the houses of those who are regarded as enemies to the public welfare.” George Rudé (1959): “The Revolution was only able to advance—and, indeed, to break out—because the sans- culottes… were able to assimilate and to identify themselves with the new political ideas promoted by the liberal aristocracy and bourgeoisie.”
CAUSES OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION Military defeats in 1748 and 1763 undermined the prestige of the French monarchy. After 1760 the French population grew somewhat faster than did the economy. King Louis XVI was less talented than his predecessors, and Queen Marie Antoinette became very unpopular. The French nobility raised new barriers to hinder the rise of talented commoners in the civil service, military, and Church. Support for the American Revolution bankrupted the French government. Bad weather caused a miserable wheat harvest in 1788, and the price of bread soared.
Elisabeth Vigée- Lebrun, “Marie Antoinette with her Children” (1788)
A.R.J. Turgot (1727-1781), Intendant of the Limousin, and Finance Minister, 1775-76. His failure prompted the king to abandon the idea of free- market economic reforms.
Jacques Necker, Finance Minister in 1776-81, who sought to balance the budget by abolishing tax exemptions for the nobility and “venality of office.”
“Libertas Crowns Franklin,” French engraving from 1778
Charles Wilson Peale, “Washington, Lafayette, and Tilghman at Yorktwon” (1784)
“Louis XVI, Liberator of America,” shown with Franklin & “Wadington” (1786)
Popular engraving to celebrate the recall of Necker, August 1788. He persuaded the King to call for the election of the first Estates General since 1614.
Pamphleteers demanded two reforms of the old election procedures in autumn 1788: 1. “The doubling of the Third,” i.e., authorization for the Third Estate to elect as many delegates as the First and Second combined. 2. “Vote by head and not by order,” i.e., abandonment of the old rule that the delegates of the estates deliberate and vote as three separate bodies. Louis XVI soon granted the first demand but stubbornly opposed the second, without which the first was essentially meaningless.
Anonymous, “Let’s hope it’s all over soon” (print from 1788/89)
An old- fashioned bread riot: Plundering the Réveillon mansion, April 27, 1789
“Troops in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine,” April 28, 1789 (300 Parisians were killed, and 1,000 wounded)
Opening session of the Estates General, May 5, 1789: Louis XVI had accepted the “doubling of the Third” but opposed calls for “votes by head and not by Order.”
THE DELEGATES OF THE THREE ESTATES The Priest: “What am I?” The Nobleman: “I am a Citizen” The Commoner: “I am a Deputy of the Third [Estate]”
“The Oath of the Tennis Court, June 20, 1789” (the delegates of the 3 rd Estate declare themselves the “National Assembly” and vow to write a constitution)
J.-L. Prieur, “Camille Desmoulins Making a Motion at the Palais-Royal, July 12, 1789”
Jean-François Janinet, “The Charge of the Prince of Lambesc,” July 12, 1789
J.-L. Prieur, “The French Guards Repulsing a Detachment of the Royal-Allemands,” 12 July 1789
Prieur, “Pillaging the Monastery of St. Lazare,” July 13, 1789
Prieur, “Paris Guarded by the People,” July 12/13, 1789, on the enrollment of a “National Guard”