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Shaping Nationalism Chapter 2 – Understanding Nationalism “To What Extent Should We Embrace Nationalism” Many historians believe that the French Revolution.

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Presentation on theme: "Shaping Nationalism Chapter 2 – Understanding Nationalism “To What Extent Should We Embrace Nationalism” Many historians believe that the French Revolution."— Presentation transcript:

1 Shaping Nationalism Chapter 2 – Understanding Nationalism “To What Extent Should We Embrace Nationalism” Many historians believe that the French Revolution marked the birth of European Nationalism The French attempted and successfully accomplished a complete change in the way their society worked They beheaded their monarch and many of the nobility because they enjoyed luxuries and wealth, while the poor starved and went without the basics Revolutionaries changed France from an absolute monarchy to a republic Peoples general loyalties shifted from a focus on the King to a focus on the nation The French Revolution showed that Nationalism can be affected by external factors including historical, social, economic, geographical, and political factors that often overlap and feed one another.

2 Factors that Shape Nationalism Historical Factors – From Revolution to Republic Louis XVI ruled France with absolute power over the people He would often punish, imprison, or even execute those who spoke out against him The Bastille was a fortress prison that was a symbol of Louis’ power and authority over the people On July 14, 1789, 600 angry Frenchmen stormed and captured the Bastille marking the start of the French Revolution and the inevitable end of Absolutism in France. The capture of the Bastille, inspired people of all classes to take action against the king Even today, the Storming of the Bastille” is ingrained in the French Collective Identity. It is a symbol that reminds people that even ordinary citizens can effect change.

3 Factors that Shape Nationalism Social Factors Social factors refer to the relationships among people in a given society In some societies, people’s roles are decided before they are born, as it was in Pre- Revolutionary France If you were born a peasant, worker, or a commoner, you would remain a commoner for your whole life. If you were born into nobility, you enjoyed wealth and privilege. The king and the aristocrats, including high ranking officials in the Catholic Church held the majority of the power in France. The King made and enforced laws, and cared little for the common people Figure 2-6 This cartoon was created in 1789, the year the French Revolution began. It shows a commoner carrying an aristocrat and a Roman Catholic clergyman on his back. Cartoons like this helped spread revolutionary ideas throughout France.

4 Factors that Shape Nationalism Social Factors The aristocrats (nobility), collected taxes from the commoners, yet paid very little themselves. This allowed the ruling elite to grow extremely wealthy. If a commoner lived and worked on the land owned by one of the ruling elite, they were required to work for free, and often pay rent to the land owners. In 1789, 96% of the population of France was considered a commoner.

5 During the 1700’s, France was one of the cultural centers of the world People of a variety of classes (social groups) met in cafes and in salons (places where people would meet and discuss important matters of society) During the meetings, they would discuss matters such as, the day’s events and the meaning of those events in the light of a changing set of ideas about individual rights and freedoms They discuss the monarch and the treatment of the common people by the nobility, clergy, and royalty They resented not having a say in their government, unlike Britain who had an elected parliament and a monarch (who held little authoritative power). They watched and discussed the American Revolution in 1783, where the British colonies rebelled and declared independence from Britain. They regularily discussed what was wrong with society and tried to think of ways that society could be improved. Factors that Shape Nationalism Social Factors – Changes in Ideas about Society

6 Factors that Shape Nationalism Social Factors – Speaking Out Freedom of speech was not guaranteed in Pre- Revolutionary France. The royal police regularily threw people in prison for speaking out against the nobility and the king. To speak out against the king, was to speak out against the nation. Despite this, people still published their opinions in books, pamphlets, and newspapers (the times mass media) Voltaire once wrote: In general, the art of government consistsin taking as much money as possible from one class of citizens to give to another.” “man is free at the moment he wishes to be.” Is this true? Voltaire

7 Factors that Shape Nationalism Social Factors – A Growing Middle Class The common people of France included a growing middle class called the Bourgeoisie. The Bourgeoisie included factory owners, doctors, laywers, witeres, philosophers, and other highly skilled workers like clockmakers and artists. Not only was the class growing, but they were developing the ability to grow wealthy using their skills. As they became wealthier, they invested in education, and welcomed ideas of equality and freedom. They also became more aware that they were being forced to pay the majority of the taxes which enabled the aristocrats to live in opulent luxury.

8 Factors that Shape Nationalism Economic Factors During the 1700’s the French Monarchy was constantly at war with other nations. These wars were very costly for France, and combined with extreme spending habits of the Kings, France was nearly bankrupt by the 1780’s and in a serious economic crisis. To combat this, Louis XVI decided that he would raise the taxes of everyone in France, including the nobility and aristocrats. They denied him his taxation. Out of desperation, Louis XVI called the Estates General in 1789 (a parliament type group made up of representatives from the different classes in France) Estates General

9 Factors that Shape Nationalism Economic Factors – The Estates General The Estates General was comprised of representatives from the 3 different social classes in France. First Estate – The Clergy (high ranking members of the Church) Second Estate – Aristocrats and Nobility Third Estate – Commoners and Peasants The 3 estates would meet and vote on issues seperately, the votes would then be combined and a majority vote would decide the outcomes. This meant that the first 2 estates could always outvote the third estate. On June 20 th 1789, the third estate demanded that votes count by representation, the king denied the demand and locked them out of the meeting. They met at a Tennis Court and swore an Oath that they would remain there until they had established a constitution, and called themselves the National Assembly

10 Factors that Shape Nationalism Geographic Factors In the summer of 1789, the King was worried about paying for his luxurious lifestyle, the bourgeoisie were after more power, the clergy was worried about losing land and privilege, the commoners were worried about the weather. As a result of a culmination of bad winters, poor crops, floods, and droughts, there was barely enough grain supply to feed the nation. This resulted in a huge increase in the price of bread, a necessary staple food for the commoners, and they could not afford to purchase it. Figure 2-8 On October 5, 1789, many Parisian women walked 25 kilometres to Versailles and arrived there early in the evening. They carried whatever weapons they could find and dragged along a cannon. What caption would you write for this picture?

11 Factors that Shape Nationalism Geographic Factors – Bread Revolutions As the price of bread rises, it was not uncommon for the peasants and labourers to spend up to 90% of their wages on a single loaf of bread. There were several riots over the price of bread in the past (1768, 1770, 1775), and as a result a good supply of affordable bread was necessary to maintain public order in France. The general public believed that those who governed were responsible for maintaining the bread supply. On October 5, 1789, a crowd of women marched on the Palace at Versaille and demanded that Louis XVI return to Paris with them and supply them with the much needed food supply that they felt was his responsibility. He agreed and by the time they returned to Paris, the crowd totalled close to 60,000 people.

12 Factors that Shape Nationalism Political Factors Many French people did not feel any sort of National Identity Members of the Third Estate were frustrated by their lack of political power The Third Estate began to thing of the King, the clergy, and the aristocratst as “them” By late 1789, the newly formed National Assembly created a document entitled “The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen” which removed the traditional power of the king, clergy and the aristocrats, and it stated that the role of government is to preserve the rights of its people.

13 Factors that Shape Nationalism External Threats to French Nationalism After the revolution in France, many other European leaders feared that the ideas of the French Revolution would spread to their own countries. In an attempt to prevent those ideas from taking root in their countries, many nations raised armies and invaded France in an attempt to restore Louis XVI to the throne and to power in France. However, France’s revolutionary army prevailed and prevented the reinstatement of Louis XVI to power. This external threat led to the eventual execution of Louis XVI to finally end the attempts to restore the monarchy in France. This execution did not have the desired effect on the French population, who were shocked and horrified that the revolutionary leaders would do this. As a result, the french people began to speak out against the Revolutionary leaders.

14 Factors that Shape Nationalism Politics of Fear and Terror To crack down on the public outcry against the revolutionary leaders, they began what would become known as “The Reign of Terror” “The Reign of Terror” lasted for 11 months, during which time 200,000 people were arrested for various crimes, and 17,000 people were executed. One of the first executions was Marie Antoinette. Some were arrested for speaking in favor of the king, others for speaking out against the revolution Olympe de Gouges, a female activist, was executed because she spoke out against the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. She viewed it as an injustice to exclude women from it. She then wrote “The Declaration of the Rights of Women and of the Female Citizen”. This was enough to warrant an execution.


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