Presentation on theme: "The French Revolution. Causes of the French Revolution Causes Bad Crops/ High Prices Weak Leadership High Taxes Questions raised by Enlightenment Ideas."— Presentation transcript:
Causes of the French Revolution Causes Bad Crops/ High Prices Weak Leadership High Taxes Questions raised by Enlightenment Ideas
High Taxes People divided into three large social classes (Estates) Roman Catholic Church Rich Nobles1.Middle Class 2.Workers 3.Peasants Exempt from Taxes Paid High Taxes Eager for change First EstateSecond EstateThird Estate
Bad Harvest = High Prices Bad weather in the 1780’s Caused widespread crop failures Result was severe shortage of grain The price of bread doubled in 1789 due to the bad harvest Many people faced starvation.
Enlightenment Ideas People in the Third Estate inspired by the success of American Revolution. The questioned long-standing notions about the structure of society. Began to demand equality, liberty and democracy!
Weak Leadership King Louis XVI (16 th ) Indecisive about economic problems. Did not listen to his economic advisors. Marie Antoinette Spent elaborately on gowns, jewels, gambling and gifts. Often gave Louis poor advice on government matters
Steps Toward a Revolution Third Estate is fed up. Name themselves The National Assembly and pass laws and reforms in the name of the French people. King Louis locks them out of their meeting room. Louis stationed his army around the city of Versailles. Rumors flew Some thought Louis was going to use military force to remove the National Assembly Others heard that foreign troops were coming to Paris to slaughter French citizens. People panicked Began to gather weapons to defend their city
Storming the Bastille July 14, 1789 a mob searching for gunpowder stormed The Bastille, a Paris prison. Mob overwhelmed the guards. Took control of the building. Hacked the guards and prison commanders to death. Paraded around the city with their heads on pikes. Became a great symbolic act of Revolution to the French People. July 14 th is Bastille Day in France – Similar to our July 4 th
The Great Fear Rumors spread that nobles were hiring outlaws to terrorize peasants. A wave of senseless panic called the Great Fear rolled through France. In response, peasants became outlaws themselves. Destroyed home s of the nobles King Louis and family leave
The Assembly Reforms France Nobles, motivated by fear, joined the National Assembly. Swept away privilege. Made peasants, clergy and nobles equal. National Assembly adopts “Declaration of the Rights of Man”
Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen “Men are born and remain free and equal in rights” Rights include: Liberty, property, security and resistance to oppression Guaranteed Citizens: Equal justice, Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion.
A Limited Monarchy New Constitution completed by the National Assembly Created a Limited Constitutional Monarchy. Stripped the King of much authority. Created a new Legislative Body – The Legislative Assembly: Made Laws
Other Countries Fear Revolutions Prussia threatens The National Assembly. National Assembly responds with war. Mobs storm palace and imprison Louis and Marie. Monarchy abolished. France declared a republic. Adult males granted right to vote and hold office.
King Louis XVI Executed Tried for treason. Found guilty. Sentenced to Death. Beheaded in public by the Guillotine
Robespierre Assumes Control Sought to build a “republic of virtue” by wiping out all traces of France’s past. Changed the calendar, removed Sundays - thought religion was dangerous. Closed churches He governed France as a dictator, using terror to get compliance. Terror claimed many lives. Finally overthrown and sent to Guillotine.
Effects of Robespierre Public opinion shifted after his death. People of all classes had grown weary of the terror. Moderates formed a government and placed power in the hands of the upper middle class. Not great but gave some order to their troubled country for a while.