Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

France in the 18th Century

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "France in the 18th Century"— Presentation transcript:

1 France in the 18th Century
The Ancien Regime France in the 18th Century

2 Royal Family Clergy (First Estate) Nobility (Second Estate)
The 1%   Royal Family Clergy (First Estate) Nobility (Second Estate)

3 Louis XVI (1775 – 1792) - Born 23 August His father died in – Reign began May , when his grandfather, Louis XV, died - Supported and funded the American Revolution - June 1791: attempts to flee France - Arrested August Tried by the National Convention and found guilty of high treason - Executed by guillotine, 21 January 1793

4 Absolute Monarchy Appointed the Intendants, the “petty tyrants” who governed France’s 30 districts Appointed the people who would collect his taxes and carry out his laws Controlled justice by appointing judges Controlled the military Could imprison anyone at any time for any reason (blank warrants of arrest were called lettres de cachet) Levied all taxes and decided how to spend the money Made all laws Made decisions regarding war and peace - “As the authority of the monarch was virtually unlimited, this form of government was called absolute monarchy.” (Cowie 1996: 39) - “The loyalty of the people was totally directed towards the monarch rather than the nation. In fact the concept of ‘the nation’ did not exist.” (Cowie 1996: 39) - perception of the king (fatherly, benevolent)

5 Divine Right Monarch ruled by divine right God put the world in motion
God put some people in positions of power Power is given by God No one can question God No one can question someone put in power by God Questioning the monarchy was blasphemy because it meant questioning God - “In common with most European monarchs of the time, the kings of France believed that they ruled by divine right (the will of God).” (Cowie 1996: 39)

6 Comparison with King George III & President Washington
George III: Charles I deposed and executed in 1649; republic under Oliver Cromwell, 1649 – 1660; Restoration under Charles II but James II deposed in the Glorious Revolution; joint monarchy of William III and Mary II – subject to will of parliament; Bill of Rights; (Cowie 1996: 39)

7 Parlements Hereditary law courts
All laws had to be registered in the parlements Power to remonstrate with the king if there were errors or inconsistencies in the legislation Could not initiate legislation or policy

8 Palace of Versailles

9 Hall of Mirrors

10 Louis XIV – 1715; absolute monarchy reached its highest peak; assumed effective as well as ceremonial power; kingdom ruled as a personal fiefdom; landowning aristocracy enjoyed immense wealth but had little political power; built Palace of Versaille; known as the Sun-King (Cowie 1996: 39)

11 The First Estate: The Clergy
- .6% of the population (169,500) - Church owned about 10% of the land - tithe: tax between 8 – 10% of people’s income - Exempt from royal taxes high clergy: bishops; archbishops (also noble) - impossible for a commoner to rise to the top of the hierarchy (Adcock 2009: 19) upper clergy lived like nobles, common priests lived much like peasants (Cowie 1996: 39/40)

12 The Second Estate: The Nobility
Numbered only .4% of the population Owned 30% of the land Significant tax exemptions Major tax collecting authority - Dominated posts in Government and the Church Army, navy and diplomatic corps: all senior officers were aristocrats Nobility of the sword vs. nobility of the robe: some nobility were recently enobled bourgeoisie “The King allowed wealthy bourgeois to buy positions in the royal bureaucracy and to buy a noble title.” (Adcock 2009: 19)

13 The 99% Commoners (The Third Estate): - bourgeoisie (2 million) - artisans (2 million) - Landowning farmers (5 million) - Sharecropping farmers (11 million) - Day labourers (5 million) - Serfs (1 million) Bourgeoisie: French term meaning the men of the towns; business owners or salary earners - Bourgeoisie resent tax burden: trade barriers; limiting offices and positions to nobility

14 The Three Estates Estate Population Privileges Exemptions Burdens
First Circa 130,000 High-ranking clergy Collected the tithe Censorship of the press Control of education Kept records of births, deaths, marriages, etc. Catholic faith held honored position of being the state religion (practiced by monarch and nobility) Owned 20% of the land Paid no taxes Subject to Church law rather than civil law Moral obligation (rather than legal obligation) to assist the poor and needy Support the monarchy and Old Regime Second Circa 110,000 Nobles Collected taxes in the form of feudal dues Monopolized military and state appointments Paid only some taxes Third Circa 25,000,000 Everyone else: artisans, bourgeoisie, city workers, merchants, peasants, etc., along with many parish priests None Paid all taxes Tithe (Church tax) Octrot (tax on goods brought into cities) Corvée (forced road work) Capitation (poll tax) Vingtiéme (income tax) Gabelle (salt tax) Taille (land tax) Feudal dues for use of local manor’s winepress, oven, etc. - “Many historians estimate that the peasants paid from 70 to 80 per cent of their income in taxes.” (Cowie 1996: 41) - Doyle (p. 11): Account of taxation burdens of the peasants

15 What does this contemporary political cartoon say about conditions in France under the Old Regime?
- “Bread” Doyle p.22 - Doyle (p. 14): “Poverty was France’s most visible social problem…” - Doyle (p. 15): “These fears were fuelled by the way the poor behaved…” - Doyle (p. 18): “Urban poverty was concentrated and eye-catching…”

Download ppt "France in the 18th Century"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google