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The French Revolution Begins

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Presentation on theme: "The French Revolution Begins"— Presentation transcript:

1 The French Revolution Begins

2 Setting the Stage In 1700’s France was the most advanced country in Europe Center of Enlightenment Large population Prosperous foreign trade

3 Hidden Problems Bad Harvests High Prices High Taxes
Questions raised by the Enlightenment

4 The Old Order 1770’s – France was under the Old Regime
The people of France were divided into three large social classes or estates

5 Privileged Classes First Estate (1% of French population)
Made up of clergy of Roman Catholic Church Hated Enlightenment ideas Paid very few taxes

6 Privileged Classes Second Estate (2% of French pop.)
Made up of rich nobles Held highest offices in government Disagreed with Enlightenment ideas Paid NO TAXES

7 Not so “Privileged” Class
Third Estate (97% of French population) Was made up of three sub groups Included bourgeoisie (middle class businessmen), urban lower class, and peasant farmers Peasant Farmers – largest group Had no power to influence government Loved Enlightenment ideas Resented the wealthy First and Second Estates PAID A TON of TAXES!!!

8 Forces of Change Member of the Third Estate were inspired by the success of the American Revolution (Life, Liberty, and Property!)

9 Bad Leadership Louis XVI + Maria Antoinette Weak Leaders
They were left a lot of debt from previous monarchs Spent A TON of money Tried to tax nobility!! (This is going to cause a problem!!)

10 Called a meeting to vote on this new tax
This meeting was called the Estates General An assembly of representatives from all three estates would vote for this new tax

11 Problem with the Estates General
Each estate’s delegates met in a separate hall to vote Each estate had one vote What’s the problem here???

12 The two privileged estates could always outvote the third estate.
This meant that the third estate never gained political success They needed to do something about that!

13 National Assembly Third Estate – Named themselves the National Assembly (1789) They could pass laws and reforms in the name of the French people They were locked out of their meeting room by the nobles

14 Tennis Court Oath The National Assembly broke into an indoor tennis court to create a new constitution – This became known as the Tennis Court Oath

15 King Louis XVI In response to the Tennis Court Oath he stationed his army around Versailles The French people thought the King was going to attack his own people They began to gather weapons for defense

16 Storming of the Bastille
July 14th 1789 – An angry French mob attacked the Bastille, a French prison, to get gunpowder. The French people took over the prison This marked the beginning of the Revolution!!


18 The Revolution Spread From Paris to the countryside the revolution spread. Peasants began burning down nobles’ farms Women marched on Versailles and demanded cheap bread. The monarch left France – The revolution succeeded!!

19 Revolution Brings Reform and TERROR!!

20 The Assembly Reforms France
Aug 4th 1789 – Many Clergymen and Nobles joined the National Assembly. They took many powers away from the First and Second Estate.

21 Revolutionary Ideals The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen This was the doc. created by the National Assembly (Like our Declaration of Independence) It stated that “all men are born and remain free and equal in rights” Freedom of speech, religion, and equal justice

22 A State-Controlled Church
National Assembly took over Church lands Clergy had to be elected Clergy and nobles are losing power!!

23 Division in the National Assembly
For 2 yrs. the Assembly fought over a new constitution Finally created a new one in 1791 Created the Legislative Assembly It could create laws and approve or reject declarations of war.

24 L.A. The Legislative Assembly split into three groups
Those that sat on the left side of the hall (Radicals) Those that sat in the middle (Moderates) Those that sat on the right side of the hall (Conservatives) Does this sound familiar???

25 War and Execution During the French Rev. other European countries did not want this revolution to spread into their country. SO – they demanded that the French restore Louis XVI to his throne. NOT A CHANCE – Let’s go to WAR!!

26 September Massacres Rumors started that the Kings supporters were going to break out of prisons. SO – revolutionaries broke into the prison and killed everyone.

27 National Convention takes over
Out with Legislative Assembly (1791) and in with National Convention Universal male suffrage Declared France a republic

28 JACOBINS Radicals from a distinct political organization (revolutionaries) Jean-Paul Marat – newspaper editor Believed that anyone who supported the kind should be KILLED!!

29 Death of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
1793 – King and queen are murdered by the newly introduced guillotine. This marks the beginning of “THE REIGN OF TERROR”!!!

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